Tagged with "classic"
Billy Joel is Ultimate Rock Classic! Tags: billy joel ultimat rock classic word life production new qulaity entrtainment

Singer Billy Joel topped the charts in the 1970s and '80s with hits like "Piano Man," "Uptown Girl" and "We Didn't Start the Fire."

Born on May 9, 1949, in New York, Billy Joel bounced back after a disappointing first album, Cold Spring Harbor (1971), with 1973's Piano Man, featuring hits like "Piano Man" and "Captain Jack." He went on to make successful albums like Streetlife Serenade (1974), The Stranger (1977) and 52nd Street (1978). In the 1980s, Joel married supermodel Christie Brinkley, and topped the musical charts with "Uptown Girl" and "We Didn't Start the Fire." By 1999, his worldwide song sales had topped $100 million, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Several years later, in 2013, he received the Kennedy Center Honors.

Early Life

Singer-songwriter William Martin "Billy" Joel was born in the Bronx, New York, on May 9, 1949, to Howard and Rosalind Joel. Shortly after he was born, the family moved to a section of America's famous "first suburb," Levittown on Long Island. Although his father was an accomplished classical pianist, it was Joel's mother who pushed the young boy to study piano. He began playing at the age of four and showed an immediate aptitude for the instrument. By the time he was 16, Billy Joel was already a pro, having joined his third band before he could drive.

Early Career

It wasn't long before the artist, inspired by the Beatles' iconic Ed Sullivan Show performance, committed heart and soul to a life in music. He dropped out of high school to pursue a performing career, devoting himself to creating his first solo album Cold Spring Harbor, which was released in 1971. The terms of Joel's contract with Family Productions turned out to be onerous and the artist was unhappy with the quality of the album they released. It wasn't a commercial success.

Disillusioned with trying to make it as a rock star, Joel moved to Los Angeles to fly under the radar for a while. In early 1972, he got a gig working as a lounge pianist under the pseudonym Bill Martin. His time playing at The Executive Room on Wilshire Boulevard would later be immortalized in his song "Piano Man," which describes a no-name lounge's down-and-out patrons.

By late 1972, an underground recording of Joel's "Captain Jack" had been released on the East Coast and was garnering positive attention. Executives from Columbia Records sought out the lounge player and gave Joel a second chance to become a rock star.

Career Breakthrough

With the momentum of a Top 20 single ("Piano Man") to his name, Joel began recording new songs and albums, coming out with Streetlife Serenade in 1974. Many of his songs related to a growing frustration with the music industry and Hollywood, foreshadowing his exit from Los Angeles in 1976. As the years passed, Joel's style began to evolve, showing his range from pop to the bluesy-jazz stylings that are now closely associated with his name. The Stranger (1977) was Joel's first major commercial breakthrough, landing him four songs in the Top 25 of the U.S. Billboard charts. By 1981, Joel had collected a slew of awards, including a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and a People's Choice Award.

Awards and Achievements

Through the 1980s, Joel would be crowned a hit-maker with smashes such as "Tell Her About It," "Uptown Girl," "Innocent Man" and "The Longest Time." He would release two volumes of Greatest Hits and become the first American performer to unleash a full-scale rock production in the Soviet Union. While churning out hits, Joel would also frequent the benefit circuit, performing with stars such as Cyndi Lauper and John Mellencamp to raise money for various causes.

In 1989, on the heels of the successful single "We Didn't Start the Fire," Joel was presented with the Grammy Legend Award. His professional success continued unabated into the early 1990s, although his personal life became somewhat dramatic. After the release of River of Dreams (1994), Joel slowed his studio recordings but continued to tour alone and in combination with fellow artists such as Elton John. In 1999, the worldwide sales of his songs passed the 100 million mark. Also that year, Joel was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by his idol, Ray Charles. Several years later, in 2013, Joel received the Kennedy Center Honors.

Later Career

In the early 2000s, Joel found himself in and out of rehab, struggling with an ongoing alcohol addiction. In 2007, Joel released the single "All My Life," his first song with original lyrics in 13 years. Though semi-retired in terms of recording new pop songs, Joel has continued to tour and branch out as an artist. He has composed a number of classical songs and even reworked older ballads with an orchestral backing.

Throughout the years, Joel's songs have acted as personal and cultural touchstones for millions of people, mirroring his own goal of writing songs that "meant something during the time in which I lived... and transcended that time."

When Joel's residency at Madison Square Garden was announced in 2013, his devoted fans proved how much the singer's music resonated with them. As the first music franchise in MSG's history, Joel broke records; his monthly concerts have sold out every time, and as of October 2015, he has grossed over $46 million in sales.

Personal Life

In 1982, Joel split with his first wife, Elizabeth Weber Small, who had been his partner since 1973. In 1984, Joel would famously meet and marry supermodel Christie Brinkley. Soon after, their daughter Alexa Ray (named after Ray Charles) was born on December 29, 1985.

Joel divorced Brinkley in 1993. In 2004, he married the television personality and journalist Katie Lee. They would eventually divorce after five years of marriage.

In 2015, Billy Joel and his girlfriend of six years, Alexis Roderick, announced they were expecting a baby together. That summer, Joel and Roderick tied the knot at the couple's annual Fourth of July party at his Long Island estate. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presided over the nuptials. Their daughter Della Rose Joel was born on August 12, 2015.

