Monthly Archives: July 2017

Rapsody Explains The Lyrics To The Pain

Rapsody sits for Genius and talks about the lyrics to “The Pain.”  She explains everything in the song from the issue colorism and racism towards the beauty of Black women to the fatherlessness that some Black men experience. Rapsody released the Nottz-produced “The Pain” a few weeks ago.

Sierra Marie Shares New Single Close My Eyes

Sierra Marie is a singer, songwriter and guitarist from Fairfield, California. The 18-year old artist’s new single  “Close My Eyes” is about the pursuit of dreams. Her breathy alto eases along a tranquil arrangement bolstered by her guitar. When she croons,

            “There was people and they’re talking to me but it seemed out of spite” and then later,                “You think you know what dreams are made of, you think you got it all sorted it out”

You can sense the struggle of her journey and how closing her eyes is a temporary escape from the rockier parts of the quest.  Her sound, which straddles the world of alternative music and R&B is the outcome of listening to so many eclectic sounds when she was growing up. Marie started singing and playing guitar after becoming ill with a cyst on her brain that required surgery and the removal of her gallbladder after she contracted an unknown virus. Those illnesses required her to be homeschooled from junior high until graduation and it also launched her creative career. She was no longer able to play soccer or run track and her mother encouraged her to start writing down her feelings. The time she spent singing and writing prepared her for 2016 American Idol Gold Ticket status that got her a brief appearance on the show and an interview with Bay Area local news station KCBS. When she is not performing at various functions and coffee houses in the area she regularly posts original music and covers to her Youtube channel. The multi-talented artist recently joined the Push Power Promo platform that is home to thousands of independent artists and she has also developed a following on ReverbNation. Marie is currently working on her debut EP.

 

Throwback: Edwin Starr-Easin’ In

Edwin Starr’s recording of the soundtrack to 1973’s Hell Up In Harlem was his last for Motown. He had become a star on the label in 1970 because of the Norman Whitfield-produced single “War.” Freddie Perren, who was a member of Motown’s songwriting team The Corporation, wrote “Easin’ In” for Hell Up In Harlem. Fonce Mizell, who was also a member of The Corporation and one-half of the Mizell Brothers, produced the album with longtime friend and colleague Perren. The movie was the sequel to Black Caesar which also starred Fred Williamson and it is another blaxploitation film remembered more for its soundtrack. Starr’s gruff vocals took perfect shape within the funky arrangement accented by the bass and Joe Clayton’s congas. “Easin’ In” had a spellbinding effect but it was not one of the three songs released as a single from the soundtrack. Hip-hop brought “Easin’ In” to its full glory years later as a much-used sample for Digable Planets, Ice-T, DMX and many others. Starr passed in 2003 but after spending the second half of his life in England as an icon of the Northern Soul scene.

Media Questions Of The Week

Was Diddy’s Tweet honoring Black women divisive?

Will Jason Momoa steal the show as Aquaman in The Justice League?

Why aren’t there any contemporary Detroit artists on the soundtrack to Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit?

Kendrick Lamar Releases Video For Loyalty Feat. Rihanna

Kendrick Lamar releases a cinematic video for “Loyalty” featuring Rihanna. Together they experience night life, an encounter with underworld figures, and a car crash all meant to be tests of integrity. In the end Rihanna does prove to be loyal as she never leaves Lamar’s side even as he sinks deeper into quicksand.