Mayer Hawthorne just makes great soul music. The crazy thing is that he's really a hardcore Hip Hop fan and DJ. It's no surprise that he got his start getting signed by Peanut Butter Wolf to the independent label Stones Throw. What I enjoy about his music is that people from all walks of life can relate to his music young and old. As a crate digger I can easily identify with his style because this is the type of music I dig for to listen to and sample. As I write this Mayer is slated to appear on Letterman tomorrow so I think he's well on his way to becoming a household name soon so get in the know.
*It's been a minute but I'm back again. Since WTT recently dropped it made me reminisce about the Jay-Z songs I came up on. I miss the songs where'd he'd spit about slangin and being at Waffle House at 4am. So for this go around I took it back there and focused on the songs that brought him to the level he's at today. Feel it.
Everyone from my era grew up listening to New Edition. They were such a big part of my childhood and it's no coincidence why they're still relevant today. So if you were too young to witness this great era in music here's something to get you caught up. You'll probably find it better than what you hear on the radio these days. Enjoy.
Here's some jams for all of you who enjoy that classic soul. Whether you grew up with all these songs or you're a young kid with an old soul. When I was growing up I was actually trying to go back and do my history of what people were listening to before my time. So it's only right I pass on some of my favorites to you. Hope you can relate. Enjoy.
Big L and Nas are my two favorite MC's so this one was a long time coming. Yeah his rhymes were flashy but the difference is that he did it with all different types of flows and punchlines. He was only 24 years old when he was tragically murdered and he was just days away from signing with Jay-Z on Rocafella Records. What's really sad is that around that time everything was shaping up to really be L's time. Ma$e went quadruple platinum and Camron was blowing up and Big L was making huge noise with the street smash "Ebonics." But God works in mysterious ways and decided to take L from us. Big L has since become a legend and his name is still relevant today and his work continues to be celebrated. So here's a little mix I did to pay homage to the late great Big L.
I've returned with another installment of choice R&B/Slow Jams for your listening pleasure. From the emails and requests I receive from all of you, it seems a lot of you share the same interest in R&B and that's great. Bottom line is that I just love music that's soulful and from the heart. So here's a little something I came up with that you can play now and hopefully ten years from now.
Janet Jackson pretty much ruled the radio during my childhood. I feel like a lot of the female pop artists owe it all to Janet and Madonna for providing them with a blueprint for success. Janet just has the total package and puts on one of the greatest shows you'll ever see. So here's a little compilation of all of my personal favorites from Miss Jackson. Her new tour starts today so I wanted to have something for the people going to see her. Hope you all enjoy it.
Since he's been gone February has been now known as Dilla Month. Jay Dee is simply the greatest Hip Hop Producer of all time. Forget about Dr. Dre or such and such Jay Dee is the Michael Jordan of beats. And honestly it's not even close. I recently watched the "Still Shining" Dilla remembrance piece and Common's DJ said something that stuck with me. He said the difference between Dilla and the Dre's and Swizz and all them is that Dilla doesn't make music for today. Dilla simply makes classics. The music Jay Dee made, every single song is something that you can play forever. And on top of that if you really dissect his production process it is as complex as it gets but when you listen to the music it feels so natural and effortlessly soulful. Before I go off and lose it let me just say once again Dilla is the best and don't even try to argue. Just enjoy the music and remember a one of a kind talent that we'll never see again. Dilla rest in peace.
* For Promotional Use Only *
Before the tv shows and endorsements, Diddy or Puff Daddy ruled the charts with his Bad Boy record label. Even though the Bad Boy camp wouldn't necessarily win any crate digging awards, the artists that came out definitely had the talent. Even though they sampled popular songs and had flashy rhymes at least they did it with skill and clever word play. A far cry from a lot of music that's out now. Biggie definitely made the label but I have a lot of Biggie mixes on this site already so I wanted to put some shine on some of the other talent from the label like the R&B side. So take this musical journey through memory lane with me and enjoy.
People often ask me who my top 5 producers are. My reply is always J Dilla, DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Rza, and this man Pete Rock. It's like you can just feel his soul pouring through his beats. A lot of people that listen to my mixes are big Dilla fans and nobody has had a bigger influence in Dilla's beats than Pete Rock. I can't stress how much of a genius this man is. When you make music that's from the heart and not trendy you'll eventually be timeless. So keep your here today gone tomorrow club beats. The music I listen to will still be dope 50 years from now. So sit back, relax, and let me take you on a musical journey with the Chocolate Boy Wonder.*For Promotional Use Only* (Parental Advisory)
Raphael Saadiq is hands down one of my favorite artists. A rare talent that can do it all. Sing, write, and produce beats with the best of them. People forget he was once part of the Ummah production team which included Q-Tip, Ali, and the late great J Dilla. He's been able to keep changing with the times from his early New Jack Swing days with Tony! Toni! Tone!, to the boom bap Dilla influenced Neo Soul days, and his latest Motown revival sound. Worked with pretty much everybody considered to be the upper echelon of hip hop and soul. So here's a short collection of tracks blessed by the living legend.
