Monday, December 6, 2010

Let's Take A Commercial...

I just wanted to take a break from the Hip-Hop, and R&B to dive into something different. I've been looking for this song for awhile, and I finally found it. The song is called "Din Da Da" by George Kranz. You're talking about something that was so innovative in  for 80's music, personally this was the record. So I hope you enjoy this random moment of mine


Sunday, December 5, 2010

D.I.T.C. AZ "Sugar Hill" x Juicy "Sugar"

In celebration of the 15th anniversary of AZ's debut album "Do or Die" I decided to put a classic and personal favorite of mine "Sugar Hill".

I hope you enjoy the music PEACE!!

My Ipod Shuffle

Yo what's up everyone, I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and ready to get this semester over. But in the meantime, here's the new post of Ipod Shuffle

Before They Was The Main Attraction

In today's music industry you tend not to see too many artist paying dues to be on the big stage. A lot now it's a gimmick and get rich marketing plan to get some mediocre record to get radio spins or being played on the channels Viacom built and destroyed (MTV & BET). As I do my independent research on music, I find that a lot of artist bounced around from different groups to landing with the right one, or just finally braking down and going solo. I want to shed some light with this post about some of the R&B greats that were once in unknown groups before breaking out going solo.

Babyface, one of the best male solo vocalist in our time didn't just come out the woodworks making hit records for himself and others. Babyface first got his first in a band called Manchild. He was the lead guitarist for the band also lend his vocals for such records as "Especially For You" and "One Tender Moment". The band didn't last too long, but the wasn't the end for Babyface. He went on to start a group with this friend Antonio "LA" Reid called The Deele. In this group he played the keyboard and was one of the lead vocalist. They had smash hits like "Two Occasions", and "Shoot Em Up Movies". He made a lot of noise with these two groups, but didn't see his success really come until he left the group The Deele in 1988. There him and LA Reid formed a song-writing and producing team, and also starting a solo career for himself.

Luther Vandross
LUTHER! LUTHER!! LUTHER!!! A legend of timeless love ballads, and also one of the greats when it came to live performances. Luther was apart of group called Change. Change came out with there debut album "Glow of Love" which the title song was a smash hit and also "A Loves Holiday" which sold a million copies. After the success with their debut album, Luther voiced caught the ear of the mainstream audience which triggered him to leave the group to start his solo career and never looked back.

Anita Baker

Know by man as "The Songstress", Ms. Anita Baker is in a league of her own with her distinctive voice which could silence a mad house. Anita was apart of a group called "Chapter 8" which was their debut album.
They had a smash hit called "I Just Wanna Be Your Girl" which Anita took the show letting her voice guide the composition of the song. After the first album done, the group let the manager convinced that she didn't fit in the group and that her voice wasn't that good (Dummy). So after being kicked out the group, labels came knocking down her down offering deals to start her solo career and the rest was history.

This is what I love about the past, people had to go through a lot as far working your craft right, or just finding your niche. Today you just don't see things like in the artist like I said earlier in the post. If people could take their time in music, they would have a longer career instead being here and being gone like the McRib.

I hope you enjoyed the post!!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Black Milk AOTY Review

