Fresh from the Fridge: Drake- No More Thank You’s (mixtape)

Us mixed folks are taking over! lol Here’s a dope Drake mixtape with some features, freestyles and a ton of singles that didn’t make the album. Why these singles didn’t make the album is a big mystery to me because they are fire! Especially “You Know” produced by Kanye West. J. Cole your next up to bat. Viva La Halfrica. lol

01- To The Floor Ft. Rich Boy And Lloyd 4:01
02- Im At Home 4:52
03- Aston Martin Music Ft. Rick Ross And Chrisette 6:53
Michelle
04- The Grind 3:23
05- Lost My Mind (Remix) Ft. Young Jeezy 4:00
06- Greatness 1:50
07- You Know You Know 3:08
08- Still Got It 1:47
09- 9AM In Dallas 3:36
10- Freestyle 2:40
11- Work To Do 3:03
12- Fancy Ft. T.I. And Swizz Beatz 5:02
13- Up All Night Ft. Nicki Minaj 3:47
14- Light Up Ft. Jay Z 4:23
15- Miss Me Ft. Lil Wayne 5:05
16- Unforgettable Ft. Young Jeezy 3:33

[audio: Drake- You know You Know.mp3]

Download [download id=”64″]

-Black Milk

Dru Hill Inside and Out (The dirt,reality show, updates, 2010 album review/preview)

“Oh yeah I remember Dru Hill.” “Damn Dru Hill is back?!” “Dru Hill were the shit!” “What in the world happened to them.” Your thoughts were something like that right?

Those were just a few thoughts that crossed my mind when I did a little research on the group and I’m sure some crossed yours as well huh? So to answer those thoughts… yes they’re back. The new album is entitled “InDRUpendence Day” which is set to be released July 27th 2010. Yes they were the shit cause “Tell Me What You Want, 5 Steps, Sleeping in My Bed, and These Are the Times” were my cuts! I remember the Musketeer/ Man in the Iron Mask themed video like it was yesterday! lol Great video’s to the single’s.

So what in the world happened to Dru Hill? Wellllll let me break it down for ya…

Dru Hill Break Down (past present and future)

  • Founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1992
  • In early 1996 Dru Hill (Jazz, Sisqo, Woody, Nokio) signed to Island Records.
  • Dropped they’re first self titled album shortly after in November which went gold.
  • Between 1996 and 1998 the group did 2 monster sound track singles. (Soulfood- Were Not Making Love No More and How to be a Player- Bad Mamma Jamma)
  • In 1998 the group dropped they’re second album Dru World Order which went double platinum and had the hit single How Deep is Your Love off the Rush Hour soundtrack
  • In April of 1999 during the music video shoot of Wild Wild West member Woody quit feeling a need to return to his gospel roots
  • Between 1999 and 2000 each member put out a solo album. Sisqo who went pop who blew the hell up with his “Thong Song” and other singles, Jazz a traditional R&B/soul album, Nokio a hip hop album, and Woody a gospel album.
  • In November 2000 all 4 members got back together and added a random 5th who I don’t even remember named “Scola” to work on they’re 3rd album entitled “Dru World Order.”
  • Dru World order was released in 2 years later in 2002 because of old beef with the group and bad chemistry in which Siqo put out his second album “Return of the Dragon” which didn’t do so good along with Dru World Order….SHOCKER!
  • In 2008 the 4 original member’s ditched the Scola because having a 5th member was messing with they’re money as they say and began a reunion tour with Tony! Toni! Tone!, Bel Biv Devoe and Keith Sweat.
  • Then on March 6, the group appeared on WERQ, a Baltimore radio station, to promote their reunion live on air and this happened..

