The Isley Brothers are responsible for crafting the sexiest and most seductive songs of the R&B era. The music of the Isley Brothers can convert any and every female into a sex goddess. Many of us were conceived while songs such as 'Make Me Say It Again Girl,' 'Don't Say Goodnight (It's Time For Love),' 'Between The Sheets'--to name a few, played in the background. If you were born in '73, 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight' may have slid through the speakers and set the mood. 'Don't Let Me Lonely Tonight', written and originally recorded by singer/songwriter James Taylor, was recorded for the 1973 release 3+3. The album marked a turning point for the group, the Isleys became a sextet as cousin Chris Jasper and brothers Ernie and Marvin joined the group. As a testament to interpretative genius of the Isley Brothers, the group transformed 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight' into a captivating and sensual soul masterpiece.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Barack Ain't Feeling Luda
The upcoming election has got everyone and their mama talking, rappers included. Common, Talib Kweli, Jay-Z and others have all dropped a verse or two expressing their support for Obama. Queens born MC Nas dropped the song 'Black President,' the track describes Nas' hopes for Obama should he win the election and the trials and tribulations he faces along the way. Obama supporters Big Boi and Mary J. Blige collaborated on the politically themed 'Sumthin's Gotta Give.' The latest rapper to join the rap-about-Obama team is Ludacris, he expresses his thoughts on the track 'Politics As Usual.' As you may already know, Team Obama is far from impressed with Luda's lyrical support. In a statement Obama's camp stated "as Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn't want his daughters or any children exposed to. This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics." Peep a few lines of the song:
"better yet put him in office, make me your vice president...Hillary hated on you, so that b^$&%* is irrelevant...Jesse talking slick and apologizing for what?if you said it then you meant it..."
"you can't stop what's bout to happen, we bout to make history...the first black president is destined and it's meant to be...the threats ain't fazing us, the nooses or the jokes...so get off your ass, black people, it's time to get out and vote!...paint the White House black...and I'm sure that's got 'em terrified...McCain don't belong in ANY chair unless he's paralyzed...yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped..."
VIBE Celeberates 15 Years With JAY
Jay-Z, the pride and joy of hip hop, is on the cover of VIBE's Special 15th Anniversary Juice Issue. The rapper, who also happens to be co-owner of the New Jersey Nets, the 40/40 line of clubs and the skin care and beauty line Carol's Daughter and founder and chairman of Rocawear clothing, is working a new album with producer Timbaland.
Big Boi & MJB Prove 'Sumthin's Gotta Give'
Here's Big Boi's video for his single 'Sumthin's Gotta Give' featuring fellow Obama supporter Mary J. Blige. The video opens with a poignant Obama quote "if you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress." The video is a perfect compliment to the social and political themed song in which Big Boi and Blige touch on everything from the war in Iraq to the dismal economy to the criminal justice system to high gas prices and the upcoming election.
Big Boi's solo album,Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, drops sometime late this year.
"there's something that I want to say
but words sometimes get in the way..."
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
It's hard to believe but it's been almost 30 years since Motown introduced us to Teena Marie. Her debut album mesmerized us and we were shocked when we discovered Lady T was much lighter than we assumed. Today's selection, 'Deja Vu(I've Been Here Before),' appears on Teena Marie's classic Rick James produced debut Wild and Peaceful. Written by Lady T's one time lover Rick James, 'Deja Vu(I've Been Here Before,' reveals Teena's admiration for Minnie Riperton. With lyrics such as "I used to be a queen you know...on an island by the sea...with rainbow colored people...happy as can be...we never had a problem...there never was a care...the love was ever flowing and it's feeling shared..." Lady T divulges into mysticism, reminiscent of Minnie's 'Take A Little Trip' and 'Close Your Eyes and Remember.' Sit back and enjoy this Motown classic.
A Legend Sings For A King
I came across this video today and decided to share it with you. The video was included on The History Channel documentary 'KING,' a stirring look at the life and legacy of Martin Luther King. The clip takes a look at John Legend in the studio as he breathes new life into U2's 'Pride(In The Name of Love),' an ode to the lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Various clips of Dr. King and unforgettable moments of the Civil Rights Movement appear throughout the video.
