You ever see a video really late at night that has a song so out of your realm of possibility that you thought you dreamt it? Well, this is one of those moments. Let me explain, I can’t remember how old I was exactly but I woke up out of a deep slumber and somehow I stumbled onto MTV2. The video for “Epic” by Faith No More was on. After watching it, I fell asleep without realizing it. For two weeks, I thought I dreamt the surreal mix of rap, pseudo-neo classical guitar and Bjork’s goldfish. After watching the video for Muthawit’s “Wasted (Fill my House with Salt)” I got the exact same feeling I did then.
The video is kind reminiscent of Jamiroquai’s Virtual Insanity video…well minus the part where the whole room being moved. I admit that I’m a sucker for videos that add concert footage. Bighead Scientists directed the video, I’m not exactly sure who “Bighead Scientists” are but they did a good job.
Musically, how can I describe “Wasted (Fill My House with Salt)?” A maniacal mix of saxophone, horn hits, distorted bass, swinging drums, subtle string, flanged out guitar and this shift from jazz to blues vocals or in other words UrbAlt.
In closing, if you’re a sucker for videos that have a direct to the point concept and interweaved with live footage, you’ll enjoy the video for “Wasted (Fill My House with Salt).”
Fusing the emotionally charged rapping—well more like “emotional recitation” of Donnie Darko over chugging, down tuned guitar samples. Darko paints a bleak, cold picture of a world of despair and pain that is a reality for some. DJ Bless’s aggressive chanting compliments Darko’s venting. I noticed that ”U.F.O Transmissions” is kind of reminiscent of another rap song with an intergalactic theme. That being Kanye West’s waltz timed “Spaceship.” I mean, aside from concept of space travel, the similar theme of both songs is hoping for a better present than the one that they’re experiencing. In closing, I feel that DJ Bless use of djent or metalcore band “I The Breather” compliments the delivery of Donnie Darko.
written by John M. Ellison IV
Insane Clown Posse, Jack White and JEFF the Brotherhood walk into a bar…well, studio and somebody brought in the sheet music for Mozart’s “Leck Mich im Arsch” or “Lick me in the Ass” in English. Actually, I thought it was a joke. Not in the fact Insane Clown Posse has anything to do with the project but in the fact that up until recently it was a known that Jack White hated rap music.
I begrudgingly admit that I forgot this piece by Mozart’s existed and when I heard about it back then I thought that was a hoax. I mean, c’mon! Mozart wrote a piece about licking ass? I couldn’t fathom the idea back then. But on the other hand, why am I not surprised? I mean, he’s Austrian. Interesting enough, this isn’t the first song that featured Insane Clown Posse and a classical sample. The Psychopathic Records supergroup “Dark Lotus” that’s current lineup consists of Insane Clown Posse, Blaze ya Dead Homie and Twiztid. The group had a song called “Pass the Axe” that sampled Beethoven’s Symphony #9. At this rate, I wonder what they would do with Stravinsky.
In this case, you have Jack White playing the role of producer, Nashville sibling rock duo JEFF the Brotherhood on drums and guitar and Insane Clown Posse rapping. Drum wise, Jamin’s playing a steady beat that’s complimentary and not overplaying. Jake’s guitar tone simulates the timbre of an organ that’s reminiscent of the White Stripes “Blue Orchid.” Just for another laugh, Jamin and Jake’s last name are Orrall. Rap wise, you have Violent J using his shouting, barking kind of out of tune flow which he uses for more rap-metal based tracks. Although, it can be considered grating and amateurish to listenersthat are unaccustomed to it, it complements the aggression of the instrumentation of JEFF the Brotherhood. Shaggy who I feel is the stronger rapper of the duo, has a similar but more fluid flow though.
Overall if you’re not up to listening to a rap-rock ode to anilingus…stay clear from this or you’ll end up with the “you ate ass” face.
But, if you’re up to gross out, juvenile lyrics that are reminiscent of a schiesse film. Feel free to check it out.
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