Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Through out the 1980's and 90's, many talented ladies had emerged onto the music scene, and Soul Legend Angela Winbush was one who became a favorite among Soul Music lovers, and it wasn't only for her voice. In addition to being a great singer, Winbush has wrote and produced classic hits for herself, and other singers, making her one of the few Black female producers to achieve success as a singer, composer and musician, inspiring a legion of females including Chante Moore, and Syleena Johnson, while her classics have been covered and sampled by several R&B, Hip-Hop and Gospel artists. Yet with acomplishments, she had to overcome several obstacles, including fighting for recognition, a public divorce and surviving cancer, but her relationship with God helped her presevere, and this article honors this talented golden lady and her success. Winbush was born on January 18, 1955 in St. Louis to Alfred and Anna Winbush, who were active in the Civil Rights Movement, by taking part in marches and demonstrations, bringing their young daughter along. "I was bused because I came up in the civils right era. At six years old, I was on picket lines" Winbush said on TV One's Unsung. Winbush's parents had sepearated shortly after her third birthday, but she had a strong family connection, by spending time with her mother, and her aunt, uncle and cousin, who lived across the street from Angela and her mother, a former Government worker. "My uncle Elmor and my aunt Mary moved across the street and I used to run from this house back and fourth" Angela said on Unsung. "She's a family girl." her mother added. "Family gave her so much love I don't think she missed much." Like many Blacks in the south and mid-west, Angela spent most of her childhood in her great-grand parents' church which provided a spiritual foundation for her as well as provided an outlet for her to showcase her singing talent, which had the congregation suprised and touched. "Angela suprised people because she has this four-octave range. That was her God-given talent" Winbush's cousin Marytl Webster said on Unsung. Angela's mother enrolled her in vocal and piano lessons, and while she enjoyed taking the courses, she didn't plan on purusing a career in music at the time. Her goal was to be an archetect. "When I was little, I wanted to build buildings and I played with building blocks and I drew blueprints" Winbush said on STL 95. After graduating from high school, Angela enrolled in Howard University, a famous historically Black college that nuturned many talented famous alumni including Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen, Wendy Raquel Washington, Anthony Anderson and Lance Gross. Originally an archetiture major, Winbush would spend her free time in the music room, singing, playing piano and composing songs, catching the attention of many students, and staff, including Gospel Music composer Richard Norwood. "I was blown away by her talent. For someone to be that young and sing like that was incrediable to me" Norwood said on Unsung. Winbush joined his Gospel choir, and became his featured soloist, where she would have the audience on their feets, clapping and shouting. Angela switched her major to music education where she learned song structure and music theory, which would benefit her in the future. She had also teamed up with Tawatha Agee and Elent Ricks to form the trio Hot Tea, who would performed around the D.C. area, opening for several legendary acts including Al Jareua and others who recruited them for background sessions. After earning her degree in 1977, Angela briefly taught high school, but followed her calling to be an musician. "I enjoyed working with the kids, but my first love was always to be a performer" Winbush told Blues & Soul Magazine. She landed a gig singing background for Jazz/Soul artist Jean Carne, but hit the jackpot, when legendary DJ Gary Byrd sent Winbush's demo to Motown legend Stevie Wonder, who quickly flew her to Los Angelas to audition for his background group Wonderlove, and like Norwood, Wonder, and his musicians were blown away by her vocal talent. The Grammy Award winning icon quickly hired Winbush, and during her tenure with Wonder, she performed background on several Wonder composed hits including Jermaine Jackson's "Let's Get Serious" and Wonder's "Master Blaster (Jammin')" which hit # 1 on the R&B charts in 1980. She also sang background for Dolly Parton and spend time watching Wonder worked in the studio producing hit records. In 1990, Angela told Dionne Warwick how she learned about all the instruments Stevie would play and would take notes and quickly master drum machines, keyboards, synsersizers and the flute. She also spent time singing in the Terry Lynn Community choir, and one day during rehearsal, she met musician Rene Moore, brother of Bobby Watson, a former member of Rufus & Chaka Khan, who had worked as a musican with several artists including The Brothers Johnson. Impressed with Moore's vocal and keyboard skills, Winbush suggested they work together as a duo and Moore agreeded. "We were both pursuing individual interest musically, and she came up with the idea of writing songs together and forming the duo" Moore said in the Billboard Book of # 1 Rhythm & Blues hits. The pair began composing for several acts includng Lenny Williams who recorded their composition "Changes" while Motown legend Lamont Doizer recorded one of their tunes, creating a buzz with recording artist, and label executives, with Dr. Cecil Hale signing the duo to Capitol Records, where they scored two top 20 R&B hits with "Do You Really Love Me" and "I Love You More." In 1982, A&M Records recruited the duo to work on Janet Jackson's self-titled debut album where Jackson scored with the duo's penned hits "Young Love" and "Say You Do" with the former peaking at # 6 on the R&B charts. The following year the duo released their third albm "Rise" which contained the classic ballad "My First Love" a song that was offered to Jackson on her debut, which she passed on and would become Rene & Angela's signature ballad due to the string arrangements that gave the classic an romantic and mysterious feel. "All those strings" singer LalaH Hathaway said on Unsung. "Everybody remembers their first love. Especially nasty little boys because if you were lucky to get a dance to "My First Love" then you might have a good night that night" Legendary DJ Tom Joyner said on Unsung. "The beginning the whole drama of the intro. I never heard anything like that" Watson added. The song was so romantic and passionate that it led fans to wonder if the duo was actually a romantic couple. "We did date the first time we met but we found out we weren't channeled for each other" Angela finally revealed on Unsung. Despite the single's success, the album didn't do well due to Capitol's inability to market and promote Black artists. The duo also had conflicts with the label over their creativity. "We didn't have a great deal of freedome at Captial, espeically when it came to producing our own material" Winbush told Blues & Soul Magazine. The label would always insist on outside producers." Frustrated with the lack of respect., Rene & Angela switched to Mercury/Polygram Records, where the label told the duo to keep