Saturday, May 30, 2009

Album Review: Jaspects 'The Polkadotted Stripe'

I remember a time when most popular artists all but shunned higher education and skipped school to pursue big dreams of money and fame in the music industry. But lately if you are looking for the next big thing in music you need to look on the college campus, hell even most rappers got degrees now. And now the next big college musicians to hit the scene are Morehouse's music department alumni the Jaspects with their latest album The Polkadotted Stripe. The Jaspects have been gaining a lot of momentum on the interwebs lately and I recently heard of them through Twitter thanks to NCCU Communications graduate Phonte. Their style of music is an interesting fusion of Jazz, Hip-Hop, Soul, Funk, and a little Rock thrown in for balance and is a little reminiscent of the group from illadeph that has been known to experiment with different genres.

The Polkadotted Stripe is definitely a treat, Morehouse definitely has to be proud of these grads. They created a deep and moving piece of work that takes you on a journey though a vast musical landscape. The very first track '2012' featuring the quirky and immensely talented nerd girl Janelle Monae is a futuristic funky jam that is fused with different styles and melodies, and they were able to utilize the reviled auto-tune to surprisingly amazing effect here. 'Falling,' is a nice groovy track that makes you think of good times chilling with friends at the Sunday afternoon jam session. The structure of the album is very orchestral in nature in that songs often linger on for a minute or two long after the lyrics are done. Most notably done on the title track 'Polkadotted Stripes' is an 8 minute long anthem that is multi-layered and genre bending.

There is a lot to love about the album but sometimes all that genre mixing and experimenting can be a little over stimulating and sometimes it sounds like the album doesn't know what it wants to be. It could be that the title 'The Polkadotted Stripe' is a metaphor for confusion and mix matching, like some of the music is. Often the instrument heavy music can be over powering, not to mention the way the delivery method of the lyrics. Tracks like 'Like A Drum' and 'Be Your Man' take the gimmicky auto-tune too far and they would have been better suited without it's use. The album does pick back up with the smooth and sultry ballad 'Find My Way To Love' featuring newcomer Chantae Cann. But then it drops you right back in the confusion with 'Chuck Jones' which is bordering somewhere between genius and annoyance. It's a rocked out fairytale song that either tries to be socially conscious or scared straight, but it does pick up in the end fading into a nice instrumental melody straight into the album's finale.

Overall 'The Polkadotted Stripe' is a nice musical ride and one you should have in your rotation. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how well crafted the music is and you'll find yourself nodding or swaying along with the beat. The Jaspects are definitely worth studying more, so educate yourself.

JayTeeDee gives Jaspects 'The Polkadotted Stripe' 6 out of 7 head nods.

Head Nod Scale

1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.

Purchase Jaspects 'The Polkadotted Stripe' from Amazon or iTunes

Dilla - Jay $tay Paid Album Review

What are the size of your expectations when you learn that an artist's posthumous release will be helmed by their mother and their biggest idol? Exponentially greater than if that release was handled by the suits at a record label I’m sure! If you’re reading this then I’m sure you know what I’m referring to, but if not: Jay $tay Paid, which was overseen by his mom, Ma Dukes and the legendary Pete Rock. Once again a mother lode of Dilla beats have been mined and polished and presented to you for your listening appreciation.

The album gets started with one of many instrumentals, King. The title is fitting because it shows why he is the most highly regarded beatmaker, his lack of fear when creating! King and the other beats that follow show where Dilla was HEADED with the beats; spaced out gems that are full of hip hop flavor and bang Jeeps. Even though cats are still attempting to imitate Dilla, I’m sure no one anticipated this sound! Several of these instrumentals continue before we are introduced to emcees rocking over these tasty beat treats.

Many of these artists are the usual suspects on a Dilla tune: Frank Nitti, Phat Kat, and Cue D to name a few. Jay $tay Paid also delivers some dream pairings with emcees you never thought you would hear over a Dilla beat. The first emcee to appear on the album, producer and emcee, Blu, a definite descendant of Dilla, rocks over Smoke. Smoke is one of the few tunes on the album that gives you the classic Dilla (Jaylib era) sound. I expect Madlib/Quasimoto to jump in at anytime while listening to this beat! Another dream pairing is (unfortunately only) Lil Fame of the WORLD FAMOUS M.O.P. No longer relegated to just vocal snippets in Dilla instrumentals, Fame goes hard on Blood Sport which starts out as a synth heavy head nodder and segues into a slow contemplative beat, both of which Fame more than adequately blesses. New emcees are also introduced here, most notably Danny Brown on the wildly fantastic Dilla Bot vs. The Hybrid. Brown goes in with witty wordplay, personality and a massive amount of quotables that will make you wish this duo had collaborated much much earlier.

