Timothe Davis

Timothe Davis


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Saturday, 22 March 2014 02:27

Hardcore - The Jake Ft Sonyae & Jordan

According to TaraMarie Entertainment, The Jake thinks that music should make you feel something - good or bad. And with a desire to make us feel "something," he has assembled Sonyae and Ohio based rapper Jordan to help him helm the lead single from his forthcoming mixtape. 

On the single, Sonyae is laying claim to being "Hardcore," and that, my friends, is a reference to the quality of her lyrics and the way she spits his rhymes. She's got full support from producer The Jake, with whom she nimbly exchanges lead, and they both remind us that "you can be as good as the best of them or as bad as the worst of them." 

All the while, Jordan does vocal riffs in the background.

I like a song that gets better with each listen, and this one does. Slick lyrics, nice production, and an ingratiating beat. My only complaint is the cover art I've seen for the song. I hope the actual release comes with something better. But that's a small complaint in an otherwise tight single. 

Saturday, 08 March 2014 14:02

Nathan Fox Music

When I listen to Nathan Fox's music, I always imagine myself in New Orleans - where the purity of music is only surpassed by the number of residents who love great songs and sounds. 

Nathan's raspy voice, lyrics, and blend of blues and folk are an homage to similar artists who have come before him, but more importantly are a display of his own talent and, clearly, his love of music.

The more delicate "Losing Hope" is made even more affecting by his choice to harmonize with his female lead (Caitlin Rose), although she doesn't lead any verses. They are losing hope. 'But they won't let go.'

In the humorous "Devil and the Hourglass," Nathan learns that if you mess with the Devil (who sounds very much like a beautiful femme-fatale to this critic) you'll end up getting burned.

And you can almost dance - almost! - to the grooves of "I Can't Hang."

Nathan Fox is a talented singer songwriter. Check him and his new website out. You'll be glad you did; and I read somewhere he'll give you a free download. Sounds like a fair exchange to me. 

Saturday, 08 March 2014 13:08

Rhythm & Bloop - Professor Shyguy

Chiptunes: a form of music derived from using the sound chips of old 80's electronics: nintendo, arcade games, and video consoles. Think remixing "Donkey Kong" into an electronica song. Up until this point, all the chiptunes I've heard have fallen squarely into the "house/electronica" groove.

Enter Professor Shyguy. He has combined chiptunes with some 90's classics (Blackstreet, En Vogue, Aaliyah, and TLC, to name a few) for a decidedly fresh take on R&B and chiptunes. Don't get me wrong, it's still electronica. But the songs are R&B.

If you don't enjoy electronica, then you probably won't enjoy chiptunes. But if you do enjoy chiptunes, then this album is very much worth the listen. I was expecting a humorous take on these songs. But this is serious music: from the falsetto ala Justin Timberlake to the variety of talented guest stars. 

For those who aren't old enough to appreciate the 90's, there are a couple of more current remakes including "Tightrope" and "Wrecking Ball."

In his own words, he's mixed "classics into another classic." 

My favorites: "Are You That Somebody." "Poison", and "Heartbreaker."

 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 01:06

"Solstice" - Lazarus

Was checking out the profiles of my twitter followers; many are artists - writers, singers, rappers. I like it. It gives me a well of artistry to dip into. Today, I stumbled across Lazarus and his album "Solstice."

He hails from Raleigh, NC, but the flow, the beat, and the vibe made me think Chicago. This is definitely not your Southern-style of rap. And while the album isn't new - it's dated 2012 - it noteworthy. The production, the lyrics, and the vocals are on-point.  

The tagline is "released in the spirit of the holidays with year round reverance." Maybe that's why the lyrics seem more about creating a "New Life" as opposed to bragging about the current one. 

Don't sleep on the winter solstice. "Solstice" by Lazarus

Saturday, 15 February 2014 04:54

"Baby Luv" - Jade

I have a soft spot in my heart for 80's and 90's R&B. Those two decades were rife with big voices, smooth soul, and a bevy of beautiful and talented female groups: En Vogue, SWV, Xscape, TLC, and Jade.

In the early 90's, Jade racked up their fair share of Gold and Platinum, while appearing in movies, on talk shows, and television. As a matter-of-fact, they own the sole distinction of being the only artist to release a BET "Listening Party" album - an album that garnered them rave reviews.

