Nelly And T.I. Collaborate On "Rick James"

Rick James may no longer be with us, but the legend of his smooth moves with ladies lives on today thanks to a new single from Nelly and T.I.

Featuring a thick, funky bass line as its backbone, “Rick James” found its way online this morning thanks to our friends at HipHopDX. The track brings together Nelly and T.I. for a celebration the good life, with bottles in the air and dancing on the tables. The verses don’t hold much weight, but the hook won’t let up. You can stream the song below.

And of course the man who owns all modern Rick James references, Dave Chappelle, gets a sample, delivering his famous “I’m rich, bitch” before the chorus.

“Rick James” could easily make it at commercial radio. It falls in line between Justin Timberlake‘s “Take Back The Night” and Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines,” but is unique enough to stand on its own merit. Comment below and let us know your thoughts. (more…)

Mixtape Mondays: LLoyd, Jitta On The Track, And More!

Welcome to the second installment of OurStage’s latest column, Mixtape Mondays! This feature runs 2-3 times a month and highlights the latest mixtape releases from hip hop artists around the world, as well as those here on OurStage. If you’re an aspiring hip hop superstar, send links to your OurStage account, as well as your latest mixtape to with the subject “Mixtape Monday Submission.”

Two weeks have passed since we last spoke and a slew of great new mixtapes have hit the market. We talked about how great the Fall has been for music in my last column, and it seems that streak may continue well into Winter. For this entry of Mixtape Mondays I have two releases to highlight, as well as some big news from an two artists you need to know before 2013 arrives.  (more…)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chuck Brown, The Godfather Of Go-Go, Dead At 75

Photo: Darrow Montgomery

Chuck Brown, one of Washington DC’s most prominent musicians and a mainstay of the Go-go music scene, passed away on May 16th at the age of 75. Brown had been hospitalized since April for pneumonia.

Brown was credited as the “Godfather of Go-go,” a subgenre of funk and R&B that enjoyed popularity in Washington DC from the late 60s to the early 80s. While go-go music never found a large audience outside of the DC metropolitan area, Brown did experience chart success during his decades-long career. Brown and his group The Soul Searchers had their biggest hit in 1979 when their song “Bustin’ Loose” topped the R&B charts for four weeks. “Bustin’ Loose” was also notably sampled in Nelly’s smash hit “Hot in Herre” in 2002.

Brown came from extremely humble origins, working odd jobs at a young age. In his teens, Brown became caught up in a some criminal activities. Originally incarcerated for aggravated assault, Brown was eventually charged with murder after the man he attacked died in hospital care. While in prison, Brown reportedly traded a few cartons of cigarettes for his first guitar.

While popular success would prove fleeting for Brown and Go-go music at large, he continued to have a vital career. Brown scored his first GRAMMY award nomination in 2011 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals with Jill Scott and Marcus Miller for the song “Love.”

Listen to Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose” below.

Sound And Vision: Strange Bedfellows — The Best of Music's Unlikely Collaborations

“I get high with a little help from my friends,” Ringo Starr sang on the Beatles‘ 1967 classic. These days, so do many of music’s top stars. Two’s company, and so is three and sometimes four. The more the merrier, the higher and higher they get.

On the charts, that is.

In the Top 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 for the week ending December 10, seventeen songs were collaborations between separate recording entities. Four of them featured Drake, and three apiece featured Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, who both appeared on tracks with Drake and with each other. But featuring Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger”and debuting at No. 36 with “T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever),” which the threesome performed on the November 20 American Music Awards”was probably the one that nobody saw coming.

Old-school Rolling Stones fans must be cringing at the idea of Jagger going anywhere near Lopez and so soon after Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera went to No. 1 by invoking his hallowed name on “Moves Like Jagger.” But for a sixty-something legend like him, hit records”even if in name only, a la Duck Sauce‘s GRAMMY-nominated “Barbra Streisand”are a near-impossible dream unless they’re in tandem with other, often younger, stars.


Soundcheck: When Hip-Hop Goes Pop

Mash-ups are a mainstay on the hip hop scene with rappers constantly collaborating to deliver fresh material.  Even the most vicious emcee paired up with the current R&B diva has a natural charm, and we’ve come to expect Rihanna, Beyoncé or Kelly Rowland backing up big verses from big rappers.  Now, it seems that hip hop has crossed over into the pop star realm, blurring the lines between the sugary sweet stylings of pop icons like Britney, Katy and Bieber with the hard-hitting sound of the streets.

We got our biggest dose of the crossover craze when Nicki Minaj announced she would join Britney Spears on her Femme Fatale Tour this year. In a groundbreaking move, fans of pop music’s reigning queen would be shoulder to shoulder with fans of the hottest thing to hit hip hop in years.  What resulted was one hell of a party!

Now, other singers are following suit, and pairing up with some unlikely collaborators. Justin Bieber will throw a little hip hop into the holidays when he releases Under The Mistletoe, on November 1.  The fifteen-track holiday album features a version of The Little Drummer Boy with none other than Busta Rhymes. We can’t imagine Rhymes’ grimy, gruff voice singing about the birth of Christ, but we’re all ears.  Other guests on the album will include Usher, Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey.