Thursday, December 23, 2010
It is very rare that a talent this strong breaks through to the mainstream without compromising any artistic views. This is an incredibly good look for Mr. Electronica, as the new Roc Nation member raps his "The Announcement" on a Mountain Dew Code Red commercial. I hope this is just a small preview of what is to come from Electronica and his camp. His music needs to be heard by the masses, he's too big for this underground scene.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
There are countless pros and cons of the digital age of music.
One major con is the build-up waiting for music. Seeing a download link to a leaked album pop up on a blog or message board just doesn't have the same allure as going to a record store on a Tuesday to pick up an anticipated release.
Album releases just aren't big events any more.
There are a few releases every year that I hold off on downloading, and make a trip down to Finders to buy the album without hearing it first. When Kanye West releases a new album, to me at least, is a major event.
Rewind to 2004, I was an eighth grader whose musical taste revolved around primarily Eminem and his camp, but I was awed by Mr. West's soul beats and couldn't wait to buy his debut album, "The College Dropout" after seeing the "Through the Wire" music video. Months passed and Kanye's fame started rising with the success of "Slow Jamz" and the newly released "All Falls Down" single. I absolutely had to get the album.
Unfortunately the Sam Goody in my town's mall had recently closed so I had no way of buying the CD until my eighth grade class trip to Washington D.C. I don't recall all that much from the trip specifically, but I do vividly remember going to a record store in Union Station and panicking, looking everywhere for the CD which had a bear mascot with his head down surrounded by a burgundy border on the cover. Finally I found the CD; the last copy in the store, which had a crack on the cover. I had no issue with spending $18 of my food money for the disc.
Fast forward to a year and a half later, Mr. West has established himself as one of hip-hop's biggest acts, and his sophomore effort "Late Registration" was one of the most anticipated releases of 2005. Being a sophomore in high school and being only 15 at the time, I had to have my mom drive me to the closest record store, which was in Findlay, about 30 minutes from my home town.
I remember counting down the minutes until football practice was over so my mom could drive me to get the new album, but as practice ended, a heavy thunderstorm hit my town. With the heavy wind and rain, my mom was reluctant to drive out of town, but after close-to-tears begging she finally agreed to drive. There are few feelings that could match that of me unwrapping the album, and looking through the packaging and album art, as I wait to get home to listen to the album because my mom's van didn't have a CD player.
Skip ahead almost two exact years later. By this time Kanye is not only one of the biggest rappers, but one of the biggest acts in music, and after burning out his "Can't Tell Me Nothing" mixtape and single and hearing "Stronger" on the radio every five minutes, I could not wait until September 11, 2007, to get his latest release, "Graduation." Hype was built up around the release because of the well-publicized, friendly competition between West and 50 Cent, who shared the release date.
After cross country practice, my friend drove me to the Best Buy in Findlay, where I would purchase the new album for $9 and he would successfully sneak a copy 50 Cent's "Curtis" album into his coat pocket without getting caught by one of the store's surveillance cameras.
Just over a year later, after his mom tragically passed away, Kanye was set to release his next album on Black Monday (the Monday the week of Thanksgiving). The album marked an extreme change in sound for West, as made clear by his memorable VMA performance of "Love Lockdown." While the album, for the most part is seen as his weakest in his catalogue by most (I strongly disagree), the memory of driving to Finders with my friend, who too bought a copy of the album as well as the "Across the Universe" soundtrack, was one of the most memorable moments of my freshman year.
Now let's skip ahead to present time. Kanye has seen his share of ups and downs since "808s & Heartbreak," most notably being the infamous Taylor Swift incident. Kanye spent much of the beginning of 2010 in the studio in Hawaii working on his comeback album, trying to win back a lot of the people who seemed to loathe him after the 2009 VMAs.
In June 2010, he released the lead single "Power" to moderate success; a great song, but it still had not won over a lot of the people still upset with his antics. Not letting the lukewarm reception discourage him, Kanye announced in late August that he would release a new track for free, every Friday until Christmas.
The unprecedented marketing scheme started a trend within the hip-hop world where many artists including RZA, Timbaland, Lloyd Banks and Swizz Beatz all trying to replicate the campaign but with less success.
Over the 14-week span, which inexplicably ended on November 19 (three days before his album release date), West released several gems, some that were eventually put on his latest album, some rumored to appear on his collaborative album with Jay-Z, and some tracks just thrown together that week.
Some of the most memorable moments of the G.O.O.D. Friday campaign include: Kanye spazzing over the Swizz Beatz-produced "Power (Remix)," the unlikely pairing of Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on "Monster," Jay-Z rapping over a beat produced by the legendary Pete Rock for the first time on "The Joy," J. Cole writing and recording his verse to "Looking for Trouble" on the same day the track was released and countless others.
Waking up on Saturday mornings after a rough Friday night and checking my favorite blog to listen to the new G.O.O.D. Friday track had become a bit of a ritual for me during the autumn months. The past two weeks, West hasn't released a track, and my weekends have felt a little incomplete.
Even after his latest album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" has been released to critical acclaim, and 496,000 albums sold in its first week, I still await new music from Kanye on Saturday mornings. Kanye has made music releases an event again.
Originally published at: http://bgnews.com/entertainment/kanye-review-album-my-beautiful-dark-twisted-fantasy/
What Zach Gase thinks:
Each Kanye West album can be described in a couple of words: "College Dropout" was soulful, "Late Registration" was orchestral, "Graduation" was synthy and stadium rock-inspired, "808s & Heartbreak" was raw and emotional and his latest release, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" is indeed, beautiful, dark, twisted and fantastic.
Lead single, "Power" has West rapping over a fantastic beat that samples King Crimson and a vocal chant from Continent No. 6's "Afromerica." The song is a standard rap song until a beautiful breakdown. "Fantasy" is filled with beautiful breakdowns on most of the songs, and features more guitar solos than some rock albums.
Kanye's growth as a rapper and a lyricist is evident on stand out tracks like "Gorgeous" and the Bink! produced, "Devil in a New Dress." The former West raps with a distorted vocal effect and a relentless flow, jam-packed with one-liners like: "What's a black Beatle anyways, a f****** roach?"
The track also features a stellar verse from Wu Tang emcee, Raekwon, whose appearance on the track isn't necessary but transcends a great track into an extraordinary one. Which is a common occurrence on this album.
"Fantasy" is an extraordinary effort mainly due to West's thorough attention to detail as every track is multilayered with different sounds that give the listeners something new each time they listen to it.
The second single, "Runaway" serves as the album's centerpiece. The nine-minute "ode to the douche bags" shows West at his most vulnerable, delivering autotuneless vocals that are more endearing than good. And the song is topped off by a phenomenal verse by Pusha T (of the Clipse), and a three minute long breakdown, which sets up the next track flawlessly.
