RESPECT DUE: R.I.P. Dr. Maya Angelou

Word are my tools, my instruments, my friends, even.

I find comfort and joy, wonder even in the God-given ability to employ them to express my feelings, thoughts and desires, sometimes with clarion clarity and others to work my way through whatever is happening or going on in my life and the world we live in that I sometimes can’t quite decipher.

But sometimes, nothing I say, nothing that could or can be said will ever quite capture the ephemeral essence of the moment, the event.

This is one of those times.

So, instead of reaching, trying, grasping and wrestling in an attempt to convey our collective loss, I’m going to put them away now.

Instead, I will let the words of others and most importantly, more significantly the words of Dr. Maya Angelou herself speak in this time of great and immeasurable loss.

R.I.P. Dr. Maya Angelou.

For the example and the gifts that will keep on giving, living maybe, perhaps even when this world is windswept cosmic dust and displaced energy seeking some new place, planet or plane to be, I humbly Thank You.

Love.

Eternally.

Advertisements

Master Class: Show ‘Em How To Do This, Sons! Music-Loving Dad Creates Classic LP Cover Remixes Starring His Sons

Classic Album Cover Remixes Created By a Music-Loving Dad, Starring His Adorable Sons

 Lance Underwood, father of two sons uses his tumblr page to share his remixed photoshopped versions of classic lp covers from across musical genres – Rock, Soul, R&B, Country, Jazz, Spoken Word, Comedy, Hip Hop – to amazing results.

Check the technique below:

 tumblr_myipqlQCAj1sv1bfuo1_500-1tumblr_myg1v5u97N1sv1bfuo1_500tumblr_myg1snb80T1sv1bfuo1_500tumblr_myg1qa7ZkC1sv1bfuo1_500

1397725373-2Image credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance Underwood

His kids also have a few of their own offerings – original music coupled with original visuals  – and there’s also examples of dad’s work for some other folks and the coffee table book he did compiling the work he and his little men have done together.

I don’t know if I’ve seen a better way to actively teach your kids about culture and the proper utilization of tech tools. He’s teaching history, technology and respect for icons and their creations while inspiring them to create their own art and showing them how.

If that’s not providing a living example tell me what is.

Please.

A lot of dads get a bad rap – sometimes deserved, sometimes not.  Nice to see one of the club getting recognized for providing knowledge, culture and Love as his son’s foundation for the future.

Salute, Lance Underwood & sons!

Master Class: Show ‘Em How To Do This, Sons! Music-Loving Dad Creates Classic LP Cover Remixes Starring His Sons

Classic Album Cover Remixes Created By a Music-Loving Dad, Starring His Adorable Sons

 Lance Underwood, father of two sons uses his tumblr page to share his remixed photoshopped versions of classic lp covers from across musical genres – Rock, Soul, R&B, Country, Jazz, Spoken Word, Comedy, Hip Hop – to amazing results.

Check the technique below:

 tumblr_myipqlQCAj1sv1bfuo1_500-1 tumblr_myg1v5u97N1sv1bfuo1_500 tumblr_myg1snb80T1sv1bfuo1_500 tumblr_myg1qa7ZkC1sv1bfuo1_500

 

1397725373-2Image credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance UnderwoodImage credit: Lance Underwood

His kids also have a few of their own offerings – original music coupled with original visuals  – and there’s also examples of dad’s work for some other folks and the coffee table book he did compiling the work he and his little men have done together.

I don’t know if I’ve seen a better way to actively teach your kids about culture and the proper utilization of tech tools. He’s teaching history, technology and respect for icons and their creations while inspiring them to create their own art and showing them how.

If that’s not providing a living example tell me what is.

Please.

A lot of dads get a bad rap – sometimes deserved, sometimes not.  Nice to see one of the club getting recognized for providing knowledge, culture and Love as his son’s foundation for the future.

Salute, Lance Underwood & sons!

Flavorwire

Take heed Lunchbox dads and fathers of cute Internet dogs: classic album cover remixes starring your two adorable sons are the new thing. Dad Lance Underwood recreates famous album covers and casts his sons Taj and Amar in the roles of musicians such as Bob Dylan, Nat King Cole, Marvin Gaye, and more. Judging by the amount of old-school hip hop, jazz, funk, and soul on his Tumblr, we’d say that Underwood’s sons are getting a fine education in music history. See more of Underwood’s fun album cover remakes, starring his extremely photogenic kids, below.

View original post 48 more words

Master Class: Black Milk – Rhythm Roulette, Mass Appeal

Video

The Mass Appeal crew take us through the beat crafting process with               Detroit’s Black Milk.

I like the Rhythm Roulette series because it shows  – in an encapsulated, condensed, time-lapsed format – how painstaking the path to a hot beat can be. It also shows how crafting something from nothing – warped, scratched-up records for source material  – is a beautiful thing.

It’s like explaining how shit begets fertilizer to a kid, which I did recently.

For my beatmaking brethren. I respect your grind … and your dedication.

Enjoy!

SOULcial Studies: The Real Rap on (so-called) Reality Show Stardom

I’m not the biggest fan of Dr. Boyce Watkins, but I have to admit, more often than not, he’s on point.