I'm an 80's baby but I was listening to music at an early age. I was always trying to be up on whatever the older kids were doing. So that usually meant watching MTV all day every day. I was watching Whodini and Run DMC videos one minute then The Cure and The Bangles the next. I'm probably the biggest Hip Hop head you'll ever meet but I'm also a big fan of New Wave and Progressive Rock. So I created this mix to revive my memories of what the 80's was to me, and to educate the younger generation on what they missed. Enjoy.
Back in the mid 90's Brooklyn was well represented in Hip Hop. At the top was none other than The Notorious BIG. But not everybody in BK was feelin Biggie's Versace and Dom P. rhymes. So the fans that were into that underground gritty army fatigue/timberland stomp you in the face Hip Hop gravitated towards The Boot Camp Clik. The crew which consisted of the groups Black Moon led by the legendary Buckshot, Originoo Gunn Clappaz, Smif N Wessun, and Heltah Skeltah were the independent NYC underground kings at the time. With production handled by Da Beatminerz, their label Duck Down Records was definitely a major player in the game. Their movement eventually caught the attention of 2pac who spent his last days recording with the crew for an album that was supposed to unite both coasts. After Pac passed the label went through some up and downs only to resurface as strong as ever with a new generation of MC's to carry the torch. So this a little something to pay homage to the Boot Camp Clik and Duck Down Records. I'll eventually make a part 2 of this with the newer generation of Duck Down so look out for that. Enjoy.(Parental Advisory)
Back in the late 90's and early 2000's I used to watch this late night video show on BET called Midnight Love. They used to play all the good slow jams. So that's where the inspiration for this mix came from. A lot of these songs used to play on that show and I bet some of you can point out which ones. This goes out to all of you R&B lovers out there who enjoy the same music I do. People might be thinking i'm getting soft so I'm definitely going to have to man up the next mix. Peace.
Alicia Keys in my opinion has been the best artist in the last decade. When it's all said and done for her I think she will be joining the iconic class of artists with Stevie, MJ, Roberta Flack, and whoever you want to add to that list. Alicia continues to raise the bar and make great music in a time where R&B music is just for the most part garbage. While most of the R&B superstars are resorting to the latest trends to stay relevant, Alicia keeps innovating and just gets better and better. The thing I love about Alicia the most is how she shows her love and represents Hip Hop just as much as R&B. She's hosted mixtapes with the legendary Dirty Harry, remade the legendary Nas track NY State Of Mind with Rakim, and worked with countless other legendary artists. I love Lauryn Hill but she definitely came in and took her spot. I didn't even bring up the fact that she was a child prodigy on the piano, and graduated from her performing arts school as valedictorian. 40 years from now when our grand kids asks us what music we listened to I guarantee her name will be on that list.
Carrying on the Dilla legacy is arguably the best lyricist out right now and that is none other than Elzhi. I've been a fan since I first heard him on J Dilla's "Welcome To Detroit" album in 2001 I believe. From then on i've been hooked and trying to get my hands on anything Elzhi blessed. Recently for reasons yet unknown, he's left the group Slum Village. I mean seriously take a listen to these verses and put them up against anyone right now that you think is hot. Drake, J Cole, whoever. They are not touching Elzhi on the mic. So here's a little contribution from myself to give Elzhi his due.
Say what you want about Kanye but when it comes to music the man is a genius. If you're one of those people that hate him, then chances are you probably care more about TMZ than his actual music. But if you're strictly going by the music then you can not deny this man's talent. He along with Just Blaze brought sampling back to the mainstream when everybody was making keyboard beats. I believe the reason why he became as popular as he is now is due to him following the true school of making real hip hop beats. So here's a little mix of hits produced by the Louis Vuitton Don himself. Enjoy.(Parental Advisory)
Summer is almost here so I wanted to come with a mix that'll sound good during those sunny days. Back when radio still playing what was hot and not force fed, the duo of Tone and Poke ruled the airwaves. From the 90's all the way to the mid 2000's you couldn't listen to the radio without hearing a Trackmasters produced track. So here's another trip through memory lane. Hope you all enjoy.
Aaliyah was and always will be one of my favorite artists. I think how she left us so young makes her legacy even more special. I'm also glad because she's too talented to be singing over these slow and boring keyboard beats that fills the radio waves. I truly believe if she was here today she would've big a huge megastar of Janet/Beyonce proportions if not bigger. But I guess God had other plans for her and all of the other uber talented artists that end up passing way before their time. Rest in peace Baby Girl.
More of that late 90's classic R&B for you that you crave. Noticed the last couple of posts might be too real for some of the ladies out there, so this can even it out a little bit. I know a lot of these songs are on other mixes of mine but this was really recorded randomly and I know some of you won't mind hearing these again. So yeah this was done live from my home studio and I actually ended up playing if for the Greece show a couple of weeks back. As always thanks for checking out the mixes. Hope all of you are enjoying it and continue to get the word out. Much love.