John Legend's upcoming project hits the net and stores October 28. Evolver, Legend's first studio album since 2006's Once Again, includes tracks with guest Kanye West, Estelle, Andre 3000 and others.
Gov't Apologizes for Slavery & Jim CrowIn a historic move, the federal government apologized for slavery. The House of Representatives passed a resolution apologizing to blacks for slavery and the era of Jim Crow in a building built by slaves. Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat from Tennessee, drafted the resolution. Acknowledging the "injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery and Jim Crow" the resolution states "the vestiges of Jim Crow continue to this day." Actions speak louder than words. "African-Americans continue to suffer from the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow -- long after both systems were formally abolished -- through enormous damage and loss, both tangible and intangible, including the loss of human dignity and liberty, the frustration of careers and professional lives, and the long-term loss of income and opportunity." I appreciate the apology but an apology is merely enough. I'll rejoice when we as a people are finally free!!!
Big Boi & MJB Make A Video
"when it feels like the world is on your shoulders
and all of the madness has got you goin crazy
it's time to get out, step out into the street
where all of the action is right there at your feet..."
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Any dicussion involving the great male voices of R&B will always include the likes of Marvin Gaye, Eddie LeVert, Luther Vandross, and Sam Cooke. Rick James is rarely mentioned. The vocal techniques he administered on songs such as 'Give It To Me Baby' and 'Superfreak' are hardly what we would call saannging. But, we can all agree that Rick saaannng his ass off on 'Fire & Desire' and 'Ebony Eyes.' He also put a hurtin' on the lesser known 'Hollywood' featured on his 1978 Motown debut Come Get It, an earthy fusion of punk rock, funk and soul. Clocking in at over seven minutes, 'Hollywood' is Rick's passionate letter to his parents detailing his desire to "make it good in Hollywood." Let me say it again, Rick James put a hurtin' on this song. It's safe to assume that when Biggie put pen to paper and wrote 'Juicy,' 'Hollywood' was a motivating force. Peep the opening lyrics "Mama, sit down for me please/ Daddy, comfort her in this time of need/Your one and only son has got to get away/Before this ghetto life becomes the death of me..."
It's Time For A 'Change'
It's a shame good music is hard to find. Radio has forced us to listen to the likes of Akon, T-Pain & Lil' Wayne over and over and over again. A slew of refreshing,soulful,thought provoking and intelligent artist are being overlooked. One such artist is German-born Joy Denalane. It's safe to say that you've never heard of Joy Denalane, radio and television have yet to fully embrace her music. Joy is a testament to the global influence of black music,born in Germany to a German mother and South African father Joy was influenced by the sounds of soul, R&B and hip hop. A few years ago she embarked on Philadelphia and emerged with a masterpiece, her sophomore project, Born & Raised,a blend of soul, hip hop, and gospel. Rappers Raekwon and Lupe Fiasco and R&B singer Governor make guest appearances. Musical contributions were made by James Poyser and a slew of other renowned musicians. Check out the video for 'Change' featuring MC Lupe Fiasco. Mainstream media needs to take note, it's time for a change.
Rock The Bells
The 2008 Rock The Bells Festival, hip-hop's premier summer event, is still in full effect. The festival includes performances by hip hop legends De La Soul, Rakim, Nas, Raekwon and Mos Def and new jacks Kid Sister, Santgold and The Cool Kids and many more. The festival is making stops in New York, Miami and Cali in the coming weeks. For complete tour dates and info on how to purchase tix click here.
