Michael Ray Charles was born in 1967 in Lafayette, Louisiana, and graduated from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1985. In college, he studied advertising design and illustration, eventually moving into painting, his preferred medium. Charles also received an MFA degree from the University of Houston in 1993.
It’s been awhile since friends and lovers of Van Hunt and D’Angelo have heard new music from them. Two of R&B’s best talents to come to prominence in the past twenty years, I find myself craving new music from these two musician/ singer/ songwriters.
My second phoner with Mr. Pendergrass we discussed the success of his last release, his book, his Christmas album – his greatest hits album – he was ecstatic to be one among the many in entertainment to even have a greatest hits. He was happy that a new generation of people were going to be able to hear a collection of music from the 70s that would hopefully enrich them.
Robert Johnson and his music has fascinated blues fans and musicians for more than seven decades. Born in Mississippi in 1911, Johnson recorded only 29 songs, all during the years 1936 and ’37. His unique guitar style and haunting vocal phrasing, and the evocative, often mysterious nature of his lyrics, made him a popular artist during his short time in the spotlight and has continued to intrigue ever since.
Rap rivalry is older than the genre of rap itself. Before MCs started dissin’ each other on wax, kids was playing the dozens in the playground with FUNK in the background. Back in the day, circa 1984, U.T.F.O. released the single “Hanging Out.” Produced by Full Force, the track didn’t hit, but the B-Side did! It was “Roxanne, Roxanne,” a song about a girl that wouldn’t give them the time of day. Fortunately for all lady MCs, it got a ton of radio airplay.
Dwayne McDuffie, who wrote comic books for Marvel and DC and co-founded his own publishing company before crossing over to television and animation, has died. He was 49. The Detroit native died Monday, a day after his birthday, DC Comics said. His cause and place of death weren’t immediately known.
Kerry James Marshall was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama, and was educated at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, from which he received a BFA, and an honorary doctorate in 1999. The subject matter of his paintings, installations, and public projects is often drawn from Black popular culture, and is rooted in the geography of his upbringing: “You can’t be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955 and grow up in South Central, Los Angeles near the Black Panthers headquarters, and not feel like you’ve got some kind of social responsibility.
When I first saw it, nearly ten years ago now, I just figured some kids pants were falling off his ass. Being a man with a very flat ass, for years I have had to constantly pull my own pants up and have made countless trips to the shoe repair to add extra holes to my belts. But then it soon became clear that this was an intentional act. “It’ll pass,” I thought, but such is not the case.
Aretha Franklin was accompanied by Jesse Jackson at the Detroit Pistons game on Friday night. The Pistons were hosting the Miami Heat at what turned out to be Franklin’s first public appearance since being hospitalized in December. According to the Detroit News Franklin said: “I’m feeling really great.” — “Loving the game, loving the game.”
The 1970s produced the film genre that would become known as ‘Blaxploitation’. These films were made specifically with an urban Black audience in mind. These movies were larger-than-life, action-packed and full of funk and soul music. These films also incorporated progressive social and political commentary. From Pam Grier to Bill Cosby, check out who delved into this genre and what the actors have been doing since the 1970s.
Prince took the stage at Madison Square Garden last night for the fourth time amidst his Welcome 2 America Tour. “I’ll be back New York,” he yelled, “I love it here,” he exclaimed during the latter part of the show. His Highness vowed that he would return before TOO long, saying it had been awhile since he had done a major show in the Big Apple.
The Museum of UnCut Funk celebrates some of our favorite Black Activists.