Thursday, August 30, 2007

Prince Paul, Newkirk, and Bernie Worrell = Baby Elephant

(swiped from Billboard)

On a balmy summer night, legendary hip-hop producer Prince Paul is finishing his desert across the table -- a thick, fudge brownie, partially wrapped in cellophane. He casually makes a gesture of, "want some?" Billboard declines, so he turns to one of his closest friends, drummer/keyboardist Don Newkirk, and offers the same. Newkirk obliges, and tears a piece off.

It's a small gesture, yet this brief moment speaks volumes of Prince Paul's career: as much as he's done for hip-hop, he's always trying to find ways to give back. Such is Baby Elephant, an acid funk project Prince Paul started with Newkirk and Parliament/Talking Heads keyboardist Bernie Worrell. The trio spent a year collaborating in the studio on "Turn My Teeth Up!," which will hit shelves Sept. 11 via Godforsaken Music.

In a lot of ways, it's Paul and Newkirk paying homage to Worrell, a long-time idol of theirs. "I wanted to do a different approach to Bernie," Prince Paul says. "The styles he plays, a lot of people don't really notice, from classical, to country, to the funk. That's the approach I wanted to take." "We also wanted the album to reflect a biography of Bernie's life," Newkirk explains. "We would pitch emotions and concepts to him. Like, 'how'd you feel when you first joined Funkadelic? What did that inspire in you?' And he would come back with musical ideas, and then we would take it and build, and grow with it that way."

Indeed, listening to Baby Elephant sounds biographical. Skits involving Paul and Newkirk as Bernie's disciples are juxtaposed between keyboard-heavy grooves and playful, structured arrangements. The set recalls Worrell's Parliament work, but also combines quicker, sharper rhythms. It's something Paul thinks will have hip-hop heads scratching their domes. "The initial thing we wanted to do was to get away from making a pseudo-funk record. I wanted to take all different styles, and base it with hip-hop beats," Paul explains.

"It started with the idea of Prince Paul making his Pet Sounds' and for Bernie to work with someone who was intimately familiar with his work -- someone who could give it a unique interpretation," says Phil Di Fiore, founder of Godforsaken Music. "They made something with these vintage sounds that I think is extremely modern, smart and instantly likeable." Back around the table, Newkirk takes the last piece of brownie. "You sure?" he asks. "Take it, take it," Prince Paul says. He turns back to Billboard, and deflects the attention back to Worrell. "The main thing to do in this project was to give Bernie direction," Paul reflects of their approach. "Of course, as great as he is, he can go all over the place. But hip-hop heads need some sort of consistency." Newkirk nods his head in agreement, swallowing the last bite.

Get Well Bo Diddley

(swiped from Reuters)

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ailing rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley suffered a heart attack while undergoing a medical check-up, and is in stable condition in a Florida hospital, his spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The 78-year-old musician, whose distinctive rhythms and guitar style influenced rockers from Buddy Holly to the Rolling Stones and U2, felt unwell during a check-up last Friday at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla. He was transferred to the emergency room where he suffered the heart attack, spokeswoman Susan Clary said in a statement.

He underwent surgery so that a stent could be fitted to help blood flow to his heart. He was moved from intensive care to cardiac care on Tuesday morning, Clary said.

Diddley, whose real name is Ellas Bates, suffered a stroke in May. It left no physical disability, but it impaired his speech and speech recognition, his manager said at the time. In recent years he also lost some toes to diabetes.

Diddley helped lay the foundation for rock 'n' roll in the mid-1950s when he developed a syncopated "hambone" beat -- known as the "Bo Diddley" beat -- that was aped by Holly on "Not Fade Away," the Who on "Magic Bus," George Michael on "Faith" and U2 on "Desire."
He topped the charts in 1955 with the song "Bo Diddley" and went on to enjoy such hits as "Mona" (covered by the Rolling Stones), "Who Do You Love," and "I'm A Man."

He also cut an imposing figure on stage, sporting a pair of thick spectacles and playing a rectangular guitar. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, alongside bluesman Muddy Waters, and soul icons Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. But he never received the same sort of mainstream recognition as his peers, and frequently complained that he never received a royalty check.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Artist you need to know about: Donnie

Ladies and Gentlemen, feast your ears upon Donnie, a soul singer from Atlanta, GA. Donnie first made waves when his Motown/Giant Step debut, "The Colored Section," came out in stores. His rich vocals deliver a woven tapestry of self motivation and inspiration galore. Such tracks as "Cloud 9," "Do You Know," and "Do You Know" highlight Donnie's deep and rich voice, while the production carries around from near standardized blues to revolutionary R&B at its finest.

Therefore it should be no surprise that Donnie's sophomore effort, "The Daily News" is more in your face without being as preachy, but at the same time, when it gets preachy is when Donnie gets melodic. For example, "Over The Counter Culture," is quite the jam, but the way that Donnie melds the lyrics together in this soul infuse groove, it can pass for a modern day R&B dance jam. A portion of the lyrics; if you will:

They got a pill for my erection
And another for my depression
And I can taste in my dinner
With your artificial flavor
You be doin’ it undercover
An invisible chemical war
So you don’t ever be breaking no law
In an over-the-counter culture

You can read more about Donnie's "The Daily News" at PopMatters, where they have a review posted for the album. But this is definitely a voice that you should not forget.

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

Two Down...
Two to go...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Things to do this weekend! And Yeah, you pronounce his name "Kweli..."

Tonight, you can catch Talib Kweli signing albums at the Electric Fetus. Goes down at 7pm this evening, all folks are welcome!

Yeah, I know, this weekend is a Kweli weekend. But hey, better than nothing!

Enjoy yourselves this weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Short Album Reviews, in case you were wondering...

Swizz Beatz drops his 2nd album, "One Man Band" fueled by the hit "It's Me Bitches." On the plus side the CD is short and to the point, clocking in at a mere 40 minutes. His signature synth production is all over it, but we do see him get into bouts of sampling. For example, he quotes the chorus for the Wu-Tang Clan's "Cream" in "It's Me Bitches." However, we know Swizz ain't that much a rapper, he just has a knack for making a hit, and thankfully that's why this CD is pretty short and sweet.

