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Kemo the Blaxican bringing you the heat on his latest album "Upside of Struggle" available here! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Frenkie   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 05:30

The soulful style and hard-hitting beats grab you first. Then you hear the smooth-yet-powerful baritone vocals deliver with a distinctive tone. You recognize the voice as it commands attention with provocative lyrics over the flavorful track. This MC shifts the rhyme from English to Spanish, and then back to English again seamlessly. Your head nods the whole way through and it doesn’t matter if you can’t understand the Spanish parts. Then it hits you…the voice and trademark rhyme-flow belongs to none other than “Kemo The Blaxican,” former member of urban-Latin hip hop pioneers, “Delinquent Habits,” whose highly-anticipated album, Upside of Struggle, is slated for release nationally Tuesday, August 17, 2010 on Dead Silent Records.

His new CD, Upside of Struggle, is series of hip hop tracks inspired by his roots; specifically southern California culture and the music that influenced his youth—from west coast funk, soul, and classic hip hop, to traditional Latin music. The album also features guest appearances by Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) and Tetsuya Weeping Willow Nakamura (formerly of War) on the track“Just What You Feelin,” as well as contributions by Sick Jacken (Psycho Realm) on the album.

Upside of Struggle is Kemo’s third solo album on Dead Silence Records, which demonstrates his evolution as an MC and producer. This 12-track incarnation bursts with musical styles and compelling arrangements. Kemo’s lyrical skills stretch back and forth between L.A. street slang and barrio Spanish, never hesitant to show both sides of his composite. He moves the listener through moods, harmoniously encapsulating contradiction, antagonism and the co-existence of good, even during bad times, all with mind bending ease.

The title track, “Upside of Struggle,” tells a story of the artists’ challenges growing up biracial in the barrio and the struggles his mother made as a single parent. Kemo the Blaxican, with his soulful musical maelstrom, brings the listener contagious hooks, grooves and beats, without compromising his signature, raw style. From the opening bars of the title-track, “Upside of Struggle,” the listener knows he’s in for something special. Your head bobs and you’ll find yourself excited with each track; which is removed from the sterile debates and orthodoxies of the time. Upside of Struggle, with its technically interesting beats, intelligent lyrics and coalition of styles makes it a progressive album, bound for national appeal.

Kemo The Blaxican is a former MC and lyricist for West Coast Latin hip hop pioneers, “Delinquent Habits.” Before Kemo went “solo,” he was most notable as the brainchild of Delinquent Habits (DH), who happened to also be the only Spanish-fluent MC in the group. He spent twelve years with the collective, with whom he released four albums, and took the Delinquent sound around the world. In 1996 the group struck gold with their very first single "Tres Delinquentes,” a song that masterfully fused a traditional mariachi sound (courtesy of Herb Alpert's "Lonely Bull") with the raw hip-hop backdrop of the streets. The sound was a breath of fresh air in a stale rap scene, and opened a new creative doorway into which many other Latin hip hop acts would follow.

"Tres Delinquentes" blew up almost overnight, receiving airplay not only on hip-hop radio but rock and Top 40 stations as well. The track eventually landed Delinquent Habits an appearance on the former-NBC show, “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” and tours with heavyweights like Korn and Ice T. In no time, "Tres Delinquentes" became a worldwide hit, selling over one million copies around the globe and pushing the group’s self-titled album to nearly the same figure. This was the public’s first introduction to Kemo's lyrical skills and flawless bilingual transitions. He stepped into the hip-hop game, introduced himself as “The Blaxican,” and never looked back.

Four Delinquent Habits albums later—after countless tours around the globe including the UK, Europe, Japan, South America, Mexico and Taiwan—Kemo left the group and embarked upon his solo career. Kemo walked away having played a major role in solidifying Delinquent Habits as one of the most influential Latin hip hop groups of all time and establishing himself as one of today’s leading bilingual MC's. The solo move has allowed him to record Simple Plan, Not So Rich & Famous, and Upside of Struggle on his own indie label, Dead Silence Records.

