Kevin Smith, best known by his stage name Lovebug Starski, was an American MC, record producer. He began his career as a record boy in 1971 as hip-hop first appeared in the Bronx, he became a DJ at the Disco Fever club in 1978, he is one of two people who may have come up with the term "hip-hop". Starski claimed that he coined the phrase while trading the two words back and forth while improvising lines with Cowboy of the Furious Five at a farewell party for a friend, headed into the Army. Starski recorded his first single, "Positive Life," on the Tayster record label in 1981, he recorded a song for the soundtrack of the 1986 film Rappin', released on Atlantic Records, before recording his first album, House Rocker, on Epic/CBS Records. This featured his most successful chart single, "Amityville," a parody song named in reference to the film The Amityville Horror, it was a #12 hit on the UK Singles Chart in 1986. Lovebug Starski and World Famous Brucie B worked together at the Rooftop Roller rink in Harlem during the 1980s.
In the 1990s, Starski began DJing again with his friend DJ Hollywood. Starski died of a heart attack in Las Vegas on February 8, 2018, at the age of 57, while moving speakers out of storage into his apartment. Smith had relocated to Las Vegas, where he was working to revive his DJ career with gigs including a weekly residency at the rooftop lounge of Indian restaurant Turmeric, his final appearance there was just hours before his death, according to his manager, Jeremy Crittenden. He is survived by Martha Bowes. House Rocker "Gangster Rock" "Dancin' Party People" "Positive Life" "Live At The Fever" "Live At The Fever Pt.2" "You've Gotta Believe" "Do The Right Thing" "House Rocker" "Rappin'" "Amityville" "Saturday Night" Lovebug Starski at AllMusic Lovebug Starski discography at Discogs Lovebug Starski on IMDb
Isaac Lee Hayes Jr. was an American singer-songwriter, voice actor and producer. Hayes was one of the creative forces behind the Southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a session musician and record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. Hayes and Porter, along with Bill Withers, the Sherman Brothers, Steve Cropper, John Fogerty were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of writing scores of songs for themselves, the duo Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, others. In 2002, Hayes was inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame; the song "Soul Man", written by Hayes and Porter and first performed by Sam & Dave, has been recognized as one of the most influential songs of the past 50 years by the Grammy Hall of Fame. It was honored by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by Rolling Stone magazine, by the Recording Industry Association of America as one of the Songs of the Century. During the late 1960s, Hayes began a career as a recording artist.
He had several successful soul albums such as Black Moses. In addition to his work in popular music, he worked as a composer of musical scores for motion pictures, he was well known for his musical score for the film Shaft. For the "Theme from Shaft", he was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1972, he became the third African-American, after Sidney Poitier and Hattie McDaniel, to win an Academy Award in any competitive field covered by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He won two Grammy Awards for that same year, he was given his third Grammy for his music album Black Moses. In 1992 Hayes was crowned honorary king of the Ada region of Ghana in recognition of his humanitarian work there, he acted in motion pictures and television, such as in the movies Truck Turner and I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, as Gandolf "Gandy" Fitch in the TV series The Rockford Files. He voiced the character Chef from the animated Comedy Central series South Park from its debut in 1997 until 2005, his influences were Percy Mayfield, Big Joe Turner, James Brown, Jerry Butler, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, psychedelic soul groups like The Chambers Brothers and Sly and the Family Stone.
On August 5, 2003, Hayes was honored as a BMI Icon at the 2003 BMI Urban Awards for his enduring influence on generations of music makers. Throughout his songwriting career, Hayes received five BMI R&B Awards, two BMI Pop Awards, two BMI Urban Awards and six Million-Air citations; as of 2008, his songs generated more than 12 million performances. Isaac Hayes, Jr. was born in Tennessee, in Tipton County. He was Isaac Hayes, Sr.. After his mother died young and his father abandoned his family, Isaac, Jr. was raised by his maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Willie Wade, Sr; the child of a sharecropper family, he grew up working on farms in Shelby County, in Tipton County. At age five Hayes began singing at his local church. Hayes dropped out of high school, but his former teachers at Manassas High School in Memphis encouraged him to complete his diploma, which he did at age 21. After graduating from high school, Hayes was offered several music scholarships from colleges and universities, he turned down all of them to provide for his immediate family, working at a meat-packing plant in Memphis by day and playing nightclubs and juke joints several evenings a week in Memphis and nearby northern Mississippi.
