It’s not often that actors make a seamless transition from acting to singing but for Mack Wilds, (Tristan Wilds from the education season of The Wire) is proving that theory wrong. After releasing his debut album last year, he received a Grammy nomination for his debut album New York: A Love Story, and it’s evident firmly positioned for success. He was selected for BET’s Music Matters, a multi-platform initiative that identifies and exposes new ground breaking artists and music across BET and Centric properties, as well as through national tours and monthly showcases. The program’s Executive Producer, SalaAM ReMi says, “A big part of my career has been finding new talent and helping them become superstars. With my partnership with Music Matters, I am very happy to be able to be a part of this compilation that shows not only the artists who have previously gone from Music Matters onto superstardom, but also up and coming talent.” This new single, “My Crib” is featured on the Music Matters compilation featuring some of today’s hottest artist such as J. Cole, Miguel, Elle Varner, Marsha Ambrosius and Kendrick Lamar. Keep you antenna up for details on forthcoming Music Matters showcases across the US.
Muphoric Sounds has ONE copy of the BET Music Matters compilation for giveaway. To enter, please read the instructions below.
HOW TO ENTER:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “BET Music Matters” by Friday, July 25, 2014 before 11:59pm EST for a random drawing. The winner will be notified by Tuesday, July 29, via email. The winner must respond by Wednesday, July 30 before 11:59pm to claim their prize. Failure to respond to the notification email by Wednesday, July 30, the copy of BET Music Matters will to offered to another entrant.
(Please note: We dislike spam as much as you do; your contact information will never be sold nor rented, in compliance with US Spam Laws.) So get yourself in it, to win it, and share the word with your friends!
UK’s new burgeoning artist, MNEK (pronounced em en ee kay) is about to take dance music to another level. The 19-year-old writer, producer, singer, musician from South London has worked with Rudimental on their platinum selling album Home with writing and feature credits, and earned a Grammy-nomination for co-writing “Need U (100%)” with Duke Dumont and A*M*E, for Best Dance Recording, and recently he wrote Gorgon City‘s “Ready For Your Love” single that rose to Top 5 hit. Now signed to Virgin EMI, MNEK is setting his sails to conquer the musical sea with this new single “Wrote a Song About You,” a refreshing dimension to dance music, with his soulful house flare and chord progressions, giving a feeling of purity, hope, and happiness. If MNEK is writing songs like this at only 19, we can only get excited for what he will become as an artist. Check out “Wrote A Song About You” below!
The legacy of James Brown is unprecedented. His influence is unparalleled, and continues permeates through all variants of soul. J.Period‘s Legacy of James Brown highlights the incredible energy of Mr. Brown, from his candor, humor, and his ability to move, groove, and bare his “soul.” There are points while listening to this mix that you’ll laugh, as Eddie Murphy recounts meeting Brown with soundbytes from his infamous SNL skit “Hot Tub,” where he impersonates Brown, to an interviewer talking with Brown and mentioning Prince being enamored by him, and Michael Jackson simply stating Brown as his number one influence. Listening to Michael Jackson‘s “The Way You Make Me Feel” blended with Brown‘s “I Got This Feeling” is powerful, especially knowing, it was the song The Jackson 5 sang while auditioning with Motown. Prince‘s “Sexy MF” with James‘ “Sex Machine” vocal is pure genius as “Sexy MF” is ALL James Brown, from the drums, bass, horns, and organ. James Brown is the foundation of hip hop so fusing Public Enemy‘s “Rebel Without a Pause” against “Hot Pants Road” further shows, as the Godfather so eloquently said, “Nobody has a monopoly on soul.” Soul is Music. This is an ultimate mix that can be played from start to finish, over and over! J.Period has outdone himself with this one!! The Legacy of James Brown is one for the archives people! Get your free download NOW!
It’s hard to believe that Early Riser is in fact Taylor McFerrin‘s debut album! From last year’s announcement of him signing to Brainfeeder (home to Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and RYAT), we knew it would be a perfect union and Early Riser is testament to that.
Everything about Early Riser is lush, from the choices of collaborators with the contemporary jazz of Robert Glasper and the layered basslines of Thundercat on “Already There,” to Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote) signature vocals on “The Antidote,” and “Decisions” with Emily King — this album is simply a breath of fresh air. “Place in My Heart” featuring label mate RYAT further confirms McFerrin‘s ability as a versatile producer. His father, Bobby McFerrin graces the album with his sensational improv vocal on “Invisible / Visible” which also features pianist composer Cesar Camargo Mariano. On “Florasia,” a tracked you’d imagine Dwele singing over, McFerrin takes the position of lead vocal, yet remains understated so the simple production can be appreciated. We can’t get enough of this one! Check out the three songs below, then head over to any one of these retailers: iTunes | Amazon | Ninja Tune to buy your copy!
