Dynas – The Apartment coming soonMiami, Fl emcee, Dynas (Rawkus 50 2007) has never gotten his proper shine, but that may all change this year with the release of “The Apartment” LP. The new album will be released on Badgramma/BBE in October of this year. So far, guest appearances will include Slick Rick, Ty Phoenix, Little Brother, J. Dilla, DJ Spinna, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Illustrate, and more to be announced.

Check out his banger, “Worldwide” from his 2007 album, Me Myself and Rhymes.

SHOOK MAGAZINE ISSUE 1

There’s a new UK magazine (THANKFULLY!) that will feel the void left by Straight No Chaser (R.I.P.). This magazine is being compared to another stellar magazine, Waxpoetics. Their first issue is now available on newstands, at DustyGroove or you can purchase it at http://www.shook.fm/.

about Shook Magazine and Issue 1:

“a brand new publication inspired by the five elements, the four noble truths, three – the magic number, forever two stepping (never half) but still always on the 1.
yes indeed, as we proceed. welcome to shook, uk-based but with an international outlook, representing not just the vibrations of the melodic underground, but preaching peace and overstanding in this world of madness.
in issue 1 we get up close & personal with dj muro (the king of diggin), touch down in detroit and vibe with guilty simpson, black milk, denaun porter and invincible; chat basslines in the studio with benga, track down elusive french street artist invader, get loose with leroy burgess, feature exclusive photos from the new york downtown scene by paula court, and relay some uplifting musical undercurrents in ethiopia from maga bo and in belize from andy palacio.
if that wasn’t enough, we have columns from benji b, paul camo? / WE ARE… and heatwave, in our ladies section we speak to simphiwe dana and yukimi nagano, while our charts and reviews section will let you know what’s fresh for ’08. ”


KRS ONE signs to DUCK DOWN RECORDS

KRS ONE is a significant figure in the Hip-Hop community and is often credited by critics and other Hip-Hop artists as epitomizing the “essence” of an emcee. It is no surprise then, that KRS-ONE decided it would make the most sense to combine forces with Buckshot, of Black Moon and record a new album on Duck Down Records. Buckshot shares similar philosophies as KRS-ONE, one of which is the notion of the “Stop the Violence Movement,” which KRS-ONE is actively involved with.
KRS-ONE turned to Dru Ha and Buckshot (co-owners of Duck Down Records) to bring a certain sound and production to this upcoming project, a request that Duck Down Records Co-President Dru Ha was honored to fulfill “To say we are honored and humbled would be an understatement. Buck and I have known KRS since our early days in the game, back when we were recording at D&D Studios and he directly influenced the name of the label with his song “Duck Down” (sucka Mc’s Duck). He was also instrumental in one of Buck’s first and biggest records as Da Beatminerz flipped the “How Many MC’s” vocal sample from KRS. But with the nostalgic feelings of KRS being one of my favorite MC’s growing up to the side, it’s KRS’s continued relevance of today that’s most exciting. KRS has a message in his lyrics, a gladiator performer who reps the culture and posses all the qualities that an MC should embody: Meaningful lyrics, mastery of the flow, intense creativity and a ferocious live show. I know how much respect Buck has for KRS, so I can only imagine how this will elevate his game. It’s Old School to those that don’t keep up with the current works and movements but to me, I would call it Now School.”
Three tracks have already been recorded and the chemistry between the two artists is very natural. Buckshot described the work as “CONFLOSATION, even when KRS ONE is flowing he’s having a conversation with his audience. This collaboration with KRS-ONE is going to be an album full of Hip-Hop conversation, ranging from New World Order, to socially conscious topics such as unemployment, poverty, and politics. At the same time, we will speak to the streets, as that is what I’m known to do. It’s a dream to be able to work with KRS-ONE. Before I even began rapping that is who I checked for. I kept the “Blue Print” album on me at all times. That is all I listened to for an entire summer.”
Check for the KRS-ONE & Buckshot’s album later this year on Duck Down Records.

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Smirnoff is remixing three classic hip-hop songs for its Smirnoff Signature Mix Series, one of which is Common’s “The Light” from his 2000 album, “Like Water for Chocolate.” I would hardly consider “The Light,” to be classic, but a Just Blaze remix would sound nice, right? I’ll let you be the judge. Check it out here

Common w/Marsha Ambrosius(Floetry) – The Light 2008 (It’s Love)

Pete Rock’s NY’s Finest will be released 2-26-2008. Here’s one more reason to cop that!

