Monthly Archives: February 2018

Fuse Celebrates Future Women’s History with Young M.A, Tinashe, MILCK, Jessie Reyez, Halsey and more

She Started It


Women everywhere will rise to the top this March as Fuse celebrates Future Women’s History all month long. To mark National Women’s History Month, Fuse will honor today’s established and emerging women making waves in music, film, TV, digital, and other pop culture fields.


Coinciding with International Women’s Day, Fuse has announced the world broadcast premiere of She Started It, airing Thursday, March 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fuse. The two-hour documentary provides a rare look into the ambitious and challenging lives of five diverse young women entrepreneurs in the tech field. Shot in Silicon Valley, New York, Vietnam, Mississippi, and France, S


he Started It follows these young women as they pitch their ideas, build teams, meet with investors, fail and find the inspiration to start again. Also featured in the film are women who have reached the top of their fields in tech, including several Entrepreneur Spotlights featuring women who have navigated and survived the challenges of Silicon Valley, and are inspiring other women along the way.


Also announced today: Girls in Tech and Girls Who Code, two technology, female-forward non-profits are uniting with the network as part of the premiere. Girls in Tech, a global organization focusing on the engagement, education and empowerment of girls and women who are passionate about technology, and Girls Who Code, which works to close the gender gap in technology, will both serve as a resource for the Fuse audience, and encourage more women to pursue careers in the tech field.


And Fuse is kicking it all off on Thursday, March 1 with a series of short form videos featuring Young M.A, Tinashe, MILCK, Jessie Reyez, Halsey, and Camila Cabello which will roll out during the month. Also airing on Thursday, March 8 at 10 a.m. is a Future Women’s History music block of fierce female artists including Dua Lipa, Sofi Tukker, and Halsey. The conversation will continue on throughout the month, with editorial listicles highlighting up-and-coming talent who are making history now.


Learn more about Fuse programming by visiting

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OUT NOW: Ryan Porter “The Optimist” (World Galaxy)

West Coast Get Down’s Ryan Porter launches the 2CD / 3LP set The Optimist on World Galaxy, ushering in an instrumental body of work that encompasses the respite of Los Angeles jazz music. The Optimist pulls together veterans of the LA music scene, including West Coast Get Down alumni Kamasi Washington (tenor saxophone), Miles Mosley (upright bass), Cameron Graves (piano, Fender Rhodes), Tony Austin (drums), Jumaane Smith (trumpet), Edward Livingston (upright bass), Aaron Haggerty (drums), Brandon Coleman (Fender Rhodes), Dominic Therioux (electric bass), Robert Miller (drums), and Lyndon Rochelle (drums).


The Optimist was recorded at Kamasi’s parents’ house between 2008 and 2009, captured inside a small tiny basement area their crew called “The Shack.” This was before The Epic catapulted the group into the highest stratospheres of jazz music and feature associations started to populate through the world of Kendrick Lamar. Ryan Porter and The West Coast Get were just as active through this era, carving out weekly shows through local jazz clubs and touring with some of the biggest names on the circuit.


Every person featured on The Optimist was fully committed to the execution of decade-defining jazz music, charging through the 21st century with the hopes of finding the platform that would elevate their music to the masses. This would unfold in ways nobody could have predicted, ushering in a transition of optimism and hope, to that of success and proven longevity. This is a mirror of the inspiration and energetic reprise President Obama provided Ryan and millions of others at the time, adding a sonic memory point to one of the most important transitions the United States has taken politically.


Ryan Porter has spread his craft to the masses for decades, included on critically acclaimed albums such as the Original Netflix Series soundtrack The Get Down, Push The Sky Away from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Epic LP and Truth EP from Kamasi Washington, To Pimp A Butterfly from Kendrick Lamar, and many more. The Optimist represents these albums and the incubation period that’s continually reverberated through his career, seasoned with the brilliance these individuals build on as a unified musical cell. The Optimist was executed with the same fire, passion, and technicality the group carries with them on stage and through every album since, serving as an important foundation piece to the legacy and story of LA’s most revered jazz collective, the West Coast Get Down.


Track Listing:

The Psalmnist
The Instrumental Hip-Hoppa
Deja Vu
Night Court In Compton
Little Sunflower
Chocolate Nuisance


OUT NOW: Black Milk “FEVER”


Laying formidable socially aware lyrics over mind-melting, genre-bending instrumentals, Detroit’s Black Milk is one of the most vital and acclaimed artists in Hip-Hop. Taking an unflinching look at our turbulent climate, Black Milk shares FEVER, a mind-melting fusion of funk, electronic, soul, rock, and hip-hop. 


