EP43: Jesse Thorn on The Coup's "Steal This Album" (1998)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Jesse Thorn

The Album: The Coup: Steal This Album (1998)

Jesse Thorn, host of Bullseye and the MaximumFun podfather, has long been one of our biggest fans and we were delighted to have him come in to talk about one of his favorite albums: The Coup's stellar 1998 Steal This Album. 

The Coup, by then made up of Boots Riley and DJ Pam the Funkstress, had already established a reputation as one of hip-hop's most outspoken and unapologetically radical groups out there. Their 1993 debut, Kill My Landlord was a revelation. 1994's Genocide and Juice catapulted them onto the national stage. But by 1998, hip-hop's political era seemed distant in light of the era of jiggy rap yet in strode The Coup, resplendent in socialist ideas and that Oaktown funk, to mint a masterpiece devoted to defending the underdog and shedding light on the struggles of working class peoples.

More on Jesse Thorn

More on Steal This Album 

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Steal This Album  unless indicated otherwise):

  • Swervin
  • 20,000 Gun Salute
  • Me and Jesus the Pimp in a '79 Granada
  • Digable Planets: 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)
  • Canibus: Second Round KO
  • Lauryn Hill: Doo-Wop (That Thing)
  • Jay-Z: Hard Knock Life
  • DMX: Ruff Ryders Anthem
  • A Tribe Called Quest: Da Booty
  • The Luniz: I Got Five on it (Remix)
  • The Repo Man Sings for You
  • Breathing Apparatus
  • Underdogs
  • Cars and Shoes
  • Me and Jesus the Pimp in a '79 Granada
  • Busterismology
  • The Coup: Pork and Beef
  • Los Prisoneros: Tren al Sur
  • Prince: For You
  • Prince: I Would Die 4 U
  • Earl Sweatshirt: Balance
  • Foo Fighters: Darling Nikki
  • serpentwithfeet: fragrant
  • Pusha T: If You Know You Know
  • Teyana Taylor: Issues/ Hold On
  • Junglepussy: Trader Joe

Here's the Spotify playlist of as many of the songs above as we can find on there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Ep 42: Meshell Ndgeocello on Prince's "Purple Rain"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Meshell Ndegeocello

The Album: Prince: Purple Rain (1984)

I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray. But when I woke up this morning and realized that Oliver and I spent an hour or so talking with Meshell N'degecello about Prince's seminal "Purple Rain" album, I was beside myself with hype.

We spoke about the album's forward thinking musicianship and arrangements, Prince as a visionary, his Messiah-like presence and the extended version of Computer Blue. She told us about keeping "I Would Die 4 U" on elevated decibels and repeat and the pure dopeness of "When Doves Cry".

We all revisited the moment we first experience Purple Rain.

Simply put, we talked to one genius guitar hero about another. It gets no better than that. Throw on your best purple garments and get up on this.

"Hey, take a listen. Tell me do you like what you hear..." -Prince

More on Prince and Purple Rain:

More on Meshell Ndegeocello:

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Purple Rain unless indicated otherwise):

  • Purple Rain
  • Prince: For You
  • Purple Rain
  • When Doves Cry
  • I Would Die 4 U
  • Let's Go Crazy
  • Take Me With U
  • Prince: I Wanna Be Your Lover
  • Computer Blue
  • I Would Die 4 U
  • The Beautiful Ones
  • When Doves Cry
  • D'Angelo: Alright
  • J Dilla: Bye.
  • Alice Smith: Fool For You
  • Flying Lotus: All the Secrets
  • Purple Rain
  • When Doves Cry
  • Take Me With U
  • Prince: Erotic City
  • The Ronettes: Be My Baby

Here's the Spotify playlist of as many of the songs above as we can find on there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP41: Star Spangled Banner Special

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Oliver Wang
Guests: 
Morgan Rhodes

The Song: Francis Scott Key's "Star-Spangled Banner" (1814)

For this July 4th week, Morgan and I wanted to do something special and tackle the Great American Heat Rock aka "The Star-Spangled Banner." As Oliver notes during the episode, this is both the oldest song that most Americans know (partly) by heart and the one that we'll hear the most versions of across our lifetimes. Some versions are transcendent. Some are historically groundbreaking. Some are by Fergie. Choose accordingly.

More about "The Star-Spangled Banner":

Show Tracklisting (all songs are renditions of The Star Spangled Banner  unless indicated otherwise):

  • The Anacreontic Song
  • Lady Gaga
  • Whitney Houston
  • Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You
  • Whitney Houston
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Jose Feliciano
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Misissippi Mass Choir
  • Bleeding Gums Murphy from The Simpsons
  • Daryl Coley: When Sunday Comes
  • Fergie
  • Kim Weston: Lift Every Voice and Sing
  • Committed: Life Every Voice and Sing
  • Maze: Before I Let Go
  • New Order: Bizarre Love Triangle
  • New Order: Blue Monday
  • New Order: Bizarre Love Triangle
  • Whitney Houston

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP40: Benjamin Booker on William Onyeabor's "Who Is William Onyeabor?" (2013)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Benjmain Booker

The Album: William Onyeabor: Who Is William Onyeabor? (2013)

Benjamin Booker rocks.

His soulful blend of blues, rock soul and punk, together with hella honest lyrics and an inimitable voice has moved folks across his self titled debut and latest album Witness.

He joined us to talk about his discovery of Luaka Bop’s World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor? It was love at first listen. He loved the moog and the drums, the minimalism and the disco elements.

He loved the message.

We talked about William Onyeabor's reclusiveness, foreshadowing in lyrics, African music across many genres and the coolness of a white cowboy hat.

More on William Onyeabor and Who is William Onyeabor :

More on Benjamin Booker:

  • Can We Get a Witnees (Stereogum)
  • Tiny Desk Concert (NPR)
  • Website

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Who Is William Onyeabor?  unless indicated otherwise):

    • Atomic Bomb
    • Benjamin Booker: Witness
    • The Funkees: Akula Owu Onyeara
    • Benjamin Booker: Truth is Heavy
    • Body and Soul
    • Love is Blind
    • Anita Ward: Ring My Bell
    • Love is Blind
    • Heaven and Hell
    • Why Go to War
    • Something You Will Never Forget
    • Fantastic Man
    • Heaven and Hell
    • Good Name
    • New Order: Blue Monday
    • Benjamin Booker: Overtime
    • The Lidaju Sister: Life's Gone Down Low
    • Heaven and Hell
    • Let's Fall in Love
    • Why Go to War
    • Love is Blind
    • Fantastic Man

Here's the Spotify playlist of as many of the songs above as we can find on there.
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP39: Eliza Skinner on the "Pretty in Pink" soundtrack (1986)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Eliza Skinner

The Album: Pretty In Pink Soundtrack (1986)

Actress and comedian Eliza Skinner is part of the brand new Maximum Fun scripted comedy show, Bubble, and hosts her own music podcast, Cool Playlist. For her guest spot on Heat Rocks, she wanted to revisit one of the iconic soundtracks of the 1980s: Pretty in Pink. The film is a key part of the John Hughes pantheon, alongside The Breakfast Club, 16 Candles and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and arguably boasts the most storied soundtrack of all of them, including now-classics that were written expressly for the film such as OMD's "If You Leave" and Echo and Bunnymen's "Bring On the Dancing Horses," and of course, the reworked, sax-ified version of the Psychedelic Furs' "Pretty In Pink."

Eliza and us discussed how soundtracks can create an invented nostalgia for a time we never knew, what lesser known tracks off this album still bump, and why Ducky really didn't deserve to belong with Andie.

(That said, Ducky did kill it during his "Try a Little Tenderness" scene)

More on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack: 

More on Eliza Skinner:

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Pretty In Pink unless indicated otherwise):

  • Pretty in Pink
  • If You Leave
  • Left of Center
  • Simple Minds: Don't You (Forget About Me)
  • The Barden Bellas: Bellas Finals: Price Tag/ Don't You (Forget About Me)
  • Get to Know Ya
  • Prince: Kiss
  • Prince: Purple Rain
  • Deniece Williams: Let's Hear it for the Boy
  • Modern English: I Melt with You
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Wouldn't it be Good
  • Otis Redding: Try a Little Tenderness
  • New Order: Thieves Like Us (Instrumental)
  • If You Leave
  • Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
  • Wouldn't it be Good
  • Here's the Spotify playlist of as many of the songs above as we can find on there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP38: Marcus Moore on Mos Def's "Black on Both Sides" (1999)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Marcus Moore

The Album: Mos Def's Black on Both Sides (1999)

Writer Marcus Moore, currently a senior editor at Bandcamp, happened to be coming through to Los Angeles for his first time ever and we took advantage by inviting him to join us to talk about Mos Def's debut album, Black on Both Sides. Coming out just a year after Mos and Talib Kweli created a new generation of conscious hip-hop fans with their Black Star collaboration, Black on Both Sides was also the culmination of a coming-out party for the Brooklyn rapper/actor that began earlier in the decade as he began racking up all manners of outstanding cameo spots.

