Friday April 08:
Body of Kurt Cobain discovered in his Washington home.
Thursday May 05:
American Michael P. Fay is caned in Singapore as punishment for spray-painting two cars.
Friday June 17:
Following a televised highway chase and a failed attempt at suicide, O. J. Simpson is arrested for the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Wednesday November 30:
Hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur is robbed of $40,000 in jewelry and survives being shot five times in a New York music studio. He believes he was set up by The Notorious B.I.G. and Puff Daddy.
Just a few events that happened in 1994 to give you some perspective on how long ago it really was. Cuz when I hear a song today from 1994 it doesn’t feel that old.
I was excited when I learned about The Rub’s ‘History of Hip-Hop’ mixes because although I always knew when the good years were, I never knew exactly what was released when. These mixes chronologize all the best songs by year. Each mix (one for every year) is usually around 2 hours long. There is no better way to tell the story of rap music than by letting it speak for itself.
After listening to each year/mix I concluded 1994 was the best year for rap…musically, that is. ’93 was close, though. I think the biggest jump in modernity happened between ’92 and ’93. But 1994 still takes the cake.
In ’94, emcees weren’t bigger than the music. They were catching up to the newer procuction just in time to meet it at the crossroads. Beats weren’t overproduced and rappers weren’t ego-maniacs. Rappers and beats matched in some weird way that I can’t describing. I dont know if it was just coincidence or what, but shit just went together that year. You already know.
I mentioned in a previous post how I don’t particularly like music videos. I knew one day I would write my thoughts about it…that day is today. After watching this video of Rik Cordero explaining why music videos are almost necessary these days, I can’t surpress my feelings any longer.
To be fair, the video looks like it was edited horribly with important parts of quotes left out, but I’m taking it as is.
First let me say that music videos change the way we listen to a song. It can make the song sound (look?) better, or it could make it worse. In either case we get an altered perception of the song. I’m not any kind of expert or anything, but there are reasons that music is so magical. It can invoke feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas. Music is faithfully married to our sense of sound. (Yes I know music can be felt: bass, etc. But for the sake of this argument nevermind that for now).
When listening to a song, the feeling you get can be so lucid that even without a single visual image, you still get a picture-perfect sense of what you are hearing. It’s a hard concept to try to explain. But basically what I’m saying is that when you hear music, your mind comes as close to a visual experience as possible without there actually being any physical image.
That’s the magic of music. Nothing else can really create the same sensation within us that music creates. THAT, my friends, is what makes music, music.
Now that we have that hypothesis fresh in our little brains, lets consider the effect of music videos on music itself.
How will we get that magical feeling, that almost-visualization, if we have an actual image to look at. Now the music just becomes a mere compliment to the video and our main focus is on the images our eyes are seeing. There is no more magic.
No disrespect to Cordero, but I have to disagree with many of his statements. The harder I try to figure out what he is trying to say, the more I have to conclude that he means exactly what he says. It kinda sounds like he’s trying to sell himself here…maybe unintentionally.
Like when Cordero says how its a great time for artists to put visuals to their tracks and just making a song isn’t enough anymore. I mean…its like he is trying to say that in order to complete the peice of art a video must be included.
He also says he wants to help the artists, and give them the opportunity to put their visions into something big. Well, if the emcee is any kind of talented he shouldn’t need a video to convey his images. Like when nas spits (I just picked a line from the song im listening to right now) “now I’m jettin to the building lobby, it was full of children probably, couldn’t see as high as I be” on NY State of Mind. Thats a visual!
Another way videos can fuck up the magic is by showing you the body of the voice. When you dont know what a rapper looks like, the only thing that you think about is his voice and his message. You can form your best guess as to what he looks like gauged by his voice and words only. And you will likely picture him favorably (and probably completely inaccurately), if you do try to picture him at all that is.
If you think the image of a musician doesn’t alter your opinion of them you are wrong. In hip hop luckily looks aren’t everything. Notorious, Flavor Flav, and Lil Wayne prove that. But in most music, especially pop, you wont get any fame if you arent model material. However, rap is a different game, and although the emcee doesn’t need to be gorgeous, he still needs to fit the bill.
You think record companies only sign sexy bitches because sexy bitches are the best singers? ERHHHH WRONG! They know what I know and what you are about to learn. They know that everyone (even me) judges books by covers.
Check out the 1960 presidential debates between Nixon and Kennedy. The first ever televised debates. The first time viewers could SEE the candidates rather than simply LISTEN to them on the radio. For better or for worse, the outcome of the election was greatly influenced by TV. The following paragraph from museum.tv can explain it for me:
In substance, the candidates were much more evenly matched. Indeed, those who heard the first debate on the radio pronounced Nixon the winner. But the 70 million who watched television saw a candidate still sickly and obviously discomforted by Kennedy’s smooth delivery and charisma. Those television viewers focused on what they saw, not what they heard. Studies of the audience indicated that, among television viewers, Kennedy was perceived the winner of the first debate by a very large margin.
