Guest Blog

Prince 1991 MTV Music Award courtesy of MTV

Prince was a prophet. Prince was necessary.

I have a friend who often used to say Prince wouldn’t be truly appreciated until he died. I mention this…

April 27th, 2016 | | Guest Blog
Anita Baker 'Rapture'

Producer Michael Powell helped create Anita Baker’s massive R&B record Rapture

By the mid-’80s, Anita Baker was on the verge of setting herself apart from her contemporaries with her next offering….

March 17th, 2016 | | Guest Blog
David Bowie illustration by Andrew Spear.

So long, David Bowie

  So long, David Bowie! Since the dawn of the Space Age, several cosmic souls have too briefly graced our…

February 4th, 2016 | | Guest Blog/In Memoriam
Natalie Cole promo photo

Remembering R&B legend Natalie Cole

On December 31, 2015, a statuesque songbird flew away from her perch to the heavens above. Natalie Maria Cole was…

January 6th, 2016 | | Guest Blog/In Memoriam
The Show, the After Party, the Hotel

Legendary engineer Jimmy Douglass on his role in constructing Jodeci’s The Show, the After Party, the Hotel on album’s 20th anniversary

By the mid-1990s, Donald “Devante Swing” DeGrate, Jr., Dalvin “Mr. Dalvin” DeGrate, Cedric “K-Ci” Hailey, and Joel “Jojo” Hailey—collectively known…

December 23rd, 2015 | | Guest Blog
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings It’s a Holiday Soul Party

As I mentioned on the first day of Christmas Jams, there are a few unwassailable classic Christmas albums that have…

December 18th, 2015 | | Guest Blog

Fela collaborator Eji Oyewole is African royalty

Fela Kuti collaborator, jazz legend, and highlife pioneer Prince Eji Oyewole is surely a member of African music’s royalty. But…

November 30th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
Lee "Scratch" Perry

Going bananas for Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Super Ape

  Aside from his eccentricities, such as burning down his own Black Ark Studio to rid it of vampires and…

November 9th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
Ennio Morricone - Controfase cover 1

The bizarre, mythical, lost album of Ennio Morricone

Hidden deep within Ennio Morricone’s vast discography, far from his overground cinematic successes and accomplished pop dalliances, far from the…

November 6th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
Leon Bridges

Up-and-coming soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges on his musical influences and style choices

  For the past year or so, young Texan soul singer Leon Bridges has been receiving a lot of praise…

June 16th, 2015 | | Guest Blog

Obscure Italian film La Gatta in Calore spawns rare soundtrack

Cinema often functions as an incisive social and cultural barometer. At the tumultuous nexus of numerous popular, sexual and political…

June 9th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out (Lenticular)

Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, and the most memorable boxing entrances

Floyd Mayweather stood prancing in his dressing room at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, long after his cue to…

April 30th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
Chuck D Tupac

Wax Poetics Issue 61 Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Who’s gonna take the weight?

April 16th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
Ed-Ape "Up, Up, Up"

Stones Throw created instant lore with Ed-Ape’s “Up, Up, Up” 7-inch

“When I didn’t have a mic, I rapped on headphones.” –Charizma In 1996, Stones Throw released its first record, “My…

April 15th, 2015 | | Guest Blog

The Department of Justice’s report on Ferguson

View image |   On March 4, the Department of Justice released the results of a wide-ranging study on…

March 11th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
Brazilian Disco Boogie Sounds

Two fiery Brazilian boogie compilations explore the bumpin’ sounds from Rio to São Paulo

Before I get all academic and try to explain the historical, political, and musical context of these boogie-oogie tunes, let…

March 9th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
Nacho Picasso

Nacho Picasso and Blue Sky Black Death do it Stoned and Dethroned style

“Stoned & Dethroned” by Nacho Picasso x B.S.B.D Nacho Picasso raps kind of slow. It makes it a lot easier…

January 22nd, 2015 | | Guest Blog
D'Angelo 'Black Messiah'

D’Angelo’s Black Messiah is magical

It’s fitting that D’Angelo decided to share the accolades of his album with his band, the Vanguard, since the meaning…

January 15th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
The Faces

A tribute to Ian McLagan, organ player and member of rock groups the Small Faces and the Faces

The death of any artist can sting, but the passing of Ian McLagan, aka “Mac,” at age sixty-nine has had an unmistakable…

January 14th, 2015 | | Guest Blog
The Roots Things Fall Apart

Ferguson and the history of riots and protest

What I have to say is for White people, like me. After researching and writing a book about soul music…

November 25th, 2014 | | Guest Blog
Life Is Beautiful

Reporting from the “Life Is Beautiful” Festival 2014

I moved to Las Vegas almost a year ago. I had arrived two weeks after Life Is Beautiful, which was…

November 5th, 2014 | | Guest Blog
Notorious BIG Biggie Smalls Christopher Wallace "Ready to Die"

Ready to Die at 20: How Christopher Wallace created hip-hop’s definitive crime epic

Twenty years ago (September 13, 1994) saw the release of a wholly cinematic piece of art inspired by New York.

September 12th, 2014 | | Guest Blog

Polysom is Brazil’s most popular—and only—vinyl pressing plant

Around the Praça Tiradentes in downtown Rio de Janeiro, used vinyl abounds. Vendors haul crates in with wheelbarrows and prop records up on building façades, lazily keeping an eye out for customers while they chat with taxi drivers and doormen…

July 9th, 2014 | | Guest Blog
Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson Is Still the King

Five years ago, the untimely passing of Michael Jackson sent a shockwave through the entire globe. He was one of the very few artists who transcended the world of music and the world as a whole through his irrevocable influence.

June 26th, 2014 | | Guest Blog