Chuck Berry turned 90-years old today and announced his first album in 38 years. Berry’s last studio album was 1979’s Rock It. The new album, simply titled Chuck, comes out in 2017 and is dedicated to his wife of 68 years Themetta Berry. His band which includes some of his children are the musicians featured on Chuck. Sixty-one years ago Chuck Berry became a rock and roll pioneer with a string of hit songs starting with “Maybellene.” This week is also the 30th anniversary of Taylor Hackford’s Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll, the documentary based around two 1986 tribute concerts to Berry. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984 and was in the first class of Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees in 1986.
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RZA has collaborated with Mustafa Shaikh to launch the 36 Chambers, a contemporary menswear line that uses elements of hip-hop, Chinese culture and high fashion. “36 Chambers is inspired by the Wu philosophy: kung fu, mathematics, Eastern philosophy and art,” said RZA. “Using that as a foundation, we’ve blended together the rugged feel of streetwear, with the quality craftsmanship of high fashion, to create apparel with a classic look.” The first collection features the Golden Dragon, which symbolizes energy, wisdom and strength. San Francisco-based designer Chapin Atchison used the dragon design in a custom jacquard woven fabric found on the jackets, bags and on the collars of selected shirts.
Select pieces from 36 Chambers: The Golden Dragon Rises Collection, will be made available for pre-sale each Wednesday starting October 19th on 36chambers.com at 11a.m. (EDT):
• October 19th – Satin Souvenir Jacket ($250) & Golden Dragon Enamel Pin ($5).
• October 26th – Waterproof Cordura MA-1 Jacket ($300) & Cotton Long Sleeve Henley Shirt ($60).
• November 2nd – Wool Suit Jacket ($400) & Waterproof Cotton Dress Shirt ($130).
• November 9th – Velour Mandarin Jacket ($400) & Waterproof Cordura Square Duffel Bag ($200).
The full collection will be made available for purchase through 36chambers.com on November 18th at 11a.m. (EST). There will be several 36 Chambers retail pop-up events in December.
J.Dilla’s King Of Beats is 40 tracks created by him on his SP-1200 drum machine and sampler. The machine was essential to his early beat-making for artists like Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde and more. The CD release of King Of Beats contains 15-songs made on his MPC called The Lost Scrolls. The MPC was just donated to The Smithsonian’s National Museum Of African American History And Culture. King Of Beats is available in the US and in the UK.
South London Pop/R&B vocalist Mariam is preparing for the release of her Heart To Heart EP on November 4th. “Be There For Me” is her debut single and she explains “This song is about unrequited love, it speaks about that moment you realise you can’t make anyone love you or reciprocate affection.”
Living Colour’s cover of Prince’s “17 Days” was the b-side to their 1993 singles “Ausländer” and “Leave It Alone.” Their transformation of “17 Days” into metal still had an adequate amount of funk and Corey Glover’s soulful voice made sound almost like something Prince himself would record. Living Colour’s appreciation for Prince was mutual and he invited them to a jam session at Paisley Park. Vernon Reid spoke with NPR shortly after Prince’s passing and commented on his multi-genre and multi-gendered influence on music. Living Colour just released their police brutality-inspired Who Shot Ya? EP.