The year was 1968. In Harlem and all over the world an uprising was occurring due to the major events that had taken place earlier in the decade. For African-Americans, it seemed like all hope had been lost. All of our prominent leaders had been either erased or shot down by mysterious forces.
Enter The Last Poets: A talented yet enraged group of young musicians and poets who with their politically-charged raps were on a mission to raise African-American consciousness by any means necessary! Although laced with serious lyrical venom, The Last Poets’ impact on pop culture alone would resonate for decades to come and would sow the early seeds for what would later become the juggernaut we know today as Hip-Hop music!
To call yourself a musician or an artist in today’s world and not be aware of The Last Poets and what they did for the music culture and American culture—period is an atrocity (in my opinion). You better do your research! And with all that is going on in the world right now, this is the perfect time to do it!
The Last Poets dropped their groundbreaking self-titled debut album in 1970 with very little promotion and marketing. However, due to the buzz that the group had already achieved from their peers in the music industry as well as in the streets, the album would go on to do well. ‘The Last Poets’ classic debut album forever changed the musical landscape and broke ground for spoken-word artists world-wide.
On May 19th, 2020 @ 7pm EST, we will be celebrating The 50th Anniversary with an epic livestream event! Video Music Box, UHHM and Seeds of The Last Poets presents: “Bridging the Gap: An Evening of Conversation w/ The Last Poets.” The virtual event hosted by legendary VJ Ralph McDaniels of Video Music Box will feature appearances from Rakim of Eric B. & Rakim, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Chubb Rock, Doug E. Fresh, Jessica Care Moore, KRS-1, Black Thought, Jadakiss and many more! You don’t want to miss this!
Just hit the link below to reserve your tickets for next Tuesday’s epic livestream event and enjoy the show! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ ✊🏾🖤🎵🎶
“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
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.
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!
It was a crazy and very eventful Summer ’18 to say the least! While some people attributed all the weird and wild events to Mercury Retrograde, others claimed it was just the weather. Either way, #BrooklynGirlCode was there for every weird and wild news happening that occurred.
From the tragic news of Aretha Franklin’s passing to the craziest summer challenges (The Shiggy and Ray J Hat Challenge), we got it covered! Check out #BrooklynGirlCode’s biggest news stories of Summer 2018 below and let’s hope that the Fall 2018 season will be a little less chaotic!
We think this one might’ve shocked us the most. After announcing their official marriage in Las Vegas earlier this summer, singer Faith Evans and producer Stevie J had everyone asking questions. Like, “Whaaaaat?” But if they are happy and in love then we are happy for them! We can expect to see Faith Evans appearing on several episodes of the upcoming season of Love &HipHop: Atlanta, as well. Congrats to the couple!
Faith Evans featuring Stevie J, “A Minute”
After having a big Hip-Hop battle with Drake earlier in the summer, Pusha T decided to put the diss tracks on hold and marry long time girlfriend Virginia Williams. Celebrities in attendance included Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and his brother Malice who performed the nuptials. Sweet! ❤
Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz decided to join in on the summer wedding trend and married his long time girlfriend Kesha Ward in a lavish ceremony in Miami, Florida on August 18th, 2018. Celebrity guests in attendance included Lil Wayne, Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian (again). Congrats to the lovely couple!
2Chainz and his mother dancing at his wedding in Miami, Florida on August 18th, 2018
When the temperature rises, you know what that means! People are heated and hands are going to get thrown! There were a few battles this summer, but we’re just going to go over the juiciest ones.
Cardi B and Nicki Minaj disappointed the “Upper Echelon Society” of New York City earlier this month by getting into a huge fight at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party at the Plaza Hotel during New York Fashion Week. This was a long time coming with these two Hip-Hop Divas. So, #BrooklynGirlCode wasn’t surprised at all.
After surprising the industry with her sudden marriage to Stevie J, Faith Evans wanted to make some more headlines and decided to get into a fight with long time rival, hip-hop soul queen, Mary J Blige. Allegedly, the two got into it at a party in the Hamptons being thrown by music mogul Puff Daddy. Both ladies later denied the allegations.
In good news, after watching Cardi B and Nicki Minaj go at it in public, Meek Mill and Drake decided to end their little quarrel and make up on stage in front of their fans. Awwww!
THE SUMMER’S BEST CHALLENGES:
Do the Shiggy! After a young popular blogger from Queens, New York made a dance video to Drake’s song, “In My Feelings” and posted it on Instagram, the whole world went nuts! Everyone was doing The Shiggy and Shiggy himself became an overnight celebrity!
Drake, “In My Feelings”
The Ray J Hat Challenge: Actor/singer Ray J Norwood decided to get in on all the challenge fun and had everyone wearing their hat in different ways after a video of him sporting his cap all kinds of ways went viral.
When we found out earlier this summer that Lezley McSpadden (mother of Michael Brown) was running for Ferguson, Missouri City Council, we were overjoyed! After losing her son so tragically back in 2014, McSpadden decided to be apart of the movement to stop police violence and get involved in politics. We hope she wins!
