Monthly Archives: August 2014

My First Love – The Best Part – Summer In The City – Dark Days – Is It Real – Take It All

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I’m A Poet/All My Rhymes Potent/Beats Is The Potion To Get Ya’ll Open/And I’m Expressing In The Highest Form. -First Love

Where You Wanna Take This/Felt Your Vibe At The First Kiss/Felt Your Soul At The First Touch. -The Best Part

We Movin/We Coolin Out In East River Park/Took A Tab Of That Acid Watch The World Become Art. -Summer In The City*

Motherfuck A Critic Keep Doin You/Dark Days/No Inspiration/No Motivation/No Fucking Patience. -Dark Days

Your Appearance Ain’t All That I Care/About I’m Tryna See Where Your Mind At/What Your Gals Are/Where You Spend Your Time At. -Is It Real

I had originally wanted to write this special segment of my blog after Bryant Dope released the first four installments of #RawDopeWednesdays but I lost track of time, got busy and it didn’t happen. I’m actually happy though because through planning the execution of this post I realized that not only do the songs themselves tell a story but the order in which they were released also tell a story. Before I get into that, Bryant Dope announced in mid-July that he would release a new track every week on Wednesdays “for the fans only,” he calls this series #RawDopeWednesdays. There’s been talk about him releasing the Raw Dope 2 EP (follow up to Raw Dope – I suggest getting that) and #RawDopeWednesdays is certainly creating a buzz for that release. I’ve loved every single #RawDopeWednesday release thus far and I always anticipate the next one! Before I do a song by song recap, I want to go back to my earlier thought on the progression of the songs themselves and how they tell a story based on the order in which they were released. From the title of “My First Love” we can tell it’s the start of something, “The Best Part” lets us know that whatever that something is – it’s going good, “Summer In The City” is a song about having fun and enjoying life, then we hit the ‘climax’ of the story with “Dark Days” where something is amiss and the focus may have been lost or it’s having a hard time pushing through obstacles, things get better in “Is It Real” but there’s still some questioning going on and some uncertainty, the last song “Take It All” suggests that the story is over but since this track hasn’t been released yet…this is obviously just a speculation; which leaves me all the more curious to hear it and get the missing puzzle piece. Let me take a minute to recognize all the dope artwork for these songs…I placed them in a collage but definitely do your research and check out the full sized images! Everything about this project is so unique and different – I don’t think I’ve seen another artist do something like this in the past.

1. MY FIRST LOVE: Track is produced by Hannibal King (see my previous post on this blog). The song samples from Erykah Badu “Searching” which actually is a song of the same name originally made by Roy Ayers. The beginning of this song also reminds me a bit of the melody in Bobby Caldwell’s “Do For Love.” This song has a jazzy, hip vibe to it one that can appeal to an older audience as well as a younger, more hip hop geared crowd. This track is Dope’s ode to Hip Hop – what a great way to open up the series. He raps, “I”m A Poet/All My Rhymes Potent/Beats Is The Potion To Get Ya’ll Open/And I’m Expressing In The Highest Form.”

2. THE BEST PART:  Track is produced by Tom Misch. In the song Dope raps about the beginning part of a new relationship and the infatuation that ensues. All the feelings are new and in his eyes it’s “the best part.” On the track he raps, “Where You Wanna Take This? Felt Your Vibe At The First Kiss/Felt Your Soul At The First Touch.”

3. SUMMER IN THE CITY: Track is produced by Soul. The song samples Sade’s “Sally.” It has a very sloooooooow beat which is fitting since there’s some drug usage in the song and the song is all about cruising around the city with no agenda except to hang out. There’s also a jazzy sounding melody backed up by a hip hop beat. This whole song emits a carefree lifestyle. (*Disclaimer: I don’t use drugs and try not to promote drug usage…but I can’t help it but like this line in the song.) He raps, “We Movin/We Coolin Out To East River Park/Took A Tab Of That Acid Watch The World Become Art.”

4. DARK DAYS: Track is produced by Marc R. The beat on this is mystical (with a C not a K) sounding and reminds me of a video game or a movie tune. The song describes a feeling we’ve had: giving up. Some days are harder than others and continuing on seems impossible. Dope raps, “Motherfuck A Critic, Keep Doin You! Dark Days/No Inspiration/No Motivation/No Fucking Patience.” But as the song progresses the message does too…

5. IS IT REAL: Track is produced by Les Nubians. I recognized this song immediately, as Les Nubian’s 1998 single “Makeda.” (*Side Note: If you don’t know of Les Nubians, it’s a definite must that you get familiar with this french duo. I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert for the first time (finally!) in March at Yoshi’s in SF and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. I don’t speak French, but there’s this thing about music…it touches your soul regardless on if you speak the language or not. MUSIC is the universal language of the soul.) I love this song with Bryant’s raps over the beat. I think he’s rapping about the same chick in the other songs. They met, infatuation occurred, they had a fun day riding around the city, they possibly went through a hard time, and now he’s questioning if it’s really real. He raps, “Your Appearance Ain’t All That I Care About/I’m Tryna See Where Your Mind At/What Your Goals Are/Where You Spend Your Time At.”