Source: Biography.com

The Beastie Boys’ unconventional methodology represented a unique hybrid of rock and hip-hop
Category: Classic Hip Hop
Tags: Beastie boys classic hip hop word life production new quality entertainment

Adam Yauch aka MCA (vocals, bass; August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012), Michael Diamond aka Mike D (vocals, drums; born November 20, 1966), Adam Horowitz aka ADROCK (vocals, guitar; born October 31, 1966)

The Beastie Boys combined hardcore and hip-hop in a fresh-sounding musical mashup that was danceable, infectious and wickedly funny. By attracting a sizable following of white fans – hardcore-loving teens and party-minded frat kids – with their bratty wit and cunning collages of beats and samples, they broadened the audience for hip-hop, bringing it into the mainstream. Like their fellow New York rappers Run-D.M.C., they ignored the color line dividing rock and rap in the Eighties.

Due to their brash humor and punkish sensibility, the Beastie Boys have been called “the bastard brat offspring of Sesame Street and the Sex Pistols,” “AC/DC meets Run-D.M.C. with a teenage wit” and “the Marx Brothers of rap.” Over time, the Beastie Boys would also embrace a degree of maturity, exploring their creativity with ever-more adventurous mixtures of samples and live playing, and delving into jazzy funk-soul grooves on intermittent instrumental projects. 

The Beastie Boys are inextricably associated with the street-smart attitude and urban swagger of New York City, where they were raised. The roots of the Beastie Boys date back to 1981. Formed as a hardcore quartet, the original lineup comprised Mike D (real name: Michael Diamond), drummer Kate Schellenbach and guitarist John Berry – who’d all belonged to an earlier group called the Young Aborigines – and MCA (Adam Yauch). Their first performance was at Yauch’s 17th birthday party. This lineup recorded an eight-song debut EP, Polly Wog Stew, released in 1982 on the Rat Cage label. It contained their hardcore manifesto “Beastie Boys.” Mike D later revealed that “Beastie” stood for “Boys Entering Anarchistic States Towards Internal Excellence.”

They invited their friend ADROCK (Adam Horowitz), who was in a band called the Young and the Useless, to join when Berry left. The slightly revised foursome cut a 12-inch single, “Cooky Puss”/”Beastie Revolution.” Released in 1983, these comical rants attracted attention and got them gigs. Over the next year, the Beastie Boys evolved from an instrument-thrashing hardcore group to a full-on rap act. Schellenbach moved on to the group Luscious Jackson, and the surviving Beasties – Mike D, MCA and King Ad-Rock (later shortened to ADROCK) – became a three-man posse of MCs with deejayed accompaniment. A friend of theirs, New York University student Rick Rubin (aka “DJ Double R”) was an early turntablist for the Beastie Boys before becoming a world-renowned record producer and label mogul.

In 1984, Rubin and Russell Simmons launched the Def Jam label, and the Beastie Boys’ next 12-inch single, “Rock Hard,” was among its initial releases. Based on their growing buzz, Madonna tapped the Beastie Boys as the opening act on her spring 1985 Virgin Tour. The group’s third 12-inch single, “She’s On It,” was featured in the hip-hop film Krush Groove (1985). The flip side, “Slow and Low,” was given to them by Run-D.M.C., who also tapped the Beastie Boys as a support act (along with LL Cool J and Whodini) on their 1986 Raising Hell Tour. It was rap’s first big-budget tour.

The Beastie Boys brashly announced themselves to the world with the full-length Licensed to Ill (1986). A milestone rap-rock release, it contained a feisty statement of purpose (“The New Style”) and the boisterous Gen X anthem “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!),” a Top 10 hit. Later described by MCA as “a joke that went too far,” it turned into the party-rock anthem of the Eighties. The raucous video they made for the song – intended as nothing more than “a goof,” in MCA’s words - became a staple of MTV, establishing the Beastie Boys as poster boys for rude, obnoxious fun. Other songs on the album – including ”She’s Crafty,” “Paul Revere,” “Girls,” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” and “Brass Monkey” – reinforced the notion of the Beastie Boys as a threesome obsessed with girls, rhymes and good times. Rubin’s hook-minded production, and galvanizing bursts of guitars and drums gave the album a forceful sound. It was a rap album that rock fans could get into. On tour, the Beastie Boys reveled in bacchanalian excess; their stage props included a dancing cage and a 20-foot hydraulic penis.

Licensed to Ill was a pop-culture phenomenon, becoming the first rap album to reach Number One. It topped Billboard’s album chart for seven weeks and has sold more than 9 million copies in the U.S. alone, making it among the best-selling rap albums ever. While it typecast the Beastie Boys as party animals, the group exploded any notions of one-dimensionality with its ambitious followup, Paul’s Boutique (1989). Having fallen out with Rubin and Def Jam in the wake of Licensed to Ill’s stratospheric success, the Beastie Boys now found themselves on a new label (Capitol) with a different set of producer/collaborators (the Dust Brothers). Although it didn’t sell as well as its predecessor, Paul’s Boutique was a dizzyingly brilliant, sample-heavy collage that has been called “the Pet Sounds and Dark Side of the Moon of hip-hop." 

A kaleidoscopic montage of quick-cut samples and smart-mouthed spiel drawn from seemingly every corner of the pop-culture spectrum, from Johnny Cash to the glam-rock group Sweet, Paul’s Boutique attained the status of a critically revered masterpiece. “It’s safe to say that nobody has ever made a more unexpectedly brilliant sophomore blast than the Beastie Boys,” wrote Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield in a retrospective re-review. “[It’s] a celebration of American junk culture that is still blowing minds today.”

