Tag Archives: Hip Hop

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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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!

We In The Cadillac Floating Like The Ocean, Suddenly Everything Was Movin In Slow Motion

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ImageWe In The Cadillac Floating Like The Ocean/Suddenly Everything Was Movin In Slow Motion/So I Take Another Hit/Try To Relax. -Elli Ingram/T-Pain

I got a thang for hip hop songs turned R&B, like this one. This isn’t Elli Ingram’s first rodeo though; anybody know what other song she remixed? If not, feast your eyes (and ears) on this. I didn’t realize it when I first heard it, but Elli’s version of this song is actually a mash up of Chance The Rapper’s “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” and  T-Pain’s “I’m High.” I’ve been liking this song for awhile now, and thought I would share it with you all! P.S. If you like this song or are intrigued by her, head on over to her website to see what else she’s up to!

Let These Words Be The Colors, I’m Just Painting My Heart

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Let These Words Be The Colors, I’m Just Painting My Heart/I’m Knee Deep In The Game And It Ain’t What I Thought. – J. Cole

How fitting that the title of my blog and now first post, is about J. Cole. But before I dive right into my J. Cole-ness (my friend, Jon coined and dedicated this term to me), I should probably start, where most good stories do, at the beginning.

I’ve always listened to a lot of music, from the times I tagged along with my dad to the golf course with my sister’s walkman and tapes in hand (to entertain me for a looooong day of golf) to the times my sister, a family friend and I would lip sync and give a show to our parents of all of our favorite songs (TLC’s “Creep”, Tevin Campbell’s “Can We Talk?” and MoKenStef’s “He’s Mine” just to name a few). This, start of a love for music, later evolved into memorizing so many lyrics to songs that my dad would exclaim to me, “Why don’t you use the same technique you do to memorize all these lyrics and do it with your school work.” Well that didn’t change either, soon I was in high school…making my own CD mixes, playlists for friends, the music that my volleyball team would run out to (Lil Flip’s “The Way We Ball), and never forgetting to leave the house with out my portable CD player and headphones. I began downloading A LOT of music, spending hours sometimes in the “dungeon” at my cousin’s house and then volunteering to go with him anywhere he was going because I knew I could play the CDs that I had just made in his car that featured, what I thought to be a state of the art sound system — you could hear the car blocks away before you could actually see it. I’ll always remember one time we were driving past a Whole Foods playing Notorious B.I.G.’s feat. Junior Mafia “Player’s Anthem” and there was a guy outside the store nodding his head to our beat as we drove by. During high school, I lived for those moments.

Do you see a pattern yet? As the technology evolved, so did my means to getting and listening to music. I’m going to fast forward a bit and give you the short version…I’ve had iPods, a few laptops (some that crashed and lost all my music, but luckily I was able to transfer from iPod back to iTunes), an iphone, and a constant access to the internet — all of this is necessary for me to stay in tuned with my music (pun intended).

The first song I ever heard by J. Cole was “Lights Please” off of his 2009 mixtape The Warm Up. I fall in love, all over again, with that song every time I hear it. But, no, that wasn’t when my J. Cole-ness was born. It wasn’t until I was walking through my college campus one day and I saw a flier for a free concert the following week, starring J. Cole. If I went, I would have to miss one of my favorite classes, Spanish. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take that risk or not so I decided that I would go to the concert and wait and see how I felt while I was there. I commuted to school and therefore didn’t have very many friends at school, but it was no bother to me…I was going to see a free concert, on a sunny warm fall day, by an artist that I didn’t really know but knew that I liked at least one of his songs.

That concert was truly a turning point for me. Soon after, I was listening to Sirius radio and J. Cole was there and they were playing songs off of his new mix tape Friday Night Lights. All the songs being played were tugging at my heart and captivating my mind like almost no other song had ever done before (with the exception of “Lights Please”).

Friday Night Lights is when my J. Cole-ness was truly born. I began researching him more, finding out what type of person he was, watching YouTube interviews and music videos of him, I was constantly on a quest to find new, unheard song by him, I created playlists just of him, counted down days until his Debut album came out, pre-ordered my copy (and when it wasn’t at my house the day it was released, I went to the record store to buy a copy), bought a T-shirt, have since seen him perform multiple times but never again for free) and I have displayed all of this J. Cole-ness on my Facebook profile.

I still post about J. Cole now, but I also post about other artists and other music that I enjoy. I frequent concerts almost once a month (except for as of recent, I’m trying to save money), and spend a lot of time on the computer: finding new artists, new songs, and listening to hours of music in and out of my iTunes library.

My sister suggested that I start a blog about my music especially because I ultimately want to work in the music and entertainment industry some day. Right away, I decided that I wanted to “let these words be the colors, I’m just painting my heart.” Hopefully, this blog gives insight to who I am as a person, a writer and, in a sense, an artist.

So I invite you to read my posts, listen to the music I post and hopefully, enjoy some of it along the way.