Friday, December 28, 2007

Harry Leonard Photoshoot

Back in the summer I did a shoot with the super talented Harry Leonard. It took me forever to get these images but it was well worth the wait. I think I was in top shape and there is a certain happiness and freedom that comes across in the pictures.

Check out Harry Leonard's website

Thursday, December 13, 2007

HEAVy Album review


Artist: HEAVy
Album: JazzMoney$$
Genre: Soul/Electronica

Get ready for the new school. New York duo HEAVy are set to make a major impact with their debut LP JazzMoney$$ on BBE.

Read the review

Monday, December 10, 2007

Chris Brown "Exclusive" Review

Chris Brown
Jive Records
6.0 out of 10
By Norman Mayers

Chris Brown emerged in 2005 with his hit song “Run It” which was basically a rip-off of Usher’s “Yeah” or any number of similar cuts. But don’t hold it against him. Chris Brown is a talented performer in his own right. The performer has appeared in a few movies (Stomp The Yard) and apparently had people talking after his performance at the 2007 VMAs. His sophomore album Exclusive is pretty much what one would expect from an 18-year old major label R&B singer’s album: up-tempo beats from the hottest producers, hip-hop swagger, high profile guest stars, and cheesy ballads. While the album stumbles in a few instances it mostly stays afloat thanks to the A-list collaborators and a suitably charming turn from Chris Brown himself. It’s no classic, but it is better than it probably should be.

Chris Brown is definitely not a singer. None of Exclusive’s 14 tracks and 2 bonus tracks reach the vocal power of Usher or even Justin Timberlake for that matter. But this is contemporary R&B, not classic soul. Brown has the perfect formula to reach his audience of club-hopping teenyboppers. The overall sound of the album is dancey and this is established immediately with the opener “Throwed” and its DC gogo-infused vibe. The list of guest stars is impressive and appeals to a wide range of listeners. T-Pain, Will.I.Am, Big Boi, L’il Wayne, Kanye West, and the Game all show up. Producers such as Scott Storch, Will.I.Am, and Jazze Pha create some excellent beats. The best tracks, specifically “Picture Perfect” with its rapid-fire verses and pounding 808 and synthesizer stabs, and “Gimme What You Got”, a slinky number that rides twinkling electronic effects, are creatively constructed pop masterpieces. Brown is also a lot more sincere and a lot less arrogant than many of his contemporaries and this shines though his music. Lyrics like “I’m genuine with it, I ain’t trying to put no pimping in it” from “Hold Up” play up Brown’s fresh-faced youth, a welcome change from all the bad boy sex crazed talk we usually see in R&B as of late (I’m looking at you T-Pain). But like most R&B that is club oriented, the ballads fall short, and Exclusive is no exception. Here the ballads just suffer from lame, redundant, and derivative production. Those Stargate guys keep recycling Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”; this time they have repackaged it into a track called “With You.” Fortunately there are only 5 slower tracks so the overall vibe of the album isn’t affected.

Chris Brown is definitely riding on the coattails of artists greater than he is but he is still a talented performer who can deliver high-octane club hits. With Exclusive he showcases his penchant for teaming up with the right collaborators and delivers a rather solid sophomore release.

Purchase this album on Itunes

Chris Brown Website
Chris Brown on myspace

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Nu-Soul Artists Get Grammy Love!

The nominations for the 2007 Grammy awards were announced today and a whole bunch of artists featured on the Nu-Soul site got some nominations. Check out the list and buy the music from these artists dammit! They deserve your support.

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Just Fine
    Mary J. Blige
    [Geffen] Purchase track

  • When I See You
    Track from: Fantasia
    [J Records/19 Records/S Records]Purchase track

  • No One
    Alicia Keys
    [J Records/MBK Entertainment]Purchase track

  • If I Have My Way
    Chrisette Michele
    Track from: I Am
    [Def Jam Recordings]Purchase track

  • Hate On Me
    Jill Scott
    Track from: The Real Thing
    [Hidden Beach Recordings]Purchase track

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Woman
    Raheem DeVaughn
    [Jive Records]

  • B.U.D.D.Y.
    Musiq Soulchild
    Track from: Luvanmusiq
    [Atlantic Records]

  • Because Of You
    [Def Jam Recordings]

