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Free MP3s: Wilk Music, Plastic Little: Hip-Hop Hopefuls
Posted 37 minutes ago by Ken Micallef in Better Living Through MP3

Dime store rappers are a nickel a dozen, just take a ride on the New York City
subway or walk down a street through the borough of your choice. Personally, I
miss the days when promising young hip-hoppers could be seen city-wide,
carrying a big boombox on their shoulder, blasting crazy beats like a loud message
to the masses. Now, they don't even bother with the CD player, these psych-cases
just get in your face, spouting moronic verses while channeling their inner
Tourette's syndrome. Sure, they carry pen and paper, but can they read?
Anyway, one young hip-hop soon-to-bemogul
has recently invaded my personal
space--and it's all good. Wilk is a New
York City native (da Bronx) who uses the
subways for more than simple
transportation. Riding the rails from his
home in Bed-Sty way up to 207th street
in Manhattan or down to Coney then
round to the East Village, Wilk envisions
our beautiful, if overly commercialized
city, as his own personal inspiration pad.
Broke Wide Open was written entirely on
the New York City subway system. Does
this remind me of Travis Bickle's
response to the Yellow Cab dispatcher's
inquiry as to whether he would work
uptown and Jewish holidays, only to reply, "Anytime, anywhere, don't make no
difference to me"? You bet it does! Wilk's Broke Wide Open is his personal
mission statement of a journey through brain melting times.
You see, folks, our man Wilk is a real New Yawka. His friendships attest to his
attachments to the Big Apple's history and entertainment circles. One of Wilk's best
pals is movie producer mogul Jack Rollins. A really big cheese in this wacky
industry of ours, Jack has managed none other than David Letterman, Dick Cavett,
and Woody Allen, and is perhaps best known for his long time partnership with
Charles H. Joffe, the executive producer for practically every Woody Allen film in
existence. Not bad street cred, huh? Whenever Wilk was feeling depressed during
the recording of Broke Wide Open, Rollins would simply say "Stay with it," no
doubt the same advice he offered to everyone from Woody Allen to David
Steinberg to Tiny Tim. That, and an egg cream is all a real New Yawka needs to
get off his ass and turn lemons into lemonade.
Recorded entirely in Wilk's Bed-Sty loft, with our protagonist singing all the
harmonies, playing all the instruments, and programming everything else, Broke
Wide Open matches blue eyed soul vocalizing with a typical hip-hop template.
Opener "Be Quiet" rides its own rails over a swaggering programmed hip-hop
beat, but Wilk's vocals, which are rapper-lite at best, are actually more of the
crooning, Daryl Hall (of Hall and Oates) school. Does it work? Only because Wilk's
big choruses quickly grab our attention. "I need to find a white girl, I meant to say
the right girl" is the kind of clever subversion Wilk offers over super catchy,
infectious hooks.
There is enough evidence in the album's 14 tracks to suggest that Wilk is a
crossover driven artist, from the honey dark, Creed worthy, hands-in-the-air
harmonies of "Johnny" to the multi-tracked gospel chorus of "Stroke." He gets all
weird and Travis Bickle-like (again) in "Song For My Mother," proclaims his "nice
Jewish boy roots" with weight in the finger-snapping, throat-humming "What Did
You Mean," and creates a Ninjatune worthy moment in "Jane's Talkin' Union."
Gospel inspired, R&B enabled, and "nice Jewish boy" sanctified, Wilk is on the way
up. (See for more madness)
Ken Micaleff - (May 20, 2008)
Wilk's new CD, Broke Wide Open is aptly titled. An accomplished composer, lyricist, performer and producer, he's opened up his head, his heart and his life to tackle subjects like love, death, family, religion and racism. It's obvious this a very personal piece of work, even before you know that he also provides every voice and instrumental performance heard on the disc. With a well-developed sense of sound and self, Wilk is definitely ready to break.

