Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Dirty Drums...

Fo' the drum-luvvas...

(I'm back in Blighty. Missing Sing/KL already...)

st ides and stuff...

that smirnoff post got me thinking bout st ides and how when they were out i was actually annoyed i hadn't seen any of them... fast forward to now and you can find the free mixtape they gave away on my favourite site...

anyways, the st ides were dope...

sold my macbook and got a dodgy copy of abelton 7 riddled with viruses that killed my ibm, so i have been a bit out of the internet world lately but came across this you all might like...

Mickey Factz feat. Cool Kids - Rockin 'N Rollin

not too up on this cat but he seems to be doing good things, his album - Mickey Factz - The Leak Vol. 1: The Understanding - is obtainable here (is anyone else having problems posting links? mine don't show up)

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Corporate Branding with hip hop classics

Common and Just Blaze, Tip and Cool & Dre, KRS & Premier
I don't know how this came about, I haven't researched.
I don't know how much money was involved. I'm curious.
Someone at a drinks company thought it might be good to ask the above people to commission some tracks. And why not. I might have done the same if I had the money (it's all about branding).
Check and hear for yourselves (you might already have).
You can stream or download after they've checked your age in a sly way.
("Please do not forward to anyone under 21"; you corporates!)

Unreleased Fly Lo biz...

Los Angeles isn't being released until JUNE 9TH but I seem to have it now. This is not a good thing. I can't imagine putting all that love, time and effort in to making an album then having it leaked almost 2 months before release because some journalist decided to abuse his privileges.
We do sometimes put up free downloads on this site but always in the spirit of - you may not have heard this artist or this album, here's a taster, go support. I'm not putting anything off Los Angeles up for download on here - too early, too harsh. I am putting up my favourite two for you to listen to though. (It was meant to be one but Melt! is really short) I will be buying Los Angeles on June 9th, same as I will be buying Rising Down by The Roots in 2 days even though I have both. I sincerely hope you lot will be too. As Fly Lo says on his myspace page - he has student loans to pay off like the rest of us - support the artist!

Get Music Tracks! Create A Playlist!

Also, if you missed him at Cargo the other day here's another clip to remind you never to do that again. Fools.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Fuck Hip-Hop....

Massive Attack - Unfinished Symphony

'91 shit. Ahead of it's time. One of the most pioneering songs in British music during the 90s; a thing of multi-layered beauty. And essential to the testament of Hip-Hop (watch the video for fucking visual evidence... MANZ GOT UZI'S BLUD!*). Don't front of Massive Attack or their debut '92 classic 'Blue Lines'. You may get shat on.

And a legendary music video. That tracking shot of Shara Nelson is wonderously sustained. Observe how The Verve emulated this set-up for their '97 video to Bittersweet Symphony below.

P.S. Just kidding about 'Fuck Hip-Hop'. I probably love this shit more than you do. And I might knife you over it one day.

*Fuck a stereotype.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

The Future of Hip Hop...

OK - you lot probably know, I listen to a lot of (backpacker) hip hop, but I'm not a scholar so I'm putting this one out there as a statement to be discussed. Shan (my musical genii) informed me the other day that Massive Attack (late 80s trip hop group - Tricky & them) are curating a night called The Future of Hip Hop as part of the *Southbank Centre's Meltdown festival...the line up will include Flying Lotus, Dalek, Shape of Broad Minds and I'm informed the Cool Kids, and it's happening on June 19th - tickets go on sale tomorrow morning.
I have a few quandaries around this - first of all, I'm not entirely sure how qualified I feel Massive Attack are to tell me what the future of hip hop will be. Maybe I'm cynical but back in the day they were making what is essentially an off shoot of hip hop, of which there have been many, and successful as they were in their day they never became the future - so they're obviously not too hot at predicting it. (Is that really harsh?) I hear they have a new album out in June & this is fantastic marketing for them - but something about that programme and it's title doesn't sound to me like what a true hip hop fan would subscribe to. Don't get me wrong, I listen to all of the artists above & am a HUGE fan of Fly Lo (I can't express to you how amazing Cargo was on Saturday - I think all the screaming you can hear is me & Shan - he fucked with the legendary Window Licker by Aphex Twin),

I listen to a lot of the other progressive electronica influenced hip hop that's out too -Dabrye, Heralds of Change, Afta 1, Waajeed, Sa-Ra etc etc. Thing is we love that stuff right now - but England seems to have a very fickle love affair with new genres of music - garage, grime, dubstep, (you get the picture) - we're always searching for the next thing. At the same time however, we represent a strange dichotomy because we are also one of the only places in the world De La Soul, Public Enemy, Wu Tang etc can sell out to hundreds of adoring fans. Nobody cares in the US. The biggest nights in the calendar in the last year have included; the Primo BBE night, Mos Def, Wu Tang, the myriad Dilla nights, Livin' Proofs' Biggie special and Meth & Red. I would sell most of my family to go if The Roots played a gig to promote Rising Down. The crowd at Cargo on Saturday at Fly Lo was just not a typical hip hop crowd (Janeiro Jarel got up on stage too by the way, and he told me he's doing Glastonbury?! I hope I didn't put him off by giving him the 411 on the mud, flooding, toilets and ting) & the turn out at Deviation for HOC (a dude from Sa-Ra performed unexpectedly too) wasn't great - I held it down for us all to Hollywood & Glorious, trust.
People have been discussing the future of hip hop since it's inception in the 70s - everyone's waiting for it to die, (Nas seems to have hit self-destruct, did he really call his latest album Nigger?!), or everyone's trying to predict what it's future will be. To be honest I was so encouraged to hear Busta's wicked new heavily funk laced tune (click here to download & read Shans post about it), and Roddy Rods Whip is one of my current favourites (I think it pees on Bustas). They are not kidding bout the Low Budget on this video. Oh and can you see Muhsinahs l'il smile popping out the window?
To a certain extent people say The Cool Kids sound a bit old school - they're aight but I don't think I'll be playing Black Mags in 5 years.
Can you please just promise me the future of hip hop's not going to be this transsexual looking talentless twat?

*I can't talk about the Southbank Centre without posting a link to the Save The Southbank petiton

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

One For All You Soft Rockers Out There...

