Talking with entertainment mogul Ice Cube: The “Are We There Yet” interview
When it comes to the pinnacle of entertainment, Mr. O'Shea Jackson, better known as Ice Cube to the world, arrived quite a while ago. As a performer, he's transcended from Hip Hop legend to movie star, all while maintaining credibility in both worlds. As an entertainment entrepreneur, he's successfully conquered the music, film, and now television industries. Counting the "Friday" and "Barbershop" movies, "Are We There Yet" is his third franchise film. This time, he's delivered one of his popular major motion picture properties to TV. The family-oriented sitcom stars Terry Crews (known best as Chris Rock's father on "Everybody ...
STYLES P (All-new, 2nd interview) by Dirty Angel
WITH A FRESH START, STYLES P READIES "SUPER" NEW ALBUM
By Khalid Strickland a.k.a. Dirty Angel
The streets may now rejoice...
When I first interviewed Styles P, around this same time last year coincidentally, the self-proclaimed “hardest rapper out” wasn’t in the best of moods. Although Styles’ sophomore album, “Time is Money”, was set to be released on Interscope Records, the moment was bittersweet. That’s because his excellent solo debut album, “A Gangster and a Gentleman”, had been released four years earlier in 2002. With the airtight singles like “Good Times” and “The Life” (featuring Pharaoh Monch) getting burn on the airwaves, Styles ...
Sharon Jones Reminded Me Why I Like Music
Sharon Jones is one of the most inspirational artists on the show circuit. It’s not just her soulful voice, nor is it her hard and heavy dancing on stage, nor her soothing retro sounds that are reminiscent of class acts such as ‘60’s female groups The Shirelles, The Marvelettes, The Dixie Cups, and others, that makes her such a powerful inspiration. Even Jones’ uncanny, pure energy and movements, that seem to be channeled from the late James Brown, don't make her such a rousing figure. The inspiration is her story: A struggling singer who worked at a state prison as ...
KILLAH PRIEST interview by Dirty Angel
KILLAH PRIEST: AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME WITH LATEST "OFFERING"
By Khalid Strickland a.k.a. Dirty Angel
Brooklyn wins again.
After their legendary movement avalanched hip-hop’s landscape, the Wu-Tang Clan assisted a lion’s share of rappers who have gained notoriety on their own merit. Killah Priest, hailing from Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, is one of these alumni. Priest (as he prefers being called now) made his memorable debut in 1994 on “6 Feet Deep”, the first LP by The Gravediggaz (a group spearheaded by Wu-Tang Clan leader The RZA). In 1995, he appeared on two classic Wu-Tang solo albums: “Liquid Swords” by The GZA and ...
Julian Lennon discusses his new company, career, and the music industry
Insomniac Magazine recently participated in an interview with Julian Lennon to discuss his new release and a brand new company called theRevolution LLC. Lennon and music industry professionals Michael Birch (sold Bebo to AOL for $850 million) and Todd Meaghe (created the first 50/50 artist music store) started the company as a new approach to releasing music and working with artists. The company scouts talent, and then helps set up these artists with their own businesses. The company assists the artists with a variety of business endeavors including: finance, development, digital and physical distribution, promotion, and other important aspects ...
Teena Marie interview: The late, great soul legend discusses her love for, and life in, music.
In honor of the great Teena Marie, below is an interview conducted with her. During our talk, she shares her love for music and discusses a lifetime of creating it. It was with sadness that we learned of her passing, however, we were blessed to have had the opportunity to hear her story first hand. There is no question that her songs will be rediscovered by future generations of music fans seeking soulful inspiration.
Teena Marie Interview
In a day and age of commodity artists who are forgotten shortly after a year or so of a radio hit, and ...
Family Man Barrett of Bob Marley’s Wailers (interview)
Aston "FamilyMan" Barrett, the bassist for the legendary Wailers is responsible for the basslines and other creative elements on many of Bob Marley and the Wailers' classic songs. We discuss his thoughts about why Bob Marley and The Wailers' music continues to resonate with fans decades after its creation. He also discusses his thoughts on current state of music, and how he met and started working with Bob Marley. Yvad, the Wailers' Band's new vocalist shares his views on the power of Bob Marley and the Wailers' music.
Whether you're a musician or an artist, if you aspire to have a ...
Charlie Murphy interview: Big Name in the Stand Up Game
Although Charlie Murphy has appeared in countless films since the late ‘80s, there’s no getting around that most fans started to really get to know him during and after his appearances on The Dave Chappelle Show. Charlie’s skits, some based on his telling of real-life encounters with celebrities while he worked security in the early days of his younger brother’s career, have become larger than the show itself. Plays of some of Charlie’s segments on Chappelle’s show have exceeded the million-view mark on Youtube.com. There are very few people who follow pop culture that haven’t heard the words “I’m ...