During our convo with Marcus, we got into Mos' portrait of Brooklyn, how his singing took everyone for a (pleasant) surprise, why "Ms. Fat Booty" wasn't necessarily representative of the album as a whole and whether or not Mos ever was able to exceed the excellence of his debut.

More on Mos Def and Black on Both Sides: 

More on Marcus Moore:

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Black on Both Sides unless indicated otherwise):

  • Know That
  • Umi Says
  • Nas: NY State of Mind
  • Biggie: Live Freestyle 1995
  • Mos Def: BET's The Cypher
  • Mos Def, Q-Tip, Tash: Body Rock
  • UTD: My Kung Fu
  • De La Soul: Big Brother Beat
  • Ms. Fat Booty
  • Jay-Z: Jigga What, Jigga Who
  • The Roots: You Got Me
  • Techn9ne: Questions
  • Reflection Eternal: Fortified Live
  • Love
  • dialogue from 16 Blocks
  • Rock N Roll
  • Public Enemy: Fight the Power
  • Rock N Roll
  • Love
  • New World Water
  • Boogie Down Productions: Beef
  • Fela Kuti: Water No Get Enemy
  • Climb
  • Umi Says
  • Aretha Franklin: One Step Ahead
  • Ms. Fat Booty
  • Roy Ayers: We Live In Brooklyn
  • Brooklyn
  • Ms. Fat Booty
  • Mathematics
  • May-December

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP37: Adrian Younge on Jeru's "The Sun Rises In the East" (1994)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Adrian Younge

The Album: Jeru the Damaja's The Sun Rises In the East (1994)

Since he started putting numbers on the board with the soundtrack to Black Dynamite, artist/composer Adrian Younge has become the hip-hop maestro for creative collaborations. Through the years, he's worked with Souls of Mischief, Ghostface Killah and DJ Premier/Royce the 5'9" as well as continuing to release his own solo work. For our episode, Younge reached back to the golden era of hip-hop for us to talk about one of the most "impervious" MCs around: Brooklyn's Jeru the Damaja and his 1994 debut album, The Sun Rises in the East. We tackled everything from the contradictions of rappers talking about both consciousness and doing dirt to the brilliance of DJ Premier's production to the intricacies of Jeru's freaky freaky freaky flow.

More on Jeru and The Sun Rises in the East: 

More on Adrian Younge:

Show Tracklisting (all songs fromThe Sun Rises in the East unless indicated otherwise):

  • Gang Starr: I'm the Man
  • Can't Stop the Prophet
  • Adrian Younge/Delfonics: Lost Without You
  • Adrian Younge/Ghostface: Beware of the Stars
  • D. Original
  • Come Clean
  • Souls of Mischief: '93 Til Infinity
  • Smif N Wessun: Let's Get It On
  • Black Moon: Who Got the Props?
  • Group Home: Livin Proof
  • Rap City Interview w/ Jeru
  • Perverted Monks In the House (Theme)
  • Jeru and Lauryn Hill Interview
  • Da Bitchez
  • Mental Stamina
  • Ain't the Devil Happy
  • Lee Oskar: Our Road
  • Adrian Younge: Midnight Blue
  • Jungle Music
  • Statik
  • Brooklyn Took It

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP36: Taura Stinson on Minnie Riperton's "Adventures in Paradise"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Taura Stinson

The Album: Minnie Riperton's Adventures in Paradise (1975)

2018 has been a breakout year for this weeks guest, Taura Stinson. "Mighty River", the song she co-wrote with Raphael Saadiq for Dee Rees' critically acclaimed film Mudbound was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She is a singer's singer who understands the nuances of song creation, production and arrangement. We couldn't have asked for a better guest and a better album to discuss and were thrilled to have her wax poetic about Minnie Riperton's 1975 Adventures In Paradise.

We dug deep on this one - discussing both Minnie's supreme vocal prowess and the sonic and lyrical legacy she left us when she left us just four years after this album was released. With production help from The Crusaders, Stewart Levine and Leon Ware, this peek into Minnie's world is quite the adventure. Get thoroughly into our chat with Taura Stinson and then revisit Adventures in Paradise for the culture.

About Taura:

Taura's book

Taura's Oscar & Golden Globe Nominated song "Mighty River"

Taura's single "Gossypium Thorns"

Show Tracklist (all songs from "Adventures in Paradise" unless indicated otherwise):

  • "Baby, This Love I Have"
  • Taura Stinson: Gossypium Thorns (Freedom) "Gossypium Thorns (Freedom)"
  • The Gospel Clouds: "Let Us Pray"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • Minnie Riperton: Perfect Angel "Lovin' You"
  • Rotary Connection: Aladdin "Life Could"
  • Mariah Carey: Emotions "Emotions"
  • Rotary Connection: Hey, Love "I Am the Blackgold of the Sun"
  • "Adventures in Paradise"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders "Lyrics to Go"
  • The Pointer Sisters: Steppin' "How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)"
  • Gwen McCrae: Lady Soul "Rockin' Chair"
  • Natalie Cole: Inseparable "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)"
  • Labelle: Nightbirds "Lady Marmalade"
  • "Feelin' that the Feeling's Good"
  • Minnie Riperton: Perfect Angel "Take a Little Trip"
  • Minnie Riperton: The Best of Minnie Riperton "Woman of Heart and Mind"
  • Quincy Jones: Body Heat "If I Ever Lose This Heaven"
  • "Love and It's Glory"
  • "Adventures in Paradise"
  • "When It Comes Down to It"
  • "Alone in Brewster Bay"
  • "Baby, This Love I Have"
  • "Simple Things"
  • Minnie Riperton: Le Fleur "Young Willing and Able"
  • "Feelin' that the Feeling's Good"
  • "Simple Things"
  • "Minnie's Lament"
  • Prince: Parade-Music from the Motion Picture "Under the Cherry Moon" "Sometimes It Snows in April"
  • Emage: "Inside My Love"
  • "Don't Let Anyone Bring You Down"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP35: Cut Chemist on Cymande's "Cymande" (1972)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Cut Chemist

The Album: Cymande: Cymande (1972)

"Say go DJ, cause that's my DJ..." - Weezy

Cut Chemist is nice with the wax, nice with the loops, nice on the decks. A central figure in West Coast hip hop (Jurassic 5, Ozomotli) and the art of turntablism, both he and his record collection are legendary. While he joined us to talk about British funk pioneer Cymande's 1972 self-titled debut, our conversation covered a myriad of topics including Cut's journey as a crate digger, a record he may or may not have pilfered in 1987, the influence of Chuck Chillout and DJ Red Alert on his development as a DJ, Cymande's seamless genre-fusing and the band's relationship to hip-hop. Needless to say, we went in.

About Cut Chemist:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8225523/cut-chemist-i...

About Cut's latest album, Die Cut 
https://daily.bandcamp.com/2018/03/13/cut-chemist-die-cut-interview/

Oliver's Rolling Stone interview with Cymande:
http://rol.st/1U3YpYS

Cymande website:
http://www.cymandeofficial.com

Show Tracklist (all songs from Cymande unless indicated otherwise):

  • "One More"
  • Cut Chemist: The Audience's Listening "The Garden"
  • Harlem Underground Band: Harlem Underground Band "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba"
  • "Bra"
  • "The Message"
  • "Dove"
  • DJ Chuck Chillout: clip from 98.7 Kiss FM show from 1986
  • Clip from the 1983 film "Wild Style"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik "Give It Away"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "The Message"
  • Assagai: Assagai "Telephone Girl"
  • "Dove"
  • "Listen"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "Zion I"
  • "Rickshaw"
  • Hielo Ardiente: El Original Ritmo Ardiente "Mensaje"
  • The Meters: The Meters "Cissy Strut"
  • "Rastafarian Folk Song"
  • The Fugees: The Score "The Score"
  • De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising "Change in Speak"
  • The Doors: L.A. Woman "Riders on the Storm"
  • Tune Yards: Nikki Nack "Water Fountain"
  • Alice in Chains: Facelift "Man in the Box"
  • Cymande: Second Time Round "Bird"
  • Kaidi Tathem: Feed the Cat "Armz R Deh"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP34: Cole Kuchna on Kayne West's "Yeezus"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Coke Kuchna

The album: Kanye West: Yeezus (2013)

Comprehensive analysis. Two words that describe Cole Cuchna's extraordinary podcast, DISSECT, which dedicates a season to unpacking one album, one song (per episode) at a time. His subterranean exploration of Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the reasons we were thrilled to have him join us to discuss Kanye West's 6th album, Yeezus.
We covered Yeezy the persona vs. Kanye the person, problematic lyrics, ego reckoning, and the 2009 VMA's - a turning point in his career and a moment that will forever be a part of pop culture history. We also spent some time delving into the mindset of Yeezy, but full disclaimer: we taped this episode before Kanye's infamous twitter torrent and TMZ brouhaha.

