Kendrick Lamar Makes A Social Statement With His Reebok Ventilator Sneaker

Kendrick Lamar Reebok Ventilator

We love rapper Kendrick Lamar for his electrifying verses and social commentary. While on the heels of his highly acclaimed sophomore masterpiece ‘To Pimp A Butterfly,’ Kendrick really takes his message to the streets with his new Reebok Ventilator sneaker.  The Los Angeles native collaborates with Reebok and aims to use his influence and fashion footwear platform to unite street gangs with his “Unity” inspired Reebok. The shoe brings both notorious street gangs, the Bloods and the Crips, together on your feet with a pair of Reebok Ventilators. One off-white suede shoe has a BLUE accent and the other shoe has a RED accent.  Other shoe details include Kendrick’s signature on the outside of each tongue, the word NEUTRAL inscribed on the inside of each tongue, red and blue striped rope laces and Kendrick’s signature and TDE branding inscribed in the insole.  Kendrick Lamar’s Reebok Ventilators are expected to hit stores July 18.

Kendrick Lamar Reebok Ventilator

Kendrick Lamar Reebok Ventilator

Kendrick Lamar Reebok Ventilator

Check out the latest Kendrick Lamar video for “Alright” off of his highly acclaimed sophomore album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly.”  The captivating black and white visual speaks to the growing problem of police brutality in America.

Kyoto Jazz Sextet – Mission

Kyoto Jazz Sextet

Check out the hottest Japanese jazz import coming from one-half of the nujazz/broken beat collective Kyoto Jazz Massive (KJM).  Kyoto Jazz Sextet is the lastest brainchild of Shuya Okino, who along with his brother Yoshihiro Okino formed Kyoto Jazz Massive (KJM) to become two of the most sought after DJs/producers/remixers throughout the 90s and into the 2000s.

While brother Yoshihiro Okino kept himself busy DJing and running his record label and store Especial Records, his brother Shuya Okino kept himself busy producing this fantastic Kyoto Jazz Sextet album “Mission.” Shuya pulled together several of Japan’s finest musicians to turn out this massive recording for the Blue Note Japan label.  Our North American friends may not have heard about this fine jazz release due to it being a Japanese only release (at the moment) as well as the promotional material language barrier on the Internet. But take one listen to “Mission” and the jazz will tear down any and all barriers. Since it’s a Japanese import we might have to pay a little extra for it but that’s ok too. This album is worth every extra penny spent!

Kyoto Jazz Sextet

Mission” recalls the genius of 60s Blue Note when greats like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard brought a fluid hard-bop balance to the label.  The Kyoto Jazz Sextet is not so focused on playing straight covers of the Blue Note classics they chose to record, but rather playing them in a refreshing mode that pays the utmost respect to the greats, the compositions and the Blue Note label. They handle the material exquisitely and with care.  All we can hope for now is a North American Blue Note release but preview the album below and you just might end up paying the extra import price for this fine recording. Basically it’s a cooker and it’s pretty irresistible!

Iconic Soul Tees by Skoolwerk Apparel – Restock Alert

Iconic Soul Tees Available Now!
Iconic Soul Ladies Tee

Iconic Soul Men Tee

Iconic Soul Tees by Skoolwerk Apparel are back in stock! Order your tees today at SkoolwerkApparel.bigcartel.com.  

The Mind Of Kye – The Art And Soul of Kyemah McEntyre

Kyemah McEntyre

By now we’ve all seen this sensational Afro-centric prom dress designed by New Jersey teen Kyemah McEntyre. This talented young lady and her dress instantly went viral on the net and has received mainstream love via networks like MSNBC and BET and talk shows like ABC’s The View and The Wendy Williams Show to name a few.  Recently the 18 year-old had the opportunity to design a BET Awards red carpet dress for the Starz “Power” co-star and fellow New Jersey native Naturi  Naughton. Naughton debut the dress during the BET red carpet telecast this past Sunday June 28.

