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Dan Lish

J. Period’s ‘OutKast: ReFixed’ Live Mixtape Hits On 23rd Anniversary Of ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik’ LP

Award-winning DJ and producer J. Period reflects on the groundbreaking career of Atlanta most funkiest duo. 

Award-winning DJ and producer J. Period is back at it with one another mega-mix masterpiece dedicated to one musical act, this time the southern hip-hop dynamic duo Outkast. In the past, J. Period has released projects chronicling the lives and music of superstars like Michael Jackson, James Brown, Nas, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West and many more. This time though the spotlight hits Andre 3000 and Big Boi...and deservingly so.

Recorded at the party jam live at Art Of Storytellin’: Brooklyn, J. Period takes hits like Desiigner’s “Panda” and contorts it with ‘Kast’s “B.O.B.”. Young Money’s “Truffle Butter” finds its way on Outkast’s “Skew It on the BBQ” in a fantastical flow way. The artwork for the project stays inline with the creative mash up of themes from Outkast’s most detailed album work. Designed by the legend, Dan Lish, this cover takes the Alice In Wonderland time concept and twists it’s back out. Check the rhymes and the rhythms below.

Being straight up, I wasn’t even checking for Atlanta natives Outkast when their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik dropped on April 26, 1994. I was a senior in high school and way to consumed with being a Nike head and getting chains that would excite the Feds, ‘cus like most New York teens at the time, Nasty Nas ruled our world. Plus, the young God soloist had just released his instant classic, Illmatic, on April 19th a week before. So looking out for some down south, almost bizzaro world version of hardcore rappers Das Efx wasn’t my immediate flow.

Yet, the video for the album’s single “Player’s Ball” was dope and reminded me of my South Carolina cousins. The Souls of Mischief flows were riding the beat right and the visuals of the ATL hoods showed their realness. Yet, I still didn’t consume the album until weeks later. I respected it. But there were so many ill ass albums that dropped in 1994 (look ‘em up), so I didn’t connect fully with ‘Kast’s first project until at least the winter of ‘94. You can thank the good thick grits groove and message of “Git Up, Git Out” (which introduced Goodie Mob) for that.

Shame on me for that long a** wait between listens. Even more shame on me for not realizing the incredible talents they possessed until the next album, ATLiens, in 1996. “Elevators” alone is probably the basis for all breaking the mold hip-hop soul at the time. They then followed with Aquemini in ‘98, Stankonia in 2000 and the greatest set, in my opinion Speakerboxxx/The Love Below in 2003. But none of this would be possible without the initial groundbreaking impact of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. It is so important to the fabric of Hip-Hop that Timothy Anne Burnside, Curatorial Museum Specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture included it at the heralded preserve and had this to say about it:

“When thinking about what objects to display in the music exhibition, it was important to tell stories from multiple genres, regions, and time periods. Outkast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik helps to tell a much larger story of hip-hop in the south, and includes narratives around southern culture and identity that connect with themes and topics explored in other exhibitions in the museum. The sonic construction of the album features so many genres, and the production - especially the inclusion of live instrumentation - combined with the lyrics and styles of Big Boi and Andre created something that was not yet really present in hip hop. Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik simultaneously explored the past, present, and future of music and culture, and established Outkast's authenticity as unapologetically Southern.”

When an album like Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik makes historians flip like that, it means the DJs/Producers like J. Period start to brainstorm and come up with mixtape ideas like OutKast: ReFixed. Taking the many classics that the Atlanta duo has cooked up and adding new musical spice to them was J. Period’s aim. Here are his thoughts on ‘Kast and their career:

"Twenty-three years ago today, an album came out that changed the course of hip-hop history forever. Before Outkast put Atlanta on the map, hip-hop was East and West; Outkast opened a bridge to a whole new world in the South, and paved the way for other cities -- Houston, Miami, New Orleans -- to brand their own distinct styles of hip hop. It's an honor to take part in Vibe's celebration of this milestone and pay tribute to Outkast's catalog with this new mixtape. Remixing Dre and Big Boi verses over new and classic beats is my way of showing the timelessness of their catalog, and the greatness of these two visionary artists. Plus: hearing Andre verses back to back over new beats tunes your ears in a new way to really dissect his lyrics. No question: 3 Stacks is one of the greatest MCs of all time.”