"Hell of a Life," which features an intense distorted bassline, is the turning point for West's fantasy. On the track, he fantasizes about marrying a porn star, and eventually "divorced by the end of the night."
The John Legend-assisted, "Blame Game" is probably the best track on the album. It features a beautiful piano sample from Aphex Twin, and West raps about a troubled relationship, "I'd rather argue with you than be with somebody else." The almost-eight minute song features distorted vocals on some of West's most emotional lyrics on the album, a spoken word poem, and lastly a hilarious skit featuring Chris Rock.
"My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" may be a mouthful to say, but is one of the most appropriate titles for an album. With nearly every track reaching well over five minutes, West has abandoned the traditional 3 16-bar verses song arrangements often found on hip-hop albums.
In a great year for hip-hop and music in general, West's release is in a league of its own. "Fantasy" is the culmination of all of West's talents, and could potentially go down in history as a landmark album.
BRL Rating: 10 out of 10 Beets
Friday, November 26, 2010
The Bros are back with their second video off of their up-coming classic album, The Bro Code. Word on the street is they will finish it up in late December/early January and release it "whenever the f*** [they] want!"
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I can injoy the movies a lot better becuase I did not read the books. But when I first heard that they were breacking the movie into two parts, I was happy. Because the makers knew that there was so much to show and talk about that they could not fit it into one movie. So because they were making two movies for this book they did not have to rush the movie and not let so much out of the book. Most of the time when they rush movies its the funny parts that get taken out, and that makes it less entertaining to me. The movie was not boring at any time.
If they wanted to put as much story line into the movie as the book had they would of made this movie 3 parts. If this movie was 3 parts I bet they would of been able to get almost everything from the book. Fans would of loved the moive more and would of been happy to know that there will be another Harry Potter movie to go see. It's not line the makers don't have the money to make another Harry Potter movie; the movies make alot of money.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Good News/Bad News: Good news is the rumor that Four Lokos are going to be banned are incorrect. The bad news they are removing the caffeine. Here is a list of horrible things that will happen when Four Lokos will no longer have caffeine:
- Drunk people will start to feel tired and go to sleep before 6 a.m.
- The vomit-esque taste that we have all forced ourselves to love, could potentially improve (cuz let's face it, there's no way it can get worse)
- Drunk women with less caffeine in their system are more prone to pass out rather than make bad decisions
- People will stop buying the drinks, and BG Carry-Out, and all other liquor stores in BG will go out of business, forever. And our economy will plummet. Thanks a lot, jerks.
- The Bears will miss the play-offs.
- I will lose 4 pounds
- My grades will improve
Four Loko to Remove Caffeine from Drink
The popular alcohol drink Four Loko is removing the caffeine from its contents after numerous complaints.
Phusion Projects, the makers of popular alcohol drink Four Loko, have announced that they will remove caffeine and other stimulants from their all of their beverage products. The decision to reformulate comes after intense scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration, which had been poised to ban the drink over growing health concerns with the ingredients. Although they plan to continue non-caffeinated versions of the Four Loko and Joose brands, Phusion Project's managing partners contend that Four Lokos are safe to drink and are comparable to other caffeine-alcohol concoctions like rum and cola.
"We have repeatedly contended - and still believe, as do many people throughout the country - that the combination of alcohol and caffeine is safe," said Phusion Project's managing partners Chris Hunter, Jeff Wright and Jaisen Freeman. "If it were unsafe, popular drinks like rum and colas or Irish coffees...would face the same scrutiny that our products recently faced. We are taking this step after trying - unsuccessfully - to navigate a difficult and politically charged regulatory environment at both the state and federal levels." (WashingtonPost.com)
For those unaware, Four Loko is a 23.5-ounce alcoholic beverage that cost $2.50 per can and has an alcohol content of 12%. It recently became the subject of much controversy after more than a dozen students attending Ramapo College in New Jersey were hospitalized after consuming too much of the drink this past October. Since then, a number of schools and even states like New York have banned the sale of the drink altogether.
For the better part of two years, the FDA has been targeting Four Loko and other alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine and other natural stimulants. Although there is no definitive study that officially states that the combination of alcohol and caffeine is unsafe for consumption, a study at Wake Forest University found that students were more likely to suffer alcohol-related injuries while consuming caffeinated alcoholic beverages than non-caffeinated alcoholic drinks.
Friday, November 12, 2010
BRL Rating: 7 out of 10 Beets
I have a strange love-hate relationship with KiD CuDi.
It started back in 2008, when I first heard him on Kanye West’s “808s & Heartbreak.” Shortly after that I checked out his mixtape, “A KiD Named CuDi,” which was a decent mixtape, and songs like “Day ‘n Night” and “The Prayer” became a staple among my friends and me.
Add the fact that CuDi was from Cleveland’s poorly represented hip hop scene, I was on board to be a KiD CuDi fan.
Fast forward to September 2009, his long-awaited debut, Man on the Moon: The End of Day was finally released. Initially, I was blown away by the album’s original sound, and having features from Ratatat, MGMT, and narration by Common didn’t hurt either.
But upon further listening to the album, I discovered what a truly terrible rapper KiD CuDi is.
His rapping ability is slightly above Soulja Boy and Wacka Flocka’s and probably just below Gucci Mane. His rhyme schemes are as simple as they can get, as he often rhymes a word with the same word. And multi-syllable rhymes are nowhere to be found.
But still after all of that, I still found the first “Man on the Moon” to be one of the most interesting albums in 2009. Which begs the question: Can a rap album succeed with bad lyrics?
Now CuDi is back with his sophomore effort, “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager.” The sequel stays true to its predecessor, and sticks to the formula that made “Man on the Moon” so interesting: a dark, somber soundscape, superb production mostly handled by Emile, a well-orchestrated album that has a loose narrative, and brilliantly crafted hooks.
And right from the first bar on the album’s opener, “Scott Mescudi vs. The World” it’s clear CuDi’s rapping ability has not improved since his last album.
“Mr. Rager” is significantly darker than “End of Day,” and CuDi opens up a lot about his personal strife, most notably his cocaine habit. On “Don’t Play This Song,” he raps: “I'm humble and I treat normal girls like models reckless and young, am I my mom's calling, thank god she hit decline I'm numb faced while I'm thinking about suicide”
The dark and eerie, “The Mood” very well could fit into a horror film, and flows seamlessly into the album’s best track, “MANIAC,” which features indie rocker, St. Vincent and underground rap veteran, Cage. The unlikely collaboration works over the fast-paced production which samples St. Vincent’s “The Strangers” with hard kick drums and guitar, and Cage delivers hands down the best verse on the album.
KiD CuDi has a specific style and lane, when he stays in it, he makes really good music, but when he strays from his lane, it can be disastrous. For example, the lush piano-driven, “Marijuana” is stellar. But on the more stripped-down songs such as the Chuck Inglish (of The Cool Kids) laced “Ashin’ Kusher” and “Wild’n Cuz I’m Young” bring CuDi’s poor rapping to the forefront.