on delivering great songs, and they would handle the promotion. The duo delivered with "Street Called Desire" which went gold and spawned several classic hits including "Save Your Love (For # 1) featuring rapper Kurtis Blow, which became their first # 1 R&B hit, but it was their follow up "I'll Be Good" which became a classic that still gets play on radio and made them a household name with many speaking about the bassline in the song. "That was kind of rare for a female artist to have a record that was known in the groove in the bass" legenary bass player Nathan East said on Unsung. "That's one of my favorite songs of all time" Donald Peebles, the author of "Hidden Fires" and the blog "It's A Donald Thing" said. "I'm a big R&B/Soul counsouir. They sound good together." The success of the single got the duo bookings to appear on "American Bandstand" and "Top of The Pops" as well as the opportunties to tour with Whitney Houston and Freddie Jackson on their international tours, expanding their fan base. Making her success sweeter was Broadway star/Singer Stephanie Mills scoring her first # 1 R&B hit with her version of the Angela penned ballad "I Learned To Respect The Power of Love" The duo scored with the ballads, "Your Smile" and "You Don't Have To Cry", with the former hitting # 1 on the R&B charts, and featuring Angela primarly on lead. The album went gold and fans were anticipating a follow up. Sadly that didn't happen; "Street Called Desire" would be Rene & Angela's last album, and for years many had wondered why did the duo break up? In the Billboard Book of # 1 Rhythm & Blues Hits, Moore blamed Ronald Isley for the break up claiming that he felt wasn't going to succeed any further. That was Moore's story. According to Winbush, their partnership began to become strained during the success of "Your Smile." "We had send it in with my vocals because I always did the scratch vocals. They (the executives) said leave it like that." Winbush said on Unsung. The song, which was inspired by her grandmother became a huge hit, with music critics praising Angela's vocal performances and skills, which made Moore become angry. "My ex-partner didn't want it that way and 'you're gonna do the Chaka the way Chaka did to Rufus was all I heard" Winbush said about their arguements. "He didn't expect her to showecase over him" author Donald Peebles said. "She has a God-given talent. To be honest, I really felt that he wanted to keep her in the background. Sometimes when you duos and trios, the one person who the industry wants to keep in the background are the ones who are the most talented. And when she went to showcase who Angela was, it was a how dare you moment." The success of "Your Smile" had prompted The Isley Brothers to recruit the duo to work with them on their upcoming album, and it was at an luncheon, where Angela had told the group's lead vocalist that she had already had songs written for them. "Ron said he wanted to work the people who did "Your Smile" Winbush revealed in the Billboard Book of # 1 Rhythm & Blues Hits. "I had the whole Isley catalog, so when I got together with Ronald, I already had a pocket full of tunes ready" Winbush said in the liner notes of her greatest hits compliation. Ron and his brother Rudolph were eager to work with the duo, and while Winbush was happy to work with her idols, Moore became more angry to the point of lashing out verbally and physically on the road crew, and later Angela herself, who spoke about a fight they had during a rehearsal, where Moore had her in a choke hold, forcing her to scream for help, but the turning point came when they were in the studio working with The Isley where Moore struck Winbush, which resulted in her having a concusion and bruised ribs, and Ron had said that the violence had to stop. Mercury wanted the duo to record another album, and despite the offer to provide bodyguards, Winbush refused, which resulted in Moore filing several lawsuits against her and telling the label that he did most of the work on the album. Angela countersued and in 1993, the judge ruled in her favor, gaining 50 percent of her publishing and full ownership of songs she composed afterwards. "I had to protect my publishing."
With executives doubting her talent, Winbush wrote and co-produced The Isley Brothers' 1987 comeback album "Smooth Sailing" which went gold and received excellent reviews from critics and fans, prompting Mercury to give Angela an solo deal, and she didn't disappoint; her solo debut "Sharp" became a hit while her single "Angel" became a # 1 R&B hit for two weeks and earned her two Soul Train Music Award nominations. "I wasn't suprised that people would like it, but I was supriesed it went to number one" You never know what's going to happen with a record when you put it out" she said in the Billboard book of Rhythm & Blues # 1 hits. The song also became a hit with the Black Gay community as well. "I think that the Gay community can really see that song as one of their own and that song is saying any situation you're going through you can make it" author Pebbles said. Angela had became a hot commodity in the music business. In addition to writing and producing The Isley Brother's "Spend The Night" album, she also produced two tracks on Scottish Pop singer Sheena Easton's platnium album "The Lover In Me" and wrote and produced two songs on Stephanie Mills' gold album "Home" including "Something In The Way (You Make Me Feel) and "So Good, So Right" with the former becoming the Broadway star's fourth # 1 R&B Hit. "I think that Angela is an incredible singer and a gifted songwriter and producer. I don't think she's had her due as a producer" Mills said in the Billboard Book of Rhythm & Blues # 1 Hits. "She's wonderful to work with because she knows her work and knows how to tell you exactly what she wants and she allows you to deliver it in your own style." Angela also released her follow-up album "The Real Thing" which showcased her ablility to compose, arrange and incorporate all forms of genres of music including Soul, Funk, Quiet storm, Jazz and Gospel, becoming a favorite of fans and fellow arists including singer Lalah Hathway, daughter of the late Donny Hathaway, who recruited Winbush to work on her debut album and stills enjoy listening to the title track of Winbush's follow up with peaked at # 2 on the R&B charts. "Back in the day you had to do alot of things. You had to sing somebody under the table with a ballad. You had to know how to be funky and know how to dance" Hathaway said on Unsung. "She's just well wounded."
Winbush followed with "No More Tears" which became a hit with women and Gays. "It's a very empowering song to show women and Gay people that you don't have to be sitting down and crying overstuff" Peebles said. "You live your live. You party. You shake your ass. And no more tears. She was like I'm not gonna feel soryy for myself and she looked good doing it."
The album's third single "Lay Your Troubles Down" was a beautiful duet sung with Ron Isley who had became Angela's manager and boyfriend. The song had peaked at # 10 on the R&B charts and became a favorite among music lovers and romantics. "I loved it. You can see the love and chemistry between them. Lay your troubles has that Gospel orgin, but singing the song together, it was an testament in front of God" Peebles said. "I'm a sucker for a love story."
