Saturday, June 10, 2006

the shuffle. [6/10/06]

Real def, y'all. Gotta love A-Trak producing tracks with only his decks... and making them as hot as some regular producers' concoctions. Loving it.

Another week down the tubes, and all I can think about is my lil man beating my wife up internally and my fucking DVD drives dying on me... can't get over that shit. I just copped the burner 6 months ago(!!!!), but that's another story entirely.

You gotta love wifey getting me the Getting Up game for PS2... I'll be rinsing that tonight, best to believe. Also loving this fucking "Goldmine" track from Busta's new one... Doc Dre did it again!

Other than that, not much else is going on... the Heat lost game 1, looking like lil bitches. I guess that title isn't really important... we'll find out tomorrow.

In any case, on to the shuffle.

1> As if we didn't have an overabundance of diseases out there, medical doctors have diagnosed fucking ROAD RAGE! Apparently "Intermittent explosive disorder" is what causes people to act like assholes on the road... the fact that they are assholes has nothing to do with it these days. Now we are gonna get new medications causing people to sleep behind the wheel and cause more accidents. Only in America!

2> The winners of the 2006 Weed Carrier Awards were released this week as well. Pure comedy... wait, you don't know what a "weed carrier" is? Educate yourself...

3> Ludacris is asking his fans to stop hating on Oprah. Apparently, they got into it when he was on her show with the rest of the cast of Crash, which is one movie that I don't feel. They did their thing acting wise, but the fucking plot was so predictable... so predictable. I mean, I can see why Oprah doesn't have too many rappers on her show -- HER AUDIENCE ISN'T INTO HIP-HOP! Stop hating and get your money somewhere else.

4> If that's not bad enough, Luda's former DTP member, Chingy, is being sued by some random nigga. Does he even get money anymore? WTF they gonna get, a dusty DTP chain?

5> Hot 97's Summer Jam went off without a hitch or a new diss. Sounds like fun. Check the play-by-play.

6> On June 25th, Jay-Z is planning a concert to commemerate the release of his first album, Reasonable Doubt. Apparently he announced it on June 8th, and tickets went on sale on June 9th. I doubt you can find one now. The funniest Jay news this week, though, involves Cristal. Apparently, the people over there made the dumbest move in marketing history -- they talked shit about people who made them rich. Niggas been copping Cristal off of rap music for a good 10+ years! Why act like you don't eat off that money? Well, the master of item-dropping he is, Jay offically said "Cristal is over". Good for him. BAN CRISTAL!

7> Looks like my niggas Ak and Lif are putting out a DVD about their Black Dialogue tour. Check the trailer...

8> For all my 80's babies, rejoice! Pee Wee's Playhouse is coming to [adult swim]. Loving that.

9> Talk show host Montel Williams was in my hometown (Trenton, NJ) this week, lobbying for medical marijuana. He has MS, so he smokes to start the day. Don't believe me? Peep ya boy...

10> At the press conference to promote tonight's fight, Tarver pulled out a rocking chair for 41 yr old Bernard Hopkins. I won't be buying the fight, but I will be watching B Hop getting whupped on HBO when its on next week. I'm broke like that.

11> AAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIGHT, Jamie Foxx did his thing as Ray Charles in the movie, but why the fuck do they have him playing Bob Marley in the new flick about Bob's life? Not sure if I'm feeling that... I doubt his patois is up. The whole thing sounds like a rerun of In Living Color.

12> Shakes The Clown got popped for child porn on his PC. (Ed. note: sorry, his site was up this week, I guess his ISP shut him down!) Gotta love NJ! Word is, a family member of his called the 5-0 on some "they stole my identity shit", and in their search, they found mad child porn on his computer... fuck that. What a dumbass.

13> More NJ nonsense: one of the mayorial candidates, who swears he got cheated in this recent mayoral election, doesn't even have the funds to cover the paychecks to his employees. LOL! And the latest recount is worth over a G to the state, which he has to pay. What an imbecile...

