Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dude N Nem - Watch My Feet

Juke baby Juke

Is Chicago gonna takeover?


Video: Behind the Boards w/ 9th Wonder

Skip to 4:48 for 9th...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Video: Driving Me Wild - Common ft. Lily Allen

Driving Me Wild - Common feat. Lily Allen

Easily my favorite track off of Finding Forever. The video is weird, but hot.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Graduation Snippets

Friday, August 10, 2007

Crankin' It Back Down South

Soulja Boy - Crank Dat
Today is my last day in New York City, and I got to say that after spending a full summer here, I saw almost every stereotype I had heard about this city proved wrong. I'll remember the amazing people on my block in Brooklyn, living without AC during one of the hottest summers on record, the corner store filled with dudes watching the Yankees games every night and the crazy clubs in Manhattan. Some of the life up here is straight out of a movie... like little kids playing in the water from fire hydrants or the block parties which go long into the night, but there are also parts of this city I didn't even know existed. This city accepts everyone, and that is definitely refreshing... you could be a goth white kid or a hood country boy and people will treat you the same.

I also loved the fact that people up here get down with GOOD music. There is definitely a lot of hatin on the South, but that's to be expected. Aside from that, people love groups like a Little Brother and concerts for acts like Mos Def or The Roots are sold out EARLY. They give props where props is due. The fact they hate to love Lil Wayne up here is too funny, because it made my debates with random dudes so easy. How can you tell me he's lame when he sells out every venue up here and throws down at Summer Jam? New York has lost its grip on hip hop, giving it up to the South and Chicago and though some can't handle it others embrace the evolution in music.

But it's back to the South where I'm gonna be "Crankin Dat Soulja Boy" (now watch me DOOOOO!) throughout my senior year. It would be a good look to check us out on August 24th for 3: The Hard Way, the biggest back-to-school event in the area. It's gonna be one to remember.

Lastly, please believe, as soon as I leave RDU I'm headin to Bojangle's to cop a 4-Piece Supreme Dinner (with fries, sweet tea and honey mustard). Bull City, I'm back!

Part Of The Plan - Swizz Beatz feat. Chris Martin

About a week back, I was at Swizz Beatz' listening session and told you about the track he had with Coldplay's Chris Martin and how it was one of the highlights of Swizzy's new album, One Man Band Man. Check it out.

Part Of The Plan - Swizz Beatz feat. Chris Martin

Martin was featured on "Beach Chair" on Jigga's Kingdom Come and will be Kanye West's Graduation (droppin 9/11).

Smoking Sessions with Little Brother

Good interview by The Smoking Section, a website that has been down with LB from the days of The Listening. They confirm that Lil Wayne is on the album and you might be surprised at what they got to say about "Theotis Pain".

The Smoking Section: Smoking Sessions with Little Brother

Video: Rhymefest & DJ Jazzy Jeff - In Studio

I've become a big fan of both of these dudes in the last year, so it's good to hear they are collaborating on a new album. Rhymefest is fool for this.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Behind the Boards with 9th Wonder

I wasn't originally gonna go see this show, then I found an article on XXL about the event so I figured I should check it out. After getting in the little Apache Cafe, I noticed 9th sitting on stage with his HP nodding his head to an Ipod while the DJs provided our music. After the 1st round of the producer battles and an MC battle it was time for 9th.

9th went through the records he sampled for some of the tracks on The Listening, playing out the originals and what not which was cool. May favorite LB track of all time is "The Listening" (Did you see that niggas aluminum shoe laces!), and I never heard the original sample from it so that gave me chills. He went into how he got together with Jay-Z and Destiny's Child, and went on to say that "the beat that you spend an hour on, choppin it up and what not, isn't gonna be "the one", it's always gonna be the one you knock out in 20".

Some of my favorite beats from 9th are the ones he has done for LA rapper Murs. 9th said that when he and Murs hooked up he told Murs that "we gon do some nigga shit bruh" 9th said he respected what Murs did with his group with Living Legends, but he doesn't make that type of music.

The best part of night was when the interviewer, Dres tha Beatnik, asked 9th what is that one beat you've made knowing that you weren't gonna be able to get it cleared. 9th said he flipped "Billy Jean" by MJ while cycling through his Ipod and dropped the beat....WOW. You wouldn't of even guessed that "Billy Jean" was the sample, but the beat was amazing so much that I don't even remember what it sounds like. 9th said that the only way he could get that cleared was if someone like Usher got on it knowing that they where gonna get all the money back through album sales.

