aka INSPECTAH DECK x 7L & ESOTERIC // PRESS*PLAY>>
"THE GREAT" (CZAR GUITAR) by CZARFACE // hip-hop
NEW OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR "THE GREAT" by CZARFACE
aka INSPECTAH DECK x 7L & ESOTERIC // PRESS*PLAY>>
HAPPY BIRTHDAY* LABI SIFFRE
// soul | funk | soft rock | folk | musician | singer | songwriter | poet | writer
"Labi Siffre (born Claudius Afolabi Siffre on 25 June 1945) is a British poet, songwriter, musician, and singer. Siffre released six albums between 1970 and 1975, and four between 1988 and 1998. Siffre has released several albums and has performed many cover versions of songs. He also has published works in poetry, a play and an essay. He came out of retirement in 1985.
Born the fourth of five children, at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in Hammersmith, London to a British mother of Barbadian–Belgian descent and a Nigerian father, Siffre was brought up in Bayswater and Hampstead and educated at a Catholic independent day school, St Benedict's School, in Ealing, west London. Despite his Catholic education Siffre has stated that he has always been an atheist.
Siffre played at Annie Ross's club in Soho in the 1960s as part of a house band. He released six albums between 1970 and 1975. In the 1970s he released 16 singles, three of which became hits: "It Must Be Love" (No. 14, 1971) (later coveredby and a No. 4 hit for Madness, for which Siffre himself appeared in the video); "Crying Laughing Loving Lying" (No. 11, 1972); and "Watch Me" (No. 29, 1972). In 1978, Siffre took part in the UK heats of the Eurovision Song Contest. He performed his own composition "Solid Love", which placed fifth of the twelve songs up for consideration at the A Song for Europe contest. Additionally, he co-wrote the song "We Got It Bad" performed by Bob James, which came tenth.
Siffre came out of self-imposed retirement from music in 1985, when he saw a television film from South Africa showing a white soldier shooting at black children. He wrote "(Something Inside) So Strong" (No. 4, 1987) and released four more albums between 1988 and 1998. The 1975 track "I Got The" was released as a single in 2006, having been sampled in the Eminem track My Name Is in 1998.
Siffre met his partner Peter Lloyd in July 1964, just after his 19th birthday. They remained together until Lloyd's death in 2013, having entered a Civil Partnership in 2005, as soon as this was possible in the UK." ~ read full bio via wikipedia
WATCH "IT MUST BE LOVE" by LABI SIFFRE LIVE ON GTK (1972) // PRESS*PLAY>>
"COFFEE" from forthcoming album 'WILDHEART' by MIGUEL // r&b | soul
OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR "COFFEE" by MIGUEL from forthcoming album
'WILDHEART' out JUNE 29th // PRESS*PLAY>>
HAPPY BIRTHDAY* AUGUSTUS PABLO
// roots | reggae | dub | musician | producer | icon | legend
"Horace Swaby (21 June 1954 – 18 May 1999), known as Augustus Pablo, was a Jamaican roots reggae and dub record producer, melodica player and keyboardist, active from the 1970s onwards. He popularised the use of the melodica (an instrument at that time primarily used in Jamaica to teach music to schoolchildren) in reggae music. His album King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) is often regarded as one of the most important examples of dub.
He was born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, and learned to play the organ at the Kingston College School. At that point, an unnamed girl lent him a melodica. Fascinated by the instrument, Pablo rarely put it down. He also met Herman Chin Loy, who after working at his cousin Leslie Kong's Beverley's record shop, had set up his own Aquarius store in Half Way Tree. Swaby recorded early tracks including "Higgi Higgi", "East of the River Nile", "Song of the East" and "The Red Sea" between 1971 and 1973 for Chin-Loy's Aquarius Records. Chin Loy had previously used the name Augustus Pablo generically for keyboard instrumentals recorded by Lloyd Charmers and Glen Adams, and Swaby took the name for this recording.