Kyemah McEntyre Designs Dress For Actress Naturi  Naughton

Like the rest of the world I am fascinated by Kyemah’s design talent and fashion aesthetic at just 18 years of age.  In addition to designing fabulous dresses, Kyemah is also an amazing painter. She says the central idea behind all of her paintings is, “to love one’s self regardless of other’s expectations.”  For Kyemah, art is a way of communicating with people and to reflect her interpretation of society. “Ultimately, I see myself being the voice of young women. I plan to uplift the spirits of young women of all race,” says Kyemah via her MindOfKye Etsy store bio.

MindOfKye - Free

Kyemah is a high school senior at Cicely Tyson School of Performing Arts in New Jersey and is planning to attend Parsons the New School for Design in the fall. For those who would love to support this young promising artist/designer and her journey by owning a piece of her artistic vision you can purchase her beautiful print posters via her etsy store MindofKye.

MindOfKye - Warmest Winter

Connect and keep up with Kyemah McEntyre on her social media networks:

Instagram: @MindOfKye_

Twitter: @KyeTheCreator

Facebook: Kyemah McEntyre

New Digital EP: Thundercat – The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam

Thundercat - The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam

Thundercat returns with his first solo material in two years with a digital mini-album “The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam”.  Stephen Bruner—the virtuosic bassist and singer-songwriter behind the Thundercat handle—to unleashes the 6-track set that sees him returning to the Brainfeeder fold after having already made outstanding contributions to two of the best reviewed albums of 2015 to-date: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Kamasi Washington’s The Epic.

Where the Giants Roam takes listeners on six spiraling excursions to the outer limits of jazz-funk. The follow-up to his sonically adventurous and widely praised second album Apocalypse sees Thundercat team back up with longtime sparring partner Flying Lotus, who co-produced three of the albums tracks. The legendary Herbie Hancock also pops up on keyboards on “Lone Wolf & Cub,” and there are contributions from fellow Brainfeeder family members Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/Poly on sax, strings and production respectively.  Listen to the first track ‘Them Changes’ below.

1. Hard Times
2. Song for the Dead
3. Them Changes (Listen)
4. Lone Wolf and Cub
5. That Moment
6. Where the Giants Roam / Field of the Nephilim

Download Options: iTunes | Bleep | BoomKat | NinjaShop

Click here for more Brainfeeder releases and info.

Robert Glasper: Covered (The Robert Glasper Trio Recorded Live At Capitol Studios)

ALBUM OUT NOW!

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“a calmer, gentler approach, but also loaded with simmering passion” – Okayplayer

“A star for his R&B and hip-hop work, Robert Glasper here applies his elegant jazz skills with an all-acoustic trio to an inviting tracklist that was mostly written to be sung… eloquent improv from the pianist and his long-time jazz trio of bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid… a warm, musical and humane Glasper venture.” – The Guardian

Ten years after making his Blue Note debut—and following two GRAMMY-winning volumes of his critically and commercially successful R&B-oriented Black Radio albums — Robert Glasper has returned to his acclaimed acoustic jazz trio on Covered. Glasper, bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid — who form the original trio featured on Glasper’s first two Blue Note albums: Canvas (2005) and In My Element (2007) — reconvened at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California in December to record the album in front of an intimate live audience.

Robert Glasper Trio

The set list features songs by hip-hop and R&B stars like Kendrick Lamar, Jhené Aiko, John Legend, Musiq Soulchild, and Bilal alongside the jazz standard “Stella By Starlight.” Displaying his trademark eclecticism, Glasper also includes tunes by Radiohead and Joni Mitchell, along with a stirring collaboration with legendary singer/activist Harry Belafonte. The Glasper originals on the album include a re-working of “I Don’t Even Care,” a bonus track from Black Radio 2 that featured Macy Gray and Jean Grae.

Covered is available on CD and as a 2 LP Vinyl Set.

