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Say No To The Vocoder

No matter who becomes President, this election year is sure to bring change in Washington. Both parties are presenting candidates who want to learn from the mistakes of the Bush years and regain America’s standing throughout the world. Today, the Hip-Hop community represents an ever expanding range of backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences, so we have… Read more »

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2007 Rewind – Kelly Rowland: On My Own

  The last decade has been an extremely successful time for Kelly Rowland. Being part of the hit trio Destiny’s Child has garnered her accolades as an R&B solo artist, songwriter, actress and four-time Grammy Award winner. Over the years, Kelly has gracefully matured from a teenage girl into a beautiful Southern bombshell. She’s shown… Read more »

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2007 Rewind – M.I.A.: Sri Lanka Globetrotter

Despite what your instincts might tell you, M.I.A. is not odd. As technology changes the way in which we communicate and globalization brings increased interaction between nations, more and more people are redefining the meaning of nationality and truly becoming citizens of the world. A self-proclaimed “walking mixtape,” M.I.A. not only combines musical influences from… Read more »

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Fergie: Glamour Girl

Sincerity is something missing in a lot of musicians who delve into the mainstream side of the art nowadays. Many artists get caught up in the “act” they put on and become that “alter-ego,” forgetting whom they actually are. That’s not the case with Fergie though. She’s kept a level head and is more than… Read more »

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Ne-Yo: Holiday Spirit

During this holiday season it is important to remember that to many, the holidays are like any other day. To many Thanksgiving and Christmas are not marked with turkeys and gifts, but pain and poverty. Even more disheartening are the children all across the country who never had the chance to believe in Santa Claus…. Read more »

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mario

The Last Word: Alicia Keys Plays Lena Horne, Mary J. Blige Speaks Out About Amy Winehouse, and Pretty Ricky Lands In Court

What’s up everyone? The week was too much for me so I can’t even give you the non-entertainment highlights of the week. The only thing I can think of is the whole thing with Britney’s sister Jamie Lynn being pregnant, but that’s about it. I’ll have to come stronger next time.  In the mean time,… Read more »

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J. Holiday: Paying Attention

A few months ago, J. Holiday shared his “Bed” with many when the record was introduced to the world, surging through the airwaves; it was anything but putting you to sleep. In the same wave, a handful of popular Hip-Hop and R&B artists expressed interest in the song, as multiple remixes began circulating featuring the… Read more »

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Jaheim: Man Of the Hour

It seems that after a period where R&B was muddled with releases sounding more like Hip-Hop albums, true R&B is back in full effect. There is a laundry list of R&B releases that are or have been highly anticipated for ’07 and ’08. Pretty close to the top of that list is the next studio… Read more »

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Get To Know: Vaneli

Arist: VaneliLocation: New York   Influences: Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson   Why You Should Know Vaneli: The name Vaneli may not be on the tip of your tongue, but the 21-year-old singer’s voice has already invaded your earspace.   With a popular remix of rapper Fabolous’ hit song “Make… Read more »

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The Last Word: Rihanna and Chris Brown Get Physical, Alicia’s Keeping Secrets, and R. Kelly Goes To Church

What it look like people of the world? We’ve reached the line finish of another five as we get closer to the Christmas holiday. More scandal for the week was front and center as Sen. George Mitchell puts Roger Clemens and other all-stars on blast with his report on steroid use in major league baseball,… Read more »

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The Last Word: Akon’s Finds Legal Troubles, Beyonce Makes the Naughty List, and Fergie Uses Her Body For Peace

What’s poppin’ people? Another weekend dawns on us as we make it to the end of another five. From Democrats criticizing Pres. Bush for not knowing until last week that Iran had stopped work on its nuclear weapons in 2003 to Jena 6 member Mychal Bell being sentenced to 18 months in jail after pleading… Read more »

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Kevin Michael: Grammy Bound

Armed with an undeniable sense of humor and big dreams, this Philly native with an afro is bound to catch your eye. But for the musician in Kevin Michael, the most important of the five senses to capture is your hearing. Equipped with this arsenal, there’s little doubt you won’t, at least, take notice of… Read more »

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The Last Word: Ashanti’s Back, Beyonce Turns Country, and the Jacksons Have Officially Reunited

What’s good? The holiday season has arrived, and I just got through polishing all the leftovers from Thanksgiving. It’s been an active week to report on as Vice President Dick Cheney suffers an irregular heartbeat, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney take the gloves off in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination and Brazilian race-car… Read more »

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Cassie: Pure Magic

Cassie may have a sweet, vivacious personality, but she is someone who knows what she wants and is willing to take risks to get it. However, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for this young exotic beauty. While promoting her debut album in 2006, Cassie stopped at New York’s Hot 97, and in one of… Read more »

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Get To Know: Joy Ike

Artist: Joy IkeLocation: Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaInfluences: Sara Groves, Corrine Bailey Rae, Norah Jones, Regina Spector, Sufjan Stevens, Amy WinehouseWhy You Should Know Joy Ike:When you think of Pittsburgh, thoughts of blue-collar sweat, hard work, and the daily grind immediately come to mind. Known as “The Steel City,” Pittsburgh is not a city known for its burgeoning… Read more »