R&B's Newest Addition
Clive Davis has been good to us. He resurrected Aretha's career in the 80's and he introduced us to Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys. His latest 'discovery' is Jazmine Sullivan, R&B's new 'it' girl. Without a doubt, the 21 year old Philly native possesses 'it.' Don't be fooled, Jazmine isn't like those other twenty-something so called R&B singers, Jazmine Sullivan can sannng. She grew up singing in church and made an appearance on Showtime At The Apollo at the tender age of 11. As a teenager she developed her vocal skills while performing at the famed Philly music den Black Lily. After an impromptu jam session with Stevie Wonder and an appearance on Wonder's 'Toys For Tot' show in LA the word was out and the rest is history. Her debut album Fearless drops September 16 via J Records. If for some odd reason the singles 'Need U Bad' and 'Bust Your Windows' have failed to capture your attention take a listen to 'Silent Tears' and 'In Love With Another Man.' Check out Jazmine performing 'What's Going On' at The Sugarbar.
"on a perfect day
I know that I can count on you..."
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Public Soul Announcement is on Vacation
Public Soul Announcement is on a short vacation. Don't worry, we shall return on Tuesday July 29. In the meantime, Public Soul Announcement wants to hear from you. What are your thoughts on Public Soul Announcement? Do you see room for improvement? We want to know a few more things. Have you been grooving to the sounds of an up and coming artist(s)? If so, who?. Have you been to any concerts this summer? Have you come across any good albums? Tell us about it.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Duets can be a wonderful thing when the two artists boast an undeniable degree of chemistry, Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn, a match made in heaven, created magic with 'If This World Were Mine.' Rick James and Teena Marie did the same thing with 'Fire & Desire.' Anthony Hamilton and LaToiya Williams created a bit of magic with the duet 'My First Love,' a love song every couple going through tryin' times can appreciate. Anthony Hamilton's no-holds-barred gritty vocals and LaToiya's unadulterated soulful approach create the perfect union.
Nas Takes A Stand Nasir Jones is joining forces with members of progressive political organizations Color of Change and Move On to deliver a petition to Fox News' New York headquarters tomorrow. The petition is apart of a campaign to demand Fox News to stop attacking black Americans, especially Sen. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.
On Nas' recent untitled album he raps about Fox News' continued use of negative sterotypes when reporting news on people of color on the track 'Sly Fox.' Peep the music video below.
New Music from R. Kelly
The abundance of male soul singers making great music, John Legend, Robin Thicke, Anthony Hamilton, Raheem DeVaughn, Calvin Richardson--to name a few, has made R. Kelly a thing of the past. Love for the 'Pied Piper of R&B' began to diminish with allegations of engaging in sexual acts with underage girls and possessing child pornography and was solidified with mediocre post- Chocolate Factory releases such as Tp.3 Reloaded and Double Up.In the aftermath of a long awaited trail and a shocking acquittal, R.Kelly is on a mission to capture the hearts of soul music fans. Yesterday, a new song that may appear on his upcoming album 12 Play: Fourth Quarter, surfaced on the net. 'Heaven Chose You' possesses that classic R. Kelly sound, a sound that has eluded his recent releases. R.Kelly may be on to something with 'Heaven Chose You' and he may be on the path to accomplishing his mission of recapturing the hearts of soul music fans.
Raheem DeVaughn's 'Text Messages'
Raheem DeVaughn, a self proclaimed 'R&B-hippie-neosoul-rock star', stopped by the wildly popular 106th & Park yesteday to premiere the artistic visual for the song' Text Messages.'(The perfect song for Detroit's 'Hip Hop Mayor' Kwame Kilpatrick.) The song is included on an expanded edition of Love Behind The Melody, the release date is unknown. The 'Text Messages' video is quite simple, it features Raheem in a recording studio with one female while sending text messages to another female. The video ends with a sensual twist so be sure to watch the entire video.