"East of the River Nile", a unique blend of East Asian and Jamaican sounds, became a moderate hit. He soon joined Now Generation (Mikey Chung's band) and played keyboard with them while his friend Clive Chin began his own career as a record producer. Pablo and Chin recorded "Java" (1972) together, as soon as Pablo quit Now Generation and Clive was able to obtain studio time. This instrumental was a massive hit and launched Pablo's solo career. He recorded with Chin and others includingLee Perry and Chin's uncle, Leonard Chin. Pablo scored another smash hit with "My Desire" (John Holt).
Pablo formed the labels Hot Stuff, Message and Rockers (named after his brother's soundsystem, Rockers), and released a steady stream of well-received instrumentals, mostly versions of older hits from Studio One. In spite of his success with Rockers, Pablo's 1974 album, This Is Augustus Pablo was recorded with Clive and Pat Chin. This was followed by a collaboration with the legendary reggae engineer King Tubby, 1975's Ital Dub.
Pablo produced a steady stream of hits in the late 1970s, including the hit "Black Star Liner" (Fred Locks). He also worked with Dillinger, Norris Reid, I-Roy, Jacob Miller,The Immortals, Paul Blackman, Earl Sixteen, Roman Stewart, Lacksley Castell, The Heptones, Bob Marley, Ricky Grant, Delroy Wilson, Junior Delgado, Horace Andy andFreddy McKay. This period was eventually commemorated with a series of critically acclaimed LPs including King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976) and Hugh Mundell's classic Africa Must Be Free by 1983. This was followed by East of the River Nile (1978), Original Rockers (1979) and another acclaimed hit album, Rockers Meets King Tubbys in a Firehouse.
In the 1980s, Pablo's career slowed significantly. In 1980, he appeared on the soundtrack of the documentary DOA. He had begun to establish an American audience and released Rising Sun in 1986 to good reviews and sales. Pablo also produced memorable hits, including "Ragamuffin Year" (Junior Delgado), "Humble Yourself" (Asher & Tremble) and "Far Far Away" (Ricky Grant). In addition, he toured extensively throughout the world, recording a memorable live album in Tokyo in 1987. That same year,Rockers Come East re-established his career and he began to release a series of favourably reviewed though somewhat inaccessible albums in the 1990s (includingBlowing With the Wind), while producing such records as Dawn Penn's "Night & Day" and Yami Bolo's "Jah Made Them All".
Augustus Pablo died as a result of a collapsed lung on 18 May 1999. He had been suffering for some time from the nerve disorder myasthenia gravis." ~ read full bio via wikipedia
WATCH AUGUSTUS PABLO LIVE via RADIO REGGAE ON TOP // PRESS*PLAY>>
HAPPY BIRTHDAY* PETE ROCK
// hip-hop | soul | jazz | experimental | turntablism | rapper | singer | dj | producer | icon
Peter Phillips (born June 21, 1970), better known by his stage name Pete Rock, is an American record producer, DJ and rapper. He rose to prominence in the early 1990s as one half of the critically acclaimed group Pete Rock & CL Smooth. After the duo went their separate ways, Rock continued with a solo career that has garnered him worldwide respect, though little in the way of mainstream success. Along with groups such as Stetsasonic, Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots. Rock played a major role in the merging of elements from jazz into hip hop music (also known as jazz rap). He is widely recognized as one of the greatest hip hop producers of all time, and is often mentioned alongside DJ Premier, the RZA, and J Dilla as one of the mainstays of 1990s East Coast hip hopproduction. Pete Rock is also the older brother and younger cousin, respectively, of rappers Grap Luva and the late Heavy D.
