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Heartfelt condolences to our industry brother Herb Trawick and life partner Aretha Crout on the lost their only daughter, Tyler Moore.
Tyler was in an tragic car accident Sunday night, October 11th in Southern California. While driving on a dark and winding road, Tyler’s vehicle went off the shoulder, hit a drainage culvert, flipped on the roof and caught fire. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Tyler was 27.
Tyler Moore

Tyler Moore was a fast rising executive at SoundCloud. Brilliant, beautiful and a passionate activist.

 

We at The Urban Buzz knew Tyler well and loved her like family. May she Rest In Peace. Please send your love and support to Herb and Aretha. Reach them at herb@pensadosplace.tv.

Services pending.
Tyler Moore1

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Taylor Made Media Group the owner/operator of Soul Cafe Radio, The Groove 247 and The Loft has been sold to NorthStar Radio Group LLC a New York based company. Taylor Made media group has owned the properties for 3.5 year. “We feel that we’ve taken the stations as far as we can with our resources. I know that NorthStar is the perfect fit to take the stations to the next level. They have the expertise, strategy, and resources that’s needed.” – Eric White (President Taylor Made Media).

Soul Cafe Radio has become the leader in Indie soul music in the USA for Indie music and indie artist. www.soulcaferadio.com The Loft is a unique approach to Smooth Jazz and Soulful vocals. www.jazzandvocalloft.org and The Groove 247 is 80’s and 90’s based station with a touch of todays hits. www.thegroove247.com All of the stations are also on the Amazon Alexa platform as well.

We’re very impressed with the work and results achieved under the direction of Taylor Made Media! Soul Cafe Radio has been able to command an impressive 25-54 female audience in just 3 years. The digital platform is becoming more in demand with more and more people using smart speakers for their music content we plan to expound on that in a few different ways. – John Redding, Northstar Radio Group.

NorthStar Radio Group is set to officially take over November 1, 2020. Indie Music and indie artist will continue to have it’s own global platform to expose and sell more product.

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LA ReidHipgnosis Songs and its Investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, announced that Grammy Award-winning songwriter, producer and music executive L.A. Reid has been appointed to its advisory board, and the company has also acquired 100% of his publishing interests and writers share of income in his 162-song catalog.

Reid’s songwriting and production successes include Boyz II Men’s Grammy-winning “End of the Road” and Bobby Brown’s “Every Little Step,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Roni” and “Rock Wit’Cha,” as well as Whitney Houston’s smash “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and “Queen of the Night,” from “The Bodyguard,” which is the best-selling soundtrack album of all time. He has also scored hits with the Whispers, Sheena Easton, Karyn White, TLC and Toni Braxton.

Hipgnosis SongsAs an executive, Reid co-founded LaFace Records with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds in 1988. The label spawned the careers of Usher, TLC, OutKast, Toni Braxton, and Pink, among others. In 2000, the label merged with Arista Records, and Reid became CEO and President. Four years later, he took the helm of Island Def Jam Music Group, and in 2011 became chairman and CEO of Epic Records. He left the label in 2017 and formed Hitco Entertainment. Read more in Variety.

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Killer Mike has launched his own digital banking platform for Black and latinx people.

Greenwood is the creation of the Run The Jewels rapper alongside former mayor of Atlanta, Andrew J. Young, and Bounce TV network boss Ryan Glover.

“Today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community but only six hours in the Black community,” Mike said of the new venture in a press release. “Moreover, a Black person is twice as likely as a white person to be denied a mortgage. This lack of fairness in the financial system is why we created Greenwood.”

Glover added: “It’s no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community. We needed to create a new financial platform that understands our history and our needs going forward, a banking platform built by us and for us, a platform that helps us build a stronger future for our communities.

“This is our time to take back control of our lives and our financial future. That is why we launched Greenwood, modern banking for the culture.” Read more in NME.com

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As part of its continued commitment to diversity and equity in the workplace and beyond, Sony Music Group (SMG) announced the appointment of Tiffany R. Warren as Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. In this newly created position, Ms. Warren will work with all of Sony Music Group’s global recorded music, publishing and corporate divisions to expand the Company’s ongoing equity and inclusion activities and policies.
Warren will directly report to SMG Chairman, Rob Stringer, who remarked, “I am delighted to have Tiffany join our leadership team. Her ground-breaking strategic vision, expertise and entrepreneurism will help us further our commitment to equity and long-term change inside our company and throughout the industry.”
Since 2009 Warren has served as Omnicom Group’s Chief Diversity Officer, where she created and implemented the Omnicom People Engagement Network (OPEN), a diversity, equity and inclusion framework, and more than doubled multicultural representation within the Company’s officers and managers ranks.
Commenting on her new Sony Music Group position, Warren remarked, “I am honored to join Sony Music Group, as music has played such a culturally, morally and emotionally significant role in my life and the lives of many. Music has deeply impacted the shift society has taken to elevate diversity, equity and belonging, and Sony Music Group and its artists and songwriters have historically contributed to the soundtrack of these pivotal inflection points around the world. I am humbled to contribute my experience to this remarkable legacy.”