CNN Presents Black In America
While Barack Obama is hoping to become the first black president, CNN explores what it means to be black in America. 'CNN Presents Black In America' is a two part 4 hour documentary hosted by Soledad O'Brien. Part 1 'The Black Woman & Family' airs tomorrow night at 9 and explores "the varied experiences of black women and families and investigates the disturbing statistics of single parenthood, racial disparities between students and the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS." Part 2 'The Black Man', airing Thursday night at 9, evaluates "the state of black men in America and explores the controversial topics of black men and fatherhood; disparities between blacks and whites in educational, career and financial achievement; and factors leading to the dramatic rates of black male incarceration." Spread the word and tune in.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Soul Tracks starts the week off with a cut from Ledisi's breakthrough album Lost & Found. It's quite easy to mistake 'Think Of You' as a love song. Truth be told, it is a love song, a love song for the Lord. With a touch of hip hop Ledisi's lovable voice expresses a love for the man that sits high and looks low. Believe it or not, the New Orleans born songstress is not new to game, Lost & Found is Ledisi's third album. In 1999 she released her debut album Soulsinger via her own label, LeSun Records. Her sophomore album, Feeling Orange But Sometimes Blue was released in 2002. Sit back and behold the refreshing soul of Ledisi.
Wolfgang's Soul Concerts
Wolfgang's Vault, the online destination for the "past,present and future of live music" launched the Concert Vault in 2006. The Concert Vault offers high quality, streamed versions of vintage and recent concerts for free. I am currently listening to a 2002 Teddy Pendergrass concert at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. Performances of Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, LaBelle, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Ohio Players, Natalie Cole, The Isley Brothers, The Impressions, Erma Franklin, and Bob Marley & The Wailers are included in the vault. Click here for a front row seat to some of the greatest concerts of our time.
New Music from Robin Thicke
Last week Robin Thicke unveiled a video for the single 'Magic', now a song from his upcoming album Something Else has surfaced on the net. 'Sidestep', possesses a vintage 1970's funky sound, reminiscent of The Isley Brothers. Something Else drops September 9. Press play and take a break from the heat with Robin Thicke.
"sweetheart, I’ve been tryin’ so hard to get over you
just simply can’t
‘cause the love we shared through the years
meant so much to me
all I’m lookin’ for is just a serious relationship
someone I can hold all my life
why don’t you give me that commitment..."
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The Lord is blessing me right now...
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Nas Has Alot To Say [Billboard]
VIBE Previews John Legend's 3rd Album [VIBE]
R&B's Forgetten Era Part 1 [VIBE]
R&B's Forgetten Era Part 2 [VIBE]
Whoopi & Co. Dicuss The N Word [Blood On My Vans]
SoulBounce Keeps on Counting...[SoulBounce]
Friday, July 18, 2008
1970 marked the beginning of the illustrious solo career of Curtis Mayfield. He started things off with the social and political themed Curtis. With song titles such as 'Miss Black America,' 'Power To The People,' 'Ghetto Child,' and 'We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue,' Curtis is a reflection of life in 1970's black America, from poverty to the Civil Rights Movements, and feelings of black consciousness and black pride. Mayfield's somber recording of 'The Other Side of Town' is included on his self titled debut. 'The Other Side Of Town' gives an all acess pass to the bleak realities of ghetto life. Press play and discover life on the other side of town.
Big Boi & MJB Get Political On Us
The upcoming election and Obamamaina has everyone from Nas to will.i.am channeling their inner Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone & Public Enemy. You can add Big Boi and Mary J. Blige to the list of artists with something to say. The duo express their political and social views on the smooth 'Something's Gotta Give.' Big Boi and Blige, supporters of Obama, touch on everything from the war in Iraq to the dismal economy to the criminal justice system to high gas prices and the upcoming election in the political anthem of the summer. In the words of MJB, "if you can hear me on Capital Hill, something's gotta give." Marvin and Curtis would be so proud.
