#BrooklynGirlCode’s #TBT #TimeMachine: “Freaks Come Out At Night” Whodini (1984)

Whodini performing their hit smash
Whodini on stage performing their smash hit “Freaks Come Out At Night.”
“Now when freaks get dressed to go out at night
They like to wear leather jackets, chains and spikes
They wear rips and zippers all in their shirts
Real tight pants or fresh mini skirts
All kinds of colors runnin’ through their hair
And you could just about spot a freak anywhere
But then again, you could know someone all their life
But might not know they’re a freak unless you see them at night, ’cause

The Freaks Come Out At Night!”

The year is 1984. A gallon of gas is $1.10. The average monthly rent is $350.00. Colonel Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to complete a solo transatlantic flight in a helium balloon. Basketball legend Michael Jordan is getting ready to produce the Air Jordan 1 and the first ever personal computer designed by Apple Macintosh is officially set to go on sale! But, right in Brooklyn, New York a young Hip-Hop group by the name of Whodini is set to release their sophomore album Escape which will feature the mega-hits “Friends,” “Five Minutes of Funk” and “Freaks Come Out At Night!”

Cover Art for
Cover Art for “Freaks Come Out At Night”

Whodini who began to make a name for themselves in the music industry with their pumped-up stage shows and funkadelic wardrobe consisted of main lyricist Jalil Hutchins, co-vocalist John Fletcher (a.k.a. Ecstasy) and DJ Drew Carter (a.k.a. Grandmaster Dee). Although the duo released their self-titled debut album the previous year in 1983 which also featured the Halloween-themed song “Haunted House of Rock,” the group didn’t get the response they expected until the release of Escape one year later. Escape proved to be a fan-fave and would go on to sell one million copies in the U.S. alone! Whodini would also go on to set the trend for Hip-Hop artists being able to perform in large stadium venues after helping pioneer the Fresh Fest tour. The first Hip-Hop tour to play in a large colliseum nationwide.

Jermaine Dupri in
A young Jermaine Dupri shows off his best break dance moves in the video for Whodini’s classic hit “Freaks Come Out At Night.”

Later on Whodini’s music would go on to be sampled by Hip-Hop mega stars Will Smith, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Nas and even the late Tupac Shakur. Whodini proved that they were a force to be reckoned with not just in Hip-Hop but all genres of music! Check out the video for “Freaks Come Out At Night” below and let us know when you catch a young Jermaine Dupri showing off his best break Dance moves!

Advertisements

#BrooklynGirlCode’s #TBT #TimeMachine: “Candy Girl” New Edition (1982)

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 6.54.58 PM
New Edition Official Candy Girl cover art. Photo courtesy of Undergroundhiphop.com.

“My girl’s like candy, a candy treat
She knocks me high up off my feet
She’s so fine as can be
I know this girl is meant for me!”

The year was 1982. Ronald Reagan was President of the United States. The average monthly rent was $335.00. The cost of a gallon of milk was $1.35 and you could own your very own Ford Mustang for just $6,572.00! But, the biggest news was happening right in Boston. Four young teenage boys ranging from the ages of 13-15 years old that called themselves “New Edition” were blowing up the R&B charts with their hot new single “Candy Girl.”

The song, officially released on November 14th, 1982 proved to be an instant classic. The official video for “Candy Girl” released in April of 1983 showcased New Edition singing the young, fun lyrics inspired by Jackson Five‘s 1970 song “ABC.” There was no doubt about it. “Candy Girl” had all the girls checking for Ronnie (Devoe), Bobby (Brown), Ricky (Bell), Mike (Bivins) and Ralph (Tresvant)!

“Candy Girl” would eventually peak to #1 on the R&B and UK Singles Charts. The song was the first hit single released off New Edition’s debut album Candy Girl (1983 Streetwise Records) but it most certainly would not be the last from these talented young men!

Check out the official video for “Candy Girl” below and take a ride with #BrooklynGirlCode in our first ever #TBT #TimeMachine! Thank us later! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode ❤

Oprah in her younger days. Women's History Month 2018

Happy #WomensHistoryMonth 2018!

Oprah in her younger days. Women's History Month 2018
Media mogul and entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey in her younger days.

