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Vampire Warriors

by toddkelley on July 19, 2014

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Artist Spotlight: Massive Attack

by toddkelley on July 3, 2014

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A year ago, I got sick of just doing R&B and Hip-Hop spotlight mixes. i wanted to try something left field– some music that was very influential to me. I remember that feeling of discovered love when I first heard Portishead’s debut album Dummy while on a weekly trip to Tower Records (YES I said Tower Records). The store was featuring the album and playing it over the sound system. That first time I heard “Sour”, changed my life. It was the first time I realized that Hip-Hop (at least musically) didn’t have any rules. Portishead has successfully combined Hip-Hop beats and samples and meshed them with the incredible alternative vocals of Beth Gibbons. This was a new form of music (at least to us in the US). And I sucked up as much as I could.

So I decided I should do a Trip-Hop style Artist Spotlight trilogy. I obviously wanted to focus on Portishead, since they’re one of my favorite bands of all time. Then there was the duo ‘Lamb’ which came to me pretty late. They were definitely Trip-Hoppy, but very unorthodox in their selection of songs. They’re definitely on the list. And last but not least, there’s Massive Attack. I’m starting with them because their the most mainstream group. You might not know them by name, but you’ve definitely heard  their music. Whether it’s the theme song for popular TV shows like “Teardrop” from House, or “Paradise Circus” from Luther, or horror/action trailer themes like “Angel” and “Dissolved Girl”, Massive Attack have made their mark in popular music culture. So let’s kick off the trilogy with Massive Attack as the ambassadors to this sub-genre called Trip-Hop.


01. Teardrop
02. What Your Soul Sings
03. Angel
04. Paradise Circus 05. Lately
06. Black Milk
07. Weather Storm
08. Protection (f/ Everything But The Girl)
09. Sly
10. Be Thankful For What You Got
11. Dissolved Girl
12. Exchange


The Crates 10

by toddkelley on June 29, 2014

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01. The Five Stairsteps – Danger! She’s A Stranger
02. Schoche – Algebrique
03. Ann Peebles – I Can`t Stand The Rain
04. Jerry Butler + Thelma Houston – If You Leave Me Now
05. Ann Peebles — Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness
06. The Mighty Ryders — Evil Vibrations
07. The Deele – Shootem Up Movies
08. The Stylistics – Hurry Up This Way Again
09. Lonnie Liston Smith – A Garden of Peace Pt. 1
10. Norman Connors – I Have a Dream
11. Love Unlimited – If This World Were Mine
12. Dave Grusin – Either Way
13. Bobby Womack – And I Love Her
14. Creative Source – Rainbow On The Ground
15. O.V. Wright – Let’s Straighten It Out
16. Bobby Caldwell – Open Your Eyes


Background Flow 31

by toddkelley on June 13, 2014

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01. Freedom – Warren Xclnce
02. Stoner.Body – Lanzo
03. Hieroglyphes – Everydayz
04. YouKnwLov – Odeeno
05. Tonight – Nooon
06. Currents – Taeo
07. The Tame – Dutchy!
08. ForTheChildren – The Programmer
09. Right Here (REMIX) – Arµ-2
10. Walkthrough – Radj
11. Son of the Drum – Shuffle Jack
12. The Heavens – Go Yama
13. Sunday Drive – Spellworks
14. Dreadlove – ShunGu
15. Sunset – Imagined Herbal Flow
16. Pearls – Wax Mantic
17. Soul Of The World – Chaden
18. Luminessence – Neotip
19. Deeper – Madlib
20. Introspection – Abjo
21. Don’t Stop – Lodek
22. Time Warp – Kwuamie
23. Make You Feel – Alina-Baraz Galimatias

Prototype of Nu-Soul #38

by toddkelley on June 5, 2014

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01. Ah Yeah – Robert Glasper + Musiq Soulchild + Chrisette Michele
02. Postpartum – Taylor McFerrin
03. Try Me – IAMNOBODY + Ego Ella May
04. Underwater – Ego Ella May
05. Telephone (Freddie Joachim Remix) – Erykah Badu
06. Loveaholic – LeXuS + Jonra Amour
07. Nobody (Arµ-2 Flip) – Moonchild
08. Just a Minute – Moonchild
09. Lady In My Life/Say Yes (Live) – Robert Glasper
10. Do Better – Fatima
11. This Is the Lost Generation – The Lost Generation
12. Where Edges Meet – Noel Zancanellla
13. I Won’t Forget – Princess Freesia
14. Missing Love – Princess Freesia

