ELHAE’s “Halfway Love” Is A Worthy Single for His Upcoming EP “Aura” [FULL STREAM] @ELHAE

ELHAE's "Halfway Love" Is A Worthy Single for His Upcoming EP "Aura"

 

ELHAE is an Atlanta-based artist working toward his debut EP “Aura.” His sound is characterized by rapping, singing, and some great sampling. His latest single, “Halfway Love” is one of three for his upcoming EP, and may be the best yet. It features a sample from a Michael Jackson classic which is complemented by its production. This track should definitely gain ELHAE some fans leading up to his debut release. His other two singles from the upcoming EP are titled “Sam” and “Drive Me Crazy” and can be found on his Soundcloud page.

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Unsung Explores the Life of Angie Stone [PREVIEW] @tvonetv @angiestone

Unsung Explores the Life of Angie Stone

Unsung Explores the Life of Angie Stone

This episode could not be any more exciting! A woman whose name represents the last wave of true soul music, Angie Stone has come to define a generation with her smoky voice and big hair. But for all the love we have in our heart for Angie of the late 90s and early Aughts, she’s been in the background these past couple of years. Watch this preview for tonight’s episode and get excited for the full post!
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CVIRO & GXNXVS Remind Us That It’s All About The Benjamins [FULL STREAM] @CVIROLYF @GXNXVS

CVIRO & GXNXVS Remind Us That It's All About The Benjamins

CVIRO & GXNXVS Remind Us That It’s All About The Benjamins. With “intricate vocal work, future-facing production and the best parts of 90s-era R&B,” CVIRO has teamed up with producer GXNXVS for “Benjamins” – the first single off of his upcoming five track EP. The pleasant mix of past and future sounds creates a vibe that’s original, yet familiar.

Check it out!

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#LongPlayLove: D’Angelo’s Voodoo – Celebrating 15 Years by Justin Chadwick @TheDangelo @questlove @justin_chadwick

IMAGE_soulhead_long_play_love_d'angelo_voodoo_01_25_00

Happy 15th Birthday to D’Angelo’s sophomore album Voodoo, originally released January 25, 2000.

Last month, just when we all had naïvely assumed that the well of notable album releases in 2014 had dried up as a new year of new music beckoned, a familiar but recently withdrawn figure made a surprise return. Indeed, the musical resurrection of D’Angelo in the form of the excellent Black Messiah LP’s unexpected December release was one of the most universally celebrated music stories of the year, causing many of us to exhale a collective sigh of relief and joy following his nearly 15-year absence since releasing his last proper album. To be sure, D’Angelo’s pace of recorded output has been methodical to say the least, with just three studio albums in twenty years. However, few are the contemporary artists who genuinely embody the idea of quality trumping quantity, as D’Angelo unequivocally does. And Black Messiah has reminded us – as if we needed reminding – that any new music bestowed upon us by D’Angelo is always cause for reflection, admiration and celebration. Read more of this post

Greg Tate Opens Up About Brer Rabbit The Opera: A Funky Meditation on Gentrification @erickablount @burntsugarband

By Ericka Blount Danois

We’ve seen many comedy skits about the physical changes gentrification has brought to predominantly black neighborhoods. Dog walkers and bicycle riders. Coffee shops and arugula consumption. But not many artists have tackled the topic with alternating humor and serious thought provoking dialogue connecting black culture and its sustainability through nomadic culture. Nor have they delved into the topic onstage with a funk-busting big band. Tonight at BRIC House Ballroom in Brooklyn at 8pm is the last showing of a work-in-progress by Brooklyn-based artists Aisha Cousins and Greg Tate and Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, directed by Letitia Guillory entitled Brer Rabbit The Opera: A Funky Meditation on Gentrification.  The production explores “trickesterism, techno-anismism and urban survival techniques” through music, performance art and community engagement.

