Thursday, January 31, 2013

Discarded and Almost Forgotten

Same week I get my first check from google tube for old Wavelenghth (the failed video show that inspired this blog) clips, I find this. It's an air check from the UPN incarnation of the show, which aired the closing years of the twentieth century. I was surprised to be reunited with this aritfact, complete with my handwriting. To answer your question, yes I bought it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rapper Klelph Dollaz dies

Richmond-based rapper, Kleph Dollaz, 41, was found dead today from an apparent cardiac arrest. Dollaz was former member of the 1990s hip hop group Ill Biskits and later produced music for Sean Price, Sadat X, Talib Kweli and others. Last year he released an album, "Square in the Circle," via his bandcamp page. Kleph's music took a spiritual turn in recent years, as evidenced by the above clip for "Speak the Name," directed by Marcus Holland.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hit Squad Takes Out Richmond



Last night, at the Return of the Hit Squad show in Richmond, it was like hip hop never died. The boom-bap the echoed in the cavernous hall of the former department store now known as the Showplace apparently can raise the dead, just look at this blog today. The emcees that make of the hip-hop collective that left its imprint on hip hop charts in the 1990s all made it to the show, overcoming delayed flights, thunderstorms, snarled traffic caused by a presidential visit and a last minute change in venue. Even the Knuckleheadz, a group whose chance at success was derailed by the squad's violent and unfortunate break-up in 1992, were present, opening squad's set with a spirited and confident presentation.

EPMD, followed, which surprised some of the crowd, who didn't expect to see the headliners so soon. Back in the day, a change in the anticipated line up usually means somebody didn't show up. But they were joined by K-Solo for their second song,"Knick Knack Patty Wack," which was anything but. The rapper has been MIA from the rap scene for years and was probably the performer most people were curious to see. K-Solo yielded the stage to Keith Murray, who had more luck stage diving in Richmond than he did back in 1994, when hit the floor at the Flood Zone. Murray stage persona is barely-managed chaos, yet he never seemed to run out of breath or energy.

Das Efx followed, and the former Virginia State University students haven't lost a step, even if one of them has ditched his locks. The rest of the night continued this way, with members of squad performing a couple of songs, walking off and coming back a few moments later. It was an ingenious way to maintain the energy level of a concert featuring aging b-boys who can still get down, just for not as long.

"This is the Hit Squad," Erick Sermon repeated for the young fans in the audience. "He is a DJ," he said pointing to rap veteran DJ Scratch. "I'm not with the fast boom-bap," the rapper said in brief speech about the current state of hip-hop that reminded the audience of his last name. "And I'm not a hater either, 'cause I got money. But that shit is ignorant!"

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Another Year Wrapped Up

Skillz has done it again. Support an unsigned artist who loves making music for the people. Cop it here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

D'angelo back to the stage?


Micheal "D'angelo" Archer, the troubled R&B singer who hasn't released an album since the end of the Clinton administration, appears to have scheduled some concert dates. The native Virginia is set to perform at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31., according to the venue's web site.

As any fan of the man and his music knows, dates don't mean much to D'angelo, unless he's going to court. The release date for his third album has been pushed back so many times you can't see it without a telescope. But maybe this time it'll be different. We can only hope. But how long before we turn into this guy, waiting for that wonderful, magical mythical thing that never comes?

UPDATE: When asked if the alleged dates are valid, an official representative for D'Angelo said, "Nope."