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images (1)Stevie Wonder released two new songs Tuesday with the launch of his new label, So What the Fuss Records.

The legendary recording artist held a virtual press conference Tuesday to announce his new music, marketed and distributed by Republic Records, which is part of Universal Music Group. The move marks a break from Wonder’s nearly 60-year career with Motown.
“Even though I have left Motown, I never leave Motown,” Wonder said. “That’s Detroit. So I’m sure that we can figure out how we can do some things at Motown.”
Wonder was just 11 years old when Motown first signed him to a contract in 1961.
“Where Is Our Love Song” features Gary Clark Jr. and “Can’t Put It in The Hands of Fate” features Rapsody, Cordae, Chika and Busta Rhymes. Read more in CNN and hear both songs.

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Nelson-GeorgeThis is the final section of a series of essay son funk ensembles in the 21st century.

 

BROS JOHNSONFunk was in transition from a music created with live horns, Latin percussion, and a tight rhythm section to a music created with synthesizers and drum machines that required fewer musicians and were the producer, not band, was dominant. Still bands, many of who peaked artistically in the mid-‘70s, sold lots of vinyl and cassettes, whether they were based on the West Coast (Ray Parker & Raydio, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, the Brothers Johnson, Con Funk Shun), New York/New Jersey (Fatback Band, Isley Brothers, Kool & the Gang, Change), down South (the Barkays, Cameo, S.O.S. Band) or part of George Clinton’s music machine (Parliament, Funkadelic, Zapp.)

BAR KEYSZAPP

The change in funk’s fortunes is defined for me by two musical memories involving the great keyboardist, the late Bernie Worrell. In 1978 the mighty musical mob known as Parliament-Funkadelic did a week-long residency at the Apollo Theater, playing to an adoring crowd, many of them dressed up in space age outfits inspired by Afro-futuristic concept albums like ‘The Mothership Connection’ and ‘The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein.’ The funk and vocal oriented Parliament and the acid rock Funkadelic, known by its legion of rocketeers as P-Funk, had been a dominant force in black music since the early ‘70s, selling millions of albums and headlining arenas by providing a gritty alternative to glitzy disco culture.

P funk 1The Apollo residency was a kind of valedictory, as the P-Funk collective would soon scatter forever shortly afterwards. The array of talent on the Apollo stage included James Brown alumni (bassist Bootsy Collins, saxophonist Maceo Parker, trombonist Fred Wesley), soul music expats (ex-Spinner’s lead singer Phillipe Wynne) and tons of homegrown band members strutting around in diapers and freaky gear.

A highlight of every Apollo show was a long solo by the musical wizard Worrell. A classical music prodigy seduced by the funk, Worrell was a prime musical muse for P-Funk, combining traditional musical technique with an adventurous sound on synthesizers. Working with bandleader and visionary George Clinton, Worrell masterminded iconic recordings such as “Flashlight” and “One Nation Under A Groove.” His Apollo solos took the audience on a sci fi journey that elevated our consciousness in the sonic absolution of cosmic blackness.

Now let’s jump forward to the 21st century where bands weened on funk play at the Brooklyn Bowl. Soul Live, Lettuce, Galactic Funk, Soul Rebels, and Dumpstafunk are just a few that performed there regularly. Most of these bands are either all or predominantly white. Black brass bands with roots in New Orleans music are the only black ensembles on the circuit. But even the all-black ensembles, like the Soul Rebels, play to 90% white audiences at Brooklyn Bowl and at a national network of clubs and festivals that support the jam band scene, the largest of which is held in Bonnaroo, Tennessee every summer. In terms of band American culture funk has become a very white music.

As hip hop rose, black bands in the commercial realm lost label deals and cultural currency. Jazz has remained band music. You can find gifted black musicians in college marching bands and in any church you attend on a Sunday morning. The Afro-Punk scene has cultivated ensembles who tap into rock, blues, jazz, and punk in the tradition of the Bad Brains and Living Colour. But, for a long time the Roots were the only black band with his presence in the commercial space and that was largely because of their gig on NBC’s The Tonight Show gig. In recent years Anderson Paak has promoted his backing band the Free Nationals and a few other noteworthy groups have emerged, like Brooklyn’s Phony Pple and Los Angeles’ Dinner Party and the Midnight Hour. Dam Funk has been doing his own brand of synth funk as a producer/DJ for years. All excellent groups, but none dedicated to the funk or its sonic traditions.