Robert Glasper North American Tour Dates:
June 17 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
June 19-20 – SFJAZZ – San Francisco, CA
June 23 – Jane Mallett Theatre – Toronto, ONT
June 24-27 – Blue Note Jazz Club – New York, NY
June 28 – Montreal Jazz Festival – Montreal, QB
July 5 – Essence Festival – New Orleans, LA
August 15 – Chastain Park Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA

“I Need A Day To Pray” – New Book by Mary Mary’s Tina Campbell

I Need A Day To Pray by Tina Campbell

Gospel singer, author and reality star Mary Mary‘s Tina Campbell has released her powerful new book “I Need A Day To Pray.”   Fans and viewers of the Mary Mary reality show are well aware of the tumultuous year that Tina Campbell and her family had in 2014.  No stone was left unturned while the cameras rolled as Tina revealed to the world the many challenges she faced from her husband’s infidelity to postpartum depression to career changes, financial issues and the loss of her father.  Everything was included in the show which allowed fans and viewers to get a clearer picture of what life was like for the gospel star during that difficult time.

 Tina Campbell

Through the pain, the tears, the let downs, the emotional highs and lows, the prayers and ultimately forgiveness and renewed faith, Tina Campbell birthed her book “I Need A Day To Pray” along with her debut solo album “It’s Personal.

What started out as personal journals to God, over time and through prayer, “I Need A Day To Pray” came forth.  We’re sure that Tina Campbell’s testimony along with her uplifting spirit filled debut solo album “It’s Personal” will bless the lives of many around the world. We know that God used Tina Campbell for His glory to be a blessing to us all.  So grab the book, grab the album, grab a comfortable seat and take a day to pray!

In the video below Tina Campbell personally shares a few excerpts from “I Need A Day To Pray.”

“My life looked pretty good on the outside. I’m a preacher’s kid who was basically born and raised in church. I came to know God as a kid, got serious about Him as a teen, then changed my mind and strayed, but came back to Him as a young adult. I loved the Lord and chose to have a relationship with Him but I struggled, for many years, to have a committed walk.” 

        

Okayplayer Films Presents: Quest For Cuba!

Questlove in Cuba

A Mini-Documentary Following Questlove
As He Brings The Funk To Havana, Cuba

Questlove‘s recent goodwill trip to Cuba has become a full mini travel documentary, courtesy of Okayplayer Films. The outlet recently shared a photo essay of the trip showing that The Roots’ drummer and Tonight Show bandleader made good use of his time in Havana, engaging in extensive cultural research both by digging up some classic Cuban-made vinyl and by visiting the legendary EGREM studios, where most–if not all–of those classic sessions were recorded. Cultural exchange is a two-way street of course–in this case a narrow two-way street full of classic cars and beautiful people and lined by palm trees on one side and the waters of the Caribbean on the other. In that spirit, Questlove also showed a cross section of party-goers how he gets down, delivering two nights of DJ goodwill at Fabrica de Arte Cubano. But as you’ll witness in the short film, there’s much more to the story, including a brief cameo from Cuban Salsa group Azucar Negra’s dance crew and a chance reunion between Questlove and Cuban hip-hop artist Brebaje Man, who opened for The Roots when they played Havana in 2002. That meeting led to a spontaneous freestyle and beatbox duet that is also one of the documentary’s most hilarious moments thanks to one very vocal underaged music critic (just watch until the end!)