The Beastie Boys released three albums in the Nineties – Check Your Head (1992), Ill Communication (1994), and Hello Nasty (1998) – along with a smattering of EPs. With these releases, the Beastie Boys – who are competent instrumentalists - developed a self-contained style of writing and recording that involved collective jamming, individual composing, sampling, revising and assembling. The Beastie Boys –assisted by keyboardist Money Mark (real name: Mark Nipooa), studio hand Mario Caldato, Jr. and turntablists DJ Hurricane (real name: Wendell Fite) and Mix Master Mike (real name: Michael Schwartz) – performed most of the music while integrating an array of samples, beats and witty wordplay into an ever-intriguing sonic smorgasbord.

The Beastie Boys’ unconventional methodology represented a unique hybrid of rock and hip-hop approaches, and the painstaking process involved meant that years passed between releases. In fact, the Beastie Boys released only one vocal album, To the 5 Boroughs (2004), in the first decade of the 21st century. However, the Beastie Boys released a few all-instrumental projects along the way, including 2007’s The Mix-Up, which won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album. 

Although they came intermittently, the Beastie Boys’ albums were packed with music. Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty each contain 20 or more tracks. Beginning with Check Your Head, the Beastie Boys – having relocated to Los Angeles – worked at their own G-Son studio, which gave them the latitude to jam and experiment at their leisure. They also launched their own imprint, the Capitol-distributed Grand Royal label.

For To the 5 Boroughs, they returned to their New York City roots, recording at their own studio in downtown Manhattan. In 2011, 25 years after the release of Licensed to Ill, the trio released Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, their eighth full-length album. The group that virtually invented rap-rock has maintained its relevance with cool grooves and razor-sharp rhymes with each release.

On May 4, 2012, Adam Yauch aka MCA died of cancer at age 47.

Source: Rock Roll Hall of Fame

- See more at: https://rockhall.com/inductees/beastie-boys/bio/#sthash.btR7sJvV.dpuf

 

Remembering the Facts of Life Tags: facts life classic television word life production new quality entertainment

The Facts of Life is an American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from August 24, 1979, to May 7, 1988, making it one of the longest-running sitcoms of the 1980s. A spin-off of the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, the series focuses on Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) as she becomes a housemother (and after the second season, a dietitian as well) at the fictional Eastland School, an all-female boarding school in Peekskill, New York.

A spin-off of Diff'rent Strokes, the series featured the Drummonds' housekeeper, Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) as the housemother of a dormitory at Eastland School, a private all-girls school. The girls in her care included spoiled rich girl Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel); the youngest, gossipy Dorothy "Tootie" Ramsey (Kim Fields); and impressionable Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn).

The pilot for the show originally aired as the last episode of Diff'rent Strokes' first season and was called "The Girls' School (aka Garrett's Girls)." The plotline for the pilot had Kimberly Drummond (Dana Plato) requesting that Mrs. Garrett help her sew costumes for a student play at East Lake School for Girls, the school Kimberly attended in upstate New York, as her dorm's housemother had recently quit. Mrs. Garrett agrees to help, puts on a successful play, and also solves a problem for Nancy. Mrs. Garrett is asked to stay on as the new housemother but states she would rather remain working for the Drummonds at the end of the pilot.

Following the pilot, the name of the school was changed to Eastland and characters were replaced, with Natalie, Cindy (Julie Anne Haddock), and Mr. Bradley becoming part of the main group featured. Although Kimberly Drummond is featured as a student at East Lake, her character did not cross over to the spinoff series with Mrs. Garrett.

In the show's first season, episodes focus on the troubles of seven girls, with the action usually set in a large, wood-paneled common room of a girls' dormitory. Also appearing was the school's headmaster, Mr. Steven Bradley (John Lawlor), and Ms. Emily Mahoney (Jenny O'Hara), an Eastland teacher who was dropped after the first four episodes. Early episodes of the show typically revolve around a central morality-based or "lesson teaching" theme. The show's pilot episode plot included a story line in which Blair Warner insinuates that her schoolmate Cindy Webster is a lesbian because she is a tomboy and frequently shows affection for other girls. Other season-one episodes deal with issues including drug use, sex, eating disorders, parental relationships, and peer pressure.

The producers felt that there were too many characters given the limitations of the half-hour sitcom format, and that the plotlines should be more focused to give the remaining girls more room for character development. Four of the original actresses—Julie Anne Haddock (Cindy), Julie Piekarski (Sue Ann), Felice Schachter (Nancy), and Molly Ringwald (Molly)—were written out of the show (although the four did make periodic guest appearances in the second and third seasons, and all but Molly Ringwald appeared in one "reunion" episode in the eighth season). Mr. Bradley's character was also dropped and replaced with a generally unseen headmaster named Mr. Harris. (Mr. Harris actually appeared in an early second season episode, "Gossip", played by Kenneth Mars) and Mr. Parker for the rest of the series. In addition to being housemother to the remaining girls, Mrs. Garrett became the school dietitian as the second season began. Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon), a new student originally from the Bronx, arrived at Eastland on scholarship. A run-in with the law forced the four to be separated from the other girls and work in the cafeteria, living together in a spare room next to Mrs. Garrett's bedroom.

