You may remember a few weeks ago I told a story about meeting two artists while waiting for the 6 train. The first artist was the recently featured Truth Now. The artist that was doing the beatboxing during their freestyle session was Grey Matter. After honing his craft and linking up with Kid Lucky and Beatboxer Entertainment, Grey Matter, although he still loves a good session on the train, has become one of the leading beatboxers in NYC. This week I caught up with him to find out more about how he became interested in beatboxing, why we see so few great beatboxers today, and the secret power of beatboxing that was revealed to him in Paris.
TONIGHT: After the fireworks pop off and the BBQ settles in your stomach, come celebrate the 4th of July Brooklyn-style with J.Period & the Lyrics To Go All Stars, rocking the house from 11PM - 3AM at Brooklyn Bowl! Hosted by the world-famous Greg Nice of Nice'N'Smooth, music will be provided by DJs Cosmo Baker, 4th Pyramid, Chela... and fresh off his West Coast trip, J.PERIOD! Stay rocking all night long and be treated to a late-night surprise, as LTG imports a secret all-star DJ from Philly to help turn the party out...!
Order tix in advance today for a discount. Plus be one of the first 25 people to purchase advanced tickets and receive a FREE J.Period mix CD. For advanced ticket purchases, cliick here - http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/12011 .
Those who been following my blog since last year may remember a few posts about the group i produced pre-Panacea- The Crossrhodes. The tandem of longtime friends/music collaborators Wes Felton & Raheem Devaughn comprised the group, with yours truly handling the production. The first album we did back in 2002, Limited Budget, Unlimited Quality, has been one of THE MOST fan-requested albums for me to sell in my merch store, BUT the problem was, i didn't have any for the longest time... UNTIL i unearthed a small box of Crossrhodes' CDs during my recent move! So, being that it is 4th of July weekend and in keeping with the theme of celebrating "independence", I am now selling the last 10 copies of one my first & favorite independent releases! As a bonus, i'll even autograph the CD per request, and once they're gone... they're GONE as we haven't pressed any new copies since 2003.
By the way, for those who aren't familiar with the sound (think equal parts soul & hip-hop), here's a video of one of my favorite tracks off the album, which i feel totally captures the synergy Wes & Rah have...
Random - New Music/Help Choose the New Forever Famicom Name
Happy Saturday and Happy 4th of July. I'm in the birthplace of America (and Random), Philadelphia for the next week or so, and I must say I'm happy to be here. So happy, that I want to share a new song with you all for being so supportive.
I recorded with recent El Paso to Phoenix transplant producer Hexsagon of the group Visions of the Sun, and the following came of it... a track called "The Rock."
He sampled an NES game for the beat, and the first person that gets back to me with the title of the NES game he used for the beat will get a FREE Random/Mega Ran CD of his or her choice SIGNED, SEALED and snail - mailed to them.
LISTEN TO "THE ROCK" by Random, aka Mega Ran and DOWNLOAD it here!
As we approach the release of Moe Green's Rocky Maivia: Non-Title Match, the Vallejo, California emcee continues to release content to give fans a chance to preview the project. This time, Moe Green puts out a teaser in which he raps the first verse from his song "KIM (Keep it Moving)," a track featured on the album. The video is an intimate face-to-face with the camera with the Bay Area rapper delivering his rhyme in a gritty, raw style, and showcases the skills that have landed Moe on KMEL's Bay Area Freshman Class of 2010 and fast growing recognition for the 22-year old rhymer. Green's unofficial debut, Rocky Maivia: Non-Title Match, out via Interdependent Media, will be available in July, offered as a free download/pay-what-you want on Moe Green's bandcamp.
The rap game is overflowing with aspiring new MCs, all crammed into a single ring fighting for that lone heavyweight title. One particular competitor who has fully dedicated himself to the good fight is 22-year old Moe Green from Vallejo, California. His forthcoming debut album, Rocky Maivia: Non Title Match, is titled after Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's first professional ring name and perfectly embodies Moe place in today's hip-hop circuit - the newcomer who is one day going to hold the championship belt. Like any fighter, years of training, dedication, and discipline are required to claim the top spot. Moe has been training for this his entire life. Having competed in speech and poetry meets growing up, Moe found himself genuinely attracted to the creative freedom music imparts early in his life, even writing rhymes in kindergarten with his childhood best friend and E-40's son, Droop-E. Listeners of Rocky Maiva can expect to hear tales from a young man from a hard hit city trying to find his way in the world the best he can. On growing from Rocky Maivia to one day standing amongst the greats, Moe says, "I need to win a couple belts first. I have to prove that I have the skill to do that and this album is like my wrestling debut." And so, the journey begins.
