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September 2009
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November 2009

Posts from October 2009

Pretty In Pink: N'Dambi, Me'Shell Bring Color, Substance & Soul

Soulful songbirds N'dambi and Me'Shell Ndegeocello deserves a hand for trying to become more than just one kind of an artist in an industry where too many performers seem happy to play the game and sing one-dimensional songs for mainstream appeal. Their sound is deeply rooted in soul, but their albums are the antithesis to anything that radio and video outlets are defining todat as R&B/soul music. And these ladies are not your atypical R&B chicks -- they are honest in their songwriting and not afraid to move beyond your expectations of them.

Afro Sheen: Soulful Songbird N'dambi

After years of releasing albums independently, N'dambi makes her major label debut with her third disc Pink Elephant on the refurbished Stax Records label. The Dallas songbird tapped veteran producer Leon Sylvers III (Gladys Knight, BLACKstreet, Lakeside) who provides a musical soundbed that perfectly balances traditional R&B with today's contemporary sound. Retro-soul hasn't felt this good since Erykah Badu's Baduism. (Interestingly enough, N'dambi was a background singer for Erykah, a fellow Texan.)

A perfect example of that musical symmetry can be heard on "The One," which flips the late Isaac Hayes' 1969 classic "Walk On By" into a ballad about discovering her one true love. On "The World Is a Beat," the song's production is reminiscent of '80s Prince (Sign O' Times), as N'dambi sings a sour note about the music industry.

Elsewhere on Pink Elephant, N'dambi croons about the ups and downs of falling in and out of love. On the cautionary "L.I.E.," she tells the tale of a married man who is having an affair with another women across town. "What It Takes" boasts a funky guitar riff as N'dambi confides to her significant other that no matter the obstacles their love will conquer all. "Sugar don't fret, do only what you can, I promise, it won't make you less a man," she confides in him. On "Ooh Baby," she yearns for a former flame. And on the set's first single, "Can't Hardly Wait," she makes plans to kick an inconsiderate boyfriend to the curb.

N'dambi's honest lyrics on love and relationships is a revelation. Those looking for an artist with heart and soul should gravitate to Pink Elephant.

N'dambi -- "The One"

N'dambi -- "What It Takes"

N'dambi -- "Ooh Baby"

@Twitter | MySpace | iTunes | "Can't Hardly Wait" (Music Video)

Continue reading "Pretty In Pink: N'Dambi, Me'Shell Bring Color, Substance & Soul" »

Introducing Afro-Pop Songbird Nneka

U.K. Songbird Nneka

 Nigerian-born, German-based artist Nneka release her first single called "The Uncomfortable Truth," from her upcoming U.S. debut Concrete Jungle (due in stores Feb. 2, 2010).

On the song, the 27-year-old U.K. songbird sings of love, hope and optimism. Nneka reminds me of Zap Mama with her vocals and music.

Nneka -- "The Uncomfortable Truth"

[ Download]

Props to Pop Matters

In November, Nneka will embark on a promotional tour in support of her upcoming disc, Concrete Jungle.

One highlight: *Nov. 10 performance with the Roots* -- That is going to be something special.

November Tour Dates:

Monday, 11/9 - New York, NY  -- Joe’s Pub

Tuesday, 11/10 - New York, NY  -- Highline Ballroom w/ The Roots

Thursday, 11/12 - Boston, MA  -- Café 939

Friday, 11/13 - Philadelphia, PA -- World Café Live

Saturday, 11/14 - Vienna, VA -- Jammin' Java

Tuesday, 11/17 - New York, NY -- Highline Ballroom

Thursday, 11/19 - Santa Monica, CA  --  Zanzibar

Friday, 11/20 - San Francisco, CA  --  Café Du Nord


Decon Records -- Label Website |  MySpace   |  "Heartbeat" Video


The Independent Online:  Nneka Interview  -- "My mission is to give people hope"

Read the feature ☛


New Music: Royce Da 5'9 (F/ Phonte) - "Something 2 Ride 2"

Motor City Mouth: Detroit Rapper Royce Da 5'9

Royce Da 5'9 (Featuring Phonte) -- "Something 2 Ride 2"

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Props to Hip-Hop Lead

Uh-oh! Royce da 5'9's upcoming disc Street Hop (due Oct. 20) has sprung a leak.

The Detroit rapper's LP is all over the Internets. One of the many standout joints from the collection is this DJ Premier-blessed smooth-but-banging track featuring Foreign Exchange's Phonte Coleman crooning on the hook. It's a hot braggadocios track from Nickel-Nine.

**BONUS** FEATURE: Royce Da 5'9 -- Rejuvenated

Read it ☛


In The Studio: Kanye And Soulja Boy Tell 'Em

Kanye West and Soulja Boy Tell 'Em collaborating in the studio? Is the apocalypse forthcoming?

As posted on Souja Boy's Twitter page Oct. 12, 2009:



It looks like Gay Fish and the "Crank That" Rapper took some time out of their busy schedule to do some recording in Los Angeles. No word on what musical creation occurred during their productive studio session. But Soulja Boy is convinced it's a history-making song. 

We'll save our judgment after it gets leaked onto the Internets in a couple of weeks. Ha!

And one more thing . . . 

Soulja Boy, is all of this jewelry necessary?  Talk about bling-bling