His first professional gigs, in the late 1950s, were as a singer at Curry's Club in North Memphis, backed by Ben Branch's houseband. Hayes began his recording career in the early 1960s, as a session player for various acts of the Memphis-based Stax Records, he wrote a string of hit songs with songwriting partner David Porter, including "You Don't Know Like I Know", "Soul Man", "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby" and "Hold On, I'm Comin'" for Sam & Dave. Hayes and Stax studio band Booker T. & the M. G.'s were the producers for Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas and other Stax artists during the mid-1960s. Hayes-Porter contributed to the Stax sound made famous during this period, Sam & Dave credited Hayes for helping develop both their sound and style. In 1968, Hayes released his debut album, Presenting Isaac Hayes, a jazzy improvised effort, commercially unsuccessful, his next album was Hot Buttered Soul, released in 1969 after Stax had gone through a major upheaval. The label had lost its largest star, Otis Redding, in a plane crash in December 1967.
Stax lost all of its back catalog to Atlantic Records in May 1968. As a result, Stax executive vice president Al Bell called for 27 new albums to be completed in mid-1969; this album is noted for his distinct sound. On the album, Hayes reinterpreted "Walk On By" into a 12-minute exploration. "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" starts with an eight-minute-long monologue before breaking into song, the lone original number, the funky "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" runs nearly ten minutes, a significant break from the standard three-minute soul/pop songs. "Walk On By" would be the first of many times Hayes would take a Burt Bacharach standard made famous as three-minute pop songs by Dionne Warwick or Dusty Springfield, transform it into a soulful and gospel number. In 1970, Hayes
The George Foster Peabody Awards program, named for the American businessman and philanthropist George Peabody, honor the most powerful and invigorating stories in television and online media. Programs are recognized in seven categories: news, documentaries, children's programming, interactive programming, public service. Peabody Award winners include radio and television stations, online media, producing organizations, individuals from around the world. Established in 1940 by a committee of the National Association of Broadcasters, the Peabody Award was created to honor excellence in radio broadcasting, it is the oldest major electronic media award in the United States and some say the most prestigious, sometimes competing for recognition with the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award. Final Peabody Award winners are selected unanimously by the program's Board of Jurors. Reflecting excellence in quality storytelling, rather than popularity or commercial success, Peabody Awards are distributed annually to 30 out of 60 finalists culled from more than 1,000 entries.
Because submissions are accepted from a wide variety of sources and styles, deliberations seek "Excellence On Its Own Terms". Each entry is evaluated on the achievement of standards established within its own context. Entries, for which a US$350 fee is required, are self-selected by those making submissions. In 1938, the National Association of Broadcasters formed a committee to recognize outstanding achievement in radio broadcasting. Committee member Lambdin Kay, public-service director for WSB radio in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time, is credited for creating the award, named for businessman and philanthropist George Foster Peabody, who donated the funds that made the awards possible. Fellow WSB employee Lessie Smithgall introduced Lambdin to John E. Drewry, of the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, who endorsed the idea; the Peabody Award was established in 1940 with the Grady College of Journalism as its permanent home. The Peabody Awards were issued only for radio programming, but television awards were introduced in 1948.