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4toUG-tZItU

  • The group held a contest in their native Baltimore for a replacement for Woody, settling upon a new singer, Antwuan “Tao” Simpson.
  • To boost the “New Dru Hill” Keith Sweat come up with the very unoriginal idea to put the members in a mansion to live together and film every moment of they’re trial’s and tribulations to gaining stardom again. I saw a few commercials for this on BET a while back but apparently BET dropped the show and some random channel called Centric that I never even heard of picked it up. The first episode aired on June 28th 2010 which I watch online a few minutes ago here… Keith Sweats Platinum House

The reality tv series has a very low budget scripted feel to it. Especially when Keith Sweat is sitting in his chair setting up the scene’s. I’d honestly prefer him to “whine” a song as much as that hurts me to say. lol The new member Tao says that he’s brings a new young energy to the group but by the look of him he’s seem to look the oldest out of them all in my mind. Jazz gained a ton of extra pounds but still can sing all of the ass he gained off. Sisqo looks like an out of shape woman. Nokio out of all the member still looks the same and seems to be in great shape. Big ups to him for still keeping it together.

Now onto the album review. InDRUpendence Day.

1. Shut It Down 3:51
2. Do It Again 3:40
3. She Wants Me 4:04
4. Whatcha Do 3:47
5. Below Zero 4:09
6. Cant Stop 3:39
7. Remain Silent 3:48
8. Makin Luv 4:27
9. State Of Emergency 3:43
10. Back To The Future 3:50
11. Love MD 4:06
12. Away 4:45
13. Rule The World 4:14
14. Bonus Track 1:31
15. Bonus Track 1:36
16. Bonus Track 1:33

I’m diggin the album cover. Nokio’s hair style is pretty dope and out there. Jazz seems to have slimmed down since the recording of the show. Sisqo looks more like a man with some facial hair and the hat on and Tao well… he still looks like they’re old manager. lol As for the album I seriously had high hopes for it with all the dope tracks they’ve hit us with but unfortunately the album is boo boo yall. Horrible production. Not a solid single for the radio which is probably why none of us have heard one. No quality ballad. Bad quality and lyrics. And they had the nerve to remake “Rule the World” and rap on it after Dwele murdered that remix! And on top of all this auto tune is very evident through out the album and T Pain isn’t a feature yall! The bonus tracks shouldn’t even be on there. #14 is some random “carni rock track” #15 is a rock remix of “How Deep” Jazz’s vocals are the highlight of this whole album. My suggestion to him is work on a quality solo album cause there’s a big spot open for that Big Teddy Bear tpye of singer with a strong voice right now. With the lack of promo for this album and whats on it I doubt it is successful at all.

Here’s a few of the singles and one that I thought was decent…

[audio: Love Md.mp3] [audio: State of Emergency.mp3] [audio: Back to the Future.mp3]

1/2 of 5 Black Milk Cartons

-Black Milk

Rachel Brown’s Love, Life & Relationship

Website/Facebook/Twitter/MySpace/Blog

On this Sunday morning, I want to take some time to reflect on Rachel Brown.  The Soul songstress, who in 2007 released her debut album “Love, Life and Relationships” with Urban Music Group.  With that release she was in the spot light with her version of The Emotions “Don’t Ask My Neighbor”.   This album to me gives a great balance of the R&B productions, and a deep, rich soulfulness. Sometimes we get caught up in the new and freshly packaged music, and question the music and artists that don’t fit that mold.  In those, is where you find the gems and the talent that can last for years.  Rachel Brown is such an artist.

With “Love, Life and Relationships” you get fifteen songs that progress you through her thoughts, and transfer you to the sacred place that she visits every time that she sings.  This is an honor, and a chance that should not be missed.  Of, course the stand out song from the album is “Don’t Ask My Neighbor”, which can be seen below.  My favorites of the album start with “Weekend”, “Do What You Do”, and “Learn To Love Me”.

[audio: /05%20-%20Rachel%20Brown%20-%20Weekend.mp3]

[audio: 09%20-%20Rachel%20Brown%20-%20Do%20What%20You%20Do.mp3]

[audio: 03%20-%20Rachel%20Brown%20-%20Learn%20to%20Love%20Me.mp3]

After you’ve had time to absorb and make this album part of you, you will be pleased to know that later this year, she will begin on her second album.  That news really got my attention.  What I enjoy the most is seeing the transition from the debut to the 2nd album.  You learn a lot about the artist, and what direction they are going with their art. This transition should be quite exceptional.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joc5BMBO0Tc

Gabbie McGee “Mississippi Daughter” Album Review

While driving into work today I decided to let Gabbie McGee’s new album “Mississippi Daughter” ride shotgun for my 1hr commute.

