Soul-Heart Sessions: A Winter Tribute To The Late Avenging Wind

Rest In Peace Fathom 9

I’ve been through a lot of changes since I last updated this blog regularly. I’ve wanted to restart this and to be consistent because I think that’s what you and this project deserves but I’ve also struggled with where to start. So I think I’ll start with where I am and have been most recently. It’s fitting to me that my first post this year be about the loss of my fellow artist and online friend Ennis Newman perhaps better known as Avenging Wind/Fathom 9.

It’s hard to piece together what’s happened when you’re only friends with someone online and can’t contact them directly. From what I know he died pretty suddenly. That cold, wintery night I walked around New York City, aggressive, confused, hurting. I attempted to process shame someone so young and talented should be taken away so abruptly and get through it sooner rather than later. That wasn’t meant to be the case for and just a few weeks later I would suffer another loss.

What sits on my chest with the weight of a brick is the fact that I was just about to contact him just to say hey, are you ok? His energy seemed different in his Facebook posts shortly before his passing and I wanted to connect with him. We had the same kind of restless heart, never creating enough. Just a kind of angst ridden, on fire artist. I understood that. I thought the feeling was nothing and maybe I should wait for one more post to give me that feeling before messaging him but I never got that chance. It’s a mistake I never want to repeat again and one I never wish for you either.

Artist, Reader, Beard Enthusiast

Here’s the post I wrote on So Fresh And So Green’s Facebook Page shortly after I found out brother Avenging Wind died:

I am deeply saddened by the news of the loss of brother Avenging Wind 2754 / Fathom 9 (Brotherhood of Doom). He was truly an artist and only wanted for his art to be heard. I reviewed his work a few years ago on a sucka ass blog that took it down because they didn’t want to credit me for the post. It’s a shame when an artist’s work is treated so callously. Anyway, fortunately we were able to discuss the review in depth at the time and he was so pleased that I understood it– but not more pleased than me. I feel so fortunate to have connected with him in his short time here and I’m happy I saved some earlier draft of this post so it can see the light of day again.

Avenging Wind, ever the artist

I’m at a loss right now. I just wanted to share this. Take a listen. You didn’t have to know of him before to enjoy this.

*FreEP: Fathom 9- Soul-Heart Sessions: Winter Leaves*

This isn’t actually a FreEP, or a mixtape exactly, it’s a FreeMix you can download courtesy of producer and Memphis, TN native Fathom 9. The title “Soul-Heart Sessions: Winter Leaves” is a bit deceiving. Rather than this mix being like an interpretation of Winter as a season, it is an interpretation of a season of the soul and heart.

Spanning R&B, Jazz, Hip Hop and Soul “Soul-Heart Sessions: Winter Leaves” speaks of the possibilities of new love, perhaps a hope for a season of Spring for the soul as well as of revisiting the wintery coldness of heartache.

Standouts for me include: The nice reworking of D’Angelo’s ‘Me And Those Dreamin’ Eyes Of Mine’ on ‘D’Angelo Stringfello (Whoa Whoa Whoa, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)’, ‘Falling In Love’ with it’s lovely strings, ‘Skipping through Leaves’ with it’s hard hitting jazziness and the poignant, clever reworking of Billie Holiday’s ‘I’m a Fool to Want You’ on ‘Foolish Child’.

I’d like to thank Casual James for giving me someone to talk to about the odd situation of losing an online friend. And Carminelitta from helping make this unthinkable event more real for me. Read her goodbye post to him Tribute: Avenging Wind.

DOWNLOAD: I Still Love H.E.R. Vol. 1

There is a beautiful monthly event held at Subterranean dedicated to women in Hip-Hop called I Still Love H.E.R. LadyGemStar and KickAssAlyssia created this vibrant night “dedicated to the love of Hip Hop and its elements through the feminine experience. The four are represented by featuring a variety of Chicago female DJs, MCs, Breakers and Graffiti artists. Their mission: “to create a platform and raise awareness to the importance of the feminine contribution in the Chicago hip hop community as well as in it’s culture.” Word.

Recently, they put out a mixtape (mixed by DJ ALO) highlighting some of Chicago’s flyest Emcees. The mixtape features: The First Lady Of Rhymesayers: Psalm One, Rita J (Of All Natural), ANG 13, Amina, Jade Ivy, SPQ-HER, and many more. The ladies have diverse styles, content, and such. They are on point. If you love Rap check it out and if you’re in Chicago drop by Subterranean and soak up some culture. Visit their website: istillloveherinc.com to download the mixtape.

DOWNLOAD: Big K.R.I.T. – ‘4everNaDay’

Rapper and producer Big K.R.I.T.’s latest mixtape 4everNaDay is full of buttery hot soulful tracks and positive energy. While K.R.I.T is not the most lyrically complex or technical spitter, he more than makes up for it with his storytelling and ability to emote. You can feel and believe every word he says, this intangible charm puts him in zone that few rappers achieve. Add to this his often uplifting and motivational themes in his songs, which he pulls off without being corny, K.R.I.T. is the king of the so-called “conscious” southern rap once dominated by Outkast.

While 4everNaDay is not as progressive musically as an Outkast album, its lushness act as audible sunshine. For me this album came right on time, providing me with a much need boost, bringing some light to the dark my life currently reside in. I compare K.R.I.T.’s style to Basquiat’s deceptively simple yet producing great emotional resonance. This mixtape has me excited to hear what K.R.I.T. has in store for his up coming debut studio album Live From The Underground.


DOWNLOAD: An “Etta” James Tribute –Jasiri X (Produced by Agent of Change)

Etta James Jasiri X Agent of Change

She was bad enough to rock blond hair and dark eyebrows. Even though she was jypped out of a decent tribute at the Grammy’s, among others, Jasiri X and producer Agent of Change put together a nice one for legend Etta James. Compelling production right from the start they even threw in what even kind of sounds like diss towards Beyonce. Etta would approve!

DOWNLOAD: Do The Dilla 2012- A Tribute To The Drum​-​Master

Description: “A love project in memory of James Dewitt Yancey, better known under the name Jaydee or J-Dilla. An idea of Do The Right Print, Food for ya Soul & Feelin’ Music, bringing different beatmakers from around the world to perpetuate J-Dilla’s art, in order to give to the audience a new vision of his creations… “

Download this Dilla remix album for free! Enjoy.

MIXTAPE REVIEW: ‘Nehru Jackets’ By Heems Of Das Racist

“Life is not all ha ha hee hee.” Heems raps in the chorus of Juveniles Detained at Guantanamo Bay. This quip kind of sums up the Das Racists aesthetic. The stream-of-conscious satire, pop culture collage, racial politics, hipsterism, clowning, rebellious, shit talking, stoner wise, social critic, party guy, aware brown person, absurdist, blue collar, couch king, ironic, totally serious steez. In short Heems is a Trickster. Continue reading

VIDEO: Blacktivity – “Knuckle Sandwich”

Knuckle Sandwich Blackitivity

One thing I must say I enjoy about the overblown, super glossy rap video era fading is the fact that not only is the playing field more leveled but for rap the medium is forced to use stronger concepts. I liked this one from lyricist Illtone of Port Huron, MI and producer Shade Cobain of Pittsburgh, PA whom I interviewed before. Together they form (no, not Voltron) Blacktivity. They make a nice duo and as you can hear each one holds up their end of the bargain here. Download “Knuckle Sandwich” and check out more of their work below.

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