Snoop Dogg (right) accepts the 2011 BMI Urban ICON Award from BMI CEO/President Del R. Bryant with Dr. Dre looking on - photo credit Maury Phillips

*“We built a sound,” Gansta-Rap Hip-Hop legend Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus, Jr. said at the recent 2011 BMI Urban Awards where he was honored with the BMI ICON Award. “I’m thankful for Death Row Records and thankful for Dr. Dre and Suge Knight for recognizing what I had, getting behind me and supporting my dream.”

I still get teary eyed when I remember Snoop Dogg’s expectance speech before an audience of his lifelong friends and young protégé’s – with his beautiful wife Shante’ and daughter Cori amongst them.

“Snoop has made a unique…contribution,” said BMI CEO/president Del R. Bryant when he presented the music icon with the award. “So many people are in the business because of you.”

Snoop took a ‘sound’ and branded it into a conglomeration.

“I started out on the eastside of LBC,” Snoop pointed out to the crowd. “I was a young gangsta-rapper just trying to eat, rapping for my wife and home boys. It was so therapeutic…when I write songs I do it from the heart. I was raised around people – black, white, Asian…my music reaches those kinds of people.”

Reaches it does, Snoop’s first album, “Doggystyle,” debut at #1 on both Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Charts selling almost a million in the first week in 1993. By 1994 it reached quadruple platinum.  His “Tha Doggfather,” in 1996, also debuted at #1 on both charts – reaching double platinum by 1997. The little league football coach is now currently promoting his 11th studio album, “Doggumentary.”

Other awardees that night included Drake with the BMI Urban “Songwriter of the Year;” B.o.B. with “Song of the Year” for Bruno Mars’ “Nothing on You;” Lex Luger with “Producer of the Year,” and Universal Music Publishing – with 13 songs among the years most performed – received the “Publisher of the Year” crystal.

Contemporary Gospel artist Deitrick Haddon blowing up the charts with new CD/DVD release, ‘Anthology’

*All you have to do is see Deitrick Haddon perform and you are hooked to the music of the Tyscot Music artist. The Grammy Award nominee and Stellar Award winner has record sales very close to platinum status in mainstream. He debuted his newest Contemporary Gospel CD/DVD release, “Anthology: The Writer & His Music,” at #7 on the Billboard Gospel Album Chart.

“I’ve been crossing over since I started,” Deitrick said when I mentioned his sound and delivery is a bit urban in flavor. “I always had an edge method…I perform the way I feel.”

Haddon is also a pastor and choir director of Voice of Unity (currently over 60 members) whom supported him on this “Anthology…” project. The son of a Bishop, Deitrick has also produced a movie Blessed and Cursed starring Sheryl Lee Ralph.

“We always sang around the house listening to Andre Crouch, Rance Allen, Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cook, Elvis Presley…,” Deitrick told me when discussing his musical influences. “I transferred that to the church. My mom and day saw it at an early age. By 13 I was minister of music, a 100 voice choir.”

As a result, the “Anthology: The Writer & His Music” is a powerful collection of Contemporary Gospel work and live performances. My favorite cuts on the album include “Anybody Here (Remix)” with Melody Armstrong; “The Potter,” with his wife Damita Haddon, carries a deep message of how God can mold us into what He wants; “The Walking Dead,” reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” is a very creative Urban piece; “Chain Breaker,” a bluesy/’rockish’ number – with its hard drums and bass – features the hard vocals of his mother Prophetess Joyce Haddon and father Bishop Clarence Haddon; “I Gotta Praise, a live performance, with its R&B flavor, has Haddon making some smooth dance moves, and “Well Done,” also a live performance on the DVD, is a heart-felt selection where Deitrick shows-off his vocal range.

Jazz/R&B keyboardist Jeff Logan offers an eclectic ‘Black Tie Affair’ with new album release

*“I have an eclectic taste in music and the major labels wanted to label you on cookie cutters,” Jazz/R&B keyboardist Jeff Logan said as to why his latest album release, “Black Tie Affair,” is off an indie label BASS-mint Records.

The “Black Tie Affair” project offers 12 masterfully put-together selections that range in style and flavor.

“When I was 18 years-old I was performing with a Doo Wop group,” Jeff said while reminiscing about his humble beginnings. “I was singing 5 part harmony…the arrangements. Any instrument I picked-up I mastered.”

In his music career, since then, Jeff Logan has amassed over 400 songs that range from Jazz, R&B, Neo-Soul and even Gospel. Though his 7th album, “Black Tie Affair,” is a great collection of Jazz/R&B cuts, such as “Water to Wine” and “Smoothlology,” my favorite cuts include the Rodgers & Hammerstein cover “Favorite Things,” a beautiful piece and “Improvise” for its funky feel.

For more on Jeff Logan or his “Black Tie Affair” project log onto www.BassMintRecordsMusic.com.

(Eunice Moseley is a syndicated entertainment columnist, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com)