Gem of the Week: “Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)”-Jim Croce

Song: “Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)” Artist: Jim Croce Album: You Don’t Mess Around With Jim (1972) Jilted vulnerability and self-rationalization occupy the late Jim’s Croce’s 1972 ballad, “Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)”. An acoustic-folk historian’s staple, the spill-all song recounts the impulse of checking up on an old lover—and the bittersweet memory-flood…

‘Tis the Month for Santana Celebration

August 1969: the month of the legendary Woodstock festival and Santana’s iconic, LSD-infused performance that’s eternally credited for the band’s subsequent overnight explosion–as well as gleaming confidence in the release of their very first studio album. Regardless of individual levels of tripped-outness, all eyes were transfixed and ears raptured when “Soul Sacrifice” took ahold of…

13 Years Later: Aaliyah & Her Lasting Impact

Thirteen years after the loss of Aaliyah, side-swept bangs, ultra-dark shades, and Tommy Hilfiger menswear haven’t been the same. And neither has R&B. As a lot of music fans know, today [August 25th] marks the anniversary of R&B singer Aaliyah’s tragic death and, ultimately, the music world’s loss of an icon and true talent. Versatility…

Lauryn Hill & The Evaporation of the Female Rapper

Lauryn Hill’s breakthrough solo hip-hop album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, turns a whopping sixteen years old next week. Besides its 1998 Grammy Album of the Year-status, for a lot of 90s kids like myself, this album was a huge part of child-musichood. While most of us were too young to appreciate Fugees-era Lauryn, we were just…

90s Time Travel: NSYNC & Other Boy-Band Magic

It’s downpouring outside my window, I’m making beaded jewelry on my bed, eating a cinnamon roll…and listening to NSYNC. But not just NSYNC from any random point in their career…genuine 1997 “Tearin’ Up My Heart” NSYNC. When Justin’s vocals were still in whiny, pubescent-boy stage, when the guys had frosted tips, and their music videos…

in OVO news: a little about Majid Jordan…

So although I’m late to the party…the one regarding Drake’s OVO pals/label signee Majid Jordan, that is, I wanted to take a moment to both praise and bask in all of the electro-R&B magic that is this young Canadian DJ duo. We first heard their talents in the background of “Hold On We’re Going Home”…that…

I Went to Woodstock/My Joni Mitchell Obsession

So during my gorgeous trip to the Catskills (Middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania Poconos mostly) for a family reunion last week, the fam and I took a detour to visit the site of Woodstock. [The flower power/oldies-inclined part of the family]. YES, the sacred Bethel, New York 1969 site of hippiedom, mud, rampant acid, and Jimi Hendrix. Above…

“0 to 100” and Drake’s Mastery of the Outro

With the drop of Drizzy’s possibly most career-defining track, it’s clear that the 27-year-old rapper can play both roles: soft and hard. 0 to 100 is not just any boasting joint, like “Trophies”, “Draft Day”, or even “Started from the Bottom”. Rather, it’s more like a long-awaited success story to tell: one Drake happens to…

August Alsina’s ‘Testimony’ is Hip-Hop & R&B’s Happy Medium

Testimony takes off like a lot of entry-level R&B albums: a soft, Drake-y intro littered with piano and girly appeal, making its first impression as your typical “slow jam” set list. What follows, to our surprise, is a lot deeper. R&B and occasional hip-hop artist August Alsina opens his adolescent wounds in “Testify”, giving way…

Disclosure: EDM for the Anti-EDM

  For as long as I can remember, my sensory reaction to EDM (electronic dance music) has always caused a “fight or flight” type deal: shutting it off at first hear or running far away from the venue in which it’s bumping–whether it be a bar, club, or friend’s house. The genre, first familiarized with…