On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, famed live music venue SOBs played host to the monthly BET Music Matters Showcase, a multi-platform campaign designed to highlight up-and-coming talent that the music network feels could potentially become “the next superstars.” The genres vary from hip-hop to neo-soul, giving audience members a diverse listening experience. And when it comes to determining who’ll the next superstars, BET may be right on the money. Read more of this post
Artist:Jaheim Title: Age Ain’t a Factor Released: May 9, 2013 Genre(s): R&B, Soul Hood: New Brunswick, New Jersey USA Label: Atlantic Records Social:Twitter
From his forthcoming LP, Appreciation Day, due out in September, R&B crooner Jaheim returns to the scene with an ode to women of all ages, Age Aint A Factor. We heard this solid mid tempo cut this morning on The Steve Harvey Morning Show. During the interview with the crew, Jaheim revealed that he has been absent from music for the last two years due to the loss of his grandmother, which hit him hard, and a police brutality incident. The incident, Jaheim claims he was maced and his vocal chords were impacted. We are happy that he is “finding his way back” to music. If this new track is any indication, we are all in for a treat this fall. For now, enjoy.
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Jaheim – Age Ain't A Factor [Official Audio]
More about Jaheim from AllMusic.com:
A multi-talented artist, Jaheim is most famous for his R&B vocals, although he has also rapped, modeled, and acted, and appeared in Source and other hip-hop publications. Hip-hop balladeer Jaheim Hoagland hails from New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he grew up in the 176 Memorial Parkway Homes public housing project. Misfortune hit early: his father died in 1981, when he was only two years old. Coming from a musical family helped him overcome the tragedy and the many pitfalls of his environment. His grandfather, Victor Hoagland, sang with many top groups, including the Drifters, and their family reunions were big songfests. Singing at family reunions and local talent shows preceded a successful tryout at the Apollo Theater’s notoriously tough talent show. The smooth crooner, who sounded like a hybrid of Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross, won the contest three times when he was 15. FULL BIO
Title: Twelve Reasons to Die Artist: Ghostface Killah Label: Soul Temple Records / RED Genre(s): Hip-Hop Released: April 16, 2013
A concept album album based on a revenge-themed horror comic book, Twelve Reasons to Die from Ghostface Killah is vintage Wu—inventive rhymes paired with classic production.
The story behind Twelve Reasons is an amalgamation of Italian giallo and blaxploitation: Tony Starks (GFK’s alter ego) is an enforcer for a Mafia crime family. After striking out on his own and falling for his ex-employer’s daughter, Starks is murdered and his remains are melted into vinyl LPs that resurrect his vengeful soul when played. Think J.D.’s Revenge meets The Don is Dead.
Surely this will not be a revelation to anyone familiar with the music that’s come from the Odd Future frontman the past few years. Yet despite a predilection for juvenile antics and shocking lyrics, Tyler is unquestionably a gifted artist, one who’s continually growing as evidenced on his third studio album, Wolf.
Thematically, Wolf is a bit of a departure from Tyler’s previous efforts Bastard and Goblin. While the album is just as dark (if not darker) than its predecessors, it’s less violent and less reliant on shock value. It’s slightly ironic that Tyler abandoned the “therapy session” framework from his earlier albums as Wolf seems to be his most cathartic work to date. Consider this his My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Grammy-nominated R&B crooner, Brian McKnight dropped a new studio album last month. Although many might consider McKnight to be among some contemporary R&B legends, More Than Words falls short of being a stellar album. Brian McKnight’s vocals are subpar on More Than Words. McKnight whines throughout the album and his voice lacks power; this makes the album difficult to listen to for prolonged amounts of time.
The production is better quality than the singing on More Than Words. McKnight draws on the sounds of 1980s R&B greats. The influence of The Gap Band and Earth, Wind, Fire are heard on “Don’t Stop,” and “Letsomebodyluvu,” and “Ididntmeantoturnuout,” makes you think of Stevie Wonder. Although many of the songs have sounds reminiscent of yesteryears, lyrics referring to Facebook and Instagram reminds any listener that this album was definitely crafted in 2013.
