Thursday, June 30, 2005

God Damn. Im finally back

Whats up all? My pc took a crap on me so ive been offline for about 3 or 4 weeks. I want to thank Lou for holding it down while Ive been on my little hiatus. Ill be doing a bunch of dope posts this week so keep checking back. Ive got to read mad emails and install software to get me up to speed again right now so I gotta jet. Ill throw up some music for that azz real quick though.

Das EFX - The Real Hip Hop
I found this track on some record that has Pete Rock's greatest hits on it. The label, Archives INC., has like 2 vol.'s of just dope P to the Raaah remix's and classics. Jamal's, Fade Em All, is on there and that shit is classic. On the other vinyl there is Soul Brother #1's remix of P.E's Shut Em Down. They also make Tribe, Primo, Black Sheep, EPMD, and mad other groups, greatest hits or unreleased track albums. Keep your eyes out for em.

Nice & Smooth - Funky For You
Damn this is some hot shit. I always loved Nice & Smooth. I think the first track that I heard them on was D.W.Y.C.K. by GnG. This beat here rocks the Impeach the Pres drums, and kicks into a real funky loop produced by Teddy Ted. Drink Hennneeseeee eeeeeee.

Platinum Pied Pipers - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
Now I got this cd as a promo a while ago. These dudes are aight. They have a few tracks with Dilla and Sa-Ra that are cool. Im not really a fan of cats singing on tracks like Seal's ass, but this shit is dope. A real jazzy beat thats not really hip hop, more like chill jazz/downtempo/house or whatever genre you want to throw it in. Got some nice keys at the end. Look for the CD in stores and

Thats it for now. I got a bunch of good shit coming up so dont sleep. Also we have a little thing popping off with SOHH.COM and Ill speak more on that in the week. Peace.

Clizick fo more!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Psychedelic Mixing: David Gibson Blinded Me With Science

It's been another "interesting" week. My work has been either cutting shifts or letting us go home early for the past week. This would be cool if I didn't have to pay for bills and all this gear I ordered. I just started this job and I'm pretty heated about this. I'm thinking of hitting the pavement and finding another job here very soon, as I understand this happens at the end of almost every month there.

Speaking of the gear I bought, I ordered a pair of Samson Rubicon R6A monitors from American Musical. I got the pair of monitors and noticed right away that the volume knob on the back of one of the speakers was deformed. I thought, "not a big deal if they sound good." Well, I hooked them up and realized that the speakers were doodoo too. I was making a beat on the MPC 1000, and everytime I hit a pad that had a kick drum loaded in it, both speakers would squeak. Besides that annoying squeak they sounded pretty decent. I guess it was a good thing they were defective, cause they were really too big for the room. I'm not going to slander American Musical for this either. They are a great company. They have 24/7 customer service by phone or chat, which is absolutely great. They are going to cover my expenses for mailing back the speakers to them, and they even sent out another pair (decided to go with some M-Audio's instead) before I even sent back the defective Samson pair. Their customer service was very nice and helpful. It was quite refreshing. I would deal with them again just because the customer service was that good. As for Samson, I will probably never buy another Samson product again. Their Quality Control is busted, much like those speakers. Enough about my week, lets get down to some business.

Before work, I like to do things that keep me occupied, so it doesn't seem like I'm just working, going home, falling asleep, waking up and going to work, and repeating the cycle. (I'm trying to avoid living in my own personal Groundhog's Day.) I decided to go to my city's public library. I picked up a DVD called "The Art Of Mixing" by David Gibson. This isn't the first time I picked up something truly worth while from there that was related to music. They have a good selection of CD's from just about every genre too. Since my shift was cut today, I decided to watch the DVD and write about it. I have to admit that the DVD quality is a lil bootleg looking. It looks like your corny high school music teacher signed out the video camera from the audio/visual room and decided to make a video. David Gibson, the maker of the video, and also the writer of the book by the same name, decided to REALLY go the visual route with this DVD. I mean, it didn't stop with visual representations of the sounds and techniques, it had actors dressed up as scientists, buddhists, headbangers, rap cats, weird 80's cats, and they had some weird psychedelic effects going on through out the presentation.

