Hey folks! Just finally getting to featuring a promising emcee out of Jersey by the name of Verbal Phantom. I’ve been meaning to feature his work since earlier this year but time constraints have been an issue. I don’t know where to start with this guy lyrically. Check him out ripping the “Yonkers” beat by Tyler, the Creator and some more spoken word type flow over “Runaway” by Kanye West. He shows a lot of promise. Peace.
Some of you are probably thinking “R&B Covers of rock songs? Great! First it was rap-rock and now R&B rock!” Yeah…this isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon. I mean for example, Neo-Soul artist Maxwell performed a funkier version of the Nine Inch Nails staple “Closer” or Maxwell’s version titled “Gotta Get Closer.” If you don’t believe that this exists, just Youtube it and set your face to “stunned.”
Well, in this case I’m going to focus on Boston, MA band that’s style mixes rock with tinges of 90’s R&B that the band dubbed “New ‘Crack’ Swing.”
You’re probably thinking “Wait, a cover of “1979” by a band who sounds like Teddy Riley on a rock bender? How does that sound?” Well, they made it their own but still stayed faithful to the original. Singer Dua Boayke’s vocal kind of brings a lounge-y feel that actually gives the song another depth. The keyboards and synthesizer sweetens this cover giving it a more R&B/chill feel.
In closing, Bad Rabbits cover of “1979” had to grow on me. But for anybody into R&B that wants to expand their musical horizons, Bad Rabbits should be a good place to start. Oh by the way, to any Smashing Pumpkins purists who might be in a snit because a band did a cover of “1979″…Billy Corrigan (of the Smashing Pumpkins) probably digs the cover because it’s up on the Smashing Pumpkins official Facebook page.
When I first heard about the Boston,MA band “Bad Rabbits” and their hybrid of funk, new jack swing and rock they called “new crack swing” I was hooked…no pun intended. Anyway, here’s a brief feature on their cover of the Smashing Pumpkins classic “1979.” I’ll write a more detailed one later.
The focus is on rapper Glenn Saddler and his album “the Life and Grinds Glenn Saddler.” “The Life and Grinds of Glenn Saddler” is a six track album that tells the tale of Glenn on quest of self-discovery and dealing with the expectations of his elders and peers…it kind of sounds like an “ATL *RPG.”
For anybody that has a thirst for real instrumentation in rap, you might enjoy the subtle guitar licks of Chris Mac and the production of Tokyo and Todd Marshall.
Here are the songs that really stuck out to me…
“Tell me why”
This has some clever wordplay that you would have to replay a few times to totally understand the meaning. It also kind of like reminds me of a more cerebral version of “Why?” by Detroit rap-rock group Insane Clown Posse. No, that’s not a jab, I’m a fan of ICP, folks.
How to make it (L&G edition)
It’s a summary of how people go to Atlanta trying to become either a rapper or a model and how it’s a parallel to others going out to Hollywood to pursue acting and the struggles that come along with it.
It’s an anthem proclaiming individuality in a sea of clones. Kind of like a smarter version of “Umma Do Me” by Rocko.
In closing, “The Life and Grinds of Glenn Saddler” has to grow on me a little more but it has potential to be something that I would have on rotation. If you’re looking for proof that not all rap from Atlanta is big dumb party music then this is a good example.
*RPG stands for Role Playing Game.
Tech N9ne-Worldwide Choppers featuring Yelawolf, Busta Rhymes, Twista and Ceza review by John M. Ellison IV
On May 3rd, 2011 XXL released Tech N9ne’s Worldwide Choppers featuring Yelawolf, Busta Rhymes, Twista and Ceza. After the initial listen, the first thing I could utter was “Whoa.”
“Worldwide Choppers” is a showcase of quick tongued lyricists Yelawolf, Busta Rhymes, Twista, Ceza, J.L. B Hood, U$O, D-Loc & Twisted Insane speed flow. For fans that are just discovering Tech N9ne, understand that this isn’t the first of the “Choppers” series before you had songs such as “Midwest Choppers” that featured Mid-west rappers D-Loc (not to be confused with the California rapper of Stoner Rap-Rock Kottonmouth Kings), Dalima and Strange Music mainstay Big Krizz Kaliko on the album “Tech N9ne Collabos Misery Loves Kompany” and Midwest Choppers 2 ft. K-Dean and Krayzie Bone on Sickology 101.
With collabo tracks like this I see a parallel to as they call in jazz world a “head tune.” I relate it to a head tune, not necessarily because of a melodic main theme, but the common “theme” of everyone on the track using a double time flow. Production wise, the choppy guitar hits were a nice touch and gave the track an aggressive edge. Lyrically, I’m not even going to try and compare the artists by saying which artists on here had the fastest or the best verse on here.
