This Week’s Musts: Pop Gumbo, Hip-Hop’s Down Beat, Angie Stone

Not everybody needs a blog. Others, however, were born for the artform. Meet Pop Gumbo. It funny, it’s smart. It’s black and feminist. Need I say more? It’s a new blog that posted my favorite entry this week called When Celebrities Come Out Of Their Mouth: Terence Howard Edition. Pop Gumbo writes to Howard:

Sir, I have a job, articles to write and New York rent to pay—I cannot worry about how my “Hmm mmm” smells all day, nor can I tolerate a lesson from you about what to use to stay fresh. Do you use wipes? Do your balls smell like clean linen? I think not. Honestly, that is what you should be concerned with.

Confused about the context? Go to Pop Gumbo and check it out!

Time Magazine just published a really interesting article on the demise of hip-hop. It’s really interesting because it doesn’t take the same-ole same ole approach, but really looks at how the financial support that was once there for gangsta (and gangsta-esque) hip-hop has now washed under. Ta-Nehisi Coates writes:

The lesson was Capitalism 101: rap music’s market strength gave its artists permission to say what they pleased. And the rappers themselves exhibited an entrepreneurial bent unlike that of musicians before them. They understood the need to market and the benefits of line extensions. Theirs was capitalism with a beat.

Today that same market is telling rappers to please shut up. While music-industry sales have plummeted, no genre has fallen harder than rap. According to the music trade publication Billboard, rap sales have dropped 44% since 2000 and declined from 13% of all music sales to 10%. Artists who were once the tent poles at rap labels are posting disappointing numbers. Jay-Z’s return album, Kingdom Come, for instance, sold a gaudy 680,000 units in its first week, according to Billboard. But by the second week, its sales had declined some 80%. This year rap sales are down 33% so far.

Lastly, my homegirl Angie Stone has dropped her first single and video from the upcoming The Art of Love & War, on the newly re-fashioned Stax Records. I am glad she left J Records, which Stone says Clive Davis had turned into the label for Alicia Keys and American Idol. She told EurWeb:

“I never enter into a project without a title first. The only time that happened was when I was on J Records. The title of my album was called ‘Diary of a Soul Sister,’ then Clive Davis came to me and said I had to change it because Alicia Keys had ‘Diary of Alicia Keys,’ so I said ‘Well, I had my title first’ and they said ‘Well, we gotta change yours.’ So then I came up with ‘Stone Love’ and that title was not indicative of that album which is probably why that was my weakest selling album. I felt the trust had been broken and I was very upset that I had to change the theme. The album was supposed to have Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack and was supposed to be a diary of my life but we had to abort the concept of doing that kind of timeless piece of work. Right after that Jill Scott came out with her duet album. So, I’m a little tight.”

No wonder. That album (Stone Love) didn’t sound finished to me–and that cover art was second rate. Anyhow, the new single is called Baby, and features legendary soul singer Betty Wright. I like the arrangement a lot, and the video brings Stone’s signature ‘keepin it real’ style –where she is pourin’ water over some cornflakes cuz she ain’t got no milk! You betta hold it down for Columbia, SC (where my fam also lives now) Ms. Stone! Here it go!

2 thoughts on “This Week’s Musts: Pop Gumbo, Hip-Hop’s Down Beat, Angie Stone

  1. Wow..your family is in Cola? I went to school there and live just down the road in Charleston. I’m exicted about the new A. Stone record too! Now when is Ms. Badu going to make another one? Love your blog too! MSP

  2. Yeah, my mom’s and my big sister are there–I get there a few times a year. And Badu says she got one dropping end of the year, and 2 more coming out every 6 months after that!

    Thanks for the love!

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