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3,2,1: A Final Say With Bob James
01/23/2012, 8:21 PM
Filed under: Interviews | Tags: , , , ,

(I did this one a couple years back and at the time, Bob had me send him the story so he could plug it on his own site (which then, wasn’t yet up and running). Bob’s site went live last week and to my pleasant surprise, we’re getting a lot of traffic as a result. The piece covers perhaps his most important works (albums One, Two, and Three) in addition to his deep history with CTI and his subsequent connection to hip-hop. Here is my in-depth 3-piece article on Bob James, re-posted given the sudden surge of relevance. – DM)

Originally published for Wax Poetics

“I’m flattered to be a part of hip-hop’s history,” says Bob James nonchalantly. “But I believe we’re still at the beginning of understanding how young people make music.”

Bob James’s career developed during a time when radio ruled, records sold, and Roberta Flack had the country’s number one song. Things were different then. Popular music was changing, and over in New York, kids were priming themselves for a burgeoning hip-hop scene. James was thirty-five by 1974 and had just released his first solo album on CTI Records. His subsequent projects for the label were both commercially successful LPs and unsung flops. Regardless of units sold, it was those very records that would lay the foundational sound for some of hip-hop’s most coveted records. It was those kids in New York who initially took James’s music and adapted it for themselves to use and the world to see.

James’s first three CTI releases—One, Two, and Three—are amongst the most sampled records ever. And if we’re truly beginning to grasp how younger generations make music, it’s safe to assume that James’s catalogue is a resource that’ll be continually sifted through and sampled from.

In this three-part interview, he talks in-depth regarding details of his career: The first part of the interview touches on colorful names that are intermingled with his history, its development and legacy. Next, he reflects back on his first three CTI releases, breaking down the most sampled songs on each album. In the interview’s final component, Bob James explains the process of sample requests throughout the years, its affect on him, and why he’s “flattered to be a part of hip-hop’s history.”

I. Quincy, Creed, and the Biz:

What role did Quincy Jones have in developing your career? Continue reading

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Still Rising…
01/17/2012, 1:37 PM
Filed under: Random, Tunes | Tags: ,

Plug 1 and Plug 2 of De La are reinventing themselves (sorta), taking on monikers Dave Jolicoeur and Kelvin Mercer for their new project, First Serve. Though it’s more of an excuse to mess around and possibly explore newer avenues of output, First Serve seems like a modern De La project with a party vibe, plenty of laughs, throwback nods and a Handsomeboy-esque approach.

You can see more on the release on their Soundcloud page or peep their Tmblr to get a sense of the humor and aesthetics of the project.

In addition to the ensuing hype, peep their Goon Time Mixtape below, a party mix featuring some odd pairings, mainstream mashups and an old school party vibe– most importantly, it showcases the new First Serve joints. They might blow up but they won’t go pop!



Happy Doomsday!
01/09/2012, 10:12 PM
Filed under: Interviews, Random | Tags:

Happy birthday to Daniel Dumile AKA MF DOOM! We take this opportunity to revisit a past URB Magazine/Nerdtorious interview with the supervillain himself who was born on this day in ’71. Conducted right before BORN LIKE THIS was released, it’s an extensive look back on his career; from KMD, to collabs, to current. Read “Impending DOOM: Interview with Daniel Dumile” HERE. Best wishes D!



Catching Up With Mayer
01/05/2012, 9:21 PM
Filed under: Random

I caught up recently with Mayer as him and his crew were out and about celebrating their upcoming tv gigs. The brief piece ran for URB and can be read HERE.

It’s been a longtime coming for Mayer, who first caught our (and everyone’s) attention with his debut, “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out“. We were the first to interview him right before he blasted into fame and subsequent world tours. Check out that interview HERE and stay tuned for his career moves (in another one of our interviews dude said he was “writing a new wave album”). Stay tuned!



New Musica Del Alma Mix!
01/03/2012, 5:21 PM
Filed under: Tunes | Tags: , ,

Our buddies at Latinfunk.org recently dropped this incredible mix courtesy of Japan’s Soul Bonanza site. In tune with past heat, my dude Adam aka DJ Slim Jenkins filled this mix with mas South of the border gems–fast, funky and con alma (with soul!). Stream or download after tracklist below!

01. ricardo flores – pachanga ricardo (corona, california)
02. lucho y su conjunto – prende la vela (latin, colombia)
03. orquesta casino – el mosquito (dicesa, el salvador)
04. alfredo gutierrez – salsa mona (costeno, colombia)
05. mario allison – salvaje (sono radio, peru)
06. el caballo – me gusta como bailas (corona, california)
07. pedro miguel y sus maracaibos – descarga maracaibo (iempsa, peru)
08. rafael labasta – labasta llego (cbs, panama)
09. wuelfo – bueno y pico (inca, nyc)
10. joe quijano y conjunto cachana – mani tostao (fuentes 7” press)
11. edmundo arias – cumbia morena (sonolux, colombia)
12. hermanos cortez – apolo nueve (arcoiris, nicaragua)
13. los rumberos – sun sun babae (polydor, germany)
14. mulatu astatke – ebo la la (philips, ethiopia)
15. fajardo y sus estrellas – pa’ coco solo (panart, cuba)

Hear DJ Slim Jenkins’ Me Gusta Como Bailas HERE.



Shouts From The Atlantic!
01/03/2012, 5:09 PM
Filed under: Random | Tags: ,

Nerdtorious was mentioned in the recent Atlantic! A few weeks back, Raj Dayal (writer for American Songwriter) contacted me for a piece he was researching, an upcoming article on one of the best labels of the last decade, Daptone Records. The story ran last week; “In a Big Year for New Soul, a Small But Influential Label Turns 10“, a great piece that speaks on Daptone’s rise but, more so, its influence on the modern music and its industry as a whole. Happy birthday Daptone! And many thanks to Raj and The Atlantic for the shout out!

Take a look at the self produced video below on Daptone’s first 10 years:



Lonely Progeny
01/03/2012, 4:53 PM
Filed under: Tunes | Tags: , , ,


“Hey There Lonely Boy” is an American classic written by Earl Shuman and Leon Carr, recorded in 1963 by Ruby & The Romantics. It eventually charted at #2 in 1970 by Eddie Holman who famously covered the tune as “Hey There Lonely Girl”. It also was done again in 1980 by Robert John. And while John’s take is perhaps the least memorable, it’s 1980 version shows that “lonley” had legs that carried it almost 2 decades after it’s release.

The Decoders, Itai Shapira and studio musician Todd Simon (trumpeter/arranger for Mayer Hawthorne, TV On The Radio, The Lions, Dap Kings, Antibalas and Quantic) put out a new project and the lead single is another addition to the “Lonely” progeny. Overseen by Richard Rudolph (songwriter/producer and husband to Minnie Riperton) the project features Leon Ware, Coco Owino (Quadron) and a notable cast full of musicians both legendary and contemporary. Keep an eye out for future tunes from the LA-based duo and peep their classy take on a classic below.

“Hey There Lonely Boy” by The Decoders ft. Coco Owino