Ra SHAWN-DA-PROFESSOR

Ra SHAWN-DA-PROFESSOR

Monday, September 29, 2008

DIRECTOR HIRES AVERAGE AND SEXY LOOKING MEN FOR HOT SEQUEL

TAKE IT LIKE A MAN 2: CASTING ON THE COUCH
STARRING: HANDSOME, CHANCE WESLEY, OSIAN, MEMPHIS, ZULU, JOCK, MR. AMAZING, KING HOOD, BLACK THUNDER
DIRECTED BY JULIAN FUTNES
PRODUCED BY PITBULL PRODUCTIONS

When I received my copy of the sequel of “Take It Like A Man,” I was impressed with the theme of them having sex on the couch as well as the models who were cast for this film. They had different looks and physiques that were natural, sexy and appealing. For years, many Gay porno films and publications had featured (and still continues to feature) young looking models with muscular physiques that sends a message that in order for one to be sexy and sexual, you have to have looks and bodies like Usher, 50 Cent, and Omarion, and that’s the type of guys who should be pursued sexually. That’s true, but in today’s age, there are many well-built guys who chose to date and fuck guys who are average and full-figured, and that’s what I loved about the film as well as the chemistry each of the models had between each other.
The film begins with new comers Chance Wesley and 31-year old Handsome being asked about their interests in pornography and their sexual experiences, and what type of guys they captures their interests. After the interview concludes, Wesley wastes no time sucking the sexy adult’s large dick, before he gets pounded by the rough-looking man, who fucks him doggy style on the couch.
“Yeah” Wesley says before he gets fucked missionary style.
“Where you want this nut” Handsome asks.
“Bust on my face” Chance replies.

The next scene features Osian and Memphis, two sexy mature and sexy looking brothers with slender and average physiques sitting on bar stools, and speaking about their reasons for pursuing careers in the porn industry. Afterwards, the director asks Osian, who is of Puerto Rican descent to remove his shirt, and how to kneel while he’s sucking on his southern co-star’s large sausage.
“Is this the first time you let a guy suck your dick?” the director asks Memphis.
“Yes” Memphis replies.
“Pit bull baby.”
Osian then sits on Memphis’ large dick and moans while he rides it like’s he’s on a race horse.
“I love this dick” Osian says in ecstasy before Memphis begins to fuck him while having him bend over the bar stool, before he shoots a large load in his condom which has everybody taken by surprise.
“You’re not supposed to shoot inside of the condom” the director says.
“You’re supposed to shoot in the girl’s face.”
(Well he couldn’t help it. Guys with tight asses will unintentionally make guys cum rather quickly. Especially if the person doing the penetration has a large-sized dick).

The third scene featuring Zulu and Jock are one of my favorite scenes in this film. These two mature and sexy looking brothers showcased their realness during the interviews and during their performances which will have viewers rewinding to watch and to bust a load of nuts while watching. The scene begins with them sitting on bar stools where Jock’s asked why he wants to fuck porn star Castro Supreme.
“Cuz I can fuck him” Jock says with a smile on his face.
“Homeboy got a big dick” Zulu says.
After their interview and photo shoot is complete, they on-screen couple begins to kiss seductively, while Jock seductively rubs his nipples and dick, which is followed by him sucking Zulu’s large sword., while he’s getting his ass rubbed by Zulu who later does a marvelous job sucking the versatile model off. What gives this scene fire is the sensuality and intimacy they display by touching, rubbing and kissing each other shortly before they participate in a hot 69 session with Zulu laying on the two bar stools before the director intervenes and asks Jock is he ready for some ass.
“Yeah” Zulu replies before he gently grabs Jock and places him over the bar stool and proceeds to eat his ass, before he fucks him like a mad man.
“Alright: Jocks says while he’s getting pounded and being bend over, and that’s when he decides to have a Pretty Ricky movement by pushing his ass on Zulu’s dick, which has both participating parties turned on.
“Fuck that dick” Zulu says while Jock is backing his ass up on him.
“You’re a soldier right?”
“Yeah nigga” Jock replies in between moans.
Zulu then places Jock on the bar stools and proceeds to fuck him missionary style in various speeds.
“Let me see you bust” Zulu say while he pounds him aggressively.
“I can’t nut like this” Jock replies in between moans.
Both models stands up and stoke their dicks until they bust, with Zulu busting all over Jocks face and pointing his ass to camera, telling Tiger Tyson that he won’t be converting him into a versatile man by fucking him.

The performance featuring New Yorkers Mr. Amazing and King Hood is another favorite that will have viewers having a Johnny Gill moment and rubbing themselves the right way with their hot oral skills. Especially the sexy dread locked wearing King Hood, who deep throats Mr. Amazon’s dick and large balls marvelously while they participate in a hot 69 session while lying on the bottom and smacking Mr. Amazon’s ass.
“You’re ready for this ass?” Amazing asks.
“Yeah” Hood replies.
Hood starts off fucking Amazing while he’s leaning on the edge of the couch, before he gets a good grip on him and proceeds to fuck him doggy-style. What makes this scene hot is how the men are able to keep in tune with each other as well as the various shots that capture their facial expressions while they’re getting their freak on.

