Saturday, February 27, 2010

Haiti Benefit Brings Out the Best

(In photo: Liberated Muse's Moon with Bangladesh from the Bangladesh Project)

Friday's benefit concert "To Haiti, With Love" was a great success as folks attended to hear the soulful sounds of Liberated Muse artists Anonamas ft/ the Bangladesh Project, Dee Dee Kirby, Teisha Marie, Quineice & Gary Young, and the lyricism of Enoch 7th Prophet and Head-Roc.
About $300 was raised in donations in addition to canned goods donated for Haiti relief.

(In Photo: Dee Dee Kirby performs Erykah Badu and Jill Scott covers in addition to some original tunes)

(In photo: Enoch 7th Prophet shares his "overstanding" as he demonstrates skills on the drums at one point during his performance. His performance was high energy and deep)

(In photo: Anonamas with the Bangladesh Project closed the show with some fierce instrumentation and tight lyrics)

(In photo: The artist Choke painted this beautiful portrait during the show and sold many of her art collectibles.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Haiti, With Love This Friday, Feb. 26

(click on the flyer to read details)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Movie Shows How Black Love Triumphs

With African American marriage numbers at an all time low and African American divorce numbers at an all time high the hopes of positive, lasting, relationships look bleak until now. Executive Producers Lamar and Ronnie Tyler bring real married couples to the screen to chronicle the greatest love stories ever told. These real couples explain how their marriages had a direct impact on their lives. Featuring candid and transparent looks inside of the hardships, trials, and ultimate success stories of these amazing couples, YOU SAVED ME offers an unprecedented look inside of real relationships and what is required to sustain them.

Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are bloggers and co-creators of the largest independent site on the web that specifically deals with marriage and parenting in the black community, called (BMWK). They recently produced and directed the bestselling documentary Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage. The film has inspired a Facebook fan page with over 30 thousand fans in just 7 months which includes over 400 pictures that couples have uploaded themselves to prove that successful African American marriages do exist.

The Tyler’s were recently selected by Essence as a Power Couple on The Move on a short list of 23 couples that included names like the Obamas, Will and Jada Smith and Jay-Z and Beyonce. They have also appeared on both local and nationally syndicated radio, television and print media outlets.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day! Our Cupid's Hunt Playlist for 2010: High Off Love

Find more music like this on Liberated Muse

So, as promised, here is our Cupid's Hunt Playlist that features artists from our Liberated Muse network with a few mainstream artists thrown in for added flavor.

The Playlist features:

Moon of - "Welcome to Cupid's Hunt Podcast Collaboration"
Sucker Jimmy's Best Punch ft. Jymeice- "Emotional (Remix)"
*Ndambi- "The One"
Cry- "And I"
Dee Stone Band- "Sweet"
Stone/Wright- "Falling"
Gary Young ft/Karla Chisolm- "One More Night"
Heidi Martin- "Love for Sale"
Kuku-"Unexpected Pleasures"
Kuku-"After and Then (Revisited)"
*Q-Tip ft. Raphaael Saadiq- "We Fight-Love"
Musiq Soulchild- "Until"
Table 4 5ive- "Ms. Fedora"
Mama Moon- "Hotel Lobby"
Substantial & Chew Fu- "Make Love"
E the R & B Rockstar- "Could I"
Teisha Marie- "Awaken"
Phreaknahdo (ft. Quiniece Clarkson & Zakia Moon)- "I'm High"
Anonamas- "Bodee Heat"
*Ledisi- "Love Never Changes"

All of the artists above-- with the exception of the starred artists, are members of the online community Aren't they amazing!? Special thanks to Liberated Muse membe DJ Vinnie who added the starred tracks for our listening pleasure. If you'd like more music from any of the artists featured in this playlist, you can visit their pages on to connect directly with them. Support quality indie music!



Friday, February 12, 2010

Cupid's Hunt Podcast Collaboration for Feb. 14: Love Conversations

Find more music like this on Liberated Muse

Liberated Muse member Tgrundy is a long-time music expert came up with the wonderful collaborative day of music commemorating love on Valentine's Day. This collaboration, Cupid's Hunt 2010 is when podcasters, bloggers, dj's -- and others throughout cyberspace, create playlists of some of their favorite love songs. This year, here are some picks I picked on behalf of Liberated Muse. These songs will be up until tomorrow, Valentine's Eve. On Valentine's Day, I am going to add some indie acts from our site. Make sure you come back to see who we pick! Enjoy!



