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Sound Check's Blog (2,917)

Willow and Jaden Smith are starting a rock band

Usually, when Jaden Smith tweets, I have no idea what is being said. It's gotten to the point where even posts that seem straightforward scare me into thinking I'm losing it, because I'm so not used to making sense of them right away. This is part of the reason why when he tweeted that he, his sister Willow and his actress girlfriend Odessa Adlon were starting a rock band, I had to confirm across multiple sources before actually believing it.…

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Added by Sound Check on April 24, 2017 at 2:21pm — No Comments

Meet Botswana's fearsomely vibrant heavy metal subculture, The MaRock

In recent years, the rocker subculture of Botswana has attracted a lot of international attention. ‘MaRock’, as they are popularly known, have been a part of Botswana’s cultural landscape since the 1970s.



MaRock are known for wearing elaborate outfits, sporting tassels, studs and cowboy boots and hats. Many integrate animal parts, (sculls, teeth, tufts of hide) into their regalia, adding a uniquely local twist to the local rocker mythology.



As the…

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Added by Sound Check on April 24, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Atlanta-based eclectic-soul artist Rahbi shares uplifting acoustic performance of “Better Life”

Stripped down to barebones, Atlanta-based multi-genre artist RAHBI performs acoustic version of his track “Better Life” at Sofar Sounds New York. A sunny, eclectic-soul song about self-love, positivity, and being happy and present in the moment. Channeling some of that otherworldly, almost spiritual calming and radiant energy that artists like Prince regularly tapped into, RAHBI’s bright vocals usher in a wave gratitude. But don’t take my word for it—check out “Better…

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Added by Sound Check on April 24, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

Prince's band The Revolution begins national tribute tour celebrating the late star

Just before the anniversary of the star's death, Prince's former band The Revolution announced a national tour in celebration of the "Purple Rain" singer. This comes after the overwhelming reaction to the surprise announcement of the band's reunion in February.



The Revolution was formed in 1979 by Prince, drummer Bobby Z, and keyboardist Matt Fink. The next four years saw several iterations of the band, until Prince finally settled on a band that could enact his…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 5:30pm — No Comments

How Prince taught me the importance of accepting not knowing everything about gender

"I'm not a woman / I'm not a man / I am something that you'll never understand." – Prince, "I Would Die 4 U"



During his life, I wasn't the biggest Prince fan. I grew up under a very religious Hindu mother and Muslim father, and the music I was exposed to was limited due to their conservative restrictions. To this day, my lack of knowledge around many of the Black cultural markers of my early life still causes me to stand out among my…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Why we need more voices like Nina Simone's in these critical times

Nina Simone was nothing if not unapologetically black. An outspoken and fierce voice in the Civil Rights Movement, her unflinching and unparalleled talent, Nina’s genius and creativity fueled the music and resistance against White Supremacy unlike anyone else, then and now. Protest anthems like "Mississippi Goddam" and "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", encapsulated the rawness and anger, pride and self-love of the times that changed the dialogue and movement really. Now, in…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 11:56am — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Austin hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm takes on the trauma of slavery in haunting video "Mali"

Riders Against the Storm is one of the top hip-hop acts in Austin, setting the hill country ablaze with conscious, community-building music. The husband and wife duo (Chaka and Qi Dada) recently headlined the Pandora House during SXSW, and won top awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016.



Their video for "Mali", released today, tackles the history of slavery, and the spiritual practices Black people used to guide them through it. The video, the title of which is also a play…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Are we entitled to a dead artist's unreleased work? New Prince EP raises old questions

Earlier this week, news broke of a new Prince EP set to drop on the one year anniversary of his death. The title track “Deliverance” streamed on iTunes, and the internet basically exploded. (At least the parts I pay attention to.) Within days, Prince's estate sued to stop the release, and the single was taken down. Allegations of foul play emerged from Prince's camp, with a lawsuit saying the EP's release “deprives Prince (and now the Estate) from choosing what is released…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 10:18am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: West London grime MC Scrufizzer serves straight bars in explosive new single "GreenMan Estate"

Known for his high-octane ad-libs and quick, witty lyricism, West London grime MC Scrufizzer brings his greatest talents to a head in his latest single, "Greenman Estate". The title references West Ealing's Green Man Lane Estate, where the rapper is from, and the explosive track reminds us that this is a place with people you don't play with. The hard-hitting lyrics seem to never let up, with Scrufizzer's quick-fire flow rolling non-stop over a sick, bassline-heavy beat.…

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Added by Sound Check on April 20, 2017 at 3:17pm — No Comments

PREMIERE: SCRAAATCH's Cut Up mix teases Baltimore’s inclusive Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair

Remember when Frank Ocean made everyone watch a live stream of him do construction while his unreleased album played softly in the background? Well this is the opposite of that. Noisey and disorientating, but hang with it! The surprisingly moody mix is a specially curated mix of music based on the upcoming Baltimore event series, The Cut Up Series Part III, Brown Paper Zine and Small Press Fair, taking place next weekend, April 29-30, at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center in… Continue

Added by Sound Check on April 20, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

VIDEO: French soul artist Imany elicits the help of dance star Lil' Buck for hauntingly beautiful video, "Lately"