Some other notes from the interview,

2 words to describe your music: Black Music
Favorite artist right now: Mary J
Favorite artist of the all time: New Edition

The interview could of been better, no questions about the future with LB and I wish that 9th would of talked more about himself and not just the music. Should be on a youtube channel near you soon.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Concert Review: Lauryn Hill in Brooklyn, 8/6/07

It was without a doubt one of the most incredible concert-going experiences I have had. Lauryn Hill on a summer night in Brooklyn...

Me and two of my boys from Columbia got to Wingate Field in Flatbush around 3 PM and figured with a 7:30 PM scheduled start time that we would be plenty early. Wrong. There were about 300 people already in line when we arrived and the line was growing quickly. With security provided by the Nation of Islam, we chilled and watched people try to skip line and get plucked out one-by-one. By the time we got into the stadium the buzz about Lauryn was crazy. Random sections of the crowd broke out into renditions of "That Thing (Doo Wop)" or "Killing Me Softly" and people were wondering if she would really show. The sun slowly set as Sean Kingston finally took stage around 8:15 and he definitely had the younger kids in the crowd excited, though I was unimpressed. The 17-year-old Kingston performed three original songs but had his DJ play four songs that weren't even his. Of course "I Get Money" and "Welcome to Jamrock" are going to get the crowd hype, but that has nothing to do with you! Finally the overweight kid got off stage and the real talk of Lauryn started.

The president of Brooklyn got on stage and initially said Lauryn was still on her way (which made a few people leave) but it wasn't too long before he came on and announced "Ms. Hill is in the building". Lauryn's band came on around 9:15 and did a long, amazing peice before she actually came out. When she finally did show the crowd was LOUD! Lauryn's first three songs were very disappointing. “Lost Ones” was fused with Bob Marley’s “Natty Dread” and then “Final Hour” melded with Peter Tosh’s “Downpressor Man,” and “To Zion” blended with Marley’s “Iron, Lion, Zion.” All three songs were played at a quick ska-like pace and though it was hot, it wasn't what people were expecting. From there she did a few of her father-in-law, Bob Marley's tracks including “Zimbabwe” and “Hammer,” which were loved by the many Caribbean people in the crowd.

Finally, Lauryn hit with "Ex Factor" (my video below).
She blew us away. I had chills as she hit her notes and the crowd could have sung every line for her. She then slowed it down and did a cover of Roberta Flack's “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” introducing it by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, my voice is strained, but I’m gonna slow it down and try to sing you this love song.” Her voice was there, sounding nothing like the raspy vocals we were left with on her Unplugged 2.0 album. It's deep richness reverberating off of the surrounding buildings and making my hair stand on end.

The tempo picked back up and Lauryn went into a set of classics from The Fugees 1996 album, The Score including “How Many Mics,” “Fu-Gee-La” and “Zealots.” She rapped both Wycelf and Pras' verses and the tempo on the songs weren't that of the originals but it was still good to hear the verses coming from her. Lauryn then dropped the mic and the band left the stage still burning and the crowd yearning for more.

With the crowd chanting her name she finally came back and went through songs like "Killing Me Softly" and "Everything Is Everything". She got crazy creative with the latter, mixing in Timbaland's "Give It To Me" while spitting her second verse. Following this she performed her latest single "Lose Myself" which sounded GREAT compared to the recorded single version. The production was just soft enough and her voice sounded amazing. Finally, she switched it up and did a cover of The Shirelles "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" setting the stage for "That Thing (Doo Wop)": a performance, which literally was almost supernatural. Everyone's hands raised, jumping on chairs, bouncing with Lauryn while she kept the band looping the hook while we all sang along. Even more incredible was how she spit the second verse over the instrumental of Swizz Beatz' "Money In The Bank" to the approval of the those dancing in the aisles. "Good to see you," Lauryn said as she exited the stage with the band still playing the rift from her hit song, "Very good to see you!" There was definitely no doubt about that.

This was a make or break moment for me. If Lauryn came out looking crazy and sounding the same, I was gonna give up hope... but no. Though her performance was different, her energy was incredible. She came and set the place out and for that reason I will continue to think she still has it in her.

Rolling Stone Review: "Two-hour-plus career-spanning concert"
Newsday Review: "One of the year's best live performances"

Concert Review: Rock the Bells in Atlanta, 8/2/07

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Swizz Beatz Listening Session

Last night, I got to attend a Swizz Beatz listening session for his new album One Man Band Man. Though every song he played seemed to contain the same references to his Lambo, his chains and how he shuts the party down; I did like the track he played for us called "Part of the Plan" which features Chris Martin from Coldplay. This track will be his next single and the video will be filmed by Paul Haggis - Academy Award winning director of Crash. Swizz was a very cool dude that chilled outside with people from the event for an hour after the session was over, taking pictures and offering a few more quotes for the random media outlets that attended. One Man Band Man drops on August 21.