Category Archives: Our Pick of Dope Vibes


Talib Kweli is back with some heat that goes beyond commercial radio, yet can work for commercial radio.  His latest album ‘Fuck The Money‘ just hit my inbox and I’m digging what’s going on.  

He spits thought provoking word play effortlessly as expected, speaking on the industry and his evolve state of dealing with it.  Money, as the title says, is of no importance.  We all know that Talib has always been pro indie movements, giving the metaphorical finger to commercialism.  This is a bit different because of his matured state.

Speaking of that, bless up to the Brooklyn soldier!  He had celebrated his rotation at ‘Soul In The Horn‘ with one of NYC hottest Dj’s Natasha Diggs + DProsper + Jessica Care More and others for Jessica’s latest album Black Tea : The Legend of Jessi James.

Check it out Talib’s new album and download it here for free while it last…

We are the Brooklyn Word baby, real unfiltered truths… if we see a culture vultures, we shoot em down!

BK stand up!

Nneka | Taste This Audible Treat + GiKu Gem

I hope that what I am today is of positive benefit to other people
I must be true to myself within my music or I would be a liar  


NnekaLucia Egbuna


She reminds me of Sade right here…


they both have similar spirits.

GiKu Gem

Nneka is an amazing spirit and her vulnerability is quite incredible.  

We as creatives should embrace this organic strength, as it would propel our artistic dimensions.  

Start practicing today…

  original words from the heart to inspire greatness


Gibril Kuyateh

Nneka Africa Book Of Job
Nneka | Book Of Job

Who Is Annabel (lee) And Why She Is Ninja Tune’s Secret Weapon

Who is Annabel Lee?  Ummm, that poem by Edgar Allen Poe.  It was a dark perspective of love and death, written quite beautifully.

But who is Annabel (lee)?  And why did Ninja Tune release her latest project on vinyl By the Sea… and Other Solitary Places.  

Well, before that I’ll share my first xperience hearing Annabel (lee)…


Myspace was ‘poppin‘.  Giant Step (big ups nuff respect) added my bi-weekly radio show to their music player Giant Step Jukebox.  Which was dope because my name was right above the musical man that I’ve admired as a creative spirit, Gilles Peterson.  It was understood that the right eyes and ears would hear the show simply because of that, but then throw in other shows like Jonessy, i think Lefto and Simbad (memory failing now).

The point, everyone was official and there weren’t many, about 8 or so shows that they had and of course Gilles Peterson. Very coveted spots from dudes that were killing it and me, the new guy that Giant Step marketing/social team heard something special from (thanks Jay Yee, Adam Erik, Maurice).  I had to make a strong impression with dope sounds, but how do you do that with incredible dj’s that get everything free and so far ahead.


Gilles was my success model in terms of a tastemaker that plays everything that is dope and ahead of the curve.  I didn’t want to be like him, I liked him because he played music that if I heard on my own, I’d definitely be pushing to people.  He also wasn’t pretentious and seemed down to earth, I liked that.

I was that guy that always said “they aight, but you should check this person out”.  Made cd’s or had listening get togethers playing obscure dopness.  I knew my ability to craft original creative blends and foresee dope artistic and musical talent would speak for itself over time. #patient

Now I’m an independent musical researcher in that, I’m not looking at what the next cat is doing. Dopeness will come naturally to the ear just as it did when I discovered Giant Step and Gilles Peterson in 1998 while living in Williamsburg, Virginia… #exactly.

I had to dig deeper.

Annabel (lee) was that voice and Richard E was that producer.  It was the perfect follow up to an rare Portishead track I stumbled upon.  I needed something dark and beautiful… think I found it #Annabel (lee)

(update) kinda funny now, she thought I was a fan… but no, merely a creative spirit that saw their potential and respected as artist, just as I’m doing 8 years later still pushing.  Not a fan!

The original show link is still up on Giant Step…

1849 by Annabel Lee is the last song

Who is Richard E?  Well, he’s just as mysterious as Annabel.  I’m not really sure if I can say because I really don’t know except that he’s the head of Further Out Recordings.  Kinda scary really, they are both intoxicatingly spooky in a sexy musical type of way.  Like the Adams family His production/composition/arrangement/mixing is flavorful and keeps you on your toes.  He’s particular good with capturing essences of time and pretty dope dj.

As for Annabel, I’ll describe her voice as beautifully enchanting.  Like a seductive ghost singing in ya ear when your alone and her voice is in 3D sound/visual, so you hear it and see it.. #imaginativeMind

It’s patient, alluring and captivating.

I really don’t have ghost singing in my ear when I’m alone, but somehow it was a fitting description.  Now I want one…

Annabel Lee Cover Art
Annabel Lee Cover Art

Gotta respect it when dope music can tap into your core like Annabel (lee) can.

