Author Archive for Marcus J. Moore

Listen: The Cornel West Theory, “Water Over Troubled Bridges”

The Cornel West Theory is refreshingly black, a welcome change in a rap genre that's become increasingly standardized and cookie-cutter. The crew says things plainly and addresses social topics others are scared to touch: "Land of the free, home of the slaves," went a lyric from the Theory's incredible "Radio FREE DC (45th St. Version)."
Last month, [...]

Homeboy Sandman Will Never Be on the Radio, and He’s Fine With That

I don't know why I keep playing this new Homeboy Sandman track. It's called "Atlantis" and it isn't overly awesome. The beat, produced by Blu, sounds like an old loop from the Police, so you might get funny looks if you blast it from the car.
But the song is just—dope.
It's catchy as hell and I [...]

RDGLDGRN Tackles Interracial Dating on New Song, “Robots”

RDGLDGRN's music is made for warm weather, which might be why the Reston, Va., trio spends most of its time playing outdoor festivals during the summer months. Among the shows on its upcoming schedule is this year's Summer Spirit Festival in Columbia, Md., alongside Lauryn Hill, Janelle Monae, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Raheem DeVaughn.
And if it wasn't obvious that RDGLDGRN (pronounced Red, Gold, [...]

Cody ChesnuTT Loves Performing for D.C.’s Black Audiences, but Says Soul Music’s in a Rut

Cody ChesnuTT is a much different musician than he was 12 years ago when, on 2002's The Headphone Masterpiece, the soul singer garnered attention by simply not giving a damn. Check out the 12-second track "Brother with an Ego" if you don't believe me. The album's lo-fi, bare-bones aesthetic charmed the Roots into remixing one of its [...]

Meet Diggs Duke, D.C.’s Answer to D’Angelo

While D'Angelo fans wait for his next release, we have a new alternative to help us pass the time: Diggs Duke. The upstart Southwest D.C. musician's infectious new song, "Secrets Seem Rehearsed," sounds a lot like the neo-soul icon circa 2000. It's the nimble closer of Duke's forthcoming EP, The Upper Hand & Other Grand Illusions, out July 21 [...]

Listen to The Other Guys’ Feel-Good Track, “Blow My Mind”

It makes sense for the Other Guys and Tanya Morgan to work together; both rap duos have garnered attention through unique means. In 2012, the Other Guys—the local producer/MC duo of "Mighty" Joe Myles and Isaiah Mensah—emerged as a nostalgic alternative to systematic rap, its "do it for the love" approach just as wistful as the beats Myles [...]

Listen to Nadastrom’s Charming New EP, Fallen Down

It begins with a persistent tap, as if Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom want to hack into your dreams. Then the faint emergence of radiant synths, which break through the scant stillness and grow more prevalent as the song, "Fallen Down," takes shape. This is moombahton, the decelerated Latin-infused house music Nada created in 2009.
Out today, [...]

Meshell Ndegeocello on Why D.C. Got Rid of Go-Go

There's a song on Meshell Ndegeocello's 2002 album, Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape, called "Barry Farms," which takes its name from the Anacostia public housing project known for its Goodman League basketball tournament. The track carries a light go-go swing and taps into the musician's days as a bassist for D.C. go-go band Rare Essence.
On Tuesday, [...]

Surock Goes Gospel on Reflective New Song, “Trouble”

Released in February, Surock's Suck My Disk showcased the local producer's affinity for lo-fi sounds with 20 evocative vignettes of grainy hip-hop. There weren't many standouts on Disk, but it moved with such fluidity that it didn't matter; the project felt more like a 1980s beat tape than a modern-day release.
Last week, Surock released a new song, [...]

What I Learned From Mannie Fresh During His D.C. Visit

Mannie Fresh has been completely off my radar these days. It's not that the producer hasn't been working, but his name doesn't ring as loudly as it once did. Fresh rose to prominence in the mid-1990s as a producer for New Orleans label Cash Money Records, composing such hits as Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up," B.G.'s [...]