STEVE ARRINGTONWhen vets like Steve Arrington do put out new music (he has just released an album on Stones Throw Records titled ‘Down To the Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions’) there’s no black radio or little online support. A few years ago, I went to Arrington, former lead vocalist of the brutally funky bands Slave and Hall of Fame, at a Manhattan nightclub with his band the Invade. The joint was only 1/5 full and despite that, Arrington gave a spirited performance with his unique voice piercing the air.

prince-80s-designWhich brings me around to the 21st century conversation around appropriation. In the ‘70s Sly & the Family Stone fused gospel and funk with poppy melodies right out (and perfect for) Top 40 radio. George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic “thang” adapted the acid guitar and drone of hard rock to funk. Later Prince, Cameo and Jermaine Jackson were amongst the many black ‘80s acts to have hits by adapting the keyboard sounds, melodic ideas and vocal arrangements of new wave. I guess that was all “appropriation” if you wanna make it a negative. I prefer to think that artists hear sounds they deem cool or current or progressive, and then put their spin on them whether they are white, black or Puerto Rican. The gifted “steal” creatively and the corny do it so tone deaf its insulting.

In that vein I’m gonna take a moment to shout out the career of Peter Gene Hernandez, the quarter Latino, two thirds Filipino singer-songwriter professionally known as Bruno Mars. Raised as a child performer in Hawaii, young Mars was a gifted performer, who could imitate Elvis, James Brown and like Sinatra if the gig required it. He came on my radar as a co-writer of Ceelo Green’s “Fuck You,” a neo-Motown ditty with a cheeky hook, and was the vocalist/writer on a couple of straight up pop hits. Then, at the 2012 the Grammys, he and his agile all-black horn section, did a tremendous performance of Runaway Baby” that flawlessly evoked the chitlin’ circuit glory of R&B showmanship.

NEW EDITIONI really needed to see what Mars did in a full show. Finally caught him at the Hollywood Bowl in 2013 and he put on an old-fashioned R&B venue with the entire band doing choreography, long instrumental vamps (even on the pop hits) and much call and response between Bruno, the band and the audience. This singer-songwriter-producer was the best onstage male performer/dancer I’d witnessed since young Usher. Aside from the showmanship and craft Mars’ show displayed, I was also stuck by how little of this performance style remained in popular black music. Maxwell tapped into it. D’Angelo did, whenever he decided to come out of and tour. If you caught a New Edition show, the boys from Boston still have it in their bones.

ANDERSON PAAKIt wasn’t until Anderson Paak’s break out in 2014 with the brilliantly groovy single “Come Down” that I saw another performer attempt that level of showmanship, especially since he used his backing band, the Free Nationals, in a way similar to his R&B elders. Paak is half Korean but, perhaps because he also half black, the singer/MC has avoided the appropriation attacks leveled at Mars. But the truth I’ve found very few African American millennial male performers who work as successfully in this grand energetic, tightly scripted, dynamic black show business tradition — much less did it while recording 21st century smash hits. It was impressive that both because Mars and Paak were so damn engaging, invoking the past while making radio friendly music for now.

“What Bruno Mars does, is he takes pre-existing work and he just completely, word-for-word recreates it, extrapolates it,” writer Seren Sensei wrote in 2018. “He does not create it, he does not improve upon it, he does not make it better. He’s a karaoke singer, he’s a wedding singer, he’s the person you hire to do Michael Jackson and Prince covers.” She was incensed that his Mars’ album ‘24K Magic’ Won Album of the Year and that Prince never had.

Many black celebrities came to his defense, most notably Charlie Wilson, formerly of the Gap Band, who successfully sued Mars for songwriting royalties on the massive 2015 hit “Uptown Special.” That suit certainly fed the critique of Mars’ as articulated by Sensei and others. But, for me, that case doesn’t invalidate Mars’ body of work, on and off stage, or undercut his value. (In 1985, the year Purple Rain was eligible for album of year, it lost out of Lionel Richie’s ‘Can’t Slow Down,’ which says a lot about the Grammy voters.)

CHARLIE BRUNOCharging “appropriation” is part of the blame game that uses the success of a younger artist to point out the injustices, financially and historical, done to performers and genres in the past. As part of a strategy to call out the craven or lazy it’s a useful tool. When people called out Iggy Azalea in 2015 for appropriation when “Fancy” was a huge hit, while black MCs struggled for exposure in the marketplace I was down. She was a blond babe gimmick, a true one hit wonder, and has happily receded from view.