Angel Boi and Raffy’s scene begins with them dressed in Hip-Hop attire being asked about their porn collection and if either had been to jail, and where was the craziest place they had sex; Boi (who has hard core and exotic looks) says he had sex while on the Greyhound Bus, while Raffy says in the movie theatre with his ex-boyfriend.
After removing their tops and posing for photographs, Boi reveals that he’s horny and tells Raffy to suck his dick, which Raffy obliges while Boi rubs the back of his head and his left shoulder. He then removes his boxers and sweat pants, making it easier for Raffy to take a closer look at his large tool as well as making it easier for him to give his on-screen partner more pleasure. After getting his dick serviced, Angel tells Raffy to get out of his jeans; Raffy does and stands on the top of the couch and allows Angel to service his large tool, and eat and finger his ass, preparing him for the main course; getting fucked lovely.
“You’re ready for this dick” Angel asks.
“Yeah” Raffy replies before he sits on his dick and rides it, before Angel fucks him doggy style.
“You like that cock?” Angel asks.
“Yeah” Raffy replies” while Angel smacks his freak and grabs his neck.
“Told you I was horny.”
He starts to fuck Raffy harder which has both men turned on with pleasure that’s captured in their facial expressions and body movements.
“How does it feel?” Raffy asks.
“You got a tight ass” Angel replies.
“Git on yo back”
Raffy lies on his back, and allows Angel to fuck him missionary style, which makes his shoot a nice load all over his stomach.

The last scene features a solo session with new comer Black Thunder, who decides to get his rocks off after he learns that his date isn’t able to come to his place and satisfy his sexual needs. I’m not a huge fan of solos. (That’s putting it mildly; I hate watching solos), but I have to give Black Thunder props for doing a good job of making his solo scene sexy and interesting. In addition to playing with his slender-medium width dick, he also rubs his nipples and talks seductively, fantasizing about fucking his date.
“You give some good ass head” he as he rubbing lube on his dick.
“Feel that shit. Fuck you on the inside.”

The sequel to Take It Like a Man was pretty good; I loved the chemistry each of the men had with each other. Especially the stars in the third and fourth scenes, which weren’t afraid to showcase their intimate and sensual sides by kissing and rubbing, which is an important aspect of sex. I also loved how the director hired guys who had average and sexy looks as opposed to the pretty boy types, (it was nice to see dark-skinned couples on screen for a change) as well as suburbian looking brothers, but it would have been better had Hood Boi and Mr. Amazing would have spend more time kissing in their scene. It would have also been nice had Handome honored Chance's request and came on his face. I also felt that the director should have had a bonus scene with Memphis and Osian making up for the lost time due to his premature ejaculation (which was no-fault of the couple). Hopefully we can see them perform in a future production, where viewers will have the opportunity to see them get their freak on.

Take It Like A Man 2: Casting On The Couch is avaiable at
www.thugmart.com

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A POSITIVE FLASHBACK

It's 3:17 in the morning, and I had worked up from a nap and began to battle depression. Depression can be a bitch at times, but I always find a way to jump back to my joyful self.

Did you ever remember a time in your life when you was feeling lonely, losted and unloved? Have you ever been to a place where you was told to be on your best behavior so you won't be found guilty of association?

I have. As I was surfing You Tube, I stumbled across Gospel Group Commissioned's beautiful Gospel song "Secret Place" and as I was listened to the song, I began to think about the first time I heard the song and how much it means to me. It helps me find peace whenver I'm feeling down and it also brought back some memeories that I hold dear to my heart; being loved and accepted for who I am.

