Songs Of Our Soil

Uncategorized

The album is on the rise again like the resurrection of Jesus. Similar to the spring, it invites us anxiously to partake in the beauty of its new comeuppance. In my last Round Up “Ready to Die”, I summarized how albums in today’s age are a dying breed.  Here today gone tomorrow type of scenario. With so many different music services like Spotify and Sound Cloud offering music that forces us to change our listening habits to cherishing the single compared to the consistent album that tells a story throughout a selection of songs.

Ed Christman of Billaboard commented on the standing of the album and its standing today. “Is the album going away? People have been speculating about that forever. There are those that think the album should go away and plenty of artists who still believe in the album.” If albums are still selling 300m copies, it’s unlikely to be abandoned. “It’s up to the artists to decide what happens to it.”

In contrast, this post is going to shy away from the negative rant I went on and we’re going to look at some theory and examples of how the album is surviving today. In the digital and streaming age. There’s a new trend that’s truly been effective when it comes to album sales and anticipation.

Artists have recently been releasing surprise albums, putting their audiences and the whole music stratosphere in total shock. A lot of benefits come with this. Billboard noted some of the most notable surprise albums of the year so far.  You might say that there’s not enough build up and anticipation when it comes to the promotion of new albums.  In my opinion, a week is all you need to get your listeners excited about your new project.

People always hype up albums that get promoted for months on end.  This gets really annoying because by time the album comes out, audiences are only buying the hit single that serves as the backbone for the album.

Instead of the product, the only thing they are receiving is the constant talk about it on social media and normal conversation which can die out easily.  The Lunch Break, went snacking on the topic of Drake’s surprise album and the possible effects it has in music albums.

Another example of this movement is the new Tyler The Creator album Cherry Bomb which gave a major shock to his fans who thought he was done with making music.  I bought the album last night and listened to it all the way through. It was another awesome experience mostly because of his increased production talent and the way he has fun on his experimental tracks. I was going to support Tyler on this album either way but the method does work.  Rolling Stones summarized the madness that was created during the announcement of Cherry Bomb.

index

The whole method to this working is having a huge fan base.  The Odd Future hooligans that stock Tyler, serve as this fan base that not only will be excited about the album without a dying hype, but will just want to buy it because of how the artist promotes it for that whole week.

“Look, get 12 bucks, go to Ralph’s or a grocery store, purchase a $10 iTunes gift card, go on iTunes, look for Cherry Bomb. Puppies won’t die,”-Tyler the Creator

It limits the art of media file sharing through sites like Pirate Bay that strip artists of a ton of sales.  Well because it’s free.  In this case, Tyler was smart enough not to leak his album.

cherrybomb promo

GuptaMedia does acknowledge that while the surprise album can get more of everyone’s attention, the fallout can be severe as there is no backup plan to recover.

With the success of the recent Drake and Tyler albums, how do you think artists will react when it comes time to release their work?  Will artists stay traditional, or will they lean on this new method that requires a big time fan base and intense promotion?

Absent Sounds

Uncategorized

Absent Sounds

With the possibility of seeing probably my favorite band in action today in Boston, I’m going to talk about From Indian Lakes’ most recent album Absent Sounds.

I’m not going to go track by track because I’m sure a lot of reviewers have spent countless hours providing that information for you.  Instead I will dive into some concepts and ideas that the album made me think about after getting addicted to it after a month.

From Indian Lakes generally speaking is a band that has some very relaxing and often gently spoken songs that always seem to come together in a collection where every piece matters.

The band continuously attacks existential thoughts and questions that we can fill our own answers to.  It makes us think about the world that surrounds us and what really matters to us in life.  What is even real?