Despite all the corniness, this video was exceptionally great at getting the points across, so you understand exactly what is being talked about in each topic. Everything is broken down to a basic and practical level. The visuals actually help very much with this. They say a picture says a thousand words and those visuals get across some very complicated information in a way that could make a grade schooler become a great mixing engineer. The video actually explained and enlightened me to a lot of things that I didn't know about. This definitely takes the mystery out of professional mixing.

Another thing that I liked about this DVD is how it shows the different approaches to mixing that is taken by different styles of music. Each genre of music has it's own aesthetics that are more or less adhered to, and yes, it does show how Hip Hop is mainly mixed. Hip Hop heads did not make this video, so the sonic representations of Hip Hop are extremely antiquated, but the principles discussed still hold true. Nowhere in the DVD are you told "this is the way you MUST do it." You are given the general principles and told basically that you can take it in any direction you want. David Gibson stresses many times in the DVD that you must mix to your "own values," and there is no right or wrong way to mix. Mixing is part of the overall expression that is music, and he is simply telling you how and what works. I like that view point very much.

Baisically, if you are interested in recording and mixing music I suggest getting this DVD. I heard about the book quite awhile ago, and I think I will probably read it. I will check the library catalogue. They probably have it on the shelves somewhere in the city. There's one last thing that I want to point out. If you can stand the song "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby for a good 3 hours straight, it is definitely worth it, because that is the song that is used to demonstrate most of the principles. If you don't already hate that song, not only will you absolutely despise it, but you will want to hunt down and kill Thomas Dolby after watching this video. (note: not to be taken literally - just a figure of speech to express how irritating the constant repetition of passages of this song was in the video)

Of Course, if you want to hear probably the best mixed Hip Hop record out there, pick up Dr. Dre's The Chronic 2001. It is often used as a reference for how Hip Hop should sound like when "properly mixed." Again, it's all subjective. I don't want to hear every record sounding like Dre's joints. Come to the table with your own values and expression, like the video says.

If you enjoy this blog and would like to help support some starving beatmakers/music heads who have terrible jobs and expensive gear and music habits; check our on-line store at and pick up some shirts for your family, your dog, and heck, your mistress (hoes need clothes too, Mufucka!). We also got stickers, hats, and other items. We only get paid $1 an item, so buy lots and lots. PEACE!

Clizick fo more!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Gear Porn: Future Music

Hey everyone. It's been an interesting week. DJ Haze fried his PC and it's now in the shop, so that's why he hasn't been on-line in a minute. I'm not sure when he's going to make an appearance again either. It should be sometime soon. I myself had a big week. I just started a new job, have a new girlfriend, and I am in the process of tracking down equipment, cables, accessories, and doing research on stuff I still need for a small budget bedroom studio that I'm putting together for myself. I got a turntable and mixer, just got an Akai MPC 1000, got a mic stand and popper stopper (I don't M.C. or sing myself. I got these to record others, but you know, since I'm going to have it I might as well funk with it a bit...right? Of Course.) I'm still waiting on an Akai dps12 portable studio/multitrack, a Shure 57 mic, some Samson Rubicon 6A studio monitors, and a bunch of lil odds and ends. It's madd stressful getting equipment, but very exciting at the same time. There is way too many options, and way too many things to consider, and way too much money that you may never see any returns on, but it's a labor of love and obsession to the highest degree. Nonetheless, I've been running around like a mad man this week, and I finally have some time and energy to sit down and make a post.

So, anyways, back to the matter at hand. Today I'm going to do a review on a dope magazine I found on a news stand near my work: Future Music. Incidentally, it's a magazine gear. "Electronic" music gear at that. It's perfect for the beat digging head that wants to find out more about different programs and equipment so they can make beats; perfect for all types of "electronic" musicians not just Hip Hop; and also perfect for those who just want to stay informed about the ever evolving technology of music production.