“Album of The Year” is one hell of a title to name your album, especially in the competitive genre of Hip-Hop. This Detroit MC/Producer wanted to push himself because of the critical acclaim he got with his last album “Tronic”. This latest album from him, he wanted to push the envelope with his authentic sound and also set the bar for other Hip-Hop artists.
                Black Milk starts off the album with a song called “365”. The album picks right up where it ended with his last one “Tronic”. With the assistance from his drummer, Daru Jones, Black Milk opens the album with an introspective about this past year. From losing one his mentors, Baatin, and also his aunt, Black Milk shows a personal side of him his fan doesn’t see too much, but doesn’t get too emotion. The song gives you a great overview with what’s been up with him prior to the album and also a great introduction.
                “Welcome (Gotta Go)” starts off with that Boom Bap sound that Black Milk is known for.  He doesn’t waste a minute going in representing his city and letting the world know that Detroit is a hard working city. The song gives you a feel that the roller coaster ride has started, and you’re not about to get off anytime soon.   
                “Keep Going” starts off with hard guitar rifts, and drums that sounds clumsy which gives the song a unique sound which he aims for every time. Black goes in talking about how being at the top of his game, and he’s in his own lane and don’t plan on stopping. He touches on things that I’ve been pondering about, like when they are going to give him his props and how he’ll keep doing his music with a chip on his shoulder until he’s crowned. I say this because Detroit has always been underrated when it comes to music and they’ve had some of the best musicians come out the city, but still doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.
                With the song “Oh Girl” Black goes describes a situation at least ever man has been through. He talks about meeting different women, and how his main lady is listening to her friends thinking he’s cheating on her. Black raps about how the business and how girls are around trying to get to him, but it’s no need to worry about the cheating. It’s a nice song, but I don’t care too much for the song, because this concept has been done too many times by other artists.
                “Deadly Medley” fits this song perfectly. Black goes and grabs Detroit’s finest Elzhi, and Royce Da 5’9 to bring havoc to this record. This record is so incredible from the raw sample to the lyrics, it reminds me putting the best players all on one team and dominating the competition.
                With the song “Distortion” he talks about his problem he dealt with. He touches on his manager Hex Murda having a stroke and not wanting to make music anymore with all the madness that was going on in his life. Black sheds a little more light on his life and how it’s been for him which gives a different perspective on him as an artist. It showed his growth as a MC to express himself to his fans.
                “Over Again” Black gives a description of his life while he’s on tour. He describes his day as being the same thing from going from city to city and the same old mic check for each show. The song has a nice laid back feel that let Black Milk express himself about being on the road where he could be in the studio being creative.
                “Round of Applause”, and “Warning” are great fillers for the album which gives Black Milk a chance  to display his skills with the wordplay, metaphors, and most importantly the production. He lets the band just go crazy at the end of the records with these dynamic jam sessions, that makes keeps your head nodding till the point you can’t stop.
                The highlight of the album is “Black and Brown”. With the violins at the beginning of the song and it builds up to first verse, you know it’s about to be an event, not a record. Black attacks the record and sets the bar for the record. With every lyric he throws out, it seems like he has the spirit of a young Mike Tyson, just going for the knockout and not wasting a minute. With assistance from one of my favorite rappers, Danny Brown, Danny attacks the record with his frantic, no-holds bars flow which takes the record to another level. This has to be my favorite song on the album, but the downfall for the song is too short. It comes on so raw and energetic, it leaves you wanting me and hoping those two will work together again soon.
                Black Milk gives another banger with the song “Gospel Psychedelic Rock”. Black fuses gospel and rock with the hard guitar rifts and a choir to bring the record together. Closing the album he has a song called “Closed Chapter”. With this smooth sample, Black cruises through the track, reflecting on his life and how things are looking on the up and up and he wants to continue his better his craft.
                “Album of the Year” in my opinion is really the best title it deserves. From the production to the guest appearances, Black conducts a Hip-Hop masterpiece and also pushes Detroit to the fore front to the world to let them know that Hip-Hop lives and Black Milk is their to provide the heartbeat.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

D.I.T.C. (Special Guest Blogger Edition)

I know from week to week I post rap songs and the original sample they use and I wanted to expand it for this post. For this post I wanted to bring in my friend in and also Blogger Tia Olivia Brown Scott as the special guest blogger for this post. In this post she picks at me and up and coming Flint Music Producer Brandon Corder brains about the process how me and him go about looking for samples, what we listen for to create different concepts. So let me stop right here before I give away the whole interview and let her take over the show!

The art of making music is a skill that has to be well-crafted and appreciated all at once. Sometimes, we get caught up in the artist on the microphone when more than often, it's the song's harmony that's actually making our heads nod.

It's the right placement of a certain snare that causes instant smiles or a beautiful string arrangement that pulls at our heart strings that makes us really feel the song and helps us to connect with the artist.

With that said, good production is the foundation to a good song and the using of samples and various forms of eclectic instrumentation only adds more flavor to this melting pot of melodies.
However, not everyone is blessed with the ability of putting music together. It takes a certain person with an ear and love for the art of production and what it stands for.

Brandon Bell and Brandon Corder are two men who definitely have the ear and the love so without further ado, let's take an intimate look inside their minds as they discuss the art of production, its process, sampling, and much more. Walk with me.