Even with a few duds, “Man on the Moon II” is for the most part consistent and cohesive throughout. With the exception of CuDi’s most recent hit, the 80s inspired, Jim Jonsin-produced “Erase Me” which serves the same role as “Make Her Say” did on his first record: the poppy, radio song that doesn’t fit in the dark theme of the album.
Overall “The Legend of Mr. Rager” is an anomaly. Hip hop has always been a lyric-driven genre, but CuDi has found success in making good hip hop music with pretty bad lyrics.
While I still don’t consider myself a fan of KiD CuDi, and I really wasn’t heartbroken that I missed his concert at Anderson Arena. But I do have a lot of respect for what he does. There are few artists out today that produce such personal and uncompromising music, and have that much commercial success.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Originally published in the BG News
BRL Score: 10 out of 10 Beets
Just in time for Halloween, producer/emcee Kno one-third of the underground hip hop sensation, the CunninLynguists, releases his aphotic debut solo album, “Death is Silent.”
Anyone who has ever heard a CunninLynguists project knows about the extremely high quality of production that has made Kno and the ‘Lynguists hip hop’s best kept secret for about a decade. “Death is Silent” is no exception, as the dark soundscape is layered with eerie vocal samples, neck-snapping drums, and a wide array of sounds from electric guitar to strings.
While folks will come for the flawless production, they will stay for Kno’s dense lyricism jam packed with witty word play and double entendres. Kno, who has appeared on only four verses in the last four CunninLynguists projects, experiments with several deliveries and more flows on his 12 verses on the record than many rappers will use in their entire careers.
On one of the album’s many stand-out tracks, “La Petite Mort” (which is French for the little death, which is a metaphor for an orgasm) Kno cleverly uses many allusions to both death and sex when speaking to a woman, which includes the brilliant quadruple entendre, “Getting off at your final destination.”
Throughout the record Kno talks about various aspects of death, the most thought provoking being “Spread Your Wings.” On the track Kno speaks about his regrets on an abortion, “So we agreed that it’s a woman’s preference, but if she loved me she would’ve second guessed it.”
Death is Silent is an extremely somber record where Kno touches on a lot of deep personal topics, but “Graveyard” is one of the few light-hearted moments. Kno kicks some battle raps filled with braggadocio and witty punch lines that would make Lil Wayne look like a light weight, with lines like: “I Vincent Van Gogh hard in the paint.”
On “I Wish I Was Dead” Kno trades verses with QN5 labelmate, Tonedeff, who is one of the most technically sound rappers I’ve ever heard. The two rappers tell Slick Rick-esque stories about how they die.
The phenomenal vocal sample on “When I Was Young” will evoke several nostalgic emotions, and is one of the most heart wrenching tracks on the album. Kno, along with fellow ‘Lynguist, Natti and QN5 labelmate Substantial, reminisce on their childhood. Kno’s verse features one of his strongest flows on the record:
“Living in the present like a puppy in a box, ‘The Best I Ever Had’ was my stomach tied in knots/Hopin that my pops copped me some folded socks and brand new draws, thanks Santa Claus, aw.”
The album closes with the two most optimistic tracks on the album, “Not at the End” and “The New Day (Death Has No Meaning).” On the former Kno sings on the hook, “So even when I feel down, I keep looking ahead because I’m here now.” And the latter being an instrumental track which features scratched vocals of a Nas lyric, “There’s one life to live, so live it the best you can.”
“Death is Silent” is not your typical hip hop album; it’s not even a typical CunninLynguists album. In a strong year for hip hop, don’t be surprised to see Kno at the top of the list for album of the year. This is an album that may not be heard by most, but the people who get the pleasure of hearing it, will instantly connect with it.
This is classic. Unfortunately this drink that countless college students have a love/hate relationship with has been rumored to be banned in the state of Michigan (serves you right B*tche*s!) and possibily in Bowling Green (but with that being said I heard it from a source who said that Bryan McKnight's "Back at One" was inspired by a DVD Player). So I suggest all of you (that are the age of 21 or older) to stock up on these drinks priced at $1.99 in most stores before they go out of business.
Now Band of Horses has decided to return the favor by covering one of my favorite Cee-Lo songs (which unfortunately will not appear on his album). They did an excellent job of putting their own twist on the track, and keeping the soul vibe of of the original. Here's a live performance:
Here's what the band had to say about the project:
Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses recalls the genesis of the "Georgia" single: "This began as a very random idea I had on my dad's patio after we watched our beloved Georgia Bulldog football team get robbed of a win at the hands of the referees and LSU last year. I knew I wanted to pay homage to my favorite team in song but didn't have any idea how to begin. Once I heard Cee Lo's 'Georgia,' I was immediately smitten and figured that's as good as any tribute to any state I've ever heard. It wasn't until I heard his cover of our song though that it occurred to me: Duh, we should return the favor. Incorporating the Redcoat marching band was just the icing on the cake! This song is so nostalgic to me as my parents grew up in Atlanta and have so many family members in the great state of Georgia. It's always been a second home of sorts. We've played some great shows there as well, including our run of annual New Year's Eve shows in Atlanta from 2007-2009."You can download the single for 99 cents or you can buy the 7" with both songs on it for $5.99 at http://www.bandofhorses.com/us/Georgia
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The next Batman movie is coming out in 2012 and the title is going to be "The Dark Knight Rises" The Riddler and Mr. Freeze are not possible villains in this movie. For everyone that does not like 3D, don't worry this movie will not be in 3D.
Here's a nice interview of a guy who has helped me out a lot as a rapper, FlamesYall. He's probably one of my favorite beatsmiths, and I'm lucky enough to rap over some of his jawns. We are currently working on a group album, titled Goose&FlamesYall:StudyAbroad, and he talks a little about it in the interview.He has appeared on my last 2 projects, providing 2 beats on A Dorm is Not a Home ("Wish You Were Clear" and "Apathy") and producing a bulk of my mixtape Dear Hip Hop, Sincerely Charley Brown (check those projects out at www.gooseohio.bandcamp.com)
I have appeared on two of his albums Featurin'... and LowEndYall (which consists of all ATCQ samples). And he has also released a trilogy of instrumental albums (all of which can be found at www.flamesyall.bandcamp.com.
Producer Spotlight: FlamesYallby J. Rizzle on November 8, 2010
UK producer FlamesYall has contributed too many projects for KevinNottingham.com most notably Nas & Olu Dara: The Family Remix Album. He has worked with talented emcees like Goose, Keb0, Tokyo Cigar, Logic Rhymes, MC Baz, Ryan Lucas, z1 Tha ESSENTIAL, TommyLux, Black Disciple, Mars, Luke, Duce, and many others. His latest release LowEndYall: ATributeCalledQuest is produced solely by himself. So now it’s time to hit the jump to get to know the talented beatsmith and cratedigger.
