Sunday, December 30, 2012


Back in the late 1970's and early 1980's many recording artists began to shoot videos as part of a promotional tool. Now almost 30 years later, almost every recording artist has to shoot music videos in order to gain sales, and many artist work just a hard to make sure their video is just as tight as their recordings. Here is my list of my favorite videos of 2012                                                                          

1. ANTHONY ANTOINE-SECRET LOVERS                                                                                                  

2. KAY'VION SIRE FEATURING SHOONEY AND B-STAR JONKEY                                            

3. NATHANIEL P.-PUT YO ASS TO SLEEP                                                                                      

4. KAOZ FEATURING QUENTIN ADAMS-HIGH AZ EVER                                                              

5. SWV-CO-SIGN                                                                                                                                    

6. SCHERRIE PAYNE-LET YOURSELF GO                                                                                      

7. NATHANIEL P-NIGHT & DAY                                                                                                

8. SHALIEK RIVERS-CAN WE GO BACK?                                                                                              

9. NEHEMIAH AKBAR-MAKE MY MOVE                                                                                                


11. LOMBARDO-DO YOU WANNA                                                                                                            

12. ANYE ELITE-F.G.M.                                                                                                                              



Many artists joined forces to make some great tunes where each was able to bring their individual styles, flows and flavors together.                                                                                                                                  


2. BOBBY BROWN WITH RALPH TRESVANT-DOESN'T ANYBODY KNOW                                  

3. NAS WITH MIGUEL AND SWIZZ BEATS-SUMMER SMASH                                                     .


5. (TIE)  DONNA SUMMER AND MUSICAL YOUTH-UNCONDITIONAL LOVE/ OMEGA RED AND DONNA SUMMER-ANGEL                                                                                                

6.BRANDY AND CHRIS BROWN-PUT IT DOWN                                                                        

7.GEPETTO JACKSON AND B.HOWARD-TAKE YOUR RING OFF                                                            



10. SHON MULAH WITH ANYE ELITE AND NEAL JAY-TOUCH IT (REMIX)                            



13 NAS WITH MARY J. BLIGE-REACH OUT                                                                              

14.MONTEZ LOVE WITH PRINCE SANI-FACEDOWN                                                                


16. SWV WITH BRIANNA PERRY-DO YA                                                                                                  



19.QUE THE RAPPER WITH RAHBEE-HATIN' HATIN'                                                                    



Many singers and rappers released hot singles that had listeners dancing, romancing, reminescing, paying homage and taking stands in their professional and personal lives. This was a hard list for me to write but here are my favorite singles of 2012                                                                                                          

1. NEHIMIAH AKBAR-FIRST CLASS BOY                                                                                      


3. DONNA SUMMER-THE QUEEN IS BACK                                                                                      

4. SWV-CO-SIGN                                                                                                                                      

5. BRANDY-WISH YOUR LOVE AWAY                                                                                                      

6. KAOZ-I'M STILL STANDING                                                                                                                  

7. SHORTY ROC-TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF                                                                                

8. SHALIEK RIVERS-CAN WE GO BACK                                                                                        

9. DAMIEN CRAWFORD-ROCKSTAR LIFE                                                                                    

10. AUSTIN BROWN-MENAGE-A-TRIOS                                                                                        

11. NAS-BYE BYE                                                                                                                              

12. NOEL GOURDIN-FOXXY                                                                                                                  

13. SCHERRIE PAYNE-LET YOURSELF GO                                                                                            

14. MELBA MOORE-HEAVEN                                                                                                                    

15. ANYE ELITE-F.G.M.(FAGGOT GETTING MONEY)                                                                              

16. MONTEZ LOVE-JERSEY BOY                                                                                                            

17. LIONEL RICHIE AND BLAKE SHELTON-YOU ARE                                                                  

18. GORDON ANDES-BODY OF A GODDESS                                                                                        

19. J'MAINE JONES-COME WITH ME                                                                                              

20. KING SCANDOCIOUS-TALK WITH A SEVEN YEAR OLD                                                                    

21. LEAH LABELLE-SEXISY                                                                                                                      

22. BOBBY BROWN-DON'T LET ME DIE                                                                                                  

23. WHITNEY HOUSTON-I HAVE NOTHING                                                                                        

24. LIONEL RICHIE AND SHANIA TWAIN-ENDLESS LOVE                                                              

25. BARON-KING PLEASURE                                                                                                                                      



2012 was the year where many recording artists made huge returns to recording and the stage after several long hiatuses. Reforming, vacation, the loss of loved ones and regrouping after tragedies makes have helped the artists who are featured on this list better and stronger than they were before and the fans were happy to welcome their returns.                                                                                                                        

1.THE JACKSONS-After the legendary group embarked on their historic Victory tour in 1984, the brothers began to work on solo projects off camera and behind the scenes, and while fans enjoyed Michael and Jermaine's solo projects, they were waiting for the group to reunite. They did for Michael's 30th anniversary concert special which was one of the highlights. There were plans of the brothers recording another album together, but those plans were railroad by Michael's arrest and trial on false accusations, which he was cleared of. While Michael planned to do his comeback solo tour, his older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon starred in their own reality show and planned on touring, and even doing a few dates with him, but plans for the latter was scrapped by Michael's unexpected death. While many of their torch carriers began to pay tribute to Michael, the fans and their mother had asked and requested for the brothers to go on tour to honor the family's legacy, and they did making everybody happy and silencing the non-believers who thought that they wouldn't be good without their brother who was their co-lead singer. (Youngest brother Randy who replaced Jermaine in 1975, and remained with the group until they disbanded in 1990 opted not to tour, though he joined his brothers onstage in Arizona). The Jackson's Unity tour became a hit selling out several venues including the famous Apollo Theater, where the performed and won during amateur night before getting signed to Motown. The tour reviews were so positive that Brooklyn borough president Marty Marrowitz was able to get The Motown legends to perform at his annual summer concert festival at Coney Island, where many came out to see them perform and they didn't disappoint either! They were singing and dancing in their seats and areas, and everybody left with smiles on their faces. The Jacksons will be touring over seas next year and are working on a new album, which will be a hit.                                                                                                                                    

2. Nas-After the birth of his son and divorce from wife Rock/Soul Singer/Songwriter Kelis, Nas decided to do what he does best; channel his feelings into music and the result was "Life Is Good" his third album to top the Pop charts and get great reviews from both the critics and fans who were eager for the Illmatic rapper to return, and he came back hard. With hot party jams, social conscious songs and songs about heartbreak, many are saying that it's his best work to date, and calling it the Hip-Hop version of Marvin Gaye's underrated classic "Here My Dear" which was the muse of "Life Is Good." Many were shocked at how he went in on his ex, who wasn't upset at him for being creative, unlike Gaye's first wife Anna Gordy, who was upset and had reportedly was considering to hit Gaye with an invasion of privacy suit. Nas cooked up another classic album and it would be foolish for the award shows not to give him any nominations.              