I wasn’t alive in 1960 and I’m not much concerned with politics, but in nineteen-ninety-now there is no way to escape the wrath of television, and more recently internet videos. The data from those debates is startling, but not surprising. The people who LISTENED to the debate HEARD Nixon win. The people who VIEWED the debate on television…well, what they SAW got in the way of what really mattered, which is what the candidates SAID.
Don’t let any video/images get in the way of shit that need only be listened to. Don’t feel obligated to watch music videos because this is 2009. Music has been music since the begining of humanity, long before video. When I look up a song for the first time on youtube or see a new video im interested in on TV, I will shut it off, look away, scroll the video off the screen, anything to avoid the influence of the video. Do the same.
Some side notes:
I’m not a music video grinch. I do think a lot of music videos add a lot to the song.
After you form your opinion of a song (like after 15 listens), its ok to check out the video. Just beware that it can potentially fuck up the magic of that song.
Time to take a break from rap. Dont forget to clock out for your break or you’ll be called into the managers office like I was today.
Here are a few tracks I found that I would never listen to when someone else is in my car. But I like them because the production is really good overall. You’ll probably find a couple of these to be palpable. Listen to the beats of these tracks and imagine your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper rapping over them.
Robin Thicke – Dreamworld
Santogold – Shuv It
Feist – My Moon My Man
Robin Thicke – Magic
MIA – 20 Dollar
I got a surprise today in my inbox from Inverse.Their new EP So True is now available for free download. I am listening to it for the first time as we speak. What a great feeling listening to this shit. It’s like I’m discovering them all over again. Such a refreshing warm sound in this Buffalo winter weather. A deeper review is surely in order. Hell, lets make it Inverse week. These guys never fail to impress me.
Like I said I’m listening to the EP for the first time right now. I’ll give you a chance to cop it and take it in while I do the same. I will be back….I’m not leaving this one alone for a while.
Hey friends and fam,
Happy new year to you and yours. We just dropped our new EP this morning and we’d love you to take a listen. You can download from any of the links below.
Please let us know what you think if you get a chance to listen!
While every other rap blog on the WorldWideWeb is posting their “end all be all” list for the past year, I want to take a more honest approach. Dont get me wrong, I love the “top 100 of 2008” lists on other blogs, and I always find new music that I’ve yet to hear on those lists. But I kinda feel that the idea of a ‘top’ anything list is so subjective that it is kinda redundant to post on a medium as versatile as the internet. (And maybe thats just my excuse to not have to spend the time on my own top 100).
But I did take the time to go through the songs and albums that remain on my hard drive from 2008. My list is just a bunch of songs from 2008. When you think of the problem of hiphop today (underground especially), it’s that everyone is trying too hard to make a banger. Back in the golden years, rappers were just makin songs and weren’t competing with the rest of the industry as much as they were trying to get an audience. Today rappers think the audience is already on their side, therefore the only competition is other rappers.
My list here is a reflection of the golden years; I’m not trying to top anyone, it’s just a list of music from 2008. Obviously I did use my discretion when choosing songs. My process: go through every album on my computer from 2008, then choose the best, or most original songs from the lot. The outcome…? I’m listening through it now and it makes a great mixtape. No expectations. No standards. Just a bunch of notable songs from 2008.
Large Pro – The Entrance
Herbie Hancock – Court and Speak (ft Norah Jones)
9th Wonder – Brooklyn In My Mind (ft Mos Def, Jean Grae, Memph Bleek)
The Grouch – Watch Watch
Del – Bubble Pop
Elzhi – The Leak
Herbie Hancock – Edith and the Kingpin (ft Tina Turner)
Jake One – Gangsta Boy (MOP)
Doomtree – Drumsticks
Buckshot and 9th Wonder – Be Cool
EMC – Leak It Out
J Live – The Upgrade (ft Odissee and Posdanous)
The Smile Rays – A Toast
Jake One – The Truth (Freeway and Brother Ali)
The Grouch – Artsy
Inverse – Spotlight
Buckshot and 9th Wonder – All Out
Dirt Nasty – Amanda
Has Lo – Unsigned Emcees
Inverse – Til The End (C.A.L.I.)
