I love Calvin Broadus aka Snoop Dogg, aka Snoop Lion, aka Snoopzilla!?!? Ah yeah, you thought Sean Combs was the only one that could dub himself multiple names, think again. Snoop Dogg has been doing his thang now for 20 years. Known around the world for his music as a rapper and a force in hip-hop, Snoop has released an album in tribute to FUNK.
Indelibly on my brain are thoughts of loved ones and experiences that have shaped who I am. Most memories I cherish – there’s a few I’m not so fond of, and a couple I’d like to forget. As every individual is made up of how they have lived and what one eats — what the hell is in the water of the ignorant children taking part in this detrimental “game” called “Knock Out”?
Last night I had the fortune of taking part in one of the most groundbreaking events in entertainment history. The First Annual YouTube Awards, presented by Kia, was a spectacle for the ages! Featuring the music of Lady Gaga, M.I.A., Eminem, Earl Sweatshirt & Tyler, the Creator, Arcade Fire, Lindsey Stirling and Avicii, T-Pain and Michael Shannon made special appearances. All the performances were videos shot Live under the direction of visionary and the event’s Co-Creator, Spike Jonze.
I Funkin’ LOVE Tamar Braxton’s new CD! If you haven’t heard it, GET IT, it’s unquestionably one of the best in R&B this year. Titled “Love And War,” it’s actually set a record in Billboard history. The album features the hit “The One,” which samples the classic Mtume jam, “Juicy.”
Katy Perry’s new single “Roar” will surely take the number-one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart next week. The song was held off from taking the top of the chart by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which holds the position for an 11th week. The hit tune, featuring T.I. and Pharrell, leads “Radio Songs” for a seventh week according to Nielsen BDS reports. Thike’s track barely held off Perry’s “Roar,” which went from 85 to Number-2, following its first full week of single sales.
So for the past few days in my peripheral vision I’ve been seeing this black ad online. I’m not really taking it in, as I try not to be too consumed by the beast of the media we’re constantly exposed to. Finally it gets me, it’s for Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s not for your local shop… but the chain in Thailand. It’s polished and looks slick, but it’s the same ol’ ish…
My impression was that Robin Thicke’s big hit “Blurred Lines” was meant to be an awesome tribute to Marvin Gaye’s 70s smash “Got To Give It Up.” Sampling and re-creating classic hits has been such a mainstay for the music industry for the past 30 years now, that I thought most people had probably stopped taken notice of it. Not Marvin Gaye III, who it appears will be taking legal action against Thicke, who initiated a lawsuit against the Gaye family.
Thousands marched on Washington this past weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The actual date that the speech was rendered, is today. My niece Leighana was among the multitude, where Reverend Al Sharpton, the NAACP’s Ben Jealous, and King’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III, spoke. Here’s a shot of my niece below, who continued a tradition her mother and I participated in when Stevie Wonder campaigned for King’s birthday, to be declared a national holiday. Apart from a few words from King III, I’ll let the esteemed Dr. King do the rest.
Michael Jackson would be 55 today (8/29) if he were still among us. Michael’s mom Katherine Jackson and his two eldest children Prince (16) and Paris (15), are currently in the midst of a lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live, charging them with “Wrongful Death.” AEG’s position is, Jackson was already using drugs that took his life when they began their contractual agreement. On August 14, Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe took the stand in the pending case. Rowe was called as a defense witness for AEG, and testified as her former mother-in-law Katherine sat in the front row.
At one point amidst our daily usage of cell phones and modern technology, it seemed to me that some folks were just getting out of hand. It inspired me to do this cheesy short film, I hope you like it.
Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” album is forty years old today! What’s crazy is I was just listening to it no more than four weeks ago, thinking how relevant Stevie’s lyrics still are, but I put it on for the music. It was “Living for the City” that I wanted to hear in particular, but “Innervisions” is one of those records you can put on and just press play, still today. Back in the day when it was released, we had to put the needle on the record, as CD was something, on the way.
Some television shows celebrate their 200th episode. Unless I’ve completely lost it, this is my 200th blog — no, I haven’t lost it, it is my 200th blog. 20 blogs per page, at 10 pages, equals 200 right? 20 X 10 = 200. Generally T-V programs will review and/ or reflect on the shows that preceded the 200th show. That’s very appropriate for television, and I suppose I could touch on a few of my favorite blogs over the past five years, but I believe speaking on public figures that are anti-FUNK or just plain FUNKED UP may be more intriguing.
The Hughes Brothers set it off in the world of cinema with their gritty depiction of South Central L-A ala the film “Menace II Society” in 1993. A ghetto opus captured on screen, it made John Singleton’s “Boyz N The Hood” of two years prior look like a Disney movie. After four releases under their preverbal belts as a directing duo, the brothers Executive Produced their fifth release “Scratch.”
The Coen Brothers have gone from Funky Indy filmmakers to mainstream Hollywood since they first arrived in 1984. A follower of their work since “Blood Simple,” which I saw at The Quad theater in NYC’s Village area, I’m looking forward to their new film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Starring Justin Timberlake, the film also more than solidifies the singer’s place as an A-List movie actor.
D’Angelo has taken the stage over the past two months. He did a few sets in London a couple weeks ago and another at Minneapolis’ popular venue First Avenue (that Prince made famous) with Questlove in June, according to okayplayer.com. I discovered this in light of a poster saying he’s performing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on August 1st. That date is the kick-off of several sets through October.
Tina Turner had an official wedding last Sunday to celebrate her civil ceremony to her long-time beau music producer Erwin Bach. The couple have been together for 27 years, and had the celebration at their home on the banks of Lake Zurich in Switzerland. Among the guests were Oprah Winfrey and Bryan Adams.
Due to the tremendous response funkalicious blog got from our LeA Robinson post, we can’t imagine you won’t LOVE the video for her new single “Higher.” Robinson keeps it ol’ skool, takin’ ya back to the good ol’ days of hangin’ at the skating rink. And what’s that melody I recognize? It’s not a sample, but a re-creation of some flavor we got from Fonda Rae, back in the day. Check it out…
A concrete park sprayed with graffiti is scheduled to no longer exist soon. Located under the tracks of the 7 train on Long Island City in Queens, NY, it’s been there for 10 years. Meres is the name of the gentleman that acts as curator of the legendary site, that’s said to be shutting down this September.
In light of the not guilty verdict for the accused in the case of Treyvon Martin, Stevie Wonder announced recently that he will no longer perform in Florida. During the midst of a show in Canada, he expressed not only won’t he do that state, he added he will not do concerts any where in the world that upholds the “Stand Your Ground” law.
That pretty much sums it up. On this day a man that should have gone to jail for murdering 17-year-old Treyvon Martin was found not guilty for his crime. The fact that a jury of 6 women, four of them mothers, allowed an obvious vigilante to go free is an American travesty. So many dreams shattered because a citizen, who was instructed by police to stop pursuing what he professed to be a “suspicious character”, is dead.