In 1980, Prince released his third album Dirty Mind. As the story was told, Prince, who had a full band, emerged from a frantic recording session one night where he’d recorded the much of the record including playing every instrument himself. The record is spectacularly messy, completely erotic and has a demo-like quality. It is considered his first masterpiece.Read More
When you think about it - Janet Jackson was the ultimate underdog. The youngest of 9 children, Janet was born the same year that her older brother, Michael (8 years her senior and musical prodigy), began singing with his brothers in the Jackson 5. By the time Janet appeared on stage at age 7, her brothers were stars, and the family had already uprooted from Gary, Indiana to Encino, California.Read More
Nothing happening in music is new. We've heard that melody, we've drummed that drum, we've sung that song. These are some of the (many) reasons it was incredibly surprising to see Vice Magazine’s Noisey Atlanta documentaries go off the rails the way it did. Let’s be clear, I'm all for authenticity. I encourage all of the artists that I work with to be their authentic selves, because it makes the art that much better. At some point, though, you have to draw a line in sand. There’s authenticity, and then there’s business - and legality.Read More
Today, May 11, 2015 is the first day of the trial of Michael Johnson in St. Charles, Missouri. Mr. Johnson is alleged to have been knowingly HIV positive and having unprotected sex with partners who were unaware of his status either willfully or through omission. The case has sparked an intense debate about punitive HIV criminalization laws in the US, and how these laws contribute to the continuing stigma surrounding HIV.
September 25, 2015 also marks 25 years since the release of “Red Hot + Blue” - one of the most significant compilation albums of original music from pop stars of the era specifically to raise awareness and money for HIV/AIDS education and prevention for the Red Hot Organization.Read More
By the time that Michael Jackson released “HIStory – Past, Present and Future – Book I” on May 1, 1995 the music landscape was radically different than when he released “Dangerous” just a short 4 years earlier. Rap music had (particularly the annoyingly coined “Gangster Rap”) taken over the urban music landscape, and suddenly everyone from EnVogue to Massive Attack to Janet Jackson were all sampling James Brown or Parliament. Jackson’s rival ditched The Revolution, changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, and proceeded to make uneven funk records with the New Power Generation.Read More