June is National Black Music Month

Majyck Radio (Kalamazoo)-Since the inception of Black Music Month from collaborators, Kenny Gamble, legendary songwriter-producer and first declared in 1979, by President Jimmy Carter, there are has been many artists designed a foundation of influence across the globs. It wasn’t until many years later that is was discovered that the the presidential proclamation that of Black Music Month was never signed President Carter. Dyana Wright, ex-wife of Kenny Gamble, took on the initiative in the late ’90’s to ensuring June as Black Music Month.

With no prior experience of knowledge, Wright started visiting Capital Hill and speaking with Congressman and Representatives about the contributions and importance of Black Music. The bill was introduced by Congressman Fattah (D) Philadelphia. The actual draft that became the language (Wright authored) for the bill that ultimately in 2000 was passed in Congress and recognized June as Black Music Month.

#blackdayofsilence

December 14, 2014-Kalamazoo, MI

Starting at 12:00 P.M EST today, National Black Day of Silence will begin and end on December 15 at 12:00 P.M EST.

Organizers from Ferguson, MO (Mike Brown) are inviting individuals, community organizations and activists to join their energies and efforts for a nationwide moment of silence to remember  those murdered by gun violence, protesting the unregulated standard officers have, particularly white policers shooting unarmed black men and racial profiling.

There have been many cases before Mike Brown or Trayvon Martin. Every 28 hours a black life is lost to police violence, security or vigilantes. Current social media stories and pictures reflect  citizens from many communities across the nation and the world have had enough of government bullying, lack of equality and democracy.

For more information about solidarity actions and how you can support in  your community.

Frankie Knuckles, “Godfather of House Music” Passes Away at Age 59

Legendary, Frankie Knuckles known affectionally  as the Godfather of House Music“godfather of house music”– a style of dance music that revolutionized club culture in the ‘70s and ‘80s and still surges around the world today.

Knuckles died Monday at the age of 59, confirmed by his longtime business partner, Frederick Dunson said in an email that Knuckles “died unexpectedly this afternoon at home.”  Knuckles  was not just a house music producer he would go on to mix records by major artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Depeche Mode.

Knuckles begin  DJing  in New York City, then moved to Chicago in the late ‘70s and developed a reputation as one of the city’s most influential dance-music innovators.  Arriving in Chicago just as disco was losing momentum.

Knuckles was mentored by beloved DJ Larry Levan in the early ‘70s while in New York. He took his teachings and new spinning techniques to the midwest, where is settled in Chicago and became know as “the godfather of Chicago house music” at the Warehouse and later the Power Plant.

He would take soul and R&B records and turn them into hot dance tracks, and remix new singles being produced by other house music producers and incorporate drum machines to accentuate the beat.

Knuckles was primarily known as a DJ, but he also played a key role as a dance music cultural creator,  talent scout and producer.  A known fact that, Knuckles bought his first drum machine from Derrick May, one Detroit’s founders of techno music.

In 2004, Chicago named a street after Knuckles where the old Warehouse once stood, on Jefferson Street between Jackson Boulevard and Madison Street. The  Illiniois state senator who helped make it happen whom now is the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

In 2005, Knuckles was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his accomplishments.

Knuckles has transitioned from our “club house” to a “heavenly house”. His music will continue to inspire, teach through his vinyl creations that continues to transcends across many music genres.

Frankie Knuckles

                                           January 18, 1955 – March 31, 2014

 

 

 

Discography of some of his creations:

  • “Rain Falls” (single)