What caught my eye first about this magazine was that it came with not one, but two CD-ROMs. Both CD's come jam packed with gear and software demos, and get this...approximately 1000 royalty free samples spread out over the two discs. The samples are hits, loops, and multisamples in WAV, AIF, and REX2 (Reason/Recycle) files. There are even some Maelstrom and Subtractor patches (both are for use in Reason software as well). The style of samples range in everything from Hip Hop, Progression, Afro Latin, Session Drums, Electro Breaks, etc. The selection is fairly diverse. The Hip Hop sounds were ok. It's nice to have some extra sounds to mess around with regardless.

Now as far as the content of the magazine itself, I was fairly impressed. It's very well written. Most of it is technical in nature, but that is to be expected. It is written in a very understandable, easy going, and straight to the point style. My only complaint is at times it can be too conversational. At times, the writers more or less just express their opinions without really saying why they've come to certain conclusions. Thankfully, this doesn't happen very often.

Now, this magazine is not tailored to us Hip Hop heads like say Scratch magazine, but the information and what is covered is very relevant to Hip Hop production. Future Music covers a lot of things that will and should be of interest to many Hip Hop producers whether they are making beats in their bedrooms, or in expensive studio facilities. There is full reviews of the latest in software and gear. One of the most notable reviews was on Serato Scratch which is basically software that allows DJ's to use their turntables to mix, cut, and scratch MP3s just like actual vinyl. The benefits of this are obvious. It opens up a whole new world of music for DJ's to mix and manipulate. It also saves DJ's from carrying around crates of vinyl with them from gig to gig. Another very interesting review was on the Faderfox midi controllers. These basically make Ableton Live software become more like hardware by giving kinesthetic (hands on) people what they are missing when it comes to working with software set-ups. There are three separate controllers that give physical control over most aspects of the program. This look really great in concept, I wonder if it's equally as great in practice. Hopefully so.

A feature that I found kinda cool was the audio makover section called Changing Studios. I'm sure most of you have seen talk shows like Jenny Jones, Maury, and all that other crap, that give their guests with poor fashion sense makeovers and make 'em look pretty/handsome, and updated. Well, Future Music gives audio makeovers, if you will, to those who are suffering from outdated and/or poor gear. This was compelling. I'd love to get that shit done. If the editors are reading this...hook a fella up...nahmean?!!? For Real. I need that shit so bad.

The magazine I purchased is from the UK. This is my first time seeing the magazine, so I am not sure if there are different versions for different regions. There are tons of ads in it for UK retailers with prices for all types of gear. Anything from computers, to keyboards, midi controllers, monitors, microphones, etc. etc. is in here. So for those who are in the UK, this magazine might be helpful to you if you want to buy some new gear and want to price shop. For those that are not in the UK, Future Music does have a feature that showcases and compares "the best of" certain types of equipment such as monitors, samplers, sequencers, microphones, and keyboards, even sample cd's. This could be very helpful regardless of which region you reside in. I would, however, take the opinions with a grain of salt, because a lot of this is personal preference, and is quite subjective. Future Music does primarily stick to popular opinion anyway. If you know anything about music gear, you probably won't be surprised by their lists. If you know little or nothing, this should bring you up to speed on what gear is current, and has a reasonably good reputation for whatever price bracket you're looking at. Even if you aren't in the market for gear, it is still interesting to check out.

All in all, Future Music is a pretty solid magazine and has lots to offer. It is a bit pricey. I'm not going to lie about that, but the cd-roms make it worth it. Both for the free stuff that's on them, and for making the magazine a more interactive experience. Each issue is pricey enough that I probaby won't buy it every month, and I bet the subsription cost is quite steep too. However, I will defintely purchase it when it has particular things of interest to me. This is definitely on my "To Check For" list. Definitely check it out for yourself when you have the chance.