PRODUCTION // Pete Rock builds his beats from samples, the majority of which are taken from obscure R&B, funk, and jazz records. Early on in his career he would also sample drum breaks such as Black Heat's "Zimba Ku" for Heavy D & The Boyz's "Letter To The Future". Pete Rock heavily used the E-mu SP-1200 as well as the AKAI [S950] - later moving onto using the MPC—for his productions. Pete Rock tends to use the samples as palettes for his beats, chopping (cutting the sample into smaller parts), filtering (altering the frequencies of the sample), and layering several samples, often within the same song. While this technique was applied long before Rock (on De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising or the work of The Bomb Squad for example), Rock's work is distinctive for the way in which he uses samples to achieve a hazy, droning effect. He is also noted for his resonant basslines, horn samples, and gritty sounding drums. His beats often sound as though they were being played from an old vinyl record; he samples many of his sounds straight off these records.
Another trait of his, more so in the earlier part of his career, is the way he uses horn samples to supplement his grooves. With perhaps the most famous example being "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" (on which he uses a horn sample from Tom Scott's "Today"), Rock has also used horns on several other productions such as "Straighten It Out", Public Enemy's "Shut 'Em Down", Rah Digga's "What They Call Me", and A.D.O.R.'s "Let It All Hang Out".
Along with Gang Starr, The Roots and A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock played a large role in the fusing of jazz and funk music into Hip hop. The aforementioned "Reminisce..." withstanding, Rock used many jazz samples on his album Mecca and The Soul Brother, such as Cannonball Adderley's "Country Preacher", for the song "Return of the Mecca", or "Capricorn" for the song "In the House" from The Main Ingredient. Pete Rock's heavy use of intro and outro beats has also been widely influential. To introduce feature songs, he often plays a short instrumental excerpt, completely different from the rest of the song. Aside from their role as transitions, these are widely regarded as a way of displaying his large collection and as a challenge to other hip-hop producers to identify the records that the breakscome from. Mecca & the Soul Brother and The Main Ingredient use intro/outro beats on nearly every track to great effect, and the tradition continues to the present on Rock's recent releases.
REMIXES // "Another Pete Rock Remix" is Pete Rock's trademark catchphrase, heard on countless singles that he has remixed. In addition to hip-hop artists he has done remix work for artists from other genres such as his 1995 remix of "Before You Walk Out Of My Life" for R&B singer Monica. In 1992 he collaborated with Mary J. Blige on the What's the 411? single "Reminisce," which utililized the same sample from his own single "T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)." Rock claims to have done several high profile remixes that remain unreleased, including one of Madonna's "Secret." He also claims to have produced the original beat for The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy" and that it was recreated by P. Diddy and Poke (of Tone & Poke fame), without consent. However, he was invited to produce the remix, which utilizes the same sample as the original—Mtume's "Juicy Fruit." Although he received no official producer credit, he made the original demo beat for A Tribe Called Quest's "Jazz (We've Got)," which was then recreated by the group on the album The Low End Theory. He remixed Public Enemy's "Shut 'em Down" and "Nighttrain" in the same day, starting at 12pm and finishing at 12am.
Up until 2003, he created all of his productions on the E-mu SP1200, thereafter using the AKAI MPC2000XL. He also has a collection of about 90,000 records and looks for records at least once a week. Pete Rock was one of nine artists who participated in thetruth.com’s Remix Project, where he remixed the Sunny Side song “Magical Amount.”
More recently, Rock has broadened the range of music he has remixed. In 2009, he was commissioned to remix Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” which appeared on 2009’s Johnny Cash Remixed. In 2010, he remixed indie rockers Yo La Tengo's single Here to Fall for the Here to Fall Remixes EP, which included remixes by De La Soul and RJD2.
INFLUENCE // Pete Rock has had a considerable impact on a number of record producers who have emerged in the hip hop scene since the late 1990s. Many critics have compared newcomers to him, generally favorably. Perhaps most notable among these comparisons are the late Detroit producer J Dilla, and North Carolina's 9th Wonder, both of whom have worked with Rock during their recording careers. Several of the comparisons stem from the fact that these producers have created the bulk of their productions out of samples, as well as the warm, mellow, and exuberant undertones apparent in their work. Pete Rock himself has added validation to the comparisons with J Dilla by stating "he's the only producer in this game that was just as serious [as me].