Where you reppin?
I’m from a town called Grays, Thurrock in Essex, UK. I’m not sure it’s known for it’s Hip Hop. Certainly, when I was at school/college, there was about 4 people who listened to any kind of Hip Hop/Rap. I think the nearer to London you get, the more Hip Hop heads you’ll find… I’m about an hours train journey away. The Hip Hop population doubles with every mile travelled.
Erm, I’m FlamesYall, a 34 year old Hip Hop producer. I produce randomly and ad hoc when I get an opportunity and when I feel creative. I let it all come out organically, and naturally. (Mainly when my wife and kids are out/in bed…).
Where did the name FlamesYall come from?
Ha ha. It’s an odd one! About 10 years ago, I was asked to perform a DJ set at a local University. My first! They needed a ‘name’ for the flyers. I didn’t have one, so I panicked and said ‘Stu.Flames’! The ‘Flames’ stuck. When I started producing, I wanted to introduce myself, so I dropped the ‘Stu’ and added the ‘Yall’ as an address to the masses.
Main musical inspirations:
I’ve always been a fan of soul, like 70′s and 80′s soul, plus my Dad had me listening to The Beatles and The Kinks, etc when I was little. So I like the ‘raw’ unpolished feel of music – that dusty vinyl feel. My Hip Hop inspirations, is all producers – It is the music that grabbed me, the lyrics came second. I’d have to name The Bomb Squad, Preemo, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, QTip, Ski, Prince Paul, Large Pro, RZA… And more recently, J. Dilla, Kev Brown, 9th, Madlib, ?uestlove, J. Rawls, Zo!… So I guess my style is a mixture of the two eras. Plus, all the independents who do it for themselves in their homes and work hard at the craft. The guy’s on Kev Nottingham’s site have propelled me far more than I would have motivated myself. Plus, I gotta give a big shout to one of my boys, a massive musical inspiration with his hard work, ethics, creativity and beliefs – Scroobius Pip (…And Dan Le Sac).
When did you fall in love with hip hop?
I was aware of a few artists, and a few songs, but when I was 13, I was at this girls house (As friends!! We were 13, yo!) and her older brother had ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’ on vinyl… I remembered ‘Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man’ from House Party, so I ‘borrowed’ it and listened to it, beginning to end, over and over (Using my headphones as I didn’t want my Dad to hear!). I still have it 21 years later! From then, I was in love with vinyl; record shopping, crate diggin, the smell, the dust, the romance, B Side remixes, coloured vinyl, promo pressings, US Imports (BIG over here…), 7″ singles, Technic 1210′s… You name it, I loved it! You should see my Hip Hop vinyl collection!! I’ve got some classic heat in there!! I remember taping Yo! MTV Raps, every Friday at midnight. It was the only time you would see, or hear, any Hip Hop on the TV or the radio! I mujst have had about 30 VCR tapes full of Ed Lover and Dr. Dre (And T Money). The next era was the Tribe/SV kinda vibe… That’s when it became part of me, emotionally.
Current projects we should be looking out for:
The latest is ‘LowEndYall:ATributeCalledQuest’, my tribute to my favourite ATCQ tracks, re-flipped and rhymed on by some amazing MCs… Quest are my favourite music group of all time.
Previous work that we should know about:
My first project was ‘Featurin”, which was a compilation of all the tracks I’d produced featuring Mcs from around the US and one from Luxembourg! Download here -> files.me.com/stumangan/ hs41pg
What’s your equipment setup like?
My set up?! All I use is my 20″ iMac and Logic. No more, no less. I don’t have any samplers, keyboards, decks, nothing. Just my mouse and my Mac, in my living room! (Plus a big ass sample library on iTunes and a collection of drums…). The first 3 years of my production was all on GarageBand, but I moved to Logic about 6 months ago.
If you had to pick one song that defines your career to date, what song would that be?
One of my songs? I’d say ‘FlameOn’ Feat. TommyLux. It’s the first proper track I put together and had an MC work on… There had been a few in the past (Big up, SkanWon), but this was the first properly conceived and produced one. It also defines what I love doing with my productions, chopping a sample and having a heavy drum sound. After that, the one which I get the best feed back on is ‘Next Message’ featuring Ryan Lucas.
If you weren’t doing music, what would your occupation be?
Well, music isn’t my occupation, so I guess I would be doing what I am doing… I work for Apple, so I guess I kinda have the best of both worlds. I’m surrounded by very talented people at work every day, who teach and inspire me which in turn pushes my music production. If I wasn’t at Apple, if I could choose… I would be a producer. Or a footballer, playing for Sunderland, the greatest football team in history (ahem). Or run my own coffee house/bar which only played the dopest, most beautifullest music.
Why should the readers and fans give you a shot and listen to your music from here on out?
Because I only make music for the love, not the fame. I make my tracks with a nod to the artists who were around during the 21 years of my Hip Hop affection. I want people to appreciate music for music’s sake, not for ends, bling, money, cars, material goods, just for the emotion, vibe and heart. Imagine a world, a life without music – Cold and barren. One of my favourite quotes is ‘After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible, is music’.
If you could only take one record on a deserted island with you, what album would that be?
This is a hard question!! Every album/song has a different vibe to it… I need one that is gonna cover everything… Erm, one that is gonna cover every thought and feeling that I have when I’m stranded on a desert island… One that is big enough for me to sit on and row to safety… OK, either ‘Donuts’, ‘Low End Theory’, or ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’…
Tell us one thing that very few people may know about you.
Funny enough, ironically, not many people know I produce… I keep this ‘alter ego’ for the internet and my music friends… I don’t even use photo’s of myself with my stuff (Although I did put a pic of me on the back cover to ‘LowEndYall’… That hurt! Hardly anyone at work knows! And I don’t play my music for my close friends, either… Odd eh? Oh and you guys may not know I’m married and have 2 girls. I’m not your usual hip hop guy on the outside…
What’s next for you?
My next project is with Goose, who is on ‘Featurin’ and also on ‘LowEndYall…’, We’re doing a concept album called ‘StudyAbroad’ which runs 12 tracks long and is a linear narrative of his journey from the US to the UK and back, studying and partying with girls! After that, myself and UK producer BlacKeys should have a tribute to Idris Muhammad complete… Then hope fully some more collaborations with Subwoofer Science – z1 and Ryan Lucas – Those guys are amazing!
Any shout outs or last words?
Yeah, a shout to all the MCs who have appeared on my tracks, a shout to Scroobius Pip, Muttt 3000, Emonomy, Overview, RoscoIlla, a shout to Kevin Nottingham and all the guys who contribute and post, a shout to J. Rizzle, who has been an amazing support for my music, a shout to my 2 daughters, who haven’t shut the f@@@ up while I’ve been trying to type this interview.
