If you are a hip-hop fan, you know that February is J Dilla Month. So in honor of the late and great producer, I offer to you the 15th Anniversary Edition of The Shining LP (Japanese Import). This is one of many posthumous albums that was released after the Detroit producer’s death on Feb. 10, 2006.
The original album, released on August 22, 2006, boasts guest appearances from Busta Rhymes, Common, D’Angelo, Black Thought, MED, Guilty Simpson and fellow producer Madlib.
Two of my favorite tracks on the project is "E=MC2" featuring Common and "So Far to Go" Featurng Common and D’Angelo. I could play those two songs forever.
J Dilla will be sorely missed. But his music will last forever. Take a listen below and enjoy.
The Morocco native-Bronx-raised rapper was photographed in three different middle eastern cities -- Dubai, Beirut, and Casablanca (French's native hometown). The covers are a celebration of Middle Eastern heritage, multiculturalism, as well the power, perseverance, and strength of immigrants.
Inside the magazine, the "No Stylist" rhymer proclaimed his support for immigration, which has become a polarizing topic in the United States. "Immigration means everything to me," he told GQ. "It means hope, it means faith, it means a voice for the people that come from different places and build a country - that someone can come from nothing and be something."
French was born in Casablanca, Morocco and immigrated to the U.S. when he was a young teen. The 34-year-old artist learned how to speak English through rap music.
“I didn’t know English until I was 14, 15," he explained. "In Morocco, I was just singing: I didn’t even know what the words were. Whether it was Tupac, Wu-Tang, Bob Marley. It shows how powerful music is - it’s the only language that people speak worldwide.”
“I got the privilege to be part of both worlds, even though I was born in Morocco,” he adds. “I gained my conscience and my hustle when I touched down in the States. I probably got the best of both worlds, if you were to ask me. I got to where I needed to be and then came right back."
You can read French Montana's full GQ magazine (Middle East) cover story HERE.
Days after the midterm elections, Ice Cube has released a new single that’s aimed directly at President Trump (aka Agent Orange).
The single, “Arrest the President,” features the West Coast icon spewing his vitriol at the president for his alleged collusion with Russia during his presidential campaign in 2016.
"Arrest the president, you got the evidence / That nigga is Russian intelligence / When it rains it pours / Did you know the new white was orange? / Boy, you’re showing your horns / They’re tryin’ to replace my halo with thorns / You so basic with your vape stick / Let’s go apeshit in the matrix," he rhymes on the song.
Listen to Ice Cube's "Arrest the President"
The song is not as venomous as his classic tracks about white supremacy on his landmark 1991 album Death Certificate. Songs like "I Wanna Kill Sam" and "Horny Lil' Devil" have a little bit more lyrical bite. Nevertheless, "Arrest the President" is a protest song that we need to hear more from our current rappers.
I'm happy that Ice Cube is back and he's ready to spit some truth to power. Ice Cube's tenth album, Everythang’s Corrupt, is expected to hit digital stores on Dec. 7.
If you want to hear two of Ice Cube's incendiary songs from Death Certificate - "I Wanna Kill Sam" and "Horny Lil' Devil" - click the link below. (I also included his fiery tack "We Had to Tear This Mothafucka Up" because it's vintage Ice Cube y'all need to hear.)
Today (Nov. 9) is a great day in music history - two classic albums that shaped and transcended hip-hop turned 25 years old.
On Nov. 9, 1993, the Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest released their seminal albums, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and Midnight Marauders, respectively, on the same day giving rap fans endless hours of head-nodding material.
Both albums offered two different musical compositions in rap. On Enter the Wu-Tang, veteran producer RZA delivered a cacophony of sounds that consisted of concrete-breaking beats and sampled vocals from kung-fu flicks. The album's unpolished production sounded like RZA recorded the project in his basement -- gritty and unfiltered.
Meanwhile, ATCQ had already released two classic albums - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990) and The Low End Theory (1991), an impressive accomplishment from the iconic group. Unlike Enter the Wu, the production on Midnight Marauders was polished as the rap trio continued their creative fusion of hip-hop and jazz. Lyrically, Q-Tip and the late Phife Dawg delivered inventive rhymes that dealt with their day-in-a-life circumstances growing up in Queens, New York.
Both are unadulterated classics and I'm not going to even entertain a debate on which album is superior, instead, let's enjoy them for what they are - timeless masterpieces.
"We at 25 years, we know we have arrived at our destination. We're grateful for everyone that’s been a part of this,” said RZA about the LP's 25th anniversary (via Billboard ). “When we said 36 Chambers, the word chamber was giving everybody an idea that you will go through different chambers in your life. It's many things that you have to pass through in order to master yourself."
The RZA also revealed that the borough of Staten Island, N.Y. (native hometown to most of the Wu-Tang Clan members) will recognized Nov. 9 as "Wu-Tang Clan Day."
On the internet, they are a slew of tributes and retrospectives on both of these albums. Check out the list below (click the link):
It might be too soon for holiday music, but I couldn’t resist not telling you about singer-pianist PJ Morton’s new holiday song and his upcoming Christmas album.
Although PJ Morton is the keyboardist for the pop band Maroon 5, as a solo artist, his musical style is deeply rooted in the soul songbook of Stevie Wonder. Case in point: His Grammy-nominated album Gumbo is a delectable listen (excuse the pun) of soul and R&B music. Songs like “They Gon’ Wanna Come,” goes full Innervisions in both its orchestral sound and introspective lyrics. He takes his Wonder influence a step further on “Religion” where he denounces terrorist acts done under the auspices of God, as well as on the reflective track “Claustrophobic.” You can stream his entire project here.
Next up on PJ Morton’s plate is his holiday album Christmas with PJ, which arrives at digital stores on Friday (Nov. 9). The eight-song collection features the 37-year-old musician’s unique reworkings of your holiday classics.
For example, the set’s lead single is his remake of Mariah Carey’s 1994 holiday mainstay“All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Unlike Carey’s boppier version, Morton gives us a Stevie Wonder-esque vibe with his rendition complete with Stokley Williams (from the R&B group Mint Condition) dueting with him and playing the drums.
In his music video below, we see old home movies of a young Morton and his family enjoying Christmas year after year. The visual is intercut with scenes of Morton and Williams performing in the studio.
Check Out PJ Morton's "All I Want For Christmas is You" Feat. Stokley
As for Morton's upcoming Christmas album, the singer-pianist re-flips several of your favorite yuletide ditties. For example, Morton remixes Donny Hathaway's soulful holiday song "This Christmas" into a joyous New Orleans bounce track. Along with bounce artist HaSizzle's energetic vocals on the song, it will no doubt make you want to shake your butt under the mistletoe.
“I went all the way there with the string orchestra and the horns on top of the bounce beat. I don’t think anyone’s gone that far, to have an orchestra over bounce drums," he told Offbeat magazine about the song. "But that’s me, though! That’s the dichotomy of PJ. A brown beat for Jesus’ birthday with a full orchestra on it. Come on!"
If you want to know how PJ Morton gets ready for Christmas, click the link below. Also, I included one of my favorite songs from his Gumbo project - "How Deep Is Your Love."
Don't sleep on PJ Morton. You can cop/stream his Christmas With PJ album here.