Many other producers, including Kev Brown and Kanye West, have also found themselves compared to Pete Rock, with the latter glowingly referring to himself as "the new version of Pete Rock" on Slum Village's "Selfish" from the group's 2004 album Detroit Deli (A Taste of Detroit). Pete Rock has acknowledged his relevance to these artists, releasing an instrumental record with 9th Wonder (Class Is in Session), as well as recording his own remix of West's "Heard 'Em Say". Rock himself has named his main musical influences as being influential hip hop producer and close friend Marley Marl and legendary soul musician James Brown. ~ read full bio via wikipedia
WATCH PETE ROCK interview via HYPERTRAK TV (2013) // PRESS*PLAY>>
HAPPY BIRTHDAY* KENDRICK LAMAR // hip-hop | rapper | songwriter | icon
"Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (born June 17, 1987), better known as Kendrick Lamar, is an American hip hop artist from Compton, California. In 2004, Lamar signed to Carson-based independent record label, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE). Lamar would later secure a recording contract with a major label in 2012, when he signed with Aftermath and Interscope Records. Apart from his solo career, Lamar is also known as a member of the West Coast hip hop supergroup Black Hippy, alongside his TDE labelmates and fellow South Los Angeles-based rappers Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q.
Lamar began to gain major recognition in 2010, after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated. The following year, he released Section.80, his first independent album, exclusively through iTunes. The album received critical acclaim and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year. The album spawned Lamar's debut single, "HiiiPoWeR". Early in his career, prior to releasing his major-label debut, Lamar had amassed a large Internet following and had already worked with several prominent artists in the music industry, including The Game, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Drake, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, E-40, Warren G and Lil Wayne, among others.
Lamar's major-label debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released in October 2012 to widespread acclaim. The album contained the Top 40 hits "Swimming Pools (Drank)", "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" and "Poetic Justice". Upon its release, the album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In early 2013, MTV crowned Lamar the No. 1 "Hottest MC in the Game", on their annual list. Lamar also received a total of seven Grammy nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014), including Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Best Rap Song. A year later, at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards (2015), Lamar won Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for his single, "i". In March 2015, Lamar released his third album, To Pimp a Butterfly, to wide acclaim. It peaked at number one in various countries, including the U.S. and the UK.
Lamar has stated that Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas and Eminem are his top five favorite rappers. Tupac Shakur is his biggest influence, and has influenced not only his music, but his day-to-day lifestyle as well. In a September 2012 interview, Lamar stated Detroit-based rapper Eminem "influenced a lot of my style" and has since credited Eminem for his own aggression on records, such as "Backseat Freestyle". Lamar also gave Lil Wayne (during his Hot Boyz days) credit for influencing his style and praised his longevity. He has said that he also grew up listening to Rakim, Dr. Dre and Tha Dogg Pound.
In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Lamar mentioned Mos Def and Snoop Dogg as rappers that he listened to and took influence from during his early years. He also cites Yonkers-based rapper DMX as an influence: "[DMX] really [got me started] on music," explained Lamar in an interview with Philadelphia's Power 99. "That first album [It's Dark and Hell Is Hot] is classic, [so he had an influence on me]." In January 2013, when asked to name three rappers that have played a role in his style, Lamar said: "It's probably more of a west coast influence. A little bit of Kurupt, Pac, with some of the content of Cube.” In a November 2013 interview with GQ, when asked "The Four MC's That Made Kendrick Lamar?", he answered Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Mobb Deep, namely Prodigy." ~ read full bio via wikipedia
WATCH OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR "KING KUNTA" by KENDRICK LAMAR (2015) // PRESS*PLAY>>
HAPPY BIRTHDAY* TUPAC SHAKUR // hip-hop | rapper | actor | poet | activist | icon | legend
"Tupac Amaru Shakur (/ˈtuːpɑːk ʃəˈkʊər/ too-pahk shə-koor; born Lesane Parish Crooks; June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996), also known by his stage names 2Pac and briefly as Makaveli, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His double disc albums All Eyez on Me and his Greatest Hits are among the best selling albums in the United States. He has been listed and ranked as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone which ranked him 86th on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, he was ranked number 2 by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. 2Pac is also ranked as the most influential rapper of all time.
