Dessa's new album "Parts of Speech"
Dessa's style and sound is addicting, when I first saw a video of a live performance I was memorized. She is skilled lyrically, has a beautiful (and sometimes eery, emotional) voice, and is one of the dopest female mc's in the game. And on top of that she's part of the uber dope Doomtree collective. I've been so excited waiting for this new album, but it was well worth the wait.
Her album "Parts of Speech" (which I've already listened to about 5 times through) encompasses an array of emotions, as Dessa would call "optimistically depressing", and blends all of her artistic styles from layered harmonies, to solo lines, to rapping, from produced beats to live instrument samples. The range of emotions can also be seen visually from the chaotic wild-haired album cover to the perfectly polished hair on the back tracklist. "Different" is the choice word that comes to mind when describing this album, which is difficult to find in the saturated music industry.
Minnesota's 89.3 The Current did a featured "deconstruction" of the album, where Dessa discusses her creative process and the inspiration and meaning behind her lyrics. Yeah, it's a long video but it's interesting and inspiring (and much more educational and entertaining than wasting an hour watching tv so just click that play button). One of the things I've always loved about music (like other artforms) is that there are 2 meanings: the original meaning from the writer and the meaning that is interpreted by the listener. I'm always interested to hear from the creator, in this case Dessa, what inspired the lyrics and what meaning they were trying to infer.
I can't wait to catch a live Dessa show in the near future. Wish her much success on this album and her future projects. If you are just checking out Dessa for the first time then be sure to spread the word!
[Listen] MiKHAL - Live at The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (12/21/13 Downtempo Mix)
Check out the mix of the day from MiKHAL. This Downtempo mix was performed live on 12/21/13, aka the Winter Solstice, at The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Check the link here to listen to MiKHAL's dope mix (headphones on/subs up)!
Today's Mix of the Day brought to you c/o our new Electronica contributor Brian Baer, follow him at soundcloud.com/brian-baer!
Music has many different powers, but it's ability to console and heal during painful and trying times is why I have always been drawn to it. On the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, LoDo takes a look at music and how it was used to heal and console those mourning the death of our greatest leader.
Healing With Music - a playlist to remember Smitty
It's hard to believe it's already been 2 months since my cousin passed. No matter the capacity that you knew Chris Smith, you probably know of the love he had for music. I've promised many of you that I would send out copies of the memorial playlist, and thanks to some good music and a look through old pictures, I found some motivation to get out of my "writer's block". Take a look/listen and enjoy memories of Chris, you are deeply loved and missed cousin. Forever Young...
LoDo's Women & Hip Hop Series: Part 5 - Creating Solutions
We've finally reached part 5 of LoDo's "Women and Hip Hop" series! In part 5, LoDo chats with Nadia Piet, owner and founder of The TIKA, and Mark Patton of Amplifiher Media and #TheListening. There's enough complaining in the world, it's time to be a solution. We discuss creating solutions to problems that female artists and fans have faced in the hip hop world and ways we can continue to expand on the positivity and empowerment that is embodied in hip hop!
In light of the rape accusation against Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston that has become public knowledge (details of the case which are still unclear) we've seen another wave of "victim blaming". With the various recent public rape cases including the Steubenville Ohio incident in 2012, we are missing an opportunity to have a serious about rape, victims, and our justice system.
LoDo returns with part 4 of her "Women and Hip Hop" series. LoDo chats with pHoenix Pagliacci and discusses the fallout of the crew, and how the lack of family bond has negatively impacted female artists. pHoenix shares some recent collaborations as well as who she's listening to and which dope females are keeping her on her toes.
New Music Friday! The Workin Class "Through The Storm" ft Nisha Nandez & Malik Diamond
The Class got so much love for "All So Simple" & "Oath To The Money", so they decided to drop a new track featuring friends of wC Nisha Nandez & Malik Diamond! "Through The Storm", features a dope instrumental by Dree combined with a powerful N^2 hook with thought-provoking lyrics by Malik Diamond & Unknown. The combination is dope, but don't just take my word for it....click the play button and see for yourself!! (Available streaming free on soundcloud & also available as a free download).
Today marks 1 week until the release of Daydream, The Workin Class's sophomore EP, and to celebrate we've released the official tracklist! Check out the update to see the official tracklist, along with the dope album art (c/o the talented Noah Surratt). Is it July 4 yet? Cause I'm ready for the world to hear some new Workin Class!!!! wC^ aToJ^
LoDo may have been a little quiet on the aToJ blogoshere, but we've been hard at work! The month of May was a busy and exciting month, including the second WPRK 91.5 Our Show's "LiveR" hosted at Orlando/Winter Park's very own hip hop community center The BBoy Spot. June is set to be an even busier month, leading up to the 4th of July release of The Workin Class's sophomore project "Daydream".