 

It’s the first day of March and you know what that means… it’s Women’s History Month! This is the month on the calendar year where all women are celebrated and acknowledged for all that we do for ourselves and others. It aint easy being a woman in this world today. But, we all get the job done! This month it’s all about the ladies. Sorry fellas… but March belongs to us! We’ll see you all again in April. 🙂 So, on behalf of #BKGC, we’d like to salute all the strong women near and far. Trust us, your strength never goes unnoticed! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode ❤

The Vintage Babies Are on a Mission to Save Soul Music!

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 9.44.02 PM
Vintage Babies cover art for their 2017 self-titled debut album.

“Nobody is making Soul music today. “Soul” meaning music from the soul. We consider this type of music “vintage music” because this is the music of the past and this music made you feel good. We’re creating this type of music right now. So, we’re the babies of the vintage music. We’re the Vintage Babies!” -DJ Dummy

If they’re not serenading the Sundance Film Festival crowd or performing for screaming fans at the popular Rockwood Music Hall in New York City, then you can catch the Vintage Babies somewhere making beautiful, compelling music that speaks directly to your spirit! Last month, Brooklyn Girl Code had the chance to sit down and speak with the Hip-Hop Soul duo consisting of Brooklyn’s own DJ Dummy and West Baltimore chanteuse Maimouna Youssef. Collectively, Maimouna and DJ Dummy have worked with several of the music industry’s elite including Common, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, Mos Def, DMX, Onyx, Das EFX, Raheem DeVaughn, The Roots, J. Cole, Trigga tha Gambler, Smooth tha Hustler, Group Home and many others. The duo recently spoke to Brooklyn Girl Code about Soul music, misogyny in Hip-Hop, what it was like being able to experience the Golden Era of Hip-Hop first hand during the early nineties and of course their self-titled debut album. The Vintage Babies are on a mission to save Soul music and we are here for it all!

Songstress Maimouna Youssef showing off her native beauty.

BKGC: My first question is for Miss Maimouna Youssef. Do you see your growth as an artist from your 2011 album Blooming to your current release Vintage Babies?

Maimouna: My approach as a writer for sure, I feel like I’ve grown a lot. A lot of the songs for the Blooming I had written years before it had even come out. So, this is a more mature version of myself for sure.

BKGC: How did growing up in West Baltimore contribute to your music style?

Maimouna: That’s definitely where I learned to rhyme and understand just regular coming-up in the ‘hood politics and just how to relate to other people. I grew up in a house and my parents are the ones who put me on to Hip-Hop. My dad always listened to Public Enemy and my brothers always listened to Wu-Tang. So growing up they were the soundtrack of my life until I started buying my own music. And I can’t forget those Baltimore club tracks, too (laughs)! So, just the experience within itself.

“Misogyny is a part of American culture. You see how many people are being brought to the pulpit right now in every area from politics to journalism? The music is a reflection of the community. So, it’s (misogyny) in the fibers of this country.” -Maimouna Youssef

BKGC: Listening to the album it’s obvious that you’re big on misogyny in Hip-Hop. What can be done to change this? It seems like it’s in the fabric of the music.

Maimouna: I wouldn’t even say it’s in the fabric of the music. I would say it’s in the fabric of the culture. Misogyny is apart of American culture. You see how many people are being brought to the pulpit right now in every area from politics to journalism? The music is a reflection of the community. So, it’s in the fibers of this country. I’m sure it was brought over from Europe because at that time women were seen as the same as cattle. The first steps are really acknowledging that it’s a problem because if we don’t acknowledge it as a problem then we perpetuate the problem. Women can perpetuate misogyny. If they promote these type of misogynistic ideas to their sons then their sons become those type of people who feel like it’s okay to disregard or degrade women. So that’s what can be done about it. We can stop acting like it doesn’t exist and that it’s not a real problem and retrain ourselves and then our children.

BKGC: So, based off of that who is your favorite female Hip-Hop artist?

Maimouna: Um, I gotta say Lauryn Hill. You know I came up on Lauryn Hill. It was like God, my mom and then Lauryn.

BKGC: (laughs) In that order!

