Tru Thoughts' New Signing: Wildcookie are Freddie Cruger aka Red Astaire & Anthony Mills

Posted by Smiles Davis, December 5, 2010 10:45pm | Post a Comment
My grandfather owned a record store for some 20 years in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Calling him a serious vinyl collector would be an understatement. Around the house, however, music was never played. All the vinyl he ever owned remained in its original packaging until it was either sold, given away or stored in the “vault” in his basement where it remains till this day. Fortunately, he encouraged us to enjoy music of all types, never was he discriminatory.

I had a very strict curfew living with my grandparents, but was allowed a  grace period whenever attending a concert. The first show I went to without my parents was a D’angelo concert. It was the Voo Doo tour with Lucy Pearl. The opening act was Anthony Hamilton, an unknown at the time. He was good, damn good, as was the rest of the touring ensemble. That dreamy night is memorable for so many reasons. For starters, it was me celebrating my independence, but also D’angelo means so much to my generation. He was to my generation what Sade was to the preceding generation.

I ran across this G.A.M.M. comp a few years ago with a few heaters lurking. The stand out track was this unbelievably dope remix of D’angelo’s "Left & Right" from the prolific Voo Doo album. I remember playing the song constantly. The vibes over D'angelo's seductive vocals give the song legs and take it to another level, better than the original. The title of the track was different from its original counterpart, I assume for good reason. “Follow Me,” as the song was called, is not just a remix but an entirely new song with its own identity because of its greatness. The producer/DJ is Red Astaire, also known as Freddie Cruger. He’s had me hook, line and sinker ever since. 

NITESHIFT Presents: Kenny Dope at EL Cid

Posted by Smiles Davis, December 3, 2010 12:53pm | Post a Comment

Happy Friday! Glad to see the week come to an end, more or less because there are so many good tings a brewin' 'round LA tonight. If you didn't get the memo, Aloe Blacc is live tonite at The Echo. If you're looking for a night out on the town, you've come to the right place, my friend, just a few cheap date options for all you last minute scrambles. 

NITESHIFT Presents: Robbi's Birthday Smash! featuring Kenny Dope

(Master At Work, Nuyorican Soul, Kay-Dee Records - NY)

(Soul Electric, Cha Cha Project, niteshift - SF/LA)

(Lucid Sundays, niteshift - LA)

El Cid 4212 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA

9:30pm - 2:30am | 21+ | $10 be4 10:30 & $15 After

RSVP for $10 list

TONIGHT! 89.9 KCRW Presents Aloe Blacc Release Party @ Echoplex

Posted by Smiles Davis, December 3, 2010 02:48am | Post a Comment

Ok, LA! Hot on the heels of a sold-out European Tour and #1 album in France, Germany & Belgium, Aloe Blacc wraps up his North American Tour in his hometown alongside
Maya Jupiter, Garth Trinidad, The Do-Over’s Haycock & Strong + Special Surprise Guests! This will be one of your only chances to see Aloe Blacc in LA, as he departs on a worldwide tour until Summer 2011, so advance tickets are highly recommended, especially with sold-out shows in SF, Seattle, Portland, NYC, Chicago, Toronto & Montreal. So, ditch the 'it's too cold to go out' excuse and saddle up, partner. See ya at the show, folks!

(presale tix:

Aloe Blacc - Femme Fatale from BOUL2BEAT on Vimeo.

This Charming Brotha: Theophilus London "Flying Overseas" Feat Solange Knowles

Posted by Smiles Davis, December 1, 2010 10:18am | Post a Comment

One of the coolest videos I've seen in a while. Love Theophilus London, and the beautiful black Miss Jodie is pretty dynamite too! Keep it tite, kiddies.

Where Would Music Be Without Gwen McCrae?

Posted by Smiles Davis, November 22, 2010 02:48pm | Post a Comment

Gwen Mosley was born December 21st, 1943, in Pensacola, Florida. Like most young black kids of that era, she sang in the church choir. Mosley met a sailor named George McCrae, also a singer, at the tender age of 20 and married a week later. She took his last name and the pair decided to collaborate and grace the world over with some baby making tunes. Now for you studious music lovers, George McCrae would later make classic solo hits like “I Get Lifted” which would go on to be sampled by numerous hip hop and R& B artists like Keith Murray, Pete Rock, Eric B, and Snoop Dogg, just to name a few.

Nearly 4 years after the dynamic duo crossed paths, Betty Wright discovered the pair and got them signed to Henry Stone's Alston Records. Yes, the same Betty Wright responsible for hits like “Clean Up Woman” written by Clarence Reid. There is a point to all this, I swear. You may know Clarence Reid by his alias, Blowfly. As Reid he wrote songs for other artists like the ones aforementioned as well as Sam & Dave and KC and the Sunshine Band. As Blowfly he would flip popular R & B songs into sexually explicit works of pure genius comedy. The first Blowfly “party record” came out in 1971, which many consider a form of primitive rapping. When the Sugarhill Gang released “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979, Blowfly followed with his own profane version called “Rapp Dirty" or "Blowfly’s Rapp." The song was a hit and helped his album, Blowfly's Party, reach #26 on Billboard magazine's Black Albums chart and #82 on the Billboard Top 200 in 1980.

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