Archives

Finding The GOAT Group: Boogie Down Productions vs. Ultramagnetic MC’s. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

50 Years Ago Today, James Brown Healed Hearts With Soul Power (Video)

There may have never been a Hip-Hop Generation if not for James Brown. His music serves as a blueprint for Funk as well as the building blocks of Hip-Hop. Beyond music, Brown proved that the Black community in America is not monolithic in its political affiliation. The timeline of Brown’s... Read more

The Roots’ Tiny Desk Concert Is BIG, Brassy And Beautiful (Video)

The Roots are the latest musicians to perform at NPR's Tiny Desk concert series. Questlove, Black Thought, and the rest of the legendary band brought Bilal along for a moving rendition of 2017 single, "It Ain't Fair." The performance of the song from the film Detroit is bold and brilliant.... Read more

“The Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield Has Passed Away

If James Brown is the architect of Hip-Hop, then drummer Clyde Stubblefield may very be his builder. The man Questlove calls "The Funkiest Drummer of All Time" has died today (February 18). He was 73 years old, and passed away from kidney failure. Clyde was an integral part of James... Read more

After Seeing Rob Base’s Hit Covered, Your Old Droog Wants To Rock Right Now (Audio)

UPDATE: The music video of "Help" by Your Old Droog & Wiki, featuring Edan: The original February 13 post: During the Grammy airing, a new advertisement campaign brought Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock's 1988 hit "It Takes Two" back into the light, sort of. Lil Yachty and Carly Rae... Read more

Snoop Dogg’s Santa Brought His Gifts In A ’64 Impala Sleigh (Video)

What do you get when you mix Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg's soaring vocals, an iconic Isaac Hayes sample and a nod to the Godfather of Soul? Christmas Rap, G-Funk style. Titled after the James Brown classic, “Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto” is the first track and lead single... Read more

How James Brown Made The Blueprint For Hip-Hop AND Today’s Music Business

The name Alan Leeds might not be widely-recognized outside of music industry circles, but the 40+ year veteran of the business has worked, in numerous capacities, with some of the all-time great. James Brown, Kiss, Prince and D'Angelo all considered him a key member of their behind the scenes teams,... Read more

Rubble Kings: The Mixtape Features The Sounds That Laid the Foundation for Hip-Hop (Audio)

This Summer, the documentary Rubble Kings took audiences deep inside the world of the gangs that ruled New York City from the late 1960s to the mid-70s. The film follows the story of Ghetto Brothers gang leader Benjy Melendez, and the critical role he played in negotiating a truce that... Read more

DJ Erykah Badu Is The Healer. Here’s A Soul Mix Featuring James, Donny & Stevie (Audio)

Erykah Badu knows how to reach the people. As a singer, Badu has struck the hearts of many in three decades, with lyrics and sounds that touch the mind, heart, and soul of listeners. As a mixmaster, under the alter-ego DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown, Erykah does the same. Giving... Read more

Kid Capri Blends 52 Of Hip-Hop’s Most Important Instrumentals & Breaks (Mix)

Kid Capri's body of work speaks for itself. The New York City mainstay DJ, mixtape pioneer, and accomplished producer does a strong job digitizing his gems from the past. In 1992, the D.I.T.C. affiliate (and later Sony Records artist) released 52 Beats. This mixtape featured the Kid cutting, scratching, and... Read more

George Clinton Considers Rakim & Eminem GOATs, Praises Kendrick Lamar (Video)

Along with James Brown and Sly Stone, George Clinton revolutionized R&B, twisting Soul music into pure Funk. He became the mastermind behind Parliament, as well as companion band, Funkadelic. Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic have ignited the party in six decades, spawning three platinum releases. He expanded the boundaries of his music,... Read more

Black Thought & J.Period Honor James Brown Making A Tape, LIVE! (Mixtape)

When it comes to showmanship in Hip-Hop, The Roots' Black Thought is one of the greatest to ever do it. The South Philadelphia MC can rap, he can sing, and he can play with an ensemble—and he does it all, nightly on television. So much of Tariq Trotter's on-stage persona,... Read more

DJ Kool Herc OPENS UP & His Top 5 MCs & DJs Will ASTONISH You (Audio)

DJ Kool Herc interviews, especially with much depth and room for conversation are a scarcity. It is astounding how Hip-Hop music's credited founder lives in the Bronx, New York today, with relatively low profile. The Kingston, Jamaica native known as Clive Campbell is not a public figure, despite his groundbreaking... Read more

From DJ Quik’s Late Protege Mausberg To Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar’s Butterfly Samples Plenty (Mix)

Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly continues resonating with Heads, many of whom are still giving the just-released album a first listen. Overall, the reaction appears extremely favorable to the body of work from the Compton, California MC who in 24 hours, broke Spotify's all-time per diem stream record. With... Read more

Are You Really Ready for Some Super Dynamite Soul? DJ Cosmo Baker is on the Job (Mix)

In the DJ world, Cosmo Baker is a giant. Whether in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Philadelphia, or pretty much any part of the globe, Cos' can seemingly spin any genre, with style and finesse. Swinging through Drexel University's WKDU Eavesdrop Show, Baker brought nothing but a box of 7" 45's, and got... Read more

Here’s an Old School Soul Mix from Biz Markie That Just Feels Good (Audio)

Biz Markie is a legendary MC and beatboxer but, over the last several years, he has relied on his formidable DJ skills perhaps more than anything else. If you've ever had the privilege to attend one of his sets, you know the Biz digs deep in the crates. Here's an... Read more

Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain Made A 1988 Tape Featuring Songs By James Brown & Jackson 5 (Audio)

