Saturday, September 23, 2006

THISDAY Music Festival: the passion, the romance

Beyonce Knowles

American music diva, Beyonce Knowles has celebrated her 25th birthday two weeks ago. With this anniversary came the international release of her latest album, B'Day. Born in 1981 to Tina and Mathew Knowles,
It ha s been a busy weekend for Beyonce. She stole the show at the MTV Music Video Awards with a jaw-dropping performance of her new record. Not only that, the R&B Queen won Best R&B Video award for Check On It. Beyonce showed an aptitude for music before she could even talk. As a young girl, she would drown out everyone, including the church choir.

A normal childhood was not in the books for Beyonce. At 8 years old, she met LaTavia Robertson while auditioning for a girls musical group and Matthew Knowles, Beyonce's manager and father, later paired the two with LeToya Luckett. In 1992, cousin Kelly Rowland joined the group, and they performed together on Star Search.
Small gigs and much label-shopping later, the four beauties cemented their relationship by calling themselves Destiny's Child. In 1997, "No, No, No" became their first official single, and they got off to a big start as the track went multi-platinum. The girls were instantly popular in the media and impressed all with their self-titled debut.

Destiny Child, led by the incomparable Beyonce, had three top ten hits within the year: "Jumpin, Jumpin," "Say My Name" and "Bills, Bills, Bills." They became one of the best-selling female groups of recent memory after this second album sold more than nine million units worldwide. At the same time, it was announced that their single "Independent Women Part 1," off the Charlie's Angels soundtrack, had reached the largest audience ever in the recorded radio airplay -- 140.4 million pairs of ears.

Beyonce displayed a versatile style with this solo effort, creating the club hit "Baby Boy," the pop success "Crazy In Love" and the soulful "The Closer I Get To You" with Luther Vandross. Like her work in Destiny's Child, Beyonce wrote or co-wrote many of the tracks and performed her heart out on award shows to get the word out to a huge audience. She has emerged as a diva, making the best videos, catchiest songs and creating the most headlines. At 2004's Grammy ceremony, Beyonce took away five awards and was the biggest winner of the night. Rumors have swirled that she is involved with rapper Jay-Z, and talk of another Destiny's Child album has surfaced.

Busta Rhymes
'Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr. born on May 20, 1971, better known as Busta Rhymes, also Busta Bus or simply Bust, is an American hip hop musician and actor. Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him the name Busta Rhymes (from former NFL football player George "Buster" Rhymes) after watching him perform.
Trevor was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is of Jamaican heritage. At the age of 12, his family moved to Uniondale, a suburb of New York City on Long Island, where he was raised and eventually met up with other rappers from the growing New York area hip hop community.

He graduated from George Westinghouse High School Downtown Brooklyn, the same high school attended by famous MC's Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z. He has a son named T'ziah born in 1993.
Busta Rhymes' musical career began as a member of the Hip Hop crew Leaders of the New School along with fellow Long Island natives C. Brown, Dinco D and Cut Monitor Milo. They began recording in 1991 with the album A Future Without a Past (Elektra Records), and soon gained an amount of fame.

Busta Rhymes' performance on "Scenario" is thought of by some as the performance which led to his becoming a fan favorite and eventually going solo. The Leaders Of The New School released their last album T.I.M.E. in 1993, after which Busta Rhymes began his solo career.

Busta Rhymes' debut solo album The Coming was released by Elektra Records in 1996. The album was a mix of ragga and hip hop, and it included the US and UK top 10 single "Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check." His follow-up, When Disaster Strikes... was successful in the US and sold well overseas. The album produced two hugely popular singles and videos in America, "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" and "Dangerous". The same year he released The Imperial as part of the Flipmode Squad, a collaborative project with rappers Rampage, Lord Have Mercy, Spliff Star, Rah Digga and Baby Sham.
1998 brought Extinction Level Event (Final World Front), the theme of which was an assertion that the world would end in the year 2000.