M.I.A. returns with her 2nd album "Kala," which is largely void of producer Diplo, who plays more an A & R role for this release. This CD was largely produced by M.I.A. herself and Switch, until Timbaland chimes in on the very last track. Some of the stuff to look for on this CD is the song "Boyz" which has a very wonderfully shot video, the somewhat African tinged groove of "Hussel," featuring Afrikan Boy, and also the rooster cluck meets bagpipe filled sounds of "BirdFlu." You can't really box this CD in as one type of genre, and that's where this CD succeeds in. It's just good all around party jams tinged with lightly laden political and social stances.

Talib Kweli returns with his 3rd release, "Eardrum," which is laden with production from Madlib, Pete Rock, and several others. Fueled by "Listen!!!" other guests make appearances on there like Norah Jones, Kanye West, Roy Ayers, Justin Timberlake ("The Nature Of Things), KRS-One ("The Perfect Beat"). The change this go round finds Kweli doing a lot better than his last album, the short but haphazard album "The Beautiful Struggle." At 20 tracks clocking in around 60+ minutes, its a great whirlwind of lyricism and creativity. He will be performing a CD Release show on Friday at the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And on Saturday after Rock the Bells, he'll be doing a DJ and guest appearance at Foundation Nightclub.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cult Of Personality: Living Colour

Living Colour is a band that, despite many notions were a pivotal force in rock music. No one can argue that when they heard or saw the video for "Cult Of Personality," their transformation of what they knew as rock changed.

I know that I was rather young when the video for "Cult Of Personality" came on. I was around 8 years old at the time, and a self proclaimed MTV Junkie. When I saw that video, it totally shattered my perceptions of what Rock should be like. Back when I was young during that time, I listened to my fair share of rock bands. Such tapes as Van Halen's "OU812," The Bangles "Everything," and Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" were my daily rotation while riding my bike.

But when the album "Vivid" and the video for "Cult Of Personality" hit it had a profound effect on the way I listened to music. I mean, here were four people in the form of Muzz Skillings (the original Bassist), Corey Glover, Vernon Reid and Will Calhoun, who could play a diverse array of music, from free jazz to periods of electronica every now and then, and still managed to play great rock music. This could be seen in their song "Glamour Boys," and to an extent the song "Message to a Landlord." "Vivid" is still one of those albums I can't get enough of, and still has a profound effect on me to this day, when I hear folks like Cody Chestnutt, and their predecessors, Bad Brains. Wikipedia says that this band was part of the Funk Metal movement, along with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Faith No More, Primus, and Jane's Addiction.

If "Vivid" was just a display of their chops in the Rock genre, "Time's Up" was a curveball, displaying the band's many different styles that were in their pocket. Every genre imaginable from Free Jazz to some hints of electronica were present on this album, making for a diverse and entertaining musical journey. Even Maceo Parker, Doug E. Fresh, and Queen Latifah (!) show up on the album and manage to make it that much more refreshing.

They won a grammy for Best Hard Rock Album for this one, and also managed to perform at Lollapalooza the same year that this album came out as well. Throughout the years, they managed to retain a rather large following and released an EP prior to going to Lollapalooza called "Biscuits," which contains my favorite rendition of "Talkin' Loud And Sayin' Nothin." However Muzz Skillings would leave the group shortly thereafter and then Living Colour would have a new bassist amongst their midst in the form of Doug Wimbush.

With Doug Wimbush firmly in place, the group was set to release it's 3rd effort, merely titled "Stain." There was a darker, edgier sound lurking and surprisingly, that didn't scare fans away one bit. Nevertheless, this record had some awesome gems on it, such as "Never Satisfied," and "WTFF (What The Fuck Factor)."

Sadly this was the last album the group recorded in 1993, and then they broke up largely due to creative differences. Since then, they reunited and are playing shows constantly, having secured a deal with Sanctuary Music and releasing a new album of material called "Collideoscope" in 2003 which was also more rooted in the darker, edgier sound they had cultivated on the album "Stain." In addition, Muzz Skillings rejoined the group for a performance, while the remaining members of the group including the new bassist, Doug Wimbush still remain intact. They are currently at work on a new album, and in addition to that, Corey Glover, the lead vocalist, is in Jesus Christ Superstar along with Ted Neely, and Vernon Reid heads up a coalition called the Black Rock Coalition, an organization he founded at the start of Living Colour's career in 1986.

Bottom Line: Check out the albums, you're missing some much needed great rock in your life.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dr. Dre to Suge Knight: Puff, Puff, Pass my Chronic Rights

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Dr. Dre has brought a lawsuit against his former label Death Row Records (which is now defunct) over the rights to his 1992 classic album The Chronic. According to an AP report, he filed the suit with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 15, and the report lays it out to be a pretty complicated case.
Here's the rough chronology behind the suit:

Fall of 1992: Dr. Dre grants Death Row a license to distribute The Chronic in exchange for royalties.

March 1996: Dre gives up his 50 percent ownership interest in Death Row and agrees to give Death Row The Chronic's copyrights as long as he continues to receive royalties.

2000: After Death Row has failed to pay royalties, Dre notifies the label that he is overturning their agreement and demanding The Chronic's copyrights back.

Present day: Dre's current suit asserts that he upheld his parts of the original deals and that Death Row and the Chapter 11 trustee in charge of the label's bankruptcy case are violating his rights as the owner of the copyrights by continuing to distribute the album without his permission.

So Dre wants the album's copyrights back, and he's asking the court to officially overturn the 1992 and 1996 agreements so that he can get them. He also wants Death Row and the bankruptcy trustee to pay him restitution for the revenue the label received from using the copyrights.

But why is this all coming to light now? Apparently, the new suit reflects Dre's belief that the trustee has solicited bids for the copyrights in the past month and plans to sell them. To take care of that concern in the meantime, he has asked the court to issue a permanent injunction to bar the sale of the copyrights without his written permission.

So it might become pretty hard to find a copy of The Chronic at your local record shop very, very soon.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Talib Kweli Live @ Electric Fetus

100 Copies Left of The Mixed Up Tape! Purchase Yours Now!

To everyone who has purchased this first project released by myself and my partner, Phingaz, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It was a whirlwind year.

9 months of Blood, Sweat, Tears, and finances went into making this CD which showcased the Twin Cities lyricists painting their masterpieces to canvases made by Myself, Phingaz, Hater Dave, Katrah-Quey, and Phaust of Sinthesis. Since it's release on January 25th, 2007, we sold 200 of the 300 copies we pressed up, and got it reviewed in the City Pages. In addition we held a release party that took place at The Dinkytowner, which brought a good 200+ people to see the performances.

