D’Angelo and The Vanguard Present Black Messiah


D’Angelo came out with one of my favorite albums last year and I wrote a review for it in my local newspaper. Here’s an except:

This month, people of all walks of life organized protests in the Bay Area, taking over the streets, freeways, and city halls in solidarity to fight against police brutality and racial profiling against people of color. Against this backdrop, D’Angelo released Black Messiah, a highly anticipated album with a timely message.

I had just come from a weekend of marching in Oakland when D’Angelo shocked the music world with the long awaited album. It was 14 years ago that he gave us his soulful R&B album Voodoo, so new material was long overdue.

Best known for his gospel roots and soul influence, D’Angelo’s quieter career period wasn’t a completely silent one. He started playing new instruments that helped develop a band, the Vanguard, for his new sound on Black Messiah.

Check out the full article on The Richmond Pulse here.

Tour Pit Stop: Whole Wheat Bread Rocks Oakland

I’ve been attending a lot of shows lately, and I always find the opening acts either long and drawn out or just over the top interesting (Almost better than the headliner) So anyways, Murs performed last night at New Parish in Oakland and he brought a long a dope black punk rock band called Whole Wheat Bread.  They came all the way from Jacksonville, Fla. to rock out with a bunch of Oakland folks and it was well receptive.   I’ve been looking for bands around the bay area to check out so this was a refreshing escape from the usual hip hop or R&B crowd that I was used to.

Whole Wheat Bread was formed in 2003 with Aaron Abraham on the vocals and guitar and Nicolas Largen on the bass and his brother Joseph played the drums. They released their first album Minority Rules in 2005 with Fighting Records and have been on tour all over the world ever since. With connections to Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard they are continuing to remain on the scene but have dominated underground punk rock music. Not only are they punk rock but also crunk and has done work with Lil’ Jon producing covers from his popular hits like “Never Scared”. They are featured on Afro Punk’s site for an interview from the 2008 festival.  I’m diggin these brothas from the south. How about you?


Hair Spotter: Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes

Lead singer of the Noisettes, Shingai Shoniwa caught my eye with her powerful outspoken mane. This Indie Punk-Rock Artists, is a English native of Zimbabwen descent. With a focus on making the soundtrack of her life, Shingai was featured in magazines like Rolling Stone and the New Yorker as one of the leading artists of the International music industry. With songs like “Scratch Your Name” and “Never Forget You”, the Noisettes have become the forefront of the new punk rock today. I love the fact that the leading singer uses Kinky Curly products just as I, realizing that no matter what nationality or how much fame you’ve aquired we all share the greatness of our naturality 🙂

Here you can see her naturality in action with last year’s video “Dont Upset The Rythmn (Go Baby Go)”

Afro-Punk Festival 2010

Afropunk Festival 2010

If you are in the New York area be sure to be at the “Afro Punk Festival 2010” at Commodre Park in Broooklyn, NY www.afropunk.com and its supporting community put on a festival with music, food, and Bike/BMX event that celebrate the Afro Punk Culture. This year artists and bands like, J*Davey, Maritn Luther, Game Rebellion, P.O.S will be rocking the house.  Starting 5 years ago they Afro Punk community put on this event for free of entry but since there has been a demand a small fee will be the contribution of this weekend, June 25-27, 2010. So mark your calenders and get there.  Even if you have no idea about Afro Punk, it’s culture and we all should become interested.  Check my previous posts on “Afro Punk” for more insight. https://reesaspeaks.com/2009/11/09/afro-punk-the-movement/

Afro Punk- The Movement

I have just been recently introduced to “Afro Punk”- the black punk culture, and I find it pretty interesting.  The movement all started when Matthew Morgan and James Spooner did a film on the black punks in America.  I’m over here thinking kids like Lenny Kravitz, alternative and urbanized? I love it! 

The website www.afropunk.com is dedicated to the Black Punk community in America.  People all over the world, sharing the same interest, in music and culture, come to the website to share music and also network on different lifestyles.  The webiste is equipped with blogs, forums, current news, music, and more.  Whether you share a love for punk music or you are just interested in the culture, this website is very welcoming.


Coming straight out of Brooklyn in 2005, the birth of the Afro Punk Festivals arised.  With the support of many celebrities, like Janelle Monae as well as the Afropunk.com team, the festival has produced to celebrate the freedom of expression through the punk culture.

I feel that this movement is a hidden treasure that should get more credit in the music industry. What are your thoughts?