It's been such a lovely day today, the sun's been shining bright and people are smiling, so I'm gonna give you guys something to end it with that rightly suits the mood... So spark a lil suttin', sip a lil suttin', do whatever but whatever you do, make sure you're doing it to this song!!! I was reminded of this while watching That 70's Show a few minutes ago... Yes it's an oldie!! You know my steez!

"It's important to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"


The Upgrade...

OK this post may have to change depending on what I'm allowed to put up...leaked by Spine Magazine & now kicking around all over the internet for free download is the new

J-Live tune The Upgrade ft Oddisee & Posdanous (of De La Soul). Word is they're making a video for it too (ahem, all conjecture of course). It's taken from J-Live's new album Then What Happened? set for release on BBE May 26th - and it features production from just one or two people -
Oddisee, Chali 2na, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Spinna, DJ Nu-Mark, Evil Dee for Da Beatminerz, Nicolay, Marco Polo, Probe DMS, Yallzee, Locsmif, Kenny Keys, Cap D and Usef Dinero...I'm really looking forward to catching J at Cargo on 17th May & copping the new album - I might even buy it! Since it was leaked with permission I'm going to stick The Upgrade on here for you (click the link!). I might see if I can get Oddisee to post a l'il more about it - i.e. what he's chatting about in his verse - apparently it was aimed at DC (J-Live had to get him to write it out to understand it). Enjoy!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Happy Born Day Shhh-She-Smilez.

3 days late? Fuck you.

Sam Sparro - Black & Gold

I maintain this guy is a homosexual (no witch-hunt chat intended). Nonetheless this joint is ridiculously infectious (pop music). I couldn't front on it any longer- does this make me a big namby pamby gay too?

For you, Mal, since you're such a camp tramp and I know you love this song right now. Glad to see you're still alive at 21, basically.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Fight the Power. And blog deadlines.

Public Enemy directed by Spike Lee. Nothing else to say really.

And I can't do that without doing this:

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Now I know Amelia called it on the videos but I been busy sitting on the beach listening to D'angelo.  Where is he?  its been eight years since VooDoo and it pains me to hear comments such as "Damn!Bwoy ate to much Oatmeal with his brown sugar!"  Thats not nice.  We know its Angies fault. She fed him up and locked him in the house.  The original playa hater.  anyway if anyones heard anything other than "He's working on new material" please share.  In the mean time, my favourite video in the entire world ever.  And D, if your reading which I'm sure you are...lay off the Fray Bentos Devils Pies.  Crack is Whack and Angie does'nt love you like I do.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Seiji remix of "Honey", Erykah Badu...

Link to mp3 - comes via

So, when's the first Put Me On party? ;)

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Ever Feel Like...'re sitting stationary on your arse-hole waiting for the most superior Hip-Hop LP of the year to drop?

The Roots feat. Mos Def & Styles P - Hum Drum

^^^Could they have come any harder than that? It-really-does-not-let-down.

I'm too lethargic from work and busy having my skull punctured & occupied by that synth-heavy bassline to explain- so I catted this examination of the record from a break-down of a Roots listening session:

''Guest rappers Mos Def and Styles P join Trotter in unleashing a slew of dystopian imagery over heavy, atmospheric synths. "It's not an intro, but more an introduction to the topical theme of the album," Trotter says. "Mos kicks it off from one perspective. My verse is about global warming and how the world is all haywire. And Styles P is rapping about prescription-drug campaigns, the stuff they advertise on TV, all the crazy side effects. We're all dealing with different aspects of the state of the world.'' [Source:]

No bullshit above. 3 of the hardest rap verse over one of the fiercest backdrops I've heard since '08 commenced. Mos actually rhymes on it (he hasn't been quite his self for a while)! Black just re-enforces why he's one of all the time greatest under-rated. Yet it's Styles P who takes the digestive biscuit, with these bars: "Should I say hello?/ Or should I say that Hell-is-low?/ Am I a n*gger or a n*ggaro?/ I'm an African-American/ They sell drugs in the hood/ But The Man he move the medicine..." Superb.

And in case you're unpunctually not up on it:

The Roots feat. Dice Raw, Peedi Crakk & DJ Jazzy Jeff - Get Busy


The Roots - 75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)


Oh & rumour suggests Common, Saigon, Lupe & Q-Tip are all guestin' on the opus aswell. ...

Coincidentally, Rising Down is one of the forthcoming releases I'm working on press for at Universal/Mercury/Def Jam right now; I'll notify you with piss-stained excitement when the first promo hits our pigeon hole and if my hypothesis is/was correct.

April 29th: grabs your dicks, tits & dust off your debit cards.

Join the Listening Party...

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E Major hit me up on myspace, sent me a download link to his new album and gave me permission to spread it as far as I like - he just wants an honest critique of it, so here is Majority Rules (click to download). What I would really like is if all you good people could comment here after listening to it and we can give the man some feedback. I don't know much about the guy other than he reps Baltimore Maryland (yes Maryland is next to DC and we can't seem to stop talking about it on here) and he's mates with Hezekiah who I know without asking we rate.
Let's give the man the word from London.

The people have spoken

OK - I'd say we're done with the videos now. You all clearly have great taste and I salute you. I still like mine best but I think we probably all feel like that - the winner is obviously Shan but then we all knew it would be! I will come up with a prize - possibly in the form of a roast dinner, or tickets to something dope, we'll see...
Late entries still welcome but we're about to move on - important new developments are afloat.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Ingredients of a Classic Hip-Hip Record:

-Swagger-drenched staccato flow.

-Endearingly unpretentious lyricism.

-Dreamy, hypnotic, piano melody.

-Organic boom bap drums.

-Universal subject matters: love, distance, pining.

-A sense of subtle emotion as the driving force behind the record.

They're all here. My favourite song of last year 2007. They finally created the ideal visual for it...

Lupe Fiasco - Paris, Tokyo

Like i've been saying since last August (you people never listen...) when I first heard a rough snippet of this joint via gracious bretheren down at Atlantic Records; it's like some Souls of Mischief flowin' x Pharcyde vibin' shit; a mesmeric concoction you may agree.

For Amelia. I know she's missin' her internationaly amputated loves: dat breh + dat gyal Katie. Maintain sisteren, nuffin' long.