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Erykah Badu: rEvolution Part Two

*Photo credits – Bode HelmAllHipHop.com Alternatives: The new single “Honey” is very different than anything you’ve done in the past; definitely a new feeling. Erykah Badu: “Honey” is probably the most straight-down-the-line song there is on the project. It would be the safest song, and I think that’s why the label put it out there… Read more »

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Erykah Badu: rEvolution Part One

*Photo credits – Bode HelmErykah Badu isn’t easily forgotten. Whether it’s her eclectic attire, her philosophically empowered music or her enigmatic personality, once you experience the phenomenon that is Baduizm, her presence becomes tenacious; just ask her former paramours Andre Benjamin and Common. As ambiguous as she is grounded, Erykah Badu conveys a truth that… Read more »

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The Last Word: Beyonce Starts a Ruckus, Erykah Badu Is Back, and Alicia Keys Gets Wild

What’s the word good people? We got over another week and managed to be around still to tell the story. As for highlights, we’ve got a continuing writers strike that’s shutting Hollywood down, John McCain answering a question from a woman who labeled Hillary Clinton as the B-word, a school in Maryland threatening jail time… Read more »

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Anthony David: Georgia Pride

When singer Anthony David packed up and moved from the small town of Savannah, Georgia to Atlanta’s then budding metropolis, a collegiate career was on his mind. Despite being the cousin of Boyz II Men member Shawn Stockman, music found him rather than the other way around.  After hitting Atlanta’s many club scenes, he was… Read more »

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Mario: Go Time

Like most of the world of entertainment, music has always had a revolving door of relevant characters. So much that we often take for granted the artists that we have grown with. One such character is Mario. We’ve watched the songbird grow from a teenager asking girls to braid his hair, to a man asking… Read more »

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Keri Hilson: Heat Seeker

Atlanta has become the fastest-growing music center in the U.S., particularly as a hotbed for R&B and Hip-Hop. Keri Hilson is heating up the core as one of the few female singer/songwriter/vocal producers our time, and she’s only 24. It’s likely that Hilson has penned a song by your favorite artist somewhere along the line,… Read more »

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The Last Word: Michael Jackson’s “Smelly,” Prince Fans Are Mad, and Chris Brown Runs a Math-a-Thon

What’s up, party people? Welcome to the end of the week. Say goodbye to another slow, but busy five days as we witnessed the face of King Tut, unrest in Pakistan amid emergency rule imposed by President Pervez Musharraf, Oprah’s devastation over the scandal surrounding her South Africa-based leadership academy for young women, Rudy Giuliani… Read more »

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Kenna: Facing the Gun

In this day and age you’d have to be insane to try putting an album out. Everything is expensive as hell, the fans are finicky, and most people will probably download it anyway. Even if you managed to get signed to a label that matters, there’s still a pretty good chance the whole thing will… Read more »

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Gym Class Heroes: Unmasked

Melding elements of rap, rock, R&B, and funk into one cohesive and melodic sound, upstate New York’s Gym Class Heroes had diverse appeal based on their impressive musical dexterity. Often touring with indie rock and pop-punk bands, they didn’t fit comfortably into one specific genre; the quartet’s music was rooted in traditional Hip-Hop, but featured… Read more »

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Omarion and Bow Wow: Face Off

It’s pretty obvious that both Bow Wow and Omarion grew up right before our eyes in the spotlight. When they individually hit the scene at the turn of the century, it was clear that the next generation of music was approaching. Having gone through some stage changes along the way– Bow Wow dropping the Lil’… Read more »

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Assassin: Next Generation

It’s not often you come across a DJ who cares less about their individual plight in the game, but rather cares more about the progression of the entire culture of the music.  Assassin, leader of the new generation of dancehall artists, according to Sean Paul, is bringing dancehall to the next level. On Assassin’s uncensored… Read more »

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The Last Word: Amy Winehouse Isn’t Sexy, Kelis Is Jive Walking, and American Gangster Gets the Bootleg

What’s happening everyone? Here we are as we welcome the end of another five days. From the beach house fire that killed seven college students in North Carolina to Dog the Bounty Hunter’s use of the N-word in reference to his son’s girlfriend during a heated argument to rumored talks of bringing Kobe Bryant to… Read more »

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Martin Luther: Rock On

Playing a Jimi Hendrix-type in a ‘60s-era movie (that may be a 2007 critical darling) is a big surprise for singer Martin Luther. Known around the underground for his 2004 release, Rebel Soul Music, musician Martin Luther was known for being a Black rocker, who has toured with The Roots and worked diligently to carve… Read more »

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Jonathan Davis of Korn is Hip-Hop

Rock stars are known to have a reputation for not having the best hygiene, but that doesn’t apply to Jonathan Davis, the vocalist of Korn. It’s midnight and the long-haired singer just finished putting on a vigorous performance with his metal outfit in Portland, Maine. Once the sweaty dynamo leaves the stage, he heads backstage… Read more »

