[SLEPT ON SOUL] Still Looking Good, Bernadette Cooper by Michael A. Gonzales @gonzomike @BernadetteCoopr

Still Looking Good, Bernadette Cooper by Michael A Gonzales

 

Still Looking Good, Bernadette Cooper by Michael A. Gonzales

 

Although former Klymaxx singer, songwriter and producer Bernadette Cooper has never been anything like the women the Beach Boys harmonized about on their sunshine soundtracks, she is still a California girl. Raised in Compton, the “hood” that blessed us with both Barry White and N.W.A., Cooper got into music at a young age. Whether singing Aretha Franklin songs in first grade, listening to Sly Stone on the radio or admiring the drums on Isaac Hayes records, she knew early that music would be her life.

“My family never supported my music emotionally or spiritually,” Cooper says from her home in California. Currently working on her second solo album Last Diva on Earth, the project is her first solo venture in twenty-four years. “I was and still am, completely self motivated.” Becoming more serious about the funk when she was in high school, in the late-70s, Cooper formed the all-woman funk band Klymaxx, who would go on to become one of the biggest acts of the 80s.

Inspired by the past generation of mack divas (Lynn Collins, LaBelle, Brides of Funkenstein, and Chaka Khan) as well as Prince’s computer blue funk, Klymaxx was on a mission to kick ass. Besides Cooper, the group also featured singer Lorena Porter, guitarist Cheryl Cooley, keyboardist Lynn Malsby, vocalist Robin Grider and, later, bassist/producer Joyce “Fenderella” Irby.
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[REPOST] Suzanne de Passe Looks Back on Motown 25 by Michael A Gonzales @gonzomike @EBONYmag @SuzannedeP

Suzanne de Passe Looks Back on Motown 25 by Michael A Gonzales

Suzanne de Passe Looks Back on Motown 25 by Michael A Gonzales

Over 30 years ago, the  force of nature that was Motown celebrated its 25th anniversary. It was a moment were the world stopped in order to appreciate the genius that was the explosion of a united front of Black culture and soul. Producing that hit television event (in which the recently solo artist Michael Jackson now famously graced us with “the moon walk“), was the young producer Suzanne de Passe. de Passe, whom we all now love for her hits like Sister, Sister and Smart Guy was still new in the game when given the reins for what is now an iconic moment in soul history.

soulhead’s very own Michael Gonzales sat down with de Passe to interview her for Ebony magazine. Check out some of the interview here.

EBONY: The day following Motown 25, it seemed that everyone in the country, regardless of race or class, was talking about the show. Did you anticipate such a major reaction?

Suzanne de Passe: We were so focused on getting that sucker in the can, we didn’t think about what the reaction might be. But from watching the rehearsals, we knew we had something special. Honestly, the program took on a life of its own; it made a lot of people very happy.

EBONY: What was it like to have so many big names together after all those years?

SP: It was like when Quincy [Jones] recorded “We Are the World,” people just automatically checked their egos at the door. People walked in and saw all their old friends and it turned into a party.

EBONY: Well, it might’ve been a party for them, but you were chaperoning.

SP: It was more like being the ringmaster with a whip and a chair. [laughter]

Read below for the full article!
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Prince & @3RDEYEGIRL – Empty Room (Paisley Park Studios Rehearsal – 10.27.14) @3rdEyeBoy

prince-launches-publishing-company-for-his-own-music-catalog
Nice dusting off a old Prince bootleg joint.  Although this has been done better elsewhere, we are happy the World can hear it..at least for the time being.  Enjoy. Read more of this post

Digging in the Crates with DJ Cassidy by Ericka Blount Danois @DJ Cassidy @ErickaBlount

Most people know DJ Cassidy from his smash hit single with R. KellyMake the World Go Round.” After Puffy discovered him, deejaying in the basement of club Lotus in Manhattan, he blew up instantly eventually deejaying Grammy parties, MTV Video Awards, JLo‘, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian weddings, parties for Oprah Winfrey and Anna Wintour and President Obama’s inaugural ball.
But he began his career as a 10-year-old kid, deejaying teenage parties, talent shows and eventually local nightclubs in New York City.  Here he goes back to his first love, digging through his crates, telling the stories of his selections for his album, Paradise Royal. 