Contact FlamesYall via
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Kno of the Cunninlynguists, has spent most of the time in the past 4 CL projects behind the boards. And with this release he will finally display his rapping abilities. Also a big selling point for this album is that it will be released on my 21st birthday! So everyone on October 12th, go down to Finders grab a copy of this album and then meet me at the bars and buy me a drank.
Death Is Silent, the solo debut from CunninLynguists‘ producer and emcee Kno, is set to be released on October 12th 2010.
While handling nearly all of CL’s production since the group’s inception in 2001, his emceeing has more recently taken a backseat to his beats — and it has shown. Fueled by Kno’s lush production techniques, A Piece of Strange currently ranks as the #8 release of 2005 (and the only hip-hop release in the Top 30) at high traffic web community RateYourMusic.com, Dirty Acres was awarded “Album Of The Year” honors by UndergroundHipHop.com for 2007 and both of 2009’s compilation releases, Strange Journey Volume One and Two, were given “Top Ten Albums” honors at 2DopeBoyz.com.
After amassing only 4 verses over the CunninLynguists’ last four releases, the Atlanta-based artist is set to step out from behind the boards on Death Is Silent, both producing the entirety of the record and handling the majority of the vocals. The record’s concept involves the inevitability of death and its impact on love, life, family and friends. The artwork was realized by Argentinian visual artist Diego Fernandez.
Kno will still see plenty of activity on the production side of things, as the next 6 months will see the release of Oneirology, CunninLynguists’ newest studio album in 3 years, Chico and The Man, the long-awaited concept album with fellow QN5 MusicTonedeff as well as MacheteVision, a joint project with emcee Marq Spekt. artist and longtime friend
While all of these releases will be produced entirely by Kno, his production will also be featured on upcoming projects by Freddie Gibbs, 9th Wonder signee Tom Hardy as well as the album Niggaz With Latitude, a group project from CL’s own Deacon The Villain and Sheisty Khrist.
Death Is Silent will be released on CunninLynguists’ own imprint APOS Music.
Pre-orders begin right here at QN5.com on September 3rd 2010.
01. Death Is Silent
02. If You Cry
03. La Petite Mort (Come Die With Me)
04. Rhythm Of The Rain
05. Spread Your Wings
07. Smile (They Brought Your Coffin In)
09. I Wish I Was Dead
10. They Told Me
11. When I Was Young
12. Not At The End
13. The New Day (Death Has No Meaning)
And a little sneak peak:
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
This is the title track to Neutral Milk Hotel's 2nd and final album, released in 1998. The album was inspired by The Diary of Anne Frank, and consists of several allusions to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. While the band and the album flew under the radar when it was initially was released, it has since gained critical acclaim and even some success in record sales (it was the 6th highest selling vinyl record in 2008, ten years after its release).
I was introduced to this album in early May and has since become one of my favorite records of all time. The lead-singer, Jeff Mangum's Bob Dylan-esque vocals are extremely powerful on this eerie song. NMH's sound is one-of-a-kind, and I have never heard anything like it before. It features a strong Folk sound, but also features heavily distorted guitars.
Stand-out tracks in addition to the title track include: "Holland, 1945" "Two Headed Boy" "Oh Comely" and essentially the entire 11 track album that clocks in at just under 40 minutes. The listen is short, but very intense.
BRL Approved Classic.
Is Nickelback the worst band ever?
Monday, July 19, 2010
By BRAD HAMILTON
Last Updated: 6:06 AM, July 11, 2010
Posted: 1:56 AM, July 11, 2010
The widow of rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard hawked his prized final album for a song.
So says ODB's former manager, Jarred Weisfeld, who claims Icelene Jones quietly signed away the rights to "A Son Unique," the singer's posthumously- released album, and spent the proceeds.
"She sold out for peanuts," said Weisfeld, who said he was told the price was as little as $10,000.
Weisfeld believed that the album could have brought in millions for ODB's survivors, who include his mother, Cherry Jones, and four baby mamas who bore his children.
Family members and Weisfeld have squared off in Brooklyn Surrogate Court, for control over what's left of his career earnings. Icelene Jones did not return calls.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
As I see the lyrics to this song on more and more facebook statuses and it getting more play on the radio, I'm starting to hate this song. Maybe that's the music snob in me, but this however, is awesome.
Lupe Fiasco's punk-rock inspired side-project, Japanese Cartoon has finally released their debut album on-line for free. It's been about a year and half since I first heard "Heirplanes" which became a staple among my friends and I at the Rodge during my freshman year. While this project is long overdue, it certainly doesn't disappoint. "Gasp" is fantastic.
Lupe's fake-british accent singing will have to tide fans over for a while, as his completed (since early april) album, Lazers is sitting on the shelves at Atlantic Records (fuck you Atlantic for screwing up Lupe's career and turning B.o.B. is a corny pop star) with no release date in sight.
You can listen to and download the album below:
Japanese Cartoon - In the Jaws of The Lords of Death by Hypetrak
Thursday, July 15, 2010
This has to be one of the best songs I've ever heard off of one of the best albums of the year, which I finally purchased on vinyl yesterday. I can't say too much more about this song, just listen to the lyrics and get ready to get chills.
Monday, July 12, 2010
(Unfortunately I could not get my font changed for this post, so it is not in Comic Sans)
I'M COMIC SANS, ASSHOLE.
BY MIKE LACHER
- - - -
Listen up. I know the shit you've been saying behind my back. You think I'm stupid. You think I'm immature. You think I'm a malformed, pathetic excuse for a font. Well think again, nerdhole, because I'm Comic Sans, and I'm the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.
You don't like that your coworker used me on that note about stealing her yogurt from the break room fridge? You don't like that I'm all over your sister-in-law's blog? You don't like that I'm on the sign for that new Thai place? You think I'm pedestrian and tacky? Guess the fuck what, Picasso. We don't all have seventy-three weights of stick-up-my-ass Helvetica sitting on our seventeen-inch MacBook Pros. Sorry the entire world can't all be done in stark Eurotrash Swiss type. Sorry some people like to have fun. Sorry I'm standing in the way of your minimalist Bauhaus-esque fascist snoozefest. Maybe sometime you should take off your black turtleneck, stop compulsively adjusting your Tumblr theme, and lighten the fuck up for once.
People love me. Why? Because I'm fun. I'm the life of the party. I bring levity to any situation. Need to soften the blow of a harsh message about restroom etiquette? SLAM. There I am. Need to spice up the directions to your graduation party? WHAM. There again. Need to convey your fun-loving, approachable nature on your business' website? SMACK. Like daffodils in motherfucking spring.