The story, according to Tate, centers around an Ivy League educated brother who comes to the neighborhood working as a corporate marketer. He tries to convert things that are culturally hip in the neighborhood into a commodity for corporations. There’s a song performed by Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber called “Stay Black and Die, Move and Multiply.” And the piece goes on from there in unforgivable blackness from the use of effigies of Harriet Tubman to Brer Rabbit as a computer virus, to going green and recycling. It’s a wild ride through our wilder times. Read more of this post

Frank Ocean Pays Tribute to Aaliyah With “At Your Best You Are Love” Cover

Frank Ocean Pays Tribute to Aaliyah With "At Your Best You Are Love" Cover

In honor of what would have been Aaliyah‘s 36th birthday, Frank Ocean has decided to pay tribute to the fallen star with a cover of “At Your Best You Are Love.” Frank has put his own spin on what was originally an Isley Brothers song, even altering the name to “You are Luhh.” This song is definitely a challenge vocally, but, per usual, the OddFuture affiliate does not disappoint. As we all impatiently away Mr. Oceans follow-up to Channel Orange, this track should hold us over…for now. Read more of this post

[PREVIEW] New Unsung Episode About Peaches and Herb @tvonetv

New Unsung Episode About Peaches and Herb

New Unsung Episode About Peaches and Herb

The new season of Unsung is off to a roaring start! Tonight’s episode features the duo Peaches and Herb. Focusing on the original pair named Peaches & Herb, this episode looks at Herb Fame and Peaches Hurd Barker. These two had a clear chemistry matched by crystal clear voices. Look at this preview that goes behind the scenes of their single “Let’s Fall in Love”. Check it out and tune back in for the full episode to come!
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[soulhead First Read] Payback Is A Pilot: A Conversation with Dan Charnas By Thembisa S. Mshaka @putyrdreams1st @dancharnas

Payback Is A Pilot: A Conversation with Dan Charnas

By Thembisa S. Mshaka

 

For his first interview since the news of his latest media venture The Breaks broke online, Thembisa S. Mshaka chops it up with Dan Charnas, author of the acclaimed hip-hop history tome The Big Payback, which is the source material for a new dramatic pilot optioned by VH1. Listen in as two decades-long friends, business authors and former record industry players talk hip-hop, TV, and the preservation of creative integrity.

 

TM: How did the TV pilot come about?

 

DC: When the book came out, there were almost immediately a lot of Hollywood folks sniffing around the project. Initially, I thought that it would be really great to do an HBO ‘Late Shift’ kind of treatment of the book that they made about the nighttime war between Letterman and Leno—I thought a real depiction of dramatic fiction would work well. I knew that after working for four years on the book, one thing I didn’t want to do was a documentary, where I would have to re-report the book all over again. Wait for Damon Dash and Andre Harrell once, shame on you—wait for them a second time, shame on me—with all respect due, of course. Read more of this post

A l l i e ‘ s Mix Series is 45 Minutes of Music You Can Vibe To [FULL STREAM] @alliemoves @sweaterbeats

A l l i e 's Mix Series is 45 Minutes of Music You Can Vibe To

A l l i e ‘ s Mix Series is 45 Minutes of Music You Can Vibe To.

Toronto‘s own  A l l i e  is a singer/producer with a good ear for soulful sound. In this mix, she lets her producer side go to work, resulting a smooth-transitioning medley. The mix also includes her latest track, “Dark Matter,” with Sweater Beats, which is posted separately.

Have a Listen! Read more of this post

#LongPlayLove: The Roots’ Do You Want More?!!!??! – Celebrating 20 Years by Justin Chadwick @theroots @blackthought @questlove @justin_chadwick @delhiero

IMAGE_soulhead_long_play_love_the_roots_do_you_want_more_01_17_95Happy 20th Birthday to The Roots’ sophomore album Do You Want More?!!!??!, originally released January 17, 1995.

It’s reasonable to assume that a substantial number of people are now familiar with The Roots primarily – or exclusively – because of their lucrative gig as the charisma-oozing house band for The Tonight Show. But the more informed and reverential music heads among us are well aware that the Philadelphia-grown group’s history prior to hooking up with Jimmy Fallon in 2009 is a bountiful one, worthy of much deeper exploration by their more casual late night TV admirers. Read more of this post

[FULL EPISODE] Unsung Returns with the Story of Rick James @tvonetv

Unsung Returns with the Story of Rick James

Unsung Returns with the Story of Rick James

Before the advent of hip-hop, in an era where Black singers were crooners and two-steppers, there came to be a man who would turn music on its head. Singing about coming from the ghetto, living the high life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Rick James is the quintessential Black funk rock superstar. A contemporary to the likes of Bootsy Collins and the men of Parliament, there was something about Rick James that was uniquely rugged raw, yet still polished and flossed. Rick James was a man of many talents, and many demons. With the return of the TV One original series Unsung, the first new episode chronicles the life of Rick James. Going behind the music (and for the Millenials, behind the Dave Chappelle skit) this episode details the life of a soul legend. Watch the full episode below!
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Village Voice Pazz & Jop Crowns D’Angelo, Run the Jewels Top Album of 2014 @villagevoice @KillerMikeGTO @therealelp @TheDangelo