With tracks averaging in at 2:27 Jay $tay Paid is perfect for this era of the low attention span listener. Although the lengths of the tracks are comparatively short, the abundance of songs can get overwhelming. In addition, some of the songs just don’t go with the overall flow of the album and makes my FF button finger begin to itch. Overall, J$P is a dope project that I think would benefit from the old adage, “Less is more.” With 28 tracks, though, there’s something for EVERYONE so pick this one up June 2 and make sure Jay Stay Paid!
DJ Rahdu gives Jay $tay Paid 5.75 out of 7 Headnods
Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Muhsinah//Oscillations:Sine Review





What isn't there to say about the talented D.C. native, Muhsinah? Muhsinah Abdul-Karim aka Muhsinah has risen from all things including direction in career to weight loss. Muhsinah started out singing background for Bilal Salaam and is pinned with crews such as Low Budget (Dj Roddy Rod, Kev Brown, and Peter Rosenberg) to name a few.For those who didn't know, Muhsinah is a very skilled piano player and studied classical music. Nowadays, you will find Muhsinah playing keys for Chicago bred rapper Common (Common Sense). Muhsinah has also been featured on projects such as Stacy Epps's "The Awakening" and Foreign Exchange's "Leave it All Behind". Whether she is in a band or producing for others, Muhsinah still has a sound of her own that can't be simply put into one category. She fuses modern day sounds such as hip-hop and electronic with classical,jazz,and R&B. Whether the lyrics may seem unclear and non-existent at times, Muhsinah still manages to draw you in with her uncanny and subtle voice. In 2008, Muhsinah released her album Oscillations:Sine which is the first of 2 parts. Oscillations:Triangle,which features all new music and production from producers Slimkat78, Mike Slott, Exile,and herself, has been pushed back until further notice. If you rewind back to 2005, Muhsinah released the Oscillations EP which featured songs such as "Millions" which you would find on her Daybreak and Daybreak 2.0 release. The Oscillations: Sine is Muhsinah's album that combines Daybreak,Daybreak 2.0, and Prelude. All which can be bought separately. Daybreak was released first as download music and then she released Daybreak 2.0 which added bonus tracks. It was also sold physically and digitally. Prelude was a Japanese release and had a few tracks on it that wasn't on Daybreak or Daybreak 2.0. You have to love the genius behind her team (Rxlngr pronounced Rock Slinger).
What I enjoyed about Oscillations is that it was very diverse in sound yet it was so Muhsinah. Drums are hip-hop and sometimes unorthodox. Melodies are flowing and mysterious. Energy is incredible. You can't turn your ipod,stereo,or computer off when hearing Muhsinah's sound.
________________________________________________________________
"A.M" starts the journey off with a obvious tribute to Alice Coltrane with a synthetic harp sound and piano riffs. In a away, it represents an awakening of some sort.
________________________________________________________________
Slowly creeping in after is "Construction" her hit song, in my opinion, which I feel is very universal. The beginning of Oscillations are all favorites.
________________________________________________________________
"Discovery" is a very non-defying song that I can not place. It just has a feel good sound about it and her voice haunts it superbly.
________________________________________________________________
"Once Again", another favorite of mine, is so beautiful and pacy. Muhsinah's vocals easily shined in this piece. Her harmonies that sat in the back of this track help to bring this song to life. The music is very simple and I was told uses a sample from John Coltrane's "Love Supreme".
________________________________________________________________
"Gogh" is one of those songs that I would say has limited lyrics but the music intrigues you. It's very different. It has a electronic feel with off rhythms. It also features that dark and slowed down vocal along with the reversed vocal she puts in just about all her tracks. This is when it starts to get repetitive. That would be the most annoying thing I get out of her music,but other than that....
________________________________________________________________
"Outsource" has a rock feel with some,again,off rhythms.Yet, Muhsinah pulls it off with her vocal arrangements.
________________________________________________________________
Same can also be said about "Yiy" which features Muhsinah's piano talent. It is very reminiscent of Radiohead and is executed beautifully.
________________________________________________________________
"Mine" is a song that I can honestly tell you, I had no idea what was going on at first. It seemed all over the place and would probably be my least favorite; however, she manages to again make you pay attention with her vocals even though we could do without the not-so-good rap verse.
________________________________________________________________
"Billieclub" which features soul singer Wayna, is easily a favorite and is named after a wooden club used by police in the UK during the Victorian Era. The song talks of police brutality and the words are very strong.
________________________________________________________________

Muhsinah is a very talented individual and I must say, she has come a very long way. She has much more to give and a lot more growing that is in process.