Almost immediately with “Walk with Me (Lord)” and “Afterwhile. Afterwhile” I was taken back to my childhood and I was suddenly sitting on my great grandmothers porch, getting my hair braided, playing jacks, and eating hersheys kisses. “It’s gonna be alright, Afterwhile.”

[audio: GabbieMcGee1.mp3]

It wasn’t deep, south Mississippi but it was Southern Virginia where I spent most of my childhood days and this album is the soundtrack to those memories. Memories of ice cold lemonade, hot days, little girls laughing as they played and a cool breeze under the shade.

Her lyrics also make you think of all the phenomenal women that have graced your life during that time with “Oak Tree”. I remembered my mami, my momma, my aunties, and my mother and the strength they’ve instilled me all these years.

[audio: GabbieMcGee6.mp3]

Its no doubt that Gabbie brings, with her sophomore album, spiritual, soultry, and smooth vocals. Her voice rings out lyrics that make you feel happy, carefree and full of hope from beginning to end, like when you were 10.

The last song on the album is “Run On”. I sat in my car, about to walk into my office and this song made my back straighter, and my stance 2 inches taller. “A New day is taken shape! – We gotta Run On!” and I did today and I will continue to do so.

[audio:GabbieMcGee14.mp3]

If you want to be spiritually fed and musically uplifted, then definitely add the beautiful Gabbie McGee to your collection. You will feel nostalgic and looking forward to your next Family Reunion.

Track Listing

1.  Walk with Me

2.  Afterwhile, Afterwhile

3.  Mississippi’s Daughter

4.  Destination Me

5.  The Interview Week 97.8

6.  Oak Tree

7.  Believer

8.  Soul.Jazz Amplified./How I Got Over It

9.  Idealistic Love

10. Give it 2 Me

11. He Makes Me Say (Boobie’s Anthem)

12. Help Wanted

13. Marriage, Motherhood & Music

14. Run On!

Dwele-W.ants W.orld W.omen Album Review

I’m going to come out right and just that this album is a straight masterpiece yall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whats super dope about this entire album is how it seamlessly feels like 3 albums in one the way he’s splits each title name (Wants, World, Women) with the interlude first, then the songs that represent that specific title just as his super dope commercial’s did to hype the album. And I guarantee yall wont be skipping over these interludes like know we all usually do because they’re straight up dope! W.ants (1-6) are all about just that…Dwele’s wants in which he hits us with a full dope list in the very first track I Wish. The shocker track of this whoooooooooole album is Dodgin Your Phone featuring David Banner which we all heard a snippet of in his W.ants commercial. It’s a shocker to me because it’s nothing like what I expected from a David Banner track and most of all… Dwele spits on the track! Yes Dwele raps and he does one hell of a f*^%king job at it yall! Had me hella impressed and it comes out of know where when the beat all of sudden switches Timbaland style. I was sitting here looking at the track list features again thinking it was one of the many Detroit rappers that he’s friends with but at the very end of the track Dwele confirms that it is him in his last bar with mucho swag. Mad props to Dwele on this!

W.orld (8-11) are all about the current political situations were dealing with these days. The tracks are very reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s views with “Whats Going On” especially in How I Deal and My People. My people is probably the one I have on repeat the most on my I Pod touch and I find myself through out the day humming and scatting the melody just like Dwele himself. lol

W.omen (13-18) is self explanatory. Dwele slows it down for us and focus’s on the ladies. I Understand is probably my favorite out of that selection and was one of the song featured in his W.omen commercial. I Wanna featuring Dj Quick was another shocker too me. I’d never expect those two to make a track together or even know each other but it’s very well put together with that classic funky Dj Quick production he’s know for with some witty bar’s to go with it. With that said enjoy the party all weekend long and drink up as much Dwele as you’d like and make sure you support him by going out and buying his now!

