Tag Archives: music

Jared Evan – In Love With You

Jared Evan – In Love With You

Heard this track on the ending credits of HBO’s Entourage episode “Sniff Sniff Gang Bang” from Season 7, episode 8, and the track is infectious. A sort of Pop/Rock/R&B fusion that hits hard. One thing about Entourage: Its not the greatest show, but the music selections are on point. The artist is Jared Evan, the track is ‘In Love with you’.

FreeStyle – The Avant Garde Way

Coltrane’s Freestyle

Breaking conventions of the day – a blueprint for hip-hop

Though the music produced by free jazz pioneers varied widely, the common feature was a dissatisfaction with the limitations of bebop, hard bop, and modal jazz, which had developed in the 1940s and ’50s. Each in their own way, free jazz musicians attempted to alter, extend, or break down the conventions of jazz, often by discarding hitherto invariable features of jazz, such as fixed chord changes or tempos. While usually considered experimental and avant-garde, free jazz has also oppositely been conceived as an attempt to return jazz to its “primitive,” often religious roots, and emphasis on collective improvisation.

Free jazz is most strongly associated with the ’50s innovations of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor and the later works of saxophonist John Coltrane. Other important pioneers included Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon, and Sun Ra.

Starting in bebop and hard bop, Coltrane later pioneered free jazz. He influenced generations of other musicians, and remains one of the most significant tenor saxophonists in jazz history. He was astonishingly prolific: he made about fifty recordings as a leader in his twelve-year-long recording career, and appeared as a sideman on many other albums, notably with trumpeter Miles Davis.

Here are some classic compositions from Coltrane and Davis:


I say all this to state that hip-hop is in a similar state that jazz was in; and hip-hop is in dire need of something to break it from the current dismal convention – luckily, we have a few artists that are defying limits like Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, but we need more or I fear that my little baby nephew will think that stringing a bunch of similies together and shouting on the track is ‘hip-hop’ …. (I shudder the thought).

.:: LiBM ::.

Not to be attempted


TK ‘Whatever you like’

I thought that we were done with fan renditions of their favorite artists’ songs, but this guy named ‘TK’ is building a buzz with his wack ass singing abilities (or lack thereof).  In this video he takes on T.I.’s ‘Whatever You Like’, and TK butches it terribly – off beat, off key, just plain off … but funny.  What is interesting about this guy, is that he asks for donations for his talent.  I guess people will do anything for a buck …

.:: LiBM::.

Any correlations to Hip-Hop?? A rock perspective.

The Demise of Classic Rock from ‘Dwight K. Shrute’
When the Establishment gets involved with the music

First off, If y’all don’t know about the hit NBC show ‘The Office’, it is one of the better shows on television that is clever and witty. The U.S. version of the The Office is an adaptation of a British version with the same name. Now, Dwight K. Shrute is one of the show’s staple characters that has a funny personality; he can be described as the loyal office employee who is the ultra geek and has the brownest nose in the office. His real name is Rainn Wilson, and he provided an interesting comment on the decline of rock, and its current state …

“I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock. I loved AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, but as soon as it started to get girly, as soon as they were wearing women’s blouses, mascara and eyeliner – guy-liner I call it – as soon as it went there then it kind of lost me.”

I don’t know about you, but basically Rainn is saying that when rock music got commercialized with other elements, the music was no longer the focus, and the image become more important than the actual musical content. Relating this to hip-hop, I think that many of the older hip-hop generation (anyone 25 and older or so) can identify when hip-hop’s focus was no longer on the music, but on the actual image. Once it got commercialized, and corporations got more involved, and big music video budgets, many of the devoted hip-hop heads got turned off. In my reminiscing, this happened during the ‘Diddy years’, when P. Diddy came in with his flamboyant style and kinda changed the face of Hip-Hop as we know it … and it really has not looked back since. Remember P. Diddy and the L.O.X. with the shiny suits, the bling bling of Cash Money, the foreign cars in the videos? All this was spawned in the mid 90’s, and now in 2008, the formula is still the same, and the content in the music has gotten even dumber.

But I guess, as with Rock, Jazz, R&B, and other black-created music, once the establishment (corporations) get involved with a musical genre, the artform — the essence of the music loses something that is really, really, really hard to get back.

.:: d.b ::.

P.S. And just in case you don’t know who Rainn Wilson is, here are some clips:

Importance of Media Training, ex. 2 "Effiminizing"

Importance of Media Training, ex 2 “Effiminizing

Bobby Brown recalling an encounter with Usher:

“When I walked into the party I ran into Usher and we immediately gave each other a hug. While he was holding me, he turned to the side and kind of put my neck in a playful choke hold and started squeezing me. I tried to tell him that I couldn’t breathe but he couldn’t hear me because the music was loud. It didn’t help that he was drunk. I was yelling, ‘yo, yo, yo let me go! I can’t breathe!’ He was excited to see me and he was just expressing himself with this gesture. He was so drunk he didn’t realize what he was doing.”

When you are a recording artist, your image is everything – it defines whom you are. With that said, it would be wise to always present a positive image about yourself, in this case Bobby Brown made an ominous mistake of trying to present a negative image of Usher, but in the same breath as Bobby Brown is presenting an image of Usher, Bobby comes off looking bad also. It can be said that Bobby Brown was the King of R&B for awhile before the Reality shows and the coke; Usher grew up on images of Bobby Brown and was no doubt influenced by him. Now, Usher can be viewed as the King of R&B, and it is kind of sad that Bobby Brown appeared to be helpless as Usher had in a ‘playful choke’. I mean, you want to have the appearance that you can hold your own and be a ‘man’ – but this situation has Bobby Brown looking like a real b*tch as he was pleading for mercy from the might ‘Usher’ … I don’t even want to get into the metaphorical symbolism that is laced in this incident. 

