Monthly Archives: March 2018

Adrian Younge: ‘Voices of Gemma’ on Linear Labs


Known for his cinematic scores (Marvel’s Luke Cage, Black Dynamite) and equally compelling production for the likes of Ghostface Killah, Jay-Z, PRhyme, Kendrick Lamar, Bilal and more, Adrian Younge Presents… Voices of Gemma, a psychedelic journey in spiritual jazz, funk and dark soul.


Written, orchestrated and produced by Adrian at his exclusively analog Linear Labs studio, the project features the angelic voices of Brooke DeRosa & Rebecca Englehart, an opera singer and a jazz vocalist. Voices of Gemma is the sound of Adrian Younge occupying his space with eloquence, envisioning a world where the heavy and the delicate can co-exist; a place where Rotary Connection synergizes with David Axelrod to create a new sound, a new movement for a new era.


The album is out today via Younge’s Linear Labs. Full tracklist and details can be found below.


Watch the “Silhouette Dreams” Video:


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Apple Music:




n the great and ongoing culture war between high and low, raw and refined, the real versus popular, certain territories have been ceded: styles considered mainstream get to be pretty, lovely and optimistic. Styles originating underground are presumed to be gritty, burly and practical.


So it’s a subversion of a kind, and definitely an intellectual challenge, to bathe a foreboding bass line in a lilt. To make gloomy shine. To Trojan horse some heavy feelings in a delicate vocal.


Adrian Younge’s Voices of Gemma embodies the potential of the hybrid. By just saying no to the borders a label like underground might impose on a creativity like his, he’s able to fashion a sound that elbows its way past your defenses, whatever they are. You don’t want to hear anything grim today? Had enough of that on the news? Younge has a couple of angels on hand to waft a hard truth over so that when it hits it feels like a kiss. Sick of the saccharine piped over aisle 4 at Walgreens? Younge’s palming you a melody fit for impending doom.


Voices of Gemma comes from Younge’s refusal to accept the premise. His stance is there in every artist’s job description — the determination to suction up sounds and flavors and phrases from all over the past and present and imagined and documented, and then splice and dissolve what he finds into more possibilities and new ways of seeing, something fresh.


On this project his songs are precise, the set ups delivered with a satiny finish and, in the low end, just a hint of louche. His characters are lyrically poised, but when it comes to their emotional lives, as portrayed melodically, it’s one cliffhanger after another. Younge’s female leads take up residence in their upper register, a fairytale landscape pierced only once by a man’s voice. The dreamy, internal feeling singers Brooke de Rosa and Rebecca Englehart conjure up is tethered to the earth by music that’s filmic and deeply intelligent. Here there are Easter eggs left in accent notes and fills. Care has been given to every detail, and the old way of doing a thing (bring in an orchestra, record to tape) is the way its done; it’s like listening to a five-star hotel.


Voices of Gemma is luxurious, a style that we forgot could be present day, as accustomed as we are to sampled and thrice-removed versions of it. This is high-class signified, a world-class realization.






01. Stranger By The Sea

02. Silhouette Dreams

03. Heaven’s Found

04. Comeback

05. The Leaves

06. Unfortunate Breaks (Instrumental)

07. Starlights (Instrumental)

08. Dreams With You

09. Chasing Love

10. Make A Melody

Netflix – Rapture ft. Rapsody, Nas, Just Blaze, 2 Chainz, G-Eazy & more


Rapture stares directly into the bright light that hip hop culture shines on the world and doesn’t blink. Throughout 8 episodes and featuring a diverse swath of artists — Nas and Dave East, T.I., Rapsody, Logic, G-Eazy, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, 2 Chainz and Just Blaze – Rapture dives into the artists’ lives with their families and friends, to sitting front row in the studio and grinding on tour, to experiencing the ecstatic power of moving the crowd.  Streaming now on Netflix.


Volareo: The World’s first Blockchain Speaker

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Say Hello to Volareo: a Streaming Speaker That Pays Musicians When You Clap

1.5 million Spotify streams per month needed for minimum wage*

Smart speaker Volareo wants to solve shortcomings of music streaming model


Spotify promises artists revenue through music streams. Nevertheless, to reach the level of a minimum wage each month an artist or a band needs at least 1.5 million (Spotify) streams. Upcoming artists hardly benefit from streaming platforms, while being the ones that need an extra push in the back. Volareo, the world’s first smart speaker, solves that problem.

