Jonas Bevacqua – Rest in Power

31 05 2011

Jonas Bevacqua, co-founder of hip hop clothier Lifted Research Group (otherwise known as LRG), was found dead earlier today in Los Angeles. Bevacqua was 34 years of age.

While there are no official details released about the clothing designer’s cause of death, Bevacqua reportedly died in his sleep according to insider accounts. As the news swept throughout cyberspace, most especially the social network Twitter, friends and fans of the LRG brand were stunned and saddened by the news.

Bevacqua’s close friend Ben Baller, a Los Angeles-based celebrity jeweler, tweeted earlier today regarding the death of Bevacqua. “[W]oke up at 8am to the worst news I’ve heard in my lifetime….my best man,” said a grieving Ben Baller. Producer 9th Wonder also tweeted shortly after hearing about the death of the designer. “I just learned about the passing of a revolutionary mind….R.I.P. #Jonas Bevacqua-Founder of Lifted Research Group (LRG)…rest easy bro,” said the North Carolina native.

LRG’s ties with the hip hop community are strong, with many prominent names shown modeling their fashion in a series of ads. Alchemist, Smif-N-Wesun, Drake and legends such as Pete Rock, DJ Jazzy Jeff and De La Soul have sported LRG wears in advertisements over the years. The brand also had close ties with star athletes such as Memphis Grizzlies standout player Rudy Gay and New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush. New Young Jeezy signee Freddie Gibbs also joined the fray, modeling some LRG gear for the company’s 2011 summer campaign.

LRG was also a fixture in the hip hop community via a number of company sponsored mixtapes. Rappers B.o.B, 9th Wonder artist Big Remo, crooner/rapper Outasight and Chicago duo Kidz In The Hall and more all had projects released in tandem with the clothing company and were also seen wearing LRG gear on the covers of the mixtapes.

Rest In Peace to Jonas Bevacqua, a true streetwear pioneer


Gil Scott-Heron …rest in peace

28 05 2011

The musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron – best known for his pioneering rap The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – has died at the age of 62, having fallen ill after a European trip.

Jamie Byng, his UK publisher, announced the news via Twitter: “Just heard the very sad news that my dear friend and one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, the great Gil Scott-Heron, died today.”

Scott-Heron’s spoken word recordings helped shape the emerging hip-hop culture. Generations of rappers cite his work as an influence.

He was known as the Godfather of Rap but disapproved of the title, preferring to describe what he did as “bluesology” – a fusion of poetry, soul, blues and jazz, all shot through with a piercing social conscience and strong political messages, tackling issues such as apartheid and nuclear arms.

“If there was any individual initiative that I was responsible for it might have been that there was music in certain poems of mine, with complete progression and repeating ‘hooks’, which made them more like songs than just recitations with percussion,” Scott-Heron wrote in the introduction to his 1990 Now and Then collection of poems.

He was best known for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, the critically acclaimed recording from his first album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, and for his collaborations with jazz/funk pianist and flautist Brian Jackson.

In The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, first recorded in 1970, he issued a fierce critique of the role of race in the mass media and advertising age. “The revolution will not be right back after a message about a white tornado, white lightning or white people,” he sang.

He performed at the No Nukes concerts, held in 1979 at Madison Square Garden. The concerts were organised by a group called Musicians United for Safe Energy and protested against the use of nuclear energy following the meltdown at Three Mile Island. The group included singer-songwriters such as Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt.

Scott-Heron’s song We Almost Lost Detroit, written about a previous accident at a nuclear power plant, is sampled on rapper Kanye West’s single The People. Scott-Heron’s 2010 album, I’m New Here, was his first new studio release in 16 years and was hailed by critics. The album’s first song, On Coming From a Broken Home, is an ode to his maternal grandmother, Lillie, who raised him in Jackson, Tennessee, until her death when he was 13. He moved to New York after that.

Scott-Heron was HIV positive and battled drug addiction through most of his career. He spent a year and a half in prison for possession. In a 2009 interview he said that his jail term had forced him to confront the reality of his situation.

“When you wake up every day and you’re in the joint, not only do you have a problem but you have a problem with admitting you have a problem.” Yet in spite of some “unhappy moments” in the past few years he still felt the need to challenge rights abuses and “the things that you pay for with your taxes”.

“If the right of free speech is truly what it’s supposed to be, then anything you say is all right.”

Scott-Heron’s friend Doris Nolan said the musician had died at St Luke’s hospital on Friday afternoon. “We’re all sort of shattered,” she told the Associated Press.

Herbie Hancock – Dedication (1974)

18 05 2011

Dedication is the sixteenth album by Herbie Hancock. It was recorded in Japan in 1974 while Hancock was touring and first released on the Japanese CBS Sony label. Hancock performs “Maiden Voyage” and “Dolphin Dance” acoustically, while “Nobu” and “Cantaloupe Island” were performed on electric keyboards.

Talkbox Twins… Live in the living room!

18 05 2011

California Dreaming

17 05 2011

Jed’s Eye

10 05 2011

Instrumental Intentions vol 1.0
Collaborative instrumental works from the production duo “Jed’s Eye” (Erick “Jesus” Coomes and Delmos Wade)