14> Check out how not to steal a T-Mobile Sidekick II... too funny/sad/depressing... but you gotta love how the Internet peeps band together.

15> Looks like J. Dilla (RIP) has a new album coming out this August. Apparently, he had tracks laid out for a few albums... we'll see what makes the light of day. This new one looks like it's different from Donuts, mainly due to the MCs lacing it.

16> Who knew that Tyrese was working an a full rap album? His latest 2xCD release will be 1 disc of R&B and another of Hip-Hop...maybe. The Hip-Hop disc has apparently been leaked on the Internets. I haven't heard it, but I'm not expecting some hot shit. Good luck to him though. I wanna see that fucking movie though... might just be for Meagan Good, who knows. She's a good actress, even if she was in a 50 Cent video. Speaking of 50 Cent, will he be dissing her now that The Game is also in that movie? Decisions, decisions...

17> Now for some B.I.G. news: it looks like the LAPD vs. Voletta Wallace retrial has been set for October 2006. Good luck, Ms. Wallace -- I hope your lawyers are on point this go round. Also, Lil' Kim might be getting out on good behavior next month. Hold your head, and make up for those lost album sales, ma.

That's about it for right now. I'm gonna try and get my DVD drives working and get into this graf game. Hope you guys are doing well. Ryan sr!x, I see you dude! I see you too Neil Brandnew. Get at me.

1. thinks he can...

I just got the latest issue of XXL, and they have a feature on the Black Eyed Peas', who produces and does the main Hip-Hop shit for them (check out a partial piece of the article here). Later on in the article, this nigga starts talking about the different endorsements that the BEPs get, from Apple to the NBA and all points in between, saying that he doesn't get why people say they sold out when ATCQ, Pete Rock & CL Smooth and a slew of other MCs used to do the classic Sprite commercials, which is a good point... and he also has a point about being called a sell out. Thing is, this is the same nigga who was back-packing back when their first hit came out ("Joints and Jams", I like that track), back before they got as popular as they are now. Now, it's tracks with Justin Timberlake, and some "lady lumps" nonsense. He doesn't get this though...

Nigga, let me spell it out for you: you didn't sell out by getting endorsement deals, you sold out when Fergie got added to the group. You sold out when you got all the other bullshit put into your tracks, the NSYNC shit, the Humps shit, the fucking "Let's Get Retarded" being turned into "Let's Get It Started" for the video. Come on, dog. I don't care if you rock the bohemian style, but you come out at niggas like you are hot in the hood! The hood isn't feeling what BEP does, you know why? It's b/c you guys are MTV poster-kids! And not Direct Effect, dog... fucking TRL! Do you guys even do BET? I don't watch 106 and Park so I wouldn't know...

And now you are corrupting Busta's album with that "I Love My Bitch" shit?! I can't wait to hear your album... fake ass, bummy looking Pharrell ass nigga.

Speaking of Busta Bus, check out this funny ass video I found you YouTube... apparently, a whip ran into Scott Storch's property, and some back and forth talk goes on... funny!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday, June 9th 2006 playlist

Out, out damn rain! I am tired of these random showers we are receiving here on the East Coast. I was trying to grab some Mickey's and possibly smoke a Black tonight. Who knows. In any case, new music kills me... I get so into a track one week, then the next week that track is not even in rotation. What's good with that? Might be some surprises on this week's list, but fuck it. Let's do it...

Drum & Bass/Jungle:

1> DJ Craze & Infiltrata ft. Genr8 "You Don't Know Me" [cartel]
2> UFO ft. Lea "Something Out There (Twisted Anger Remix)" [u.f.o.]
3> ES9 "Free Your Mind (D-Bridge Remix)" [06s]
4> Die & Clipz "Climate Change" [full cycle]
5> Evol Intent Vs. Mayhem Vs. THINKTANK "Broken Sword" [human]
6> Blu Mar Ten "Future Primitive" [phuzion]
7> Taxman "Too Bad" [frontline]
8> Dillinja "Basscone" [vtb]
9> Mobb Deep "Shook Ones (DJ Zinc Remix)" [whitelabel]
10> Mampi Swift "Mainframe" [charge]

11> DJ Hype's "World Dance" mix CD...


