Author Archive

11.1
06

Lionel Ritchie, Lyfe Jennings Team Up For “The Bridge”

by Ife Oshun ·

Lionel Ritchie & Lyfe JenningsThink of Lionel Ritchie and Lyfe Jennings as an unlikely pair? Think again. The two make a winning combo in the first episode of a new online show offered by AOL Black Voices.

The new music show called “The Bridge” is much like VH1′s upcoming “Bridging the Gap,” which features unlikely collaborations between artists. But while VH1 focuses on established artists of different eras working with a producer, AOL BV “pairs an established artist with a newcomer in a special performance.”

AOL’s first episode features five-time Grammy award winner Lionel Richie team up with legend-in-the-making/chart staple Lyfe Jennings for the Ritchie-penned Commodores classic “Easy.” At the top, Ritchie on that mellow-as-hell piano, says, “Get ready my brother,” to which a humble Jennings answers, “Get ready my brother.” All through the electrifying set, Ritchie does the encouraging, “welcome-to-my-house” real-recognize-real routine and brings the classic goods, but it’s Jennings’ killer street-stank riffs at the end of the song that punctuate how R&B has transformed over the decades. Later Richie belts out newer tunes “I Call It Love” and “Why,” while Jennings freaks his incredible tracks “S.E.X.” and “Goodbye.”

Additional footage includes a cut-up video interview where the two artists talk about a mess of topics ranging from their current albums to the importance of building business relationships. Check out the action now.

Photo: AOL

10.6
06

Artist Spotlight: Governor Talks Tragedy, T.I. & R&B

by Ife Oshun ·

GovernorAlthough he’s one of the newest artists signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle label, there’s nothing new about R&B/soul prophet Governor (hear his shoutout) or his spine-tingling vocals.

After having endured the fires of family tragedy and numerous career set-backs, the self-proclaimed “country boy” emerges, undefeated and swaggering, wielding his mainstream debut Son Of Pain, an ecclesiastical opus evoking the soul legends of the past while embracing the streetwise grit of the now.

Aptly titled, the set’s massively blues-drenched lead single “Blood, Sweat & Tears” speaks to indescribable despair and transcendent redemption. With the lyric “In ’74 mama pulled the trigger,” the songwriter paints a world of hurt referring to when his mother committed suicide while he was still a baby. He spoke candidly about how this heartrending experience shaped and inspired his life.

“It instilled in me a desire to never quit,” an emotional Governor revealed to HRS. “No matter hard hard things get.”

Check our exclusive audio interview with Governor and peep a review of his album.

Audio interview

Son Of Pain review

Official Governor site

Governor’s myspace

09.13
06

Whitney Houston Finally Dumps Bobby Brown

by Ife Oshun ·

It seems like the entire world, both online and offline, is literally rejoicing with the news that Whitney has finally kicked Bobby to the curb. We went looking online to see if anybody out there felt bad for the jilted hubby.

As previously reported, Superhead recently claimed she and ex-flame Bobby (ok who wasn’t one of her ex-flames?) have been spending time, so it’s a possibility that this might have sullied his otherwise pristine reputation…

As Gawker.com neutrally points out, Access Hollywood is running with this story, and might be one of the more reliable places to get the freshest info on the split. They say last night Whitney was hanging tough at the Ella Awards with Clive Davis and auntie Dionne Warwick, and looking a little like her old self (look at the pics). Perhaps Patii Labelle’s call for action is at the root of this dramatic change?

And while some rejoice openly, the ironic thing is Bobby’s new girlfriend, Superhead, may be working in conjunction with Whitney to get the latter’s career back on track. If this is the case then ‘head’s our new hero.

A commenter over here even pointed out Osama Bin Laden may be celebrating the news.

Well, it was fun looking for that one person who empathized with Bobby, but since we failed all we have to say is this: Hell to the yes… let’s hope she had a pre-nup.

08.15
06

MTV Bans “Vans” Video From The Pack

by Ife Oshun ·

The PackAccording to Zomba, the “Vans” video from Bay Area hyphy-hype group The Pack has been banned by MTV.

David Bell, Director of Digital Marketing for Zomba Label Group, told me the video channel didn’t approve of the message.

“[They] said the video was basically an ad for Vans,” said Bell.

When the decades old “video” channel asked the teens to cut a new clip and change the name of their song in return for airplay, they refused and basically told the network to step off.

“There are so many more outlets for video exposure right now,” Bell added. “so we are exploring on a much deeper and grassroots level than normal.”

The song, an almost whispered ode to the punk rock footwear, has been blowing up West coast radio. The video shows Nike shoes being thrown away by dreadlocked Black boys on skateboards.

Scandal. Anarchy.

Couldn’t get a comment from MTV, so here’s the banned video.

Photo courtesy Zomba

Edited 1:03 pm

08.8
06

MC Lyte, Queen Latifah And Dove Soap Ads Keep It Real

by Ife Oshun ·

Queen LatifahHip-hop legend, MC Lyte, has signed on as part of the Hip-Hop Leadership Camp being held at UCLA August 10-13, 2006.

