Category Archives: Hip-Hop/World/African

Camar – Yaard Soul 2008

Camar – Ready to Deliver ‘Yaard Soul’

By Melissa Gonzalez

A tired voice greets me on a Sunday night, sounding as if its owner has not slept in days. When asked how the weekend went, rather than stories of relaxing or partying, all that is said is, “busy, very busy, working.” Not the expected answer from a 24-year-old, even more surprising is the fact that his work has actually become easier lately. “I used to do it all. I was the manager, producer, everything,” says Jamaica-born Camar.

These days, work is simply putting out an album. The fun part comes when he is actually in the booth; it is the hours and responsibilities that have made it a job. Even with 13 songs recorded, this “job” doesn’t seem to be over anytime soon. Other than the raspy voice, there is no evidence of complaints coming from one of the newest names on the famed Slip-N-Slide roster. The multi-tasking artist is taking advantage of finally being signed to a label that will make it easier to profess his eclectic sound. Continue reading

Hip-Hop’s Qwote Interview 2008

QWOTE – Soulful Hip-Hop Performer Makes Musical Sense

By Melissa Gonzalez

May 26, 2008 – Miami, FL – R&B and Hip-Hop have shared a bond since early on. The love between the two music forms stayed strong through East & West, Nas & Jay-Z. Even while Common and Cube called each other “bitches,” they stayed strong. Many out there may wonder what the secret is. Could it be that Hip-Hop can’t get enough of those melodic love tunes?

This is probably what the execs at Slip-N-Slide Records were thinking when they signed, Qwote, one of their newest soulful, Hip-Hop artists. The 25-year-old Miami resident Born Jimmy Leonard) is enjoying regular airplay, while sharing the spotlight with label-mate, “Still the Baddest” Trina, on his debut single, “Don’t Want to Fight.” It may seem like over-night success to those who do not keep up with the behind-the-scenes happenings of the music industry, but in all reality, Qwote has been working for many years to get to this point. Continue reading

DJ Khaled in the 305 – 2008

DJ KHALED – Representin’ Love in the 305

by Melissa Gonzalez

January 2008 – Potential video starlets/groupies roam around in barely-there outfits. The aroma of cheap weed lingers and mixes with that of wet concrete on the cracked Overtown sidewalk. Aside from the shimmering of gold chains and dubs, there is much dreariness in the ‘hood.’ This inner-city neighborhood, one of Miami’s many hoods, is not about flashiness, it is about getting by. For many, it is the reality Miami very often lacks when considering the surgically attained beauty and rampant riches that are prevalent in the ‘305.’

Miami-based DJ KHALED

Almost three hours after arriving on the set, and close to 12 hours into the video shoot for “I’m So Hood,” a single from his second album We The Best, I notice Miami’s DJ Khaled rushing through a wardrobe change. Continue reading

Lucky Dube Shot and Killed in Johannesburg 2007

What follows below is the first announcement made on It was posted approx. 3 a.m. EST, after hearing the terrible news from our good friend, Lee Abel, who just happened to come across the news while on the internet. In the days that followed, the story – and our sadness – grew. There were men caught and arrested, a public memorial was held in Johannesburg, and Lucky was laid to rest in his homeland, the rural country that he loved, Natal. I will work to add more words here, as my friend’s story is one that needs to be told. Like one of his musician’s was quoted saying, “if Lucky Dube is not safe, none of us are safe.” Thank you for your patience.

September 19, 2007 – Miami, FL

Lucky Dube – Shot and Killed in Johannesburg Street Attack

By M. Peggy Quattro

It is with great sadness and pain that we report that South African Reggae star Lucky Dube was shot and killed in a Johannesburg suburb street attack late Thursday, police said.

The 43-year-old singer had dropped of his 15-year-old-son son at a family member’s house, and his 16-year-old daughter was in the car with him, in the Rosettenville district of Johannesburg, when he was approached by two or three youths in an apparent car-jacking. Lucky sped up to get away and was shot reportedly three times. He crashed into a tree and died on the scene. Continue reading

Lucky Dube – Last Show – San Francisco 2007

Lucky Dube- Show Me Respect

(Final show in San Francisco)
Story and photos by Lee Abel

You can not love somebody if you don’t respect them. So even if we don’t agree with certain things in life, if we respect each other, everything will be cool. ~ Lucky Dube

September 12, 2007 – San Francisco, CA – As Lucky Dube bounded on to the Ruby Skye stage, grabbed the mic, and began to sing Reggae Strong, the SanFrancisco crowd exploded with joy, swaying with arms raised high. This was the final stop in Lucky’s month long tour across America.

It has been four years since the African Reggae King toured the West Coast, and this time he came to share his new CD, Respect.  A finely crafted album, Respect is filled with songs that are poignant, cautionary , and hopeful. The music is rich and layered, classic Reggae with African soul. I recommend listening with headphones. With his always-tight band and trio of harmonious female singers, he alternated between such classics as House of Exile and Prisoner, to more recent grooves such as Ding Ding Licky Licky Licky Bong, and several songs off the new CD, including the title track Respect and Shut Up (if you cant say something good about somebody,just shut up.) Continue reading