J Live – The Understanding
Kanye West – Paranoid
Akrobatik – Be Prepared (ft Little Brother)
Buckshot and 9th Wonder – Holt It Down (ft Talib Kweli)
Opio – Don Julio
Elzhi – Fire Rmx (ft Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Fatt Father, Danny Brown, Fat Ray)
J Live – Ole (ft Oddy Gato)
Q-Tip – Move
Ron Countour – Krispykreme Pen
Inverse – HipHopSoul
Ron Countour – Baddest Emcee
EMC – We Alright
The Grouch – Never Die
Elzhi – Transitional Joint
Nas – Fried Chicken (ft Busta Rhymes)
The Grouch – Bring It Back
J Live – You Out There
Inverse – One Step
Del – Funkyhomosapien (prod. J Zone)
Large Pro – The Hardest (ft Styles P and AZ)
J Rawls – A Tribute To Souls
Jake One – Glow (ft Elzhi and Royce Da 5’9)
Jake One – Home (ft Vitamin D, C Note, Maine, Ish)
EMC – Feel It
Pace Won and Mr Green – The Eye Of A Needle
LEO – Perfect Line (prod. Large Professor)
Game – My Life (ft Lil Wayne)
Pace Won and Mr Green – Hip Hop
Game – Angel (ft Common)
Sadat X – Heart to Heart (ft Thirstin Howl III and Twanie Ranks)
Cormega – Fresh (ft PMD, Grand Puba, KRS One, Big Daddy Kane)
Dilated Peoples – The Release Party
Freeway – Everlast
Freeway – Freedom of Speech
(Right click to save)
Two hours of 1993-ness from your friends at The Rub
1. Souls of Mischief – 93 Til Infinity
2. Cypress Hill – Insane In The Brain
3. Black Moon – Who Got Da Props
4. Lords of the Underground – Chief Rocker
5. Wu-Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck
6. M.O.P. – How About Some Hardcore
7. Beatnuts – Psycho Dwarf
8. Onyx – Slam
9. Run DMC f. Pete Rock – Down With the King
10. KRS One – Sound of the Police
11. Fat Joe – Flow Joe
12. Masta Ace, Inc – Born to Roll
13. Snoop Doggy Dogg – The Shiznit
14. MC Breed f. Tupac – I Gotta Get Mine
15. De La Soul – Breakadawn
16. A Tribe Called Quest – Award Tour
17. Leaders of the New School – What’s Next + Large Pro Remix
18. Nubian Crackers f. Artifacts – Do You Wanna Hear It
19. Funkmaster Flex – Six Million Ways to Die
20. KRS One – Outta Here
21. Del tha Funkee Homosapien – Catch A Bad One
22. Casual – I Didn’t Mean To
23. Ice Cube – You Know How We Do It
24. Domino – Ghetto Jam
25. The Nonce – Mix Tapes
26. Freestyle Fellowship – Inner City Boundaries
27. Boss – Deeper
28. Tupac – Keep Your Head Up
29. Redman – All Night Long
30. Tragedy aka Intelligent Hoodlum – Grand Groove
31. Wu-Tang Clan – Can It Be All So Simple
32. Jeru tha Damaja – Come Clean
33. Big L – Devil’s Son
34. Ultramagnetic MCs – Two Brothers With Checks
35. Beatnuts – Reign of the Tec
36. KRS One – Hip-Hop vs Rap
37. Tupac ft Digital Underground – I Get Around
38. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Gin and Juice
39. Ice Cube ft Das EFX – Check Yo Self
40. Too Short – Don’t Fight the Intro
41. RBL Posse – Bammer Weed
42. Tha Alkaholiks – Only When I’m Drunk
43. LL Cool J – Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag
44. Wu-Tang Clan – Method Man
45. Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothin to Fuck With
46. De La Soul – Ego Trippin (Part Two)
47. A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation
I wonder what will be on the 2008 mix ten years from now.
Sup Earthlings. I’ve been workin crazy hours. Tomorrow will bring you something fresh, word is bung.
Fuck it. Every other city is showcasing their talent (or lack there of). Just cuz the sports teams here are under .500 doesn’t mean the musicians can’t compete. Buffalo produced the Goo Goo Dolls, Ani DiFranco, Lance Diamond, and other popular musicians that I’m not really concerned with.
As far as rap goes Buffalo is keepin up with the pack, to say the least. In fact, the blue collar, under-the-radar, humble sound of most Buffalo hiphop artists reflects the infamous NYC sound of the mid-1990s more so than perhaps anything else coming out nowadays. Of course the sounds is more modern and faster and cleaner, but overall the main ingredient is still there. Listen for yourself and see what I mean. You are about to hear some raw hiphop that is very catchy and will never sound desperate for attention or sales.
This track was actually like number 1 on ughh.com for a while if I’m not mistaken. When they do this live it is incredible. And the remix is crazy as fuuuu.