'Leena Covers L.Boogie
An artist should wait at least 12 years before remaking a hit song, remaking classic songs that are still crisp in the listeners' mind isn't the best idea. Case in point, Luther Vandross recorded 'A House Is Not A Home' well over a decade after Dionne Warwick's voice soared on the Bacharach gem, En Vogue did the same thing with Aretha's 'Giving Him Something He Can Feel.' K- Ci Hailey cut a masterful version of the Bobby Womack classic 'If You Think You're Lonely Now' 13 years after the original. There have been a few exceptions, Aretha made 'Respect' her own a year after Otis Redding recorded the song, as did Al Green with The Temptations 'I Can't Get Next To You'. However, Aretha and Al brought new dynamics to the aforementioned songs and made you forget about the original. For her upcoming release, Chapter 4: Labor Pains, Syleena Johnson wraps her vocals around Lauryn Hill's 'Ex-Factor'.( It's hard to believe Lauryn blessed us with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 10 years ago.) Even though Syleena has the vocal chops to match, she falls short on remaking this classic song. Syleena does very little to transform the song and make it her own, she simply follows in the footsteps Lauryn laid in the ground 10 years ago. If anything, Syleena forces you to go find L.Boogie's brilliant debut album and listen to 'Ex-Factor' on repeat and reminiscence over poisonous relationships of the past. For those who don't know, Syleena Johnson's fourth album Chapter 4: Labor Pains hits store September 2 via her own Aneelys Records.
Robin Thicke Does A 'Magic' Trick
Blue eyed soul singer Robin Thicke has released the video for his single 'Magic.' The video, with a unique and futuristic twist, is produced by Thicke and director Robert Hales. Thicke's upcoming LP Something Else is set to drop September 9.
Pioneers of R&B Need Our Help
One of the founding principles of The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of R&B, is to provide financial and medical assistance to older artists in the world of R&B. According to the Rhythm & Blues Foundation website, the organization has "helped pay for everything from eyeglasses and instruments to hospital stays and home care. Our grants have put food in empty cupboards, kept the heat on and made sure that the lights weren’t turned off. Sadly, families also turn to the Foundation to help bury artists who were once celebrated in life, but who have been forgotten in death." Without a doubt the R&B musicians and singers of the past have made immeasurable contributions to the world of music. In the words of rapper T.I "there would be no rap, hip-hop or whatever you want to call it, without R&B. I give props to the great artists from the 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's...we got to take care of our own!" Many of the pioneering artist of R&B who were often underpaid and too often unrecognized are in need of financial assistance.They gave so much, now it's time we give a little in return. Donations can be made at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation website.
"your energy, feels so damn good to me
it picks me up, don't wanna come down
you got me spinning all around..."
Thursday, July 17, 2008
1978 proved to be a tryin' year for Marvin Gaye, it signaled the demise of his 12 year marriage to Anna Gordy, sister of Motown chieftain Berry Gordy.As part of the divorce settlement, Anna Gordy was to receive half the royalties earned from Marvin's next album.Upset, Marvin went into the studio and put his frustrations and anger on wax. Here, My Dear is a deep, dark and highly personal album chronicling Marvin's love affair and bitter divorce. 'I Meet A Little Girl,' one the songs recorded for the highly overlooked album, found Marvin reminiscing over his 12 year relationship with Anna. In classic doo wop style Marvin's falsetto wails about how Anna blew his mind and eventually caused his tears to flow. If Marvin were alive today, I can picture him making an apperance on HBO's Def Poetry Jam standing before a crowd too young to remember when Here, My Dear was released and reciting his orginial composition 'I Met A Little Girl'. In essence the song is truly poetry in motion. Peep the sweet bitter lyrics:
I met a little girl, sure was fine
Pretty little thing just about blew my mind
She took me home and made love to me
I knew right then and there this is where I wanted to be
Most of my life I had been all, all alone
And you're so sweet to me, don't think I'll ever roam
And then one day as time will pass
I had this feeling that our love would last
Nothing could go wrong and it seemed everything I did
Seemed to please you, all the heartaches you hid
Then one night after we made it, and we were through
That's when I decided I wanted to marry you
Do you take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife
To love, hold and cherish for the rest of your life?
I do, yes I do, I do darlin''
Cause I love you
Once you really loved me
Once I really loved you
Then time would change you
As time would really change me
We thought our love would stand the test of time
And as I sing this song right now
I wonder today, today
If you're a friend of mine
Cry, cry, cry, I have done some crying
Woman, you have caused my tears to flow
Cry, cry, cry, do you cry about me?
Do you think about the kind of love we had?
