It's been four years since Lil Jon released Crunk Juice, and more than a year since his "Snap Yo Fingers" single with E-40 dominated the airwaves. We're still waiting for that long-delayed Crunk Rock album, but Lil Jon hasn't been completely absent from the charts. He gave California pop-rapper Baby Bash's "Cyclone" the Lil Jon treatment. (T-Pain's on it, too.) It hasn't gotten much local airplay, but kids elsewhere seem to love it, and it's on the Billboard top 10 singles chart.
If pop rap isn't your thing, then you can watch Lil Jon narrate an episode of "AE Winter Tales," a series of claymation short films on apparel manufacturer American Eagle Outfitters' website. He lends his distinctively crusty voice to "Snowman," a cute tale about a snowman who comes alive and chases after a bunch of kids. And no, the Snowman doesn't look like Lil Jon. You can watch the video here.
Last weekend on V-103, Jermaine Dupri announced that he was bringing the Jackson 5 to his Studio 72 club for New Year's Eve. The news seemed too fantastic to be true. THE Jackson 5? Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Michael? What about Randy?
Yes, the world-famous Jackson brothers plan to perform together for the first time since the Victory tour in 1985. Thank Jermaine's boo Janet Jackson for the honor. Tickets start at $100, but buy cautiously: Michael might choose to stay in Bahrain.
Visit gossip queen Sandra Rose's site for more on the announcement.
DJ KLEVER (LEFT) AND TITTSWORTH: Don't stop believin'.
(photos copyright the Midnight Socialite)
After turning the Royal from a second-string contestant for celebrity photo-ops into a favored hangout for Atlanta's '80s babies, Sloppy Seconds has moved to MJQ, and will now happen there the second Saturday of every month. Last Saturday, Dec. 8, event svengali Caleb Gauge brought his star client, DJ Klever (whom he manages), and Washington, D.C.'s Tittsworth for the first installment. The two turntablists party rocked on four Serato-powered turntables, and flew from Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" to Three 6 Mafia's "Stay Fly."
Freelance party photographer the Midnight Socialite, whom Rodney Carmichael spoke to for CL's Oct. 4 issue, took a few photos of the party. Check out the flicks below, and then visit the Midnight Socialite's website for an extended look at his work.
(photo courtesy J-Pat Management)
Take a good look at this guy. Doesn't he look like Usher?
Actually, it's James "JLack" Lackey, Usher's younger brother. But the 22-year-old kid isn't trying to be the Solange Knowles in the family (at least not yet); he's establishing himself as the latest hit-making producer from the ATL. He scored his first credit on Usher's "Confessions," and his first major hit with Lloyd's sweet "Get It Shawty." He just signed a publishing deal with EMI, and upcoming projects include Usher's long-awaited new album, of course.
(cover art by Dubelyoo)
In the cinematic epic The Player, Sydney Pollack's Dick Mellon character identified new jack Larry Levi as a "comer," someone who gets all in your face. That's how I would describe DJ Wreckineyez. Dude just moved here from Springfield, Mass., but in the past two months, I've seen him everywhere, from Fadia Kader's Broke N' Boujee party to the DJ Drama blowout at MJQ.
Wreckineyez's sets are usually marked by a lot of predictable old-school and mainstream hits speckled with a few rarities and jaw-dropping blends that keep cranky old fools like me interested. But on his new mixtape, Soul Edition Vol. 2, he goes a little deeper. Hosted by Phonte from Little Brother, it finds him flipping through future soul cuts from Oddisee, Ta'raach, Flying Lotus, Sa-Ra and others. Anything with Flying Lotus on it is fine with me. And yep, Nicolay & Kay's "Tight Eyes" is on it, too. Good stuff.
When I posted an item about Crime Mob on Nov. 26, I didn't know the group would seemingly collapse mere days later. I noticed on Crime Mob's MySpace page that a link to Diamond's personal MySpace page had been removed. (It has since been put back.) But who could have predicted that the lady tiger with the blond tresses was in the process of getting kicked out?
According to a Nov. 30 story on AllHipHop.com, Diamond has split. She signed a production deal with Polo Grounds Music, an Atlanta-based management company.