Maimouna: Yeah, ’cause you know my mom is a singer, too. She’s really the one that taught me to sing. I can’t even say I look at it like female emcees. I like who I like in terms of emcees. So, I would just say my favorite emcees who have personally effected my life are Lauryn Hill, Andre 3000, Nas, Jay-Z and KRS-One. KRS-One had a huge impact on my life as a child. So, yeah I would say those artists probably had the biggest influence on me as an artist.

BKGC: Do you and Common currently have something in the works?

Maimouna: We just did a show recently in Chicago. I worked with him on some writing for his last album and he’s also on the Vintage Babies album.

“I love being in the studio because I like to create what’s in my soul at that moment.” -DJ Dummy

Hip-Hop Soul duo Vintage Babies from left: Maimouna Youssef and DJ Dummy. Photo courtesy of @madidangerously.

BKGC: Okay so now I’d like to ask DJ Dummy some questions. Hi DJ Dummy.

DJ Dummy: How are you?

BKGC: I’m good. I didn’t know your career spanned so many years back. I can’t believe you worked with Group Home. That’s like the era of Hip-Hop that I’m from. Group Home opened up the flood gates for so many of the nineties Hip-Hop groups. What was it like working with Group Home? Were they the first artists you actually worked with back in the 90’s?

DJ Dummy: The first tour I ever went on was actually with Group Home. It was an experience because I was only 18 years old. I’m getting to travel the world with Group Home and yes that was like that era of Hip-Hop that I love so much with the Pete Rocks, the (DJ) Premiers, the Rzas. Those producers were killing the Hip-Hop game. Every record was made by them. So, to be around Group Home who were affiliated with Gang Starr at the time is how DJ Premier became one of my mentors. It was truly amazing to witness that at that young age.

BKGC: How did you get involved?

DJ Dummy: Group Home was on tour with Onyx and Das EFX and my brother was Onyx’s DJ, DJ LS One.

DJ LS One Mixtape Cover
DJ LS One mixtape cover from the late 1990’s.

BKGC: Oh! DJ LS One is your older brother and he’s the one who brought you into the game back in the early 90’s?

DJ Dummy: Yes.

DJ Dummy working the tables
DJ Dummy working the tables!

BKGC: Nice! So what do you enjoy doing the most? Battle deejaying, club deejaying, concert deejaying, directing music, or being in the studio?

DJ Dummy: It’s all different loves. I love being at the club because I love the fact that I can control anybody’s mood at any given time. If you’re having a bad day at work and you hear me deejaying at a party then you’re going to forget about that whole bad day you just had.

I love being in the studio because I like to create what’s in my soul at that moment. No matter what writer I’m with. Whether I’m doing a Hip-Hop song or an R&B song, all my tracks are stories already within itself without lyrics. I always make beats like that. Being in the studio is my outlet for my personal soul. As far as being on stage at a concert, I love hearing the live aspect of what I just created. I can’t say I love one more than the other. So, those are the reasons why I love my profession.

BKGC: So out of everyone that you’ve worked with, who was your most memorable?

DJ Dummy: Back in November at the Rockwood Music Hall performing with Maimouna.

“My top five artists? Number one is Pete Rock, by far number one. Then I would have to say DJ Jazzy Jeff, Big Daddy Kane, Jay-Z and Andre 3000.” – DJ Dummy

BKGC:  Yes. That was an amazing show. I’m glad I was able to attend. Just like I asked Maimouna, who would you consider your top five most influential artists? The ones who inspired you the most to get into music and stay involved?

DJ Dummy: My top five artists? Number one is Pete Rock, by far number one. Then I would have to say DJ Jazzy Jeff, Big Daddy Kane, Jay-Z and Andre 3000.

DJ Dummy striking a pose with rapper/actress Queen Latifah.

BKGC: How did the both of you originally connect because it seems like it’s a perfect mesh. How did you guys come together and decide you wanted to form a group?

Maimouna: We met on tour. I was on tour with The Roots, he was on tour with Common. We always ended up on the same tour at some point. Plus, DJ Dummy had a radio show that he let me co-host with him and just act a fool on!