“And these skies, my only wish
What’s the point to this? There’s no point to this”- Sleeping Limbs

“Who do you want to be now that there gone? You can’t help but feel a little bit left out of it. If the others can’t see that you’re not well, then to hell with them.You never needed anyone else. You sail on alone in this fog”- Fog

I can’t help but place myself in these situations and relate to how these thoughts are relevant in my own life. “Fog” makes me think about a friend that I have that has had a terrible past two years. He left college because the school was bringing him down with teachers that never gave assistance to his growth as an artist. He fell into a great depression even until this day because he only wanted to get better at what he loved and that was drawing and creating.  He told me recently that he would rather live in an abandoned shed where he could only have rice and water and art and it would be tremendously better compared to what he has endured.  All the while, most of his friends that went to college except for me and a true few stuck by his side and gave him phone calls, listening and company to keep him sane. A lot of people never even checked in with him and they never knew his situation.  He just sat alone in his basement struggling to fight another day to become somebody and ended up becoming jealous with the lives of people he knew since elementary that were far better off. It got so terrible that he couldn’t even walk because his OCD was unbearable and he had to truly battle to get up and walk a few steps. My friend and his problems are in the fog and he is so consumed by not knowing why these awful events happen to him and where his friends went that he needed desperately.  This mist shrouded him from so many luxuries in life and usually when we go through a hardship we come out stronger, but the elements keep him at bay and lost at sea.

fog 1

Whenever I listen to this album I have the sense that I’m floating in the air with all the soothing and powerful notes. Their voice seems to be hidden in the shrouded depths of the chords that they treasure, but every aspect is equally important. Everyone is able to create an album with this work.  Every question they pose and situation they create is a chance for us to complete the ambiguity that wasn’t answered by the end of the songs.

ghost

What is your story? How can you fill the cup Absent Sounds leaves for us?

Go check these guys out today at the Brighton Music Hall in my hometown of Boston MA!
d_angelo3_1000x664

Black Messiah

Albums

What a world we live in.  Funk is still relevant, especially apparent from Kendrick’s new album, but what about D’Angelo?  I remember back in the day listening to him, grooving in my youth ages. My dad would play him when he would have his boys over for Madden. Blasting the Sony system through the prehistoric devices. Even though I was past the time for funk, I still appreciated the music and the feeling it gave me.  Every muscle in tune with the beat.  Every heart beat pleading for the funk to rise in my soul as it grasped my emotions, to relive the music of the 1990’s and respect it for every penny it was worth.  His voice speaking volumes…”How does it feeeeeel?” So discrete. So passionate.

While his legacy lives, the problem of racism still lives on today and what a shame.  To think music and so many others that died for this cause, pushed for better lives for us.  What a shame and better yet how selfish of us …

With another album in 2014 by D’Angelo, “Black Messiah” we still struggle to accept.  We hesitate to avoid our past and hurt people that are very similar to us despite our skin color and comeuppance.

When will we learn?

The Delete Bin portrays the sad truth about society and the aging of our knowledge over time becoming obsolete due to blindness and complete ignorance. Not just in the black community, but even how we perceive Muslims, Asians, Hispanics and Indians.  People who are  not guaranteed the American dream because of the color of their skin and from where they’re from.

Yet, even if it was current events that sparked the expedient release of this long-awaited record, the sad fact is that these issues seem to be the same as they’ve been for decades. They are at least as current as the many strains of classic American music referenced on this song, and on the rest of the album. Even if the release of this record, or any record, doesn’t solve the problems that those specific events of 2014 have made more visible for so many, what it does do is frame the artistry of those coming out of various black communities all over the United States, where lives seem so cheap and insignificant to so many who hold positions of power. In many instances, songs on the record evoke soundbites that communicate an important sense of rage around all of this, designed to help continue vital conversations happening in disenfranchised black communities all over the nation.

What can we do to work on these issues and can we find a balance in power? Can music exceed these boundaries that deny human rights day-to-day? I raise you these questions to change the world. Probably not tonight, or this morning.  But maybe by the individual.

Let us be the change in the world that we see today. God Bless.

Battle Studies

Uncategorized

Love is a battle. An onslaught of feelings shooting out from the gun of despair, a haze of smoke filling the air. We are all victim, where loneliness defeats our purpose, blood stains and torches.

Our love was dwindling. I could feel it float from my trembling hands and into the barren wasteland. All we ever do is say goodbye. The daggers fly simultaneously piercing our chests, bullets rain, our hearts in chains.

