#LongPlayLove: 18 Underrated ‘90s Hip-Hop Albums You’ve Likely Forgotten by Justin Chadwick [FULL STREAMS] @justin_chadwick


The Low End Theory. Illmatic. The Chronic. Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. Fear of a Black Planet. DoggystyleSouthernplayalisticadillacmuzikReady to Die. The list of indisputably brilliant early to mid ‘90s hip-hop long players may not be an extensive one, but it’s still an awe-inspiring one nonetheless. All of the aforementioned albums enjoyed considerable critical and commercial acclaim, and are universally revered as prime specimens of the hip-hop long form. Must-own masterpieces, in other words. Quintessential compositions that define the latter half of hip-hop’s so-called golden age. Or as music critic Tony Green has referred to the period, hip-hop’s “second golden age.” Read more of this post

#YoMTVRapsTBT: EPMD Performs “Crossover” (1992) + Classic Interviews [FULL VIDEOS] @iAmErickSermon @PMDofEPMD

soulhead_YoMTVRaps_EPMD_MainImage[Photo Credit: Chi Modu]

Perennial purveyors of hardcore hip-hop, the revered Brentwood, Long Island duo of Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith has created some of the genre’s most thrilling music. The group known by their memorable acronym for “Erick & Parrish Making Dollars” has released seven albums to date, and their first four albums – 1988’s Strictly Business, 1989’s Unfinished Business, 1990’s Business as Usual and 1992’s Business Never Personal – are each considered Golden Era classics. Read more of this post

Prince’s ‘Dirty Mind’ Celebrates 35 Years by Michael A. Gonzales @Prince3EG @3rdeyegirl @3rdeyeboy @gonzomike


Without a doubt, Prince’s third album Dirty Mind, which celebrates its 35th anniversary today, October 8th, was the charm that the brother needed to propel him beyond genre limitations into his own realm of sound that contained elements of soul, funk, rock and electro-synth flourishes. His first two albums For You and Prince reflected his penchant for crafting soft R&B and disco tracks. But besides telling us about his girlfriend “Bambi” leaving him for another woman, Prince was as safe as cartoons on Saturday mornings. Read more of this post

Triumphant Spirit: A Conversation with Stokley of Mint Condition [INTERVIEW] by Christopher A. Daniel @StokleyOfficial @mcondition @Journalistorian


Stokley Williams knows what it’s like to be the last of a dying breed. For over two decades, the Grammy-nominated entertainer has been the lead vocalist, drummer and percussionist for Mint Condition, one of the few popular American bands featuring all African-American musicians.

Mint Condition has never held their abilities and songs captive, blending together funk, jazz, rock, R&B, soul, world music and hip-hop. Still a huge draw able to sell out various concert halls and venues, the gold-certified band entered the pop and R&B charts throughout the 1990s and 2000s with memorable singles like “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes),” “Forever in Your Eyes,” “U Send Me Swingin,” “What Kind of Man Would I Be?,” “If You Love Me” and “You Don’t Have to Hurt No More.” Read more of this post

Tisha Campbell Forgives Her Childhood Abuser in New Track “Steel Here” [FULL VIDEO] @TishaCampblMrtn @IAmSteveHarvey

Listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show this morning, we were surprised to hear one of our favorite sitcom actresses of all time, Tisha Campbell Martin, or as we like to think of her: Gina. Although a staple of early 90’s TV fame via the popular Martin TV show, she was on the show to share her recently released single “Steel Here.” Only a couple of months old, the single serves as an audio forgiveness for the person who apparently raped her when she was only 3 years old.

Speaking to the SHMS crew, Tisha confirmed that the song is her attempt to provide closure to the horrible event in her life. Ultimately, she feels that forgiving someone allows the forgiver to move on with her life. We couldn’t agree more and are proud to support this effort. Check out this new song and tell us what you think in the comments below. Read more of this post

Lianne La Havas Delivers Stunning Live Performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series [FULL VIDEO] @liannelahavas @nprmusic


One of soulhead’s favorite artists to emerge in the past few years, Lianne La Havas recently dropped her stellar sophomore album Blood, which is destined to be included near the top of most year-end best-of lists. The heavenly-voiced British singer-songwriter visited NPR Music’s Tiny Desk last week to perform stripped-down versions of singles “What You Don’t Do” and “Unstoppable,” as well as “Forget” from her 2012 debut LP Is Your Love Big Enough?. Read more of this post