Opining on a recent interview Kandi Burruss gave Madame Noire.com, he says he’s “proud of Burruss”. For those of you who wannabe reality tv stars – and there’s an alarmingly high number of you – it’s worth the read.

Kandi Burruss of Real Housewives of Atlanta

Kandi Burruss of                               Real Housewives of Atlanta

Kandi Burruss explained that being a reality TV star is not as financially rewarding as some might think … [and] why she works to live below her means. “On a new reality show they’re not making anything,” she said. “If they are getting anything, it may be like $2,500 per episode to $5,000, at the most. Most times, like say for instance the women who started out on our show, in the beginning they didn’t get anything for that first year. They got like $5,000 for the whole season just for the use of their house. When I first came on they didn’t really hardly pay me anything either. A lot of those shows do not pay a lot of money.”

Lessons for those who think they wannabe a star:

“1) The words “rich” and “famous” don’t always go hand-in-hand. The worst thing in the world is to be famous and have everyone think you have more money than you actually have. This happens a lot for entertainers who have no understanding of business models.

2) Conservatism is the key to financial survival: Unfortunately, materialistic culture promoted through music and movies promotes the opposite, leaving us looking really stupid later on down the line.

3) You must be your own business and brand in this ever-changing economic landscape: Even if someone gives you a job, always find a way to create your own job.”

Here’s the link for the entire piece:

http://financialjuneteenth.com/rhoas-kandi-burruss-describes-the-stupidity-of-living-the-glamorous-life/

Master Class: The Jackson 5, “Lookin’ Through The Window”

One of my favorite J5 joints … short, simple, melodic, crazy vocal performances by both young Mike and his brothers with the backgrounds.

That youthful exuberance and hope despite not knowing what love is about? The essence of Michael and The J5.

“Lookin’ through the windows, the window to your heart, oh baby, yeah
I can see it’s cloudy, the rain’s about to start
Lookin’ through the windows it seems I caused your fears, yeah, yeah, yeah
And that little doubt girl. and now it’s bringing tears …”

The Jackson 5 – “Lookin’ Through The Window”

Black Music Month/Commercial Wrap – Jay-Z Gives Samsung The Business

Get it straight: this has been a banner season for Jay-Z.

Remember, it all began with two moves the public – and the industry to an extent – wasn’t so sure about:

“Suit & Tie” with Justin Timberlake …

and the divestment of ownership in the NBA/Nets to set up the Roc Nation Sports shingle. He’s signed Skylar Diggins, Geno Smith, Victor Cruz (reportedly), Robinson Cano and in somewhat of a coup, NBA All Star baller Kevin Durant. 

The 40/40 Club 10 Year Anniversary Party - Inside

 He also has the tour set up with JT for the Summer.

In March, Universal Music Group did a deal two year to develop a music subscription service and app with – who else? – Samsung.

A month later Jay’s Roc Nation did a $150 milli deal with UMG & Live Nation to serve as the major label launchpad for his independent starship. Universal isn’t some middling record label trying to catch up in these digital times; they’re King Kong in this piece, the worlds largest and most dominant.

But this move with Samsung? The. Bumrush.

So this deal, a give-away of the album, Magna Carta Holy Grail available to a million Samsung subscribers, is good for all of Mr. Carter’s corporate partners, but it also gives Samsung some major cool cache to battle Apple (in their spots they regularly diss the iJuggernaut). What better way to get service branded and a presence than with a strategy that all but guarantees instant gravitas and delivers a million copies of the project from one of the most effective cultural connoisseurs to consumers directly?

That Jay is unleashing a multi-tentacled media plan shouldn’t be a surprise. It should in fact, be old hat by now: he makes moves.

Jay-Z-Magna-Carta-Holy-Grail

Brooklyn keeps on takin’ it.

But the fact that he has a three minute clip showing him hanging out-slash-working with some of the most influential sound sculptors over parts of the past four decades and                                   tumblr_moj5xdsoka1qhsk14o1_1280                                                         decides to drop an album out of nowhere is certifiably crazy and characteristically calculated and bold. He’ll probably win. Big.

It’s all probably a set-up for something even bigger.

But, this album from nowhere? The hints were there:

    screen-shot-2013-05-14-at-10-58-39-pm                                                   Pics with Raekwon …

screen-shot-2013-05-18-at-9-08-59-pm

Aubrey …

screen-shot-2013-06-05-at-9-42-06-pm

and the Rat Pack Redux shot with JT, Nas & Timbo.

Hov managed to keep the album quiet by flying under the radar with an able assist from his lil’ bro Kanye, who, with the birth of his first baby and the release of his new album kept the spotlight squarely and blindingly on himself.

Talk about good lookin’ out.

Rick Rubin stretched out nappin’ on the couch is worth the budget by itself.

 a_560x375

Reportedly the deal is for $20 million with Jay having already received $5 milli just for delivering the project. Trust that Mr. Carter and his people checked with Billboard and Soundscan before making the deal: Jay has a record 11 #1 albums. Barring some unforeseen glitch, this should be his twelfth.

a_560x375-1

He’s showing you how to do this, son. Take Notes.

Magna Carta Holy Grail is scheduled to be released on July 4th.

UPDATE: 2nd Jay-Z Samsung spot for Magna Carta Holy Grail

“4 More”