I knew we should be together.  We camouflage the words left unsaid into broken promises.  Heartbreak warfare is very unfair.

tyler-the-creator-wolf

Wolf

music

Tyler the Creator.  We’re talking about a guy that ate a cockroach to get famous.  A dude that drops the “F-bomb” frequent and willingly to show his obvious hate for people and the world itself (Haley Williams/Bruno Mars/B.O.B/Republicans). He throws carnivals and likes pink doughnuts. Mentions rape and masturbation in verse. All because it is fun for him to swear and act like a kid. HE TWEETS IN ALL CAPS ABOUT MAKING SANDWICHES. His Instagram name is felciathegoat. He hates the radio and ratings that see him as being a failure.  Better run MTV.

gif tyler the creator

Tyler leads Odd Future, a random assortment of crew members (Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Taco etc) that have a destructive demeanor, but yet a colorful vocabulary in their aggressive rhymes and beats that make for an uncomfortable listen to a normal person. Such as this…

I’m a f*cking walking paradox, no I’m not
Threesomes with a f*cking triceratops, Reptar
Rapping as I’m mocking deaf rock stars

Somewhere between talent and psychotic.  Clever with word play for sure, but the imagery goes a little too far.  But yo, that is Tyler and he doesn’t care what you think about him.  He knows he is different and that’s just how he has fun. YDG?

He is a rebel and hearing his different outlook on life is exciting to witness as a listener and especially as a fan that enjoys his creativity and production capabilities.

Just like how a viewer sympathizes for a gangster in a movie, we can do the same for Tyler who in essence has the same desires that we have in life.  Whether it be getting to know and be with a girl that seems impossible to move in on, to being stable in his own mind because a lot of people out their battle depression and anxiety.

Tyler’s latest album “Wolf” is one of my favorite concept albums in recent years mostly for the fact that every song can stand alone.  Through all the schemes, as a viewer I feel so attached to the story and the alter-egos that Tyler represents showing his true feelings and emotions on touchy subjects matters such as the absence of his dad in his life, or cancer “that ate his Grammy up”. It’s a part of a greater story and getting lost in Tyler’s references and messed up mindset is well worth the journey. It can get confusing even after two years of listening, so let’s get funky with it.

tyler-the-creator-wolf

I. Wolf starts off introducing us to two main characters that are a part of Tyler’s self-conscience.  Samuel, a member of Camp Flognaw kicks off the album singing “F*ck you” to everything and everyone over a piano based angelic tune.  Professor TC, the camp director, applauds Samuel for his performance and introduces him to Wolf who is a new member of the camp.  The camp serves as an escape to the outdoors (which Tyler actually appreciates in real life) for each character as they suffer from mental problems and social issues.  Samuel disregards Wolf’s conversation about Jazz music and just like the song in the beginning of the album says he does not mess with him and wants him to stay out of his way.  The album continually switches perspectives between Wolf and Samuel.

II. “Cowboy” shows the the lonely side of Samuel  flirting with the imagery of shadows and smoking at the dock to portray somebody that is on their own quest and no matter how much it seems they have, they still believe it isn’t enough to make them whole mostly because of self-awareness and lack of belonging.  This shows the side of Tyler that  speaks to his line “I’m as lonely as the crackers that super models eats.”  The story sparks  Wolf to ask Samuel about a girl that passed by.  Samuel angrily responds that it is Salem, his girlfriend and to stay away from her.

Wolf ignores his threats and pursues his girlfriend in “Awkward” as it was his first official date.  This track which shows a side of Wolf who lacks confidence and is insecure in his abilities to talk to Salem, who has him going crazy in his head. Her name is his password.  His feelings are locked up in a zip lock bag and he is claustrophobic in his attempts trying to find the courage to break open the seal and make his relationship with her normal.  They still hold no title after the date and it causes Wolf to search more desperately in his internal struggle.  The track hints at young love and how everything is awkward at first when it comes to liking each other.  Also, how we get caught up in feelings for girls so easily and fall so hard because we never tasted the actual physical presence of love before.