In closing, if you’re looking for a track that showcases some of the fastest rappers, this is definitely a great place to start.
What do I know about Dayton Family…well, I know that they’re a rap group out of Flint, MI that’s currently signed to Hatchet House records and they’ve been a part of the Michigan rap scene for a minute. The group is now composed of Ira Dorsey, Raheen Peterson and new Matt Hinkle who perform under the respective personas of Bootleg, Shoestring and new member Backstabba.
The song in question is titled “Cocaine.” Yep, “Cocaine” You know, like the song by J.J. Cale that Eric Clapton made famous. You’re probably wondering how I came across this video? Well, I was checking out my Facebook page and I noticed a post from Iann Robinson where he posted a video for their single off Dayton Family’s EP “Psycho.”
When I first saw the video, my first few thoughts were…
Is that white powdery–ARE THEY COVERED IN COCAINE DOING LIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY?!
…Shouldn’t this song be faster?
The video is set in a club and features an opening montage that parodies the still frame intro of “Cheers”, women wrestling in kiddie pools full of cocaine and cameos from members of the Psychopathic Records roster. I remember when Insane Clown Posse was about dousing their fans with Faygo…now Violent J’s looks like Dr. Rockso! Song wise, I see the humor in it and Shoestring interjecting “Dem bitches selling coke!” had me laughing out loud because it was so random to me but flow wise the group kept my attention. In closing, I see the humor in it and I don’t think it’s meant to be taken too seriously.
Check it out for yourself.
I’ve just gotten a copy of the redux of “men & women (la Revenge de Uncle Baldy.) This version of the album has had a few songs removed. That’s kind of disappointing because some of my favorite songs got cut off. The album “men & women (la Revenge de Uncle Baldy)” sounds like a concept album about the crumbling of a relationship between a man and a woman at first but after repeated listening to grasp nuances; it’s more about how men and women interact with each other in general. From what I’ve noticed, this album really plays more like a film than an record. Every composition is like a scene rather than a song. If you had to label it genre-wise…well like most music under the UrbAlt umbrella it’s kind of difficult to do that.
I mean, overall “men & women (la Revenge de Uncle Baldy)” fuses many musical elements that are rooted in genres such as shoegazing, post-punk, soul, avant-garde but has blended it together into what is so unique to the MuthaWit Orchestra.
Here are some of my favorite “scenes” from this great movie.
Wasted (Fill My House with Salt)
This is a bluesy, jazzy rocker with fuzzed out bass that would inspire one to try to start a mosh pit…at a jazz club.
“Waiting For My…”
Another rocked out gem with Boston Fielder being the driving musical force behind this composition along with the imperative work of Meryl “Miss J” Jefferson on violin and Sam Myer on trombone.
men & women
This is a composition that plays with sound, like an orchestral jazz fusion piece written for a ballet.
In closing, if you’re not really familiar with UrbAlt, then consider this album the UrbAlt manifesto; a visual and audio hypnotic, unique experience that blurs the line between dream and reality. Look for the physical release of Muthawit’s men & women (la Revenge de Uncle Baldy) on June 3rd 2011.
Hey folks, right now I’m listening to “Waiting For My…” by Muthawit Orchestra. “Waiting For My…” was featured on the first version of the “Men & Women (La Revenge de Uncle Baldy) album.” I’m not sure about the upcoming physical release, but the online version doesn’t seem to have “Waiting For My…” One of the differences that I noticed from the original release of the album and the re-release is the sonic clarity of this version in comparison to the original.
The core musician on here is Boston Fielder. Boston on here plays drums, guitar, bass, keys, percussion and is also on lead vocals. Fielder is also accompanied by the talents of Meryl “Miss J” Jefferson on violin, Sam Myer on trombone, additional guitar and bass work by Lou Rossi and Martell Ade Olusina Brown respectively and Arthur J. Fielder Jr. on background vocals. One of the highlights on “Waiting For My…” would have to be “Miss J”‘s wah violin solo and Sam Myer’s trombone playing brings a jazzy kind of sophistication to the song.
In closing, if you want to hear something that’s sophisticated but accessible at the same time…you would definitely want to take a listen.
Wow…it’s been 10 years since the passing of Ramones lead singer Joey Ramone, (real name Jeffry Ross Hyman)
In recognition, I’m posting some of my favorite solo cuts from Joey’s solo career. Not deep analysis needed, I’ll just let the music speak for itself.
“Cabbies on Crack”
“What a Wonderful World” cover
“Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
Don’t Worry About Me
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- My band Jenny Hates Techno’s debut performance
- Cat Scratch Fever Symptoms Include Diarrhea of the Mouth Right? by John M Ellison IV
- Jenny Hates Techno-About a Girl (cover)