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October 17, 2007

timbaland_what250.jpgtimbaland_what250.jpgOh Timbo, stop!

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timbaland_what250.jpgIt has been a long road to the throne for hit-maker Timothy ‘Timbaland’ Mosley. However, his partnership with ‘whiteboy-got-skillz’ Justin Timberlake has woken up the sleeping giant.

His latest solo release ‘Shock Value’ is seriously futuristic, which is what set Timbo apart from most producers in the 90’s anyway. His unique double based beat, we could argue that it gave birth to what is now drum ‘n bass, but the techno enthusiasts will deny this!

According to wikipedia, Timbaland got the name from former Jodeci producer Devante Swing, when Mosley was signed to the now defunct Swing Mob together with long-time friend Missy Elliot. It is said that it was Elliot who introduced the Swing and Mosley and such was the former Jodeci hitmaker’s awe for Timbo that he employed as his right-hand man!

timbaland_promiscuous250.jpgHowever, when the Swing Mob went under, Elliot and Mosley continued to do music together and they soon produced hits together for anotehr former Swing Mob member Ginuwine. Soon they the two friends were employed to handle Aaliyah’s – who under controversial circumstances separated from R Kelly – album One In A Million.

What followed were a number of hits for groups such as SWV, Total, Jay Z, Missy Elliot to name just a few. He also did an album with friend Magoo, which was not as well-received worldwide as it was in the USA.

Back to Shock Value however, Timbaland collaborates with a range of artists such as the legendary Elton John, rock groups She Wants Revenge, The Hives, One Republic, Fall Out Boy, Missy Elliott, Timberlake; even Dr Dre makes an appearance.

Just in case you were wondering where this cat came from?

MJB to rock Mother City

October 10, 2007

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The Cape Town leg of Hip-Hop Soul Queen, Mary J Blige’s upcoming South African tour, will now be staged at The Grand Arena at Grand West. Although currently under construction, the state of the art live entertainment venue will open its doors for the first time for this show.

The tour, brought to you by METRO FM,  The Edgars Music Series, Channel O and Big Concerts, kicks off in Johannesburg at the Coca-Cola Dome on 18 October, before heading to the ICC in Durban’s on the 19th, and finishing off at the Grand Arena at Grand West in Cape Town on the 21st of October 2007.

The accomplished six-time Grammy Award winning R&B, soul, and hip-hop soul singer, songwriter, producer, and actress has sold more than 34 million records worldwide, and is known for her electrifying live performances.

Following her previous South African concerts in 2000, the local media described her as having a “smouldering stage presence” during her performance to an audience of over 48 000 ecstatic fans countrywide.

mary_j250.jpgMary is capable of conveying heartache and happiness in a single musical phrase. Her emotional honesty reflects the great traditions of blues and soul, and has won her countless honors and a devoted, ever growing audience around the world. Critics and fans alike will be floored by her powerful combination of modern R&B with an edgy rap. GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION LOG ON TO: edgarsmusicseries.co.za or bigconcerts.co.za.

TOUR ITINERARY

Thursday 18 October: The Coca-Cola Dome, JHB

Friday 19 October: International Convention Centre (ICC), DBN

Sunday 21 October: The Grand Arena at Grand West, CT

Talib Kweli review

October 6, 2007

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Talib Kweli – Eardrum

“I don’t remember the first time I heard Kweli, I don’t remember what I was doing there were no remembered witnesses to my doings. But it seems like I’d known him forever…he’s always punctual with his mouth, listen to his revolution of syllables…” are the opening lines artered by hip-hop poet extraodinare Sarah Jones on the first track called “Everything Man” on New York native Talib Kweli’s album “Eardrum”. Kweli hires the production skills of Madlib who borrows well from the 1970 funk era and together with Kweli’s lyrics; they present an awesome introductory to this, his third solo album.

Born and bread in the ‘Big Apple’s borough of Brooklyn, Kweli is one of the few rappers who take their craft seriously, and refrain from repeatedly making money, women and bling-bling their subject matter. Before going solo, Kweli recorded two full albums with the gifted DJ Hi-Tek as Reflection Eternal, thereafter with Mos Def as Blackstarr under the now defunct Rawkus label.

He struggled to win accalim from fans as a solo artist, with many criticising him for breaking up with Hi-Tek after their succesful combination on Reflection Eternal’s only release “Train of Thought”. However it is safe to say that he has finally found the formula with “Eardrum”.

Really what lacked for Kweli on his previous solo albums were good beats that Hi-Tek had produced so well when they worked together. The two former Reflection Eternal members reunite on “More or Less” with rising soul singer Dion – discovered by Hi-Tek – on the chorus. Here Kweli’s critics the current state of affairs in the hip-hop industry where they wish for more of originality and less of fakeness amongst otehr things.

Other outstanding tracks on this album are “Say Something” featuring South Afrcan Jazz pioneer Abdulah Ibrahim’s daughter Jean Grae and produced by Black Eyed Peas member Will.I.Am. Although a bit valgur, Grae is outstanding on this song with lines such as “Open your mouth I dare you, chocking you out ’til you can’t suck any air through…they knew I was bad news, look at the tatoos” and dicribes herself and Kweli as the ‘Last Two Action Heroes!’

Back to Kweli, his MC skills really blossom on “The Perfect Beat” next to Hip-Hop heavyweight KRS-One.

What is a hip-hop record without the production skills of Kanye West nowadays? Kweli had to employ the hot producers skills and justice is done on the track “In the Mood”.

As rising producer Justin Timberlake lends Kweli his services on “The Nature” where he also sings the chorus.

Look out for the two-part “Hostile Gospel/Diliver Us” with Carrebean Dancehall star Sizzla on the second part.

In terms of originality, this is the best Hip-Hop album by far by any artist this year!

Five star!!!

Redman review

October 6, 2007

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Redman – Red Gone Wild

90’s hip-hop star Reggie Noble from popular rap group Def Squad – of the same era – is back as his alter-ego ‘Redman’ with a new solo album called “Red Gone Wild – Thee Album.” Read the rest of this entry »

Amerie review

October 6, 2007

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Amerie – Because I Love It 

Amerie has taken Pop music to another dimension with her new album “Because I Love It”.

This record’s sound is beyond the bootie-shaking methods and controversial song titles used by other artists to get attention from the market. Read the rest of this entry »

Robin Thicke review

October 6, 2007

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Robin Thicke – The Evolution of Robin Thicke

The music industry tends to often forge comparisons amongst recording artists when a fresh new sound is introduced.

This has been the case for white American singer Robin Thicke, whose 21st century soulful sound sets him apart from his ‘black and white’ peers currently.

His album titled the “Evolution of Robin Thicke” is a second studio effort by this Los Angeles-born singer, since bursting into the pop scene in 2003, spotting a long hair and a mastoch. Read the rest of this entry »