3. SWV-When R&B/New Jack Swing trio SWV announced their break-up in 2007, many fans were shocked, and hurt by the news, while many were happy that they decided to end on excellent terms. Lead Vocals Coko Gamble had wanted to focus on her Gospel Music career full-time, but had a chance of heart when Singer/Songwriter/Pianist Alicia Keys asked the trio along with EnVogue and he surviving members of TLC to join her onstage at the 2008 BET Awards to perform a medley of their hits. Once Coko, Taj and LeLee hit the stage, the audience went bananas, and it was then that they decided to reunite and four years later they released their album "We Missed Us" their first album since 1997's "Releasing Some Tension" which has been getting great reviews from the critics and the L.G.B.T. community who was doing their own promotion of the album, which not only showed their growth, it also features all there ladies singing lead. While many groups disbanded or loss members, Coko. Taj and LeLee are showing the industry that ladies in their late 30's and early 40's can still record hit albums, shoot videos and look sexy. Now it would be great if The Supremes can follow their advice and reunite.                                                                                                

4. Brandy-When the talented Singer/Actress/Producer dropped her classic album "Full Moon" ten years ago, many fans were excited to see the direction she was going in musically and creatively, and while the album did reach multi-platinum status, the album could have been bigger, but becoming a mom, a public break-up, changing producers and a tragic car accident put a temporary halt in her plans, which could have crushed the singer who was forced to have the perfect Black Female image. However Brandy rebounded by changing managers, and (finally) adapting a mature and classy, yet sexy image, Brandy dropped her album "Two Eleven" which hit # 1 on the Soul album charts, and has been getting great and positive feedback for those who love and appreciate great music. Fans praised the former star of "Moesha" for singing in different keys and tones, especially her lower register, while showing her sassy and sexy side without being slutty. Brandy has finally grew into the Lady we wanted to see and this is the route that former Destiny's Child member and spokesperson Kelly Rowland needs to take.                                                                          

5. Singer Shaliek Rivers-Ten years ago, I happened to be attending a tribute concert for the late Kenny Greene of Intro, and one of the artist who AIDS activist Maria A Davis recruited to take part in the tribute was Soul Singer/songwriter Shaliek Rivers, a then 20 year-old from The Bronx, who captivated the audience with his soulful renditions of one of Intro's classics, and Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You." I was so blown away by that performance that I had to interview him for my school's publication, and during the interview, I found him to be a very cool, mature and down to earth brother, who wasn't acting like his feecees didn't have a foul odor. He had signed to Universal Records, but sadly didn't release an album due to staff changes at the label as well as politics, and after being at Universal for several years, he decided to release his music independently, and it's paid off. Not only has Rivers reconnected with his fans who have been eagerly waiting for him to drop some music, he has also gained a new legion of fans, who appreciate him performing with a live band and for being true to himself.                                                                  

6.Lionel Richie-For years, many Singers have returned to their roots by recording music they grew up singing and listening to, and while many Soul and Pop artist record Gospel and Jazz albums, Motown Legend Lionel Richie returned to his Country roots recording a Country album titled "Tuskegee" which became hit first # 1 Pop album since 1986's award winning "Dancing On The Ceiling." Richie who won fame as the lead singer and songwriter for the Funk band The Commodores had grew up listening to Country, Classical and Gospel music, and instead of recording a Country album of original material, he decided to re-record his classic hits with Country artists including Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Kenny Rogers, Tim McGraw and Shania Twain, who was hesitant to record with Richie due to having surgery on her vocal chords. Richie who had the same surgery twenty years ago, was persistent and encouraging to the Country singer, who was afraid that she wouldn't do a great job singing on the classic duet "Endless Love" the album's lead single. Lionel's persistence and support paid off because both did a great job and it help Twain reconnect with her fans, while giving Lionel a hit album and a new legion of fans. A great way to celebrate his 30th year anniversary as a solo artist. Yee Haw!!  Now if he can finally reunite with The Commodores, something that he's been talking about for year. It would be great.                                                                                            

7.Bobby Brown-Singer/Songwriter/New Edition Co-founder year had gotten off to a tragic start. Shortly after losing his father, he lost his ex-wife Singer/Actress/Producer Whitney Houston, who died the night before the Grammy Awards, and while many had blamed the Grammy Award singer for getting his ex hooked and addicted to drugs, many fans and singers including Jennifer Holiday fought back and revealed that Houston was doing drugs years before she met Brown, and that they needed to stop putting the blame on him. Brown had rebounded by marrying his manager, and released "Masterpiece" his first solo album over 15 years and been performing solo dates as well as dates with his group mates New Edition, who is embarking on their 30th anniversary tour and was FINALLY honored with a long overdue Lifetime Achievement Award from the Soul Train Music Awards this past fall. Bobby showed the industry that you can keep a talented Bad Boy down, and that he's still going to be having fans sing "My Prerogative" for another 25 years.                                                                                                                                      

8. Mary Wilson-The Original Supreme is still keeping the spirit and the legacy of The Supremes alive with several different projects. She's planning on having a set of Supremes gowns on display at the African American Museum in Philadelphia as well as celebrating the release of "Life's Been Good To Me" her first U.S. single since 1995's "U" which is getting spins on internet radio. She also worked with writer/author Mark Bego on a magazine honoring The Supremes' 50th anniversary which includes photographs and two of her secret recipes which will be featured in her future cookbook.                                                                                            

9. Scherrie Payne-The Payne killer and former Supremes' lead singer has been on the roll herself. In addition to performing with Lynda Laurence and Joyce-Vincent, she released a Dance version of The Supremes' Disco classic hit "Let Yourself Go" which is having Supreme fans bringing out their inner Diva on the Dance floors and among their peers. Scherrie did a great job re-cutting this classic and is showing fans that you don't have to be young to loosen up.

10.Chi-Ali-The former Bronx teen rapper was released from prison after serving 14 years for manslaughter, and as soon as he was released, he quickly returned to recording and performing, and starting a new chapter in his life. The youngest member of the Hip-Hop crew The Native Tongues had shot and killed his daughter's uncle, and after being on the run for several months, he was captured and copped a plea, and while he was serving his sentence, he went to college, earned an Associates Degree, and continued to write songs, while working on his muscular physique. Since he's been released, he's released singles with Rappers Fat Joe and Mysonne, as well as performed with Rapper Skyzoo, who has listed Ali as one of his favorite rappers and main inspirations to pursue a career in rap. Many are glad that Chi Ali is back, and he's letting those know that many can get a second chance in life and start their lives over. Especially those who take and accept responsibility for their actions


Hey there. Many talented and creative people have been making their mark with their talent and have been getting lots of feedback (mainly positive) about their work, which goes to show that there are many who do appreciate creative diversity and innovation, and here is my list of who you should be looking out for and checking out in 2013

1. ANTONIO DANDRIDGE: HOST AND CREATOR OF HITSVILLE RADIO. As many of you know Da-Professor is a huge fan of the music and legacy of Motown Records, and when Singer Antonio Dandridge decided to form a radio station dedicated to Motown, many were happy and excited. Born and raised in Detroit, Dandridge, who also sang background for Musiq Soulchild and others, grew up loving the sound of Motown, and has a strong love and Appreciation for the music and it's impact as well as the legacy, and since the debut of his show, it has gotten over 1000 listeners including Talk-Show Host Ellen Degeneres, who described it as an nonstop hour of hits. Looks like Antonio is going to have fans Dancing In The Streets to the sounds of Young America.

2. DONALD PEEBLES: AUTHOR OF HIDDEN FIRES AND CREATOR OF BLACK SOAP FRIDAYS. Known for his writing talent, being outspoken, Afrocentric, and putting people who mistreat others on blast, Donald Peebles has been gaining a large following with his current project, "Black Soap Fridays" a weekly You Tube show where he discussing the roles, contributions and talent of Black Actors on the Soap Operas including "The Young & The Restless" which is one of his all-time favorite Soaps along with "Generations" and "All My Children." Peebles doesn't just talk about their talents, he also speaks about the politics and behind the scenes drama, and how the story lines could be much better and realistic, which has many fans excited and applauding him. He's also gotten praise from several Y&R cast members for speaking his mind. Looks like many are going to be tuning in to get the tee on and his no-tongue-held-bars on the Blacks on Soap Operas. Ooh Child.

