It’s August and the summer heat makes me recall an album title by Stevie Wonder…”Hotter Than July.” It’s really a hot one out there. Hope you’re staying cool and ready for this month’s selections of “Ear Candy.”
Right after I did last month’s mix I got a copy of Barry Harris’ mix of “Boys” by Lizzo. I was so mad! I wished I had received it just a day earlier so I could have included it. But opening this month’s mix with it was just as satisfying. Obviously, I was a little late on the existence of Lizzo, but boy am I glad she’s a part of my playlist now!
So, last month in anticipation of the release of the “Whitney” documentary, D Films and the events coordinator for the Inside Out Festival hired my alter-ego, Jade Elektra to host a Whitney Houston themed karaoke night at Toronto’s WAYLA Bar. It was a great event and we gave out a lot of tickets to the film. When I first heard about the documentary I wasn’t inclined to see it. Since I heard that Whitney’s family was involved I was not inclined to see it. I figured it would be lame and nothing but fluff.
Boy was I wrong! It got extremely up close and raw in some parts. They addressed Robyn and the rumors. They covered how she started doing drugs. And they put Bobby Brown on the spot. Loved it!
So, my second selection is the Stuart Robinson remix of “I’m Your Baby Tonight.” Totally updated this classic and ace it a club feel.
And speaking of Pop Divas with drug problems, I had to include the Club Breakerz House Edit of “Solo” by Clean Bandit featuring Demi Lovato. Now, I know I used a downtempo remix of this song last month but when the news hit that Demi was rushed to the hospital after an overdose it immediately brought me to some of the lyrics of “Solo” where she sings about partying. Demi had recently released a track called “Sober.” Ironically, this couldn’t have been any further from the truth. While I’m glad that she is okay and survived, I can only think about when someone makes declarations that they are insuring their fate. Her struggle with alcohol and drugs is a lifelong one and everyone needs to understand that.
Our next track is the latest track from Robin Shultz & Piso 21. “Oh Child” is a great example of my latest obsession with Future House. I guess everything comes back around. For the past decade or so, Hip Hop and Top 40 has reigned on most of the DJs’ parades. Future House feels like a yearning to get back to a club sound. Of course, it will probably go commercial and we’ll be hearing a Future House version of a future Shawn Mendez song. But at least House is coming back to our playlists!
And speaking of commercial, our next selection, “Almost Love” by Sabrina Carpenter, is a good Pop song. And the Country Club Martini Crew Remix is probably the best version to play if you’re a DJ.
So, if you haven’t heard about the FX series, POSE my question is…what rock have you been under? This is such a groundbreaking piece of television history. “Paris Is Burning” changed a lot of lives. I can definitely testify to that. One of my reasons for wanting to move to New York City was to be a part of that world of acceptance…a place where gay people of color were equal. And now more than ever in these days of division and blatant racism, we as LGBT people need reinforcements of positive images. POSE gives voices to an unheard community back in 1987 in the Big Apple. For the first time real transsexuals are portraying transsexual characters. It is a brilliant series. My only problem with it is that it’s on FOX. The very people who want to take our rights away, our rights to vote, women’s rights to choose, our rights as people of color and our rights as LGBT people. They use the profits from shows like POSE, The Simpsons, Family Guy and many others to fund their agendas of hate and division. So, it makes it difficult to figure out what should be done. By the time the other major networks decided to take a chance on subjects that might upset their sponsors, FOX has already dished out the money to do it.
So, I said all of that to get to our next track. I found the Annulment Remix of Barbara Mason’s “Another Man (Is Beating My Time).” It’s more than likely a re-sung vocal to make it a House version. The original version is featured in the POSE series. I was so inspired by the show that I did three mixed sets dedicated to what I would have done with the soundtrack. You can find them on my Mixcloud page.
Slowly over the past couple of years, Jax Jones has become one of my favorite artists and remixers. So, usually when I see his name I take notice. And I like the fact that he doesn’t have a set style or genre. His recent single with Mabel & The Rich Kid is “Ring Ring.” It’s a sweet Moombahton infused Pop song.
