This week's Monday Magick entry comes from the grandaddy of mixing black magic with music, Screamin' Jay Hawkins. The 1956 single "I Put a Spell on You" put the Ohio-born Bluesman on the map, while his over the top performing style, complete with macabre props, set the stage for what would become "Shock Rock".

Monday Magick is a new feature here at Imageyenation. I plan to post a "popular" song that makes some allusion, whether straightforward or metaphoric, to magick, the supernatural, or occult, every Monday.

Music is magick.
Posted by El Keter
At 08:39 PM on 07/21/14
Filed under Music

Rich Nichols

Yesterday I received the sad news that Rich Nichols, longtime manager of The Roots, impresario of the Okayplayer media empire, and mentor/friend to a whole Noah's Ark of Hip-Hop, Soul, and Alternative acts, had passed away. As you may know, I was a part of the Okayplayer family for a handful of years, contributing content and assisting in my own way with the cultural makeover of the website which culminated in the Okayplayer group of sites as they exist today. That time was special to me for a lot of reasons, and Rich was instrumental in my taking part, so the news of his passing was like a gut punch.

In all seriousness, and without hyperbole, I can honestly say my three-ish years writing the Blogarhythms column for Okayplayer were some of the best times of my entire life, and I wouldn't have been there if it weren't for Mr. Nichols. When I, to my utter surprise, was asked to come on board at Okayplayer, I was told it was at the behest of the boss, Rich Nichols himself, who I was told was very familiar with my work as an amateur writer and wanted to bring me into the Okayplayer fold. Not only was this shocking and extremely flattering to hear, but it was life altering in a lot of ways. Here I was, formerly homeless, flat broke, spinning records on local community radio, and slinging syllables on the internets, being offered the opportunity to do what I loved, break new artists and tell people about music I dug, to a new and much larger audience, and to make a couple of bucks doing it! And I had Rich to thank.

Over the next few years I got to tell the Okayplayer audience about projects that I thought deserved their attention. And they paid attention! I saw first hand how plastering some of these largely unknown artists' faces on the Okayplayer front page impacted them, opened more ears to their music, and improved their sales. I was so grateful to be doing something that brought me joy, while also providing a helping hand to musicians who I believed in. And yes, it paid my rent too. On the real, while I've made a lot more money at "straight" jobs over the years, I've never felt as fulfilled by the money I was making and what I was able to do with it in my day to day life as when I was putting checks with Rich Nichols' signature on them in my bank account. They may not have always arrived on time, but when they did I felt like they meant something. Something more than a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my stomach. All that too! But it meant so much more. And I have Mr. Nichols to thank, both for that feeling, and for the memory.

And that's why I felt like I'd had the wind knocked out of me when I got the news that he was gone. I know his passing will be a huge loss for The Roots, and the Okayplayer organization, but receiving that text informing me that he'd departed this plane of existence made me feel like I'd lost something myself. He wasn't my mentor. We didn't chat or text. We may not have hung out, partied together, or had some kind of "industry" friendship. But Rich Nichols changed my life in a real, tangible way. He changed my life for the better. And all I can do is thank him for that.

So "thank you, Rich" and peace.

Posted by El Keter
At 08:23 PM on 07/18/14
Filed under Hearsay

Just in time for it to be hotasfuck out, Jeremiah Jae dropped this clip for "The Heat".

"The Heat" is the standout track from the Chitown emcee/producer's 'Good Times' mixtape.

Jeremiah Jae
Posted by El Keter
At 09:03 PM on 07/14/14
Filed under Music

Welcome to Monday Magick, a new feature here at Imageyenation. I plan to post a "popular" song that makes some allusion, whether straightforward or metaphoric, to magick, the supernatural, or occult, every Monday.

This week's entry, 1977's "Looking for the Magic" from Tom Petty's homeboys the Dwight Twilley Band. The tune is from the group's sophomore LP 'Twilley Don't Mind'. You might know it from the 2013 horror flick 'You're Next'.

Music is magick.
Posted by El Keter
At 08:53 PM on 07/14/14
Filed under Music

Los Angeles based rapper The Koreatown Oddity is another emcee whose identity, that of former comedian and sometimes actor DominiquePurdy, is obscured by a mask.

And while his appearance may be a little on the wild side, his music, in this case "Title Sequence", the opening track from his debut album, is understandably smooth on some classic underground LA Rap shit.

Cop '200 Tree Rings', featuring contributions from the likes of Jeremiah Jae, Aceyalone, Ras G, J-Swift, Giovanni Marks, and House Shoes, now on the New Los Angeles label.

Posted by El Keter
At 04:26 PM on 07/13/14
Filed under Music

17 year old New York emcee Bishop Nehru gives us the first taste of his and MF DOOM's upcoming NehruvianDOOM project via the new video for "Darkness (HBU)".

The track shines due in large part to the funky bassline, majestic horn loop, slick vocal samples, and snappy drum programming flipped from the fingers of the notorious metal faced villain.

After rising from Odd Future's message boards, to co-signs from the likes of Nas, Kendrick Lamar, and Wu-Tang Clan, Nehru is preparing to drop the DOOM collabo soon.

Posted by El Keter
At 04:08 PM on 07/13/14
Filed under Music

Identity-free emcee Billy Woods is easily one of the best rappers in the game right now. 'Race Music', his collaboration with Elucid as Armand Hammer continued the tradition of outstanding music released by he and his Backwoodz Studioz.

"The Rent is Too Damn High", where Woods and Elucid elucidate the realities of tenement living, was a definite highlight from the LP. And the video, courtesy of director William Bodega and shooter Anna Stypko, provides some pretty ground level imagery to accompany the sounds.

Cop 'Race Music' now on the Backwoodz Studioz label, and watch out for an EP from the group soon.

Oh, and since I apparently forgot to post it when it dropped this spring, peep the video for "Willie Bosket".

Armand Hammer
Posted by El Keter
At 10:19 PM on 07/03/14
Filed under Music

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