ASCAP "We Create Music"
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS
ACE / Repertory Find Titles, Writers & Publishers and more Find Titles, Writers, Publishers and more
Search ASCAP.com
 
Search ASCAP.com
December 01, 2004

the best in hip hop/soul

the best in hip hop/soul


Indicates 2004 Grammy Winner

Indicates 2004 Grammy Winner

Text by Jem Aswad and Paul Zollo




Outkast Indicates 2004 Grammy Winner

Outkast

Outkast, which has placed Southern hip hop on the musical map, consists of two members: Andre Benjamin (Dre) and Antwan Patton (Big Boi). They formed OutKast and signed to the local LaFace label just after high school. Their debut single “Player's Ball,” rose to #1 on the rap charts and stayed there for six weeks, after which they released their debut CD, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. It hit the Top 20 in 1994 and was certified platinum by the end of the year. Dre and Big Boi also won Best New Rap Group of the Year at the 1995 Source Awards. In 1996, OutKast released ATLiens, which hit number two and went platinum with help from the gold-selling single “Elevators (Me & You).” In 1998 came the critically acclaimed Aquemini, which also reached number two and went double-platinum. In 1999, Dre modified his name to Andre 3000 before the group released its fourth album, Stankonia, in late 2000. It debuted at #2 and went triple platinum in a few months. Meanwhile, “Ms. Jackson” became their #1 one pop single the following February. This year Outkast won for Best Rap Album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which also won Album of the Year as well as Urban/Alternative Single for “Hey Ya!”



Indicates 2004 Grammy Winner

Beyoncé

ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year in 2001, Beyoncé’s group, Destiny’s Child, has sold more than 33 million discs worldwide and, at only 22, she is considered the most significant female artist to emerge in the last ten years.

Destiny’s Child was formed when this Houston native was just 9; the first lineup was complete in 1993 and the group was signed to Columbia Records within four years. Powered by the singles “No No No,” “With Me” and “Get On The Bus,” Destiny’s Child spawned an army of fans. But The Writing’s on the Wall album in 1999 was the real breakthrough. It featured an impressive slate of singles, including “Bills Bills Bills,” “Say My Name” and “Independent Women Part 1,” the latter of which held the #1 slot for 11 weeks. Beyoncé took control for the group’s third effort, Survivor, and her efforts paved the way for the runaway success of her debut solo effort, released last year. Beyoncé won five Grammys – Female R&B Vocalist: “Dangerously in Love,” R&B Vocal Duo Or Group: “The Closer I Get To You” (Beyoncé & Luther Vandross), R&B Song: “Crazy In Love” (Beyoncé Featuring Jay-Z), Best Rap/ Sung Collaboration: “Crazy In Love” (Beyoncé Featuring Jay-Z) and Contemporary R&B Album Dangerously in Love.

Beyoncé



The Underdogs

The Underdogs

The Underdogs have been top dogs since they first started working together. The pair -– Harvey Mason Jr. and Damon Thomas &ndash had already established themselves as successful musicians-songwriters-producers by the time they united in 2001. Thomas’s work on Brandy’s debut album in 1994 put him on the map. Mason had worked extensively as a musician, producer and engineer before uniting with Rodney Jerkins. The first song The Underdogs collaborated on, “I Like Them Girls,” landed on Tyrese’s hit debut album, and the duo hasn’t looked back since, creating songs with Justin Timberlake, Craig David, B2K, Luther Vandross, K-Ci & Jo Jo, Brian McKnight and more. The duo received further validation last year when they signed a label deal with Clive Davis and J Records. The Underdogs were nominated for Album of the Year: Justin Timberlakes’ Justified.



Indicates 2004 Grammy Winner

Luther Vandross

A legendary R&B singer, Luther Vandross first signed with Epic in 1981 and released his debut album, Never Too Much, which soared to the top of the R&B charts. Since then he has produced albums for other artists while sustaining his own career as a vocalist. His albums Forever, for Always, for Love (1982), Busy Body (1983), The Night I Fell in Love (1985), Give Me the Reason (1986), and Any Love (1988) were all million-sellers, but his greatest success came in 1989 with the release of The Best of Luther Vandross...The Best of Love, a greatest-hits album which featured his first Top Ten hit, “Here and Now.” That Power of Love followed in 1991 and, In 1992, he did a duet with Janet Jackson called “The Best Things in Life Are Free” from the movie Mo' Money. In 1994 he recorded “Endless Love,” a hit duet with Mariah Carey. A collection of all of his hits from 1991 to 1996 was re-leased in 1997. He won four Grammys: Best R&B Album, Dance With My Father; Best Song of the Year for “Dance With My Father” (co-written with Richard Marx); Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for “The Closer I Get To You,” a duet with Beyoncé. He was also honored with a special tribute featuring Alicia Keys performing a Bacharach/David medley which had scored a big success for Vandross.

Luther Vandross



Nelly Indicates 2004 Grammy Winner

Nelly

He was born Cornell Haynes Jr. in St. Louis, influencing a rapping style that is a fusion of country and urban and, from the start, he embraced tuneful hooks. His debut album, released by Universal in 2000, was Country Grammar, which featured the St. Lunatics as well the Teamsters, Lil' Wayne, and Cedric the Entertainer, and spent seven weeks on top of the U.S. album charts. The next summer he returned with Nellyville, which topped the Billboard album charts, driven by the success of the hit single “Hot in Herre.” In 2003, he lit up summer radio yet again with “Shake Ya Tailfeather,” a collaboration with Puff Daddy and Murphy Lee. In September of that year, he debuted his Derrty Entertainment empire with the release of Murphy Lee's first full-length CD. It emerged in late November 2003, and featured remixed versions of Nelly favorites like “Hot in Herre,” “Ride Wit Me,” “E.I.,” and “Air Force Ones.” This year he won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance By Rap Duo Or Group for the song “Shake Ya Tailfeather” written with P. Diddy & Murphy Lee.



