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Posts from April 2008

Monday Music Fiasco

Below are a bevy of links to audio and music videos that I'm currently checking out at the moment. Start clickety-clicking!

Lupe Fiasco -- "Paris, Tokyo" (Music Video)

Ryan Lesile -- Diamond Girl (Music Video)

Keanthony Dillard -- "I Ain't Tryna" (Audio)
** Remember "Take Me Higher" by Cruna? This is him!!! He's performing under his real name now and I hope this time, Keanthony gets another shot to show off his soulful voice.

Vast Aire -- "Mecca And The Ox" [Produced by Pete Rock] (Audio)

Busta Rhymes -- "Don’t Touch Me (Throw da Water on 'Em)" (Audio)

Marsha Ambrosius (featuring The Game) -- "What's Going On" (Audio)

Lyfe Jennings -- "Never Never Land" (Music Video)

Ray J (featuring Yung Berg) -- "Sexy Can I" (Alternative Video)

Janet Jackson -- "Can't B Good" (Audio)
**Radio is bumping the bouncy feel-good track "LUV," but I'm in love with the Ne-Yo-penned ballad, "This Can't B Good." On the song, Janet catches feelings after having a one-night stand. The track leaves me nostalgic for the '87 "Control" Janet.

The Roots (Featuring Wale & Chrisette Michele) -- "Rising Down" (Audio)

Keyshia Cole -- "Heaven Sent" (Music Video)

Kanye West -- "Barry Bonds" (Unofficial Music Video)

Gorilla Zoe -- "Juice Box" (Music Video)

**Hat Tips: YouTube, Nah Right, The Rap Up, Baller Status, MySpace, WorldStar HipHop and Soulbounce.


Two Loves

I know I'm late on this . . .

Two influential people recently passed away, and I want to honor them.

Can we please have a moment of silence for B-boy legend Frosty Freeze and Cedella Marley, the mother of the late Bob Marley.

Frosty Freeze (1964-2008)

Break-dancing pioneer Frosty Freeze (real name Wayne Frost) died on April 3 in New York at the age of 44 after a long illness. A member of the influential break-dancing troupe Rock Steady Crew, he was known for his acrobatic style of dancing and was the creator of a move called the "Suicide," in which one flips in the air and lands on their back.

He was featured in a bevy of music videos and films including the groundbreaking 1983 documentary Style Wars and the equally influential flick, Wild Style. But Freeze will be best remembered for his brief appearance in the 1983 movie Flashdance, which introduced break-dancing into the mainstream.

The Almighty hip-hop blogger Jay Smooth has posted a heartfelt tribute to Frosty Freeze and spoke to a few people who knew Freeze.

And this video right HERE, made me cry. It's a wonderful tribute to Frosty Freeze -- a true b-boy pioneer. No doubt.

And I want to say, thank you Frosty Freeze. Because it was your performance in Flashdance that made me take up the art of break-dancing. Although I stopped after a couple of years, that street scene in Flashdance will be forever etched into my memory.

Rest In Power, Frosty Freeze. I know you up there in heaven teaching God how to do the windmill. Ha! Ha!

Cedella Marley Booker (1926-2008)

Cedella Booker (aka Mother B), the mother of reggae legend Bob Marley, passed away at her Miami home of natural causes on April 8. She was 81. The matriarch of the Marley Family, Cedella was also a recording artist and penned a memoir about her son titled Bob Marley, My Son.

"Since a young child, my grandmother showed me the meaning of love, life and laughter," said Cedella Marley, oldest daughter to the late Bob Marley. "She embodied them everyday, all the time. I will miss her and keep the gifts she has given me close to my heart forever."

Adds Chris Blackwell, who signed Bob Marley to his label Island Records in 1971: "Cedella was one of the most powerful women I've ever known. She served as the matriarch of the entire Marley Family, ensuring that Bob's rich legacy would survive to touch and motivate each generation. We will all miss her energy and drive."

Rest In Power, Cedella.


Daily Rotation

Swipe this from my man Rizoh at The Rap Up.