Questlove in Cuba

These are the kinds of things, of course–incredible DJ sets, rare vinyl, deep studio history, unplanned street concerts–that most of us get excited about every day. But we can’t escape the feeling that this particular weekend of incredible DJ sets and music discovery has a greater sense of emotion and history attached to it, coming just days after President Obama’s meeting with Raul Castro at the Summit of The Americas in Panama. Rather than further recap what you’ll see in the mini-doc, here’s a bit of the background you need to know in order to understand just how momentous what you’re seeing on the screen truly is:

EGREM is the studio where The Buena Vista Social Club recorded their albums, not to mention numerous other legendary Cuban bands including  (famous stateside artists such as Nat King Cole also recorded there). Due to the Embargo, American artists have been forbidden to records albums with Cuban artists since 1959. Most forms of collaboration on the island violate America’s Trading with the Enemy Act, thereby resulting in large fines for Americans. To make the math simpler and more stark: these laws have effectively prohibited collaboration between Cuban and U.S. artists for 55 years–laws that Obama and Castro have at least begun the groundwork to roll back, promising to open a whole new era in U.S.-Cuba relations.

Questlove in Cuba

Questlove & Edgaro Productor’n’Jefe dig for records on International Record Store Day in Havana Cuba photos by Daniel Petruzzi

After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, all Cuban culture, including the record industry, was nationalized. This means Fidel Castro shut down Panart studios in 1961 (originally founded by Cuban owner Ramon Sabat in 1944). Between 1962-64, it was renamed The Imprenta Nacional de Cuba and acted as the only legal label in Cuba. In 1964, it was re-named EGREM, absorbing the assets of Panart.

By the 1990s, young Cubans were creating illegal antennas improvised out of material at hand such as wire hangers and Coke cans, mostly on the roofs of homes in Alamar, which happens to be the birthplace of hip-hop in Cuba. In spite of the embargo, American hip-hop, soul and rock continued to seep into the country through these guerilla antennas, spawning a mixed tape market in the process.

Against this backdrop, Questlove’s trip to Havana as an unofficial ambassador of stateside hip-hop looms large, a welcome chance for music heads to exchange ideas and is hopefully a sign of great things yet to come. With all that in mind, we present: Quest For Cuba! courtesy of Okayplayer Films (with much respect due to Productor n Jefe for the use of his music throughout, as well as his invaluable knowledge).

Jazz re:freshed Photography Art Book + Live Album

Jazz re:freshed

We’re super excited about this new photography art book coming from UK’s Jazz re:freshed collective.  “Jazz re:freshed 2003-2014” documents over ten years of the Jazz re:freshed live music nights in West London.  In 2003 Jazz re:freshed humbly began to establish it’s brand by hosting intimate live performances every Thursday night.  The night quickly grew to become a weekly movement that was not to be missed.  In a packed, standing room only venue fans and enthusiasts are treated to up close and personal performances by an array of well-established, as well as up and coming jazz, soul and world music bands, both homegrown and international.  Jazz re:freshed is the place to be in West London whether you’re being introduced to new artists and bands or experiencing JRF favorites like Kaidi Tatham and Mark de Clive Lowe.

Jazz re:freshed

On May 7th Jazz re:freshed will release their photography art book and as an added bonus each book will come with a free album of music “Jazz re:freshed Live Vol. 1″ recorded live at the Jazz re:freshed Mau Mau bar weekly sessions. The live album features Cory Henry, Zara McFarlane, Astral Travel, Abdul Shyllon, Thousand Kings and many, many more!

Jazz re:freshed Live Volume One

The Jazz re:freshed goal was to create a cultural scrapbook archiving and documenting Jazz re:freshed visually and sonically while creating an opportunity for JRF attendees to be more connected to the publishing process by submitting photos, words and experiences to be included in the book.

To order please visit Jazz re:freshed

*Limited book run. Don’t wait. Order now!

DQM x Vans x Blue Note Records = Classic Footwear

BlueNoteVans1

What do you get when the best of both worlds joins forces for an inspiring new footwear project? Classic footwear is what you get!  DQM has collaborated with Vans to produce a very special project with the iconic Blue Note Records. Releasing this Spring and Summer, the project includes two separate, consecutive footwear releases accompanied by a film featuring Don Was, the renowned musician/ producer President of Blue Note Records, and the legendary skateboarder and jazz-inspired contemporary musician Ray BarbeeRead More at DQM and check out the film below.

BlueNoteVans3

BlueNoteVans2