If you like The Low End Theory and would like to help get the word out about it, and would like to help support a couple of music addicts in doing their thing, check out our on-line store. We only make 50 cents to a dollar per item. It's not the money obviously, we would just like our blog promoted, and the items are pretty dope. We have shirts, hats, notebooks, and other cool shit. When I get over my gear lust I'm going to cop something for myself, and yes I do have to pay for it too, so does DJ Haze. He got a shirt for his dog (yes, we got dog shirts too).

I'm including two zip files that contain most of the samples that come with the issue I purchased (May 2005). One set is from Tekniks (183 MB), the other is from Loopmasters (285 MB). They both have sounds for a variety of musical genres, and are encoded in a few different file types: WAV, AIF, and REX2. Both zip files are rather large. I would suggest only those who have a high speed connection download this. However, if you got dial-up and really don't mind letting your pc run all day/night to download my guest. If you like this post be sure to check us out in the future. We will have more posts on gear/equipment.

Tekniks Samples
Loopmasters Samples

Clizick fo more!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Diggin On Blue Note: A History And Some Hip Hop

Today I’m going to talk a little about Blue Note Records. Blue Note has been the premier jazz label for the last 60 somewhat years. Their artists have inspired and influenced a big chunk of 90's hip hop and there samples are on joints that are still dropping today. Numerous albums from there vaults were used for groups like ATCQ, D.I.T.C., Brand Nubian, Nas, Large Pro, Pete Rock and many more's productions.

Blue Note started out in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Francis Wolfff. The name comes from the "blue notes" which is characteristic of jazz and blues music. Lion came from Berlin and moved to NYC in 1937. In 1939 he recorded Albert Ammons and Meade "Lux" Lewis in a one day session in a rented studio. This started the album out. The labels first releases were traditional "hot" jazz and boogie-woogie music. The labels first hit record was "Summertime", by Sidney Bechet. They would record artists from around the city after there gigs usually late at night. The label soon had a reputation of treating the musicians well and catering to there needs such as recording at convenient times and allowing the artists to be involved with all aspects of making the record. Franciss Wolfff was not a part of the label yet, but he moved to the US from Germany and joined up with Lions. He then was drafted into the service for two years. At this time the label was not really doing much. After he got back he worked inside a music store where the owner was keeping the catalogue in print and providing storage of the records. By late 1943 Blue Note started recording again and began to supply the US Army with records. Towards the end of the war Blue Note started to make Be Bop jazz records, a style that was started mainly by Dizzy Gillepsie and Charlie Parker. In 1947, Thelonius Monk started to record for the label. On these recordings, this was Monks first debut of a leader, and also the debut of Art Blakley. The Be Bop Era went on for the next couple of years with other musicians joining Blue Note such as Bud Powell and even a few sessions with Miles Davis. In 1951 the music started to shift style a little and shift into "hard bop". Blue Note then started signing acts such as Horace Silver, the Jazz Messengers (originally a collaborative group, but soon to become Art Blakey's band), Milt Jackson (in what would soon become the Modern Jazz Quartet), Clifford Brown and Herbie Nichols. Jimmy Smith signed with them in 1956 and released the first 12" release on the label. In the late 50's Blue Note started to sign talent such as Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Sonny Clark, Kenny Dorham, Kenny Burrell, Jackie McLean, Donald Byrd, Lou Donaldson, the return of Bud Powell (by then past his prime), John Coltrane's Blue Train, and Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else (featuring Miles Davis in a rare supporting role). This was the era that was responsible for many hip hop producer's beats in the 90's. These records are classics in the world of digging and should be in every producer’s collection. In the 60's they dropped Herbie Hancocks debut album. Also a lot of session players such as Ron Carter who established his own solo career in the 80's for the label, Freddie Hubbard, Grant Green, Joe Henderson, and more formed somewhat of a family of musicians that would assist each over on there own records and each over’s projects. In 1965 Blue Note was acquired by Liberty Records and Lions and Wolfff retired. In 1979 EMI came in and purchased the label and started to pahse it out until 1985 when it re-launched as part of EMI Manhattan Records. Blue Note is now owned by Capitol Records and has been on active reissue campaign of the labels releases. Now such artists as Norah Jones and Anita Baker are with the label.