We are pleased to inform you of the forthcoming second part of Amerigo Gazaway‘s Yasiin Gaye: The Return (Side Two). By the looks of it, we should hear it in its fully entirety by next week. If you’re unfamiliar with Amerigo Gazaway’s work, visit his website but he is known primarily for his mash up albums, particularly Fela Soul and Bizarre Tribe. What sets the Yasiin / Gaye project apart from his previous releases is his approach and the level at which he re-purposes Gaye and Bey‘s musical sounds, turning them into something so fresh and so now. It truly is extraordinary to hear, if you’re a fan of both artists.
New York Magazine cartoonist, Drew Dernavich assisted in creating a great cover concept, bringing the likeness of both artists, but also taking a satirical jab at the continued copyright issues Gazaway‘s projects experience.
As we do not have a definitive date for the release, it is advised that you follow Gazaway on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop as we can never be sure if the RIAA will send another cease and desist order, as they did for the Side One. But in the meantime, check out “Travellin’ Man Part II” below and the short teaser video with Yasiin Bey. Amerigo Gazaway‘s catalog is also available for purchase at Legitimix.
I remember playing this record out in my headphones as a teen. I had discovered it through The Coup’s sampling of it on their album Genocide & Juice. Patrice Rushen was born in 1954 and released her first record in 1974. Though a classically trained pianist, Rushen has the ability to incorporate many flavors to her creations, whether it’s jazz or R&B, it is guaranteed to always be funky.
With over 15 studio albums under her belt, Grammy nominations, serving as musical director various TV award shows, and scoring many films, her music history is unparalleled. She has worked with the best in music, such as George Duke, Minnie Ripperton, Prince, Carlos Santana, Quincy Jones, and many more. She still teaches and performs today and will no doubt be around for many more years to come.
“Giving It Up Is Giving Up” appeared on Pizzazz, her fifth studio album on Elektra records in 1979. This break up to make up song is steeped and simmered in funk. It feels like the last song being played at a club when a nearly missed connection reignites a fire. You can tell by the moans after that first guitar loop that it’s going to be a jam to ride to. DJ Rodgers, a talented singer and musician from LA who rose to fame in the 70s accompanies Rushen on this duet. They have a great musical chemistry on this and the chord changes from verse, chorus, and breakdown flow effortlessly, making it deceptively simple and steady groove. The song also features players Freddy Washington (percussion), Melvin Ragin (guitar), and Rushen (Clavinet, Electric Piano, and percussion). Check it out below.
If there is one band whose journey has been a pure delight to witness, it is Little Dragon. Forming as a group in 1996, it wasn’t until 2007 that they graced us with their eponymous debut, which became an underground sensation. Their sophomore album Machine Dreams received a modest reception due to its departure from nu soul, taking a more synth-pop experimental root, likening to Fever Ray and early 80s Prince. By their third album, Ritual Union, it was evident that Little Dragon were taking a more commercial road, but in doing so, their creativity was unscathed.
Now with their forth album,Nabuma Rubberband is a culmination of twenty years together, and their cohesiveness still remains. Nabuma Rubberband is more in line with their debut in style where Yukimi Nagano‘s vocals are more R&B in flavour. Apparently during the album’s development she listened to a lot of 80s Janet Jackson and through the songs has created her own brand of the slow jam. It’s sexy in sound, where songs such a “Pink Cloud” captures the feel of an all-consuming relationship, where she loses herself at dizzying levels, seeing the signs but choosing to ignore them. The melody of “Pretty Girls” is comforting to a young woman seeking opportunity, “you magnify the universe, grab your purse, grab your luck. Pretty girl, don’t get stuck. “Underbart,” has the familiarity of “Brush the Heat” from Ritual Union with the cowbell sounds. “Cat Rider” has an intense pulsating arrangement as Yukimi sings about a man’s quest to remain cool, to keep his swag on ten, but in essence, he’s the one who loses. The title track “Nabuma Rubberband” brings in the electro-pop with 80s synths and percussion.
