Vivian Green Reinvigorates Her Sound on New Album ‘VIVID’ by Christopher A. Daniel [INTERVIEW + FULL ALBUM STREAM] @iamviviangreen @KWAMEDIDIT @Journalistorian


Vivian Green is more than the sad girl that sings ‘Emotional Rollercoaster’ or ‘Gotta Go, Gotta Leave.’ My sole mission period is to let people see she is better than one single.” This is the recurring point that polka dot-wearing hip-hop legend-turned producer and composer Kwamé (Holland) makes anytime he’s in his zone talking about the R&B vocalist’s fifth studio LP, VIVID. Read more of this post

Raye 6 – High Hopes – Lonely People @Raye6 [FULL STREAM]


We love Raye 6 for so many reasons.  First, she can sing.  Second, she has mad creative flavor.  Third, she lives and creates in Brooklyn.  Fourth, she’s F–king dope.  Fifth, she’s a little naughty.  Sixth…ok, we could go on and on.

Although we first fell for her vibe with the amazing Not Gonna Be (Forever), we have really enjoyed most of her work since then.  So that being said, we love this record even though it is a little sad and almost unimaginable that someone would not pick up the phone with this amazingly talented woman on the line.  Who ever this person is, Raye, you don’t need them.  It is them, not you.  :-)  Raye6

For the rest of you who are not UP as they say on her impressive groove, stop reading and push play below to hear this previously unreleased track from this powerful and talented sister.

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Stevie Wonder Improvises & Impresses on ‘Soul Train’ (1973) [FULL VIDEO] @SoulTrain @CENTRICTV


Call us unabashedly nostalgic, but we cannot get enough of this four decades-old clip of the masterful Stevie Wonder on Soul Train that originally aired on January 13, 1973.* As he always has, the “8th Wonder of the World” dazzles with an energized performance of one of his myriad classics, “Superstition,” as well as an improvised piano hymn to Soul Train that reinforces his innate penchant for sublime songcraft. Read more of this post

#SleptOnSoul: Shara Nelson’s ‘What Silence Knows’ by Michael A. Gonzales @gonzomike


Singer/songwriter Shara Nelson, who began her career as the first female vocalist to be down with electro-dub b-boys Massive Attack on the Bristol posse’s masterful 1991 debut album Blue Lines, has become the lost woman of trip-hop. Throughout the cocaine-fueled ‘90s, her voice could be heard crooning from the speakers of most cocktail lounges in Manhattan, but that was back when bars were still smoky and Massive Attack was the chill-out soundtrack for the end of the millennium. Nelson, who reminded me of Dusty Springfield – though with more grits and gravy – would go on to become the alternative Black chick of the moment. Read more of this post

Al B. Sure – TVOne Unsung [FULL EPISODE] @TVOne @OfficialAlBSure

We are not sure how Al B. Sure could have been truly unsung given the string of hits he had in the late ’80s and even success into the 90s.  At this point, Teddy Riley and the gang could do no wrong and Al B. Sure blew the socks off of every teenage girl in the hood and the suburbs.  Although his vocal chops were borderline, he had a great look (read: light skin-ded brothers rize up) and a super producer who could make nearly anyone sound amazing.  We are really looking forward to this amazing episode.  Enjoy!

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#LongPlayLove: Kanye West’s ‘Late Registration’ – Celebrating 10 Years by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @kanyewest @Roc_A_Fella @justin_chadwick


Happy 10th Anniversary to Kanye West’s sophomore album Late Registration, originally released August 30, 2005.

A handful of years before we were inundated with the latest news and shenanigans of Mr. Kardashian, paparazzi & gossip magnet, there was simply Kanye West. Producer turned producer-emcee, plain and simple. Even before his first-class tickets to fame, fortune and media infamy were punched forever, Kanye had seemingly always possessed a larger-than-life presence, replete with a super-sized dose of ambition and arrogance. But there was indeed a time earlier in his career—and not too long ago, mind you—when the quality of Kanye’s musical output superseded his cocksure, ubiquitous persona. Read more of this post

#LongPlayLove: LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ – Celebrating 25 Years by Justin Chadwick [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @llcoolj @marleyskills @DefJamRecords @justin_chadwick


Happy 25th Anniversary to LL Cool J’s album Mama Said Knock You Out, originally released August 27, 1990.

If you have young children in your home, chances are better than good that you absorb a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on your tolerance threshold) dose of Sesame Street on a regular, if not daily basis. My 3-year old adores the show, and it’s admittedly one of the very few children’s programs that doesn’t test my patience each time it’s on. This may be partly due to my firsthand familiarity with the show, having also grown up with Sesame Street as an integral part of my early adolescence, as I suspect most of my generation can attest to as well.

