April 10, 1998 |
Singer/rapper Smooth has been on the verge since her single "You Got Played" rocked the "Menace II Society" soundtrack. While Li'l Kim and Foxy Brown were still dreaming of Prada and ballers, Smooth was doing her thing. After a lengthy hiatus, she returned this year with her third album, "Smooth Reality," which concentrates on her vocal ability instead of her rapping. Her current single, "Strawberries," is the most successful of her career. The L.A. native is known as much for her luscious looks as for her vocal skills, but she hopes that, after this album, she'll be more greatly appreciated for her musical talents.
July 30, 1996 |
Your best friend, Simon, who always wears a starched white shirt and tie to school, one day shows up sporting an oversized T-shirt, baggy pants, Timberland boots and two nose rings. Yo, you might wonder, what's up with that? So you talk to Simon and find out he's still good ol' Simon - he just felt like wearing something different. Well, the Boys Choir of Harlem, known for its angelic interpretations of classical, contemporary, spiritual and gospel songs, has gone and pulled a Simon.
March 10, 1990 |
Having a baby can do strange things to people. Rick Rumble, morning co-host on WEGX-FM (106.1), has written his own lyrics to the Grammy-winning rap song Bust a Move. The original song by Young MC is about a man looking for a girlfriend. Rumble's version, titled Bust to Move, is about childbirth and the moments after, and is based on the birth of his son Richard Keith Rumble 3d, better known as "Trip," Dec. 14. Mary Rumble, Trip's mother, says, "I just laugh real hard every time I hear it. It's just based on our reactions when we got him home.
February 21, 1990 |
Just a year ago, rap wasn't given enough credit to be included in the broadcast portion of the Grammy awards. This year, the best rap performance award will rate as one of the most coveted and hotly contested Grammys, with good reason. For the past six months, rap and rap-laced tracks have hogged half the slots in the black music top 10. Rap is driving a major share of the youth- oriented, pre-recorded music business, rivaled only in popularity by hard rock/heavy metal. One of tonight's nominated rap artists, Tone Loc, already is down in the books for scoring the second biggest-selling single of all time with "Wild Thing" (trailing after, you should pardon the expression, "White Christmas")
October 3, 1986 |
Funk and rap music will be amply showcased at the Spectrum on Sunday with a show featuring Midnight Star, Whodini, Doug E. Fresh and Eric B. The vocal group Midnight Star makes music that ranges from the frantic funk of "Freakazoid" to the sultry balladry of "Feel So Good. " The seven-member band's latest hit is "The Midas Touch" (Solar), which manages to combine elements of funk, rap and pop in one neat song. Whodini's latest single, "Growing Up" (Arista), continues a string of successes for this Brooklyn-born, London-based act. Like Whodini's best music, "Growing Up" is more melodic than most rap, and features smooth vocals with smart lyrics.
July 2, 1989 |
The rapper's problem usually stems from being tone deaf. Pack the house, try to sing, there won't be no one left. - Prince, "The Black Album," 1988 It was a week of mixed signals for rap. One big star, LL Cool J, released an album called Walking With a Panther that contained the most ordinary, and irrelevant, rants about sexual prowess to emerge in some time. Public Enemy, the political rap group whose influence extended from street kids to critics and across color lines, was broken up by its leader Chuck D. - who claimed the group was "sandbagged" by the music industry for anti- Semitic remarks made by "minister of information" Professor Griff during an interview.
February 22, 1989 |
Controversy and the Grammy Awards seem to go hand in hand. For the last 10 years, performers working in various genres - such as jazz, gospel and classical - have taken turns complaining that they are not receiving enough exposure from the awards telecast. In 1984, jazz players - who didn't get any air time - threatened to retaliate by starting their own awards. That plan fizzled. Nonetheless, the next year a "special" jazz segment was included in the telecast, featuring dozens of jazz artists playing sound-bite-length solos.
April 13, 1995 |
More than 40 years after they said it was just a fad, rock 'n' roll proved once again it's here to stay. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, rock was the king of all music in 1994, accounting for 35 percent of the more than $12 billion industry. "It was a big year," said Jay Berman, chairman of the Washington-based recording association. "There were three major releases in December (Garth Brooks, the Beatles and Pearl Jam), and this accounted for a big amount.
August 5, 1989 |
Hey, everybody, have you heard the news? The Fresh Prince of rap is out, foot-loose. His Honor said yesterday he was free to go, He didn't have to be no rapping jailbird. Just in case you've been living on Mars, The Grammy-winning artist spent a night behind bars. The whole messy story happened way back in June, When he was arrested for ordering someone to the moon. The victim, William Hendricks, was punched in a fight. His left eye crushed, it was not a pretty sight.
September 7, 1987 |
The Spectrum resounded Friday night to the schoolyard rhymes and hammering beats of the first of two marathon shows in a cavalcade of rap acts billed as Def Jam '87. Headliner L. L. Cool J proved conclusively that he is the most exciting performer on the rap scene. Not taking the stage until almost 11 p.m., he spun out his doggerel in fast, strong vocal rhythms, as he moved about with the air of a cocky young boxer who has never tasted of defeat. Girls in the audience screamed loudly at every suggestive move the 19-year- old star made, and they were screaming practically nonstop.