In the late 1990s additional categories for material distributed via the World Wide Web were added. Materials created for theatrical motion picture release are not eligible; the Peabody Awards judging process is unusually rigorous. Each year, more than 1,000 entries are evaluated by some 30 committees composed of a number of faculty and students from the University of Georgia and other higher education institutions across the country; each committee is charged with screening or listening to a small number of entries and delivering written recommendations to the Peabody Board of Jurors, a ~17-member panel of scholars and media-industry professionals. Board members discuss recommended entries as well as their own selections at intensive preliminary meetings in California and Texas; the Board convenes at the University of Georgia in early April for final screenings and deliberations. Each entrant is judged on its own merit, only unanimously selected programs receive a Peabody Award. For many years, there was no set number of awards issued.
However, in 2016 the program instituted the Peabody 30, representing the best programs out of a field of 60 nominees. Prior to this, the all-time record for Peabody Award recipients in a single year was 46 in 2013. George Foster Peabody, namesake of the awards, was a successful investment banker who devoted much of his fortune to education and social enterprise. Lambdin Kay was the awards chairman for The National Association of Broadcasters when he was asked to create a prize to honor the nation's premier radio programs and performances. John E. Drewry was the first dean of the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, he accepted the position of dean when it was created in 1940. That same year he helped Lambdin Kay, general manager of Atlanta's WSB Radio, create the Peabody Awards recognizing excellence in broadcasting. Dr. Worth McDougald served as Director of the Peabody Awards program from 1963 until his retirement in 1991. Barry Sherman was the Director of the George Foster Peabody Awards program at the University of Georgia from 1991 until his death in 2000.
Horace Newcomb held the Lambdin Kay Chair for the Peabodys in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia from 2001 to 2013. Jeffrey P. Jones succeeded Horace Newcomb in July 2013 as the Lambdin Kay Chair for the Peabodys in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia; each spring, the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors announce award recipients for work released during the previous year. Traditionally, the winners' announcements have been made via a simple press release and/or a press conference. In recent years, organizers have taken to television to reveal some Peabody Award recipients in an effort to expand public awareness of the awards. An April 2014 segment of CBS This Morning included an announcement of 2013 Peabody winners. In April 2015, the 2014 Peabodys were revealed over an 8-day period, with the entertainment-based recipients revealed on ABC's Good Morning America. Formal presentation of the Peabody Awards are traditionally held in early June.
For many years, the awards were given during a luncheon in New York City. The ceremony moved to a red carpet evening event for the first time on May 31, 2015, with Fred Armisen serving as host. Several famous names have served as Peabody Awards ceremony hosts over the years, among them Walter Cronkite, Lesley Stahl, Jackie Gleason, Jon Stewart, Morley Safer, Cr
Harlem is a neighborhood in the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is bounded by Frederick Douglass Boulevard, St. Nicholas Avenue, Morningside Park on the west, it is part of greater Harlem, an area that encompasses several other neighborhoods and extends west to the Hudson River, north to 155th Street, east to the East River, south to 96th Street. A Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem's history has been defined by a series of economic boom-and-bust cycles, with significant population shifts accompanying each cycle. Harlem was predominantly occupied by Jewish and Italian Americans in the 19th century, but African-American residents began to arrive in large numbers during the Great Migration in the 20th century. In the 1920s and 1930s, Central and West Harlem were the focus of the "Harlem Renaissance", an outpouring of artistic work without precedent in the American-black community. However, with job losses during the Great Depression of 1929–1933 and the deindustrialization of New York City after World War II, rates of crime and poverty increased and from the second half of the 20th century to the early 2000s, most of greater Harlem's residents were black.
Since New York City's revival in the late 20th century, Harlem has been experiencing the effects of gentrification and new wealth. Harlem is part of Manhattan Community District 10 and its primary ZIP Codes are 10026, 10027, 10030, 10037, 10039, it is patrolled by the 32nd Precincts of the New York City Police Department. Harlem is located in Upper Manhattan referred to as Uptown by locals. Greater Harlem stretches from the Harlem River and East River in the east, to the Hudson River to the west. Central Harlem is the name of Harlem proper; this section is bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east, Central Park on the south, Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Avenue and Edgecombe Avenue on the west, the Harlem River on the north. A chain of three large linear parks—Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Park and Jackie Robinson Park—are situated on steeply rising banks and form most of the district's western boundary. On the east, Fifth Avenue and Marcus Garvey Park known as Mount Morris Park, separate this area from East Harlem.