Download Here


#NowPlaying Taylor McFerrin

by toddkelley on June 3, 2014

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#NowPlaying Ida Devine

by toddkelley on May 26, 2014

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Coming Soon: Skyzoo + Torae
Barrel Brothers

by toddkelley on May 19, 2014

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“Barrel Brothers” Album Sampler by Skyzoo & Torae


#NowPlaying Pharoahe Monch

by toddkelley on April 26, 2014

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Music Video:
“Get Right” by Stahhr

by toddkelley on April 23, 2014

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#NowPlaying Princess Freesia

by toddkelley on April 15, 2014

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Soulful Freesia vocals over Soulpersona tracks.  Match made in heaven. And another great album.






#NowPlaying Nas

by toddkelley on April 15, 2014

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20 year anniversary of Nas’ debut release “Illmatic”? The entire album remastered, along with a crap-load of classic remixes? Yessir.



#NowPlaying Snarky Puppy

by toddkelley on April 1, 2014

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#NowPlaying DJ Needles
The Notorious Exchange

by toddkelley on March 29, 2014

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DownloadNappy DJ Needles - The Notorious Exchange - TNE(+FE)trklstSM


De La Soul + J. Dilla present:
Smell The Da.I.S.Y. the Mixtape

by toddkelley on March 26, 2014

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Free Download


Latest Collaboration

by toddkelley on March 17, 2014

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De La Soul – “Dilla Plugged In”
(Produced By J Dilla)

by toddkelley on March 15, 2014

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“It’s been 25 Years since our “Three Feet High” release. We have a lot great memories and an incredible journey. Amazingly enough, our fans stuck around, supported and still want more. Ok, but before you get that, here’s a little De La over Dilla Beats.” — De La Soul

Original Soundcloud post


#NowPlaying De La Soul

by toddkelley on February 28, 2014

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Been tinkering with as De La Soul Artist Spotlight mix for a minute. Almost there. Just got to get that one song to kick it all off. I think ‘Much More’ might be it.


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Hawk House “Live-ation” Video

by toddkelley on February 27, 2014

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#NowPlaying The Wordstress

by toddkelley on February 17, 2014

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Remember when Jill Scott first came out. The distinctive sound she gave us on Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1? Well, that’s the first I get when I listen to Abigail Kwakye‘s mixtape “Jill & Dill”. As you can tell from the name, it’s basically 5 songs with Scott-inspired lyrics over J Dilla beats.

There’s more than a few people who have done this, so it’s hard to stand out, taking this route. The Wordstress sound effortless over each track.  Her EP’s coming Summer 2014. You get yourself aclimated to The Wordstress, and jump over to her website for the free download.

Download Jill & Dill1898350_242687189245450_580915158_o


Be OK: Cupid’s Hunt 2014

by toddkelley on February 15, 2014

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Official Kitchen Rebel / Big La Cupids Hunt Post

This Valentine’s Day was so special. Me and my wife, Kitchen Rebel decided to spend the day in her world. She let me into the kitchen the watch/help her cook our Valentine’s Day meal. She was nice and we did something rarely simple; anti-pasta dish (and was AWESOME!). I also was curious about mixing drinks so we both learned how to make Apetol Spritzers, Italian Grape Sours and Moscow Mules! We were both nice a tipsy. All in all, it was fun actually seeing how incredible she is in the kitchen.

Along with cooking, we participated in the annual Cupid’s Hunt Event–  the release of love-oriented mixes put together by an assortment of Podcasters and Musicians. Coordinated through social media, it’s been one of those cool things we’ve been doing for a few years now.

I after two years (and sitting out a 3rd year), I felt i didn’t have much else to put out for ‘the hunt’, so I was retiring. That is, until my wife decided to join the fray. While I’m more of a ‘do what you feel’ person, she’s my perfect compliment with her meticulous planning, when it comes to projects. She brought in the ideas of concepts and sound byte and we’d intermingle with the tracks. What results is a naked and  unabashed approach to the event.

Last year our concept was “Does Anybody Still Believe in Love?”. This year it’s “Be OK”– a journey through the stages of grief in Love. Not just relationships, but anything that you are attracted to. Enjoy!


