I was first introduced to K.Sparks from Dead End Hip Hop with the "Tomorrow Today" review. K. Sparks had me at "Sunshine". I've always felt as though he was a great emcee and his "Manic Mondays" proved to the industry and culture that he was going to be here for a while. With that being said, when I was presented with his new project, Vintage Art, to review... had to make sure that I was a part of it.
First off, I have to address the album title. Vintage Art is what K. Sparks is. K. Sparks style literally brings us back to the nostalgic period when hip hop was becoming an art form platform. Within that same vein, he makes it current as a sonic dope dealer (hopefully, you caught all of the puns in that last sentence). K. Sparks comes to reassure all of the "Rosa Parks on the back of the bus to move forward" within their purpose in life.
K. Sparks also shows how diverse he really is switching his flow on tracks like "Everywhere", "Dummin' Out" and "Whateva". His flow is so crazy and fast that it can take your ear off what I feel is the best REPEAT OFFENDER (aka hot bars) on the album on "Dummin' Out" ("I'm Holyfield's ear cuz my flow is enticing/in Tyson) . He then shifts again and speaks on how social media is creating struggles within society with "Feminization". K. Sparks also shows that his storytelling skills can be heart-felt and heart breaking with the emotional and Chilling track "Momma".
Overall, K. Sparks creates a classical album on a hip hop canvas. It is completely balanced with art that can appeal to all coasts, mainstream or underground that will and can inspire. I expect to see this project in many top 10 (or top 5....Top 3) lists at the end of the year. Every song is a REPEAT OFFENDER and embodies what hip hop is. For K. Sparks to capture love and pain so perfectly on tracks is uncanny. Once again, his vintage style takes you back to when you first heard Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Biggie, Big L, Big Pun, 2 pac, Jay-z and delivers that feeling. At the end, Vintage Art is a masterpiece.
Some 'round the way' chill sh!t from Wiz K. Of course, you can light one to it, but this has a soft touch...audio and visually. Chilling, ballin' on the court with the homies, then baby doll walks up. Niceness. Enjoy this "Promises" joint (produced by Jim Jonsin), and enjoy the rest of your day. iTunes has the LP "Blacc Hollywood" album available for pre-order (in advance of its August 19, 2014 release).
Okay, okay. Been a minute since we came with the Vinyl Destination posts. Apologies all around to all appropriate parties. AND sooo... if you are a stickler for watching in order, we do a solid. Start by watching AFTER THE JUMP (start it from the bottom then come here).
So we come to day 3 of European jaunt for this Vinyl Destination episode. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the best in the biz, riding out in the world's smallest minivan, to Annecy, France. Not always 'deluxe accommodations' but Chilling. Cookies and chips. Then...to get it IN... Pop Plage!! Then off Belfast, Ireland. Then to London...whew, they're working people! And before you ask, yes the title is indeed 'Proper Lube' and NO... not saying anymore about that here. Watch the vid.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 11, 2014
Chilli, HARRY SHUM JR. AND MICHAEL CURRY TO SERVE AS JUDGES ON TRUTV'S NEW COMPETITION SERIES FAKE OFF
The Art of Faking Prepares to Sweep the Nation with Eye-Opening Combination of Theater, Acrobatics, Black Light, Illusion and More
(Los Angeles, CA) Actor and dancer Robert Hoffman (Step Up 2: The Streets, 90210) will host truTV's new series Fake Off, which will feature ten teams from around the country competing against each other in the captivating art of Faking. The teams better bring their A-game to every performance, as they will face an impressive judging panel that includes music superstar and five-time Grammy winner Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of the mega-group TLC; actor-dancer-choreographer Harry Shum Jr. (Glee, The LXD); and world renowned visual & concept designer Michael Curry (Broadway's The Lion King, Cirque du Soleil's Love).
Fake Off, which is slated to premiere on truTV this fall, will take viewers into the visually stunning world of Faking, a mix of theater, acrobatics, black light and illusion. In an elimination competition unlike anything American audiences have seen before, teams will reimagine iconic moments in pop culture to see who's got the skills to be named America's Fake-Off Champions. Produced by Shine America.
Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas is the embodiment of a singer-actress-dancer best known as Chilli, one third of the iconic R&B group TLC. Originally a dancer, Chilli joined TLC in 1991. The group topped the charts throughout the '90s, producing four studio albums and establishing their place as pop icons, with continuous television appearances and feature film cameos. In 1996 Chilli was listed as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. In 1999, on TLC's album Fanmail, Chilli had her first lead single, "No Scrubs," which went #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 and won an MTV Music Award, two Grammys and various other awards. Following the tragic death of band mate "Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, Chilli and Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins went on to star in the reality show R U the Girl, followed later by Chilli's own show, What Chilli Wants. Chilli flexed her entrepreneurial muscle in 2005, creating a line of handbags as an ode to her love and dedication to her son, Tron. She also became a proactive child advocate, forming her own non-profit, Chilli's Crew, with a mission of fostering a healthy sense of self in young women from the inside out.