Samuel continues his cowboy thrill ride on his bicycle “Slater” without his girlfriend which I think this illusion is created in his mind.  The story is told through the success of Tyler the Creator which is the opposite of what Samuel has, nothing. Tyler lives a life of a star “kickin it in the burbs” and going crazy at shows because he holds a title. This is a false perception that Samuel has of himself as his conscience gets hazy. Frank Ocean says to Samuel “I guess you’re a cool guy, you’re talking to a f*cking bike, loser.” Samuel must have tried to persuade him about the lavish lifestyle he lives, but in the end he was talking to an object that wasn’t living.

psh

This all leads to “48” which portrays Samuel as a drug dealer selling crack and deepening his wounds and his life in general.  The Nas interview talks about how crack messed up the streets, the individuals that took the drugs and the sellers.  Samuel gets caught up in this lifestyle because he has nothing and ends up doing more damage to himself and the people he sells to.  He supports his family, but in reality he is lost at sea and “nobody wins” as Nas says when it is all said and done. His conscience is fading away and he hates it because he knows what’s right, but he has to survive somehow. Also, this song pokes at the struggles in the black community of drug trading in less privileged communities because it isn’t fair how they ended up because of racial inequality, but somehow they had to get by.

crack

Party/Campfire/Bimmer

A breath of fresh air at night in the great outdoors.  Wolf comes out of his shell and approaches Salem with a new acceptance of how different he is compared to everyone else.  For this reason, she should take a chance with him. He’s excited to be at camp and embraces his struggles in “Campfire” with a new outlook on life and appreciation the little things like marshmallows, chocolate and just being outside. An upbeat transition to “Bimmer” reveals Wolf and his new found life of sex.  The awesome car is a metaphor for how special Salem is to her.  Bimmers are amazing looking cars inside and out. “The perfect two seater”.  Tyler is so exuberant in his word play with sex and the different parts of the car comparing the ignition and the key to the act as well as the drive of the car in motion to Salem and Wolf’s sex drive.

III.  Tensions start flaring after the three part song. In the next skit, a fellow camper and drug user tells Samuel that Wolf has been seeing Salem and they went to the lake.  Samuel is furious not only because he told Wolf to stay out of his way, but his only love is with somebody else (as demonstrated in IFHY)

ifhy

What a perfect song. Not only the various instruments and beats, but the conception that Samuel is stuck in the middle of love and hate.  He is pissed because Salem left him for Wolf. Salem is an addiction for Sam and she has more highs and lows for him compared to the drugs he substitutes in place of her.

