Category Archives: Commentary

[Real Hip-Hop/Rap:] Erykah Badu – Trill Friends (Kanye West Real Friends Remix)


[Real Hip-Hop & Rap]
Erykah Badu – Trill Friends (Kanye West Real Friends Remix)

Homeboys, and some of them we wish we never knew at all…
Homegirls, and some of them we wish we never knew at all…

R&B goddess and hip-hop‘s ephemeral, ‘realest b*tch in the game’s’ take on Kanye West’s “Real Friends” puts a sweet, touching spin on the calming head-banger. With an instrumental beat characteristic of Kanye himself, as a producer; Badu raps and sings over a prominent 4-bar loop of the song to make a point about friends. The repeating hook (and even elements of the original song) have a very J Dilla or No I.D. feel in being different and unique, but still clearly hip-hop.

According to Badu, these days we use the word “friends” far too loosely and ambiguously which results in most of us having homeboys and homegirls that we wish we never knew at all. “Real Friends” are a problem that have plagued humans since existence. Who are our real friends? How do we feel when our so-called homeboys and homegirls turn out not to be our friends? In this Internet age, it’s common for us not to have any friends, except online or through social media, or to think we have friends then catch them slighting us on social media, or not having our back online.

Who do you consider your “friends”, your “real friends”, your “homeboys/girls”? A psychologist once told me that he thought we should do away with the word “friends” altogether. He claimed the increased rates of “falling out” with friends is due to our own high expectations we set for people who are our “friends”. When they don’t live up to these expectations we feel disappointed (if a friend doesn’t like and comment on ALL your posts, or is usually in tug with you everywhere but in one instance you can’t find them/count on them).

We have to remember that friends are simply that, friends. Of course some of us have certain friends we can count on more than others, but in general when we start placing them on pedestals or expect them to always have our back we being searching for and expecting someone who goes beyond a “friend”. Think about that as you go about your day.

Kanye West’s Original Song:

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[Throwback: Emotive Hip-Hop] Best of Joe Budden: Sidetracked // Other Deep, “Emo” Rappers – Cudi, Cinos, Charles Hamilton


[Emotive Hip-Hop Throwback:] Joe Budden – Sidetracked // More deep-emotive hip-hop at end of this post:

[Coldplay “Lost” sample:]

Just because I’m losin’
Doesn’t mean I’m lost,
Doesn’t mean I’ll stop
Doesn’t mean I will cross…


From The Dope Chronicles (Feb 2015)

Song: Sidetracked |
Album: Halfway House |
Year: 2009

“I’ve lost so many relationships, is it, just because I don’t relate to shit?”

Source: Best of Joe Budden v.2: #28 Sidetracked

Joe battles with an inner issue in this song. Is there something deeper in this song that what’s on the surface? Maybe. To me, it seems like his old friend depression is the cause behind his lack of focus and flip-flop of things.

At times he’s pumped, he’s motivated, he’s ready to hit the studio but then there’s days where he doesn’t want to do that. He sees it as pointless. It’s a waste of time.


This throwback post recalls one of Joe Budden‘s “unreleased” tracks from his 2009 mixtape Halfway House, an EP many speculate, Budden wrote while depressed. As someone who has dealt with bouts of the ailment myself I can relate in parts of his “Sidetracked” song [Sometimes I wanna make music/sometimes I feel it’s just useless…] a deep recollection of the darker side to fame over hip-hop beats (and a sick Coldplay sample).

In general, I try to avoid depressing music but there are times when it feels right to me (especially during the colder months). Sometimes the raps can hit close to home and stir emotions, at other times (to me) these songs may be sonically great, or have a sick beat/sample but the depressing lyrics turn the would-be banger into a “pity-party” that I probably wouldn’t play around other people at least not for cranking round the city or getting ready to hit the clubI feel neutral as this music certainly has it’s place; some of Kid Cudi’s greatest tracks are fairly sad. But, Cudi balances it pretty well.

This mixtape of Budden’s, a lot of Charles Hamilton’s music, almost all of Cinos‘ songs I’ve heard (apart from Rain Zone) and even some from Lil B squarely fit this bill. How do you feel about songs that are sad?

Other Good Sad and Emotive Rap Highlights:

Kid Cudi – Going to the Ceremony

Charles Hamilton – Happy Ending
https://www.youtube.com/bP4yaxRVIjg

Cinos – Lighthouse Zone

Cinos – Rain Zone (not emotive, but just damn good)

Cage – Blood Boy

[Future Festival Chill:] Morgan Page – Fight For You (Beltek Remix), Mash-Ups & Remixes


[Dance/House:] Morgan Page – Fight For You (Beltek Remix)

I fight for you,
I didn’t wanna have to raise my voice…
I’m right for you,
You really leave me with no choice…

Morgan Page’s “Fight For You” is already epic enough in it’s original form, with the incredibly festival-ready mash-up take on Page’s own “Fight For You,” combined with Nima Nesta’s “Derby” in “Derby Fight“. or the deep ambient, Sultan & Shepard Remix or the dubstep-heavy Culture Code Remix. The Beltek Remix is another great, mixable remix emphasizing the heavy atmospheric basslines and melodies inherent in the popular song. Having been remixed six ways to Sunday there is a remix in probably at least one genre that any person alive would enjoy. Check some of them out below:

[Dance/Electronic:] Fight For You – Morgan Page

[EDM Festival House:] Derby Fight – Morgan Page Vs. Nima Nesta

[House:] Fight For You (DJ Dan Remix) – Morgan Page

[Dubstep/House:] Fight For You (Culture Code Remix) – Morgan Page

[Deep House:] Fight For You (Sultan & Shepard Remix) – Morgan Page

Find more here:
Morgan Page Soundcloud
Morgan Page Twitter
Morgan Page Facebook
Nima Nesta Soundcloud
Nima Nesta Facebook
Nima Nesta Twitter

[The Urban Daily] Ice Cube & Son To Star In L.A. Riots Thriller


Ice Cube & Son To Star In L.A. Riots Thriller.

It looks like Ice Cube is just starting to get back into the movie game quite heavy and is bringing his son along with him for the ride. After the wildly successful debut of the music docu-music-drama “Straight Outta Compton” the rapper and actor has plans to star in a film on the riots of Los Angeles, which will also star his son. Check the link above for the full story. Thanks and credit to The Urban Daily for the lede and breaking the story.

[Future Wave / Breakbeat:] Fatboy Slim – Mad Flava (Autograf Remix) // [EDM Origins: Progressive House / Trance] Avril Lavigne – Alice ( Michael Conway Remix)


Future Wave/Breakbeat: Mad Flava (Autograf Remix) – Fatboy Slim

EDM producer/group Autograf was lucky enough to be honored by being called upon by alternative rock/trip-hop group Fatboy Slim to remix their single “Mad Flava“. Putting an absolutely amazing future feel to the song, I almost didn’t know what to coin this genre of music. Maybe all these Future modifiers (in front of House, Trap, Dance, whatever) should just all be condensed into FUTURE. That begs the question, what will we call it when it is the future, say in 20 years?

Sillyness aside, Autograf has more than their fair share of stunning remixes. Be sure to check out their songs on their Soundcloud, where you can download them for free! Next up for our ORIGINS post (below) we highlight some Progressive House remixed by Michael Conway as well as a legendary trance track from Trance God DJ, Ferry Corsten, Down on Love” from his monumental album L.E.F.

Autograf Soundcloud
Fatboy Slim Youtube


Progressive House: Alice (Michael Conway Remix) – Avril Lavigne

This is probably the second remix of Avril Lavigne song that I actually like, and this will take first for the best (in my opinion) as the general feel of this awesome, beat-building progressive house remix of Alice” from EDM producer Michael Conway is much more widely applicable to any situation; compared to the eurobeat-ish, happy hardcore sound prominent in the Revo-luution remix and Nightcore’s take on that same remix (below):

Hello Kitty (Nightcore Revo-luution Remix) – Avril Lavigne
 

Trance: Down on Love – Ferry Corsten

Finally, last but no way in flaming hell, least. Is smash trance-track “Down on Love” from Dutch trance, EDM DJ and artist Ferry Corsten. Well known for working with and remixing tunes from the likes of DJ Tiesto, Above & Beyond and more Corsten has been a signature name on the scene since the early to mid-2000s (much like Kaskade, Benny Benassi and several other DJs who “came up” during this time period).

Released back in 2006, I was a high school junior when Corsten’s second studio album droppedI copped it of course, during a time where the cashier at Best Buy looked at my funny, or as if I was crazy, this black teenager buying EPs from BT (Emotional Technology) or the even more rare, obscure and EDM foundation builder, Norweigan group, Röyksopp’s The Understanding. Below you’ll find two standout singles from BT and Röyksopp and two more deeper cuts.

Communicate – BT (also check out “The Great Escape“)

Learn to use your words so we can…
Communicate, communicate
communicate, communicate now…

What Else is There (Jacques Lu Cont Mix) – Röyksopp [2005]

It was me on that road,
but you couldn’t see me
too many lights out, nowhere near here,
I’ve got a golden ear,
I cut and I spear —
and what else is there?

Only This Moment (Original Mix) [MV] – Röyksopp [2005]

Only This Moment (Röyksopp’s Forsiktige Massaje Remix) [2006]

[Throwbacks] [Intelligent/Meaningful Hip-Hop] Kanye West – Eyez Closed (feat. Snoop Dogg & John Legend) & Jaylib – Survival Test (J Dilla) // [Reggae / Punk / Summer:] Slightly Stoopid – The Fruits [Legalize Them]


Hey there cool kids, I’ve got some new throwbacks for ya today. First off we start in the genre of “real” meaningful hip-hop as I like to call it. You could say it’s as opposed to, whatever you think it is, everyone’s “definitions” of real hip-hop is different, regardless this soulful, never-realeased rare track from Kanye West featuring Snoop Dogg & John Legend is a perfect song to bring back for Summer2k15. With production from Kanye himself, the beat, melody and sample in the chorus are make an irresistibly groove-inducing song.