In 1993, I was hired to work with the Freedom School program as a teacher and one of the requirements was to take part in a 3 week training; two weeks at Shaw University in North Carolina and the final week in California. During my teenaged, years, I was always fanscinated with Southern culture, and I had always wanted to visit, and this would be my second time visiting Shaw University, but this time it would be more a posistive experience. The first time I went was two years prior to a Church convention and I was told by the former leader that I had to be on my best behavior becuse there was many Southerns who didn't like New Yorkers.
"Why" I asked.
She told me that the media had portrayed New Yorkers as being rich, and that it made them jealous along with many other New Yorkers who went the convention with egos.
I was shocked. I was unaware of the 'so-called' tension between Northerns and Southerners. Sadly, I found out that was true.
The second week, I was hanging out with one of the students and he told me how a guy from our training program had major attitude; he was standing in the doorway like he owned it and when the student got near the doorway, he gave him a look that said
"You better say excuse me!"
I was pissed, sad and hurt; I couldn't believe that the student would act like that. Espcially since he was a guess at a historically Black college!!
I remember telling the student that though I was from New York, I didn't like the way he acted, and if he had to bust his ass, do what you got to do.
I knew he must have been shocked to hear me say that because anybody else would have copped a major attitude because of where they're from.
During the first week, I had began to feel homesick, because it was the first time I would be away from home for a long period of time in over 10 years, and I remember that Friday I was walking around the campus, a student from Chicago called me over to speak and we cliked. the rest of the night, I began to hang out with other students from the University, and by the time the weekend ended I began to feel loved and envied. I recall eating with them and one of the students from the program gave me a look that said "I can't beleive this nigga is hanging out with the them"
In other words, the nerd wasn't supposed to be chilling with the popular people.
(He would have gagged had he known that one of the fraternity brothers personally invited me to a party at his house. The more I hung with them, the more I learned that if you have a great heart and soul, people will be drawn to you, and that's what I loved about my expericne at Shaw University 15 years ago; all you gotta do is have love in your heart.
I remember asking them to recommend some Gospel artists and they told me to check out Commissioned, so after I returned to New York, I copped the tape and fell in love with "Hold Me" and "Secret Place"
The saddest part about the trip was leaving; I remember telling one of the students a brother from Philly that I was going to cry because I had such a great time.
"Please don't because if you do I'm gonna cry too" he replied.
I held my tears, until I got on the plane and headed towards California for the last week of training. The minute we pulled off, I cried a bucket of tears; while I was crying, I remember Michael Jackson's interview with Oprah and he recalled once when he and his older brothers were scheduled to go to South America, and he hid in a closet crying because he wanted to stay home and be a normal kid.
I didn't want to leave North Carolina; I wanted to stay and enroll at Shaw University, graduate and find permanet residence there. Maybe one day I will.

Writing this post was a sad and joyful experience; the sad part is missing being with a great group of southern people who showed me love, and was able to not judge me based on where I was born and raised. The joyful part is that I can always flashback to the great memories I had and share them with others.

Songs played during the writing of this post

Secret Place
Peformed by Commissoned
1991 Benson/A&M Records

Reflections
Peformed by Diana Ross & The Supremes
Written by Brian Holland-Lamont Doizer-Eddie Holland
Produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Doizer
1967 Motown Records

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NORMAN WHITFIELD: MOTOWN RECORDS' INNOVATIVE PRODUCERS DIES


Norman Whitfield, Motown Records prolific and innovative producers has died in Los Angeles at the age of 65. The cause of death was complications from diabetes. During his tenure at Motown, he had helped wrote and produced many hits for many of the label’s artists including The Temptations who helped bring Whitfield’s songs to life, and making them classics that still gets spins on radio and has been covered and sampled by many of today’s singers and Rappers.

Whitfield was born in 1943 in Harlem, New York, but migrated to Detroit Michigan during his early teens with his family, where his father worked with his sister and brother law at their pharmacy Barthwell Drugs. Whitfield had enrolled in Northwestern High School, and hung out with Otis Williams’ band The Distants (which consisted of future Temptations Williams, Melvin Franklin and Richard Street), and played tambourine on their single “Come On” before joining Motown Records as a member of Popcorn Wylie * the Mohawks. Wanting to be more creative, he left and secured a job as a produced at Thelma Records, before returning to Motown, where the label’s founder Berry Gordy, Jr, impressed by his persistence, gave him a position at the label’s quality control department where he helped decided which singles should be released. He also co-wrote Marvin Gaye’s hit “Pride And Joy” as well as The Misrelates’ “Too Many Fish In The Sea” and “Needle In The Haystack for The Velvelettes, which did well, but his ultimate goal was to write and produced for The Temptations, who was being produced by Smokey Robinson, Gordy’s best friend and Vice-President of the label, who had a tight grip of the group. A grip that Norman planned to break with his persistence and aggressiveness, which was something that he was known for.

“I didn’t have great hopes that he would be able to beat out Smokey Robinson” songwriter Eddie Holland said in liner notes of the group’s Emperors of Soul boxed set. “But he felt so strongly, I said, ‘Well, let me take a look at it.”

In December 1965, the group recorded Robinson’s “Get Ready” A few weeks later, the group recorded Whitfield’s “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” which the group’s founder and only surviving member Otis describe as different as night and day. “

“Norman’s melody had a touch of blues.” Williams wrote in his autobiography “Temptations” sounded as anguished and desperate as Eddie Holland’s words, which David Ruffin brought to life. David sang his ass off on that one. It was a fantastic song, and even though it was a departure from out previous hits, it suited us.”

The label decided to release “Get Ready,” but told both producers that if the song didn’t crack the Top Ten, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” would be the next single. Get Ready peaked at #29, and when “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” was released, it peaked at
#13, and made Whitfield The Temptations’ main producer who would have a eight year run of hits. It also marked a change for the group musically; the music had electric rock guitars, while the group’s harmony became more distinctive and the lyrics written with Eddie Holland, Cornelius Grant and Roger Roger Penzabene were about heartache, pain and regret, including “I Wish It Would Rain” which was written from the pain that Penzabeme was experiencing after he learned that his wife was creeping.