Nick Yap is the idea maker behind this innovative speaker, that gives listeners the ability to tip musicians with a single tap or a voice command.  Yap is also one of the founders of Travis, a pocket-size translator that lets you speak in eighty languages. He also devised ROCKI, a gadget that turns amplifiers and stereos into a wireless music system.

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Applause to Tip
Yap: “Per Spotify stream, an artist earns about 0.72 euro cents. As an upcoming artist, that is not enough to cover your living expenses. Volareo makes it possible for listeners to give a musician a ‘tip’. You support a musician with a donation, by pressing a button or by clapping your hands. This smart speaker ensures that you can tangibly support your favorite artist.”

Cryptocurrency for musicians: Musicoin
Payments to musicians are made via blockchain, digital and decentralized ledger system making direct & transparent micro-payments possible through smart contracts on Musicoin.  Each play equals one musicoin, worth about ten cents. More than 2500 artists have joined this blockchain initiative and are already distributing their music on Musicoin.

“The blockchain ensures that listeners can communicate directly and transparently with their favorite artists. It’s not complicated: the speech technology in the speaker makes it user-friendly, ” says Yap.

Get in touch with fans faster
Volareo not only gives lesser-known or upcoming artists possibility to equally benefit from streaming services, but also solves another problem. The speaker ensures that artists know who their listeners are.

“This allows you to respond even better to the wishes of your fans, for example by scheduling a tour in a city where many of your listeners live. The fact that you, as a beginning artist, come into contact with your fans much quicker, will hopefully contribute to making the music landscape even more diverse.”

About Volareo
Volareo is a smart speaker, which you control with an app or using voice commands. Artists get paid per stream, just like at Spotify. In addition, listeners can directly tip musicians. Artists get paid through a separate cryptocurrency, Musicoin. See for more info at:

About Musicoin
Musicoin is a smart cryptocurrency and music streaming platform built upon the Musicoin blockchain. Musicians and listeners worldwide are encouraged to visit Musicoin’s official website at

Ghost & The City Releases Cover of Damon Albarn Collab w/ Bobby Womack in “Please Forgive My Heart”


Ghost & The City is a unique ensemble that AFROPUNK calls “Future soul” and Blackbook dubs, “A sultry but haunted cross between Sade, Portishead and The Blue Nile.” The new EP TIME is out this Friday, March 30 and melds alluring, soulful vocals, trip-hop grooves and jazz-influenced rhythms. Today, the group debuts their cover of Damon Albarn‘s collaboration with Bobby Womack, “Please Forgive My Heart“.


Ghost & the City is vocalist Kia Fay, drummer Will Jenkins and principle songwriter/keyboard-synth master Ash Maynor. TIME was produced by the highly sought after, Bay Area studio wizard Aki Ehara (The Seshen).


Kia expands on their idea to cover Bobby Womack saying, “His music has touched so many, and we found his collaboration with Damon Albarn to be particularly resonant and timeless. This is our version of a tribute to a true legend and innovator.”


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Ghost & The City has performed throughout the Bay Area supporting such artists as The Internet, Hiatus Kaiyote and most recently, Shabazz Palaces at Noise Pop. They’ll be playing The Catalyst in Santa Cruz on May 19 with JSMN and San Jose Summer Fest on Aug 11 with Goapele, Lalah Hathaway, Theo Crocker and more.




TIME Track Listing:

01.  NWTA
02.  Steady Trippin
03.  Please Forgive My Heart
04.  Living Room
05.  The Dippins
06.  Grazy
07.  Run Run


The Art of Cool Festival Acquired By The DOME Group LLC


Durham-based 501-3 (c) The Art of Cool Project, has approved the acquisition of The Art of Cool Festival by The DOME Group, LLC. The music festival, now in its fifth year, will shift from operating under the non-profit organization, to being owned and managed as a subsidiary of The DOME Group LLC.

The DOME Group LLC is an established entertainment promotions company born in NC and operating since 2007, with offices in both Durham, NC and Detroit, MI. They promote and produce sold-out music events throughout the Durham area and the state including Mary J. Blige, Big Sean, Kirk Whalum and countless others. The DOME Group LLC also books major artists for local university homecoming shows, and for community events for the City of Durham.

“AOCFEST has always, and will remain, Durham born and bred,” said AOCFEST founder, Cicely Mitchell. “This acquisition with The DOME Group LLC will allow the festival to operate in a better place financially, and allow it to continue to bring quality programming to the area and expand the festival brand at a faster rate.”