1> Christina Aguilera "Ain't No Other Man" [forthcoming on her 2xCD, Back To Basics, this is the first single, a jam produced by DJ Premier of all people. feeling it!]
2> Busta Rhymes ft. Raekwon "Goldmine" [taken from Busta's forthcoming heater, The Big Bang, Bus, the Chef and Dr. Dre link up to break coke knowledge over a tight snare and some organ flare.]
3> Sean Price "Boom Bye Yeah" [I hate sleepin' on shit. This album came out in 2005, and I heard so much good word about it... and didn't listen to this until like Sunday. This has a rugged sample in it, just 1995 grimey sound to the beat, and ex-Ruck doing his thing. Rips it to pieces!]
4> Digital Mystikz "Earth A Run Red" [dubstep needs more tunes like this. These guys are true masters.]
5> Busta Rhymes "Ping" [Three's Company sampling jam that didn't make it onto the album, Bus just being Bus. solid.]
6> Westside Connection "Bow Down" [this guy I work with had me listening to this 1996 snoozer of an album. This was the lead single, as well as the only good thing on the album. Big beat, I wouldn't mind hearing a DnB remix of this one... funny side note: the radio version always said "bow down to some killers that's greater than you", which seems kind of offensive, but the dirty version says "bow down to some niggas..." ... is that some hidden shit or what?]
7> DJ Soul Slinger ft. DJ WAlly "Masterplan" [taken from his 1997 album
Don't Believe, I forgot how much Soul had accomplished. Being the head of Liquid Sky was one thing; creating such a cohesive album is something else entirely. He did his thing, and did it well. This is one of the lone non-DnB tracks; straight up hip-hop, with a scratched sample running throughout it. I hadn't heard this in years, and the congas in it are so phenomenal.]

Monday, June 05, 2006

The History of the Amen

This post is dedicated to the Amen Break, my favorite piece of breakbeat history. From NWA to Remarc, this sample has been twisted, stretched, or just used straight up, it just has an intense, ill sound inside of it. This video runs a lil over 18 minutes, and is very informative. It really showcases what a lot of jungle and DnB producers are doing with the break... I love that shit.

Gotta love
The Winstons! For more information on this piece and Nate Harrison, check out this link.

The Sopranos, Season 6: "Kaisha" [recap]

I know a lot of you Sopranos fans and critics were disappointed with last night’s “finale” (I can’t call it a finale, seeing as though reports say that the final 8 episodes starting January 2007 are still considered to be a part of the 6th Season), but I am not really upset at all. I feel as though some major issues got brought up in this episode, some interesting shit that will come to light in those final 8 episodes --- hopefully. Let’s take a minute to break down those issues:

+ Phil, who is now in the hospital over some heart problems, was plotting on taking out a member of the Soprano family. From Dom getting murked (nice shot of his head being kicked down that ditch), and Phil almost getting blown up, there was some trouble brewing… lil’ Carmine tried to smooth shit out, but he brought up Phil’s cousin, which was the DUMBEST thing he could do. Phil stalked out, and started scheming. There was no final determination, but they kept mentioning that it would need to be someone close to Tony, and I think that someone is going to be Christopher…

+ Christopher is back on the junk, and realizing he might have jumped into his marriage a bit too quickly. He admitted to his new girl, Julianna (yes, THAT Julianna), that he was not ready for a family. How did he meet her, you ask? Well, she’s a smackhead too, and they met at an AA meeting. Crazy, right? Tony found out and was visibly upset, but played it off in Chrissy’s face. With Dr. Melfi, he kept making sarcastic comments, “this is my reward”. Funny thing, this episode is called “Kaisha” b/c that’s the black girl Chrissy is telling everyone he is seeing, while being with Julianna…

+ Carm got her spec house. After poking around and mentioning to T that she would be trying to hire a private investigator to check out the Adrianna situation, T leaned on Silvio to lean on the board to get her shit approved. She is now, once again, the happy homemaker, loving life and counting her blessings.