1. Wants (Intro)
2. I Wish
3. Grown
4. Dodgin’ Your Phone ft. David Banner
5. Smoke Up The Back ft. Raheem DeVaughn (Interlude)
6. Dim The Lights ft. Raheem DeVaughn
7. World (Intro)
8. How I Deal feat. Slum Village
9. Hangover
10. My People
11. Detroit Sunrise feat. Monica Blaire & Lloyd Dwayne
12. Women (Intro) feat. Kindra Parker
13. I Understand
14. Love You Right
15. “More Than A” (Interlude)
16. What’s Not To Love
17. Give Me A Chance
18. I Wanna ft. DJ Quik

Dwele- W.orld W.ant W.omen get’s 5 out of 5 Cartons

-Black Milk

Fresh from the Fridge- Dwele- W.ants W.orld W.omen Mixtape

Yes yes yall! Here’s a nice little appetizer to get us all by till  Dwele drop’s the real deal on the 29th of this month! On the first track Dwele starts out with a personal clip of an interview he did discussing how he got started and motivated to continue and the interview clips continue 3 more times throughout the mixtape and are all very interesting to hear. The mixtape contains 3 of the 16 tracks that are on the official album which are What’s Not to Love, How I DealYoutube version” and My People. Aside from the W.W.W. there’s an exclusive live version of Angel, an interpretation of English pop rock duo’s Fears For Tear’s hit single Everybody Wants To Rule the World, a few older exclusive’s that I’ve never even heard, and the dope tribute Dwele did for Michael Jackson where he performed a very memorable MJ track recording each instrument piece by piece with his sampler from start to finish. You have to see it to believe it! True talent right there!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N1L3YwbLK0

This mixtape is all around a well put together album and will totally satisfy your Dwele craving’s till the 29th and I went ahead and added three Black Milk Bonus Tracks to the mixtape that I made available for download in a couple of past post this month.

01. Interlude/ Lady Love
02. Love
03. Angel (Live)
04. Everybody Wants To Rule the World
05. Interlude2/ My People
06. Move On Up
07. How I Deal
08. Interlude 3/ Baby Come Over
09. Rockin You Eternally feat Leo
10. Interlude 4/ What’s Not to Love
11. A Tribute to MJ
12. I Wish (Black Milk Bonus Track)
13 Power (Black Milk Bonus Track)
14. I Think I Love You (Remix) (Black Milk Bonus Track)

Download [download id=”54″]

Enjoy the freshness

-Black Milk

Fresh from the Fridge- The Roots featuring John Legend- Doin It Again

The baddest band in all the land are back with they’re forthcoming album “How I Got Over” set for release this month on the 22nd. And who better to hire for some smooth soulful vocal’s then the talent of John Legend. Today I’m blessing your ears with one of two feature’s John Legend is featured on entitled “Doin It Again.” If the title and lyrics on the track sound familiar it’s because they’re sampled from John’s “Again” track of his sophomore album “Once Again.”

Before you play this track be warned that it is straight FIYAH!!!!!! I swear it made my eye’s water. The beat is heat, Black Thought’s lyrics are on point as usual and I love how they sampled a live version of “Again” as opposed to the studio version because it flows perfect with the Roots live sound.

Here’s a great live video of spotlight sample I’m talking about…

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtC0rcHkTxE

And to all my Root’s fan’s here’s the album cover and tracklist for they’re new album…

1. Interlude 1 feat. Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian & Haley Dekle of Dirty Projectors
2. Walk Alone feat. Truck North, P.O.R.N. & Dice Raw
3. Dear God 2.0 feat. Monsters Of Folk
4. Radio Daze feat. Blu, P.O.R.N. & Dice Raw
5. Now Or Never feat. Phonte & Dice Raw
6. How I Got Over feat. Dice Raw
7. Interlude 2
8. The Day feat. Blu, Phonte & Patty Crash
9. Right On feat. Joanna Newsom & STS
10. Doin’ It Again
11. The Fire feat. John Legend
12. Interlude 3
13. Web 20/20 feat. Peedi Peedi & Truck North
14. Hustla feat. STS

The Roots Feat John Legend – Doin’ It Again

Download [download id=”41″]