Black Milk‘s sixth solo rap album, and his first since 2014′s If There’s a Hell BelowFEVER combines pointed and topical lyrics and brilliant musicianship, including percussion from all-star musicians Chris “Daddy” Dave (D’Angelo, Adele, Justin Bieber) and Daru Jones (Jack White), bass by long-time collaborator Malik Hunter and keys and guitar from newcomers Ian Fink and Sasha Kashperko, respectively. 


A cohesive 12-track project that touches on vital issues such as racism, social media addiction, among others, listening to FEVER evokes the feeling of scrolling through an endless news feed, finding Black Milkreporting and commenting on the world’s problems with empathy, clarity, and wit.Last week, Black Milkshared “True Lies,” an incendiary track that challenges organized religion and the education system for instilling false wisdom and false hope in the nation’s youth. Featuring additional vocals from DweleAaron “Ab” Abernathy, and Sudie (a producer/vocalist signed to Black Milk’s Computer Ugly label), FEVER arrives via Computer Ugly and Mass Appeal Records.


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01. unVEil ft. Sudie
02. But I Can Be ft. Ab
03. Could It Be
04. 2 Would Try ft. Dwele
05. Laugh Now Cry Later
06. True Lies
07. eVE
08. Drown
09. DiVE
10. Foe Friend
11. Will Remain
12. You Like To Risk It All / Things Will Never Be

OUT NOW: Alfredo Rodríguez¹s ‘The Little Dream’ on Mack Avenue Records

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“The Little Dream,” the title track of Cuban pianist and composer Alfredo Rodríguez’s fourth studio album (Mack Avenue Records), gently builds into an uplifting statement – one that reflects the hope children hold in building a brighter future, where tiny dreams manifest into grandiose realities.


There is no better example of this than Rodríguez’s own personal journey: from his humble beginnings in Cuba to being discovered by Quincy Jones, ultimately leaving his family behind to immigrate to the United States and pursue his own dream. Over the past decade, Rodríguez has gone from a young local Cuban artist to a globally recognized Grammy® nominee with three critically acclaimed releases on Mack Avenue Records: Sounds of Space (2011), The Invasion Parade (2014), and Tocororo (2016).


Over the years, Rodríguez’s worldwide tours have shaped his diverse global point of view. “I believe people are more similar than different. We live in a time where we have so many ways to inform ourselves, and yet some places – and people – choose to remain isolated. As a result, the world can lack peace and empathy, instead of showing unity and tolerance.”

For more information on Alfredo Rodríguez, please visit









In a time where governments want to build walls instead of bridges, and uplifting programs like DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) are being rescinded, Rodríguez understands how important “dreams” are, especially for today’s youth – and the immigrant children known as “DREAMers” – for shaping a more unified future. He expresses, “the title of my new album, The Little Dream, is my response to our current world climate. The title comes from my fascination with the dream world, which is a beautiful manifestation of our reality. My greatest dream is one where all humans live happily and in peace. Children are the hope and the answer to creating a world of love, peace, unity and understanding.”


The Little Dream was recorded in just two days, with a majority of the songs being done impressively in one take. Rodríguez explains, “I don’t like perfection in the common sense of the word. For me, perfection is how we react to something initially, and that makes my music better and more honest. The most beautiful thing to me is when I play and the opposite of what I had intended happens, so I have to find a solution while I am playing! Music is like life, it’s about adaption and transformation in the moment.” Rodríguez’s commitment to improvisation is evident in his popular cover song videos, which have racked up millions of views on his social media channels.


Two musicians who join Rodríguez on The Little Dream and helped shape the album’s sound are Michael Olivera and Munir Hossn. “I’ve been touring and playing with Michael and Munir for the last several years, so The Little Dream is a testimony to the sound we have developed.”




Quincy Jones continues to serve as producer, and Rodríguez never stops learning from his teacher. “Quincy always impresses me, and for a young musician, it’s such an incredible opportunity to get to be around a legend. Quincy has affected my life in so many positive ways; he is my mentor, and the most open-minded musician I know. His influence has made me a better person as well as a better musician.”


As jazz music sees a resurgence in younger audiences, Rodríguez is leading the way for the new wave of Cuban musicians, including past collaborators Ibeyi and Pedrito Martinez. The rich musical history of Cuba is finally being exposed to a wider audience, which has always been a hope for many upcoming artists.


Rodríguez circles back on the title The Little Dream, which he concludes “is about the child that is within us all, and how imagination and creativity are messages for hope. No one knows better than me that a little dream can become a big dream, and big dreams can become reality.”


