Protoje leans on reggae’s foundations to build a new revival

photos by Che Kothari   Listen to enough reggae and you tend not to evaluate performers by the albums they…

July 8, 2016 | Wax Poetics | Articles
The Isley Brothers '3 + 3'

Engineer Malcolm Cecil speaks on the Isley Brothers’ classic 1973 album 3 + 3

Almost twenty years before they would release their first platinum selling album, the Isley Brothers formed as a quartet in…

June 30, 2016 | Chris Williams | Articles
Bernie Worrell and Funkadelic

Bernie Worrell was the key to
the P-Funk sound

  “Bernie is like a genius of geniuses.” –George Clinton “There’s perfect pitch and absolute pitch. I was born with…

June 27, 2016 | Matt Rogers | Articles
The Jackson 'Triumph'

Engineer Tom Perry on the making of the Jacksons’ 1980 album Triumph

By the end of the 1970s, the Jacksons experienced a lineup substitution, two label moves from Motown Records to CBS…

June 23, 2016 | Chris Williams | Articles
Bill Withers

Bill Withers and engineer Bill Halverson speak about Just as I Am on the 45th anniversary

Coming from humble beginnings in Slab Fork, West Virginia, Bill Withers grew up in a coal mining town. Beset by…

June 20, 2016 | Chris Williams | Articles
The Internet group

Ill Communication: The Internet

  After releasing their third album, Ego Death, last year, the Internet finished out 2015 touring the world and snatching…

June 15, 2016 | Andre Torres | Articles
(Johnny) Tough film

Tough: Looking back at an obscure blaxploitation film

As a kid growing-up in Harlem during the 1970s, me and my homeboy crew spent much of our free time…

June 6, 2016 | Michael Gonzales | Guest Blog
Benjamin (Cherries Records)

Benjamin produces modern soul and boogie by way of Cherries Records

An white ’92 Buick Century pulls up to a diner in Queens, where it was once said, “murderers come with…

June 2, 2016 | Dave Tompkins | Articles
Just Blaze illo by James Blagden

Producer Just Blaze gets in where he fits in

  Wax Poetics Presents Just Blaze at the Jazz Cafe in London   Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton is too humble…

May 26, 2016 | Ronnie Reese | Articles

Star Child: The George Clinton Q&A

For a musician whose creativity orbits around its own funk-fuelled planet, spinning out infectious melodies and dreaming up the most…

May 25, 2016 | Alice Price-Styles | Guest Blog
Prince Around the World in a Day (original art)

Prince: may u live 2 see the dawn

This isn’t one of those canned celebrity obituaries that you hear about that media companies keep on file in case…

May 23, 2016 | Eric Luecking | Guest Blog

Record Rundown with Los Hacheros

The dynamic quintet from Brooklyn has recently released a follow-up to their acclaimed debut album in the form of a…

May 19, 2016 | Andrew Mason | Record Rundown

Son of Detroit:
The Oral History of J Dilla

  James DeWitt Yancey. Deep down, he may have been thinking, “I’m killing it with this beat thing,” but that…

| Ronnie Reese | Articles
Norvis Junior by King Texas

Vocalist and producer Norvis Junior’s “space gospel” stretches the boundaries of rhythm

  Beat conductor and Dallas native Norvis Junior exploded onto the global electro scene in 2013 with his first EP,…

May 12, 2016 | Tamara P. Carter | Articles
Eddie Palmieri

Pianist Eddie Palmieri is a true Latin-music visionary

Born in Spanish Harlem in 1936, nine-time Grammy winner Eddie Palmieri is undeniably the preeminent worldwide ambassador for Latin American…

May 10, 2016 | Wax Poetics | Articles
Kamasi Washington by Mike Park

Kamasi Washington and the grand arrangement

  The first time Kamasi Washington touched a saxophone, he was thirteen. He was no musical novice, already playing drums,…

May 5, 2016 | Allen Thayer | Articles
The Continental Bath

Electric Relaxation:
The Continental Baths birthed NYC disco and the careers of Frankie Knuckles and Larry Levan

Housed in the basement of a grandiose turn-of-the-century hotel on New York’s Upper West Side, the Baths were at the…

May 4, 2016 | Dan Gentile | Features
Prince 1991 MTV Music Award courtesy of MTV

Prince was a prophet. Prince was necessary.