Hal le hallelejah
Hal le lu i'm free
Hal le hallelejah
Hal le lu i'm free
Erykah Badu Covers VegNews
Fans of Erykah Badu who just can't get enough of the eccentric singer and must have all things Erykah be sure to cop the latest issue of VegNews. Ms. Badu graces the cover of VegNews, the premier magazine on the vegan lifestyle, for it's music issue. The leader of 'The Queendom' bares her soul, sharing intimate thoughts on her music, life and family.
Earth, Wind & Fire Prepare For New Album
One of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful bands of the 70's is preparing to soothe our eardrums with some well needed new music. Earth, Wind & Fire, who are currently on tour, plan to start recording a new album in October. The project, a follow up to 2004's Illumination, is set for a mid-2009 release and will include a CD of new material, a live CD, and a concert DVD.
When Aretha signed with Atlantic Records in 1966 she brought her sanging sisters along for the ride. The Franklin sisters, daughters of the legendary Rev. C.L Franklin, grew up singing in Detroit's New Bethel Baptist Church. Erma and Carolyn sang backing vocals on many of Aretha's Atlantic recordings. It was Carolyn along with Aretha who coined the famous "sock-it-to-me" phrase in "Respect." Carolyn would eventually embark on a solo recording career.Carolyn signed to RCA and at times went by the name Baby Dynamite. It wasn't easy being in the shadows of Aretha Franklin, Carolyn's career never really took off. In a span of twelve years she released four albums, Chain Reaction, Baby Dynamite, If You Want Me, and I'd Rather Be Lonely, and gained moderate success on the charts with songs such as "It's True I'm Gonna Miss You," "As Long As You're There," "You Are Everything," and "I Can't Help Feeling So Blue."A talented songwriter, Carolyn composed "Ain't No Way," "Angel" and a laundry list of other songs for Aretha. As you may recall, the opening dialogue of "Angel" goes as such: "I got a call the other day. It was my sister Carolyn, saying, 'Aretha, come by when you can, I got something that I want to say.' And when I got there, she said, 'You know, rather than go through a long drawn-out thing, I think the melody on the box will help me explain.'" Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone, O.V Wright, Mavis Staples, Percy Sledge and others have all recorded Carolyn Franklin compositions. Carolyn sang with her sisters for the last time on Aretha's 1987 gospel album One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. The sisters sang "Surely God Is Able," "Jesus Hears Every Prayer," and "Packing Up, Getting Ready To Go," songs associated with Clara Ward and The Ward Singers. Sadly, Aretha is the only surviving Franklin sister. Carolyn left for glory on April 25, 1998 and Erma passed away September 7, 2002.
"...cause a rose is still a rose
baby girl, you're still a flower
he can't lead you and then take you
make you and then break you
darlin', you hold the power..."
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Today's selection comes from the Memphis based Stax Records. 'I Forgot To Be Your Lover' was recorded by Memphis born singer/ songwriter/producer William Bell, one the architects of the classic Stax sound. 'I Forgot To Be Your Lover' was a 1968 hit taken from the album Bound To Happen but is seldom heard on radio nowadays. More recently, Jaheim sampled the song for his hit 'Put That Woman First' from his 2002 release Still Ghetto. Enjoy William Bell's plea to his neglected lover.
Run's House ReturnsThe Simmons clan is back. Run's House is returning for a 5th season. Don't miss the season premiere tonight at 10 on MTV.
The Hardest Working Man In The Game
Jay-Z is at it again. The rapper/husband/entrepreneur/music exec plans on releasing a follow up to the classic American Gangster. Super producer Timbaland paid a visit to the MTV News office and confirmed that him and Jay plan on making an album together. Production on the LP has yet to start but Timbaland insist the album "is gonna be phenomenal. You know why? We don't care. We're doing great music just to do it. We doing it for our fans who love us to say we ain't quit. I'm doing it 'cause that's my homeboy."
She Is A 'Superwoman'
The Jones ExperienceNasir Jones is taking his show on the road. The Queens born MC is embarking on a nation wide tour in support of his ninth studio album. 'The Jones Experience' kicks off July 19 in Chicago, ending September 5 in Minneapolis.