When people need to kick back, have fun, and party, I will be there, unlike your pathetic fonts. While Gotham is at the science fair, I'm banging the prom queen behind the woodshop. While Avenir is practicing the clarinet, I'm shredding "Reign In Blood" on my double-necked Stratocaster. While Univers is refilling his allergy prescriptions, I'm racing my tricked-out, nitrous-laden Honda Civic against Tokyo gangsters who'll kill me if I don't cross the finish line first. I am a sans serif Superman and my only kryptonite is pretentious buzzkills like you.
It doesn't even matter what you think. You know why, jagoff? Cause I'm famous. I am on every major operating system since Microsoft fucking Bob. I'm in your signs. I'm in your browsers. I'm in your instant messengers. I'm not just a font. I am a force of motherfucking nature and I will not rest until every uptight armchair typographer cock-hat like you is surrounded by my lovable, comic-book inspired, sans-serif badassery.
Enough of this bullshit. I'm gonna go get hammered with Papyrus.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Here's the first music video from the next big duo in hip hop. Eff a little brother, an outkast, and an epmd.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Here is the video for Pete Yorn's new song American Blues Vol. 1. Pete wrote the song on the 4th of July after reading the morning paper. He was moved by how much negativity he was reading about and how even groups were boycotting Independence Day because they were so disgusted with the state of our Nation. He sent the song to some friends and one of them (a really old friend of his who is actually a huge reason he didn't give up on a musical career back in 1998) was really affected by the message. His friend always has had an unwavering faith in America and has always been able to laugh when times got tough. So, he decided to make a video and at the end send a message for people to get out and vote.
This is an amazing song, sums up what it means to be American. Happy July 4.
Friday, July 2, 2010
I know updates have not come as often as you would prefer, but we at BRL are workin ass college students. We may be announcing a new member of the BRL family within the next couple of weeks. And as you may have noticed, we have changed the look of BRL. It's awesome. We know. We're Back!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
(and all the other actors I like who are from Canada)
K'Naan (actually he's Somolian, but today I'll give Canada a break)
(I think that's all the musicians from Canada that don't suck)
Neil Young's "Ohio" (just the song, NOT Neil Young)
Labattes Blue Light
Full-Nudity at Bars Rule (which actually may really suck, actually no one wants to see a naked Canadian, ever. Void this from the list)
Tim Hortons (the coffee shop, not whoever it's named after. btw Starbucks >>>>>>>>> >>>>>TH)
Robin Scherbotsche (yes, i know she's a ficitional character from How I Met Your Mother, but Canada REALLY doesn't have much to offer.)
That Scene in Away We Go, where they visit Montreal
yepp... I think that's it. Good Riddance.
Editor's Note: You will notice that there is no mention of Canada's drinking age, 19. This is intentional because, A. I'm almost 21, I'd rather wait 3 months than visit Canada, B. Fuck a passport, I live in America, C. The only reason the drinking age is so low is because they know it's the only Americans will EVER visit their t'aint hair of a country.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
There isn't much that Marshall Bruce Mathers III (better known as Eminem or Slim Shady) hasn't accomplished during his 11-year career.
He has three #1 singles, 11 Grammy Awards, an Oscar and is the top-selling artist from 2000-09. But one thing Mr. Mathers has yet to accomplish is to release a flawless, classic album. He was close with his first couple of offerings, but in order to be recognized as one of the greatest artists of all-time, he needs to release a perfect album.
"Recovery," Eminem's sixth major-label album, starts off with the Just Blaze-produced "Cold Wind Blows" and features Shady up to his old tricks. He is vulgar, he is crude, but he certainly is entertaining. On the DJ Khalil-laced "Talkin' 2 Myself," Mathers speaks on the five years he was away from music (between the two disappointing releases, "Encore" (2004) and "Relapse" (2009), and how he almost took shots at some of rap's elite.
Mathers also speaks on his previous album, "Relapse," and its lukewarm reception. He admits on the lead single, "Not Afraid," that his last album was "ehh" and that he "ran those accents into the ground." On "Cinderella Man" he even goes as far to say that his "last CD's in the trash."
"Recovery" certainly is a more honest effort than the pseudo-horror album, "Relapse." Tracks like "Going Through Changes," "You're Never Over" and "25 to Life" show Marshall at his most vulnerable. On "Changes" and "Never Over" he talks about the tragic death of his best friend and fellow rapper, Proof. DJ Khalil provides the hauntingly beautiful backdrop to "25 to Life," in which Shady speaks about his relationship with hip-hop saying, "You screaming as I walk out that I'll be missed / But when you spoke of people who meant the most to you, you left me off your list."
"25 to Life" flows smoothly into the sole Dr. Dre beat "So Bad," which is one of Dre's best productions released in the past few years. "Seduction" sounds different than anything Mathers has done before, but it certainly works. On "No Love," he trades verses with Lil Wayne over a Just Blaze production, which samples Haddaway's "What is Love?" On paper, this track sounds like an accident waiting to happen, but it was surprisingly executed to perfection, as both emcees bring their A-game, not to be outdone by the other.
One of the biggest surprises "Recovery" has to offer is the future chart-topper and Rihanna-assisted "Love the Way You Lie." The song touches on the topic of domestic abuse, which is something completely unexpected from a man who has been notorious for making songs about killing his ex-wife and mother.
"Recovery" showcases a more sober, a more honest, and even a more mature side of Mathers. This record shows Eminem finally trying to do something different, and no longer following the formula he set with his previous albums (ie: 20 tracks, skits, cheesy first single, etc.). Without question this is the record he should've returned from his hiatus with instead of "Relapse." While "Recovery" definitely is not his "Sgt. Peppers" or "Exile on Main St", it is a giant step in the right direction.
8 out of 10 Beets
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
On Nov. 17, ?uestlove and The Roots shocked the hip-hop world when they announced that they were going to retire from touring and work full-time as the house band for Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Talk Show. This was only a few months after they released their rumored final album, "Rising Down." It seemed like Jimmy Fallon was about to put an end to hip hop's greatest band.
"Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" aired its first episode on March 2 and showcased Black Thought (Vocals), ?uestlove (Drummer) and company. Shortly after that, ?uestlove announced on his Twitter account that The legendary Roots crew would indeed release their ninth studio album (third album on Def Jam Records), "How I Got Over."
After several delays, "How I Got Over" finally hit the shelves. The group's latest effort showcases a much more optimistic sound than their previous two records, which had bleak, political subject material. "How I Got Over" features the Philadelphia band's triumph, directly influenced by the end of the Bush Administration and the election of Barack Obama.
The piano driven opener, "Walk Alone" is a very different sound from the synth-driven "Rising Down." "Dear God 2.0" features a sample from Jim James and Monsters of Folk, and Black Thought delivers some of the most introspective lyrics of his career. In the song, Black Thought asks, "Why is the world ugly when it's made in your image and why is living life such a fight to the finish?" The title track and first single from the album has a much different feel to it than any of their previous efforts, as Black Thought sings two verses on the songs.