  • Future Baby Mama
    Track from: Planet Earth
    [Columbia/NPG Records]

  • Please Don't Go
    Track from: Sex, Love & Pain
    [Blackground/Universal Motown


Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
(For duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Same Girl
    R. Kelly Featuring Usher
    Track from: Double Up

  • Disrespectful
    Chaka Khan Featuring Mary J. Blige

  • Hate That I Love You
    Rihanna Featuring Ne-Yo
    Track from: Good Girl Gone Bad
    [Def Jam Recordings]

  • Baby
    Angie Stone Featuring Betty Wright
    [Stax]Purchase track

  • Bartender
    T-Pain Featuring Akon

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Walk A Mile In My Shoes
    Otis Clay
    Track from: Walk A Mile In My Shoes
    [Echo Records]

  • All Night Long
    Randy Crawford & Joe Sample
    Track from: Feeling Good
    [PRA Records]

  • In My Songs
    Gerald Levert
    Track from: In My Songs

  • I Apologize
    Ann Nesby
    Track from: This Is Love
    [Shanachie/It's Time Child Records]Purchase track

  • I Am Your Man
    Ryan Shaw
    Track from: This Is Ryan Shaw
    [One Haven/Razor & Tie Entertainment]

Best Urban/Alternative Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Make A Baby
    Vikter Duplaix
    Track from: Bold And Beautiful
    [BBE]Purchase track

  • That’s The Way Of The World
    Track from: Interpretations: Celebrating The Music Of Earth, Wind & Fire
    [Stax]Purchase track

  • Daydreamin'
    Lupe Fiasco Featuring Jill Scott
    Track from: Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor
    [1st & 15th/Atlantic]Purchase track

  • Fantasy
    Meshell Ndegeocello
    Track from: Interpretations: Celebrating The Music Of Earth, Wind & Fire

  • Dream
    Alice Smith
    Track from: For Lovers, Dreamers & Me
    [BBE Records]

Best R&B Song
(A Songwriter(s) Award. For Song Eligibility Guidelines see Category #3. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.)

  • Beautiful Flower
    India.Arie & Joyce Simpson, songwriters (India.Arie)
    [Universal Republic Records; Publishers: Gold & Iron Music Publishing, WB Music Corp.]

  • Hate That I Love You
    M.S. Eriksen, T.E. Hermansen & Shaffer Smith, songwriters (Rihanna Featuring
    Track from: Good Girl Gone Bad
    [Def Jam Recordings; Publishers: EMI April Music, Sony/ATV Tunes]

  • No One
    Dirty Harry, Kerry Brothers & Alicia Keys, songwriters (Alicia Keys)
    [J Records/MBK Entertainment; Publishers: Lellow Productions/EMI April Music, Book Of Daniel Music/EMI Music Publishing, D. Harry Productions]

  • Teachme
    Ivan Barias, Adam W. Blackstone, Randall C. Bowland, Carvin Haggins, Johnnie
    Smith II & Corey Latif Williams, songwriters (Musiq Soulchild)
    Track from: Luvanmusiq
    [Atlantic; Publishers: Nivrac Tyke/Universal Publishing, Latif Music/Universal Publishing, Tetra Grammaton/Universal Music Publishing, Melodic Piano Productions, HC 1030 Publishing]

  • When I See U
    Louis Biancaniello, Waynne Nugent, Erika Nuri, Kevin Risto, Janet Sewel & Sam
    Watters, songwriters (Fantasia)
    Track from: Fantasia
    [J Records/19 Records/S Records; Publishers: Breakthrough Creations/EMI April Music, S.M.Y. Publishing/Sony/ATV Tunes, Break North Music/Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Wayne Writers/Sony/ATV Tunes, J. Sewell Publishing, Golden The Super Kid Music]

Best R&B Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Funk This
    Chaka Khan
    [Burgundy Records]

  • Lost & Found
    [Verve Forecast]Purchase album

  • Luvanmusiq
    Musiq Soulchild

  • The Real Thing
    Jill Scott
    [Hidden Beach Recordings]Purchase album

  • Sex, Love & Pain
    [Blackground/Universal Motown Records]

Best Contemporary R&B Album
(For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)

  • Konvicted
    [SRC/Universal Motown]

  • Just Like You
    Keyshia Cole
    [Geffen]Purchase album

  • Fantasia
    [J Records/19 Records/S Records]Purchase album

  • East Side Story
    Emily King
    [J Records]Purchase album

  • Because Of You
    [Def Jam Recordings]

Best Dance Recording
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances. Vocal or Instrumental. Singles or tracks only.)

