A Band, A Movement, A Musical Journey, An Experience
A PLACE is the 1st single off of the debut album LEVELS, which is also the name of the band, lead by frontman Keith “WildChild” Middleton, along with Aaron Marcellus on vocals, guitarist Luca “Mack” Marcias, Jacopo “Snow” Mazza on Keyboards. The group is international, one from NY, one from Atlanta and two from Italy and have been performing on stages in Europe, Japan and the US, the past couple of years, writing, performing and testing out songs for this album. The four artists – all on different musical paths, from Rock to Funk, to Hip Hop, to R&B, to Jazz and Classical – have arrived at the same destination – LEVELS!
A PLACE, seems at first a simple love song “There’s no place that I would rather be … right here with you, my dear, beside me…” but it actually is a more complex and textured interpretation of Adam and Eve as our common ancestor, what binds all mankind in love and unity. Delving into the multi dynamic layers of Love, the international super group, LEVELS, explore the musical nuances of Hip-Hop, Neo Soul, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Funk, Afrobeat, and Latin genres. These diverse styles help to fully articulate the time traveling journey of Adam as he searches for his soulmate Eve after being exiled from paradise.
Keith explains “They say the legend of Adam and Eve is written in the stars. If you look closely, you may notice the two were cast out of paradise as punishment for eating an apple from the Forbidden Tree of Truth. Now both mortal, Adam vows to Eve that he will always find her in their next lives. A secret he learned from his one bite of the apple. In present day, it is written that Adam will find Eve at one of his shows with his band LEVELS.”
This album is the journey that we all share, reflecting life as Adam or Eve. The concept of belief in true love, faith you will find it, the pursuit of happiness the struggle of adversity subsequent loss and sometimes, satisfying triumph. Life is full of diversity and dynamics, and so is this album. A PLACE is your first taste of the Apple of Truth that is on its way.
Music Video Credits:
Director: Ahmed Best
Producer: BISN Media (Ahmed Best, Nikit Doshi)
D.P. : Kevin Zeigler
Editor: Salman Syed
Post Production: LaurelWood Pictures (Jeff Billings)
Last week MCMI’s LR Blitzkrieg, Keith “Wildchild” Middleton, GMS and MrMecc attended an advance listening party for Seed X Nottz – No Way in Hell featuring the Bad Seed and produced by Nottz, atIMI Studios in Manhattan. The project brings the BK-VA duo of Seed & Nottz back together again, giving you another dose of the hypnotic hip hop serum they concocted years ago with songs like For the Kids, Uhhnnh, Would You Luh Me. The pair sounded great together back in the day, but then went their separate ways for quite awhile. Both released a plethora of songs with other artists and 20 years later Seed announced that he was going to retire as an MC.
But before retiring Seed dropped his “final” album Coreyography, featuring one joint produced by Nottz, Belt Off (Official Video). I’m sure if someone asked if he would drop another album he answered “No way in hell,” but the song knocked so hard that it inspired the two to talk about possibly, just maybe, recording another project together.
Fast forward and we are sitting in a room listening to No Way In Hell. The room is filled more with friends, family and real MCees than Industry, which is fitting, because if you know Seed or Nottz, there is nothing industry or contrived about either of them. As Seed and his daughter Boopy hosted the event, playing some tracks twice at our request, one thing was incredibly clear: this project was definitely worth the wait.
The concept is that the album is narrated by a female disc jockey broadcasting over W-HELL 66.6FM radio. Seed tells us he was inspired by the way the cult classic gang movie WARRIORS was narrated.
Then there’s the “Belt Off Remix”, featuring Rockness Monsta (of Heltah Skeltah) and NapsNdreds. As Seed tells it, Rock was originally set to appear on “The Devil,” but it just felt right to have him on the revamped “Belt Off.”
“I decided it would be doper to hear him on there due to the subject matter,” Seed says. “As a fan, I wanted to hear Rock take his belt off and whoop some ass. And as far as Naps goes, dude’s my new favorite rapper. Period.”
Other standouts include the relationship drama of “Pretty Little Liar” featuring Tiye Phoenix, the super-funky “Yellow Lights” featuring Sauce Money, and the verbal middle finger “Bad Mood.” And when put together, they form one of the year’s best rap releases. Hopefully it doesn’t take another 20 years for these two to drop another project.