I have a friend who often used to say Prince wouldn’t be truly appreciated until he died. I mention this…

April 27, 2016 | Travis Atria | Guest Blog
DJ Cassidy

Digging in the disco crates
with DJ Cassidy

Most people know DJ Cassidy from his smash hit single with R. Kelly, “Make the World Go Round.” After Puffy…

April 25, 2016 | Ericka Blount Danois | Record Rundown
Prince and the Revolution

Behind the Purple Ropes:
Prince and the Revolution

Having gained heavyweight status as James Brown’s tour manager, Alan Leeds was brought on midway through Prince’s 1999 tour as…

April 21, 2016 | Alan and Gwen Leeds | Features
Eric Leeds in the Madhouse promo photo (original photo B&W).

Prince and reed man Eric Leeds teamed up to create two albums under the moniker Madhouse

Prince and reed man Eric Leeds teamed up to create two albums under the moniker Madhouse. Perhaps looking to exorcise jazz demons inherited from his father, Prince masterminded a lighthearted and funky sound that anticipated the “acid jazz” genre that would break years later.

| Wax Poetics | Articles
Illustrations by Joshua Dunn.

33 reasons why Prince is hip-hop

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is a drummer, a tweeter, a political provocateur, a music encyclopedia, a founding member of hip-hop royalty the…

| Ahmir Questlove Thompson | Articles
Courtesy of Chuck Statler

Prince tapped “godfather of the music video” Chuck Statler to helm the ill-fated film The Second Coming

Director and producer Chuck Statler—widely considered as the “godfather of the music video”—was tapped by Prince & Co. to helm The Second Coming and execute the twenty-three-year-old’s creative vision.

| Tony Best | Articles
Grand Central: Linda Anderson, André Cymone, Morris Day, Terry Jackson, Prince, and William Doughty.

Prince and André Cymone formed the band Grand Central while still in high school

  In the early 1970s, the Way Community Center, a local recreation center in the heart of Black Minneapolis, hosted…

| Ericka Blount Danois | Articles
An outtake from Justica. Photo by Warren Flagler.

The oral history of Eddie Palmieri’s Harlem River Drive

New York’s Harlem River Drive is a dividing line, a highway where the rich zip past the poor, says singer…

April 18, 2016 | Pablo Yglesias | Features
Kelela by Yev Kazannik

After leaving her native D.C., Kelela couch-surfed her way through the L.A. electro-bass scene

  Behind Kelela’s intoxicating locks and soft-spoken nature lies a fierceness, a simmering urgency, which serves as the true source…

April 13, 2016 | Tamara P. Carter | Articles
Courtesy of Sony BMG Music.

George Duke forged a new path and ruled the R&B charts with eccentric funk

At the turn of the century, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was a terrible place to maintain possession of a bootlegged George Duke VHS cassette….

March 25, 2016 | Jon Kirby | Articles
Anita Baker 'Rapture'

Producer Michael Powell helped create Anita Baker’s massive R&B record Rapture

By the mid-’80s, Anita Baker was on the verge of setting herself apart from her contemporaries with her next offering….

March 17, 2016 | Chris Williams | Guest Blog
Jamaiel Shabaka in his L.A. home. Photo by Seb Carayol.

Jamaiel Shabaka cut his teeth with legend Sun Ra before recording the mysterious reggae LP The Land of the Rising Sun

It was a record. It’s always a record. A few months ago, while on a visit to the best unsung…

March 8, 2016 | Seb Carayol | Articles
Gary Clark Jr. by Jonathan Mannion

Blues Brother

Mentored on the axe by Stevie Ray Vaughan’s brother Jimmy and on the music business by friend Cody Chesnutt, Austin…

March 3, 2016 | Michael Gonzales | Features
Young Gun Silver Fox

Yo! MTV Raps, The Internet, Kashif, Mary Wilson, Miguel, Cool Uncle, Mia Doi Todd

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