As much as I could understand taste makers comparisons to some of the greats, particularly Billie Holiday… She’s has her own sound identity in my opinion, is classically fresh and edgy which you’ll see later on along with ability to adapt to many genres dance, electronic, funk, soul, hip hop.    

That’s why I believe Ninja Tune released this project along with If Music for the Save Soho campaign.  The buzz is just beginning and Ninja Tune knows they have a legend on their hands.  The question is whether they are fully prepared to invest in someone who could truly be one of the next artistic force of our time…. if anyone can understand how and where her core demographic lie and how to reach em’ its Ninja Tune.

An artist’s recognition, is often long over due because its timeless…

If one has the ability to see others appreciate them and their own success within their lifetime, its quite a blessing.  Many of the greats don’t.

Seems like this will… and my hunches are never wrong 😉

Believe” – Annabel (lee)

Album: “By the Sea… and Other Solitary Places”

Label: Ninja Tune

Annabel (lee) & Novo Tempo – Circles (Richard E & Annabel (lee) Vocal Suite)

Here’s an older track that is timeless… no one in the game sounds like her at all.  When more ears get on, the fun will begin and so will her place in music.  Paired with Richard E’s smooth and very gritty, organic, analog approach these two are a force in music. – Gibril ‘GiKu’ Kuyateh 

Annabel Lee
Annabel Lee

Listen to more Annabel (lee) & Richard E 

Below is a dope little eclectic mix curated by Richard E… music at its finest!

D Prosper Is Raining Down On Ya Mental With His New Track

Tweets from D Prosper is never a bad thing.  Been rocking with him for awhile, his sound is powerful and insightful.  He’s that lyricist that when you listen to him spit those lyrics, you get lost at first clear… there’s this call to action thats involuntary.  A undefinable side is thinking “hold the fu*k up, whats going on here.  what am i hearing, its not like the rest, it sound like i’ll learn some sh*t, wait a minute, is this stuff true, where’s wiki, where’s the bible, lemme google..”

D Prosper

Yea, he’s that dude.  I know music and everything I enjoy listening to are jewels whether you know now or later #facts.  D Prosper is also in my top 5 dopest emcee’s list.

He can spit over any type of beat and flame it.

Ok, I could say more but no fun in that.  Do ya homework and educate ya minds young Jedi’s, thats the art of finding sound naturally.

Peep this new track RAIN, another dope example of how to effectively rip sound.  Notice I said sound, not track.  This isn’t a track, it’s not a beat, its a short loop of what sounds like a classic love story Film with a few sound effects.  When I have more personal info on this dope track, i’ll update…

The effectiveness of his flow is apparent when the voice and lyrical content raises above the very energetic melody of the strings and keys.

To be clearer, try writing 4 bars to this and keep the content interesting and natural to where it doesn’t sound force but rather one like an instrument sitting right there in the room recording.  Now multiply that by what a buck, buck 20 bars and then pause… and salute the artistic talent that can.

Be inspired by dopeness and you’ll be composed of dopeness! @mrkuyateh_brooklyn

RAIN – D Prosper

This is the beautiful piece by Ryuichi SakamotoRain” that it was sampled from.  To understand and respect the art of sound, one must respect the essence.  Also, one must respect the artist ability to create a hip hop vision (tricky wording but makes sense).

Lastly, the artist Ryuichi Sakamoto performing it live.  Another way to connect and respect both artist work.  Just doing this research, now i’m a fan of this Japanese pianist/composer. What they did were no different, they each chose different musical paths and took in different musical energies to create.  Respect all art and you’ll be blessed with a beautiful mind.

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi Sakamoto

“We’re Back”… Stakes Not High Enough For De La Soul

So this morning I wake up to find a message in the inbox from De La Soul.

What could it be” I thought, “maybe they want me to rhyme on a track or go on tour with them through Africa.  Its gonna be tough with my daughter and all, not sure if the schedule would allow.  But perhaps…“, the fantasy continued until I clicked open.

*scroll to the bottom to read it*

Oh cooool“!  No, it wasn’t an invitation to be Plug 4, rather news about a new album.  As I continued reading, a smile appeared.  I love how artists are becoming more involved with their brand and its direction.  Which was always controlled by the labels.  If you didn’t play by the rules, you don’t get the dollars for touring, advertising, marketing, pressing.

The Rules: We are your image, and we will do what the fu*k we want with it.  It will primarily be based off of popular culture and our financial supporters.  You make them happy by complying and you’ll continue to get that bread.  And don’t even think about being smart and try to own your masters and such, matter of fact, we’ll handle everything… u just sing like a good little artist ho.  Its ya pimp speaking.