Cause when I hear your name I can not stop cheesing
I love you so much that my heart stops beating when you’re leaving
And I’m grieving and my heart starts bleeding
Life without you has no god damn meaning
Sorry I’m passive aggressive for no god damn reason
It’s that my mood change like these god damn seasons
I’ll fall for you, but I love you
Tyler is so back and forth with his word play and those thoughts that stream in his head are thrown in our face. We can all say that we were a victim of somebody that mentally messed with our brain all because of the game of love.  We love that person because we think they’re beautiful, but they moved on from us and we hate them.  We get trapped in this mind game where we would do anything to have them back and like Tyler said without that special person life isn’t worth living anymore.
After IFHY, Salem tells Wolf that Sam is “actually a dweeb” and he is messed up from not having a dad “Answer” and getting bullied back home “Pigs”.
Answer, my favorite track on the album, goes into Tyler’s real life depression of not having a father in life through Sam’s perspective.  He hates his dad for not being there for him and blames him for the facial hair he has and for beginning his career that propelled his music of dark emotions and hate for everybody.  In essence, if he called him, Tyler hopes he could talk to him and receive an explanation as to where he was all of Tyler’s life.  I feel it’s a part that would make Tyler whole since his father was missing his whole life.  The song feels like he is floating on a bubble in a dreamy colorful location reminiscing and thinking of what could have been.
“Pigs” begins the rampage of Samuel who is coming after all the bullies in the world as well as anyone that gets in his way, in particular Wolf for stealing Salem.  It’s weird because we come back to the theme of Tyler contradicting his thoughts saying he wants to kill everybody like a mass murderer (pumping like his inhaler) ,but at the same time he’s a kid that wants peace (wouldn’t hurt a fly. or even join an army) and just wants to be left alone.
The skit after “Parking Lot” reveals Wolf becoming aware that Samuel wants to kill him.  He lashes back and says “not if I get to him first”.
It’s on.
IV.
Samuel gets to Earl after Wolf recruits him and Domo and kills him at the end of his verse that contemplates suicide in “Rusty”.
“Trashwang” is war.  From the screaming and bombing at the beginning, the viewer can tell it’s about to go down.  This is where Sam and Wolf’s crews go after it.  Wolf’s crew is flaunting the whole time.They have so much fun throwing parties with ferris wheels and being absolutely vulgar promising Sam’s crew they can’t be messed with.  They have tanks and goons with aim.
Don’t let the skateboards fool you,
Know n*ggas that pull triggers
tamale
“Tamale” is definitely the weirdest song I’ve ever listened to and masturbation and sexual acts are used throughout the song.  This surprisingly is apart of the story as Wolf gets sent to TC for getting caught in the act at camp. The background Tamale voice is the most annoying cartoon creature voice.  It’s such a Tyler song and if any other artist produced the song, it wouldn’t work at all.
V. The album ends with “Lone”. Lone Wolf. Get it?  The last and first song in all of his albums correspond. TC takes the role as a therapist asking Wolf why he’s been getting in such mischief with fights and unnecessary foolishness. Wolf is lonely with all the stardom and wants to quit , but can’t.  He has responsibility now and the money helps him have the excitement and go to different places to reek havoc. “Life is paying for thrills.” The last half of the first verse talk about Tyler using the challenges and the tough times he’s been through paint a picture for all to see.  He uses music as a creative outlet to get his pain off his chest and a lot of listeners like myself can relate to a certain extent.
“A year ago I was broke, now how can I afford this
I started off with disposables now I have an assortment
And I’m using these negatives to develop a portrait
Now the frame is a pain in the ass to get it in
Without a scratch or stain on the glass
But that’s not important, just as long as it’s printed”
Tyler has more pressure to support his family and friends ,but in the end he is still the same outgoing kid.  Not everything and everybody is going to accept you for the changes you make, but deep down you know you still fit the frame.  Some things just got left out. Tyler can stay sane getting these thoughts down.
Even sadder in this song Tyler talks about the time when his grandmother passes away.  It’s different for Tyler to actually care about something and I think death does that to us, it changes us in the strangest way.  The fact that he had just saw her last week and that she is gone now is awkward to him. He doesn’t know how to deal with this situation because he never dealt with death before so he is stuck in his emotions, trying to adjust his seat to find the right way to feel.  At the hospital where his grandmother is, he can’t even look when he talks because it’s awkward to him.  She was weak and there was nothing he can do about it.  She died that night. The dreary chords work perfectly in this song and piano playing in the background go along with the storytelling of Wolf’s pain.
We end our roller coaster ride with TC sympathizing for Wolf saying his story was deep.  TC also says to Wolf that Sam was looking for him.  Wolf responds back angrily saying he hates him and if he saw him he would have killed him.
oakwood tyler
What can we take from this story? A lot actually, but i think the loneliness aspect is the most important.  Throughout the story the protagonists are going through a struggle to find themselves and cope with tragedy.
Sam goes crazy because he is so alone and loses his girlfriend.  He moves toward drugs and revenge to satisfy the part in himself that was missing.
As for Wolf, he starts off new at the camp alone searching for new adventures and a way to calm down the demons that float within him.  Towards the middle of the album he is content and his in a relationship with Slater and the fame and fortune seem to be going his way.  At the end of the album he feels so alone and it doesn’t matter who he has to back him up in his feud with Sam. He is going to be lonely because he can’t find the happiness deep in himself and he has more responsibility now.  He doesn’t feel worth it and doesn’t think he can amount to much floating in his thoughts and feeling bad for himself.
The Lone Wolf (as the album suggests by way of track-listing) shows us the journeys these guys have to take to show the different sides of Tyler’s mind.  Tyler is the lone wolf. I think the softer side of Tyler wants us to understand that everybody will go through a tough time and feel like they are not meant to exist.
The back and forth thoughts in our head make us question what is right, or wrong, but we keep on pushing on in hope to be whole and apart of a bigger something.  Maybe that’s over analyzing because I think Tyler wanted to mostly entertain his audience with great production and show off his growth as an artist, but digging deeper shows his true story.
tyler the end

Beyond The Horizon

Uncategorized

stock-photo-black-girl-listening-to-the-music-with-a-pair-of-headphones-112570745

I close my eyes. Dream.

I imagine a place where I can be alone physically, but occupied by music emotionally . The sounds create colors where my emotions come free in a careless and non-judgmental  zone.  Paint the picture on a canvas.

The song is just the individual part of the greater story.  I’m trapped in my headphones.  Concealed.  My soul knows the next verse and the drums beat like my heart.  There is love for the words being sang and the transition into the next song makes me wait in a great anticipation.

