H Is For Hip Hop And Its Queens

H in the A to Z of fusion goes to Hip Hop music – leaving aside here the other core elements that make up hip hop culture.

Hip Hop earns its place because its creation definitely involves the refined art of fusion. From DJs mixing records they spin to studio producers/beat makers sampling, chopping, looping, sequencing, recording and mixing-  the beats, sounds and grooves that make up hip hop music are found and blended together from a broad range of worldwide music sources including funk, soul, rhythm and blues, disco, jazz, rock, heavy metal, reggae, salsa, cumbia, soca, pop and well, any other genre you choose really.

The evolution of hip hop music is long and involved. Its characters and contributors are many. Its history fills pages you can find elsewhere. Sufficed to say here its original roots are found in Africa and since its formation in New York in the 70’s the hip hop phenomena has spread far and wide throughout the world. Erykah Badu perfectly describes its contemporary influence in ‘The Healer’ when she sings “It’s bigger than religion, hip hop. It’s bigger than my nigga, hip hop. It’s bigger than the government”.  And thankfully so.

“The Healer” by Erykah Badu – New Amerykah: Part One (4th World War)

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It’s the hip hop Kings of the world who’ve generally been the most heard and celebrated. Check out “essential hip hop” albums to find most are compilations of tracks by male artists. But of course there are female artists all over the world creating hip hop music whether they be DJ’s, MCs, beat makers or producers. Sampled below are songs featuring just a handful of those many hip hop Queens – some widely known and celebrated, others less so.

The usual warning applies: versions you find here are just dirty, compressed mp3s. Get the real deal on hard copy from your local music store, in their sweetest of forms on vinyl.

Erykah Badu (U.S.A)

Erykah Badu - Worldwide Underground

“Love Of My Life Worldwide” featuring Queen Latifah, Angie Stone & Bahamadia – Worldwide Underground

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Fugees (inc. Ms Lauryn Hill) (U.S.A)

Fugees - Blunted On Reality

“Some Seek Stardom” – Blunted on Reality

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ChocQuibTown (Colombia)

ChocQuibTown - Somos Pacifico

“Somos Pacifico” – Somos Pacifico

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Georgia Anne Muldrow (U.S.A)

Georgia Anne Muldrow - A Thoughtiverse Unmarred

“Monoculture” – A Thoughtiverse Unmarred

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Ladi6 (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Ladi6 - Time Is Not Much

“Give Me The Light” – Time Is Not Much

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Nneka (Nigeria/Germany)

Nneka - No Longer At Ease

“Halfcast” – No Longer At Ease 

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Telmary (Cuba)

Telmary - A Diario

“Ando” – A Diario

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Yep, blessed are we for the birth of hip hop music and its ongoing fusionary evolution since by artists all over the world.  Thankful are we for both its Queens and its Kings.

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Stephen Marley – Revelation Part 2- The Fruit of Life

Stephen Marley has given music lovers a hell of a lot to absorb on his new album Revelation Pt. II: The Fruit of Life.

Stephen Marley - Revelation Pt. 2 - The Fruit of Life

The album has an epic 19 tracks, more if you access them digitally. It features around two dozen North American and Jamaican vocalists and MCs. And it showcases the roots of reggae and the many musical fruits of that tree: including dancehall, ska, ragga, dub, dubstep, electronic dance music and most dominantly in this here mix, the almighty hip hop.

Its featured artists include Damian MarleyKy-mani Marley; Jo Mersa Marley; Wyclef JeanBlack Thought; Busta Rhymes; SizzlaJunior Reid; Dead Prez;  Rakim; Kardinal Offishall; Rick RossWaka FlockaKonshens; Shaggy; Twista; Jasmin Karma; Bounty Killer; Cobra; DJ Khaled; Capleton and, last and definitely least, Pitbull and Iggy Izalea.

They rap, rhyme, toast and sing about a huge range of topics from doing doughnuts in a carpark with a ferrari- to much more pressing lyrical matters like the many social injustices of the world; and how in their context, the celebration of life and music become all the more vital.

The consistent sonic pleasure throughout The Fruit of Life is the one-of-a-kind, honey-sweet voice of Stephen Marley singing positive messages about giving and showing love. As he so perfectly and succinctly puts it on “The Lion Roars” – “it’s the only law that we must obey”.

Stephen Marley - Revelation Pt. 2 - The Fruit of Life

Yep. Revelation Pt. II: The Fruit of Life has a lot to absorb – over many, many listens. From the sexy and sensual vibe of some tracks to the party ones, this album is filled with an incredibly-diverse range of instrumental and vocal pleasures to find, love and make your feel-good soundtrack for dancing, romancing, cooking, cleaning, driving, chilling, partying or anything else you do in this life.

Check out a few sample tracks (compressed mp3-versions) from Revelation Pt. II: The Fruit of Life. If you like what you hear you know the best way to properly know and enjoy all the sounds recorded by Stephen Marley and his collaborators, and thank them, is to buy the full album on vinyl or at least cd 🙂 .

Stephen Marley - Revelation Pt. 2 - The Fruit of Life

Stephen Marley featuring Capleton & Sizzla – “Rockstone”

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Stephen Marley featuring Wyclef Jean – “Father Of The Man”

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Stephen Marley featuring Busta Rhymes & Konshens – “Pleasure Or Pain”

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Orishas Reunited For New Album

Orishas only did two things that troubled me during their 11 years together creating stunning, one-of-a-kind Cuban hip hop music. The first was featuring Pitbull on one of their tracks “Quien Te Dijo” – and there ain’t no way of ever undoing that.