3. AUSTIN BROWN: SOUL/POP SINGER/SONGWRITER/MUSICIAN. The Jackson family has produced several hit records, and inspiring many to pursue careers in music including their children, and Singer/Songwriter Austin Brown is keeping his family's legacy alive. The son of Singer Rebbie Jackon, the eldest of The Jackson clan, Austin was influenced by music as a young child, and while he loved music, his legendary mother who scored with her classic hit "Centerpede" didn't want him to pursue a career in music. She was hoping that he would have chose another profession and live a normal life, but when she asked him to perform with at one of her overseas shows, she saw that he had natural stage presence and a love with the stage, and she changed her mind. He first made his recording debut on his Uncles and Aunt's classic single "2300 Jackson Street" in 1989, and few years later, he appeared as a guest rapper on his mom's updated version of her debut single. "Centerpede" on her 1998 album "Yours Faithfully." After completing high school, he began to write, produce and perform at showcases and began work with hit-making producer Rodney Jerkins, who helped him co-write and produce songs, and this year he finally released his mix-tape which is getting a huge buzz and showing that talent does run in The Jackson family. 

4. HOODIE LAVAE-ADULT ENTERTAINER/MUSIC PRODUCER/ENGINEER. There's a saying that Porn and music do go together, and Adult Entertainer/Producer Hoodie Lavae is doing a great job making his mark in both of those entertainment fields. The Virginia resident got began to write and produce music during his high school years, and he then began to perform solos on X-Tube, which also increased his fan base, receiving close to 1 million views in a short period of time. His talent caught the attention of Porn Star/director Rock the founder and CEO of Rockafella Entertainment, who recruited him to star in several of his adult films as well as use one of his tracks in one of the scenes. While there are many who are reluctant to reveal they worked in the Adult Entertainment industry, La'Vae, who is also working on several movie scripts has no problem with his line of profession, and his boldness is what will make him one of several to look for in 2013. Many have purchased his beats.

5. IMMANUEL-KILL-EM-WITH-KINDNESS (I.K.P) A/K/A-THE PRESIDENT-OUT RAPPER/PRODUCER. I.K.P.is one of many openly Gay musicians who's been making music without compromising nor hiding his sexual orientation, and he's been creating a buzz with his unique and versatile styles of flow, lyrics and productions. From spoken word, to spitting hot verses and bringing drama, the Brooklyn-born-Virginia raised Out Music Award nominated brother has performed at several events this year including Philly's Black Pride, and with Rapper/Radio host Splash T, where they performed their hit "Super Hoe" which has gotten a hot and positive response. The President is also an advocate on AIDS awareness and he will be dropping his long awaited and highly anticipated mix-tape next year. All hail The President.

6.JA'PAN NATION-POP/SOUL SINGER/SONGWRITER/MODEL. Ja' Pan Nation has been receiving lots of love on his muscular physique, innovative style and sense of fashion, and his singles "Make Love" and "Certified Banger" with the latter being produced and engineered by Kay'Vion Sire and being featured on the Melanie Fiona Mix-tape, and is continue to get lots of votes and spins by fans and DJs. Like The Jacksons, Donna Summer, Usher, Marvin Gaye and Lady GaGa, the Texas born entertainer is going to have fans captivated with his unique style. Fans can catch him at his performance at the Marriott Hotel At Newark International Airport on January 19th

7. ARMANI WILLIAMS-ACTOR/AUTHOR OF "SCANDALICIOUS" AND UPCOMING NOVEL "HARLEM BOYZ" When I met and purchased Author Armani Williams' debut novel, he told me it was going to be hot and sexual, and he was right. The book was so hot, I thanked God for allowing me to live in an area where the train was able to get me home very quickly. The New Jersey Native has been getting a great buzz from both the L.G.B.T. and Heterosexual communities, who has praised him for his writing and for helping them learn how to understand both communities. Williams also starred in the film "You Are Not Alone" and just recently filmed a scene from his upcoming novel with Out Rapper/Actor Lester Green. 

8.VICTOR ANTONIO-PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO BROADWAY/SOUL LEGEND STEPHANIE MILLS. Brooklyn Based assistant Victor Antonio has been doing a great job keeping Broadway/Soul Legend Stephanie Mills' legacy alive by posting performances of talented Brooklyn Legend on Facebook as well as running her fan page. He's also is very active in helping the Grammy Award winning get honored for her contributions to music which many believe is way long over due. He also is a great singer who occasionally posts videos of himself singing various songs including Stephanie's classics.

 9. NEHEMIAH AKBAR-SAME GENDER LOVING MALE POP/R&B SINGER/SONGWRITER. Frank Ocean wasn't the only Out R&B singer to gain a huge following. Oklahoma based Singer/Songwriter/Dancer Nehemiah Akbar grabbed many with his single "First Class Boy" which got lots of views on You Tube. The singer had released his debut single and video for "Make My Move" which started to put his name in people's mouth, but it was his follow up single about being wined and dined by a rich man that kept more people talking and wanting to know more about the talented performer who also performed at Dallas Texas' Black Pride this past year. This talented performer will be riding first class on the charts in 2013

10. FREAKY BOYZ-OPENLY GAY CHICAGO-BASED RAP DUO-Rap duo Freaky Boyz has been getting a buzz with the LGBT music scene and they one of the few who's been getting request to appear on mainstream radio shows. The duo has been getting a large following with their lyrics, beats, flow and party jams that has music lovers dancing and gagging. The duo just dropped their mix-tape "Unleashed" on Christmas and the feedback so far has been positive.

11. SOUL STAGE-SOUL/ROCK SINGER/SONGWRITER/FASHION CONSULTANT. Singer Soul Stage plans to add to Brooklyn's musical legacy with his singing and songwriting and like Ja' Pan Nation, doesn't plan to be pigeonholed as a recording artist. While many Black artists rely on R&B and Hip-Hop music, Stage incorporates all genres of music with his sound including Soul, Rock and classical, giving it a fresh hip and retro sound that will have listeners of all ages and races listening, and it's evident on his debut single "Grown Up" which is getting a strong buzz from the fans and the streets. 

12. DEON YOUNG-R&B/HIP-HOP SINGER/SONGWRITER. Harlem born and based Singer/Songwriter Deon Young is creating a buzz with his live performances, and his connection with his fans. Young also released his mix-tape this year and is working on his debut album which is slated to be released next year, and he will add to the Harlem legacy with his talent and outgoing personality.