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Logic is “Under Pressure” on the Power 106 Freestyle [FULL VIDEO] @Logic301 @BigBoy @Power106LA

Logic is Under  Pressure on the Power 106 Freestyle

Logic is “Under Pressure” on the Power 106 Freestyle

The hottest rapper receiving buzz right now is Logic. A rapper from Maryland with a hot album in “Under Pressure”, is putting the East Coast on. Spending time with Big Boy and the Neighborhood on Power 106 in LA last week, Logic participated in a freestyle performance, demonstrating his talents and ability to flow. Check this out and then go buy his new album!
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Paolo Apollo Negri – Musician with a Vision and a Funky Style [FULL ALBUM] @HammondFunk

Paolo Apollo Negri - Musician with a Vision and a Funky Style

Paolo Apollo Negri – Musician with a Vision and a Funky Style

This is not something you see or hear everyday. A musician since the 90’s, Negri has been an experimenter and inventor with the Hammond Organ. Now, almost with two decades of experience, Negri blends the sounds of the Hammond with synthesizers and collaborates with other madmen and women of electro-pop to make this funky, bluesy, soulful sound. In some songs, you can’t tell if this is a 70’s throwback, a Prince lilt, or something all together futuristic. You can stream his new album “Hello World” below!
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Nico and Vinz on Their Origins and Rising Career [FULL VIDEO] @NicoandVinz @yesiortiz

Nico and Vinz on Their Origins and Rising Career

Nico and Vinz on Their Origins and Rising Career

Since early this summer, Nico and Vinz have been making strong head waves here in the States. Beginning their career in Norway by celebrating their common lives as sons of African immigrants (Nico’s family for Coite d’Ivoire, Vinz from Ghana), the two hit it off musically in a meaningful way. Now, we have all been the beneficiaries of their musical collaboration with their hit song “Am I Wrong”. Now with their new single, “In Your Arms”, the two seem to be off to a strong start here in the States. The duo sat down to talk with LA’s Power 106 Yesi Ortiz to talk about the meaning of their music and their shared family origins. Watch this video below and be sure to give them much love!
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Ashanti Floyd and soulheads Love Being Black [FULL VIDEO] @TheMadViolinist @ilovebeingblack

Ashanti Floyd and soulheads Love Being Black

Ashanti Floyd and soulheads Love Being Black

If you are yet to hear of him or his music, this soul brother is bringing classic back! With the incredible ability to use the timeless treasured instrument the violin as a powerhouse rock tool, Ashanti  Floyd is known for his powerful violin covers of moving songs. This is no exception! Here Floyd covers Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One”. What’s better is that Floyd does it all in his thermal tee from online community “I Love Being Black”. They are launching an initiative where artists can embrace their pride in their Blackness and show off their dynamic musicality. Check out the performance below!
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New Week- New Music! Songs from Tinashe, Mila J, Jay Rock and More @LALeakers @Tinashe @jayrock @MilaJ

New Week- New Music! Songs from Tinashe, Mila J, Jay Rock and More

New Week- New Music! Songs from Tinashe, Mila J, Jay Rock and More

The L.A. Leakers (aka J Cruz and Justin Credible of Power 106‘s The Lift Off) have done it  again! They have compiled a compelling list of new sounds from up and coming artists for us all to know and fall in love with. In this video they have samples from some names that we should know. Firstly, the new song from TDE’s Jay Rock is killing it with so much LA-West Coast verve. Following that is new music from Jhene Aiko‘s sister, Mila J. Additionally, there are new sounds from a new comer “Audio Push“, and then from the rising star Tinashe. Check the full video out below and get into your new favorite songs.
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Chance the Rapper & The Social Experiment Have the “No Better Blues” [FULL DOWNLOAD] @chancetherapper

Chance the Rapper & The Social Experiement Have the No Better Blues

Chance the Rapper & The Social Experiment Have the “No Better Blues”