But now we are down to the home stretch. We are down to 100 copies. So what's needed from you? Well, it's pretty simple:

1. Go to the Mixed Up Tape MySpace page
2. Listen to 4 tracks from the Mixed Up Tape
3. Click on the Buy Now option, and Purchase!

Your patronage is appreciated and your purchase will also allow us to finance several of our future projects coming up from Phingaz and myself. And if you can't purchase it, tell your friends!

Stop the bullshit. Quit the Blamegame. People are suffering.

Power cuts in Gaza as EU halts aid

(swiped from Al-Jazeera)

Gazans have been suffering a fourth day of power outages as the European Union considers whether to resume financing fuel deliveries to the territory. The only power plant in the Gaza Strip shut down completely on Sunday after the EU suspended payments because of what it said were "security concerns".

On Monday, many businesses were operating using generators and candles were disappearing from shop shelves. "Our life is becoming more and more difficult," Umm Jaber, a 40-year-old mother of six in Gaza City, said.

"They've closed the borders, they've cut jobs. Today they've cut the electricity, tomorrow they'll cut the air for us."The power shortages began late on Friday, when the power station closed three of its four generators because diesel supplies had dwindled after Israel shut the Nahal Oz border crossing preventing deliveries.Israel reopened the crossing on Sunday, but Dor Alon, the private Israeli energy company that deliveries the fuel, was told by the EU that it could not guarantee they would receive payment if they supplied the plant. "We are just going to assess the situation and we hope to resume the supplies as soon as we can," Antonia Mochan, a European Commission spokeswoman, said on Sunday.

The EU provides the funding under a temporary system set up to prevent directly financing the Hamas movement which took full control of the Gaza Strip after clashes with security forces loyal to the Palestinian president two months ago. Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip and members of the government set-up by Mahmoud Abbas, the president, after he dismissed the Hamas-led unity cabinet, have blamed each other for the problem. "We warned for weeks that Gaza would fall into darkness if Hamas does not stop occupying the electricity company and does not stop holding on to millions of shekels that they collected from the people of Gaza," Riyad al-Malki, information minister in the Ramallah-based government, said.

In Gaza, Hamas's parliamentary bloc said that Abbas's government headed by prime minister Salam Fayyad, which it refuses to recognise, was to blame.'Criminal cut'"President Abbas and the Fayyad government are responsible for this criminal cut in electricity," it said in a statement. "This decision is inhumane and could badly affect the Palestinian nation."

Nour Odeh, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, said that Gazans were fed up with the "blame game"."The ordinary resident in Gaza is blaming everyone for this crisis, they don't care who has caused this power outage, they just want it fixed," she said."This really is a problem that effects every detail of daily life, and it is already hard enough living in the Gaza Strip, imagine living with no electricity." The power station produces between 25 and 30 per cent of the electricity in Gaza, according to the EU. Israel and Egypt provide the rest of the territory's needs.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Kids On Album Covers Tell Their Tale

(swiped from MTVNews)

Spencer Elden

Famous For: His appearance on the cover of Nirvana's breakthrough 1991 LP, Nevermind

When Spencer Elden's parents agreed to let their friend, photographer Kirk Weddle, snap a whole roll of film of their infant son swimming underwater in a crystal-clear swimming pool, they couldn't have known that, eventually, more than 9 million people would own a picture of their naked son.

"Yeah, it's kind of creepy that that many people have seen me naked," Elden said. "I feel like I'm the world's biggest porn star."
While that might be a stretch, Elden has become something of a celebrity because of his appearance on Nevermind, and often sits for radio and camera interviews (he gets a fee for the latter) to discuss his life as the Nirvana baby. But otherwise, now-17-year-old Spencer is like most teens. He's about to enter his junior year at Eagle Rock High School in Eagle Rock, California, and works a typical high-school job at a local juice shop. He has aspirations of one day becoming an airline pilot; he surfs, snowboards and loves playing water polo.
"It's kind of cool, knowing that I've been on an album cover, but I feel pretty normal about it because growing up, I've always known I was the Nirvana baby," he said. "It never really struck me as like, 'Oh, sh-- — that's me on the cover.' It's always just been whatever for me. At the time, my parents didn't know who Nirvana was. No one really knew who they were. And then all of a sudden, it took off, and I just happened to be on the album cover."
Elden said he is a true Nirvana fan but has never met any of the bandmembers. He's had a platinum record for Nevermind hanging in his bedroom since his first birthday. But Spencer hasn't seen any royalties from the record's sales; his parents were paid just $200 for allowing him to be photographed.
"My dad went to art school over here in Pasadena, and while he was going there, he had a good friend named Kirk, who was, at one time, a Navy Seal and an underwater-demolition expert," Elden, who is often asked to sign copies of the album, explained. "And so, to go to art school, he gave up diving. One day, he and my mom were sitting at the dinner table during a party, and my mom actually came up with the idea. He was saying how he missed scuba diving, and she said, 'Why don't you just do underwater photography?' When he graduated, the first gig he got was the Nirvana album, and he needed a baby. So they just threw me in the pool, snapped a whole roll of film in like a second, and that's how it happened."
Of course, being the Nirvana baby has helped him with the ladies: "I have to use stupid pickup lines like, 'You want to see my p---s ... again.' " But being on the album's cover has led to some strange encounters as well. He was once invited to swim in a rather wealthy woman's pool for the mere fact that he was the Nirvana baby. Another time, he even met "Weird Al" Yankovic, who famously lampooned the cover on his 1992 disc, Off the Deep End.
"I ran into him when I was going to do a TV interview," Elden said. "He was in the hallway, and he actually signed the back of my platinum record."