Enjoy the freshness

-Black Milk

Fresh From the Fridge-Cee Lo Green- Stray Bullet’s Mixtape

In anticipation of his forthcoming album “The Lady Killer” Cee Lo Green satisfies our hunger by hitting us with this appetizer in the form of a mixtape entitled “Stray Bullets.” Listening to this album Cee Lo Green def show’s us why he cant be put in a genre box because he hits us with ever genre of music with his own crazy twist. I heard funk,  jazz, new soul, vintage soul, rock, hip hop, even alien! lol

Track #2 “You Don’t Shock Me Anymore” is my favorite track off this album. Instant vintage! That’s all I gotta say. This track has a very retro Motown feel too it. I can picture Cee Lo singing this one on the Ed Sullivan Show all suited up. It’s amazing to me how he can birth such a classic sound in the era that we live in today. Big up’s to Cee Lo for this one. If you want to listen outside the box and enjoy something new with a vintage feel that’s very out there this is the album for you.

01. Goldschläger (Produced by The Grey Area)
02. You Don’t Shock Me Anymore (Produced by The Grey Area)
03. Cho Cha the Cat (with the B-52’s) (Produced by The Teddy Bears)
04. I Like It (Produced by The Grey Area)
05. Little Black Book (Produced by The Grey Area)
06. Talking To Strangers (Produced by The Grey Area)
07. ChamPain (Produced by Doc & The Grey Area)
08. Night Train (with the Goodie Mob) (Produced by The Grey Area & Anthony Kronfle)
09. The Secret (Produced by The Grey Area)
10. [email protected] B!$ch (Produced by The Grey Area)
11. I’ll Kill Her (feat. ME & LOnan the Destroyer) (Produced by ?????)
12. Is It? (Produced by The Grey Area)
13. Super Woman Theme Song (Produced by The Grey Area)
14. Night Cap Outro (One Last Shot of Goldschläger) (Produced by The Grey Area)

Download [download id=”40″]

Enjoy the freshness and let me know what you think

-Black Milk

Review Of The Rural’s “Rural Soul”

Album: Rural Soul

Description: A soultry, nujazz, compilation of the very best of 16 years of the deep house sounds and a few new releases. The band is lead by DJ Andy Compton, with Marie ‘Tweek’ and a slew of other electic musicians. The talented base crew all from Devon, U. K. includes Saxophonist, Charlie Hearnshaw; Bass Player, Pete “Gurner” Middleton and Producer/Mixer, Bazil, a well known England DJ. The Rurals are often joined by other musicians on their label, Peng which released most of their recordings over the past decade.

geegee’s Review:

It started to thunderstorm as the first, a new track, “Save It” started to play. My original plan was to listen while I cleaned the house but by the time “So Sexy” came on I could no long ignore my background music- I had to sit down, light some candles and soak it all in.
The lyrics seemed to speak to me and say all the things I’d been feeling as I’d just ended a long term relationship. “Missing You” and “Ways to Love” (Emotional Feelings, 2003) took me there, and I fell in love with this cd!
Slowly I moved to the instrumental “Liquid” (10th Chapter, 2008) then got lost in the rifs of “Charlie Plays” (Messages, 2004). Soon after, up tempo tunes like “Just Fine and “Get it Right” started to thump from Nettle Soul, 2006, which reminded me of the bliss of a new relationship, when your heart is racing and you just can’t get enough.

I closed my eyes and thought of loves past, present and hopefully in my future as I swayed my hips to the deep house rhythms of “Fender Songs and “I’ve Travelled”.  My ears were soothed to “Pleading With You” and “Relax Your Soul” and immediately felt calm and at peace, like a bittersweet love affair.

This album took me all the way to midnight as the rain fell during “Smokey Jam” (The Rural Life, 2005) and the saxophone lulled me to sleep in “Fallin.”  This collection takes the listener thru 16 years of a melodic relationship with a band that fits so well together. Each song is a perfect balance of jazz, funk, house and soul.

