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#ThrowbackThursday #TBT #BlackMusicMonth “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross (1981)

Before there was Babyface, Tyrese, Tank, Ginuwine, Usher, Jason Derulo, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Jon B., Rico Love, Sebastin Mikael, Chris Brown . . . there . . . . was . . . . LUTHER who wrote his songs and had an ear for conducting amazing harmonies in his backup singers!

P.S. The street fashion in this video alone is worthy of a #ThrowbackThursday shoutout! ;)

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PRODUCER WEEK: Just Blaze Drops Jewels On The Golden Era Sound [EXCLUSIVE]

lboogie81:

I have tremendous respect for Just Blaze as a creative producer, on the same level as Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Pharrell, The Neptunes, and more! HIs advice and insight are pearls of wisdom! #BlackMusicMonth

Originally posted on The Urban Daily:

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When it comes to crafting classic albums or block-breaking singles, there are few better on the boards than Just Blaze. Since his start in 1999, Just has been a consistent source of heat for new-jacks and established acts alike with a diversity that’s allowed him to supply sonics for everyone from Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz and Shaggy to Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, Jon B and Usher. As one of the featured sound men behind the Roc-A-fella dynasty Just’s magic touch on classic albums like “The Blueprint” proved instrumental (pun intended) in putting The Roc on top.  So with the 2o year anniversary of 1994 in full effect, TheUrbanDaily.com decided nobody’s stripes were better suited to chime in on the expression, the progression and direction of Hip-Hop from then to now than a man with a Flux Capacitorin  his studio.

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TheUrbanDaily.com: As one of the sonic…

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60 ‘90s Songs in Six Minutes Proves They All Sounded the Same

Originally posted on TIME:

For the past decade, humanity has pondered a very important question: Did every ‘90s song sound the same? Now, there’s proof. Two Australian comedians played 60 ‘90s songs in six minutes, merging one into the next seamlessly.

Al Newstead and Anna O’Bryan run through everything from Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping” to Deep Blue Something’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” and Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic.” Yep, they all sound pretty much the same.

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BET 2010 Awards – Have I Officially Outgrown Them?

So I was one of the millions of viewers watching BET 2010 Awards last night. Unfortunately, I was torn between watching “True Blood.” Then something came to me. I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing any of the marquee performers. The only thing I was looking to was the Prince tribute and the MJ tribute. I just wasn’t invested in that world anymore. Trends come and go, but good, quality music lasts forever.

I guess you reach an age where salacious trends can’t satisfy your need for transformative musical sustenance. The greats did that – Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Patti LaBelle, Berry Gordy’s Motown artists. The true entertainers were students of this discipline. I think that is why the passing of Michael Jackson hurt so much. He bridged the generations with his understanding of music that created pathos in his audiences. But who will do that now?

I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be music for young people to dance to. We all need that kind of escapism at weddings, dances, family reunions. But when the radio becomes saturated with the same kind of music all day, every day, you wonder what the kids are really learning about music. Is Auto-Tune the new standard? Is sampling the new hook? Does a “tight jam” trump powerful lyrics?

And then you wonder why new artists coming out lack substance? Where are the apprentices to the rhythm and blues that my parents listened to? Until young consumers value themselves the same way record executives do when it comes to their spending power, the status quo will remain. What do you think?

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All Songs from RENT Musical

ACT ONE

1) “Seasons of Love” – Cast

2) “Rent” – Cast

3) “You’ll See” - Adam Pascal (Roger), Anthony Rapp (Mark) & Taye Diggs (Benny) 

4) “One Song Glory” – Adam Pascal (Roger)

5) “Light My Candle” – Adam Pascal (Roger) & Rosario Dawson (Mimi)

6) “Today 4 U” – Jesse L Martin (Collins), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Angel) & Anthony Rapp (Mark)

7) “Tango: Maureen” - Tracie Thoms (Joanne) & Anthony Rapp (Mark) 

8) “Life Support” – Cast

9) “Out Tonight” – Rosario Dawson (Mimi)

10) “Another Day” – Rosario Dawson (Mimi), Adam Pascal (Roger), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Angel), Jesse L Martin (Collins) & Anthony Rapp (Mark) 

11) “Will I?” – Cast

12) “Santa Fe” – Adam Pascal (Roger), Anthony Rapp (Mark), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Angel) & Jesse L Martin (Collins) 

13) “I’ll Cover You” – Wilson Jermaine Heredia (Angel) & Jesse L Martin (Collins) 

14) “Over the Moon” - Idina Menzel (Maureen)
15) “La Vie Boheme” – Cast 

ACT TWO

1) “I Should Tell You” – Adam Pascal (Roger) & Rosario Dawson (Mimi) 