Golf legend Tiger Woods came out of hiatus and shocked the masses by taking second place at the 2018 PGA Championships. Get ’em Tiger!
Colin Kaepernick made headlines when he partnered with Nike to promote his “Take a Knee” movement. Whether upset with Kaepernick or extremely happy for him, everyone was talking about it!
A young Naomi Osaka became the new U.S. Open Tennis 2018 champion, upsetting one of the greatest athletes of all time, Serena Williams.
“The Queen of Soul”
Aretha Franklin, “Won’t Be Long” (Steve Allen Show 1964)
Hip-Hop Artist, Mac Miller
The Carters did what they know how to do so well All Summer Eighteen… make that money $$$$$!!! Their On The Run II Tour broke ticket sale records and grossed millions!
And to cap off our biggest summer ’18 news stories, actor Geoffrey Owens of The Cosby Show fame got caught red-handed working as a cashier at Trader Joe’s. And believe it or not, it ended up working to his advantage! Movie mogul Tyler Perry offered Owens a recurring role on his hit show, The Have and the Have Nots. Go Figure!
See you all next summer (2019) for more hot and interesting news stories! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode ❤
“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 $6,572.00! But, the biggest news was happening right in Boston. Four young teenage boys ranging from the ages of 13-15 years old that called themselves “New Edition” were blowing up the R&B charts with their hot new single “Candy Girl.”
The song, officially released on November 14th, 1982 proved to be an instant classic. The official video for “Candy Girl” released in April of 1983 showcased New Edition singing the young, fun lyrics inspired by Jackson Five‘s 1970 song “ABC.” There was no doubt about it. “Candy Girl” had all the girls checking for Ronnie (Devoe), Bobby (Brown), Ricky (Bell), Mike (Bivins) and Ralph (Tresvant)!
“Candy Girl” would eventually peak to #1 on the R&B and UK Singles Charts. The song was the first hit single released off New Edition’s debut album Candy Girl(1983 Streetwise Records) but it most certainly would not be the last from these talented young men!
Check out the official video for “Candy Girl” below and take a ride with #BrooklynGirlCode in our first ever #TBT #TimeMachine! Thank us later! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode ❤
Ladies… it’s still Women’s History Month and it’s Friday! To get your weekend started off on a good note, #BrooklynGirlCode has comprised the ultimate Women’s History Month playlist for all the music lovers out there. There’s music for everyone on this playlist, even the fellas! So sit back, relax, press play and enjoy! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode ❤
It was a special throw back night this past Thursday in Brooklyn at popular live music venue Brooklyn Bowl and you know #BrooklynGirlCode was in the building! Mannie Fresh, one half of the legendary Louisiana Hip-Hop duo “Big Tymer$” 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 ❤
Today is the centennial birthday of American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. So, you know Brooklyn Girl Code had to write about it! Thelonious (Sphere) Monk (named after his maternal grandfather) was born in Rocky Point, North Carolina on October 10th, 1917. To many, Monk is considered to be one of the forefathers of modern jazz. And today on his 100th birthday, Thelonious Monk is still one of the most-recorded jazz composers in history falling second to Duke Ellington. This record is one that we may not see broken for a long time to come. Monk who stood out from the crowd for his unique sense of fashion, was a true genius on the piano and could woo his audience even if he played wearing only shorts. Monk started playing piano at the young age of six after moving from North Carolina to the Big Apple in 1922 with his family. As a youth, Monk played the church organ and later began taking his musical career more seriously serving as the house pianist at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. A world-renowned venue that is known as the birthplace of Bebop music. Monk’s noted influences included Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson and his mentor Mary Lou Williams. After an incident with the New York City Police involving Monk and his friend Bud Powell in 1951, Monk had his New York City Cabaret Card revoked and couldn’t play at many N.Y.C. venues for several years. This forced the jazz legend to take his musical talents over to Europe.
Later in his life, Thelonious Monk became more introverted and performed less for sold out crowds. But, thank goodness his music career spanned over thirty years (1940s- 1973) because otherwise, we would have never been blessed with Monk’s musical genius and prowess. Long after his death, Thelonious Monk is still influencing American music and culture and will continue to do so. Happy 100th Birthday to a real American jazz legend! Watch footage of Thelonious Monk playing with his band in Norway and Denmark in 1966 below via YouTube.
Have you ever listened to TLC’s mega hit “Waterfalls?” Have you ever played your Stankonia CD by OutKastso many times that it just completely stopped working? Perhaps you’ve sung En Vogue‘s 1996 hit “Don’t Let Go (Love)” or Xscape‘s 1995 song “Keep It On The Real” at the top of your lungs so high that you completely lost your voice? If you’ve found yourself doing any of these things then more than likely you’re a fan of legendary Atlanta production trio Organized Noize. Organized Noize which consists of Rico Wade, Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown have been producing some of your favorite hits since the early 90’s. This past May 5th, the trio released their first collaborative self-titled EP, Organized Noize. The EP features appearances from Atlanta’s own 2 Chainz, Big Boi, Cee-LoGreen, Joi and others. Although the album only consists of seven tracks, Organized Noize did an excellent job of getting their musical point across. Consciously aware songs like “We the Ones” and “Why Can’t We” that tackle all the political and cultural tensions currently taking place in America in addition to psychedelic tracks like “Kush” and “Awesome Lovin’” where the trio show off their trademark sound would give any music lover a musical high. I had the huge opportunity to interview Organized Noize last week during one of their press days. We spoke about the group’s upcoming projects, their 2016 Netflix documentary The Art of Organized Noize and some other things.
