It’s not about giving the middle finger and saying, “Whatever.” It’s about real talk. As Cee Lo says in our cover story, “I despise the notion of ‘whatever.’ ” Mr. Green has something to say. He’s not the character he portrays on TV. And he’s not superficially enamored with an industry run by “atheists”—so he must find a balance of being a superstar in the spotlight and a human being in the shadows of introspection.Up-and-coming rapper Action Bronson doesn’t front about his occupation, doesn’t try to sugarcoat his story. The former chef is just a regular guy with a knack for rhyme and storytelling. He doesn’t hesitate to tell us that he’s thankful and that music is something he takes very seriously.While the music industry has always been filled with big personalities, it’s especially refreshing to hear from outspoken artists who, as big man Aaron Neville said, tell it like it is. In the 1970s, Ron Isley and his band of brothers weren’t afraid to put a fist in the air and scream, “Fight the power!”—while Brian Jackson and Gil Scott-Heron used their music and words to speak the truth in turbulent times. As two soul artists without a f**king filter, Millie Jackson and Swamp Dogg have made their living putting their uncut thoughts to tape. And Philly soul architect Thom Bell opens up about his weighty contributions to a genre and a business, and Detroit singer Freda Payne shares her personal feelings about her own twists of fate. Finally, Queens rapper Kool G Rap is never afraid to state that he influenced every great rapper of our generation. Don’t fear the truth.
Veteran music journalist Michael A. Gonzales looks back twenty years on Aaliyah’s debut album, the controversy with R. Kelly, and the follow-up album with Timbaland that changed the landscape of R&B. Includes never- before-published photos of Aaliyah by photographer Jonathan Mannion. Novelist T. P. Carter interviews newcomer Kelela and runs down the L.A. electro-bass scene.Features:Producer, songwriter, and organist Edwin Birdsong is the anonymous genius behind some of jazz-funk’s most cosmic moments. Influenced by Larry Levan and the New York club scene, Birdsong’s left-field boogie anthem “Cola Bottle Baby” would become fodder for both Daft Punk and Kanye West, and his bare funk breakbeat track “Rapper Dapper Snapper” would nod hip-hop heads for years, bringing Birdsong’s grooves to a new global audience.Rinder and Lewis had a knack for creating commercial, crossover disco, hiding behind various monikers like El Coco and Le Pamplemousse. Ultimately, they chose to reveal their true identities on a string of records that would allow them to realize a more artistic vision of disco that played to their strengths—stripped-down drum-and-synthesizer tracks that pioneered the cosmic dance.Terry Reid passed on the opportunity to become the front man of Led Zeppelin, choosing to carry on as a solo act that never paid off with the heights of fame and fortune of his musical pals, yet he recorded two soulful folk-rock masterpieces and has become known as an artist’s artist.The story of the notorious NYC bathhouse Continental Baths is the story of disco. The Baths would birth the careers of dance icons Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles, two young DJs who were soaking in the nascent disco scene of the early ’70s—and who soon got their own shot behind the decks, ultimately influencing the dance scene in immeasurable ways.As one half of production duo Flyte Tyme Productions, Jimmy Jam, along with partner Terry Lewis, changed the landscape of popular music and the sound of radio forever. The duo’s attention to their craft and changing times saw an evolution in their sound through the latest technology, yet their secret to success was unique, tailor-made productions for each artist.
Juxtapoz is proud to announce a very special August 2014 issue, featuring one of our all-time favorite musicians, creatives, and all around artistic personas, Madlib. For years, we have followed Madlib's eclectic career, from Quasimoto, Madvillain, Jaylib, Yesterday's New Quintet, the Beat Konducta series, and everything in between. One common thread has always been the unique and artistically-driven alter egos that Madlib has given to the world, and in this issue, we talk to the musician about his world of music and art. The August 2014 issue features: —Special Madlib cover illustration created for Juxtapoz by Jason Jagel —An interview with Madlb and Freddie Gibbs about the groundbreaking new LP, Pinata. —Stones Throw art director and longtime Madlib collaborator Jeff Jank talks album covers —The Sucklord gets Suckadelic —We investigate the alter-egos of David Bowie —Legendary cartoonist Tom Bunk tells the story of Garbage Pail Kids —We find the faces beneath the art of Erik Mark Sandberg —Behind the scenes with new psychedelic master, Leif Podhajsky, —Herbert Baglione gives us a city tour of Sao Paulo... the non-World Cup version