And as for the sibling- I wish you a safe journey Madmioselle. Can't remember where you've gone... Columbia? Keep your nose clean. We all await your crash landing back here (I'll be sure to sport a titanium alloy jock strap for the occasion).

With love, Shan Phearon, Musical Spartan of Love.

Monday, 14 April 2008

This took me a while (2 hours to be exact): my favourite video of all time

I just took a look in my YouTube favourites and cried...there are just TOO many hot choices. Ah well here goes:

1. What They Do - The Roots

I don't even think I was into the Roots when this song came out, but I saw it a few years ago for the first time. This really makes the point that even if you have big bucks, if you lack creativity your video can still suck (unless you find me that is, lol).

2. Windowlicker - Aphex Twin Not sure if this video scares me or makes me laugh - the extremely long stretch limo is too funny.

3.Kelis & Andre 3000 - Millionaire
It's the misty nostalgic feeling of this video that gets me everytime - I love it.

4. Miss Jackson - Outkast (in a falsetto voice) ooo I am foreeeal, lol. Classic Outkast - their creativity in both lyrical and video form is just super.

5. US Placers - Kanye West, Pharrell & Lupe Fiasco
Vashtie ignored the "don't work with kids or animals" rule and ended up with this hotness. It's not actually the official video either! The mini Lupe is adorable too

I'll Sweep Your Legs & Wipe The Floor...

My favourite music video of all time, ever:

Queens of The Stone Age - Go With The Flow

What exactly do you need me to justify?

My Definitive, Personal Top 5:

1) Queens of The Stone Age - Go With The Flow

A psychedelic, symbolic, relentless, kinetic masterpiece.

2) Jay-Z - 99 Problems [Directors Cut]

The most important rap video ever to document the underbelly of contemporary Black America- 'period'.

3) Korn - Freak On A Leash

The anime to real-life transition. The room with holes and light. Oh, and that-motherfucking-bullet.

4) Common - Come Close

Such a simple, translucent concept. Genuinely touching. Redefines on-screen romance in music videos.

5) The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist

The funniest music video ever made. A collage of audio-visual genius.

Honourable mention: Blur - Coffee & TV

Awww, poor likkle milk carton.

& also, N*E*R*D* - Lapdance

Sluts, BMXs & moustaches = all I ever wanted when I was 14. All I'll probably want till i'm 40.

I have dreams of becoming a fully fledged film-maker one day aswell. Some of what you've witnessed above exemplifies what my mind perceives as brilliance. Enjoy.

So I Guess I Have To Choose...

Sharing my thoughts on music has always been something of a second nature to me and I guess mentioning music videos comes with describing a song worth discussing. Music videos becomes a visual representation of the song, however, whether it is the artist's or the director's insight is another story..when i regard a music video a 'good' video....i look at how it entwines with song and how it takes me to that place...I don't really spend hours searching for music videos and there are so many that I've forgotten....that doesn't mean i disregard the song as well....just that the video gives me someone Else's vision of the song...

I agree with Amelia on the fact that it is an underdeveloped art form- why should music be considered an art form yet the video that visually represents it just merely exists?

I started searching for videos that totally evoked me and i came up with so many..I guess these would be the list of 'runners up'...

In NO particular order:

- Busta Rymes, "Woo- Ha! Got you all in check"- 1996, Directed by Hype Williams
- PortisHead, "Only You"- 1997, Directed by Chris Cunningham
- Cee-Lo, "Closet Freak"- 2000, Directed by Brian Beletic
- Ghostface Killah, "Cherchez LaGhost"- 2000 (Can't find the friggin director's name)
- Dj Shadow, "Six Days"- 2002, Directed by Wong Kar-Wai
- System Of A Down, B.Y.O.B- 2006, Directed by Jake Nava
- Kate Bush, "Wuthering Heights"- 1978 (Yes i did type HER, God Bless cheese music)
- KMD, "PeachFuzz"- 1991

& this last runner up alongside the PortisHead video i mentioned requires you to look spatially at how and where the videos were the eye follows the lens and what subject matter is displayed and evoked by the surrounding background. The space shot on the last scene of the video is the climax of the whole video itself and something special....there's some architecture in everything bitches!

I'm rambling on about this video...

The Postal Service, "Sleeping in"- 2003, Directed by Elliot Chan.

....It was excruciatingly painful to select one of my faves but at long last I remembered the one video that followed me through my early teens. One of my all time favourite songs ( I dunno why it took me so long to remember how good the video ACTUALLY was) here it is...*drum roll*

.....Great ya?

It is of course Read Hot Chili Peppers- Around The World 1999 by Stéphane Sednaoui

One of my all time favourite videos from one of my all time favourite bands.
There's no hidden psychological headf*cks...exactly what it says on the title....a simple but effective video that represents nothing more then how good the band work together, how unique and chaotic they sound visually. I've always loved how quirky the band are and I guess it was time in their career to film some more 'serious' videos for their songs, the video works because it still shines their personality and performance qualities without that pretentiousness (ya know the ones you get from musicians who want to 'evolve' so they flop over to the extreme opposite so fans will perceive them differently).
The video is a little bit more weak then the other videos i mentioned as runners up but i think a good video doesn't need to be as thought-provoking as it's supposed to be, it's supposed to represent the music and i think this video represents the style totally.
The song is notable for it's highly distorted bass riffs (yes I did Wikipedia that shiz) and is from their second album, Californication.

There are so many videos i wanted to list and i really wanted to talk further on the runner ups...but maybe that's for posts to come. Bless you Amelia for provoking me to look back in my music archive shelved at the back of my brain for music videos I took a fancy to.

