Category: Music

ED SHEERAN

The funny thing about this guy is that he illustrates how vastly out of touch I’ve become with modern pop/rock music. This man has been around since 2011. He released his major-label debut album PLUS, which had 6 hit singles, went double platinum here in the U.S., seven times platinum in his native U.K., and…

NICKI AND NAS. . .

…sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. I just heard this morning that Nicki Minaj and Nas are dating. For some reason this “news” is blowing up all over the various hip-hop websites and radio stations. I’m old and mostly out-of-touch with most modern music these days, and that includes rap. But I don’t see what the…

PRINCE ROGERS NELSON . . .

Okay, well, I need to write something. I’ve been thinking about this all day, and I’m honestly still not sure that I even have the words. Prince is dead. His Purple Majesty is no longer with us. I still can’t believe this. I found out at 10am this morning, as my morning break at work…

Do you remember MILLI VANILLI?

If you do, then you’re probably kinda old. It was 26 years ago, in March 1989, when Arista Records released GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE, the debut album (at least in America, it had previously been released in Europe under the title All Or Nothing) of Milli Vanilli, a pop/rap/dance duo consisting of Rob Pilatus…

MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT by LL Cool J

Released August 1990 Def Jam Recordings After his blistering debut RADIO was released in 1985, LL Cool J followed that up with 1987’s BIGGER AND DEFFER which established him as a mainstream rap star. In 1989 he released WALKING WITH A PANTHER, a double-album. While commercially successful, and containing several hits, including the classic GOING…

MY ANACONDA DON’T WANT NONE…

This is the video for Nicki Minaj’s latest single, Anaconda. It’s a huge hit. And I effing HATE it. I touched on this before when I wrote about The Latest Taylor Swift “Controversy” and thought I’d expand on my thoughts after reading some other posts about HERE and HERE, as well as seeing one of…

The Latest Taylor Swift “Controversy”

This is the music video for Taylor Swift’s latest single, “Shake It Off”, from her upcoming album 1989. This is her first official POP album. It’s an interesting career move for her, as this could go horribly wrong. She’s sold approximately a bajillion records as a Country artist, and Country music fans are intensely loyal.…

CRAPPY POP MUSIC IS ETERNAL

Y’know, I often see my older friends complaining on Facebook about modern music. People love posting pictures that will compare lyrics to some “classic” song and to the lyrics in some current hit, and use that as proof that music is supposedly less creative now that it was “back in the day.” And “back in…

BIGGER AND DEFFER by LL Cool J

Released June 2, 1987 Def Jam Records A little under 2 years after his debut album RADIO, a now 19-year old LL Cool J released his 2nd album, Bigger And Deffer (BAD, get it?). By this time producer Rick Rubin had left Def Jam to go off and form his own new company, so LL…

FEAR OF A WHITE RAPPER

I recently watched Ice T’s documentary Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, and I found it to be a very informative and entertaining piece on hip-hop. I definitely recommend that you (yes, YOU) check it out, if you haven’t seen it. I was particularly interested when they featured Eminem. Ice T and the other…

“I’M REAL” by James Brown

Legendary Soul Brother Number One James Brown experienced a resurgence of popularity in the 1980’s. This was due to the fact that a lot of rappers and rap groups began using samples of his music and voice in various songs. And in 1985 in appeared in the hit film Rocky IV, performing the song “Living…

“RADIO” by LL Cool J

Released November 18,1985 Def Jam Recordings Just about two months shy of his 18th birthday, LL Cool J exploded on the hip-hop scene like an atomic bomb when he released his debut album on Def Jam Recordings. There was nothing like him before this. I remember an early interview with Run, of Run-DMC, where he…

MUSE-SICK-N-HOUR-MESS-AGE by PUBLIC ENEMY

The year was 1994, Rap Music was taking a turn (some would say for the worse, but that’s a matter of opinion), as the West Coast was beginning to take over with the rise of Death Row records, and it’s G-Funk style was ensuring Gangsta Rap’s dominance. This was the year Snoop Doggy Dogg rapped…

CHUCK D: AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISTACHUCK

In 1996 after a decade as the front man for the legendary rap group Public Enemy, Chuck D released his first, and to date only, solo album. The thing about PE is that Chuck D was never known as being a particularly inventive lyricist, especially compared to the other great rappers of his era, such…

DR. DRE’S NEW MEGA-MANSION

Rap artist, producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur extraordinaire Dr. Dre (pictured) co-founder of the Beats audio devices, reportedly just purchased the Brentwood, Calif., estate belonging to NFL’s Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen for a mere $40 million. The mega-18,298-square-foot mansion, which had an original list price of $50 million, was built from scratch by the…

STACYE AND KIMIKO

Following up yesterday’s post about the SUGAR BABES I’d said at the end that the failure of their debut album wasn’t quite the end. Three years later, in 1990, group members Stacie Irvin and Kimiko Whittaker released another album on MCA Records, without Patrice Lydia, now performing as a duo called Stacye and Kimiko. They…

SUGAR BABES

I’m going Old School with this one. In 1987 MCA Records released this self-titled debut album of a girl group called Sugar Babes. I still have several vivid memories of this group. I remember the very first time I ever heard of them, I was listening to a live concert on a local AM radio…

J.R. REVIEWS JAY Z (AGAIN)

It has been awhile since Jay Z released his last solo album, which I enjoyed. Now he’s back, with a 16-track collection called Magna Carta…Holy Grail. Does the 43 year old rapper still have what it takes to remain musically relevant? Let us begin: 1/Holy Grail (featuring Justin Timberlake) The best part about this song…

R.I.P. CHRIS KELLY (AKA MAC DADDY)

Atlanta-area authorities are investigating the death of Chris Kelly, half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, as a possible drug overdose, Fulton County Police Cpl. Kay Lester said Thursday. Kelly, 34, died Wednesday at an Atlanta hospital after he was found unresponsive at his home, police said. After paramedics took him to the hospital,…

“AUTHENTIC” by LL Cool J

So, I actually bought a physical CD today. That’s such a rare occasion for me, these days. Like most folks, I mostly buy music via iTunes. Stacy Clark is the only artist I make a point to still buy the hard copy of her new albums, but that’s because I know her personally, and I…

THE NIGHT I SAW PRINCE PERFORM LIVE

From Plinky Describe the best live musical performance you’ve ever attended. It was May 2004. My friend Tina had gotten two tickets to see Prince perform at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for her and her husband, Randy. But Randy had already been invited to go a previous night with another friend, so she…