The bulk of the area falls under Manhattan Community Board No. 10. In the late 2000s, South Harlem, emerged from area redevelopment, running along Frederick Douglass Boulevard from West 110th to West 138th Streets. Central Harlem includes the Mount Morris Park Historic District. West Harlem is composed of Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights, which collectively comprise Manhattan Community District 9 and are not part of Harlem proper; the two neighborhoods' area is bounded by Cathedral Parkway on the south. Nicholas/Bradhurst/Edgecome Avenues on the east. Manhattanville begins at 123rd Street and extends northward to 135th Street; the northernmost section of West Harlem is Hamilton Heights. East Harlem called Spanish Harlem or El Barrio, within Manhattan Community Board 11, is bounded by East 96th Street on the south, East 138th Street on the north, Fifth Avenue on the west, the Harlem River on the east, it is not part of Harlem proper. In the 2010s, some real estate professionals started called Morningside Heights "SoHa" in an attempt to gentrify the neighborhood.
New York City politicians have initiated legislative efforts to curtail this practice of neighborhood rebranding. Politically, central Harlem is in New York's 13th congressional district, it is in the New York State Senate's 30th district, the New York State Assembly's 68th and 70th districts, the New York City Council's 7th, 8th, 9th districts. Before the arrival of European settlers, the area that would become Harlem was inhabited by the Manhattans, a native tribe, who along with other Native Americans, most Lenape, occupied the area on a semi-nomadic basis; as many as several hundred farmed the Harlem flatlands. Between 1637 and 1639, a few settlements were established. During the American Revolution, the British burned Harlem to the ground, it took a long time to rebuild, as Harlem grew more than the rest of Manhattan during the late 18th century. After the American Civil War, Harlem experienced an economic boom starting in 1868; the neighborhood continued to serve as a refuge for New Yorkers, but those coming north were poor and Jewish or Italian.
The New York and Harlem Railroad, as well as the Interborough Rapid Transit and elevated railway lines, helped Harlem's economic growth, as they connected Harlem to lower and midtown Manhattan. The Jewish and Italian demographic decreased, while the black and Puerto Rican population increased in this time; the early-20th century Great Migration of blacks to northern industrial cities was fueled by their desire to leave behind the Jim Crow South, seek better jobs and education for their children, escape a culture of lynching violence. In 1910, Central Harlem was about 10% black. By 1930, it had reached 70%. Starting around the time of the end of World War I, Harlem became associated with the New Negro movement, the artistic
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were an American hip hop group formed in the South Bronx of New York City in 1978. Composed of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, The Kidd Creole, Keith Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio and Rahiem, the group's use of turntablism, break-beat DJing, conscious lyricism were significant in the early development of hip hop music. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five built their reputation performing at parties and live shows in the late 1970s and achieved local success. By the time the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" was released, the group realized the potential of cutting records and signed with various labels until staying with Sugar Hill Records. Under Sugar Hill Records, the group rose to prominence in the early 1980s with their first hit "Freedom", it was not until the release of "The Message" and the album of the same name that they achieved mainstream success. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five would break up into two separate groups due to differences until a brief reunion in 1987 led to the release of the original line-up's second album On the Strength.
Afterward, they disbanded permanently. Today the group's legacy continues on as Grandmaster's Furious Five with only Melle Mel and Scorpio as remaining members; the group is regarded as among the most influential hip hop acts. Their biggest single and acknowledged masterpiece "The Message" is cited as one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time. In 2007 they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, making them the first hip hop group to be inducted. Prior to the formation of the Furious Five, Grandmaster Flash worked with the "L Brothers" which consisted of "Mean Gene" Livingston, Claudio Livingston and Grand Wizzard Theodore. Flash recruited his friend Cowboy, Melle Mel and The Kidd Creole; the trio called themselves the Three MC's who are the first emcee group as it relates to rap as we know it today. Cowboy, through his use of a "scat routine" that the culture's early detractors used to label the music, thus the term "hip hoppers" was used by the disco set to describe the culture whittled down to hip hop.