Billie Jo Campbell

Famous For: Gracing the cover of the Violent Femmes' self-titled 1982 debut

Believe it or not, that little girl on the cover of the first Femmes record wasn't posing. In fact, she wasn't even aware that she was being photographed. Really, that 3-year-old girl, named Billie Jo Campbell, was perturbed at the moment that picture was snapped.
"I remember looking into that building, and they kept telling me there were animals in there, and I was pissed off," explained Campbell, who's now 27. "I didn't know why they were making me look in this building. I had no idea there were photographers there. I was ... pissed off that I couldn't see the animals and I was all cranky by the end of it."
Like Elden, Campbell, who is engaged and plans to wed next spring, was paid a paltry fee for being part of rock and roll history — $100. She was chosen for the album cover after being discovered by a photographer outside her mother's work.
"My mom is a designer, and I went with her to work one day," she said. "We were walking down the streets of L.A., and this guy came up and said, 'Your daughter is adorable,' and that he wanted me for the album cover. My mom is a free spirit, and thought it was great, and they set it up — I guess that house is somewhere in Laurel Canyon. It wasn't this crazy photo shoot, because the band was unknown at the time."
These days, the graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder lives in Los Angeles and works with her mother running Hangover Designs, their women's-casual-wear company. A framed copy of the vinyl album's cover in her apartment often strikes up conversation during dinner parties.
"People are always like, 'Wow, you're like a Violent Femmes junkie,' and I tell them the truth," said Campbell, who notes that she is a Femmes fan. "You always have people who go, 'Oh you're lying.' It's something I am very proud of. It's a neat thing. It's not like being on the cover of a Britney Spears album. I do get some respect from people when they find out. Sometimes people are totally shocked and they can't even believe it. You will find people my age who [say] that's their favorite album of all time. It's just a cool aspect of who I am, and I think it makes me more dynamic."
The album didn't really resonate with her until her teens, when she'd hear "Add It Up" and "Blister in the Sun" at high-school dances and bat mitzvahs. And when she was in school, and even in college, Campbell said she used to get a great deal of attention because of the picture.
"If it came on at a party, people would point out that I am on it, but it never dawned on me what a huge deal it was until I got to college," she said. "This was my bragging point. I'd be at parties, and if the girls in the dorm knew you were trying to meet cute boys, they'd tell them I am on the cover."
Campbell said whenever she's in a record store, she checks to make sure the album is in stock, and yes, she has been asked to sign several autographs. There was one time when she was actually recognized.
"When I was in junior high, a bunch of us went to a record store, and our whole day was shaped around going to see how many stores we could find my picture in," she recalled. "So we were looking at the CD, and some guy was just like walking by, and was like, 'Oh my God.' He actually recognized me, and was like, 'That pointy nose — I'd recognize it anywhere.' It gave me quite a complex, especially for a girl at that age: 'Oh my God — is my nose that pointy?' "

Justine Ferrara

Famous For: Being the little girl on the cover of Korn's 1994 self-titled debut
All Justine Ferrara can remember from the shoot that eventually led to her being on the cover of Korn's inaugural studio outing was how nice the man standing in front of her was. He stood there, innocently casting a long shadow across the sand beneath her swing — but later on, the image was digitally manipulated so that it appeared he was carrying some lethal tools.
"It confused me," she said, recalling the first time she held the record in her hands. "He was a super-nice guy; he was doing me a favor, by blocking my eyes from the sunlight."
Ferrara, who was 6 at the time of the shoot, is now a 20-year-old communications major at New York University. She was approached for the album cover by her uncle, Paul Pontius, who had signed the band to Immortal/Epic Records. "They were pretty insignificant at the time, and no one knew who they were, and they needed a little girl for the cover," she said. "My uncle was like, 'I know one.' "
Ferrara, who was paid $400 to be a part of nü-metal lore, never thought being on the album's cover was a big deal; she was in second grade at the time, and it took a while before the record became popular. Her parents, though, were somewhat miffed by the imagery inside the album sleeve, and feared their daughter might get in trouble for wearing her actual private-school jumper in the picture. Oh, and the idea that Korn fans would always recognize her wasn't something her folks were too kosher with.
"I think my parents were a little shocked," she said. "They didn't want a lot of our acquaintances to see it because they thought it might have made them look a little crazy. I never was really one to let people know. My close friends knew, and [a platinum Korn record] is in my room at home. It's weird that millions of people have my picture in their house. It's weird even seeing the CD in the store; it's something I'll never get used to."
But a Korn fan, she is not — she prefers bands like Bright Eyes, she said. She does, however, have aspirations of working in the music industry; she has interned for Island Records, and hopes to one day work as a publicist. "But I appreciate Korn and what they did for their genre," she said. "It's just never been my taste in music."

Carl Gellert

Famous For: Being the boy on the cover of the Goo Goo Dolls' 1995 LP, A Boy Named Goo
The picture of a 2-year-old Carl Gellert — with dirt smeared across the lower half of his face — that serves as the cover imagery for the Goo Goo Dolls' breakthrough release wasn't actually commissioned by the band's label, Warner Bros., for the disc. It was a photo his father, Vance, a professional photographer, had taken of him for a book he later published called "Carlvision."

"At the time the album came out, I was just going into seventh grade, so I was 12 or something like that," Gellert remembered. "I don't really know how it happened. I think somehow my dad knew the band's publicist, and the Goo Goo Dolls discovered the book, and they really liked the one picture so they went with it."

Carl's dad was paid $6,000 for use of the image that helped earn Gellert, now 24, the nickname "Goo" — one that's stuck with him throughout his entire adult life.
"I was actually going into a new school that year, and pretty much instantly earned the name 'Goo' before I even started school," he said. "At first, it was kind of lame, and I didn't like people calling me Goo. But by the end of that year, I had pretty much embraced it, and my friends still call me Goo."
Like Ferrara, Gellert's not what you could call a Goo Goo Dolls fan ("I didn't dislike the album, I just wasn't a fan at all"). But his residence hall director in college was maybe a little obsessed.
"He had the poster up in his room, and had me autograph things," Gellert said. "He'd pester me almost every day about it. When he found out they were coming to town to play, he'd ask if I could get him free tickets, or get him backstage and meet the band. But in my apartment, there's no Goo Goo Dolls paraphernalia. The album is hanging up in my parents' houses, and I had it hanging up for a while. But I can't stand having it up any more. I have seen that picture way too much."
Like Elden, Gellert — who lives in Minneapolis and will be entering grad school soon to work on his doctorate in art history with a focus on archeological research — was initially, well, "mortified" when he learned his naughty bits (which are barely visible in the picture) were plastered across posters, T-shirts and billboards. "I thought it was cool after I got over my initial embarrassment," he said.
He also looks for the record when he goes into music stores, and has been asked more than a handful of times to sign copies of the disc. And he's often introduced to people by his friends as the kid who was on the Goo Goo Dolls' album cover, which sometimes leads to confusion.
"Most people, when they see me again, mistake me for the Nirvana kid," he said. "I'm always like, 'Nope, that was someone else.' Other people think I'm in the band — I'm just the baby on the CD. I'm not even the same guy anymore. It does make me feel like I have some small niche of fame. But at the same time, it wasn't anything I did for myself, so I'm not terribly proud of it. It is pretty cool, and I like that people think it's so cool and want my autograph."