T. Lambert
contributing writer, NY Times
Independent journalist
Editor, ARRAY magazine
former Blender columnist
T. Lambert (Sep 25, 2007)
"There has been no writer/performer since Lennon and McCartney and the Beatles broke up as a team that has been able to dominate the charts and capture the heartbeat of their generation for more than a few short years. Michael Jackson, Prince , and Bruce Springsteen all came close and the sounds of their great songs will always fill our memories. But if you were to pick which one was the dominate one for their era you would have to pick all three. In recent memory the " collective whole" has dominated the music scene. The entertainment industry is and always will be looking for the next "big thing" but where are the artists that have the "talent that sticks." After listening to Rock WILK's full catalog of songs, from his solo album BROKE WIDE OPEN to his Samah Productions catalog, I believe this artist/producer has the potential to be one of "those artists" ---- Enjoy !! "
Neil Bond,
Mayor Of FreeAudioPlayer Radio Network
Neil Bond - FreeAudioPlayer Radio Network (Dec 22, 2007)


Thank you’s in no particular order………..
Gabriel Rollins Arce, whose vision and sensibilities make me optimistic for the future.
Richie Hart, my teacher who is HUGELY responsible for me being able to pull this album off. Basically I’ve had the opportunity to study guitar with the best jazz guitarist in the world, and he has taught me not just guitar, but music. Indescribable talent to play and to teach. I owe him a lot.

Bob Cutarella, my soulmate in this business, integrity would describe him, in addition to mad talent, as a player, producer, publisher and most importantly, a great friend. Continue to live your life!

Natasha Kubis for her input, wisdom and encouragement with Ma'Plej, and for helping me to find my inner poet and to cut him loose, I will never forget you and your rubbing heart. To all the poets of The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Bowery Poetry Club, Bar 13, the Inkwell and Loserslam and that entire community of amazing people on the New York/New Jersey spoken word scene, you inspire, you teach, you B Badass!
Jeff Bohnhoff, Jim and Phil Wharton, who are pretty much the reason I can still walk. As Jim would say, I’m like a high performance engine, and when I go down, I go down hard. They, along with Tommy Nohilly, are the only people who could ever put me back together.

Phil Clendennin who has been incredibly influential in my development as a “self contained” producer. He taught me “midi” and put up with all of my questions for years. A giant to me, and one of the greatest piano players you will ever hear. Tunde Ra and Taharqa Aleem taught me how to be an independent artist, these are true warriors who I refer to everyday with regards to my approach to many things.

Nicky Kalliongis, my brother, who, along with me, has owned every piece of equipment ever made. The greatest ears in the business and I’m a better musician because of him. We’ve been through a lot together, and this business could never break us down, You are my friend for life. Bobby Gordon, who gave me the keys to the studio for my first project and basically let me “go to school”. Dick Scott, my first manager who was my foray into the actual “business”.

The entire Rollins family, [see my liner notes]. Joe Ham, the funkiest drummer in the land and my great friend. We hit 100,000 miles together in the “death mobile”, coming back from a gig at Creedmore Psych.

Gene Torres was the first musician I met when I came back to NYC from college and he is “ground zero” for me. Introduced me to almost everyone I know, and a GREAT BASS PLAYER. Almost like a mentor to me, one of the most professional people I have ever known. He is truly a Rock, someone you can ALWAYS count on and showed me where to get all the good pizza in town.

Curtis King Jr., like my brother, always there for me no matter how many tracks that meant, [“wait, check out one more part”], One of the most talented people you will ever meet.

Lisa Fischer, my heart and soul and truly a sister to me. Always lent me her talent with no strings attached and her love, understanding and intelligence is something I am lucky to have. A true friend, and her talents are well documented. I was so excited when she won her Grammy, that I went out and ran from 95th and Amsterdam to the Brooklyn Bridge!
Cindy Mizelle, the nicest human, greatest singer on the planet earth and someone who has “the joy”. I love and appreciate you, and thank you for always being there for me when I needed you. I’m here for track and field advice anytime! Dennis Collins. Darryl Tookes.

Pat and Mike Mikell, who owned the club that I feel like I grew up in, Mikells. NYC has never been the same since that club closed. Kathryn Bostic, whom I love like my family. The epitome of an artist, with exceptional drive to go with it. I am so proud of you and think about you often. I miss our conversations and will always be your biggest fan. Kelly Coffield, where you at? Your humor and love will always be a part of me, no matter how much time and distance come between us. Steve Ferrone and Doc Powell, 2 people who taught me what it was to be a professional musician.