Internationally renowned French pop-soul singer Imany has just released a brand-new video for "Lately" from her second studio album, The Wrong Kind of War. The surreal video was shot in the ruins of an old courthouse in Dakar, Senegal by Malick Ndiaye, a perfect metaphor for the failed relationship the haunting lyrics of the song describes. "Lately" also features dancing from the wonderfully inventive and famed street dancer Lil’ Buck, who brings the beauty of the…

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Added by Sound Check on April 20, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Electro-soul artist NoMBe releases exciting Pharrell-approved single "Can't Catch Me"

Having already impressed so far this year with the release of the infectious singles "Wait", "Young Hearts" and "Freak Like Me" LA-based singer NoMBe releases yet another hit from his debut album, They Might've Even Loved Me–which he is releasing single by single–in the new song "Can't Catch Me." The track was personally chosen by Pharrell as the official theme song to his HBO documentary series OUTPOST, with the legend stating, "NoMBe makes music for the…

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Added by Sound Check on April 19, 2017 at 4:43pm — No Comments

AP EXCLUSIVE: Death frontman Bobby Hackney talks new single and the immortality of punk rock #SoundCheck

If you don't already know Death, now's a pretty good time to watch A Band Called Death. It's on Netflix. I'll wait. The proto-punk band wrote the book on punk rock in the early 70's, cutting a series of tracks for Columbia records, before the deal fell apart and the band released a few tracks on their own label. The legend of Death spent the better part of 30 years growing, while the Hackney brothers logged time in various other projects, most notably the reggae…

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Added by Sound Check on April 19, 2017 at 11:19am — No Comments

Brazilian metal band Confronto crushes it with unrelenting hardcore sound

Metalheads, check out Brazilian hardcore band, Confronto. The Rio-based group has played all over South America with acts like The Black Dahlia Murder, Sepultura, Walls of Jericho, and more. In the mood to rage? Listen to a few of our favs from their 2013 album ‘Imortal’, below!…

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Added by Sound Check on April 18, 2017 at 3:39pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Punk band The Younger Lovers gives a triumphant, fun (and trippy) ode to the working class with "Whiskey And Water"

The punk rock project The Younger Lovers started in 2003 as the bedroom demo of Brontez Purnell, after he moved to the Bay Area aspiring to become a dancer, writer, and musician. The sound of The Younger Lovers is owed to Purnell's love of all melody based rock forms–indie, Blues, garage, surf, riot-grrrl, soul and punk–blended into a sound that is as unique as it is audacious.



Purnell's varied career has seen him as a part of the…

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Added by Sound Check on April 18, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Gorillaz announce U.S. summer tour with Grace Jones, De La Soul & more

Gorillaz have just announced that they’re headed on tour to support their much-anticipated new album, 'Humanz', out April 28. The tour will see the band’s first in North American shows in seven years and will include stops at this year’s Life Is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas, Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco, the Meadows Music & Arts Festival in New York, and the III Points Festival in Miami, Florida. Gorillaz will also swing through L.A.,…

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Added by Sound Check on April 18, 2017 at 10:50am — No Comments

Solange & Moses Sumney improvise a weed anthem on a Nina Simone track

During her 2015 FYF Fest performance, Solange enlisted the help of Moses Sumney, Dev Hynes, and KING for a cover of Nina Simone’s classic “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”.



Now, the A Seat at the Table singer joins back up with Sumney for another Simone anthem–this time taking to Instagram for a free-styled duet questioning his marijuana abstinence as Simone's “Where Can I Go Without You” plays in the back ground.



The hilarious clip…

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Added by Sound Check on April 17, 2017 at 3:24pm — No Comments

PREMIERE: New York-based soul singer Crystal Monee Hall blends blues, jazz and contemporary R&B in healing new EP "If You Breathe"

New York-based soul singer Crystal Monee Hall’s varied career has included roles on Broadway (RENT), sold-out tours with acclaimed musicians Mickey Hart of Grateful Dead and Dave Schools of Widespread Panic, and performing alongside Kanye West and Chance The Rapper during their debut performance of "Ultralight Beam" on Saturday Night Live. After previously releasing three albums–including two collaborations with Hart–the soulful Virginia native is back…

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Added by Sound Check on April 17, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Brazilian metal band Project Black Pantera serve up punk-infused thrash on “O Último Homem Em Pé” #SoundCheck

Since their first singlees in 2014, Brazil's Project Black Pantera has been serving up the tightest thrash on the scene. Their latest single, “O Último Homem Em Pé” ups the ante with their most musically complex offering to date. Without losing an ounce of their no bullshit approach, the da Gamma brothers deliver their trademark furious riffs shifting time and tempo like a well oiled doomsday device. This is thrash with the soul of punk rock. This is the sound of…

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Added by Sound Check on April 17, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Rockers Oxymorrons reclaim rock-n-roll in a thought-provoking teaser for their upcoming album

Alt-rock band Oxymorron have a new project aimed at making a powerful statement about being viewed as a “black rock band” in genre of music black people themselves created. Through voiceover, a young WOC (featured in the commercial) talks about being the child of immigrants and how rock music was a source of bonding growing up in a multi-cultural household—as if rock-n-roll Specifically highlighting the fact that rock music ain’t just for the white people who adopted… Continue

Added by Sound Check on April 17, 2017 at 10:34am — No Comments

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