Muhsinah's Site


FLASHBACKhoney gives this album 6/7 nods


Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wax Poetics Sundays - This Sunday, May 31, 2009! (Birmingham, Alabama)

Its here once again (funny how time flies)! Wax Poetics Sundays @ Charlemagne with deejays Don Johnson, Jubal John, and 3/6 of the BamaLoveSoul crew: DJ Rahdu, JayTeeDee, and Junior Star, this Sunday May 31 - 1pm-6pm.

A bunch of vinyl has been picked up since the last Wax Po session, so be prepared for many treats..
and last but not least, be sure to pick up the latest issue #35 from the shop and grab yourself a $1 off back issue (or two) while they last. The last time I checked (about a year ago), back issue #1 was going for like a hundred bucks..

Charlemagne Records is located at:
1924 1/2 11th Ave S Birmingham, AL 35205
more info: (205) 322-5349

BTW: Don't forget Jesica Latten's photography show at Malcolm's Reading Room this Sunday from 3pm-8pm, so swing by Charlemagne before or after you check her out! More Info @ MalcolmsReadingRoom.com or 205-261-9298.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Astronotes 'Space Water Babies'

I once said here before that Japan is killin' it right now in the music game and Tokyo Beat Science is definitely part of that movement. TBS brings you the complete future beats based from Tokyo/Japan. This project mainly features undiscovered fresh Producers/DJ's/Artwork expected to be the next around the world. This nonsensical titled track is the first single from the self-titled project, a smooth, futuristic, funky, and soulful melody laced with vocals by Replife and my favorite crush Kissey Asplund *swoon* is one to repeat over and over. If this is any indication then TBS is definitely something you should keep your ears out for.



The Astronotes 'Space Water Babies' featuring Replife and Kissey Asplund


Props to NerdwithSwag by way of Moovmnt for the hookup!

Ear Candy Vol.1 Ear Candy Chronicles

My people Gypsy Soul and Briclyn Entertainment have brought "music fans the long awaited Ear Candy Chronicles Volume 1 (ECC), mixed by DJ Phaze...The cd will include some of the amazing artists that have performed or are scheduled to perform at Gypsy Soul's live music event Ear Candy, including W. Ellington Felton, Yahzarah, Jaiden The Cure, and Jaspects - just to name a few!" Download HERE

DJ Mitsu the Beats - Playin' Again feat Ivana Santilli

DJ Mitsu's album, Word to the Wise, dropped or was supposed to drop May 27 2009. The album plays well and is filled with dope, melodic, soulful beats and...testosterone. Kev Brown, Jose James, Elzhi & Maspyke all appear on & bless this album, but the one track I keep on repeat is by the lone female on the project, Ivana Santilli. I was turned on to her when I picked up her 1999 album Brown and havent heard from her since her 2008 album TO.NY so I was pleased to see her in the lineup. She does not disappoint. Pick up Word to the Wise when it drops and the last song which features Ivana Santilli is one you'll end up Playin' Again and again. Click Here to read Moovmnt's thoughts on the album and to hear more tracks


DJ Mitsu the Beats - Playin' Again feat Ivana Santilli
MORE: Here's a Circle Research remix of Ivana Santilli's - Still Anymore

45 AKA Swing-O - Nothing Feels Better Than You featuring Jimmy Abney


45 AKA Swing-O
is a talented pianist/producer from Tokyo. He returns after his wildly successful first album Hello Friends (2008) which was No.1 on iTunes Japan. The Revenge of Soul sees him doing just that; bringing you the soul that you haven't heard in a while, but we'll come back to that. In addition to the soulful treats, he also laces emcees such as Youngs and Amphibious Underground with some nice hip hop flavor and even provides you with some AfroBeat with Marcellus Nealy. One of my favorite tracks (back to the soul) is his pairing with Jimmy Abney who I got turned on to last year. Nothing Feels Better Than You sounds like 45 jacked this one from the scraps of Marvin Gaye's What's Going on Sessions. Don't believe me? Press play!