“Norman’s accomplishment, I think, was that he did with us what a producer should do; take us in a new direction without losing the heart of our sound.” Williams wrote in his autobiography.

Wanting to showcase his versatility, Norman began to collaborate with singer/songwriter Barrett Strong, and began to cut different versions of songs on different artists, including “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” which he first cut on The Miracles and The Isley Brothers, before he decided to cut a haunting version of the song on Marvin Gaye, who he had sing the song in much higher keys to capture the intensity of the lyrics. This caused friction between the two talented and strong willed geniuses.

“Norman and I came within a fraction of fighting.” Gaye told David Ritz. “He made me sing in keys much higher than I was used to. He had me reaching for notes that caused my throat veins to bulge….but even though we fought like hell; I knew he was good for me.”

The label thought other wise. They didn’t release the single because they though it was too dark for their Soulful Pop sound. Whitfield didn’t give up; he decided to redo another version of the song with Gladys Knight & The Pips, who’s Gospel and Southern version peak at # 1 one R&B charts and # 2 on the Pop charts becoming the label’s biggest selling single of 1967, and encouraging Norman to continue advocating for Gaye’s version to be released. Tired and impressive with his persistence, the label relented and released Gaye’s version the following year, and it topped both the R&B and Pop charts, sold over four million copies and became the label’s first platinum single.

Whitfield also gave The Temptations another musical makeover; The Tempts founder Williams had encouraged him to check out Sly & The Family Stone’s single “Dance To The Music” and at first he was resistant, but changed his mind and the group’s style; having each of the Tempts sing lead (including Ruffin’s replacement David Ruffin, who was eager to take the group to a new musical level), music that consisted of different rhythms, Indian chants and lyrics about the conditions of the world. Particularly the trials and struggles of inner city Blacks.

My thing was to out-Sly Sly Stone," Whitfield told Marvin Gaye' biographer, David Ritz. "Sly was definitely sly, and his sound was new, his grooves were incredible, he borrowed a lot from rock. He caught the psychedelic thing. He was bad. I could match him though, rhythm for rhythm, horn for horn."

In October, 1968, the group’s single “Cloud Nine” which hit #6 and earned them Motown’s first Grammy Award For Best R&B Performance by Duo or Group. They followed with “Runaway Child, Running Wild, “Psychedelic Shack,” and “Ball of Confusion (That’s what’s The World Is Today)” which featured the famous line ‘and the band played on. ‘ He also co-wrote and produced Edwin Starr’s top charting hit “War” but his streak came to a temporary halt when The Tempts single “Ungena Za Lowing (Unite The World)” failed the Top 30. This forced Norman to do something The Tempts and their fans want them to do; write some ballads.

“We needed to do something a little different,“ Whitfield’s former writing partner Strong said in The Billboard Book of Number One Hits.“ “”We had thought of ‘Just My Imagination’ a year of two ago before we recorded it, but the timing wasn’t right. Norman asked me, ‘What was that song we were messing around with a year ago? I played it on the piano and he said, “Meet me in the studio because I’m gonna record it today.'

In 1971, The Temptations’ ballad “Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” topped the charts, went platinum and was dubbed one of Motown’s prettiest ballads. “When Jerry Long did the strings and horns, I had the feeling on ‘Just My Imagination” that I had on ‘My Girl” Williams said on The Temptations DVD “Get Ready: The Definitive Collection."

The following year the group scored with “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone’ which topped the Pop charts, and earned three Grammy Awards; it was one of the first singles that focused more on the music arrangements than the group’s vocals, paving the way for Cinematic Soul, music that would later be used in Black films like Shaft, Black Caesar and “Trouble Man.”

“I wanted to try some songs that had the scope and feeling of a movie” he told Billboard Magazine in 1973.

While Whitfield was being innovative, The Tempts had grown tired of seeing about the world’s woes, and was constantly fighting with him to record ballads. But Whitfield refused.

“Look, trends were changing and I was only interested in keeping them on top and in keeping them current” he said in the Billboard Books of Rhythm and Blues Number Ones” A transition was needed, but I admit I never really confided in them as to what I was doing.”

In 1974, Norman left Motown, formed his own label Whitfield Records and worked with his group Rolls Royce, who recorded the soundtrack to the film Soundtrack which featured the title track topping the Pop & R&B charts. They also scored with "I’m Going Down," "Love Don't Live Hear Anymore" and "Wishing on A Star.

In 1983, Whitfield produced The Tempts’ album "Back To Back" and #13 R&B hit “Sail Away” and did some work on “The Last Dragon” soundtrack, but have kept a low profile for many years. His music however have been covered and sampled by many artists including Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and Madonna who covered “I’m Goin’ Down” and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” while Public Enemy sampled “Psychedelic Shack” for their hit “Welcome to the Terrodome." Rapper Cam’Ron sampled “War” for his hit “My Hood” while Shaggy and Janet sampled “Oh Boy” for their single “Luv Me, Luv Me” for the “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”: soundtrack. Cam’Ron also sampled “I’m Goin’ Down” for his hit “Oh Boy”, which at the time was his former record label’s longest running single. He also joined Mariah Carey for her single “Boy I Need You” which contains samples of both songs, and Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliot joined forces to remake the classic hit “Car Wash.” The Covergirls and Beyonce each covered "Wishing On A Star."