About Cole Kuchna:

Cole's socials: IG: turangalila_ TW: @dissectpodcast

About Dissect:

More on Yeezus

Yeezy on Yeezus:

Show Tracklist (all songs from Yeezus unless indicated otherwise):

  • “On Sight”
  • “Hold My Liquor”
  • “Guilt Trip”
  • “Blood on the Leaves”
  • “Bound 2”
  • “New Slaves”
  • “I Am A God”
  • Nina Simone: Pastel Blues “Strange Fruit”
  • “Black Skinhead”
  • “I’m In It”
  • Daniel Caesar: Pilgrim’s Paradise “Streetcar”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP33: Fredara Hadley on Anita Baker's "Compositions" (1990)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Fredara Hadley

The album: Anita Baker: Compositions (1990)

Ethnomusicologist Fredara Hadley had been on our wish list for a while and as luck would have it, she came to Los Angeles earlier this spring and things lined up nicely. For our episode, Fredara wanted to get into the queen of the quiet storm from the 1980s and early ‘90s: Anita Baker and her platinum-selling 1990 album, Compositions. During our conversation, we got into the nuances of Baker’s voice and how she compelled your full attention, how she fit (or didn’t) with the sound of R&B in the early ‘90s and how, as successful as she was, she could have thrived even better in an era where jazz and R&B overlap is better embraced.

More on Compositions

More on Fredara Hadley

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Compositions unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Talk To Me”
  • Anita Baker: Rapture “Sweet Love”
  • “Fairy Tales”
  • Peabo Bryson: Crosswinds “Crosswinds”
  • “More Thank You Know”
  • Mariah Carey: Mariah Carey “Vision of Love”
  • Lisa Stansfeild: Been Around The World “Been Around The World”
  • En Vogue:Born To Sing “Hold On To Your Love”
  • “Look What I Got”
  • Drake: Comeback Season “Think Good Thoughts Feat. Phonte and Elzhi”
  • Perri: “Airstream”
  • “Perfect Love Affair”
  • “Love You To The Letter”
  • “Feel The Need”
  • “Whatever It Takes”
  • “No One To Blame”
  • Jill Scott: The Light of the Sun “Hear My Call”
  • “Lonely”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP32: Justin Simien on Michael Jackson's "HIStory" (1995)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Justin Simien

The album: Michael Jackson: HIStory: Past, Present and Future: Book 1 (1995)

Justin Simien, whose Dear White People is just beginning its second season on Netflix, came through to join us live for another Voyager Institute collaboration. By sheer coincidence, our last VI event took on Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation and here we are again, working our way through another Jackson family LP. (Can LaToya be too far behind?)

HIStory, as our crew points out, is an odd duck in the vaunted Jackson discography. Though it was enormously successful – the best selling double album of all time (especially since disc one was a "Greatest Hits" anthology) – it tends to have been overlooked given all the controversy swirling around MJ in that era. He had already been tried and acquitted on child molestation charges but his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley was still tabloid catnip and all this resulted in him recording, to quote Morgan: his most "pissed" off album, ever. This, and more, was all fodder for our conversation. But before you even listen, you have to watch the trailer for HIStory:

Meanwhile, don't forget to listen to last week's episode, about Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, featuring Martin Perna!

More on HIStory

More on Justin Simien

Show Tracklisting (all songs from HIStory unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Money”
  • “Scream”
  • Janet Jackson: Got Till It’s Gone “Got Till It’s Gone”
  • “This Time Around Feat. Biggie Smalls”
  • “You Are Not Alone”
  • “Stranger In Moscow”
  • “Childhood”
  • Michael Jackson: Bad “Leave Me Alone”
  • “They Don’t Really Care About Us”
  • “Tabloid Junkie”
  • Michael Jackson: Thriller “Someone In The Dark”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP31: Martín Perna on Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" (1980)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Martín Perna

The album: Michael Jackson: Off The Wall (1979)

Martín Perna of Antibalas wanted to revisit one of the formative albums of his childhood: Michael Jackson's Off The Wall. For many MJ fans, this is the king of pop's greatest work, a clear statement that he was now fully out of the shadow of the Jackson 5 and, along with super-producer Quincy Jones, ready to remake American pop music as we know it.

Perna not only brought his memories of growing up, mesmerized by the cover of the album, but his multi-instrumentalist also broke down some of the secrets behind the production on the album. Even for deep fans, there's something to learn, and for everyone else, you get to hear from one of the great pop albums of all time. (And if you haven't heard it before, check out this incredible demo version of "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough")

Next week's episode is also about Michael Jackson as director Justin Simien (Dear White People) joins us to talk about MJ's HIStory (1995).

And look for a bonus beats episode to post soon that features Perna and us talking about the never-ending "Off the Wall vs. Thrillerdebate.

More on Off the Wall

More on Martín Perna

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Off the Wall unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Off The Wall”
  • Antibalas: Antibalas “Dirty Money”
  • The Wiz “You Can’t Win”
  • “She’s Out of my Life”
  • Jackson 5: ABC “ABC”
  • “Get On The Floor”
  • “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”
  • “I Can’t Help It”
  • Fela Kuti: Upside Down “Upside Down”
  • “Rock With You”
  • “Burn This Disco Out”
  • “It’a The Falling In Love”
  • “Girlfriend”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP30: Egyptian Lover on Cameo's "Cameosis" (1980)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Egyptian Lover

The album: Cameo: Cameosis (1980)

Egyptian Lover is one of the pivotal figures in shaping the sound of Los Angeles funk and hip-hop beginning in the 1980s. As a teen, he became a core member of the all-powerful Uncle Jamm's Army party crew and by the mid-80s, he was an artist in his own right, releasing a series of key electro albums that would help pave the way for the emergence of other L.A. groups like the Dream Team and N.W.A.

For our episode, Egyptian Lover wanted to take us back to the formative moment before all that had happened, when he was still in high school, hustling pause tapes of the latest funk jams to his classmates. Cameo's Cameosis was the group's fourth album in three years, the first to finally hit #1 on the charts, and the source of the monster hit, "Shake Your Pants."

During our discussion, we got into everything from the genius of Cameo's Larry Blackmon to what made the group different from other funk outfits (hint: the horns) to how one properly programs a slow jam within a mix of party funk songs.

More on Cameosis

More on Egyptian Lover

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Cameosis unless indicated otherwise):

  • "Cameosis"
  • Egyptian Lover: On the Nile "Egypt, Egypt"
  • "Why Have I Lost You"
  • Rick James: Come Get It! "Mary Jane"
  • "Shake Your Pants"
  • "We're Goin' Out Tonight"
  • Diana Ross: Diana "Upside Down"
  • George Benson: Give Me the Night "Give Me the Night"
  • Zapp & Roger: Zapp "More Bounce to the Ounce"
  • One Way: Who's Foolin' Who "Cutie Pie"
  • Cameo: Secret Omen "I Just Want to Be"
  • "Shake Your Pants"
  • Cameo: Secret Omen "I Just Want to Be"
  • "On the One"
  • Parliament: Mothership Connection "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)"
  • "Why Have I Lost You"
  • "I Care for You"
  • The Sugarhill Gang: Sugarhill Gang "Rapper's Delight"
  • Cameo: Word Up! "Word Up"
  • "Please You"
  • Egyptian Lover: Back from the Tomb "I Need a Freak"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP29: Nite Jewel on Kraftwerk's "Computer World" (1981)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Nite Jewel

The album: Kraftwerk: Computer World (1981)

When we invited L.A.'s own Nite Jewel to join us, it probably shouldn't have been a surprise that she picked Kraftwerk's Computer World; after all, she's toured the world performing the albumIn sitting down with us, NJ (aka Ramona Gonzalez) broke down how she first became obsessed with the album, walking the streets of Berkeley, thinking about German philosophy (no, really!) and why the LP is such a masterpiece of fusing a variety of musical elements all colliding in the early 1980s.