Pete Rock & Rell – That’s What I Am talking About

Erykah Badu’s Nu Amerykah is dropping 2-26-2008. Here’s one more reason to go get that…in addition to the fact that she covers Birmingham’s own Eddie Kendricks’ “My People.”

Erykah Badu – Me

The Roots finally have a release date: April 29, 2008. Black Thought is in great form on this first taste of “Rising Down.” Check It Out

The Roots – 75 Bars (Black’s Reconstruction)

Your arms are too short…

February 24, 2008

Shaheed – Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self
Shaheed returns with his sophomore album, Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self, an album that reminds you of why you fell in love with hip hop. Topics range from love, obligatory emcee braggadocio, to the current state of hip hop. Shaheed hails back to a time when an emcee was not just a lyricist, but also a party rocker; interspersing old school party chants within his intricate rhymes. Bringing a message of positivity and Islam, you’ll hear no mic nonsense here.

At times jazz heavy, the self proclaimed “Jazzhole” selected beats that your favorite emcees can’t seem to find (maybe they should come to Birmingham).The majority of the production is handled by Supreme, with March the 5th and Heron Sparks contributing as well. The title track is a reworking of Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s T.R.O.Y., which Supreme augments nicely with some great keys work over the infamous Tom Scott sample. Shaheed reunites with longtime collaborator Heron Sparks for “You Just Might Like,” a track that’s guaranteed to bring the subconscious head nod great hip hop tracks are known for. The listener is invited to hear Shaheed engage in verbal gymnastics AND go to the skating rink on California producer March the 5th’s “Wherever U At.”

A solid album from start to finish, Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self promotes exactly that. This is an album that’s guaranteed to move body, mind and soul…and remind you that Hip-Hop isn’t dead. Pick it up at www.myspace.com/shaheedtawheed

Standout Tracks: Wherever U At (March the 5th) Good and Bad / Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self / Breath Control (Supreme) You Just Might Like (Heron Sparks)

Pick up a copy of Health, Wealth & Knowledge of Self and see Shaheed perform live this Wednesday 2-27-2008 at The Latte Lounge (Birmingham, Alabama).

Shaheed – You Just Might Like

The night began with a performance from Sugashack Music artist, Melissa Young. We already know from her album, “Just Up The Road,” that the girl can sing, but she sounds even better in person. Melissa had never been to Birmingham before but by the time she left, she had the audience eating out of the palm of her hands. Armed with great looks, charm, and the soul in her music, Melissa really connected with the crowd, commmanding an applause after every song. Her performance of “Rock With Me,” a song created from her love of Betty Wright, went over especially well with the crowd as she actually walked the floor and created a dialogue with audience members. By the time she performed her lead single, “Just A Girl,” she had the crowd lining up to buy her album, proving that she’s not “just a girl,” she’s a star that’s on the rise!

The headliner for the night was Motown/Universal recording artist, Trina Broussard. She drove to Birmingham from Atlanta the night before and practiced with a pick-up band of Birmingham all star musicians that had her music sounding stellar. Her voice of course, is wonderful, but she invited audience members onstage to perform Roberts Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” The highlight of the night, however, is when she sang her cover of Minnie Riperton’s “Inside My Love” from the 1997 Love Jones soundtrack. Once again, Birmingham concert goers were so enamored with her voice that they immediately lined up to purchase her album even before she made it off of the stage.

Make sure you join us in March for the next Hot 107.7 $10 Concert Series. Artists TBA

Dwele’s Cheating! (Gasp)

February 22, 2008

New Dwele produced by long time Cali producer G-1 from his yet untitled new album. “I’m Cheatin” is more of the same from Dwele. Chords and talk/singing. It’s a nice track nonetheless. Check it out

Spell Caster

February 21, 2008

RIP Eunice Kathleen Waymon, BKA Nina Simone (February 21, 1933April 21, 2003) Grammy Award-nominated American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist.
Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is generally classified as a jazz musician. She preferred the term “Black Classical Music” herself. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles besides her classical basis, such as jazz, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Her vocal style is characterized by intense passion, breathiness, and tremolo. Sometimes known as the High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness or tragic melancholy. These fluctuations also characterized her own personality and personal life, worsened by a bipolar disorder with which she was diagnosed in the mid-sixties, but was kept secret until 2004
Here’s an excerpt from Nina Simone’s autobiography, “I Put a Spell on You,” about her first performance experience at Midtown Bar & Grill:
“The only public performances I had ever given were classical recitals, and all my training in presentation was for the concert stage…It wasn’t hard to fit it to the improvisation because I used my voice as a third layer , complementing the other two layers, my right and left hands. When I got to the parts where I used elements of popular songs I would simply sing the lyric and play around with it, repeating single lines over again, repeating verses, changing the order of the words. It was fun.”

