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Qui Qui Tzu- W.Y.B.L (Why You Be Lyin)

They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and artist Qui Qui Tzu proves that to be true in her new dope visual for W.Y.B.L.

 

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Wale Releases New Video for “Running Back” Single

Wale released the visual for his new single ft. Lil Wayne titled “Running Back.”

 

 

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Concerts To Check Out in January

A new year is upon us and another holiday weekend is rapidly approaching! Many events will be taking place during that time; some that we can’t wait for and others that we wish would just hurry up and pass. We hear you and have just the thing for those looking to shake the Trump Inauguration blues, a few concerts to soothe that savage beast.

Liv Warfield
Howard Theatre – Friday, January 13, 2017 – 8:00 pm

Protégé of the late, great Prince and New Power Generation member Liv Warfield is coming to D.C. bringing her sultry voice and soulful songs like “Sophisticated Sista” and “Embrace Me”. This should be a treat for anyone who appreciates true musicianship and certified dope vocals. Tickets start at $25.

3rd Annual MLK Birthday Celebration featuring Rare Essence & Friends
Howard Theatre – Sunday, January 15, 2017 – 10:00 pm

For all the go-go heads, get ready for a CRANKIN good time as R.E., E.U., and The Junkyard Band get together to party like it was the Ibex or Eastside back in ’96. Some other special guests plan to drop by too so don’t be the last to grab your tickets because you might be short. Get there early too! Tickets start at $22.50.

Anthony David with special guest Carol Riddick
Birchmere – Monday, January 16, 2017 – 7:30 pm

Southern soul crooner Anthony David better known as ‘Acey Deucy’ will be closing out MLK Weekend at the Birchmere in Alexandria with special guest soul songstress Carol Riddick. Known for ballads like “Something About You” and “Cheatin Man”, this Georgia boi and his guitar is known to have the crowd rocking and a good time had by all. Tickets start at $29.50.

Sevyn Streeter
Howard Theatre – Sunday, January 22, 2017 – 8:00 pm

Singer-songwriter Sevyn Streeter, not too far removed from that debacle involving her jersey and the National Anthem, also comes to the Howard in late January to promote her new album “Girl Disrupted” due for release later this month. Known for her collaborations with Chris Brown and B.O.B., Streeter has received various accolades for her talent from her peers. Needless to say, this is a show you shouldn’t want to miss. Tickets start at $20.00.

Ginuwine
Howard Theatre – Friday, January 27, 2017 – 8:00 pm

And last but not least, the “Pony” man himself comes back home on the 27th to perform his hits and I’m sure bust out a couple dance moves too. I’m certain all the ladies will be in the front row for this one. *singing* “I’m just a batchelorrrrrrr!” Tickets start at $35.00.

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Introducing Avehre – More Than Meets the Eye

Johnny Goodguy
IG: @jbthegoodguy
Twitter: @TheSensibleJBG
FB: Johnny Brooks II

Nothing unusual or amazing seems to be going on in the Nation’s Capital today, except there is….

Downtown, inside the Warner Theatre, rehearsal is taking place for a dynamite show featuring Gladys Knight. However, the reason why I find myself in these historic, hallowed halls is not for Gladys, but for her background singer and newly discovered talent.

Enter Avehre – a native Chicagoan who possesses an appreciation for music and old soul well beyond his young age of 27. In talking with him, I see vibrancy not usually possessed by someone just breaking out on the solo scene. A great deal of this spirit comes from the rich musical tapestry of his hometown that the singer-songwriter describes as a training ground for musicians.  Beginning his journey in church singing with his family and local choirs, Avehre knew music was the career for him. As he describes it, music was “a great outlet for him” and “the universal language” to express feelings and emotions.

“You can get so much from other genres and apply it to your music to give it a different flavor.” This statement also bodes true when it comes to his love of songwriting, gaining the interest from being a poet and touring with a spoken word troupe called “Verbal Remedies”. It was here that the father of one learned how to speak his truth and put it in its most raw and authentic form. That truth would be spoken for artists such as Lil Mo, Dawn Richard of Danity Kane and Dirty Money, and even his mentor Gladys Knight through the song “Just a Little” which debuted on VH1 and BET Black Girls Rock earlier in the year.