2005 saw the release of Simple Plan, Kemo's first album as a solo artist. The disc found ‘The Blaxican’ taking his talent for wordplay and ability to draw a vivid picture through rhyme and attitude to new heights. Kemo writes and raps about real life issues, than many of the superficial topics that saturate hip hop today. The album featured the hit single “La Receta,” which made its way into the Warner Brothers movie “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” as well as Morgan Freeman’s film “Ten Items or Less.” His track “I Drink, She Smokes” on Simple Plan is a jazz-soaked spoken word excursion that landed on the soundtrack to the acclaimed film “La Mujer de Mi Hermano.”

With Not So Rich & Famous, Kemo sophomore solo CD, he showed the world that he is not only one of the nation’s leading bilingual MC’s, but also a gifted producer who is not afraid to explore genres and coalesce the traditional with Latin hip-hop. Influenced as much by the west coast funk and soul icons he grew up listening to as by hip-hop, Kemo was joined by Tetsuya “Weeeping Willow” Nakamura (harmonica player for the legendary band, War) for the “5th of May.” The whole album with its range, depth and impact fed the good, bad and real.

Kemo reminds us with Upside of Struggle that the life has its highlights and hardships. Each track on the album increases with dynamism, as Kemo envokes emotion through his beats and words.

Kemo The Blaxican is always on the move. In 2001, the bilingual LA rapper recorded a song with Grammy-winning merengue queen, Olga Tanon, and Egyptian singer Hakim. The track fused hip hop, merengue, and modern Middle Eastern sounds and was a mainstay on the charts from the Middle East to the West Coast. On top of it all, he is also the proud owner of indie record label, Dead Silence Records and the urban fashion t-shirt line, Joint Clothing. Kemo also works successfully in publishing, garnering his music in numerous national T.V. ads and films for over a decade.

His latest album is available here for our TLA readers at a discounted rate only a flat $10.00ea. we pick up the tab for shipping and handling, just click on "BUY NOW" icon to the left next to the picture of the album and enjoy!

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 February 2012 17:56
 
Exclusive: Janet Jackson's Advice to Bobbi Kristina PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:10

Earlier today, Anderson taped a one-hour interview with music icon Janet Jackson. In this exclusive clip, Anderson asks Janet what advice she has for Whitney Houston’s grieving family, particularly her daughter Bobbi Kristina.

“It's a very, very tough time. Even though it’s still a loss… I lost my brother, she lost her mother,” says Janet, adding, “There's still a difference, even though there's a still a loss to a family, I don't know what that's like being so young. It was hard for me. It was very, very difficult for me. I didn't want to accept it, it's very difficult. You have to come to terms at some point, you have to actually give it up to God, and it sounds so mean, but you have to move on. You can't hold on to that because it can be very devastating. Sometimes therapy is the best thing.”

Anderson asks Janet where she was when she heard the news of Whitney’s passing, and what her first reaction was...

“I couldn’t believe it,” says Janet. “Immediately, I started shaking. I was trying to text everyone that I knew to let them know, and I was speechless. I could not believe it.”

“To you, what was she [Whitney] like as a performer?” Anderson asks Janet.

“Incredible. She was known as The Voice,” says Janet. When she would open her mouth and this instrument would come out, you would obviously understand why. She was such a sweet, sweet soul.”

“It's very, very devastating and I pray for her and her family, even Bobby [Brown],” says Janet, “I mean he's going through so much. They are all going through so much. The mother, it's very sad.”

Anderson’s unforgettable interview with Janet, a daytime exclusive, airs on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 20. During the hour, Janet talks candidly about her career, her legendary brother Michael, her life-long struggle with self-esteem and weight, and so much more. Janet’s book, “True You,” is now available in paperback.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:11
 
Bobby Brown Distraught After Hearing He's Unwanted at Funeral PDF Print E-mail
Written by TMZ   
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 22:19

Bobby Brown is "extremely disappointed" after hearing that several members of Whitney Houston's family do not want him to attend the singer's funeral ... sources tell TMZ.
Sources close to Bobby tell us ... people connected to the Houston family have reached out to Bobby to warn him that he shouldn't attempt to attend the funeral because the family isn't fond of him.