This is ShhhSheSmilez reporting on her very first post ever, over and out.

khy boogies favourite music videos

so many videos to choose from, and chris cunningham, michel gondry and spike jonze feature heavily. it's funny how a good video can cement song in your head or make you like one you didn't like or make one you liked, like even more. i had to look through a lot of videos to come up with these and came across many that i love the track for and thought the video was awesome only to realise in retrospect they aint all that.
as i listen to mostly hip hop and there aren't really many decent videos for old soul songs, most of my stuff is hip hop.

hype williams + janet jackson + busta rhymes = what's it gonna be?

i think this was the most expensive music video of it's time, hype williams was blowing up a new style for hip hop videos, mega budgets, far from what before was posse's, rental cars and maybe black and white to look arty... i liked liked this track cos of busta even though it fell into a more r'n'b area than i was into at the time

2pac - california love

i grew up on mad max, or road warrior as it was know in the states, my mum went on a date with mel gibson and later she worked for the producers of beyond thunderdome. i got to play with the prop guns which disappointingly were plastic and gaffa tape. always loved this video and a dope joe cocker sample makes for a nice track

lauryn hill - doo wop

love the past and present block parties coming together as one, love the track and lauryn looks pretty hot, even if she is crazy and hates white people

blackstreet + dr dre = no diggity

this was the embodiment of 90s hip hop videos and for me, got me into blackstreet, but only just, and dre "giving you eargasms with his mellow flow" =)

wu tang - gravel pit

this video is just mad fun, i wonder what came first the video or the set, like "hey guys we can use the flintstones set, let's make a track for it..." you know when you hear those horns, it's the jump off!

michael jackson - thriller

i remember being a kid sick in bed and my dad hiring omega man, the original non authorised film of the book that became i am legend, and the making of thriller the video, i was a big michael jackson fan and loved horror movies and american werewolf in london. the special effects make up were cutting edge for the day and mikes werewolf is still pretty scary.

outkast - hey ya

ok this song got played out and everyone who didn't like hip hop bumped it to death and annoying girls request it but it was a dope song which is why it was so catchy and the video is on some grease/westside story type ish and i feel it..

chris cunningham + aphex twin = come to daddy

cari gave me the chris cunningham music videos dvd as she found it too disturbing, i put it one night, feel asleep and woke up in a nightmare. i gave it back. my next door neighbour played it to me about a year before it made it to video and it distrubed me.

missy elliot - work it

wicked effects, styling and dance moves. she was shit live though

aphex twin + chris cunningham = windowlicker

ok probably more disturbing than come to daddy, but was a good piss take on hip hop video. my next door neighbour had the calender of this at work with a different booty girl each month with richard james' face. everytime he came back to his desk it was turned face down

chris cunningham + bjork = All is full of love

wow chris cunningham did a non scary video! i like robots... and bjork too

beastie boys - intergalactic

more robots! giant robots even. stop frame, tokyo train stations, what do you need? this video made me like the song more

wong kar wai + dj shadow = six days

well i already liked the song and knew wong kar wai from in the mood for love and everything he seems to shoot has an amazing look to it

The roots - what they do

hip hop videos by the numbers, what to do. or rather, what not to do

J Dilla - Nothing Like This

yeah it's about love

spike jonze + pharcyde = drop = my favourite hip hop video

ok i loved this from the minute i saw it and the fact it was for one of my favourite groups and favourite tracks didn't hurt either. apparently they had to learn to say the words backwards to make it seem like the were rapping it right? don't know about that... was very close to putting this as number one and around the world as number two. i think they tie

daft punk + michel gondry = around the world

this pretty much has to be my favorite music video. real simple, one set, some lights, a few different costumes and synchronised dancing. but it works so well and is a great track. was considering this for number one and stopped off in a bar on the way home last night from michel gondrys be kind rewind and bizzarely this video came on and that cemented it as my choice.

i put all my favourites up here

Saturday, 12 April 2008

If you had to pick one favourite music video of all time...

I've been doing some research on music videos because I always feel there's this holy grail video I haven't seen yet that will change the fabric of my world. I think music videos are often one of the most underdeveloped art forms - if I were an artist I would be a total pain in the arse wanting every one to be an amazing work of art - I would rather not have one than it be average or formulaic. I love Chris Cunningham, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and the rest but for me Mark Romanek really did it with this grammy award winner from 1998...

Apartheid South Africa never looked so attractive. I could watch this 100 times and never get bored...what I love most about it is the fact that everyone and everything in this video is just beautiful - from supermodel Alex Wek to the man having a want to be there.
Romanek actually won his first grammy for Scream 2 years earlier (at $7m it needs to be good), and has directed some other serious videos - Hella Good by No Doubt, 99 Problems for Jay Z and Hurt for Johnny Cash.

OK people you're up - you get to pick ONE each. I know it's hard but you can do it...feel free to list runners up but please only post your absolute favourite video on the page.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Global funk and soul the Barbican?!

This summer Seun Kuti, Egypt 80, Pee Wee Ellis, Cheikh Lo, Tony Allen, Khaled (King of Rai), Carlinhos Brown, Ethiopiques, Solomon Burke and Breakestra are all playing at the Barbican?!

5th July is the one though - An Honest John's Chop Up featuring Tony Allen, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Damon Albarn, Kokanko Sata Doumbia, Lobi Traore, Afel Bocoum, Candi Staton, Simone White and more.
BRAPS! Tickets are £12.50!!! The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are actually touring the UK this summer, and if I've met you I have probably passed on my obsession with them so I'll see you there!

I'm also down for 'Still Black, Still Proud' (yes, at the Barbican?! 14th June, £10)
It's an African tribute to James Brown assembled by saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis (joined James Brown in 1965 & wrote Cold Sweat), and the line up includes: trombonist and long time Brown sideman Fred Wesley, Senegalese singer Cheikh Lo, Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, South African vocal sensation Simphiwe Dana and upcoming vocalist Wunmi. I was lucky enough to see James Brown live twice - once at the Roundhouse (one of his last televised performances - he did the cape), the other at the Essential Festival (bring it back!!!) where he held a backing singer above his head whilst he danced. I'm up for another James Brown fix.

I'm thinking about Solomon Burke & Breakestra too...sounds interesting but the mans' 72 so I'm just wondering if he's still got it. Al Green was mind blowing a couple of years ago so I jog your memory here is his big big tune Cry To Me (the only tune I have from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack). I challenge you not to put it on repeat.

Now, I've actually seen a lot of great stuff at the Barbican, notably a multi-media version of Salman Rushdie's Midnights Children, the Malian musician Rokia Traore (again multi-media show), a beautiful & moving dance film by Royston Maldoom OBE called Rhythm Is It, and a fantastic exhibition in January - Seduced: Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now.
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(I love Tracy Emin & artists with balls)

Thing is really it's all pretty middle class, safe & sanitary (even Seduced steered well clear of any art from the African diaspora) and you can't sanitize funk can you? They've actually got loads of great stuff coming up - Blues, Back to the Source (tracing the blues back to Africa), Mavis Staples, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis Quartet and a celebration of 50 years of Bossa Nova....

