Tag Archives: the roots

Diplo Set To Host Questlove’s VH1 Live Music Show, ‘Soundclash’

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/questlove-soundclash-vh1-palladia-1201176555/With executive production from The Roots drummer, Questlove, Diplo has officially been announced as the host of Soundclash.

Since summer is right around the corner, you can expect a lot of new music, festivals, and yes, new television shows. But since MTV doesn’t really produce any “music” television shows, Palladia & VH1 are sort of filling the gap with Soundclash.

Let’s just say, if you take three music acts, give them a stage, some new tracks, covers, and throw in some collaborations, then you end up with Questlove’s forthcoming VH1 show, Soundclash. 

According to Mixmag, the show will air on July 23rd and will feature Lil Wayne, London Grammar, and Fall Out Boy.  Interesting lineup, right? But it’s not just selected a random, their is reasoning behind this eclectic grouping of artists. 

“SoundClash will showcase established acts at their peak, spotlight breaking artists on the rise, and introduce what’s breaking on the music scene at that moment,” says VH1 President, Tom Calderone. 

Will you be watching or not? 


DNB Flashback | Calibre & High Contrast – ‘Mr. Majestic’


The year was 2006. I had spent 5 years falling in love with the origins and evolution of house music, and I was soaking up an arsenal of music that could rival any DJ’s collection. Yet, I was still a foreigner to the sounds of drum and bass. That is, until I heard “Mr. Majestic.”

In the madness of using Limewire (remember those days?)  to find new music, I fell into a void of downloads that let me to the genre of drum and bass.  In the midst of trying to avoid viruses and just experience new music, Calibre & High Contrast’s “Mr. Majestic” fell into my hands.

And my oh my, what a glorious experience once that download reached 100% completion and I was able to push play.

Perhaps one of the most simple, yet powerful, drum and bass tracks ever made, “Mr. Majestic” is the perfect collaboration between DNB heroes: Calibre and High Contrast. It’s one of those songs that makes you wonder what it was like in the studio. Who came up with what part? Who decided the drum pattern? And the vocals? What inspired them? Who is Mr. Majestic? So many questions!

Yet, questioning aside, one thing that is evident is the stellar brilliance of this track. It’s a release that still gets played today by drum and bass purists, and it’s a track that I think, along with Roni Size’s “Brown Paper Bag” helps keep the momentum of drum and bass alive.

Like I always tell folks: Step aside dubstep, it was love at first sight with drum & bass. It’s one of my favorite genres aside from house.

So, in the name of all good things and the appreciation of nostalgia, I provoke you to get lost in the beauty of Calibre & High Contrast’s “Mr. Majestic.” And while you’re at it, check out “The Other Side,” a track on the other side of the vinyl.

Undun | A Short Film by The Roots

I still haven’t had the chance to pickup/download The Roots album Undun, but I’ve checked out a few tracks from the album and I’m loving the vibe. You can’t go wrong with The Roots, it’s simply good music.

The Roots has a timeless knack for taking the everyday struggle and methodically crafting music that eloquently expresses the struggle. Undun (from what I’ve heard so far) is an amazing album that shows off the eclectic vibe of the band, and as usual Black Thought, ?uestlove, and the rest of the gang create a grandeur fusion of true hip-hop, blues, and jazz. You’re most likely not going to find any extremely commercialized beats and tracks on this album because, well, that just isn’t The Roots; selling out monetary value hasn’t appeared to be the driving for their music.

The Roots will always be one of my favorite bands (my other favorite is Dave Matthews Band.) I enjoy seeing them every night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and I’m glad to see them providing us with these short music videos for tracks of their album Undun. The videos have been a nice black and white serving of conscious music and social commentary, but now The Roots have provided us with a 9 minute short film for the album.

I’ve noticed a growing trend of independent artists and some major artists creating short films for their music videos, which reminds me of the classic Michael Jackson music videos. All of his videos were beautifully crafted avant-garde films, not just 3-4 minute videos of butt shaking, bling, and swagged out guys. Michael Jackson knew how to do a music video (man, miss him so much….) I credit him for starting the trend of music videos being full stories instead of short videos, which is why I think it’s wonderful that more artists are starting to produce short films for their albums.

Undun is the latest edition to short films for music videos and it tells the story of a young kid who becomes a criminal, yet that was never his intended desire. He is the official video description from The Roots.

“undun is the story of this kid who becomes a criminal, but he wasn’t born a criminal. He’s not the nouveau exotic primitive bug-eyed gunrunner… he’s actually thoughtful and is neither victim nor hero. Just some kid who begins to order his world in a way that makes the most sense to him at a given moment… At the end of the day isn’t that what we all do? – The Roots.”

Powerful concept….watch the short film below.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Jimmy & Justin: History of Rap Part 2

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Image via Wikipedia

The other night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake came on the show to talk about his new movie. Friends With Benefits hits theaters today and JT had a great time promoting it on the Jimmy Fallon show, but he couldn’t leave without performing the history of hip-hop with Jimmy.

There’s nothing I love more than seeing two of the coolest white boys reciting classic hip-hop songs and awkwardly dancing. It’s classic! I’m a huge fan of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon, especially since their skits on SNL as the Bee Gees. The history of rap part 2 was a hilarious segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show and I had to watch it a couple of times.

If you’ve never watched Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, then you’re missing out! The Roots band is always getting caught up in Jimmy’s randomness and the segments are always ROFL funny. Watch the video for Jimmy and Justin’s history of rap part 2. They both did a great job rapping, those white boys rock!

My Favorite Rappers: # 1

If I had to compile a list of my top rappers that I’m currently listening to religiously, it would be based solemnly on content of the material and the lyrical flow. My list isn’t necessarily based on a rating of 1 being the best and 10 being last place. Each artist has something that makes them special in my music library and the ones on this list are Number 1 in their own respective flow. So every day I’m going to post one of my favorite rappers and some of there videos that I like. I have a lot of music and have been finding out what my hip-hop preferences are. so stay tuned!


BACKGROUND:In the past few years, I’ve begun to compile a hip-hop collection on my computer. By no means necessary is it massive or quite impressive compared to most dj’s and hip-hop connoisseurs, but it has about 1000 songs in it thus far. My Christmas wish is to get a new Ipod Touch (32gb, even though I have about 25gb of music and still finding more daily). I currently have an Ipod Touch 16gb and it sucks that I wasn’t able to fit all my music on there. Don’t even get me started on R & B and Soul, I have about 1500 of those songs.

Since I haven’t been able to fit all my music on my Ipod, I’ve mainly been listening to a lot of hip-hop, gospel, house, and a lot of electronica music for when I’m at the gym. Hip-hop is genre that offers me a complex lyricism with a sometimes complex or simple beat. There is a song for every mood you in, whether you want to make love, party all night, or seek some reassurance with the social struggles. If you’ve read my post What if Hip-Hop Didn’t Exist then you know where I’m coming from. I love hip-hop with a passion!

With that being said, there are a few rappers that I listen to on a regular basis and love their craftsmanship, whereas there are some rappers I’m just sick of seeing but I respect their game and don’t hate. I just don’t blast their music on a daily basis. I’m not a huge Lil’ Wayne fan, Drake, or Eminem fan…just not into it. I will give them props though, Eminem is a beast when it comes to battle rap but his other stuff I just can’t get with. Drake has come a long way from being Jimmy on Degrassi, I’m just sick of seeing him all over the place and on everyone’s tracks. But his flow is alright and he does have some substance to his rap. May not be on a conscious level like The Roots, Mos Def, Consequence, or Talib, but it holds some substance that you can grasp. As far as Lil’ Wayne, I just can’t stand his voice! It drives me insane! I’m very picky when it comes to certain hip-hop, it can have the best beat ever and ill lyrics, but if the rapper has an annoying voice…then I won’t listen to it.

That goes for female rappers. Hands down my favorite female rappers are Kid Sister (love her!), Lil’ Kim (I’d chose her any day over Nicki Minaj), Queen Latifah, Salt N Pepa, MC Lyte, Trina, Monie Love, and I even like Eve. Not too many mainstream female rappers nowadays, it seems they have to sell sex appeal and talk about how fly they are just to be respected in the game. It’s a sad commentary that female rappers are sometimes viewed as a step up from a video vixen…known for their looks and not their lyrical substance. If a female rapper was average looking or unattractive would she still be successful? Looks seem to be a determining factor in societal success, furthermore a determine factor in musical success. But it doesn’t matter how unattractive a rapper is, as long as his music is catchy and can gain attention. Rick Ross sure isn’t attractive in my eyes, nor is Gucci Man, Jeezy, Lil’ Wayne, and I definitely am not attracted to Drake. But their music is catchy and sticks with you.


#1. Kanye West
Simply put…Musical Genius!
I have been a huge fan of Kanye when he first entered the game. His flow is untouchable and his style defies the definition of a rapper. He doesn’t just talk about Gucci and Louis Vuitton…he lives it! With his shoe design collaboration with Louis Vuitton and his classy style, Kanye West is the epitome of fashion. Aside from his amazing chic style ( I wish more men dressed like that!), Mr. West has a flow that just commands attention. The authority in his voice is reflected on every track he touches and is seen in his international flair. Kanye West is the true definition of a Renaissance Man! He travels the world, he is producing a Japanese pop group, he is on top of every fashion trend, and he is still respected by the hip-hop community and is embraced by different races and cultures worldwide. He is able to combine violins and ballerinas with raw hip-hop lyricism, now that’s Renaissance! Simply put…Kanye West is a clever, creative, and a unique Musical Genius. Surely, he will be a legend in the years to come. My Fav Kanye tracks: Through The Wire ( his first single, which he recorded with his jaw wired shut after an accident…now that’s whats up!), I Wonder, Touch the Sky, and Runaway. *Runaway is also one of my favorite music videos from his full length film, it exudes all the elements that are associated with being renaissance in the year 2010. I love the suit too! So fresh!