However, what has really attracted me to Sesame Street recently is the impressive and eclectic array of singers & musicians the show invites to perform original songs or modified, kid-friendlier versions of their popular tunes. One of the more memorable performances that still surfaces on the show periodically is LL Cool J’s “An Addition Expedition.” Upon seeing it for the first time about a year ago, my ceaselessly inquisitive, information-sponge of a daughter asked me “Who is that?” I explained that he is a very famous and talented hip-hop artist, one that her Daddy grew up listening to years and years ago. She considered it for a moment, nodded her head, and then concluded “I like him.” Read more of this post

#YoMTVRapsTBT: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth Perform “T.R.O.Y.” & “The Creator” Medley (1992) [FULL VIDEO] @PeteRock #CLSmooth


Though Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth’s musical partnership regrettably proved an ephemeral one, the dynamic duo’s output from 1991 to 1994 yielded some of the greatest, most enduring records in hip-hop history. 1992’s Mecca and The Soul Brother is universally regarded as their paramount achievement, though 1991’s debut EP All Souled Out and 1994’s swansong LP The Main Ingredient also qualify as classic material. Read more of this post

The 7 Greatest Prince Covers by Michael A. Gonzales [FULL STREAMS] @Prince3EG @LivingColour @TheMaryChain @george_clinton @TheDangelo @herbiehancock @latoyajackson @Joshua_Redman @gonzomike


Although I love Chaka Khan with all my heart, if I never hear her 1984 cover of Prince’s “I Feel for You” ever again, I’m cool. As far as Prince remakes, thirty-one years after it was originally recorded, it remains the most popular. One of the signs of a wonderful song, besides your fans humming and singing it constantly, is when others can’t wait to cover it. Writing eternal material during his ‘80s and ’90s heyday, Prince has since become the equivalent of Cole Porter or Burt Bacharach and Hal David for a new generation that still appreciates perfect pop. Read more of this post

Method Man – ‘The Meth Lab’ [FULL ALBUM STREAM] @ghostfacekillah @methodman

This morning, we learned from Ghostface Killah‘s Facebook page that his Wu comrade, Method Man, just dropped a new joint. Of course, we had to deliver it to everyone in the soulhead Universe first as we listen in ourselves. Apparently, along with acting, Meth has been corralling some of his best buds (pun intended) to march out some new tunes. He collabs with a couple Wu partners but really focuses on shining a light on some new cats like Hanz On and Hue Huf, among others. The real treat is hearing Meth and Redman flow together again PLUS they have provided instrumentals through Spotify so you can create your own cuts. This dawg day of Summer has just been made fresher! Read more of this post

B.o.B. Pushes the Creative Envelope on New Album ‘Psycadelik Thoughtz’ by Christopher A. Daniel [INTERVIEW + FULL STREAM] @bobatl @Hannahfyata @Journalistorian

Difference is an essential ingredient that Bobby Ray Simmons likes to include in his musical recipes. Known on-stage by his alter ego, B.o.B., the multi-talented, 26-year-old native of Decatur, GA has built an extraordinary career out of distorting and melding together pop, hip-hop, rock, electronica, funk, soul, folk and doo-wop into savory and sonically intriguing concoctions. Read more of this post

Gary Clark Jr. – ‘The Story Of Sonny Boy Slim’ Album Trailer [FULL VIDEO] @GaryClarkJr

We really dig Gary Clark Jr., who is making quite a splash in the business for himself.  He had a great weekend in Brooklyn and made the uninitiated pay attention.  Enjoy this preview from his forthcoming LP due out September 11, 2015. Read more of this post

Rachel Foxx Strikes Gold with New Single “Fall for Me” by Jay Fingers [INTERVIEW + STREAM] @MSRACHELFOXX @KIDBASSMUSIC @TheJasonJulian @JayFingers

Rachel Foxx has struck gold.

The London-based singer/songwriter is gearing up for the release of her long-awaited new EP Gold, and has just dropped the first single, “Fall for Me.”

