Archive for December, 2008

K'naan

Date of Interview: 12/17/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

In the age of Obama, mainstream rap could really use a facelift. To be certain, rap music is not wholly negative or debasing, but the genre—as a whole—has gotten a bad reputation. Luckily, the scent of “change” is in the air.

Far across the Atlantic in the nation of Somalia, Kaynaan Warsame was introduced to hip hop through the lyrical stylings of Eric B. and Rakim. Even though K’Naan could not understand English at the time, his heart thumped along with the pulse of Paid in Full. And as fate would have it, music proved itself to be the universal language that transcends all cultures. Soon enough, K’Naan would hone his rapping skills, master the English language and gain respect across the globe as the “dusty foot philosopher.”

Minute by minute, as the world grows smaller, K’Naan’s narrative puts an international face on the burgeoning hip hop movement. Upon review of Troubadour, his sophomore release, K’Naan managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Bob Marley, Illmatic and his infamous UN performance.

(more…)

Advertisements

Marvin "Slim" Scandrick (of 112)

Date of Interview: 12/15/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

As the third Marvin in a line of Scandricks, “Slim” is best known for being the voice – and face – of 112.  His sensual vocals punctuated the smooth grooves of “Cupid” and “Anywhere,” and for the past decade, his silky tenor has reigned as one of R&B’s most distinctive voices.

In 2008, under the auspices of Asylum Records, “Slim” formed M3 Productions, his very own label.  And with the release of Love’s Crazy, he hopes to reintroduce himself to the world, as a solo artist and media mogul.

Upon the release of his first solo effort, “Slim” managed to find time in his busy schedule to settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on 112, the 23rd Psalm, and the inspiration behind M3 Productions.

(more…)

Avant

Date of Interview: 12/15/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

In the world of R&B, Avant has turned out to be one of the genre’s leading “new school” balladeers.  The key to his success: consistency.

Staying true to the traditional elements of R&B, Avant has underpinned his repertoire with songs that speak to the universal human experience.  It is no wonder, then, how he racked up a long string of timeless hits that stretch back to My Thoughts, his 2000 debut.

Upon the release of Avant’s fifth eponymous album, the singer managed to find time in his busy schedule to settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on Christopher Cross, “When it Hurts,” and his move to Capitol Records.

(more…)

Musiq Soulchild

Date of Interview: 12/11/2008

© 2008 Clayton Perry

Since 2000, Musiq Soulchild has amassed seven Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.  And unlike many of his contemporaries, Musiq’s chart dominance occurred quietly and with a humble air of confidence.

Upon close inspection, Musiq’s prodigious output places him in an elite crowd of R&B heavyweights.  In fact, he is on an incredibly short list of R&B male artists who have been able to release five best-selling (and award-winning) albums within an eight year time span in the past 30 years.  One of six, Musiq stands alongside Prince, Luther Vandross, Gerald Levert, R. Kelly and Brian McKnight in the annals of R&B history, and his string of hits—“Just Friends (Sunny),” “Love,” “Dontchange,” “Halfcrazy,” “Buddy,” “Teachme” and “Ifyouleave”—rival the popularity and notoriety of the industry’s leading soul men.

On December 9, 2008, Musiq Soulchild released Onmyradio, his fifth studio album.  Two days after its release, Musiq managed to find time in his busy schedule to settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on beatboxing, “Betterman,” and the need for responsible music.

(more…)