The second and much more devastating thing was their decision to split up in 2010.  All five Orishas albums have been on high listening and dancing rotation since- well and truly part of my Love & Appreciate For Forever-After Music Collection. But each listen still made me wish for new Orishas music to add to it (I’m greedy I know).

Six years on and the trio has remedied that selfish trouble of mine by delivering the super-exciting news of their reunion.

Orishas

How far that reunion goes beyond the recently-recorded single is anyone’s guess. Hopefully it involves the recording of many more Orishas albums to come and the blessed opportunity for fans around the world to have themselves the live Orishas experience. It’s one I never got to have- and since the split thought I never could. With this news Orishas goes back up high on my Live Music Bucket List, in hope.

Orishas are Yotuel Romero Manzanares, Roldán González Rivero and Hiram Riveri Medina (“Ruzzo”). If their music-making history is at all reflective of what’s to come, the world is in for a special treat. The elements that make up their distinctive sound – the very different rap flows of Ruzzo and Yotuel, the heavenly singing voice (+ guitar & bass) of Roldán and the beautiful sounds of traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms seamlessly fused with modern hip hop beats and live instrumentation – with lyrical stories, sentiments and slang dearly particular to Cuba…ain’t found anywhere else in this wide world of music.

Orishas

If you don’t already know and appreciate the musical goodness of this group check out these sample tracks from their albums past- and watch the Orishas space to hear new music they’re gifting the world in 2016.

Orishas - A Lo Cubano (1999)“A Lo Cubano” – A Lo Cubano (1999)

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Orishas - Emigrante (2002)“Niños” – Emigrante (2002)

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Orishas - El Kilo (2005)“Al Que Le Guste” – El Kilo (2005)

 

 

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Antidiotico (2007)

“Que Vola?” – Antidiotico (2007)

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Cosita Buena (2008)

“Machete” – Cosita Buena (2008)

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Get any or all of those hard-copy Orishas albums into your own music collection here.

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Georgia Anne Muldrow Accentuating The Positive

Georgia Anne Muldrow’s most recent album A Thoughtiverse Unmarred, is a fabulous and timely reminder of how very much the world (both humans and the precious environment we live in) benefits from having positive musical messengers like her within it.

During its twelve tracks of hip hop beats and rhymes soaked in funk and soul, Georgia Anne Muldrow’s conscious words unfailingly accentuate the positive over the negative. They encourage love and compassion over hate – call for equality and fairness over injustice and discrimination – promote diversity and spirituality over the monocultural and materialistic – advocate for peace over conflict – and champion self determination, hope and triumph over one’s disadvantaged social, political and economic circumstances.

Georgia Anne Muldrow - A Thoughtiverse Unmarred

A Thoughtiverse Unmarred (2015)

The bonus is that those positive lyrical messages from Georgia Anne Muldrow and featured rappers Declaime (aka Dudley Perkins) and MP Is Free come with music wholly produced by Chris Keys, all together likely to make you feel good and want to dance with them.

Check out two sample tracks from A Thoughtiverse Unmarred here, remembering they’re just compressed mp3 versions of the real deal. You can buy the full album in all its goodness (including finding a copy on sweet vinyl) to cherish forever-after amongst the other gems of your music collection.

Georgia Anne Muldrow - A Thoughtiverse Unmarred

Georgia Anne Muldrow – “Monoculture” – A Thoughtiverse Unmarred

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Georgia Anne Muldrow – “Child Shot” – A Thoughtiverse Unmarred

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De La Soul – Bringing The Fresh To Hip Hop At Soulfest 2015

De La Soul has been bringing fresh and innovative beats, rhymes, skits and emerging artists to hip hop since its “Golden Age”. If you grew up in the late 80s, 90s or thereafter if you were switched on to the evolution of hip hop, there’s a good chance De La Soul’s music makes up an integral part of your life tapestry.De La Soul

Decades later in 2015 that tapestry is soon to become richer with Posdnuos, Maseo, Dave and a huge number of musical collaborators working on the final touches of the highly-anticipated new studio LP – funded by loyal fans through Kickstarter at the first opportunity they had early this year.  This time around De La Soul and their cohorts have recorded all their own samples for the album and the mixing process is well underway with Bob Power again at the controls.

Rightly so – excitement is high in De La Soul camps around the world.

So Soulfest couldn’t have picked a better time to bring the group to its stages in Australia, New Zealand and Kuala Lumpur next month to perform their beloved songs of old and here’s hoping, a good dose of the new.

Soulfest 2015 poster

Remind yourself or (if you’ve been living under a rock) get to know “da inner sound, y’all” expressed and bought to us by De La Soul since the release of their first revolutionary album in 1989, 3 Feet High And Rising.

De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising

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“Buddy”-De La Soul feat. Q-Tip & Jungle Brothers- 3 Feet High And Rising (1989)
De La Soul - De La Soul Is Dead
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“A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturdays”- De La Soul Is Dead (1991)

De La Soul - Buhloone Mind State

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“In The Woods”- Buhloone Mind State (1993)

De La Soul - Stakes Is High

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“Big Brother Beat” feat. Mos Def – Stakes Is High (1996)
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The inclusion of De La Soul in this year’s festival line-up means the evolution of the innovative, conscious and humorous side of hip hop between the 80s and today will be represented in true style. Not to mention Ms. Lauryn Hill and Black Star with Talib Kweli and Mos Def, the latter whose career De La Soul helped kick off, and who fans will no doubt be hoping join De La Soul on Soulfest stages.

Check out the full festival line-up and get your Soulfest 2015 tickets here.

Soulfest Australia

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