In 1998, actor Mel Jackson won wave reviews for his portrayal of Whitfield in the Award-winning mini-series "The Temptaions."

The success of these remakes, samples and mini-series earned Whitfield and Strong an induction in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004, where both appeared to accept their long overdue honor, but his honor was short live, when he plead guilty for tax-evasion the following year. Norman was sentenced to 6 months house arrest and order to pay a $25,000 fine, in part to his battle with diabetes and other ailments including heart problems.
During the last months of his life, Whitfield was hospitalized in Cedars-Sinai Hospital where he lapsed into a coma and successfully emerged, before he entered the Motown studios in heaven.

Many are sadden by his loss. "He deserves more credit than he gets for what he did with the Temptations," says Jay, the leader of the group The Undisputed Truth. . "He was a genius in getting the most out of their sound. You hear the stories about how he pushed Dennis to get that 'It was the third of September' vocal [on 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone'].
"He took the whole Motown sound around the corner."

Norman was survived by one daughter, three sons, one brother, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this moment.

Suggested CD to listen to Norman’s great work

The Temptations
Emperor of Soul
1994 Motown

Marvin Gaye
The Master 1961-1984
1995 Motown

The Temptations
Psychedelic Soul
2003 Motown

Car Wash-Soundtrack
1975 MCA Records

Thursday, September 11, 2008

HONORING AN CREATIVE TEMPTAITON




Paul was so a unique individual, no one would be able to take Paul’s place because besides being able to sing and dance, his concept of how to put things together helped the Tempts were so unique, that he was a very special force.
Otis Williams
The Definitive Collection