Is it me or is the Barbican possibly a new home for amazing black music?

Thursday, 10 April 2008

teach the kids

I found this website the other week - I'm not sure how but seeing as I've downloaded EVERY single podcast and I'm currently waiting like a musical dope fiend for the next installment - I know it was meant to be.

Being a designer I can't help but judge a book by it's cover even if the content is rubbish so I was pleased to find out that the co-owner of rappersiknow is also a designer - a nice piece of inspiration for me while I continue to sell my soul to the 9-5 devil ever draining my creativity, this website saved me.

It's always quite amusing to me to see the facial expressions of teenagers when they realise that they're favourite rapper's whole album is basically a suitcase of jacked names mentioned! One of the podcasts on rappersiknow is a collection of songs that have been sampled, I was ashamed about how little I know but It's my aim to teach the kids something, lol.

These Are The Breaks - Compiled by DJ Cipher

A few more favourites from rappersiknow:

Jay Electronica on Gilles Peterson

Birthday Podcast
(listen out for Yoko Kanno's Macross Pluss instrumental...a beautiful video game score)

and last but not least

Mos Def - J Dilla Tribute @ University of Michigan

Enjoy xx

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Heads up: Gecko Turner - Monosabio Blues (Philip Owusu Remix ft Eska)

I'm on downtime in my office in Singapore. And you're damn right, I feel pretty good about being about to say that. More deets about my Singaporean residency in my Facebook notes or my myspace blog...

Anyway - had the latest Synflood mix playing the background while planning this evening's workshop, when I came across Philip Owusu's remix of Gecko Turner's Monosabio Blues. That's Philip Owusu of Hannibal & Owusu, responsible for 'Living With Owusu & Hannibal' which is number one contender for my "album-which-most-captures-everything-that-was-good-about-the-spirit-of-80s-popular-soul-which-wasn't-actually-made-in-the-80s" award. The remix is true to the form they set on the album, and with Eska blessing the track, laying down my 79 for an instant download was a no-brainer.

The original's available for play on the official Gecko Turner site, but the the remix takes the cake, hands down. Turner's on the latin inflected soul tip. It's a welcome sound for me, since I recently fell back in love with Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser.

Speaking of the 80s, I'm feeling a little nostalgic. Duran Duran, anyone? Where's my Attica Blues remix of "Girls on Film"...? ;)

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Snow Falls. Sounds Melts. People Drown. Part II.

Don't I make you feel good?

Rounding off my audio exposé of the current 'Chocolate City' soul scene with these next 5 diabetes-delights...

6) Green Tea - Soul Connection

7) W. Ellington Felton - The Addiction (Marlone)

8) Tamara Wellons - Spring Giddiness

9) Sy Smith - Stand Alone

10) Sol Elder - A Song For You (Jam Session)

Hey, bright-eyed darling over there, #6 Green Tea's Soul Connection is for You (minus the negative bits, invert them).


As for everyone else, download in good faith and enjoy one another's genitalia.

Monday, 7 April 2008

A song for you...

I was bubbling around on myspace today and on David Js page he has this video of a tiny little girl singing A Song For You written by Leon Russell. There are loads of versions of this song and I can't pick between Ray Charles, Donnie Hathaway, The Temptations, or Aretha Franklin (there are loads of others like the Carpenters, and errr Celine Dion & Simply Red - they didn't make the cut I'm afraid).
Here's Ray Charles and his badman self:

I actually first heard this song as a sample in a tune called Sole by Anticon from their Bottle of Humans LP - apparently they're playing Madame Jojos 4th June, I'll be there with my backpack on - who's in? Here's a link to Sole, it's as serious as your life is...

It's Gettin' Hot Up In Here, So Throw The Water On 'Em..

Busta just took it the fuck back with the beat on this new shit...

Busta Rhymes - Don't Touch Me

...and I love it. Listen to those drums. If it doesn't penetrate your collar-bone on aural-impact, give it about 4 spins gradually over the course of an hour and that should do the trick.

Possibly from his next forthcoming (family-friendly) offering Back On My Bullshit.

Khy Boogie, click up top immediately, you'll cream your B-Boy shorts.

Play >>> Wednesday >>> Lookout >>> Happy People. I can't direct any more explicitly than that.

Late... As usual...

Right folks, it's that time where I give your souls what they've been lacking. I've recently been listening to a lot of Nujabes, a producer/DJ from Japan, famous for his contributions to the Samurai Champloo soundtrack. I can't understand how cats like this get minimal recognition for the amount of work they put into their music. This man is nothing short of genius. He has four solo releases under his belt, all leaving me in complete awe! I'll tease you with a few joints off various releases but it's down to you to do your homework and really find out what he's about! 

Sky Is Falling ft C.L. Smooth (the music drowns Mr Penn's vocals a bit on this one but it's amazing still)

Luv(sic) ft Shing02 (Shing02 being a long term collaborator of Nujabes. There's four different versions of this song... all amazing... and I was deliberating over which one I should share with y'all. This version isn't my favourite but it's the original and still has the ability keep my finger on the rewind button!)

Funkin' with Fat Jon (a long time favourite of mine)

Seriously people, you'll only be hurting yourselves by ignoring this post so DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE!!

In other news, I had a request to post my version of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble's 'Sankofa'. It's slightly faster and a bit clearer than the previously posted version... 

Until next time, kids. There's plenty more goodies on the way. Soon come... Soooooon come! 

Snow Falls. Sounds Melts. People Drown. Part I.

Superior soul artistery straight outta Washington DC. Did I forget to give you these? Sorry Amelia. Sorry World.

They've been gently resting in my hard-drive for many months. Flagellate me for my lack of blog-punctuality. Here you are (click on name to cop download)...

1) Bilal Salaam - So What (previously one of my favourite joints of 2007, until I found out it was released in 2006, shucks.)

2) The Crossrhodes - Balance

3) Ayanna Gregory feat. Yvette Benjamin - I See It In You

4) Afi - Free Yourself

5) Deandre Shaifer - Ks Journey

Another 5 to improve your sex lives tomorrow...