On "Now or Never," Thought declares that he is "thinking of making a change, finally breaking the chains" and that he's "ready for the next chapter and page." The positive inspiration messages continue with songs like "The Day" and "The Fire," in which John Legend makes a guest appearance and sings, "You don't say good luck, you say don't give up."
"How I Got Over" is unquestionably in the top tier of Roots records over their storied 17-year career. The album consists of flawless sequencing and transitions making the 14-track album sound like one piece of musical brilliance. The Legendary Roots Crew has successfully made it from hip-hop to 30 Rock, without missing a beat along the way. Through all the label problems, the lack of mainstream attention and poor record sales, with a little help from Jimmy Fallon, The Roots have finally "Made it Over."
BRL Rating: 10 out 0f 10 Beets
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Here's a live performance by The Roots of their amazing new single, Dear God 2.0, which is a re-working of Monsters of Folk's song of the same name. How I got over is streaming on The Roots' myspace, get your copy this tuesday!
Download the MP3 (right click, save as)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Today I discovered something about myself: I love dumb bitties. Whether screaming off-key along with a lady gaga song at a party, or almost hitting me with her car as she's texting while driving, she is indeed my favorite specimen on the planet. So I decided to make a segment here at BRL honoring those dumb bitties.
Without further adieu, I bring to you one of the most trashiest, ignorant, and well, entertaining displays of dumb bittieness I've ever witnessed on the internets.
You've heard a lot about the oil spill or whatever, but we at BRL don't really care about that, mainly because we drink oil straight and don't really mind if it's a little watered down, also f&*^ animals who live in water and ish. Oil spills ain't gangsta, they ain't what's poppin' in the screets (streets) right now. We at BRL ain't mad at BP, we be spillin' shit all the time, it ain't no thang.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Bobby Ray Simmons is not to be pigeonholed.
One can't define his music in a single genre, he can do it all. He raps, sings, plays guitar, plays piano, plays trumpet and produces. He mixes elements of hip-hop, rock, reggae and various others into his 12-track introduction to the world.
His highly anticipated debut album, "B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray" hit the shelves on April 27 after being pushed up from its original May 25 release date due to the success of his chart-topping lead single, "Nothing on You."
The album features guest appearances from rap's elite (Eminem, T.I. and Lupe Fiasco) as well as big name singers from the pop and rock worlds (Hayley Williams of Paramore and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo).
The album kicks off with the hard-hitting 808s and rolling keys of the self-produced "Don't Let Me Fall," followed by "Nothing on You" and the Lupe Fiasco assisted "Past My Shades."
Ray's Adventures heavily features a pop-oriented sound, which can be a turn-off to pure hip-hop fans. The poppiness of tracks 7-9 ("Kids," "Magic" and "Fame") can be a little grating for hip hop listeners. "Kids" uses an awkward interpolation of Vampire Weekend's "the Kids Don't Stand a Chance," which doesn't do the original justice. "Magic" features an extremely radio-friendly hook provided Rivers Cuomo. And "Fame" features some of the best rapping on the disc, but is lost in the sing-song hook and unnecessary chant.
The sole traditional hip-hop song on the album, "Bet I," features guest verses from label-mates T.I. and Playboy Tre. It sounds a little out of place and would have been better suited for one of Ray's mixtapes.
While the album isn't short of catchy, feel-good songs perfect for the summer, B.o.B's subject matter throughout is pretty unoriginal and superficial. The record may be lacking in any lyrical dexterity and there aren't any stand-out bad songs to be found. It is a very fun, laid-back record that one would think a 21-year old would make. Bobby Ray simply crafted an excellent pop record.
7 out of 10 Beets.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Here's a release from FlamesYall, he did two tracks on my last album and did 4-5 on my upcoming album. I am featured on two of his songs on the album (one of the songs appeared on my last album, and the other track will be featured on my upcoming album, "Dear Hip Hop, Sincerely Charley Brown".
Friday, May 28, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Normally I wouldnt post a random freestyle, but a. it's Grieves and b. it's titled shark week. Produced by Budo.
So here's a little something to tide you over until Grieves' RSE debut album and shark week...
Download Here (right-click save as...
Sorry for the lack of posts in the past couple of weeks, its the end of the semester and times are stressful.
But here's another Black Keys vid, the return of Frank the lipsynching dinosaur/puppet. The Akron-duo's upcoming album, Brothers hits shelves May 18th (along with Reflection Eternal and Nas & Damian Marley. HUGGGEEEE day for music. Im going to be broke).
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Just over a month since undergoing surgery following a heart attack, Gang Starr MC Guru (born Keith Elam) has died at age 43. According to a statement, Guru died of cancer-related causes on Monday after a long fight with the disease.
Guru’s longtime collaborator and partner Solar mourns his loss in the statement and explains that Guru had written a letter to his fans that was to be released upon his death.
“The world has lost one of the best MCs and hip-hop icons of all-time — my loyal best friend, partner, and brother, Guru,” Solar said. “Guru has been battling cancer for well over a year and has lost his battle! This is a matter that Guru wanted private until he could beat it, but tragically, this did not happen. The cancer took him. Now the world has lost a great man and a true genius.”
I had a feeling this was coming, especially after that coma. There was also a letter posted that was said to be written by Guru (but it is believed that his DJ, Solar actually wrote it), but I dont want to talk about the shady shit going on with his death. Instead BRL will honor and remember one of hip hop's finest emcees ever to be his voice on a record.
Friday, April 16, 2010
-I first heard Gangsta Gibbs on the opening track on CunninLynguists’ Strange Jouney Vol 2. And he went OFF on that Kno beat. The Gary, Indiana native is bringing [Good] gangsta rap back to the forefront. You can check out his 80-plus-track mixtape, TheLabelsTryinToKillMe and fall in love with his nonchalant flow and deep voice.
-This Seattle native has recently become my favorite, new rapper. Although he is not all that new, as he released his debut album in 2005. After that he disappeared for a while until last year coming back with a boom dropping two excellent projects: The Unplanned Mixtape and The Vs EP.
-He, like Macklemore, also got his start in Seattle (although he lives in Brooklyn and was born in Chicago) is not all that new to the game either. Coming into 2010 he has 2 albums under his belt already, but his career is about to reach all-time heights after signing to Rhymesayers Ent. His 2008 album, 88 Keys and Counting was re-released with a ten track EP, Confessions of Mr. Modest, which has been in constant rotation since its early March release.
-The Cali-trio dropped one of the best mixtapes last year with Church League Champs. They are about to drop one more mixtape (Don’t Mention It) before their long awaited debut album, Grown Kid Syndrome.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
From Dwight Schrute's Beet Farm:The Boondocks Sneak Peak: will.i.am "Dickriding Obama (ft Thugnificant)"
Save for maybe South Park, the best cartoon show on television will make its glorious return May 2nd!!