MACK AVENUE· the road to great music ·



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Alfredo Rodríguez · The Little Dream

Mack Avenue Records · Release Date: February 23, 2018


For more information on Alfredo Rodríguez, please visit

MACK AVENUE · the road to great music ·


OUT NOW: SY SMITH Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete


Long renowned as the “Queen of Underground Soul” for her edgy, progressive mix of funk, neo-soul and R&B, Sy Smith launches a fresh new phase of her extraordinary, multi-faceted career with new release “Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete“.

The critically acclaimed, multi-talented artist, whose previous album Fast And Curious was hailed as “one of the best releases by a female” in 2012 by, showcases her transcendent soprano vocals and signature harmonies/vocal arrangements on a 9- track, 3-interlude set that marks her breakthrough singer/songwriter moment (think a 21st Century Roberta Flack) and finds her pushing the boundaries more than ever before as a vocalist, heartfelt, incisive storyteller and first-time producer.

Taking full control of her eclectic, richly textured vibe and expansive musical vision in her first turn behind the boards, Sy lays the foundation for the collection with her slick synth bass playing and lithe fingering on the piano and keyboards. SRWGC also features guest appearances by many of Sy’s previous and current bandmates, including legendary percussionist Sheila E. (with whom Sy has toured and recorded), violinist Lucia Micarelli (aka Annie on HBO’s Treme), top jazz drummer Lee Pearson II (Chris Botti, Spyro Gyra), guitarist Jairus Mozee (Ledisi, Boney James) and the Myron McKinley Trio.



In addition to infusing more of her jazz sensibilities than on any previous project, Sy – who has performed Ella Fitzgerald tributes with orchestras at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center – shows off a sure-footed whistle tone (a la Minnie Riperton), and a commanding belt in her upper register. Most of the time, however, she brings a whimsical, conversational tone to the poetic, insightful and clever storytelling on SRWGC. As a lyricist, Sy reveals her triumphs and struggles – the victories she’s won and the battles she’s still engaged in – as she invites her listeners to share her most intimate spaces.

The title track is a powerful, haunting ode to the adversity of those who survive the harshest of trials, including her own personal challenges and health issues and those endured by her beloved grandmother, who passed away recently at 101. Yet literally and metaphorically, these survivors still bloom as beautifully as roses. Drawing inspiration from Maya Angelou’s classic autobiography, Sy sings, “Sometimes a rose will grow in concrete / Sometimes the caged bird will sing…”

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Sy balances socially conscious tracks like these with more lighthearted fare like the album’s lead single “Now and Later (Pocketful of Joy),” an infectious, flirty song (featuring the singer’s dazzling horn arrangements) about being head-over-heels in love and waiting for a cold winter to thaw so she can put on a sundress and be her sexy best. Sy pays homage to her father – whose passions for street-corner harmony laid the foundation for Sy’s career pursuits – on a reprise of “Now and Later” simply called “doowop with dad,” which includes him telling stories about growing up singing doo-wop with friends in Queens before he, Sy and two other singers harmonize on the song’ irresistible hook.

Sy’s previous albums include The Syberspace Social, named one of the Top Albums of 2005 by The Boston Globe); 2007’s Psykosoul Plus, featuring stellar production from A  Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and The Roots’ James Poyser; and 2008’s Conflict, which included the charting radio singles “Fly Away With Me” and “The Art of You.” An internationally acclaimed vocalist, Sy has toured and/or recorded with many legendary artists and musical greats, including Whitney Houston, Meshell Ndegeocello, Macy Gray, Chaka Khan and Grammy winning trumpeter Chris Botti. Her longtime association with bandleader Rickey Minor includes six seasons as a vocalist on “American Idol.”

In anticipation of the release of Sometimes A Rose Will Grow In Concrete, Sy invites everyone to visit her YouTube channel and Facebook pages to watch #SySmithSessions, a series of five short clips documenting the process of recording the album and offering insight into her unique creative process.

To promote the project, Sy will be performing at spot dates in Los Angeles, New York, Washington and Chicago starting in March 2018. “Now and Later (Pocketful of Joy)”  and Sy will be filming a short-form music video for rotation in the VH-1 Networks (BET, BETher, BETjams, VH-1Soul and more).

“I feel like this album finally paints a picture of who I am as a person and artist, completely, fully and unabashedly,” she says, “and I love the fact that each song reminds me of a very specific moment, whether of struggle or happiness. I remember reading somewhere that at any given time we only use 40 percent of our brain…well, SRWGC shows that I’ve used every bit of brain accessible to me!”