Now here we are, 23 years later still listening to them country boys. Just two nights ago, Big Boi sat holding court before the media elite in New York’s Electric Lady Studios, playing the ElectroFunkPopTrap selections from his new album Boomiverse, which should be out this June. Taking a moment to enjoy the historic milestone of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and Outkast’s impact, Big Boi said this:

“[Outkast is] two years away from being eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! The foundation of southern Hip-Hop, a global statement of what the South has to offer.”

Nuff said.

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Gladys Knight Defends Decision To Perform National Anthem At Super Bowl Amid Criticism

Glad Knight says she wants to “give the National Anthem back its voice.” The music legend released a new statement defending her decision to sing  the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in Atlanta, next month, amid criticism from fans.

Several artists turned down offers to perform at the Super Bowl in protest of the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Knight clarified that her choice to sing has nothing to do with Kaepernick, and she doesn't exactly agree with the anthem being "dragged into the debate."

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight said in a statement to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The 74-year-old singer also noted that she has been on the forefront of social justice issues for much of her career. "I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words,” Knight said. “The way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good.

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it,” she continued. “I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Knight isn’t alone in catching heat for joining the Super Bowl lineup. Travis Scott and Big Boi, both of whom will perform with Maroon 5 at halftime, received backlash as well.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced claiming Scott had a meeting with Kaepernick that ended with “mutual respect” and “understanding.” Kaepernick’s girlfriend and Hot 97 DJ, Nessa Diab, denied the report tweeting, “There is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying.”

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Wendy Williams Postpones Show Return Due To “Complications” From Graves’ Disease

Wendy Williams is promising to get back to The Wendy Williams Show by the end of January, after delaying her return two previous times.

Williams announced another extended hiatus from her talk show as she continues recovering from a shoulder injury and recent “complications” brought on by Graves' disease, according to a statement posted to the show’s Instagram account Friday (Jan. 18).

“Over the past few days, Wendy has experienced complications regarding her Graves’ Disease that will require treatment,” reads the statement. “Wendy will be under the strict supervision of her physicians, and as part of her care, there will be significant time spent in the hospital. Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being.

“Wendy thanks everyone in advance for their well-wishes and for respecting her and The Hunter Family's privacy during this time.”

The statement included a message of support from Debmar-Mercury, the company that syndicates The Wendy Williams Show. “We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready.”

Williams will return with new episodes the week of Jan. 28.

 

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A Note from The Hunter Family As Wendy Williams Hunter previously shared, she fractured her shoulder and has been on the mend. Over the past few days, Wendy has experienced complications regarding her Graves’ Disease that will require treatment. Wendy will be under the strict supervision of her physicians, and as part of her care, there will be significant time spent in the hospital. Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being. Wendy thanks everyone in advance for their well-wishes and for respecting her and The Hunter Family's privacy during this time. Statement from Debmar-Mercury For over ten years, Wendy has been a vital part of the Debmar-Mercury family. We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready. The Wendy Williams Show will air repeat episodes the week of January 21st and will produce original episodes with a variety of hosts starting the week of January 28th.

A post shared by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow) on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:34am PST

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Former Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Sentenced For Killing Laquan McDonald

Former Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, could end up serving just over three years in prison for killing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was sentenced to 81 months Friday (Jan. 18), and according to the Chicago Tribune , the former officer is eligible to receive credit for good behavior.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan had to decide between sentencing Van Dyke for second-degree murder or aggravated battery, the latter of which carried a mandatory minimum of six years in prison, the Tribune reports. Gaughan decided that it made more sense to sentence Van Dyke for murder, which makes him eligible for early release.

McDonald was shot to death in 2014. At the time, authorities claimed that the teen was behaving erratically while carrying a small knife. The police department waited 13 months to release video of the shooting. In the footage, McDonald is seen walking away from the cops as Van Dyke opens fire, shooting him 16 times. Van Dyke, a 14-year veteran of the CPD, was arrested and quickly released on bond the day that the video was made public. He was found guilty of second-degree murder and more than a dozen charges of aggravated battery last October.

Darren O'Brien, Van Dyke’s lawyer, pushed for sentencing “leniency,” due in part to his client’s clean criminal record. Depicting O’Brien as the victim, Van Dyke stated that his client feared for his life when he killed McDonald.

“He didn’t start the confrontation,” O’Brien said. “He reacted to what Mr. McDonald did..Everything that happened was set in motion by Mr. McDonald.”

Gaughan called the court case a tragedy for families from both parties. “It’s just so senseless that these acts occur because you can see the pain on both sides. This is a tragedy for both sides."

Van Dyke's sentence came a day after a Cook County judge acquitted three CPD officers charged with covering up the shooting.

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