More on Computer World

More on Nite Jewel

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Computer World unless indicated otherwise):

  • ”Computer Love”
  • Nite Jewel: Real High “2 Good 2 Be True”
  • Roger Troutman: The New Zapp IV U “Computer Love”
  • ”The Dance”
  • Derrick May: “The Dance”
  • Moodyman: Forevernevermore “(logo)”
  • The Egyptian Lover: Electro Pharaoh “Electro Pharaoh“
  • 20 Fingers: 20 Fingers “Short Dick Man”
  • Afro-Rican: “Give It All You Got”
  • ”It’s More Fun To Compute”
  • ”Numbers”
  • ”Artificial Intelligence”
  • ”Home Computer”
  • ”Pocket Calculator”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP28: Brother Ali on Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Brother Ali

The album: Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

As part of the two week MaxFun Drive, we wanted to save two of our best shows to share with you. This first week, it's rapper Brother Ali, a long time MaxFun favorite, and he picked one of the greatest albums of all time: Stevie Wonder's majestic Songs in the Key of Life, recorded when the artist was still in his 20s(!).
Brother Ali, of course, has his own string of modern classics, including Shadows on the Sun (2003), The Undisputed Truth (2007) and most recently, last year's All the Beauty In This Whole Life. In choosing Stevie's masterpiece, Brother Ali took us back to his childhood, growing up with listening to Stevie in the house, and then later, as a teenager, buying Stevie albums to bring home and study. During our conversation with him, we got into the musical, social and cultural threads that Songs In the Key of Life  has helped unwind over the years.
More on Songs In the Key of Life

More on Brother Ali

Show Tracklist (all songs fromSongs in the Key of Life unless indicated otherwise):

  • ”Isn’t She Lovely”
  • Brother Ali: All The Beauty In This Whole Life “Own Light (What Hearts are For)”
  • ”Summer Soft”
  • ”I Wish”
  • ”Black Man”
  • ”Pastime Paradise”
  • ”Village Ghettholand”
  • ”Love Is In Need of Love Today”
  • ”Sir Duke”
  • ”Knocks Me Off My Feet”
  • ”Saturn”
  • ”Another Star”
  • ”As”
  • George Michael:  Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael “As Feat Mary J. Blidge”
  • Coolio: Gangsta’s Paradise “Dangerous Minds”
  • Jay-Z: 4:44 “Smile”
  • ”Isn’t She Lovely”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP27: P.J. Morton on Brandy's "Full Moon"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
P.J. Morton

The album: Brandy's Full Moon (2002)

Grammy winning singer/songwriter and producer PJ Morton knows production. A keyboardist and vocalist for Maroon 5, PJ Morton also knows lyrics. And vocals. PJ Morton joined us to share what he knows about Brandy's 2002 Full Moon and why it is for him, a certifiable heat rock.

We talked about the brilliance of producer Rodney Jerkins and what he created on this project, Brandy's prodigious talent as a child actress and singer, the evolution of her voice over time and the respect she rightfully deserves and has earned as a premiere vocalist.
PJ Morton, knows a good album when he hears one.  Check out this week's episode to find out more and also check out Gumbo Unplugged, his latest album.

More on Full Moon

More on P.J. Morton

Show Tracklist (all songs from Full Moon unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Full Moon”
  • PJ Morton: Emotions “How We Were (Remix)”
  • PJ Morton: Gumbo “Religion”
  • Ashanti: Ashanti “Foolish”
  • Truth Hurts: Truthfully Speaking “Addictive”
  • Usher: 8701 “U Don’t Have To Call”
  • Glenn Lewis: World Outside My Window “Don’t You Forget It”
  • Amerie: All I Have “Why Don’t We Fall In Love”
  • Kim Burrell: Everlasting Life “I’ll Keep Holding On”
  • Brandy: Brandy “Brokenhearted”
  • Brandy: Never Say Never “Top of the World Feat. Mase”
  • “It’s Not Worth It”
  • “What About Us”
  • Aaliyah: One In A Million “One In A Million”
  • “He Is”
  • “When You Touch Me”
  • “What About Us”
  • “Die Without You Feat. Ray-J”
  • PM Dawn: Boomerang “Die Without You”
  • “It’s Not Worth It”
  • “Full Moon”
  • “Like This”
  • SWV: It’s About Time “It’s About Time”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP26: Jack Davey on Digable Planets' "Reachin'"

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Jack Davey

The album: Digable Planets: Reachin' (1993)

Miss Jack Davey's contribution to LA's alternative soul scene began over a decade ago with her work as one half of the group J*Davey. Their debut project, "The Beauty In Distortion" a mix of punk, funk, synth and soul, was a must have for tastemakers and made a splash both in Los Angeles and around the world. When she's not writing songs and producing, she can be found at a myriad of cool spots around the city, spreading the good news of good music as a DJ and selector.
Davey wanted to get into Digable Planets' debut album, now celebrating its 25th anniversaryReachin' (a new refutation of time and space). Coming out at the height of hip-hop's love affair with jazz, Reachin' has been lauded as "an album about freedom—from convention, from oppression, from the limits imposed by the space-time continuum."
We had a chance to talk with Davey about Digable Planets' "Rebirth of Slick" and its cool factor, Brooklyn and its relationship to the album, Ladybug Mecca's butter voice, and what's it's like to be cool and not know it.

More on Reachin'

More on Jack Davey and J*Davey

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Reachin' unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Rebirth of Slick”
  • Georgia Anne Muldrow: Olesi: Fragments of an Earth “Wrong Way”
  • Sy Smith: The Syberspace Social “Aquarius Rising”
  • Sa-Ra: The Hollywood Recordings “Glorious”
  • Flying Lotus: Los Angeles “Roberta Flack (Feat Dolly)”
  • Dam-Funk: Toeachizown “Searching 4 Funk’s Future”
  • J*Davey: The Beauty in Distortion / The Land of the Lost “No More”
  • “La Femme Fetal”
  • Guru: Jazzmatazz “Loungin’”
  • Young Deciples: Road To Freedom “As We Come (To Be)”
  • “Jimmi Diggin Cats”
  • Digable Planets: Blowout Comb “Graffiti”
  • “Where I’m From”
  • Fugees: The Score “Fu-Gee-La”
  • UTD: Manifest Destiny “Manifest Destiny”
  • “What Cool Breezes Do”
  • “Last of the Spiddyocks”
  • “Swoon Units”
  • “Escapism (Getting Free)”
  • “Nickel Bags”
  • E-40: My Ghetto Report Card “Yay Area”
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP25: Denaun "Mr." Porter on A Tribe Called Quest's "Low End Theory" (1991)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Denaun Porter

The album: A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (1991)

Producer/MC Denaun Porter aka Mr. Porter has been in the hip-hop scene for over two decades. He has some impressive credits under his belt, producing songs that combined have sold almost 100 million records. He has worked with some of the industries top-talent including Eminem, 50 Cent, SnoopDog, Shakira, Bad Meets Evil, and many more. He is also one of the founding members of the chart-topping Detroit hip-hop group D12. It was none other than ATCQ's "Bonita Applebaum" that inspired Mr. Porter to get into hip-hop and not surprisingly, when we invited him to the show, he wanted to talk about one of the all-time great hip-hop albums: ATCQ's sophomore effort, Low End Theory. 

During our convo, we discussed the production techniques and sample choices, how good the album's sequencing was, and why Q-Tip and the late Phife Dawg went together like peanut butter and jelly. We also got into the fight-provoking question of: Low End Theory or Midnight Marauders?

More on A Tribe Called Quest and Low End Theory

More on Denaun Porter

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Low End Theory unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Scenario”
  • “Denaun Porter: Porter Shops Glasper “jUsT 4 dA hAwAiI eVeNiNg
  • “D12: Devil’s Night: “Purple Hills”
  • “Excursions”
  • “Cannonball Adderley: The Black Messiah “The Steam Drill”
  • “Jackie Jackson: Jackie Jackson “Is it Him or Me”
  • “Queen Latifah: Nature of a Sister “Latifah’s Had It Up to Here”
  • “MC Lyte: Act Like You Know “Act Like You Know”
  • “Skypager”
  • “Check The Rhime”
  • “The Infamous Date Rape”
  • “What?”
  • “Jazz (We’ve Got This)”
  • ““Buggin Out”
  • “Migos: Culture II “Motorsport Feat. Cardi B and Nicki Minaj”
    “Butter”
  • “Weather Report: Mr. Gone “Young and Fine”
  • “A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders “Lyrics to Go”
  • “Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Buhaina“A Chant for Bu”
  • “Everything is Fair”
  • If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    EP24: Brian "B+" Cross on Freestyle Fellowship's "To Whom It May Concern" (1991)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Brian Cross

    The album: Freestyle Fellowship: To Whom It May Concern (1991)

    Brian Cross, better known to most as B+, is one of the most important photographers of the hip-hop generation to ever emerge out of the West Coast. A transplant from Ireland to California, Cross began documenting the L.A. rap community throughout the late '80s and early '90s, producing one of the great books about the region's hip-hop scene, It's Not About a Salary. He's also a founding partner of the music/events organization Mochilla. Just this year, Cross finally published his first book reflecting on his career in photography, Ghost Notes: Music of the Unplayed. For his episode with Heat Rocks, Cross took us back to 1991 and the release of To Whom It May Concern, one of the greatest West Coast hip-hop albums of all time...and one that most people never got to hear back in the day because of its limited distribution at the time. Better late than never; don't keep sleeping.

    More on Freestyle Fellowship and To Whom It May Concern

    More on Brian "B+" Cross

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from To Whom It May Concern unless indicated otherwise):

    • ”Here I Am”
    • Cypress Hill: Cypress Hill “How I could Just Kill A Man”
    • AMG: Bitch Betta Have My Money “Bitch Betta Have My Money”
    • ”Good Life”
    • ”7th Seal”
    • ”120 Seconds”
    • ”Jupiter’s Journey”
    • ”For No Reason”
    • ”We Are The Freestyle Fellowship”
    • ”Sunshine Men”
    • ”Dedications”
    • Ornette Coleman: This Is Our Music “Humpty Dumpty”
    • ”5 o’Clock Follies”
    • Gang Starr: No More Mr. Nice Guy ”Manifest”
    • Jon Hendricks: Freddie Freeloader “Freddie Freeloader”
    • ”Convolutions”
    • ”7th Seal”
    • ”Legal Alien”
    • ”We Will Not Tolerate”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    EP23: DJ Monalisa on D'Angelo's "Brown Sugar" (1995)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Monalisa

    The album: D'Angelo: Brown Sugar (1995)

    DJ Monalisa Murray is an O.G. on the L.A. scene, having made the transition from working in marketing and promotion for record labels to working for herself as one of the Southland's premier selectors, down with everyone from Umoja Hi-Fi Soundsystem, to Footlong Development, to the KPL All-Stars. For her album choice, she wanted to spin us back to the emergence of D'Angelo and his debut album, Brown Sugar. We talked about how D'Angelo struck a different note than R&B in that era, how his style played to and against hip-hop, and just what exactly "brown sugar" refers to. Spicy. 