Swipe From Rollingstone.com:
Wilco, Hole, MGMT and Monsters of Folk are the latest artists to contribute exclusive releases for this year’s Record Store Day, which will arrive at independent music shops this Saturday, April 17th. Wilco will offer up their live album Kicking Television as a deluxe vinyl box set complete with four LPs, eight extra tracks not on the original release and a bonus CD. Only 1,000 of the reissued Kicking Television will be made, so make sure to be first in line this Saturday if you want one of those.
MGMT will release their 12-minute Congratulations track “Siberian Breaks” as a 12” single with an etched second side and Hole will make available “Skinny Little Bitch” and another new track off of Nobody’s Daughter on 10″ white vinyl. As Rolling Stone previously reported, the Rolling Stones, Soundgarden, the Doors, Sonic Youth, Bruce Springsteen, Flaming Lips and countless more will provide exclusive releases for Record Store Day while U.K. shops will get limited-edition singles from the likes of the Beatles and Blur, who recorded their first song together since Think Tank for the occasion.
Check out the entire list of Record Store Day exclusives for U.S. shops at the event’s official site. One of the more intriguing releases is a “super surprise” white label 12″ single from the Beastie Boys. With a limited run of 1,000 copies, the white label may feature some tracks off the Beasties’ upcoming album Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1.
Smashing Pumpkins will also unveil their newest song “Astral Planes” as a free download through the Amoeba Records website starting tomorrow in anticipation to Billy Corgan and Co.’s Record Store Day performance this weekend at Amoeba. Rolling Stone will be on the scene at the extremely tiny show (only 250 fans will score a wristband), so check back for our full report.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
So I know I'm super late on the Black Keys, but this song is awesome. This Ohio duo sounds like they came straight out of the 70s (I mean that in a good way) mixing elements of rock and blues elements in their music. Their new album, Brothers will be released in May.
-This Inglewood native followed his 2009 debut, A City Without Seasons, with a Free EP, The Audition. Since downloading this EP back in March, I have had it in constant rotation. One of the top releases of the year thus far.
-The first time I heard Donnis was in 2008 on Kidz in da Hall’s “Mr. Alladathshit” which was one of the best songs off of that album. Donnis’ charismatic was very evident just on that song alone. He has recently The Fashionably Late Sampler, which features future hits, “Gone” and “OD.”
-Yeah we all know Wheelchair Jimmy by now. But the reason he is included on this list is because, in fact he is a freshman still. He found an unprecedented amount of success from a mixtape (save for maybe 50 Cent, but can you name a 50 Cent mixtape that garnered as much attention as So Far Gone? Didn’t think so.), but the Toronto still has much to prove. We all know he can make a hit song and all that, but let it be known Aubrey is a bit of a head. After name-dropping the likes of Little Brother and Slum Village on “Fear” and referencing Dead Prez’s classic 2000 single, it is clear that Drake is one of the good guys. It’ll be interesting what route he takes with his up-coming album.
-Mr. Electronica (or Mr. ElectHanukkah if you will) is by far the most talented rapper on this list, hell maybe of any list. The problem with this mysteryman is when is he going to drop his projects? He promised us Act II (the follow up to the ESotSM Act I) Christmas 2007, then again on Christmas 2009, then again on New Year’s 2010, but still no sign of the project. The New Orleans native saw his biggest success towards the end of 2009 when he had the internet going nuts off of his Just Blaze produced hit “Exhibit C.”
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I've made a few posts about the Seattle emcee, Macklemore already, but here's his friend/frequent collaborator, Grieves. Budo has produced his albums (who also has done production for Macklemore). And Grieves landed himself a record deal last December with Rhymesayers Ent.
This video is off of his re-release of 88Keys and Counting, which was packaged with The Confessions of Mr. Modest, which has been the best release of 2010 (just edging out label-mate freeway). Grieves' sound is quite similar to Macklemore, but it is also very different (as proved by this song), as Grieves is known to use more melodies and sing-song approach to his rapping.
Grieves is tapped to release his RSE full-length LP this fall, and there are also talks of doing a project with CunninLynguists' Kno on the beats.
Monday, April 12, 2010
This holiday was started Sophomore year in Spanish class when Z*ch Sz*bl*sk* (censored for securrrity reasons) wrote in his planner that I would catch Salmonella poisoning on April 12. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Notable Events on Past Salmonella Poisoning Days:
2006: I don't remember; no salmonella recorded
2007: I consumed 2 raw eggs during lunch and ate 15 under-cooked, chicken wings at dinner; no salmonella recorded
2008: I ate chicken for lunch I think; no salmonella recorded
2009: I'm not sure what happened, I probably ate some chicken or something; no salmonella recorded
2010: I ate a salad (with no chicken cuz at first I forgot); no salmonella recorded...yetttt...
This is the first of hopefully many album reviews where I review lesser known/independent artists. Eleanor King's Cookies and Cake found its way into my hands thanks to a mutual friend shared by King and I, last December.
Cookies and Cake is a 9-track album, from the Michigan native, consisting of eight covers and one original song, written by King herself. This just-over-25-minute album captivates listeners with its not-trying-too-hard charm, as well as King's extremely endearing vocals. King's vocals throughout this album are paired with King's ukulele playing, which serves as the album's only instrumentation.
The songs covered in Cakes span from several older artist's including Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind" to Rudy Vallee's "P.S. I Love You" first recorded in the 1930s to more contemporary songs such as Nick Drake's "Saturday" and Leonard Cohen's oft-covered "Hallelujah". However the most intriguing cover on this album is Rhianna's 2007 hit, "Umbrella." The raw, stripped down version of this R&B chart topper, definitely trumps the synth-heavy, pitch-corrected version that plagued our radios three years ago.
Despite the album being mostly covers, King is at her best performing her own material. The album's title-track, is hands down the highlight of this album. Her simple, yet witty lyricism of a troubled relationship, sounds cute, but she offers "a fresh batch of fuck-you pies" to the man who has mistreated her. The lone original song on the album definitely makes the listener hungry for more of her self-written material, but until then we will have her Cookies and Cakes to tide us over.
Rating: 8/10 Beets
1) Moon River—Mercer/Mancini (c)1961
2) Georgia—Hoagy Carmichael (c)1930
3) Under My Umbrella—Rihanna (c)2007
4) Cookies and Cake—Eleanor King (c)2009
5) My Funny Valentine—Rodgers/Hart (c)1937
6) Hallelujah—Leonard Cohen (c)1984
7) Body & Soul—Johnny Green (c)1930
8) P.S. I Love You—Mercer/Jenkins (c)1934
9) Saturday Sun—Nick Drake (c)1969
Eleanor King—vocals, charango & ukuleles
Recorded by Duncan Ferguson, Oct. 2009
Click Here To Download "Moon River"
Link and Album Information swiped from Cookies and Cake Blog