Lisa Farnsworth

Famous For: Appearing on the cover of the Lemonheads' 1987 debut, Hate Your Friends, with her brother David Peretz
Lisa Farnsworth wasn't photographed chomping down on a slice of pizza and holding a semi-automatic explicitly for the cover of Hate Your Friends, but rather, was related to one of the band's founders, bassist Jesse Peretz. (He now directs music videos and was awarded a Grammy for helming the Foo Fighters' "Learning to Fly.")
The photo of Farnsworth — who is 45 and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and two children — with David, who is a teacher in Boston, was snapped by their mother in Vermont. Brother Jesse liked it so much that he later asked his mother if he could use it for the cover of his band's first record.
"It was taken 40 years ago, when I was 5 or 6," Farnsworth, a former therapist, said. "I think I was 26 when the album came out, and back then, they weren't really that well-known, so nobody really thought anything of it. I don't have a copy of the album hanging up in my house; I own the album on vinyl, but it's stuffed in a box in the basement."
And no, her kids don't think it's even remotely cool that their mom's on an iconic album cover.

"They're so jaded," Farnsworth said. "My friends think it's funny, but most people who look at it think it's two boys, so they don't really believe it's me anyway. Really, I don't think it's even such a big deal. My brother and I think it's funny, because my mother would always say, 'No guns.' We never even had water pistols when we were young, and there's this picture of us walking up a road with semi-automatics. They must have belonged to the neighbors."

Analyrical's Moving Blog about Eyedea And Abilities

Go and check out Analyrical's blog on a moving 2 part story about Eyedea & Abilities. The duo will be performing this weekend as part of the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip Hop; sponsored by the good folks at YO! The Movement.

And while you're there, you can visit Analyrical's MySpace and hear his wonderful music.

First Date is the first album by Analyrical, coming soon to a retailer near you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Max Roach (1924-2007)

Max Roach, the jazz drummer, composer, bandleader and educator whose approach to rhythm had a profound effect on music in the second half of the 20th century, died of an unspecified illness at his home in New York last night. He was 83 years old.

Born in Newland, North Carolina in 1924, Roach and his family settled in Brooklyn in the late 1920s. An early interest in music was encouraged, and he was drumming with bands by the age of ten. Roach is one of the last surviving members of the generation of musicians who came to prominence in New York in the 1940s and set in motion the influential jazz style that came to be known as bebop. Both Roach and fellow drummer Kenny Clarke were ubiquitous on the scene, which also included saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and pianists Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, among others.

With its faster tempos and adventurous use of harmony, bebop was arguably the first jazz movement to position itself as art rather than entertainment. Roach, building on the innovations of Clarke, strove to free his instrument from its timekeeping role, establishing the drums as an improvisational voice and exploring the textural properties of percussion.

Roach continued to be identified with the first wave of bebop musicians his entire life, an association that peaked upon the release of the landmark Jazz at Massey Hall, a 1953 album featuring Parker, Gillespie, Powell, and bassist Charles Mingus (the album was released on the Debut label, an artist-run imprint started by Roach and Mingus). But he never stayed in one place for long and his music continued to evolve.

During the 50s and 60s, Roach became involved in the civil rights movement, and his activism was reflected in his work. His controversial and ambitious 1960 album We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, which directly addressed oppression in the United States and Africa, became a classic of both jazz and political art.

Roach was a relentless experimenter, working in virtually every setting, from solo to percussion ensembles to duets to big bands. He joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as a professor in the early 70s and taught at the Lenox School of Jazz. In 1988, he was the recipient of a MacArthur foundation "genius grant," the first jazz musician to receive the award. An outspoken commentator and intellectual who could give a great interview, Roach occasionally drew connections between jazz and the rhythmic innovations and political consciousness of hip-hop (he appeared onstage with Fab Five Freddy and a team of breakdancers at a concert in the early 80s).

(article swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Yo! The Movement and the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip Hop In Vita.MN

(swiped from

Pimpin' ain't easy? Nah, organizing ain't easy. Just ask the people behind the annual Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-hop, which mixes youth-outreach events with three days of hip-hop music at First Avenue. Now in its sixth year, the festival is still a beast to pull off for Yo! The Movement, the community-based nonprofit that puts it all together. The youth-run group struggled more than ever to get funding this year, resulting in a slightly scaled-down lineup. But it was still able to get two great headliners in Naughty By Nature and a reunited Eyedea & Abilities.

"We went through a lot," said co-organizer FranzDiego DaHinten, 22.

What, exactly? Here are 10 things you should know.

1. There almost wasn't a festival this year. While the festival is a showcase for local talent, it's always been anchored by bigger headlining acts -- which cost money. When the usual big sponsor didn't come through, organizers struggled to find new ones. At one point they had to make a decision to go forward or quit. "We decided to do it no matter what, even if we had to do it in our backyards," said co-organizer Toki Wright. After last-minute funding came through in July (from the Empowerment Zone, the Northway Community Trust and Pizza Luce), they went after their headliners.
2. Eyedea & Abilities will perform for the first time in three years. Once one of the Twin Cities' powerhouse acts, the duo of speed-rapping Eyedea and turntable virtuoso Abilities parted ways after 2004's "E&A" album. Eyedea has been doing his rock thing with Carbon Carousel, while Abilities is still DJing but based in Milwaukee. The two were already talking reunion when a good friend, Carnage, suggested they do it at this year's fest. The duo is planning future shows, too.
3. Naughty By Nature took a pay cut. After hearing about the fest's community-driven focus, the group agreed to perform for less. It was a rarity in the early '90s: a hardcore rap act that had pop success with hits "O.P.P." and "Hip-hop Hooray" (the hooks are ringing in your head now, right?). This will be the fest's third year with a great old-school headliner (MC Lyte last year and Slick Rick in 2005).
4. P.O.S. = nice guy. Local star P.O.S. is busy this summer on the Warped Tour. But after hearing about the fest's financial woes, he agreed to help out by signing on as a headliner. The only problem: he'd have to take a day off Warped, fly to Minneapolis for the show and then fly out right after. He'd have arrived only minutes before his set -- if everything went perfectly. Both parties decided the timing was too tricky.
5. Co-organizer Toki Wright is having his busiest year ever. Wright keeps busy in the local scene, but things really picked up when Brother Ali asked him to go out on the road for "The Undisputed Truth" tour. As Ali's hypeman, he spent this spring traveling the country, then went out again this summer on the Paid Dues tour. As a result he had to do most of his pre-fest work by phone. Wright probably will join Ali again in the fall, and hopes to release his own long-awaited solo debut, "A Different Mirror."
6. Yo! The Movement wants to get to know you. If you still don't know what Yo! does, this is the year to find out. Friday's events will take place at its office in downtown Minneapolis, where you can see what the nonprofit does year-round. "We just wanted to clear up a lot of misconceptions," DaHinten said. "Some people still think we're just promoters or a business." Besides the fest, it works in schools, helps juveniles in the probation system, does anti-racism workshops and organizes young people around political causes.
7. The b-boy battle will be hot. B-boys (and b-girls) are excited about this year's showdown after a less-than-stellar battle in 2006. Old school cats (Grove Nuts) and new school cats (Warriors) are putting together a two-on-two battle that will see the state's top breakdancers get down for a $500 prize. Prelims are Saturday outside First Avenue and the finals are Sunday in the mainroom.
8. Clichéd but true: There's something for everyone. Is the fest a true reflection of the entire Twin Cities hip-hop scene? Well, you can't please everyone, but you'd have a hard time saying this year's lineup isn't diverse. The college kids are covered with Doomtree. There's old-school boom bap by Big Quarters. Some international flavor with Ghana's M.anifest and reggaeton by Lirica Secreta. Live hip-hop by Leroy Smokes. Street-hop stalwarts like Muja Messiah and members of the Chosen Few. Tongue-twisting rhymes by Carnage. Comedy by Ice Rod. And much more.
9. It really is for the kids. The music will draw a crowd, of course. But fans -- especially kids -- also should check out the workshops (noon-1:30 p.m. Sat.; 1-2:30 p.m. Sun.) focusing on violence in our communities and other issues. There are also voter registration and HIV/AIDS testing.
10. There might not be another one. While no year has been a cakewalk, this one was unusually difficult -- to the point where some organizers wonder if they can do it again. Wright said it'll depend on how this one turns out.