How long have you been making music and what made you want to get into production?

B.Corder: I have been making music since I was about 12 or 13 and I’m 25 now. I got into music production because I got infatuated with taking sounds putting them together to create moods and it became a way of how I expressed myself and thoughts I was thinking.

B.Bell: Well I haven’t been making music; my part of the production process is going through old records and just sitting listening to them, and trying to find dope samples to use. What made me get into was because over the years I’ve grown into loving different genres of music and also wanting to see Hip-Hop or just music in general be taken to another level with different influences.

Who are your musical influences?

B.Bell: Wow! Where do I begin, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, Jay-Z, J-Dilla, Phyllis Hyman, Teddy Riley, Roger Troutman, just to name a few…*Laughs

B.Corder: There are a lot of musical influences but just to name a few Kanye West, J. Dilla, Just Blaze, Jay-Z, Tribe Called Quest, Musiq Soulchild, Timbaland, Pharrell, Mary J. Blige, and the list goes on and on.

What is your inspiration when going through the creative process?

B.Corder: During the creative process I’m mostly inspired by my moods and thoughts. Usually when I create I’m trying to express some sort of thought, which usually inspires the final song as well. So I usually go off that thought and create around it to paint a picture.

B.Bell: I know when Me and B.Corder go through a process; it’s like Guru and Jay-Z process from the movie Fade to Black. We take some time just to sit down, and we really don’t do too much talking, and let the play music. Our body language says enough if something is dope or it's not going to be used. I think the inspiration for me is to see the passion that was put into those records and be able to see them come back to life in a different way but at the same time innovative for the culture.

Do you search for a specific sound when going through records for samples or does the feeling just hit you when you hear it?

B.Bell: I know working with B.Corder and Nameless the processes are totally different. I remember when B.Corder started to work on “On My Way to Tokyo”, we were coming from an interview with Robo Rob and we were on the expressway. He was explaining he wanted the album to sound like a movie, have that same big sound like Kanye West’s “Late Registration”. So I went home and listened to Late Registration a couple of times, and started to go digging. I came upon different Library albums from composers as J.C. Pierric, Daniel janin, and Leon Ware that had music that gave you that rush you might feel looking at certain scenes from a movie. With Nameless, I know he wants to go left field as possible, so I really go for the unconventional samples that no one would go after because his sound is so unique, he wants to keep pushing the envelop to better his craft and his signature sound.

B.Corder: Yes and No. I do have a specific sound that I mainly listen for but at the same time I’m always will to experiment if I hear something that catches my ear. I love strings and horns so by default I listen for things that are real stringy, if that makes sense. *Laughs

Ever worry about the legal consequences that come along with sampling?

B.Corder: Yes and No to this also. Of course I don’t want to be sued but at the same time I don’t worry about it much. As long as everything is handled legally, things will be ok. It’s just a added step to the song process.

B.Bell: Well we’ve seen what has happen to people when they don’t go through the right channels to get stuff cleared, they get sued. My thing is make sure you do what you have to do to get it cleared, and also make sure you’re ready to sign a hefty check to clear them. If you can’t do that and you want the world to hear your music, put it out for free so it won’t be a problem with the person that originally made the song because you’re not getting any profit from it.

Who are some of your favorite producers today?

B.Bell: I love Black Milk; I think he’s really set the bar with his latest album, Ski BeatzJust Blaze , Justice League ,  9th Wonder, Madlib, Focus, and The Neptunes.

B.Corder: Today I listen to a lot of Kanye because he’s always evolving and coming with new innovative ideas, he’s a natural trendsetter. I’m always checking for anything that Pharrell puts his hands on. Ski Beats is like reinvented these days, so I’m always listening to what he’s doing now. I keep my ears open to everything pretty much.

As far as sampling goes, who do you feel like is the best to ever do it?

B.Corder: Tough question. I don’t really think there’s a best to sample. Everybody samples different in my opinion. I love the way J. Dilla samples, I love that whole Roc-A-Fella era when they really brought back soul sampling with Blueprint. Bink is another underrated producer. I love the way that DJ Toomp takes samples but then he puts a southern twist on them.  Ski Beats samples differently as well. They are all dope in their own ways though, its hard to say who does it the best..

