Everyone has an opinion on MJ and that’s fine. My generation saw him at his most thrilling and a big part of my childhood is totally bummed. Remember Captain EO? Yeah, me too. Those images connect me to a much simpler time. Seeing a young Michael kill it on youtube won’t ever be the same again either. Tabloids, punchlines and ambivalence aside, Michael Jackson was one of the best to ever do it. His records are some of the finest ever made and today we celebrate our affection for them. Below are some of my favorite cuts from his Jackson 5 years. RIP, MJ. What a legacy.
Staten Island’s Budos Band are back with a perfect EP for these summer nights. The tracks are from sessions between the making of their first self-titled release, The Budos Band, and its successor, Budos Band II. They’re from the Daptone family, so it’s tightly crafted per usual. They lean a bit more towards Afro-Soul, but do have touches of Jazz, Funk and Latin too. The musicans are part of a rotating cast that make up The Mighty Imperials, Menahan Street Band, The Dap Kings, and Sugarman 3. Included is a list of the band members (because these dudes don’t get enough individual credit) and for your downloading pleasure, “The Proposition”, a previously released 45 that’s also on the new EP. (more…)
Edit of “Auditorium” featuring ONLY Rick’s verse, minus Mos and other nonsense.
Mos Def’s latest, The Ecstatic (which is listenable but weak overall), features a collab with The Ruler himself. On “Auditorium”, Rick talks about being in Iraq and eventually being hailed as the “Elvis of Baghdad”. It’s funny and is even slightly political, though not particularly catchy. I still think it’s interesting to hear Rick kick storyraps about modern settings. Rick didn’t say much about new projects when I spoke with him for Waxpoetics issue #31 but he did say a new album called The Adventure Continues was in the works. As one of my favorites, I’m always stoked to hear from Rick (even if it’s with this clown).
Lee Fields, a man who cut his first record at age 17, is a relentless worker. His latest album, My World, caps a career of over 40 years in music, an industry where he survived without ever making it big or getting the acclaim you’d think talent would earn. But all that is behind him because, according to Lee, “My World is truly the work of my life. I think it’s the greatest project I’ve ever been a part of.” And while every musician says the same about their latest album, Lee has no reason to lie. He’s an honest man who’s carved an honest living his entire life, gigging from huge theatres to shabby venues while quietly making records here and overseas. And his latest work, another tightly knit effort from Truth & Soul, might indeed be his best. Lee still hustles at 57-years-old, still records because he “never learned to be tired” and plans to keep doing do. Here’s our interview with the tireless Lee Fields, a talk where we comb through his long career, touch on his latest LP, and look at his largely understated legacy.
You’ve been singing and gigging since you were a teenager. How much longer do you envision yourself doing this for?
I don’t know. I’m really having such a wonderful time. I think music is like a sculpture. If you sculpt, then you stop when you run out of things to sculpt. I don’t think I’ve sculpted everything I wanted to yet. I’m real serious about that.
You’ve said recently that this is the most creative stage of your career. Why do you think you’ve finally hit your stride after 40 years?
Throughout my musical career, I’ve done a lot of traveling and been to a lot of places. I’ve worked with a lot of people as well. I’ve always kept writing too. I’ve never stopped doing what I do. So just through my life experience alone, I feel like I can convey lots of emotion and conviction—even if it’s not a song I wrote. The whole purpose of being an artist is to make your work as evoking as possible when it comes to passion. At this stage, man, I think it really shows through my work. (more…)
Matthew Africa just gave us the OK to post his Best Of DJ Quick, an evenhanded blend of both hits and album cuts from West Coast legend, DJ Quick. The 39-songs celebrate his many collaborations, his beefs with EVERYONE, and his steady growth (as rapper and producer) through the years. Click HERE to read the original post and learn more about the mix. Peace and thanks to Matthew Africa, great work as usual. Quick’s deep career is long overdue for something like this!
For complete tracklisting… (more…)