I'm sorry but I have to talk about Mariah - the big pink elephant in the room.

So I was chatting to a mate today & he was pondering whether to download the new Mariah album. My instant reaction was don't bother. I was right. I've been a little out of the mainstream loop so hadn't heard the new single & decided to check it out...when watching it (if you can bear it) please bear in mind that this woman is now 38.

I don't really know where to start but if I'm doing anything she's doing in that video at 38 you all have permission to kill me - in fact please kill me now if I answer the door in my pants and frolic around in the garden like a deranged sex-deprived freak in a school uniform flashing my undies, babbling incoherently about cameras and youtooob.
What is going on with all the pop stars I grew up idolising? I'm almost hoping Michael Jackson's rumoured come back at the 02 Centre (they're also talking to Whitney) isn't true in case he just makes it all worse, and people I loved and idolized like Whitney, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Paula Abdul, Alexander O'Neil (yes I do dare to include him in this list, and what?) - what happened? Fair enough Mariah looks good (weird) for her age, has had 18 Number 1s & is the best selling female artist of all time but she apparently had a lobotomy in 1998. I used to love her, as did the rest of Nigeria which is where I was when I discovered her. It was all about the power ballads (we also loved Anita Baker, Boyz 2 Men & loads of R&B rubbish I still love) Vision of Love, Love Takes Time, Someday, I Don't Wanna Cry, Hero, One Sweet Day, Butterfly, My all - then all the good straight pop stuff like Dreamlover, Always Be My Baby, Fantasy & Heartbreaker. A friend of my sisters' said a little while back when he heard My All - "who's that singing?!" & could not believe it was her. It makes me very sad, I'm sure she doesn't need my pity but she has it in abundance.
I'll leave you with one of my favourites - The Roof featuring Mobb Deep from 1997, back when I was still recording music off Trevor Nelsons Saturday show & re-winding it 50 times to learn all the words, and Mariahs boobs were smaller than her head...

Mariah - it's not too late for a decent come back...we haven't forgotten '92s MTV Unplugged - I'm sure Trey Lorenz is just waiting by the phone. If he can afford one nowadays.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Yesterday, Today, and Forever...Motown 25...25 years later

So the other day I posted a little clip (that doesn't work) from Motown 25 of the Lester Wilson dancers performing to I Want You by Marvin Gaye...Peanut mentioned how heavy the video was and I got to thinking... I went to a screening of R.Kelly's midget in the closet a few months ago & had an amazing laugh, so I thought, how about we have a screening of Motown 25? The only thing is my sister Katy is going travelling and I can't screen such a massive part of our childhood without her there. So we've decided to have a little pre-party at Lookout! on Wednesday 9th April 8-10pm. It's a leaving party for both of us since I have recently stopped working with the Lookout! crew and Katy is going away. I sincerely hope you can come - the crowd is notoriously late but if you were going to be on time for one day this year, this is the one.

This is Michael Jackson doing the Moonwalk for the FIRST TIME after an extremely tightly choreographed & emotional reunion with the Jackson 5. I have been known to bite my hand to hold back screams. Katy and I used to watch this video daily, it's amazing, as I've mentioned previously it features Marvin Gaye's last televised performance (singing What's Going On) before his untimely death, an amazing Stevie medley, the Tops vs the Temps, Diana Ross, loads of classic Smokey Robinson, the songwriters - Fuqua, Holland & Dozier etc, wicked 80s cack like DeBarge & Hi Inergy, Lionel Ritchie and it's hosted by Richard Prior. What more could a human being ask for? Motown 25 is now 25 years old (it was actually filmed the day I was born - 25/03/83) and is a big part of me. Please come share it with us.

Finally, if that isn't enough for you (freak) Muhsinah will be performing afterwards...

See you there - Favela Chic, Old St tube Wednesday 9th April 8-10pm for the Motown 25 screening and 10pm onwards for Muhsinah...

Kev Brown doing what he does...

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OK, I've been listening to the new offering from Kev Brown, Selective Hearing, featuring some brer called LMNO. I have no more info for you on LMNO because I'm sorry but I'm just not inspired to find out. I love Kev Brown's work, and not in an I actually have this album on my shelf to impress boys way. I won't lie I was put on to him by a music head boyfriend a long time ago but I have followed his music ever since. He's a bit like marmite - mention his name and either the person you're talking to's face lights up and they are incapable of expressing their love or they're totally blank. Actually that's a crap analogy but you know what I mean. Obviously he's extremely slept on and should be rich and famous etc but in all honesty after meeting the guy I can't imagine him doing a Kanye any time soon. Jazzy Jeffs The Magnificent (let's not talk about the follow up) is one of my favourite albums and all of the Kev Brown produced tracks are my favourites on he's working with this LMNO guy who sounds a bit like he's from Anticon and to be honest I feel adds little (& maybe even taketh away) from what is otherwise a yummy new Kev Brown album...fair enough Kev hasn't moved far from his signature sound but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable (in a hip hop blues, slightly sad Sunday music way). GOOD NEWS is there is a l'il rumour going around that the ENTIRE Low Budget crew are about to make an album this summer...just an unconfirmed rumour...

If you are are drawing a blank about Mr Brown right now I'm going to share a couple of his tracks with you in the hope you'll buy his albums (he's on a label called Low Budget - take note). I love the intro to I do what I do though where he humbly thanks people for listening to, buying or downloading his album (with an aside about how he hopes you didn't download it because he needs the $...)

The Brown Album is what really got him noticed and although it was overshadowed by the huge marketing campaign behind Danger Mouse's Grey Album Kev was the first to fuck with Jay Z's classic the Black Album. Check out Kevs take on 99 Problems...
For me this one is a real classic Kev Brown sound - I love Erro's voice and this is beautiful. It comes from the Kev Brown Exclusive Joints CD -Pen Just Cries Away .
This is an instrumental version of my favourite tune on I do what I do, annoyingly you have to listen to the 15 minute long final track Life's A Gamble to hear this on the album but it's worth it (and the rest of the track isn't bad but this one sends me...) Always
All I can say is I hope Kev doesn't see this because he'll kick my arse for giving away his music but I am truly doing this because I think you're the kind of people who'll support real hip hop & buy his stuff. I still buy music (not all the time) but I do if I love an artist. This is my final Kev tune - it comes from his new joint Selective Hearing and is featuring two of my favourite artists Georgia Ann Muldrow and Dudley Perkins, Make a way...