Paul Williams was the creative force behind the legendary Temptations. He was the one who gave the group it’s spirit, drive and dance moves; he also help the group have sex appeal, and sell sex without it being though as being taboo or sinful. Sadly, his own spirit was robbed by health problems and alcoholism, which drove him into depression and unfortunately, suicide, leaving a void in the group and the Motown legacy that has yet to be filled. This article honors his memory, legacy and contribution to one of the greatest groups to come from the Motown label and era.
Paul was born on August 2, 1939 to Sophia Williams in Birmingham Alabama, and like most kids raised in the South, Paul honed his skills by singing in church, but he also listened to other styles of music including Jazz and Blues, and by the time he began school, he began to dance., learning from Peg Leg Bates, an dancer with a wooden leg, who would out dance anybody.
During his teens, he met neighbor Eddie Kendricks, who would become his best friend until his death. Wanting to pursue a career in music, he convinced his friend to leave Alabama behind and migrate up north, settling in Cleveland, and later Detroit where he and Kendricks linked with Kel Osborne and formed the group The Primes, who performed with a sister act named The Primettes, (who would later become The Supremes) at Sock-Hops, often sharing the bill with Detroit natives Otis Williams & The Distantsm who were amazed by The Primes’ singing and dancing styles. Little did they know they would wind up combining their talents together. In 1961, Kendricks called Otis who had informed him that two members of his group had left, and was in need of a tenor they had an audition with Motown Records. Eddie accepted, and asked if he could bring Paul into the group. “As good as Paul is, hell yes” Otis wrote in his autobiography “Temptations.” The two linked up with Otis, Melvin Franklin and Eldrige Bryant, and became The Temptaions, where Paul did more than arrange with the vocal harmonies, he began to teach the group routines.
“Paul said ‘now look, we can’t just stand there. Otis said on the group’s DVD “Get Ready; The Definitive collection’ “We got to dance. We got to sell sex. We got to be flashy.”
“Paul was a fabulous dancer and elements of his style were later evident in all the Temptations great moves.” former Primette and original Supreme Mary Wilson wrote in her autobiography “Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme.” The steps that Paul created were clever, sexy, and unique.”
That’s what made the Temptations stand out from the other Motown groups. After they signed with the label, they recorded many singles with produced the label’s founder Berry Gordy including “Oh Mother of Mine” with Paul on lead, didn’t do well, but the follow ups “I Want A Love I Can See” and “Farewell My Love” with production by Smokey Robinson made some noise, but didn’t do as well as the company and group hoped, but they continued to make an impact with their live performances, with the crowd calling them back for encores, though they were the opening act. By 1963, things Bryant’s drinking and attitude began to affect his behavior and relationship with the group, and one night Bryant got angry and hit Paul with a bottle after he refused to return to the stage for an encore, and though the group wanted to let him go, Paul was against the idea, so they kept him until he was replaced by David Ruffin, who would dominate most of the leads, leaving Paul to sing background and do album cuts and b-sides. At the end of 1965, the group released their classic “Don’t Look Back” with Paul singing lead, and it featured one of the group’s classic routines, which featured the group fanned out across the stage with him in the middle singing with soul and passion, but it would be the last single that featured him singing lead. The following year, the group released their single “Get Ready” and shortly before a scheduled performance on “American Bandstand” Paul came up with the routine in thirty-two minutes, and it became a hit with the fans. Paul had also wanted the group to come off the chitling circuit and play better venues.
“Man we’ve got to play Vegas and Atlantic City” Paul told the group “The white folks don’t want to see no guys out there bumpin’ and grindin’ and carrying on.” Neither did the his band mates or Motown; who felt that their artists needed to start performing in supper clubs, so in 1966, the group released their album “In a Mellow Mood” an album of standards, which Paul had resisted doing out of fear that their fans particularly those in the Black community would label them sell-outs, but the album did well, and helped them appear at the Copacabana, where the audience loved his rendition of the classic “For Once In My Life” which was one of his show stopping numbers that had audience members moved to tears. By the late 1960’s the group had began recording Psychedelic Soul music, which featured social conscious lyrics and the group sharing lead vocals with Ruffin’s replacement Dennis Edwards, and scoring with “Cloud Nine” which earned them Motown’s first Grammy Award, Runaway Child, Running Wild,” “I Can’t Get Next To You,” and “Ball of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today).” They had also filmed two television specials with The Supremes, and their special T.C.B.” featured Paul’s signature song “The Impossible Dream,” but the success was bitter sweet. Suffering from sickle-cell anemia (something that he never informed his band-mates), and having the group’s chirography being supervised by Cholly Atkins and Lon Fontaine, Paul began to drink heavily, which caused him to perform terribly and gasp for air, and though the group did what they could by having interventions and pouring his hidden stashes down the drain, his health began to fail.
“Paul was our strength. The spirit of our group.” Otis said in the liner notes for “Emperor of Soul” To see somebody go from drinking milk to alcohol on a regular basis was a traumatic experience for all of us.” With his health worsening, Richard Street was hired to sing Paul’s part backstage, except for his special numbers, and on January 31, 1971, Paul made his last television appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, when the group performed their single “Just My Imagination (Runnin’ Away With Me).” which topped the charts a few weeks later. A few months later, a doctor found a spot on his liver, which forced Street to take his place, but the group, however decided to have keep him on payroll and to help them create routines, but Paul continued drinking and feeling depressed over the closing of a boutique he opened with his mistress Winnie Brown, which left owing $80,000 in taxes. His financial problems and not being able to performed forced him to become more depressed. and on August 17, 1973, Paul was found dead two blocks away from the Hitsville studios. The official report was that Paul had committed suicide with a single gun shot to his head. Many were sadden by his death, and over 24,000 thousand family and friends attended his funeral including his wife and six children, and his band mates, who were too choked up to perform, though they served as pallbearers and when they arrived at the cemetery, Eddie had gently kissed Paul on his face. Though his death was ruled as a suicide, there are many including his family, who still believe that his death wasn’t a suicide; they believe that he was murdered, but he had expressed suicidal thoughts to many of his closest friends and. In 1982, the group dedicated its “Reunion” album and tour to Paul’s memory, while former Supremes lead singer Diana Ross, featured a tribute to him in her hit video “Missing You.” On January 18, 1989, Paul was posthumously inducted into the Rock of Hall of Fame as a member of The Temptations, where Kendricks accepted on his behalf, while, he. Otis, Melvin, David and Dennis sang his signature song “Don’t Look Back” after they accepted their awards. In 1995, Motown released a CD with two of Paul’s unreleased solo songs including “Feel Like Givin’ Up, and three years later actor/singer Christian Payton won wave reviews for his portrayal of Paul in the award-winning mini-series “Temptations.” which gave viewers a chance to see how talented he was, and how good of a heart he had.
Paul Williams was a talented and creative man, who gave a lot to the world and his bandmates; he gave them the strengh, drive, and polish to become the legends that they are today, and though he's gone, he's memory and spirit contiues to live on.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