*Note: this is an exaggeration that’s not an exaggeration*

They are no longer banking on dollars of support from the Majors aka Record Companies aka Soul Suckers…  It’s no a secret that they’ve been known to stifle creativity by pushing their own agenda of influence through sound and popular artist.

Its also not a secret that artist have become smarter and better at using social tools for promotion, marketing and now one of the hottest methods of crowdfunding.

Wiki says:

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. One early-stage equity expert described it as “the practice of raising funds from two or more people over the internet towards a common Service, Project, Product, Investment, Cause, and Experience, or SPPICE.”

The crowdfunding model is fueled by three types of actors: the project initiator who proposes the idea and/or project to be funded; individuals or groups who support the idea; and a moderating organization (the “platform”) that brings the parties together to launch the idea.

De La Soul opted to generate funding through KickStarter and tons of fans throughout the world showed the industry a few more lessons:

  1. Hip Hop veterans are still relevant
  2. They have a solid base of listeners that wants to hear them and see them succeed
  3. The age is diverse and not 30-50yr olds
  4. A few dollars from a lot of people can mean a lot of dollars
  5. People want what they want and influencing is no longer as effective

If you only listened to the radio, tv/film, its easy to think that no one really listens to classic/vintage/golden age hip hop.  Let alone that they are still alive doing it.  That narrow and controlled youth driven perspective that the media show, is less artistically motivated but rather financially, politically, and spiritually.

But we won’t go there right now, I say that to say… their hold and suffocation (so to speak) of creativity has spawned an artistic rebellion.  It has also spawned an influx of creativity (good and bad).

De La Souls decision to rock with KickStarter was more than a smart move, it was a huge shot to the “dome piece” (a blow to their strength and positioning).  They managed to exceed their $110,000 goal, which is presently $241,899 as of 1:26am.  Guess they can say, “the stakes are not high enough” cause did a remarkable job.

How did they do this?  Well, the answer is simple… They make good music that connects that is universal.  De La Soul’s sound is more than the facades of success but the enjoyments of living as an everyday person thinking everyday things.  They pay respect to the greats by sampling dope stuff and continuing that energy of greatness.  A recipe that can’t be artificially controlled. Its heart inspired, not mind inspired.

I’ll continue to share artistic info. that is casually written but also educates.  I want to empower you to be the best that you can be as an independent creative artist.

Try crowdfunding for your next project.  

With that, I say… continue the support of dope music and art.  It’s the fabric of our lives! – @mrkuyateh_brooklyn

Mase, Pos, Dave
Greetings, family. This is Mase, Pos, and Dave, here.  We’re sending out this email, first of all, to thank you for sticking with De La over so many years. We never take any of you for granted, and because of this, we’ve got some big news for you that we want you to have first. It’s the biggest news we’ve had in about 11 years.
This FALL…we’re releasing A BRAND, NEW ALBUM entitled “and the Anonymous Nobody” our first studio release since *The Grind Date* in 2004.
The Anonymous Nobody: that everyday individual who one day, when least expected, stands up and faces the challenger. He/she refuses to accept… They defy in the hopes of rebirth, growth, and change. They’re the ones who smirk at accolades and take the blow in exchange for the comfort of others. We are those nobodies. We want change from our industries past… labels and lawyers, shackles that kept us bound, at times unable to express our total creative voice. So we stand… bravely trying something new, facing that challenge, fighting for change, fighting against the sample police and fighting for our (and hopefully yours too) continued freedom.
We’ve been in the studio, at the mixing boards, working with incredible musicians, producers, and GUEST ARTISTS, making an amazing album. Even more, we’ve been using an incredible new process to do it: one that’s even blown our OWN minds!
To say that we’re amped and excited would be an understatement: We. Cannot. Wait. to share this album with you.SO, HERE’S THE PLAN, AND WHAT WE NEED YOU TO DO…**TODAY**:

The album is available, RIGHT NOW, for pre-sale at $15 (digital) and $25 (CD copy) on Kickstarter.

If you don’t know, Kickstarter is an online platform that helps people to raise funds for creative projects. In return for donations, people get cool stuff!

We need you to go to Kickstarter TODAY and create a stampede. We need you to be among the first to pre-order the album, and to pledge support. We’ve got great gifts as rewards when you do this, so check ’em out and pledge!

Here’s how it goes:

If you want the album in vinyl, CD, or digital, when it comes out this fall, click on the link below to go to our Kickstarter page and find out about our project

If you’ve never used Kickstarter, or never registered for it—don’t worry: it just takes a second to sign up and order.

Pre-buy the album TODAY!



Love, Peace, & Soul,