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The Last Word: Brandy Returns, Akon To Update Thriller, Mariah Carey Finds God, and Bobby Brown Goes Country

What it is, smart people? We got the end of another week upon us. With wildfires gripping San Diego, Hillary Clinton calling Vice President Dick Cheney Darth Vader and Jackie Chan trying to sing instead of fight, it was a another week in paradise.I gotta join Illseed in sending my congratulations to actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon… Read more »

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Tego Calderón: Keepin’ it Real

When Hip-Hop meets Reggaeton, Tego Calderón is chillin’ at the intersection. The non-Spanish speaking audience may not understand his lyrics completely on remixes of Fat Joe’s “Lean Back” and 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” but they are sure drawn to the voice. Making his worldwide debut with El Abayarde (his alias meaning a Puerto Rican insect similar… Read more »

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Trey Songz: Behind the Pen

Songwriters turned singers is the new hustle. When singer Trey Songz got his feet wet in the music industry, he unintentionally took the same route. Being able to write his own songs gave him an edge over R&B artists that were used to crooning to other people’s words. The 22-year old songwriter turned performer has… Read more »

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Just Jack: Simply Put

With a single that is the most unHip-hop offering on his sophomore album Overtones, recent nominations prove that some are still toying with how to classify Just Jack. A fusion of disco, house and pop with his simplistic narration has been mistaken as Hip-Hop by some. But North London based Jack is quick to shoot… Read more »

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Last Word: Michael Jackson’s Late Payment, DJ Premier Works With Whitney, and Christina Milian As Wonder Woman

How’s life everyone? The week is over and the weekend is upon us. So let’s reminisce over bomb explosions killing 124 people and injuring 320 near the motorcade of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the supposed blood link between Vice President Dick Cheney and his distant cousin Barack Obama, and Ellen Degeneres putting her… Read more »

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Ray Lavender: Doing Doing

Over the years, Atlanta has introduced more than its fair share of artists into the spotlight. However, it is safe to say that there have been none quite like Ray Lavender. From the A by way of Monroe, Louisiana, this country crooner has finally surfaced for the masses with his sexy, bold, and enticingly edgy… Read more »

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Jagged Edge: Staying Power

This music industry has witnessed countless crazy events in the lineups of our favorite groups. We’ve seen them start out with four members and swap out two of their members; trading them like baseball cards. We’ve witnessed a four-person group become a three person group, then go on to do better than the original quartet…. Read more »

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Che’Nelle: Still Standing

The last time we spoke to Che’Nelle, way back in March of 2006, Jay-Z had signed some UK rapper called Lady Sovereign (remember her?) and it finally seemed like global artists were going to break the American market. Over a year later, a lot has changed. For starters, that whole international thing didn’t blow up… Read more »

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Herbie Hancock: Future Shock

Herbie Hancock is from the land of the “Go.” That’s Chicago, and it’s a longshot, but maybe part of the Windy City’s proficiency in Hip-Hop music can be traced back to Hancock’s use of scratching in “Rockit” [Note: Peace to Grandmixter DXT]. After all, though Hancock had long been considered a giant in jazz circles,… Read more »

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The Last Word: Bobby Brown’s Fake Heart Attack, Ginuwine’s Fake Record Deal, and Janet Jackson’s Fake Marriage

Hey young world. What’s good? The week has passed and we’re talking about Fred Thompson’s Republican debate performance, DC sniper Lee Boyd Malvo regretting his role in the sniper killings, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre waiting to see if he will still have a job, and the 14-year-old student who police discovered with a… Read more »

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Lydia Caesar: Shining Through

Nowadays it’s harder than ever for new artists to stand out in the ever so competitive world of independent music. One emerging young female singer from Queens, New York, Lydia Caesar, is familiar with that grind all too well. With N.Y.C. being the most concentrated place for music artists to shine through, Lydia managed to… Read more »

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Wayne Wonder: Island Star

While hardcore dancehall was a mainstay of music in the early to mid ‘90s, its presence began to wean with the emergence of new artistic expressions of music, such as neo-soul and reggaeton. Yet, somewhere between the sheets, Jamaican born Wayne Wonder found a niche and introduced the world to reggae music with an R&B… Read more »

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The Last Word: Beyonce’s Banned, America’s Woman Of the Year, R. Kelly’s Touring, and Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious…again

What it look like, everyone? Once again it’s that time to shake off the drama from the week and commence with the fun and rest of the weekend. From North Korea vowing to dismantle its nuclear weapons by the end of the year to Marion Jones finally admitting to using steroids two years before the… Read more »

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Keke Palmer: Cool Kid

At 14, Keke Palmer has almost a dozen movies under her belt and has made appearances on network television shows Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and The Cold Case Files. For the last five years, she’s quietly been filling her resume with appearances and bursts of notoriety for projects like The Wool Cap and… Read more »

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