DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE CELEBRATES MOTOWN LEGEND MICHAEL JACKSON’S BREAKTHROUGH SOLO ALBUM OFF THE WALL AND IT’S IMPACT

On this day 40 years ago, Motown Legend/Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Arranger Michael Jackson had finally shed his bubble gum/child star image with the release of his classic breakthrough album “Off The Wall.” The album not only became a hit, it also helped him transform into a serious adult recording artist and showed the world of what he would have to offer as a musician. During his tenure with Motown, MJ had released several solo albums while recording with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5ive, but during the mid 1970’s, Michael and several of his brothers were itching to write and produce their own material and Motown did every thing to immunize their condition to grow. The group decided to leave Motown and sign with Epic Records which prompted Motown to sue them for breach of contract and prevent them from using The Jackson 5ive name. The group rename themselves The Jacksons and linked up with Philly International duo Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff to produce their debut non-Motown self-titled album “The Jacksons” along with the follow up “Goin’ Places” with the former reaching gold status and featuring songs written by Michael including “Blues Away” and “Style of Life” (co-written with Tito). In 1978, Michael and his father/manager Joseph met with the executives to speak about the production of their next album. They wanted to be more in charge of the writing and producing and their argument was simple: Gamble & Huff gave us their best shot, but we can do better. Seeing how the group’s self-penned and produced single “Different Kind of Lady” was doing on the Disco charts, the label granted their request and their album “Destiny” went multi-platinum and scored the classic “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” which also went platinum. Written by Michael and brother Randy who had replaced Jermaine, the single became a Top 10 Pop, R&B, Disco and Dance hit and a favorite among fans and artist including Dancehall Reggae artist Shaggy who sampled the classic for his hit “Dance & Shout.” The success of Destiny gave Michael the inspiration to release his 1st solo album as an adult and like “Destiny”, “Off The Wall” became a hit and scored many hits including “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, “Rock With You,” “Off The Wall” and “She’s Out of My Life” becoming top 10 pop hits. MJ became the 1st artist to score 4 top 10 Pop hits from one album and his self-penned classic “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” became a # 1 Pop, R&B, Disco and Dance hit along with the follow up “Rock With You” which was also became the 1st # 1 hit of the 1980’s. The album also featured MJ’s underrated radio hit and classic “I Can’t Help It” another fan favorite which was written by family friends and former label mates Stevie Wonder and Susaye Greene, the last Supreme who’s mother Vivian was recruited to be one of MJ’s sister Janet’s tutors. “I Can’t Help It” began to connect with a new generation of fans thanks to sampling. Hip-Hop trio De La Soul sampled the classic for their hit “Break of Dawn” while R&B quartet Portrait sampled the classic for their debut single “Here We Go Again.” Singer/Songwriter/Producer Pebbles covered the tune on her 1995 album “Straight From The Heart” and while it wasn’t released as a single, many fans and critics praised Girlfriend for doing a wonderful job making the song her own and giving it an updated feel. Since his passing, many artist have covered the tune including Maysa and Ralph Tresvant MJ’s classic “Rock With You” has also become a fan favorite. It still gets spins on radio and at parties and the tune was covered by Singer Brandy and Rapper Heavy D on Quincy Jones’ 1995 album “Q’s Jook Joint” which went platinum and while Brandy’s rendition wasn’t released as a single, it became another fan favorite and helped MJ reach a new generation of fans. Rappers Mase & Lil’ Cease sampled MJ’s Grammy winning classic “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” for their hit “Cheat On You.” Singer/Songwriter Ginuwine recorded his version of MJ’s “She’s Out of My Life” for his 2nd album “100% Ginuwine” and while I enjoy his work, I wasn’t pleased with his rendition he recorded, but his live performances of the song was much better. There’s been reports that Singer/Actress/Producer/Author/Beauty Queen Vanessa Williams recorded her rendition of the classic retitled “He’s Out of My Life” for Q’s Jook Joint album. but her rendition hasn’t been released. Singer/Songwriter/Producer and label mate Mariah Carey sampled “Off The Wall” for her single “I’m That Chick” on her 2008 album “E=MC” while Rapper/Radio Host Hollie Wood also sampled “Off The Wall” for his MJ tribute single.

The reason why “Off The Wall” became the classic that it is was due to Michael recording Disco and Dance music. By the early 1970’s the genre of Disco began to flood the radio stations and while many Pop and Soul artists didn’t like the genre, many of them embraced the sound and it helped them enlarge their fan bases. In his memoirs “Moonwalk,” MJ wrote about how Disco helped him and his brothers enter the adult market and helped them grow as writers and producers.  While many Disco artist used strings and percussion, Michael decided to add other elements and genres to his sound and style including Classical, Funk, Soul, and Gospel which added additional layers to his sound.

Another reason for the success of “Off The Wall” was Michael teaming with legendary Producer/Conductor Quincy Jones. Michael and Quincy had met on the movie set of “The Wiz” which Q was scoring and producing the soundtrack. During a taping, MJ was having problem pronouncing a word and Q whispered the correct way to pronounce the word. Afterwards he introduced himself and the 2 became fast friends. They both loved all types of music and when it came time for MJ to record his adult solo album he called Q for advice on who to work with. Q gave him a list of potential names, but also told him the pros and cons of working with them. Q suggested that he would produce his album and MJ was shocked and excited. “Quincy knows Los Angeles more than Mayor Tom Bradley” MJ wrote in his memoirs “Moonwalk” MJ was excited about working with Q, but Epic, his management team and the industry wasn’t. MJ was told that Quincy was too Jazzy and wasn’t hip and he hadn’t a hit in years. The label suggested that MJ work with Maurice White of Earth Wind & Fire and re-team with Gamble & Huff. MJ wasn’t going for it and in addition to reassuring his parents that things would be great, he also told his label that he was working with Quincy and his decision was final. Sensing how serious their client was, they gave him their blessing and it paid off. Not only did “Off The Wall’ become a hit, the album sold over 10 million copies and saved the staff at Epic from getting pink slips. Instead they received raised and Christmas bonuses. “How’s that for Jazz?” Q wrote in his 2001 memoirs.

Another reason for Off The Wall’s success? Michael’s songwriting. Since leaving Motown, Michael began to write songs with his brothers, but on Off The Wall, MJ had the change to really show how good his pen game was. His self penned classic “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” showed his ability to write songs that had universal themes including romance, empowerment and encouragement. In fact his mother Katherine thought that he was writing about sex and in her memoirs My Family The Jacksons she wrote how her son told her that if you think dirty than the song will be dirty to you. His self-penned classic shows that has the gift to write songs that you can come up with your own conclusion and theories. MJ’s 2nd solo self-penned classic “Working Day And Night” showed Michael’s ability to write songs about relationships and deceptive women. A common theme he would write about throughout the rest of his career. The song which is a favorite of Valerie Simpson and was sampled by MC Hammer and Will Smith speaks of a man who is constantly working overtime to please his woman with material items yet she refuses to show him love and affection and leads him to come to a conclusion that she’s must be seeing another guy on the side. “Get On The Floor” was one of the 1st songs that MJ co-wrote with another artist besides his brothers. MJ had co-wrote this classic with Louis Johnson a member of The Johnson Brothers who had scored a huge hit with their classic “Stomp” also produced by Q. In an interview published on bassplayer.com the late musician spoke about how the creative union for the song came about. “I was in my car after a session playing a tape I’d make at home of some songs and bass ideas. Michael came out to say good bye and he heard this particular part. He said’ Man, that’s bad-can I write a song around it?” Whenever journalist asked MJ about his songwriting, he would also speak about his favorite instruments being strings and bass. Many of his songs would have feature strong bass lines and when he embarked on his solo tours, MJ always hired talented, funky and strong bassists.

Another reason for Off The Wall’s success. Michael’s growth as a vocalist. When he started out singing as a child, he was a boy soprano, but when he began to hit puberty, his voice began to mature and he became known as a tenor. Michael was known for singing in his high register, but he also began to sing in mid and low range and he began to perform vocal hiccups more often. He also came up with a trademark riff of hee-hee-hee.

Those are Da-Professor’s observations of why Michael Jackson’s album “Off The Wall” became successful. He was able to finally shed his bubble gum image and make a smooth transition into a talented Adult recording artists who would continue to break musical ground as a singer, songwriter, producer and arranger.

This article is dedicated to the Legacy & Memory of Michael Joseph Jackson my idol who I still miss to this day.

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DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S INTERNATIONAL TROPICAL SUMMER PARTY EPISODE

Good afternoon. Hope and pray that all is well with you. This week’s episode of Da-Professor’s Lounge features a hot mixture of music from all around the world. I love all types of music. Especially music by artists from overseas and since summer is here, I decided to feature all genres of music from all around the world including Africa, Brazil, The Caribbean and The U.K. I also feature some American music including Country, Soul, Hip-Hop, Pop, Motown and some romantic tunes as well.

This episode will have you feeling like you’re on a tropical cruise and Island. Enjoy.

Tracklist

  1. Tina Turner-Afterglow
  2.  Barbra Striesand-Hideaway
  3. Jay’ e R-Getaway
  4. Shelia E & B Slade-Fiesta
  5.  Tito Jackson & Big Daddy Kane-Get Away
  6. Lil’ Nas X-Old Town Road
  7. Donna Summer-Drivin’ Down Brazil
  8.  The Four Tops-Loco In Acapulco
  9. Lionel Richie & Jimmy Buffet & The Coral Reefer Band
  10. Martha & The Vandellas-Quicksand
  11. The Marvelettes-Beechwood 4-5789
  12.  Wordz The Poet Emcee-Roll Up
  13.  Patra-Come Ova
  14.  Selwyn-King of The Jungle
  15. Boyz II Men-All Around The World
  16. Shorty Roc-Feels Good
  17.  Jody Watley & Brian Powers-Good Good Reason
  18.  Jody Watley-I Want Your Love
  19.  Roger Ortega & L*A*W-She’s Breakin’ Necks
  20.  Lionel Richie & Candy Duffler-Brick House (Live)
  21.  Gina Fuego-My Love
  22.  Mary Wilson-Fields of Gold
  23. BLK LT$-That Janet Joint
  24.  Janet-That’s The Way Love Goes
  25.  Modest Creativity-With You
  26. Dave Tony-Your Body
  27.  Herb Alpert With Janet Jackson & Lisa Keith-Making Love In The Rain
  28.  Chris Bender-Pouring Like Rain
  29.  Jody Watley & S.R.L.-The Passion
  30.  The Supremes-High Energy

 

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S PODCAST CELEBRATES IT’S 250TH EPISODE

Hello. It’s amazing to learn that this week’s episode of my podcast Da-Professor’s Lounge is celebrating it’s 250th episode!! I’m truly amazed and humbled. I launched Da-Professor’s Lounge in March 2014 and I was amazed with the number of listeners who tuned in to see what I had to offer to the worlds of podcasting and entertainment.