NEW SINGER BRINGS SOUL AND ORIGINALITY BACK WITH DEBUT RELEASE



NOEL GOURDIN
AFTER MY TIME
EPIC RECORDS

4.9 On scale of 1-5

I first became aware of R&B/Soul singer/songwriter Noel Gourdin while I was on the express bus reading an article about him in Black Beat magazine. “This is one brother I have to check out” I said as the bus strolled up Courteylou Road. Three days later, I logged onto his website, and I was captivated with his soulful singing voice.
“Damn! This brother got some soulful pipes” I said after I listened to “One Love” and “The River” which was featured in the film “Meeting The Roscoes” and is still getting spins on R&B radio.
Born and raised in Boston, Gourdin grew up listening to Soul legends Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Michael Jackson and Tyrone Davis, as well as spending summers with his grandparents in their hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi, where he received an education about history, the southerners struggles, making out in backseats of cars. He also spend time in church where he honed his singing and writing skills, which is evident on his debut release “After My Time” which is the number one album on I-Tunes, and is becoming a hit with the young and adults.
With many of today’s R&B singers, relying on Hip-Hop beats to reach the young market, Gourdin opted to record songs that cater to both the females and males as well as combine all genres of music including R&B, Soul, Rock and New Jack Swing which makes him stand out from the other male artist. “I didn't do a bunch of collabos with popular names because I want people to fall in love with me as an artist” the singer told Essence Magazine. “There is something for everyone on this album and I’m comfortable in going other places musically.
Producers Kay-Gee (Naughty By Nature, Zhane, Jaheim), Rafael Saadiq, Salaam Remi, Antwann “Frost Beatz” helped with the production along with the team of Andre Harris and Vidal Davis.
The CD opens with his current single “One Love” which has great strings, and displays his Southern and Gospel roots, and his ability to sing lead, and harmonize, further demonstrated on “Better Man” which also has funky horn riffs. He displays his writing talents on his debut single “The River” which is still gaining spins on R&B and Adult Comptermporary radio as we speak. It features creative lyrics about life in the south during the 1950’s and 1960’s, and contains samples from Millie Jackson’s classic “How Do You Feel the Morning After.”
“Open” is a hot song that features Noel singing tenor and baritone, and sensual lyrics written by Salaam Remi and Rico Love, though his vocal performance at the end of the song should have been longer. However, he redeems himself with smooth flowing “Hurts Like Hell which has a hot combo of R&B, Soul and House, and lyrics about leaving a woman who played them.
“You have it all
Can have the house
Keep the cars and the dog
I’m gone. As long as you’re happy
But when it gets tough
And it will
Find another sucker to cover your bills
She really played me out
But I love her still.
Hurts like hell
But she’ll never see me cryin’
This song will be a hit with the brothers along with “Reach” is creatively written song about a guy thanking his woman for sticking with him, though he isn’t able to provide diamonds and expensive clothing. (Sisters need to listen to this song). “Led You On” is a favorite that be a radio and concert high light thanks to the old school live concert feel, courtesy of the guitars by Ray Horten, and finger snaps blending with Noel’s smooth vocalizing, which can also be heard on the Jazz flavored ballad “Sorry” which contains samples from the Jazz classic “Mystic Brew.”
“Summertime” is my all time favorite song on the album. In addition to Noel’s soulful vocal riffs and phrasing, this sexy ballad has creative and sensual about having hot and passionate sex during the winter season, and once you hear this song, you’re going to be tempted to use your personal days to make love to your partners. Especially when it’s cold outside.

It could be December
If we keep kissin’
We gonna need some air condition
Got a fifth of Bacardi
Suckin’ that Marley
Windows are foggy, whoa
And we can make summer wherever we go.
Just because it’s cold outside
And the sun ain’t shinning
That don’t mean we can’t get to sweatin’
Like it’s summertime.

The CD closes with inspirational “Make The Most,” an uplifting song about showing love to family and friends, and not taking them for granted. What make this song are the lyrics, and the vocal performance between Noel and the song’s co-writer Arama Brown who blends with the singer during the bridge of the song.

Noel Gourdin’s debut is one of the freshest debuts I heard in years; it’s great to hear new artist bring something different to the game, as opposed to trying to keep up with the Joneses. As long as Noel continues to follow his heart and stay true to himself, he will be able to maintain longevity, and become a legend in his own right.

Friday, September 5, 2008

TRYING TO KEEP MY HEAD ABOVE TROUBLED WATERS

Depression can be a bitch. It makes one feel so down and out that you don't want to do anyting, but sit and lay still and cry the blues silently and vocally.
Yesterday my day went well; woke up, fixed a nice breakfast, did some push-ups, went to the my writing class then to the villiage to do some writing, came home fixed a plate of food, then went to sleep. That was around 11PM. I woke up fours later and tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't because I was feeling very weak, tired and sad for no apparent reason.
That's what depression dues to a person; makes them feel worthless and not wanting to do anything, and it can be a bitch. Especially for creative people who has to put their creative juices on hold until they come of their funk, which they had no intentions of getting into.
It's easy for someone to say dust yourself off and start again, and while some may mean well, there are many others who don't know what you're going through, so unless they walk through our shoes (sneakers and timberland boots), they have no right to put us down.
On the upside of things, I'm grateful to God that I've been around to live and learn; I wasn't the perfect person, and Lord knows I made many mistakes in life, but I'm glad that God has blessed me and continues to keep me on Earth to put smiles on people's face with my love and knowledge of music, cooking, and my writing.

