Shelley Nicole's blaKbushe
Are people that I know are working very hard to preserve the integrity of both their music and their commitment to the extension of our culture and they put on a display of such that has little to do with music, but has everything to do with the future. It's a well-oiled, organized and efficient cadre of artists, promoters, hairdressers, salespeople and fans that all come together to try and create a music/cultural scene that is un-corrupted by the music industry. They worked the crowd before, during and after the show, gathering up email addresses, selling CD's and exchanging information with a crowd that on the surface they would seem to have little in common with.
Quoting myself (once again)...
I just wanted to let all of you "OL' FUNKATEERS" out there know that...
SOME OF YOUR YOUNGER BROTHAS & SISTAS TURNED OUT JUST FINE....
"Some of them actually paid attention to the messages and the music of the 1970's and REJECTED much of what the world was serving up to them during the 1980's and 1990's. These folks have not only caught that "universal groove" called "FUNK", but they have adopted it as a lifestyle that goes FAR BEYOND MUSIC.
They have incorporated that "universal groove" into a lifestyle where "jazz, blues, rock, soul, gospel and hip hop" all coexist/blend with each other in "perfect harmony"
Of special note is the fact that apparently Natural Selection provided much support and love for Shelley Nichole's blaKbüshe during their weekend in Philly, including a special performance at the home of one of their members and more.
Of course props were given onstage...
When I see things like this happening at a grass roots level it makes me smile.
UNITY is a rare and fragile thing.
When I see people working together in a pro-active manner to actually foster it, then it also becomes something that I want to help foster. Another example of this on display was the pleasant surprise of seeing Achuziam Maha as one of Shelley Nicole's background singers.
Of course some of you will recall Achuziam Maha as being the lead singer of a group called
"Every And AnyThing", www.everyanything.com
whose concert appearance we reviewed in the Soul-Patrol Newsletter , last year:
It's important that we do so.
We are beginning to emerge from a period of negativity in music that has manifested itself in the larger society. Emerging artists like Shelley Nichole's blaKbüshe and Natural Selection (and there are many others, below the radar of KNEE-GRO radio ) are in fact the people who hold the key to the extension of OUR music and culture into the future.
Go out and support these artists when they appear in your city.
People ask me all of the time...
"WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO FUNK"?
Well the answer to that question is often found in small big city nightclubs in under publicized appearances by folks with...
"AFROS, CORNROWS & JUST PLAIN OL' NAPPY HEADS.....
SOME OF YOUR YOUNGER BROTHAS & SISTAS TURNED OUT JUST FINE"
CD REVIEW - Shelley Nicole's Blakbüshe - "She Who Bleeds..."
This is a highly political album, but that is what I would expect from Shelley Nichole. She is not only an artist but also an activist on several different fronts including artist rights and human rights.
1. Who is blaKbushe (Intro) Nice spoken word intro by NYC DJ Supreme Ian Friday, making the obvious commentary about brotha's and "Blakbhshe" :)
2. Scorpio Chile Starts out with a space age riff that sounds like a cut from 70's funkmasters "Ripple", then turns into Led Zepplineque hard rockin groove. The song is about birth and life. At the end of the song there is a spoken word part that talks about "traveling to a land where your mind can be free". I suspect that it's autobiographical?
3. Spiritual Revolution Starts out with "sitar like sounds" reminiscent of a "phunky Ravi Shankar", then the percussion kicks in with some jazz type congas/bongos and some alien twilight zone music. The vocals are cool and the intent is clear. Shelley wants us to join the "spiritual revolution" and lead ourselves to "self determination". This song would not be out of place on an early 70's EWF album.
4. Americas' Secret Most of you here have already heard this song. The "dirty little secret" of course is the oppressive society that flourishes in the United States. The music is of course in a serious funk/rock groove and the vocal harmonies are inspired by LaBelle. This song would be a hit record if it were ever to be played on eMpTyV.
5. 3/4 Sh*t SUPER FUNKY JOINT (period..end of story). It has a serious instrumental groove that if thrown in the middle of a club set would keep the crowd grooving or wouldn't be out of place on a 70's blaxploitation soundtrack. The vocals come in and are in keeping with the general theme of dealing with issues, in this case health issues such as HIV and Smallpox..
6. Cheatin' Baby Daddy Starts out with a funky "Living Colouresque" bassline and then the vocals kick in with a serious feminist message (as you could probably guess from the title..lol). It's basicly about a 'Baby Daddy' who hasn't been living up to his responsibilities.
7. Release Punk rock/speed metal beginning, that makes me think of the Ramones?
8. Getting Yo Head Did (Skit) As the title indicates this is s skit. It takes place in a beauty parlor and you hear the usual assortment of NYC multi ethnic female voices chattering about things that females chatter about inside of hair salons? In any case this seemingly meaningless vocal chatter serves as a perfect intro to the next song.
9. No Lye "Hair Issues" have been a constant topic of conversation in the Black community for as long as I can remember. Back in the 1970's hairstyles (ex: straight vs. natural) defined in some respect what your persona, political and otherwise was. In this song Shelly Nichole makes a stand on this issue. She objects to getting her hair fried, "chemicalized" or anything else "ized" in the "all amerikan pursuit of beauty". The occasional horse sounds in the background are a commentary on those who choose to purchase "fake hair". The song ends with a sort of ode to WAR with the words "Slippin Into Process."
10. Love Triangle: Self, Family, Goddess/God
11. Real to Me
12. Dance (Flying Home) Overall this is a strong debut CD from an artist that we are likely to hear some big things from over time.
The CD contains some strong music and some strong ideas that are designed to make you think about the world around you and your place in it.
--Bob Davis (7/2006)
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