45 AKA Swing-O - Nothing Feels Better Than You featuring Jimmy Abney

Blaq Poet - Hate

More of that ol' Boom Bap produced by one of the best to ever do it, DJ Premier. Blaq Poet is joined by N.O.R.E. and the trio makes it feel like it's 1996 coming out of your speakers! Enjoy


Blaq Poet - Hate feat N.O.R.E.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Circle Research - Stop, Look...Listen to Your Heart

The good duo from T.O. have dropped another jewel on us with this chopped up version of a classic soul treat. Enjoy!

Circle Research - Stop, Look...Listen to Your Heart

Fashawn - The Outer City


Fashawn's single, Freedom is available now at iTunes and the single includes an unreleased bonus track The Outer City produced by Exile, which will not included on Fashawn's debut. Fashawn's debut, Boy Meets World, will be released on 9-1-09 on One Records and is entirely produced by Exile! You can check it the unreleased gem here!

Fashawn - The Outer City

Joyo Velarde - Take you Home

If you've been listening to West Coast hip hop (Quannum, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born) you'll know that there is one constant when it comes to female vocals: Joyo Velarde. Her new, self titled EP is the perfect precusor to her upcoming album, Love and Understanding. The EP is a refreshing perspective on traditional soul music handcrafted by Joyo and Lyrics Born with the help of fellow producers Jake One, Emmy Award winner Asa Taccone, RJD2, Tommy Guerrero, Headnodic (Crown City Rockers), and the Lifesavas' Jumbo the Garbageman. Love and Understanding will come out physically and digitally on November 3rd, 2009. Take You Home is a treat that's bound to make you boogie, so check this out then go HERE to buy the EP which is available NOW.


Joyo Velarde - Take You Home

Jaspects - Fallin Remix ft Senor Kaos

I always get super critical when I hear/see/read EVERYONE cosigning an artist/project. The Jaspects have been mentioned to me directly and indirectly by everyone from Duane Powell to Brittany Bosco. I finally got my hands on The Polkadotted Stripe and I must say the buzz is well deserved. Here's a remix featuring Senor Kaos thats was spotted over at Che Sing the Cool, Enjoy!


Jaspects - Fallin Remix ft Senor Kaos

Jill Scott - Cross My Mind (Salah Ananse Remix)

Salah Ananse dropped this deep house remix of Jill Scott's Cross My Mind on me. He sez, "Hidden Beach had me do it. But they never used it. You can send it out/post it for free as well." I'm doin' just that and I have word that there is in fact a Jill Scott Remix album that may be dropping this summer...if she consents. Stay Tuned!


Jill Scott - Cross My Mind (Salah Ananse Remix)

Album Review - Nickodemus - Sun People

Nickodemus, the Brooklyn based producer and deejay/creator of one of the longest running outdoor dance parties in New York, Turntables on The Hudson, drops a nice one on us for summer 2009. Sun People (ESL Music), is Nickodemus' second full length effort, featuring a bouquet of characters representing all parts of the globe. Imagine traveling to Puerto Rico, Columbia, New York, Guinea, UK, (and a few other spots), and the sun is shining upon arrival of each destination, with people dancing in the streets..

The production is very tight, as most dance music is in general, but the live instrumentation and vocalists seem to help loosen things up, adding a bit more swing to the rhythms once all of the pieces are fit into the puzzle. Nickodemus' way of combining urban beats and multicultural sounds, makes him (and world music) indefinitely more "accessible" to the average dance clubber, attractive to names like Apple in the advertisement world (see Mi Swing es Tropical), as well as creating an interesting listen for people who enjoy global music.
Release date is set for June 16, so mark your calendar and pick it up at one up at your favorite place to buy music.

In The Booth
Sun People (Intro) (feat. Ismael Kouyate) - Nice traditional instrumental with keyboard drops throughout. Ismael Kouyate on vocals but only about a minute and a half in length. I'm sure there will be a full version coming soon.

La Lluvia (feat. Richard Shepherd, produced with Quantic) - Co-produced by Quantic, so you know its got that deep Latin flavor. On point vocals and horns makes this a top contender for favorite track..

weRISEweFALLweRISE - Starts out as an experimental hip hop type of track where the drums and multilayered woodwinds take the stage, but just when you thought it was over, the track morphs into a house tune..much props on the transition here.