  • “You Can’t Hide from Yourself” – CBS Records

  • “Tears” (single); Frankie Knuckles presents Satoshi Tomiie – FFRR

  • “Your Love/Baby Wants to Ride” – Trax Records

  • Beyond the Mix – Virgin Records

  • “The Whistle Song” – Virgin Records

  • Sessions Six – Mixed by Frankie Knuckles – Ministry of Sound

  • Choice: A Collection of Classics – Trax Records

  • “Keep on Movin'” – Definity Records

  • A New Reality – Definity Records

Remixes

  • “Change” – Lisa Stansfield

  • “Power Of Love/Love Power” – Luther Vandross

  • “Left To My Own Devices” – Pet Shop Boys

  • “This Time” – Chanté Moore

  • “Happy” – Towa Tei

  • “Let No Man Put Asunder” – First Choice

  • “Ain’t Nobody” – Chaka Khan

  • “Watcha Gonna Do with My Lovin'” – Inner City

  • “Talking with Myself” – Electribe 101

  • “The Pressure” – Sounds of Blackness

  • “Where Love Lives (Come on In)” – Alison Limerick

  • “I Want a Dog” – Pet Shop Boys

  • “Notgonnachange” – Swing Out Sister

  • “Because of Love” – Janet Jackson

  • “Love Hangover” – Diana Ross

  • “Bring Me Love” – Andrea Mendez

  • “Rock with You” – Michael Jackson

  • “Scream” (remixed by Knuckles and David Morales) – Michael Jackson

  • “Thriller” (remixed by Knuckles and David Morales) – Michael Jackson

  • “You Are Not Alone” – Michael Jackson

  • “Closer Than Close” – Rosie Gaines

  • “Unbreak My Heart” – Toni Braxton

  • “Sunshine” – Gabrielle

  • “I’m Going to Go” – Jago

  • “Blind” – Hercules & Love Affair

  • “You’ve Got the Love” – The Source ft. Candi Staton

  • “Million Dollar Bill” – Whitney Houston

  • “Forever Came Today” – The Jackson 5 (Released On The Remix Suite)

  • “Wrong” – Depeche Mode

Michigan United and Community Leaders and Low Wage Workers Rally to Raise Minimum Wage

KALAMAZOO–Wednesday evening, Governor Rick Snyder was in Kalamazoo as the keynote speaker for the 10th anniversary of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center. The center helps develop life science businesses that primarily focus on health.  Dozens of protesters stood outside the Radisson Plaza Hotel to send a clear message to Snyder that $7.40 an hour can not support a single person or a family.

Michigan United, community leaders, Good Jobs Now, as well as low wage workers and people of faith  held signs and chants that $7.40, the current minimum wage has got to go. They say they can’t live on what they’re making.  Dozens stood outside in the rain/snow mix wanted to have a serious discussion with Governor Snyder who was inside the Radisson hotel in downtown Kalamazoo at a celebration for the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center.

Numerous speakers echoed the importance of boosting the local economy as well as creating sustainability is to increase the minimum wage.  A study released by the Michigan League for Public Policy reports that since 1968, the value of the minimum wage has dropped by 20%. The report also finds that most low-wage workers in Michigan who would be affected by a raise in the minimum wage are over the age of 20(84%) and work at least 20 hours a week.

The demonstrators sent a letter to the Governor’s Office last week, calling for action. A 2012 population survey by the Economic Policy Institute suggests that one our of every four workers, which is roughly 958,000 would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour. Over half of workers making minimum wage have some college education or degrees.

Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) has introduced bill (H.B 4554) that would raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $10 per hour and index it to rise automatically with the cost of living each year. This would also include a raise for tipped workers who have not seen a increase from $2.65 an hour in decades.

Currently, Michigan’s minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Five states, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee — have no minimum wage law, according to the United States Department of Labor.

H.B. 4554 has not been embraced by Republicans who control the Legislature.  GOP legislative leaders say hiking the minimum wage would hurt employers’ ability to hire people.

According to National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimates that the boost in hourly wage would create over 9,600 new full-time jobs in Michigan stimulating over 1 billion dollars in economic activity that would be created if the minimum wage were raised to $10 an hour

 

Low wage worker protesting current minimum wage

Geto Boys Take Over Shakespeare’s Lower Level For A Night

Kalamazoo, MI– Music fans received a pre-weekend treat via ASAP Promotions bringing legendary artists, Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick Bill known on stage as the Geto Boys. Kalamazoo greeting the Houston, Texas natives with an October midwest welcome.