    More on D'Angelo and Brown Sugar

    More on DJ Monalisa

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Brown Sugar unless indicated otherwise):

    • “Brown Sugar”
    • “Jonez In My Bones”
    • Billy Preston: Music is my Life “Will it Go Round in Circles”
    • ”Cruisin
    • D’Angelo: Voodoo “Feel Like Making Love”
    • ”Me And Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine”
    • J Dilla: A.K.A. J. Yancey “Me And Those Dreaming Eyes of Mine [Remix]”
    • ”Shit, Damn, Motherfucker”
    • ”When We Get By”
    • ”Alright”
    • Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers “Brown Sugar”
    • D’Angelo: “She’s Always In My Hair”
    • D’Angelo: Black Messiah “Really Love”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    EP22: Ishmael Butler on Lightnin' Rod's "Hustlers Convention" (1973)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Ishmael Butler

    The album: Lightnin' Rod: Hustlers Convention (1973)

    Ishmael Butler aka Butterfly of Digable Planets aka one-half of Shabazz Palaces joined us to take us on a trip back to the blaxploitation era and one of the greatest soundtracks-in-search-of-a-movie: Hustlers Convention, the spoken word/funk album by Jalal Nuriddin of The Last Poets. Backed up musicians that included Kool and the Gang, Eric Gale and others, Hustlers Convention took listeners on a trip into the world of pimps, players, police and other street characters in a vivid, cinematic story that would go onto inspire rappers the world over.

    More on Lightnin' Rod and Hustlers Convention

    More on Ishmael Butler

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Hustler's Conventionunless indicated otherwise):

    • ”Sport”
    • Digable Planets: Reaching’”The Rebirth of Slick”
    • Curtis Mayfield: Superfly “Superfly”
    • ”Hamhock’s Hall Wa Big”
    • ”Spoon”
    • ”The Shit Hits The Fan Again”
    • ”The Break Was So Loud It Hushed The Crowd”
    • ”Sentenced To The Chair”
    • ”Brother Hominy Grit”
    • Shabazz Palace: Lese Majesty “Forerunner Foray”
    • Dr. Dre: Deep Cover “Deep Cover Feat. Snoop Dogg”
    • Raekwon: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx”Heaven & Hell”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks EP21: Pharoahe Monch on Main Source's "Breaking Atoms" (1991)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Pharoahe Monch

    The album: Main Source: Breaking Atoms (1991)

    MC extraordinaire Pharoahe Monch was no stranger to the trio known as Main Source (Large Professor + DJs K-Cut and Sir Scratch) back in the early '90s: Monch and Large Professor came up under the tutelage of the same mentor: producer Paul C. Though C was tragically murdered in 1989, both his proteges would go onto have banner years in '91 as Large Professor saw Main Source's Breaking Atoms released to critical fanfare while Monch enjoyed the same just a couple of months later when he and Prince Po released their debut, self-titled LP as Organized Konfusion.

    Monch sat down with us to talk about the experience of buying Breaking Atoms on tape from Hot Waxx in Queens and having it blow his mind on that first listen as well as what he's learned from the album in the 25+ years since. Listen to this episode live at your BBQ...

    More on Main Source and Breaking Atoms

    More on Pharoahe Monch

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Breaking Atoms unless indicated otherwise):

    • “Large Professor”
    • Pharoahe Monch: Internal Affairs “Simon Says”
    • “Vamos A Rapiar”
    • “Looking At The Front Door”
    • “Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball”
    • Lou Donaldson: Pretty Things Pot Belly”
    • “Just Hanging Out”
    • The Honeydrippers: "Impeach The President"
    • Sister Nancy: One, Two “Bam Bam”
    • Jesse Anderson: Thomas “Mighty Mighty”
    • “Peace Is Not The Word To Play”
    • “He Got So Much Soul”
    • Bob James: One “Nautilus”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP20: King on Outkast's "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below"

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    King

    The album: Outkast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)

    The Grammy nominated ladies of King are Anita Bias alongside sisters Amber and Paris Strother and it seems only right to have a super-sized guest talk about a super-sized album: Outkast's massive double LP from 2003: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Amongst other topics, we talked about how each of the three women first crossed paths with Outkast, what the group meant for the rise of the South in the 1990s, and revisited the endless debate over whether this as an Outkast album or a pair of Big Boi/Andre 3000 solo albums packaged together.

    More on Outkast and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

    More on King

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below unless indicated otherwise):

    • “Ghetto Musick”
    • KING: The Story “The Story”
    • KING: The Story “Supernatural”
    • Outkast: ATLiens “Elevators (Me & You)”
    • “My Favorite Things”
    • “Reset”
    • “Where Are My Panties”
    • Outkast: Aquemini “Spottieottiedopalicious”
    • Dungeon Family: Even In Darkness “Trans DF Express”
    • “Pink & Blue”
    • “Prototype”
    • “Unhappy”
    • “Tomb of the Boom”
    • “Church”
    • “Knowing”
    • “The Rooster”
    • “She Live In My Lap”
    • “Draculas Wedding”
    • “Hey Ya!”
    • “Love Hater”
    • “Happy Valentines Day”
    • “Take Off Your Cool”
    • “A Day IN The Life of Benjamin Andre (Incomplete)”
    • “Spread”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 19: Bardo Martinez on Eugene McDaniels' "Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse" (1971)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Bardo Martinez

    The album: Eugene McDaniels: Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse (1971)

    When we approached Bardo Martinez of Chicano Batman, we figured he'd go with a left-field album choice and he did not disappoint. Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse was a cult LPs for years, one of the most overtly political albums of the entire '70s (least of all on Atlantic Records!) and might have been wholly forgotten if not for '90s hip-hop producers rediscovering it and using it as sample fodder. However, all groovy groove aside, Headless Heroes is also an astonishing album in regards to McDaniels' explicit politics regarding everything from the U.S. treatment of Native Americans to blue eyed minstrels to Watergate. It was supposedly blacklisted by no less than the Vice President of the U.S. (Spiro Agnew). As Chicano Batman are no strangers to merging message and music, it was the perfect LP for Bardo and us to dig into, least of all in this current political moment.

    More on Eugene McDaniels and Headless Heroes

    More on Bardo Martinez and Chicano Batman

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Headless Heroes unless indicated otherwise):

    • “Jagger The Dagger”
    • Chicano Batman: “Freedom is Free” Freedom Is Free
    • “The Parasite”
    • “Supermarket Blues”
    • “Lovin Man”
    • John Lennon: “Instant Karma”
    • Gene McDaniels: “Tower of Strength” Tower of Strength
    • Eddie Harris & Les McCann: “Compared to What” Swiss Movement
    • Eugene McDaniels: “Cherrystones” Outlaw
    • “Susan Jane”
    • “Freedom Death Dance”
    • Eddie Harris: “Freedom Jazz Dance” The In Sound
    • “The Lord Is Back”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    EP18: Frannie Kelley on TLC's "CrazySexyCool" (1994)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Frannie Kelley

    The album: TLC's CrazySexyCool (1994)

    Frannie Kelley, alongside Ali Shaheed Muhammed, hosts the Microphone Check podcast and when we invited her onto our show, she wanted to talk about one of her formative musical experiences as a teenager: TLC's sophomore album, CrazySexyCool. The three of us talked about how TLC shaped adolescent ideas about sexuality and femininity, how the group repped the hip-hop South at a time when that was just becoming to be recognized nationally, and how the group had one of the more underrated liner notes font game going on.

    More on TLC's CrazySexyCool

    More on Frannie Kelley

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from CrazySexyCool unless indicated otherwise):

    • “Intro-Lude”
    • “Red Light Special”
    • Brandy: Waiting To Exhale “Sittin Up In My Room”
    • Brandy: Brandy “I Wanna Be Down”
    • “Switch”
    • “Waterfalls”
    • “Something Wicked This Way Comes”
    • “Sexy(Interlude)”
    • “Can I Get A Witness (Interlude)”
    • “If I Was Your Girlfriend”
    • Prince: Sign ‘O’ The Times “If I was Your Girlfriend”
    • “Creep”
    • “Diggin On You”
    • “Take Our Time”
    • TLC: FanMail “No Scrubs”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks EP17: Vernon Reid on Jimi Hendrix's "Band of Gypsys" (1970)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Vernon Reid

    The album: Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys (1970)

    Vernon Reid is one of rock's greatest guitarists, having rising to stardom in the 1980s as a member of Living Colour. It's not surprising, therefore, that he'd choose an album by one of rock's other great guitarists: Jimi Hendrix and his final album, Band of Gypsys, recorded live at the Fillmore East and released in the spring of 1970. Reid gave us an amazing lesson into what exactly made Hendrix so brilliant, least of all on this album.