Jose James- Love Conversations
Lenny Kravitz- Thinking of You
Sucker Jimmy's Best Punch ft. Zakia Moon- I'm Open Now
Jose James-Save Your Love For Me
Goapele- First Love
Sade-Soldier of Love
Goapele- Romantic
Van Hunt-Your Love
Jill Scott- He Loves Me
Kindred- Stars
Gary Young- The Toad Wants to Be a Prince
Teena Marie- Main Squeeze
Rufus ft. Chaka Kahn- Magic In Your Eyes
Teena Marie- Wild Horses

Click HERE to visit other sites that are part of the Cupid's Hunt Collaboration.

Happy Listening!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Artists That May Be New To You

There seems to be tons of new music being dropped by artists we know and love, including yesterday's new music drop from Sade and Jaheim and upcoming CD releases we will soon get from the likes of Faith Evans and Mariah Carey to the newly reunited group Groove Theory.

Here at Liberated Muse, we always like to spread the word about acts that may not be as well-known as the names above, but who are bringing the fire with new music that stretches the confines of the box. Check them out! (Both reviews can be read in their original post at


I came across the music of Labtekwon after a chance meeting on Facebook in 2008 and was totally dazzled by the lyrical prowess of this quirky Hip-Hop MC who is the epitome of originality and out-of-the-box ingenuity. His video for "Activator" was an immediate favorite but it was the video for "Tao of Slick" that I enjoyed most of all, particularly feeling the lyrics of the female vocalist on his track, New Jersey native Megan Livingston aka Hazel Black. Her vocal stylings--reminiscent of Amel Larrieux with a kiss of Sy Smith--were instantly alluring yet lulling.

So, how happy I was to be tagged in a Facebook posting by Labtekwon sharing his friend Megan's foray into the indie music scene as a solo artist. He shot and edited her first solo video in his abstract style that has become his visual trademark. The song, "The One," from her forthcoming CD Black Beckee (Ankh Ba Records) is a melodious masterpiece. Still channeling the spirit that fills Mrs. Larrieux, Megan's pretty crystal clear vocals glide over the rich jazzy music landscape composed by Thur Deephrey.

Read More HERE


"The daughter of a Nigerian father and a German mother, Nneka Egbuna was born in Warri, Oil City in the Delta region of Nigeria at the height of its new found wealth in the mid 70s," reads the bio on her website. But, while her biracial heritage and looks that resemble Amel Larrieux could easily cast her away as a wanna-be clone of the Groove Theory songstress, Nneka comes strong with a sound, personality and flavor all her own. If she reminds you of anyone, it is probably Floetry's Natalie Stewart once she starts breaking into rhyming like on the track "Showing Love" and her accented vocals tear into the track.

Yes, she raps. She is a musician, singer AND rhymer, and she handles all three with finesse.

Her new 12-track CD Concrete Jungle is an aural ride. With ease, she navigates the genres of Reggae, Rock, Acoustic Soul and Hip Hop. And, on this disc, Fela's Afrobeat lives. Few artists can succeed at this without sounding like a garbled mess--most have their schtick and stick to it. But,not Nneka. She doesn't have only one thing/sound that she does well. She seems to be mastering most genres pretty damn well.

Read the entire review HERE

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sade's New CD Drops Feb.9

Only Sade could be absent from the music scene for ten years and cause an internet and offline buzz of such high magnitude. The new album, Soldier of Love, brings the familiar mellow and ethereal sound that we have long associated with the elegant Helen Folasade Adu and her highly acclaimed band of musicians.

However, Soldier of Love offers little more than a pleasant rehash of the sound and energy that we have grown up with over the years when listening to past Sade albums--from Diamond Life to Lover's Rock--and, frankly, that may not be enough this go round to lead one to buy it.

While new listeners of the Sade sound may fall in love--simply because this is the signature sound of Sade--die-hard fans who have followed Sade for her entire career may listen to this disc and realize that it may be time to stop believing that there will be another Sade output that can rival the heat brought on Stronger Than Pride or Love Deluxe. Read more HERE

(This review in its entiriety can be found on

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Music from Maysa, Julie Dexter, & Amber Mimz

There is great new music out from some folks who are from the Washington DC-Baltimore Area. Check out news on Maysa-- the voice of Incognito, the UK's Julie Dexter who teamed with Zo! of Foreign Exchange and the DMV's Amber Mimz who just released a new video:

We love Maysa and are digging on A Woman in Love, which features Will Downing and a surprising cover of Michael Jackson's "Lady in My Life." While there is always the strong preference to hear her rich vocals on CD accompanied by the wonderific Incognito whenever new music from her is released, her solo work is always magic by itself. This romantic collection is just perfect for Valentine's Day. Read More HERE

