Check out a preview from Lawrence “L*A*W*” Worrell’s upcoming 3rd mixtape “The St. Marks Avenue Chronicles”
I’ve been on this Hendrix kick as of late thanks to Spotify and Youtube. I stumbled across Hendrix’s live version the Chuck Berry classic “Johnny B. Goode” than Jimi did back in 1970. At first listen, I’m thinking “Johnny B. Goode’s a song that’s three chords, pretty uptempo and well Jimi’s version has an edge to it…wow, Hendrix was really onto something.” No, I’m not saying Jimi started “punk” per se, but to me his version kinda sounds like a predecessor of the 70’s punk sound. Tell me what you think…
Jimi Hendrix-Johnny B. Goode
Check out the video for Jim Snooka’s (aka Dirty Dickens) “Help” directed by DJ Bless
A few years ago around 10 or 11 pm, I was listening to “Decipher Hip-Hop” on WPFW. There was an advert for a hip-hop band called “The Cornel West Theory.” The name caught my interest. Over the years, I’d arbitrarily do a search on their music. Just recently, I found out that they were the house band at Bloombars. Saying that I was proud of them would be an understatement.
For anyone that isn’t familiar with ‘the Cornel West theory”, here’s some bio information from their site.
“the Cornel West theory” is a Washington, D.C.-based ensemble, proudly born from the hip-hop aesthetic, but not bound by limitations of any genre. It’s an eclectic amalgam of spoken word, lyricism, instruments, electronics and vocals, which draw from genres ranging from home-grown go-go to jazz to rock to hip-hop. This “musical theory” is best understood as an artistic wavelength that hits you aesthetically, emotionally and intellectually. With the blessing of Dr. Cornel West, the Princeton University professor and renowned author, the band takes its name from his prolific writings and philosophies, which have shaped contemporary thought throughout the world. Inspired by D.C.’s rich musical history and the struggles of poor people worldwide, the ensemble formed in 2004 in response to social oppression everywhere. Winners of the 2008 Washington Area Music Association’s Wammie for Best Hip-Hop Duo or Group, the Cornel West theory released its debut album “Second Rome” in 2009.
The ensemble consists of Rashad Dobbins, Yvonne Gilmore, Tim Hicks, Sam Lavine, John Wesley Moon, and Katrina Lorraine Starr
Their new album “The Shape of Hip-Hop to Come” features vocals from Cornel West dropping gems of knowledge throughout the album. West’s role is reminiscent of George Clinton on Funkadelic’s first album. At first listen, the band’s sound was very reminiscent of bands and artists like Massive Attack, Public Enemy, MF Doom, Arrested Development and Saul Williams. Also the sample-based production is what I imagine if the Bomb Squad took LSD would sound like.
Here are some of the tracks that I feel stuck out
“Type 1 Change”
This clocked in at 5:00 with a structure that seamlessly goes through more than one song. The style goes from gospel organs to live drums and some keyboard riff straight out emceeing to something that’s well…“Type 1.”
“DC Love Story”
Almost every rapper and rocker has a song about their hometown From the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Jay-Z. This track is pretty much describing what it’s like growing up in Washington, D.C.
This was a change from the album’s jazzy yet lyrically intense to a more rock-ish edge. This is an aggressive fusion of go-go/rock and rap. The delivery is reminiscent of Atlanta hardcore band Amul9.
In closing, if you’re a fan of Massive Attack, MF Doom, Public Enemy, spoken word and music that challenges you should enjoy “the Cornel West theory.”
I want you guys to check out Renee Ruth’s “Electric Eye.” The song is about a girl feeling stagnant and insecure about her station in life. Instead of a female lead in the video, they used his cat “Penny.” I really enjoyed the videos combination of charming imagery and catchy songwriting. Well, enough of my meandering, check out Renee Ruth’s “Electric Eye.”
Did anybody notice Sleigh Bells sampled a Funkadelic song?
On July 31st, 2011 at 1:00 am ET/10 pm PT, the classic MTV show 120 Minutes returned with Matt Pinfield returning as host. The show wasn’t bad; it featured a video from “Jeff the Brotherhood” and other indie rock fare. Then the video for Sleigh Bell’s “Rill Rill” came on. I didn’t pay attention to it but then after it droning on in the background the song sounded familiar…no pun intended. At first I thought “Lola” by the Kinks? No, it wasn’t the Kinks. Then I realized that it was Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That?” off of the “Maggot Brain” album from 1971. Since this was a sample, I was curious and went to see if the Sleigh Bells gave George Clinton and Ernie Harris got a writer’s credit for their song “Rill Rill.” Well, sort of…the band Sleigh Bells did give Ernie Harris and George Clinton a songwriter’s credit. Trouble is that they have given the wrong “George Clinton” a writer’s credit. In this case, they credited film composer “George S. Clinton” with the sample. They should’ve credited the song to “George Clinton Jr.” if they were trying to compensate George Clinton. To be fair, I can understand the mistake but bottom line I really feel they should’ve done their research.
Check it out for yourself.
Sleigh Bells-Rill Rill
Funkadelic-Can You Get to That
Hey folks, I just got this video of Toronto alt/pop singer songwriter Novie. She’s recently collaborated with New York animator Gavin C Reed and created an animated music video for her song “Funk 3 (Get Next to You)” The song is featured on her debut EP “Whatcha Doin’ Baby.” The video fuses Japanese anime, computer animation that compliments the moody, yet poppy feel of “Funk 3 (Get Next to You” by Novie.
In closing, if you enjoy Gorillaz, animated music videos, chill alt/pop music then you’ll enjoy this.
*Gasp* Kanye West sampled Otis Redding? This is amazing! This is incredible! This is…not the first time that somebody sampled Otis Redding. I mean, “Try a Little Tenderness” alone has been sampled by Masta Killa on D.T.D. and Young Black Teenagers on “Tap the Bottle” For clarification, I have nothing against sample-based music at all. In fact my favorite rappers have used a…how to put this eloquently a “shitload” of samples that where some productions verged upon being considered an urban equivalent of Edgar Varese’s “Musique Concrete.” I’m just not just seeing the unnecessary “dick hopping” that hip-hop’s doing right now over an awkwardly sampled Otis Redding cover.
Yes folks, “Try a Little Tenderness” is a cover of a ballad written in 1932 by “Irving King” (or James Campbell and Reginald Connelly) and Harry M. Woods and performed by the Ray Noble Orchestra with vocals by Val Rosing. Personally, the Otis Redding version is more appealing than the original.
To be fair, I’ll point out the good in the track. There were a few amusing lines from Kanye West like “sophisticated ignorance, write my curses in cursive.” Aside from that, I didn’t see this as anything more than just a studio “outtake.” But in comparison to the dreck that passes for rap now and that cover of “Try a Little Tenderness” by Chris Brown I can see how this can be considered re-invigorating.
In closing, if you aren’t a fan of Jay-Z or Kanye West…this might make you dislike. If you’re a fan, than you’ll have this on a constant loop.
Life and Times Otis
The 54 Needs a New Lead Singer!
Atlanta based rock band The 54 is looking for a new lead singer. Here are some songs off of their Reverbnation page. If you feel that you’re a fit for the band’s sound. Why not give it a shot?