For complete listing of tour dates click here.
The thought provoking MC sat down for a Q&A with Rolling Stone. Check out a portion of the interview.
How do you feel about that word?
"Nigger" is from the African-American holocaust — and you can't play around with that. It's probably going to make people uncomfortable. It's definitely no disrespect to my people, or to the people who fought for my rights in this country, and died for us.
On "Black President," you sample an Obama speech. You think he'll win?
Everyone around me knows he'll be the president. Bush made everyone feel like niggers. When 9/11 happened, everyone felt like they been duped. I think people know that Barack is honest. I don't think about McCain, because he's a part of the old world, the dead America.
Your dad is a jazz musician. How did he influence you?
He was a man who controlled his life. Other kids didn't have fathers like that. Either their father wasn't around or they were in jail — they weren't musicians who traveled the world and came back with stories. I grew up with my pops the jazzman. He'd be in the house smokin' weed. He gave me weed when I was, like, nine years old. That was cool.
Check out the complete interview.
The Sweet Inspirations had no peer. No girl group could match the sheer soulfulness, vocal harmony, emotional honesty, or vocal intensity of the group. The Sweet Inspirations,consisted of gospel bred singers Cissy Houston, Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shemwell and Estelle Brown, and at one point included at different times Dionne Warwick, Dee Dee Warwick, Doris Troy and Judy Clay. The sweet harmonies of The Sweet Inspirations can be heard on the records of such artists as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, Jimi Hendrix, Esther Phillips, The Drifters, Elvis Presley and others. The Sweet Inspirations sang backup for numerous Atlantic Record artists virtually becoming house singers at the label. Atlantic Records is were The Sweet Inspirations released their 1967 self titled debut album, a Top 20 R&B best seller, yielding the hit song 'Sweet Inspiration.' The Sweet Inspirations included recordings of soul nuggets 'Do Right Woman - Do Right Man,' 'Don't Let Me Lose This Dream,' and 'Why Am I Treated So Bad.' Riding the waves of success, the group began working on a second album in the spring of '68. Songs of Faith & Inspiration, a gospel LP, was released in the summer of '68 and included gospel standards 'What A Friend' and 'Down By The Riverside' and the Cissy Houston penned 'Without A Doubt,' 'I Shall Know Him' and 'Looking On The Bright Side.' The group went on to record What The World Needs Now, Sweets For My Sweet, Sweet Sweet Soul for Atlantic and perform occasionally with Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley. In 1969 Cissy Houston left the group and embarked on a solo career. The remaining members released an album, Estelle, Myrna, and Sylvia on Stax Records in 1973. Hit play, sit back and enjoy 'Without A Doubt' from Songs Of Faith & Inspiration, 'Sweet Inspiration' taken from the groups' debut album, 'Why Marry' and 'You Roam When You Don't Get It At Home' off the Stax album Estelle, Myrna, and Sylvia.
"...hand me the world on a silver platter
And what good would it be
With no one to share
With no one who truly cares for me..."
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Every now and then I came across the music of a soul singer I've never heard of. We are all familiar with the music of Aretha, Donny, Gladys & The Pips, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, --to name a few. There are plenty of soul singers who made incredible music but never reached the upper echelons of soul music, the list includes singers such as Erma Franklin, Esther Phillips, William Bell, Fontella Bass, and Judy Clay. O.V Wright is another soul singer who never gained the fame and recognition he deserved. I discovered the music of O.V Wright at The B Side. The Tennessee native recorded a string of albums for Back Beat Records and Hi Records. O.V Wright possessed a powerful, raw, and emotional soul drenched voice and was the epitome of Southern gut bucket soul. Sit back and enjoy this slice of Southern Soul with O.V Wright's 'Motherless Child.'
MJB Graces The Cover of Vegas MJB is the face on the latest cover of Vegas Magazine. Like many of you, I had not heard of Vegas magazine up until now. Just to let you know, Vegas Magazine is a national lifestyle publication for Las Vegas. I can't help but notice that Mary's tattoos have magically disappeared along with the scar below her eye.
"Mary J. Blige has a certain distaste for this country's favorite pastime, American Idol. But she won't admit it outright. "I haven't really watched it since Ruben [Studdard] won," the singer tells me after cutting her workout short and grabbing the phone at her New Jersey home for our interview.
But whether she likes it or not, she does think the juggernaut show does the contestants a huge disservice. "Honestly, it's not giving most of them a real chance to become an artist for the rest of their lives," she explains. "They are on national TV every night. They have automatic fame. All of the greatest artists had to struggle for their success."
Q- Tip Experiences A Renaissance
It's been 9 long years. Q- Tip is preparing for the release of his sophomore album The Renaissance. According to Q -Tip the changing landscape of hip hop makes it the perfect time to release The Renaissance, "I had to wait until the time was right. If I put it out a couple of years ago, it wouldn’t have been right. But now you have people like Santogold, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Common. It seems like it’s a bit more in tune with what I’m doing.”
Badu Speaks Out
"How Dare You Disrespect the Queendom ... and my children and my intelligence. I've never been so disgusted in all of my life. There is no other place I used to enjoy more. I post no where else. You guys have taken an all time low, tho."
"I put much time and thought into having and raising my children. I've had the honors of having 2 home births and 2 wonderful partners by my side. Every relationship I have been in was because I loved the person dearly and was dedicated to us "exclusively" for a number of years. The fathers of my children are my brothers and friends."
...who are we to judge?
Legend has it that 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' was composed in a Buffalo, NY hotel room occupied by soul legends Otis Redding and Jerry Butler. The two were hanging out after a gig when Butler sang pieces of a song he had been working on. With the help of Otis, 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' was born. It became Redding's first Top Forty hit and was featured on his third album, 1965's Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul. In the late 60's pop darling Dionne Warwick, who was the virtual embodiment of the Bacharach/David songbook, went down to Memphis and cut a soul album along with producer Chips Moman. Among other soul classics, Dionne recorded a tender version of 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' for the '69 album titled Soulful. In the liner notes Dionne writes "I hope you will enjoy experiencing with me the joy and excitement I felt in recording Rhythm and Blues — my way." Sit back and experience the apparent soul of Otis Redding and the hidden soul of Dionne Warwick.
"...I love it when she calls my phone
She even got her own ringtone
If that ain't love then I don't know what love is..."
Monday, July 14, 2008
Soul Tracks is the latest feature at Public Soul Announcement. Soul Tracks will feature recordings of my choice that have been relatively unheard by the masses. Donny Hathaway's 'Yesterday' has the distinct honor of being the first song featured on Soul Tracks.
These Songs For You, Live! includes select recordings of Donny Hathaway in all his glory at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and The Bitter End in New York City along with cuts from a '73 Carnegie Hall concert and a 1972 performance at UCLA. Donny's somber interpretation of The Beatles 'Yesterday' is included on this set. Press play and behold the soul of Donny Hathaway.
Chapter 4: Labor Pains Listening Party
Take a look at this video of Syleena Johnson's listening party for her upcoming release. Syleena is due to release the fourth chapter in her trilogy of albums, Chapter 4: Labor Pains, on September 2.
"Somebody play on the guitar strings
Makes me think of my favorite songs
Reminds me of when I heard Aretha sing
Gladys, Tina and Chaka Khan
Can't go back to yesterday
But can we just put the thongs away..."
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Betty Wright's Explosion[Okayplayer]
Perfect Combinations -- The Soul Duets[VIBE]
Smooth Soul Survivors [SoulTracks]
Q-Tip in Super Group with D'Angelo & Raphael Saadiq?? [The BoomBox]
Old School Friday: Hip Hop [Songs In The Key Of Life]
Snoop Dogg Goes Country [Billboard]
Friday, July 11, 2008
BK Celebrates Hip-HopThe 4th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival kicks off today. The festivities start off with 'Brooklyn Keeps On Taking It' a free concert with live performances from independent and local artists such as Fresh Daily, Sputnik Brown, P. Casso and others.
Tickets for the June 12th concert can be purchased here .