I always had an interest in music history since I was a kid living in the projects. I would read music magazines and liner notes in my mother and family’s record collection. I listened to the radio and watched television shows like Solid Gold, Soul Train, American Bandstand, New York City Hot Tracks, Friday Night Videos, MTV and BET. Especially Video Soul and The Aresino Hall Show.

During my 1st year at Brooklyn College, I became interested in radio when I was asked to check out the club after I attended freshman and transfer student orientation. I was asked to report news and the 2nd semester I began to host and co-host radio shows on campus. It was fun and a learning experience. Especially when it came to being professional. Members of my former church asked to be guest and it was a crazy experience It later taught me about how entourgages can mess up things and I had to be fair with the co-host She was a cool lady and I also about catering to the audience. I was upset but I got support from friends. After that year I began to focus on my courses and writing for my school’s publication.

After graduation from college I took a long well deserved and unexpected break. I had been enrolled at Brooklyn College for 10 years due to personal and health issues which forced me to become a part-time student and I have no regrets about doing that. I also assisted many in the music and film industry by doing part time publicity for Rapper Shorty Roc, Director Adrian Washington and Singer/Rapper Anye Elite. I also did research for many podcast hosts including DJ Baker who dubbed me Da-Professor due to my knowledge of music history and Bbop. It was great working with these wonderful and talented artists, but during that time I was going through some personal issues. My paternal grandmother had become ill with cancer and I had spent most of my time visiting her until she passed 2 days after my idol Michael Jackson. I pulled away from people to grieve while I managed to do some blogging.

When it came time for me to start a new chapter in my life, my best friend Author/Blogger Donald Peebles and late Godfather/Mentor Donald Yearwood told me it was time for me to do my thing. I then decided to launch my podcast, but I was scared. I wasn’t sure if I would be accepted as a podcast host. Many had known me as a blogger and artist supporter, but after speaking to a few artists and family, I got inspired and it took me several years to get started.  It took a lot for me to get started. Getting proper software, coming up with a name and dealing with the deaths of my Godfather and Aunt who had died 4 months apart along with becoming under the weather, but with my best friend and other’s support and going for media training at GLAAD, I began to work on my show and on March 10th, 2014, Da-Professor’s Lounge made it’s official debut on podomatic and I was amazed with the amount of love and support me and the show was receiving.  The comments were overwhelming and positive. One of my best friend inboxed me saying It’s takes a real man to play real music. Another friend gave me some great advice. Stay humble and watch out for the snakes. One of the best advice I received was from one of my favorite Soul Singers Noel Gourdin. He told me it’s important to be yourself. What’s the point of doing something if you’re trying to be somebody else.

After the 2nd episode I received an email from Shorty Roc who requested to be interviewed and it didn’t take me long to say yes. I had granted his 1st interview in 2004 for Pulse Magazine and The Brooklyn College Kingsman Newspaper and it’s ironic that he was the 1st guest to be interviewed on my show. Amazing. From there I received request from other musicians including Tony Banks to be interviewed and I also reached out to many to be on my show and I was blessed to have interviewed several musicians, managers, actors and directors including L*A*W, Jodi Gomes, Jason Duval Hunter, Nhojj, Deepa Soul, Ronne Hayne, Demitirus Bullock, Wordz The Poet Emcee, Elgin Giles, Nick Audain, Jay Already Famous, King Supremee, Cyrus Webb, Mikey Jay, Karamo Brown, Arquez, Adina Howard, J-S-Q, Donald Peebles, Ser7ven Taylor, Taleon Geofrey. Carl Thorton, Reemo, Soul Stage, members of The AlliYance Armani Williams and countless others. Iconic Hip-Hop Producer Swanny River loved my show so much that he asked me to be a part of RWS Radio and after a few weeks of posting my show on podamatic, I joined the RWS family.

I’ve also received support from many of my peers and inspirations including Motown Legends Susaye Green of The Supremes, JoJo of The Mary Jane Girls, members of The Undisputed Truth and Katherine Anderson Schaffner of the Original Marvelettes who along with her current members sent me radio drops for my show along with Noel Gourdin and Jody Watley who’s been supportive and encouraging. She retweets my tweets of my show. Especially when I feature her music as a solo artists and as a member of her new group SRL-Shalamar Reloaded and Soul. Revelution. Love. On December 31, 2016 I aired my yearly New Years Eve podcast and I announced that her single “Dancer” was Da-Professor’s Lounge’s # 1 single of the year. She wrote a beautiful post about it and not only did she thanked me, she also told her fans to check out my podcast all year around. A few months later me and my best friend went to see her and SRL at B.B Kings and we met SRL members Rosero McCoy and Nate Allen Smith who recognized me after I introduced myself. “I know you I know your face” Nate said. “Thanks for your support and for playing quality music.” That made my night.

One fun and funny moment was when I tagged Susaye Greene and informed her that one of her songs had made my podcast. She replied saying that she screamed when she heard her single Generation Max’d. A song on her album “Brave Shoes” which features her rapping. I had a feeling she thought I was going to play her rendition of The Supremes’ classic Disco hit “High Energy” lol.

I also had the opportunity to host special tributes to Donna Summer, New Edition and Tina Turner. Producing the Donna tribute was fun and emotional. I had cried during the last 2 parts of the show and I had gotten sick the day before, but many were pleased with how well it was produced despite having been shut down. (Due to deal with publishing companies shows can’t have more than 4 songs by 1 artists on mix cloud in America.) The tribute to Tina Turner went well. The following day I had received an email from one of her friends informing me how listening to Tina’s tribute helped him come out of a deep holiday depression along with the support of his future boyfriend. I also produced a special 75th Birthday tribute to Motown Legend Marvin Gaye and I still laugh at how many told me how they laughed and loved when I spoke about Marvin’s sexy looks and described how the ladies went crazy when he stepped onstage.

Working on my podcast is fun, but I have to admit that it does have many challenges. Especially when technology decides to have a mind of it’s own. There have been times when my show had started late due to signal problems and there were times when my show had to be put on hold due to my old computer not working properly.  That can make anybody become frustrated  Also scheduling conflicts with guest. As anybody in the industry knows scheduling conflicts is one of the biggest hurdles in the industry. Trying to make sure that me and guests can meet on a certain day and place takes lots of skill and one of my craziest memories is interviewing Rapper Tony Banks in the dressing room at club shortly before his performance. We had tried to meet in Manhattan, but he was coming from Boston and traffic prevent us from meeting in the city, so we wounded up meeting at the club in Brooklyn and we made the best of it. I can admit it was fun and it showed me the true meaning of paying my dues. Another fun moment was interviewing Director Jodi Gomes. Musician L*A*W had recommended that we connect and after the screening of her film, we conducted the interview in the downstairs lounge of the theatre and I was going crazy looking for a table to place my lab top on. She suggested that I place it near the water fountain where I was able to plug it in and the interview went well. Lesson learned: you have to make the most out of your surroundings.

Another challenging thing is making sure that the show has a great flow. I always say that whenever I produce a show it’s gonna come from the heart. I’m not going to put together a bunch of songs just for the hell of it. What makes a great podcast is not having great music, but making sure that the songs fit well and flow smoothly. Every week my show has different themes and there have been times when I revamp my show during the recording and it winds up coming out right. I recall reading an interview with Producer/Songwriter Jimmy Jam about the creating of Janet Jackson’s classic album “Janet” and he spoke about her record label at the time wanted Janet to release the single “If” as the lead single to capitalize off of her dancing. Janet, Jam and his musical partner Terry Lewis decided to release the smooth flowing single “That’s The Way Love Goes” as the lead single instead. Jam said that your 1st single should set the tone and say if you like this, then check out the rest of the album. I used that formula for my debut episode which featured Donna Summer’s single “Mr. Music” as the opening song which was followed by The O’Jay’s “I Love Music,” Lisa-Lisa & Cult Jam’s “Let The Beat Hit ‘Em”, Lionel Richie and Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band and Teena Marie’s “Behind The Groove.” Those songs gave a description of my podcast as well as a description of me as a radio personality.

The feed back I’ve gotten has been mostly positive and many have suggested that I evolve by reaching out to more independent and upcoming artists to have their music played and continue to maintain being classy because there’s way too much rachettness in on radio and television.

Despite several set backs, I’m still am grateful that I’m still producing my podcast Da-Professor’s Lounge which plays the hottest & eclectic hits from the past 5 decades. Continue to Strive for Excellence and thanks for your love and support. It’s greatly appreciated.

 

This week’s tracklist

The Marvelettes-So Glad It’s Summertime

Shorty Roc-Rapper’s Delight 06

Meaux & Ser7ven Taylor-Splash

Mary Wilson-Time To Move On

Jay’e R-Get Away

The Four Tops-Loco In Accupolco

Martha & The Vandellas-(Love Is Like A) Heatwave

Nelly-Hot In Herre

Wordz The Poet Emcee-Roll Up

Simon Black-Pull Up

Grace Jones-Pull Up To The Bumper

Jimmie Allen-Make Me Want To

Donna Summer-Sand On My Feet

Peabo Bryson-Feel The Fire/So Into You/Tonite I Celebrate My Love (With Special Guest Chante Moore)

The AlliYance-Cake

MC Lyte-Ice Cream Dream

Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb-Guilty

Donna Summer-30th Anniversary Mini-Mix (Love’s About To Change My Heart/This Time I Know It’s For Real/I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt)

Jamal White-Rock With Me

The Isley Brothers & Angela Winbush-Floatin’ On Your Love

RPM 2000-U Don’t Really Know

Donna Summer-Bad Girls/Hot Stuff

The Four Tops & Mary Wilson-River Deep, Mountain High

Nhojj-I Was Made To Love Him

Gina Fugeo-My Love

Jermaine Jackson-Summer Time Feeling

The Undisputed Truth-What Good Is Love

SJS-Unconditional Love

JoJo-Can’t Wait

Michael Jackson & Siedah Garrett-Je Ne Veux Pas La Fin De Nous (French Version of I Just Can’t Stop Loving You)

Stevie D-Rose

Jody Watley & S.R.L.-The Passion

 

 

 

SPINDERELLA’S NOT A FELLA, BUT SHE’S A TALENTED HIP-HOP PIONEERING DJ WHO DESERVES RESPECT.