Edreys – I Like It
I first saw Edreys this past summer opening up for Brother Ali in Buffalo and I was surprised. I Like It seems to be the new marketing point of buffalo hiphop so I figured I would put it towards the top. Its nice, but not my fav.
Fresh Guac – (Untitled?)
The title of this track aint on youtube, but the video caught my attention cuz they’re right outside of my office building for the duration of the video. The song is ok. Fresh Guac is ok.
Mankind is me, trying to spit good lyrics over my man M3GA’s beats. I live in Buffalo. This track is nice. We have two albums plus I have a bunch of other material solo, so if you want more let me know.
Whaaaaa? Featuring who???? Whats up yo. El Da Sen on the track. Givin a shout out to the Queen City before his verse. Beat fits well. I love when emcees (in any geographic loacation) use maps in their lyrics. (ie. “I’ll throw you off the foot of Ferry, float that ass to Canada”). Check a map if you need to. ferry st at niagara st buffalo ny 14213. see canada right across the river? I like maps.
check out Edreys’ thoughts on art and music also. HERE
Alright theres a bunch of other artists I know of in Buffalo but cant find their shit right now. Check out the artist’s pages:
so we leaked a new joint today, from our new EP dropping on New Years Day ’09
“So True” featuring Deacon The Villain of the CunninLynguists, produced by Decap.
Listen to the new track HERE
And check this VIDEO if you only know a little about Inverse
And check my REVIEW and download the So Far mixtape if you know nothing about Inverse.
I dont really do this, but here are some songs to cheggout.
Freeway – Everlast
Atmosphere – Guarantees
The Game ft Common – Angel
The Grouch – Show You The World
MF Grimm – Break Em Off
SubCon – Visions In The Mind
Busta Rhymes – Live To Regret
I posted this back when I fucked around on blogspot but I dont do that anymore, do I?
This is something I made basically for my own listening pleasure over the summer when I was really not feelin any new music. It plays a clip of a song that was sampled for a beat, then plays the hiphop song that samples it. I tried to blend it together nicely and it turned out really well for the most part, but at some points I get a little lazy and it shows.
I enjoyed making it and enjoy listening to it still. Its about a half hour long and keeps your attention the whole time. A lot of the sampled songs were new to me and I like them more than the rap songs! Most are pretty obvious samples but if you have a question about any of them hit me up.
Iron out those wrinkles, Cuse!
I promised to post something nice today, but had nothing specific in mind. So while I was scrambling for ideas for an update and looking through my collection of albums to post/review, I realized something. We don’t listen to hiphop the same anymore. I really do believe that the music as a whole has gotten better. We (yes, including me) just take it for granted. Everything that comes out today is automatically guilty until proven innocent. Pretty much everything that comes out today is….Underrated?!!
Yeah I said it. Granted there’s a lot of terrible shit coming out, there is also a great deal more good than bad. This idea that we don’t listen to the music the same now as we did in the recent past might be “hard for some to see, but it’s clear as day to me” ~masta killa. I will try to explain why I feel this way. But again, I have no plan so we’ll see where this leads us.
I’ve known hiphop since I was a wee lad. I didn’t really get into the ‘real shit’ until around 2000-2002, which was the boiling point of my rap fanhood. And even then it wasn’t Pete Rock and CL, Black Sheep, or Public Enemy. The shit I was high on at that time was Non-Phixion, Mos Def, Aesop Rock, Del(tron), Mhz, etc. The latter were my gateway to the former, but thats besides the point.
Circa 2001, I was so hyped on the music, that when I was about to hear a new song my mind was already made up that it was gonna be sick! It would have to really suck in order for me to change my mind. I blame credit several different things for that. For one, I was just being exposed to a whole new world. I couldn’t get enough cuz I was so stoked on rap! Secondly, I couldn’t get enough cuz, well, the exposure just wasn’t available 7 years ago like it is today. Yeh we had Napster and Audio Galaxy and shit, but nothing like we have now. And third, the turn of the millenium was not the aftermath of ten years of rap that consisted of bashing itself.
Let me clarify… (to keep it simple I will round the years). From 2000 until today rap music itself has been the main target of attack from its own shareholders (see: black on black crime). Rappers in the new millenium have constantly bashed what the genre has become. Emcees seem determined to portray themselves as being bigger than rap. That is mainly accomplished by belittling the music instead of ‘big-up-ing’ oneself because, well, rappers are bullies, and that’s how bullies make themselves look better.
In the 90’s there was plenty of bashing, don’t be mistaken. But the bashing was directed toward other emcees, not toward the genre. It’s ok for Burger King to bash McDonalds and vice versa, because they are still both maintaining that fast food is the shit! But whats up with Wendy’s coming along and bashing fast food?!! Wendy’s slogan is something like “it’s not fast food, it’s Wendy’s”. If all the fast food chains started campaigns like that, dissing fast food, eventually they will all suffer.
