Back at it again with the Broccoli City Festival lineup - as promised - part two of the Broccoli City Festival 2016 Music Guide. The more I write about these artists, the more excited I get about this show! Literally oozing excitement from my pores at this point. Unfortunately, according to www.bcfestival.com, the event is now sold out. FORTUNATELY, that doesn't mean it's too late to get hip to these talented individuals so you can be first to purchase tickets to their next show. Continue reading to learn more. You won't regret it.
Sound it out with me: juh-nay i-ee-co. Gosh, what a babe. Not only that, but her voice is like your child’s favorite lullaby –soothing and angelic. Any former B2K fans would recognize Jhené, as she contributed vocals and appeared in numerous music videos becoming known as Lil’ Fizz’s cousin. There’s actually no relation, but the marketing was clever and effective in launching Jhené's career. She was set to release her debut album, My Name Is Jhené, back in 2003, but decided to be released from the label to continue her education. Beauty and brains – what more could you ask for?! She came back with a vengeance in March 2011, releasing her debut mixtape titled Sailing Souls with the concept of staying true to yourself by sailing your soul and never selling it. That’s when all the not-so-B2K-fans became acquainted with the her music. With features from popular artists like Drake, Miguel and Kendrick Lamar, accompanied by Jhené’s silky smooth vocals, I became a fan of this mixtape after the first listen. To this day, I still play the song “Stranger” and get in my feelings (lol, my ladies would understand). Since then she’s dropped two great albums: Sail Out (2013) and Souled Out (2014), upholding the general theme of her first mixtape. The talented singer-songwriter is a standout artist on her own, but collaborations with Kanye West, Wale, J. Cole, etc. certainly haven't hindered her progression. Her and Big Sean are now a hip hop duo, TWENTY88, and on April 1st released their debut EP self-titled TWENTY88. Jhené makes real and relatable music with subject matters ranging from being in love to loving yourself, from no good men to finding inner peace, from her deceased brother, Miyagi (who passed from cancer in 2012) to her beautiful daughter, Namiko (whose father is Omarion’s younger brother and R&B singer, O’Ryan). Not to mention all the lovely weed references. "Is it strange for me to say that if I were to die today, there's not a thing that I would change. I've lived well." This powerful statement opens the first verse to the well-written, sentimental and meaningful song "Eternal Sunshine." See how Jhené captures the message in the video below.
I absolutely love, love, LOVE The Internet! If you don’t already know who they are, you’ll be more than grateful you read this post. For starters, add The Internet Radio to your Pandora stations. Thank me later. So…Jameel Bruner (keyboards), Christopher A. Smith (drums), Steve Lacy (guitar), Patrick Paige (bass guitar) and Odd Future members Matt Martians (keyboard/production) and Syd the Kyd (vocals/production). Don’t be fooled. I highlighted their main roles in the parentheses, but they’re all multifaceted when it comes to producing the overall sound. The soul band was fully formed in mid-2011 and they’ve been making musical magic since day one. This is nothing like the usual ratchet, twerk sum’n, turn up mainstream music of our time, but you can definitely “turn up” or chill out to the feel good vibes The Internet provides. TIME magazine associate editor, Eliza Berman, writes about the irony behind the accidental name: “[It] wasn’t supposed to stick. It originated from a joke—Left Brain, a member of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, got so tired of answering the question ‘Where are you from?’ that he said he was going to start answering, ‘From the Internet.’ He figured the band would swap it out for something better when they thought of it. But they never did.” Fortunately, they didn’t have to. With a name like “The Internet” you can certainly raise a lot of eyebrows. Yet confusion can be a good thing when your music is the shit. Get people curious enough to take a listen, and they might just fall in love – like I did. The plot thickens. Syd wasn’t even meant to be the singer for the group. “When I started making music, I just wanted to be the producer who sang the hooks,” she said. “I wanted to be Pharrell, honestly, the one who made the beats and was in the music video with the girls.” Followed by a failed search for the right vocalist, Syd figured she’d try it out herself. Great idea, Syd! Her voice fits every song seamlessly. The universe conspired once again in the band’s favor. After a lot of attention was drawn to Syd’s sexuality (did I mention she’s gay?) as opposed to the music when their first album, Purple Naked Ladies, dropped in 2012, The Internet shifted the focus with their 2013 album, Feel Good. Later in 2015 the band gained a lot of popularity with their album, Ego Death. It’s surprising to learn that the album was recorded primarily in Syd’s basement in a three week time span. Why? ‘Cause it’s that fuckin’ good. Grammy nominee type good, as the album was nominated at the 58th Grammy Awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album. Pretty much every song on the album is good, but “Special Affair” is definitely in my top three. Check out the visuals for the song below.
“Yes Lord!” If you hear that phrase randomly yet rhythmically shouted on a song or in the middle of an interview, it’s most likely the unique voice of Andrerson .Paak – pronounced “’pack’ or ‘pock,’ just don’t forget the dot,” he emphasizes. “They slept on me for so long, so they gotta pay attention to everything now…details,” was his response when asked, “Why the period?” I can’t help but agree. The California native, singer, songwriter, producer, rapper and drummer has been slept on to say the least. Being born into a Black and Korean family, Brandon Paak Anderson overcame burdens that many of us would've gotten buried under. At one point both of his parents were imprisoned, his father in now deceased, and in 2011 he lost his job at a marijuana farm in Santa Barbara leaving him, his wife and son homeless. There’s no wonder why his music is filled with such passion and gusto. Shafiq Husayn of alternative hip hop group, Sa-Ra, didn’t even know Anderson well when he lent a helping hand to the young artist, hiring him as an assistant, videographer, editor, writer and producer. Paak was able to recover financially and launch his music career with the release of albums Lovejoy and O.B.E. Vol. 1 in 2012 (under his former stage name, Breezy Lovejoy). Not only did he make a comeback but he remains humble, with an energy that radiates positivity. In October 2014 he released Venice, his debut album as Anderson .Paak. More recently Paak became known for his work on Dr. Dre’s first album in 16 years, Compton, where his soulful vocals were used on six tracks. Two months later he was featured on two tracks for The Game’s album, The Documentary 2. He’s truly multi-talented and versatile, having worked with a number of artists including some from this Broccoli City Festival lineup! In 2014, he joined Jhene Aiko on her ‘Enter the Void’ tour. You’ll even find BJ the Chicago Kid on Paak’s sincere, personal and distinctive 2016 album, Malibu (which also features Schoolboy Q, Rapsody, The Game and Talib Kweli). In January 2016, Paak signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. The rich repertoire of artists and producers he's worked with is expansive, but I leave you with one of my personal favorite Anderson .Paak collaborations: The 2015 single “Suede” with producer, Knxwledge, as the hip hop/soul/R&B duo, NxWorries.
I hope to see you at this year's Broccoli City Festival! If not, I'll run into you next year or at one of these artists' shows sometime in between.
Until Next Monday!