This year has seen the release of his seventh studio album, The Big Bang. The CD became his first Number 1 album of his entire career. The CD sold over 209,000 copies in its first week to earn the top spot on the charts.
The album also became his highest charting album in the UK, peaking at Number 19 there. Some of the album was leaked on the internet, and as a result several songs were left off the album and new ones added. The Big Bang featured more production by Dr. Dre than Busta's previous releases and appearances by Raekwon and Nas. The singles that have been released from the album are, "Touch It", "I Love My Bitch", featuring Kelis and Will.I.Am of The Black Eyed Peas, "New York Shit" and "In The Ghetto". Busta also had a stint opening for Carey's Adventures of Mimi Tour.

Missy Elliott
Melissa Arnette Elliott is her birth name, but that name has since been submerged with her showbiz nomenclatures, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Missy Elliott, Misdemeanor. Born on July 1, 1971 in Portsmouth, Virginia, United States, Missy is one of the leadingn stars of Hip-hop/R&B. She is an established singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer.
Missy hit the headlines in 1996 and has remained a force to reckon with ever since. She dropped the "Misdemeanor" from her stage name in 2003, and now simply goes by "Missy Elliott". Missy Elliott is the biggest selling female rapper of all time, with record sales of 17 million total including US, worldwide, and single sales.

Elliott is one of the first female hip hop artists known for a series of hits including "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", "Hit 'Em Wit Da Hee", "Get Ur Freak On", "One Minute Man", "Work It", and "Lose Control". In addition she has received recognition as one of the most successful songwriters of the modern music era, having crafted a number of hit records for artists such as Melanie B, Aaliyah, 702, Total, Ciara, Nicole Wray and Tweet, often with production-partner and childhood friend Timbaland.
She was the fourth female rapper to ever go Platinum, behind Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown and Da Brat.

Her debut album, released in mid-1997, was Supa Dupa Fly, which included "Da Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)", a blockbuster hit that established Missy as a major force in popular music. Other singles included "Beep Me 911," which featured 702, Timbaland, and Magoo; "Hit 'Em wit da Hee," featuring rapper Mocha and Lil' Kim and Timbaland; and "Sock It 2 Me," a moderate hit which featured rhymes from Da Brat and a cameo by Lil' Kim in the Mega Man-inspired music video. The critical acceptance of Supa Dupa Fly was mixed, though generally positive; many critics commented that the album tracks, some of which sampled Missy / Mosley hits such as "Can We" and "One in a Million", were far inferior to the singles. 1997 also saw Elliott perform on Lil Kim's girl-power anthem, a hit remix of her song, "Not Tonight".

Elliott's second album was just as successful as the first. Da Real World (1999, see 1999 in music) included the singles "All N My Grill," a collaboration with Nicole Wray and Big Boi (from OutKast), "Hot Boyz [Remix]" and "She's a Bitch".
Respect M.E. - The Greatest Hits is Missy Elliott's greatest hits album featuring hits such as Get Ur Freak On, Pass That Dutch, Lose Control and her lastest single We Run This. The ablum is due for a September 4, 2006 release.

Also Missy Elliott won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects in a Video with her single, 'We Run This'. During the MTV VMA's 2006 she performed alongside with Timbaland, with her first single The Rain (Supa Fly), during a tribute to music video director Hype Williams. Elliott appeared in the same outfit as she did in her first single video; a big plastic suit filled with air.

Shawn Corey Carter, popularly known as Jay-Z, (or by a variety of nicknames including S. Carter, S.Dot, Jigga, Jay-Hova, Hova, and Young Hov) is an American hip-hop artist and current president and CEO of Def Jam and Roc-A-Fella Records. He has been one of the most prolific and successful American rappers of the past decade. Due to this sucess, he is sometimes considered to be the greatest rapper of all time.

He is admired for his ability to craft lyrics from memory, without the use of pen and paper; he claims his critically acclaimed album The Blueprint was written in only two days.
He is one of the founders of Roc-A-Fella Records, a hip-hop record label which also launched the careers of artists such as Beanie Sigel, Kanye West, Memphis Bleek, Young Gunz, Freeway, and Teairra Mari.