So here we are after about ten years of listening to rappers complain about rap. No wonder we all hate rap, even though we continue to be obsessed. No wonder when I hear a song for the first time nowadays, instead of giving it the benefit of the doubt, I’m thinking “I hope this is good, cuz nothing is good in hiphop anymore”.
I mentioned earlier about exposure as one of the reasons this is happening. Let me explain. In my early years I knew of probably 30 mc’s/groups. I knew their names and where to find their music and even see some shows. When they dropped something new I was all over it, cuz it wasn’t every day I was exposed to new hiphop. Now it is every day. Every day I am exposed to new shit.
Back then I was lucky to hear a new song, let alone a new artist! Today a new artist (who is probably very talented) will be overlooked by me…everyday. A new song by an established artist is hardly something to get a boner about. In order for me to really love something in this day and age it must be an incredible brand new song by a brand new artist. Otherwise it just isnt fresh.
That’s why I stay listenin to older shit. I can’t take the recent overload. But it is a paradox. I don’t want a record company to decide what I listen to, but I also don’t want every jerkoff with a Mac to be able to infiltrate my fortress.
So when I listen to a new song from now on, I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt. I’m going to forget the sea of shit and remember how lucky I am that I have access to this one song that is currently playing. I’m going to remember the days when I wasn’t so fortunate to be able to hear something new whenever I wanted. When I either liked a song immediately, or listened to it until I did like it. I’m gonna remember the days when a new song was a treat and a new artist wasn’t a wrench in the gears.
We don’t listen the same anymore, whatever the reason may be. Hiphop isn’t as bad as we think it is. It is a very awkward time in rap music but hardly a pivotal time. We are experiencing a plateau when we are used to extreme growth. I suggest that we all kinda convince ourselves that we are brand new hiphop fans, as i was ten years ago, all hyped up about the music whenever we hear a new song. When you hear a song that sounds like a regular beat and a regular rhyme, dont dismiss it right away. Pretend you don’t know shit, and you just found out about some shit!
We’ve arrived at the second stop on the Award Tour and this is gonna be sloppy as hell. I’m just gonna wing it and see what happens. I first heard Edan when I was in high school and it was basically just some funny ass shit. I think the first Edan song I heard was Sing It Shitface. Hilarious song. But there was something more to it than humor. While other emcees were rapping about beatin the shit out of you, Edan is talkin about “takin shitty emcee’s tongues to the frozen flagpoles”. That shit is not only hilarious, but so clever and even smart in a way because he is clearly mocking the sub-par battle-raps of the early 2000’s.
And as a side note, I want to refer to the phrase I just wrote: “While other emcees were rapping about beatin the shit out of you”. I really am intrigued about the idea that when you listen to most rap songs, they are dissing someone, and its always ‘you’. The rapper is always talking to YOU, the listener, and they’re always dissing you (and me if I’m the one listening). Why do we like that? They will say something absurd like “look at me wrong and ill fuck you up!” Are we that envious that we convince ourselves that we are on their side, part of his crew, that when he says those things we convince ourselves that he is talking to someone else? Like “he aint talkin about me, im his boy, but everyone else better watch out!” Fuck that, I just dont quite understand the relationship. Just somethin to think about. The cocky mc talkin shit to you the fan, and you love it! I think the term “you” in hiphop is reserved for the outsider. you know, the hater, the cracker, the man, the enemy, the antagonist. It definitely is not ‘the fan’ or rappers would have millions of pissed off fans. But what am i even rambling about, this is supposed to be the award tour! I told you this would be a mess.
So as I was saying. Edan started out so funny and released a couple albums of hilarity. He was very clever with his humor and sprinkled just a tiny sample of how ‘wise to the hiphop culture’ he really is. I read an interview where he said that everything he released up to that point was mostly just expirimentation and he was still trying to find out what path to follow with his production and rappin.
Then he released Beauty And The Beat. He didnt just fine tune his production and his rapping, but he figured out how to combine them both into the same entity.
The production is crazy. I once referred to it as ‘Steppenwolf meets hiphop’. He didnt just produce the beats though, he produced the vocals as well. And thats ‘as well’ meaning ‘as good’ not ‘as well’ meaning ‘also’. What makes this album for me is the vocals. Ive never before heard a voice on a record sound like this.