Junior Star gives Sun People a 5.75 out of 7 head nods.

Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nicolay's Off the Shelf #2


Nicolay sez "At the end of 2004, I was contacted by a fairly well-known indie hip-hop label's A&R (Artist & Repertoire) director (who shall remain anonymous). The guy was working on a new project with legendary group The Last Poets, and he wanted to see if I could remix a song called "Dakari" that also featured Keith Murray. The remix was intended for a 12" single to promote the album, and would potentially even be included on the album as they were not too thrilled about the beat that was used for the original track. Eager to expand both my range and my resume, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to reach a new audience, and we came to an agreement that worked for all parties involved. I finished the remix in January of 2005." Go HERE for the download!


The Last Poets - Dakari feat. Keith Murray (Nicolay Remix)

GO Cop Dat! Emanative - Space

My new favorite group/album for the week! I ran across them on their myspace page and just HAD TO HAVE this album. They had me drawing comparisons to Incognito, Koop and Jamiroquai. The majority of Space is instrumental nu jazz but they include guests such as Deborah Jordan, Heidi Vogel, & Liz Elensky. One of the best descrptions I found for their sound is "Lush & atmospheric future jazz/soul". Please check it out you will NOT be disappointed!

Emanative - We Travel the Spacebeats

Fresh to Def!

Kenny Fresh from FRESHselects hit me with a new exclusive from the Hawthorne Headhunters. For those who don’t already know, HH are a trifecta squad made of established solo artists & producers - Black Spade and I, CED (or Ced No) from St. Louis, and Proh Mic from L.A. by way of Seattle.The song he's supplied is the motivating anthem, “Never Give Up,” which co-stars vocals from extended Hawthorne family member, Coultrain. The song is an unreleased outtake from the same 2007 sessions that the group’s forthcoming debut EP was pulled from. The EP will be the first release being put out by LA-based art collective, HVW8, on June 20th. Check FREHSselects to see what else Kenny and HH have in store for you and HERE for more HH tunes.



Hawthorne Headhunters - Never Give Up


More from the man Kenny Fresh who stays dropping the treats on me everybody. He dropped this one last week which is from RoddyRod's upcoming Cuba After Market album. head over to FRESHselects to see the video.


RoddyRod - This Time Around feat. Phonte & Carlitta Durand

Monday, May 25, 2009

DSXXX: DJ Rahdu Interview with Bahamadia

Bahamadia rose to prominence on the hip-hop scene as an artist/lyricist/producer signed to Guru of Gang Starr's Ill Kid Records. She went on to lend her smooth-flowing raps to a variety of projects during the late '90s, including several electronica and acid jazz artists. Born Antonia Reed in Philadelphia, Bahamadia started out DJing at local house parties in the early to mid-'80s, and soon stepped out front to honing her skills on the mic as well. She remained a presence on the Philly hip-hop scene, but didn't make her first recordings until hooking up with producer/radio personality DJ Ran, who helmed her independent 1993 single "Funk Vibe." "Funk Vibe" caught the attention of Gang Starr's MC Guru, who took an interest in Bahamadia's career and helped her get a record deal with Chrysalis. Her first officially released singles, 1994's "Total Wreck" and 1995's "Uknowhowwedo," were well-received in the underground for their soulful soundscapes and laid-back raps. The full-length LP Kollage followed in 1996, and featured production by DJ Premier, Ski-Beats ,N.O.Joe, The Beat Miners, as well as fellow Philly natives The Roots. Unfortunately, Chrysalis folded a year later, and Bahamadia chose to wait out her contract before resuming her career as a solo, independent artist. In 2000, she signed with the L.A.-based indie Goodvibe and released the chilled-out BB QUEEN (as in "beautiful black") project featuring production and/or guest appearances by James "J-Dilla" Yancey, DJ Revolution, Cali Agents (Rasco & Planet Asia), Dwele, etc... which received excellent reviews.