The season two premiere of the retooled series saw an immediate ratings increase. By its third season (1981–82), Facts of Life had become NBC's #1 comedy and #2 overall NBC program, beating out its predecessor, Diff'rent Strokes, for the first time.

In September 1985, NBC moved the 7th season of the series to its burgeoning Saturday night lineup at 8:30 PM, as a lead-in for the new series The Golden Girls at 9 PM. In an attempt to refresh the "ratings work horse" and increase ratings, Mrs. Garrett's store was gutted by fire in the season seven premiere "Out of the Fire". The follow-up episodes "Into the Frying Pan" and "Grand Opening" had the girls band together to rebuild the store with a pop culture-influenced gift shop, called Over Our Heads. The changes proved successful as all 3 episodes placed in the top 10 ratings each week. By the end of the season, TV Guide reported, "Facts' success has been so unexpected that scions of Hollywood are still taken aback by it. ... Facts has in fact been among NBC's top-ranked comedies for the past five years. It finished twenty-third overall for the 1985–1986 season, handily winning its time slot against its most frequent competitors, Airwolf and Benson. Lisa Whelchel stated, 'We're easily overlooked because we've never been a huge hit; we just sort of snuck in there.'"

Charlotte Rae initially reduced her role in seasons six and seven, and later decided to leave the series altogether. In season eight's heavily promoted one-hour premiere, "Out of Peekskill" Mrs. Garrett married the man of her dreams and joined him in Africa while he worked for the Peace Corps. Mrs. Garrett convinces her sister, Beverly Ann Stickle (Cloris Leachman), to take over the shop and look after the girls. Beverly Ann later legally adopted Over Our Heads worker Andy Moffett (Mackenzie Astin) in the episode "A Boy About the House". Describing the new changes to The Facts of Life Brandon Tartikoff, NBC Entertainment President, said he "was surprised that The Facts of Life performed well this season, as, with a major cast change and all, I thought it might not perform as it had in the past. Facts has been renewed for next season."

In the ninth and final season, the series aired on NBC's Saturday night lineup at 8 p.m. NBC still had confidence in the series, making it the 8 PM anchor, kicking off the network's second-highest rated night (next to Thursdays). For February sweeps, the writers created a storyline in this season for the episode titled "The First Time", in which Natalie became the first of the girls to lose her virginity. Lisa Whelchel refused this particular storyline that would have made her character, not Natalie, the first among the four young women in the show to lose her virginity. Having become a Christian when she was 10, Whelchel refused because of her Christian convictions. Whelchel appeared in every episode, but asked to be written out of "The First Time". The episode ran a parental advisory before starting, and placed 22nd in the ratings for the week.

Still strong in its timeslot, NBC wanted to renew The Facts of Life for a 10th season, but two of the girls (Mindy Cohn and Nancy McKeon) decided that season 9 should be the end.

In an article titled "Ratings Top with Teens" appearing in the January 19, 1988 edition of USA Today, The Facts of Life was ranked as one of the top 10 shows in a survey of 2,200 American teenagers.

Source: Wikipedia

Masta Ace is considered to be a highly skilled and influential MC
Category: Classic Hip Hop
Tags: masta ace classic hip hop word life production new quality entertainment

Duval Clear known better by his stage name Masta Ace, is an American rapper and record producer from Brownsville, Brooklyn. He appeared on the classic 1988 Juice Crew posse cut "The Symphony". He is noted for his distinct voice, rapping proficiency and for influencing several MCs, including Eminem.

Clear graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1988, after meeting Marley Marl in 1987 during his summer break.[6] Ace made his recording debut as on the Hip Hop posse-cut "The Symphony", along with fellow Juice Crew members Craig G, Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane, released on Marley Marl's In Control album. The album also featured two additional Ace tracks, "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" and "Simon Says". In 1989, he released his first solo single, "Together" b/w "Letter to the Better". His debut album, Take a Look Around, was released through Marl's Cold Chillin' label in 1990, featuring production from Marl and DJ Mister Cee. The album featured two minor hit singles in "Music Man" and "Me & The Biz", the latter being a track with Ace's impersonation of Biz Markie, rather than a duet as previously thought the song would be.

In the early stages of his career, Masta Ace was very energetic (cf. "Jeepbutt Niguh", where, tongue-in-cheek, he taunts police officers for their knee-jerk predisposition to harass black youth on city streets.) He also recorded material with a six-member supporting entourage, Masta Ace Incorporated. In light of his newly claimed status as a veteran, he has gravitated toward an earnest, matter-of-fact plainspokenness in the new millennium. Many of the songs that have lent newfound heft to his reputation are simple, no-nonsense rumination on feelings and facts of urban American life, including "Soda and Soap" and "Beautiful".

During the years between his debut and his second album, Ace began having bitter feelings toward the commercial state of hip hop music, as well as the prominence of Gangsta rap, feelings which ruled the content on his second release, 1993's SlaughtaHouse, with the loose concept of the album seeing Ace taking the fake "gangsta emcees" to his "SlaughtaHouse". The album featured Ace's new crew, Masta Ace Incorporated, which included Eyceurokk, Lord Digga, Paula Perry and R&B vocalist Leschea. The singles "SlaughtaHouse", "Saturday Nite Live", "Style Wars" and "Jeep Ass Niguh" were taken from the album. The latter featured an unlisted remix titled "Born to Roll", which became a crossover single in 1994, peaking at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the same year, Ace became a member of a temporary crew Crooklyn Dodgers, formed for the release of Spike Lee's movie, Crooklyn, along with MC's Special Ed and Buckshot of Black Moon, and recorded the title track of the album soundtrack. The song became Ace's second Hot 100 hit in 1994, peaking at #60 on the chart.