The camp encourages “at risk youth” to “look beyond dreams of being artists, by empowering them with the tools to become business people.”

A good idea given the dirth of “artists” in the business solely to make money.

Other participants will include Sway (from the Sway & Tech Wake Up Show), DJ Skee, Chino XL and Sticky Fingaz.

Also, fellow female hip-hop vet, Queen Latifah, is launching the 2006 Curvation Project Confidence. And while at first I thought it was something about being curvy and proud of it, it’s nothing like those reality ads from Dove soap.

“Awards is a nationwide search to recognize women who personify and project the power of confidence through contributions to their local communities – via education, fund-raising, self-empowerment and volunteer work – to help other women to gain confidence and self esteem.”

Heavy stuff.

08.4
06

Sleepy Brown, Big Boi And Pharrell Chill With “Margarita”

by Ife Oshun ·

Sleepy BrownCheck the new video from Outkast cohort Sleepy Brown. Dude’s got a serious Isaac Hayes vibe, so ladies (and some of you guys) might like this video.

The clip features the Dungeon Family member macking in Spain with Big Boi and Pharrell. The tone’s laid back soul-tinged pop, great for a day by the pool.

Brown, whose dad was a member of 70s soul/funk band Brick, helped produce Outkast’s classics Southernplayalisticaddilacmusic and ATLiens before later performing on their swansong Stankonia. Now signed with Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon label, he maintains his soulful flair.

“I just want to bring that real soulful vibe back to the music,” he said. “And I think we made something that is just different than anything else that people have heard, even though hopefully, it’ll remind them of the records from back in the day.”

Photo courtesy Virgin

Sleepy Brown – “Margarita” feat Big Boi and Pharrell

Windows|Real

08.4
06

Del Tha Funky Homosapien “Ain’t Even Concerned With” Rock The Bells Fest

by Ife Oshun ·

Rock The BellsRock The Bells is set to rock California all weekend from August 5 (San Bernadino) to August 6 (Concord).

The 4th annual fest is trying something new this year, running 2 days straight instead of the usual one-day shot. On the bills are mega-stars such as The Wu-Tang Clan, Redman, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Del La Soul, Del The Funky Homosapien and so many more.

I spoke to Del who just returned from a grueling leg of touring and asked him about the upcoming gig. Wanna know what he said?

“You want the real answer or the pc answer?” he asked. “I ain’t even concerned with it really. I actually would rather stay at home with my girl.”

Seriously, though, you have to hear his entire response. And stay tuned for more of my exclusive interview with Del.

In the meantime, tell us what you think about the fest, Del’s performance or Supernatural’s attempt to break the current record for delivering the longest freestyle rap. Along with Lollapalooza this weekend (August 4-6) too, it ought to be a hot weekend.

Audio interview (Quicktime)

08.4
06

R&B Legend Floyd Dixon Dies At 77

by Ife Oshun ·

Floyd DixonR&B legend Floyd Dixon died last week (July 26) at the age of 77 in Los Angeles. An American music pioneer, the self taught pianist helped transform swing into R&B, built the Los Angeles R&B scene and, as the LA Times and Hollywood Reporter point out, helped mold Ray Charles.

From the LA Times: During a tour with Ray Charles, “Dixon encouraged Ray to switch from his suave Nat King Cole approach to a more gospel-inspired delivery” that led to a string of Charles hits, according to an obituary for Alligator Records, which put out Dixon’s 1996 album, “Wake Up And Live!”

“Ray Charles took a lot of my dad’s style, in vocals as well,” Dixon’s son said. The two remained good friends, he added.

You can hear for yourself where Charles patterned his style in the audio links offered by Dallas’ blog. There’s also a great picture of Dixon here. RIP.

08.3
06

Chicken Noodle Soup, Anyone?

by Ife Oshun ·

Chicken NoodleWell if you didn’t know about the new dance craze out of Harlem, U.S.A., here’s the scoop. It’s called Chicken Noodle Soup and it’s all over the place, including YouTube and BET.

Basically the song of the same name chants lyrics like “Let it rain!, Clear it out!” and has inspired this nutty looking wobble leg wop. As a result, you can go to the oh-so-ripe-for-a-lawsuit YouTube, and see jillions of videos of homies doing the chicken noodle soup… In the streets, on the corner, in churches… in the bedroom… everywhere.

BET takes it one better. They’re sponsoring a talent search where you can submit your video of you and your friends doing the chicken noodle soup. The best ones get to sport their skills on BET On Blast and/or 106 & Park.

We think the song is like those old-school New York jams from back in the day (think Frankie Smith’s “Double Dutch Bus”) even though it has that snap music vibe. You gotta love Young B on this track, taking it waaaay back. As for the dance… there’s nothing old school about it.Take a listen and a look and tell us what you think of this.

Webstar feat. Young B – “Chicken Noodle Soup” Windows|Real