“AOCFEST is a great addition to the city of Durham, and we look forward to working to expand the festival’s prowess,” said Sulaiman Mausi, CEO of The DOME Group LLC. “We’re working beside Cicely and the team to stay true to the festival’s original mission and continue to deliver and grow a great festival experience.”

“The AOC brand has been respected by all of us here at The DOME Group since its inception,” said Lesleigh Mausi, Co-Founder and Vice-President of The DOME Group LLC. “A lot of hard work, love and dedication to the people of Durham have gone into the festival every year, and we intend to build on that and make the community proud.”

Festival performers for this year include Nas, Erykah Badu, Damien Escobar, Sons of Kemet, Iman Omari and Sango. Additional national and local acts will be announced on a rolling basis. Many of the same staff from festivals prior will remain on board, and founders Mitchell and Al Strong will remain involved with AOCFEST in the curation of programming. Innovate Your Cool and Start of Cool will continue under the umbrella of The Art of Cool Project nonprofit status.

Art of Cool is AOC’s jazz education program for 3rd-8th grade Durham youth. The Innovate Your Cool Conference (IYC) is a day-long conference during the festival featuring workshops and intimate discussions on innovation, entrepreneurship, and science with nationally recognized thought leaders, educators and musicians.

The 2018 5th Anniversary AOCFEST will be held September 28-29th, 2018. The main venue will be the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, located at 408 Blackwell Street. Additional venues will include the Durham Armory, Motorco, Carolina Theatre, and the Pinhook. Presale tickets will start April 25th, and general onsale opens to the public on April 27th. All previous ticket sales for AOCFEST 2018 will be honored. Refunds through the Eventbrite ticketing system will be accepted until April 27th.

Noted AOCFEST past performers include Common, George Clinton, Anthony Hamilton, Terence Blanchard, Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Anderson .Paak, Goldlink, Roy Ayers, Snarky Puppy, and BadBadNotGood.



LL COOL J launches “Rock The Bells Radio” on SiriusXM


LL COOL J “Rock the Bells Radio” will allow listeners to look at, and listen to, classic Hip-Hop through the lens of current culture

SiriusXM announced on March 28, 2018 that entertainment icon LL COOL J has launched his new SiriusXM classic Hip-Hop channel entitled LL COOL J’s “Rock the Bells Radio.”

The channel will feature a wide range of classic hip-hop content, music, interviews and in-depth retrospectives curated and presented by LL, as well as other innovators of hip-hop music, including Ice Cube, Stetsasonic, Eric B. & Rakim, Snoop Dogg, Outkast, Kool Moe Dee, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, Ultramagnetic MCs, Too Short, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Canibus, Wu-Tang Clan, Run-DMC, Brand Nubian, De La Soul, Black Moon and Ice T.

“Rock the Bells Radio” is allowing its audience to look at and listen to classic Hip-Hop through the lens of our current culture and music.

LL says, “If you wanna be a fly on the wall in the world of Classic Hip-Hop, SiriusXM’s ‘Rock the Bells Radio’ is for you. It’s where fans can come and be immersed in the music, the culture, the energy and the history of Classic Hip-Hop.” LL continues, “We’re gonna have great artists, legendary artists, lyricists, superstars, sex symbols. This is the place to be if you want uncut, raw, pure, classic Hip-Hop, but there’s one catch—it’s strictly for O.G.’s.”

To help launch the channel, a special invitation-only roller skating event will take place on Wednesday, March 28 at World of Wheels in Los Angeles. The “Rock the Bells Radio” launch will be hosted by LL COOL J along with the acclaimed DJ Z-Trip; a live broadcast of the event will air at 7pm PST/10pm EST on “Rock the Bells Radio” SiriusXM Channel 43!

“Rock the Bells Radio” is named after a combination of one of LL’s hit tracks, “Rock the Bells,” and the title of the groundbreaking, debut album it came from, “Radio.” “Rock the Bells Radio” will air on channel 43, available on satellite radios, the SiriusXM app and other connected devices.

The channel logo for LL COOL J’s “Rock the Bells Radio” was created by the acclaimed and influential American contemporary street artist, Shepard Fairey, famous for creating the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“We couldn’t be more excited that LL COOL J’s “Rock the Bells Radio” channel will launch live from our special Los Angeles event. SiriusXM was at the forefront of the classic hip-hop format, and with LL on board, it makes the channel that much more compelling,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. “With both the channel and this unique event, LL will be taking SiriusXM listeners on a hip-hop journey that can’t be found anywhere else. For listeners looking for the origins and influences of today’s burgeoning hip-hop culture, they need only turn to LL Cool J’s “Rock the Bells Radio” to hear it. LL will make the channel feel as current and alive as today’s music with stellar presentation, surprising programming choices, and new cuts from classic artists.”