I can remember when I first heard “212” by Azealia Banks. It was so new and fresh. And then her follow tracks mixed Hip Hop with Cunty Beats. I was in heaven. I thought…we have found a new gay icon. I would have never dreamed that she would turn into a needy insecure witch who attacks anyone to get attention. From a young Disney child star, Skai Jackson to other female rappers like Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj to movie actors like Russell Crowe to RuPaul, Azealia has no problem blaming everyone else for her career not going in the direction she had hoped. If she spent as much time on her Twitter feuds as she should on her music, she might get somewhere. But after attacking drag queens and using derogatory words like “faggot” as insults the question is “should we as DJs (especially gay DJs) continue to play her music?”
My answer is this…I believe that Michael Jackson had some questionable situations with children. I still love his music and will continue to do so. And while I refused to play “Murder Music” artists (Reggae artists who support and record songs that advocate murdering LGBT people) I do still play Pop Reggae artists. Azealia is a brilliant writer and I do like her music. I still don’t believe she is bisexual. I believe she just said it to get an edge with the LGBT community. But if she was she would probably choose her words and image more carefully. But I will continue to play the songs that I love by her. I may not support newer projects to show her that she can’t just say whatever she wants. And even though artists like Kanye West disappointed many with his comments about slavery being a choice, it didn’t seem to hurt his record sales at all. So, what kind of message is boycotting sending anyway?
“Bad Moms” star, Kathryn Hahn does a really funny campaign for Chrysler Pacifica S. One of the commercials that I probably see everyday features Juvenile’s “Back Dat Thing Up.” Of course I used the dirty version when I selected the Fraze Twerk Party Mix for this set.
I really like a lot of Latin music, especially many of the new Moombahton tracks that have been crossing over into the Pop charts. And even though I don’t speak the language (which I should since I am part Puerto Rican), I guess it just speaks to me in other ways. I liked “CoCoro” by Jhon Distrito featuring La Delfi, La Materialista & Quimico, but when I saw the music video for the remix I fell in love with it. I’m not sure which of those names are the drag queen who sings the hook but I applaud this kind of diversity and acceptance. Ya’ll bettah do it!
I don’t imagine ort next track will get much airplay on regular radio stations because of its title. “Batshit” by Sofi Tukker is quite a catchy.
The more I hear tracks from The Carters new album, the more I am not in love with it. This declaration of how much money they have and how powerful they are together is really annoying. I normally like Beyonce and Jay Z. I’m not feeling this at all. “Heard About Us” just continues this narrative. I think they both should have several seats and go be parents for about 2 or 3 years. Then and only then should they consider recording solo albums and definitely no tours for a while. But I am pro Destiny’s Child reunion. Let’s hope Michelle Williams does well in rehab and Kelly Rowland can adjust to monogamy in her marriage. Maybe the children of destiny will come together again…fingers crossed.
I do a Retro night on Tuesdays at Boutique Bar (Toronto) and I was digging through some old tracks and came across “Never Ever” by All Saints. I used to love playing the Booker T Vocal. Then I started wondering what ever happened to them. Well, I got my answer. Here’s their new track, “Love Lasts Forever.” And the Pink Panda Remix is the best option when it comes to remixes.
Ever since the remixes of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, I have become a fan of this band. Being able to reach other audiences is always important for a crossover. And the Greg J. Bootleg Mashup of their new single “Believe” and Vinne’s “Move” is a good choice to expand your dance floor options.
I always enjoy when a hit gets a makeover by being updated and remixed. And I am particularly fond of DJ Allan’s Fedde Le Grand & Raiden Bootleg of Chamillionaire’s classic “Ridin’.”
These days online campaigns to boycott an artist or product have become commonplace. And just like the question asked about Azealia Banks, it’s now also being asked about R. Kelly. His music was recently removed from Spotify after there were calls to boycott him after stories of him enslaving young girls in his harem. Hey…I found him creepy when he married the underaged Aaliyah. She was 15 for Christ’s sake! And I saw that pee tape. Gross! How he isn’t in jail…I have no idea. And his ridiculous “Trapped In The Closet” saga recording sealed his fate with me. I only really play him at weddings or upon request.
But his latest release “I Admit It” is just down right shameful! 19 minutes of him trying to explain his antics…unbelievable! I am not a fan, but if I had to play one of his songs (probably at an urban function to get the crowd going) it would have to be the Funky Truckerz remix of “Ignition.” So, to answer the question of whether to play R. Kelly or not…I will if I have to.