On October 31, around 3:30am on the corner of 147th Street and Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem, Alberto Martinez, better known in the streets of New York and the mythology of hip hop as Alpo, was shot six times in the arm and once in the chest, while sitting in…

Maceo Parker was a featured saxophone soloist on many of James Brown’s most important recordings in the ’60s and early ’70s, plus jams he cut with the Brown backing band the JBs. He joined George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkendelic mob in the mid-70s, recorded with other Brown alumni in the Horny Horns…

Lyrical philosopher Paul Simon once sang, “Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts.” This essay is mostly about three such heroes (and maybe four.)

Stevie Wonder is a genius. So was Ray Charles and Prince. All three musical masters who, at some point, couldn’t sell big numbers records…

The maverick writer, director, singer and cigar smoker died at age 89 in NYC.

I first met Melvin Van Peebles in the summer of 1978. I was attending college in New York and hustling internships/free-lance writing gigs for experience and money. I talked a now long defunct black entertainment magazine…

#BEFOREHIPHOPA A PROMOTER WHO TIME LEFT BEHIND

New York’s Beacon Theater

Concert goers either entered the upper west side’s Beacon Theater or milled on the Broadway sidewalk waiting on friends or dates. People smoked. Perfume and cologne wafted. Taxis and town cars dropped off well dressed folks. The crowd was overwhelmingly black and in…

Nelson George

Author and filmmaker. Current books: a novel, The Darkest Hearts (Akashic); music collection The Nelson George Mixtape (Pacific) www.pacificpacific.pub.

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