Let's do the time warp again

Josephine here, reporting for duty.

Just to let you know, I very much doubt that I will be posting any new shit on here. I'm stuck in a kind of musical time warp and only really listen to stuff that's at least fifteen years old and has matured like fine wine. I also still wear click suits and do the running man at clubs.

My love for old school classics over new school ones isn't me being a snob. There is just so much amazing music that has been produced over the last century and I'm struggling to keep up with that. I can't handle new shit too. I can't even really listen to the radio if it's playing new music. It stresses me out. I'M NOT READY FOR YOU! I'M IN 1976 RIGHT NOW! LEAVE ME IN PEACE! LEAVE ME IN PEACE!!!

So I'm content to discover new old stuff. And a track that I discovered last week that is being rinsed to death on my system is this: 'Whatcha Gonna Do' by Heaven and Hell Orchestra. I can't really find much about the group itself on the internet but who cares, just listen and savour those hypnotic grooves....

(I must confess that I feel a little uncomfortable giving out links to download music, so take this as a gift while I figure out a reliable audio streaming service...)

Heaven and Hell Orchestra - Whatcha Gonna Do

Friday, 4 April 2008

A Demigod Has Landed.

Can I enlighten you on what life sounds like on a day like today?

Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band - Sunshower [1976]


Feel me? Feel good?

Kokayi / DC killing it!

how much talent can come outta DC? kev brown, oddisee, kaimbr, olivier day soul, muhsinah and no dobnt a lot more that i have yet to discover, and now... Kokayi. if you don't know, get to know... singer, rapper, producer. mike flowed me his cd and it's been on heavy heavy heavy rotation in my house and on my ipod...

i hear andre 3000 esque singing, kardinal offishall style flows at times, but that doesn't really do him justice, he is mad talented and deserves to stand alone in his own right...

do yourself a favour and check him out...

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Last night...and I don't think we've talked about New Amerykah...

If you weren't at Deviation last night, well, maybe don't read this. For me this was a night with the most exciting line up I'd heard about all year - Heralds of Change, Muhsinah, Fatima, Olivier DaySoul, and DJs Benji B, Jude and I think Bugz were there too. Only Benji B can command a crew like that. From what I can make out people got bit confused by HOC's syncopated rhythms but I was having a great time - I got the feeling people were scared if they danced too hard the music might just cut out underneath them or go in the opposite direction...anyway I can't say good enough things about Hudson Mohawke & Mike Slott both as HOC & independently. The live performances really took the night somewhere else and I have to say - Olivier killed it. Everyone was going 'who is that???!!!' He didn't do 'bopgun' but hey, I just shocked out to it at home. Again. Muhsinah came back on and that girl has the most beautiful energy and I love her material - she'll sing over beats people would be scared to 2 step to. I would have gone home thoroughly sated by all of that - but (if you weren't there stop reading now) SA-RA SHOWED UP!!! Well one of 'em anyway and he was pure filth. I lost my mind to Hollywood & Glorious and pined for my beloved music heads who weren't there. Next time :-( OK, I'll shut up about it now.

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Khy's comments below made me realise we haven't discussed the new Erykah album because we're too quick to move on to the unreleased Roots album. I think it's important! My first reaction was 'she needs a rocket up her arse and apparently she's in love with a bumblebee.' - I was sooo disappointed by WWU I was desperate for something serious. On the 5th listen however I found myself loving it - I often find myself struggling between production and vocals - I usually just want to listen to either/or - without the other so the sparse nature of it is an interesting choice and I think it works. Woman has a message & I feel it doesn't get lost here. I have a feeling it will grow on us all and I sincerely hope people don't think the minimal nature of The Healer means it's not a serious dancefloor tune - the looks on people's faces when it drops are nothing short of epiphany. 'Hip hop - is bigger than religion, it's bigger than the government - this one is for Dilla' Tell me what you think people...

Electric Relaxation - 08 update as "Inbox"...

I continue to be fascinated by innovative reworkings of hip-hop classics. One of the most notable that comes to mind is Pharoahe Monche's 'Welcome To The Terrordome', which brilliantly captures the spirit of the original while taking it in a fresh, new direction. Genius.

This morning, my podcast inbox delivered another contender in the form of Random Beats' reworking of ATCQ's 'Electric Relaxation', featuring 88 Keys, via AvantUrb. It's hard to touch a classic, but this one definitely put a smile on my face...

Download here:

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

not until you've listened to Rakim on a rocky mountain top...

khy boogie diggin in the youtube crates, cos that's what I do best...

Devo Springsteen

what? a new wave 80's soft rock tribute band? no. signed John Legend to Kanye West’s GOOD Music label. produced songs for The Last Poets, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Rhymefest, Estelle, Consequence, and won the Best Rap Song Grammy in 2006 for his production of “Diamonds (from Sierra Leone)” .

I like him cos he produced common's misunterstood

using nina simone


Ayatollah is a Hip-Hop producer from Queens, New York who has produced for predominantly New York-based rappers including R.A. The Rugged Man, Tragedy Khadafi, Wordsworth, Vast Aire, Afu-Ra, Guru, M.O.P., Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah as well as many others. R.A. the Rugged Man had said in an interview that he was the first person to ever buy a beat from Ayatollah.