Nina Simone – Sinnerman

Speaking of Fun…

Melissa Young Takes Over Birmingham!


My girl, Fiona Bloom, tells me that Melissa ripped Atlanta a new one and I believe her. Melissa has a strong voice and soul to spare. With two shows in one week, you gotsta make at least one…for your benefit!
Melissa Young performs twice this week:

Thursday at The Nick with opening act Sharrif Simmons performing an acoustic set.
The Nick / 2514 10th Ave S/ B’ham 35205

Friday at Club Quincy with Trina Broussard and DJ Rahdu
Club Quincy / 1000 John Rodger Drive

Melissa Young – Chinese Torture

Trina Broussard – Inside My Love

(picture posted not actual album cover)
As soon as I put this album on, I knew that I would find a treat worth posting. Entirely written and produced by DJ Rogers, “It’s Good to be Alive” (1975 RCA) is a treasure to behold. “It’s Good to Be Alive” is Roger’s first album and was anchored by the single, “Say You Love Me.” Also, included on this album is the sample that Common used for BE’s, “Faithful.”

“Love You Forever,” is a mellow mid tempo track with a funky bassline. He’s professing love for the mother of his child (again), DJ Rogers Jr. Jr followed his father’s footsteps writing for the likes of Faith Evans and Carl Thomas, and eventually releasing a “neo soul” album, Emosoul, in 2002. Rogers’ voice, writing and production pool together to create a sense of sincerity unparalleled in today’s music world: I promise you love, baby, without pain / no mental strain / everything to gain / Baby, no rain! Come on people, love the one you with tonight, Happy Love Day!

DJ Rogers – Love You Forever

S.Fly of the legendary Birmingham hip hop group, The Red Light District, returns with a new single, “Fallin,” from his upcoming album “The Birth of Blaq Angel”. “Fallin” is the humorous story of an unsuspecting club-goer that “macks” a B-Girl that turns out to be every man’s fantasy and more (than he can handle). Production is handled by Birmingham Uber–Producer, Supreme, who compliments S.Fly’s sing song flow with sparse production (deep drums, keys , snare). The track is infectious and will have you falling in line to pick up your copy of “The Birth of Blaq Angel” once it’s released.

S.Fly – Fallin’

Shaheed of the Unseen Ummah will be releasing a new album this month with the majority of the production handled by Supreme. Keep checking back here for more details…

30 minutes for Dill Withers

February 10, 2008

1. The Escorts – I Can’t Stand To See You Cry – The Best of The Escorts – Priority

2. Dilla – Don’t Cry – Donuts – Stones Throw
3. Dilla; Dwele – Dime Piece(Remix) – The Shining – BBE/Beat Gen
4. Dilla – Shake It Down – Welcome 2 Detroit – BBE
5. D’angelo – Playa Playa – Voodoo – Virgin
6. Dilla – Dreamy – Vintage Instrumentals – Bling 47
7. Erykah Badu – … & On – Mama’s Gun -Motown
8. Sylvia – Sweet Stuff – Pillow Talk: The Sensuous Sounds of Sylvia – Rhino / Wea
9. Dilla – Crushin’ – Ruff Draft – Stones Throw
10. Slum Village; D’angelo – Tell Me – Fantastic Vol.2 – Goodvibe
11. Common – Nag Champa – Like Water For Chocolate – MCA
12. Jaylib – Starz – Champion Sound – Stones Throw
13. Dabrye – Game Over Instrumental- Game Over VLS – Ghostly Int’l
14. Spacek – Eve (Dilla Remix) – Eve VLS – Universal/Island
15. Keith Murray – The Rhyme (Dilla remix Instrumental)w/Dabrye; Phat Kat; Dilla – Game Over
16. Bilal; Mos Def – Reminisce – 1st Born Second – Interscope
17. Dilla – Yesterday – Jay Love Japan – Operation Unknown
18. A Tribe called Quest – Jam – Beats Rhyme and Life – Jive
19. The Pharcyde – Runnin’ Labcabincalifornia – Delicious Vinyl
20. Dilla – U-Luv – Donuts – Stones Throw

R.I.P. Dilla. Since Jay Dee’s passing in 2006, DJs have been releasing mixes/compilations of his music nonstop. Normally, what you’ll hear are more of the hip hop cuts, but I wanted to showcase more of the soulful tracks he’s produced. We interviewed Dwele shortly after Dilla passed and he said, “You’ve probably nodded your head to more Dilla tracks than you realize,” so make sure you check out his discography. Enjoy!