LL COOL J is an entertainment icon who has achieved great success crossing into multiple mediums. A Kennedy Center Honoree, two-time GRAMMY® Award winner, recording artist, actor, author, NAACP Image Award winner, entrepreneur and philanthropist, LL displays his wide range of talents with every project.

LL COOL J’s “Rock the Bells Radio” is the latest SiriusXM channel created with iconic and leading artists, including Diplo’s Revolution, Eminem’s Shade 45, Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Radio, The Beatles Channel, Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville, Garth Brooks’ The Garth Channel, Willie Nelson’s Willie’s Roadhouse, Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Radio, Tom Petty Radio, Pearl Jam Radio, B.B. King’s Bluesville, Elvis Radio, Siriusly Sinatra, and Ozzy Osbourne’s Ozzy’s Boneyard.

SiriusXM subscribers will be able to listen to LL Cool J’s “Rock the Bells Radio,” channel 43, on SiriusXM radios, and those with streaming access can listen online, on-the-go with the SiriusXM mobile app and at home on a wide variety of connected devices including smart TVs, Amazon Alexa devices, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Sonos speakers and more. Go to to learn more.

Tarrey Torae’s Music Video – All Gonna Change


Tarrey Torae presents a NEW MUSIC VIDEO ~ALL GONNA CHANGE~

The Song’s Story:

Tarrey Torae jumps in the ring to fight the hardest parts of LIFE! Life pushes her back and she has to catch her balance. Life knocks her down and she gets back up! She finds her way back to the center and Looks at LIFE right In The EYE!!!


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In the creation of this song, Tarrey takes time to shape the lyrics in the form of an acknowledgement of the trials and tribulations that we all face here in society! She takes care in her song lyrics to remind us that LIFE is truly a movie. Torae hopes that we can all use this as part of our active, living musical soundtracks and affirmations to help get us through the tough times.


The Song’s Message Is Plain & Simple:

Fight For Your Happiness At All Costs” – Tarrey Torae
It is time to claim the glory of our walk. Our lives are movies in the making. CAMERA’S ARE ROLLING. It’s ALL GONNA CHANGE! CAN YOU FEEL IT!!!





TARREY TORAE is The Big Sister of Soul – a Singer/Songwriter and is A 6X Showtime At The Apollo Winner – known for work on Grammy Winning Albums with John Legend & Kanye West – Has Toured With Talib Kweli, Common, J. Ivy & The Roots – Now on Tour with Slick Rick The Ruler! Check Out

Follow, Like, Comment, Subscribe and Sign up for Tarrey Torae’s Newsletter – New Music Coming Soon!

Facebook – Follow Tarrey Torae

Instagram – Follow @TarreyTorae

Twitter -  Follow @TarreyTorae

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Freestyle Fridays are back on BET

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Freestyle Fridays are back on BET! BET Networks is seeking out the best undiscovered MCs from around the world in the ultimate video-upload contest #FreestyleFridayBET, hosted for the first time at YouTube Space facilities around the world. Staying true to its roots from 106 & PARK, the contest challenges amateur MCs from across the globe to show off their best rhymes!

To qualify for entry rappers will need to first subscribe to the BET Networks’ YouTube channel and second, post a video of themselves rapping that is tagged with the #FreestyleFridayBET hashtag. For more information about this once-in-a-lifetime contest go to

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In a non-stop livestream face-off at the YouTube Space studios in four major cities (New York, Toronto, London and Los Angeles) rappers will pick from three beats at random to show off their lyrical skills in 60 seconds or less. The top ten finalists from each city will be selected by an esteemed group of radio DJs from across the nation. The rapper that receives the most #1 rankings from the DJs will be the official winner of the #FreestyleFridayBET competition in their city. From there, the four winning finalists from each city will be flown to LA to take part in a rap battle that will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges at the Fan Fest main stage at the BET Experience 2018 in Los Angeles and the winner of this battle will be the opening act for the BET Experience hip hop show at the STAPLES Center on June 23, 2018.

Hosted by Sirius XM radio personality & rapper Torae


New York—Friday, March 30

Toronto—Friday, April 27

London—Friday, May 18

Los Angeles—Friday, June 15

Additional hosts, show surprises and more to be announced in the coming weeks.