Harry Shum Jr. is well known for his starring role on the hit series Glee. In addition, he has starred in the independent features Revenge of the Green Dragons and White Frog and recently released, Moms' Night Out. His other film credits include Fast & Furious 3: Tokyo Drift, Stomp the Yard, You Got Served and Center Stage 2.
Michael Curry works widely as a visual and concept designer for numerous companies, such as Cirque du Soleil, The Metropolitan Opera, London's Royal National Theatre, Disney Theatrical Productions and the International Olympic Committee. He collaborates regularly with directors like Robert LePage, Nicholas Hytner, Julie Taymor and William Friedkin.
Robert Hoffman has been much sought-after for his skills as a dancer and choreographer. He shared an American Choreographer Award for the film You Got Served, in which he also co-starred. He also starred in Step Up 2: The Streets and has been seen dancing in such films as Guess Who?, Coach Carter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Vanilla Sky.
Fake Off is produced by Shine America, with Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin and James Sunderland serving as executive producers.
Shine America is the U.S. division of Shine Group, an award-winning global production and distribution organization with 30 production companies across 12 countries. Shine America is a leading television studio that creates inspired and compelling programming inclu
This EP by J'Von and LAKIM came literally out of nowhere at least on my radar. I'm here Chilling waiting for the next Theory Hazit album to drop and LAKIM tweets out this project. I've been a fan of LAKIM since he linked up with my homey Jean P. LAKIM specifically said that this is for the fans of his more hip-hop style production since new fans probably got hip to him via his more electronic and house production. This EP was also my introduction to Seattle emcee J'Von. What happens when these two come together on "Left" EP.....let me tell ya it's amazing.
J'Von has a suitcase full of wordplay and while his style is a bit predictable it'll still leave your mouth hanging open because his prowess is impressive. The whole thing starts off with "the.shade [gloom-bap]" and LAKIM comes in with some heavenly production that is so crisp and clean that allows J'Von just to wax poetic and give a bit of his personal story over the track. J'Von makes rapping look real easy flowing effortlessly over this beat.
And this is how the majority of the project goes. Lakim's production has that vintage-sampled sound, but he's evolved it. It's clean and crisp and does something new with the underground sound that I always found myself being drawn to. What adds to the production is the effects that was put over the vocals or just song in general. There's a bunch of static and distortion all over this thing, but it's never to where it's annoying, I felt it was artistic, the effects were placed somewhat strategically. J'Von's lyricism is always on point, never a dull or wasted moment, he fuses clever wordplay with personal pieces of his life.
And then.....there's "wind.memory" which right now is one of my favorite songs of the year and will definitely be one of the best songs released this summer. I actually heard this beat a while ago when LAKIM was selling it, however a couple changes were made from then to where you're listening to it now. LAKIM tones down the drums a bit and J'Von and Dex Amora just go to work. This track is more love-centered and it freaking works wonders from the lyrics, to the production, to the effects over the entire track. Both talk about the battle that love is, everything is covered, the initial attraction, the talking phase, sex and more is discussed between the two and they do it perfectly.
LAKIM and J'Von come through with one of my favorite projects this year and has me fiending for more from these two. J'Von is the dominant voice on this project with only one guest (who slayed his verse) and LAKIM made production that suits him wonderfully. I don't know what is coming next for either person, but I really hope we get another project or an LP from these two at some point because this is amazing. If you're a hip-hop fan to any degree I strongly advise that you cop this FREE project from these two.
The documentary shows how the Koch brothers have used their vast fortunes to oppose government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, as well as obstruct efforts to raise the minimum wage, tackle climate change and expand voting rights. Democracy Now talks to the film's director, Robert Greenwald, founder and president of Brave New Films, in its writeup (linked below). The full original release is embedded above.
Deep. Check it out. And considering that the film, and Democracy Now, are fighting the rich and powerful to bring real issues and news to light... maybe consider donating to the cause and/or getting some friends together to watch, discuss, and empower yourselves.
Gotta give ThisIsRnB credit...This is a good find! Sasha Keable calling out somebody fake on their "Sweetest Talk" over some snappy snares. Listen close to the rawness of the lyrics right from the start. Sexy, but there more depth of emotion to this. Run this a few times in your earphones (over your speakers if you're off work and Chilling).
Taken from my forthcoming EP "Lemon Grass & Lime Leaves."