2) “La Vie Boheme B” – Cast

3) “Seasons of Love B” – Cast

4) “Take Me or Leave Me” - Idina Menzel (Maureen) & Tracie Thoms (Joanne) 

5) “Without You” – Rosario Dawson (Mimi) & Adam Pascal (Roger) 

6)  “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” - Jesse L Martin (Collins) & Tracie Thoms (Joanne)

7) “Halloween” – Anthony Rapp (Mark)

8) “Goodbye Love” – Cast

9) “What You Own” – Adam Pascal (Roger) & Anthony Rapp (Mark)

10) “Finale A” – Rosario Dawson (Mimi) & Adam Pascal (Roger)

12) Your Eyes – Adam Pascal (Roger)

13) “Finale B” – Cast

14) “Love Heals” – Cast

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#FlashbackFriday This Is It – Really?! The Mythology and Genius of Michael Jackson

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I’ve always wanted to be able to tell stories, you know, stories that came from my soul.  I’d like to sit by a fire and tell people stories—make them see pictures, make them cry and laugh,take them anywhere emotionally with something as deceptively simple as words.

- Michael J. Jackson from his autobiography Moonwalk

As I was organizing my albums (you remember those, right?) and DVDs (which are becoming more of entertainment for travel on my laptop than for routine use at home and office) this weekend, I began to go through my collection of music and music videos of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. This made me reflect on my musical education I had received from these Gary, Indiana natives that revolutionized the landscape of popular music forever.

While I was not present on Earth to have seen the Jackson 5 in their heyday in the 70s, my parents did in their youth and made it a practice to play the group’s music at home for my brother and me in heavy rotation when we were little. Listening to such trademark classics as “Rockin’ Robin, ” “The Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There,” “Sugar Daddy,” “Ben,” “ABC,” and “Dancing Machine” showcased catchy pop hooks, insightful lyrics, colorful harmonies and of course, the vocal delivery of the youngest Jackson who would grow up to be the King of Pop.

Even as a kid, Michael Jackson carried this kind of knowledge of storytelling in the songs that he sang with the Jackson 5. What did a 12-year-old know about heart-breaking regret in losing the woman he loved, wondering “Who’s Loving You” now? What did a child know about being conflicted in ending a relationship in “Never Can Say Goodbye”? What did a preteen know about being a “Sugar Daddy”? He was wise beyond his years, a quality I can definitely identify with.

This knowledge made the music come alive with feeling and authentic emotion, making the listener feel like little Michael was singing right to him/her. No wonder the female fans went crazy at the concerts, chasing the guys everywhere they went!

It’s important for artists always to maintain control of their lives and work. There’s been a big problem in the past with artists being taken advantage of. I’ve learned that a person can prevent that from happening by standing up for what he or she believes is right, without concern for the consequences.

- Michael J. Jackson in Moonwalk

But just as Diana Ross and Lionel Richie could not have become the meteoric superstars that they are without The Supremes and The Commodores, Michael Jackson was groomed to be a star through Motown’s Jackson 5.

As I listen to the later music of the Jackson 5 who was transitioning to being the Jacksons on Epic Records where the brothers had more creative control over their music, Michael’s vocal arrangement became more advanced in songs like “Can You Feel It” “Get It Together,” “Blame It On The Boogie,” “Enjoy Yourself” “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” and “Dancing Machine.”

There you can begin to hear the signature ad-libs and vocal styling that made Michael famous on the albums Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and beyond.

In his solo albums, you can hear his determined individuality in the arrangements he created, the producing mentorship from the SELFLESS musical genius Quincy Jones, the instrumentals he demanded, and the self-created vocal percussion he added to the tracks. He wasn’t the little kid being told what to do and sing; he was the polished and professional man who made his own decisions on the music he made. You have to admire that internal fortitude!

Michael Jackson set the bar in music, musical entertainment, choreography, musical film, the power of God, love, and true philanthropy for every musical artist and human being for generations to come.

I know that I have to carry the banners of God’s love and philanthropy that Mr. Jackson so eloquently addressed in songs like “Heal The World,” “On The Line,” “One More Chance,” “Another Part of Me,” “This Is It,” “We Are Here To Change The World,” “Fall Again,” “Man In The Mirror,” “We Are The World,” and “Earth Song.” I have been truly blessed to have my life enriched by his works and influence.

To me, every time I hear one of his songs, I am reminded that his spirit is resides there and in the world I live. I also remember having the blessed opportunities to see him perform that magic live on the Victory Tour (I was three so I watch the show for archives on YouTube) and Bad Tour a few years ago.

Love lasts forever.

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