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Letters 08-22-2016

Historically Wrong In regard to Mary Keyes Rogers’ column about the downtown charter amendment, neither Samuel Adams nor Thomas Jefferson were at the Constitutional Convention...

The Film Possibilities I was surprised that none of the Traverse City Film Festival films addressed the most pressing and dangerous issue of the day: radical Islamic Jihad. Perhaps a storyline could have illustrated how the West brought this on themselves, or if we could only find jobs for those fellows! Perhaps put it down to global warming...

Helmets Save Lives The facts are in. Wearing a helmet is the most effective tool to save your brain in a motorcycle accident. The bonus? Helmets also save hearts. Nearly two yrs ago, on Aug. 26, 2014 our son lived...

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4Play: Incognito, Kero One, Slum Village, Paul Wall

Kristi Kates - October 18th, 2010
Incognito - Transatlantic RPM - Shanachie
Best described as a modern day Earth, Wind and Fire with a dab of Stevie Wonder thrown in, Incognito’s acid funk/jazz sound has set the groundwork for plenty of imitators. But the legends know who to collaborate with, hence the appearances of Chaka Khan, Leon Ware, and Al McKay (of the aforementioned Earth, Wind and Fire) on this set. These tunes tool along with plenty of momentum, propelled by horns and strings while the drums keep the groovin’ beats on track; “Lowdown” throws Mario Biondi into the mix with Chaka Khan, “Put a Little Lovin’ in Your Heart” is five minutes of moving-your-feet music, and closer “Tell Me What to Do” wraps these jams up with soul.




Kero One - Kinetic World - Plug Label
There are few matters of questionable subjects within his tunes, but for the most part, Kero One achieves quite a lot on this album, on which he performs most of the vocals, beats, and scratching on his own. A mix of east coast-west coast rap beats seasoned with a few worldbeat sounds, Asian influences, and a variety of production styles, he addresses relationships on “On Bended Knee” and warns of too big of a lifestyle on “Fast Life”; guest artists include appearances from Tablo, Dminor, and The Tones, among others.




Slum Village - Villa Manifesto - E1 Entertainment
They may have had a tumultuous career to date since their industry beginnings in 2000, between the member switches and difficult times all around - but Slum Village is holding on, with the group’s T3 saying in a statement that he wanted to “pull the squad together” once again. Their sixth studio album shows a return to more of their earlier classic sound, with “Earl Flinn” roping in one of Madlib’s beats, “The Reunion Pt. 2” offering up more directed, emotional subject matter (as well as a few warnings), and “Dance” bringing in the - well, dance beats.




Paul Wall - Heart of a Champion - Asylum
Texas jeweler-slash-rapper Wall (and his diamond-encrusted teeth) release his fourth major label set through Asylum, where he’s teamed up with pal (and Blink-182 band member) Travis Barker on most of the production duties. In addition to Wall’s own confident, if self-absorbed, performances on songs like “Take Notes” (about his own bling-bedecked lifestyle) and “Live It,” he welcomes in the likes of
Beanz N’ Kornbread to add production where Barker didn’t, as well as guest performers Chamillionaire, Devin the Dude, and Slim Thug, among others.

 
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