"It was fun to do with Ron and he added that sound that only he can do on record" Winbush said on Unsung. Many of their peers saw the love the duo had for each other including bassit Watts. "You can see chemistry with people. You can notice little things as time goes by" Wats said on Unsung. In 1991 Winbush produced Hathaway's top 20 hit "Baby Don't Cry" and appeared on the United Negro College Fund Telephon, ran her production company, and spend quality time with Ron, who she married on June 26 1993 in Los Angelas, making them one of Hollywood's famous Black musical couples. "They looked great together" author Donald Peebles said excitedly. "It was a dream come true because I never thought I would never get married because of the career with women is difficult" Winbush said.
After spending a romantic honeymoon in Hawaii, Angela embarked on an internation tour with her husband and brother-in-laws, where she was very popuar and well respected on the charts, but back in America, she was still being played primarly on R&B radio. "I think she didn't make the mainstream because I feel she wasn't gonna sell her self to the highest bidder on the mainstream circut because in order to go mainstream, you have to compromise yourself and I really feel that Angela wasn't gonna do that." Peebles said of why she didn't get the crossover success she deserved. Looking for more success, Anglea left Mercury for Elektra Records and in the spring of 1994, she released her self-titled album, which gained excellent reviews, and showed her ability to adapt with the times without losing her musical idenity. The album's first single "Treat U Rite" was written and produced by singer Chuckii Booker peaked at # 6 on the R&B charts, followed by her rendition of the Marvin Gaye classic "Inner City Blues" which she co-produced with Booker. It seemed that Angela was going to finally get the success that she deserved, but despite an international tour, and appearances on Video Soul and Soul Train, the album didn' do well due to executive changes at Elektra. In 1996, Angela along with ketih Sweat and R. Kelly had produced The Isley Brother's multi-platnium album "Mission To Please" which became a hit and introduced the group to a new generation of fans, who loved the remix single "Floating On Your Love" which featured The Isleys, Winbush, 112 and rapper Lil' Kim. The success of the single earned Angela and The Isleys an invitation to former president and first lady Bill and Hilliary Rodham-Clinton, who's photo appeared in Ebony and Jet Magazine. Angela's music became popular to a new generation, due to many R&B singers and rappers covering and sampling her songs including Adina Howard & Michael Speaks covering "You Don't Have To Cry" and rappers Foxy Brown and Jay-Z sampled "I'll Be Good" for their hit "I'll Be" which became a huge hit in the clubs and on Pop radio, giving Angela her first Top 10 Pop hit. "It was cute. She really didn't destroy it" Peebles said on Foxy Brown doing a great job sampling the classic dance song. Flattered, Angela joined Jigga and The Notorious BIG on the hit "I Love The Dough" re-writing and singing the hook of "I Love The More" furthering her connection with the Hip-Hop heads. "She let people know that you can join Hip-Hop, R&B and Soul together, and I'm glad that Biggie and Jay-Z honor her for "I Love The Dough" author Peebles said about the collabulation between the legends. I'm glad that they went and gave her her due. Biggie and Jay-Z are class acts." Despite the success and interest, Angela would spend time running her company, and spending time singing background for her husband, often performing a brief medley of her hits during a performance of The Isley's classic "Summer Breeze" and while many fans enjoyed her performance, there were many who felt that Winbush should have been out performing instead of being delegated to being a background singer. "I was still recording and producing with Ron so I didn't push my career because I was married and he wanted to be the forefront and that was OK, but it never got back around to me recording" Winbush said on Unsung. "I love The Isley Brothers, but I wanted to see Angela out there by herself" Norwood added. At the beginning of the new millinieum, Angela's career started to reheat, when singer Avant scored with his rendition of the Rene & Angela classic "My First Love." Impressed with the results, Winbush suprised the audience of 106 & Park and joined the young singer on stage to sing her part, which got rave reviews from the audience and television viewers, making it one of the show's most memorable performances. The following year she wrote and produced The Isley's award winning platnium album "Eternal," and despite the success and reviews, it would be the last time the duo would work together professionally and personally. Ron's cheating and issues with the IRS foreced Winbush to file for divorce. "I was hurt" Peebles said. "I was really hurt. I thought they was gonna stay together. They looked good together." Angela returned to performimg to rebuild her finances, and quickly got bookings to perform at various shows and events including New York Expo, but her touring came to a halt after being diagnosed with state 3 ovavian cancer. Learning how serious her condition was, Angela had surgery, and underwent seven months of radical chemothearpy. "I wound up in a wheel chair. I couldn't stand cause my feet cound't touch the ground. I could barely walk. You don't know if you can make it cause they can't gurantee anything" Winbush said of the ordeal.
Many had came out to show her love and support including The Isleys and several family members, friends and peers, and making her recovery stronger was singer Chante Moore and her husband Kenny Lattimore scoring with their rendition of "You Don't Have To Cry." After completing chemo, Winbush's cancer has been in remission, and in addition to growing closer to God, she's been an strong advocate of health in the Black community, and raises money for several cancer organizations. Angela has been performing and appeared on the Mo'nique show where she told the audience that she completed ministry academy, and performed her hit "Angel" where she hit her trademark note and said "that ain't no tape." She recently performed in LA, where she told the crowd to be on the look out for her new record soon. "Music right now is in limbo, and people are looking for real music and Angelae brought people through different situations" Donald Peebles said of how important it is for Winbush to be recording new music in a time where quanity rules over quality. "I would really love for her to show these youngings and these slut puppies that you don't have to take off your clothers to sing a hit song. This is how you do it without taking off your clothes. She need to teach that Rhianna alot of stuff." Many music lovers and fans also feels that she needs to be honored for her contributions to music as well. "She needs to be honored, but it takes the R&B lovers, the bloggers, the ones in the music industry to advocate" Peebles said. "All the bloggers, who appreciate good music should be the ones advocating for Angela to be honored."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