Shakespeare’s Lower Level has become a hub for indie performing artists locally as well as nationally. Opening acts, Knights of Mayhem(K.O.M), Slim C and Ed Genesis got the crowd hyped and primed with verses of consciousness.  Performing new music as well as their signature songs set the temperature gauge on HOT.

DJ Gami on the 1’s and 2’s kicking out classic jams with new music kept the crowd on the dance floor in between acts. DJ ILLMIXX “chopped it up”Ed Genesis with his scratching skills during Ed Genesis set, that concluded with his latest track, “In My Hood” (With my Skittles and Ice Tea), a tribute to Trayvon Martin.

Phat Joe The Hypeman kept the showing moving and the audience engaged with dance showcases for the ladies in the crowd that wanted to get on the stage and put in some “twerking’. Physically there were definitely more fellas in the audience than women, but when it was time for the women to represent with a unified good time scream prompted by Phat Joe, the audio decibels went off the chart.

Can you imagine what a sardine feels like in a can? Hundreds of screaming fans in anticipation of hip hop artists that have entertained and educated with their music across the country. If you were at the show, you would have felt that exact sentiment. Many independent artists in the audience trying to catch the attention of the legends, to hold their glance for just a few seconds to acknowledge the respect and hustle of a icons that have made such an impact to hip hop.

LIve at Shakespeare's Lower Level. October 3, 2013

Live at Shakespeare’s Lower Level. October 3, 2013

Performing to a practically sold out venue, platinum hip hop artists, The Geto Boys came onto the stage individually, with Scarface entering the stage and the crowd erupting in unison with enthusiasm to his classic single, “Smile”, from his fourth album, The Untouchable  that featured the late Tupac”. Mind Playing Tricks On Me” from the their 1991 album, We Can’t Be Stopped to name a few.

Nearly everyone at the show were singing lyric for lyric to every song the legends dished out. Fans that have followed the Geto Boys from the start of their career to those that are catching up on their music created a life long night of memories to recall.

Some die hard fans brought in classic memorabilia to have signed. If you had a puzzled look on your face as to what that “small case was that was held in the air and waved back and forth by a fan rocking to the jams, well it was a cassette tape. That is how far back the love and music career of the The Geto Boys go.

Days of saying that there isn’t enough to do in Kalamazoo is over. ASAP Promotions continues to bring energy and positivity with the music acts that brings crowds of music fans young and old.

Mark your planners for the next show at Shakespeare’s Lower Level with Rittz, Snow Tha Product & Jarren Benton scheduled for November 22, 2013 at Shakespeare’s Lower Level.

Rapper Chris Kelly From 90’s Duo Kriss Kross Dies at Age 34

Atlanta native, Chris Kelly, half of the 1990s kid rap duo Kris Kross who made one of the decade’s most memorable songs with the frenetic “Jump,” has passed away. Authorities say they are investigating his death as a possible drug overdose.

Officials from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office said the 34-year-old Kelly was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. Wednesday at the south campus of the Atlanta Medical Center.

Cpl. Kay Lester of the Fulton County police said “it appears it may have been a possible drug overdose.”

An official cause of death is pending an autopsy.

Kelly, known as “Mac Daddy,” and Chris Smith, known as “Daddy Mac,” were introduced to the music world in 1992 by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri after he discovered the pair in an Atlanta mall. The duo wore their clothes backwards as a gimmick, but they won over fans with their raps.

Their first, and by far most successful song, was “Jump.” The hit, off their multiplatinum 1992 debut album “Totally Krossed Out,” featured the two trading versus and rapping the refrain, the song’s title.

They toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows, and even had their own video game.

Earlier this year, the group performed together to celebrate the anniversary of Durpri’s label, So So Def.

 

Aaron Neville Opens Zoellner Season

Grammy  award winning, New Orleans R&B singer, Aaron Neville will open the 2013-14 season of Lehigh University’s

Aaron Neville
Aaron Neville

Zoellner ARts Center Sept.14 including songs from his new cd, “My True  Story”.