B.Bell: Damn….that’s a hard one I mean it’s really a toss up between J-Dilla, and Just Blaze, but I have to pick one, it has to be Dilla.

What artists would fit the best on your production?

B.Corder: There are many artists that I would love to work with that I think fits my production. Of course people like Jay-Z and Kanye West because their so diverse. Curren$y fits my production well and luckily we had a chance to do work together already, matter of fact that whole DD172 camp fits my production. Put it like this, anybody that’s actually saying something in a song I can adjust to just about.

B.Bell: I think B.Corder's production is people who are really passionate about music. I can personally say the money is not the biggest thing, it’s about the love and the acknowledgment you get and if you not in it for that, you might as well get a demo of Fruit Loops Program. 

What is your take on the current state of Hip-Hop and R&B?

B.Bell: We have came a long way in the past 5 years. It was moments I thought we lost it, but it’s coming back around and you see more people passionate about the art and also not letting the labels control their music. But at the same time it’s still a lot of garbage out there but people have a choice now which is great.

B.Corder: I was just having this conversation the other day. I don’t know where mainstream Hip-Hop and R&B is headed, it’s all watered down these days for sure. The Independent labels are where it’s at these days. It seems to me that more and more independent labels are forming and they are having their own in house producers and artists and that’s the circle of people they deal with. People are taking advantage of the internet opportunities and making it happen for themselves instead of depending on these bigger labels. 

What are some of the up and coming projects on your agenda?

B.Corder: I have a few things that I am working on actually. One that’s already in-stores is Trademark’s “Issue 2” and this month he is set to release “Issue 3” which I had a chance to work with him and Curren$y again and it will be in stores nationwide on November 23rd. I did some scores for the Paris Hilton Show which I’m not sure when that airs or what network will end up being on. I’m also working on a few projects of my own that will be announced at a later date.

B.Bell: Well I’m working on J.A.’s debut album “Hello Saturday”, “No Blinkers” with a other Hip-Hop artists from Flint, and also a beat EP with Nameless called “School Daze” ( I want to say that’s the name)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Let the Drums Take Me There......

Here's something I wrote awhile back about a very influential person in Hip-Hop....

It’s 12:12 A.M. and I’ve been pondering writing this note for past week or so because I didn’t know how to approach writing this so here we go. I remember in February of 2006, I heard J-Dilla had passed away. I was devastated about his passing. I’m not going to front I didn’t know about dude like I should until his death. I went through his discography and saw all the people he worked with and seeing that he contribute to my love for Hip-Hop and what it stood for. Just looking from the Pharcyde to De La Soul and seeing the songs he produced, I could remember where I was at hearing those records and I cherish those memories because it was apart of my childhood. I remember just listening to those songs and just noticing how the drums just stood out from any other hip hop producer like he was making his sound stand out and giving Hip-Hop that smooth but that snear kicking sound that makes the MC say some of illest shit you would ever hear. Dilla came along during a time where Hip-Hop didn’t have a sound nor direction because people including myself was so caught up in the whirlwind of West Coast Sound we forgot about the essence of where everything had began. Dilla would take some of the most off the wall samples and just put his twist on them and make a record that just took it there Note: (Pharcyde “Runnin”). Dilla was the one that held it down for awhile before that second run came along for the Realness of Hip-Hop.

So back to his death, I remember when Common came out with the album “BE”, I think that was his present to the world before he left because some of those records he made it was as if he knew he was leaving soon and just wanted to be apart of a masterpiece. With songs like “Love Is”, and my favorite “It’s Your World” it’s like besides Common telling a story over the beat, it was if you didn’t need Common because Dilla gave him the blueprint to his words with just painting a picture with the beat. I remember just letting all the windows down in my car and just letting that song play constantly because it was as if he was living right on Dupont St. and seeing what I seen everyday. Another memory I have is being in the car with my Ex-girlfriend and she would get mad at me because I would just play that song so much ,but it’s songs like that that makes you zone out and just reflect on things and thinking what’s next for you in this game we called LIFE. So with this being the month he passed and was born, I just been listening to his music and just appreciating that I had to chance to hear one of the greatest if not the GREATEST and the impact he left on the listeners, producers, rappers etc. So in conclusion he will be missed greatly and I will let the Drums Take Me There….