Let's hope for a good weekend.

Rock The Bells After Party!

If you're in need of something to do, Foundation Nightclub is holding a nice after party with Talib Kweli.

Originally the honorable ?uestlove of the Roots was set to spin, but that has changed since he and the band are part of the Dave Matthews Band Tour.

Enjoy yourselves!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Kanye West Vs. 50 Cent: Rivalry?

Let the games begin.
Several wagers in TV appearances by 50 Cent calling Kanye West out. From a televised debate to 50 going so far as to proclaim that if West outsells him, he will no longer write music.
I mean really, both are totally different artists. Real talk, Kanye is definitely doing something wonderful, but it's not all THAT different. In addition, we should all come to the realization that both are mainstream artists, and are therefore sales driven. Now I would be of the notion that healthy competition is very existent within today's society without having to damage another person's career. But this has seriously gone too far.
I personally plan to buy both albums, cause I'm one who shows no bias between 50 nor Kanye. At the same time, the true decision is gonna come down to the consumer who goes out on 9/11 to purchase either one of these albums, and in the end it's all a matter of personal preference. Better opinion? DJ Muggs & Sick Jacken is coming out on 9/11 as well. Again, I'm buying all three. But to all those who choose to follow the hype, a word of advice from me. Don't make it more serious than it is. There are people dying in far worse situations for us to worry about a simple beef between two successful artists.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

UGK "Underground Kingz": Best Southern Album This Year?

Bun-B and a fresh out of prison Pimp C return with their 5th album "Underground Kingz." Many of those who are in the know about UGK are of the presumption that the group has never slacked after their much talked about relic "Ridin' Dirty," to which every rapper from Jay-Z to many others have sung its praises. Well, this time around they are back with a 2 disc set, 13 tracks a piece on each disc. And surprisingly enough, it ranks as possibly the best double disc rap has seen to this day.

Whereas 2pac, Biggie, Jay-Z and Nas fumbled by going between really horrendous to really awesome, UGK remains consistent on each song, regardless of the subject matter that reigns on this 2 disc set. Fresh out of his stint of prison, Pimp C unleashes the wonderful charm that made us love him on "Pocket Full Of Stones," and his cadence still reigns supreme. Meanwhile on this disc, Bun B remains intact, his swagger and his knack for vocabulary very much showing why he's very much has the threshold of the South by the waist and holding it as if it were his birthright.

However, that all changes on the duo's first single, "International Players Anthem (I Choose You)." OutKast lends a helping hand and blasts it off into outer space with Andre 3000's welcome back to rap streak, but rest assured the people involved with the song make it something to welcome new listeners as well as ensure the fans of yore that the group has not lost their touch. DJ Paul & Juicy J produce the track, and have chosen to go with what made "Stay Fly" such a hit, a blood curdling soul sample gone entertainingly crunk awry, while all four people, from Andre 3000 down to Big Boi's finishing and somewhat screwed and chopped verse. In addition, there's many other tracks, like the car tribute "Chrome Plated Woman."

Their usage of guest spots are very nicely done on this release as well. Scarface and Raheem Devaughn croon on the hook lines, while such guests from old school legends Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane, to others such as Talib Kweli, Dizzee Rascal, Rick Ross, Slim Thug, and many others. Overall, what a victorious welcome back to the game, and not only that, but also a vindication so sweet for Pimp C who recently was released from prison. Keep up the good work fellas.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ernie Rhodes has new music....

Check Ernie Rhodes' Myspace to hear 2 new rough mixes from his forthcoming album, set for release in 2008.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Common is #1!

After 14 years of giving us such classics as "Resurrection," "One Day It'll All Make Sense," and "Like Water For Chocolate," Common has finally notched his first #1 album with "Finding Forever," a Kanye West led excursion through the land of the Soulquarians Sound. This was a period in which "Like Water For Chocolate" still resonates with Common's core fanbase, where the beats were a rich tapestry, the hammond organs churning, the drums were pulsating, vibrant, yet relaxed, and the lyricism showed more of a reflective and conscious side.

So many people may ask, after hearing the Chi-town soul of "Be" what the difference is between Finding Forever and Be. If anything, some people have gone so far as to dub it "Be-Lite," but there is several reasons as to why this CD is awesomely dope. Kanye chooses the same approach as on last year's "Be" using old school soul interwoven into a deftly made canvas to allow Common to place his conscious and hard hitting lyricism. Take for example "Misunderstood" which is made by Devo Springsteen, which utilizes the Nina Simone song of the same name. Simone's vocals are reshaped into a soulful and heartfelt song about getting closer to God, while "Black Maybe" focuses on how behavior and culture meet and the consequences it can cause, specifically focusing in on the second verse which seems like it refers to a quick witted rise and fall of the modern day sports star, and how his friends will be quick to shoot him in the back.