4 Gees up! Definitely a “MUST add’ to your collection!

The Rurals – Missing You

The Rurals – So Sexy

Review: Meshell Ndegeocello’s Devil’s Halo

Meshell Ndegeocello's Devil's Halo

Website/MySpace/FaceBook/YouTube/Wiki

We’re here to review Meshell Ndegeocello’s Devil’s Halo, which was released today, October 6th on Downtown Records.  It contains twelve songs, which will expand your expectations of her. This is her eighth album, if I am correct.  I may be wrong since there are albums which were released in Japan, then here.  She is a very prolific artist, which is a gift from above for her fans.   She has many albums that just don’t fit a description, and that’s ok.  So, I’m not going to try and imprison her music, style and vision to my perceived thoughts.  Yes, it’s that deep.

The first notion that you should toss away, like your unused cell phone minutes.  You are not going to hear a hook of the song title with in the song.  Sounds strange that you have to explain that, but it’s sad that it’s required.  We get so accustomed to music being presented to us in a certain way, but when we receive it in a new format, we find it odd, instead of refreshing.  The second notion is that a song must be a certain length. If you think of each song as an entity upon its self, and think of a song’s brevity as way to strengthen it.  You will be able to truly understand and enjoy this album.

The first song that strikes me, and gently tugs at my soul is “Tie One On”.  It’s a poetic song that journeys through a tale of a bar filled with loneliness and desperation.  The faint echo of her voice carries each verse with meaning, that is more than itself.  With just a guitar, drum and further along a piano, they add power to each verse.

“Hair Of The Dog” is a song that fans of “Comfort Woman” will love.  It has more of that astral echo, that gives the song space and depth.  This is one example of the short songs, but it just makes you focus and really enjoy each moment and sound that much more.

This next song “Love You Down” is a cover of a song by Ready For The World from 1986.  Meshell’s version of this song would make Prince jealous.  The sensuality, coupled with the relaxed tempo makes it steam.  Like it’s been reduced down to it’s essence, and injected into your ears slowly.  Yes, it’s that good.

One of my favorite songs is “Blood On The Curb”.  It makes me think that The Psychedelic Furs, became the band for Meshell.  You can feel the angst in her voice. This song really shows the varied styles contained in the album.

If you liked any of her previous albums, you’ll love this one.  If you are a new fan, this album is a definite buy. Just be open and enjoy.  With an album so forward in it’s thought, I only desire one thing.  That’s to see the direction of her next album.  Will she expand on any of these experiments and reveal even more of her self to us?  This album is available on iTunes and Amazon.  Enjoy.

Review: N’Dambi’s Pink Elephant

N'Dambi Pink Elephant

Website/MySpace/FaceBook/Twitter/YouTube

Today is a great day for Soul music lovers.  We have albums from Meshell Ndegeocello and N’Dambi, and singles from new aspiring artists.  After almost four years since her release of “A Weird Kinda Girl” in Japan on CoCo Red Music, N’Dambi has released a twelve track album “Pink Elephant”.  This album is released by Stax Records, who also is home to Teena Marie, the late Isaac Hayes, and Will Downing, among others.

Now you may ask, what’s the deal?  Is it worth picking up? I can answer that confidently with a YES for fans, and a maybe with new listeners.  Let me explain.  I’m an uber fan of Soul music, and digest large amounts of Soul music on a weekly basis. I compare, search for rare, and contemplate Soul music. When I first listened to this album, I was confused.  The first song “L.I.E.”, was an anomaly, since it didn’t have the feel of a first track of an album.  For example, Ledisi’s “Lost & Found” first song “Been Here” is a perfect example of a great “lead in” to the album. I thought that “L.I.E.” didn’t “lead in” to the album and establish the environment for the rest of the songs.  I was a bit confused and wrong, since I didn’t know what expect from the rest of the album.  After listening to the whole album, do I understand and appreciate the style and concept of it.

To best describe this album, is that it’s a book of different stories, by different writers, but with the same voice. Each song tells a story, but it tells it in a form of Soul that compliments that story.  For example the relaxed tempo of “L.I.E.” lends itself to the story of a man with two lives that are connected via the Long Island Expressway.  One of my favorites of the album is “Nobody Jones”.  It’s more of upbeat, than “L.I.E.”, and tells of a woman that dreams of a more exciting life.  This is the track that I think really showcases N’Dambi’s voice and what she has to separate her from other singers. Oh, that cow bell is kicking in this song.