  1. Bitter – Chante Moore
  2. Be Ok – Chrisette Michelle
  3. Sometimes You Gotta Let Go – Rahsaan Patterson
  4. Do You Know – Donnie
  5. Millionnaire – Dollar Lova
  6. Fuck You! – CeeLo
  7. Bruised But Not Broken – Joss Stone
  8. Anylove – Luther Vandross
  9. Celebacy Blues – Jill Scott
  10. Beautiful – Joy Jones
  11. Neverland – Quadron
  12. The Moment – Doyle Robinson & Doug Ramsay
  13. I Got Sunshine – Avery
  14. Better Make It Better – Swing Out Sister

Love is madness. Love is pain.
Or you’re not doing it right.
This playlist was about the relationship that dictates my life.. The bane of my existence..
Creativity.. Soul. Purpose.. Love.. However you chose to define passion.
A love that feeds my existence and makes me want to change the world,
Or makes me so sad and hate the world that I don’t want to be in it.
Create or cry. There is no middle ground.
This shit is hard

— Kitchen Rebel



#Favorites: Podcasts (Non Music)

by toddkelley on February 11, 2014

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For those of us who use public transit to get to work, content on demand is a very important thing to have. I commute from Oakland to Walnut Creek during the week days. That’s about two hours of total commute time each day.

Instead of staring out the window and hour each way, it’s nice to have a host of podcasts ready to help me pass the commute time. These days, there are so many podcasts out there, it’s easy to amass 20 hours of content each week to keep you occupied. So I’ve compiled my 10 most listened-to podcasts out of the dozens I’ve subscribed to. 


This Week In Tech

The flagship of Leo LaPorte’s TWIT Network. Basically a ‘panel’ show where he invites 3-4 tech-worthy people to discuss the technology topics of the past week. Clocking in just under 2 hours, it’s a great way to get up to speed on what’s happening in the tech world.

Subscribe at:


IGN Channel Surfing

Eric Goldman and Roth Cornet cover all of the behind the scenes and upcoming television news. This is one of my earliest podcast favorites. I was a little bummed with Eric’s tag team partner, Matt Fowler left the show. But Roth has picked up the slack and vibe’s with Goldman just as well.

Subscribe at:


iFanboy Pick Of The Week

i believe iFanboy’s Pick of the Week was the first podcast I started listening to religiously. The funny thing is at the time I had given up comic books. But i loved to hear these three dudes dissecting art and content from the week’s releases. It’s still the first thing I listen to on Monday mornings.

Subscribe at:



When Tom Merritt made his exit from the TWIT Network, it literally left me without two of my four TWIT podcasts. One of those shows still exists. No disrespect, but it’s just not the same without Merritt at the helm. Luckily, he’s rebooted those two shows on his own website. Cordkillers replaces the excellent yet now defunct Frame Rate. Even with the name change, Tom and Brian Brushwood haven’t lost a step. You need to know what’s going on in the world of folks who’ve gotten rid of their cable? Check it you

Subscribe at:


We’re Alive (Zombie Podcast)

Reminiscent of the days of the radio serial broadcasts, “We’re Alive” is an excellent matinee-style show about life after the zombie apocalypse. Just think ‘The Walking Dead’, without the visuals. But it doesn’t matter. These guys paint an epic picture through audio storytelling that’s at times, more frightening in your mind’s eye. This never-ending story is in it’s forth season and still going strong.

Subscribe at:


Wade Keller Hotline

My love for Professional Wrestling isn’t what it use to be, I don’t watch regularly. But the weird thing is, I need to catch Wade Keller’s wrestling hotline  audio show. He does an impeccable job of covering all the news from inside the ring AND behind the curtain. To get the most out of the audio, you need to subscribe to be a VIP member. But it’s well worth the price.

Subscribe at: 


Fat Man on Batman

I started listening to this because I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith. I was never a ‘batman’ guy. But what makes this podcast so incredible are guests like Neal Adams, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison as they talk about their take on The Dark Knight. #Realtalk, the Neal Adams trilogy alone is worth your time and effort.

