Brooklyn Stand Up / "Five Brooklyn-based artists I'm checking out"

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Brooklyn Stand Up
by Nia Smith (Intern, The Liberator Magazine)

When I move to a new city, one of the first things I like to do (besides badly adopt the slang) is check out the local music scene. Finding the music to be a thousand times better than anything I'll hear on local POWER or KISS FM stations, my quest for the music of local artists has led to late night treks to bars and cafes to see acoustic sets and a sizable collection of self produced CD's. To celebrate all the great music that I've heard since moving to the best borough in NY, here are five Brooklyn based artists I'm currently checking out and think that you should too:

1) Chris Turner

Transplanted to BK from my hometown of Hammer pants and pimp dreams, Chris Turner should be recognizable to all you fellow Bilal fans out there. Should you be in the small minority of folks who don't like Bilal (you probably don't like Sade either, huh?), Turner has been singing backup for Mr. Wonderful while also creating some amazing solo work as evidenced by the track above. With a falsetto reminiscent of the days of Marvin and Mayfield, Turner is definitely one of my favorite male vocalists right now.

Oh, did I mention that he's big and brown? Did I also mention that I like really like that tribe of man? I wonder if he’s as funny as another big and brown favorite of mine.

2) The Stuyvesants

So if you just listened to “Liquid Love” and said to yourself, “Damn that was smooth. Did Teddy Riley produce that?” I am here to let you know that, though I too anxiously await the comeback of Mr. Jam, the track was actually produced by Bed-Stuy residing duo, The Stuyvesants. Consisting of music producer Allan Cole and record collector Darien Victor Birks, The Stuyvesants first LP, Brooklyn’s Finest sounded like everything a great summer day in Brooklyn is: a quick dig through the crates to find that perfect record for you and your new summer love to dance to, crisp water from the fire hydrant splashing brown babies and rims, well-manicured flowers on brownstone stoops, and the warm greeting of “sista” by the brothas in front of your nearest barber shop. If you long for the return of summer as much as I do, check out some of their latest music here. Also bonus points to those of you who can name the Coltrane song The Stuyvesants play homage to in the above track #KEEPLISTENINGTOGOODMUSIC.

3) Sarah White

No stranger to Liberatormag, I have just had the fortune of coming across the music of Sarah White and have been playing this track from her new EP, Space Madness nonstop. After a couple of listens, I am more than convinced that Madame White would be more than a worthy copilot to June Tyson's intergalactic music travels. Plus the sista is (as you Brooklynites would say) “mad fly” and that always gets kudos from me.

4) Fresh Daily

In my two years as a resident of the Stuy, I have been blessed to experience the living room/ back patio deck/ basement/ yo that's four blocks from my house/ wow, does everybody in here have a natural?/ wait till I tell my girls I finally danced with thick brotha I been crushin on since last summer/ I ain't gonna beat the sunrise home/ EPIC Brooklyn house party. Should you have not had the chance to experience said experience, start perfecting your dutty wine or pelvis thrust now by playing this track from Fresh Daily's 2010 EP, Mothership/Land. By the time next summer rolls around you should be a pro. Also, all you regular Liberatormag readers should be more than familiar with the talented brotha assisting on guest vocals.

5) Jesse Boykins III

Amazing vocals [+] great hair that I am jealous of admire [+] sweaters that look like they were knit by a loving and fashionable grandma [=] why I had to include Jesse Boykins III on this list. Though a fan of The Beauty Created, Boykin's mix of electronic grooves and introspective lyrics on Way of a Wayfarer has easily made this EP one of my favorites of 2011. Plus, should my career aspirations of being “your favorite museum educator's favorite museum educator” fall through, I could always get my Chris Turner on and start singing backup for Jesse.

So folks, before I get comments like, “What about _________ ?”, I invite you all to embrace the classic African proverb of “It takes a village to raise a child who listens to good music” and post some of the Brooklyn artists you're listening to. If you are an artist yourself, PLEASE feel free to post your music, as I am more to happy to give y'all some love on here provided that you don't make music like this... I ain't hating or nothing, it’s just that I don't wanna hear that shit B.