Julie Dexter is back! Though she hasn't dropped a new album just yet, she is offering an audio tease with her new track "Transitions," which is produced by Foreign Exchange fam Lorenzo "Zo!" Ferguson. This track will surely be as beloved as her most memorable songs like "Ketch a Vibe" and "Choices." The Atlanta-based singer, who is one of the UK's brightest exports, went solo in 2000 after touring with jazz vocalist Courtney Pine. We haven't gotten a full disc of new music since Conscious in 2005, but she has appeared on the records of other artists here in the states and abroad. Her stand-out collabo, hands down, was on the song "How Sweet Life Is" with Angela Johnson on 2007's A Woman's Touch. Here's looking forward to the new release as we dig on what she doles out to us in the meantime. Click HERE to hear Transitions.

You may have heard the name Amber Mimz when she was featured during an Eric Roberson-hosted evening of Soul elegance last Spring at Sol Village at S.O.B.'s. Ms. Mimz, as she is called in some circles, is a 20-something DMV-based chanteuse whose playful vocals flirt over Hip-Hop Soul beats to engage listeners with the promise that all is well regardless what you may be going through. Mimz has been on the grind heavily, gigging tirelessly from packed houses in NYC to intimate house parties in DC to get the message out that this music thing is for real for her.
Today, she shares with SoulBounce her testament to that truth in this video for her new single "Dutch Master." Singing about the silky talking man who gets her excited and in search for some more of his flavor, Mimz shines and gives us a treat with this song, which is almost too short for us to savor thoroughly. Her clear soprano vocals and cute charm are appealing and the easy, girl-next-door story line is pleasing. Thank you, Ms. Mimz, for letting us know that everyday sistas are still coming strong with it. Hopefully soon all of our ladies with vocal skills will know your secret--talent is still talent even when not scantily clad.
See the video HERE
(All of the reviews above can be found on, penned by Moon of

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Artist Revolutionary Gil Scott-Heron Uses Kanye for a Come-back

New music is not always a good thing. But, it is most definitely a GREAT thing when it is from a musical icon who never fails to push the envelope of creativity and originality. Gil Scott-Heron has graced us with new music –“I’m New Here” which can be found on The Fader by clicking HERE. This new drop opens with a spoken word present-- “On Coming from a Broken Home (Pt. 1)” ,wrapped in Kanye West’s beat from “Fading Lights” . Gil’s deep, resonating vocals speak from a memory past, reflecting on its connection to now as Kanye’s familiar beat drizzles in between the words to link us with its familiarity. Yes, exhale. This 15-track music collection gets better.

Read More of the Review HERE by Moon of

NEW MUSIC: Gods'illa and Enoch 7th Prophet

We are thrilled about our members. Several of our members joined after or before becoming performers at the Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest, an annual event we produce. Here is some new music from some of our favorite performers who just so happened to be performers in last year's Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest.

Enoch 7th Prophet

Enoch can easily be called one of the hardest working MCs in the DMV. This lyricist hosts several showcases across the city, namely the Cakes and Kisses shows produced by DC Rap, and he also hosts his own weekly radio show Mental Salvation Radio.

Enoch performed in our 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest and is one of more active members on He recently dropped this recent free download, "Distant Luva" that is a MUST COP for the 2010. Click HERE to download it.

Enoch will be performing on Friday, Feb. 12 with his wife, the Queen DJ Earth 1ne (featured on the track) in our "To Haiti, With Love" show benefitting the organization YeleHAITI to aid in reconstructing Haiti. Make sure you plan to attend. You can visit our RSVP page on Facebook HERE.

(In photo: Powerful Aguilar, one of the members of the group Gods'illa, a DC-based trio of brothers who take hip-hop to the next level with lyrics that don't conform to the same ole same ole. Photo by Shan'ta Monroe)

So, when you have names like Powerful, Ace and Truth, there is almost a guarantee that you will be drawn to creating a message that is bold, fearless and uncensored. Such is the case with the three brothers of Gods'illa-- Powerful Aguilar, Aceem Hall and Truth Hall. Their new single release "Protect It" currently on the new web magazine DMV Spectrum is a refreshing track that talks to the fakes, uninspired and mediocre with a head-nodding beat that is neither contrived nor monotonous.

Gods'illa came into our line of vision in 2005 when they performed at a community event in southeast DC and we were thrilled to have them join the network and later perform at both the 2008 and 2009 Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. They have since gained exposure from participation in a recent MTV talent search and collaborating with other emerging superstars, including their best friend, Substantial.

Owners of the brand Up and Up, the also host a weekly open mic that has grown to such popularity that it has been featured in the Washington Post and other local media.

