Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Darralynn Hutson
Electronic Music on the rise?
Every so often the desire for mainstream music taste shifts. In the 60s it was all about precision and soul, followed by the disco and heavy metal of the 70s and 80’s. 1990s saw the resurgence of boy bands then DJ’s and MC’s ushered in rap and hip hop of the 2000s. Now, the tables, literally are turning, and electronic music is again on the rise; again the DJ is getting some shine.
Electronic Music, better known as Dance music or more specifically Techno or House, has again hit mainstream. A style of music with a pulsating heavy bass beat, initially popularized in underground all-night parties; it’s largely associated with pill-popping teens or hypnotized adults who relate it to a religious experience.
The music genre is again coming from the underground roots and into the mainstream money-making consciencness. The emergence of techno music festivals like Coachella and Detroit’s Electronic Music festival have become sell-out staples, bringing in hundreds of thousands of gyrating fans.
“I don’t believe my entire generation is only listening to hip hop,” says Dantiez Saunderson, 20, DJ and son of Kevin Saunderson, credited as one of the creators of techno music. “I think people just sometimes want something new.”
Just as international recognition enriched the likes of The Supremes, Jay-Z, Prince, Tina Turner and DJ Clue, house DJ’s are on the road, making music and igniting a movement that could just as well become a lifestyle like Rock and Roll and Hip Hop. Because Techno music garnered over 300,000 fans both internationally and locally to Detroit’s downtowm Hart Plaza Memorial Day weekend, it prompted the Michigan Chronicle to release its first ever Electronic DJ Kings List. (click on link to see the slideshow list) or the list will be included in a side bar.
Whose on The List
Detroit born and bred, Derrick May tops the list with over 30 years in the music business and credited as inspiring the likes of DJ Minx and Steve Rachmad to take up the tables. Traveling more than 200 days a year to Berlin, Paris, the Netherlands, Amsterdam and Europe yet making his home across from the Eastern Market near downtown Detroit for more than 29 years, Derrick May is credited as one of three men, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson - who created the now recognized genre of Techno Music.
“I never listen to my music in the house...,” says May. “Its important for me that it stays fresh and in the moment with the crowd and the energy.”
It’s not just the top three DJ’s who just happen to be from Detroit that’s taking all the crowd, Netherlands bred yet Detroit influenced Steven Rachmad claims a spot with over three CD’s and endorsement deals in Amsterdam. DJ Minx, the only female DJ on the list played to over hyped diverse yet moving crowd during the 3-day festival. She’s quoted as saying that after seeing May as a teenager, she knew she wanted to DJ.
Other DJ’s on the EDJK list include the Godfather of Techno Kevin Saunderson and son, Dantiez, as well as, Allan C. Ester, Jr. and Bruce Bailey.
Though these Electronic DJ Kings have taken different roads to their turntable dreams, they’ve got at least one thing in common; they all have been influenced by Detroit. Often praising the tough love tactics that pushed them to a career in music, unlike rap and pop artists who typically take all the credit.
These music creators earning from live shows, recording music sales, endorsements and in the case of Saunderson and May, label ownership.
Photography by Dedan Photography @dedanphotography
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 16:45
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Steve Hosley
When rap music first emerged in the fall of 1979 by way of a catchy song titled “Rapper’s Delight” by a trio from Harlem called the Sugarhill Gang, it was assumed by just about everyone that this was a novelty song.
The public had never heard anyone “rappin’ to the beat.”
The song, featuring Michael “Wonder Mike” Wright, Guy “Master Gee” O’Brien and Henry “Big Bank Hank” Jackson rhythmically talking over the track from Chic’s “Good Times,” triggered a rap explosion and launched the hip-hop empire.
This new music was also young music, but a lot of years have passed since those early years and many of the pioneering rap stars are now in their forties or fifties. For example, Afrika Bambaataa recently turned 56. He is famous for “Planet Rock” and “Looking For The Perfect Beat,” made with his group, the Soul Sonic Force.
But is there such a thing as being “too old” to rap? Not according to actor-rapper LL Cool J, 45, who is currently touring as headliner of a hip-hop show that features fellow veterans Ice Cube, De La Soul and Public Enemy.
There is another “vintage rap” show out there on the road as well, with Big Daddy Kane, Doug E. Fresh, Rob Base, MC Lyte, the Sugarhill Gang and Slick Rick.
However, Will Smith, 44, now a superstar actor, sees it differently. He said he has gotten “jiggy wit’ it” for the last time. (And yes, the word is “wit.”) He feels that as one gets older, there can be a credibility factor, not to mention a lack of full commitment. But he appears to be in the minority.
What it amounts to is this: Do it for as long as you feel it, and people want see you do it.
Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 10:58
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
This is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother, whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend, who he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to T, their beautiful 4 year old daughter. He starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easy. He crosses paths with friends, family, and strangers, each exchange showing us that there is much more to Oscar than meets the eye. But it would be his final encounter of the day, with police officers at the Fruitvale BART station that would shake the Bay Area to its very core, and cause the entire nation to be witnesses to the story of Oscar Grant.
Reviews for Fruitvale Station have been largely positive. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter called it "a compelling debut" and "a powerful dramatic feature film". He also praised the lead performances stating, "As Oscar, Jordan at moments gives off vibes of a very young Denzel Washington in the way he combines gentleness and toughness; he effortlessly draws the viewer in toward him. Diaz is vibrant as his patient and loyal girlfriend, while Spencer brings her gravitas to the proceedings as his stalwart mother."
In his Sundance festival wrap up, critic Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said of Fruitvale Station, "Made with assurance and quiet emotion, this unexpectedly devastating drama based on the real life 2009 shooting of an unarmed young black man at an Oakland Bay Area Transit Station impressed everyone as the work of an exceptional filmmaker."
In a more mixed review, Geoff Berkshire of Variety called it "a well-intentioned attempt to put a human face on the tragic headlines surrounding Oscar Grant." Though he praised Michael B. Jordan's performance, he critiqued the "relentlessly positive portrayal" of the film's subject: "Best viewed as an ode to victim's rights, Fruitvale forgoes nuanced drama for heart-tugging, head-shaking and rabble-rousing."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 11:20
Category: Entertainment - Original Written by Steve Hosley
Destiny’s Child — Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, and former members LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett — made history on several levels during their lengthy and fruitful time together.
Historians say that as far as success and enduring impact is concerned, the group ranks second only to the Supremes, a group they greatly admired.
Among Destiny’s Child’s greatest achievements was a series of outstanding videos that captured and held the public’s attention.
Sony Music has put together a deluxe collector’s item set titled “Destiny’s Child Video Anthology” that is a must-have for staunch fans. It makes the viewer again realize how special and well made the videos were. They capture an era yet are timeless.
The set includes 16 videos, dating from 1998 to 2004, with production by Jermaine Dupri and Manuel Seal.
The songs, in chronological order, are “No, No, No, Part 1,” “No, No, No, Part 2 (featuring Wyclef Jean), “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “Bug A Boo,” “Say My Name,” “Jumpin’ Jumpin’,” “Survivor,” “Independent Women, Part 1,” “Bootylicious,” “Bootylicious (Remix),” “Emotion,” “Lose My Breath,” “Soldier,” “Girl,” “Stand Up For Love” (2005 World Children’s Day Anthem) and “Cater 2 U.”
Destiny’s Child reunited during the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show.
Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 10:45
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