As exemplified by the lead single, Gold promises to showcase Foxx’s artistic growth. “I feel more confident and comfortable with my art,” the smoky voiced chanteuse tells soulhead. She goes on further to explain that Gold is “a bit more refined [than her eponymous first EP].  A lot of the things I wrote on my first EP, I wrote when I was, like, 18 years old. On Gold, a lot of the music is newer and developed. It’s still got the same feel though, same instruments, same concepts.” Read more of this post

British Soul Icon Omar Dazzles with New Brixton, England Based Video for ‘Simplify (Rootickal Re Twist)’ [FULL VIDEO] @omarlyefookmbe @luciafiore

Omar is one of the most gifted vocalists of our time.  He continues to grow and evolve as an artist in multiple mediums and we are pleased to offer our support for his newly released video for “Simplify,” one of the standout tracks from his most recent LP, The Man.  Flowing effortlessly over a smooth roots reggae vibe, Omar’s amazing baritone takes you to a special place. Enjoy! Read more of this post

‘The Eephus’ EP Suggests Wonderful Sounds to Come from Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Records [REVIEW + FULL STREAM] @JanelleMonae @Jidenna @Deepcotton @StBeautyband @RomanGianArthur @wondaland


With just two albums under her belt, Janelle Monáe is already widely and deservedly regarded as a musical visionary who possesses charisma, confidence and style in vast abundance. In the nearly two years since the release of her most recent LP The Electric Lady, Monáe has been diligently channeling her creative passions toward something greater than her own career: Wondaland Records. After a few years of running the imprint, Monáe’s label inked a development deal with Epic/Sony this past February. In celebrating the partnership, Epic CEO L.A. Reid adamantly explained that “Janelle is a boss! She’s the first female label boss that I’ve met who is like P. Diddy and Jay Z and Andre Harrell. She’s the first female cut from that cloth.” High praise indeed from an industry legend. Read more of this post

FKA twigs Drops Striking New EP and NSFW Short Film [FULL STREAM & VIDEO] @FKAtwigs @bootsonboots @youngturksrec


One year and change since FKA twigs unleashed her universally lauded debut album LP1, the multi-dimensional British singer-songwriter has returned in magnetic form with a new EP entitled M3LL155X (pronounced “Melissa”). Produced by the trio of tic, Cy An and Boots, the 5-track EP—her third extended play released in three years—is propelled by the coalescence of atmospheric, Bjork-like soundscapes and Twigs’ provocative, mind-stroking lyrics. Read more of this post

Remembering Yo! MTV Raps’ Final Episode 20 Years Later by Justin Chadwick [FULL VIDEO] @FABNEWYORK @MrEdLover #DoctorDré @MTV @justin_chadwick


Went to Short Dog’s house / they was watching Yo! MTV Raps
– Ice Cube, “It Was a Good Day” (1993)

For most of us who grew up in the 1980s & 1990s, MTV was the linchpin of our musical discovery and subsistence, an indispensable part of our daily existence. It was the epitome of appointment viewing for me, as I vividly recall spending hours upon hours of my pre-teen and teenage years transfixed by the images and sounds the network spun in constant rotation.

Beyond its staple music videos, MTV’s original programming—both music-focused and otherwise—was undeniably addictive. 120 Minutes. Club MTV. House of Style. MTV Unplugged. The State. MTV News 1515. Even the first handful of seasons of The Real World. I devoured these programs, primarily because most of them were connected to the celebration of music, whether directly or peripherally. Read more of this post

Revisiting the Top 5 Paisley Park Albums, Beyond Prince’s Own by Miles Marshall Lewis @furthermucker


Curtis Mayfield founded his own Curtom Records in 1968. The Beatles founded Apple Records the same year, when Steve Jobs was just 13. Sly Stone started Stone Flower in 1970, etc., etc. So on April 22, 1985, when Prince and the Revolution’s Around the World in a Day ushered in the Warner Bros. Records-distributed vanity label Paisley Park Records, there was an air of inevitability about it. Consider too that albums by The Time, Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6 all came stamped as products of The Starr Company (the nonexistent enterprise of the nonexistent Jamie Starr, Prince’s early ’80s pseudonym) and the certainty of Prince’s own official imprint was written in the Starrs. Read more of this post

Talib Kweli Surprises, Delights and Inspires with New Album ‘F**k the Money’ [FREE DOWNLOAD] @TalibKweli


Talib Kweli has unveiled a brand new album entitled Fuck the Money, and appropriately enough, he has generously made it available to download and enjoy for free exclusively via his Kweli Club online store. Throughout the album’s eleven tracks, the Brooklyn-bred emcee waxes eloquent and introspective about the moral bankruptcy inherent within the government, justice system and financial sector, while condemning our country’s rampant obsession with materialism in its various forms. The album features guest contributions from Miguel, Styles P, Kendra Ross, and Casper Nyovest, among others. Read more of this post

Immerse Yourself in the Smooth, Soulful Sounds of Noah [FULL STREAMS] @noahmusic_

If you peruse the depths of the inter-web, there often lie undiscovered, underappreciated talent. Fitting this description is Los Angeles native, Noah. The singer-songwriter keeps a low-profile SoundCloud page full of vocal-driven, trance-inducing soul music. There are no signs of a full-length project from the talented up-and-comer just yet, but these tracks here are certainly enough to hold us over…for now. Read more of this post

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