Coincidentally, my father also barred me from listening to rap music until I was around 15 years old. However, during that time, I listened to a lot of Memphis and Motown recordings. I would tell people in elementary school about Booker T & the MG's and other Stax recording artists. And I’ll just get blank stares.
High school was interesting. I would make the 35 minute ride from my all black town to my all white high school every weekday. Of course, in my high school alternative music came with the territory. So I was exposed to a lot of britpop such as Radiohead, Oasis, and The Prodigy in addition to such bands as Soul Coughing and Geggy Tah. And yes, in the middle of redneck Alabama, there was a huge drum and bass/trip-hop scene as well.
Of course, I kept things equal on the hip hop end. Groups like Outkast, Blackstreet, Lil' John (from back in the day), Kilo, the 69Boyz, The Roots, Roni Size, made constant appearances on my CD Player.
And yes, I was a Biggie fan from day one.
My Soul revival came during my first year of college when I was exposed to Baltimore club and DC go-go. In addition, my ex-girlfriend turned me onto Erykah Badu and D'Angelo. Soul greats like Curtis Mayfield and Gil Scott Heron were big in college as well.
The evolution of my soul experience came when I lived in London. I would go to the weekly hip hop parties held in the outlying areas and I was exposed to so much new, interesting, music that I didn???t know what to do with myself. Living in London has turned me into the man that you see today. A Soul Rebel. A true seeker of underground music.
Miss Hipstah – Miss Hipstah's love for music started when her mother listened to classical music records while pregnant with her. She was told that she danced in the womb. Some of her first cassette tapes were Madonna's “Like A Prayer”, Technotronic “Pump Up The Volume”, and Duice's “Dazzey Duks” and her first CD was REM's “Monster”. That was a really long time ago and since then her music tastes have definitely changed (though she still loves Madonna).
When she is not listening to, talking about or writing on music, she
can be found studying photography and cultural studies up in
Massachusetts. Dividing her time between there, New York and
Washington DC, Miss Hipstah, a self-proclaimed “cool hunter”, is
always on the lookout for the next big thing, whether it is in music,
fashion or art. Her own art has been shown in various salon shows, the
International Center of Photography, and in Circa 2004, a collection
of young up and coming artists. She dreams of one day opening a
gallery, starting a magazine, being on the Daily Show and becoming a
Divynthought – I'm a native of Washington and an inspiring music journalist. The most accurate way I could describe myself is to say that I'm an old soul. Sometimes I think my spirit was imported here from another time because of how our “oldies” speak to me. And this is how I know. When I was in kindergarten, I remember my favorite artist was KoKo Taylor, a raunchy blues singer from Memphis. That real, soulful music was calling to me even then.
In Philly, I've really fallen in love with the hip-hop/soul scene.
It's one of the reasons I decided to go to school there. I've met
(and written about) some awesome independent artists, whose work I
really believe in, like United Soul, Lady Alma, Anthony David, and
Kurt Chambers. They remind me of the sound I grew up listening to.
I'm also an amateur 35mm photographer and I dabble in digital
photography as well. There's a short collection of my photographs on
As far as my music is concerned, I like to keep the rotation in
constant motion. This week I've played Dwele, Sade, Joi, Bobby
Valentino, Ludacris, Rick James, Common, Cee Lo, and a mixtape of my favorite Motown hits.