Changing the Game and Controlling the Ship: A Conversation with Yo Gotti [INTERVIEW + MIXTAPE STREAM] by Christopher A. Daniel @YoGottiKOM @Journalistorian


Politics in the music business have been a recurring test to Yo Gotti’s recording career. Releasing a total of six studio albums, the North Memphis-born rapper and businessman famous for inundating the mixtape circuit signed deals with TVT Records, Cash Money/Universal Records and Polo Grounds/RCA Records. Along the way, he survived label bankruptcies, not having his music properly promoted, and witnessing first-hand executives deciding to shelve his material, leaving Yo Gotti to wonder if he never needed major label support in the first place. Read more of this post

Relive the History of ‘Jazz’ with Ken Burns’ Acclaimed 10-Part Documentary [FULL FILM] @KenBurns


There are few things that the team here at soulhead loves more than a good, in-depth music documentary. Hence why we were glued to the tube when documentarian extraordinaire Ken Burns’ monumental 10-part, 19-hour documentary on the history of jazz music in America originally aired on PBS in early 2001. We also dug the accompanying series of two dozen CD compilations released by Verve and Columbia/Legacy in conjunction with the film. Read more of this post

Did Erykah Badu Just Body Drake With Her Cover of “Hotline Bling?” [FULL STREAM] @fatbellybella

As has been the case for the past several years, Drake has a hit on his hands with the extremely catchy tune “Hotline Bling.”  Leveraging the 1973 Timmy Thomas classic “Why Can’t We Live Together,” Drizzy deftly navigates the groove with keen melodies and enjoyable lyrics.  That being said, we actually think the Disclosure and Sam Smith version of the track adds some depth and harmony to the song. And now, soul sister Erykah Badu AKA Lo Down Loretta Brown may have outdone them both with her haunting version.  You be the judge: Read more of this post

Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators – ‘Happiness In Every Style’ [ALBUM REVIEW + FULL STREAM] by Michael A. Gonzales @NicoleDWillis6 @gonzomike


Back in 1990, a few years before neo-soul exploded, it was all about acid jazz, a fresh style made by young people whose musical sensibilities hearkened back to the pulsating period when jazz, soul and folk were “more real.” In England, acid jazz artists like Galliano and Young Disciples were being glam in the glossy pages of The Face and I-D while their American counterparts were still struggling for their breakout moment. The North American acid jazz scene was eventually brought together by New York City-based promoters/managers Maurice Bernstein and Jonathan Rudnick, who founded Giant Step in the early 1990s. Read more of this post

#YoMTVRapsTBT: 10 Classic Freestyles from Biggie, Snoop Dogg, Fugees & More [FULL VIDEOS]


Nothing represents a stronger barometer of an emcee’s mental acuity, lyrical dexterity, and powers of imagination than the all-mighty, fresh off-the-top-of-the-dome freestyle. Granted, the legitimacy of this purest form of microphone improvisation can sometimes be tough to discern. With no reservations about pulling the wool over listeners’ eyes, some self-proclaimed freestylists simply resort to test-driving some new pre-penned lyrics or dusting off some mediocre cutting room floor rhymes from years past. Read more of this post

Robert Glasper Lends His Musical Charms to the NAN Triumph Awards [INTERVIEW] by Christopher A. Daniel @robertglasper @NationalAction @Journalistorian

soulhead_RobertGlasper_MainImagePhoto Credit: Janette Beckman

When pianist and composer Robert Glasper was recently touring Europe, he was contacted about serving as musical director for this year’s National Action Network Triumph Awards, which celebrates successful individuals of color who give back to their respective communities. This year’s event, which took place earlier this month in Atlanta and airs on TV One this Saturday, October 3rd at 8PM/ET and 7PM/CT, marks the first time in the Triumph Awards’ six-year history that it will broadcast exclusively on TV One. Read more of this post

Is Gallant the Second Coming of Maxwell? [FULL STREAMS] @SoGallant


With an emotive, falsetto croon most closely reminiscent of Maxwell, 23-year-old R&B artist Gallant (full name: Christopher Gallant) is destined for a major breakthrough sooner than later. Having studied music at NYU before launching his professional career, Gallant’s unique style initially clashed with industry standards, and he was told that his sound was not sufficiently marketable. Since that time, Gallant has gained some considerable exposure, most notably with revered tastemaker Zane Lowe, who debuted and championed his song “Weight in Gold” on Apple Music. Read more of this post