While using this "scat routine" at a party for a friend who had just joined the U. S. Army, Cowboy began scat singing the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of the marching drill, he worked the "hip hop" cadence into part of his performance this evolved into the term "Hip Hop", adopted by the industry. Melle Mel and The Kidd Creole were the first rappers to call themselves "MCs"; the 3 emcees worked with Flash, who went on to bring in Mr. Rahiem. After the formation of the Furious 5, Flash worked with rapper Kurtis Blow doing parties in Queens. During the time Flash worked with Kurtis Blow, it was due to internal disputes with the emcees, so for a short time prior to the formation of the Cold Crush Brothers in 1981, DJ Charlie Chase was the Furious 5's DJ. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 were the number one rap group on the streets of New York City before rap music was embraced by the music industry, set the standard for all other emcee groups who came after them.
The first single they released were "We Rap More Mellow", registered under the name "The Younger Generation". The name was decided by the producer, they were locally popular, gaining recognition for their skillful raps and deejaying, but it was not until the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" proved that hip hop music could reach mainstream that they began recording. In 1979 they released their first single on Enjoy Records, "Superappin'". Afterwards, they switched to Sylvia Robinson's Sugar Hill Records after an agreement that they could perform over a current DJ favorite. In 1980, the group had their Sugarhill Records debut with "Freedom", reaching #19 on the R&B chart and selling over 50,000 copies; the follow-up "Birthday Party" went on to become a hit as well. In 1981 Grandmaster Flash released "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel"; this was a multi deck live recording of one of Grandmaster flash's routines featuring, Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" and Chic's "Good Times".
It marked the first time that scratching & turntablism had been recorded on a record. In 1982 the group released "The Message,", produced by Clifton "Jiggs" Chase and Ed "Duke Bootee" Fletcher, the latter who wrote the song It provided a political and social commentary and went on to become a driving force behind conscious hip-hop; the song peaked at #4 in the R&B chart and #62 in the pop chart, established hip-hop's credibility in mainstream music. Other than Melle Mel, however, no members of the group appear on the record, their debut album was named The Message, it went on to become a prominent achievement in the history of hip-hop. In 1983, Grandmaster Flash, who never appeared on any of the group's studio recordings, sued Sugar Hill Records for $5 million in unpaid royalties; this resulted in the single "White Lines" being credited to "Grandmaster & Melle Mel". The song reached #47 in Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Another lawsuit was filed over certain elements of the song being stolen from "Cavern" by Liquid Liquid, from which Sugar Hill Records would never recover.
The royalties dispute split the group, Melle Mel left, soon followed by Mr. Ness/Scorpio and Cowboy after "White Lin
Melvin Glover, better known by his stage name Melle Mel and Grandmaster Melle Mel, is an American hip hop recording artist, the lead vocalist and songwriter of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Melvin Glover was born in New York City, New York, he has stated. Glover began performing in the late 1970s, he may have been the first rapper to call himself MC. Other Furious Five members included his brother The Kidd Creole, Scorpio and Cowboy. While a member of the group, Cowboy created the term hip-hop while teasing a friend who had just joined the US Army, by scat singing the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of marching soldiers. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five began recording for Enjoy Records and released "Superrappin'" in 1979, they moved on to Sugar Hill Records and were popular on the R&B charts with party songs like "Freedom" and "The Birthday Party". They released numerous singles, touring. In 1982 Melle Mel began to turn to more socially-aware subject matter, in particular the Reagan administration's economic and drug policies, their effect on the black community.
A song "The Message" became an instant one of the first glimmers of conscious hip-hop. Mel recorded a rap over session musician Duke Bootee's instrumental track "The Jungle"; some of Mel's lyrics on "The Message" were taken directly from "Superrappin'". Other than Melle Mel, no members of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five appear on the record. Bootee contributed vocals. "The Message" went platinum in less than a month and would be the first hip-hop record to be added to the United States National Archive of Historic Recordings and the first Hip Hop record inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Mel would go on to write songs about struggling life in New York City, making it through life in general. Grandmaster Flash split from the group after contract disputes between Melle Mel and their promoter Sylvia Robinson in regard to royalties for "The Message"; when Flash filed a lawsuit against Sugar Hill Records, the factions of The Furious Five parted. Mel became known as the leader of the Furious Five.
The group went on to produce the anti-drug song "White Lines". An unofficial music video starred up-and-coming actor Laurence Fishburne and was directed by then-unknown film student Spike Lee); the record was falsely credited to "Grandmaster + Melle Mel" by Sugar Hill Records in order to fool the public into thinking Grandmaster Flash had participated on the record. Mel gained greater fame and success after appearing in the movie Beat Street, with a song based on the movie's title, he performed a memorable rap on Chaka Khan's smash hit song "I Feel for You" which introduced hip hop to a wider and more mainstream R&B audience. Grandmaster Melle Mel & The Furious Five had further hits with "Step Off", "Pump Me Up", "King of the Streets", "Jesse", "Vice", the latter being released on the soundtrack to the TV show Miami Vice. "Jesse" was a political song which urged people to vote for presidential candidate Jesse Jackson. In 1988, after an 4-year layoff and Flash reunited and released the album On The Strength, but with up-and-coming new school artists such as Eric B.
& Rakim, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Big Daddy Kane dominating the hip-hop market, the album failed miserably. Mel performed with The King Dream Chorus and Holiday Crew on "King Holiday" aimed at having Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday declared a national holiday. Mel performed with Artists United Against Apartheid on the anti-apartheid song "Sun City", aimed at discouraging other artists from performing in South Africa until its government ended its policy of apartheid. Mel ended the decade by winning two Grammy Awards for his work on Quincy Jones' Back On The Block and Q – The Autobiography of Quincy Jones albums. In 1996, Mel contributed vocals to the US edition of Cher's hit "One By One", their version is only available on the maxi CD format. In 1997, Melle Mel signed to Straight Game Records and released Right Now, an album which features Scorpio and Rondo; this album took more of a harder rap style. It sold at all in the US and the UK. In 2001, under the name Die Hard, he released the song "On Lock" with Rondo on the soundtrack of the movie Blazin.
Die Hard released an album of the same name in 2002 on 7PRecords. On November 14, 2006, Mel collaborated with author Cricket Casey and released the children's book The Portal In The Park, which comes with a bonus CD of his rapped narration, it features two songs, "World Family Tree" and "The Fountain of Truth", by a unknown Lady Gaga performing with Mel. The book was re-released in 2010. In 2006, Melle Mel attended professional wrestling school. In 2007, he stated in an interview with allhiphop.com that "I'm going to try to take some of John Cena's money and get with WWE and do my thing". On January 30, 2007, Mel released his first solo album, Muscles; the first single and music video was "M3 – The New Message". On March 12, 2007, Melle Mel and The Furious Five became the first rap group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In his acceptance speech, Mel implored the recording industry members in attendance to do more to restore hip hop to the culture of music and art that it once was, rather than the culture of violence that it has become.
Nelson George is an American author, columnist and culture critic and filmmaker. He has been nominated twice for the National Book Critics Circle Award. George attended St. John's University, he was an intern at the New York Amsterdam News before being hired as black music editor for Record World. He served as a music editor for Billboard magazine from 1982 to 1989. While there, George published two books: Where Did Our Love Go: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound in 1986, The Death of Rhythm & Blues in 1988, he wrote a column, entitled "Native Son", for the Village Voice from 1988 to 1992. He first got involved in film when, in 1986, he helped to finance director Spike Lee's debut feature She's Gotta Have It. A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, New York, George lives in Fort Greene. George has authored 15 non-fiction books, including the bestseller The Michael Jackson Story in 1984, Blackface: Reflections on African-Americans and the Movies in 1994, Elevating the Game: Black Men and basketball in 1992, Hip Hop America in 1998.