In 2007, I was listening to DJ Baker's award-winning podcast, and he was talking about this song called "I Likes Him" by this singer named Sanchez and how hot and catchy it was. He was write. The song had a nice beat and catchy hook that many people quickly fell in love with. Well Sanchez, who now goes by the name Rudell C has been making his mark in the LGBT industry by recording Gay versions of many popular hits and doing his own videos with guys two guys as well as forming a clothing line American Punk and an networking website which is doing well. I had the opportunity to speak with the southern business man during the past winter/early spring via telephone about his career, love songs, the reason why he shut down his clothing line, and things that makes northern boys wants southern boys.

DA-PROFESSOR: How are things going?
RUDELL C: Everything's been going good. Can't complain.

DA-PROFESSOR: A few years ago, you dropped your single "I Like Him" under the name Sanchez. What prompted you to write that song?
RUDELL C: When I wrote that song, I was in the early stages of writing and recording on my own. I was looking up beats online and I found this hot beat, and it was going to be my first time recording in a studio so i found the beat I liked and I was like I gotta write a hot song, so I put it out and it was the greatest song. Everybody like that song. Straight people like it and boys made up their versions instead of saying "I Like Him", "I Like Them."

DA-PROFESSOR: It was released under the name Sanchez. What made you decided to go by your current name?
RUDELL C: When I first came out, Sanchez was the name somebody gave me from a Gay family I was in. They just kinda gave me the name. Once I got to a certain age, I knew that I wanted to do something that would make me famous and I wanted to go by my real name and not by an alias. Singing, writing, whatever it's art, writing, everything I do, I use my real name.