For today’s mp3's I would like to focus on the hip hop side of Blue Note. In 1999, Blue Note approached Lord Finesse to do a mixtape of the classic Blue Note breaks. This album has Finesse just juggling some of the dopest Blue Note breaks ever. You will recognize about 90% of these samples that he plays. Shit is very dope. Its about 50 mins long and has shout outs from everyone on there. I would like to thank Cheech for hooking me up with the mp3's.

Diggin On Blue Note Side B

In 2003 Blue Note approached Madlib and asked him to produce an album that featured samples from there entire catalogue. A very cool thing for a record label to do and a producers dream. The album has covers of different tracks such as my favorite Mystic Brew, by Ronnie Fostor and many other artists such as Donald Bryd, Horace Silver, Gene Harris, and many more. He uses his band Yesterday's New Quintet on a few tracks to provide a jazz feel, and takes the hip hop approach on others. MED has a track on there rhyming which is pretty cool. The album is good and has its moments. Some real smooth beats on it. Blue Note has been very supportive of hip hop and has embraced these artists with open arms. So they get mad props over here. Enjoy these mp3s and go digging and scoop up some of these joints.

Montra - Madlib
Mystic Bounce - Madlib

Also please by a T-shirt from us. They are pretty cool. I bought a few and they look good and the one for the dog is crazy dope. Help us promote The Low End Theory. Please join up to our forums to talk about the blog, music, links, and whatnot. And the last order of biz is the mailing list. The mailing list is bumping right now with yousendit links flying all around. So check that out. Please send an email to to get on it. Thanks a lot and peace to all.

Clizick fo more!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Ay Yo....C'mere...shhh ...Yo...You Want Some Of That Rock?!!

Admittedly, I don't listen to a lot of comedy albums. I could probably count on one hand how many I have listened to, but you know what??? I can't even remember the ones I've heard to count them anyways, so scew it. I've pretty much just listened to them once and forgot about them. This has been my M.O. when it comes to comedy albums, until I heard Chris Rock's Never Scared. (It is a DVD also)

Now I have heard Chris Rock albums before, and to tell you the truth I can't remember a single thing from them, but this album is incredibly funny, insightful, intelligent, and memorable. I enjoyed every bit of it, save some of the stupid skits. I think why I enjoyed it so much is because so much of the shit he says is absolutely true, and the kicker is that it's absolutely offensive much of the time too. I now regard Chris Rock as a comic genius. I think he's absolutely brilliant now. I remember him on Saturday Night Live and a few of his movies. To be quite honest, I was never that impressed with him, or thought he was that funny. I guess doing skits and acting is just really not his forte. Even the skits on Never Scared kinda suck, even though they were produced by the equally brilliant producer Prince Paul. I guess stand-up comedy is truly Rock's niche and genius. He's that good. To me he is getting better with time too. Even some of his latest movies are pretty good and also doing very well at the box office. I admit, it's good to see Rock finally get his. He has been working hard in the biz for a very long time.

Some of my favourite moments on this disc have to do with music. Most of the album is compromised of audio recorded from his stand-up show. He has one bit on Hip Hop and how he is 39 and still loves it, but hates that he has to constantly defend it. It's true though. How many times have you had to defend your love of Rap/Hip Hop? I know I have to. Sometimes it's like a daily thing. He is also right that there are some things about the music that are just damn near impossible to defend. Namely the mysogyny and violence. Chris Rock also talks very candidly about his thoughts on Michael Jackson and R. Kelly. It may not have been as funny as Dave Chappelle's "Pee On You" skit (A parody of R. Kelly) from The Dave Chappelle Show, but it's still very funny and insightful.