Subscribe at:


This Week in (Loni) Love

Loni Love’s one of my favorite comedians. ‘This Week In Love’ has her shooting the sh*t each week about what’s going on in her head and throwing in questions about love. The real draw is your interaction with her guests/friends and how they play off each other. And they don’t hold back on the language so be forewarned

Subscribe at:


MacBreak Weekly

Even though non-iOS Mac news is pretty scarce these days, it’s still great to hear Leo LaPorte, Andy Ihnatko and other guest spend two hours a week talking all about the Mac.

Subscribe at:


Daily Tech News Show

Over at the TWIT Network, there’s a new show-runner at the helm of ‘Tech News Today’. Luckily Tom Merritt started this similar show when he resurfaced on his own network. The format’s the same; discussing the day’s tech headlines with guests. Nothing new. But why mess with a good formula.

Subscribe at:


#NowPlaying Madlib

by toddkelley on February 8, 2014

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I’ve been playing Madlib beats on random all day. Then I came to this goddamn “Ups And Downs” bonus beat on his ‘Deeper’ collabo EP with Freddie Gibbs is so damn dope it makes me angry. If I had the money, I’d pay him a crapload to shadow him on a digging excursion.

Buy/Download Deeper EPDeeper



#NowPlaying Keisha Shontelle

by toddkelley on February 8, 2014

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Came up in iTunes on random play. Dope cut.


Happy Dilla Day

by toddkelley on February 7, 2014

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Early Life

James Yancey was the oldest of four children including a sister (Martha) and two brothers, Earl and John, who later began doing music as Illa J. The family lived in a house near McDougall and Nevada, on the east side of Detroit. He developed a vast musical knowledge from his parents (his mother is a former opera singer and his father was a jazz bassist). According to his mother, he could “match pitch perfect harmony” by “two-months old”, to the amazement of musician friends and relatives. He began collecting vinyl at the age of two and would be allowed to spin records in the park, an activity he enjoyed tremendously as a child.

Along with a wide range of musical genres, Yancey developed a passion for hip hop music. After transferring from Davis Aerospace Technical High School to Detroit Pershing High School, he met classmates T3 and Baatin, and became friends with them through mutual love of rap battles. The three formed a rap group called Slum Village. He also took up beatmaking using a simple tapedeck as the center of his studio. During these teenage years he “stayed in the basement alone” with his ever-growing collection of records, perfecting his craft. He later told Pete Rock when they met years later that “I was trying to be you.”

Early Career

In 1992, he met experienced Detroit musician Amp Fiddler, who was impressed by what Jay Dee was able to accomplish with such limited tools. Amp Fiddler let Jay Dee use his MPC, which he learned quickly. In 1995, Jay Dee and MC Phat Kat formed 1st Down, and would be the first Detroit hip hop group to sign with a major label (Payday Records) – a deal that was ended after one single when the label folded. That same year he recorded ‘Yester Years EP’ with 5 Elementz (a group consisting of Proof, Thyme and Mudd). In the year 1996, he formed the group Slum Village with T3 and Baatin, and recorded the group’s debut, Fan-Tas-Tic (Vol. 1) in his home studio. Being released in 1997, the album quickly became popular with fans of Detroit hip hop, as well as gaining the attention of Q-Tip, who hailed the group as successors to A Tribe Called Quest. However, J Dilla felt uncomfortable with the comparison and often voiced it in several interviews.

“It was kinda fucked up [getting that stamp] because people automatically put us in that [Tribe] category. That was actually a category that we didn’t actually wanna be in. I thought the music came off like that, but we didn’t realize that shit then. I mean, you gotta listen to the lyrics of the shit. Niggas was talking about getting head from bitches. It was like a nigga from Native Tongues never woulda said that shit. I don’t know how to say it. It’s kinda fucked up because the audience we were trying to give to were actually people we hung around. Me, myself, I hung around regular ass Detroit cats. Not the backpack shit that people kept putting out there like that. I mean, I ain’t never carried no goddamn backpack. But like I said, I understand to a certain extent. I guess that’s how the beats came off on some smooth type of shit. And at that time, that’s when Ruff Ryders [was out] and there was a lot of hard shit on the radio so our thing was we’re gonna do exactly what’s not on the radio.”