1. Jaylib; Quasimoto - Tomorrow
2. Dela; Blu - Vibrate
3. Group Home - Supa Star Instrumental
4. RecodKingz; Little Brother - Playing to Lose
5. Mr. Lif; Bahamadia - Breathe
6. The Roots; Bahamadia - Proceed Pt. III
...::Bahamadia Interview Pt 1::...
7. Nas - Represent
...::Bahamadia Interview Pt 2::...
8. Pete Rock & Cl Smooth - The Creator
...::Bahamadia Interview Pt 3::...
9. A Tribe called Quest - Electric Relaxation
10. Dwele; Bahamada - High
11. Slakah the Beatchild; Drake - Enjoy Yaself V2
12. Tanya Morgan; Jermiside; Che Grand; Elucid; Spec Boogie - Never 2ndary
13. Frank Nitt; DJ Quik; J Black - L.O.V.E.
14. Shin-Ski - Orion's Belt
15. Pharoah Roche - Drifting (Extended)
16. Sylk 130; Bahamadia - The Reason
17. Kero One; Tuomo - Let's Be friends
18. The Big Payback - Cosmic Traveling


DJ Rahdu Interview with Bahamadia

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Havana:Entervention after L.I.F.E

There are not many independent artists at this moment that can say they sold 18,000 copies of their first release, digital and physical. When speaking of an artist like this, who comes to mind is R&B/Soul singer Havana. Havana has definitely blossomed in many ways. She has reached a new height in her music in such areas as verbally,mentally, and musically. I had the pleasure of speaking with the southern California bred songstress and I must say, she was as bubbly and humble as I expected. Havana discusses her feelings of the mainstream record industry, family, music, life goals, and reality. Per Havana, all of her music talks of the struggles she faced when dealing with her parents who are both trying to recover from drug addiction. While most people would still be in a state of coping and trying to find themselves during such a devastating time with a family member, Havana seemed to be fine and non-affected by the situation.
I commended her for that. It was living with her grandmother and keeping a positive mind frame which allowed her to fight against a future of turmoil and anguish. While speaking with Havana, we talked about the success of her 2005 debut release L.I.F.E. I wanted to know if there was a strategy to what she presented to the world that got the attention of so many people. According to her, there was no strategy. There were times when she did not know if she would even pursue her career in music because she was dedicated to family. Family meaning, her devoted husband and career partner Khadji and their three adorable children. However, Havana managed to find the strength and balance to complete her project. The L.I.F.E (Living In Fearless Emotion) album consisted of production by Detroit producer Waajeed (Slum Village, PPP, Tiombe Lockhart) and Nicolay (Foreign Exchange). The critically acclaimed L.I.F.E received good vibrations from many bloggers,music critics,etc. L.I.F.E also caught the attention of companies such as MTV, NBC, Scion, and Adidas which resulted in her receiving licensing deals. I wanted to know more about Havana and who inspired her to be on the musical journey she is on today. Havana mentioned names such as Mary J. Blige who you can definitely gather from her storytelling of hardships. When asked about a producer she would really like to work with, Havana's answer was Raphael Saadiq. She mentioned that opening up for Raphael Saadiq sparked her interest and she would love to be able to sit in the studio with him. Among other performers, Havana has opened for Dwele, Slum Village, Adriana Evans, Rebirth, and S1 from Strange Fruit Project. Now that she has spread a taste of her musical craft, Havana is about to release her sophomore album, Entervention. Entervention will be an album that is somewhat in a different light from Havana's debut album. This album has a new production sound that is more 80's electronic and R&B feel with more lyrics that are very direct and to the point. Entervention features production from Brooke D'Leau (J*Davey), GB (Sound in Color), and The Honor Roll (Trackademicks/1O.A.K). I expressed my excitement for her new release and wanted to know her long time goals...this is what she had to say: " I will be in this industry [music] for a long time". Well, with the way things are going, there's nothing holding her back.

Havana "It Ain't New"


Havana "Shoulda Walked Away"


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Late Pass #10: Myron - Free

Most people know Myron from his 1997 Destiny album which included the single of the same name and my favorite, We Can get Down. He reappeared on Hidden Beach's 2003 Hidden Hits Vol.1 with Free which also appears on the 2005 import release Free. I've been rocking this one for 5 years now and it's completely filled with soul filled bangers and funk drenched gems alike. Check out Me For You and pick up Free, you won't be disappointed.


Myron - Me For You

Illa J - Sounds Like Love (Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson's In Space Remix)

Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, who are most recently known for composing a "lovely, string-laden, sweetly soulful instrumental take on some of Dilla's signature beats and inspiration" have applied that favor to his little brother as well. Check out this version of Sounds Like Love which will appear on the maxi single along with a remix by Nobody's Unicorn.