Alas as it happens far too often to beautiful girl groups, (need I reference the list above again?), Jade's reign on the charts ended too soon admist rumours of internal turmoil.

Fast forward twenty years later and Jade returns to the music scene with a new song called "Baby Luv."

The question for artists who have been away from the music scene for a while is: How do you say true to yourself while still sounding relevant and current? How do you step back into a genre you've led?

Jade has chosen to do it by offering the bouncy "Baby Luv" that is a current as it is retro. Profoundly in "girl group" form, this song is fun and frolic.  It's an ode to Martha and the Vandellas; it's reminiscient of yesterday but completely today. 

So here's to hoping the song will get the airplay it deserves. In the meantime, welcome back, Jade!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 04:40

Dream Work Conquer - Jeff Adair

East Texas is known more for its cowboys and country boys than its cinematic accomplishments. Yet it birthed Dallas's premier video producer: Jeff Adair

Jeff Adair is a native of East Texas who relocated to Dallas in 2006 with a corporate editing and producing gig. While the work was good and the money was better, what Adair wanted to do was flex his artistic muscle; he wanted to direct films. So in 2010, he joined forces with a couple of producers and went independent. Now he is directing some of the most artistic and visually compelling videos in the state. He's proud of his work with RC and the Gritz, A.Dd+, Pooca Leroy, Hulk Entertainment, and Juicy J and Project Pat Whiz. He should be. His work can be seen on MTV and YouTube, and it is flawless.

But that's the middle of the story. The story starts in East Texas where Adair spent his afternoons skateboarding with his friends. To talk to him, his journey from skater to producer sounds almost organic.

"I grew up in the country but was watching videos from Cali. My brothers were cowboys and shit but I was obsessed with skating and skate videos. And I tried to mimic what I'd see with a handheld."

Obsession or love? Who's to say? Perhaps they are two sides of the same coin. In either case, it drove him to move from East Texas to Cali and then to Dallas, all in an attempt to hone his craft.

Pursuing his dream paid off. Sixteen months ago he opened up his own studio, and all the while he has been producing, writing, and directing videos. Requests to collaborate stream through his door daily.

Ask Adair why he's been so successful and he states, "People see my grind, and they can relate it to their own. They know I'm trying to make the best product for them and for my brand."

The best product includes conceptualizing unique videos for all of his clients. "It's always different ... as I try to gauge the best visual."

Of course, Adair believes that videos are of paramount importance to music artists nowadays. But that belief isn't self-serving; it's genuine.

"Music and videos go hand-in-hand in today's day and age. It's more than posting your song to YouTube. You definitely have to have a video. If you have a song, people can see you and be your fan. My suggestion: Work within your budget, find a film director film and start building a visual portfolio; that's the blueprint."

Not that this comes easy, even for Adair. "In the entertainment business you have to be superhuman, you gotta make sacrifices, make investments, and find a friend."

He also encourages creativity, "Do shit that is different. Whether you're standing in front of a car or you have chicks shaking their ass. Keep it creative. Stay open minded, and remember that everyone is fighting for the spotlight."

That's Adair's start. But what's his future? To make more videos, of course, but also to increase their budgets, upp the scale, and to connect with major labels.

Not to mention, what video producer/director doesn't want to segue into the movie business?

Adair already has a few movies under his belt, he's listed on IMDB, and he's been nominated for a several awards. But he craves more.

"I want to move to the West Coast and produce and direct a found footage movie like "Paranormal." I'd like to start out as a short form movie director in Cali - living, surfing, and skating with my family – and grow into a commercial movie producer with an Indie flair."

Big dreams indeed! But Adair believes that you dream, you work, and then you conquer. The mantra has worked for him in the past. If it continues guiding him, it won't be long before his dreams are reality.

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 03:51

15 Greatest Hooks of Hip Hop

Marty A. Johnson – talk show host – and I have known each other for a long time, and music is a shared passion. While we agree on most things musically, we don't agree on everything. So when we decided to compile a list of the greatest hip hop hooks, it only took a matter of minutes to realize that we were going to have to complete two list – if our friendship was to remain intact!

Check out the lists below. Let us know what you think. Who did we miss? Who would you add? What are your thoughts? Have we selected the GREATEST HOOKS of HIP HOP?

What Marty said:

1. Biggie and Faith, "One More Chance." Biggie Smalls was and still is one of the greatest rappers of our time. His music speaks for itself.