Part 1, Fresh Off The Boat in Chengdu, Eddie (a.k.a. the Human Panda) is at home with his 'interracial' fam (e.g. black and white pandas). Talking about and watching pandas. Don't forget about the panda porn, either (what? yeah). Trekking Chengdu with Eddie and DJ SuperBestFriend (a.k.a. Rabbi), we experience traditions, food and culture... much of which is diminishing as time passes. After the jump, part 2 picks up with Eddie enjoying the fine Chinese living - Chilling in the Dead Sea Resort, taking a refreshing salt burial, a dip in a big (translation: crowded) swimming pool, and later tasting on some baby pig penis (what? yeah). Then part 3 wraps with an exploration of Chengdu culture going forward: a look at Szechuan cooking from a master chef, a visit to the sculpture factory of a feature artist, a climb into a tree-house parlor for Taiwanese tea, and a round table discussion with different generations of Chinese to discuss cultural preservation as China moves forward and becomes open to the rest of the world.
Fantastic episode! Well worth the watch, as usual.
I don't like to put people in a box when it comes to reviewing one's own work but upon my first listen of the UK's own Iron Braydz I immediately wanted to throw up the "W" and yell "Wu-Tang! Wu-Tang!" But in this case of Iron Braydz' latest release Verbal sWARdz, being in the same box as the Wu-Tang Clan is an excellent one to be in (and yes that does go without saying).
Along with being an MC, Iron Braydz is also a producer with "more skills than tills to count bills" in a self-description of his on his official Facebook page. But I have failed to mention another self-described occupation that Iron Braydz holds true to...and that is being a lyricist. I am a growing fan of the hip hop scene in the UK, including the battle rap league Don't Flop, but I am always held in awe at the speed at which these rappers spit their lyrics. Iron Braydz is no exception. But like any good lyricist, Braydz isn't just spitting for the hell of it.
I'd be lying to you if I said I caught every word on Verbal sWARdz, but as always there were bars that stood out to me instantly like: "Dwelling with the king of paradise, Chilling with the prophets of our existence like Moses chosen for Christ" on the 3rd track titled "Millenium", and "Calculus and algebraic code, nice urban mosaics and archaic roads" on the title track. Although this is an Iron Braydz project, the rappers featured on this release go just as hard as Braydz does when it's their chance to spit.
I couldn't think of anything else but the excellent track "Verbal Intercourse" on Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx when I tried to understand the reasoning behind the title of this project. But it was after my first full listen that the title Verbal sWARdz made more sense to me. All the bars said on this project by Braydz and the respective artists featured does indeed make this a verbal war, with their lyrics metaphorically armed with swords as the primary forms of weaponry. If you have a strong imagination, you can think of Verbal sWARdz as a film of sorts with each track serving as its own scene.
Ridding this project of its production would not lessen the impact of the lyrics in my own opinion, but thankfully we don't have to worry about that. The production on Verbal sWARdz is fundamental in setting the tone of the project. As a fan of martial arts, and being a martial artist myself, the intro track hit right at home. It felt like I had just bought one of the latest Wu-Tang solo release projects with the legendary RZA handling all the production. But the grimy clip used in the intro only serves as primer for what is to come on the rest of the 10-track project. Braydz handled plenty of the production by himself and it's great hearing an artist that knows how to produce and flow accordingly.
"Crowbar", "Millenium", and "Verbal sWARdz" were my favorite tracks but this project warrants more than just one listen. If you are fan of quality lyrics and that grimy RZA-inspired production sound, you need to listen to Verbal sWARdz.
You can listen and purchase Verbal sWARdz HERE on Iron Braydz' Bandcamp and you can follow him HERE on Twitter.
Enchanted PR | Christal Jordan Christal@enchantedpr.net | 678.499.0297
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2014
TLC'S Chilli DOES THE "NAE NAE" DANCE WITH MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS Grammy Award-winning singer surprises students with Reeboks and teen group We Are Toonz
(Atlanta, GA) Chilli of the Grammy Award-winning super group TLC surprised the students of Eagles Landing Middle School the morning of April 23, 2014 with their very own #ChillisCrewDay to kick off the school's spring testing.
Chilli recognized four Eagles Landing Middle School students who were selected by the Principal for their citizenship and community service setting a positive example for their peers. Reebok gifted these exemplary students with a pair of sneakers from their new collection. "I think it's important to reward kids to keep them motivated," Chilli said. "Yes we should reward good grades but we should also reward great character." The students had no idea Chilli had another huge surprise to celebrate their hard work. As the deejay (World Famous G-Mack) dropped the beat for the popular dance craze "The Nae Nae," the group We Are Toonz ran out onto the gym floor. In their excitement the kids stood up in the stands and danced "The Nae Nae" along with Chilli and We Are Toonz.