Friday, December 14, 2012


People who are born and raised in the south has many admires, and Pop/Soul singer/songwriter/dancer Ja' Pan Nation is being admired for many things; his singing, songwriting, dancing, his muscular body (the brother does has a lovely physique) and his southern hospitality. Born and raised in Texas, the talented singer became found his calling to be an entertaining after watching Grammy-Award winning entertainer Janet Jackson's social-conscious video "Rhythm Nation." After watching that video, he began to hone his chops by rehearsing and singing on a daily basis, and all that work has paid off; the singer has released two hits, while his current single "Club Banger" which was produced by Kay'Vion Sire was elected to be on a mix-tape. The singer had took time out to speak via telephone about his career, the importance of putting on a good show and music with a positive vbe. DA-PROFESSOR: How are things going for you in 2012? JA'PAN: It's going really good. Everything is moving along faster than I expected so it's already set in stone that's it's gonna be a busy year. DA-PROFESSOR: How did you become involve in music? JA'PAN: I was about 5 or 6, and I saw Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation 1814" and that was like the video and artist that inspired me to be great (so) I found my nitch and I've been doing it ever since then. DA-PROFESSOR: Who else inspires you besides Miss Janet? JA'PAN: Besides Janet, Britney Spears, Beyonce Knowles. We can't leave out Michael Jackson, Usher, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and Prince. I really love Prince. DA-PROFESSOR: Tell me what do you admire about those artists? JA'PAN: I just love the fact they embody definition of (what) an entertainer is. They all have the full package, They can perform at sold-out arenas and they can give you your money's worth. They can sing, They can dance. They have very creative mind sets and are unique in their own way. DA-PROFESSOR: You have a unique stage name. How did you come up with it an what does it stand for and represents? JA'PAN: (J)aunted (A)ndrogynous (P)latformed (A)dvantegous (N)oteworthy (Nation)symbolizes what influenced me to be who I am. (Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation 1814 ) it is also a reminder of my god given mission. Which is to go to the NATIONS ans save souls for god thru my Musical Prescence, Performance, Advice, and Salvation. DA-PROFESSOR: Very interesting. I've listened to your music and I noticed that your music has all elements including Pop, Soul and Dance. What prompted you to include those genres in your music? JA'PAN: Well because I want everybody to have something to listen to. I don't want be come one of those artists to be categorized to one thing. I love all forms of music. I believe in loving all forms of music gives me an advantage to give something to enjoy for everybody. Something they will enjoy. DA-PROFESSOR: Ja' Pan. You brought up an interesting point. Many Black artists feel that they have to only perform R&B and Hip-Hop music, and they feel they can't branch out due to fears of being called sell-outs and not being Black enough. How important is it for Black artists to explore other genres of music? JA'PAN: I would say the very first thing is that they gave to remember we're put on this earth for a reason. We're all people. It doesn't matter color or not. So the best way to go about it is if you want your craft to reach out the world and unfortantely, it is not just made of one ethnic person, so you have to be able to change a whole different race. I wouldn't be afraid of what my ethnically say and I understand cause I know the ones who understand understand. That's how I look at it. DA-PROFESSOR: I've noticed that you do a lot of dancing. How long have you've been dancing? JA'PAN: I've been dancing about the same amount of time. Since I was 4 or 5. DA-PROFESSOR: I appreciate the copies of your music you send me. What was the inspiration for "Get Loose?" JA'PAN: The inspiration for "Get Loose" was the Jackson family. I don't feel like the industry would be the same without them, and (they are) such great idols for me. That's part of me. I can make their legacy can be lived on through me, cuz there's so much of them in me, plus I have my own twist to make Ja'Pan, but those (2) Jacksons. You know what I'm saying? So for "Get Loose" I was thinking M.J. all the way. DA-PROFESSOR: I told you my favorite song of yours is "Make Love." What inspired you to write that pretty ballad? JA'PAN: For "Make Love" the inspiration was I show my fans that I'm human too and we get sexually frustrated and we all have those fantasies and things that we want with whoever we love. That's what inspired it and I can be open-minded when it comes to making love, DA-PROFESSOR: That's been on my playlist all day. (Both laughs and giggles). JA'PAN: That's really good to hear. DA-PROFESSOR: Have you done any performances? JA'PAN: My last performance was on December 16 for a record label and it was exclusive and I had a great time and met a lot of great people. DA-PROFESSOR: You're from Texas. They are many talented people who came from Texas including The original Destiny's Child, Johnny Taylor as well as Kirk Franklin and H-Town. How does it feel coming from that state where these talented people are from and how do you feel you're gonna add to their musical legacy? JA'PAN: I actually feel honored and the reason I feel honored is because we all represent Texas in different ways. Beyonce Knowles opened the door for the female genre. Especially for the group genre with Destiny's Child and we have a lot of rappers that paved but we don't have anybody from Dallas except Erykah Badu, but she's Soul. If we can get a male Pop star, I really thing that will really complete Texas. DA-PROFESSOR: There's a-lot of people who love southern people. Tell me from your perspective, what is about southerners that makes northerners want to holla at them? JA'PAN: One thing I can say is that we're really considerate people. Southern hospitality. We're out going. We're ready to meet anybody. Just the way of being brought up I guess. DA-PROFESSOR: What are you comfortable with? Dance songs, ballads or both? JA'PAN: Well actually, I'm working on every type. I really want to first and foremost promote the fact that I'm an entertainer, so I always want my fans to be up and dancing but at the same time, I want them to relate to them with the ballads as well. I want to be respected as an entertainer, but as a vocalist as well. So I'm thinking I'm going half and half with that. DA-PROFESSOR: In addition to singing and writing, do you plan on doing any acting and modeling? JA'PAN: Well of course. Modeling comes with the territory. There's photo shoots you're taking and it's building up your portfolio, so I guess you can say I'm modeling already. Acting definitely I want to look into after I inspired the world musically. DA-PROFESSOR: If you had the opportunity to work with any musician mainstream and independent, who would it be? JA'PAN: I would have to say Lady Ga-Ga, I would also like to work with Miguel. He's an up and coming artist star. DA-PROFESSOR: Miguel who performs "Quickie" and "Vixen." I love Miguel. JA'PAN: Right! Miguel is hot. My favorite song is "Girl Like You." I would love to work with Usher, Tyresse and Janet. DA-PROFESSOR: Speaking of Janet, what are your favorite songs and albums of Janet's? JA'PAN: WOW! I'm a die hard Janet fan, so I love every single album she's done. Even the undergrounds people don't know about, but I would have to say that my favorite album would be "The Velvet Rope." DA-PROFESSOR: Mines too! JA'PAN: Really? DA-PROFESSOR: Yes! JA'PAN: Velvet Rope. That's great. "Velvet Rope: has so much richness. I love that side of Janet. DA-PROFESSOR: You also have a nice physique. How do you keep that physique? JA'PAN: It's that I'm making sure I diet correctly and working out to the point where I can't do it no more DA-PROFESSOR: So when will the album be released? JA'PAN: Actually, I don't have a tentative date. I really want to have a lot of material under my belt. I want everybody to love the album from start to finish. DA-PROFESSOR: Ja'Pan you brought up an interesting point of making sure you're album comes out right as opposed to be putting it out just to put it out and thinking that because you have a muscular physique you can walk on the stage without giving a good show. JA'PAN: It's very important to me. It's almost as important is me making sure I'm right with God before I sleep at night type of thing. I want fans I have starting out to know that are already aware that I'm giving them my all. That's what separates the men from the boys (and) the that's what separates the adults from the children in the industry. Showmanship is everything. Sometimes the material on the album may not be that good, but your showmanship at the end of the day is that sells you, so I feel like the more time you put into your production, the people would want to see you. That's how it started out until the late 90's ended. Showmanship is everything. It's not about taking your shirt off. It's not about walking back and forth across the stage. It's just making sure everyone is entertained from start to finish. You make sure you have a memorable performance. DA-PROFESSOR: What do you want fans to get from your music? JA'PAN: I want fans to get from my music positivity. Every subject I'm gonna write about it is gonna promote positive direction and that's basically what I want to talk about. Even the sexual songs are still gonna go in a positive direction. It's not gonna be in a way to disrespect a woman.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN PHYSICAL WRITTEN BY STEVE KIPNER AND TERRY SHADDICK PRODUCED BY JOHN FARRAR RELEASED SEPTEMBER 1981 During the late 1970's and early 1980's, actress/singer Olivia Newton-John had scored many classic hits, that made her a house hold name, but when she released her classic single "Physical" in 1981, her career went into overdrive, and enlarged her fan base world wide. Known for singing romantic Pop-Dance and Country flavored songs, "Physical" not only became one of many songs used as work-out theme songs, it had also help shed her wholesome girl next door image and made her a sex symbol, due to the the lyrics about wanting to get physical in the bedroom, and though they weren't as blunt and raw as many of today's songs are, many stations had banned the song for being too racy. This was probably due to many had issues with females being sexually liberating and insisting on having sex. Many kids like myself thought that she was singing about working out and exercising, but were shocked to learn that she was singing about getting your freak on. What makes the classic hot are the music which has elements of Pop, R&B and Rock, courtesy of the Bass and guitar solo during the song's bridge, Newton-John's vocals and the lyrics written by Steve Kipner and Terry Shaddick. Let's Get Physical. Physical I wanna get physical. Let's get into physical Let me hear your body talk Your body talk Let me hear your body talk I've been patient I've been good Trying to keep my hands on the table. Olivia Newton-John didn't create a hit song, she created a song that still has music lovers and fans wanting to get physical in the gym and in the bedroom, and it showed that it's nothing wrong with women wanting to have steamy workouts either. FACTS ABOUT PHYSICAL The song was originally written for Rod Stewart, but once Olivia heard the song, she jumped at the opportunity to record the song and it became her biggest hit to date, peaking at # 1 for 10 weeks, as well as becoming her only R&B hit, peaking at # 28 on the R&B Charts. The song and the video also started a work-out phrase and became one of many Pop songs to be used as work-out fitness songs in gyms and in commercials.
The song had been covered by several artists including Soul/Funk singer/songwriter/producer Kay'Vion Sire, who recorded a R&B version of the classic in 2008. Kay'Vion happened to be in the studio in Virginia when he heard somebody playing Olivia's version in their car, and his best friend suggested that he do his own version. "He was like Kay'Vion if you can make that song hot, I will be your number one fan" he said."So that same day, I made a beat to it. Screwed it up a bit. Added a new millennium swag to it What not, and it's one of my favorite songs to date."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