Speaking with the three young men, you’re initially thrown back by their humility. I myself didn’t know Sleepy Brown was even a producer. All these years I assumed he was just a background singer/hypeman for legendary hip-hop duo OutKast. Many people are used to seeing Sleepy Brown alongside OutKast in some of their more popular music videos like “So Fresh, So Clean” and “The Way You Move.” So, after finding out Sleepy Brown was responsible for producing all this awesome music, I was truly impressed. However, after speaking with him it makes perfect sense. Sleepy Brown’s father, Jimmy Brown was also involved in music and was a lead vocalist in the 1970’s funk band Brick. Brown also credits his dad for being a huge inspiration in his musical career. Although Brown is often compared to the late great hip-hop artist Nate Dogg because of their similar jazzy, melodic song hooks, he tells me he doesn’t mind the comparisons at all and is actually honored. As far as musical influences, Sleepy Brown says Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes and the Commodores are his top three faves. Pretty decent top three!
Next up is Rico Wade who serves as a leader for the group and is also the most outspoken of the three. Rico Wade who can be seen wearing a mask quite often these days says that the mask represents his evolution in music and the group’s alternative style that is well known all over the world. When I ask Rico Wade what initially drew him to hip-hop music, he says that watching the video for “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang and classic cult movies like Breakin’ and Krush Groove made him love the music and culture. Well thank goodness he decided to watch those films because without Rico Wade there would be no OutKast, Goodie Mob, Joi, YoungBloodZ, Slim Cutta Calhoun, Future and many others.
Rico Wade is the one who can be blamed for facilitating all these artists in his mother’s basement back in the early 90’s which is how the Dungeon Family got the idea for their name. Rico Wade was the one who gave all these talented people a safe place to express their feelings through hip-hop music. And since no good deed goes unpunished, the Dungeon Family eventually went on to sell 75 million plus records under Wade’s guidance. No big deal! Music Executive L.A. Reid also credits Rico Wade for introducing him to hip-hop music.
When I ask Rico Wade who his top three producers of all time are he names Quincy Jones, George Clinton and James Brown. Go figure since OutKast’s classic 1994 debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik pretty much served as the group’s Thriller album in that it catapulted them to a much higher level in their music careers. When I ask the group what it was like producing and creating Southernplayalisticadillacmuzikback in the early 90’s and if they knew that the album would take off like it did, Rico Wade responds:
“We had to earn our respect. It was a time when Nas‘ song “One Love” (off his 1994 debut album IIImatic) and Raekwon were getting all the airplay on the radio. People weren’t used to hearing rappers with a southern dialect over hip-hop tracks. So, we had to convince the New York DJ’s to play our stuff.”
Wade’s perseverance paid off and OutKast went on to not only find a place amongst hip-hop’s elite but amongst all of music’s elite. But, it didn’t happen over night. Rico Wade’s influence was heavy and even spilled over to his close family members. A young hip-hop artist right out of Atlanta that went by the name “Future” wanted to excel in music like his older second cousin. Future went on to become a top selling hip-hop artist as well. The only negative repercussion of Future’s success is the heavy glamorization of drugs in his music (i.e., “Mask Off“) that Wade wishes would come to an end. Wade states:
“Future, that’s blood. But, I still feel like he can be more creative in his lyrics.”
Nevertheless, all eras eventually come to an end and with consciously aware artists like J. Cole, Chance the Rapper, Logic and Kendrick Lamar doing big things in music these days, we may see an end to all the “drug rap” real soon.
Finally is Ray Murray who just may be the most humble one out of the trio. Although he’s pretty quiet, he serves as somewhat of a back bone for Organized Noize. He also served as a mentor for Goodie Mobb member Big Gipp who credits Murray for teaching him the art of rap early in his career in the group’s 2016 Netflix documentary The Art of Organized Noize. In the documentary directed by Quincy Jones III, we also find out Ray Murray is a graffiti artist and when I ask Murray if he still does his graffiti when he’s not making music he replies: “What you know about graffiti?” When I ask Murray who his top three producers of all time are, he politely states, “Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Teddy Riley and Rico Wade.”
No doubt Organized Noize has already cemented their position in music history. However, they are not done. With new projects coming up soon including Big Boi’s new album Boomiverse which the trio executive-produced, these guys are back in business. In a time where everything is being recycled in music and originality is almost non-existent, it’s nice to know that Organized Noize is here to bring some creativity back to the game. Purchase the Organized Noize EP here and stay tuned for upcoming news from Atlanta’s legendary production trio via their website http://therealonp.com/. Keep up the awesome work fellas! ❤
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.