I mentioned an interview I read before. In that interview he also said he hates how everyone uses the soundproof booths and flawless mics and equipment because it takes all the color out of it. Those werent his exact words but you get the idea. He said something like he likes to be able to hear the rappers regular voice and even picture the room they are in and what kind of pants they are wearing (obviously dropping some humor into the mix again). But he has a point. And Im only 25 years old so any rap album released during my raplife was all the same vocally so I didnt really know what he meant until I started listening to older shit before my time, or until I heard ‘Beauty And The Beat’. And its obvious he studies the older shit and knows it well..just listen to “fumbling over words that rhyme”.
The things he did with his voice on this album are incredible. Pre and post production. Listen to the way he enunciates everything. His consonants are percussion in themselves. I’ve never heard a delivery quite like his on ‘Beauty’. Enough rambling, lets break it down!
DOWNLOAD IT over at freestyle madness click the link
1. Polite Meeting – basically an intro, edan fuckin with the beats and the scratches. This track is foreshadowing what you’re about to experience throughout the album: crazy rock-influenced samples and sounds put together nicely so they dont sound crazy at all.
2. Funky Voltron (ft Insight) – Underrated song, even by me. I love when two emcees go back and forth line for line. One line Edan says “When he ain’t speak” and Insight finishes with “He speaks on my behalf”. Thats the basis of this song.
3. I See Colours – I said before how edan uses his consonants as percussion. Listen to the very begining of this song “P–P–P–Prince Paul already used this looP” What the fuck are those spaceship sounds throughout the beat. And somehow they work and the beat is actually quite melodic somehow.
4. Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme – Sick vocal sample on the hook, which the song opens up with. Listen how he plays the sample, then plays it again except fuckin with it so it’s all slurrish, so its fumbling. Anyways, this song is a history lesson paying tribute to the pioneers of hip hop. And he kills it. He flows with so much energy like its a hardcore battle rhyme. And in a werid way it is a battle rhyme. How could any rapper fuck with Edan when Edan just schooled you kid! He didn’t fuck your girl or take your chain, but he basically just told all wack rappers to shut the fuck up, cuz you will never be on his level.
5. Murder Mystery – I haven’t really studied this song enough to figure out what he is trying to say here. It is very uniquely written and I think there is something more to it than just imagery. Its a nice track to listen to though, and short. The sample (from a movie?) at the end is so funny. “Oh, torture chambers? God Damn, I havent heard no shit like that in years.”
6. Torture Chamber (ft Percee P) – Percee doin his monotone hyperflow acting like its nothing new, cuz its not for him. Percee P…haha…I mean, its probably really difficult to write and flow the way he does but the end product just isn’t worth it. He’s probably underrated I would say. Edan dances over this beat crazily. He manipulates his voice perfectly making it another instrument in the song. He can sound like a nerdy teenager and like Michael Clarke Duncan, all within a four word phrase and transition between the two smoothly.
7. Making Planets (ft Mr Lif) – I usually dont like, or understand, why a beat would change halfway through a song. But it works here, given the whole feel of the album. It starts with Edan talkin crazy shit…but not just to sound crazy. He obviously chooses every single word on this album wisely. His flow in this song is so fun to listen to. And as a bonus he says “the music is rap, my favorite color (colour?) is math, the plan of attack, is bless the planet with wax”. You know he is on some other shit when he says “my favorite color is math”. And I dont mean some other shit like Necro is on some other shit. He is on some very creative other shit haha. Then the intermission of this song is crazy. It sounds like a horror movie and continuously builds and eventually the beat drops and Lif starts spittin immediately. The stuttered beat and guitar riff match Lif perfectly. It almost sounds like Lif is trying too hard to match Edan’s crazy talk here, or even like he didn’t write his verse. But that would never happen. Lif pulls it off and his small portion of ‘Beauty’ is among the highlights of a great album.
8. Time Outt – Just a time out. Electric Guitar sample tweaked all crazy and builds then blends right into the next track.
9. Rock And Roll (ft Dagha) – I dont know much about Dagha but he’s alright, and even better due to the help of Edan’s expertise freakin with vocals. This track is alright. Another track that just fits the album perfectly and sticks with the gameplan.
10. Beauty – What makes this album great is how he doesnt follow the rules on producing. There is no formula he follows such as: hook – 16 bars – hook etc. Instead he just does what he wants to. Listen to the drums in this song. They dont dictate when he starts/ends a verse. The drums come and go just as much as any other element in the song. You dont notice at first though, because the drums are not the main focus of the beat, unlike almost every other rap song ever made. When you know how to make your voice an instrument, you dont need to rely on drums or other sounds to carry you along.
11. The Science Of The Two (ft Insight) – A lot like Funky Voltron overall. Also, the beat changes up here. I just love hearing how Edan (and Insight) comes off. Who else would ever say ” fuck em fuck em fuck em fuck em fuck em fuck em fuck em” and make it sound fine. That is against the rules! I guess he didnt get the memo which is awesome.