DJ Dummy: That’s what really started our real vibe connection. My morning radio show. The way that we vibed off of each other you would’ve thought that we were already a group and then I’ve always known Maimouna to be one of the most incredible singers that I’ve ever heard. I knew that she could rhyme her ass of as well! So at first, I had her doing work with other people and then I said you know what… “Let’s make a mixtape together!” It was all Maimouna’s idea to make the mixtape. Just the vibe from the mixtape made me want to create more music with her.

BKGC: Divine intervention. That’s what it sounds like to me. Maimouna, how did you initially get involved in music?

Maimouna: I recorded one song with Raheem Devaughn‘s producer Omar and then one of my high school teachers connected me with a publicist who connected me with James Poyser of The Roots and I started working with him and that’s how I got to go on tour with The Roots.

BKGC: How’d you guys come up with the name “Vintage Babies?”

DJ Dummy: That was the brilliance of Maimouna. It’s definitely a sound. Basically, what’s missing today is the soul from all of music. Nobody is making Soul music today and not “Soul” music meaning R&B. That’s not soul. “Soul” meaning music from the soul, emotional music. We consider this type of music “vintage music” because that is the music of the past. That music made you feel good. Even a song like “What’s Going On,” by Marvin Gaye, the way he sung it, it made you feel good. That’s Soul music. So, me and Maimouna came up with that. We’re creating this type of sound. We’re the young ones coming up creating this music right now. So, we’re the babies of the vintage music. We’re the Vintage Babies!

BKGC: Perfect.

“Me myself, I’m working on a book. A guide for young women getting into the music business. Being a female band leader and what comes with that and just being a girl from Baltimore who’s touched every continent and what that looks like.” – Maimouna Youssef

DJ Dummy: 2018 is going to be more of a focus on the Vintage Babies. Both of us will be working with Common.

Maimouna: Me myself, I’m working on a book. It’s kind of a guide for young women getting into the music business. Like all the things I wish I would’ve known fifteen years ago. Lessons and advice that I’ve been given along my journey. Being a female band leader and what comes with that and just being a girl from Baltimore who’s touched every continent and what that looks like.

“I could’ve went with the biggest artist and I chose not to because I don’t like what they stand for. I’ve been working on tour since ’95. So, we’re talking 22 years now and this is all because of decisions that I’ve made. No, I’m not on the front cover of any magazines. But, my career has sustained and after 22 years I’m still here. Blessed.” – DJ Dummy

BKGC: This next question is for DJ Dummy. What advice do you have for young up-and-coming artists coming into the music industry? It’s not a glamorous industry. What advice do you have for the future Kendrick Lamars and J. Coles as far as staying involved and not giving up?

DJ Dummy: It sounds cliché, but I’m a prime example of staying true to yourself. I’ve been asked to go on tour with many artists. But, I don’t like their music so I didn’t go. I didn’t just take the check and go. Every artist that I’ve been on tour with or worked with, I was a fan of them. So, that goes to other rappers and other producers. Don’t try to make that hit record just because it’s popping right now. I could’ve went with the biggest artist that’s popping right now and I chose not to because I don’t like what they stand for. I’ve been working on tour since ’95. So we’re talking 22 years now and this is all because of decisions that I’ve made. No, I’m not on the front cover of any magazines. No, I’m not getting any producer of the year awards. But, my career has sustained and after 22 years I’m still here. Blessed.

BKGC: Any last words for the people?

Maimouna: Just buy the album. Don’t bootleg it. Don’t just stream it. Buy the album y’all!

DJ Dummy:  Make sure to follow us because this is just the beginning and it’s going to be something so much bigger. We’re trying to make music that we know people need. There is a need for a certain type of music right now.

BKGC: Yes, your music is very spiritual. There’s no question about the spirituality that is present in your music. Your music is important!

BKGC: Thank you guys so much for taking the time out to speak with me. I wish you all the best in 2018. 2018 is going to be a big year for the Vintage Babies!

***

Check out the Vintage Babies latest self-titled debut album here and follow them on Instagram @thevintagebabies for new music and upcoming show dates.

The Vintage Babies live at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City on November 27th, 2017. Photo Courtesy of @madidangerously.