Illa J - Sounds Like Love (Carlos Nino & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson's In Space Remix)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Iman Williams::The Long Journey Back To Reality Pt Deux::The Review


Whether you know her as Iman Williams, Flashback Honey, or @ImanWilliams it doesn't matter! As long as you know her and the music she represents. I've been listening to this EP non stop since Thursday, and that's not exactly an easy thing to do these days in the music world.
The Long Journey Back To Reality Pt Deux is a collection of 8 laid back songs perfect for driving, staying sane @ work, chilling with friends, or just being. The road for the journey is paved with beautiful keys, energetic cymbals, booming drums, and out of this world loops. Iman soulfully brings us into her journey with each track by saying exactly what's on her mind and heart. Intuitively though she manages to say exactly what is on ours, only she sings better than us; and can sing period!

On Not 4 You she details her path in the "industry" and the critics she faced. Laced with loopy-warped beats and subtle percussion, this track is catchy because of the beats & instrumentation + we can All relate to the haters and the insight they provide. Fall in Love; filled with the realness of a woman scorned, her voice flawlessly flows over the keys with an echoy effect taking it to another level. The title track speaks to finding one's self thru soul searching over music fit for 2 stepping the night away. [Her voice is exceptionally beautiful on this track, especially as the song ends.] My two favourite tracks You R f/ Nebulus & Soulmate f/ Ab are the most beautiful, both lyrically and instrumentally. Nebulus' gritty voice gave the track a sexy masculine embrace, while Ab's harmonious voice perfectly complemented and intensified the track.

Williams made no mistakes when charting the course for this album. The production team laid perfect plans, and she navigated carefully and flawlessly. The end result was a personal, and heart felt journey that not only touched on her life, but is also relatable to ours. For illustrating her journey so perfectly...

Pink BubbleGum gives The Long Journey Back To reality Part Deux 6/7 Head Nods
Head Nod Scale
1=Don't waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there's "two and a possible".
5=It's a "good" album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the "Rewind Factor" more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.
Get the Album @ Amazon. com or Itunes...support Indie music!

Friday, May 22, 2009

HollyWeerd 'Candy For Kleptos' Mixtape

I been up on Hollyweerd for a minute. Their style is very eclectic if not outright crazy. Not what you would expect for a couple of dudes from ATL. But their sound is similar to those other groups from there that made it big even though their sound was somewhat different. Think ATLiens not Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, think Cee-Lo Green not Goodie Mob. I encourage you to check out the latest mixtape from the dynamic duo. They always come with something fresh and different and it should make for an interesting musical journey. Also it's mixed by the legendary DJ Jamad so I'm sure it's gonna have something for the soul... Go ahead and try something different.

Download HollyWeerd 'Candy For Kleptos'

Bonus Hollyweerd presents Electricity Showroom Mixtape

Props to The Smoking Section and 2DopeBoyz for the hookup

Dillanthology2: The Remixes 5-23-2009

The next entry of The Dillanthology will be released next Tue through Rapster records. This set is dedicated to the remixes he’s done for a select group of artists. A part of me is partially hating because I would like to see some of his other remixes on this compilation. for example: Always Find A Way Remix, Black Capricorn Day Remix (there were 2 of them), or Nothing But your Love Remix but for whatever reason they’re not included. So why complain? Besides, I have them in my collection anyway, right?

The cool thing about it is that Dillanthology Vol.2 goes from his smooth melodic remixes to his beats made for the jeeps. The Eve Remix has always been one of my favorites and seems to have been created as he was transitioning between the 2 styles. Another treat on this remix for Spacek is the addition and introduction of Frank and Dank and their neo Nice and Smooth rhyme style. I don’t know if the sales from these Dillanthologies are going to support his mom and family but cop these if you are still getting familiar with the producer that everyone can’t seem to stop talking about!




Spacek - Eve




Spacek - Eve (J Dilla Remix)

More Shawn Struggle

Check out more from Shawn Struggle, the man that Okayplayer says, "Even on a strange or stilted-sounding rhythm...his delivery maintains an ease and sincerity, whereas someone of lesser ability might have come across as over-wrought and forced." I completely agree and here are some great examples: Watch how he rocks over the broken Crank House and the classic sample Space Dust on Mucho. Support Infinite Soul. Peace to Anonomas and Jewels!



Shawn Struggle - Crank House



Shawn Struggle - Mucho