I don't want to try and paint the picture that this disc is mostly funny shit about music, because it's not. Far from it. Chris Rock touches on a vast array of topics that range from politics, to child rearing, to relationships, marriage, racism, wealth, etc. etc. If you crave some great comedy that is intelligent, daring, political, relevant, and "in your face," pick up Chris Rock's Never Scared. It comes with a bonus DVD that shows footage of the making of the album. You see how much of a perfectionist Chris Rock really is.

I have included MP3's of my favourite tracks from the disc. If you would like to help support us and spread the word, we have shirts, hats, and stickers with our logo for sale. Also, be sure to join The Low End Theory Forums and get on our mailing list. EDIT BY DJHAZE: also check out a beat tape i just made. It has like 12 beats i did in the last couple of weeks.

Chris Rock - Rap Stand Up
Chris Rock - Drugs, Donuts, and Wealth
Chris Rock - Real People Of Ignorance (Tattoo)

Clizick fo more!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

"Im on the grind, but I still got that money on my mind..."

you know what is fucked up? if you search for "work sucks" or "my job sucks" on yahoo pictures, you get alot of blowjob pics.

What up people. If you haven’t already seen, our forum was shut down by the man for a few. It's all good though. Go there and sign up and get info on how to sign up for our mailing list. I would advise you to do that soon. If you know what’s good for you...Also WE GOT SOME T-SHIRTS!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!!!!! This was inspired by my man Dstruction. We dont make nearly any money on em. Like I think we get $1 a shirt. But they look cool and you should buy one. Imma have to buy one also, folks. If you want decent looking T-Shirt's for like $10 to $15 bucks and want to help support us trying to release this record that is coming out in July, pick one up. AIGHT? ALSO CHECK OUT THIS BEAT TAPE I MADE, IT HAS 12 BEATS IVE DONE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS.

Anyway, today’s post is going to be on work. Working a 9 to 5 and being a musician, or any sort of artist, is a tough gig. You have to do some mind-numbing bullshit all day just to pay the bills, so you can make music and get closer to your goals. Lately, I feel I never have any time to work in the studio and take care of business. I mean, I still make a beat a day, but I gotta do that when I get out late at night, and wind up staying up till 5 am or just being real tired and accomplishing nothing. For the last two years, I was a scrub that didn’t work at all, but was in the lab seriously 10 hours a day. I got mad shit done, and learned the trade. I kinda miss that shit. It's cool though cause you have to make ends meet. Back then I couldn’t even afford food and had to do some ill shit to make rent. Now I got some money, so I can invest that into my music and keep the lights on, but I just don’t have the time I wish I had. Also having a job is less stressful in the long run cause living the trife life ain’t too cool. If you had to live off Ramen Noodles and ice tea/Kool Aid powder for a while, you know where I'm coming from. So it works out. But it's hard realizing your getting older and still having your lame ass day job. I know a lot of you out there feel this shit. Cats with talent, creative drive, and a desire to make something out of their lives instead of moving up the Walmart corporate ladder, or becoming the head manager at the car wash. Ive had a ton of weird jobs throughout the years, such as valet parking, telemarketing, managing a bookstore, supermarkets, retail, waiter, and a lot more. Now I do deliveries and you should see some of the characters I have to deal with. I’ve seen some bizarre shit there. Yesterday I had a retarded dude fall on me in his house and start crying saying, "I HAVE A PROBLEM!!!!". Not cool. And a little while ago, I went to this nursing home, and the people were rolling down the hall in wheelchairs screaming "I WANT TO DIE!!! KILL ME!!!", while leaving a trail of piss. All for $5.15 an hour and some hurting tips. But you gotta get your hustle on to pay bills and have somewhere to sleep at night. And It's even harder when you have kids, credit card, medical, car, you name it, adding up. So with that little rant, today’s songs are about working on the grind and getting by, trying to move toward the bigger picture in life, instead of being a slave to some bullshit job that you despise.