Kevin Jones, my partner in crime for many years, always trying to “hook me up”, the greatest sound engineer in the business and as a road manager, he has no peers. Get yo’ ass to Brooklyn!!
Ralph Schwartz, damn, yo; we’re letting too much time go by. Always will be my boy, I have to admit, I still slap myself on the shoulder occasionally to get into a better mood. Bernard Davis. “Still” Phil Hamilton. Ginny Reichert Altman, “I love you just the way you are”. Tanya Walton, where u at? Never will forget you. AB, rest in peace. Drew, king of the NYC street musicians, rest in peace. “Johnny B” Baldante, a “lifer”, and a poet, “put 5 bucks on number 9”. I will never forget that you accepted me as an equal when I came in as an outsider.
Michael Raysses, heart hanging out all over your skin, on the outside, integrity dripping all over you, never at a loss for a metaphor, and the perfect example of a real friend,

Noel Meller, who had faith in me and trusted me.

Jim and Joy Spain who paid for my first demo and my example of what you’re supposed to wind up like in this life. TM Stevens, your boundless energy and talent has always inspired me to be better.

Famous Famiglia, I love you all for your friendship over the years and the best pizza in NYC, I’ll always be your first customer!

Debbie Smith, the most sincere heart on this earth, we went to war together and I’m so happy to still be connected with you. I love you. Lloyd Phillips, thanks for my clear mind and my continued, invaluable education.

Lili Wu, you saved my life when I was stumbling around, and became one of my best friends. Thank you for all the love and the “balance”. Bonnie Rabin, intuitive to the point of being scary, nurturing to the point of always making me feel as if everything is OK. You are the best, and truly the “real deal”.
Diane Garisto, a perfect singer and fellow NYC snob, even though you “settled” for the beach. You’ll be back. ;)
Don Lawrence, you showed me how to keep this voice healthy and your music is the first thing I hear everyday, part of my workout, no different than running over the bridge each morning.
Lynda Hamilton, I will NEVER forget that your voice was what kept me sane while my father was dying.
Ralph Rolle, who IS the funk. My brother.
Peter Brown, [where’s tony and pops?].

Kenny Gorka, the best and only person to deal with in the clubs in NYC. Fair, sincere, always willing to give a good artist a chance and never books a bad band. Johnny Kemp, the first time I saw him perform, I cancelled 6 months of gigs because I didn’t want to perform unless I was at that level. He was like seeing the “standard” that we all should be at.

Chris and Anita, my extended family who have always been there for me. When I have no idea what to do or where to go, like when my father passed away, I head straight to these two, and they always put up with their “3rd wheel”. I love you guys. OK, I won’t mention LBH. Jan Newman who’s intelligence, wit and amazing input has really helped me during this project. A friend for life, doin’ it in the UK!

Abby and julie, VERY happy we’re “reunited”. I had this lingering pain while you were gone.
Rosie DeSanctis, crazy talent that she doesn’t even know about, and one of the largest hearts known to humankind. Keep singing and I hope Sonar is being good to you.

Thomas Rome, the best attorney anyone could ever hope to have in this business because he approaches everything as if it’s the most important deal, no matter how small. He’s been there for me since I started and the security I feel because of him keeps me sane.

Barry Knapp, my best friend, can’t put words to what he means to me. Just think of something that you KNOW is always there, like the Empire State Building, and that describes him. Kathy Alexander, one of the more supportive humans on the planet earth and the place I go to when I really need a voice of intelligence and reason. Venus Smith.

Affi, one of the beautiful spirits traveling around this planet, her mind/body/spirit in perfect balance giving off positive energy to anyone lucky enough to be around her. Benjy King, who IS music and gives every bit of his soul to everything, whether it's a gig or a conversation. Ivy Ray, where would I be if you didn't introduce me to Dr Lili? Ivy always brings the funk and her spiritual center has given me so many gifts over the years. Bert Glassberg, thanks for giving me the opportunity to own some real art. I will always carry your love for what you do, and who you are around with me.

Gene Giles, rest in peace, the world is not quite as fun without you here. Q Bear, holdin’ it down in Minneapolis.
John Adams, NOBODY gives more in a rehearsal, or on stage than this great keyboard player. Makes you feel as if your gig is the most important he's ever done.
Bill Dotts, Sir Groove, the kid from Red Bank and his old soul is one every musician, or person for that matter, should have the opportunity to be around. Richard Brown, crazy mad talent.

Tom Coleman, I think about you every day and I just hope you don't feel as if I abandoned you. I love you.
Sam Owens, rest in peace.

Country Pancake House, Ridgewood, NJ, the greatest pancakes in the history of the world!
Priya, in Suffern, NY, indian restaurant with no peers.

Monica and Aminta, new friends for life, sometimes you just know.
Drame, this man is just plain magic, and we are going to Burkina Faso together soon.