However ... we're told Bobby has not received any OFFICIAL word from the family about his invite status.

Sources tell us ... Bobby WANTS to attend the funeral so he can support his daughter Bobbi Kristina, but he hasn't decided on a plan of action yet.

Bottom line -- we're told Bobby is hoping the family will be able to set aside their differences so they all can focus on mourning the loss of their loved one.

 
Ray Charles Foundation wants $3 million gift back PDF Print E-mail
Written by MSN   
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 02:30

ATLANTA  -- The Ray Charles Foundation is demanding the return of a $3 million gift given to Albany State University a decade ago because the organization says the college has yet to use the money to build a performing arts center in the late artist's name.

In 2001, Charles gave the south Georgia school $1 million and donated another $2 million a year later after receiving an honorary doctorate from the college. The native of Albany, Ga., died in 2004 at age 73.

Bing: Stream Ray Charles' music

The money was given solely for the construction of the performing arts center, yet it only exists "on the drawing board and in an unapproved downsized plan," the foundation said in a statement.

Charles was specific on how the money was to be spent, said foundation president Valerie Ervin.

"It is incomprehensible that Albany State University failed to use the money in the manner Mr. Charles wanted. Mr. Charles would find ASU's behavior unacceptable," she said.

Albany State University spokesman Demetrius Love said the gift was never restricted and that the school continues to pursue additional funding for the building, which is expected to cost at least $23 million.

The 2001 donation still is in a bank and the $2 million gift was given to 125 students chosen to be Ray Charles Presidential Scholars, according to the university. Officials said the donation was the largest gift the university has ever received.

Also: Oklahoma hospital must pay $1 million to Garth Brooks


"It has been a long and tedious process, but strides have been made in accomplishing this goal," Love said in an email statement. "Albany State University will continue in its efforts of honoring Mr. Ray Charles by constructing a fine arts building in his name."

Plans for the project have stalled in recent years because of a lack of state funding amid budget cuts.

In October, the university's legal counsel sent a letter to the foundation reiterating their desire to move forward with the building project, which also includes a theater to be named for Charles' mother. The university has received additional state funding to support the design phase of the building, the letter said.

"When Mr. Charles made the two separate gifts to the University, he did so without restrictions," the letter reads. "The University does believe that a Fine Arts Building named after Mr. Charles, with a theatre named in honor of Mr. Charles' mother, Mrs. Aretha Robinson, is one of the ways to do `the right thing.' The University has been working tirelessly towards that goal."

 

MSN

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 02:38
 
Lady Gaga Born This Way Foundation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 09:04

Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, announced that Oprah Winfrey will be joining them at Harvard University for the official launch of the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012. Oprah will appear alongside Lady Gaga as she formally unveils BTWF before a crowd of policy makers, non-profit organizations, foundation leaders, students and youth at the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Askwith Forum.

Lady Gaga also will be joined by several renowned guests including prolific author and speaker Deepak Chopra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School's Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. The one-day event will be co-hosted by BTWF, Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The California Endowment. Highlights of the launch event will be featured in an upcoming episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" on OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK.

BTWF has partnered with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment and The Berkman Center at Harvard to explore the best ways to reach youth and create a new culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment. BTWF, a non-profit charitable organization, will address issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development through research, education and advocacy. With a focus on digital mobilization to create positive change, BTWF will lead youth into a braver new society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they were born to be.

Additional details concerning the Born This Way Foundation launch will be announced closer to the event date, February 29th, 2012. Please visit: www.BornThisWayFoundation.org to take the pledge and become part of the movement.

 
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