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