Da Grind ft. Apocalypse - Masta Ace
I might have posted this song up before but this joint is on some real shit. This song has Masta Ace and Apoc talking about their daily struggle and the need to make it in music, while having to work and grind to get there. I like Apoc's verse the best. Just the overwhelming task of balancing music and making ends meet is what hits home with me. The beat is crazy tight. I think it was done by Krysalis. This track is off Ace's new album, Long Hot Summer.

God's Work - Murs
Ahh a joint bout waking up hungover, getting ready for work while rushing out the door, being stuck in traffic, being late, and dealing with bullshit when you get there. I know everyone here has had a day like this. I usually have like 2 a week. I hate the feeling of being late. Getting all anxious and freaking out on the ride there having to do that walk inside feeling like everyone is looking at you and knows you just done fucked up. Not a good look. This beat is rugged as fuck. I wasn’t a big fan of Murs until a a few months ago. I had some of his older shit, but lately I’ve been feeling dude. I thought that Living Legends shit was lame, but his solo joints are aight. He is on some tight productions most of the time also.

Fuck a Job - Soul Postion
This is a cut off that 8 Million Stories LP. Soul Position is comprised of RJD2 on the beats and Blueprint handling the emcee duties. The track is all about how Blueprint is a computer programmer and how disposable he is in the whole corporate machine. How he has no identity and his whole career can be thrown away over a meeting, and by computers and technology making him obsolete. This is some real shit. My pops had this problem recently. He worked as a manager at AT&T for the last 25 years, till they starting slipping and their stock fell hard, so they had to do massive layoffs. His options were to stay around and get fired inevitably with no reimbursement, or just take a package and leave. After 25 years of loyal service, this is how they repay him. He wound up getting a fucking watch for 25 years of service. Dude just got a job now at half the salary, after not being able to find work for almost 2 years. He is 52 years old now and still has to work 40 hours a week. This is a big reason why I dropped out of college and started doing music, cause I ain't going out like that. So fuck a job. This track is dope. I like how he flips the KRS-ONE, "Outta Here" hook. RJD2 also handles that shit on the beat.

I wanna go home - Ugly Duckling
I just started checking these dudes out. The beats are aight. The emceeing gets a little corny on ALOT of their tracks, along with the skits. They got this Meat Shake theme throughout this album, that is just gaye, but they shine with tracks like this. This track is about waking up, going to work and just wanting to leave. Like when you roll up in there and you wish you called out cause it sucks so bad. This is about 90% of my days.

5 0'clock ft. Phonte Of Lil Brother - The Perceptionists
This cut is off their new album, Black Dialogue. It's a song bout leaving the grind and getting home and unwinding. Doing what you want instead of dealing with your jobs bullshit, like chilling, putting on some records and laying around. Phonte is on the hook singing some shit, instead of rapping this time. Fakts-One does a good job on the beat. I like that filtered guitar with the LFO on it.

The Grind Date - De La Soul
This is off De La's new album with the same title. It's all bout coming up in the rap game and grinding and working your way up the ladder. Pos, talks bout the motivation and dedication to pursuing the "grind" with music. Maseo talks bout his experiences with his first contract and where he was at when he came into the game. The beat is ill. This whole album was dope. I thought this was one of the better releases of last year.

You Dont Work You Dont Eat - WC & The Maad Circle
This track has that gangsta west coast funk. Those trademark Zapp/P Funk basslines over some funky ass keys and guitars. This shit is about just hustling and growing up and making money and working. WC talks bout he used to work at the chicken shack hustling fried chickie. "MCDONALDS IS MY SPOT!!!" Some dope west coast ish. This track also features Jay Dee, (not Jay Dilla) who I think is incarcerated right now on some weird murder charge that smells like some setup shit. I’m not sure though. If anyone has any links to this cat please post them in the comments section.