Listen to their new single "Protect It" HERE.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The GRAMMYs Made it Clear Why Michael Jackson Will Be Missed

The GRAMMY award show last night was disappointing on so many levels and made me miss Michael Jackson for so many reasons. While the award show has been traditionally, for the past decade or so, the more boring awards show for soul music lovers when compared to award shows like the Soul Train Music Awards, for some reason, when a soul music favorite is nominated, the hype immediately leads us to believe that maybe this year will be different.

This year, we had so many fabulous soul artists to root for—from Maxwell and India.Arie to indie faves Eric Roberson and the Foreign Exchange. DC indie Christylez was even nominated for his work on a children’s album. However, upon viewing the show, it becomes clear that there is a difference between rooting for your faves and sitting patiently through an awards show that has predominate performances from artists you never heard of, don’t really care to hear more of or wish that you would stop hearing from altogether (Kanye, where were you when we needed you to get your girl?)

Though we may be a bit eager to see some of the pop icons do their thing when given the opportunity, even that last night was a disappointment. With show openers like Beyonce and Lady Gaga, I admit that I was hopeful at first--especially when Beyonce belted out Alanis Morrissette’s 15 year-old girl-anthem“You Oughta Know”. But, alas, the GRAMMY’s were a bust. Even Pink’s literal circus act could not redeem an evening that was empty of any type of resonating entertainment and a night void of performances that spoke boldly and compassionately to audiences through the vehicle of song.

Was it too much to expect that the Grammy’s have the same amount of star quality and artistic resonance that was abundant on the very recent Hope for Haiti telethon? Perhaps a social tragedy is what is needed for performers today to give their most heartfelt and emotionally stirring performances nowadays. Or, maybe there are only select performers who are able to extend their music and ultimate performances outside of the artist prison which is mainstream music nowadays. I tend to think that is an easy rationalization on the part of artists if that is so, because I think Michael Jackson and artists like him (who were missing from last night’s Grammy’s show) have made it part of their musical legacy to stay in both lanes of music ambassadors and entertainers. While entertaining is the act of performing upon demand, the role of a music ambassador is to use your music to speak to things that aren’t so easily accepted or articulated through the spoken word.

Michael Used Music As a Tool

While the gloved one is resting in peace, his spirit still left an indelible mark on his song Earth Song which was played last night with accompanying vocals lent by Jenifer Hudson, Celine Dion, Usher and Carrie Underwood. My bet is that even if the four bellowing singers were absent from the stage and stricken silent and the song was left to play with only the visuals from the 3-d movie showing behind them on stage, the “performance” would have still been the best of the night. Here’s why.
Michael Jackson, while a pop star, also had almost an addiction to creating work that spoke to social ills and international concerns on a humanistic level. While he dazzled us and perked our ears with hits ranging from “Billie Jean” to “Smooth Criminal”, Jackson never neglected to slip in a “Man in the Mirror” or “They Don’t Really Care About Us” at every turn. His music laurels rested on the notion that music was healing and that notion trumped any thoughts we may have had of MJ being all show or empty entertainment.

Michael Jackson addressed the need for spiritual and philanthropic awakening in many of his songs and his concerts, movie-like videos and stage performances during award shows more often than not included an element of a message that spoke to the power of awareness and action by everyday people. While viewing his concert prep in his DVD “This Is It”, it is evident that MJ’s publicly known perfectionist tendencies regarding his shows stemmed from his want for his audience and fans to have an “experience” when they hear him, see him and enjoy his concerts. I don’t think many popular artists today care so much about our experience nowadays as they do about their own self-indulgent behavior which is witnessed in every performance that makes the music secondary to the theatrics we must bear witness to.

While Michael wanted folks to enter his world where there was fun, antics and over-the-top visuals, at the root was simple music that spoke to the raw emotion he experienced when living through an unrequited love, witnessing the pain of others in the world, when seeing the mindless destruction of our planet by our very hands or when knowing that such personal devices as racism--any ism for that matter-- lends to a emptiness of soul living and empathy for others.

His song “Earth Song”, when played last night was the needed performance to bring folks attention to the power that is music, rather than the entertainment that is dramatic costuming, spinning trapeze acts or weave tossing dancing. The wailing and theatrics demonstrated on the Grammy’s last night were indicative of a popular arts pulse that has begun to slacken due to conformist tendencies that have dominated the output from the celebrated entertainers of late.

While MJ was noted for his glitzy and almost Vegas-level produced shows, he almost always brought it back it to the point of it all, the music. And when he did, he shone. Here’s hoping that the GRAMMY’s and other artists get that hint next go round.