Song played and inspired for this post

BLESS HIS SOUL
PERFORM BY THE JACKSONS
WRITTEN BY TITO, JACKIE, MARLON, MICHAEL AND RANDY JACKSON
PRODUCED BY THE JACKSONS
1978 EPIC RECORDS

JACKSONS GATHER FOR HONOR AT BMI AWARDS CEREMONY, BUT GROUP'S BASS PLAYER AND GLOVED ONE PLAYED HOOKY AGAIN


Last night, BMI Urban had honored The Jacksons with Icon award in Beverly Hills, and while brothers Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Randy were on hand to accept their long-overdue honor, brothers Jermaine and Michael didn't attend the festivities, despite reports that the former would be in attendance.
This isn't the first time the group's famous lead singers played hooky from family events; during their 1984 "Victory" tour, both didn't appear in the videos for their hits "Torture" (which both sang lead on) and "Body" which was featured on their 1984, the first and only album to feature all six brothers.
I know that Michael is working on a new album and has been spending time all around the world, but it would have been nice had he attended, because this is the first time that the industry has honored the group in both it's reincarnations. don't know," Marlon told The Associated Press when asked about his younger brother's whereabouts. "I think he's in Egypt riding a camel or something."
It would have been nice had Jermaine been there too, since he's the one took it upon himself to be the spokesperson for the family, and been pushing a reunion for years. I think he's still feeling guilty about opting to stay with Motown, while his brothers move to Epic and had greater success them he did. (He did leave Motown and signed with Arista and scored with "Dymanite," "Do What You Do" and the top charting ballad "Don't Take It Personal", before moving to LaFace and fucking up his career by dissing Michael with the single "Word To The Badd!!" in the original version he sang about Michael's physical appearance and not spending time with the family).
The group's journey began 29 years ago when Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael singed to Motown as The Jackson 5 and made history by becoming the first group to score four back to back hits with "I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save," and "I'll Be There." They also scored with "Never Can Say Goodbye," "Mama's Pearl," "Maybe Tomorrow" and "Dancin' Machine" but by the mid 1970's the group success started to fade, due to Motown refusal to allow them to write and produce their own material, so they decided to leave and sign with Epic, while Jermaine decided to stay with the label until 1982. In addition to being forced to replace Jermaine with brother Randy, they were forced to rename themselves The Jacksons, and they scored with their platnium albums "Destiny" and "Triumph" and hits "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)" "Lovely One" "Heartbreak Hotel," and "Can You Feel It" which has been sampled by many of today's singers and Rappers including Shaggy, Charli Baltimore, BLACKStreet, Heavy D, and Madonna. In 1984, all six brothers reunited for their Victory album and tour, but after the tour wrapped Michael and Marlon decided to leave and focus on solo careers.
"It's a great honor to know your music influenced a generation," said Tito as he accepted his honor. "We're very proud of this moment."
In 1997, The original Jackson 5 were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame, where all five brothers showed up to accept their award, but it would have been much nicer had Jermaine and Michael attended this event since all six brothers were honored.
The tribute featured a dance troop performing a routine for their hit "Dancing Machine," while Mario performed the group's classic "Heartbreak Hotel" JoJo and Llyod performed "I'll Be There" while the latter linked up with Mario, Bobby Valentino, and Ray J. for the group's classic "Never Can Say Goodbye" which was nice, but would have been better had more of the group's post Motown hits were performed including "Enjoy Yourself," "Show You The Way To Go," "Can You Feel It" and "Shake Your Body" which were some of the group's biggest hits. Making the tribute sweet was sister Janet presenting her big brothers their award and saying she was proud to do so. The Jacksons didn't perform (it would have made sense since their main two lead vocalist were not there) but they were grateful for being honored and they posed for photographs with their parents Katherine and Joseph and sisters Janet, Rebbie and La-Toya.
What is it goin to take for The Jacksons to reunite? A petition? A protest? They were the first band boy to break into the industry, and they paved the way for New Edition, [See New Edition's Never Ending Legacy and Impact] who's celebrating their 25 anniversary and still tours with all members though Bobby makes guest appeances due to his battle with bipolar), New Kids on The Block, BoyzIIMen, B2K, B-5 and Final Draft to have the opportunites to pursue careers in music, and if Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, Ralph and Johnny who had more career professional setbacks, then there is no damn reason (except for famliy illness) why Jermaine and Michael wasn't at the award to accept their awardl
Don't get me wrong, I love The Jacksons; their music contiues to be the soundtrack of my life and helps him when I'm happy and going through my bouts of depression, but it would mean alot to me and the fans to see them together like they did at Michael's 30th anniversary special seven years ago.
Katherine, it's time for you to call a family meeting to have your sons reunite and soon, because it's time for them to bring that magic back to the airwaves and stage. Even if it's for a limited number of dates.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'M BACK (ONLINE AT HOME) BABY

It feels so good to be back online and at home too.
For the past couple of months, I had to post at my former college due to the lack of internet service at my crib; it was cut off due to many reasons, but it taught me not to take things for granted. Whoever thought that I would miss being online at home; now I'm able to check my emails and do research and post more often.
Now that I'm gonna be able to post more often and be more creative, ans to take life seriously while enjoying life as well.