Ace furthered his mainstream appeal in 1995, with his radio-friendly Sittin' on Chrome album. This effort was also released with the Masta Ace Incorporated crew, now also known as The I.N.C. The album was Ace's most commercially successful release, breaking into the Top 20 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. Sittin' On Chrome included "Born to Roll", as well as two other Hot 100 hit singles, "The I.N.C. Ride" and "Sittin' on Chrome". Following the album's success, Ace had a falling out with I.N.C. members Lord Digga and Paula Perry, leading to the breakup of the crew. After the split, Ace was largely missing from the hip hop scene over the next five years, save for a number of random vinyl singles. During his vinyl days, he bounced from a number of labels, releasing his "Cars" single on Tape Kingz Records, his "Yeah Yeah Yeah" and "NFL" singles on the Union Label, his "NY Confidential" single on Replay Records, his "Express Delivery" single on Three Sixty Records, his "Spread It Out/Hellbound" single on Yosumi Records, his "Conflict" single on Mona Records, his "Ghetto Like" single on Fat Beats, his "So Now U A MC" single on Bad Magic Records, and his "Brooklyn Blocks" single on Buckshot's Duck Down Records.

Ace's "Ghetto Like" single led to a misunderstanding with an underground emcee named Boogieman, who released a somewhat similar single titled "Ghetto Love" which was released on 420recordings not long before. He thought that Ace was "biting" his track and released a diss song toward Ace titled "Just You Wait". Ace responded to Boogieman on the diss track "Acknowledge", which also dissed The High & Mighty over a misunderstanding. The trading of records led to a rap battle between the two at a Lyricist Lounge event. "Acknowledge" was also included on "Disposable Arts."[1] Masta Ace can also be found performing numerous "Dubtitled" voice overs on the television series titled "Kung Faux" seen in 150+ countries worldwide.

 

Disposable Arts became one of the most acclaimed underground hip hop releases of 2001, beloved for its pure hip hop style and clever album concept, which served as a fictional story, chronicling Ace's time spent at a satirical rap school named the "Institute of Disposable Arts". JCOR Records folded soon after the release, leaving it out-of-print, until being re-released in 2005 on Ace's self-established M3 label. The album closer, "No Regrets", led many fans to believe that it would be Ace's final album, because of the line "I don't know if it's the end, but yo, it might be". Ace killed the rumors by returning in 2004 with his fifth album A Long Hot Summer, another highly acclaimed effort. The story concept, similar to that on his last release, served as a prelude to the story told on Disposable Arts, chronicling the "Long Hot Summer" that led to his character's incarceration at the beginning of the Disposable Arts album. Rumors once again spread about a retirement, which were again squashed, when Ace announced the formation of his new rap crew named eMC, including himself, Punchline, Wordsworth and his protégé Strick. Ace remarked in a December 2006 interview that he would no longer record as a solo artist, only with eMC.[8] eMC's first group album, The Show, was scheduled for early 2007 but was released in February 2008 digitally and April 2008 physically.

In 2007, Masta Ace had a track included on the Official Joints mixtape, a compilation of previously unreleased tracks by various NYC rappers.

In 2009, Masta Ace joined forces with Boston rapper Ed O.G. to release Arts & Entertainment which was released on November 3, 2009. Arts & Entertainment got shortened to A&E which resulted in the cable TV channel A&E asking Masta and Edo to remove the symbol from their original album artwork. The albums already printed have been sold at live shows following the release of the record.

In 2011 and in 2012 he coaches high school football for the Irvington Blue Knights in NJ.

In 2012, Masta Ace released "MA Doom: Son of Yvonne", produced entirely by MF Doom. He is also set to release a 10th anniversary release of Disposable Arts, featuring new recordings of songs from the album with a live band. The same site interviewed Masta Ace and he explained that Son of Yvonne helps him put across the things he didn't get to say to his mother before she died.

In January 2014, Masta Ace reunited with Stricklin, Wordsworth and Punchline as eMC, signing a record deal with Penalty Entertainment and Sony Red. They're expected to release an EP in April 2014, followed by a sophomore LP due out in early 2015. Punchline left the group in October 2014.

Late 2014, it was announced that Masta Ace signed to M3 Records/Penalty Entertainment for his 6th solo album "The Falling Season" will drop in 2016.

In 2016, Masta Ace was interviewed by Ryan Maxwell for Hip-Hop Kings.The interview spoke in depth about the Disposable Arts re-issue, and the documentary which celebrated 20 years of the album. At the end of the interview, Masta Ace also confirmed he has begun filming another documentary for his critically acclaimed album "A Long Hot Summer".

He and Croatian producer Koolade made a song "Beautiful" that was on his album A Long Hot Summer.

He is featured on a song off of album Protuotrov (antidote) by Bosnian rapper Frenkie, the song is called Živili (live on) featuring Masta Ace & Phat Phillie and is produced by Edo Maajka.

He appeared on Czech hiphop group Prago Union's album "HDP", where he performed on the track "Beat and I a já und ich" along with German rapper Dendemann.

He also appeared on Polish rap group Familia H.P. album "42" on the track "Born In New York".