    More on Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys

    More on Vernon Reid

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Band of Gypsys unless indicated otherwise):

    • Message of Love
    • Jimi Hendrix on The Dick Cavett Show
    • Jimi Hendrix: Star Spangled Banner
    • Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced?
    • Machine Gun
    • Power to Love/Power of Soul
    • Who Knows
    • Them Changes
    • Living Colour: Power of Soul
    • Jimi Hendrix: Stop

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks EP16: Bahamadia on the Kay-Gee's "Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan" (1974)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Bahamadia

    The album: The Kay-Gee's: Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan (Gang, 1974)

     

    We invited Philly hip-hop star Bahamadia to join us and she kept things tri-state by picking the 1974 debut album by New Jersey's The Kay-Gee's, originally an off-shoot of Kool and the Gang. The Kay-Gee's may not be household names in the same manner as Kool and the Gang or the Ohio Players but especially on this debut, they cooked up an impressively diverse and surprisingly eclectic set of tracks that defy simple expectation. What other band ends their album with their own "greatest hits montage"?

    More on the Kay-Gee's Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan

    More on Bahamadia

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan unless indicated otherwise):

    • “Who’s the Man (With The Master Plan)”
    • Bahamadia: Kollage “Wordplay”
    • The Trammps: Disco Inferno “Disco Inferno”
    • MFSB: Love Is The Message“Love Is The Message”
    • James Brown: Getting’ Down To It“Cold Sweat”
    • Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band:Express Yourself “Express Yourself”
    • Parliament: Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome “Flashlight”
    • “Wondering”
    • “My Favorite Song”
    • The Floaters: Float On “Float On”
    • Cameo: We All Know Who We Are “Why Have I Lost You”
    • “Aint No Time (pt 1)”
    • You’ve Got To Keep on Bumpin”
    • “Who’s The Man (With The Master Plan)”
    • Madlib and J-Dilla: Champion Sound Jaylib (The Official)
    • Tom Browne: Funkin For Jamaica “Funkin for Jamaica”
    • “Get Down”
    • “Anthology”
    • Double Dee and Stein: Lesson 3“History of Hip-Hop Mix”
    • “Hustle with Every Muscle”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 15: Kris Bowers on Kendrick Lamar's "Section.80" (2011)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Kris Bowers

    The album: Kendrick Lamar: Section.80 (Top Dawg, 2011)

    To talk about Kendrick Lamar's studio LP debut, we wanted to find someone of K-Dot's generation, another L.A. young gun, and who better than pianist and composer, Kris Bowers? Like Kendrick, Kris grew up in L.A. and just as Kendrick has ascended the hip-hop ladder, so has Kris in jazz, as he won the prestigious Theolonious . But more than that, the web of Los Angeles musical ties was bound to bring the two into orbit in different ways - something we discuss in the episode - not the least of which is the fact that Kris covered one of the biggest tracks in Kendrick's early career: "Rigamortis."

    In our conversation with Kris, we got deep into how he put together both the song and video for his version of "Rigamortis," whether or not Kendrick has a jazz sensibility in his style, and what it's like to see a hometown kid become the Greatest Rapper Alive.

    More on Kendrick Lamar's Section.80

    More on Kris Bowers

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Section.80 unless indicated otherwise):

    • "A.D.H.D."
    • Kris Bowers: "Rigamortis (Kendrick Lamar Cover)"
    • Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City "m.A.A.D. city"
    • MURS: Captain California "GBKW"
    • Dr. Dre: The Chronic “Dre Day”
    • A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory “Jazz (We’ve Got This)”
    • "High Power"
    • "Rigamortis"
    • "Keisha’s Song"
    • Kendrick Lamar: “Sing About Me”
    • "Ab-Souls Outro"
    • "Kush & Corinthians"
    • Willie Jones III: The Next Phase “The Thorn”
    • Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly “If These Walls Could Talk”
    • Chapter Six

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 14: Bosco on Erykah Badu's "Mama's Gun"

    | 0 comments
    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Bosco

    The album: Erykah Badu: Mama's Gun (Motown, 2000)

    Bosco was an artist that Morgan knew, from jump, she wanted to get on the show. A Savannah native who's now an L.A. transplant (by way of Atlanta), Bosco's been steady climbing the ranks in the music game and has had a breakout year in 2017, especially wiht the release of her full-length, b.

    For her pick, Bosco wanted to revisit one of the formative albums that shaped her imagination as a kid: Erykah Badu's sophomore album: Mama's Gun. If Baduizm helped put Badu on the map, Mama's Gun - which was produced by the same Soulquarian team also working on D'Angelo's Voodoo and Common's Like Water For Chocolate - firmly established her as the preeminent queen of what was then called neo-soul and these days seems better described as future soul. Our conversation touched on many aspects of how Badu and her sound landed on people's ears back at the turn of the century and how it continues to reverberate today.

    More on Erykah Badu's Mama's Gun

    More on Bosco

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Mama's Gun unless indicated otherwise):

    • ”Bag Lady”
    • Bosco: b. “Castles”
    • Erykah Badu: Baduizm “Apple Tree”
    • ”Other Side Of The Game”
    • The Roots: Things Fall Apart “You’ve Got Me ft. Erykah Badu and Jill Scott Live”
    • Res: How I Do “How I Do”
    • ”Cleva”
    • SZA: Ctrl “Normal Girl”
    • ”Time’s A Wastin”
    • ”…&On”
    • ”Didn’t Cha Know”
    • Bosco: b. “Free”
    • ”Penitentiary Philosophy”
    • ”A.D. 2000”
    • ”Orange Tree”
    • …&On
    • ”Kiss Me ON My Neck”
    • ”Booty”
    • ”Green Eyes”
    • ”In Love With You Ft. Stephen Marley”
    • Erykah Badu: “I’ve Been Going Through it All”
    • ”Orange Tree”
    • …&On
    • ”Kiss Me ON My Neck”
    • ”Booty”
    • ”Green Eyes”
    • ”In Love With You Ft. Stephen Marley”
    • Erykah Badu: Erykah Badu “Amerykahn Promise”

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 13: Jay Smooth on Run DMC's "Raising Hell" (1986)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Jay Smooth

    The album: Run DMC: Raising Hell (Profile, 1986)

     

    Jay Smooth was always on our list of "people who we gotta get for Heat Rocks." His cultural and political commentary, much of which he does through his pioneering Ill Doctrine videos, have positioned him as one of the hip-hop generation's leading pundits and he's also hosted one of the longest running rap shows in the world: The Underground Railroad on WBAI.

    For this show, Jay wanted to revisit Raising Hell a paradigm-shifting rap album that, as we discuss, has seemingly become underrated through the passage of time though it is unquestionably one of the most important hip-hop releases, ever. We get into the moment in which Run DMC first arrived, how they changed the game for rap artists (for better and for worse) and of course, all our fire track and sleeper jam picks off this LP.

    More on Run DMC's Raising Hell

    More on Jay Smooth

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Raising Hell unless indicated otherwise):

    • Walk This Way
    • Run DMC: Sucker MCs
    • Run DMC: It's Like That
    • Raising Hell
    • Eric B. and Rakim: I Ain't No Joke
    • It's Tricky
    • Peter Piper
    • Bob James: Mardi Gras
    • Dumb Girl
    • Is It Live?
    • My Adidas
    • Proud to Be Black
    • You Be Illin'
    • NWA: Straight Outta Compton
    • Run DMC: Tougher Than Leather
    • Aretha Franklin: I Never Loved a Man
    • Jay-Z: Jockin' Jay-Z

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    EP12: "The Prequel Episode" feat. Loren Kajikawa on Dr. Dre's "The Chronic"

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Loren Kajikawa

    The album: Dr. Dre: The Chronic (Interscope, 1992)

    This is a special "prequel" episode, originally taped in December of 2016. Back then, Heat Rocks was just a mere glint in the eye Morgan and Oliver. All we had was a basic concept: how about a podcast devoted to doing deep dives into an album? We invited Univ. of Oregon musicologist Loren Kajikawa, author of Sounding Race In Rap Songsto help us tackle one of the most important albums of the last 25 years: Dr. Dre's The Chronic, which just so happens to celebrate its 25th release anniversary today (hence why we timed to put it out now).

    For our listeners, you'll notice that while this episode shares some familiar aspects with our regular Heat Rocks shows, there are some differences. For one, we hadn't come up with our format yet, especially in having our guests pick a hot track, sleeper jam, etc. We had also toyed with a little "Context" section - complete with its own jingle! - that we eventually abandoned because it was superfluous (Oliver did have fun making the jingle though). But overall, we think you can easily see the seed of Heat Rocks even in this very early attempt. Hope you all enjoy it and we're so happy to finally share this, one year later.