About Interdependent Media:
Founded in 2006 in the Bay Area by Evan Phillips, Interdependent Media has built unique strengths in the development, production, and marketing of recorded music via new methods of marketing and promotion. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of both traditional and emerging methods of marketing, iM has successfully created multi-faceted methods of raising awareness and interest in their projects. Industry veterans Ian "ID" Davis and Dominic Del Bene head operations at iM and are credited with discovering and/or developing artists such as 9th Wonder, Little Brother, Tanya Morgan, Blackalicious, Del the Funky Homosapien, the Hieroglyphics and more. In 2010, iM will be releasing multi-media projects from artists Donwill, TRUTHLiVE, Canibus, Von Pea, Moe Green, A-Plus, and more. For more information, please visit http://www.imculture.com .
[This mixtape serves as a purpose to show off the talent of folks from Boston, as well as the state of MA (and beyond). THis tape includes lyricsl talents of Singapore Kane, Tragic Allies, MaG, Dominique Larue and production from the likes of Purpose, Kid Quest, Hank McCoy and other up and coming emcees/producers.]
That's it for the "Predator Edition" of "Free Music Fridays." If you have any free music you would like to share with the world, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're an artist with your free mixtape/album shown on this page and you want to send me a link re-up, corrections, and/or questions, e-mail me at email@example.com, as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy y'all! Two fangas, one love....
As bassist for James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic and a constant stream of solo output, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins is the man behind some of the most famous basslines in history, widely credited with establishing bass as the driving element of modern music. So it follows that one of the most influential figures in bass has built the world's first Funk University, officially entering its first semester as of July 1. Funk disciples worldwide are enrolling at www.TheFunkUniversity.com , a 'virtual campus' where exclusive new content will be added daily, geared towards intermediate to advanced bass players as well as anyone interested in a deeper understanding of funk.
Bootsy's Funk U, a virtual campus featuring exclusive lectures, discussions and exercises, is as unorthodox and intriguing as the artist himself. The pioneering class accesses new content each day consisting of lectures and discussions by Professor Bootsy relating to his own knowledge of the bass and funk theory culled through his more than 40 years of work. Students are also accessing highly intimate lectures and conversations with one of the most impressive assemblies of musical visionaries in one online location. Highly affordable, F.U. offers monthly access to the most comprehensive bass community and learning environment the world has seen, for the average cost of one in-person bass lesson.
In year 1, scheduled appearances include special guest professors like Les Claypool, Meshell Ndegeocello, Victor Wooten, John B. Williams, Divinity Roxx, Dennis Chambers, Thee Ram Jam, Frankie "Kash" Waddy, Bakithi Kumalo, P-Nut, Catfish Collins, Blackbyrd McKnight, and Billy Bass. Independently, each guest will synthesize their decades of invaluable experience into a series of discussions, lessons and exercises on bass and rhythm all within the classrooms section of the site. In Bootsy's Lecture Hall, Bootsy will provide extensive lectures on funk, the bass, and his library of genre-defining work. The library at Funk U houses a wealth of multimedia learning content, from video and audio to gear tutorials. Staff reviews of students' performance will be conducted periodically, and professors will also hold office hours to answer students' questions. Bootsy's Funk University is produced by SceneFour, the notorious L.A. creativity house responsible for projects with Al Gore's Current TV, MTV-U, Nine Inch Nails, the RZA, Marilyn Manson, The Pixies, and Beck.
Enrollment is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested players are encouraged to sign up for exclusive information at http://thefunkuniversity.com .
Banned from KBXX 97.9, Trae tha Truth takes his case courtside. By Shea Serrano Thursday, Jun 24 2010
July 22, 2009 was the second annual Trae Day, a day devoted to honoring Trae tha Truth, one of Houston's own rappers, known as much for his philanthropic efforts as for the menace in his lyrics.
