For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

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 of their careers.

In this first segment, Julian talks about this new approach to the music industry.

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After learning of the passing of the great Bobby E. Davis of the S.U.R.E. Records, I pulled footage of us talking about the record pool’s importance, in regards to the music industry. This footage is from 1999, and it’s so interesting to hear about S.U.R.E.’s rich history and the value that it provided to both upcoming music industry professionals and the industry as a whole. You may not have heard of him since he wasn’t a performer or a high profile music executive, however, for many reasons, Davis was a hero in Urban music- including Hip Hop, dance and other forms of club music. A brief glance into Davis’s forward thinking can be found in the January 22, 1983 edition of Billboard magazine. In that issue of the staple music industry publication, Davis states, “…video will be the future. It is a tremendous force in the exposure of new music.” In a world where acts are made a broken on YouTube, those words aren’t so prolific, however, when you put his prediction in perspective. He predicted this nearly thirty years ago. Specifically, Davis was referring to the pool’s initiative to have video systems installed in night clubs to further push the music experience. Today, this is a common place in many clubs and dynamic DJ sets.

Below is an excerpt from the original post about his passing, and then segments one and two of my interview with Bobby E. Davis during a visit to New York nearly a dozen years ago. We discuss the importance of the record pool, and he also recalls his thoughts of first meeting with me a teenager in the eighties.

Bobby was one of the nicest people in the music business. Since the ’70s, he’s supplied records to some of the most influential DJs in urban and dance music. His company was a staple for breaking records for decades in New York City. Bobby has also mixed many dance and club records since the early ’80s to 2000?s. I first met Bobby as a teenager in the Bronx. He was a great role model and mentor. He provided inspiration for inner city youths, aspiring musicians, artists, and DJs. Bobby was a positive force. He had an uplifting spirit and great personality. It is with sadness that I say goodbye, however, I am so happy to have known this wonderful man. Thank you Bobby. You will not be forgotten. -Israel Vasquetelle


(Thanks to BJ Wheeler for operating the camera and to Anthony Torres for logging footage.)

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Gil Scott-Heron was a true revolutionary artist and performer. His politically charged, socially conscious, diverse sounds blended jazz, soul, blues, as well as minimalistic drums, and delivered it with an eloquent dose of spoken word. The distinct hybrid of genres and potent messages made him a one of a kind that in many ways can be credited as a creative force that paved a path for the Hip Hop sound that was to come. He passed away; however, his music will continue to inspire, touch and transcend.

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Having first arrived on the scene way back in 1992 with their lead single, “Psycho,” b/w “Check It,” Lords of the Underground, comprised of members Doitall, Mr. Funke and DJ Lord Jazz, are currently celebrating their highly commendable 20th! year in entertainment. To commemorate the triumphant anniversary, the trio from Newark, New Jersey, are in the midst of recording their fifth studio collection, and have even re-enlisted the legendary producer, DJ Marley Marl, responsible for some of their biggest hits-to-date, to assist on the still untitled project.

As a collective, L.O.T.U.G. initially came together in Raleigh, North Carolina, whilst attending Shaw University as undergraduate students. Their, now, multi-platinum, debut album, Here Come the Lords, which spawned three chart-toppers; the title track, “Funky Child” and their signature classic, “Chief Rocka,” arrived in March ’93.

A second LP Keepers of the Funk, although not quite as successful as its predecessor, appeared a little over a year and a half later, and still managed to land three songs; “Tic Toc,” “What I’m After” and “Faith,” positions on Billboard Magazine’s Top Rap Singles Chart.

Despite lack of promotions, their next outing, Resurrection, was still met with critical acclaim. “Retaliate,” “Take Dat,” “Haters,” “Excuse Me” and “Exodus,” were the five offerings from the mostly positively reviewed set. House of Lords, their first recording in nearly a decade, was released in the summer of 2007.

“It’s time, man!” Doitall announces emphatically. Expounding, he further relays, “We’ve toured the world, we’ve done our separate ventures, and, now, we go back to what brought us to the dance. This time, it’s for not just us, but the fans as well.”

-submitted by Todd Davis

Here is behind the scenes footage of the group working with legendary producer Marley Marl in the studio;

Here’s their classic hit Funky Child:

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