The next song is “Ooo Baby”, and is a prime example of her Soul style changing from song to song.  If you close your eyes, you can see Levert from about twenty years ago, behind her in white suits,  snapping their fingers, and grooving to the rhythm.  This song will get the mood right, if it isn’t there already.

The first single from the album is”Can’t Hardly Wait” (clean version video below).  There are two versions of this song.  I prefer the NSFW version (Not Safe For Work) myself.  In the clean version, “Fussing” has replaced “F*!king”. Besides that small change, the song is one of the best of the album.  I really can’t place the influence for this song, but I can appreciate the bass guitar in it.

Overall, I like the album.  I don’t regret buying, but again I’m a uber fan.  If this your first time hearing N’Dambi, I would suggest picking up “Lost Little Girl Blues” from 1999.  Then move up from there.  Then you can realize what’s being done in “Pink Elephant”. Now if you are a fan, it’s no question.  What are you waiting for?  It’s available all over at iTunes and Amazon.  Enjoy.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAPPVoJcVwk

Memphis: The Chocolate Bar @ Zora’s Lounge (with Review)

thechocolatebar

Just received word about a very interesting event this weekend. The Hattiloo Theatre’s Zora’s Lounge is presenting “The Chocolate Bar” on September 19th @ 9pm. This will be a great chance for them to show off their newly redesigned Zora’s Lounge. They also have “We Two” performing at the event, which is a mostly Jazz with a dash of Neo Soul. The main premise is envisioning a sushi bar, but with chocolate and great wines. The wines include Relax Riesling… Frontera Shiraz… Barefoot Moscato, Sauvigon Blanc, Beringer White Zin, Zonin Baccorosa and Sonoma Merlot. The assortment of chocolate consists of triple chocolate cake, cocoa truffles, tiramisu, German chocolate cake, white Russian truffle, marzipan and fudge.

There is a cover charge of $10 per person. Zora’s Lounge is located at 652 Marshall, Memphis, TN.  Also to get more information please call (901) 525-0009.

UPDATE  With Review 9-26-09

We attended The Chocolate Bar last week, and it was an experience.  There were some good points, and some bad points.  I’m very glad that there are people trying to create quality events, that cater to the “Grown Folks” crowd.  I just think that they need more work on the execution of those events.  Here are my thoughts below.

Good Points

  • 1. Great concept for the event. Fine chocolates and wine to enjoy while enjoying soothing live music, with like minded people.
  • 2. Location and venue were perfect for this event.  The lighting was just right, to almost a fault.  It was a smoke free environment, with nice furniture to accent the mood.
  • 3. Event started on time, and the performers started on time also.  This shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is.
  • 4. Food was good, fresh, and was made to order.
  • 5. Event staff were very helpful when they were made aware of any issues.

Bad Points

  • 1. The flyer was very inviting, but left off basic information that would have helped attendees.
    1. a. There was an option to reserve tables in advance, but wasn’t listed on any communication. This would have helped, since it was a very small venue.
    2. b. There were two areas of the venue. The main lounge which was $10 cover (Music was performed here, but very cramped) or the side lounge $5 cover (music was heard over speakers, but more room).
    3. c. Event started at 9pm, but it didn’t list the time when doors opened.  The doors also opened at 9pm.  I like to arrive early, and enjoy the vibe.
    4. d. The performers started at 10pm, but that wasn’t listed anywhere. Attendees had no clue if the performers were late, until they asked the staff when was the performers starting.
  • 2. Before the performers started at 10pm, they had music playing. based on the crowd’s age and the event’s theme, they did not have the right music at all.  Each song was totally different genre from the previous song, and it was played way too loud for the over 30 crowd.  It was to the point where you couldn’t have a conversation as you at the chocolate and sipped wine.
  • 3. There were no samples for the food items on the menu. So you were ordering blind.  For example the Tiramisu @ $3 a piece, was a 1″ by 1″ swirl of whipped cream with sprinkles of coffee and chocolate. So, the first 8 items on the menu were small pieces of chocolate or miniature inspired creations.  The last four items (Chocolate Cheesecake, Triple Chocolate Cake, German Chocolate Cake, and Chocolate Fondue) all were wonderful looking.  We only found that out when we saw someone in the other $5 lounge with them. No one in the $10 lounge had ordered any of those five items, so no in that lounge had know of the deliciousness they were missing.
  • 4. Lighting was a bit too dark.  There were some accidents, because people couldn’t see in some portions of the lounge.
  • 5. Performers were good, but didn’t perform any Jazz pieces.  They performed mostly R&B, Neo Soul and some Blues.  No jazz at all.