Following the dance performance, students from each grade had a chance to battle each other for the best "Nae Nae". Chilli and the group gave out prizes to the kids sponsored by V-103 Atlanta and rolling out Magazine. The singer also gifted Eagles Landing Middle School an autographed poster to frame as a reminder for the students to continue to do their best in school and serve as positive examples. The spring testing kick off assembly ended with students hugging and thanking Chilli for the unforgettable morning. Chilli's Crew Day at Eagles Landing Middle School was made possible thanks to Reebok, V-103 Atlanta and rolling out Magazine.
Chilli and her foundation partnered with the school to encourage students to achieve high scores once CRCT testing begins on Thursday March 24th. She took time out to visit after coming off a promo run for Oxygen's Celebrities Undercover and in between TLC rehearsal for their upcoming overseas tour. TLC will begin an overseas tour starting in Australia then they are off to Japan at the top of the summer.
For more information about Chilli's Crew visit http://on.fb.me/1nHVlxd or follow the foundation on Instagram and Twitter @ChillisCrew. For inquiries on membership please contact Chilli's Crew at Chilliscrew@gmail.com.
For pictures and video from Chilli's Crew Day at Eagle's Landing Middle School search hashtag #ChillisCrewDay.
Chilli's Crew is an Atlanta based community initiative program dedicated to assisting young ladies between the ages of 13-17. Founded by Chilli, one-third of music sensation TLC, Chilli's Crew has made it a priority to providing young ladies with the necessary resources to developing and maintaining a positive self-esteem and self-respect for themselves through empowerment and mentoring skills. Chilli's Crew commits itself to teaching young ladies how to explore and appreciate their individual beauty and how to love themselves from the inside out.
Enchanted Branding & Public Relations is a multimedia marketing, branding and public relations agency with headquarters in Atlanta, GA and a partnership office in New York City. Enchanted Branding and Public Relations specializes in fusing creativity with strategic industry know-how to create impressionable and measurable customized campaigns, especially as it relates to entertainment/arts. Our agency has worked with top talent to segue their careers into alternate dimensions by cross branding and promotion, exposing them to a larger consumer fan base. Enchanted Branding & Public Relations actively seeks exposure for clients that include television, print, radio and sponsorship opportunitie
Hi-Tek brought us the beat (and a verse on) that Talib Kweli (Reflection Eternal) classic, "The Blast." Solid enough pedigree, agreed? Well, dude is back with a vibing track (good for riding and/or Chilling, as demonstrated by the video above for us. Nice.
I didn't even get to see you in the daylight but still...I think I love you.
we got in at 7:45pm...and now we are sneaking out at 4:45 am...catching a red eye. somethin' about this feels so wrong.
really though.. I wasn't sure what to expect from a club that has a basketball court on the dance floor...and when y'all were still shooting hoops while sandman was warming up...I thought "word?...so y'all really just gonna play a game of H.O.R.S.E. through my set?"... but as soon as I hit the stage you all headed my way and we had a lovely evening together. thank you. even though i got busted in the face by a basketball.. (i knew it would happen) while Chillin' after the show... i still love you.
now... for everyone else, you should know that I am runnin' on fumes right now. not sure when the crash will hit...but it will. I like to get my 7-8 hours of sleep and as of now, I haven't been to sleep since yesterday morning.
we arrive in Lyon around noon and my first stop is BED.
Memphis Bleek has been in Jay Z's shadow for more than fifteen years. On 2005′s "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" remix, Jay rapped about his relationship with his longtime protégé. "Bleek could be one hit away his whole career," Jay Z raps on the track. "As long as he's alive, he's a millionaire / And even if I die, he's in my will somewhere / So he can just kick back and chill somewhere / Oh yeah, he don't even have to write rhymes." The verse has become something of a punch line for those who want to discredit Bleek's career. In a recent interview, he acknowledged that the perception does bother him.
"I don't like that line 'cause that line put a stamp on my career," Memphis Bleek told This Is 50. "I feel people look at me as if Jay is just taking care of me. That line was, I guess, in his mind, a shoutout. But people take it literally and serious, like I'm just Chilling somewhere [like] I'm not working. As you see, I'm here. I gotta work."
"I'm pretty sure he got me taken care of," Bleek added. "That's my guy...[But] my son don't wanna hear Hov got us. He wants to know dad got us...Dad got it...He wanna be at dad's tours. He don't wanna be at Hov's tours. He wanna be at dad's tours."
"I love my guy," Bleek adds. "Hov's my brother. The shoutout was it, but what I'm saying is what it did to my career after, how the fans and the deejays and people look at me, it's just another chapter."
The rapper admits that he has to move past the now-famous line.
"It's just something I gotta get over," Bleek explains. "I'ma get through it. We fighters, baby. We get through it.