It's been a long time since we've heard a new album from soulful songbird Goapele -- six years to be exact. In between the hiatus, she has been touring in the United States and two years ago, had a baby. Now she's back with a sensual new single called "Play." The soft-and-smooth ballad is from Goapele's upcoming album, Break Of Dawn, which is due to hit stores on October 25. This is definitely for the grown and the sexy.
This is a mixtape joint from Slum Village alum T3. Produced by Traybeats, this beat knocks harder than Fort Knox, ya dig. If you don't know already, T3 dropped 3iller The EP back in July via iTunes. Despite the EP being too short -- four songs in total -- it wasn't bad but nothing really stood out for me except for "Give Me A Beat" (featuring K.E.Y.S.). Check out both songs below.
Singer Aloe Blacc recently dropped a new video for his latest single "Green Lights" from his fantastic soul album Good Things. The clip was directed by Colin Solal Cardo of La Blogotheque and it's simply a feel-good video that should brighten up your day.
As I have said before, Good Things is a classic soul album that in many ways parallels the timelessness of Marvin Gaye's zeitgeist album What's Going On.
I hope Blacc releases more videos from the LP; he's truly one of the great voices in soul music, period.
Now that Hurricane Irene left the tri-state area (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York) pretty much in a whimper, it's time for some hip-hop music that really hits hard.
Enter Timeless Truth, a rap tandem out of Queens, New York. The duo teamed up with Long Island rhyme-spitter Roc Mariano on a cut that will last longer than Irene's fury. All together, the three MCs rap hardcore rhymes over an orchestral strings and a grungy beat.
"You know the motif / Take over the streets / Break open your knee / Tape over your beak / Rake over your cheese / Flame thrower to ya tee / I'm back on my Ray Liotta degrees," Roc spits.
Bump this joint while you're drying out from Hurricane Irene.
Timeless Truth -- "Irene" (Featuring Roc Marciano)
Can we please have a moment of silence for Nickolas Ashford, one-half of the talented husband-and-wife songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson, who passed away on Aug. 22 after a long bout with throat cancer.
The singer-songwriter, who along with his dedicated wife, Valerie Simpson, were the most prolific songwriting tandems at Motown penning a slew of chart-topping songs for such artists as Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell ("Ain't No Mountain High Enough), Diana Ross ("Reach Out and Touch") and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ("Who's Gonna Take the Blame").
"I am shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Nickolas Ashford, said Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr. via statement. "Nick Ashford was an all-around beautiful human being. Nick will always be a great part of the Motown family and legacy. I send my love and deepest sympathies to Val and his children. I will remember his warm smile, his great heart and the wonderful songs he left us with. Despite my personal sorrow, I know we will be celebrating his life forever."
Outside of Motown, Ashford and Simpson also wrote "I'm Every Woman" for Chaka Khan in 1978, and later for Whitney Houston on the soundtrack to the 1992 film The Bodyguard.
In the '70s, Ashford and Simpson went from songwriters to performers, releasing nine albums for Motown, Warner Brothers Records and Capitol Records between 1973 and 1984. Their biggest hit during that time was their No. 1 1984 song "Solid (As a Rock)."
In terms of hip-hop, Ashford & Simpson's penned songs have been sampled by several rap artists, most notably by the RZA who used "You're All I Need to Get By" for Method Man and Mary J. Blige's classic love anthem, "I'll Be There For You/ You're All I Need To Get By." Most recently, Kanye West sampled "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" for his 2010 holiday song "Christmas In Harlem."
Mr. Ashford leaves behind two daughters, Nicole and Asia; his brothers Paul, Albert and Frank; and his mother, Alice Ashford.
A solid artist, a solid husband, a solid career. Thank you, Nick Ashford.