Monthly Archives: March 2007

Macy Gray’s New Album ‘Big’ Out Now!



Macy Gray is back after nearly four years, with a dynamic new effort that spotlights those classic pipes in a variety of stylistic settings. With will.i.am and Ron Fair behind the console for most of the album, BIG ranges from the soulful plaint of “What I Gotta Do” and “Finally Made Me Happy” and the modern dance-floor smashes “Okay” and “Get Out,” created by Will and Justin Timberlake’s newly formed JAWbreakers production team.

Aside from will.i.am and Timberlake, Natalie Cole (“Finally Made Me Happy”) and Fergie (“Glad You’re Here”) provide harmonies and background vocals. BIG includes such unique musical tidbits as the soaring Nat King Cole “Nature Boy” string arrangement which opens “One” the sample of the intro from James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s World” on “Ghetto Love” as well as Macy’s playful quote of Dead or Alive’s ‘80s new wave classic, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” on “Treat Me Like Your Money.”

Listen to the full album here!

SXSW review



Our own DJ Lady Sha gives up the lowdown at SXSW in her own words.

You know the moment when a parade has just ended and the observing crowd spills into the street to marinate in the post-parade lingering electricity? That is a little like what 6th street of downtown Austin looked like for the week of SXSW this year, as I imagine it does every year. With a different rock band blaring through the windows of each bar/club lining the street, it was difficult to choose a destination and maintain focus upon reaching it without getting sidetracked. As the majority of the events and venues chosen for SXSW encompassed a radius of just a few blocks, the festive energy of the conference was concentrated and contagious, taking over downtown Austin by storm last week giving the city a Mardi-Gras feel for an exciting few days.

Although SXSW is dedicated mainly to showcasing indie rock bands, there was a quality presence of hip hop, soul, electro, house, and funk as well this year. Highlights include the NASA/Dance Right Party featuring talent such as DJ’s A-Trak & Spank Rock alongside newly recognized MC diva Kid Sister. Puma and URB also joined forces to put on three days of DJ and live music showcasing at the Beauty Bar (featuring some of my favorite DJ’s: Desert Eagles, Morsy and many others). With a VW bug named “The Ice Cream Man” posted outside the bar giving away free ice cream, Beauty Bar had to have been one of my personal favorite locations to stop by every day.

Levi’s and Fader Magazine came together to produce an extraordinary party at The Fort featuring Hit+Run screen printing shirts inside the store while Redman, Swizz Beats, A-Trak, Kid Sister and others performed on the outside patio to the sound of free drinks from various sponsors. My personal award for best hip hop presence of the week goes to Scion for bringing the people a free concert featuring legends Ghostface Killah & Rakim backed by the live band Rhythm Roots All Stars (Special shout-out to LA’s DJ Hier holding down the decks between performers). Giant Step also created quite a presence for the first time this year by producing the Giant Step Lounge at the Firehouse on Friday & Saturday night featuring phenomenal DJ’s such as Nickodemus, J-Boogie, Chicken George, and Sun, offering the tired masses a soulful/eclectic/funky alternative to the rock n roll madness that was 6th street.

Oh…and did I forget to mention the Ozomatli & Public Enemy show honoring Flava Flave’s birthday at the Town River park Friday night? Special shout out to the hardworking Miss Fiona Bloom from NY for exposing various talent from South Africa’s Harris Tweed to Atlanta’s Sky Hy…the diversity of music represented at this year’s SXSW was phenomenal. When else in the world could I have walked out of party featuring the wicked Kid Sister on the mic and into a lounge with J-Boogie on turntables with a backup band featuring members of Thievery Corporation, followed by walking past SEVERAL bars featuring a different live rock band each, and into a club with Mark Farina gracing the decks…the answer is perhaps SXSW 2008.

Regulating Internet Radio

The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) has recently released a revised fee schedule for internet radio. Many believe that this will end internet radio. The RIAA has convinced this federal committee to establish rates that make online radio a non-viable business. As the music industry transitions to the internet it appears that money still talks.

The birth of the internet has hurt the music industry but a the same time helping it. It helps by giving artists that you probably wouldn’t hear an outlet to get exposure. It hurts it, obviously, because people have chosen to download instead of purchasing the CD. Recently, I had a friend that got in legal trouble for downloading a movie on the internet. He’s been downloading since
the internet started. 7 years into the new millennium, those with money that have been losing business because of the internet are now investing their dollars into regulating the web. I totally agree with artists getting their due but this new royalty rate is ridiculous.

The only internet radio shows that can handle it are those backed by successful corporations. There is some potential good in this though. It limits the amount of music that floods the market a bit. The trend has been anyone that has a computer can put out music. But in the end, like most areas of entertainment, the almighty dollar will prevail. The idealist in me hopes it isn’t so but only time will tell.

Written by Thoth

Interview: Pharoahe Monch



The next man up to express why Hip Hop isn’t dead is Pharoahe Monch. With his highly anticipated release “Desire”, Pharoahe has been doing big things while laying low. One of the most talked about being his working with P. Diddy.

On that note we’d say the “majors” are starting to realize they’re running out of ammunition. This is a pretty good indicator that grassroots hip hop is on the rise. Like the Pharoah’s of ancient times this Phaoroahe is showing the people the future. The future of hip hop that is.

We had a chance to speak with Pharoahe Monch about the future, the past, and everything in between. This is what the young ruler had to say during our exclusive interview…

Hip Hop icons inducted to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame



Recently, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. If there’s anyone who deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame its these gentlemen. It all started in 1979 with the street hit “Superrappin.” Then they would all earn a place in the collective psyche with the legendary song, “The Message.” Melle Mel was quoted as saying that “Nas saying that Hip-Hop is dead is 100 percent right.” I don’t know about that last statement but once again I’m proud of them.

This victory is somewhat bitter sweet in my mind. Especially being that there are only a few blacks that have been recognized in the R & R Hall Of Fame when blacks invented Rock. It also bothers me that blacks don’t feel like they’ve achieved something until they’re validated by mainstream white America. I would say we should start our own thing but once again that’s futile when most people including blacks feel as if anything black owned, made, or represented is less than what’s held in high esteem by their white counterparts. We have a long way to go America. We even have a longer way to go Black America. So for the moment lets cheer for our hip-hop heroes but at the same time be conscious of what’s going on beneath the surface.

Written by Thoth

Conferences 2007

Next week’s SXSW week in Austin will be bananas. Too many events to mention but check out URB and Puma’s 3-day series. Miami’s Winter Music Conference is a week later and we are sponsoring 12 key events listed as features on our Miami page.

Remix Hotel Returns this year to the National HotelClick Here for info on the 3 Days of Technology Showcases & 4 Days of Poolside Performances from March 22–25, 3–9 p.m. daily.

Next up: Our affiliates at Neo Soul Café are presenting the Dallas Soul Music Conference April 27 & 28 hosted by Erykah Badu and later this summer The International Soul Music Summit (ISMS) returns to Atlanta July 25th – 29th , 2007 with a new theme, more artists, networking and nightlife activities. Their mission is to “Connect Musical Worlds While Making a Global Impact”

Fusicology will be there, will you? Join the Movement!

Neo Soul Café
Int’l Soul Music Summit