Blues as a style of music is rooted deeply in the Black American soul. Moreover, it is an important precursor to hip hop. In this new song from one of our favorite new school rappers, Chance the Rapper, he espouses on all the things he “hates”. In a song that could be described as nihilsm and total disenchantment, it has an ecclesiastical sound and feel to it. The Social Experiment is a longtime collaborator with the rapper. Listening to the song, it’s unclear if Chance is playing a character, or if we should be concerned. Nonetheless, it makes for good mood music. Listen to it below.
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Erykah Badu Hustles on The Street

Erykah Badu Hustles on The Street

Erykah Badu Hustles on The Street

She’s so silly. Our favorite modern Lady of Soul and the epitome of Grace, Erykah Badu took to the streets of New York to perform a little diddy and solicit money from the passerbys. In an iPhone film that she edited herself, she shows what  it looks like to have moxie and grit to put yourself out there. Of course, the great irony is she barely collected $4, which in someways is a tongue and cheek remark on how difficult it really is to be jobless and street hustling. Watch the full video below.
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Jhene Aiko Performs “Pressure” on Wendy Williams [FULL VIDEO] @JheneAiko @WendyWilliams

Jhene Aiko Performs Pressure on Wendy Williams

Jhene Aiko Performs “Pressure” on Wendy Williams

Jhene is still riding high off of the #1 debut of her album Souled Out. The LA native songstress takes to Wendy Williams stage, singing an acoustic “Pressure”. Sitting center stage on a barstool, her voice is a magnet, drawing all attention and energy towards her. It’s in these stripped down, raw moments that we  can truly appreciate her for her talents.
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Tea Instead of Coffee- British Soul in the Morning With Alice Russell [FULL SINGLE] @alicemcrussell

Tea Instead of Coffee- British Soul in the Morning With Alice Russell

Tea Instead of Coffee- British Soul in the Morning With Alice Russell

Alice Russell is another voice in the cadre of soulstars whose influence is rippling across the Atlantic. Her voice is mahogany deep with potent clarity. And the instrumentation on her EP is simple, but update. Three tracks deep yet enough to give you a sample of her honey sweet, this is most certainly a record worth spinning. It becomes available to the public on October 20th, but you can listen to the first track “I’m The Man, That Will Find You” below the jump!
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German Soul Martini – “Shaken Not Stirred” by Voodoo Princess [FULL ALBUM] @lacretba

German Soul Martini - Shaken Not Stirred byVoodoo Princess

German Soul Martini – “Shaken Not Stirred” by Voodoo Princess

Our European influenced soul music has been hailing from London. With the proliferation of Sam Sparro and Mary J. Blige‘s upcoming album, it seems that the British brand was here to stay. But now another country that is technically from across the pond is making a splash! Voodoo Princess is bringing so much soul, sass, and spark in this delicate and beautiful album Shaken Not Stirred. 

“It’s like Motown kissing Rock’n’Roll, heavily pregnant by James Bond, with a slight touch of jazz and elegant 60s flair!” Released in June 2014, Voodoo Princess’ debut album ‘Shaken Not Stirred’ reminisces the likes of Amy Winehouse, classic Motown and Stax acts like The Supremes, Otis Redding and contemporary retro soul-acts like Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.
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Foo Fighters Explores American Music in “Sonic Highways” [EXTENDED TRAILER] @HBO @foofighters

Foo Fighters Explores American Music in Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters Explores American Music in “Sonic Highways”

The dynamic rock band the Foo Fighters have recorded their latest album and it promises to be killer. In a way of heightening the influence of region on music development, they toured eight influential musical cities in America to make this nearly anthropological album. Documenting the music making process, they are releasing an 8-part series on HBO called Sonic Highways. In the conversations, two hip-hop pioneers and one modern Black soul rocker are a part of the mix. LL Cool J and Chuck D are both representing the hip hop angle, while Gary Clarke, Jr. brings his own fresh take to things. The series is set to premiere this Friday. You can watch a trailer for it below.
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ScHoolboy Q’s Mom’s Recipe for “Collard Greens” [FULL CLIP] @ScHoolBoyQ @jimmykimmel

