music Category Archives

The Clothesline Muse

Published on 3 Dec 2012 at 3:03 am. 2 Comments.
Filed under music,theatre.

Please support these beautiful sisters: Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelon, choreographer Kariamu Welsh and visual arts activist Maya Freelon Asante. They are collaborating on an amazing inter-generational project on women’s work called The Clothesline Muse. Watch the video for yourself and DONATE before the campaign expires next week!

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Published on 30 Sep 2012 at 2:32 am. 2 Comments.
Filed under music.

Thank you KJ DELL’ANTONIA of New York Times’ Motherlode blog for originally posting this article about the throes of parenting. Anyone with small kids is going to feel me on this one! GO SLEEP SOMEWHERE ELSE I have a 2-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son who sleep in bed with me and my wife. Every. […]


9th Wonder & Mark Anthony Neal Shine

Published on 5 Mar 2012 at 12:56 pm. 1 Comment.
Filed under academia,black culture,Hip-Hip,history,music.

It’s a blessing when two of your heroes are also your colleagues. Check out this CBS piece on Grammy-winner 9th Wonder and Duke Professor Mark Anthony Neal. I’m so proud of what these two have accomplished. They are an inspiration for artists/academicians in general, and for Durhamites/North Carolinians in particular. Shine on, brothers.

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Beat Making Lab in UNC Music Department

Published on 9 Jan 2012 at 3:05 am. 2 Comments.
Filed under academia,education,music.

I’ve taught courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2009, but until this semester all of my courses have been in the Department of African and African American Studies. This semester I have the privilege of developing a new class just a few buildings down from Battle Hall in the Music […]

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The Black Candle Soundtrack

Published on 26 Dec 2011 at 11:54 pm. No Comments.
Filed under art,black culture,music.

I wrote the title track to MK Asante Jr’s award-winning documentary narrated by Maya Angelou, The Black Candle. Produced by Derrick Hodge with Robert Glasper on piano and Chris Dave on drums. HAPPY KWANZAA YALL!

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Guru Legacy

Published on 5 May 2011 at 10:57 am. No Comments.
Filed under music.

The legendary Keith Elam, also known as Guru, passed away last April. In addition to being half of the world renown Hip Hop duo Gangstarr, Guru is also known for pioneering in the fusion of jazz and Hip Hop through his Jazzmatazz franchise. In honor of the late Guru Hip Hop and jazz quartet, The […]

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#Jan25 Hip Hop in Solidarity with the People of Egypt

Published on 8 Feb 2011 at 12:42 am. 1 Comment.
Filed under music.

Shouts to The Narcicyst for this gem! Here’s Hip Hop’s statement of solidarity to the people of Egypt, featuring Amir Sulaiman, Omar Offendum, The Narcicyst, Ayah & Freeway (produced by Sami Matar), entitled #Jan25. It’s so refreshing to hear musicians match the energy and passion of a people engaged in revolution. I hope we can […]

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The Beast’s feature story in The Indepenent

Published on 6 Feb 2011 at 12:41 pm. 1 Comment.
Filed under music.

Check out this article on The Beast, featured in The Independent… (wasn’t I just talking about my alma mater, EK Powe?) Even as a kindergartner at Durham’s E.K. Powe Elementary School, Pierce Freelon loved hip-hop. Rather than adoring the tunes of his mother, Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, he idolized those of LL Cool J. […]

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Find the Beat: PBS promotes diversity with Esperanza Spalding

Published on 27 Nov 2010 at 12:27 pm. 9 Comments.
Filed under jazz,music,television.

Jazz aficionado Esperanza Spalding could be hosting a new progressive music show on PBS called Find The Beat. Find the Beat features Esperanza joining with a group, a band or solo musician to explore the roots of their music. Their journeys take them to see authentic performers, explore cultural connections and investigate musical history with […]

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New Progressive Sounds from The Beast

Published on 15 Oct 2010 at 3:19 pm. 1 Comment.
Filed under Hip-Hip,music.

The Beast – Freedom Part 2 from BECAUSEUS on Vimeo. On Tuesday The Beast’s new anthem Freedom Part 2 was released to the masses (check us out on I wrote an article about the song, which was published in the News and Observer entitled, When Freedom Disappears. The articles talks about how and why […]

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