Erykah Badu

The Dallas-born singer, who had been a rapper under the name Apples, opened a show for D’Angelo in 1994 and caught the eye of his manager, Kedar Massenberg. Three years later, her distinctive debut album, Baduizm, emerged. Its hip hop-informed hybrid of jazz and soul struck a chord with the public and has sold more than five million copies, reached #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and won two Grammy Awards. Badu also scored a Grammy for her 1999 duet with the Roots, “You Got Me.” She took an unexpected course with the angrier sounds of Mama’s Gun in 2000. While last year’s Worldwide Underground in some ways represents a return to the mellower soul of her debut, the album has a loose, improvisational feel and was recorded while she was on tour. The album includes collaborations fellow ASCAP Grammy nominees Roy Hargrove, James Poyser and Queen Latifah.

This year Badu scored four Grammy nominations: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: “Back In The Day”; Best Urban/Alternative Performance: “Danger”; Best R&B Song: “Danger” and Best R&B Album: Worldwide Underground.

Erykah Badu



Musiq

He grew up Taalib Johnson in Philadelphia, where he was exposed to the great ‘70s artists such as Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone. He quit school as a freshman and took on the name “Music Boy,” which eventually evolved to a combination of “muse” and “IQ.” Musiq made an impression at Open Mic nights held by Jill Scott and eventually won the attention of Def Jam Records. He united with songwriter Carvin Haggins and recorded his debut, Aijuswanaseing. The single “Just Friends (Sunny),” was featured on the soundtrack to The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps in summer 2000. His next album was Juslisen, which debuted on top of the Billboard 200 chart -– selling more than 260,000 copies in the week of its release. Musiq's third album, Soulstarradio, was released on December 9, 2003 and launched on the wings of the soulful single, “For The Night.” This year he was honored with a Grammy nomination for Best Urban/ Alternative Performance for “Forthenight” on Def Jam/Def Soul records.

Musiq



Ashanti

Ashanti

Just 23, Ashanti’s career was virtually washed up before she reached her 18th birthday. Born Ashanti Douglas in Glen Cove, Long Island, the young singer had suffered two failed major record deals before reaching the age when most teenagers graduate from high school. Yet Inc. Records (formerly Murder Inc.) domo Irv Gotti recognized her potential and developed her career by having her sing hooks on songs by rappers. Beginning with Big Pun’s “How We Roll,” she appeared on hits by Ja Rule and Fat Joe before launching her own single, “Foolish.” During March 2002, all three songs were in the Billboard Top Ten. Ashanti followed with her #1 blockbuster debut album. Two further singles, “Baby” and “Happy,” kept her in the headlines, and the disc won Best Contemporary R&B Album at last year’s Grammys and she won Soul Train and NAACP Awards in 2003 as well. Driven by the singles “Rock Wit U” and “Rain On Me,” Chapter II released last July, also debuted at #1 and continues Ashanti’s maturation into a major entertainer. Ashanti was nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance: “Rain On Me,” Best R&B Song: “Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)” and Best Contemporary R&B Album: Chapter II.



Timbaland

Born Tim Mosley in 1971 in Norfolk, Virginia, Timbaland established himself in his twenties as one of the world’s most successful producers. He broke into the music business by co-writing “Bring On Da Funk” with Jodeci and continued to soar by working on Aaliyah's One In A Million. He and Magoo created a new dynamically rhythmic sound for Missy Elliott, the epitome of which was the hit single “Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).” In 1997, they created Welcome To Our World which featured the Top Ten “Up Jumps Da' Boogie.” Next came “Clock Strikes,” a hit single which sampled the theme to “Knight Rider” and he contributed tracks for the soundtracks to Can't Hardly Wait and Dr. Doolittle. Timbaland also worked with Elliott's protégée Nicole on her August 1998 breakthrough, Make It Hot, and collaborated with Elliott on the soundtrack to Why Do Fools Fall In Love. In November of ’98, he released his debut, Tim's Bio, the soundtrack to a yet-to-be-made movie about his life and music. Recently, he started his own record label, Beat Club, which has struck it hot with artists such as Bubba Sparxxx and Ms. Jade. He was nominated for a the Grammy for Album Of The Year for his co-production of Under Construction by Missy “”Misdemeanor”” Elliott.

Timbaland



Kelly Price

Kelly Price

She got her start as a back-up vocalist, providing rich harmonies for such artists as Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Faith Evans and Brian McKnight. She was the featured vocalist on Notorious B.I.G.'s “Mo Money, Mo Problems” and Mase's “Feels So Good.” In 1997 she appeared on Puff Daddy's hit album No Way Out and was also featured on his tour. Her own debut album, Soul of a Woman, was released in 1998. This album incuded the phenomenal hit song “Friend of Mine,” which featured Ronald Isley and R. Kelly. In 2000 came the follow-up, Mirror Mirror, highlighted by her remake of Shirley Murdock’s “As We Lay.” She also went on to lend her vocal powers to music by R. Kelly, Whitney Houston and Elton John’s Broadway play Aida. in 2001, she released a holiday album called One Family: A Christmas Album and, her next album, Priceless, packed with the ballads that made her famous also features many upbeat dance tracks. She was nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for the song “He Proposed” from Priceless.


Continued --->