SEXUAL HEALING WRITTEN BY MARVIN GAYE, ODELL BROWN & DAVID RITZ PRODUCED BY MARVIN GAYE COLUMBIA RECORDS ORIGINALLY RELEASED SEPTEMBER 1982 # 1 R&B/# 3 POP When singer/songwriter played Marvin Gaye his friends and associates the demo of “Sexual Healing” they were excited and told him it was gonna be a hit. They were right; “Sexual Healing” became a hit, and it showed the industry that he still had the good to deliver great music. Gaye had scored his last major hit five years prior with the Disco-flavored “Got To Give It Up” and embarked on his first U.K. tour in several years, but after the tour was over, he found himself at the cross roads of his career. He had gone through two divorces, struggled with drug addiction, owed the IRS millions in back taxes, and making things more dramatic was his battle with Motown Records, who released his 1981 album “In Our Lifetime” without his consent. Pissed off, Gaye decided to leave the label he had called home, and with the urging of his friend promoter Freddy Courset, the Prince of Soul relocated to Belgium where he began to work out physically, mentally and musically, and while he was rehabilitating body, mind and soul, he signed a deal with Columbia Records (who brought his Motown contract for 2 million dollars) and began to work on his new album which contained the lead single “Sexual Healing” which in addition to becoming Marvin’s biggest comeback since “What’s Going On” it became the highest rising Soul song of the 1980’s as well as earning him a American Music Award and two long overdue Grammy Awards. What makes this song the classic are the strong Caribbean and Reggae groove courtesy of the guitar performance by Gordan Banks Gaye’s performance of the keyboards, synsersizers and organs as well as the lyrics, the and call and response during the second performance of the hook with the background vocalist whispering and Gaye singing in a soulful tenor voice, which gives the song it’s spice. Get Up Get Up Get Up Get Up Let’s make love tonight Wake up. Wake Up. Wake up. Wake up. Cause you do it right. Hear my darling. I can’t wait for you to operate When I get this feeling I need sexual healing. “Sexual Healing” is one of Soul music’s hottest and sexiest songs, and Marvin did a great job of cooking up a hot spicey romantic tune, that still has fans dancing on the dance floor and in the bedroom, and while it’s sad that he died shortly after this release, he didn’t leave his fans musically disappointed; almost every night there are still people telling to their partners to get up because they need some sexual healing. This review is dedicated to the late Marvin Gaye. FACTS ABOUT SEXUAL HEALING While in Belgium, writer/author David Ritz was visiting Marvin to help him write his memoirs, which was later become the book “Divded Soul” and one day he saw that Marvin had several porn magazines and he told Marvin that he didn’t need those magazines. He needed “Sexual Healing.” According to Ritz, Marvin had the instrumental playing in the background and told him to write some lyrics. After the song was released, Ritz’s name wasn’t listed on the credits, and after trying to speak to Marvin about giving him the proper credit, he sued him, but before the case could go to trial, Marvin was shot by his father, who he attacked after hearing him verbally abuse his mother. Marvin didn’t leave a will and his first wife Anna had put their son Marvin III in charge of his estate, and after meeting with Ritz, they settled with David getting partial credit on the song as well as a share of the royalties. Years later, Courseatt and Odell Brown, the co-writer had denied Ritz’s claims, saying that Ritz only came up with the title. Marvin Gaye had been listening to lots of Reggae music while he was in Belgium and decided to use Reggae flavor on the song. He originally wanted to use European musicians on the track, but due to financial difficulties and creative differences, Gaye decided to play keyboards, synsersizers and drums himself. He also had his friend and mentor Harvey Fuqua to help him get back on track and to sing background vocals. When “Sexual Healing” was released, it became Marvin’s first certified gold-single(Motown reportedly didn't report earnings to the RIAA until the late 1970's). It also made history by becoming one of the fastest rising Soul singles of the 1980’s to rise up the Soul Music charts. The song also earned Marvin an American Music Award and two long overdue Grammy Awards for Best R&B Male vocalist and Best R&B Instrumental. When he accepted his overdue Grammys, he was calm and excited. “I’ve waited a very long time to win. Twenty some odd years.” “Sexual Healing” has been covered and sampled by many singers and rappers. Bones, Thugs and Harmony and Fat Joe sampled the tune for their single “First of Tha Month” and “Envy.” Pop/Soul singer Michael Bolton and Reggae Artist Max-A-Million each recorded their versions of “Sexual Healing” as well as El DeBarge, who recorded his version of the tune on “Marvin’s Turns 60” a tribute album which featured many artists covering his songs to honor what would have been his 60th birthday. German Pop Singer Sarrah O’Connor and US Soul singer/songwriter Ne-Yo scored an international hit with their version of “Sexual Healing.” Actress/singer Valarie Pettiford sang the song in the hit film “Jumping The Broom.” IMPACT Marvin Gaye’s music has and still continues to influence many singers, and they list “Sexual Healing” as one of their favorites. Because it wasn't dirty. It was very sexy. It was very sultry, but anybody could listen to it. Even children could listen to it That was the testament of the times the way music was made back them. Think of the title 'Sexual Healing' I don't think that you want your daughter, God daughter, niece or nephew to be sitting near the radio without you monitoring the box. It's sultry and the respect that music was made with. It's hard to explain what Soul is but the music in the past is so special and I'm (so) trying to recreate that every time I create an album Soul singer/songwriter Noel Gourdin, incorporates the song in his single “Sex In The City” “What I think about that song is that’s so clever because anything sexual is supposed to be celebrated for people under certain ages, but I feel that the song was cleverly written so even a child could sing about it and it wasn’t out of line. It was still PG-13, but it wasn’t pornographic. Pop/Soul Singer/songwriter Ja’Pan Nation