Village Voice Pazz & Jop Crown D'Angelo, Run the Jewels Top Albums of 2014

Village Voice Pazz & Jop Crowns D’Angelo, Run the Jewels Top Album of 2014

While most year end list, ours included, made a hurried effort to be completed by, well the end of the year, the annual Village Voice Pazz & Jop issue held off to mid-month to look over the year. In assessing the year gone by, the group came up with the well regarded D’Angelo and the Vanguard album Black Messiah as top album of the year. But, more impressive than that feat is that the second rated album was also a soulful addition with rapping duo Killer Mike and El-P taking the silver for Run the Jewels 2.

The list is a serious showing in how soul music has penetrated the stratorsphere as a more than legitimate form of music and artistry. Indeed, the top 15, in a list that has over 1500 albums on it, was dotted with the release selection from FKA Twigs, and, a soulhead.com favorite, Azealia Banks.

You can see the full list below!
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Sango & SPZRKT Team Up to Give us “Jesus My King (JMK)” and “Used to The Melody” @sangobeats @SPZRKT

Sango & SPZRKT Team Up to Give us “Jesus My King (JMK)” and “Used to The Melody”
Sango and SPZRKT (Spazzy Rocket) have teamed up to give us two new tracks, “JMK” and “Used to The Melody.”
These two artists definitely have some chemistry in the studio, as has been made apparent by their many collaborations.
As for the fans, hopefully the release of these tracks is indicative of a full-length joint project in the near future.
Enjoy!

Joey Bada$$ Shares Some Leaks From His Upcoming Album, “B4.DA.$$” [FULL STREAM]@joeyBADASS

Joey Bada$$ Shares Some Leaks From His Upcoming Album, "B4.DA.$$"

 

True to his New York City roots, Joey Bada$$ predicates his style on lyric-oriented, boom-bap-driven content. He made quite a buzz in the hip-hop community after declining an offer from Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation in 2013, demonstrating a bold confidence in his product. His upcoming album, “B4.DA.$$” is due to drop on January 20th. In the meantime, Mr. Bada$$ has decided to whet the apetite of his fan base with the leaks of two tracks:

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Nielsen Music Report Shows 2014 A Year of Both The Old And the New

Nielsen Music Report Shows 2014 A Year of Both the Old and the New

Nielsen Music Report Shows 2014 A Year of Both The Old And the New

In their annual report detailing music sales over the past year, the Nielsen Sound Scan showed the greatest trends for music sales and purchases. Unsurprisingly, music streaming is had it’s highest rate of streaming yet, with 164 billion streams in 2014. Considering our 21st century era with all sorts of app at our disposal to do this, it makes sense that streaming would be the highest medium for obtaining music. But, interestingly enough- no doubt driven by a Millenial trend- vinyl record sales saw a 52% increase over 2013. This shows that 2014 was a year where folks were getting back to the power of sitting and indulging in their music.

In terms of musical blockbusters, Disney‘s sleeper hit Frozen seemed to not just dominate the hearts and minds of little children everywhere, but indeed managed to put a spell on the sound charts. Coming in at number one album of the year across all media, the soundtrack to the movie was the dominant force and only Taylor Swift’s 1989 seemed to be able to compete. In looking at the top 10, the only true soul based artists that broke the barrier were Brit star Sam Smith with his debut album and Beyonce’sstill holding firm to her end-of-2013 megahit eponymous album.

Unfortunately, Nielesen reports hip hop and R&B as the same genre so it’s difficult to differentiate how the two sale independently. And yet and still, they manage to be the top listened to and purchased genres outside of rock music. Perhaps a bit problematic though for the record industry is that of all the music medium, streaming seems to be the most popular for hip-hop/R&B, with a whopping 28.5% of all streamed music coming from those two genres.