12. Smile – Electric guitar feedback never sounded so good. This song is as deep as Edan is gonna get on this album. Its about a rapper doin concerts and everyone loves him, but he feels empty. What an awesome sample to take us out: “He gives the show of his life though hes breaking down, although you never know it. But theres something different about him now, he’s painted his smile on upside down”. Thats funny to me cuz when I was like 6 my stepdad spraypainted a smiley face on something in his garage and labeled it “Mike” my brother. And I told him to draw me and he did a sad face and labeled it “Steve” me. I was so fuckin pissed hahahahahaha. Its so funny how hiphop can remind you of things that otherwise would have been forgotten forever.
13. Promise Land – This song is fuckin amazing. You might recognize the verse from his feature on Count Bass D’s “Dwight Spitz”. But this time he pulls off some shit that is almost impossible to dream of. He just resets a line whenever he wants. There’s not even a forumla to it (its not like he resets every other line or whatever). It seems random if you pay close attention, but by now we know nothing Edan does musically is random. And he plays with his voice so much in this song and its awesome. Like when he says “thats when civilians were made of metal…..thats when ciVILians were made of MET-tal” He says it pretty normally at first, then resets to show you how it should be done!
I know this stop on the Award Tour was pretty sloppy. The driver is drunk so what do you expect? Anyways, listen to Beauty And The Beat. It is a great learning tool. Peace
I was just watching The Borne Identity for the first time and Matt Damon’s character is trying to figure out who he is because his memory got erased or something. He is in a diner with a girl he got a ride with and told her he doesnt remember anything. But he says some shit like “i know the waitres is left handed, the cook is a good fighter, in this altitude i can run flat our for a half mile before my hands start to shake, i know all the license plates of the cars outside, i know the best place to find a gun is in the cab of the grey truck outside…….now how would i know all that, but dont know who i am?” woooooooooooooo! hit the nail right on the head. he knows hes a warrior, a fighter, a machine. He knows what he is, but he forgot who he is. Kanye knows what he is, but forgot who he is. He isnt denying that he doesnt remember who he is, just like damons character. He wants to remember so bad, but he is engulfed in what he is, instead of who he is. crazy, i know. i surprise myself sometimes! peace
Before I spend mad time on the Award Tour, I think I’m ready to talk about 808s and Heartbreak. Just breifly though, cuz I’m still not sure exactly what to think about it and Brandon over at No Trivia is goin crazy breakin it down for the masses. I’ve been reading his thoughts on it and gave the album another listen after giving it the cold shoulder the first time around. So check out what Brandon has to say cuz he knows what hes talkin about, even if you disagree with his interpretations. I’m gonna try to keep this quick(er) and simple.
Many people I talk to say exactly what I thought the first time I heard the album. “Fuck Kanye, he’s an arrogant asshole, this album sucks and I refuse to give it one more second of my time!” I can’t argue with the fact that this album is not so hot from a musical perspective. And I can’t argue with the fact that he is an arrogant asshole. That’s what this album is about!
He knows he is an arrogant asshole, and he doesn’t give a shit about it except when he hates it. He hates the fame. But he loves hiding behind it when shit gets ugly. But once he hides behind the fame he struggles to come ‘home’ and be himself again. Instead of having the best of both worlds he’s left with the worst of both.
This album deals with his breakup, but when you really listen you can hear what is really causing his heartbreak. In the song ‘Pinocchio Story’ Kanye compares himself to the wooden character. He cries “I ask you tonight, what does it feel like….to have a real life? I just wanna be a real boy!” He continues saying Pinocchio lied and that’s what kept him from becoming a real boy. And “I tell the truth, and I keep runnin. Its like I’m lookin for somethin out there trying to find something, I turn on the TV, and see me, and see nothin”. He isn’t simply asking why — if Pinnochio’s lies kept him from becoming a real boy, and Kanye tells the truth — is he not able to lead a normal life. He also provides an answer saying “I keep runnin”. He blames himself. He knows hes not the person he wants to be and he isnt blaming anyone.
The album is chock full of deep, meaningful, and just plain sad language. One thing I think I like about it is how he actually isn’t trying too hard to be depressed or artsy or different. This album is sincerely depressed and different, and I’m still contemplating ‘artsy’ (but I’m leaning towards yes). One element of his language that makes me beleive he isn’t reaching too far for eccentricity is the fact that he still says dumb kanye shit like “miss is so fly, crash lands in my room”. That might be clever for a rap album, but not this album. But he’s not trying to avoid being Kanye on this album. Word up!