Friday, September 21, 2012


NEHEMIAH AKBAR FIRST CLASS BOY While I was on my Facebook friend Rob Spigel's page, I noticed that he had a song on his page by a singer named Nehemiah Akbar titled "First Class Boy." "Interesting title" I said as I wonder what type of song this is. I followed the link, played the song and I nearly went through the ceiling and back. That's how I get when I fall in love with a song I hear for the first time, and Nehemiah's follow up to "Make My Move" is a hot, sexy, innovative song about a guy being wined, dined, and loved by a millionaire man, which is something that every gay guys strives for. Written by Akbar and produced by Don Jarvis, the song has a hot combo of Pop, Soul, Dance courtesy of the beats, horn riffs, keyboards, strings, and percussion that adds African and Middle Eastern flavor, which will have the kids dancing along with his vocals, but it's Nehemiah's songwriting skills and lyrics that has me loving this song. I love how he acknowledges the Black Gays who use the term SGL short for Same Gender Loving, and avoids using the term DL or down load, which shows Black Gays in a positive light. I met this handsome brotha He wasn't undercover But another SGL like me And so sexy He looked at me and promised I would never have to be alone (And then) He flies me here. He blast me there. I cant go anywhere Cuz he's a millionaire. Now I'm a first class boy. This has to be one of the hottest single of the fall, and I predict that every gay kid is going to be blasting this song in their I-Pods and hopefully the kids in the ballroom will have common sense and play this at their balls. For years women have always recorded songs about being with a millionaire, who showers them with love and the glamorous life, and since gays have been known for helping them out with fashion, cooking, decorating, and being a shoulder to lean on, gays have the right to be romanced wined and dined just as much as they are, and Nehemiah Akbar's single gives us hope and encouragement to strive hard to achieve and to get be a first class boy. "First Class Boy" is now available on I-Tunes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


DIANA ROSS MUSCLES WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY MICHAEL JACKSON 1982 RCA RECORDS In his memoirs Smokey: Inside My Life, Smokey Robinson claimed that that Diana Ross’ real hit with RCA was “Muscles.” Not necessary. The former Supreme did score four Top Ten Pop hits during her tenure at RCA as well as one platinum and two gold albums, which gained great reviews, including her 1982 classic “Muscles” which became a major hit earning Ross an American Music Award. The single which was written and produced by former label mate Michael Jackson, became a hit, and was named by Rolling Stone Magazine as a modern piece Pop Record. What makes this song the classic that it is are the cinematic dramatic intro, finger snaps, sound affects, Diana’s sexy and soulful vocal, Jackson’s trademark use of strings, bass and melodies, the call and response between him and Ross, and the seductive, sexy lyrics that describes the type of man every woman wants. A man with muscles. She says she wants a man to make her understand That’s all right for her but that’s not enough for me She says she wants to guy to keep her satisfied But that’s all right for her, but it ain’t enough for me I don’t care if he’s young or old Just make him beautiful. I just want someone I can hold on to I want muscles! Ohh!! All over his body. This song sounds just as great as it did when it was first release, and it still stands the test of time, and while there are many women and Gay men who now prefer guys who are thick, full figured and with bellies and guts, there are and always will be many who wants a strong man with muscles all over their bodies. This review is dedicated to the memory of Michael Jackson. FACTS ABOUT MUSCLES. Michael Jackson had been in love with Diana Ross from the moment she met him in 1968. He had admire her and always wanted to repay her for her love and support, and him composing “Muscles” was his way of saying thank you. Michael had just finished recording with former Beatle Paul Mc Cartney, and while he was on his way home, the song had popped into his head, but he didn’t have access to a tape recorder and pen. As soon as he got him, he put the song on tape. Michael had originally wanted to co-produce the song with Diana, based on her production skills on her first post-Motown album “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” but Diana let her Aries guard down, and trusted Michael to produce the song himself. The song became a huge hit for the stars, and showed Michael’s ability as a songwriter and producer, and it showed that Diana was able to survive past Motown though she returned to the famous Detroit label 7 years later where she executive produced all her albums as well as co-wrote several songs. “Muscles” earned Diana an Amercian Music Award, and a nomination for a Grammy Award. “Muscles” was the most talked about R&B/Pop songs of 1982. Many junior and high school students were cutting school to listen to the latest songs at the time, and they were describing the song’s lyrics of a woman saying that what type of man she wanted. A man with muscles to hold on to.. “Muscles” became one of Diana’s signature live songs. During her 1983 concert in Central Park, Many muscular guys began to display their muscles for the camera, while many ripped their shirts. Diana even helped by demanding some guys to take off their shirts while inviting a few to come onstage with her. “Muscles” became cult-classic in the LGBT community. Many gay men, drag queens, and transgender performers lip-synchs to the song, while many exotic dancers uses this song as their theme music during performances. Rapper Lil’ Kim and singer Kelly Price had sampled this song for their single “Diamonds” which was scheduled to appear on Kim’s sophomore release “The Notorious KIM” but when Kim, who cites Diana as one of her influences asked for permission to use the sample, The Boss denied her request, saying that Michael has written that song specifically for her. “Diamonds” was briefly heard as Lil’ Kim made an entrance on an award show, and the song has been uploaded on You Tube.

Monday, September 17, 2012


THE DEATH OF JOHNNY ACE BY STEVE BERGSMAN Author Steve Bergsman's latest novel The Death of Johnny Ace kept me interested, impressed, picturing myself at being a part of the story and wondering what was going to happen in the upcoming sentence and paragraph. The book had a style of mystery and first and second person narrative, which will and should keep the readers interested. Especially music history buffs like myself. The novel starts off with the narrator giving a description of a Christmas Eve night at a concert hall in Houston where many are there to see to Rhythm and Blues singer Johnny Ace perform, and while the fans are anxiously waiting to see the singer who was dubbed a Soulful version of Johnny Mathis, making it a Christmas they would never forget. It was, and sadly, for the one reasons too. As they wait for Ace to arrive, they fans see a large number of police enter the hall, leaving many to wonder was there anything crazy happening? Including a teenage boy from New York, who was there with his two cousins and friend, who had came to the conclusion that Ace was the one who the cops and ambulance were bringing out before an official announcement was made, and while the cousins were rightfully shaken, the boy held his composure. "For some Strange reason, he tapped his chest, and then reached into the pocket of his jacket, and pulled out the blue ticket to the concert" Bergsman wrote. "He looked at it carefully and then placed it back into safety. It was time to get everyone home." The boy would later become Professor William Harkness,a successful writer, author and retired college professor, who had a great passion, love and knowledge of music history, and a strong interest in deceased singers, including many who died under mysterious circumstances. The rest of story details Ace's arrival at the Palace Theater, making his way to the bar and catching attention from the females customers, who loved men dressed in military attire, and Ace, loved the attention from the women, and the whites, who were polite to men who wore military attire. Like many Southerners in the early 1900's Ace, had joined the military to provide for his family, and receive the financial benefits, but he had also joined to travel the world and to have access to carry a pistol, a obsession he had since he was a teenager living in Tenenesse, and it made him believe that he could get him power and respect. He also began to perform life after he left the military, and began to pursue a singing career, and what makes the story interesting is how Bergsman gives descriptions of the other musicians and how he switches from first to second person narration, making it seem like it's a documentary instead of a book. One of the most interesting and poignant part of the book is how Ace refused to accept a raw deal, and he refused to be treated like a working slave by standing up to Don Robey an executive at Peacock Records who used scare tactics to get his point across and to handle business, and while many gave in, Ace didn't. He even knew how to outsmart him by making dangerous bets, which led many to believe that it was the game of Russian Roulette that caused his death. "The Death of Johnny Ace" is an interesting novel to read, and for those who are into music history this is a good book to read, but I wish that the story would have had also focused on how Ace's music made an impact on the world and why are music lovers interested in his music and why many Whites are more interested in his story than Blacks. A great read for music historians.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I got up, got dressed, voted, and proceeded to make my way to my Tuesday classes at Brooklyn college. Little did I know that I wouldn't be attending school that day. After I got off the 3 train at 42 Street-Times Square, I noticed that there were many people in the station, and being that Times Square is always crowded, I didn't think anything was wrong, but little did I suspect, something was, and it was totally unexpected. As I waited for the Q train, I noticed that it entered the station at a very slow pace. Slower than usual. After the doors opened, I got on and managed to get a seat, and if my memory is correct, I either pulled out a magazine or my tape recorder I used as a walkman. Anyhow, the conductor announced that there train would encounter 5 minute delays due to signal problems and traffic ahead. Then about 2 minutes later, he made an announcement that I will never forget; "passengers due to an explosion at the World Trade Center, all Q train service will be out of service." Many including myself were shocked and scared. "An explosion at the World Trade Center?!" I said to myself. "I got to get home ASAP!!" I flew off the train and up the stairs to catch the train uptown and while I was making my way towards the 7th Avenue line, I saw many passengers on the pay phone making calls to their loved one and jobs to try to figure out what was going on, and to inform them that they wouldn't be coming in. As I got to the Uptown 7th Avenue line, I saw an uptown 2 train pulling in half empty, and from my years of experience of riding the subway, I had a strong feeling that there wasn't gonna be any uptown # 3 trains running, so I jumped on the 2 and took it to 59 Street with plans of catching the D train uptown, but when I got off, I learned that all subway service was suspended. After hearing that, I rushed out the train station with plans on catching the bus uptown, but when I got outside, there was several passengers waiting for the bus as well, and it seemed we weren't the only ones who was confused and eager to get back home; the bus drivers were as well. In fact two buses drove by us, despite being flagged down by police to let us get on. Still unsure of what was going on, I decided to walk home. Normally I enjoy walking and I've walked long distances before, but this time was different. I felt numb, exhausted and had this feeling of fear, confusion and shock. By the time I got to 113 Street a bus had arrived and despite the crowd, I managed to get on. "Thank God" I said as I got on and found an space to stand. I was glad that I was able to rest my feet before I got to my destination, but it was a short trip. Turns out that the driver had to make a trip back down town to pick up more passengers due to the halt in subway service. I like many of the other passengers were upset, but we were more upset at the female bus driver, who acted very rude towards a senior citizen, who was exhausted. When the senior citizen tried to sit, the driver screamed at her saying 'YOU HAVE TO GET OFF! I GOT TO GO BACK DOWN TOWN AND PICK UP MORE PASSENGERS!! THIS BUS IS OUT OF SERVICE!!" Many had scoled the driver for her rudeness and unprofessional attitude by saying "You didn't have to scream at her. She's a senior citizen and you should have been more respectful!" (Had someone called the driver a Bitch or Hoe, she would have probably gotten mad). After walking a few more blocks, another bus came and being that I was tired, I was determined to get on. I did and was glad that to get on because I was all-walked out. Right when he got to the block where my grandmother lived, he announced that he was going to the Bronx, and whoever lived in Manhattan could get off, many, myself included, got off, and I was relived to be in my old neighborhood. When I got upstairs my mother had all the televisions on and that's when I learned that there wasn't just an explosion; The World Trade Center was attacked, and words couldn't express how I felt as I watched the footage of the planes crashing into the towers. After speaking to my mother, I ran to the phone and began to call some of my friends to see if they were ok. Two of them were home, while two of them I had problems reaching. (I later learned that one was stranded and had to walk back to Brooklyn, while my other friend had to walk through Queens to return to Brooklyn). I happened to call one of my other friends, who happened to be working the election polls that day, and he informed me that another friend who had witness the second tower crash had fled to his house to relax and compose herself. I was so grateful that my friends had returned home and that they wasn't harmed, but I was sad, and hurt that this had happened, and wondered why and how could anybody could be so damn cruel and evil to do something so damn evil and disgusting?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Every summer, people flock to Coney Island to ride their rides, eat franks, seafood at Nathan's, as well as snack on some funnel cake, and while many were enjoying the food and rides, many had also flocked to see The Jacksons perform live, and they didn't disappoint either. Fans were excited to see the brothers, who are embarking on their first tour in over 28 years, and they were excited to see them do what they do best-give a great show with smooth harmonies and great dancing, and showing the world that they can perform without their late brother Michael, who died three years ago. (Youngest brother Randy opted not to tour). When I learned about that the Motown legends were going to be performing at the famous amusement park, I contacted by brother Garry, who was eager to go. Who wouldn't want to see them perform live. Especially since the seats were only five dollars?! The show began with a video montage featuring clips from their past performances, including their record breaking "Victory" tour, which had the crowd cheering and screaming, and before it, Tito, Jackie, Marlon and Jermaine Jackson walked onstage wearing dark sunglasses, and received a standing ovation. They slowly removed their glasses and went into their classic "Can You Feel It" with each of the brothers singing lead including Tito, who played a hot guitar solo, while the other brothers stood and posed. This was followed by an updated version of "Blame It On The Boogie" which featured hot and funky breaks by their band, smooth vocals by Jermaine and hot dancing by Marlon who hyped the crowd throughout the show. The brothers took the crowd down memory lane while performing Michael's classic "I Wanna Be Where You Are" with Jermaine on lead singing with so much passion that it had fans singing alone and screaming 'sing it Jermaine." Jackie then asked the crowd how you feel, and after the crowd screamed alright, they launched into their version of "Rock With You" with Marlon showing off his singing and dancing, while Jackie strutted across the stage and displayed his trademark tenor and falsetto, which had the crowd wanting more. The crowd went crazy when the brothers performed their U.K. top charting hit "Show You The Way To Go" and what made this performance hot was the call and response between the Jacksons and their background vocalist, and Marlon, Jackie and Jermaine holding contests to see which section could sing the song's chorus the loudest. They also showed their fun side, when Marlon joking reminded Jermaine that he knows the rules and regulations of the contest. Afterwards they funked out the crowd with their classic "Lovely One" where they performed their famous wanna fight dance step and asked the crowd to join them to sing the bridge of the classic. While the brothers took a break, the crowd was shown more videos of the group including their performance on the Ed Sullivan show. "Did you enjoy the memories" Marlon asked while the group returned to the stage. Tito also asked the brothers did they remember the first time they went to Detroit and they spoke about their audition for Motown, and proceeded to take the fans back down memory lane with their performance of their classics "Looking Through The Windows" "Time Waits For No One" and "Heaven Knows I Love You Girl" where they showcased their harmonies and during the latter, Tito drove the women crazy with his sexy baritone voice. The true Jackson fans went crazy when the Jacksons performed "Man of War" and right after they sang the last line of the song, a picture of their brother Michael came on the monitor, and the fans couldn't help but to call his name and scream we love you Michael. After the brothers hugged, Jermaine took center stage and performed an emotional version of Michael's hit "Gone Too Soon" which everybody in the audience (myself included) shedding tears. (I was crying so much that my brother had to console me) What made the tribute touching was the various photographs of Michael that flashed on the monitor including a shot of The Jacksons at the 1997 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and shots of Michael and their sister at the 1993 Grammy Awards. Afterwards, Marlon started to talk about getting the brothers together and was joking saying how Jermaine was in the Middle East and Jackie was in Hawaii, but when he spoke about how Tito was working on a car, he was corrected very quickly. "I was working on my fourth child" Tito joking said before they performed their famous Motown medley of "I Want You Back," "ABC" and "The Love You Save" with Jackie and Marlon singing lead and doing the same famous routines so well that you couldn't believe that they brothers are in their 50's and 60's. The brothers also added a few surprises: they performed "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "All I Do Is Think of You", which featured Jermaine on lead having the crowd go crazy. Especially during the performance of the latter. The crowd joined the brothers during an emotional performance of "I'll Be There" where Jermaine sang Michael's part and Marlon sang Jermaine's part with passion. Jermaine then took center stage to perform a medley of his solo hits and he didn't disappoint either. His performance of "Dynamite" was hot. It featured funky breaks, hot synsersized strings which added elements of New Wave and Caribbean flavor to the classic. Jermaine then had the crowd out their seats while he performed his Grammy-nominated hit "Let's Get Serious" where he showcased his musicianship by playing hot and funky bass lines on his silver bass. Fans were screaming "Go Jermaine! Go Jermaine during his bass solos. He then serenaded the crowd with his classic ballad "Do What You Do" which had couples holding hands and singing to their loved ones. Jackie, Tito and Marlon return to the stage and had the crowd in their hands when they performed Michael's album track "Can't Let Her Get Away" which featured the brothers performing a one legged hopping dance step and posing. The Jacksons gave each of their band members opportunities to perform various solos, and in between each introduction, Marlon constantly performed various free-styling dance moves that had the crowd chanting "Go Marlon. Go Marlon, but the hottest parts of the seagment was when Jermaine playfully smacked Marlon, who did a spin and split that had the crowd laughing, the brothers performing a routine from Michael's "Dangerous" routine and when the background singers sang the bridge of the song. The Jacksons them launched into "Heartbreak Hotel" which hot sound effects during the chorus, hot bass licks, and a hot solo by Tito and the band's guitarist, who did a great job blending well while the brothers and background vocalist sang great harmony, further displayed during "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" which had a great performance by their percusionist who mixed African and Latin rhythms to his performance while the group and and crowd sang the song's famous chant. "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough" could have been longer, but having Michael's original intro and the brother's dancing compensated for he loss. The concert ended with the group performing their platinum-classic single "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground), which had everybody out their seats singing and performing the group's famous routines without a care in the world. What made this performance hot was when the guitarists, bassist and background singers joined Jackie and Tito to perform their famous funk shovel dance routine while Jermaine played bass and Marlon danced and lead the audience into a call and response. Jackie also asked the crowd to put their hands in the air and clap. Marlon then acknowledged his younger brothers Michael and Randy before asking the crowd to say 'shake your body.' The brothers then walked towards the edge of the stage holding hands, bowed to the audience with Marlon and Jermaine playfully hitting each others backs. Then they walked off the stage and greeted the fans in the front row as they made their exit to their trailers. The Jacksons' concert was hot! It was great that they included many of their underrated hits and album tracks in their show, but it would have been hotter had they performed "I Am Love,' "Forever Came Today," "Enjoy Yourself," "Torture," "Body" and "Nothin' (That Compares 2 U)." Jermaine's solo set was great, but it would have been hotter had he included "Daddy's Home," "That's How Love Goes," "Don't Take It Personal" and "Two Ships" in his set. All in all The Jackson's concert was great, and I'm glad that they are performing and honoring their family's legacy with their harmonies and dance moves. I do wish that Michael and Randy were able to be with their brothers, but the good thing is that Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon are still able to perform, and I can't think of any other group who is capable of honoring their little brother and their family's legacy. Hopefully Randy will rejoin her brothers so the group can perform their radio hit "She." This review is dedicated to Randy Jackson and to the memory of Michael Jackson.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS                                                                                              DANCING IN THE STREETS                                                                                                                  GORDY RECORDS                                                                                                                                 WRITTEN BY MICKEY STEVENSON, MARVIN GAYE & Ivy Jo Hunter                       PRODUCED BY MICKEY STEVENSON                                                                                                                                        