Now after reading all that you, would think that we had a bad time.  We had a good time, but there were the above things that kept getting in our way of having a great time.  We would love more events like this in the Memphis area, but they are few and far between.  So, that is why we expect so much from the few that are here.

Artist Spotlight: Aimee Bryant

Aimee Bryant

Aimee Bryant

I was doing my morning surfing, and came across a heavenly voice that was very surprising.  The voice was from Aimee Bryant and the reason it was surprising is that I had not heard of her till today.  Her album Becoming was released on Jan 15th, 2008. That’s a whole year and change, and I just heard about it. Now I’m a great fan of Soul, Neo/Nu Soul music, and I check daily for new music to add to my collection.  There are a lot of potential fans out there, that just aren’t getting the word on the great music.  Also, the huge number of very talented artists is very inspiring. Right now there is a kind of slow period of major Soul/Neo/Nu Soul releases, but this is a great time to go back and find those unknown gems.

Anyway, back to the voice of Aimee Bryant.  It’s a very powerful, but full of range.  It’s a voice that grasps you upon first listening to it.  With not over complex arrangements, her voice has the room it needs to take you upon a journey.  It speaks to you in a way, that a only Gospel choir singing on the streets of NYC. It’s not something that  you expect, but it captures you to fully understand what they are trying to convey.  Sample some of her tracks below, and I think that you will feel the same that I did.

The Dog Years… Not Your Father’s Comic

The Dog Years

Sorry for the long delay in posting, but I had some professional and personal projects that needed addressing. Most importantly my relaxation.  In my time off, I had the great pleasure of reading a web comic, by A. Roberts, called The Dog Years.  It’s well written, and illustrated in such away that adds more depth and personality to each character and the entire comic. So far there are five issues of the comic (waiting for issue #6 to drop), that details a events of Trey and Jalissa. They are a young Black couple that goes through the normal happenings of love, but their intentions get twisted by each others friends.  With each issue you are drawn in to the story of these two, and one aspect that I enjoy, is that their friend’s characters also get developed.  Also, since this is based on a young couple in today’s world, it can be a little grown in content sometimes, but it doesn’t do it just because it can.  That’s another sign of the good writing which is very hard to find in other comics in this genre.
Issue# 2Issue# 3
Issue# 4Issue# 5

You’re going to enjoy each issue, and going to keep refreshing the site to see when the next issue is released.  While you’re on the site, check out the forums to interact with other fans of the comic.  Also if you are really a fan of the artwork, and appreciate having some of it in your home, they have various pieces for you to buy in “The Art Shop”. I’m eyeing the “B-Boxes” myself.  Reviewing a comic isn’t something that I had planned for this blog, but this comic is based on the environment that gives birth and meaning to the Soul music and food, that we so enjoy.  Stop by the site, grab a piece of cheese cake, and read the entire series.  You’ll come away with a greater appreciation for “grown folks comics”, and satisfied sweet tooth.  Enjoy.

Dave Hollister & Friends concert in Memphis

I’ve been complaining about there is never a good Soul concert in my area. Today I finally learned of a concert at Soul Cafe in Memphis, TN. Dave Hollister is headlining with seven other good artists. The other artists Joyce McKinney, Shontelle Norman, Terreigh Barnett, David Gillard, Devin Crutcher, Fletcher, and Will Graves. It’s tomorrow December 20th at 8pm and 10pm. There is hope for 2009.


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