If you are in NYC you can attend the NO WAY IN HELL Album Release Party tonight at The Delancey, part of the Rock Da House series, presented by Doc Ahk, Mic Handz and DJ Toshi. The line up is sick, admission is free and there’s drink specials early.
MCMI REPORT: Tribute to Robert PH Diaz at Park Slope’s FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR
Rapper Wordsworth of EMC pays homage to his friend PH, on the corner of 5th Ave & Robert PH Diaz Way.
The late great rapper Robert “PH” Diaz aka Pumpkinhead, who passed away less than a year ago from gall-bladder related health problems, represented Park Slope, Brooklyn, all his life. Even when he migrated to Staten Island and New Jersey, he always claimed Park Slope as his home, often shouting out the formerly socio-economically mixed neighborhood, that in recent times has become more and more gentrified, in his music. Then in the early 2000’s PH did a mixtape series (Park Slope Rennaisance Vol. 1 & 2) and had a song called Park Slope on his Beautiful Mind EP (Third Earth Music). PH visited his hometown often, doing shows, parties and charity events at the now closed Southpaw, Voodoo Lounge and SRB (now Analog). And shortly before his ultimate departure, Robert returned to Park Slope one last time, with his two sons, to show them the block “where daddy grew up”.
So it is extremely fitting for that block on De Graw Street, between 4th & 5th Avenue, to be co-named “Robert PH Diaz Way“. And it is also fitting that this year’s FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR in Park Slope, will include a Musical Tribute to PH aka PUMPKINHEAD, on the corner of 3rd St & 5th Avenue, beginning at 1pm. DJ GMS will play a set of PH’s best music, including songs about Park Slope. There will also be guest performances by MCMI Artists and friends, including HYDRA (Keith WildChild Middleton, GMS & LR Blitzkrieg), Chordz Cordero, the MarXman, Qaasim & Khalil Middleton, Mic Handz and Jay Lonzo. The first time Pumpkinhead, GMS, LR Blitzkrieg & Keith WildChild ever performed together was at the FABULOUS 5th AVENUE FAIR in the 90’s when they were just teenagers. The friends would go on to found the crew The Plague and later form the brand MCMI.
The DJ Booth will be set up in front of The Gate on 3rd Street. The party will start off with classic dance music brought to you by Baby Loves Disco, with DJ MIKEY PALMS and Mr. Metaphor from Brooklyn Academy on the mic, from 11:30 – 1pm. The MCMI / PH Tribute set will go from 1 to 3pm, followed by DJ TOP SPEED, who will play classics honoring David Bowie, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest & Prince, until the fair is over. Classic PH albums & mixtapes, tee shirts, posters and other collectibles will be available behind the DJ booth.
So come out to Park Slope this Sunday, enjoy the fair, check out the music on the corner of 3rd Street and you can also walk down 5th Avenue and take a pic under the newly unveiled street sign on the corner of De Graw St & 5th Ave, as we continue to “Rock Rock On …”.
Over the year, we featured co-hosts and special guests including PackFM, MrMecc, Poison Pen, PH (#ripPH), Wordsworth, D-Stroy, Tonedeff, Sha Stimuli, Masta Ace, Mazzi, Vicky Green, Substantial, Bad Seed, Billy Screem (TeamHOMI), Organik (KOTD), Sara Kana, Homeboy Sandman, Vice Verses (EOW), Kosha Dillz, Audible Doctor (BrownBagAllstars), Chordz Cordero, yU, Steph the Saphic Songstress, The MarXman, Angel “Sweetness” Garcia (Pro Boxer) and Novell “Black Taoist” Bell(ManUpStandUp / BET’s “IRON RING”), I Am Many, Jess James Figeroa, Swave Sevah (TeamHOMI), Bryan from theBeeShine, Keith “Wild Child” Middleton, Icon the Mic King, and Kevin “DJ Organic” Fitzgerald (Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme).
After a year of doing the talk show live almost every week, LR Blitzkrieg and myself just couldn’t keep it up. The show took a lot of work, preparing, setting up interviews, getting crates ready. We needed to dedicate more of our time to the record label and to other aspects of MCMI, so we stopped doing the show.
Well, almost three years later – WE ARE BACK, BABY! This time the show will not be live and will not be weekly. It is now hosted on the MCMI YouTube Channel (Subscribe), which has MUCH better sound quality than BlogTalkRadio and will drop from time to time, whenever we have a good interview or something to talk about.
