Tru Thoughts Giveaway!!!

Tru Thoughts, the ever expanding decade old UK label, gave us tons of CDs and a collection of their newest projects to give away; 4, by The Bamboos, the Saravah Soul project, the latest Zero dB album, and a couple others. 1 grand-prize winner gets the entire set of new projects (5 CDS!) and 20 other winners gets the newest Tru Thoughts compilation. Winners chosen at random.

Answer the following question and send it to with “Tru Thoughts” in the subject. Winners announced in 3 weeks.

An early Tru Thoughts signee, Bonobo, eventually went onto to work with Ninja Tune. What other Ninja Tune affiliate currently sits on Tru Thoughts’ roster?

Answer: Hint

Winner: Samuel K.

Thanks to everyone who dropped us a line! More giveaways soon!


Matthew Africa on The Identities

(Editor’s note: I recently reached out to some of my favorite music dudes to see if they’d drop some expertise. Through the years, I’ve been able meet and work with some of these cats and, through their generosity, we’ll be rolling out some great posts in the coming months. The concept was straightforward: Have a great song or record you’d want to share? The responses and selections are top-notch. First up is THAT DUDE, Matthew Africa–his mixes, his blog, a lot of his output is straight up educational.  We’re delighted to have him.  –DM)

A quick listen to the Identities’ “Hey Brother” shows it’s a thinly-masked rewrite of the Billy Roberts composition “Hey Joe”. Although Jimi Hendrix’s recording of “Hey Joe” is perhaps justifiably the best-known version, it seems to be one of those rare tunes that’s impossible to mess up– of the dozens of versions I’ve heard, I have yet to hear a bad one. The lyrics here get recast as a peace and brotherhood bromide so vague Hendrix himself might have winced.

As far as I can tell this is the only record credited to the Identities. The vocal is almost certainly by producer Walter Whisenhunt’s wife, Gloria Taylor. The duo recorded far and wide throughout the seventies before a split which, according to legend, drove a vengeful Whisenhunt to wild out on her masters, giving birth to this left-field disco grail:

Duderonomy: Devin The Dude Q&A & DJ Eleven Mix!

* Download DJ Eleven’s Eleven & The Dude Mix

The Village Voice called him, “An asshole in the tradition George Clinton or Rudy Ray Moore, a shit-talker who thinks yukking and fucking is a life plan”. Granted, weed and big butts aren’t entirely all Devin “The Dude” Copeland talks about. But for the span of 5 albums (and a new 6th) his everyman approach has endeared him on both coasts as well as in Europe.

“Sheeeit, I’m just a normal dude who smokes weed and raps, ” he says, confirming his entire approach and motto. He continues, barely audible from laughing so hard: “My songs are like my kids [laughs], some are uglier than others but I love them all the same!”

A longtime Rap-A-Lot signee, Devin added ease and self-deprecation to Houston’s rap scene, counteracting the overt aggression of labelmates, The Geto Boys, and other local rap acts. His at ease style got calls from Dr. Dre, as work with De La Soul, Premier, Nas, and Xhibit followed.

His new project, Suite #420, finds him delivering over rolling beats where he’s the butt of his punchlines. I spoke with Devin on all things casual: from how often he smokes, to how Europeans sound funny rapping his lyrics.

What rappers make you laugh?
The very first rap record I heard made me laugh! It was called “Rap Dirty” by Blowfly [laughs]. I thought it was the funniest, grooviest thing I’ve ever heard. You could dance to it and it had a story behind it too. Back when I was a kid, a song sounded like it was a movie and I loved every bit of it. It was a comedy to me for sure man [laughs].

Who would you say are your rap idols?
Shit man, that’s tough. But really, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Slick Rick. How he put his songs together and just all the silly humor in his songs spoke to me. But he was smart too. He was so creative and projected personality into his songs. He was so well-rounded. He’s a true artist.

The other would have to be Continue reading “Duderonomy: Devin The Dude Q&A & DJ Eleven Mix!”

Golden State of Mind

A couple great new releases happen to focus my home state. The first is the newest in Now-Again and Jazzman’s Funk Compilations. The entire series is a compendium of rare, regional songs, notably Carolina Funk, Florida Funk, and Texas Funk. California Funk is a collection of twenty-one 45s from San Francisco, Berkeley, San Bernadino, LA and San Diego. The liner notes add scope and are great themselves. Here are snippets of some choice cuts.

‘Smokin’ Tidbits’ by The Edwards Generation

A cover of ‘What’s Going On’ by Mr. Clean & the Soul Inc.

If there’s continuity of Californian funk, than Orgone fits tangentially somewhere. From the evergreen Los Angeles area, they’ve played with some of my favorite LA funk driven groups, Breakestra and Connie Price and the Keystones. A nine piece band, they play soul and funk with a little afrobeat too. Some songs have vocals, most are instrumentals. Here’s the first track off their latest, Cali Fever, (Ubiquity) out next month.

‘The Last Fool’