{Music Corner} Rest In Peace: April-June of 2014

April

DJ E-Z Rock

Rodney Bryce aka DJ E-Z Rock (1967-2014)

Rodney Bryce, who made his mark on hip-hop under the name DJ E-Z Rock, died Sunday April 27, 2014 from a diabetic seizure. He was 46. Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock were a hip-hop duo from Harlem, New York who were best known for their 1988 hit “It Takes Two”, a Teddy Riley produced single that was a top 40 hit and has been certified platinum by the RIAA and rated # 24 out of 50 greatest hip-hop songs of all time according to Rolling Stone and # 37 on VH1’s 100 greatest songs of hip hop. The duo released two other singles from their debut album —”Joy and Pain” and “Get on the Dance Floor”—but the album “It Takes Two”was certified 7x platinum in 1989 and reached No. 31 on the Billboard 200, an impressive feat for a hip-hop album at the time. Due to personal issues DJ-E-Z Rock left the group leaving Rob Base as a solo artist who released an album “The Incredible Base” in 1989 that was certified Gold by the RIAA but in 1994 DJ E-Z Rock returned and the duo released thier 3rd and final project “The Break Od Dawn” with lackluster results and shortly afterwards Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock disbanded. Information Source: Wikipedia

May

Jessica Cleaves

Jessica Cleaves (1948-2014)

Jessica Cleaves, a founding member of the Friends of Distinction, died on Friday May 2, 2014 in Los Angeles at the age of 65 following complications from a stroke. Cleaves, Floyd Butler, Harry Elston and Barbara Love formed the Friends of Distinction in 1968 and were discovered by football player Jim Brown who helped them get signed to RCA Records. The group had three record go to the top fifteen on both the Hot 100 and the R&B singles, Grazing in the Grass, Going in Circles and Love or Let Me Be Lonely. They also hit the top 15 R&B albums with Grazing In The Grass, Highly Distinct and Real Friends. Cleaves left the Friends of Distinction in 1972 to go on to join Earth, Wind and Fire. Jessica was with the band when they were discovered by Clive Davis and signed to Columbia Records, marking the beginning of their ascension to the top of their career, singing on their albums Last Days and Time (1972) and their first platinum set Head to the Sky (1973). After Head to the Sky, Cleaves, Laws and Bautista left the band with Cleaves eventually moving on to perform with Parliament-Funkadelic where she remained through the recording of their Dope Dogs album in 1993. Among her recordings with the group are: •Gloryhallastoopid (or Pin the Tale on the Funky) (Parliament, 1979) •Uncle Jam Wants You (Funkadelic, 1979) •Trombipulation (Parliament, 1980) •Computer Games (George Clinton, 1982) •R&B Skeletons in the Closet (George Clinton, 1986) •The Cinderella Theory (George Clinton, 1989) •Hey, Man, Smell My Finger (George Clinton, 1993) •Dope Dogs (Parliament-Funkadelic, 1994) Information Source: Wn.com

June

Cahron Jayare Childs-cali-swag-district

Cahron “JayAre” Childs of Cali Swag District (1988-2014)

Cahron Childs aka JayAre of Cali Swag District died on Friday June 6, 2014 at the age of 25. reportedly suffered from sickle cell anemia and died from cardiac arrest at a hospital after being admitted for unknown reasons. The Inglewood, California-based Cali Swag District had a massive hit in 2010 with their first single, “Teach Me How to Dougie.” The song ignited a dance craze that even reached First Lady Michelle Obama, who demonstrated the moves on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. But tragedy struck the group the year after the single’s release, when member Montae “M-Bone” Talbert was murdered during a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in May 2011. M-Bone was 22 years old at the time. The three remaining members released their debut album The Kickback two months after M-Bone’s death. The group just dropped a new mixtape titled The District earlier this year, featuring collaborations with Nipsey Hussle, Waka Flaka Flame, Problem and Ty Dolla $ign. Information Source- Rolling Stone

casey-kasem Casey Kasem (1932-2014)

Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem was an American disc jockey, radio personality and actor, best known for being the host of the music radio programs American Top 40, American Top 20, and American Top 10 from 1970 until his retirement in 2009, and for providing the voice of Norville “Shaggy” Rogers in the Scooby-Doo franchise from 1969 to 1997, and again from 2002 until 2009. Casey Kasem had been suffering from Lewy body disease, the most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s since 2007. He had recently been the subject of a bitter court battle involving three of his children by a previous marriage and his wife, Jean. In May, a California judge awarded Kerri Kasem temporary power of attorney after Jean Kasem took her husband out of a nursing home and moved him to Washington amid family feuding. A Washington judge later allowed Kerri to visit her father in that state. Casey Kasem was hospitalized after an argument between Jean and Kerri in which his wife threw meat at her stepdaughter and Last week, a Los Angeles County judge gave daughter Kerri Kasem the authority to have doctors end his infusions of water, food and medicine. On Sunday. June 15, 2014 Casey Kassem died at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington, at 3:25 a.m. He was 82. He was survived by his wife, four children, and four grandchildren. Information Source: CNN

Copyright 2014 – Tony Johnson. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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{Music Corner}