DA-PROFESSOR: Which singers and artists inspire you?
REDUELL C: Oh my goodness. Number one. I know this may sound cliche, but I'm a huge fan of Beyonce. It's funny when I did "I Like Him" I was having a Beyonce feeling inside of me, but she's like a great artists and a great performer. Another person would be Michael Jackson. I've always loved MJ since I was 5 playing my tape player and dancing to his videos and music. And another person I like is India Arie. She has that raspy voice and I like how she uses it.

DA-PROFESSOR: You also had a clothing line out. What prompted you to start your own clothing line?
REDUELL C: I was having a conversation with one of my friends. We were texting and he called himself a cunt. When I got that text message, I saw Cunt and a T-shirt, and I'm like we should have our own clothing line. We see girls walk around with their shirts and boys have their little silly stuff, and I'm like Gay people dont' have shirts with their slang on it. I was like I ought to do this. I know I could do it.

DA-PROFESSOR: How was the feedback?
REDUELL: It was good. Everybody loved the shirts. I had a suggestion box on the website, and I got alot of emails. I really got positive feedback from the community.

DA-PROFESSOR: You recently closed down American Punk Why did you do that?
REDUELL: One thing about me is I don't really do something I'm not happy with. I wanna be happy with doing it and I thing with American Punk in the beginning, I think I over drove myself and it was wearing me out in the end. I did have a web designer when it came down to it. The shirts were hand made. Plus I have a full time job, so it just kinda got hard and I put a whole lot of pressure on myself to get everything done. It's crazy, it's not that I don't trust people, but I wouldn't feel comfortable handing it over to somebody I know.

DA-PROFESSOR: I'm glad I got my shirts.
REDUELL: (Laughs) So many people hit me up afterwards. I'm glad you got yours.

DA-PROFESSOR: You're from Tennesse. Tennesse is known for producing several Country Acts like Dolly Parton and Soul acts like Tina Turner and Al Green. How do you feel you're gonna add to their legacy?

REDUELL: We do have a music background and everything, and music is a big part of our culture. We have Country music fans. We have bandelo. We have big concerts and things like this. It does impacts us in those type of ways. The way I like to add to the legacy is to be a good artist and work hard and make good music. My legacy, especially with the LGBT community would be to make music that people can relate to.

DA-PROFESSOR: There are many guys who love southern guys. Tell me Reduell from your prespective, what is it about southern guys that makes northern guys wanna get with them?

REDUELL: I think one thing would be the accent. If you got a good little accent that would attract a good northern boy. A cute southern accent would be one and of course you know that they say, depending on what kind of northern boy it is, if you got a nice country booty, I'm sure they'll like that too.

DA-PROFESSOR: There are many northern boys who like southern tops (I laugh).
REDUELL: Oh. They want one of the country boys. Do you do the grills up north? The grills in the mouth. Is that a southern thing?

DA-PROFESSOR: The gold teeth? Back in the mid 1980's alot of guys used to wear caps in their mouths.

REDUELL: I guess the ones who want the southern tops, you can get the ruff necks (both laugh). With the grills in his mouth and the country grammar something like Nelly. I guess that what you would go for if you're looking for a southern top. The slang with the grills. Smile for me baby (both laugh).

DA-PROFESSOR: What else does southern guys have that makes northern guys want them?
REDUELL: I really don't know. I want to know about the northern guys. They seem interesting to me.

DA-PROFESSOR: What about cooking?
REDUELL: Yeah. How can I forget about the southern soul food (laughs). If you're from the south and you know how to cook, then I guess that's how you would keep your man at home. Keep them coming back and full (both laughs out loud). Southern fried chicken. Corn bread. Southern greens. Oh yes!

DA-PROFESSOR: In addition to singing, what other projects you're working on?
REDUELL: Right now, I have four projects I'm working on. I'm working on some writing projects. It's a Black Gay love story and it's pretty erotic and there are alot of twists and turns in that story. It's crazy because whenever people read the introduction, alot of people aske me is it real and I'm like, no. It's a fictional story and it's a good story and alot of people will be able to relate to the story eithe way because so much stuff happens throughout the the story that we in the LGBT comnunity can relate to.

DA-PROFESSOR: I read the story and it was hot and creative. What was the inspiration?
REDUELL: It came from no where. Writing has been something I've been able to do, but never done it. I've always written poetry and short stories. I did write one story once and that was when I was 16. I wrote one erotic story and I decided to give it a shot.I wanted it to be an interesting story. Not necessary a story about my life, but something realistic and full of drama. I wanted to tell a story and have people be able to relate to.

DA-PROFESSOR: You said how you like to write Black Gay love stories and Black Gay erotic stories. How important is it for Black Gays to have love stories on the market?

