With somber horns, courtesy of the legendary Allan Barnes of the Blackbyrds, and sentimental keys, Oddisee’s production sets the perfect backdrop for Finale on “A Pipe Dream And A Promise” as he provides listeners a mirror into his mind and an explanation into the meaning behind the title of his album. Finale raps, “My mother, my grandma, my grandfather, my brother/ My sister, my girl, my landlord/ The fans, and my compadres/ I promise the world to y’all and come up short/ Every time; my chase ain’t over.” By the time you get to the chorus, with Monica Blaire singing “Thank you, for believing in me,” it becomes clear Finale is holding nothing back as he details his struggles and motivation for success. As Finale himself says, “What’s realer than that?”A Pipe Dream And A Promise is now available everywhere.

Finale – A Pipe Dream and A Promise

After releasing North By Northwest (2005) and Dead Letter Perfect in 2007 (which have earned SoulStice features XXL Magazine, The Source, The Tavis Smiley Show, Urb and many key urban publications and websites), SoulStice returns with Beyond Borders, which SoulStice dubs an “international concept album.” As SoulStice explains “the project is a collaboration between myself and Belgian beatmaker, SBe, who provides all of the instrumental music for the album. As far as the vocals, the songs are collaborations between myself and many of my favorite artists from around the world. These songs and the ideas they contain were the result of studio sessions in Maryland, Belgium, Chicago, Paris, New York and many other places, late nights at SBe’s house in Ghent, photo sessions, international phone calls and text messages, and long flights overseas to perform in Europe, Japan and Mexico.” Beyond Borders will be released in June 2009 and will feature appearances from G.L.C., Oddisee, Kev Brown, Supastition, Wordsmith and Zap Mama and is entirely produced by SBe.

Soulstice – Unfold featuring Oddisse

With Kero One’s recently released sophomore LP Early Believers receiving high acclaim and great reviews, the Bay Area-based rapper and producer is staying busy. Already back at work in the studio, Kero, whose production skills are featured throughout Early Believers, was hit up by DJ Deckstream to remix Talib Kweli’s “Keep It In The Pocket” for Soundtracks 1.5, a compilation project also featuring remix production from the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff. Up until now this remix was only available exclusively in Japan. For fans of Kero living stateside, this remix will serve as an extra-special treat.

Talib Kweli – Keep It In The Pocket (Kero One Remix)

Foreign Exchange: TAWIAH

April 29, 2009

Over the years, Europe has produced some of the most talented artists. When you think of Europe soul, you think instantly of Soul II Soul,Heatwave,and Amy Winehouse; to name a few. However, when I think of an inspiring act from the soul genre to follow from Europe, I think of Beverly Tawiah. She goes by the moniker TAWIAH and she is a dope singer hailing from London,UK. Tawiah is a very corky and interesting soul singer. She possesses so much soul yet her lyrics and music are fun. Although she is not well known in the States,Tawiah is no stranger to exposure and notoriety. She has worked and performed with big names in the UK such as producer Mark Ronson and Mark De Clive-Lowe. Tawiah gives praises to her inspirations such Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, and Erykah Badu. The 20 something year old singer/songwriter released her Ep In Jodi’s Bedroom and has turned heads in the underground and is a must have. With comical and Cameo sounding songs like “Another One” and the electro-soul sounding “Broken Hearted“, you’d wish this six song EP wouldn’t leave you hanging. I’m sure there is an album in the making. For now, we’ll just have to chill and enjoy the rhythm’s and sounds of what’s offered.

Listen to TAWIAH music here


Funk Man: The Stimulus Package marks Del the Funky Homosapien’s 14th project as he has been in this hip-hop game for almost two decades. Starting at the tender age of 17 as protégé to his cousin, Ice Cube, Del quickly rose to the top of the underground hip hop scene with his albums, I Wish My Brother George Was Here (1991) and No Need for Alarm (1993), both released through Elektra Records. Soon after parting ways with the label, Del joined the Hieroglyphics family, comprised of notable emcees Pep Love, the Souls of Mischief, Casual, and Domino. In 1998 the critically acclaimed album 3rd Eye Vision was the first to be released under the Hieroglyphics Imperium label and since then Del has had consistent success with his solo and joint efforts, including Deltron 3030 (2000), Gorillaz (2001), Full Circle (2003), and Eleventh Hour (2008) to name a few.