A few weeks ago I logged into Facebook and saw many posts about Grammy Award Winning DJ/Rapper/Producer Spinderella being fired from the group Salt-N-Pepa. I was shocked, hurt and pissed at how it went down. Spin as she’s also called by fans had posted a statement on her Instagram page saying that she received a termination letter by her former group mates via email in January and they didn’t even bother to inform the fans who had purchased tickets to expect to see the trio on the mixtape tour with New Kids on The Block, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Naughty By Nature. When fans who attended the opening night noticed that the DJ performing was not Spin, they wondered what was going on and Spin decided to break her silence. Well I was and still am hurt, mad and pissed at how Spin was treated. Though she wasn’t the group’s original DJ, she helped the group become a house hold name with her skills, looks and her down to earth, laid back and outgoing personality. She even filled in for Pepa when she pregnant with her 1st child. Many fans are upset about how she was mistreated and this isn’t the 1st time that Spin has been shaded by Salt-N-Pepa and as a music historian, blogger and podcast host who always features the group in my yearly Women’s Herstory Month podcast, I feel that Spin deserves to be treated with respect and paid equally.

Salt-N-Pepa’s beginnings started when Brooklyn Born Cheryl James met Kingston, Jamaican born Sandra (Sandy) Denton at Queensborough Community College where they both were majoring in nursing. The two later got a job working at Sears where their friendship blossomed. They later became friends with Actor/Comedian Martin Lawrence and fellow student Hurby Luv Bug Azor who would all become a part of entertainment history. Luv Bug was majoring in music and record production at the Center for Media Arts and asked Cheryl and Sandy to be a part of a class project. The result was the single called “The Show Stoppa” an response to Doug E Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew’s classic “The Show” which became a huge hit on radio. Impressed with the success of the single, Cheryl and Sandy decided to pursue a career in Rap and Luv Bug decided to name them Salt-N-Pepa. Cheryl was dubbed Salt due to her light complexion and laid back personality while Sandy was dubbed Pepa due to her wild and outgoing personality along with her Jamaican-West Indian Heritage and Sassiness. The duo signed with Next Plateau Records and began to work on their debut album with Luv Bug handling the production and writing most of the material. Wanting the group to stand out, Herb decided that the group should have a female DJ and he recruited DJ Latoya Hanson and dubbed her Spinderella to complete the group and it help them gain a large fan base. The group scored hits including “I’ll Take Your Man” and “My Mic Sounds Nice” which quickly became instant classics and helped their debut album “Hot Cool and Vicious” reached gold and platinum status. The group began to perform sold out shows and inspire many fans especially females including Queen Latifah, Da-Brat and Oaktown’s 357 to pursue careers in Hip-Hop, but by the time they released their 3rd single and 1st video for their single “Tramp” fans had noticed that Hanson wasn’t in the video nor the album cover for the follow single a Hip-Hop version of The Pointer Sisters classic Chick On The Side. Back then the story for Hanson’s leaving was she had became pregnant and wanted to spend time raising her daughter. That was a small part of the story. In interviews on BET’s Video Soul and on the group’s Behind The Music documentary, the real reasons was revealed. “She wasn’t into it” Salt said and claimed on Video Vibrations. The 1st Spinderella had different accounts. “There were female ego problems. Clash of personalities” Latoya said on “Video Vibrations” Latoya also revealed in Behind the Music that Salt thought that she was having an affair with their producer who Salt was dating at the time. Both Latoya and Herb has denied Salt’s accusations, while LaToya also disputed Salt and Herb’s claims that she didn’t attend shows and sessions when in reality she did and was eager to work, but she didn’t feel appreciated by the group. Mainly Salt.  Latoya left the group and has been performing as The Original Spinderella or The Original. She has performed on the Iconic Hip-Hop concert Sisters In The Name of Rap and has written her memoirs which hasn’t been published as well as a new single in 2017.

Shorty after the release of Tramp, DJ and Producer Cameron Paul had remixed the single’s B-Side “Push It” which quickly gained radio play and promoted promoters to book the group to perform and tour. Herb decided to recruit a new female DJ to take Latoya’s spot and many females including radio gossip personality Wendy Williams had auditioned, but the female who wounded up getting the spot was Deidre Roper who was born and raised in East New York’s Pink Housing Projects. Dee Dee as she’s also known by became interested in music by listening to her father’s record collection. By the time she reached her 13th birthday, she had began to DJ courtesy of her late boyfriend who was a popular DJ in his own right. She became popular around the Brooklyn area and many were captivated by her styles, looks and her spirit. She has a old soul and youthful spirit. Dee Dee was in high school when one of her classmates who happened to know Herb had asked her about joining the group. She audition and won him over. He gave her the name Spinderella and wanted her to join the group, but since she was still a teenager, Herb had to gain permission from her parents to join the group and tour. Her parents especially her father granted permission and made sure that she got a fair deal and was provided a tutor to help her keep up with her studies. Dee Dee made her 1st official appearance with Salt-N-Pepa at the Westchester Music Festival and in the video for their hit single “Push It” and many fans quickly fell in love with Spin. Many fans especially guys loved her skills and named her as one of their teenage crushes. In 1988, the group released their 2nd album “A Salt With A Deadly Pepa” which went platinum and earned them American Music Award and Grammy nominations due to the success of their singles “Shake Your Thang” featuring E.U. and “Get Up Everybody” with the latter featuring Spin’s scratching skills. The album also features and album track “Spinderella’s Not a Fella (But A Girl DJ)” which further demonstrates her skills. Spin also showed her dancing skills in the videos as well. In late 1989, Spin began to show the industry that she was more than a DJ. While the group was working on their album “Blacks Magic” Pepa learned she was pregnant with her 1st child and had to take time off from recording and their producer Herb was busy producing other acts and working on the House Party soundtrack. With the label pushing the group for a new album, Spin and Salt started to recruit other producers as well as produce several tracks on the album which was released in the spring of 1990.  Spin had rapped on several songs including “Negro With An Ego” and produced the album’s title track which went platinum and showed the industry that the group was capable of writing and producing hits on their own.  In 1993, the group began to work on their classic multi-platinum album “Very Necessary” which became a hit and their best selling album to date. While Herb handled most of the production, the trio had advocated to have more creative control and be more involved with the writing, production and song selection as well as renegotiating their contract to receive more money. The album also featured Spin rapping on many of the songs including the album’s 2nd single “Whatta Man” featuring EnVogue which became a hit with many of their fans including many in the LGBT/SGL Community and their classic “None of Your Business” which made them the 1st Female Rap Group to win a Grammy Award. Spin also wrote and produced the album track “Step” and while it wasn’t released a single, it became a favorite among fans who loved Spin’s lyrics and flow and while it was written from a female’s perspective, many fans had revealed how it helped them leave toxic abusive relationships. In addition to winning a Grammy, the group was also honored by The Lady of Soul Awards where they were also by the 1st Lady of Soul awards where they were honored with the Entertainer of the Year award for their contributions to music. The group had also decided to several ties with Herb for good. In addition to performing, Spin had also spent time raising her daughter who she had with former NBA star Kenny Anderson. She also opened a successful spa in New York where many flocked to get beauty and spiritual make overs. In 1997, the group signed with Red Ant Records and released their long-awaited album “Brand New” which got great reviews and scored many hits including “R U Ready” and “Gitty Up” with the latter featuring samples of Rick James’ classic Give It To Me Baby and Spinderella rapping. Despite the success of the singles, the album only reached gold status due to the record label filing for bankruptcy shortly before the album’s release. The group still tour to promote the album but found themselves performing at theatres and clubs.  Shortly after the year 2000, Pep was chilling in Spin’s spa when she received a call from Salt who had some startling news: she had decided to disband the group by telling Pep she no longer wanted to be joined at the hip. Both Pep and Spin was shocked, surprised and pissed at how Salt decided to end the group. During their time apart, Spin had relocated to California where she pursued a career as an actress as well as becoming a sought after DJ. She also hosted a successful radio show called The Backspin which featured her playing classic Old School Rap and Hip-Hop music. Pepa had married Award winning Rapper/Actor Treach of Naughty By Nature in 1999 shortly after giving birth to their daughter Egypt. They divorced 2 years later and have resumed their friendship. Salt had become spiritual and spent time overcoming a private battle with beliuma, being active in her church and spending time with her now ex-husband Gavin and their children.

In 2005 the trio reunited for the VH-1 Hip-Hop honors where they were honored for their contributions to Hip-Hop Music. They also teamed up with EnVogue to perform their classic “Whatta Man” marking the 1st time that both groups had performed their classic live along with EnVogue’s line-up who had also reunited as well. 2 years later Spin had appeared on Salt-N-Pepa’s reality show “The Salt-N-Pepa Show”and in the 1st episode Spin appeared in, she wanted to speak about the issues she had including not being treated and paid equally. and not allowing her to a full fleged co member of the group instead of treating her like a hired employee. An issued that fans were made aware of in the group’s Behind The Music documentary where it was revealed that after the group signed with Red Ant Records, the label gave them a 6 million dollar advance or bonus and while Cheryl and Sandy split the money equally between themselves, they gave Dee Dee a small portion.  “Spin got paid” Sandy said with attitude and no shame while Salt’s excuse and reason was Dee Dee wasn’t there in the beginning when we had to log and carry own our equipment. In other words, Cheryl felt and feels that Dee Dee didn’t pay her dues like they did and she came along when the group was starting to become a international house hold name. I will be giving my feelings about this later on in this blog. Both had given her props but claimed that by hiring her it would help boast her career and brand. Around 2010, tensions began to flare and Cheryl and Sandy decided to embark on several tours without Dee Dee. There were times when they would perform with music tracks and there were times when they hired male DJ’s to fill Spin’s spot which took away from the group’s concept as well as enraged and pissed fans who blasted them on social media for being shady towards Spin. Fans would protest, return their money and post they would not attend a show if Spin wasn’t performing with them. It seemed like Cheryl and Sandy had came to their senses and worked things out with Spin. They began to feature her on more shows and in 2016, they along with Queen Latifah, Missy Elliot and Lil’ Kim were honored by VH-1 for their contributions to Rap and Hip-Hop. Things seemed to be going well until the 1st week of May when Spin posted her statement on instragram about being terminated by Cheryl and Sandy in January while they continued to use her photos in promotions without informing the fans who are still enraged at how she was mistreated. Several fans have returned their tickets and while many stated they would go to take soda and bathroom breaks during Cheryl and Sandy’s set. One fan even posted about wearing a Spinderella shirt as a form of protesting their childish behavior. I also believe that Red Ant filing for bankruptcy before the group released it’s 5th and final album was karma that Cheryl and Sandy received for not paying Dee Dee fairly. I watched a few of the clips of their performances on You Tube and I’ve notice that the video screens barely show the DJ who they hired to replace Spin on tour. Nor has she been introduced to the crowd.

Here’s Da-Professor’s take on why Dee Dee needs to be treated with respect.

  1. She was and still is a major part of Salt-N-Pepa. Herb decided to have the group stand out by having a female DJ for them which puts them in a class by themselves.

2. Dee Dee paid her dues. She didn’t join Cheryl and James not having skills. Like Latoya, Dee Dee practiced on a daily basis to develop her unique style of blending, cutting, mixing and scratching and spending her weekends and summers DJaying parties throughout her hometown of Brooklyn.

3. Filling in for Pep. When Pepa had to go on maternity leave, Spin filled in for her while the group was recording their 3rd album “Black Magic.” In addition to scratching on several tracks, Spin had also began rapping to fill in the temporary gap that Pep left. Spin rapped on the album track “Negro With An Ego” and she also rapped on the album’s title track which she helped produced. Plus she also joined Salt on a press and promotional tour to promote the album’s lead single “Expression” which Salt wrote and produced. Spin and Salt appeared on Yo MTV Raps without Pep.

4. Being more involved creatively on their multiplatinum classic Grammy Award winning album “Very Necessary.” Spin rapped on 4 of the songs including the Grammy Award winning hit “None of Your Business” and “Whatta Man” Her flow on the latter shows her ability to flow mellow and with sass. Whenever she performed her part live the crowd goes crazy. Especially the hopeless romantics, the hood ladies and hood boys and members of the LGBT/SGL Community. The album track “Step” is another favorite among fans including myself. Spin co-produced and wrote this track as well as show cased her ability rap on a track solo. Her vocals on this track has a youthful yet serious tone which appealed to many young fans. Though the song was written from a lady’s perspective, many fans of both genders loved this song and many had spoke about how it helped them leave toxic relationships. I recall loaning my tape to a former friend’s brother (who just earned his 2nd’s master degree in music) and him telling me that was one of his favorite songs.

5. Appearing in all of the videos. When Dee Dee joined the group, she appeared in all of their videos and she was featured in several group shots and had several close ups. She also had dancing and speaking roles as well. In their video for “Get Up Everybody” Cheryl and Sandy was seen leaving the jail after being arrested in for quote on quote dirty dancing in “Shake Your Thang.” After being released, Dee Dee arrived at the precent to pick them up in a fly jeep and inform them that they had to be an event which was a street dance battle.

6. DJing live for Cheryl and Sandy. As mentioned throughout this blog, Herbie decided to have Salt-N-Pepa stand out by having a female DJ and it was a innovative and smart idea. It helped give the group more fans and it also added to their sex appeal and sexiness. Many Men love seeing Beautiful Talented Ladies and having both LaToya and Dee Dee spin, cut, scratch and hype the crowd was and is not only sexy, but empowering. Especially during the time when many females were still working to get into the industry and while Sequence was the 1st female rap group to sign a record deal and release hit singles, Salt-N-Pepa and Spin carried the torch and added something different. This also inspired many groups to hire female DJ’s including TLC who had originally had a female DJ during their 1st tour named DJ Dolemix.

7. Dee Dee also made sacrifices. When she was recruited, she was in high school and not only did she have to leave school and finish her education with a tutor, she had sacrifice the last years of her teen years by performing and recording which meant spending time rehearsing, recording, doing school work and not being able to hang out with her friends and go to her high school prom. Cheryl and Sandy had graduated from high school and were already experiencing becoming adults such as attending college and working to make extra money to help their families and to have some spending change in their pocketbooks, where as Spin had to fly into Brooklyn after performing a show the previous night to attend her high school graduation and collect her high school diploma. She also had to break up with her 1st love, who taught her how to DJ and who sadly was shot in killed while visiting family and friends in North Carolina. She spoke about this in Behind The Music and I felt her pain. Especially when she gave the signal to inform the camera crew to stop filming and when a picture of them sharing a kiss in the projects came on right after.

Deidre Dee Dee Roper is a part of Music Herstory and Hip-Hop culture and Cheryl Salt James & Sandy Pepa Denton needs to humble themselves and get off their ras asses and start treating Spin with respect and paying her fairly. She’s a major part of Salt-N-Pepa and she doesn’t deserve this mistreatment. I don’t hate Cheryl and Sandy, but I don’t like the way they’re behaving and they can’t be talking about female unity and empowerment while mistreating their DJ like this. It’s time for them to start acting more mature and chill with the shade because they will loose fans and respect.

ICONIC ACTRESS/AUTHOR PEGGY LIPTONS DIES AFTER BRAVE BATTLE WITH CANCER

Iconic Actress/Singer/Songwriter/Author Peggy Lipton died yesterday after a long battle with colon cancer in California at the age of 72. The Golden Globe Award winning entertainer died peacefully surrounded by her daughters Kidada and Rasheda along with several of her nieces. Lipton became a household name and an icon during the era of the hippie era and women’s liberation movement with many of her fans admiring her looks and spirit.

Lipton was originally born as Margret Ann Lipton on August 30, 1946 to Harold Lipton a corporate lawyer and Rita Benson an artist in New York City as one of 3 children. She and her brothers Robert an actor and Kenneth were later raised in Long Island where she attended Lawrence Junior High School and The Professionals Children School where she became interested in the arts. Despite living in a financially comfortable and stable household, Peggy also endured childhood pain and trauma. In her best selling memoirs “Breathing Out” she wrote about being sexually abused by an uncle and how it led to her developing a bad case of stuttering. Her parents later encouraged her to sign up for acting and singing lessons which would later pay off. At the age of 15, Lipton got signed to the Ford modeling agency where she quickly got several modeling gigs, which increased after her family decided to move to Los Angeles in 1964. Peggy landed several acting gigs on several hit shows including “Bewitched,” “The Alfred Hitchcook Hour” and “The John Forsyte Show” with the latter being where she made her acting debut.  Along with acting, Lipton also became captivated by the hippie scene in California and quickly began to explore and practice meditation and yoga as well as becoming a vegetarian.

Lipton’s became a household name when she was casted as Julie Barnes in the hit television series The Mod Squad with Michael Cole and Clearance Williams III which not only became a hit, it also broke the mold of how television cop sitcoms and films could be innovative. Lipton’s, Coles and William’s onscreen characters were hip to the culture events that were happening at the time including using terms that were used by kids in the ghetto and the surburbs including groovy. Their characters also helped solved crimes including domestic violence which helped many in abused relationships to find strength to leave their abusive spouses. Lipton became a favorite among fans and industry peers including former Beatle Paul Mc Cartney and Elvis Presley who both had pursued her romantically. Lipton wrote about her those experiences in her memoirs. She also pursued a career as a singer and in 1968, she released her self-titled album which scored several hit singles including “Stoney End” (which was later covered by Barbra Streisand), “Where Your Love Like Heaven” Her album was finally released on CD in 2014. Peggy also co-wrote family friend Frank Sinatra’s 1984 single “LA Is My Lady.”

In 1974, Peggy married Grammy Award winning Conductor/Musician/Producer Quincy Jones and became the parents of 2 daughters Kidada, a talented fashion model/stylist/designer/actress/executive who styled family friend Michael Jackson for his cover story of Vibe Magazine in 1995 and Rasheeda a talented actress and producer who helped executive producer her father’s documentary on Netflix. In her ex-husband’s “Behind The Music” documentary Peggy spoke about how she met him and knew that he was going to be the man for her. “We met. We had dinner and we were together for 14 years. That was it.” Peggy said. “He moved in (like) the next day.  I knew (that) he would be gentle with his children. I knew he adored his children. And there was something similar. A need to be loved. A need to have family. To be with family. To establish family.” “Peggy came from a full nuclear family. Her own mother. Her own father. And it was like I never been in a relationship like that before” Q added on what attracted him to her. Peggy took a break from acting to be a full time wife and mother and they had several fun moments together during their time together. When Ebony Magazine interviewed Q in 1985 the writer wrote about Peggy being a vegetarian and Q’s reason for not joining Peggy’s her choice of non-meat cuisine. “Pork chops are pretty good and you can’t have greens without the fat back” he told the journalist. The couple had also endured several bad moments including racism from both the Black and White community who were upset and jealous of their relationship and Q having to have emergency brain surgery to survive. “Everything was fine one minute. We were making love and everything wasn’t fine the next minute” Peggy said on Behind The Music. “I had my oldest daughter. She was maybe 3 or 4 months old and the doctor came out and said he has a 50/50 change of making it. I had to go home within those next few days and face the fact that he could die” Doctors discovered he had a brain aneurysm and while they was able to save him, doctors learned that he had another one which was also life threatening. Peggy stayed his side and after he recovered, both Peggy and Q decided to focus on their marriage and family, spending time together at home and on trips and with the exception of reuniting with her cast members for a Mod Squad reunion, Peggy devoted to her family, but she did become the inspiration for family friend Michael Jackson’s classic hit “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing). In an interview Q spoke about how Peggy had brought some lingerie called PYT and thought it would be a great title for a song, so he called his friend the late James Ingram to help him compose the song and the result was P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), which Jackson recorded for his groundbreaking classic album “Thriller” which became the world’s biggest selling album of all time with sales of nearly 200 million copies worldwide.

Q’s work and losing loved ones caused him to suffer from stress and to have a mental break down that was so severe that his doctor ordered him to rest and to spend time alone. Q spent 3 months in Tahiti to relax and to deal with issues that stemmed from being abandoned by his mother and returned to California relaxed mentally, creativiely and physically, but sadly his creativity couldn’t save his marriage to Peggy who had sadly lost her mother in 1986. “He never stopped loving, but he couldn’t be there on the level that I wanted him to be there. (Yeah) I think it started to deteriorate” Lipton said on Behind The Music. In 1990, Peggy and Q divorced and while their romantic relationship fizzled, their friendship always shined.