  • Do It Again
    The Chemical Brothers
    Tom Rowlands & Ed Simons, producers
    Track from: We Are The Night

  • D.A.N.C.E.
    Gaspard Auge & Xavier de Rosnay, producers; Gaspard Auge & Xavier de Rosnay,
    Track from: †
    [Ed Banger/Vice/Because]

  • Love Today
    Jodi Marr, John Merchant, Mika & Greg Wells, producers; Greg Wells, mixer
    Track from: Life In Cartoon Motion
    [Casablanca/Universal Republic Records]

  • Don't Stop The Music
    StarGate, producer; Phil Tan, mixer
    Track from: Good Girl Gone Bad
    [Def Jam]

  • LoveStoned/I Think She Knows
    Justin Timberlake
    Nate (Danja) Hills, Timbaland & Justin Timberlake, producers; Jimmy Douglass &
    Timbaland, mixers
    Track from: FutureSex/LoveSounds



Best Electronic/Dance Album
(For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.)

  • We Are The Night
    The Chemical Brothers
    [Astralwerks]Purchase album

  • Justice
    [Ed Banger/Vice/Because]

  • Sound Of Silver
    LCD Soundsystem
    [Capitol Records/DFA]

  • We Are Pilots
    Shiny Toy Guns
    [Universal Motown]

  • Elements Of Life
    [Ultra Records]


Category 4

Best New Artist
(For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Shoot with Justin Monroe

I recently shot with the brilliant Justin Monroe. His work is amazing as he seems to create whole new worlds and tells a complete story with his images. His work is very edgy though and sexy. I was game for it though. I shot mostly in front of a green screen. I was painted up to look like some sort of warrior from the depths of hell. A sexy warrior with a hot ass though. LOL! I had to pretend I was pulling people into hell (namely a priest and a Beverly Hills citizen in Gucci clothes!) Can't wait to see the finished work.

Justin Monroe's website

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bring on the Beat 4. WMC 2008

It's Miami time again. This is the first event we have gotten wind of for Winter Music Conference 2008 and it's one of the best. Bring On The Beats 4 is a pool party of all breaks and electro!

March 27, 2008

Strictly Social November photos w/ Peter Hadar & Jimmie Reign


A big thanks to everyone who made it out for the November edition of Strictly Social. The vibe was definitely intact with our special listening party for Amp Fiddler's new album Afro Strut. Early birds got some Amp Fiddler treats like free t-shirts, skull caps, and CDs!

The performances were off the hook. The Bay Area's beautiful songstress Jimmie Reign seduced the Nu-soulsters with her beautiful voice, hot beats, and energetic dancers. Nu-Soul artist Peter Hadar proved that he is a man with his own unique style by starting his set off with some soulful drum & bass before setting the night ablaze with tracks from his debut Memories of the Heart. What a night of memorable performances!

Big thanks to everyone involved:, Fusicology, Meilani, Social Butterfly, Jimmie & Peter, Giant Step and all the wonderful people who added to the vibe. And big love to Aaron and Lucy for holding it down! We will be taking a break in December so see you on January 30th, 2008!

Purchase music from Amp Fiddler

Purchase Peter Hadar's Memories of the Heart

Purchase music from Jimmie Reign

First Lady of Bay, Jimmie Reign & dancers

Amp Fiddler goodies

The scene

Peter Hadar killing it!




Nu-Soul Editor Norman Mayers with Jimmie Reign


Monday, November 26, 2007

Jeff Beckham Photos from Fitness Hollywood

I have never really been into bodybuilding as a sport that much but this guy might change all that. Jeff Beckham was one of the amazing contestants in last weekend's Fitness Hollywood event. He definitely stood out among the competitors partially for his height, but definitely for his cornrows and his magnetic stage presence. Enjoy the photos.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Muscle Mania Photos: Samuel Laurent

Here are those photos of bodybuilder Samuel Laurent from the Fitness Hollywood show. Photos taken by Steven Blank of Pink Mafia Radio.

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