 

ScHoolboy Q's Mom's Recipe for Collard Greens

ScHoolboy Q‘s Mom’s Recipe for “Collard Greens

Well, something like that! This video shows the rappers mom giving us some light laughter by rapping to his hit song “Collard Greens”. She was put up to this by Jimmy Kimmel on his segment “Words From Your Mother”, which shows the mother of rappers saying the lyrics to their son’s songs. Enjoy this lighthearted laugh below.
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“STN MTN” is Childish Gambino’s Mixtape Tribute to Home [FULL TAPE] @donaldglover

“STN MTN” is Childish Gambino‘s Mixtape Tribute to Home

The renaissance rapper’s latest mixtape is available and capturing our hearts. Gambino’s unique style is at once effervescent and biting. He has the unique ability to occupy this space that is both flighty-pop and serious-hip hop. And laced with great samples, this makes for more than pleasant listening! Download the whole mixtape below the jump!
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John Coltrane’s Last Concert Recording Available Decades Later @nprfreshair

John Coltrane's Last Concert Recording, Available Decades Later

John Coltrane‘s Last Concert Recording Available Decades Later

It’s been nearly 50 years since the final performance of John Coltrane. In November 1966, he had his last show at Temple University. By that point, Coltrane had lung cancer, but was still making significant strides in his career. The recording of the concert had never been available; until now. NPR’s Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews this latest album, and compares it to some of Coltrane’s earlier works. Listen to music samples and Whitehead’s review below.
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[RUMOR MILL] Details on the New Kanye West Album

RUMOR MILL -Details on the New Kanye West Album

Details on the New Kanye West Album

The rumor mill has been turning about Kanye West’s anticipated follow up to Yeezus. In Kanye’s prodigious (and problematic) career, he has been known for wasting no time in getting back to the studio. In fact, in just under 10 years of being a household name, he has released six solo albums and the two collaborative efforts of Watch the Throne and Cruel Summer. While we’ve heard of the new album as early as this summer with the GQ article, details have been scarce until now. G.O.O.D. Music‘s Malik Yusef has spoken up about the album, stating that it sounds like “a pair of Timberlands

“This album is different. It’s like a pair of Timberlands; like how Timberlands are not quite leather and not quite suede. It’s not the smooth, slick Chicago music sound we have right now and it’s not the ruggedness of just ‘hip-hop hip-hop hip-hop.’ We’re still working like a motherfucker. We’ve been all around the world [recording].”

Read the rest of the story below the jump
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[SLEPT ON SOUL]Madame X – Madame X by Michael Gonzales @gonzomike

Madame X - Madame X by Michael Gonzales

SLEPT ON SOUL!

Madame X – Madame X by Michael Gonzales

A look into the salacious, sultry, singin’, sista group

Back in the 1980s the girl group tradition was still kickin’ in stiletto heels. With the sexually charged trio Vanity 6 purring about being a “Nasty Girl” and the Mary Jane Girls up on the roof doing it “All Night Long,” those yesteryear hotties seemed to be embracing the post-seventies sexual liberation and hedonism of the ‘80s.
Still, the truth is, we don’t know much about what those fine femmes believed, because much like the singing “girls” that came before them, whether the Ronettes or Love Unlimited, girl groups rarely had much say in how they were portrayed. According to legend, Vanity came this close to being named Vagina and we all know what Rick James was smoking. Yet, while most girl-groups were created by men who wrote the lyrics, supplied the music and produced the sessions, Klymaxx was different. A real band founded by Compton born and raised drummer Bernadette Cooper in 1979, the group featured vocalist Lorena Porter, guitarist Cheryl Cooley, keyboardists Lynn Malsby and Robbin Grider and bassist Joyce Irby.

Signed to Solar Records, they were originally paired with outside producers and songwriters including label-mates Calloway and members of Lakeside. Yet, it was Minneapolis musicians Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, who contributed material to half of their second album Girls Will Be Girls, that would have the most creative impact on helping Klymaxx define their musical image.
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