Peggy decided to return to acting, quickly landing the role of Norma Jones in the hit series “Twin Cities” winning rave reviews. While fans were happy that she had returned to acting, Peggy found herself struggling to cope with the new era of entertainment and had to learn how to adapt and make her own connections to stay relevant and get gigs.

“It was very scary,” Lipton told The Times in 1993. “I had a push-pull thing inside me that I wanted to do it…. I had become so insulated in my world as a mother, that I didn’t know how to pick up the phone and call anybody to put myself out there.”  Her inner work paid off. She was casted to star and appear in many television shows and movies and in 1999, she was introduced to a new generation of fans when she and Williams made cameo appearances in a movie version of “The Mod Squad” with actress Claire Danes and actor/author Omar Epps playing their roles in the film which grossed over 15 million dollars. 2 Years prior, Lipton, Williams and Cole had reunited at the 1997 SAG Awards, which planted the seed for the film version of their hit show. During 2000’s and 2010’s, Peggy continue to pursue her acting career and in 2005, she released her best selling memoirs “Breathing Out” where she wrote about her life including being diagnosed with colon cancer 2 years prior. She was treated for the disease and continue to pursue her career in acting. In 2014 her self-titled album was finally released on cd with several unreleased songs and she continue to spend time with her daughters. Sadly on May 11, 2019, Peggy lost her brave battle with colon cancer and her death has left her children, family, friends and fans sad and devastated.

“She made her journey peacefully with her daughters and nieces by her side,” Lipton’s daughters said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “We feel so lucky for every moment we spent with her.”

Peggy leaves behind her daughters Kidada and Rasheda Jones, her ex-husband Quincy Jones, several nieces, her Mob Squad co-stars Clarence Williams & Michael Cole as well as several friends and fans around the world. This blog post is dedicated to the Legacy & Memory of Peggy Lipton.PEGGY LIPTON

 

 

MOTOWN 60 ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL DISPLAYED THE MAGIC AND LOVE…BUT WISHED MORE FAMILY WAS THERE

If you don’t know anything about me, Da-Professor is that I’m a huge fan of Motown Records and it’s legacy. I became interested in the famous label during my mid-teens after reading the memoirs of Mary Wilson, Michael Jackson, Otis Williams, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and Martha Reeves as well as listening to my mother’s Motown Story album. I’ve written several articles and reviews on several of the Motown artists and I also feature tributes to many of the artists on my podcast Da-Professor’s Lounge.

I had watched the Motown 60 Anniversary and while I enjoyed several of the performances especially Ciara’s tribute to Punk Funk King and Motown Legend Rick James, it would have been nicer had other surviving Motown Legends had performed with several of their surviving labelmates and the young artists.

The anniversary special began with the show’s hosts Actor/Comedian Cedric The Entertainer and Motown Legend Smokey Robinson thanking the crowd for watching and tuning with the former acknowledging Robinson. “It’s a miracle I get to stand with my new neighbor Smokey” Cedric excitedly told the crowd before Smokey introduced Stevie Wonder who joked about meeting and working with Berry Gordy before he launched into his classic “Sir Duke” which had the crowd including Singer Val Young out their seats. That was followed by a video of Smokey speaking about how Gordy called him in the late evening to inform him that he wanted The Miracles to record a new version of their hit “Shop Around” at 3’oclock that morning. Smokey later performed the classic with Pop group Paradox. Next Grammy Award winning Rapper/Songwriter/Actress/Television Personality Eve spoke about the ladies of Motown’s impact on the label and while she acknowledged Berry’s sisters, she also acknowledged Mary Wells, The Marvelettes and The Supremes, which was followed by a video of original Supreme Mary Wilson speaking about the group and how they were called the No-Hit Supremes before hitting the big time. What made this video special was clips of the original line-up appearing on the Ed Sullivan show including a performance of Mary, Florence and Diana performing “You Can’t Hurry Love” which later faded into the ladies tribute which featured Meghan Trainor who performed The Supremes’ top charting classic while Singing Twin Sisters Halle & Chole performed Motown’s 1st # 1 Pop single “Please Mr. Postman” which was originally recorded by The Marvelettes. I loved how the Twins sang with soul. American Idol Winner Fantasia did Mary Wells justice with her rendition of Wells’ # 1 Us and UK Pop hit “My Guy” by starting off with a Blues/Gospel version before singing it in it’s original format. The highlight of the Ladies tribute was when Themla Houston took the audience to the Disco Tech with her performance of her # 1 Disco/Pop/R&B classic “Don’t Leave Me This Way” with the young singers including Tori Kelly joining her and the background singers.

Smokey returned and told the crowd that his all time favorite album was his friend and label mate Marvin Gaye’s classic breakthrough social conscious album “What’s Going On” before he introduced John Legend who performed the album’s classics “Mercy, Mercy Me” and the title track in which he added ad-libbing due to him forgetting one of the words of the lyrics, but his piano playing and ad-libbing compensated for the loss. “His music set the standard” Legend told the audience about Marvin’s breakthrough album and how he used his music as a platform to address social issues.

Next was a video of Smokey, Berry and Lamont Dozier of Holland-Dozier-Holland speaking about creating hits for the artists. “Berry Wanted songs that reached you in the 1st and 4th bars” Cedric told the crowd before he engaged the audience in the 1st of two karaoke type performances by asking Ricky Minor and the Motown 60th Anniversary band to play some of the hits which included I Heard It Through The Grapevine, My Girl and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough which featured members of the audience singing the classics with pride and fun.

The special continued with videos of several Motown specials including Motown 25, 30, Motown Returns to The Apollo and Diana which was followed by Cedric dressed like the late Don Conerlius of Soul Train to speak about the era of Soul and Funk and speak about Rick James who took Motown to another level. “Rick James wasn’t the character that Dave Chapelle played. Rick James was the character that Rick James played” Cedric told the crowd before he introduced Ciara who’s tribute to the King of Punk Funk was one of my favorite parts of the show. Dressed in long braids and a body suit, the Award Winning performer performed James’ classic Super Freak in a seductive way before launching into his # 1 R&B classic “Give It To Me Baby” with 4 female dancers who resembled his female group The Mary Jane Girls and let me tell you, Ciara did him justice. Not only with her dancing, but with her singing. In fact she mimicked the song’s bass line like she was singing along to the record. Her performance was so hot that it had the crowd out their seats wanting more and if Rick were alive, he would jump up and say That’s Ciara Bitch!!!

A clip of President Barack Obama speaking about Motown’s impact on civils right and how the artists helped many achieve the American dream before Stevie introduced Smokey Robinson who performed a medley of hits he recorded with The Miracles which included The Tracks of My Tears, Ooh Baby Baby which could have been better had he performed the song’s bridge and Tears of A Clown before launching into his Grammy Award winning classic Just To See Her.

I was shocked that the special re-aired the Motown Tribute that featured Jennifer Lopez performing her tribute at the Grammy Awards in February and while her vocals on Motown’s 1st single Money was strong, she did way too much booty shaking for this performance. And while she’s a great entertainer, she didn’t need to be rolling on the piano.

Next part of the show featured Mary Wilson, Mickey Stevenson and Smokey speaking about the Motown Revue tour and how they experience racism during the Jim Crow era. Mickey and Mary spoke about not being allowed to eat at certain diners in the south and performing at venues where a white rope had kept Blacks and Whites separated. Mary also spoke about how their music was making the fans enjoy themselves.

Cedric then spoke to the audience about the artists and staff who contributed to the legacy and asked them to stand and the crowd applauded when they saw Mary Wilson, Otis Williams of The Temptations, Claudette Robinson of The Miracles stand along with former Supreme Scherrie Payne , Singers Martha Reeves and Valerie Simpson and songwriter Janie Bradford. A video featuring Simpson, Mickey, Holland-Dozier-Holland and Smokey talking about their compositions with Simpson on the piano playing beautifully. “I was so nervous” Simpson said in the video about being overwhelmed by the number of talent the worked at the label. “I didn’t know I had love around.” Simpson played and led the fellas with medleys of The Four Tops’ “Baby I Need Your Loving” and “The Temptations “My Girl”

Stevie returned to perform a Funky soulful rendition of his classic “Higher Ground” which featured a soulful call and response between him and the show’s background vocalist. He then spoke about working with his 1st wife Syretta Wright and how he felt about losing her and dedicated his performance of their composition of Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer to her memory as well as to the Motown acts, musicians and executives who passed away including The Supremes founder Florence Ballard, Tammi Terrell, Edwin Star, Junior Walker, Barney Ales, Rick James, Teena Marie, Levi Stubbs, Lawerence Payton, Renaldo Obie Benson, Paul Williams, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, Richard Street, Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore, Norman Whitfield and The Funk Brothers.

After the president of The Grammy Awards spoke about Motown’s legacy, Ne-Yo took the stage to perform 3 of his Motown classics which included DeBarge’s I Like It, The Jackson 5ive’s I’ll Be There and Lionel Richie’s All Night Long (All Night). Like Ciara, Ne-Yo did those Motown Icons justice with his dancing and singing. During the performance of Richie’s top charting classic, Ne-Yo walked off the stage and dance with Diana Ross and kissed her hand before bowing to Berry Gordy. (I know that MJ was smiling from heaven with pride to see an artist who looked up to him dancing with his crush).

The Diana Ross segment began with videos from her days as the lead singer of The Supremes followed by several of her solo performances including her performance in Lady Sings The Blues and before you knew it, The Boss began to sing the Theme From Mahagony sitting next to Gordy while holding his hand before she walked onto the stage and sang a medely of hits from the Lady Sings The Blues soundtrack. “I’m very honored to be nominated for my role in lady sings the blues” the boss told the crowd before performing Holiday’s classics “Good Morning Heartache” and “My Man” which for the latter playfully teased and flirted with the father of her eldest daughter by talking about the number of women he dated and smashed and kissed him on the lips. She also led Berry on stage who read a speech about his dream to make music for everybody to enjoy. “My dream was to make music for all people. My dream come true. I wanna thank all of you and your parents and their grandparents all around the world. Thanks those unsung heros who lived and died to make Motown what it is today. I Love you.

Stevie then closed the show with a live performance of his classic Signed Sealed Delivered I’m Yours.