By the mid-1990s Jay Dee was known as a major hip hop prospect, with a string of singles and remix projects, for Janet JacksonPharcydeDe La SoulBusta RhymesA Tribe Called QuestQ-Tip‘s solo album and others. The majority of these productions were released without his name recognition, being credited to The Ummah, a production collective composed of Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, and later Raphael Saadiq of Tony! Toni! Toné!. Under this umbrella, Jay did some of his most big name R&B and hip hop work, churning out original songs and remixes for Janet Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Brand New Heavies, Something For the People, trip hop artists Crustation and many others. This all came off the heels of Jay handling the majority of production on The Pharcyde‘s albumLabcabincalifornia, released in the holiday season of 1995. Jay Dee’s largest-scale feat came in 1997 when he produced Janet Jackson’s Grammy winning single “Got ’til It’s Gone” from The Velvet Rope. The song-writing credit and subsequent Grammy were both given to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

Performing Career

2000 marked the major label debut of Slum Village with Fantastic, Vol. 2, creating a new following for Jay Dee as a producer and an MC. He was also a founding member of the production collective known as The Soulquarians (along with Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, D’Angelo and James Poyser amongst others) which earned him more recognition and buzz. He subsequently worked with Erykah BaduTalib Kweli, and Common - contributing heavily to the latter’s critically acclaimed breakthrough album, Like Water for Chocolate.

His debut as a solo artist came in 2001 with the single “Fuck the Police“, followed by the album Welcome 2 Detroit, which kicked off U.K. Independent record labelBBE‘s “Beat Generation” series. In 2001, Jay Dee began using the name “J Dilla” (an attempt to differentiate himself from Jermaine Dupri who also goes by “J.D.”), and left Slum Village to pursue a major label solo career with MCA Records.

2002 saw Dilla producing the entirety of Frank-N-Dank‘s 48 Hours, as well as a solo album, but neither record was ever released, although the former did eventually surface through bootlegging. When Dilla finished working with Frank-N-Dank on the 48 Hours album, MCA Records requested a record with a larger commercial appeal, and the artists re-recorded the majority of the tracks, this time using little to no samples. Despite this, neither versions of the album saw the light of day, and Dilla expressed he was disappointed that the music never got out to the fans.

Dilla was signed to a solo deal with MCA Records in 2002. Although Dilla was known as a producer rather than an MC, he chose to rap on the album and have the music produced by some of his favorite producers such as MadlibPete RockHi-Tek, Supa Dave West, Kanye WestNottzWaajeed, Quebo Kuntry (J.Benjamin) and others. The album was shelved due to internal changes at the label and MCA.

While the record with MCA stalled, Dilla recorded the uncompromising Ruff Draft, released exclusively to vinyl by German label Groove Attack.[10] Although the album was little known, it signaled a change in sound and attitude, and his work from this point on was increasingly released through independent record labels. In a 2003 interview with Groove Attack, Dilla talked about this change of direction:

You know, if I had a choice, skip the major labels and just put it out yourself man… Trust me. I tell everybody it’s better to do it yourself and let the Indies come after you instead of going in their [direction] and getting a deal and you have to wait, it ain’t fun, take it from me. Right now, I’m on MCA but it feels like I’m an unsigned artist still. It’s cool, it’s a blessing, but damn I’m like, ‘When’s my shit gonna come out? I’m ready now, what’s up?’

Later Life and Death

LA-based producer and MC Madlib began collaborating with J Dilla, and the pair formed the group Jaylib in 2002, releasing an album called Champion Sound in 2003. J Dilla relocated from Detroit to Los Angeles in 2004 and appeared on tour with Jaylib in Spring 2004.

J Dilla’s illness and medication caused dramatic weight loss in 2003 onwards, forcing him to publicly confirm speculation about his health in 2004. Despite a slower output of major releases and production credits in 2004 and 2005, his cult status remained strong within his core audience, as evident by unauthorized circulation of his underground “beat tapes” (instrumental, and raw working materials), mostly through internet file sharing. Articles in publications URB (March 2004) and XXL (June 2005) confirmed rumors of ill health and hospitalization during this period, but these were downplayed by Jay himself. The seriousness of his condition became public in November 2005 when J Dilla toured Europe performing from a wheelchair. It was later revealed that he suffered from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disease, and possibly lupus.

J Dilla died on February 10, 2006, three days after his 32nd birthday and the release of his final album Donuts, at home in Los AngelesCalifornia. According to his mother, Maureen Yancey, the cause was cardiac arrest.

— Wikipedia