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NINA SIMONE had no filter. She spoke with candor about civil rights when many in her position didn’t dare. She sang about uncomfortable subjects and made sure her audiences understood what those songs were really about.
Setting the contemporary archetype for a breakthrough artist, THEOPHILUS LONDON dropped three mixtapes before releasing any product for sale. Utilizing a mix of ’80s downtown art/music aesthetics and postmodern viral freedom, he put art ahead of commerce and gained fame without the help of a major label or marketing push.
Known for the clowning antics of his alter ego, Digital Underground’s Humpty Hump, rapper SHOCK G was actually very serious about music.
BILLY COX gigged with Jimi Hendrix in the Army, worked the chitlin circuit in the South, played bass as an R&B session man in Nashville, and backed countless stars on television. When the guitar god called on him to join his new band with Buddy Miles on drums, Cox brought gritty Southern ammunition to the Band of Gypsys.
THE ROLAND TR-808
GIL SCOTT-HERON and FONCE MIZELL remembered
SWAMP DOGG, SARAH VAUGHAN, ODYSSEY, THE BEASTIE
BOYS, and MIDNIGHT MOVERS UNLTD. re:Discovered