The program was nice, but there are many things that could have made it more better

  1. Having the inclusion of The Temptations and The Four Tops perform. Otis Williams and Abdul Duke Fakir are the only suriving members of their respected groups and it wasn’t right that the groups didn’t perform. Especially since The Temptations won Motown’s 1st Grammy Award for Cloud Nine 50 years ago.
  2.  Claduette Robinson performing on stage. Though she was an original member of The Mircales that included her ex-husband Smokey and her late cousin Bobby, Claudette is the true 1st lady of Motown due to her being the 1st female singer to sign with the label. I felt that being that she and Smokey are the only surviving members of The Miracles alive, Claudette should have performed with her ex during the Miracles medley.
  3. No mention of The Marvelettes. I’m really tired of Motown specials not including and inviting the surviving members of the group who gave the label it’s 1st # 1 Pop hit with Please Mr. Postman. It’s bad enough that it took the label nearly 43 years to give them their gold record, but to constantly not invite them to attend or perform at any of the label’s specials is tired and it needs to stop. I also didn’t like how Gladys Horton’s picture wasn’t featured in the memorial tribute
  4.  The Jacksons not being on the show. I loved how Ne-Yo paid homage to The Jackson 5ive, but it would have nice had they performed in honor of their brother Michael who was mentioned in the memorial tribute. They’re still selling out shows and it would have brought many of their fans closure. Plus Ne-Yo and The Jacksons could have performed along with El and Bunny DeBarge who should have been on the show as well.
  5. The J-Lo tribute. They could of had other singers perform with J-Lo at the tribute. Example Alicia Keys could have performed her rendition of Gladys Knight & The Pips (who also should have been represented) on the tribute. J-Lo did a bit too much booty shaking.
  6.  Representation of White Artists. Smokey always talks about Motown being a family and how Motown is global. Well Singers Chris Clark and Teena Marie should have been represented by White female singers who can sing. Example The producers could have had Christina Aguleria perform a tribute to both singers and she and Johnny Gill a Motown legend could have performed the classic duet Fire And Desire which Johnny remake with Coko of SWV
  7.  More songwriters being represented. I love Holland-Dozier-Holland and Valerie Simpson who is doing a wonderful job honoring her late husband and writing partner Nick Ashford, it would have been nice to see songwriters Barrett Strong and Pamela Sawyer being represented. They wrote several hits for the label.
  8. The 90’s era. After Berry Gordy sold Motown in 1988, the label still managed to crank out hits with a new generation of artists including Johnny Gill, Shanice Wilson, The Good Girls, MC Trouble, The Boys, Today Jason Weaver and Queen Latifah. It would have been nice had they been there to perform
  9.  The Andantes and The Surviving Funk Brothers performing. The Andantes and The Funk Brothers was Motown’s backbone and it would have been great to see them performing with the Motown 60 Anniversary band.
  10. Mary Wilson being featured on videos. It would have been great to see Mary perform a medley of hits with the younger artist. Especially since she was the only original member to stay with the group until they disbanded.
  11.  Martha Reeves performance. It was reported that Martha Reeves had performed but her performance was edited out. Miss Martha and The Vandellas’s classic Dancing In The Streets was named the anthem of Motown and while I’m not sure what song she performed, but her performance shouldn’t have been edited
  12.  Lack of mention of Kim Weston and The Velvelttes. Kim Weston scored hits with Motown as a solo artist and with Marvin Gaye. It would have been nice to see Kim perform live along with The Velvelettes who are still performing sold out shows around the world.                                                                                                                           This is how I feel the Motown 60 Special could have been better. I’m aware that it’s impossible to squeeze a lot of things into a 2 hour special, but the special could have been 3 hours. I love Motown and it’s legacy, but I would love for future specials to be more inclusive. Da-Professor’s Lounge will be hosting a Motown tribute on it’s podcast this summer. Strive for Excellence.

 

 

ICONS & LEGENDS NEEDS TO BE ADMIRED AND RESPECTED. ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR LEGACY AND USE OF THEIR MUSIC

There’s a saying that imitation is the best form of flattery. Well for decades, many singers have immolated their favorite artists by imitating their dance moves and their vocal ad-libs and style. Many have even covered and sampled their classic hits which not only enlarge their fan bases, but it also helps introduce and re-introduce them to a new legion of fans. Many iconic artists doesn’t mind when artists cover and sample their music, but many do rightfully get upset when their music is sampled without permission. Especially when the song that features their sample becomes a hit and the original artist and writers aren’t receiving a fair share of their royalties prompting their to file lawsuits to receive credit and royalites. While many artists have and continues to seek permission to sample artist’s music, they have been several who still refuses to seek permission and when they’re called out, they and members of their large fan base try to attack the artists and their estates for fighting for their respect.  Especially Robin Thicke, Pharell Williams and most recently Nicki Minaj.

Minja had released just released her 4th album “Queen” two days ago and it was revealed that the album was delayed due to numerous reasons. One of them was sampling Grammy-Award Winning Folk/Soul/Pop Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Tracy Chapman’s single “Baby Can I Hold You” without permission on a duet titled “Sorry” featuring Grammy Award-Nominated Rapper Nas who she dated for several month. Manji posted on her twitter page how she didn’t know that one of the samples was a song by Chapman and she made attempts to connect with her while asking her fans should she delay her album or release it. Many of the rapper who’s known for her colorful and blonde wigs and weaves had suggested that she release the album while throwing shade at Chapman who keeps a low profile when she’s not touring.  From being called a boomaclot to a lesbian, many of the fans were very disrespectful, but many of Chapman’s fans clapped back by tweeting about Tracy’s achievements and contributions to music history while many even applauded her for not allowing the rapper who was dissed by Remy Mar at last year’s summer fest to sample her music, while many blasted Manji’s fans for not only knowing about Tracy’s legacy, but for disrespecting her. Nicki and her team should have reached out to Tracy for permission in the 1st place and had they did, so, the duet could have been included on the album, but since this didn’t happen, Nicki decided to not include the track on the album making her fans, who needs to know about the importance of Tracy’s legacy happy.  Tracy paved the way for many female artists to record their own style of music, during the time when New Jack Swing, Hip-Hop and Rock music was dominating the airwaves and during the time when music videos was becoming the norm in the music industry.

In the summer of 2013, Soul Singer/Songwriter/Producer Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams had scored a huge hit with their single “Blurred Lines” featuring Rapper/Actor T.I. The single hit # 1 on the Pop, R&B and Dance Charts and while many of their fans were grooving to the song, several Old School Music lovers and journalists noticed that the song had a familiar disco groove; Marvin Gaye’s 1977 # 1 Pop, Soul and Disco classic “Got To Give It Up.” Many fans began to listen to the song and noticed the percussion, bassline and ad-libs were elements that was used in “Blurred Lines” Fans weren’t the only ones who noticed; several of Jan Gaye’s friends had noticed and when she was contacted, she listened to the song and realized that Thicke, Williams and T.I. had not only sampled her late ex-husband’s disco classic, they sampled without seeking permission. (Jan Gaye runs Marvin’s estate along with their children Marvin III, the son of Marvin and his 1st wife Anna Gordy Gaye and Nona and Frankie Jan’s children she had with Marvin). Shorty after hearing the song, they were naturally upset and shortly before the Labor Day weekend, Jan and Marvin’s children were hit with a lawsuit by Robin, Pharrell and T.I. who had also gone to court to petition a judge to agree that they didn’t sample the Motown classic for their single. The news of the lawsuit had many people pissed. Why would they sue Marvin’s children and ex-wife in the 1st place many have asked. Was it that they were being too greedy and they didn’t want to give them a fair share of the royalties? Well Jan, Marvin III, Nona and Frankie clapped back by filing a countersuit against the trio, who gave different stories about how they created the song, with Thicke who was cheating on his ex-wife Actress Paula Patton throwing Williams under the bus by saying that Pharell had originally wrote the song and later saying he was high on cocaine to really remember how the song was recorded. Well a publishing company settled with the Gaye family while they continued their countersuit with Robin and Pharell. On March 10, 2015, Robin’s 38th birthday, the jury had ruled in favor of Marvin’ family ordering him and Pharell to pay over $4 million in damages and to list Marvin credit as co-writer. Naturally Robin, Pharell and T.I. who wasn’t order to pay any damages due to him writing a line were upset at the verdict and tried to appeal, the judge’s decision which was denied. While Jan, Marvin III, Nona and Frankie were happy with the verdict, Robin, Pharrell and T.I. were upset claiming that they were hurt and the jury’s decision was based on them being emotional. Really?

Well first of all, Robin, Pharrell and T.I was the ones who not only stole Marvin’s classic, they also sued the Prince of Motown’s 2nd wife and children 1st. 2nd, during the time of the lawsuit, Marvin III and his mother Anna were both battling health issues with the latter dying 3 days after her 92nd birthday and four months after the countersuit was filed. Of course it was stressful, considering the fact that the Gaye family was offered a small amount of money from the platniff’s who was too damn greedy to be fair. Plus Jan, Marvin III, Nona and Frankie had to take time from their daily routines to meet with their attorneys and accountants to make sure that the trial was running smoothly. Especially (with the exception of Marvin III) since the family no longer resides in California where the suit was filed. Jan also had to spend time making sure that Nona’s son, who she’s help raised was properly taken care of, while she and her children had to make numerous trips to California. Robin, Pharrell and T.I. wasn’t the only ones who were crying wolf after the verdict. So were they fans. Especially their Black female followers. Many of them had the audacity to disrespect Marvin’s family by calling them lazy and saying that they needed to get regular jobs and stop being hungry and thirsty for money. Many were outraged by the number of Black females who were angry at the verdict. I spoke to one of my best friends about this and he said that the real reason they were upset was because they were crushing on Thicke due to his skin color and to him being married to a Black woman, which helped him get street credit along with his music. Many were shocked to learn that he cheated on her when his career began to go into orbit and some have forgiven him. Well regardless of his ex-wife’s race, he, Pharell and T.I. had no business stealing Marvin’s classic and suing his family to prevent them from getting their proper share of the royalties they deserved in the 1st place. I bet if this happened to Robin’s he would probably get mad and cry to his famous mother Singer/Songwriter/Actress/Author Gloria Lorrin for comfort and support while hiring expensive and pricey lawyers to fight for him. If this happened to Pharrell, he would reunite with Chad Hugo to record a few diss tracks while hiring pricey lawyers to countersue. And God Forbid if any body was to steal one of T.I.’s songs. He would be ready to record a whole album and mix-tape about the situation while hiring lawyers to make sure that he recoups the money that’s taken from him.

I have no issues with artists sampling, but if they’re going to sample, they need to make sure that they’re get the proper clearance and permission to use their music and they’re getting their fare share of the royalties because they worked hard to create the music from their hearts and soul and it’s only right that they get the proper respect they deserve.TRACY CHAPMANMARVIN WHAT'S GOING ON

CLEVAND SINGER/SONGWRITER AVANT’S UNSUNG DOCUMENTARY WAS VERY HUMBLING, INTERESTING AND SHOWED THE ART OF ROMANCE AND SEDUCTION

It’s been nearly 2 years since I wrote and posted a review on TV One’s Unsung documentaries and after watching the one on R&B Singer/Songwriter Avant, I was more than impressed about his upbringing, musical background and his talent. I remember hearing his singles “Separated” and “Read Your Mind” on the radio as well as watching his videos on BET, but I had no idea that this talented brother was more than a singer and songwriter. He has passion and grind that has helped keep him in the game for nearly 2 decades.

Avant was born as Myron Avant as the 5th of 6 children who was raised by a single mother Alberta Avant who was able to provide her children’s wants and needs. “We were labeled the ghetto Brady Bunch” Avant said about how his household consisted of 3 boys and 6 girls. Avant did have love from his family. The love from his family prevented him from becoming involved with gangs and selling drugs. “It was tough” Avant’s mother said of the neighborhood they lived in. “There was older people selling drugs and wanting kids to sell them.” “I didn’t want that” Avant added to wanting to have something better for him. Avant become interested in singing and had several diverse influences from Soul to the Blues. “The LeVert family. Sam Cooke. Johnny Taylor. Babyface. I remember the ‘Whip Appeal’ album. Felt like he was singing to every woman in my family.” he said about his influences. By the time he reached 4th grade Avant in the Cleveland School of the arts where he stayed until he completed the 12th grade. Avant not only learned to develop his talents, it was a safe haven for him and he looked forward to attending school on a daily basis. He later formed a singing group called The Fellows who would perform around Cleveland and hearing the response from the audience motivated Avant to really develop his gift. The group found a manager who was able to get them into a recording studio owned by Tony Pespese who though loved the group, but saw that Avant was the one who had the it factor, so he separated the group and that’s where Avant began to write and record songs. Avant’s 1st manager took him to Chicago where they linked up with producer/songwriter Steve Huff and released his debut single “I Wanna Know” independently which became a huge hit in the windy city and earned Avant to opportunity to sign with NBA legend Magic Johnson’s record label which had a joint deal with MCA Records. Johnson was beyond impressed with his talent and Avant was eager to make him proud so he delivered his single “Separated” which became a huge R&B, Quiet Storm and Pop hit. The song was inspired by Avan’t relationship with Pespese’s niece. Fans and radio personalities loved the song due to it being a romantic edgy ballad. “Great ballad with a bounce” radio personality Kym Sellerz said. Avan’ts follow up single was a cover of Rene & Angela’s ballad “My First Love” which he recorded with singer KyKe Wyatt which also became a hit and helped enlarged his fan base. Many stated this was one of their favorite duets. “First of all, Avant delivered magically” Record executive Marylin Batcheor said about his performance. “KeKe. I heard Keke. This girl can sing.” “I recorded ‘My First Love’ when I was 16, what did I know about a 1st love at 16?” Wyatt said. The success of those singles helped Avant’s debut album “My Thoughts” reach platinum status and he was grateful for the success he began to have. “It was amazing to me. All I could think of the humble beginnings” Avant said. He also was able to provide for his mother and siblings. “He did a lot for himself, but he did a lot of his family” Avant’s brother added. For his 2nd album Avant and Huff returned to the studio where they still had the magic to create hits and while Johnson and his staff was eager to release new product, the staff at MCA was hesitant. Avant and his team took matters into their own hands by releasing an advance copy of his single “Make Good Love” to radio, where it quickly became a hit forcing MCA to come to their senses and release his 2nd album which quickly reached gold status. While his success was soaring, many musicians and writers he worked with has felt that they wasn’t compensated with the proper credit and payment they deserved. Avant acknowledged their contributions and was also mature enough to admit he didn’t about the process of credits and business. “I was young. I didn’t know what the process was. I appreciate everything they did.” Songwriter Bruce Smith understood the situation and how record labels operates. “Being signed to a label you don’t have control over things.” Avant told his team to give people the credit and royalties they deserved and when his team and label asked why, he told them that he wrote verses and hooks with certain people. Avant’s 3rd album got delayed due to Johnson and MCA having conflicts, forcing Avant to take matters into his hands and when radio received an advanced copy of “Read Your Mind” which once again quickly became a huge hit as well as his signature song. Avant revealed the song was inspired by a lady who was undressing him with her eyes while he was at a club playing pool. The song became a huge hit with the ladies including radio personality Tammi Mac who excitedly expressed how she still loves the song to this date. By the time it came for Avant to release his 4th album, MCA had been absorbed by Geffen Records which meant new staff was hired to help run the company and knowing that he would be working with a new team, Avant decided to cut professional ties with his manager and collabulater Steve Huff, who wanted Avant to evolve while maintaining their friendship. The singer was able to work with several talented producers including The Underdogs who produced his single “4 Minutes” which became a huge hit with both his male and female fans.  “The story of love is never gonna go away” Songwriter Antonio Dixon said about love songs. “Women can relate. Who wouldn’t went their man to chase them?” Radio personality Mym Selliez added. Despite the single’s success, the album didn’t do well and Avant was dropped from Geffen and later signed with Capital Records and was sadly dropped due to lack of sales which was due to Hip-Hop and Crunk dominating the charts and airwaves along with fans downloading music from the internet. “The internet was popping. People could get music for free. People not buying album” Avant said about the trend that is still happening. Avant also revealed that he had to privately battle with the media comparing him to Singer R. Kelly. Many of his family, friends and peers spoke about this and said that it wasn’t fair him to be compared to Kelly. “Avant got his own style” KeKe Wyatt said. “That’s why I worked as hard as I did.” With the music industry going through changes, Avant decided to return to his roots and began to pursue a career in acting. He earned a spot in the musical “Love In the Nick of Time” where his portrayal of a brother selling bootlegged dvds and Play stations became a hit with the fans and enlarged his fan base. “I had so much fun. We created a magical play” Avant said of the experience of acting. In 2012, he released his album “Face The Music” which featured another duet with Wyatt which still get spins on radio. Avant also spoke about how his fans still flock to his show and tell him how they made babies to his music. He also spoke about the love he has for his kids and while he loves his kids, he choses to allow them to have private lives away from the media which was why he refuse to allow their photos to be featured on his documentary. (Excellent decision). Avant’s documentary was excellent. I learned a lot about him and his grind. The documentary would have been better had they spoke about him performing “My First Love” with Angela Winbush, the original writer and singer of the classic on 106 & Park. The documentary should have mentioned Avant’s work with The Isley Brothers on their Soul Train Music Award winning album “Eternal” Avant co-wrote the group’s single “Secret Lover” as well as sang additional lead and background vocals on the classic which was in heavy rotation on radio and BET AND MTV. Those elements should have been mentioned in the documentary, but all-in-all it was a great documentary showing that the Midwest has lots of talent. I learned a lot about Avant and it shows that he has a great passion for performing and grinding. I’m glad that he didn’t get caught up in drugs and alcohol and he didn’t allow the politics of the MCA discourage him from taking action into his own hands. His determination and drive to get his music heard shows that artist can fight to get the respect they deserve. I’m glad that he’s still making music and I plan on featuring his music on my podcast Da-Professor’s Lounge more often. Da-Professor gives Avant’s unsung documentary a 9.79

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE CELEBRATES WOMEN HERSTORY MONTH

Good Morning. It’s been a while since I’ve wrote any articles on this blog due to me being busy taking care of personal affairs while producing Da-Professor’s Lounge, my weekly podcast which plays the hottest eclectic hits from the past 5 decades. Well March happens to be the acknowledgement of Women’s History month and throughout the month of march, I will be posting several tributes to many women entertainers who have and continues to make an impact on music culture. I will also be doing my annual Women Herstory’s Month podcast which will be strictly dedicated to the ladies of music. I’ve always love music by female recording artists because they’re music have connected with me in many ways including overcoming depression, self-doubt and obstacles. That’s why I make sure that I honor female musicians on my podcast and I will honor them on this blog. Be on the look out for the tribute and also let me know who are some of your favorite musicians.

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S YEAR END COUNT DOWN

Happy New Year. Da-Professor’s Lounge is grateful for your love and support.  Despite a few set backs, I was able to still produce my podcast which plays the hottest joints from the past 5 decades and last year where I managed to interview several talented guest as well as play hot music by many talented artists and to show my appreciation, I once again decided to have my annual countdown for 2017 in several different categories. Congratulations to those who made the list. Strive for Excellence.