Diamond and Crime Mob have been at the center of the rumor mills this week, following an informal announcement at the Dirty Awards that she was no longer a member of the group.
Though she was first to speak on the situation, Diamond says the decision to have her leave Crime Mob was not her own.
"The whole idea was brought to my attention by the group," Diamond stated, speaking exclusively to AllHipHop.com. "[But] I feel like itâs the best decision to make because now Iâm able to take [advantage] of the choices and opportunities that was presented in front of me the whole time while I was in the group, and not feel like Iâm being disloyal to the group or being held back."
It's disappointing that Crime Mob is falling apart. In a weak year for ATL commercial rap, the Bankhead teenagers were the only ones who actually delivered a solid album, Hated on Mostly. And I was genuinely looking forward to the Diamond & Princess album. But it seems like BME didn't know how to reach the teenage market that loved "Rock Yo Hips" and, in search for more opportunities, the crew is splintering.
Cyco Black, Princess and MIG say they'll continue on as Crime Mob, but with Diamond's departure they'll lose an integral part of their appeal â those two-part female chants that got the club crunk. Too bad.
HERE'S LOOKIN' AT YOU, KID: Janelle Monae does her best impression of Larry from the Three Stooges, Dec. 1 at Lenny's.
(all photos by Alan Friedman)
I'd love to see Janelle Monae on a real stage.
Sure, the stages at Sugarhill, Lenny's, Apache and even the Tabernacle -- all of which she's ripped in '07 -- are cool. But I really think she needs something closer to off-Broadway to realize her vision.
Don't get me wrong, I dig the cybergirl punk-soul role she's portraying. Her recent show at Lenny's was definitely out there (read the Nightcrawler write-up, here.) But imagine a full-blown musical-theater production of Metropolis, with Monae cast in the lead role of Cindi Mayweather, and a strong supporting cast backing her.
With Big Boi's upcoming Atlanta Ballet production, big, premiering in '08, the Alliance Theatre would be smart to consider such a stage interpretation of Monae's work. Her concept album already plays like a storybook.
All she needs now is a good headshot. Maybe one of the pics below will do the trick.
IS THAT A FLUTE IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME? Ian Anderson and his band of merry gentlemen at the Tabernacle, Dec. 7.
(all photos by Perry Julien)
(photo courtesy Island Def Jam)
The Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 2007 Grammy Awards Thursday. Over the past few years, the Grammy Awards have been a reflection of the Atlanta urban-music industry's commercial dominance, both here and around the world. That was particularly true in 2004, when OutKast won Album of the Year for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
But in 2007, that's not necessarily the case. In Atlanta, the big story has been the rise of the city's underground music scene, from well-documented bands such as Deerhunter and the Black Lips to innovative soul artists such as Janelle Monae, Donnie and Anthony David. Of course, none of those artists sold enough records to get the Recording Academy's attention.
However, the Grammy noms reflect a few important trends. Regardless of one's thoughts on his recent legal troubles, T.I. remains a tremendously talented and compelling artist. The ringtone rap phenomenon continues to generate stars such as Soulja Boy and the Shop Boyz. And with some of the industry's most talented songwriters, producers, musicians and engineers living here, studio veterans such as Aldrin "DJ Toomp" Davis, Christopher "Tricky " Stewart and Terius "the Dream" Nash are making key contributions to the biggest records.
Most of the major artists on the Atlanta front, including Ludacris, Usher, India.Arie, and OutKast didn't put out albums this year. As a result, behind-the-scenes players held down the major categories. DJ Toomp got several nominations for his assists on Kanye West's Graduation, including Album of the Year. Tricky Stewart earned Record of the Year and Song of the Year nominations for co-producing Rihanna's "Umbrella," and the Dream got a Song of the Year nomination, too, for writing the "Umbrella" lyrics.
Beck and Alabama Shakes...that's about it. I'm sure there's an unknown or two I would…
Well, this years Music Midtown sucks!
I'm pretty sure he was 19.
3 people apparently love handing over an extra 40% in fees for nothing in return…
Dang. I thought they would name some actual headliners.
Forgot to mention that Iggy did a stellar show @ the Agora in the spring…