This may be just a quick synopsis if nothing else of what to expect on Common's album "Finding Forever." While not entirely his best effort, it's still a worthy mention.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Run Ya Jewelz, Son.

Prepare yourselves, it's set to be awesome.

Flyer designed by the homie, Greg Hubacek. Go check out his blog and enjoy what you see.

Get Ready, Cause it's about to go down!


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Egypto's Recent Vinyl Listens, Volume 1

Pulled this vinyl out just last night. I originally copped it from Aardvark, but hearing this album on vinyl made the quality of this album all the more richer of an experience to me.

This happens to be one of my favorite punk albums of the 70s. I had originally heard about it from a friend back in like 98 when I was just getting into older punk like Sex Pistols, The Clash, and numerous other punk bands. I had scoured a lot of places then managed to find a used copy for 8 bucks. The rest is history.

Another album that I purchased on vinyl which I was rather happy to find and loved for the same reasons as Electric Ladyland was the first hip hop record I fell in love with:

The sound on vinyl is almost primitive, but man, it definitely enhances the Prince Paul sound to me all the better. Kind of reminds me when I first bought it on tape.

--The other thing I purchased, was more of a bulk purchase than anything, and there was a funny story about this. This old lady at my job knew I have records and the like, so she had a friend within the company that was selling her jukebox. She had about 30-40 45's that she was selling, so I told her to name her price and I would take all that she had off her hands. Walked away with a ton of gems for about 20 bucks, which wasn't bad at all. I'll post up some pictures here when I get home this evening of some of the choices if anyone's interested.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Need to do something this Saturday?

Go do something, and enjoy awesome music while you're at it :)

Art Davis, we hardly knew ye....(1933-2007)

(swiped from BBC News)

Renowned double bassist Art Davis, who played with John Coltrane and other jazz greats, has died aged 73. The musician died at home last week after a heart attack, his son Kimaili Davis told the Los Angeles Times. As well as playing for Thelonious Monk, Bob Dylan and Louis Armstrong, Davis was a psychologist and balanced gigs with appointments to see patients.

Davis began studying piano at the age of five in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1933. He switched to bass after starting school, and studied with the principal double bassist at the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Davis made his first recording at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 with Max Roach's group - which also included the legendary trumpeter Booker Little and saxophonist George Coleman. He then met John Coltrane while performing with Roach's band at Harlem's Small's Paradise club in the late 1950s. The pair instantly hit it off, and Davis described his collaborations with the saxophonist as the most intense and musically enriching experiences of his career - although he declined an offer to be part of Coltrane's touring band.

A versatile and accomplished musician, he also found success playing classical music with the New York Philharmonic, as part of the orchestra on Broadway shows, and on popular recordings by the likes of Judy Garland and Hank Williams. But his fortunes waned in the 1970s after he filed an unsuccessful discrimination lawsuit against the New York Philharmonic. Like other black musicians who challenged job hiring practices at the time, he lost work and industry connections. Partly as a result, he returned to school, earning a PhD in clinical psychology from New York University in 1982. Davis moved to southern California in 1986, where he spent the rest of his life teaching and practising psychology, as well as playing concerts, clubs and recordings. Besides Kimaili, Davis is survived by another son and a daughter.

Thank you Art Davis, for your wonderful contributions with some of the greats. The world is blessed to have had such a bassist as yourself.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Shut the fuck up award: Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado

(courtesy of

Tancredo says threat of attack on holy sites would deter terrorism

By Chris Dorsey

OSCEOLA -- Followers of radical Islam must be deterred from committing a nuclear attack on U.S. soil, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo said Tuesday morning, saying that as president he would take drastic measures to prevent such attacks.

"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina," the GOP presidential candidate said. "That is the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they would otherwise do. If I am wrong fine, tell me, and I would be happy to do something else. But you had better find a deterrent or you will find an attack. There is no other way around it. There have to be negative consequences for the actions they take. That's the most negative I can think of."

The harsh approach is vital in order to prevent a worldwide collapse, Tancredo told nearly 30 people Tuesday morning at the Family Table restaurant. "Beyond the loss of human life and devastation, it would cause a worldwide economic collapse," Tancredo said of a nuclear attack on U.S soil. "If all of a sudden we are not a consuming engine of the world, the producing nations will collapse also. That is what they want, that is what they are looking for, to end Western civilization as we know it."

Tancredo said there was no such deterrent in place right now.

"The president and this country better figure out exactly what it can do to deter, I underline deter, the next attack," Tancredo said. "Deter, not just respond, deter, or else I assure you we are going to suffer. The extent of which of course I do not know. I know what they are planning and I know what they want. I do not know if they are going to be capable of doing this tomorrow, the next day or a month from now. I know right now at this moment there is nothing that deters them."

You folks who care, better contact Tom and tell him to leave his post. Or else think differently.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Today's Focus: The Greatness that is the Psycho Realm

Psycho Realm consists of two Los Angeles Brothers, by the name of Sick Jacken and Duke, real life brothers who managed to hook up with the Soul Assassins crew made up of DJ Muggs and B-Real of Cypress Hill. They released their self titled debut to little fanfare in 1997. Surprisingly on this album, most of the production was handled by Sick Jacken. A lot of people slept hard on this record, mainly cause B-Real was thought to be the outshining factor, while Jacken and Duke were taken for rather weak sidekicks.

It's pretty sad, because this is easily the best album of 1997, hands down. Sick Jacken puts down a very dark and gritty texture to each of the beats on this album, making each one more stark and dreary by comparison, and each of the members on the album come into their own lyrics wise. As cited by WikiPedia:

The group aims to inject pride and knowledge into those who live in the gang infested poverty ridden neighborhoods, but at the same time wants to open the minds of the ones on the outside who look down upon them. Jacken attempts to explain to outsiders with his statement, "my people’s exodus results in prejudice / you ask us why in poverty we become terrorists/ well let me tell you this we don’t choose to tote gats / and selling on the corner is to avoid tax". Duke views the group not as rappers but neighborhood reporters. They choose to document, "a time when its in fashion to be gun flashing, blasting... strapped ready for rivals harassing". The Psycho Realm spoke about the corruption of Rampart police officers from their experiences living in the Rampart district, before the Rampart Scandal hit the media. The group also promotes the unification of gangs with remarks such as "think about who dies when we let the lead out, we’re killing family tragically.
Since then, Duke was shot and paralyzed from the neck down, and is handling most of the business affairs for the Psycho Realm, who have been off their contract with Sony, and are now doing their own thing as Sick Symphonies. They have released a couple of independent albums, as well as mixtapes, such as the heralded Sick Jacken's "The Terror Tapes." Currently, Sick Jacken is working with DJ Mugss on a release called "The Legend of The Mask And The Assassin" which is set to release via a joint venture with Sick Jacken and Universal Music Latino, called Rebel Music Group. Set for release on 8/21, the album is set to blend Muggs' classic production with Sick Jacken's knack for vivid description and media assassin like lyrics, carrying on that role of street reporter that he has proudly held for all these years.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Fuck Bush. I ain't afraid to say it.