Authenticity, quality, and truth are recurring themes that ring in my mind when hearing him; it’s the seasoned poise and passion for his craft that has him generating a buzz since being discovered by the legendary Ms. Knight. The encounter, as Avehre would tell it, almost didn’t happen. Avehre stated he  received an inquiry for a male backup singer for Gladys Knight. He never saw himself as a possible candidate for the job so so he reached out to his colleagues to see if they were interested. When the response wasn’t immediate from his peers it was then that the artist threw caution to the wind and decided to submit his own material. The submission would lead to an audition, which would lead to more auditions, which would lead to singing backup and apprenticing with one of the most world renowned singers; a tutelage that Avehre is truly grateful for and uses as his creative muse.

Realness and vulnerability is what Avehre aims to convey in his upcoming EP, “Reconciliation”, a body of work that the singer himself describes as one of self-discovery, honesty, forgiving yourself, finding your way back to happiness, and standing for truth. This is heard in his latest single “Diamonds” a catchy track that details the pitfalls of putting materialism over love. “What’s from the heart, reaches the heart” as he tells me. If his offerings so far are an indicator of what’s to come then we should all look forward to getting more acquainted with Avehre.

Check out more of him at www.iamavehre.com and on IG and Twitter at @avehre

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DC = District of Collaboration

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Recently, I got a sneak peak into a new wave in the city called DC: District of Collaboration. Not only is the name clever, but so is the concept. Powered by producer and newly-minted artist El Lambert, the concept is simple: collaboration. It’s a way to capitalize off of the spirit of co-existing while simultaneously showcasing some of The DMV’s up-and-coming musical talent. When speaking with El Lambert, who declared that he wasn’t even an artist a year ago, he expressed his hopes that this concept will be the beginning of a more supportive and collaborative culture within the DC music scene.

Every last Sunday of the month for the next 12 months, El Lambert will drop a new single featuring a different DMV artist. Each song will be different, and, based on this methodology, we can expect a unique and eclectic blend of music from singers, rappers, producers, and poets all from the district. We can also anticipate a single release event each month to showcase the song, as well as the artists involved in the project. When it’s all said and done, the songs will be released as a District-Only compilation album

The first single, What A Feeling is a blend of reggae/afro beat and R&B. Coined “Reg&B”, El Lambert taps artist and producer Fúnsho for this feel-good club single. Playing off of the “island sound” trend, i.e. Controlla by Drake and Work by Rihanna, Nigerian-American Fúnsho blends his own background and artistry to deliver a fun and dance-worthy tune.

We were also treated to El Lambert’s smooth and mellow single How Does It Feel and Fúnsho’s politically and hip-hop charged single Prezzy.

DC: District of Collaboration is a well thought out plan with a lot of potential. With similar concepts gaining considerable traction in other large cities like LA, New York, and Atlanta, let’s hope that this project will put DC on the map as a place where artists can come together, support one another, and help each other shine. Be sure to keep a look out for more from the District of Collaboration and listen to the first single, What A Feeling!

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Blond Ambition: Frank Ocean Doesn’t Disappoint with New Album

The wait is over. After teasing us with promises of an album all summer, release dates that turned out to be false, Odd Future’s eclectic R&B darling Frank Ocean finally delivered! The gentle soul release his sophomore offering, Blond, via Apple Music. As with Channel Orange, Blond is an aural kaleidoscope of sex, drugs, God, Los Angeles, rock and roll, and hip hop; mixed in with simple melodies that sound dope as hell. What also makes this album dope is, as with Channel Orange, Blond also does a humble boast of surprise guests.