With every release, Little Dragon‘s indi status is never compromised and with Nubuma Rubberband they return to their debut, while bringing in all that has influenced them along the way. It’s always a delight hearing what they come up with.
Frequent collaborators, Eric Lau and Tawiah have joined forces for their new EP Love Call with the lead single being “Favourite Truth” featuring the musical prowess of broken beat master, Kaidi Tatham. Both Lau and Tawiah are the type of artists whose purpose in music is growth — with every release we are expected to hear something new. Love Call will see a departure from Lau’s signature sounds, and of course, this bring out something else from Tawiah. Looking forward to hearing it by the sounds of “Favourite Truth.” Pre-order Love Call, which is scheduled to drop May 12th on Northshore Records and you’ll receive a download of “Favourite Truth.” Check it out!
The Decoders, a production trio based in Los Angeles are certainly making their mark. Working as studio production and live band for acts such as Kelis, Rhye, and Hollie Cook, the dynamic trio who comprise of Todd M. Simon, Itai Shapira, and Adam Berg decided to decode music from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, their way. Artists such as Coco O (of Quadron), Noelle Scaggs (of Fitz & the Tantrums), Leon Ware, Raul Midon to name a few, have lent their vocals to The Decoders reinterpretations of classics which range from lovers rock to dub, Brazilian and psychedelic soul.
Currently working on their next album Adventures From Paradise: A Tribute To Minnie Riperton Vol. 3, scheduled to release later this year, they called on Mara Hruby and Van Hunt on the classic soul song “Respect,” made famous by Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin. Seeing the names Van Hunt and Mara Hruby together, a tender experience is expected. Taking “Respect” from a hard hitting, politically liberating, belting song to future soul with jazz undertones as Hruby‘s tender vocals glide and Hunt shadows her phrasing, gives “Respect” brand new meaning. Let’s simply say it, “Respect” has successfully been — decoded.
Releasing their single “Don’t Wake Me” back in 2012, Moonchild have finally completed their sophomore album Please Rewind. Leading to now, the California based group, who met while attending a Jazz Performance program at University of Southern California, have opened many shows for Stevie Wonder and Georgia Anne Muldrow and have performed throughout the West Coast, receiving acclaim from artists such as Jill Scott, Robert Glasper, Tyler the Creator, DJ Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder, and James Poyser, BBC Radio tastemaker Gilles Peterson, KCRW, and on Los Angeles radio station 102.3.
The Jazz trio had attended a house party, where attendees were given stickers with the inscription “Please Rewind” and post party they stuck the stickers around town locally. The phrase stayed with them as a concept to apply to their album with the idea of listeners being prompted to “rewind” their music over and over. Moonchild incorporate their jazz training to create their own style of contemporary soul and Please Rewind is sure to soothe you. Check out the video for “Nobody” below and head over to their Bandcamp page to hear and purchase the Please Rewind.
With De La Soul teaming with BitTorrent Bundle to release their latest mixtape, Smell the DA.I.S.Y., we could say that P2P technology has finally succeeded its quest to lead artists to the kool-aid. Up until now, artists have been reluctant to drink, due to its lack of profitability and scalability. But with this release, BitTorrent stands for something a bit more positive where all parties win (well, kind of).
Pioneering in their approach from the start of their careers in 1989, De La Soul‘s 3 Feet High and Rising changed the course of hip hop through its heavy sampling, and its comedic and eclectic positive messaging, so partnering with BitTorrent should not surprise. The BitTorrent Bundle consists of classic De La Soul style lyricism over stellar J Dilla beats. To further in honoring Dilla‘s legacy, a video of the J Dilla Still Shining documentary is also included. This is a mega freebie where all you have to do is provide your email to download, and whenever you share it. We suggest you get it now!
DOWNLOAD LINK: De La Soul: Smell the DA.I.S.Y.
1. “Let The King Ascend” [Audio]
2. “Who” featuring Redman [Audio]
3. “Dilla Plugged In” [Audio]
4. “Goes The Word” [Audio]
5. “Vocabulary Spills” [Audio]
6. “The Pitch” [Audio]
7. “Taking The Train” [Audio]
8. “Leave Your Cares Behind” [Audio]
9. “O’Shut Up” [Audio]
10. “No More No Less” [Audio]
11. “Marvin Jaye” [Audio]
12. “Smell The DA.I.S.Y. Letter” [Audio]
13. J Dilla Documentary “Still Shinning” [Video]
14. J Dilla Wallpaper [Art]
The Hustlers Convention, is one of rap’s greatest lost album. As its creator, Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, the Grandfather of Rap and founding member of the The Last Poets recalls, The Hustlers Convention “went down like a murder mystery or something.” The album was released in 1973 and is regarded rap’s first album. Nuriddin never received the recognition the album deserved nor made any money from what undoubtedly influenced the evolution of rap music.
