For the cover of the April 20, 2018, issue of Creative Loading in Charlotte, we recreated an iconic Village Voice hip-hop cover. The idea was to prop up the Charlotte hip-hop scene and to acknowledge 420 — the international annual Weed Day celebration. We had a blast doing the cover shoot.
Kevin “Mercury” Carter released a homemade six-song EP that reveals a vocalist of uncommon abilities. Not only does his extraordinary range rival those of Prince, Mariah Carey, and Queen’s Freddie Mercury, but Carter’s nuanced sense of tone and dynamics, the melodic creativity of his arrangements, and his mature lyrical abilities are as remarkable as his voice.
Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson: May the Circle Be Unbroken
In 2012, within the span of two months, North Carolina lost two of its most famous and most loved musical voices, Doc Watson and Earl Scruggs. This was my tribute to them.
Where Were You on 9/20?
I was talking to a friend recently about police violence against people of color. It hasn’t stopped. According to January 2023 data from Mapping Police Violence, Black people are still three times more likely to die at the hands of police than white people, even though they were 1.3 times less likely to be armed.
Black-Alternative Music Fest: Reclaim Your Space
A talented and energetic young singer-songwriter named Le Anna Eden decided that Charlotte, North Carolina, needed a Black alternative music festival. So she gathered her tribe and made it happen.
The Coup: Sorry to Bother You
This Oakland outfit continues to create danceable manifestos for the masses: “I got scars on my back, the truth on my tongue,” front man Boots Riley raps. “Tell Homeland Security we are the bomb.”
Erykah Badu: Hello, It’s Me
By 2012, Erykah Badu had undergone a beautiful evolution from pioneer of late-’90s neosoul to hard-hitting, politically inspired, space-funk godchild of George Clinton. I needed to talk to her. And so I did.
Jack Kerouac: The Enduring Appeal of ‘On the Road’
The old grey Jack Kerouac sweatshirt that dated back to my college years in the early ’80s was nowhere to be found. But today it’s in good hands.
TV on the Radio: We’re an American Band
With the recent election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, TV on the Radio may have been the most American band making music in 2008. Little did we know then that the country would face a vicious and sustained backlash that continues to threaten our democracy.
The Sonics: How to Lead a Punk-Rock Double Life
When mild-mannered Rob Lind isn’t on the links at Birkdale Golf Club near his home in the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, he’s onstage with his legendary garage-rock band The Sonics