March 26: Houston – Greenroom at The Warehouse Live
March 30: Atlanta – Moods Music
April 2: Philadelphia – Kindred Presents (venue TBA)
April 3: DC – Blues Alley
April 7: NYC – The Django
April 11: LA - Private Show @ The Record Parlor
April 26: Baltimore – An Die Muzic


Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan and hip-hop mogul A$AP Ferg appear on finale of Complex x Fuse!


Michael B. Jordan discusses starring as Black Panther supervillain Erik Killmonger while chowing down on the ‘Wings of Death’Complex News’ Natasha Martinez goes behind the scenes of this year’s record-breaking Black Panther film and hip hop star A$AP Ferg premieres his new documentary, Forever Ferg and more on the season finale of Complex x Fuse on Fuse.

ABOUT: Complex x Fuse features exclusive first-looks of athletes and celebrities eating killer food, answering burning questions, and revealing the secrets behind the hottest kicks. The weekly Complex-branded block features first-run segments from Complex’s core slate of more than 20 digital shows including signature series like First We Feast’s Hot OnesSneaker Shopping and Everyday Struggle.​

EP: You Love Me Anyway | Marco Miro ft. Melanie Scholtz

Good House Keeping Records king pin Marco Miro returns with his usual assault of beautifully crafted, feel good house music with his You Love Me Anyway EP. The title track ‘You Love Me Anyway’ featuring the vocal and songwriting talents of South African singer Melanie Scholtz, oozes with the familiar production values fans of Marco’s work have grown to love, with dynamic percussive programming counter playing against the warm haze conjured up by the vocal and melodic elements. Underpinning this modern day love song is a slick bass line that urges you to lock into the groove laid down by Marco.


Melanie finds the soul in the production and it feels like it just lifts the track in cool and refined manner. “You love me anyway” is a powerful collaboration.


For those looking to utilise the stunning groove of the title track ‘Love Me Anyway’ you will also find a instrumental mix on the release. Concentrating on the rhythmic base and simple but full keys which fill this track.


To round out the record Marco delivers a dub version of ‘You Love Me Any way’ breaking down and dissecting his production further. Here Marco weaves the vocal in an out with such a delicate touch that it brings a different but equally powerful musical journey. Stripped back and musically succinct.

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Interview: COMMON | As heard on Off Camera with Sam Jones

“The thing I love about being an artist who speaks to the times is that the music becomes less about you, less about the man, and more about standing up for something.


It’s our responsibility to say, ‘I see what you’re going through, and I’m going to stand up and use my voice, my talents, my energy towards making your world better.”


Common Explains Why Music and Protest Go Together

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Why Common Loves Feeling Nervous

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Common Explains the Hip-Hop Mentality

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You may see me depressed, crying, and feeling all down, but at some point, I know a light going to come on, and I’m going to wake up and see this light at the end of the tunnel. — offering solutions in songs


Just be who you are—accept yourself first and foremost.


If artists like Prince or Bob Dylan for that matter didn’t step out to be themselves and express what they thought, we wouldn’t have some of the best music ever created. So you’ve got to step out and be courageous.


Having the courage to go one way while everyone else is going the other is what creates careers.


You’ve got to be humble enough to grow and to know that you can get better.


Have I been nervous? Yes, of course, but I love the nervous feeling I get before starting a film or when I’m about to perform somewhere. That’s part of the joy, the child in me that still loves what I do.


Acting gave me a freedom that I didn’t even has as a musician.


Some things in life, you’re just going to have to fight for, man.




Enjoy “Off Camera with Sam Jones” Mondays on the DIRECTV Audience Network at 8:00pm Eastern/Pacific online and on all podcast services.



Follow “Off Camera with Sam Jones” on Twitter @offcamerashow

Instagram @offcamerashow

Facebook @theoffcamerashow


Follow Sam Jones on Twitter @samjones

Instagram @samjonespictures

VIDEO: Tarrey Torae’s “Make Music”

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The Love Revolution Will Be Televised because … Tarrey Torae presents a new Music Video from her song titled “Make Music”

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After a long day at the studio and several hours of work on a song called “Make Music,” Tarrey Torae needs a boost of energy for the last stretch of music recording.  In the creation of the song “Make Music,” we get a real view here of what it takes sometimes to make a hit song.  Sometimes its a long day of singing and correction and then in a split moment of time, the energy can change and it all falls in the right place.  Get enthralled into the story of this hit making moment, as Tarrey gets a shot of motivation and inspiration from an enthusiastic engineer and producer.  She gets lost in the power of the moment when the powerful love song takes over! It then becomes an unforgettable & powerful recording session that comes in part from the vision and fantasy in her head.