2. Method Man f/ Mary J, "All I Need." Mary J and Method Man won a Grammy for this one.

3. 2 Pac f/ KC and Jo Jo, "How You Want it." This joint is timeless and always get the club jumping.

4. Snoop and Dre, "Aint Nothing But a G Thing." It doesn't matter where you are, as soon as you hear Snoop, you are going to throw your hands up.

5. Jay Z and Mary, "Can't Knock The Hustle." This is one of my personal favorites joints of ALL TIMES. It's Mary and Jay – Z enough said.

6. LL and Boyz II Men, "Hey Love." LL COOL J is the self-proclaimed G.O.A.T and Boy II Men is the biggest selling male R&B group of all time. Both had HUGE crossover appeal. They were an unlikely pair to collab. But "Hey Love" reached all audiences.

7. NAS and Lauryn Hill, "If I Rule The World." When Lauryn was at the top of her game she ruled the charts. Too bad she will NEVER reclaim her glory. At least she will go down in the history books as one of first female artists to win multiple Grammys in one night.

8. Ja Rule and Lil Mo, "Put it On Me." In the late 90's and early 2000's Lil Mo and Ja Rule were the go-to people if you needed a dope hook or a featured rapper on your record. Why not put the two together and create magic?

9. 50 and The Game, "Hate it or Love it." A perfect combination of East Coast meeting West Coast, these two proved unity does exists between both coasts

10. Fat Joe and Terror Squad, "Lean Back." At the time when people thought Fat Joe's career was done, he came back strong with "Lean Back" - a street anthem with a catchy hook that we all loved.

11. The Roots and Eryka, "You Got Me." The Roots are one of the most talented and unrated groups around. "You Got Me" earned them a Grammy and the recognition they deserve.

12. Biggie and R Kelly, "Fucking You Tonight." Though never released as an official signal, "Fucking You Tonight" always get the clubs jumping and the girls in bed! Lol. This is one of those records that is timeless!!!

13. Lil Kim and Puff, "No Time." From Lil Kim's debut album "Hard Core," she reigned high as the "Queen Bee." In the 90's Puffy and Kim were the Bonnie and Clyde of Hip Hop.

14. Kanye f/ Jamie Fox, "Gold Digger." This 2005 release from Kanye made a huge impact and proved Kanye has pure talent.

15. Big Pun f/ Joe, "Don't Want To Be A Player." Big Pun was the first Spanish artist to go platinum on the R&B charts, and he had a MAJOR cross over hit. The smooth R&B sound from Joe gave it that extra flavor.

I said:

1. Biggie and Faith, "One More Chance." Few would argue that Biggie is one of the greatest hip hop artists that we've seen. This song is one of his many classics. But as much as it's about Biggie and his ability to "mac," it's about Faith and her willingness to give him "one more chance."

2. Kurtis Blow and Alyson Williams, "Basketball." Many don't even know who sung the hook on this ol skool classic. But it was Alyson Williams – the first lady of Def Jam – who's sultry contralto makes playing basketball sound sexy.

3. Method Man and Mary J Blige, "All I Need." Mary won a Grammy for this performance; and she should have.

4. Ja Rule and Ashanti, "Always On Time." Love 'em or hate 'em, it's hard to ignore a hook that helped make Ashanti a force to be reckoned with on the R&B charts.

5. Lil Kim and Biggie Smalls, "Crush On You." Uncredited on the album cover but as clear as a bell was Biggie Smalls rapping, "I know you heard me on the radio ..."

6. Lauryn Hill, "Lost One." Before Lauryn Hill divorced music (and some might say her senses as well) she was a profound singer and lyricist. Here she proves both.

7. Kanye and Jamie Fox and Ray Charles, "Gold Digger." - Jamie proved his was worthy to sing AND play Ray Charles.

8. The Roots and Erykah Badu, "You Got Me." - Long distance love affairs are hard and Erykah emoted the difficulty, the pain, and the love every time she took the mic here.

9. Rick Ross and Chrisette Michelle, "Aston Martin Music." Chrisette is a delicious blend of R&B and neo-soul,her voice made you wanna rent your own two-seater and call ya girl ...

10. Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey, "I Know What You Want." It was an understated performance in which Mariah didn't break glass until the song faded. Even Busta noticed, it was an amazing touch that heightened the song while never taking it away from Busta.