A few songs are about his breakup, but when you get to the core of those songs even, you can hear how it all goes back to his fame being a vice. Yeah that’s a good way to put it…a vice. Just like an alchy…he knows his vice (fame) is a problem. He knows it is causing him to be an asshole and a snob. And he wishes that he wasn’t so stuck in it and could be himself again…the man he strived to be his whole life before falling victim. And maybe he fuckin loves the fame, but he knows its wrong and knows its stopping him from being who he wants to be. And he knows its the fame that makes him apathetic towards his attitude.
Basically this album sums up his life ever since he became a star. He knows everything hiphop fans think they know. “He’s a cocky dickhead.” Everyone I talk to nowadays still says it as if they just came up with it on their own. No shit hes a cocky asshole…thanks for letting me know! Oh and thanks for letting him know, because he never knew. NOT!!!!!!!! He fuckin knows exactly who he is, be it real or fake.
In 808s the little bit of ‘real’ Kanye that is left inside him is crying out for help…one last desperate attempt to save himself. And it is loud and clear. We (well at least I) hear you. And even though the fame-stricken kanye that we know tries to be heard a few times on this album, the real Kanye is louder. And that is something we never heard before from him. Expect great things from Kanyes next album. Just imagine the feeling, the devotion, the passion, and the truthfulness of 808s, paired with only the good production tricks he learned from this recent ‘experiment’, all projected on a true hiphop album. Would that shut you hardcore hiphop heads up?
PS. I didn’t even begin to talk about the musical aspect of the album. That is for another day, because I do feel there is something to be discussed there.
Award tour part 2 coming soon! But tonight I jus wanna chill. peace
It’s spelled T-o-b-y. Sorry.
Toby, half of Inverse (see post: Award Tour), read the review of their project So Far and was appreciative to say the least. Very cool how quickly he got back to me and even how much he wrote back! Just wanted to make some corrections/updates on that review and Inverse in general, according to Toby.
The project was released on Jan 1st 2008 so it was released this year after all.
About half of the songs were made just prior to that and then they took some other songs from various side projects. “Wanna Groove” was recorded for a dance movie, he says, and he knows that it is ‘corny x 10’ haha.
Not sure how much I should say, but I was informed of what is in store for Inverse in the near future. Expect a couple videos as well as an EP very soon. Their album which will be titled “Long Day’s Journey” is still in the works and there are a few very talented and known artists featured!
To conclude his email, Toby says:
We also greatly greatly appreciate people like you who proactively spread the word. It makes the time and money we put in that project really worth it.
P.S. If you liked So Far and hopefully like So True [the EP], I think you’ll be very impressed by the real album. We’re going to go all out with that one.
Sounds like they got a master plan. like “so far is something we just threw together, the EP is gonna be official, but we’re going ALL OUT for the real album!” haha
So do yourselves a favor and check out Inverse, then spread the word so when the album does drop you’ll be the coolest kid on your block.
Ok as you read in the last post I skimmed through the new common album and rejected it quickly. I was hungover at work and heard some weird shit and turned it off. Then last night I saw him performing “Universal Mind Control” on Leno. The whole stage show was a joke…fuckin mime robots dancing and shit. And I dont care how common dresses cuz I guess its better than lookin like a clown thug, but this was a little bit too “Mr Rogers” even for me. But again I dont care about fashion.
So we got this wack ass Pharelectronic beat and gay stage show and just seems like common is trying too hard to do something kanye-ish. But then he started rapping…
and dancing all hype and shit, wildin out and rapping…
and he just kept spittin, and he did the choruses completely, and he kept spittin and wildin and didnt fuckin stop til the beat stopped, literally.
(heres the link I couldnt figure out how to post the vid here)
Gotta respect that! you couldnt even spit one whole verse without stopping, sitting in your nerd chair. you prolly couldnt wild out like that for 4 minutes either, even without rappin at the same time. (neither could I)
so im gonna give the album another try, and listen to the lyrics and all that bullshit. but this song/album is NOT common “taking the game in a different direction” as someone said who posted where I found this video. This is common on a pharell beat, which is like soo 2004.
It’s common taking himself in a different direction…the wrong one. I’m not tryin to keep him a one trick pony, just want him to do something a little cooler than a pharrell track featuring I Am Robot.
I love when rappers do something different for their new albums. Normally when people complain about rappers gettin different like “wu tang aint the same anymore” I say “If you wanna hear 36 Chambers every time Wu releases an album, just listen to 36 Chambers and dont waste your money on the new shit. But sometimes its too different and rappers try too hard to reinvent themselves (see: 808s and Heartbreak).
So anyways, I digress…The new common album may not be wack, let me listen to it more and give it a fair chance. He saved himself with that gay stage show/awesome performance.
already, fuck. new common sucks ass and epmd We Mean Business isnt too cool either.