REDUELL: What got me interested was when I was 16, I wrote my first story and that's when I became interested in reading Black Gay literature and at 16, there wasn't much to look at. Especially in those teenage years when people are finding themselves in the community. We need that as much as we need Black Gay films. I love to see a Black Gay movie something that we can look at and say I can relate to that. It's very important because it's time we have those literature and those images we can read, and see and hear and it's something we can relate to. We haven't had our own Black Gay fiction and I'm trying to create that.

DA-PROFESSOR: If you can get anybody to be in your films, who would it be?
RUDUELL: If I had a caucassian, woman, it would be Angelie Jolie and if I had an African American character, female it would be Beyonce. I like everything she does. Alot of people think she can't act, but I think she's fine. When it comes to African American men, I would have to go with Will Smith and a caucasian man, I woud have to say Tom Cruise.

DA-PROFESSOR: If you have the opportunity to perform with any of your favorite artists LGBT and mainstream, who would it be?
REDUELL: LGBT. I would wannna perform with Bry'nt. Anye Elite. Dead-Lee. I'd like to work with him. Have you ever heard of God-Des?

DA-PROFESSOR: I met her in 2004
REDUELL: I'd love to work with her. As for as straight artists, I would have to say, I like to work with Trina. As far as female rappers. Male Rappers, if I had the change, Lil' Wayne of course. That would be interesting. Or maybe Drake. And when it comes to the singers, I would have to say Trey Songz. I really love his music, and females it would be between Rhianna and Beyonce. I like the old Rhianna alot. Alicia Keys is one of my favorite artists as well. I'm into slow love songs alot and Alicia Keys is really, really, really big. I love her music with a capital L and I like Lauryn Hill. That's one artist I'm feeling right now.

DA-PROFESSOR: Alicia was in a slight scandal concerning her husband Swizz Beatz and his ex-wife. What do you think of the situation and controversy that was surrounding them?
REDUELL: If they were already going through a divorce and they like each other, you can't help what you like. If you meet a guy and he's going through a divorce, and you like him, are you supposed to stop talking to him until the divorce is final? You can't help who you love. Now if he was still with the woman and cheating and having babies and all that then I say that's definetly wrong, but if they was in the process of splitting up, it is what it is. It's gonna happen anyway.

DA-PROFESSOR: What are your favorite Alicia Keys songs?
REDUELL: One song I really, realy like from her and it wasn't a single. "If I Were Your Woman."

DA-PROFESSOR: The Gladys Knight classic.
REDUELL: I like her version. The ones I can chose between is "Unthinkable," "If I Ain't Got You," "Diary" and "A Woman's Worth."

DA-PROFESSOR: You also mentioned MJ being an influence. What do you admire about MJ?
REDUELL: My dad did alot of tapes for me and for me, Michael Jackson's energy and his performances would always have me dancing. That's what made me love Michael overall. It was mostly watching his concerts (and) of course, everbody would mimick his moves as kids so I would be in front of the TV trying to do the moves (Reduell starts to sing) 'wanna be starin' something. You gotta be startin' somethin'.

DA-PROFESSOR: What did you think of the video he did with his sister Janet?
RUDUELL: I think it's a great song. Of course with me being 5 or 6, I didn't really understand what it meant, but looking back now, it was a great song and great video they did together.

DA-PROFEESSOR: How do you feel that MJ made an impact on both the LGBT and hetero communities?
RUDELL: I think that Michael was a house hold name. People grew up listening to MJ, so I don't think he had he necessary had to try. MJ crossed all boarders. Black. White. Gay. Straight. Hispanic. There are countries who love MJ. I feel that MJ was one of those type of people who didn't have to necessary try to make people a fan.

DA-PROFESSOR: You also stated that you love love songs. Tell me why do you feel that Black Gay men loves listening to love songs?
REDUELL: For me personally, I'm one of the slow song type of person. I love love songs. I don't know because I haven't actually been in love yet. That could be the whole thing with Gay men. It's hard to find someone to love in the Gay world.

DA-PROFESSOR: There are several Gays who want to see openly Gay singers and rappers but sometimes it's hard for them to get booked at Gay Pride Events. How does it make you feel as an artist?
REDUELL: I don't think enough people want it. I haven;t been to alot of prides outside of Tennesse. I can't speak for every state, you know. I've never been to a major state like New York or San Diego, but I know we broght Bry'nt here for our pride and like nobody showed up. Everybody was in the clug, so it 's kinda embarrassing in a way to bring somebody down and to have less then one hundred people at the event and once the event is over, you go to the club and that's where everybody's at. It's like on my God! Are you serious? So from my experience, people don't want it. We're so caught up in the lifestyle of seeing who's at the club and meeting boys that alot of people don't care about LGBT artists. I got friends who still hasn't listen to my CD. Maybe that will be something that will change over time.

DA-PROFESSOR: I remember you having videos on You Tube and one of my favorites was your video version of Usher's "Trading Places." What inspired you to do that video with a guy.
REDUELL: Well both of us are Gay and most people on You Tube know that I'm Gay, so the channell was for me to be myself. Alot of times I used my best friend, which was the closet thing I could be to a boy at the time, but finally I got my central boyfriend to be in one of my videos and I decided to do "Trading Places", so of course I wasn't gonna get a girl because I don't like girls, but it ended up being a great project overall. I think we need to use ourselves more onscreen more than we do now.

