Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bookwerk :: Places and Spaces I've Been by Pharrell Williams

Redefining cool for a new generation, Pharrell Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. Originating at the crossroads of art, design, popular culture, and street savvy, Pharrell Williams’ output is unique. By playing off different disciplines—namely music, fashion, street art, and design—and using each as an element in the other, Pharrell has redefined the role of the contemporary recording artist, blazing a trail for other musicians and prominent cultural figures.

Illustrated with lavish photography, his new book, Places and Spaces I've Been, also explores his musical career in depth, charting his many projects from his production team The Neptunes, to the band N.E.R.D., and his collaborations with friends Kanye West, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and other hip-hop royalty. This unprecedented volume documents Pharrell’s prolific body of work and his contribution to contemporary culture. In his own unique graphic language, he details his extensive creative pursuits, including clothing lines, jewelry, and accessories designs for Louis Vuitton, furniture and other product design, limited-edition toys, graphic designs, skate graphics, and collaborations with Moncler, Marc Jacobs, the artist KAWS, and with architects Zaha Hadid and Masamichi Katayama/Wonderwall.

Below Pharrell Williams talks about his book Places and Spaces I've Been and attends his first book signing at Marc Jacobs' store BOOK MARC in Los Angeles, California.

Follow Pharrell on Twitter

Friday, October 26, 2012

Filmwerk :: Mr Soul! The Movie - A Film by Samuel D. Pollard and Melissa Haizlip

Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Mr. SOUL!

From 1968 to 1973, America got SOUL! -- the first "black Tonight Show" -- a groundbreaking PBS television series called SOUL! produced and hosted by Ellis Haizlip. The show was both entertaining and revolutionary, while launching the careers of many of the African American icons of the 20th century, and marking the beginning of diversity in television.

For much of America, SOUL! offered the first glimpse of black culture, music, politics and community, as well as first-ever televised performances and appearances by Earth, Wind & Fire, Arsenio Hall, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Al Green, Ashford & Simpson, and more.

(Above) Stevie Wonder (L) and Ellis Haizlip (R)

WNET/Channel 13 in New York City - celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year - was the original presenting station of SOUL!, making it a real New York story, one about the arts, culture, and a black, gay, broadcast pioneer who changed the media landscape at the onset of public television. In 1972 and 1973, at the height of the show’s success, Lincoln Center invited Haizlip to produce Soul At The Center, a critically acclaimed, two-year, twelve-day black arts festival at Lincoln Center, which became the first collaborative venture between Lincoln Center and the black community.

The film offers a behind-the-scenes look at this revolutionary program, from its initial conception to its final broadcast, including the very public battle to keep it on the air despite a shifting political landscape. The documentary interweaves Ellis Haizlip’s biography into the narrative following the five seasons of SOUL!, interspersing contemporary interviews, archival material, excerpts from the show, and narration by Keith David.

Check out the trailer below and visit the Mr. Soul Movie Website for more in depth information and to make a kind donation.

Filmwerk :: Finding The Funk – A Nelson George Documentary & Kickstarter Campaign

A journey through the origins and influence of funk music from James Brown to D’Angelo, we are FINDING THE FUNK!

Inspired by an idea from legendary record producer Arthur Baker, Finding The Funk is a road trip in search of the past, present and future of Funk music. We start in Dayton the birthplace of so many of Funk’s originators, then onto Detroit where from the ashes of Motown, P-Funk’s Mothership arose and then to LA where a new crop of musicians, like DaM-FunK, are creating their own Funk history. Among those featured in the film are Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, Mike D of the Beastie Boys, D’Angelo, Marcus Miller, Mtume, Nona Hendryx, Vernon Reid, Maceo Parker, Bernie Worrell, Steve Arrington, Reggie Hudlin, Sheila E, Shock G, Alan Leeds, Sade‘s Stuart Matthewman and Diplo. Hosted by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots. Directed by Nelson George. VH1 is hoping to air FINDING THE FUNK next Spring.

Check out the trailer below and visit the Finding The Funk Kickstarter page for more in depth information and to make a kind donation.