Lightnin’ Rod’s Hustlers Convention takes us through the life and time of two brothers, Spoon and Sport (who affectionately refer to each other as their “ace-boon-poon”) as they finagle through slick card, dice, and pool games. Their “hustler supreme” bravado is heard from the album’s introduction where Sport says, “I was snorting skag, while others played tag/ And running through bitches like rags to riches,” as their story unfolds showcasing their artistry in deception. It would only be a matter of time before we’re taken on a car chase, brought smack in the middle of a shootout, running from cops, to feeling the despair of being on death row. Hustlers Convention is a sensory experience, where its pace flows like a narrative out of a Iceberg Slim novel. The cadence transports you to a time when everything abound oozed Super Fly, and the incredibly tight musical composition, that it’s startling to learn the band was actually Kool & the Gang before they’d reached super stardom status.
To keep this seminal work alive, Chuck D is working as executive producer on the Hustlers Convention with Mike Todd as the director to chronicle this missing part of rap music’s history. The film will feature all members of The Last Poets, KRS-One, Chuck D, and Melle Mel and is scheduled to release some time in 2014.
Hustlers Convention – Side A
Hustlers Convention – Side B
Priorities seem to be a bit off-kilter for Jay Electronica. Having jumped across the Atlantic Ocean to London, then being entangled in the marital affairs of a British heiress — it has been a wonder if Jay is in fact still making music?
We can lay that thought to rest, given that Jay recently tweeted this new track “Better in Tune With the Infinite,” featuring vocals from LaTonya Givens. Lifting Japanese composer Kyuichi Sakamoto‘s “Bibo No Aozora” for the music (most notably used by Trey Songz‘s on his “Can’t Be Friends“), an excerpt from Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, and a scene from The Wizard of Oz, Jay’s one verse rap touches on a multitude of subjects that are all somehow interrelated. His final line of “staring out the window is for love songs and house flies” simply adds to its melancholy. Feeling the abstractism.
Ending question: Can you hurry up with the album, Jay?!
Towards the end of 2009, famed underground electronic, broken beat, drum and bass producer, Dominic Stanton (aka Domu) wrote a poignant piece on his blog and bid us adieu and his life in music. Fans were upset, but there was a unified understanding of his position, which was not to have an industry define him and turn him into a producer he no longer recognized or wanted to be associated with. A hard pill to swallow with yourself.
Almost five years later, Domu has returned. If it’s your life’s purpose is to create, you will always create, despite adversities. Under the Weather highlights three styles in electronic music from bass-driven techno, ambient-house, and hip-hop. The three track EP starts with “Rain All Day,” a bass-heavy drum ‘n bass tune with dark elements and soft contrasting vocals. “Sunshrine” is the complete dance track, a la Theo Parrish trimmed down to include a Photek bass combo. To close out the EP, Domu takes us to his other love, hip hop, on what could possibly be a Roots Crew arrangement. All that’s missing is an ill rhyme.
Released on Sector 12/12 label, the brainchild of Mr Shift, who used to run TrebleO with Domu — so it’s no surprise they have joined forces again. Check out Under the Weather below, which is available at a “name your price” purchase on Bandcamp.
Our soul brother Colonel Red returns with his own brand of sophisticated funk on his fourth studio album Redlight, which is scheduled to release March 28th on Ink Rebellion record label. Continuing with his positive message of empowerment and self-discovery against funky slow groove tunes, what sets Redlight apart from other releases is how it musically brings old styles into the new, incorporating spacial sounds, funky guitar riffs and keys. It has a Prince, Parliament Funkadelic vibe to it in places. The title track, “Redlight” features a great use of the hohner clavinet sound (heard on Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition”). On the song, “Satta,” Redz‘s delivery is somewhat of a prayer, and on “Change” we are given a beautiful heartfelt ballad. While listening to Redlight, couldn’t help think of Amalia, who vocally is like a female Colonel Red; they could do something electric together! (Let’s see if we can start a campaign on making this happen).
Redlight releases next month and is available for pre-order on Colonel Red‘s Bandcamp. Check it out!