In 2003 he appeared on the Swedish rapper Chords' track "Get u awn" with Punchline. The track is on the album "The garden around the mansion".

Masta Ace travelled to Australia in 2008 to record for the Funkoars track "This is How" which came off the album The Hangover. The track sampled parts of the Masta Ace's 2004 track "Good Ol' Love". The Funkoars have made several references to Masta Ace in their lyrics as well as using samples in other works.

He is also featured on the track "Sminke" by the critically acclaimed Norwegian Hip Hop band Karpe Diem. The title of the album is Aldri Solgt En Løgn (Never Sold a Lie). In English the word "Sminke" means makeup, and the song is about artists trading their image for what their record companies wants it to be.

In 2007, he appeared on Admit It, a song by Swiss hip hop group Nefew from their album Off the Cuff.

In 2010, he appeared on "Set You Free" along with Wordsworth, a track by UK hip hop DJ/Producer "Skitz" from his album "The Sticksman".

In 2010, he appeared on "You don't know about it" alongside M-Dot, a track by French hip hop DJ/Producer "DJ JEAN MARON" from his album "RUN MPC". It was the lead single of the album and received heavy radio rotations. (released on 12" and CD)

In 2012, he is featured on the track "Progression" by German DJ/Producer DJ Q-fingaz from his album "Qllection".

In 2014, he collaborated with Canberra-based Australian rapper Nix on the single "SHE".

On December 19, 2014, Ace was featured on a track called "My Style" with German Producer The Mighty Moe who also produced for Termanology, Reks and many more.

In 2015, he appeared on "Thinking of You", a song by Swedish hip hop duo "Professor P & DJ Akilles" from their album "All Year, Every Year".

Masta Ace is considered to be a highly skilled and influential MC – music journalist Peter Shapiro describes him as “one of the great pure New York MCs”, and Allmusic describes him as “truly an underappreciated rap veteran and underground luminary”. Commenting on how Masta Ace is sometimes overlooked despite his skill, Rolling Stone says, “even the most avid fan of raw hip-hop lyricism can sometimes neglect to mention Masta Ace alongside hard-bitten champs such as Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick and Kool G Rap”. Eminem mentions Masta Ace as one of his influences in his book ‘The Way I Am’, saying, “Masta Ace had amazing storytelling skills – his thoughts were so vivid”.

Source: Wikipeda

The Grateful Dead - Ultimate Classic Rock! Tags: greatful dead ultimate rock classic word life production new quality entertainment

The Grateful Dead were the most important band of the psychedelic era and among the most groundbreaking acts in rock and roll history. They broke all the rules while slowly and steadily building a career that carried them from the ballrooms of San Francisco in the Sixties to arenas and stadiums all over the country in the decades that followed. A leaderless democracy, they were fronted by guitarist Jerry Garcia, whose improvisational tangents made him a pied piper to the largest and most devoted cult following in popular music: a massive network of fans known as “Deadheads.” The Dead and their followers did much to keep the spirit of the Sixties alive in modern times. 

The Grateful Dead and their peers on the San Francisco scene – notably Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Country Joe and the Fish – raised the consciousness of the rock audience, leading them to an enhanced vision of music in which albums were more important than singles and concerts became marathon exercises in risk-taking.

Heavily steeped in Americana, the group had its roots in blues and bluegrass. From the jazz world, the Grateful Dead leaned to approach music from an improvisational perspective. From the culture of psychedelia – specifically Ken Kesey’s Acid Tests, of which they were a part - the Dead became aware of the infinite possibilities for expression when imagination was given free reign. Led by Garcia’s guitar, the Dead would delve into blues, folk, jazz R&B and avant-garde realms for hours on end. The group’s signature composition was “Dark Star,” which served as a foundation for their most extended and experimental jamming. They performed this epic more than 200 times and never the same way twice, with Garcia’s modal guitar spearheading their explorations into uncharted territory.

“They’ll follow me down any dark alley,” Garcia noted in 1987. “Sometimes there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes there’s a dark hole. The point is, you don’t get adventure in music unless you’re willing to take chances.” 

The Dead’s career can be viewed in several stages. During the latter half of the Sixties, they were a psychedelic rock band whose music and lifestyle were synonymous with the San Francisco scene. In the Seventies, they moved toward a rootsier sound and style of songwriting while maintaining the lengthy jamming tangents that remained high points of their concerts. In the Eighties, they became a touring juggernaut, attracting a nomadic following of Deadheads that followed them from show to show. An anomalous commercial peak came in 1987 when “Touch of Grey” became a Top 10 hit, further accelerating the influx of younger fans to the band’s increasingly prosperous touring scene. They would appear on Forbes’ list of top-grossing entertainers and for a few years in the early Nineties were the highest-grossing concert attraction in the U.S. The 1995 death of Jerry Garcia abruptly put an end to the Grateful Dead, though various members subsequently regrouped as the Other Ones, The Dead and Furthur.

The roots of the Grateful Dead hark back to the early Sixties and a small community of literature and music-minded proto-hippies in Palo Alto, California, to which Garcia gravitated. It was in this milieu that he befriended Robert Hunter, who would become his lifelong songwriting partner, and Ron McKernan (a.k.a. “Pigpen”), a serious disciple of blues and soul who played keyboards and harmonica. A budding young guitarist named Bob Weir fell in with Garcia’s crew, which gathered at Dana Morgan’s Music Store in Palo Alto (where Garcia gave guitar lessons).

