99¢ is the title, not the price, of the anticipated, long overdue, third studio album by super-talented Philly born singer/rapper/songwriter/producer extraordinaire Santigold. Scheduled for a recently announced January 22nd, 2016 arrival date at Amoeba Music c/o Atlantic Records in both CD and limited edition clear vinyl formats, the album can now be pre-ordered from Amoeba. The 12 track new album, the mezzo-soprano born Santi White's first since 2012's Master Of My Make- Believe, features the just released lead single "Can't Get Enough Of Myself (feat. BC)" (audio below). Production credits will include such accomplished figures as Zeds Dead, Justin Raisen, Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and David Andrew Sitek (TV On The Radio) to name but some of her new album studio collaborators. Meanwhile the cover (above) for 99¢ is some of the best album cover art to come along in a minute. At a glance it aesthetically reminds me of the cover of Malcolm McLaren's 1983 album Duck Rock (left) with its colors and retro design.
Last night during his soul 45's themed, longtime weekly residency at New York City's Botanica Mr. Fine Wine celebrated the release of his latest retro compilation R&B Hipshakers Vol. 4: Bossa Nova and Grits. This the Detroit born, music loving, lifelong soul/funk/r&b 45's crate digger, and weekly host of WFMU's Downtown Soulville accomplished by playing the music and inviting others to join him for a fun and funky night at the Downtown bar/club along with an array of invited fellow 45's loving guest DJs including Jonathan Toubin, DJ Rata, Mikey, One Mint Julep, Phast Phreddie, Pablo Salinas, Eli "Paperboy" Reed and Matt Fiveash (pictured left). The new 20 track compilation, that has been released as a CD and also as a ten seven inch vinyl box-set, is the fourth and latest in this various artists series for Vampisoul that the D has curated for the respected reissue record label. With a title inspired by the compilation's opening track, Little Joe Washington's 1963 Federal Records single "Bossa Nova and Grits," genre expert Mr Fine Wine has mined the vaults of King Records and its imprint Federal Records. Federal Records, who first gave the world a taste of James Brown, was set up by the influential indie Cincinnati, Ohio based King Records label in 1950. Among those acts featured are on the new collection are Wynonie Harris, Roy Brown & His Mighty Mighty Men, King Syam, Gene Wilson & His Genies, and Sam Anderson & The Telstars.
On his excellent recent release Fear of Flying (Ineffable Music), West Coast producer Markis Precise plays host to a rich array of mic wreckers including such talents as Strong Arm Steady, Fashawn, Ras Kass, Gift of Gab, and Zion I's Zumbi. Noteworthy of the collaborative album, that the artist refers to as a "compilation," is the Fresno producer's gift at pairing just the right music with each of his vocal collaborators. He manages to bring out the very best in his guest emcees. Examples include "Frequency (feat. Zion I)" in which he not only provides the pitch perfect backing track for emcee Zumbi's unique, instantly recognizable flow, but sonically captures that Zion I vibe, particularly early era Zion I. And this is good news for longtime fans of the prolific, popular duo who may have pondered what future lay ahead for them with the announcement earlier this year of the exit of Zumbi's longtime partner in Zion I, producer AmpLive.
If you've seen the N.W.A. bio-pic titled after their album Straight Outta Compton (CD and LP), the whole "Fuck The Police" controversy played a major role in the 2015 film that arrives at Amoeba on DVD/BluRay upon its January 19th release. "Fuck The Police" also played a major role in the pioneering gangsta rap group's career resulting in a not-too-happy FBI famously contacting the group's record label regarding the inflammatory anti-law enforcement anthem. But in a June 1990 interview, Ice Cube, after he had left the group and just released his debut solo album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (in CD and LP), told me that the controversy with the police and the FBI over the song was blown out of proportion. "They just sent us a letter," he said, which put fear into Priority Records - the label headed by Bryan Turner that before N.W.A.'s success had been known for putting out the non-offensive The California Raisins.