Next, though still dance-able, but much more conscious: this song could be seen as for dancers like b-boys, as a head-banger for the whip that increases your hardness as you vibe at the light and people think you’re a badass, or even just one you sit there not-moving still, taking in the rawness and lyrical prowess of Jaylib, the combination of underground hip-hop group Madlib and deceased, super-producer, J Dilla.

A tribal-sounding horn, hard beats and kicks accompanied by booming bass and a flute-like arpeggio make this a perfect listen (or beat to freestyle over, see the instrumental).



Finally to wrap up our series of summer-suitable throwbacks we have the absolutely chill, “Hey man, just be easy” relaxation inducing single “The Fruits” from Californian psychedelic rock / reggae band Slightly Stoopid. “The Fruits” is a great listen with its calming sounds that remind one of the ocean, the carefree rhythm and vocals the lead singer provides and its borderline no sensemaking, yet easily understandable lyrics emphasizing being free and happy in life. Check it out above!

[Video Game Music Origins:] [Geek Pop / J-Pop] Freezepop – Singles // [NONSTOP MEGAMIX] DJ Tiësto, Activision, Lady Gaga & Adamski


(Original production for PS2 game Harmonix’s FreQuencyScience Genius Girl DJ Hero 2’s deadmau5 Megamix feat. Kaskade Second Feature, DJ Tiesto’s Megamix in DJ Hero 2: Freezepop’s popular music video for TENISU NO BOIFURENDO As a gamer (when time permits) I can’t not highlight music inspired by, from and featured in video games. In fact, there are several games of days past that I can solely attribute to accentuating my love of EDM (electronic dance music) [for a list of good music video games check below].  SSX 3 OST – Emerge (JUNKIE XL Remix) – Fischerspooner

SSX Tricky and more notably SSX 3 on GameCube featured a wide variety of artists including many British EDM acts as well as hip-hop. This game was the first to introduce me to artists such as, The X-Ecutioners, LCD SoundSystem, Audio Bullys and Jason Nevins’ remix of N.E.R.D.’s “Rockstar” with a soundtrack that featured a lot of electronic and UK house music.

Underground sleeper-favorite, blur, a racing game released by the makers of Geometry Wars on PS3 and Xbox 360, had an incredible EDM-filled soundtrack as well. The game sadly went under, probably due to a lack of a good marketing, but its concept was revolutionary, combining the weapon firing elements of Mario Kart with the sports-car inner-city racing thrills of Need For Speed Underground or Midnight Club, blur was way ahead of its time. Check out the blur soundtrack starting with Spank Rock’s “Bump (Best Fwends Remix)

[AMPLITUDE SOUNDTRACK]

Notables: Shades of Blue, Everyone Says Hi, Cherry Lips] For this feature I am highlighting a song out of the Playstation 2 series of music games, “FreQuency” and “Amplitude“. Revolutionary for their time, these games combined elements of rail shooters with music production, where the player would control tracks (such as bass, drums, vocals, FX, etc.) and by successfully tapping the notes the actual tracks would play and be added (or skip or get silenced if you mess up) as you successfully clear the stage. Someone playing S.C.G. by Freezepop in Rock Band

Freezepop was a well-known band through the games alone where they contributed some original music productions that could be called sci-fi techno, trance or just early EDM music. They also created another song called Super Sprode for Harmonix’s sequel to FreQuency, Amplitude, a fan/cult favorite music game that was way ahead of its time. With the song-creating elements of the first game and online interactivity Amplitude is known as one of the greatest music games of all time. There is currectly a KickStarter campain to create a sequel to Amplitude for PS4.


EDM giant deadmau5’s Megamix featuring House legend Kaskade Next, from another popular, but also sadly defunct music game series, comes a stunningly-good megamix of songs by DJ Tiesto featured in the game DJ Hero 2, also produced by Activision. This game was very similar to their other music series, Guitar Hero but featured an actual turntable peripheral used to play the game, scratch and cut-up audio tracks. Though the game was immense fun, it’s very mainstream songlist, huge jump of difficulty from Hard to Expert (much harder than in GH) and lack of support for online play and DLC (though there was a lot of DLC upon first release) led to its eventual demise. DJ Hero by far however was not the first game to use a turntable peripheral, neither was Guitar Hero the first to use guitar add-ons. These medals below to KonamiJapanese video game publisher who’s BEMANI music video game series (started back in 1998) and the obsession of my life from about age 10-19 with their breakout series beatmania, it’s follower beatmania IIDX, and their most popular series to date, Dance Dance Revolution. Video Games with Popular or Prominent Soundtracks: The entire Dance Dance Revolution series Final Fantasy series (notably VII, IX, X, XI and XIII) Audition (Korean PC free-to-play music series) The entire beatmania IIDX series Guitar Hero (3, World Tour, 4) Pump It Up SSX Tricky, and SSX 3 Grand Theft Auto Series & Sleeping Dogs FIFA games and many other EA titles