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s # 1 song of 2017

Jay’e R. Tonight’s Your Night

The Countdown

  1. Jay’e R.-Tonight’s Your Night
  2. Bobby Jaye-One Emotion
  3. Dave Tony-Your Body
  4. Jody Watley-Sanctuary
  5. L*A*W-Planet 12 Anthem
  6. The AlliYance With Booder, Medino Green & Toni Steelz-Epic
  7. Antonio Ramsey-All Night Long
  8. Mary J. Blige-Thick of It
  9. DJ Khaled With Rhianna & Bryon Tiller-Wild Thoughts
  10. Quincy Tyree-Crickets
  11. The AlliYance-Seltzer Water
  12. Arquez-# Don’t
  13. Bobby Jaye-One Generation
  14. Shaliek-My Love
  15. Tito Jackson-One Way Street
  16. Adina Howard & Adrian Crutchfield-Dishonest Mistake
  17. Alfa Anderson-When Luther Sings
  18. Bell-Biv-DeVoe & SWV-Finally
  19. Maysa-Can We Talk
  20. Maysa-Inside Out
  21. Faith Evans, The Notorious BIG & Lil’ Kim-Lovin’ You For Life
  22. Kodak Ken-Did That For
  23. I.K.P. Til The Day I Die
  24. Simon Black-Fool 4 Love
  25. Chaka Khan & B Slade-Love Myself
  26. B. Slade-Leave The Lights On & The Way I Feel Inside
  27. Betty-Rise
  28. Ray Issac With Fly Young Red & The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir-We Stand United
  29. The Keymasters Good for Her
  30. Apple Castelleno-2 Turnitup
  31. Cam Jones-Caribbean Waves
  32. Sister Sledge-Lost In Music
  33. The Jones Girls-When I’m Gone
  34. Vedo-Slow
  35. Ed Sheraan-Shape of You
  36. J. Oliver-His Plan
  37. The Supremes-Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart (The SuperMix)
  38. Corondi-Caught Up In The Rapture
  39. George Michael-Freedom
  40. Tito Jackson-One Way Street
  41. Bruno Mars-24
  42. Robby D-Real Man

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s Favorite Dance Singles of 2017

  1. L*A*W-Planet 12 Anthem
  2. Simon Black-Fool 4 Love
  3. Mary J. Blige-Find The Love
  4. DJ Khaled With Rhianna & Bryson Tiller-Wild Thoughts
  5. Antonio Ramsey-All Night Long
  6. SRL-ORIGINAL (Remix)
  7. Jody Watley-Sanctuary
  8. The AlliYance-Seltzer Water
  9. Tito Jackson-We Made It
  10. Ed Sheeraan-Shape of You
  11. Chaka Khan & B. Slade-I Love Myself
  12. Twintowerz & Marcus Canty-Somebody Call the Police
  13. Nick Audain-Mouth 2 Mouth
  14. Lionbabe-Disclosure
  15. Simon Black-One By One
  16. Alfa Anderson-Perfectly Chic
  17. Bell-Biv-DeVoe-Find A Way
  18. Ne-Yo-Another Love Song
  19. Mugz & Pablo-Can’t Stop Us
  20. Selwyn-The Greatest Show On Earth
  21. Bruno Mars-24# Magic

 

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s Favorite Romantic Ballads of 2017

  1. Dave Tony-Your Body & Jay’e R.-Tonight’s Your Night
  2. Maysa-Can We Talk
  3. Que-L.O.L.
  4. B. Slade &  (Hubieonguitar)-The Way I Feel Inside
  5. Bell-Biv-DeVoe & SWV-Finally
  6. Vedo-Slow
  7. Jay’e R-Touch U
  8. Shaliek-My Love
  9. B. Slade-Leave the Lights On
  10. Sammie-COA

 

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s Favorite Videos of 2017

  1. Jody Watley-Sanctuary
  2. Ne-Yo-Another Love Song
  3. B. Slade-Leave The Lights On
  4. DJ Khaled With Rhianna & Bryson Tiller
  5. IKP-Til The Day I Die
  6. The AlliYance-Seltzer Water
  7. Antonio Ramsey-All Night Long
  8. Taylor Made-Everything I’m Not
  9. Nick Audain-Mouth To Mouth
  10. Arquez-# Don’t
  11. Shaliek-My Love
  12. Sammie-COA
  13. Realz With So Large-Squarded Up
  14. Ken-Bomb Dick
  15. Arquez & Roizer-I Hope You’re Ready

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S SEXIEST SONGS OF 2017

  1. Antonio Ramsey-All Night Long
  2. Dave Tony-Your Body
  3. Que-LOL
  4. Jaye’R-Tonight’s Your Night
  5. Ken-Bomb Dick
  6. Jody Watley-Sanctuary
  7. B. Slade-Leave The Lights On & The Way I Feel Inside
  8. Bobby Jaye-Let’s Get Freaky
  9. Vedo-Slow
  10. Shaliek-My Love
  11. Nick Audian-Mouth To Mouth
  12. Arquez With Roizer-I Hope You’re Ready

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE LIVE ACTS OF 2017

  1. Jody Watley & Shalamar Reloaded a/k/a SRL
  2. Janet Jackson
  3. Mary Wilson of The Supremes & Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
  4. L*A*W
  5. The AllIyance
  6. The Jacksons
  7. The Sylvers
  8. Ken
  9. Nick Audain
  10. 10. Tony Banks

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE HIP-HOP JOINT COLLABS OF 2017

1.The AlliYance with Booder, Medino Green & Toni Steelz-Epic

2. Mugzy & Pablo-Can’t Stop Us

3. Realz & So Large-Squaded Up

4. Kodak Ken & I.K.P.-Be Easy

5. Lester Greene & Jay Hopkins-Red Lights

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE R&B & POP/HIP-HOP COLLABS OF 2017

  1. Faith Evans, The Notorious B.I.G. & Lil’Kim-Lovin’ You For Life
  2. DJ Khaled With Rhianna & Bryson Tiller-Wild Thoughts
  3. Dave Tony & IKP-Alright
  4. Ray Issac With Fly Young Red & The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir-We Stand Reunited
  5. Mary J. Blige With DJ Khaled & Missy Elliot-Blow Up
  6. Adina Howard & Adrian Crutchfield-Dishonest Mistake
  7. Arquez & Roque-I Hope That You’re Ready
  8. Sony Cobain & Nicole Deallie-Stand Up To Cancer

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE DUETS OF 2017

  1. Bell-Biv-DeVoe & SWV-Finally
  2. Tito Jackson & Joceyln Brown-When The Magic Happens
  3. Jennifer Saran & The Temptations-Christmas Lover
  4. Mary J. Blige & Prince Charlez-Smile
  5. Stage-Soul Music & Monia Amoire-Soul Musuem

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE UPLIFTING/POLITICAL SONGS OF 2017

  1. Dave Tony & IKP-Alright
  2. Betty-Rise
  3. Ray Issac With Fly Young Red & The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir-We Stand United
  4. Bobby Jaye-Love Generation
  5. Mary J. Blige-Set Me Free
  6. J. Oliver-His Plan
  7. Taylor Made-Everything I’m Not
  8. Quindon-Everybody’s Free
  9. Sony Cobain & Nicole Deallie-Stand Up to Cancer
  10. Arquez-We The People

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2017

  1. Tito Jackson-Tito Time
  2. Mary J. Blige-Strength of A Woman
  3. Maysa-Love Is A Batterfield
  4. Dave Tony-Life Lessons
  5. Faith Evans & The Notorious BIG-The King & I
  6. Chris Bender-Draped
  7. The Supremes-A Go-Go [Expanded Version]
  8. Soul-Stage Music-Soul Museum
  9. Bell-Biv-DeVoe-Three Stripes
  10. Whitney Houston-I Wish You Love-Music From The Bodyguard
  11. Bruno Mars-XXIIII Magic
  12. Michael Jackson-Scream

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE COVERS OF 2017

  1. Maysa’s rendition of Tevin Campbell’s Can We Talk
  2. Quindon’s rendition of “Everybody’s Free”
  3. Corondi’s rendition of Anita Baker’s “Caught Up In The Rapture”

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE MOVIE OF 2017

Moonlight

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE MINI-SERIES OF 2017

The New Edition Story

Da-Professor’s Lounge’s Favorite Comeback Single of 2017

Quincy Tyree-Crickets

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE TELEVISION/YOU TUBE PERFORMANCES OF 2017

  1. New Edition and the cast of the New Edition mini-series performance of “If It Isn’t Love” on the BET Awards
  2. Foster, Angie & Pat Sylvers performance of “Misdemeanor” during The Sylvers’ reunion concert at the Rose.
  3. Diana Ross’ performance on the 2017 American Music Awards
  4. Jermaine Jackson and his sons Jaafar and Jermajesty performance of “The Christmas Song” at the MAX Proms
  5.  The Jacksons singing background during brother Tito’s performance on his solo single “Get It Baby” in Ahoy Rotterdam

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE YOU TUBE SINGER OF 2017

Bobby Jaye

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE REMIX OF 2017

SRL-O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L. (Purple Mix)

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2017

  1. The Jacksons-Legacy
  2. Super Freak: The Life of Rick James by Peter Benjamison

DA-PROFESSOR’S LOUNGE’S FAVORITE REUNIONS OF 2017

  1. The Sylvers reunion concert at The Rose. It had been the 1st time the family group had perform live in nearly 35 years. It was also the 1st time that the family group had performed with sister Olivia, who had left to deal with health and personal issues. It was also the 1st time that the group had performed without their brother and main lead singer Edmund, who had died from lung cancer in 2004. In addition to performing their classic hits “Hot Line” and “Boogie Fever”  The Sylvers performed a new song which was dedicated to the memory of their parents and siblings including Christopher, the youngest who never performed with his siblings. The highlight was The Sylvers Foster, Angie and Pat taking center stage to perform their single “Misdemeanor” which has been sampled for Rapper The DOC’s classic “Gettin’ Funky” and Shyne’s “That’s Gangsta” The group’s reunion performance has gotten excellent reviews from the fans who attended the concert and it still gets lots of views on You Tube.
  2. Janet Jackson’s past dancers reunite to perform Rhythm Nation at the Hollywood Bowl. After giving birth to her 1st child and divorcing her 3rd husband, Miss Janet embarked on her State of The World Tour which has gotten great reviews. Many fans have said that she’s snatching wigs and slaying the stage. Many fans loved the performance of Scream, but the highlight of the tour was when Miss Janet had all of her past dancers from her previous tours join her and her current dancers to perform the classic and iconic routines from Rhythm Nation which drove the crowd into a frenzy. After the performance, Janet took time out to introduce each of the previous dancers who received lots of praise and cheers from the audience. The positive thing is that all of the previous dancers are doing well in life.
  3. Tank’s performance at DC Black Pride. For many decades, many Black Gay Pride events and concerts have featured Draq Queens and Disco, House and R&B Female Singers. During the past 15 years, many pride organizations and organizers had been recruiting openly Black LGBT Rappers and Singers to perform, and last year, the organizers of DC Black Pride decided to have R&B Singer/Songwriter/Producer/Actor Tank perform which was a bold move for both the promoter and the talented singer who acknowledges his SGL/LGBT Fan base. While there were many in the community who was happy to have a male R&B singer perform, there were several homophobic females who was upset at him for doing so as well as shady immature Gays who felt that he was using the community to get paid. Many came to Tank’s defense by saying that they needed to be glad that a Black Male R&B singer took the time to perform for his fan base and they needed to embrace him and the openly Gay Rappers and Singers instead of certain singers and rappers who have either showed up late and performed for a few minutes and not addressing the crowd. I’m glad that Tank performed at last year’s DC Pride.

Da-Professor’s Lounge congratulates all those made the list. Continue to Strive for Excellence.