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“Music Kitchen Dance Party”/Disco Divas

Before we get started with today’s “Music Kitchen Dance Party,” I have a confession to make-I feel like a negligent music father. While putting the pieces together for the site, I noticed something was missing.  Yes, today I realized that out of all of the genres that we’ve featured since we launched in August-pop, R&B, Hip-hop, rock, baby makin’, ratchet, country-I noticed that there was one genre that was missing from the Mixtape list-disco. I can’t tell you how I feel as if I’ve failed my music family by ignoring this treasured chest of grooves.  So, today, I would like to make good by throwing a roller-skate- rinked up “Music Kitchen Dance Party,” where all of my fellow disco divas are cordially invited to. Even you, Ms. Bridges.

Where do I truly begin when it comes to my darling disco chantueses? Ms. Ross will always turn my headphones “Upside Down,” and I will certainly be Ms. Summer’s “Hot Stuff” 4 lyfe. I remember when I used to run my DJ business back-in-the-day, there was truly nothing that got the crowd turnt all the way up then a studio ’54’ sized helping of delectable canciones de disco. Really, I could sit here all day and dive through my collection of groove wrapped goodies, but it’s been an big ol’- jheri-curl-kind of week, so we’ll just let the beats turn it all around for themselves. Now, bow down and then dive into the music provided by your Friday “Music Kitchen Dance Party” divas. Ready…set…disco balls.

Donna Summer/”Hot Stuff” (live, 1979)

Diana Ross/”Upside Down”

Thelma Houston/”Don’t Leave Me This Way” 

Gloria Gaynor/”I Will Survive”

Amii Stewart/”Knock On Wood”

Anita Ward/”Ring My Bell”

 

Alicia Bridges/”I Love The Nightlife(Disco Round)”

Vicki Sue Robinson/”Turn The Beat Around”

Candi Staton/”Young Hearts Run Free”

Cheryl Lynn/”Got To Be Real”

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“Forgot About Friday”/Mya

I have to tell you guys, I certainly had a music heart attack this week. No, it’s not because Justin Bieber finally came out of hiding on Ellen, it’s because of an article brought to my attention featured on hiphopearly.com about now defunct R&B diva, Mya. Yes, in this eye-popping piece, it goes on a fabulous trip down music memory lane on how Ms. M was one of the biggest female music divas in the late-’90s and early ’00s(Hello, “Lady Marmalade”), and is now….. working the pole for the evening at Miami strip club, G5ive. While Ms. Thing did keep her clothes on, from what I saw…she was certainly makin’ it rain. Sigh….seeing this just breaks my music heart, because for one, Mya was indeed a force to be reckoned with on the pop charts back in the day, and two, seeing that video of her shakin’ that ass at the titty joint makes me realize that she truly is forgotten about these days. So, on that case-of-the-one-dollar-bills, let’s get out “Forgot About Friday” on, shall we?

Mya Harrison (named after the late Maya Angelou) launched her debut record, ‘Mya’ in ‘early 98. The bedroom set was pulsatingly packed with Mya’s smoky vocals and tasty top notch late-’90s production, with all-star hitmakers Missy Elliot, Babyface, Diane Warren and Dru Hill (see you soon, guys!) all lending their talents. Lead single, “It’s All About Me,” got it all over the charts, and when it comes to this tantalizing number, I will always musically get it up. Following “Me,” she released two more singles, the bouncing, “Movin’ On”(#youknowIwearsizea4) and the seductive, “My First Night With You,” and with each single slinking its way up the Billboard charts, our girl Mya was everywhere. Oh, and we just can’t forget her movie soundtrack hits, first in ’98 with the dearly departed O.D.B on “Ghetto Superstar,” from the Warren/Halle film, ‘Bulworth’, and then there’s also “Take Me There,” her gummy groove from the ‘Rugrats Movie’ featuring none other than Ma$e and Blackstreet. Yes, I know………….

Despite all of her success in the late-’90s, Mya really snatched some music weave in the early-’00s with her second set, ‘Fear Of Flying.’ While the Jadakiss assisted lead single, “Best Of Me,” did moderately well on the charts, it didn’t meet expectations, with some deeming Ms. Mya in the midst of a “sophmore slump” at the time. But, alas, a little song came along called “Case Of The Ex(Whatcha Gonna Do,” which became her biggest smash, landing at #2 on the charts, and let’s face it, it was this song that got her on the behemoth ’01 number that was her Xtina, Pink, Lil’ Kim, Missy collabo,  “Lady Marmalade.” Just sayin..

Following, ‘Flying,” Ms. Harrison released her third album, ‘Moodring,’ and while luscious lead single(and fantastic video), “My Love Is Like Whoa..,” was a moderate smash, no other hits were released from the (vastly underrated) set, and soon the music struggle would be real for our one-time music boo.  While Mya did get the acting bug, appearing in films, ‘Chicago’, ‘Shall We Dance,’ and, ugh, ‘Dirty Dancing:Havana Nights,’ it was after her appearance on season nine of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ that she soon fell off the face off the music globe…

I have to tell you guys, after watching that ratchet video, I’m not going to throw music shade at Ms. Mya. Upon my dive into my music vault this morning, I found three delicious tracks of hers that I myself had forgotten about, and they’re absolutely amazing. The first is her whirling Jay-z remix of “Best of Me,” which is just…that..music…joint. Then there’s also “Free,” a yummy ditty from the Jamie Foxx ’01 box office bomb, ‘Bait’ and also “Fabulous Life,” a skates-laced-up disco romp from her 2011 set, ‘Sugar & Spice.’ Never heard of that album? That’s because it was only released in Japan. Sigh…I rest my headphones. Dive in.

“Best Of Me”(ft. Jay-z)

“Free”

“Fabulous Life”

“It’s All About Me”(ft. Dru Hill)

“Movin On”

“Ghetto Superstar”

“Take Me There”

“Case Of The Ex(Whatcha Gonna Do)”

“Lady Marmalade”

 

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Album Review/Mark Ronson/’Uptown Special’

Jazz, funky, heavy, fresh. These are the sounds of Mark Ronson’s  ‘Uptown Special’-and also a sign of a great record.

Starting off with jazz, ‘Uptown’ brings upon the late summer rain, takes you to the club, the rock show, then eventually the comedown. It’s in Mark Ronson’s production and his cast of guest star MCs that help ‘Uptown’ jump out of its skin.

Mystikal’s voice sonically punches you in the face on ‘Feel Right’. Bruno Mars and Keyone Starr keep that energy going right through. Kevin Parker and Andrew Wyatt bring about the calmer moments on the record.

From the dark moody synths, the percussion washed in reverb, to the fuzzed out guitars and dark lyrical themes, this is where ‘Uptown’ shines. Influences from Stevie Wonder(who tears it up on two tracks) to Michael Jackson to The Beatles, there’s a lot to go on. Each song is a different adventure through the streets.

Ronson also pulls out classic sounds that haven’t been used in some time: sax, horns, FM synths, Motown guitar, cheeky background vocals, mesmerizing harmonies, and spontaneous breakdowns.

Let ‘Uptown Special’ take you on a different darker journey through town. Dive in.

“Uptown Funk”(ft. Bruno Mars)

“Feel Right”(ft. Mystikal)

“Daffodils” (ft. Kevin Parker)

“Heavy and Rolling”(ft. Andrew Wyatt)

“Crack In The Pearl, Part 2″(ft. Stevie Wonder & Jeff Bhasker)