Welcome to Episode #15 of the 90s State of Mind podcast - a collaborative project between 4ever in Electric Dreams and Blue-in-Green:RADIO. This podcast series sees Imran (London, UK) and Rhonda (California, USA) delve into some of their favourite releases from the 90s and for this episode, the pair celebrate the sophomore studio album from the R&B trio TLC, 'CrazySexyCool'.
'CrazySexyCool' is the second studio album by American girl group TLC, released on November 15, 1994, by LaFace and Arista Records. The album was met with critical acclaim and commercial success, peaking at number three on the Billboard 200, where it spent over two years. It has been certified 12-times platinum by the RIAA, making TLC the first girl group in history to be awarded diamond status. 'CrazySexyCool' has since sold over 15 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by an American girl group. The album has since been featured on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and was listed as a "New Classic" by Entertainment Weekly in 2008. The album was also ranked as the seventh best diamond-certified album of all time by Billboard.
Imran & Rhonda delve deep into this definitive 90s hip-hop classic looking at the project, the singles and the collaborators.
Blue-in-Green:RADIO is a London-based online internet radio station which celebrates 21st century soul, jazz, funk, Latin & hip-hop music.
This episode of the Close Encounters... Minicast sees friend of the show Stuart Giblin join Dan Collacott and Imran Mirza discussing some of Hollywood's most iconic roles and looking at the actors that almost played them.
Ralph Macchio as Marty McFly? Eddie Murphy as Winston Zeddemore? Will Smith as Neo? All decisions that were incredibly close to coming to fruition ultimately before the final casting decisions were made. Would we even have wanted to see anything differently? Al Pacino, unquestionably one of the greatest actors of all time, but would anyone have bought into him touting the Millennium Falcon's distinction of having made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs as Han Solo? Join us for a chat about the actors who made characters their own and see how you fare in Dan's surprise casting quiz to kick off the show.
Episode #65 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Dan, Imran and Tee-J turn their attention to resolving all of society's woes...
Tasked with the responsibility of establishing a new settlement to ensure that humanity survives, what would you do to make sure the same mistakes aren't replicated - would you focus on stopping war, outlawing religion, controlling childbirth? And what elements of human civilisation would you try to preserve? No easy task so tune in to hear which of us becomes a raging communist, an unwitting dictator and an affectionate nostalgic.
This episode of the Close Encounters... Minicast sees friend of the show MISTA VEE from Melbourne, Australia, return following his invaluable contribution to The Last Ronin episode (#06) marking this as the official launch of the DJ Supple & MC Lean show - it's a working title for now but all is explained in the podcast(!).
This time, Imran and Vahe discuss the latest Thor outing ('Love & Thunder', 2022) and conduct an extensive character analysis of Thor across his multiple appearances across the MCU to date. With a mix of average to negative reviews, discussion turns to Taika Watiti's impact on the character since 'Ragnarok' and asks whether a new take on the god is now needed. Where does the character of Thor go from here and how does he continue to fit into the ever-changing climate of the MCU?
For this episode of the Close Encounters... Minicast, Dan Collacott, Imran Mirza and friend of the show, Stuart Giblin, celebrate their fandom for one of the most revered trilogies in film history - 'Back to the Future' - but we go as far as to pitch a potential fourth installment within the franchise. Ever wondered whether Marty became a the rock star he always wanted to? And ever wonder where Doc & family ventured off to on the magical train of time travel? We can answer none of those questions but don't let that put you off listening to the episode for the fun of it more than anything.
Episode #64 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Dan, Imran and friend of show, Rich Roth, take a veritable journey through nostalgia as we each look at the forms of entertainment that we now love but that we seemingly missed upon initial release.
With an entertaining array of discussion points from music to 90s US sitcoms to 80s teen believe-in-yourself-you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-minds-to movies, we ask how we possibly let some of these treasures slip through our hands first go round. Plus, there's an extensive, fairly nonsenical pre-amble, focusing on coffee, living overseas and Bovril on bread.
Capitalising on everyone having lost their minds for the excellent Season Four of Netflix's Stranger Things, rapper Mega Ran connects with producer Amerigo Gazaway for a fascinating Stranger Things-inspired project bringing The Upside Down from our screens to our speakers with 'STRANGERS: Back to the Lab'.
The thrilling connection between Gazaway and Mega Ran, even on paper, is a brilliant combination with both artists continually thriving upon opportunities to bring two seemingly disparate worlds together - in true Vecna fashion of course.