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death. The Seattle, Washington native is remembered as a prodigious musician, songwriter, and an integral part of the Grunge movement through his band, Nirvana. That band has become a favorite musical touchstone of everybody from Kanye West to Dr. Dre, who... Read more

BJ The Chicago Kid Nods To James Brown In Real Love Never Dies (Video)

BJ The Chicago Kid pays homage to James Brown's famous drug outcry, "King Heroin." With the same instrumental and mood, "Real Love Never Dies" plays to another type of addiction, with the Motown Records star in the studio, pouring his heart out on the track. Is BJ's depth and range... Read more

Afrika Bambaataa’s Record Crates Helped Create The Hip-Hop Genre. Get A Look (Video)

Hip-Hop's three forefathers are often remembered as pioneers DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambaataa. With all three men tied to the Bronx, New York of the 1970s, each brought a unique flare to the sound of the culture, with varying personal backgrounds. Herc, a native of Jamaica, had... Read more

From One Soul Brother To Another, Pete Rock Salutes James Brown (Audio)

Today (August 1), James Brown biopic Get On Up has its theatrical opening. In celebration of the Mick Jagger-produced film, Pete Rock—who's Soul Brother #1 moniker is a nod to James Brown's own name—made a mix celebrating his love for the late, legend. The mixtape, quite fittingly, is called #GetOnUp,... Read more

Yasiin Gaye’s Amerigo Gazaway Is The Latest DJ To Honor James Brown (Mixtape)

The same month Amerigo Gazaway released the second volume (or "Side Two," as he called it) to Yasiin Gaye, the Marvin Gaye and Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) mash-up, he's back for more. After two acclaimed volumes on his free downloadable Y.G. series, Amerigo sets his sights on another late Soul/R&B... Read more

DJ Scratch Goes Into The Crates With An All-45 James Brown Mix (Mixtape)

In one of the cooler reveals in Hip-Hop as of late, it turns out that J. Period was not alone in honoring James Brown this week. As the True Elements DJ went in on #The Legend Of James Of Brown, EPMD/Flipmode Squad alum DJ Scratch offered up a companion mix,... Read more

J. Period Honors The Godfather Of Soul, James Brown (Mixtape)

Brooklyn-based DJ J. Period (who is actually the Music Supervisor for the Brooklyn Nets) loves many shapes and colors of music. Coming up as a DJ affiliated closely with Oakland duo Zion I, J. Period and his True Elements platform have made celebrated tapes for living legends like The Isley... Read more

James Brown Biopic, Get On Up, In Production, Starring Jill Scott & Produced By Mick Jagger (Video)

Along with Tupac Shakur, N.W.A., and Jimi Hendrix, another musical icon has a biopic in the works. James Brown, The Godfather Of Soul, is the subject of a film, according to "The Today Show" (as shared by egotrip). The film, Get On Up, will star Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie... Read more

Need to Explain Sampling To Somebody In 3 Ear-Bending Minutes? Watch This (Video)

Heads love samples, from Kraftwerk's "Trans Europe Express" in Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock" to Twin Sister's "Meet The Frownies" in Kendrick Lamar's "The Recipe." The folks at Eclectic Method made a three-minute reel that traces the chronology of sampling through the years, stopping in some pretty... Read more

RIP to James Brown Who Passed Away 7 Years Ago Today. Here Are His Soul Train Performances (Video)

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul (and Hip-Hop) passed away 7 years ago today. Having been sampled thousands of times, particularly in the 80's and 90's, there are few who had a deeper impact on the foundation of Hip-Hop. Here's a highlight video of some of his most electrifying Soul... Read more

Pete Rock Breaks Down His Favorite James Brown Records

I was at a 1960s-themed event the other night, and the DJ kept playing the James Brown records that really crossed over into mainstream such as "Papas Got A Brand New Bag" and "I Got You (I Feel Good)." From those Pop records to some of the fabric that formed... Read more

James Brown Live in Paris (Video)

Happy belated birthday to James Brown. The Godfather of Soul, whose music was a staple of early hip-hop samples, would have celebrated his 80th birthday on May 3rd. To celebrate the legend, the folks at OKP found a video of an entire concert he did in Paris in 1971 with... Read more

Cinematic Soul Playlist

Hip-hop has long been influenced by the cinematic soul of the 70's. Whether you're a fan of Big K.R.I.T. or Biz Markie, UGK or Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre or Just Blaze...you can hear the influence of music from films like Shaft, Super Fly, The Mack, The Payback. Here's a playlist... Read more

“I’d like to know. Are you really ready for some super dynamite soul?” This week’s Soul Cooking playlist (where we explore soul, funk and other music that has influenced hip-hop) is dedicated to the one and only James Brown.

No discussion about Soul and hip-hop is complete without mentioning James Brown. He has been sampled more than any other artist and his impact cannot be overstated. He really needs no introduction (other than the one above).  This playlist starts out with a groove and just gets funkier and funkier... Read more

Didn’t mean to leave Dom Kennedy off that list of new West Coast G’s…

Check out this behind the scenes video of him at the Key Club in LA.  It's worth it just for the James Brown soundtrack accompanying it. http://vimeo.com/20543445 Speaking of the Godfather of Soul, here are some more classics of his that have shaped the sound of hip-hop. At 55 seconds:... Read more

The art of sampling is nearly as fundamental to hip-hop as MCing. Check out this documentary on the history of sampling and its impact.

In the early days of sampling, it was done liberally and, at its finest, was used to create completely new sonic landscapes. Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us back was groundbreaking in its sound and was one of the most sample-heavy albums of all time.... Read more