I relate. The artist must know my story. Speaking the words that I couldn’t bring to the table when they asked me what was wrong.  The next song is my favorite chapter of the journey.  Floating. Inspired.  In sync.

We end the tale.  But did we come back to our senses with stronger messages and a new outlook on life?  I knew I could relate to that tragedy.  The voice and riffs made everything not seem so bad.  Next time join me and we will embark on this sweet escape.

.

0

These Things Happen

Uncategorized

Music can be implemented in all of our lives and what we choose to do with the versatile art form is completely up to you.

Just bust a move! Dance is such an important part of music and vise versa. Imagine going to a bar, or a club and there was no sound except for people.  I’m one for conversation, but what adds to the environment and the dance floor is the funky music that makes you want to move every muscle in your body.

dance

Dance is another art form and when it is coupled with music, it brings out so many emotions.  Dance and music can signify the cultures we come from and heck we don’t have to speak the same language.  Slow middle school dances.  High school grind dancing. Moshing.

We move to the beat and it seems like we are in tune with the world as it spins. When your jam is on and you can dance to it with your own moves, or a designed dance, it’s a thrill that brings out true happiness.

Music can totally change the environment you are in as well.  The way we vibe out to songs is important so DJ don’t mess up.  It’s organic to that place and time.  When I play “Boyz in the Hood” by Eazy-E, you better watch out when I hit the streets. Or hearing Avril Lavigne and wanting to cry after a lonely night. (This doesn’t happen often I swear).

81968-Lie-down-try-not-to-cry-cry-a-4qKE

Setting the mood is so important and what we hear can affect our actions in the places we are in based on what’s coming out of the speakers.

A lot of people choose to smoke to different artists like Wiz Khalifa and Bob Marley just because they feel like their experience is more important and has more value.  The reason people have rituals like this is because it just seems right to them.  There does not have to be an explanation with music.  Music is the explanation.

artprint_bob_marley_quote_big

People base perceptions on each other based on the music we listen to.  I listen to mostly everything except for country and a lot of people just know me for the hip-hop music I was brought up with.  We start to fall in different social groups because it is a common interest we have and it expresses our group vividly.

Now I hop into the mix with many different genres and start to better understand the social norms of the people that are categorized by the music they listen to.

What does music do for your life personally and how does it set the mood for the different activities that you participate in? YDG!?

yeezus

Ready to Die (Round up #1)

Uncategorized

Does the “current day album” still have value, or is it considered a dying breed? (Here today gone tomorrow)

Go to Spotify.  Pick a random song (probably your jam).  Pick another band.  Play two of their songs at most, different albums. *Commercial* Then continue the process and commercials and we have this unusual mix of chaos that defines how we as people listen to music these days.

In today’s day and age music and the significance of albums have changed drastically.  Most albums today survive off singles and are easily accessed whether it would be by streaming, or downloading.  The new mediums and diets as a music consumer such as the ones explained have changed the way we listen to music and have shied away from listening to whole albums because of some of the fluff music that gets put in albums to broadcast 3-4 good songs.

Some artists will unlikely be able to survive off making albums explained in David Bryne’s post on the streaming era and it’s affect.

With that being said, how can albums survive and still manage to send whole messages with people listening to random songs all the time?  I am guilty, I admit.

We all adapt to what is going on in the world, but what would it take to go back to the days of Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin where real music and philosophy existed.

“The youngsters are streaming singles and the oldsters are staying home.” Wise words here from Bob Lefsetz. You might ask “what’s so important about this”?

Personally I think myself and a lot of others don’t feel that albums have the same value.  And when do you ever hear of them coming out? I feel like albums were more anticipated.

Kanye West has his new album coming out in less than a month, shout out to Yeezy! I can see him getting a lot of exposure with this new album, I hear it’s going to be a happier album similar to Graduation. But did you know Big Sean came out with an album recently? When was this!?

Amazing how a lot of people talk about and download “Blessings” which was a big hit the past few weeks with features from Drake and Yeezy, but the whole album has never crossed my path.  There’s no spicy talk about any of the other songs.

Ray Wolfson calls most of the music coming out “fast food music” and there is barely any human condition analysis.