+ Tony, on the other hand, heard from the FBI agent (neph who is now working in terrorism) that New York wants him dead. He seemed a bit frazzled, but kept his cool nonetheless.

+ AJ got the poonani from the HR girl over at the construction site. She has a kid, and I SWEAR she is the same mami who Paulie was dealing with back in Season 2. I have to revisit that. AJ even brought home girl over to the house for Christmas, which was kind of crazy. My mother’s boyfriend brought out an interesting point: it’s kind of funny how Carm wigged out b/c this girl is of Latin descent, but was fine with Meadow dealing with Noah.

+ We got to catch a glimpse of Uncle Junior at the old people’s spot. Bobby Bacala came over to give him back the $$$ he received from June as a gift. June was upset, but needs to realize that Bobby even communicating with him is bad for business, due to him plugging T in the stomach. It’s fucked, but Bobby is right…

As you can see, the drama is laid on thick. Not too much action, not too much gruesome, gritty murkage, just a lot of fucking relationship talk. Sticky relationship talk. And that’s one of the big things in the Sopranos… it’s not a show about the mob @ all. Yes, the mob is a big part of it, but the show is about the family relationships, just like any HBO show. It’s about how the people interact in that situation. As much as OZ was about prison life, it was about the people DEALING with that life. I think that’s what people get hung up on --- the ominous expectations that they build up in their heads (peep this MSN article which might explain that better).

All I can say is, I know where I’ll be in 6 months. I’m placing bets on who you guys think will get murked. I think smart money is on Chrissy, but with The Sopranos, smart money never got anyone anything.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

[rock the dub Interview]: Kyle Rowland

[Ed. note: this is an interview that was slated to be published for The Flow, but for whatever reason, that site is M.I.A.; it is the first of many I plan on posting, just to get them off of my HD and onto the web for many to consume.]

The world of Jazz is a varied world. On one side, you have purists like Wynton Marsalis and others, who are very firm in their beliefs, training, and keeping their sound as close to the forefathers who birthed them. On the flipside, you have performers like Wynton’s brother Branford, Boney James, etc., who like to spread their wings and adapt their style of Jazz to other genres of music (Hip-Hop, R&B and the like), all the while still keeping their own identity. In a class by himself, Kyle Rowland is charting a different path: he is melting Electronic Music and Jazz into one big pot. His trumpet has a tone reminiscent of Miles, but his beats will keep your feet tapping and your hips shaking to his cool grooves. Already releasing his first experiment in this Techno-Jazz fusion, Ideas, he is currently working on getting his own imprint, as well as completing his next opus, Stand Back, Train Approaching. We catch him in the middle of these two projects, discussing where he comes from, his views on the current state of popular music, as well as his belief in God, technology, and Miles, of course. Watch out for that train…

khal: Thanks for granting us this interview. First off, for those out there who are unaware of you and what you do, could you please let us know?

Kyle Rowland: You’re welcome, and I appreciate your interest in my work. I am a musician in Southern New Jersey. I have a deep passion for music; over the last few years I have been experimenting with blending technology and improvised music. I write, arrange, and record my material in my home. To date, I have not had any one else involved in creating the music, but that will change with upcoming projects.

khal: Where did you get the idea to fuse House music and improv Jazz?