Perhaps the most tolerable song on More Than Words is the last track “The Front The Back The Side,” featuring Niko McKnight—Brian’s son. “The Front” combined great production with catchy lyrics and smooth sultry vocals. If McKnight would have stuck to the formula used to create the last track throughout the entire album, McKnight might have seen an expanded fan base.
Tracks We Like: She Doesn’t Know, The Front The Back The Side
Title: Hotel California Artist: Tyga Label: Young Money / Cash Money / Republic Records Genre(s): Hip-Hop Released: April 9, 2013
Okay, let’s get this out of the way first: it was a huge mistake for Young Money rapper Tyga to name his third album Hotel California. For those old enough to recall the classic Eagles album it references, it positions Tyga’s effort in an unenviable and inevitable position of comparison despite the fact the two LPs are in different musical genres; for those too young to know the Eagles’ album exists, the reference is completely lost.
Check this short documentary featuring some of the masters of the 4/4 and a few of their favorite tracks from this awesome sub-genre of house music. These cats really feel the music and talk a bit about the differences between hip hop and house music. For true soulheads, this is a must watch.
Shout out to our man in the Bay DJ Dedan! We were happy to see him in this joint. Enjoy! Read more of this post
We are happy to present this short special on the Hammond Organ, which follows our recent obsession with the amazing instrument. Earlier this week, we brought you an incredible album stream but Wayne Carter & The Organ Twisters and an informative German documentary on the jazz organist Jimmy Smith, who was a virtuoso on the instrument. Enjoy! Read more of this post
Artist: Slow Nights Title: Sweet Harmony Released: March 26, 2012
Kudos to soulhead contributor C.T. Northrup for hipping us to this soulful straight ahead R&B track by Slow Nights from their recent album, Cosmos. The song has an old school feel and features solid male and female vocals which take you back to mid-80s classic soul radio. Well done! Read more of this post
We are very excited to bring you the premiere of living soul legend Omar‘s new video for his single, The Man, from his forthcoming LP of the same name. We recently brought you the single performed live in Italy and are really happy to see the vision of the song come to life. We can’t wait for the new album. Enjoy! Read more of this post
Unless you have been under a rock, many of you have heard about hip hop soul artist Lauryn Hill‘s recent issues and potential jail time for failing to pay taxes for several years. Within the past week, Sony has stepped up to the plate with a record deal for a limited number of songs from the renowned performer. Read more of this post
While this documentary of unknown origin does not include English subtitles, we learned a ton about this amazing organist, Jimmy Smith, who revolutionized the way the instrument was played. As we continue to delve in the Hammond organ, its sound, and its influence in classic soul and funk, we found this doc extremely entertaining. Enjoy! Read more of this post
After really getting into the Hammond funk and boogaloo soul of Wayne Carter, which we introduced this morning, our entire office was buzzing with energy looking to learn even more about this sound, which was so infectious and influential in the 60s. Enjoy this short documentary on the history of this amazing instrument. Enjoy! Read more of this post
Artist: Wayne Carter & The Organ Twisters Title: Wayne Carter & The Organ Twisters Genre: Soul, R&B, Jazz, Boogaloo
Label: Tramp Records Released: March 13, 2013 (from original 60s 45 masters) You Will Like This if You Like: Sharon Jones, The Daptones, Booker T. & The MGs
Groovy, soulful, funky and right in the pocket, this made our necks hurt in the soulhead office. This is simply true school R&B with an emphasis on the B. Wayne Carter and the Organ Twisters deliver great song writing and personal perspective, which make this recording stand out. Support the real y’all! In the meantime, put on your neck brace and enjoy this one! Woo hoo! This is one fun record! Read more of this post
Artist: De La Soul Title: Get Away (feat. the Spirit of the Wu) Hood: Long Island, New York USA Genre(s): Golden Era Hip-Hop, Boom Bap Released: April 17, 2013 Social:FacebookTwitter Read more of this post
Earlier this month, we were pleased to witness a very soulful performance by internationally known singer Imani Uzuri at The Blue Note in Greenwich Village in New York City on April 1, 2013. Her spellbinding performance (which we captured in pictures), showcased her remarkable vocal abilities and re-introduced her critically acclaimedGypsy Diaries project to those in attendance. We have been friends and fans of Imani’s since the before the turn of this century and look forward to many more years of wonderful sounds from this powerful sister.