11. B.O.B and Bruno Mars,  "Nothin' On You." Too obvious? Perhaps. But the hook is so strong that you think this is a song featuring a rapper, not a rap featuring a singer. And that says a lot.

12. Ghostface Killah and Madame Majestic, "Cherchez La Ghostface." One word: Memorable.

13. Wale and Tiara Thomas, "Bad." There's a reason this song went platinum: Tiara Thomas. She's not bragging about being bad. She's pained by it. The vocals are raw and real.

14. Biggie Smalls and Kelly Price, "Mo Money Mo Problems." Kelly Price channeled Diana Ross and she was on point.

15. Talib Kwel, "I Try." I'm not sure if there's a more underplayed or more talented rapper than Talib Kweli. He blends socially conscious rhymes with beats designed to make you move. And in the middle of this is Mary J, she's trying. But it's effortless. 

Sunday, 02 February 2014 16:35

New Music Releases February 2014

Most of these songs are available on iTunes or Bandcamp. Please check back as we update you on the most recent releases.

 

"Slingers" - Rob Marciano and Knowledge the Pirate have a hot collabo and a new song from the mixtape "The Pimpire Strikes Back."

"What Is To Be Major" - Barsheem, soulful NY crooner, releases his album on the most appropriate of days – Valentine's Day.

Sunday, 02 February 2014 16:30

New Music Releases January 2014

Most of these songs are available on iTunes or Bandcamp. Please check back as we update you on releases and their availability.

 

"Against the World" - Remington – who has energy like this? Remington can compel anyone to move.

"Faces" - Manic After Midnite's down-tempo house would make Samantha James proud.

"Yacila" - Mayta, Dallas's premier Latin band, added a video to their Afro-Caribbean infused song.

"Fuck Nigga" - Lil RG Yilla condeming dudes who ain't handling their business.

"Regular" - Beatking and D. Carter release a new video to an anthem that claims they aint regular.

"Suits & Gunsmoke" - Chris GQ Perry takes a break from bragging about his bedroom skills and shares some introspection on life and loss.

"In and Out of Sleep" - Dustin Cavanos. Saw Dustin walking outta Buzz Brews, probably shoulda got an autograph.

"I'm International" - Chris Cash, the premier rapper from the City of Sin, drops another well produced-video.

"Jazzy As Funk" - Ivan The Paynter tries a new groove on his debut rap album. Think Guru.

"Free Ballin" - SniperShot's drops something for his Dallas fanbase and beyond.

Saturday, 01 February 2014 20:45

New Music Releases Oct-Dec 2013

 

Most of these songs are available on iTunes or Bandcamp. Please check back as we update you on the latest releases and their availability.

"Kill Me"- Klass Money is one of FL's fastest-rising rappers; this song is accompanied by a video with a "dope visual style."

"Alright" - Bryan Poppin new song features Tamela Mann, and together they raise the proverbial gospel roof.

"Lipstick On Her Cigar" - Chris Robinson and his guitar strum the sadness of the blues.

"Anyday" - Alexis Jones, Raleigh, NC, songstress, belts out adult-oriented R&B melodies.

"Someplace On Earth" - the Downtown Fiction sings for "losers and kings" on this buoyant pop-rock fusion.

"Bad Company" - John Beezy reps Drop Boy Records in his new song and video.

"Pay Your Tab" - RC & the Gritz releases their debut album to rave reviews.

"BLVD" - Nayah shows Dallas how to take to the boulevard with a song fit for the dance club.

"Alone" - Love Brooklyn claims to be alone. But I'm sure that their myriad of female fans would disagree that they are alone or better off that way.

"Wrecking Ball" - Tom Bertram's version isn't available for purchase. But the cover of Miley Cyrus is worth the listen.

"Enjoy: Like: Love" - Malice and Mario Sweet release an album in celebration of their wedding anniversary and birth of a child.

"Grammar" - Body Language, NY-based electronica/soul quartet, releases another album featuring hits "Just Because" and "Well Absolutely."

"Rent" - Brian Hazard gives away free copies of his unique brand of synthpop.

"Right Mistake" - Shawn Mayer isn't afraid to be sinful when she makes a mistake. She also isn't afraid to rock out.

"Success" - Young Rado spits a positive message on his latest single.

 

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