What you can learn from harpist Merry Miller about succeeding in the music industry
Merry Miller is an extraordinary artist and businesswoman. Don’t take my word for it, she was named in Crain's New York Business magazine “40 Under 40” issue. She is the former Executive Vice President of Programming at the Learning Annex, and instrumental in building the organization’s revenue from $3 million to $100 million in three years. During that time, she coordinated visits from the who’s who of business and entertainment. She’s coordinated visits from some of the biggest leaders in the business, from Donald Trump to Russell Simmons. If that’s not impressive enough, Elle magazine named her one of the ...
Living in America, we tend to take things for granted; for instance, “Freedom of Speech,” among many of our other liberties. We seem to forget that there are people in other countries that lack many of the freedoms afforded to us. Take for instance the Iranian metal outfit Ahoora, who just released their aptly named album “Awkward Diary.” In the Middle East, “Westernized” culture is often banned and at times could land an artist in jail or worse. So, in order to keep hope alive, Ahoora has taken to the internet by posting their art on as many social/musical networks as they can. And so far, it’s working. They’ve garnered a following on a global scale including interviews with many music magazines. They’ve literally fought to get their music to the masses.
I cannot classify Ahoora as a strictly “Metal” band. They would be best described as a “Rock” band with “Metal” influences or simply an alternative band. Here’s the reason why: “Awkward Diary” is an album that dives head first into the depths of experimentation, and it very rarely comes up for air. There are simply too many styles heard throughout the album to ever adequately list them all. [click to continue…]
For years I’ve been asked by artists and aspiring entrepreneurs about an easy way to succeed in the industry. Typically the question is unwittingly disguised as various queries, including: What’s the best way to get noticed? How do we sell more music? How do we get a manager? How do we get a deal? What’s the best way to get coverage? How do we get radio play? What’s the secret to getting more gigs? Et cetera… Many don’t realize this, but in essence, they’re asking, “What’s the easy way to succeed? [click to continue…]
Malcolm McLaren was a trendsetter, music futurist, tastemaker, a forefather of modern Punk, and a Hip Hop innovator. During the ‘70s McLaren introduced the world to one of the most abrasive bands ever to step on a stage- The Sex Pistols. As the band’s manager he helped bring them to global prominence with publicity stunts and recorded rants attacking British royalty delivered in the form of their classic single “God Save the Queen.”
McLaren was introduced to Hip Hop by Bronx River resident, Zulu Nation founder, and Hip Hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa in the New York City club scene. [click to continue…]
Milad is a guitarist and songwriter in an eclectic Tehran-based band called Ahoora. The band’s name isn’t known in music industry circles that attend festivals with strategies to position their newly signed rock brands bands as rebels, but maybe it should. Playing metal in a country where the genre is essentially banned provides the truest perspective of rockers as outlaws. Metal of course isn’t singled out in Iran, many other types of Western music has been restricted commercially in the country for years. The classic Clash song Rock the Casbah was written as a response to these restrictions. For the most part, radio play, live performances, and the selling of music not approved by officials are all activities that are very difficult to accomplish- essentially making planning for these common goals illegal.
Ahoora has continued their journey in metal for the better part of a decade. Their perseverance, despite significant adversity due to circumstances in their home country, is paying off- at least online. Ahoora has been able to gain new fans by utilizing social networking sites. [click to continue…]
Whole Train’s tells a dramatic story of a graffiti crew that could easily have been told in New York City during the ‘70s and ‘80s, instead of Germany today. For graffiti aficionados, the film will be reminiscent of the classic documentary Style Wars. The movie also gives a significant nod to Wild Style. The gritty tale provides a compelling look into a world of passion and peril. While watching the film with Lork, at one point he looks over and says, “it’s good to see that somewhere, someone still cares enough about this element of Hip Hop to make this movie.”
One scene that struck me was of two rival crews, with pure distain for each other, settling the score by battling with their art. In essence, this is what Hip Hop did so many years ago- it took inner city kids out of gangs and into a world of creative self-expression.
Director Florian Gaag brings to the screen the lives of those who stimulate the otherwise grayscale streets with vibrant hues through stunning art. The action and story are so visual that it makes following the subtitles in this German film almost redundant at times.
As a side, the film’s score and soundtrack are flowing with amazing Hip Hip, including music from the likes of KRS One, El the Sensei, Planet Asia, and other notable lyrical rap stars.