All of the content captured in the livestream will live in a 30-minute companion series that will include performances, contestant interviews, behind the scenes content and more. Additionally, bonus content of the top best and worst contestant videos will round out this rapper’s delight extravaganza. All video will be available first on the BET Networks’ YouTube channel.


(Toure Photo Credit: courtesy of Tayler Carr / Pix X Tay)

New Release: MURS’ A Strange Journey Into The Unimaginable


Today, on his 40th birthday, legendary LA rapper MURS releases his new LP, A Strange Journey Into The Unimaginable, the most personal body of work the MC has ever created.

CLICK HERE to listen to the album.

Earlier this week, MURS dropped this mini music video for the opening cut off the album, “The Unimaginable” feat Robots&Balloons – watch here:

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MURS will also be performing a sold out concert at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, CA tonight Friday, March 16th to celebrate the album release and birthday milestone.




A Strange Journey Into The Unimaginable catalogs the most trying four years of the acclaimed MC’s life. From the dissolution of his marriage and his mother falling ill to the tragic stillbirth of his son, MURS emerges with a poignant, powerful, and poetic body of work. Produced exclusively by Strange Music in-house production impresario Seven, the record features a powerhouse guest list with Tech N9ne on “Same Way”, Fashawn & Prof on “G Lollipops,” Propaganda on “Powerful,” John Givez on “Midtown,” XV on “Whiskey & Patron,” and more in addition to contributions from musicians such as Patrick Page [The Internet], punk rock icon Chuck Treece [McRad], and Dear White People composer Kris Bowers, among others.



1. “The Unimaginable” [feat. Robots&Balloons]

2. “Melancholy”

3. “Midtown” [feat. John Givez]

4. “Same Way” [feat. Tech N9ne]

5. “Powerful” [feat. Propaganda]

6. “G Lollipops” [feat. Fashawn & Prof]

7. “Superhero Pool Party”

8. “Whiskey & Patron” [feat. XV]

9. “A Lean Story”

10. “Lo-Fi Nights”

11. “So Close So Far”

12. “Celebrate”

13. “Vows”

14. “God Is The Greatest”



Loop redefines how an earplug should perform — and look 


Preventing hearing loss by making earplugs amazing

Loop launches a new earplug for music that reduces decibels and looks fantastic. By combining an acoustic channel and filter for natural sound in eight hot colors, Loop lets wearers avoid hearing loss without looking like a dork.

According to the World Health Organization, one out of three young adults risk hearing damage due to loud music at concerts, events and clubs. Despite frequent awareness campaigns, only 15% wear earplugs. Loop takes on tinnitus by making earplugs amazing.

Maarten Bodewes and Dimitri O, Loop’s founders, came home with ringing ears after a night of clubbing. In search of an answer, they tested more than 25 earplugs. None fit their criteria. “When going out, I want to enjoy the atmosphere,” says Maarten. “Most earplugs distorted the music, were uncomfortable—not to mention downright ugly. That’s why we started Loop.”


Round means great sound

Earplugs only stop hearing loss if people use them. A good earplug must be comfortable, so design was critical. Loop’s efforts resulted in a high-fidelity earplug for music that is discreet, yet nothing like what is available in grandma’s drugstore. Loop is both elegant and effective and pairs great with outfits from jeans to a tuxedo.

Earplugs only stop hearing loss if people use them. A good earplug must be comfortable, so design was critical. Loop’s efforts resulted in a high-fidelity earplug for music that is discreet, yet nothing like what is available in grandma’s drugstore. Loop is both elegant and effective and pairs great with outfits from jeans to a tuxedo.


Developed with acoustic experts

An acoustic filter inside Loop reduces the volume by 20 decibels. “It’s the perfect balance between protection and experience,” says Dimitri. Because each ear is unique, the earplugs come with both memory foam that adjusts to your ear and soft silicone ear tips in two sizes. The earplugs stay put while dancing at your favorite club or concert and are easy to insert and remove.

The startup worked with Dynamic Ear Company (NL), leader in hearing protection, to develop the acoustic channel and filter. To produce the compact hollow Loops, they turned to 3D printing and started a collaboration with 3Dsystems (US). For great comfort and fit, Loop partnered with Comply (US).


From Glorious Gold to Raving Red

Loop earplugs come in eight original colors: Glorious Gold, Funky Blue, Flirty Rose Gold, Midnight Black, Raving Red, Swinging Silver, Electric White and Brilliant Black. Each set includes four silicone ear tips, two foam ear tips and a leather carrying pouch. More fun, less tinnitus.

Loop earplugs are available now at  or internationally through, for  $29.99  per  pair.