The bi-monthly Wax Poetics may only be up to issue number 37, but ever since it first arrived earlier this decade Wax Poetics has fast become one of the most revered music magazines out there. Everything about this magazine, from its top-notch writing and photography to its quality layout on nice glossy paper, makes it instantly clear that Wax Poetics is made out of a true love and passion for the music it reports on -- soul, funk, jazz, and of course, hip-hop from the past several decades as well as in depth reporting on select current music. Wax Poetics is the sort of magazine that never makes its way into the recycling bin like most publications do after they have been read. Instead, the 7" by 10" publication is lovingly placed forever on bookshelves alongside music books like Jeff Chang's Can't Stop Won't Stop or the Ego Trip Book Of Rap Lists; books that take a similarly respectful approach to their subject matter. And in addition to the magazine, Wax Poetics also runs a record label. The label's latest release was the accompanying soundtrack to the very recently released Black Dynamite -- the new spoof blaxploitation movie that was made to look like it was done in the 70's and is described by its producers as such: "African-American action legend Black Dynamite goes after 'The Man' for killing his brother Jimmy, for pumping heroin into local orphanages and for flooding the ghetto with hopped-up malt liquor."
The latest issue of Wax Poetics magazine features Michael Jackson on the cover with several well written articles inside about the King of Pop in addition to other features such as a nice piece on LA DJ/producer DJ Frane and pioneering NYC disco DJ NIcky Siano and his legendary 70's SoHo club The Gallery. Admittedly not an all-encompassing Michael Jackson tribute issue, the current Wax Poetics still manages to give us a more informative and pure MJ music history lessons than most of the recent magazine MJ cover stories put together. Rico Washington penned the four page MJ essay "Going for Self - With the Help Of Hitmaker Songwriters and Producers, MJ Charted His Own Destiny," with quotes about MJ's music by the likes of James Ingram, Sidedah Garrett, and Leon Ware. Ronnie Reese has two nice MJ features, including "Well Oiled Machine." Writer Jason Lapanyne's "The Transformation" article is about filmmaker John Landis creating "a monster" with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video and talks about how, "in 1983, two years after John Landis directed An American Werewolf in London, he got a phone call from Michael Jackson. Jackson told Landis that he had seen American Werewolf 'a hundred times' and wanted to turn into a monster. 'That was his quote,' Landis remembers." In the magazine's recurring tech feature "Analog Out," the current issue's article by Peter Kirn is about the "Roland D-50: Distinctive Synth of MJ's Bad." Both Wax Poetics magazine and the Wax Poetics record label releases, including the two part Black Dynamite release (vinyl and CD) are available at Amoeba Music. What follows is an interview for the Amoeblog with Wax Poetics' Amir Abudullah, who heads the record label, conducted this past weekend at the WFMU Record Fair.