It Was a Special Edition of #TBT at Brooklyn Bowl This Past Week and #BrooklynGirlCode was in the Building!

Screenshot 2017-10-15 17.19.10

It was a special throw back night this past Thursday in Brooklyn at popular live music venue Brooklyn Bowl and you know #BrooklynGirlCode was in the building! Mannie Fresh, one half of the legendary Louisiana Hip-Hop duo “Big Tymer$” was on the 1’s and 2’s for Brooklyn Bowl’s special edition of “Bowl Train” and he kept the crowd moving all night! Fresh had nothing but the classics blasting from the speakers covering every decade from the 70’s, 80’s 90’s and 2000’s.

It was a “Lovely Day” in Brooklyn to get your two-step on and see a Hip-Hop legend go to work. Check out some cool footage and flicks from “Bowl Train” and a fun throwback video by the Big Tymers below and enjoy your weekend! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode ❤

#HappyBirthday #JamesBaldwin !

Today is a real American Icon’s birthday! American essayist, playwright and novelist James Baldwin who was born in 1924 in Harlem, New York City would’ve turned ninety-three years old today. For writers everywhere, Baldwin was a saint. However, during his sixty-three years on this earth, he was a friend to many. In honor of the icon’s birthday, #BrooklynGirlCode has collected some of Baldwin’s best photos with his friends via the internet! No need to write a huge paragraph about how great James Baldwin was. All I’ll say is… if you’re over thirty years old and have never read a piece of Baldwin’s literature (i.e. The Devil Finds Work; The Fire Next Time, Remember This House, etc.!!) then you’re just missing out on life my friend! Check out some of Baldwin’s coolest photos with his friends below and Happy Born Day again to a great one!

James Baldwin and Brother David Baldwin
James Baldwin and his Brother David Baldwin in the 80’s. Photo courtesy of the bostonreview.net.
James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry
James Baldwin getting down with famed Playwright Lorraine Hansberry. Photo courtesy of kentakepage.com.
James Baldwin holding an abandoned young boy in Durham, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Steve Schapiro.
James Baldwin holding an abandoned young boy in Durham, North Carolina circa 1957. Photo courtesy of Steve Schapiro.
James Baldwin with good friend Medgar Evers reading the news. Photo Courtesy of Steve Schapiro via the New York Times.
James Baldwin with good friend Medgar Evers reading the news. Photo Courtesy of Steve Schapiro via The New York Times.
Screenshot 2017-08-02 17.26.48
James Baldwin sharing a moment with Maya Angelou. Photo courtesy of Maya Angelou’s Wikipedia page.
Nina Simone and James Baldwin bumpinh heads! Photo courtesy of blogs.baruch.cuny.edu.
Nina Simone and James Baldwin bumping heads! Photo courtesy of blogs.baruch.cuny.edu.
Medgar Evers at home with James Baldwin and his two sons.
Medgar Evers at home with James Baldwin and his two sons. Photo courtesy of scoopnest.com.
James Baldwin with his younger Paula in 1953
James Baldwin with his younger sister Paula in 1953. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com.
James Baldwin and Lena Horne embracing during a meeting in New York in 1963.
James Baldwin and Lena Horne embracing during a meeting in New York in 1963. Photo courtesy of abagond.wordpress.com.
James Baldwin talking with friends in Chicago, Illinois 1984. Photo taken by Michelle Agins and courtesy of MFON.
James Baldwin talking with friends in Chicago, Illinois 1984. Photo taken by Michelle Agins and courtesy of MFON.
James Baldwin pictured with friends Odetta, Ralph Ellison, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com.
James Baldwin pictured with friends, singer Odetta Holmes, American novelist Ralph Ellison and actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Photo courtesy of peakblackness.tumblr.com.

The #Artistry of #ChuckBerry

Today’s #TBT has to go to a true musical genius. R.est I.n M.usic P.aradise to legendary Rock ‘N’ Roll artist Chuck Berry! The music most certainly lives on!!! Check out Chuck Berry doing his famous “Duck Walk” via YouTube here.

Screenshot 2017-03-23 19.02.25
Photo of the late Chuck Berry doing his famous “Duck Walk” courtesy of @genius Instagram via @rashidaaz Instagram