DA-PROFESSOR: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
REDUELL: The next five to ten years, I definetly want to be a household name for more than the LGBT community. I wanna made a name for myself for the different projects that I do.

DA-PROFESSOR: How do you feel you're making an impact on the music industry and LGBT community?
REDUELL: I feel like I'm bringing different things to the community as far as music, literature, clothing. I feel like I'm bringign different things and different products to the community that we can have.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



Music lovers can't and will never get enough of The Supremes, who made an global impact on the world, breaking race, sex, gender and class barriers with their memorable hits, sequenced gowns, wigs and their spirit that showed people that anyone can achieve their goals. From 1964-69, Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross and Cindy Birdsong (who replaced Ballard in 1967) had scored twelve # hits, as along with being the first Black act to perform at the Copacobana, and when Ross left to pursue a successful solo career in 1970, Jean Terrell became the lead singer and helped the group score several classics including "Up The Ladder To The Roof," "Stoned Love," "Nathan Jones," "Touch," "Floy Joy" and "Bad Weather." However with Motown holding back on support, Terrell and Cindy's replacement Lynda Laurence had left, leaving original member Wilson at a crossroads; to puruse a solo career or reform the group? She chosed the latter; she recruited Scherrie Payne as the lead singer and rehired Cindy who was on maternity leave and would be replaced by Susaye Greene, and conqured the Disco and R&B charts, with several # 1 hits before disbanding in 1977. Well fans can enjoy the group's magical hits on "Let Yourself Go" which has become the group's biggest and best-selling compliation of all time. The 3 CD set not only features the Supremes' last three albums, it also features several unreleased songs as well as alternative versions of their classics that will have you dancing and romancing.
Disc one opens with the group's comeback single "He's My Man: a hot Disco song that has funky basslines, strings and sultry and sexy vocals by Mary and Scherrie who both blend well in the background with Cindy. The song also has cool lyrics that women and Gay men love.

He calls, says get dressed
And I put on my best
Being in his arms
Brings out all my charm
You can see us glow where ever we may go
He's my man.