In 1964 Garcia, Weir and McKernan formed Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, a string band that played blues, folk and good-time music. Much of the Grateful Dead’s early repertoire of borrowed tunes, including “Good Morning Little School Girl” and “Viola Lee Blues,” was learned during this time. It was Pigpen’s suggestion - inspired by a newly popular band from England, the Rolling Stones – that they plug in and amplify their sound. They recruited a rhythm section of drummer Bill Kreutzmann (who Garcia knew from the music store, where both taught) and Phil Lesh, a musical prodigy who’d studied jazz, classical and the avant-garde. Though he’d never played bass before, Lesh jumped at the chance to join the band and mastered the instrument quickly. “I knew something great was happening, something bigger than everybody,” he recalled.

By May 1965, the classic five-man lineup of Garcia, Weir, Lesh, McKernan and Kreutzmann was in place. Renaming themselves the Warlocks, they took a decidedly more electric approach. Half a year later, after realizing there was another group called the Warlocks, they became the Grateful Dead. The name suggested itself when Garcia opened up a dictionary and his eyes fell upon those words. “It was a truly weird moment,” he later noted. Implicit in that name was the promise of adventure and risk – qualities that would become hallmarks of the Grateful Dead’s approach to music.

The Dead provided a kind of cultural glue, serving to link the literary and philosophical leanings of Fifties beatniks with the musical awakening of the Sixties counterculture. Both movements flourished in the enlightened environs of the Bay Area. The Grateful Dead were retained to provide musical settings for novelist Ken Kesey’s legendary Acid Tests. From there, they began honing their concert alchemy at San Francisco’s venues, notably the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballroom. They were signed to Warner Bros. Records by Joe Smith, the company’s president, after he caught a show at the Avalon in August 1966.

During their lifespan, the Grateful Dead ranged between five and seven members. In 1967, they expanded to a sextet with the addition of a second drummer, Mickey Hart. In 1968, they added keyboardist Tom Constanten, expanding to a septet. In terms of personnel, the keyboard role was always the band’s most unstable. Somewhat eerily, four of the Grateful Dead’s keyboardists – Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Keith Godchaux, Brent Mydland and Vince Welnick – died prematurely.

The Grateful Dead fused rock and roll energy with the psychedelic experience to fashion an endlessly fascinating labyrinth of sound. Their self-titled first album, recorded in three days, sprinted through their blues and bluegrass repertoire with speed and energy. Anthem of the Sun (1968) was their transcendently psychedelic, quasi-symphonic magnum opus. Aoxomomoxoa was another highly experimental piece of work. As good as these early albums were, they could not match the Grateful Dead when they were at their best in concert, and the group would frequently turn to live albums as the truest representation of their experience. (A popular bumpersticker read: "There Is Nothing Like a Grateful Dead Concert.")

Live/Dead, compiled from shows performed in San Francisco between January 26 and March 2, 1969, remains a career highlight. It documented the fairly regimented yet highly improvisational program they performed at that time. The lineup included “Dark Star” (the ultimate Grateful Dead performance piece), “St. Stephen” and “The Eleven” (performed in 11/4 time). After exploring the outer reaches of psychedelic consciousness, the Dead would return to earth with an energetic rendition of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Turn On Your Lovelight” (a showcase for Pigpen’s soulful vocals), followed by the bluesy, mournful “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (from the repertoire of Rev. Gary Davis) and a gospel-style finale (“And We Bid You Goodnight”). The programming mirrored the stages of an acid trip – ascendancy, peaking and return to reality – and it’s been noted that this logic became embedded in the two-set structure of the Grateful Dead’s concerts for the duration of their career. As drummer Mickey Hart famously noted, “We’re in the transportation business – we move minds.”

In the wake of the Sixties and the slow demise of the San Francisco scene, the Grateful Dead took a turn toward a more acoustic, back-to-basics style on Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty (both from 1970). Both were more thoughtful, folk-oriented albums that revealed the band members’ improved songwriting ability and sage-like overview of America’s past, present and future. Much of the material was written by Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter, and they included some of their best-loved songs: “Truckin’,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Casey Jones” and “Sugar Magnolia.” These albums were influenced by the often acoustic, harmony-laden music of Crosby, Stills and Nash (who taught the Dead how to harmonize) and the Band (whose highly influential first two albums had a rustic, rootsy tone).

The Dead followed those studio albums with the consecutive live releases Grateful Dead (a.k.a. “Skull and Roses") and Europe ’72. At this point they felt so strongly that their work was best captured in concert that a number of new songs were unveiled on live rather than studio recordings. These included such staples as Grateful Dead’s “Wharf Rat” and “Bertha” and Europe ’72’s “Jack Straw,” “He’s Gone” and “Tennessee Jed.” Both albums also contained a raft of covers that revealed the Dead’s growing allegiance to roots music. There were songs by country singers Marty Robbins (“El Paso”), Merle Haggard (“Mama Tried”) and Hank Williams (“You Win Again”), as well as the Wild West tall tale “Me and My Uncle,” penned by John Phillips (of the Mamas and the Papas).

Various group members also launched solo albums during this time frame. Jerry Garcia was first with his self-titled solo album Garcia, which appeared in January 1972. Bob Weir’s Ace, released in June 1972, was a Grateful Dead album in all but name, as Weir’s bandmates contributed liberally to what was the most Dead-like of all their solo projects.