    More on Dr. Dre's The Chronic:

    More on Loren Kajikawa

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from The Chronic unless indicated otherwise):

    • Fuck Wit Dre Day
    • Nuthin' But a G Thang
    • Leon Haywood: I Want To Do Something Freaky To You
    • Public Enemy: Bring Da Noise
    • Above the Law: Livin' Like Hustlers
    • Let Me Ride
    • The Roach
    • NWA: Niggaz 4 Life (From Efil4zaggin)
    • Lyrical Gangbang (feat. Lady of Rage and Kurupt)
    • Stranded On Death Row (feat. Kurupt and Snoop Dogg)
    • Rat-A-Tat-Tat
    • Dr. Dre: Deep Cover (feat. Snoop Dogg, from Deep Cover OST)
    • Tupac and Snoop Dogg: Amerikaz Most Wanted
    • The Day the Niggaz Took Over
    • Bitches Ain't Shit

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 11: Suzi Analogue on Missy Elliott's "Da Real World" (1999)

    | 0 comments
    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Suzi Analogue

    The album: Missy Elliott: Da Real World (Elektra, 1999)

    Artist and producer Suzi Analogue originally hails from Missy Elliott's native state of Virginia though these days, she's rooted in Los Angeles, having come up within the city's beat scene. Suzi wanted to talk about what she described as the "underdog" album, Missy's enormously successful yet somewhat forgotten sophomore album, Da Real World, one in a string of five back-to-back platinum LPs for Missy and her production partner, Timbaland. We talked about Missy's creative genius and what that meant for a young girl, growing up in VA.

    More on Missy Elliott and Da Real World:

    More on Suzi Analogue

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Da Real World unless indicated otherwise):

    • All In My Grill
    • Suzi Analogue: Wildflower (from Zonez V3)
    • Mr. DJ
    • Missy Elliott: The Rain (from Supa Dupa Fly)
    • You Don't Know (feat. Lil Mo)
    • Stickin' Chickens (feat. Aaliyah)
    • Timbaland and Magoo: Up Jumps the Boogie (from Welcome To Our World)
    • Timbaland and Magoo: Clock Strikes (from Welcome To Our World)
    • Bus A Rhyme (feat. Eminem)
    • Crazy Feelings (feat. Beyonce)
    • U Can't Resist (feat. BG and Juvenile)
    • She's a Bitch
    • Beat Biters
    • We Did It

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    EP10: B.Slade on Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation 1814" (Recorded live!)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    B.Slade

    The album: Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation 1814 (A&M, 1989)

    This episode is the edited version of our special live launch party we held on Nov. 11 in Los Angeles, as part of the Voyager Institute. We were joined by Grammy-nominated soul artist B.Slade, a self-described "Rhythm Nation-pedia" who, indeed, brought incredible insight and knowledge to our discussion of this seminal Jackson LP. How many people can name every single dancer in Janet's "Miss You Much" video? Exactly.

    It was a delightful conversation and having the live audience was great. It was our first time taping in front of an audience but hopefully won't be our last. Thanks to all those who came out and to those who couldn't, we're happy you finally get to listen to this.

     

    More on Janet Jackson and Rhythm Nation 1814:

    More on B.Slade:

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Rhythm Nation unless indicated otherwise):

    • Intro from "Rhythm Nation"
    • "Interlude: T.V."
    • B.Slade: Alright 2016
    • "Knowledge"
    • "Interlude: Livin'...In Complete Darkness"
    • "You Need Me" (b-side of the "Miss You Much" single)
    • "Miss You Much"
    • "Alright"
    • Beyonce: "Freedom"
    • "Rhythm Nation"
    • "Miss You Much"
    • "Love Will Never Do"
    • "Someday Is Tonight"
    • "Living In a World They Didn't Make"
    • DeBarge: "Love Me In a Special Way"
    • The Carpenters: "Close To You"

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 9: The Shacks on The Sapphires' "Best Of" (1960s)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    The Shacks

    The album: The Sapphires: Best Of (Heritage, 1994)

    This week, we are joined by The Shacks, the NYC-based duo of singer Shannon Wise and producer Max Shrager. Maybe you heard their cool cover of The Kinks' "This Strange Effect" on that Apple ad this fall? Or maybe you were already up on them from their EP, released by Big Crown? Either way, Max and Shannon threw us a curveball with their choice: a 1994 compilation of nearly two dozen sides recorded in the mid-1960s by The Sapphires, the obscure-ish R&B trio of Carol Jackson, George Gainer and Joe Livingston that recorded with Swan and ABC-Paramount before dissolving circa 1966. We talked about the unique sound of The Sapphires, the roots of Philly soul, and what it's like to dig through the crates to figure out your own sound.

    This episode was both the first time we had a group in the studio, which was fun, and the first time we tackled an album from the 1960s. Hopefully, it won't be the last, for either.

    More on The Sapphpires and their Best Of anthology:

    More on The Shacks:

    Show Tracklisting:

    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Who Do You Love"
    • The Shacks: The Shacks EP "This Strange Effect"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Lets Break Up For A While"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Gotta Have Your Love"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Evil One"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Come On And Love Me"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Your True Love"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Evil One"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Your True Love"
    • Edison Lighthouse: Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Hearts Are Made to be Broken"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "I've Got Mine, You Better Get Yours"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Evil One"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Who Do You Love"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Slow Fizz"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Baby You've Got Me"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Hearts Are Made To Be Broken"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Let Break Up For A While"
    • The Sapphires: The very Best of the Sapphires "Gotta Have Your Love"

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 8: Ernest Hardy on Sade's "Love Deluxe" (1992)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Ernest Hardy

    The album: Sade: Love Deluxe (Epic., 1992)

    This week, we are joined by cultural critic Ernest Hardy. Oliver first got to know Ernest through his remarkable writing in the LA Weekly and other outlets, some of which has been compiled into his Blood Beats Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 collections. For this episode, he chose Sade's Love Deluxe, which came out 25 years ago this fall. Ernest's deep love and appreciation for Sade was readily apparent to both Morgan and Oliver and it produced what we think is one of the most insightful episodes we've taped thus yet. We really loved this episode, we hope you do too.

    More on Sade and Love Deluxe:

    More on Ernest Hardy:

    Show Tracklisting:

    • Sade: No Ordinary Love
    • Massive Attack: Blue Lines
    • Smith and Mighty: Too Late
    • Sade: King of Sorrow
    • Sade: Pearls
    • Funk Brothers: Since I Lost You (Instrumental)
    • Sade: Cherish the Day
    • Sade: Feel No Pain
    • Sade: When Am I Going to Make a Living
    • Sade: Clean Heart
    • Sade: Pearls (Live, Hollywood Bowl)
      Sade: Bulletproof Soul
    • Sade: Somewhere In My Sadness
    • Sade: Kiss of Life

    (Also, this episode was edited by co-host Oliver Wang!)
    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 7: Anil Dash on Prince's "1999" (1982)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Anil Dash

    The album: Prince: 1999 (Warner Bros., 1982)

    This week, we are joined by Anil Dash, the tech entrepreneur and activist whose love for The Purple One is legendary. He takes us into the Heat Rocks deep dive for Prince's 1999, the album that marked his new wave turn. All three of us share tales of our older family members being scandalized by the sexy-sexiness on the album. Mmmmmm...spicy. 

    More on Prince and 1999:

    More on Anil Dash:

    Show Tracklisting:

    • Prince: 1999 "1999"
    • Prince: 1999 "Delirious"
    • Prince: 1999 "D.M.S.R."
    • Michael Jackson Thriller "Thriller"
    • Prince: 1999 "Little Red Corvette"
    • Prince: 1999 "Lady Cab Driver"
    • Prince: 1999 "Something in the Water"
    • Prince: 1999 "Free"
    • Prince: 1999 "All The Critics Love U in New York"

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 6: Ill Camille on Common's "Like Water For Chocolate" (2000)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Ill Camille

    The album: Common: Like Water For Chocolate (MCA, 2000)

    This week, we are joined by Los Angeles rapper, Ill Camille. She picked Common's Like Water For Chocolate from 2000, a moment that marked the Chicago's turn towards becoming a hip-hop elder statesman, backed by the production might of the Soulquarians crew. Camille's love for the album runs deep and during the course of our taping, she'd bust out Common's rhymes, line for line.

    More on Common and Like Water For Chocolate:

    More on Ill Camille:

    Show Tracklisting:

    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "6th Sense (Feat. Bilal)"
    • Ill Camille Heirloom "Black Gold"
    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Nag Champa (Afrodisiac for the World)"
    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Geto Heaven"
    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "A Song For Assata (Feat. Cee-Lo Green)"
    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Funky For You (Feat. Bilal & Jill Scott)"
    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "The Light"
    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Thelonius (Feat. Slum Village)"
    • Georgia Ann Muldrow: "Untitled/Fantastic Remix"
    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Dooinit"
    • Common: Like Water For Chocolate "Time Travelin (A Tribute to Fela)"

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 5: Dam-Funk on Change's "Miracles" (1982)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Dam-Funk

    The album: Change: Miracles (Atlantic, 1981)

    This week, we are joined by Dam-Funk, Stones Throw recording artist, resident DJ for the legendary Funkmosphere parties and all-around apostle of the boogie. He was one of the very first artists we invited to tape Heat Rocks, back in its pilot stage, and we're very pleased to finally shared the episode in which he took us on a deep trip into Change's Miracles.