Ted Lambert and Susan Carragher, Great friends, true artists who teach me to never stop, to always continue working and good things will happen. I appreciate you guys. Natasha, your insight into these songs has been an immense help, as you throw your entire heart and soul into every comment.

Harvey and Christine, always there for my family over the years.
Rich Isaacs, always answers the phone when I need advice, the voice of reason and intelligence.
Jon Wiederhorn, the most talented music writer I know. Uncle Shelly, my final link to my mom and my grandparents, you are one of the good people on this planet. Peaches, I'll never forget you. Sterling, my "cousin", you amaze me all the time, including the time you drove from Atlanta to NYC to see one of my shows and then drove back to Atlanta the same night. Crazy.

Will @ Food 4 Thought & Pierre and Raoul @ Le Dakar, These guys represent all that is good in my neighborhood, from Bed Stuy to Ft Greene. True "salt of the earth" business owners making real and major contributions to their community. Providing all of us with great places to congregate and eat some of the best food in the world. I am inspired by you and learn from your commitment to people around you.

Lisa Wieneke, your passion is unmatched, other than by your talent. I love every word that comes out of your mouth. Greg Demaras, am I looking in the mirror?

Trina "Love" Perrineau, to know her is to love her, thus “Ms Love”. I’m honored that you include me in your creative process. Mad Love.

Dina and Yochanan, Hadas and Tamar, who have brought a lot of love into my life, and give me a great example of a beautiful family, something to aspire to.

Herb Kurzman, could I have ever gotten thru all the financial affairs of my family without you? All the responsibility laid upon me for so many years, and you guided me thru all of it. You will always be a part of my family.
and finally……………………………………..
My brother Michael, I’m very proud of you and all of your accomplishments, but most importantly the way you are raising Sean and Logan. I’m in awe of your commitment. Just watching them grow, I’m sure, will fill you and make your life worthwhile. I love you
My sister Amy, one raw emotion just “out here” for the world to see all the time, it’s gotta be tiring being you. The most sincere person I know, Rachel and Leah ARE you, and anyone who knows them knows that is a GREAT thing! I love you.
The three of us are pretty much all that’s left, so maybe when I’m out there in Cali touring off of this music, we can get together, just the 3 of us and have some dinner sometime. I’m thinking the Cheesecake Factory.
Rachel, Logan, Sean, Leah, don’t forget me! When you guys are president of the united states, head of the peace corp, finding a cure for aids, don’t forget me! I love you all.

Mick and Andrea, how do you keep it all together with all you’ve had to deal with? You amaze me and Andrea, I will NEVER forget that you called me when my mother died. Oh, and by the way, Mick, get away from McDonalds and KFC, that’s your sister’s kidney you need to take care of. And remember which way to vote in the next election…………….

Aunt Sheila, Gail and Angelo………. Part of my history, links to my past. I look forward to our meals all the time. “It’s not even that”
Howard and Joan, thanks for continuing to include me.
Helen and Leonard, 2 of my favorite humans, thank you for always treating me as “real” family. I noticed.

Donnie…………. You are the true link. When we talk, I hear my father’s voice, I feel the history of my family. You will live forever in my heart. As a matter of fact, you may just live forever, period! The world is a better place because you’re here.

Cesca, all I can say is thank god I walked into “Sport Stripes” that day and you hired me. You are so deeply a part of my life, running around New York City with you for all those years and seeing it thru your eyes is one of the greatest things that I own, and I keep it in a safe place. You are my best friend and MY Rock. I thank you for “adopting” me and giving me a “home” and keep me up to date on all the Henryisms! I love you

Kathleen, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Stinson Beach, Stinson, Death, Kidneys, houses, this has been a ride, for real, and I’m glad it was all with you. I have learned a lot, and in the end, that is what it’s all about. To learn from one another and to hopefully apply that knowledge to the rest of our lives. You are the greatest gardener in the world, the earth loves you and is a better place because of you, but to me you will always be the best actress I have ever seen. I was reminded of that recently one night on Canal Street in a Chris Cartmill play, and I hope that is a starting point, not the end. People are affected by you when you are given an opportunity to do something like that, so my hope is that you continue to share that with the world. I love you

I’m sure there are so many more people so if you’re not here, I just ran out of brain matter and forgive me. I love you all.
THANK YOU'S!! (Jul 31, 2007)
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