FINDING THE FUNK Trailer from Finding the Funk on Vimeo.

Friday, October 19, 2012

?uestlove To Teach 'Classic Albums' Course At NYU

Great News! Sign me up! Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson now known as 'Professor ?uesto' will be joining the NYU staff this Spring to teach a "Classic Albums' course. According to, The Roots' drummer will be joining Universal Music Enterprises vice president of A&R and Grammy winning reissues producer Harry Weinger to co-teach the course at the Clive Davis Institue for Recorded Music at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts this coming Spring semester.

The two credit class is expected to look at albums including Sly & The Family Stone's Stand!, There's a Riot Goin' On, Aretha Franklin's Lady Soul, Led Zeppelin's IV, Prince's Dirty Mind, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall, and the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique among others.

Jason King, associate professor of recorded music and head of history and criticism at the Clive Davis Institute, told the class will focus on the concept of what it means for something to be called classic or seminal, as well as take a close look at the music, lyrics, production, business aspects -- such as promotion and marketing -- that informed the release and reception of the album, and try to provide a context as to why these albums have stood the test of time.

We wanted to bring [?uestlove] in because we felt he should really be a professor; in a lot of ways he already is an informal, unofficial professor, not just in hip hop but in music in general, King told He's one of the smartest people in music, besides being a fantastic musician. We thought [this class] would speak to his strengths.

Click here to keep up with 'Professor ?uesto' on Twitter

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Artwerk :: A Young Quincy D. Jones by Nikki Yanofsky

I happened to stumble across this amazing pencil sketch of a young Quincy D. Jones in my twitter timeline this week. I absolutely knew I was going to share it so I added it to my favorites on twitter until I could get this opportunity to post and share.

Not only am I impressed with the sketch of a young Quincy D. Jones, the legendary producer, bandleader, musician and visionary, but I am also impressed by the artistic talent of the young lady that sketched it. The sketch artist happens to be 18 year-old, Canadian born, music prodigy and Jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky. She recently sketched her mentor Quincy D. Jones and like with most of her sketches, she shared it via twitter. I had become familiar with Nikki as a Jazz singer over the years but who knew she had these hidden sketch talents?

Nikki began her professional singing career at age 12 by being the youngest headliner at the 2006 Montreal International Jazz Festival. Since her debut in 2006 Nikki has performed internationally at jazz festivals and major concert venues both solo and alongside such well-known artists as Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Wyclef Jean, Celine Dion, Marvin Hamlisch and The Count Basie Orchestra.

BELOW: Nikki Yanofsky "Airmail Special" with Quincy Jones Montreux Jazz 2011

Follow Nikki Yanofsky on twitter @NikkiYanofsky where she shares more of her beautiful sketches while keeping her fans and the jazz community up to date about her upcoming music.


On October 16th 2012 Seattle-based singer/songwriter CHOKLATE will release her highly anticipated 3rd studio project as an independent artist. Following the release of her 1st single Wide Open CHOKLATE premieres the 1st official video from her upcoming project FLY. The video for Wide Open was directed, shot and edited by ZakiRose Media Affiliates (

Check out the new video below as CHOKLATE takes us back to those unforgettable 80s with a feel good, disco laced, rollerskating jam produced by Vitamin D. We couldn't have asked for better visuals to represent this dancefloor jam. CHOKLATE and her team nailed it! She brings her viewers along for the fun! We always appreciate CHOKLATE for keeping the music fresh and oh so FLY and not to mention having loads of fun while she works! Peep the video, have some fun and enjoy!

Producers on FLY include: Musiq Soulchild, Kuddie Fresh, Marcus D and longtime collaborative partner, Vitamin D and it features collaborations w/ Musiq Soulchild and Phontè Coleman of Foreign Exchange and Little Brother fame.

Wide Open the single from the highly anticipated FLY project is available at iTunes Now!

For More Choklate Info Visit The All New CHOKLATE Website at

Also Follow CHOKLATE on Twitter @Choklate and @ChoklateMusic