Shakur began his career as a roadie, backup dancer, and MC for the alternative hip hop group Digital Underground, eventually branching off as a solo artist. The themes of most of Shakur's songs revolved around the violence and hardship in inner cities, racism and other social problems. Both of his parents and several other of his family were members of the Black Panther Party, whose ideals were reflected in his songs.
During the latter part of his career, Shakur was a vocal participant in the so-called East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry, becoming involved in conflicts with other rappers, producers and record-label staff members, most notably The Notorious B.I.G. and the label Bad Boy Records.
On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting at the intersection of Flamingo Roadand Koval Lane in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was taken to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where he died six days later.
At a Mobb Deep concert following the death of Shakur and the release of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, Cormega recalled in an interview that the fans were all shouting "Makaveli", and emphasized the influence of The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and of Shakur himself even in New York at the height of the media-dubbed 'intercoastal rivalry'.
Shakur is held in high esteem by other MCs – in the book How to Rap, Bishop Lamont notes that Shakur "mastered every element, every aspect" of rapping and Fredro Starr of Onyx says Shakur "was a master of the flow." "Every rapper who grew up in the Nineties owes something to Tupac," wrote 50 Cent. "He didn't sound like anyone who came before him." About.com for their part named Shakur the most influential rapper ever.
To preserve Shakur's legacy, his mother founded the Shakur Family Foundation (later renamed the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation or TASF) in 1997. The TASF's stated mission is to "provide training and support for students who aspire to enhance their creative talents." The TASF sponsors essay contests, charity events, a performing arts day camp for teenagers and undergraduate scholarships. The Foundation officially opened the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts (TASCA) in Stone Mountain, Georgia, on June 11, 2005. On November 14, 2003, a documentary about Shakur entitled Tupac: Resurrection was released under the supervision of his mother and narrated entirely in his voice. It was nominated for Best Documentary in the 2005 Academy Awards. Proceeds will go to a charity set up by Shakur's mother Afeni. On April 17, 2003, Harvard University co-sponsored an academic symposium entitled "All Eyez on Me: Tupac Shakur and the Search for the Modern Folk Hero". The speakers discussed a wide range of topics dealing with Shakur's impact on everything from entertainment to sociology.
Many of the speakers discussed Shakur's status and public persona, including State University of New York at BuffaloEnglish professor Mark Anthony Neal who gave the talk "Thug Nigga Intellectual: Tupac as Celebrity Gramscian" in which he argued that Shakur was an example of the "organic intellectual" expressing the concerns of a larger group. Professor Neal has also indicated in his writings that the death of Shakur has left a "leadership void amongst hip-hop artists." Neal further describes him as a "walking contradiction", a status that allowed him to "make being an intellectual accessible to ordinary people."
Professor of Communications Murray Forman, of Northeastern University, spoke of the mythical status about Shakur's life and death. He addressed the symbolism and mythology surrounding Shakur's death in his talk entitled "Tupac Shakur: O.G. (Ostensibly Gone)". Among his findings were that Shakur's fans have "succeeded in resurrecting Tupac as an ethereal life force." In "From Thug Life to Legend: Realization of a Black Folk Hero", Professor of Music at Northeastern University, Emmett Price, compared Shakur's public image to that of the trickster-figures of African-American folklore which gave rise to the urban "bad-man" persona of the post-slavery period. He ultimately described Shakur as a "prolific artist" who was "driven by a terrible sense of urgency" in a quest to "unify mind, body, and spirit".
In Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur, Michael Eric Dyson indicated that Shakur "spoke with brilliance and insight as someone who bears witness to the pain of those who would never have his platform. He told the truth, even as he struggled with the fragments of his identity. At one Harvard Conference the theme was Shakur's impact on entertainment, race relations, politics and the "hero/martyr". In late 1997, the University of California, Berkeley offered a student-led course entitled "History 98: Poetry and History of Tupac Shakur."
In late 2003, the Makaveli Branded Clothing line was launched by Afeni. In 2005, Death Row released Tupac: Live at the House of Blues. The DVD was the final recorded performance of Shakur's career, which took place on July 4, 1996, and features a large number of Death Row artists. In August 2006, Tupac Shakur Legacy was released. The interactive biography was written by Jamal Joseph. It features unseen family photographs, intimate stories, and over 20 removable reproductions of his handwritten song lyrics, contracts, scripts, poetry, and other personal papers. Shakur's sixth posthumous studio album, Pac's Life, was released on November 21, 2006. It commemorates the 10th anniversary of Shakur's death. He is still considered one of the most popular artists in the music industry as of 2006.
According to Forbes, in 2008 Shakur's estate made $15 million. In 2002, they recognized him as a "Top-Earning Dead Celebrity", coming in at number ten on their list.
BET named 2Pac 'The Most Influential Rappers of All Time'. They then went on to say his confounding mixture of ladies' man, thug, revolutionary and poet has forever altered our perception of what a rapper should look like, sound like and act like. In 50 Cent, Ja Rule, Lil Wayne, newcomers like Freddie Gibbs and even his friend-turned-rival Biggie, it's easy to see that Pac is the most copied MC of all time. There are murals bearing his likeness in New York, Brazil, Sierra Leone, Bulgaria and countless other places; he even has statues in Atlanta and Germany. Quite simply, no other rapper has captured the world's attention the way Tupac did and still does.
On April 15, 2012, a "hologram" of Shakur (technically a 2-D video projection) performed his songs "Hail Mary" and "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" with Snoop Dogg at the Coachella Music Festival. The effect was created using an optical illusion called Pepper's ghost. The video footage was created by visual effects company Digital Domain. The Wall Street Journal reported Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were in talks of a possible tour involving the two rappers and the projection version of Shakur, which was later turned down by Dr. Dre. Tupac's 1998 album Greatest Hits returns to the Billboard 200 the following week for the first time since 2000, as it jumps back in at No. 129 with 4,000 copies sold according to Nielsen SoundScan (a gain of 571% over the previous week). The MC's other albums also saw gains, including All Eyez On Me (2,000; up 95%) and Me Against the World (1,000; up 53%). His singles also saw a boost in sales. His biggest seller of the week was "Hail Mary"—the song his projection opened with at Coachella. The song moved 13,000 downloads last week for a 1,530% sales increase. His second biggest seller was his No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit "California Love" (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman), shifting 11,000 downloads (119% increase). His third best-seller was the second Tupac song that was performed at Coachella -- "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" (with Snoop). It sold 9,000 (up 881%).
Holler If Ya Hear Me (2014), was a Broadway play based upon the lyrics of Tupac. The production lasted 6 weeks before it folded due to being one of Broadway’s worst-selling musicals in recent years. It was announced in January 2015 the following month would see an exhibit dedicated to Shakur opened at the Grammy Museum. Executive director Robert Santelli praised Shakur as "one of the most original and important of all hip hop artists", adding that his writings were "both powerful and provocative". During a panel for the exhibit, attended by his mother Afeni, cousins and various members of his extended family, rapper YGsaid that he was inspired by Shakur to return to school, and that Shakur was like a "father figure" to some." ~ read full bio via wikipedia
WATCH TUPAC SHAKUR's official music video for "I GET AROUND" (1993) // PRESS*PLAY >>
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