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Posts from October 2008

Producer's Corner: Legendary Status

(DJ Clark Kent via NHTVSN TV)

"The most significant change that has happened to the hip-hop industry is money . . . "
-- DJ Clark Kent

Check out this informative video interview with the legendary hip-hopper DJ Clark Kent as talks about discovering Jay-Z, producing "Brooklyn's Finest" (with Biggie and Jigga), the rap industry and his indispensable "kicks"-and-history collection (he is a major sneaker fiend). This is a great interview. Props to director Kellen Dengler and the guys over at NHTVSN.

Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds recently chopped it up with -- in my humble opinion -- the first super rapper-producer, legendary studio wizard and rhyme-spitter Large Professor (aka Large Pro). Large Pro goes back in time for this interview -- the history behind Main Source, how he hooked up with Nas and reveals that he produced (but was never credited) Eric B. & Rakim's album, Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em. Classic radio shit.

And finally . . .

Oct. 30 will mark the 6-year anniversary of the untimely death of the late Run-DMC DJ, Jam Master Jay. The DJ was shot and killed in a recording studio in Queens, N.Y., in 2002. His death still remains unsolved.

Urban News Network has posted filmmaker Guy Logan's thoughtful documentary on the life and death of DJ Jam Master Jay. To watch the film, click THIS.


I'm With The Band

In July ('08), I went on a fascinating vacation to the Bahamas (via Carnival Cruise) and it was off the heezy fo' cheezy. While I was shopping in Nassau, I stumbled upon The Royal Bahamas Police Force Band as they were performing in front of the locals as well as tourists in the shopping district on the Island.

*Pardon the shaky camera. I was filming all day in the Bahamas and my arms were hurting.

Here's Part 2 . . . with a cameo from Stevie Wonder!


I Want These . . . Now!

Lupe Fiasco has teamed up with his good friend Dr. Romanelli to create these patent leather (shiny!) Chuck Taylor low tops for next year's PRODUCT (RED) project with Converse. The PRODUCT (RED) is a global initiative to help raise awareness and collect funds for the humanitarian efforts in Africa and other countries.

No word on a release date for these kicks, which frustrates the hell out of me!

I would pay good money for these Converse chumpies.

For the love of God, will someone please send me Lupe's cell phone number, I need to holla at him.

I want these kicks now!

Via Hypebeast


Something About You

Can we please have a moment of silence . . .

For Levi Stubbs (1936-2008) of the Four Tops, whose distinctive baritone was one of the most iconic voices to come out of Motown Records. The crooner passed away Friday (Oct. 17) in Detroit; the cause of death has yet to be determined, but the 72-year-old crooner had suffered from many years of illnesses including cancer and diabetes. "I'm heartbroken," said fellow Motown singer Freda Payne. "But this was God being kind. You don't want to see close ones suffer."

Levi's commanding vocals turned their love anthems into chart-topping R&B hits including "Baby I Need Your Loving," Reach Out, I'll Be There," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)," "It's the Same Old Song," "Something About You," "Bernadette" and many others. "Levi Stubbs was one of the great voices of all times," said Motown alum Smokey Robinson. "He was very near and dear to my heart. He was my friend and my brother, I miss him. God bless his family and comfort them."

Mr. Stubbs' death leaves Abdul "Duke" Fakir as the lone surviving Top member; tenor Lawrence Payton died in 1997, followed by bass vocalist Renaldo "Obie" Benson eight years later. Abdul was too broken up to comment on the death of his beloved friend.

Stubbs is survived by his wife Clineice, three sisters, his five children Deborah, Beverly, Raymond, Levi III and Kelly, among other family members. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Rest In Power, Levi. You are now standing in the shadows of love.

**Levi Stubbs Tributes: Funky 16 Corners, PopWatch Blog


Pour Out A Little Liquor . . .

Can we please have a moment of silence . . .

For legendary west coast producer Johnny Jackson (aka Johnny "J") who reportedly committed suicide Friday (Oct. 3) while he was in custody at a Los Angeles County jail on a DUI charge. According to jail officials, Johnny took his own life by jumping off a tier in the jail. He was 39 years old.

Johnny "J" is best known for his extensive production work with the late rapper Tupac Shakur (bka 2Pac). The studio maverick laced tracks on 2Pac's three albums Thug Life, Vol. 1, Me Against the World and All Eyez on Me as well as on 'Pac's posthumous collections (2Pac: Greatest Hits, 2Pac: R U Still Down). Johnny also produced songs for such rap artists as Nate Dogg, Craig Mack, Bizzy Bone and 2Pac's rap crew the Outlawz. Before his death, Johnny was the CEO of his production company Klock Work Entertainment.

Rest in Power Johnny.