    Along the way, we talked about the post-disco, Chic-era of funk and R&B, how Italian and New York musical communities collided on this album, and how a young kid, growing up in Pasadena, would drive up to Mt. Wilson, bumping this on cassette.

    More on Change and Miracles:

    More on Dam-Funk:

    Show Tracklisting:

    • Change: Miracles "Paradise"
    • Dam-Funk: Invite The Lights "Just Ease Your Mind From All Negativity (Feat. Snoop Dogg and Joi Gilliam)"
    • Parliament: Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome "Flash Light"
    • The Bar-Kays: Money Talks "Holy Ghost"
    • Mtune: Juicy Fruit "Juicy Fruit"
    • Chic: Risqué "Good Times"
    • Change: Miracles "Heaven In My Life"
    • Nite Funk: Nite-Funk "Let Me Be ME"
    • Change: Miracles "Miracles"
    • Change: Miracles "Hold Tight"
    • Dam-Funk: A Beautiful Day "A Beautiful Day"
    • Dam-Funk: Adolescent Funk "When I'm With You I Think Of Her"
    • Change: Miracles "On Top"

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP4: Shea Serrano on DMX's "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot" (1998)

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    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Shea Serrano

    The album: DMX: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot (Def Jam, 1998)

    This week, we are joined by Shea Serrano, contributor at TheRinger.com, author of both The Rap Yearbook and the brand new Basketball (And Other Things). For his heat rock, he choose DMX's smash debut LP, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot. *woof*

    During our conversation, we learned how it was Shea's grandmother, of all people, who introduced him to DMX and how that album became the formative soundtrack for him as a teenager. Shea drops wisdom nuggets on the nature of pain in DMX's persona and how this album marked a repudiation of the direction hip-hop was headed in during the jiggy era.

    More on DMX and It's Dark and Hell Is Hot:

    More on Shea Serrano:

    Show Tracklisting:

    • DMX: "Get At Me Dog" It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
    • Mase: "Feel So Good" Money Talks
    • DMX: "Fucking With My Dogs" It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
    • DMX: "Catching The Same Hell"
    • DMX: "Look Thru My Eyes" It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
    • DMX: "Ruff Ryders Anthem" It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
    • DMX: "Prayer" It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
    • DMX Feat. Eve "Dog Match" Let There Be Eve...Ruff Ryders First Lady
    • DMX "Crime Story" It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
    • DMX "For My Dogs" It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
    • 50 Cent "Wanksta"
    • Mase "24 Hours To Live" Harlem World
    • DMX "How's It Goin Down" It's Dark and Hell Is Hot

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!


    11-2-17 Update!

    In our episode, I (Oliver) credited the album for helping introduce Swizz Beats to the wider world. That's true insofar as "The Ruff Ryders Anthem" was one of Swizz's first big hits. However, it's the only song on the entire album that Swizz worked on. Most of the album was produced by Dame Grease and P.K. and in my haste, I didn't do my proper discographic research to give credit where it was properly due.

    Heat Rocks, EP3: Ann Powers on Madonna's "Like a Prayer" (1989)

    | 0 comments
    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Ann Powers

    The album: Madonna: Like a Prayer (Sire, 1989)

    This week, Morgan and Oliver are joined by Ann Powers of NPR Music and author of the new book, Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music. Together, the three dug into Like a Prayer, Madonna's critical breakout album form 1989. As Ann lays out, Madonna had already established herself as an MTV-era mega-star with her previous albums but Like a Prayer, with its then-controversial sexual politics and surprising personal candor, marked a new level of artistic ambition.

    More on Madonna and Like a Prayer

    More on Ann Powers:

    Tracklisting:

    • Madonna: "Like A Prayer" Like A Prayer
    • Madonna: "Like A Virgin" Like A Virgin
    • Madonna: "Till Death Do Us Part" Like A Prayer
    • Madonna: "Express Yourself" Like A Prayer
    • Madonna: "Act Of Contrition" Like A Prayer
    • Madonna: "Love Song" Like A Prayer
    • Prince: "Computer Blue" Purple Rain
    • Madonna: "Cherish" Like A Prayer
    • Madonna: "Dear Jessie" Like A Prayer
    • Madonna: "Promise To Try" Like A Prayer
    • Madonna: "Keep It Together" Like A Prayer

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 2: Phonte on Intro's "Intro" (1993)

    | 0 comments
    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Phonte

    The album: Intro: Intro (Atlantic, 1993)

    This week rapper, producer, and songwriter Phonte (Foreign Exchange, Little Brother) joins Oliver and Morgan to talk about R&B group Intro's 1993 self-titled debut album. The release was part of the changing tide of R&B music, when slow jams were giving way to more uptempo hits and singers were exchanging suits for Timbs and jeans.

    Phonte shares about what Intro's brand of new jack swing meant to him as a teenager learning about life in Greensboro, North Carolina. Don't get him wrong: he was a hardcore hip-hop head, but he grew up both in an R&B household and in the church where singing was a big part of his musical formation. Phonte breaks down the group's influence on his understanding of songwriting, lyrics, and the balance between uptempo and down-tempo songs. He also discusses the album's mature themes, crediting them for helping a young brother's macking game.

    More on Intro

    More on Phonte:

    Tracklisting:

    • Intro: Love Thang
    • Intro: Let Me Be The One
    • Jodeci: Forever My Lady
    • Brick: Dazz (1976)
    • Heavy D & The Boyz: Mr. Big Stuff
    • Jade: Don't Walk Away (1992)
    • A Tribe Called Quest: Award Tour
    • Mary J. Blige - You Don't Have To Worry
    • Intro: Come Inside
    • Intro: Why Don't You Love Me?
    • Intro: Ribbon in the Sky
    • Intro: One of a Kind Love
    • Faith Evans: Reasons
    • Intro: Ecstasy of Love
    • Intro: So Many Reasons
    • Intro: Don't Leave Me
    • Intro: It's All About You
    • Foreign Exchange: If She Breaks Your Heart (feat. Yahzarah)

    If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

    Heat Rocks, EP 1: Joi on Betty Davis' "They Say I'm Different"

    | 0 comments
    Betty Davis/Joi
    Show: 
    Heat Rocks
    Guests: 
    Joi Gilliam

    The album: Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different (Just Sunshine, 1974)

    This was one the pilot episodes we recorded in the spring and when we left the taping, we turned to one another and knew this show had potential.

    The pairing of artist and album came from Morgan and it was inspired: the undersung Betty Davis, one of the most original and fascinating figures of the 1970s, being feted by future soul artist and Dungeon Family-affiliate Joi, an artist very much cut from Betty's cloth but a generation later. We had a fantastic conversation about the importance and uniqueness of Betty and what she's meant, especially, to waves of Black women artists who've followed in her path in the 40+ years since.

    On a personal note, this also meant a lot to Oliver because he's written three sets of liner notes on Betty Davis albums (including They Say I'm Different) and interviewed her extensively as part of that. He forever holds a torch for her.

    More on Betty Davis:

    More on Joi:

    Tracklisting:

    • Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different
    • Joi: Freedom (Pendulum Vibe, 1994)
    • Betty Davis: Git In There
    • Brides of Funkenstein: Party Up In Here (12", 1979)
    • Vicki Anderson: Message From the Soul Sisters (7", 1974)
    • Betty Davis: 70s Blues
    • Betty Davis: Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
    • Ice Cube: Once Upon a Time in the Projects (AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, 1990)
    • Betty Davis: He Was a Big Freak
    • Joi: If I'm In Luck, I Might Get Picked Up (Amoeba Cleansing Syndrome, 1996)
    • Betty Davis: Don't Call Her No Tramp

    Introducing Heat Rocks, coming October 3rd!

    | 0 comments
    Show: 
    Heat Rocks

    Heat Rocks is a brand new podcast from MaxFun, hosted by music writer Oliver Wang and music supervisor Morgan Rhodes. Each episode, we invite a guest to join us - an artist, a writer, a scholar, etc. - to pick out and talk about one of their favorite albums. It's a show about music appreciation and music discovery as we probe some of the most compelling albums from the worlds of hip-hop, soul, dance, jazz, funk and more.

    Listen to a sneak preview of upcoming episodes with special guests Joi, Kris Bowers, and Dam-Funk!

    Subscribe now in Apple Podcasts or wherever you download your podcasts, and catch the premiere episode on Tuesday, October 3rd. New episodes every Tuesday and we'll have full show notes available, right here.

    Be sure to follow us on any and all of the following: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter