It’s funny living in Atlanta today. In the popular music lexicon of the day, the city is most associated with Trap. Before that, however, by the late-1980s Atlanta had established itself as the new hub for Black music royalty. Perched at the top of that mountain sat the production team of Organized Noize. Read More
20 years ago The Fugees The Score achieved what their debut Blunted On Reality couldn't. The album’s organic sound was crafted by Wyclef Jean, and was anchored by a talented MC/singer, Lauryn Hill, who was ripping mics left and right on guest spots in between albums. It was the kind of record we didn't want to end, and a career we wanted to see flourish. That career didn’t. By 1997 all three members were working on solo efforts, and the group essentially broke up.
The winner of the solo wars - Lauryn Hill. Read More
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
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