I like Ayatolla cos he did one of my and your favourite tracks, ms fat booty

with aretha frankiln - one step forward

tenuous marvin link

read that your mum partied at marvins, put home is where the hatred in my head as that was the last marvin song i heard, simon played it on 7" at vibe bar before i started djing [reggae... =)]

anyways the best version is gil scott herons, one of my all time favourite tracks, sampled by kanweezy...

kanye on prod, com on mic, sampling gil...

o.g. and best... song is mad depressing but beautiful...

music of many colors

i need this, nuff said. but to say more would be a random night before easter friday at brents mates house behind jaguar shoes, dude had a small record collection but total quality, prince, michael jackson, fela kuti, roy ayers, gil scott heron. i am now on the hunt for the 12"

"I don't rap, i explain shit real good..."

skillz live w/ the roots, just found the vid for this today but loved the track since hearing it on a dj premier mix, he also did ghostwriter on rawkus back in 2000 which i was feeling then. check it out, pretty dope...

dunno who produced it but i think it's pretty interesting to sample sly's bro, frank stallone, who woulda thought he'd actually be such a good singer but would probbaly never got a break if his brother didn't get rocky produced... i'm sure producer just had soundtrack lying around for sample ideas but i like the idea of the full circle, me seeing rocky as a kid, not even remembering the song, hearing skillz on premier sampling rocky!

frank stallone says

kids these days

yeah i know, i'm old...

but this is worth going direct to the you tube page for the comments alone. but if you can't be arsed basically the kids think joe cocker ripped off california love to make woman to woman, well, it's funny to me and maybe shan, peanut and paz...

but played out and as commercial as it got, dre is a dope sampler and i don't know anyone who doesn't like this

had this in my head for time, thanks zen cuts...

"not until you've listened to Rakim on a rocky mountain top
have you heard hip hop
extract the urban element which created it
and let a open wide country side illustrate it..."

this captures perfectly how i feel about hip hop, as a white kid growing up in inner city sydney, australia, i totally felt this music i was so far removed from, as did a generation. now hip hop is getting close to 4 generations. it's stuck with me but i've not always stuck with it, retreating to the softer, more comforting, less confronting confines of soul music, with tales of broken hearts and loves lost.

but hip hop is something very special and alive and there is nothing like listening to it ,on headphones as most people did when growing up, not enough money for a stereo or car so you walk or wait for the bus, with poetry and a beat in your ear.

saul williams really is the man

we are a generation void of leaders, we nod our head when the beat drops yet fail to recognize when we have fallen...

i'm a bit cut i didn't go see saul with you last year ameila.. can i just say i am very sad rakim has cancelled all 3 dates at jazz cafe at the end of the month. =( i was gonna go all 3! although LOOKOUT! is on the thursday, so I couldn't have made that one anyways, lets hope he reschedules, he's number one of my list of hip hop greats to see, done seen big daddy kane already but i'd go again...

looking forward to the new Roots album everyone is talking about, their 10th! Rising Down - due for release 29th of this month on def jam, gusts include peedi peedi, loved his new version of brand new funk, another all time favourite, and malik b and maybe dice raw, wale, lupe and styles p all possible to guest on Rising Down too.

still not copped the new badu, heard mixed reports, but i checked the healer on amelia's recommendation and i'm feeling it. does she say 'this is for dilla' in the intro? ah yes she does, and it's madlib on production. the criticism i heard was that she doesn't sing enough, or it's not enough like her old albums, but how much responsibility do artists have to give the people what they want as opposed to be true to themselves?

i put a web link here the the imeem site for the healer but links don't seem to be working, are you able to amend admin amelia?

meth and red postponed till tuesday 15th of april at shepherds bush empire, works for me! meth ws definitely the highlight of the wu tang show, aside from wu all being on stage at once ad pretty much on time, meth was the most vocal and charismatic and stage dived a lot, lost a shoe and brought stringer bell from the wire out who's apparently a hackney lad.

oh yeah new atmosphere lp coming out - When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold. not got my hands on it yet...

that's it from me for now, i'll try limit my posts to weekly. peace out yall

A little hip hop...

OK, the other day my mate Tanya asked me for some hip hop - I haven't had time yet but here's a playlist of my current top 5...My absolute favourite tune at the moment though has been around for 5 years apparently. My mate Ahmed put me on to it and I danced around his office like a fool. It solidifies the fact that Kev Brown ( is a genius:
'3 Sides' - Wes Felton, Sy Smith and 'Cronkite' (Raheem DeVaughn under another name - because no one would work that one out). Kev Browns new album with LMNO has just come out - buy it, let's see if we can make him smile. It's a long shot but we can try.

music player
I made this music player at

Oh and if you're a DJ will you please stop sleeping on Caltroit?

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

What's Soul music?

Annoyingly enough the Motown video below was working last week but now it's just sat there teasing. I'll find it again but in the meantime - what is soul music? I'd say Bjork is part of soul music. Vespertine is one of my top 5 albums of all time - listen to it outside in the dark in summer or at Christmas with just fairy lights (yes I'm a hippy). First time I heard that album I said 'if there is a heaven they're playing this'. Part of my Bjork-love is that she's such a complete artist. This video is part of the reason I say that - Chris Cunningham is such an amazing director with an incredible range (sic: Window Licker & Come to Viddy by Aphex Twin) and this video alongside the song both breaks my heart and expresses things for me I could never articulate...

By the way I will keep on posting things on here to amuse myself indefinitely...

Does anyone else feel a weird ownership of Marvin?

Growing up my Mum would often tell me about how she used to go to parties at Marvin Gayes' house - yes I hate her too. I'm guessing it's unusual for a child to hope that one day you would find out your Mum cheated on your Dad but I for a while I hoped that maybe...urgh that's dark, my Dad was amazing. Growing up he was always my favourite Motown artist and still is, in fact he's my favourite artist of all time. I used to think that being born in '83 had something to do with Sexual Healing being released in '82. Grim. Anyway, my sister and I used to watch Motown 25* daily, and the video below which is taken from it made me want to become a dancer...something about this speaks to my heart - like the way I felt the first time I saw the Sugar Shack by Ernie Barnes. I have a big spot reserved on my wall for the signed print I keep meaning to buy.

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The Lester Wilson Dancers performing to my favourite song of all time...

Lastly, I wanted to put this up because I am normally horrified by Marvin remixes but Waajeed & The Jazz Katz did a pretty good job on this one I think...I want u 2

*Motown 25 trivia - Marvin Gaye performed 1 song that night - What's Going On (Motown refused to release that album) & it was his last televised performance. Michael Jacksons' performance of Billie Jean - the moonwalk, fedora, sparkly socks & cuban heels was the template he used to perform it ever after & was the first time most people saw the moonwalk (unless you count James Brown doing it forwards way back when)...Lastly - James Jamerson had to buy a ticket from a hawker & sit at the back...he died less than a year later from alcoholism. If you don't own it you should - it's a piece of music history (we still have a VHS copy from the 80s)


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