"I didn't like it. Why I can't dance in the club and in the ballroom. Here they got me dancing in the streets. So I said can I sing it the way I feel it and I have the anthem for Motown Records with Dancing In The Streets. Martha Reeves on Motown 40 1998.                                                                                                                

I know that Martha Reeves & The Vandellas are so glad that they recorded their classic hit single "Dancing In The Streets." Not only did it become the trio's biggest hit, it became a classic and an worldwide anthem that helped keep Motown Records and the city of Detroit in the hearts, minds and mouths of people for several decades. The song which was written by Mickey Stevenson, Marvin Gaye & Ivy Jo Hunter, has a great funky horn and rhythm section, hot drum licks, and great call and response performances between Reeves and Betty Kelley and Rosalind Ashford, who also add some sweet and soulful harmonies that blends with the strings and horns. The other thing that makes this song the classic that it is are the lyrics which in addition to encourage listeners to get up and dance, it also features famous cities including Chicago, New York Philadelphia and the Motor city of course. Martha & The Vandellas cooked up a great tune that became a party anthem which still has fans dancing in the streets all around the world.                              

FACTS ABOUT THE CLASSIC Co-writer and producer Mickey Stevenson got the inspiration for the song by watching a group of kids turning on the fire hydrant and dancing in the water as a way to keep cool from the heat. He originally wrote it in a form of a ballad, but when Marvin Gaye heard the track, he told him that the song should be more uptempo and added lyrics while Ivy Jo Hunter wrote additional music.            

In her memoirs, Martha Reeves wrote how the original demo featured Marvin Gaye singing the song in a sexy, seductive way. She decided to sing it with feeling, and after she recorded it, she was informed that the producers and engineer didn't tape the session, so Reeves and the Vandellas redid the song in one take, and it became a hit.                                                                                                                                              

This song has been covered by many artists including Dusty Springfield, Mick Jagger & David Bowie and Human Nature, who asked Reeves to appear on their rendition of her classic "(Love Is Like A) Heatwave" on their Motown cover CD "Get Ready."                                                                                  

Billboard Magazine had listed this classic as the most played dance song. When the song was released, many critics thought that the song was a protest song. When asked, Martha's response was "My Lord, it's a party song.


div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"> DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES REFLECTIONS MOTOWN RECORDS.                                                               WRITTEN BY BRIAN HOLLAND-LAMONT DOZIER-EDDIE HOLLAND.                                 PRODUCED BY BRIAN HOLLAND AND LAMONT DOZIER.                                                  ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON JULY 24, 1967                                                                                    LEAD VOCALS-DIANA ROSS BACKGROUND VOCALS-FLORENCE BALLARD AND MARY WILSON.                                                                                                                                            

The Supremes have released several classic hits for Motown, and out of all the hits the trio has recorded, their classic "Reflections" is one of the group's most famous and innovative songs throughout their career. Unlike their previous hits that had a Pop and Soul feel, "Reflections" contains an Psychedelic Soul feel, courtesy of the sound affects, bass, percussion and tamborine, and the haunting lyrics about having flashbacks of a relationship that had gone sour and holding on to the good times as well. It was 25 years ago that I became interested in the history of Motown Records and the Supremes, and this song had became my all-time favorite song, and it sounds just as great as it was when first released forty-five years ago. A great song to play to at parties and to help you have reflect on the bad and good times of life.                            

This review is dedicated to the memories of Florence Ballard, Gladys Horton, Georgenna Tillman, Michael Jackson, Marv Tarplin, Ronnie White, The Funk Brothers, Nick Ashford, Mary Wells,  Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, Esther Gordy, Sandra Tiley, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, David Ruffin, Melvin Franklin, Ali-Ollie Woodson, Levi Stubbs, Renaldo Obie Benson, Lawrence Payton, Rick James, Teena Marie, Bobby DeBarge, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Gwen Gordy, Harvey Fuqua and Norman Whitfield.                                                                                                                                        

FACTS ABOUT THE SONG Reflections is the last single to feature The Supremes' founder Florence Ballard, who was dismissed due to the label's politics and unfair treatment. This single was the first to be released under the name Diana Ross & The Supremes. This song was used as the theme song of the hit television show "China Beach." Many artists have remade this classic including The Four Tops, The Jackson 5ive, Michael Mc Donald, The Temptations and Luther Vandross, who sampled the songs intro for his rendition. Both Diana Ross and Mary Wilson still perform this song in their concerts. The late Donna Summer performed this song at the Diana Ross Divas special in 2000.