A Conversation with Soul Songstress Nicole Willis [INTERVIEW] by Michael A. Gonzales @NicoleDWillis6 @gonzomike


Singer, lyricist and producer Nicole Willis first emerged as an artist in the 1980s, performing across clubs in her native New York City. Willis joined the American acid jazz combo Repercussions in 1990, and they subsequently became the first artists to release a single on the cutting-edge label Mo’ Wax (later the home of DJ Shadow and Unkle) with 1992’s “Promise.” Three years later the band signed with Warner Brothers and put out the much slept-on Earth and Heaven LP. In 1997, after dropping their sophomore project Charmed Life, the group disbanded and Willis moved abroad. Read more of this post

Jimi Tents Drops New Single “Landslide” from Forthcoming EP [FULL STREAM] @Jimitents


Brooklyn rapper Jimi Tents is preparing to drop his first solo project 5 O’clock Shadow on October 23rd. Given his recent track record, any new material from Jimi Tents is just cause for excitement. Since the release of his critically-acclaimed single “Elmer Fudd,” Jimi has been squarely on the radar of hip-hop enthusiasts everywhere. The New York native is taking it upon himself to represent his city through his musical efforts, aiming to change the perception of NYC rap. Most impressively, this kid has garnered considerable buzz at only 19 years young. Read more of this post

Disclosure – ‘Caracal’ [ALBUM REVIEW + FULL STREAM] by Justin Chadwick @disclosure @justin_chadwick


Close your eyes, rewind your mind to a few years ago, and recapture that revelatory moment that you heard Disclosure’s inspired music for the first time. Your introduction to the fraternal London-based house tandem of Guy and Howard Lawrence likely came just shy of three years ago when you first heard the dazzling single “Latch.” It was also your first taste of the precociously talented then-20-year-old crooner Sam Smith, whose career has been in non-stop ascension mode ever since. And if you’re like me, your ears were blown wide open by the heavenly track, as your faith in the power of music to stroke your soul and shake your spirit was instantly restored. Read more of this post

‘Quest for Cuba: Questlove Brings the Funk to Havana’ [REVIEW + FULL FILM] by Christopher A. Daniel @Journalistorian @questlove @okayplayer @UWFilmFest


Throughout his entire career, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson has become synonymous with curating and giving music to the people. The Grammy Award-winning drummer from hip-hop band The Roots and musical director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has reinvented himself time and time again as a producer, session musician, ethnomusicologist, voice-over narrator, sought-after DJ, best-selling author, and distinguished lecturer. Read more of this post

‘Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives’ [FILM REVIEW] by Michael A. Gonzales @gonzomike @StretchandBob @StretchArmy @koolboblove @UWFilmFest


As hip-hop culture has ascended from the streets to the stores to worldwide domination, the role of radio can never be underestimated. Recently the folks at Red Bull Academy produced the documentary Revolutions on Air: The Golden Era of New York Radio 1980 – 1988, which offered a glimpse of the early days of Mr. Magic, Marley Marl, Kool DJ Red Alert and others who broke through to the mainstream airwaves with underground sounds. Contrary to the myopic expectations of older-generation Black radio and music executives, rap music was able to progress way beyond pure novelty status. However, as the music became more popular, the radio shows soon became less cutting-edge and more commercial. Read more of this post

#YoMTVRapsTBT: Too $hort Performs “I Want to Be Free” (1992) + Classic Interviews [FULL VIDEOS] @TooShort

Although New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta traditionally garner far more attention within hip-hop circles, the San Francisco Bay Area has an impressive history of hip-hop music and entrepreneurialism that warrants more respect than it typically receives. And while the Bay has produced a crop of revered artists, none of them are as iconic of an embodiment of Bay Area hip-hop as Mr. Todd Shaw, more affectionately known as Too $hort. Read more of this post

Masego Reimagines Frankie Beverly & Maze with “Before I Let Glo” [FULL STREAM] @UncleSego


Masego is a self-taught musician with a truly singular sound and rhythm. So singular, in fact, that he has named the genre of his music “TrapHouseJazz.” Best known for his saxophone prowess, Masego’s recent releases include the Pink Polo EP featuring Medasin, and TrapHouseJazz. The track available to stream below is an intriguing flip on the all-time classic “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze. Enjoy!

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