It’s evident from the opening track, Nikes (that included a video and ASAP Rocky cameo), Frank is proving that good things come to those who wait. On a slow, screw-like beat, Ocean cleverly plays with the title by singing, “these bitches want Nikes/they looking for a check/tell ‘em it ain’t likely/she looking for a ring like Carmelo/you must be on that white like Othello”. On the track Pink and White (one of my favorites), with production assistance from Pharrell, the piano plays the lead in a symphony that’s reminiscent of the film Alice In Wonderland, complete with Beyonce (surprise Guest #1) providing background vocals.

Another highlight track is Skyline To, a ballad that seems to detail a day (and night) in the life of the rich and famous. Ocean showcases his rhyming skills with surprise guests #2 and #3 to boot, Kendrick Lamar and Tyler the Creator. Even though their feature is more so ad libs and noises, in my opinion they could’ve given an actual verse. Nonetheless, the blend of instruments and Frank’s lead/background vocals make up for it.

What takes the cake of this musical treat are the two tracks, Solo and Solo (Reprise) with none other than Mr. Ice Cold himself, Andre 3000, who gives another dope feature vocally and with spitting; the latter of it being straight fire. On the Solo (Reprise), 3 Stacks laments over the state of the world and hip hop even throwing a shot at Drake and the drama that I’m going to start calling, Ghostwrite-Gate (trademark pending).

All in all, Frank Ocean has officially solidified himself as one of the top Pop/R&B artist in the game right now. Blond shows that Ocean might have taken a brief hiatus from music, but he never really left. The music is clear proof.

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Dev Duff – Minister of Soul

Photo Credit: Album Artwork "Nothing But A Man"

Photo Credit: Album Artwork “Nothing But A Man”

The lack of soul in music hasn’t been missed lately. New artists claim to produce Trap Soul, Ghetto Soul, etc., but those genres leave the purists empty and reminiscent of the neo-soul days. It’s funny that even when this music was at it’s peak, a lot of artists scoffed at the coining.

Enter Dev Duff, a native Southeast Washingtonian who is looking to bring that soul back to soul music…and from listening, you’ll see that he’s not far off. He stands at 6’1, a hefty gentleman with a look that could be perceived as intimidating at first glance; more football player than soul singer, but once you hear his voice, you’ll be converted to a lifelong fan. Once you hear the power mixed with conviction that emanates, you’ll think you were in church during altar call. To me, it’s a hybrid of Cee-Lo Green, D’Angelo, and a Pastor. After giving his music a listen, you’ll better understand why I say this.

Duff’s musical chops began as a child, growing up in the church and watching his mom sing in the different groups. Singing in choirs himself, doing solos at fifteen, and becoming an ordianed minister at 20 shaped the foundation of his artistry. Although Duff admits that some of his current views and actions do not align with that of the church, he sees himself as more ‘Disciple than Christian.’

As Duff would tell it, his rooting in soul began in 1995 listening to D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar”; the melodic chords, harmonies, and new take on old classics introduced him to a world of soul that he would never return from. Inspiration from ‘Brown Sugar ” mixed with influences of hip-hop and go-go, Duff  began his ministry of soul, preaching to the people far and wide. He began writing, linked up with neighborhood friend Jay Sun and formed SE3, Southeast Trinity. In 2007, the group released it’s first project via Bandcamp, with a lead single titled “Radio”.  Radio, with a chorus playfully borrowing from Wham’s “Careless Whisper”, laments the current state of radio and content, or lack thereof, that’s being played over the airwaves.

Duff’s first full project, NuBalance (currently on Apple Music) was released in 2011. Produced by Warren Peterson, a native of St. Croix and frequent collaborator of Duff’s, NuBalance carried on the melodic hypnosis of Brown Sugar, but with a DC flavor. His latest project, Have A WonDUFFul Day (available on Soundcloud) carries those same  vibes with a range of other sounds and production. His goal with this album, as he says, is to “throw a positive light out in a dark world; ministering through the music and letting his mic be the pulpit.”

I for one, say AMEN.

You can check out Dev Duff and his projects at se3music.bandcamp.com

 

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