KR: Well, it happened kind of naturally – I got a majority of my music education in public schools, and part of that was listening to and playing jazz – which I really grew to love. I was also naturally drawn to electronic music. Recently I began thinking: there are not many jazz musicians out there who explore too deeply into the electronic genres. Most jazz musicians probably think that they will alienate their fan-base. When Miles Davis began to explore mixing Jazz and Hip-Hop (check out his album Doo-Bop), many people thought that he was doing just this. Likewise, there are not a whole lot of artists in the electronic genres that use more than small hints of Jazz; a nice horn loop here, some cool organ riffs there. So I figured that this is an area where I can maybe make some headway and get people from the different genres to think a little differently about their music.

khal: I know you are a self proclaimed “computer geek”; what is your setup at home? Do you strictly use PC or are you incorporating live instrumentation into your pieces as well?

KR: The concept of live instrumentation gets a little fuzzy for me, because I mostly record my material by myself. So one minute something is live, the next minute it is part of the big picture that I’m trying to bring to life. I do try to blend whatever kinds of musical elements that I can get my hands on. On my project Ideas, which is available on my
web site, I include trumpet, piano, and harmonica. I use a couple of synthesizers to provide the more unusual sounds as well as drum programming and pattern looping. My next project, which is tentatively being named Stand Back, Train Approaching, has a track that features some nice guitar work provided by a friend of mine, Grant Reitzel.

khal: Who are some of your influences?

KR: Miles Davis (of course) – I love the sound of his trumpet, the nuances in every performance. I love his attitude – that he always sought to play what he was hearing. If there is only one album that you ever buy, it should be Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. John Coltrane, Blank & Jones, Alanis Morissette – I absolutely love her melodies and her voice, The M-People, Snap, Wynton Marsalis, and lots of others.

khal: In speaking to you on various occasions, I know you have had some trials and tribulations in trying to get your music heard by labels. Do you think there is still a market for Jazz in today’s world?

KR: The short answer is yes – real, authentic, quality music will always have a market. The long answer is – I think that Jazz has a couple of serious problems to deal with: 1) Today’s Pop music has trained the average listener to be very low on patience, and very high on expectations for the level of excitement that a piece of music generates. I mean, mainstream songs are always 3.5 minutes long, there’s almost no dynamic variation, and the emotional content seems to be controlled by fairly precise formulas designed to optimize excitement and minimize any possible boredom. Not that there’s anything wrong with this – but it makes music more like a cup of coffee that you use for a specific effect, rather than the deep emotional experience that it can be. 2) Many Jazz musicians are comfortable in their little niche; when people get comfortable, they can become irrelevant. I try to deal with these in my music, which is another reason I try to meld high energy music and improvised music, to try to get the best of both worlds, if that’s possible – we’ll see.

khal: I know you have been following/playing Jazz for a while now; are all of your projects like the Ideas series?

KR: My latest one, which I referred to earlier, is similar, but much different – it is not quite as mellow and it is produced better – my production chops have improved since the last project. Some of the arrangements in the newer project are also a bit more interesting – again, because I’ve learned so much through the entire process.

khal: Your website mentions that you play for the New Life Assembly in New Jersey. How much of a role does God play in your life, as well as your music? Also, do you play out anywhere else?

KR: Well, really it’s all about God. He’s made such a difference in my life in so many ways – he protects me from myself, he provides me with everything I need, and more. I see my music as a gift that came straight from his hands, and I really want to see how far I can run with it in the time that I have here. I am actually in the process of working on a live act – my recorded music started out as an experiment, so I’m working on evolving my creative process to a live environment; which is challenging. There is some great technology that has emerged recently that is really promising for my kind of situation.

khal: Where do you envision your music going (creatively and commercially) in the future? Do you WANT major success/a record contract, or are you just trying to get heard?

KR: Success is a good thing, generally. Though I think most of all I would like the opportunity to play for as many people as possible. Creatively, I just try to play what the stuff that I feel inside of me – I think that’s what’s really important – so many people try to play and sound like others – because they think that is what makes someone successful. Really, I think success comes from playing the song that’s inside you, even if it’s a little different.

khal: Are there any intentions on updating your website with some of your newer work?