It was started the year before by then Mayor Bill White and the City of Houston — Trae became the first rapper in the city's history to earn his own day. A full-on family festival was organized by Trae's camp to crown the occasion, more than 10,000 people showed up to pat him on the back. It was a complete, unexpected success.
2009's Trae Day was to follow suit. And it mostly did. Mostly.
The second Trae Day was held in a TSU parking lot, this time with the attendance reaching up past 15,000. There were free pony rides, school supplies, moonwalks, HIV testing, immunizations and more. Trae financed a bulk of the event. Acclaimed rappers Rick Ross and Shawty Lo showed up to lend their support. So did Bun B, Slim Thug and a whole host of others.
The one flicker of disruption that occurred — a few kids tugging at a backpack that had been tossed into the crowd from the stage during one of the performances — was quickly snuffed out by Trae himself. For five and a half hours, there was no anarchy anywhere. And then it was everywhere.
At approximately 8 p.m., the fire marshal called a premature end to the celebration because of overcrowding. A snarl of traffic congested the surrounding streets. A sizable crowd, thick with children and teenagers, stood waiting in the parking lot for the traffic to die down. That's when Albert Walker Mondane and an unspecified number of others opened fire on them. Everyone scattered. Eight people were shot. The victims ranged in age from 14 to 21 years old.
Trae was both heartbroken and irate.
"I really hurt the most when I found out what happened," says Trae. "To see them kids' faces before, to know what it meant for them and to know what that meant for the city to have that day, for that to get overshadowed...I knew that's what was gonna be put out. I was pissed, but hurt more."
Trae spent the evening and following days conducting a hailstorm of interviews regarding the unfortunate ending to what was an otherwise fortunate day of communal merriment and pride.
He inevitably made his way in front of the DJs at the Madd Hatta Morning Show, the weekday morning team on KBXX (a.k.a. The Box), 97.9 FM, a Radio One-owned company operating as the only hip-hop and R&B station in Houston. The interview quickly grew cantankerous when on-air personality Nnete Inyangumia implied that Trae was at fault for the shootings, contending that acts of violence were inherent in his music.
Now, this isn't exactly an altogether off-the-mark observation.
Trae's music is significant for any number of reasons, but mainly this: It makes accessible not only the worst parts of the guts of a major American city, but also the psyche of a man intelligent enough to thrive there. To listen to it is to live on the 8900 block of Braeswood, except you don't have to worry about getting your shit took.
There is no better long-form example of this than Restless, his third official LP. There is an ambient feeling of depression throughout the album (though it's not driven by it). Even the songs that aren't explicitly about something awful happening to someone Trae loves — the Jim Jones-aided "Coming Around The Corner," "Pop Trunk Wave" and "Cadillac" — are tinged with just enough desolation that they seem to serve only as stopgaps between bouts of depression and suffering.
And if this were the only thing you knew about the album, or Trae for that matter, you'd be forgiven for assuming it would be good for nothing more than serving as the soundtrack to blowing your brains out. But Trae presents that despondency in an artful and willfully expressive manner.
Where many Houston MCs get lost in either the trappings of the city's caricatured regional culture or hard-life talk, Trae can talk about both worlds. He possesses the authority to talk about street life that Paul Wall doesn't have, as well as the unreserved cockiness to talk about fancy cars and jewelry, things street-talk legend Scarface has always avoided.
Trae is a hardened man, with the vast potential to be bulldozing when he chooses. That seems inarguable. He was caught in a minor controversy when he punched rapper Mike Jones in the nose at the Ozone Awards in 2007, a situation he later publicly apologized for. And violence, or any other aspect of inner-city life for that matter, is a natural subject of his music. But it's not a natural extension of it.
The remainder of that morning's interview played out in the same tense manner in which it began. Trae called back afterwards off the air to express his displeasure with the route the interview took. Still, three months afterwards, no one on either side appeared outwardly concerned with anything.
Enter The Incredible Truth.
The Incredible Truth is a mixtape Trae released in October of 2009. One minute and 24 seconds into the tape's sixth song, Trae lobbed a grenade at Nnete, rapping about her weight, "Look at you with your bad built ass, you're trash, so far gone you ain't even in the past. It's understood when I'm rolling on glass and the world hating on me like Nnete's fat ass."