Boss Man - Bo Diddly

Here we go with the non hip hop joints. This one is bout Bo pleading to his boss man to have sympathy on him and understand his plight. Dude works all day, got rent, kids, the whole nine. Shit got them funky ol' pianos. And that good ol' jive to it.

Working In A Coal Mine - Lee Dorsey

I think everyone has heard this track in one form or another. BT Express did an ill instrumental cover of it. Shit is dope though. It starts out with a nice breakbeat and goes into some funky bass and cool harmonies with the vocals. Then Lee gets on and talks bout working in a coal mine, waking up at 5 am, being too tired to move when he gets off. Shit the title kinda tells it all. You know how much that would suck? I think my job is beat, this shit must really fucking blow goat dick.

And there you have it. Songs bout working and the daily grind. If you dont work, or you have some kind of trust fund so you can sit around and jerkoff all day, you suck. So join the forums and get on the mailing list. Trust me it's worth it. And buy some Low End Theory gear. Peace.

Clizick fo more!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Furious Funk Of Flash

Today I'm going to review something very legendary and momentus in Hip Hop. The Message by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five (released in 1982 on Sugar Hill Records) was in my opinion the first Hip Hop release to establish the then nascent music and culture of Hip Hop as a serious and respectable art form in the mainstream and around the world. It was the first time DJ'ing and cutting was committed to wax. It was the first time brilliant sociological commentary was to be expressed by Hip Hop. It was also a very versatile work that included many styles that ranged from hardcore, to party jams, to R&B. I picked up a re-issue of this album alsmost 2 years ago. There's no way I'm going to find an OG pressing of this where I'm at. If your a serious Hip Hop fan and are interested in Hip Hop's humble sure to pick this up.

Grandmaster Flash was one of the pioneers of Hip Hop DJ'ing. He may not have invented scratching (Grand Wizard Theodore) or extending breaks (Kool Herc), but he was the DJ to bring these new artforms to the world. Grandmaster Flash (named after "The Grand Master" Bruce Lee and Flash for his speed on the turntables) was always interested in vinyl even as a child. He also held an interest in electronics as well. Both of these interests went hand in glove with DJ'ing. Grandmaster Flash not only studied that art of DJ'ing, but also the inner workings of his equipment. He even modded his own gear.

Flash's DJ performances were so captivating that people would just stand around and watch. He started putting a mic out for vocalists to rock, and eventually settled on five MC's (Cowboy, Melle Mel, Rahiem, Kidd Creole, and Mr. Ness/Scorpio) who eventually became The Furious Five. Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five as a group had an opportunity to release the first rap single, but Flash declined as he only believed that those in the Bronx would be feeling it, and he wanted to keep everything underground and real. That is until the "Rappers Delight" single by The Sugar Hill Gang was released on Sugar Hill Records in the late 70's and was a hit. That made Flash change his tune so to speak. The group then released their first single Superrappin' on Enjoy Records. The single failed to meet expectations. Soon after Flash was approached by Sugar Hill Records, and the group began recording the singles and album cuts that eventually made it onto their first full length The Message. As I mentioned above this album had a lot of great firsts, not only for the group, but for Hip Hop itself.

When listening to this album I can hear a formula that has been used for many great classic Hip Hop albums. It basically has a track for everybody. If your a conscious head and want to here The Realness, you got the title track "The Message." If you like partying, you got "It's Nasty." If you like smooth R & B you got the Stevie Wonder tribute "Dreamin'." If you just love the breaks, you got "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel." I also noticed how things go in cycles, because back then they didn't have sampling, so they would have a band interpolate the breaks that Flash was rocking for most of the tracks. A lot of that is being done today, but that is mostly due to copyright issues.

Anyways, I have included some MP3's below of my favourite tracks from the album. Check 'em out. Also be sure to join our forums. We have a good community there. We have recently had some problems and had to shut down part of it, but that won't stop us. Peace.

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - It's Nasty
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel

Clizick fo more!