There were only a few strong '08 rap releases worthy of major spins on my iPod. I've heard the rest and I wasn't impressed (even Guilty Simpson's Ode to the Ghetto disappointed me). But here's my list of CDs that have grabbed my attention.

Snoop Dogg -- Ego Trippin' (*h/t Real Talk NY)
*His best album since Doggystyle?

Raheem DeVaughn -- Love Behind the Melody
*Grown folks music, right here.

Del the Funky Homosapien -- Eleventh Hour
*Trippy hip-hop music mixed with Del's abstract flows -- thumbs up!

Lizz Wright -- The Orchard
*Beautiful, touching, heart-warming. Her disc is a Hallmark card set to bluesy-soul music. And the Grammy goes to . . .

Black Spade -- To Serve with Love
*Inspiring hip-hop music -- when was the last time you heard that? There are a few duds on the disc, but it's still a noteworthy effort.

Akrobatik -- Absolute Value
*Another street-approved, banging rap disc. This will probably finished in my top-10 year-end list.

Alegbra Blessett -- Purpose
*Not to take anything away from Erykah Badu and her new LP, "New Amerykah, Part I," but Alegbra's disc "Purpose" is by far one of the best R&B albums of 2008. It's unfortunate that she is not getting the recognition, marketing and promotion she deserves to get her music heard by a wider audience.

What about you? What have you been bumping lately?


Kanye West: "Life Is Good!"

In an inspiring post, Kanye West reveals that he's happier and his creativity is flowing once again since the death of his mother, Dr. Donde West, five months ago. "If there's anything my mom taught me [it's] to enjoy life," he writes on his blog. "I just recorded my first verse . . . at Bape's Studio in Japan. It felt good and I was inspired." 'Ye further adds: "Tragedy can produce great art and this is definitely true. I am a total mad man now. Life is good."

Kanye West will kick off his 40-city Glow in the Dark tour on April 16 in Seattle. Opening for K-Weezy is Rihanna, Lupe Fiasco and N.E.R.D.


Kanye West (Featuring Coldplay's Chris Martin) -- "Homecoming" (music video)


Farewell, Casanova

Can we please have a moment of silence . . .

For Sean Levert, the youngest son of O'Jays frontman Eddie Levert, who died Sunday night (March 30) in Cleveland of unknown causes.

According to officials at the Cuyahoga County Jail, the 39-year-old singer was serving a week into his 22-month jail sentence for failure to pay $85,000 in child support payments when he suddenly became ill. Sean was immediately taken to Lutheran Hospital where he later died at 11:57 p.m. ET Sunday. The cause of death has yet to be determined pending an autopsy by the Cleveland medical examiner.

In a statement issued Monday, the Levert family said:

"There are no words that can express what we are feeling today. There is no song that can capture the loss that we have in our hearts. But we are humbly overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of love, condolences and support from the many friends, fans and admirers of our son Sean. At this very difficult time, we thank you for your prayers and hope you will understand our need for privacy."

This was the second tragedy the Levert family had to suffer. On Nov. 10, 2006, older brother Gerald Levert passed away from an accidental overdose of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Sean, along with Gerald and Marc Gordon, was the co-founder of the '80s R&B group Levert. The trio garnered a string of top five hit singles including "Casanova," "Just Coolin'" and "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind." Recently, Sean and Marc announced that they have reformed the group and were recording songs for a new album.

Sean often played second fiddle to his older brother, which, according to the family's longtime musical director Edwin "Tony" Nicholas, he didn't mind at all. "He was willing to let Gerald have that limelight," he said. "They got along very, very well. They were very close." And like his older brother, Sean tried to pursue a solo career, as well. In 1995, he released his debut LP The Other Side, which failed to match the commercial success achieved by Levert and Gerald. "[Sean] was always striving to make a name for himself," said his cousin Andy Gibson. "It's always tough . . . to come behind two guys [Eddie and Gerald] who made a pretty big dent."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Please keep the Levert family in your prayers.

Rest in Power, Sean.

Sean Levert -- "Same One" (video)