But Bruno Mars was not stealing “our” music. He wasn’t a parody of R&B or new jack swing. In fact, he was one of the only people with a mass audience keeping these styles alive. Putting out a record celebrating funk in 2105 or new jack swing in 2017 were as far from a commercial slam dunk as one could get. Black folks, both as creators and customers crave innovation, invention, and the constant shock of the new. It is why black music has moved like a tractor through the cow pasture otherwise known as American culture. The thirst for new sounds has driven everything from bebop to trap.

JAM LEWIS LA FACEBut what was left behind as a result? Entire aesthetic revolutions that are the envy of other cultures globally are abandoned on the side of the road, like vintage cars now viewed as hoopties. Mars went into the junkyard of African American expression, stripped off the spare parts, and made a sleek new muscle car and drove it smack dab up the digital highway. The man may not have the DNA of Babyface & LA, the Gap Band, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Teddy Riley etc. but he had retrofitted ‘90s R&B and funk for the Spotify generation. When he accepted his Grammy for ‘24K Magic’ Mars name checked Babyface, Teddy Riley and Jimmy Jam Harris & Terry Lewis, giants of late 20th century R&B, who are currently irrelevant to commercial black music. For a lot of people watching at home Mars might as well have been praising about Muddy Waters or Chuck Berry.

As opposed to those burning Bruno Mars in digital effigy, the man was keeping a funky part of black musical history current and not just relegated to performers on a Tom Joiner oldies cruise. Besides, can you truly appropriate that which has been discarded?

© 2020 Nelson George

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Reach_Media_LogoReach Media is pleased to announce that The Quick Silva Show with Dominique Da Diva will officially move to Reach Media for distribution and syndication. The show will now be heard in the following markets; WPHI-FM Philadelphia, PA; WKYSFM Washington, DC; WERQ-FM Baltimore, MD; WCKX-FM Columbus, OH; and WIZF Cincinnati, OH, weekdays from 3pm to 7pm EST.

The Quick Silva Show is a high energy show that is reflective of the hip hop lifestyle and culture. Quick Silva and Dominique Da Diva bring their listeners a show that is entertaining yet informative complete with compelling interviews with some of the hottest entertainers, strong listener interaction with contesting and conversation topics, and engagement with high-profile community activists bringing awareness to issues affecting the African American community.

Quick Silva has been on the radio for over 20 years in various dayparts and has been ranked one of the top 10 most powerful Radio DJs in the country by Source Magazine 3 years in a row. From the moment he received his first set of turntables at age 10, the deejay internationally recognized as “The Party Kingpin,”

Quick Silva was born. Dominique Da Diva, known as a small powerhouse of multi-faceted talent and a natural born star, began her radio career in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. As a proud alumni of Virginia State University and lovely lady of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Dominique continues to exemplify what Beyonce’ means when she says, ‘a diva is a female version of a hustler.’ Together, this dynamic duo is excited and ready to provide even more relevant content and entertainment within their show along with establishing a strong connection to the audience.

David Kantor, Reach Media and Radio One CEO, stated, “I’ve had the opportunity to see this show grow tremendously. Quick Silva and Dominque Da Diva are two very strong radio talents who have an authentic connection to their audience and I am confident that the show will continue to be a huge draw for the listening audience. The beauty of this is that this show is one of few syndicated shows in the afternoon.” As leaders in mainstream urban, urban AC, and inspirational music with the top talent in syndicated radio programing; Reach Media reaches nearly ninety percent of Black America. African Americans trust media that speaks in their own voices two times more than mainstream media. Reach Media has established itself as a home for programs where trusted voices attract listeners and create an ideal environment for interaction with advertisers.

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YoungbloodWALR-Atlanta’s KISS 104.1 has parted ways with longtime weekend Oldies host Youngblood, reported RODNEY HO/AJC.com.

His Saturday morning “Spotlight Gold” show played R&B Classics from the 60s and 70s. According to AJC, Youngblood has been on Atlanta radio for three decades and 20 of them at WALR.

AJC reported that this is not the first time Youngblood has left the station. In 2011 he exited over a salary issue but was brought back 5 months later because of listener pressure.

Youngblood’s fans have reacted to his latest departure on FACEBOOK.

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Legendary rapper Scarface is reaching out for help. Recently, the 49-year-old took to his Twitter account and revealed that he was looking for a kidney donor. His appeal attracted many sympathizers who wanted to help, including a couple of hip-hop stars who — unwittingly? — went too far.

“I need a kidney y’all any volunteers?” the rapper tweeted, before adding, “B blood type.” The post received 6,000 like and just as many retweets from fans wishing the rapper luck on his health journey and others who offered up some other remedies the Houston native could benefit from in the meantime. Read more in AtlantaBlackStar.

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