Mega Ran's unique take on hip-hop has found itself a home alongside some fascinating collaborations including Joell Ortiz, MURS and Del The Funky Homosapien; but even more engaging than that, when perusing the Phoenix, Arizona, native's vast Bandcamp releases, you can't help but marvel at his penchant for using his music to celebrate all the forms of sport and genre fiction that provides inspiration. With releases celebrating everything from classic video games to pro wrestling, his heart is endearingly worn on his sleeve. 'STRANGERS: Back to the Lab' isn't even the first Stranger Things tribute bearing Mega Ran's name! That distinction dates back to 2017 and the release of Season Two which spawned an eight-track release ('STRANGERS') with each track focusing on a different Hawkins character.
And then there's Amerigo Gazaway - a DJ and producer who has cultivated an exceptional reputation through his "dream-come-true" concept releases that unify soul and hip-hop icons from different generations reinventing the notion of a "mash-up" project. With past releases bringing together the music of Mos Def and Marvin Gaye, Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone, Common and Stevie Wonder, amongst others, the Stranger Things style project in this fashion marks a natural extension to Gazaway's musical ideals, again, very much in line with Mega Ran's.
Set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things is a show about that explores the town's supernatural events as a group of children attempt to thwart the evil Vecna from gaining control of their world. 'STRANGERS: Back to the Lab' showcases the show's deliciously moody and synth-heavy score providing some brilliant new takes on the show's seminal pieces.
The tracklist for the release is included below as well as a link where you can download the project via Bandcamp. Frankly, to say anything further would just ruin the nice little surprises throughout, particularly regarding the samples and music, etc but we will say that we hope you enjoy the release as much as we do.
1. Strangers [prod. by K-Murdock]
2. The Hellfire Club [prod. by Amerigo Gazaway]
3. The Nina Project [prod. by DJ DN³]
4. Superheroes & Monsters [prod. by Amerigo Gazaway]
5. Vecna's Curse [prod. by Lost Perception]
6. The Upside Down (feat. Ray Wimley) [prod. by Lost Perception]
7. The Massacre [prod. by Amerigo Gazaway]
8. The Dive (feat. Glennellen Anderson & Dillon) [prod. by DJ DN³]
9. Superheroes & Monsters (Mega Ran Remix) [prod. by Amerigo Gazaway]
Spearheaded by IDW Publishing's 'The Last Ronin', this episode of the Close Encounters Minicast features Imran Mirza connecting with MISTA VEE in Melbourne, Australia, over their shared fandom for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. An incredible story that tells a story set in the future where Michelangelo is the only Ninja Turtle left standing against the Foot Clan following their conquest of New York, and seeks vengeance against their master for his lost family and friends.
Beyond 'The Last Ronin', conversation veers towards the masterpiece that was the live action movie from 1990 and its accompanying soundtrack; then there's discussion around the original TV series, The Nickolodeon reboot, original graphic novels...
Episode #63 of the Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind podcast sees Dan, Tee-J and Imran delve into the presentation of women within action films.
Episodes #59 and #60 of this podcast series saw the team review the 80s action movie genre specifically through the movies 'Cobra', 'Big Trouble in Little China' and 'The Wraith' (all from 1986) and in an unofficial follow-up to that conversation, we look at how women were positioned within those films and ask where Hollywood's reluctance to feature women more prominently comes from. Tossing aside the notion of the damsel in distress, the team celebrates some of the incredible performances of female-fronted movies citing some of our personal favourite roles and performances. We conclude with a discussion about women in super hero films and the importance of films like 'Wonder Woman' (2017) and the Disney+ series 'Ms Marvel (2022).
Carl Jones' What Samples? show continually presents innovative new ways and ideas to celebrate 90s hip-hop and this extra special set sees Carl show some love to our friends over at 4 Ever in Electric Dreams and the epic list of 100 90's hip-hop tracks that they compiled earlier this year:
Carl breathes some fantastic life into the list by presenting the second of a series of shows dipping into some of his favourites from the list in his distinct fashion. Carl continues to present What Samples? as his undying love letter to hip-hop and we're so proud to be able to host these for your listening pleasure.
The 4Ever team...
Welcome to 4ever in Electric Dreams which is the virtual HQ and home to our burgeoning podcast network spearheaded by our flagship series, Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind (C.E.N.K.).
Our podcasts are available on the following platforms: