Questlove’s Quest: Bringing televised music back into prominence

The Roots' Questlove is using his knowledge and unique position to reinvent televised music (Photo: courtesy of npr.org)

The Roots’ Questlove is using his knowledge and unique position to reinvent televised music (Photo: courtesy of npr.org)

MTV has failed. Once hailed as the place to go for televised music 24/7, much of its melodic programming has been replaced by dumbed-down reality shows and celebrity gossip. Questlove knows this and he has made it his goal to see music return to prominence on TV.

Ahmir Thompson, a.k.a. Questlove, is the drummer and leader of The Roots, the extremely talented and eclectic house-band featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He’s also one of the creative geniuses behind much of the musical frivolity on the show, from Jimmy and Justin Timberlake’s “History of Rap” segments to what has to be the most unique rendition ever of Idina Menzel’s hit song from the movie Frozen, “Let It Go.”

Still, that’s just not enough for Quest. As someone who was raised on televised music programs like Soul Train and Midnight Special, Questlove has an affinity for the genre and he is doing everything possible to share that love with as broad an audience as possible. Thus, the reason behind his newly created TV show, SoundClash!

The show premiered Wednesday night on VH1 and, according to an article in TheΒ Daily Beast, has a simple, yet extremely interesting concept: “Take three artists from three wildly different genres and have them play a concert together. Each artist has a chance to take the spotlight, and after an hour of music that transitions from rap to rock to pop and back again, the three acts unite for one collaborative performance.” Check out the trailer below.

As someone who has been a fan of The Roots and Questlove for sometime, I’ve got my fingers crossed that this new show will be a hit. Quest’s vision – his mission in life – is to take music out of the box and unleash it, in all of it’s wondrous forms, upon the world. Hardly anyone listens to just one genre of music, and a show like SoundClash is a perfect opportunity for people to discover diversity and collaboration. It can also go a long way towards revitalizing interest in music television in a way that popularity contests such as American Idol or X FactorΒ could never achieve.

“B-Dubs” Is Back: Brian Williams raps “Baby Got Back” on The Tonight Show

Brian Williams gives Sir Mix-A-Lot a run for his money on The Tonight Show (photo: courtesy of nbcnews.com)

Brian Williams gives Sir Mix-A-Lot a run for his money on The Tonight Show (photo: courtesy of nbcnews.com)

After this weekend’s sad news about the death of iconic radio personality Casey Kasem, we figured you might be down for a little comic relief. And no one does comic relief like Jimmy Fallon and the geniuses at NBC’s The Tonight Show.

You may remember back in April I posted a video of NBC Nightly News‘ managing editor and anchor Brian Williams “rapping” to Snoop Dogg’s “Gin And Juice.” Well, B-Dubs is back, and Jimmy’s got him covering another classic rap song. Ladies and gentlemen, Brian Williams rapping Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” Enjoy! πŸ™‚

These awesome mash-ups have become a semi-regular bit on the show, so it’s only a matter of time before “Bri-Wi” returns. Trust me, when that happens we’ll have it for you here.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Sing-N-Share for lots of your favorite rap and hip-hop tracks along with thousands of songs from other genres. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s lots of fun.

Dad’s Secret: Happy Father’s Day from Karaoke Cloud

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Mother’s Day is easy. We all love our mom’s and it’s usually not that difficult to let it show. Mom gave birth to us. Mom loves us unconditionally and doesn’t even attempt to hide it. Mom is easy to buy gifts for because to her “it’s the thought that counts.” Above all else, Mom is easy to please on Mother’s Day; just spend time with her.

Father’s Day, however, can seem like a completely different concept. Dad was often the stern one, responsible for discipline when we screwed up. Of course Dad loves us, but he doesn’t tend to let it show as much as Mom. Dad can be picky when it comes to gifts; “Another (crappy) tie? Awesome… thanks.” Yes, it can be difficult to get a read on dear old Dad at times.

But guess what; I’ve got a secret to share with you. It’s not my secret, actually, but Dad’s. Every Dad’s. A secret that can make Father’s Day just as simple and straight forward as Mother’s Day. Want to know what it is?

It’s one of those secrets that when you hear it you’ll kick yourself for not realizing it earlier because it’s so simple. It’s a secret that Dad himself wants to tell you, but just can’t bring himself to do it. Are you sure you want to know? Okay, here it is…

Dad wants on Father’s Day exactly what Mom wants on Mother’s Day; you. Just you. He wants your time. He wants your attention. He wants a hug. He wants to sit and watch a ball game or a movie… with you. He wants to grill hamburgers and hotdogs… for you. He wants to sit quietly and drink a beer… with you.

You see, dads aren’t that different from moms after all. They want to spend time with their children, the children they were so stern with because they wanted them to grow up right and be successful and happy. It isn’t about the goofy cards or the crappy ties (though, seriously, there are other items out there that would suffice as gifts, people). It’s about you. It always has been. It always will be.

This Father’s Day take the time to let your dad know that he’s still a part of your life. If you live too far away to visit don’t just send a card or an email, but call or Skype him. If you’re a father yourself, spend the day with your children. Above all else, never be afraid to let your kids know how much you love them and that you want to be with them on Father’s Day, even if it means another crappy tie.

Ryan Lewis’ New Role? Troll!

Hip-hop sensations Macklemore (left) and Ryan Lewis (right). [Photo: courtesy of bet.com]

Hip-hop sensations Macklemore (left) and Ryan Lewis (right) [Photo: courtesy of bet.com]

Do you love hip hop? I mean, really love hip hop? Would you recognize your favorite artists on the street? Jay Z, Drake, Macklemore? How about Ryan Lewis; would you recognize him? Well Jimmy Fallon was willing to bet you wouldn’t, and who better to prove it than Ryan Lewis himself!

In a recent piece for NBC’s The Tonight Show, the musician/DJ/producer took to the streets of New York to ask people what they thought about Ryan Lewis. The results? Pretty damn funny.

I especially love the face of the girl in the white shirt! You can practically count down to the moment when she finally puts two and two together. πŸ™‚

Lewis and Macklemore began their friendship and business relationship back in 2006 and have been working together ever since. While his partnership with the popular hip hop star is surely his most lucrative and prominent venture, Lewis has also collaborated with a variety of other artists and even produced his own album titledΒ Instrumentals.