All of the previous BlogTalkRadio shows are archived and can be found on MCMIreport.com/radio-archives. That will be considered “Season 1”. The new shows on Youtube are “Season 2”. Some will be mostly audio, with photos and video clips inserted throughout. Others will be full video format. New music and videos will occasionally be featured between segments of talk.
The new shows will be alternately hosted by MCMI’s GMS, LR Blitzkrieg, Keith WildChild Middleton, MrMecc and other artists affiliated with MCMIreport.com and MCMI Records. So, subscribe, listen, like, comment, share and stay tuned!!!
Here is Qaasim’s latest performance as a member of the top 9! The studio version of him singing “Addicted to love” is now available on iTunes!
* UPDATE: This week was a nail-biter as Qaasim was not voted through, but gave an amazing performance (Harry Connick Jr said the best performance of the night!) and the judges used their ONE & ONLY save. The audience was going crazy! Qaasim really spazzed out, blacked out on this one. Win or lose I think he knew he had given it his all and emotion took over as he dropped the mic, Rakim style at the end. On American Idol! Mic dropped! I’m done. Lol. Please tell your friends to vote for Qaasim all weekend until Tuesday, by going to AmericanIdol.com/vote, using the Fox Now app and google search American Idol Vote and vote through Google. You can vote all the ways, 20 votes each. You can also call 866 436 – 5708 20 times and text message 8 to 21523 20 times, but only for a couple of hours. The online voting goes until Tuesday.
Thank you for your support! Here is his life saving performance! #TeamQaasim #MCMI
If you’ve been watching AMERICAN IDOL lately, you may have noticed that one of the contestants, Qaasim Middleton, looks a little like MCMI co-founder, Keith “Wildchild” Middleton (of STOMP, HYDRA, The PLAGUE, etc). They both have long dread locks, both play percussion, guitar and other instruments, both beatbox and both move with craziest energy and charisma onstage. Well, there’s a reason for that! Qaasim is Keith’s son!
Qaasim is a super talented musician, who sings, raps, dances, acts, writes his own songs and produces his own music. In between High School and College (he is enrolled in The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music) Qaasim decided to take a few months off to audition for and try to win American Idol and so far, he has been doing very well.
Qaasim has been on an artists path since he first joined father’s group HYDRA onstage at a performance when he was just 2 years old, appeared on an episode of Sesame Street along with the cast of STOMP, at age 3, was chosen to be featured in the HBO documentary “Music In Me” at age 10, and became a cast member of the Nickelodeon hit tv show “Naked Brothers Band” from age 11 to 14. Since then Qaasim has been busy studying music at Laguardia High School, studying dance at Creative Outlet (an after school and summer arts institute in Brooklyn, NY) and honing his performing skills at weekly showcase events organized by his mother, Toni Seawright, a former pageant winner (the first black Miss Mississippi) and broadway actor/singer herself. So, you could say Qaasim has been preparing for this journey through American Idol all of his life.
All of the judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer “J-Lo” Lopez,Harry Connick Jr., and even one time guest judge, former Idol winner Adam Lambert, have been impressed with the just turned 19 performer, since his audition. Each week they have lavished him with praise – J-Lo seems to be especially enthralled – as well as good advice, as they pass him through to the next round.
But now we are into the voting rounds, where America decides who goes home and who stays each week, by voting with text messages, phone calls and on the American Idol official website and voting app. This is where contestants really have to sing for their supper.
And that’s where YOU come in. Help Qaasim get to the top! This kid has what it takes to be America’s favorite. He is the truth, homegrown, Brooklyn funk. He is extremely humble and supportive of all the other hopefuls, cheering them on and encouraging them as well. He puts 110% into every song, every week, but if people don’t vote he won’t make it to the next round.
Here’s how to vote: Watch the show. Onscreen you will what number contestant he is that episode (for example, last week he was #8). You can call in your vote 20 times, send 20 text message votes, go onto Americanidol.com/vote or the FoxNow app. You can vote in all of the above ways, giving 20 votes each way. Calling and texting can be done from multiple devices.
Need to catch up? Missed one? Just wanna watch again? Here is every Qaasim performance so far in one place. Make sure to vote every way possible (20X each way) and follow Qaasim on Twitter & Instagram @QaasimOfficial – Thanks fam!