The setting is based in a Chicago Music Studio with a Chicago vibe.  Watch as the song takes on a Life of its own!  Watch as Tarrey Torae brings all she has to this song.  Co-Starring in the role of engineer/producer is Chicago Model, Stylist, & Celebrity Event Planner, BYRDIE.

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Singer/Songwriter TARREY TORAE Speaks About Her New Music Video “MAKE MUSIC” & says, “In the times that we live in, today’s society can definitely use some more Love and Restoration.  We deserve to talk about love in classy ways that bring joy and shine to very loving moments.  It’s a reflection of the old school way of speaking on the sacred beauty of love making.  It is an important tool missing in our music lives today.  The song “Make Music” also is a symbolic moment in comparison of what music really is.  It is Love!  When done right, they can be interchangeable.  Let’s bring this kinda of music back to the music scene for an added dose of balance and symmetry!  We will all be better off for it!”

Stare into a space in time when the return of “Grown Folk Music” is brought forth again!


For more information on Tarrey Torae please visit - Also, click Like, Make a Comment and Subscribe Here to the YouTube Page!


Facebook – Follow Tarrey Torae

Instagram – Follow @TarreyTorae

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RECAP: Baron Davis Enterprises’ BIG Summit All-Star Weekend events


2-time NBA All-Star, Serial Entrepreneur and Master Connector, Baron Davis presented The BIG (Business Inside the Game) Power Summit events during NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles February 14, 2018 – February 18, 2018.


An invitation-only traveling series of highly-curated summits, workshops, and immersive experiences utilized explore how to create real business and social impact, The BIG Power Summit assembled a network of upper echelon thought-leaders, industry experts, and rising stars from diverse backgrounds to connect, learn, and engage in dynamic, yet exclusive environments.




The Summit began with the BIG LOVEFEST Valentine’s Day Women’s Networking Luncheon hosted by ESPN Sports Center Anchor, Cari Champion (pictured above) and sounds by DJ, television personality, and fashion model DJ KISS. The event honored women in business, sports, and entertainment including motivating speeches by Los Angeles Sparks President/COO, Christine Simmons, ESPN Sports Center Host.


Attendees include actress Sophia Bush, ESPN’s Jemele Hill (pictured below), and Celebrity Chef Nikki Shaw, among others.

Jemele Hill


Curated to set the tone of celebration for the weekend with music provided by DJ, producer and photographer DJ D-Nice, who began his career in the mid-1980s with legendary hip hop group Boogie Down Productions.


Attendees include: Ice Cube, Retired NBA Champion Matt Barnes, executive producer of VH-1′s reality TV series, Basketball Wives, Shaunie O’Neal, Lil Wayne’s manager/Maverick Management, Cortez Bryant (Young Money), retired NBA player Amare Stoudemire, NBA “super fan” James Goldstein, and two-time NBA All-Star MVP, Allen Iverson.



Hip Hop Icon Ice Cube with Baron Davis



NBA Hall-Of-Famer Allen Iverson, James Goldstein and Baron Davis



The BIG Summit – Saturday, February 17 @ The London Hotel


Panel attendees were treated to thought leadership at the highest level brought together to exchange future-forward ideas around how to create real business and social impact, collaborations and opportunities that live at the intersection of sports, media, technology and culture, disrupting industries, and enriching our communities. Panelists include: Rapper, Actor, Producer, ICE CUBE, NBA All-Stars Chris Paul and NBA Hall-Of-Famer David Robinson, Co-founder and President of Lyft, John Zimmer, Venture Capitalist and Impact Investor Robert V. Smith, Billionaire Financier and Philanthropist Gary Winnick and others. A viewing party of NBA All-Star televised events immediately followed the panel.


Additional panelists include: Film Producer Scott Budnick, Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Super Bowl Champion Jay Ajayi, and Passionflix CEO, Tosca Musk (sister of Elon Musk).



Hip Hop Legend Ice Cube, Hamet Watt, and Co-Founder of Lyft, John Zimmer




Film Producer Scott Budnick, NFL Super Bowl Champion Jay Ajayi, NBA Hall-Of-Famer David Robinson, and NBA All Star Chris Paul




Venture Capitalist and Impact Investor Robert V. Smith, Billionaire Financier and Philanthropist Gary Winnick with Baron Davis


Photo Credits: Baron Davis Enterprises