So for you new artists’ out there, especially the dudes, in your press interviews & sound bites, you want to come-off as a man that can stand on his own, not as a man that is pleading for help and comes off as effeminate … not a good look.

.:: d.b ::.

Flashing Lights ver. 2 by Kanye West

Kanye West – Flashing Lights (2nd Version)

I get why Kanye is cocky, arrogant, obnoxious – not saying that it is ‘right’, but when you are so ahead of the pack (other rap artists), then it is only a matter of time before one gets ‘gassed’ and their ego takes over time. This video is very creative, and is a breath of fresh air into the ‘hip-hop music video genre’ – there is no rudimentary booty shaking or club scene, then a hood/block scene … this video actually has creative treatment, and makes you think ….. some of y’all may have forgotten how that feels.

.:: d.b

Hip-Hop Cash Kings


Hip-Hop Cash Kings

From: www.forbes.com

While most of us look forward to retirement, Shawn Carter, better known to the planet as master rapper Jay-Z, couldn’t stand the view from the sidelines following his 2003 farewell The Black Album. Despite a frenetic schedule as president of Def Jam Recordings and co-founder of its ultra-successful Roc-A-Fella Records imprint, Jay-Z managed to squeeze in a comeback last year with Kingdom Come, his 11th studio album, which debuted at the top of the pop and rap music charts, selling some 2 million copies.

But those weren’t the only paycheques coming in. Jay-Z also owns the 40/40 Club sports bar franchise, with locations in New York and Atlanta, and a small stake in the NBA’s New Jersey Nets. (He’s often photographed in courtside seats alongside his girlfriend, pop superstar Beyoncé.) Plus the native New Yorker (from Brooklyn’s hardscrabble Marcy Projects) collects income from blue-chip endorsement deals with Budweiser, Hewlett-Packard (nyse: HPQ), and General Motors (nyse: GM). All told, Jay-Z banked an estimated US$34 million in 2006, earning him the top spot on Forbes’ first-ever list of hip-hop Cash Kings.

Unlike traditional music genres like pop, rock and country, whose artists generally make the bulk of their money selling albums and touring, hip-hop has spawned an impressive cadre of musicians-cum-entrepreneurs who have parlayed their fame into lucrative entertainment empires. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who nabbed the No. 2 spot on the list, presides over G-Unit, a diverse portfolio of businesses that includes apparel, ringtones, video games and even a line of fiction. All told, “Fiddy” as he is known to fans, made an estimated US$32 million last year. “I’m creating a foundation that will be around for a long time, because fame can come and go or get lost in the lifestyle and the splurging,” he told Forbes last year. “I never got into it for the music. I got into it for the business.”

At No. 3 is impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs, formerly known as “Puff Daddy,” who lords over Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group. That enterprise is responsible for TV series like MTV’s Making the Band franchise, the Sean John clothing line, the bestselling Unforgivable cologne and a pair of restaurants called Justin’s, named after one of his sons. The Bad Boy Records label, backed by Warner Music Group (nyse: WMG), released albums last year by Danity Kane, Cassie and Yung Joc. Last year, Diddy himself released his first album in four years; Press Play debuted at the top of the U.S. pop and rap charts. All told, Combs made an estimated US$28 million last year. (Representatives for Diddy, ever the showman, insist that figure is much higher.)

Generally, the most successful “hip-hopreneurs” run their own labels, taking a cut from the artists they sign. Both Eminem (US$18 million) and Dr. Dre (US$20 million) boast Interscope-backed imprints; both helped produce and release 50 Cent’s last two albums, which have sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Fifty owns his own G-Unit label which produces artists like Young Buck and Lloyd Banks, among others.

Other lucrative businesses: producing tracks and beats for other artists. Listers like Timbaland (US$21 million), Scott Storch (US$17 million) and Pharrell Williams (US$17 million) are among the most sought after–and pricey– producers on the planet. Rappers like Snoop Dogg (US$17 million) collect massive fees for cameos on other artists’ tracks. Last year, in addition to releasing Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, his eighth studio album, Snoop Dogg (US$17 million) made guest appearances on hit singles by Akon, Mariah Carey and the Pussycat Dolls.

While endorsement deals with top-shelf brands used to be the exclusive domain of pop’s biggest acts–Michael Jackson and Madonna, among them–hip-hop artists now routinely land such gigs. This year Chamillionaire (US$11 million) inked a deal with Energizer; The Game (US$11 million) peddles Skechers sneakers. And in an irrefutable sign of just how corporate hip-hop has become: Last October Anheuser Busch named Jay-Z “co-brand director” for Budweiser Select.

Our estimates are based solely on 2006 income. In March, Jay-Z sold his Rocawear apparel label to Iconix (nasdaq: ICON) for US$204 million. Forbes estimates he pocketed about a quarter of that, after taxes and other payable commitments. And in May, Coca Cola (nyse: KO) announced it would buy Glaceau, maker of VitaminWater, for US$4.2 billion in cash. Once the deal is consummated, 50 Cent, who agreed to endorse the brand in 2004 in exchange for a small stake, should walk away with some US$100 million. Best efforts were made to contact every member of the list for comment.

.::

Life in B Major
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