To get the full 2014 U.S. Music Year-End Report from Nielsen, check below the jump!
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Everybody is Talking About the Good Ole Days: RZA on the Soul of Music [EXCLUSIVE SOULHEAD INTERVIEW] @RZA @ErickaBlount

Everybody is Talking About The Good Ole Days: RZA on the Soul Music

Everybody is Talking About the Good Ole Days: RZA on the Soul of Music

by Ericka Blount Danois

If hip-hop tours, white appropriation, anniversary celebrations, books and hip-hop documentaries aren’t an indication that hip-hop has reached the status of Beatles-style nostalgia and reverence, then releasing a Wu-Tang Clan 20th anniversary reunion album, A BetterTomorrow, is solid proof that the genre has officially arrived.
RZA, always the heart of the operation, worked tirelessly to round up the troops and dissolve beefs for the reunion album that dropped Dec. 2, 2014. “I wanted to make a record that pays homage to soul music and hip-hop,” he said about the making of this album. “I went to the past to make something for the future.”
RZA came out of his own pockets to fund the album to the tune of half a million dollars. Some of the best in the industry are featured on the album—Rick Rubin, Adrian Younge, David Porter, Kenny Gamble and Rob Cavallo, all had their hands in the pot.
Wu-Tang has always done things big and with vision. RZA led the 9-member group to an unprecedented label deal where each member was able to launch solo records. The deal allowed them to become the most revolutionary rap group of the mid-’90s releasing five group and 19 compilation albums totaling over 6 platinum records and over 40 million sold.
Earlier last year, the group put out another 20th reunion album entitled, The Wu: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, a 128-minute, 31-song, double-album no one has yet heard. The intention was to elevate hip hop back to its art form by making the album a museum show piece. The plan is to sell the only copy. So far, they have received a bid for $5 million.
In 1997, Wu Tang Forever was released and the group unofficially disbanded though they released The W in 2000.
From the 80s when three cousins, RZA, GZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard united to form the crews Imperial Masters and All in Together, until today, Wu Tang represents a lot of soul, hip-hop eternal, shaolin, plenty of bongs and the crew that is always about getting Bugs Bunny money.
soulhead.com spoke to RZA about all things Wu:

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RZA Speaks on Wu-Tang’s Influence Over the Years [FULL INTERVIEW] @RZA @BigBoy

RZA Speaks on Wu-Tang's Influence Over the Years

RZA Speaks on Wu-Tang’s Influence Over the Years

In one of the last interviews of 2014, RZA spoke to Power 106‘s Big Boy to talk about the impact of Wu-Tang Clan over the years. Speaking with clarity about his vision, and extreme detail about the art, we see why RZA and the Wu have been such a cultural fixture. Moreover, he is speaking about the new Wu album “A Better Tomorrow“. Enjoy this interview!
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Prince – Controversy Tour Full Concert – 01/30/82 – Capitol Theatre (RARE) [VIDEO] @andrecymone


If you haven’t seen the Purple One in concert, you may not be ready for this show from the Controversy Tour. Complete with original band members including Dez Dickerson and Andre Cymone, these cats were on fire!!!!  This is VINTAGE Prince when he was super hungry and full of competitive spirit.   Simply amazing work here. Peep it while you can.

Set list:
1) The Second Coming
2) Uptown
3) Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?
4) I Wanna Be Your Lover
5) Head
6) Dirty Mind
7) Do Me, Baby
8) Controversy

Encore:
9) Let’s Work
10) Jack U Off

Donnie & The American Mythology – Protester [FULL STREAM]

It has been quite a while since soul singer Donnie graced the community with his presence. More than a decade ago (wow, how time flies), he burst on the scene with the critically acclaimed Colored Section album lead by his anthemic “Cloud 9″.  At that point, there was a solid amount of competition in the “neo-soul” category with Maxwell, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu among others leading the way. Many felt Donnie was next in line but then he seemed to fade away. Well, now he is back with a new project. Peep this new song that comes right on time and features production by the amazing Bugz in the Attic (West London/ATL) crew member Daz I Cue. Read more of this post

John Legend and Common Proclaim “Glory” on GMA [FULL PERFORMANCE] @COMMON @johnlegend @GMA

John Legend and Common Proclaim Glory on GMA

John Legend and Common Proclaim “Glory” on GMA

Both Common and John Legend are revered as quintessential men of soul. With the Midwest as a common background, these two sit in a place of Black history and geography where they see the tragedies that befall Black folk all around. As such, both their music and public celebrity has been used to highlight the magnificence of Black culture, while also speaking out to injustices.

“Glory” is their collaboration from the feature film Selma, chronicling the protest and movement in Selma, Alababma, led by- among a talented many others- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Kicking the new year off right, the two men performed the song on Good Morning America. Proclaiming a prophetic victory of marginalized people, the effect is chilling.
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