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I just finished a Cabinet meeting. One of the things we discussed was the terrible situation there in Minneapolis. We talked about the fact that the bridge collapsed, and that we in the federal government must respond and respond robustly to help the people there not only recover, but to make sure that lifeline of activity, that bridge, gets rebuilt as quickly as possible.

To that end, Secretary Peters is in Minneapolis, as well as Federal Highway Administrator Capka. I spoke to Governor Pawlenty and Mayor Rybak this morning. I told them that the Secretary would be there. I told them we would help with rescue efforts, but I also told them how much we are in prayer for those who suffered. And I thank my fellow citizens for holding up those who are suffering right now in prayer.

We also talked about -- in the Cabinet meeting talked about the status of important pieces of legislation before the Congress. We spent a fair amount of time talking about the fact that how disappointed we are that Congress hasn't sent any spending bills to my desk. By the end of this week, members are going to be leaving for their month-long August recess. And by the time they will return, there will be less than a month before the end of the fiscal year on September the 30th, and yet they haven't passed one of the 12 spending bills that they're required to pass. If Congress doesn't pass the spending bills by the end of the fiscal year, Cabinet Secretaries report that their departments may be unable to move forward with urgent priorities for our country.

This doesn't have to be this way. The Democrats won last year's election fair and square, and now they control the calendar for bringing up bills in Congress. They need to pass each of these spending bills individually, on time, and in a fiscally responsible way.

The budget I've sent to Congress fully funds America's priorities. It increases discretionary spending by 6.9 percent. My Cabinet Secretaries assure me that this is adequate to meet the needs of our nation.

Unfortunately, Democratic leaders in Congress want to spend far more. Their budget calls for nearly $22 billion more in discretionary spending next year alone. These leaders have tried to downplay that figure. Yesterday one called this increase -- and I quote -- "a very small difference" from what I proposed. Only in Washington can $22 billion be called a very small difference. And that difference will keep getting bigger. Over the next five years it will total nearly $205 billion in additional discretionary spending. That $205 billion averages out to about $112 million per day, $4.7 million per hour, $78,000 per minute.

Put another way, that's about $1,300 in higher spending every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year for the next five years. That's a lot of money -- even for career politicians in Washington. In fact, at that pace, Democrats in Congress would have spent an extra $300,000 since I began these remarks.

There's only one way to pay for all this new federal spending without running up the deficit, and that is to raise your taxes. A massive tax hike is the last thing the American people need. The plan I put forward would keep your taxes low and balance the budget within five years, and that is the right path for our country.

I want to thank OMB Director Rob Portman for his hard work in developing this plan. This was Rob's last Cabinet meeting. Laura and I wish him and his family well. And I call on the Senate to confirm his successor, Jim Nussle, so we can work together to keep our government running, to keep our economy growing, and to keep our nation strong.

Thank you for your time.

Why doesn't America go for third parties again?

Ay Bay Bay: A Cultural Movement?

Shrevport rapper Hurricane Chris has recruited a star-studded team of artists from various regions for the remix to his hit single "A Bay Bay."

The new version of the track features cameos from The Game (Compton, CA), Baby (New Orleans), E-40 (Vallejo, CA), Jadakiss (Yonkers, NY), Lil Boosie, (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Pitbull (Miami, Florida), Lil Jon (Atlanta) and new comer Angie Locc, also of Shrevport.

According to Hurricane Chris, the remix’s diverse roster falls in line with the direction his Shreveport -based genre of Hip-Hop titled "Ratchet music" is expanding towards.

"All of the artists featured on the remix were people I've wanted to work with for a long time," Hurricane Chris said. "With out hesitation, they all came through to the to the shoot and that was when I knew 'A Bay Bay' and Ratchet City was more then what's hot right now, but a cultural movement for Hip-Hop music."

Ratchet music, for those who are unfamiliar, is the New Orleans take on hyphy or crunk that is currently jamming airwaves across the nation. Now it's highly interesting. When my brother Omar first revealed the song to me, he just identified the artist as Hurricane. I thought he was talking about the former Beastie Boys DJ, Hurricane. My brother, also holds a soft spot in his heart for any rap coming out of the south.

I too have a soft spot and guilty pleasures bin of Southern hip hop. I enjoy a bit of Lil' Jon in the spare doings (don't front, you know you listen to him), and I must say that as far as the New Orleans generation is concerned, Lil' Wayne does warrant an occasional listen. But lately, there has been this kind of increase of the New Orleans rapper, first with Baby Boy Da Prince and his rather relaxed hit, "This Is The Way I Live" which has caught a ton of attention for the post-Hurricane Katrina generation. Baby Boy Da Prince happens to have the most dramatic of stories, having written his entire album "Across The Water" in a FEMA trailer.
Hurricane Chris however, has a slick story for how the song's idea for "Ay Bay Bay" came about:

The song pays homage to DJ Hollyhood Bay Bay, who spins records at KoKo Pellis, a club in Shreveport, La. The crowd would chant "Hey, Bay Bay, hey, Bay Bay" whenever he'd enter the club, and it soon became part of the local lexicon.

Pretty interesting story. But I'm glad to see this new breed of south creeping up through the cracks, and also a great thing to see some new blood in New Orleans changing the game for folks down there.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

35W Bridge Over Mississippi River Falls

Prayers and blessings, and hope everyone's family and friends are safe.

Singing Sensation

Ladies and Gents, I give you Tay Zonday

The Hit: Chocolate Rain (aka CHOKLITTT RAAAAIIIN!)

...and "Internet Dream"

...and "Never Gonna Give You Up"

Lastly, another original classic by him....