- Happy Birthday, J Dilla & Bob Marley! [MISS/AB]
- Questlove released a number of covers of J Dilla tracks by The Roots via Twitter yesterday. [MLX]
- Peep the gallery of Francis Wolff's Blue Note portraits of legendary Jazz artists. [FLR]
- You did watch the Soul Train documentary this past weekend, didn't you? [VH1]
Do we have any Foreign Exchange lovers in the house? Silly question, I know, because who doesn't love the GRAMMY-nominated group repping hard for North Carolina? And to return some of that hometown love, the FE crew is not only doing a special Valentine's Day concert on Sunday, February 14th at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, but they've linked up with us to give away two pairs of tickets. Trust me when I say that seeing Phonte, Nicolay, Yahzarah, Darien Brockington, Zo! and The Els on this lover's holiday is way better than a box of chocolates. Hit the bounce for all the details you need on how to enter, and also to see a non-Blingeed out version of the flyer. Tickets may also be purchased for $20 solo/$18 per person in a couple here.
I grapple with whether I want to wait for New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh to be released so I can listen to it and enjoy it in its entirety. Since I write about this music ish, this is nothing but a pipe dream. Plus, my curiosity and stanning ways can't deny myself of some newness from Ms. Badu. This track may please those a bit more than her experimental-sounding track she shared with Bilal and Lil Wayne. It's definitely smooth enough to please those not willing to go outside of a more familiar lane, and grooves enough for those who enjoy something a little more on the funky side.
Erykah Badu: "Window Seat"
In this video Lionel Richie, along with Quincy Jones, run down a long list of how overwrought this new "We Are The World" production will actually be. Who needs a 3D video of a group of performers standing in rows singing? And green screens so that us commoners can insert images of ourselves in the 3D celebrity crowd? What are Paul Haggis and his Walker, Texas Ranger-honed directing skills (he also directed Crash) contributing to this exactly? I guess we'll see. But while the sentiment may be in the right place, this video makes an already questionable event appear even more unnecessary.
Behind The Scenes Of 'We Are The World' [MTV]
Julie Dexter is back! Though she hasn't dropped a new album just yet, she is offering an audio tease with her new track "Transitions," which is produced by Foreign Exchange fam Lorenzo "Zo!" Ferguson. This track will surely be as beloved as her most memorable songs like "Ketch a Vibe" and "Choices."
The Atlanta-based singer, who is one of the UK's brightest exports, went solo in 2000 after touring with jazz vocalist Courtney Pine. We haven't gotten a full disc of new music since Conscious in 2005, but she has appeared on the records of other artists here in the states and abroad. Her stand-out collabo, hands down, was on the song "How Sweet Life Is" with Angela Johnson on 2007's A Woman's Touch.
Here's looking forward to the new release as we dig on what she doles out to us in the meantime. Enjoy.
Julie Dexter: "Transitions"
I used to be one of the easily angered audiophiles who complained about how no good new Hip Hop is being put out. Until I began knowing where to look. Yes, it's like looking for truffles under rocks at times, but there exist times when my nose tingles with excitement when something piques my interest. Hawdwerk & Jansport J's High Power Moves is a lighthearted, well-produced album whose beats will make your head nod and whose rhymes your mind can accept. I have several favorites thus far, but the track I keep returning to is "She Smiles" for no other reason that I'm a sucker for a well done romantic Hip Hop track. Be sure to peep their Bandcamp page for the goods, then grab the original samples for the album over here.
Hawdwerk & Jansport J feat. J7: "She Smiles"
New music is not always a good thing. But, it is most definitely a great thing when it is from a musical icon who never fails to push the envelope of creativity and originality. Gil Scott-Heron has graced us with new music in the form of the recently released I'm New Here, which we featured earlier in the week. This new drop opens with a spoken word present, "On Coming From a Broken Home (Pt. 1)," wrapped in Kanye West's beat from "Flashing Lights." Gil's deep, resonating vocals speak from a memory past, reflecting on its connection to now as Kanye's familiar beat drizzles in between the words to link us with its familiarity. Yes, exhale. This 15-track music collection only gets better.
There comes a time in most successful artists lives whereby, if they choose to accept mainstream success, they must willfully accept being handsomely rewarded by the "establishment." But living comfortably comes at a price, the least of which includes watching one's anti-establishment opinions. A better analogy may be how you don't embarrass your parents in public lest you be popped in the head. Questlove is learning this lesson the hard way from NBC after the second of two incidents culminated yesterday in the following tweet:
The last time we heard from The Bots, we were told that they were taking some time off to be kids, enjoy their childhoods, and after recouping, get back into the studio and get things crackin'. "Stop," a short but hard track with its accompanying video is such a great example of what we can expect from talent in progress. I imagine that by the time these boys are finished with puberty, they will be a force to be reckoned with. In the meantime, take a gander at what the future will hold in the video below. [H/T: AFP]
The Bots [Official]
- Kelly Clarkson to Tay-Tay Swift: Where's your pitch at? [PPL]
- MJ's murderous (allegedly, blah blah) quack of a doctor hopefully to surrender soon. [LAT]
- Gross Chrissy Brown remains gross. [PBB]
- I guess the public was demanding an explanation as to why Bey would say she loves Jay-Z because here it is. [RR]