We bump to music that has little meaning, but it sounds cool so we continue to blast it and look for more songs that brag about lavish lifestyles.  Followed by a stupid dance.  Then it goes viral. Cool man.

hqdefault

Bobby Shmurda and his one hit wonder “Hot N*gga” is such a catchy tune and it blew up.  There is no morals especially since the hit song mentions in the chorus about his friend killing somebody….(about a week ago) and his crew being so gangster.  Congratulations.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t “Shmurda” my way through first semester, but I just feel singles like these show that we have started to miss the point along the way.

Jimmy Smith, an amazing and successful jazz player, said it best in Drake’s Nothing Was the Same album.

“Good God Almighty. Like back in the old days. You know, years ago they had the A&R men to tell you what to play, how to play it and you know whether it’s disco and rock but we just went in the studio and we did it. We had champagne in the studio, of course, you know, compliments of the company, and we just laid back and did it. So we hope you enjoy listening to this album half as much as we enjoyed playing it for you. Because we had a ball. Only real music is gonna last, all the other bullsh*t is here today and gone tomorrow…”

There is more to life than this nonsense and this was probably the only good song on the album.  People need great stories through a great outlet like music to impact their lives.  The crappy music that most people make today are enjoyed by the public and it lowers the standards that great bands and artists have set for us.

I think there was a special time period where people would go out and buy albums and they got to enjoy the whole experience.

I don’t think their is a right, or wrong way to listen to music because people should have the right to listen to what they want, when they want especially when we live in this digital era.

I just hope people can find good music along the way again.  In this day and age it is hard to find something that flows and is creative the whole way.  And even when it is I feel like people are not patient enough to listen all the way through.

In the Duff Mckagen interview it mentions the make-up of an album and messing around with the order of songs disturbs the whole story it tries to reveal, which speaks volumes to how great an art form albums are.

One of the most recent examples of great storytelling through concept albums is Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.

“A true classic is an album that stretches boundaries and influences future artists”, says Edward Bowser of Soul In The Stereo.

Kendrick tells a narrative of his evolution of being violent with his friends and is apart of murders and drugs.  He is a product of his own environment and has dreams of getting out of the hood where in one song he is so caught up in evil revenge that it costs his friend to die in his arms. Making something of his own life so he can give back to his “bad city” makes the album a wonderful and powerful story narrated by various skits, along with thrills of Sherene, which is a girl K Dot is perusing in a roller coaster adventure .

lamah

The important fact to note about this album is the fact that most of the songs had a rightful place and were all valuable in relation to putting the album together. In other words this album wasn’t just made to promote “Swimming Pools”, or “Money Trees”, but instead to inspire others in poor communities to change their ways for a better quality life.

I think if concept albums in the future relay powerful messages just like Kendrick’s debut album, the products that artists put out will be listened to more than a few months and can even act as social reform to spark changes in the lives that we live today.

camp

Camp

Uncategorized

All of us have weird rituals and traditions.  We allow them to be acceptable in our schedules and not having them can be compared to forgetting to mix in the eggs while making brownies.

I know as a football fan these traditions are relevant when it comes to consuming the NFL games all Sundays.  We monitor our fantasy rosters like clockwork and even go to games shirtless in negative degree weather and dress up in costumes. Or even worse…Raiders attire…

raiders suck

Regardless of how weird you think your rituals are, they are your bread and butter and you live and die by them.  My blog holds certain traditions pertaining to music and concept albums where my analysis on certain albums and social commentary is important to the flow and community aspect.

Stealing music from each other.  I need some thieves up in my crew so if you’re good at that come join.  Just like good writers steal, I want people in my community to take something they heard that I posted about, or somebody recommend and jam to it.  This might attract some addicted torrenters, but hey whatever it takes to get some followers.

jesus walks

Another tradition we have is reviewing concept albums and the great stories they have.  I want my followers to be able to tell me what their take on it is because lyrics and song meanings are open to discussion.  The different perspectives can help us reach a better understanding of the albums.

My goal for myself is to review albums I never gave the chance and listen to artists like Pink Floyd and listen to their critically acclaimed album “The Wall” and uncover their deep meanings.

I also want people to tell me about why they listen to music and what albums and artists have opened them up to new ideas and new music styles.

If you have any questions, or discover some cooler traditions let me know and I will consider all options!