In 1973, the group released Wake of the Flood, their first studio album in three years and first release following the expiration of their contract with Warner Bros. It was issued on the group’s own Grateful Dead Records. They also created an affiliated label, Round Records, for solo projects. Both were distributed by United Artists. In March 1974, the group debuted a massive, state-of-the-art sound system, dubbed the Wall of Sound. It was both a sonic breakthrough and practical albatross whose setup time and cost of transport made it almost prohibitively expensive. The group released From the Mars Hotel in June, but that October – exhausted from constant touring and rethinking the costly boondoggle of their sound system – they went on an extended hiatus, exiting with five nights of “farewell” shows at San Francisco’s Winterland. Among other things, Jerry Garcia spent the next two years editing The Grateful Dead Movie, a 90-minute concert documentary assembled from the Winterland stand.

The group performed only four times in 1975, though they did release one of their more inspired studio albums, Blues for Allah, that year. The Grateful Dead returned to the touring life in June 1976. Deadheads consider 1977 to be the band’s standout year as a live band. Having folded their own labels, the Dead signed to Clive Davis’ Arista Records toward the end of 1976. Over the next several years, they issued the studio albums Terrapin Station (1977), Shakedown Street (1978) and Go to Heaven (1980). Terrapin Station contained the seven-part sidelong epic “Terrapin Station.” Shakedown Street was notable for its choice of producer: Lowell George, guitarist and frontman for Little Feat. Following Go to Heaven, there would not be another album of new music from the Grateful Dead for seven years.

Over the latter half of their career, Garcia was periodically beset with substance-abuse problems, a state of affairs that came to a head with his arrest on drug possession charges in 1985, and his collapse into a diabetic coma in 1986. His recovery included having to relearn how to play the guitar. His health improved in the wake of those crises, and a revitalized Grateful Dead entered a period of heightened activity that included the 1987 album In the Dark and the Top 10 single ("Touch of Grey"). The group issued its final studio album, Built to Last, in 1989.

Drugs continued to haunt the Grateful Dead, who lost keyboardist Brent Mydland to a fatal overdose in 1990. Mydland was succeeded, temporarily, by Bruce Hornsby and replaced by Vince Welnick. Garcia died on August 9, 1995, at a drug-treatment facility in Forest Knolls, California. The Grateful Dead’s final concert had taken place a month earlier, at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 9, 1995.

The Dead could not survive the loss of Garcia, but the music lives on. Three dozen vintage concerts were released as part of the “Dick’s Picks” series, named for Dick Latvala, the group’s longtime tape archivist. (Latvala, who died in 1999, was succeeded in that role by David Lemieux.) Various other concerts have seen commercial release, including performances at Fillmore East, Fillmore West, across Europe and at the base of the Egyptian pyramids. Between 1991 and 2007, 53 live Grateful Dead concerts were released. Inspired by the Dead’s example, other artists – from Neil Young and Bob Dylan to Pearl Jam and Phish – have followed suit to varying degrees, opening their own concert vaults with fan-oriented releases.

Individually, the surviving members have continued to make music. Mickey Hart has pursued a highly successful career as a rhythmatist and ethnomusicologist, recording and compiling numerous volumes of world music. Bob Weir formed Ratdog. Phil Lesh toured with a revolving cast of musicians known as Phil and Friends. Bill Kreutzmann’s other projects have included BK3 and 7 Walkers.

Beginning in 1996, several “Furthur Festivals” – involving Dead-related ensembles and kindred spirits – kept the spirit alive. Weir, Lesh, Hart and Bruce Hornsby toured as the Other Ones in 1998. They were joined by Bill Kreutzmann for tours in 2000 and 2002. Calling themselves The Dead, the four surviving members – Weir, Lesh, Hart and Bill Kreutzmann – again regrouped with supporting musicians in 2003, 2004 and 2009. Lesh and Weir have soldiered on with the group Furthur.

Ultimately, the Grateful Dead’s triumph was to create an alternative form of music and alternatives to music-business conventions that succeeded on their own uncompromising terms. Much about the Grateful Dead was improvised or left to chance. Theirs was a laissez-faire anarchy that assumed things would work out as the cosmos intended. This faith in a universal order, gleaned from the start at Kesey’s Acid Tests, freed them to pursue music without the usual constraints. The Grateful Dead illuminated the world with their music, transforming culture and consciousness as well. In so doing, they became an improbably durable and influential institution. As Phil Lesh said at the Grateful Dead’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994: "Sometimes you don't merely have to endure. You can prevail."

Inductees: Tom Constanten (keyboards; born March 19, 1944), Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals; born August 1, 1942, died August 9, 1995), Donna Godchaux (vocals; born August 22, 1945), Keith Godchaux (keyboards; born July 14, 1948, died July 21, 1980), Mickey Hart (drums, percussion; born September 11, 1943), Robert Hunter (lyricist; born June 23, 1941), Bill Kreutzmann (drums; born April 7, 1946), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals; born March 15, 1940), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals; born September 8, 1945, died March 8, 1973), Brent Mydland (keyboards, vocals; born October 21, 1952, died July 26, 1990), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals; born October 16, 1947), Vince Welnick (keyboards; born February 22, 1951, died June 2, 2006).

Source: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- http://rockhall.com/inductees/the-grateful-dead/

See more at: http://rockhall.com/inductees/the-grateful-dead/bio/#sthash.lARNXF1w.dpuf

 

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