With Alan Leeds he co-authored The James Brown Reader, a collection of articles about the "Godfather of Soul", in 2008. In 1991 George co-wrote the Halle Berry vehicle Strictly Business and in 1993 he was co-creator of the movie CB4 starring comedian Chris Rock. George's The Death of Rhythm and Blues critiques the path that R&B has taken, he takes a close look at the genre's fall to the hands of the mainstream and suggests that some popular artists "sold out". George has written three detective novels featuring bodyguard-turned-private investigator D Hunter. All three novels—The Accidental Hunter, The Plot Against Hip-Hop: A Novel, The Lost Treasures of R&B—have been optioned by rapper/actor Common. In 2004, George made a short film called To Be a Black Man, starring Samuel L. Jackson, a documentary called A Great Day in Hip-Hop. Both titles appeared in festivals in New York and Amsterdam, he executive-produced the HBO film Everyday People which debuted in 2004 at the Sundance Film Festival. He is serving as co-executive producer of VH1's Hip Hop Honors television show and executive producer of Black Entertainment Television's American Gangster series, the highest rated series in the history of BET in 2006.
His directorial debut, Life Support, starring Queen Latifah, aired on HBO on March 10, 2007. Latifah won several awards for her performance as Ana Wallace, including a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild award, the NAACP Image Award. Life Support was named best TV film of the year by the NAACP, he currently hosts the VH-1 series Soul Cities, which examines the music and culture of six prominent cities in the U. S. A resident of Fort Greene, for more than 25 years, George wrote, co-directed with Diane Paragas the 2012 feature documentary Brooklyn Boheme, portraying the uniquely vibrant and diverse African-American artistic community of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill during the 1980s and'90's that included Spike Lee, Chris Rock, Branford Marsalis, Rosie Perez, Saul Williams, Lorna Simpson, Toshi Reagon, writer Touré, writer Adario Strange, Guru of Gang Starr, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, among many others. Unlike the legendary Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, a literary scene, the artists collected in these neighborhoods were as involved with newer means of expression as with traditional African-American artistic pursuits.
The film premiered on Showtime Networks in February 2012 for Black History Month. Finding The Funk was released in March 2013, it traced the history of funk music from the 1960s to the present day; this documentary included interviews with musicians such as D'Angelo, Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, Mike D, Sheila E, countless others. It was aired on VH1 on February 14, 2013. In 2015, George released A Ballerina's Tale, a documentary on Misty Copeland, a principal ballet dancer for ABT; the Michael Jackson Story Elevating the Game: Black Men and Basketball Buppies, B-Boys, Baps & Bohos: Notes on Post-Soul Black Culture Blackface: Reflections on African-Americans and the Movies Seduced One Woman Short Life and Def: Sex, Drugs and God, Contributor - Russell Simmons Show & Tell The Death of Rhythm and Blues Night Work: A Novel Hip Hop America Post-Soul Nation: The Explosive, Contradictory and Tragic 1980s as Experienced by African Americans Where Did Our Love Go?: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound The James Brown Reader: Fifty Years of Writing About the Godfather of Soul, Contributor - Alan Leeds City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson The Plot Against Hip Hop: A Novel The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style The Lost Treasures of R&B The Accidental Hunter Def by Temptation, 1990, executive producer Strictly Business, 1991, associate producer Just Another Girl on the I.
R. T. 1992, associate producer CB4, 1993, producer Everyday People, 2004, executive producer The N-Word, 2004, producer Good Hair, 2009, producer Left Unsaid, 2010, executive producer Brooklyn Boheme, 2011, executive producer Hell of a Life, 2011, producer All Hail the Beat, 2012, producer Finding the Funk, 2013, executive producer, producer