Following this classic is "Early Morning Love" which was a nice reunion with The Supremes and the Holland Brothers, who produced ten of their twelve # 1's and gave this song a nice Soulful Blues feel by having a hot horn section and having Wilson sing and showing her ranges adding sexiness to the lyrics about making love the first thing in the morning. Wilson also shines vocally on the Country-flavored "Where Is It I Belong" and "This Is Why I Believe In You" which during the latter, features the group singing' you make me wanna shout' with Scherrie ad-libbing powerfully. Good, but the song would have been better had Cindy had also did some solo ad-libbing as well. Payne also does well on "You Can't Stop A Girl In Love" where she displays her vocal ranges, and shows the group's growth at that time, futher displayed on "Color My World Blue" which has nice harmony and "Give Out, Don't Give Up" which has inspirational lyrics and hot percussion, also heard on "Where Do I Go From Here." "You Turn Me Around" is a great ballad with romantic and inspirational lyrics and a great lead vocal by Wilson, but the song should have been longer. The Supremes' rendition of the classic "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)" is hot and shows that the group still had the capability of doing covers and making them their own,. The alternative version of "The Sha-La Bandit" is another song showing Payne's powerful singing, while the alternative version of "Color My World Blue" features Scherrie singing mid-range, Wilson's spoken seagment and more percussion. "Mr Boogie" is a hot song with hot percussion that could have been a huge hit along with the Hal Davis produced "Dance Fever" which has fans jamming to this gem on their I-Pods and using as their ringtomes. This song has a hot combination of Disco, Funk, Blues, Jazz, Country courtesy of the horn and rhythm sections, piano and bass. Adding more spice is when the Supremes sing and chant 'We're gonna boogie/we're gonna Reggae. I can't stop dancing in a soulful/Carribbean style, further showing their growth and there is really no excuse for Motown not releasing this along with the sultry romantic "Seed of Love" showing their capability to sing about romance. I predict many couples will be playing this songs at their weddings. The multi-lead on the alternative version of "Give Out, Don't Give Up" is another favorite because not only we get a chance to hear the group sing in unison, but they give this version a more spiritual feeling, while the extended version of "Bend A Little" featues a hot call and response and powerful vocals.
The ballad "Can We Love Again" is another gem that should have been released. It has a sultry Latin Jazzy Soul vibe and features Mary singing in higher ranges, while the extended version of "He's My Man" has more strings, bass and percussion and shows Scherrie cutting loose on the vocals adding Gospel flavor to the classic.
Disc 2 opens with "High Energy" which has a hot sexy feeling courtesy of the strings, percussion, Mary's sultry spoken intro and Susaye Greene's legendary singing, phrasing and trademark high notes. A great way of introducing the lady who would be dubbed the Last Supremes. Following this top charting classic is the group's last top 40 hit "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking" a classic that still gets spins at classic parties. With it's percussion, strings, empowering lyrics and Payne cutting loose on the vocals, the song still gets fans on the floor. Scherrie also shows her sexy side on "Only You (Can Love Me Like You Love Me)" and "You Keep Me Moving" which has funky live breaks and horns, but for the latter, the group's vocals should have been more sultry. Mary shines on the ballad "Don't Let My Tear Drops Bother You" which has nice lyrics and percussion that adds elements of Latin to this soulful ballad along with the background vocalS, while the sounds of the boat floating on the ocean adds sexiness and sadness to "Til The Boat Sails Away" which fades into the Thom Bell-Linda Creed penned "I Don't Want To Lose You" which has nice lead vocals and a spoken seagment by Wilson who does a great job fronting Scherrie, Cindy and Susaye vocally. She and Scherrie does a great job singing lead on "You're What's Missing In My Life" which has nice lyrics, piano riffs that later would be used in the Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway classic "God Don't Like Ugly" and shows their individual vocal styles.
The original mixes of the "High Energy" sounds similar to the versions that were released, but however, the original version of "High Energy" featres Susaye singing and ad-libbing in mid-range, while the vocals on "Only You (Can Love Me Like You Love Me)" are more seductive and fuller. The alternative version of "There's Room At The Top" has fuller and soulful harmony and handclaps that gives the song a Gospel feel, while Wilson shines on her version of "You're What's Missing In My Life" showing her growth and ability to sing mid-tempo songs, and the fans are still jamming to Susaye's lead on "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking." Susaye gives the song a youtful feel and showcases her high notes and ranges, something that many artists including Michele, Mariah Carey and Chante Moore would later do on their recordings.
Disc 3 opnes with "You're My Driving Wheel" which has a hot horn section, percussion, piano riffs and strong vocals, further displayed on "Let Yourself Go", which has nice strings that adds elements of Classical music to the song, which like the former should have been larger hits alongn with "Come Into My Life" which has one of the funkiest basslines heard from any Motown artists. It gives the song a hypnotic feel along with Susaye's seductive and powerful lead vocals, which explains why she was the only member to sing at Ray Charles' funeral. Susaye also joins Mary on the ballad "We Should Be Closer Together" while Wilson does a marvelous job on the underated ballad "You Are The Heart of Me" and Scherie does well on "I Don't Want To Be Tied Down" which has great lyrics about being free and friends with benefits. The alternative version of "High Energy" features Wilson's spoken seagments, which improve throughout the song, while Susaye does a great job singing mid-range. The alternative version of "I'm Gonna Let My Heart Do The Walking" has more percussion, bells, bass, a different set of lyrics and features Scherrie ad-libbing 'Go head with your badself." My personal favorite is the alternative version of "Sweet Dream Machine" which is so much sexier than the version that was released. Giving the song sex appeal are the music, lyrics and the call and response between the song's co-writer Harold Beatty who speaks in his deep baritone voice while the ladies sing 'You're into me/I'm into you/Sweet Dream Machine in a sexual way along with making organic noises and says honey drippping while laughing. This version would have given Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby" a run for it's money.
This set is great, but it would have been better if the multi-lead version of "The Sha-La Bandit" was included. The set wouuld have been much hotter had the versions of High Energy with Scherrie and Cindy each singing lead wouldn't have been erased. Hearing those versions would have been heavenly, but all in all the set was well coordinated and it shows how The Supremes still had the magic and was able to have fans letting themselves go.

This review is dedicated to the late Florence Ballard who passed shortly before the High Energy album was released and to the late Phillip Howell, who would have loved this boxed set.



Many artists have paid tribute to Motown legend and global Icon Michael Jackson and have wanted him and his family to have justice. Members of his family also want their beloved son, brother, uncle, father and Godfather to have justice, and his newphews Rapper Mr. Dealz and Singer/songwriter Mr. Vann pays the ultimate tribute with their latest single "Justice" a nice smooth flowing midtempo ballad paying tribute to the King and informing the world and the tablolids that Justice will be prevail.
The song starts off with Dealz son of Jackson's brother Jackie, who with Michael co-wrote the group's classic "Can You Feel It?" performing an spoken seagment annoucning his uncle's classic hits, followed with Vann, son of Jermaine, singing the hook over an accoustic guitar with Dealz, spitting some hot verses about the love that their uncle showed them as well as how he's gonna strive to be a great entertainer and how importance of justice being served (which happened yesterday with the jury finding Conrad Murrary guilty for involuntary manslaughter). What makes this song touching is the call and response between Dealz and Vann, which tugs at the heart.

This song is great, showing how Michael influenced many people over the years, and to have his newphews join forces to perform a collabulation shows that family can work together, and make great music.

This review is dedicated to Michael Jackson.