Featured highlights will include a performance from Matthew Morrison, a Broadway star best known for his star turn on the Fox TV show “Glee”; jazz singer Denise Donatelli, an Allentown native with two Grammy nominations, Tony and Emmy-winning actor John Lithgow in a one-man story show; “The Addams Family, a touring production of the hit Broadway play  and Grammy-winning jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis with quartet.

The 17th season, which will feature a mix of music of various genres — dance, theater, circus arts and more.

Tickets are on sale to subscribers. Single tickets go on sale July 17 at http://www.zoellnerartscenter.org

 

Talib Kweli Promotes, “Prisoner of Conscious Tour” This Summer

The Brooklyn resident and socially conscious rapper Talib Kweli is getting ready to tour in support of his upcoming fifth solo

Talib Kweli Prisoner of Consciou
Talib Kweli Prisoner of Consciou

LP “Prisoner of Conscious.”  Four years in the making, “Prisoner of Conscious” is due to be released, May 7, 2013.

 Kweli is a known pioneer at the forefront of the alternative, conscious hip-hop duo Blackstar with friend and musical partner Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def).

Collaboration on the upcoming project includes performances from a few mainstream hip-hop acts possibly promoting much needed exposure to mainstream music programming.The LP will feature  Kendrick Lamar, Nelly and Busta Rhymes among many other notables.

First Single from album:

Queens Hip-hop Artist Farrelli Releases New Single “We Goin’ Roll”

Farrelli, an up-and-coming hip-hop artist from the Glendale side of Queens, NY, has released his newest single, “We Goin’ Roll.” The song is a back-beat powered, modern rap track that primarily features Farrelli spitting his urban poetry over spacious, unobtrusive drum and percussion. The track grooves and rolls while Farrelli professes his perspective, and does so without any of the regrettable pretentiousness that often accompanies urban hip-hop singles of today.

This straight-up, raw and honest character of Farrelli is the product of several facets of his personality. His diverse culture triggered many challenges for him in his youth (Farrelli was adopted into an Italian NY family from his birthplace at Pusan, South Korea at the age of three months). This, combined with his love of poetry, guided his artistic direction.

“My music evolved from the poetry I used to write,” he says. Farrelli had begun writing poems in verse by the third grade with much precocious avidity. “I love poetry – but it wasn’t enough for me to be able to express my true emotions and feelings.” Naturally, he began composing hip-hop at fifteen.

The other standout quality of Farrelli’s work is the intellectuality and positive attitude he brings to the verses. He spends time fashioning each phrase into a line he feels genuinely expresses what he intends to say without being unnecessarily disrespectful to others in society. In this way he purposefully refuses to contribute to that unfortunate trend which has plagued the hip-hop community for years since the mid-90s, keeping the subculture largely out of the full-blown mainstream.

He says of the themes explored in “We Goin’ Roll:” “This song is meant to be exciting and uplifting. It is meant to be played at parties, clubs of any sort. It shows respect for girls, too, unlike most other hip-hop songs. Overall the track is a very energetic, catchy, ‘pop-like’ hip-hop song that I wrote to put people in a positive mood.”

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/74215628″ params=”auto_play=true” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

 

The Writings Of Skyzoo: An Intimate Evening Of Storytelling

 Skyzoo will hit the stage February 19th at MIST Harlem a social hub, programmed and built to share the authentic and diverse cultures of the African and Latino diaspora.

Skyzoo will be performing select songs from his extensive catalog alongside with a live 7-piece band.  “The Writings of Skyzoo: An Intimate Evening of Storytelling” will be an interactive concert experience where the Brooklyn native will take time to give back-stories about his music.

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Saudi and German Rappers Unite For A Cause

Organized by the German Consulate General, Rolf Theodor Schuster in cooperation with Universal Legends Entertainment, “Jeddah Hip Hop Jam” a cross-cultural event featured well-known German singer and producer Max Herre and Saudi rapper “Qusai”.

The pair hosted the latest editions of Arabs Got Talent and won the epithet of Middle East’s Hip-Hop Ambassador.

After the performances, a three day workshop involving 60 young local aspiring rappers and producers. The workshop enabled the upcoming musicians a chance to personally meet and share experiences with the musical influences such as Herre and Qusai.

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