KR: The new project (tentatively titled Stand Back, Train Approaching) should be ready by the end of the year.

khal: Do you have any insight you could give our readers who might be looking to get involved with making music via PC? What programs/equipment would you suggest they purchase?

KR: Absolutely – there is SO much incredible technology out there today, and more importantly, the prices are becoming more and more reasonable. Probably one of the best places to start is to get your hands on is Propellerhead’s Reason. Reason runs about $400 and contains everything you need to produce music minus the ability to actually record external audio. It has a drum machine, a pattern sequencer, two different types of synthesizers – you can arrange full songs just with this piece of software. If you want to complement that with some audio recording software, one of the greatest deals out there is Steinberg’s Cubase SE – which has everything you need to do audio recording, and integrates nicely with Reason through a protocol called ReWire. You can record your Reason tracks straight into Cubase, and then sing, speak, or play over whatever you have put together. There are two primary pieces of hardware that you’ll probably want to get a hold of. A MIDI controller keyboard – this allows you to control/play PC Based synthesizers such as Reason. These range in price between $150 and $500. An audio interface – this is to plug in mics or other external audio sources to your computer. You can pay $60 and up for these, depending on the specifics of the device. Any other questions about this stuff, I’d be glad to answer via email.

khal: Do you have any last bits of advice?

KR: Again – one of the hardest things in life is discovering who you really are. Each one of us is created differently but similar, and we operate most efficiently when we’re being the people that we were created to be. And really doing this is impossible without the help of the One who did the creating in the first place. So – get connected with God – and then follow that ancient proverb – Just Do It! (If there are any questions about getting connected with God – please feel free to email)

khal: Thanks for your time, Kyle, and good luck!

KR: Thank *you*! :)

If you want to check out more info on Kyle Rowland and his Jazz, slide on over to his website, Kyle Rowland Music. He is also working on his MySpace page. You can download his tracks at either of those sites, as well as here. Watch those spaces, because his next release, Stand Back, Train Approaching, will be coming out in the near future. We again would like to thank Kyle for letting us pick his brain.

Sunday YouTube Madness: Turntablist Edition Round 2

Another fix of cuts and scratches. I went into this wanting to specifically highlight juggling (the art of turning 1 song into a completely new song using 2 records), but found some other treats at 1AM. Check out my spoils...

#1: DJ Shortee clip from some tutorial. Give you a basic idea of the beginning of a juggle...

#2: After that tutorial, check out A-Trak live in China, showing you what you can do with some advanced juggle techniques...

#3: Grandmaster Roc Raida working out the classic Run DMC "Sucka MC's" instrumental...

#4: Roc Raida again, doing some live shit at the legendary Fat Beats. I believe this routine was used on his track from the Return Of The DJ compilation... check out his freak.

#5: Roc's boy Mista Sinista working out the decks at Fat Beats. It's hot, give it some room to breathe.

#6: Check out Roc and Sinista's boy Total Eclipse work the shit out of Tribe's "Scenario". One sick routine, I love when he uses his belly on the fader.

#7: P-Trix works out some classic De La Soul on this routine. I'm loving this one right now.

#8: D-Styles and toadstyle just doing some abstract, live turntable instrumentation. Not sure about all that's going on in here, but it's hot nonetheless. The cheap video transitions have got to go though!

#9: Forgive the awful video on this, I just found it. DJ Craze in full battle mode. I love the intro --- but checkout this video around 5 min 08 seconds... he rocks the full on dnb in this. He even throws in some shit off of Q-Bert's album, which I thought was unique.

#10: To put an end-cap on this, here's the mighty Q-Bert doing his thing at Tableturns. The set is about 7 mins, and he does some ill shit. From rocking a hip-hop to dnb tempo, showcasing this scratch called "prism", and even works out scratches without a mixer! Must be seen.

If you guys know of any Turntablist shit that I am missing, scream at me. Until next time...