6. TAKE IT ALL: Track is produced by Hannibal King. Anyone recognize the artwork? Paid in Full! My mind is filled with curiosity and wonder for where this song is going to go and what direction it’s going to take the whole project in. Stay tuned for it’s release later today.

Take It all

 

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Black And Educated, Tell My Mama I’ma Make It

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hannibal-king-floral-printBlack And Educated/Tell My Mama I’ma Make It/Me And Mom Bout To Get It Off The Books This Year. -Hannibal King

I found out about Hannibal King by way of Bryant Dope‘s #RawDopeWednesday releases. (Search that hashtag on Twitter to find all the songs.) The first track released in that series, “My First Love” is produced by Hannibal King. The beat on that song is amazing especially because of the way it compliments the song. The track piqued my interest in Hannibal King. I started following him on Twitter, did my research and realized he had two songs: “Fast Way” featuring Adrian Lau and Bryant Dope and “Never Die.” I’ve been bumpin’ these two songs ever since. One week from today, on September 2, Hannibal is set to release his first project of raps Floral Print. I’ll definitely be getting that! In the meantime, he just released his video for “Never Die,” which will be featured on the project. Watch below, and mark your calendar for September 2nd.

First Try Is The Best Try, Let’s Ride Like There’s No Tomorrow

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First Try Is The Best Try/Let’s Ride Like There’s No Tomorrow/Cuz What I Got Is What You Need/I Can Give You All Of Me. -Ronni Allen

I was instantly a fan of this track by newcomer, Ronni Allen, because of the sample she used. But when I heard her voice on the song I knew for other reasons it was going to be a good one. Give me a beat I can vibe out to, some sweet R&B vocals, some cool lyrics and that’s really about all I need. It’s a new song with an older feel to it. The sample was taken from Ma$e’s “Tell Me What You Want” featuring Total, off his debut album Harlem World. The Ma$e track was definitely one of my favorites when it came out and it still is now, too.

Ronni Allen is a new songstress on the scene, originally from the island Montserrat but when a volcano destroyed the capital in 1995 her family was forced to relocate to The Bronx, New York. Her music is definitely influenced by the New York R&B sound we’ve all become familiar with. Some of her musical idols are Total, Faith Evans, SWV and Michael Jackson. I hope you all like the song as much as I do! Be sure to check my site, as I’ll definitely be posting any new releases she has coming up!

Now How You Doin Miss Lady? To Keep It Real I Ain’t Tryna Sound Crazy, But I’m A Fan Of You

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Now How You Doin’ Miss Lady? To Keep It Real, I Ain’t Tryna Sound Crazy/But I’m A Fan Of You/Now What A Man To Do?/Clear My Day Just So I Can Set Up Plans With You. -Troy

Bay Area artist, Troy of Legends Live Forever released a new set of visuals yesterday for his track “Worth It” featuring Bianca K. Shot at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, this video is the perfect representation of the summertime in California. If you’re looking for that perfect summertime ballad to ride out to as summer draws to a close, this is it. You really can’t go wrong with Troy’s smooth lyrics coupled with Bianca K’s voice over the beat that’ll instantly make you nod your head.

Peep the video below and be sure to head over to iTunes after and purchase the song too!

Never Thought That These Words Were This Powerful, Make Em Pay They Ever Doubted You

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Never Thought That These Words Were This Powerful/Make Em Pay They Ever Doubted You. -Locksmith

Locksmith does it again. His newest video “Your Loss,” is my favorite one so far. The video displays a set of simplistic images while still managing to be intricate. It’s an interesting concept but one I immediately picked up on. I guess it all boils down to some serious irony. I wrote this post focusing on the imagery of the video coupled with the lyrics to explore another meaning.

1. This song evokes a certain air of purity. A song about chasing your dreams yet managing to stay true to oneself – something that a lot people (not just artists) struggle with. Now, think about that message in relation to all of the fake imagery surrounding Vegas.

2. Vegas is a place where some people try to prove they’re something that they might not necessarily be. A place where the norm is to “front” or “stunt” on others. (I know that’s a generalization, but it’s still an underlying theme.) Every bit of Locksmith’s song goes against that, take for example the lyric “I’d Rather Be Me Than The Facade That You Rep.”

3. Most of the time we equate being rich with money. Being rich in money doesn’t always lead to happiness though. Mo’ money, mo’ problems, right? Sure, it makes certain aspects of life easier but to be truly happy you must achieve other things, too. You can be rich in culture, spirit, mind, body, and soul. You can be rich in your values and morals and the way in which you choose to live your life. Las Vegas emits the idea of being rich in material possessions. The lyricism in Locksmith’s song doesn’t point to that, he says “You Can Be Rich Even With Out Things.”

4. In the chorus Anesha sings, “Don’t Wanna Lose My Way,” which I think pertains to losing sight of what’s important or losing sight of your dreams. It’s easy to get caught up an a fast lifestyle, especially in a place like Las Vegas. With that comes the loss of a person’s true identity.

Can you think of any others? Watch the video below and see for yourself. If you haven’t copped A Thousand Cuts yet, be sure to do so on iTunes.