As of 2006, he was estimated to be worth around $320 million.
Carter was known as "Jazzy," a nickname which eventually developed into his stage name, "Jay-Z." The moniker is also a homage to his musical partner Jaz-O (a.k.a. the Jaz, Big Jaz) as well as to the J-Z subway lines that have a stop at Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn.
On November 25, 2003, Jay-Z held a concert at Madison Square Garden, which would later be the focus of his film Fade to Black. This concert was his "retirement party." All proceeds went to charity. Other performers included collaborators like The Roots (in the form of his backing band), Missy Elliott, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Siegel, Freeway, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Twista, Ghostface Killah, Foxy Brown, Pharrell and R. Kelly with special appearances by Voletta Wallace and Afeni Shakur; the mothers of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur respectively.

There is still heavy speculation that he may come out of his "retirement" to record & release a new album in 2006, ten years after his first album was released.
Apart from being President and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, Jay-Z is also one of the owners and founders of the Roc-A-Fella empire, which includes Roc-A-Fella Records, Roc-La-Familia, Roc-A-Fella Films and Rocawear.
Jay-Z was featured on Beyonce's hit single "Crazy In Love." He made yet another appearance on Beyoncé's 2006 hit, "Deja Vu". The couple never publicly discuss their relationship and have been together for almost four years.

Last month, Jay-Z became the latest superstar to help the United Nations create awareness on a major crisis in the world. He has teamed up with the United Nations and MTV to get children involved in the fight against the worldwide water crisis. He cited statistics that 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water and 2.6 billion lack proper sanitation.
Now, the rap superstar has a new favorite drink: water.

Majek Fashek
Majek Fashek is one of Reggae and Nigeria's most unique and important artists. We were with Majek at some of his first shows in the US, and we've been at some of his more recent concerts. He's had fans come and go, but there is a circle of us who have always been there. We've stuck it out with Majek though the thick and the thin, times good and bad. The road has not been straight… indeed it has meandered, and it has, the truth be told, been a bit rocky. Yet Majek is still singing and still believing. We often find ourselves fascinated by Majek perception of the world around him. He sees things in a unique light. Here is a man who has convictions and strong beliefs.

We prefer to think of it the following way. On some days, the stars align themselves, and things click. We've seen this happen with Majek both onstage and off. We've seen some of the best moments in live music come from Majek. The best are the moments we like to hold on to, the moments that burn into our memories. With Majek, you've got to know why he wrote the song, and what he was getting at. Sometimes, you have to push, dig deeper, to get the real meaning.
We found ourselves digging deep for the meaning of Majek's songs, philosophy and his view of the world around him.

I'm talking about Job, I dedicated that song to my late brother who was a Biafra soldier – you know he believed in God and things happened. At the same time, I start to realize life in its redefinition. Referring to the song lyrics "We are not fighting against flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in high and low places." So what I am trying to say is that Job was the son of God in the Bible. Job heard everything. Man, he was tempted by the devil to give up Jah will…Job tried, you know…
Just like what has happened to me in my career – because before I had a very big contract with Interscope Records, you know what I am saying… things happen and I was on some spiritual experience. Things like that – losing all the bucks, just like that… but still surviving!

Ciara Princess Harris was born on October 25, 1985. She is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter, actress, and dancer. Ciara made her debut in the summer of 2004 with the Billboard number one single Goodies. She is now set to release her second studio album The Evolution on November 14, 2006.
Ciara was born in Austin, Texas, and grew up in army bases in Germany, New York, California, Arizona and Nevada, since her father was in the United States Army. Her mother figured out that she wanted to pursue a career in music when she picked her up from daycare, and sung every song that was played on the radio. Ciara moved to Atlanta, Georgia when she was 8 years old.
One day, when she was 14, she came home from school and told her mom that she would like to become a singer, but her mom wasn't sure if she really wanted to do this.
She has said that it was seeing a televised performance by Destiny's Child while staying home from school one day that inspired her to pursue a career in music. In her early teens she formed the goal to become a professional singer. She once was a cheerleader for her North Clayton high school team, until she quit. She then joined a girl group called "Hearsay", worked on her songwriting, eventually left the group, got a publishing deal, and found a "musical soulmate" when she met producer Jazze Pha.


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Tha Blaq Sinattra said...

It's good to hear about interest in Nigeria and the rest of Africa about African-American artists. Many of us from USA, Cuba and Brazil would find blood family members if they did DNA test with West Africa. Check some of my sounds at

Tha Blaq Sinattra said...

I forgot o mention the Caribbean! peace.

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