NEW Allhiphop.com Interview: Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins –“R&B is on its Way Back!”

Read 'Rodney Jerkins: R&B is Back!'

The true definition of a super producer, Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins is the man behind some of the biggest R&B songs of the last decade. Having produced hit singles for the likes of Michael and Janet Jackson, Destiny’s Child, Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Brandy and The Pussycat Dolls to name just a few, the industry veteran can boast more production credits and a far more impressive resume than his mere 32 years would suggest. With his latest effort, pop sensation Lady Gaga’s new Beyoncé-assisted single ‘Telephone,’ already climbing up the charts ahead of its official release, he seems to be starting this decade with just as much promise as he did the last.

Having spoken with Darkchild as he was putting the finishing touches on ‘Telephone’ for Gaga, who he praises for her “character” and writing abilities, his incredible knowledge of the music industry and love of creative experimentalism became immediately clear. It really is no wonder why this year seems destined to mark yet another chapter in his already impressive success story. “R&B is on its way back,” proclaims Jerkins passionately, his excitement clearly fueled by the plethora of the pioneering projects that he is currently working on. The genre is certainly taking a new direction and Darkchild’s musically diverse productions will undoubtedly play a major role in its development….

To read the full interview, go to: http://allhiphop.com/stories/alternatives/archive/2010/03/07/22140669.aspx

MC Lyte Interview

Read 'MC Lyte: Still Rockin' With the Best'

Lana Moorer, better known as MC Lyte, is a Hip-Hop legend.

Straight up.

Having developed her career for over twenty years, the Brooklyn native has cemented her reputation as not only one of the pioneering female emcees but also a street anthropologist of sorts. Her intricate storytelling and undeniable presence within the game even earned her the honor of being the first female artist to be recognized by VH1’s Hip Hop Honors. Never afraid to speak her mind, Lyte’s outspoken approach has gained her nothing but respect and admiration from both peers within the industry and listeners alike. Between her Executive Vice-President position at DuBose Music Group and a number of new musical and creative projects, quitting the game is certainly the last thing on her mind; as always, she is still rockin’ with the best…

To read the full interview on Allhiphop.com, please click HERE.

MC Lyte’s Brooklyn: Where Hip Hop & Reggae Collide

Ths is a little insight into what I am doing over at RIDDIM Magazine, especially for my English-speaking readers. Basically through my work at RIDDIM, I’m attempting to highlight how the two genres have influenced and enriched each other. Here is a short taster piece on MC Lyte’s recent venture into the Reggae/Dancehall world, which should give a good example of the work I’m doing here at RIDDIM:

MC Lyte’s Brooklyn: Where Hip Hop & Reggae Collide

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Raised in Brooklyn near Rutland Road and Winthrop, veteran femcee MC Lyte has always drawn inspiration from the rich Caribbean culture that surrounded her from a young age. Argueably the most pioneering and groundbreaking female artist in Hip Hop history, her versatile and unique style has helped diversify and enrich the genre for over 20 years.Unafraid to “flip styles” and transgress the already blurred boundary between genres, Lyte decided to release ‘Brooklyn,’ a reggae-influenced ode to Caribbean cultural impact on both New York and Hip Hop itself.

The single is not her first venture into the Reggae world; in 2000 she featured on the remix of the Bob Marley’s ‘Jammin,’ bringing a little Hip Hop flavour to the classic record. Unlike on ‘Jammin,’ however, she favours a Jamaican accent throughout most of ‘Brooklyn’ and for the video takes to the streets of the borough sporting a Kingston Adidas jacket. Providing a rather vivid snapshot of her Brooklyn upbringing, in which West Indian culture was firmly embedded, Lyte states that recording the track was “like paying homage to where [she] came from and the culture that [she] grew up on.”

“Brooklyn is the West Indies,” she jokes, before explaining proudly, “that was where I was raised. That was where I was brought up. I listened to a lot of Reggae coming up, so it’s influenced me.” More specifically she describes how, “it was definitely inspiring for many years to be able to listen to Rawkus and hear all of the great artists do what they do.” The diverse musical scene has clearly played a big role in her artistic development.

In fact, listening to her more recent projects, it becomes immediately apparent that the melodic 90’s Dancehall deejaying styles have enriched Lyte’s own rhyming style. “I think I’ve become more accustomed to flow,” she explains. “The last five records, there was really a lot of attention paid to flow, but now more so than ever.” Trying to achieve a more soulful tone, she is also paying much more attention to lyricism and wordplay. “Now I’ve grown into more into somewhat of a melody, still having enough edge where I’m speaking to the people, but in a melodic way,” she elaborates.

Although she currently resides in Los Angeles, Lyte admits fondly that her heart unsuprisingly remains in the vibrant streets of Brooklyn and its rich Carribean culture, which provided such a great influence for her.

MC Lyte’s Brooklyn Video:

My German-speaking readership will be able to read the German language feature in the next edition of RIDDIM Magazine, in stores next month. Also be sure to look out for my full MC Lyte interview, coming soon to Allhiphop.com.

BET Hip Hop Awards 2009: Congratulations Allhiphop!

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Congratulations to Allhiphop.com on winning the Best Hip Hop website at the 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards! I am so proud to be a part of the AHH team. So without further ado, here is a full list of the BET Hip Hop Award Winners:

People’s Award – Fabolous ft. The Dream (Throw It In The Bag)

Best Collabo – TI ft. Rihanna (Live Your Life)

Best Live Performer – Jay-Z

Lyricist of the Year – Jay-Z

Video Director – Hype Williams

Best Producer – Kanye West

Best Track – Young Money (Every Girl)

CD of the Year – TI (Paper Trail)

Rookie of the Year – Drake

Best Video – TI ft. Rihanna (Live Your Life)

MVP – Jay-Z

DJ of the Year – DJ AM

Hustler of the Year – Jay-Z

Made-You-Look Award – Kanye West

Best Site – Allhiphop.com

Allhiphop.com