As a witness to the destructive technology, i.e. video games, that replaced the comic book industry thirty years ago and seeing the same trends within the music industry today, Del has taken a proactive approach with Funk Man, in his reluctance to rely on standard distribution models. Funk Man: The Stimulus Package is Del’s journey back to basics and the timely message coupled with the LP’s FREE RELEASE displays his acute awareness of his fan’s needs and the music industry at large.
Download HERE

Del the Funky Homosapien – Get It Right Now

My man, Fede dropped some gems on me. The funky Millie and Due which I’ve somehow neglected to listen to. Millie is a string heavy banger that will have you nodding your head and Due sounds like a Cut Chemist creation with the multitude of sounds used to create this beat. Check ’em out below.

Fede – Millie

Fede – Due

Ex Jurassic 5 member, Chali 2na prepares us for his upcoming album, Fish Outta Water. Kweli joins him on Lock Isht Down instead of his 4 former band mates to great results. I can’t wait for this album to drop on Cinco de Mayo!

Chali 2na – Lock Isht Down featuring Talib Kweli

Jay Dee x Three

April 29, 2009

Interview with Ma Dukes
I came across this piece on Okayplayer (originally posted on April 17), and decided to pass it on, as a few other blogs/sites have. This is a beautiful interview with Mrs. Yancey aka Ma Dukes, speaking of her son, her health, and the soon to be released Jay Stay Paid on the Nature Sounds label. (You can pick up the tshirt at Stones Throw.)

Jay Stay Paid
The album, in case you haven’t heard is not only executive produced by Mrs. Yancey, but mixed and arranged by Pete Rock. To have a legend and his idol on one album is worth buying in itself. Mark your calendar for its June 2nd, 2009 release. Proceeds go to Mrs. Yancey and the Estate of James Yancey.

Reality Check feat Black Thought from Jay Stay Paid

Suite For Ma Dukes
When the vinyl was released on Mochilla in early March, I immediately jumped on it as a collector and most importantly to help support the legacy of Jay Dilla. Produced by Carlos Niño and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Suite For Ma Dukes is an impressive orchestral (as in orchestra) interpretation of some of Dilla’s greatest work. This one definitely deserves a space in your collection if its not in there already. Proceeds go to Dilla’s heirs.

The label describes Skurreal as “Minnie meets Madlib in Cologne” which is what grabbed my attention. I’m certain this is because they use Riperton’s Les Fleur as an interlude (En Bouton). I erred to caution and checked them out further online; I wouldn’t describe their music that way, but can definitely see the influence. Released in 2008, Skurreal is a 12 track journey into German, yes German soul. The amazing thing, which many of us already know, is that soul sounds the same all over the world. I’ve always loved foreign soul tracks because it goes to show just how much the words are pointless overall. The vocalist, Fleur Earth, sings and at times brings a hip hop flow. The band consisting of bass, keys, guitar and drums are great in bringing great soundscapes to this album that is a steal at just 14.99 on CD and 15.99 on LP at Dusty Groove.

MORE: Their new album, 2009’s Soul de Cabot, is also available at Dusty Groove on LP. The CDs have currently sold out. There is definitely more growth on this album and you can find the band doing shows with bands the like of J*Davey overseas. Muse Bist from Skurreal is currently playing on the frontpage of BamaLoveSoul.Com towards the end of the compilation.
Check them out on their website and on myspace
This is just a quick compilation I threw together to bring attention to the interview I did with Amel Larrieux that you can check out HERE. It’s a great overview of the many MANY tracks she’s created and had a part in over the last 14 years. Check it out and if you dig it or not leave us a LOVE NOTE. BTW make sure you got to iTunes, if you haven’t already, and pick up her 2 latest straight to download releases Orange Glow and Don’t Let Me Down!

BLS Podcast – A Brief History of Amel
Download / Get Podcast

BTW, what are your favorite Amel Larrieux (and Amel affiliated tunes)? Also, you get props if you know which book and author inspired the title and artwork for this post.