For the past couple of months I have been making an effort to extend my musical palette by creating "classical" compositions and writing music music out – note by note. This stems from my desire to not only create great popular tunes for radio and albums, but to also be well versed in creating for other musical platforms such as film and television, commercials, video games, etc. I plan to publish more of my "classical" compositions as I build upon my collection of material. The following is a short piano piece that I've composed simply titled Melody in F.
February is the month when we celebrate love. So it's only right that I give you something to enjoy that will remind you of your significant other. The following is a video and song from LouisPenn, which consists of Lova Randrianasolo from Red Cup Magazine and myself. Check it out and cuddle up to that special someone:
Here's a track that I made a little while back after coming off a long hiatus of making music. I may change a few things here and there but it's pretty much complete. Take a listen.
It's been far too long since I've posted some new music. Listen to this track I came up with. It came about as I was playing with the pads on my MPC and I got a cool piano riff going. Everything else just flowed from that:
Sign on the Jazz Walk of Fame in Algiers
One of my favorite shows on TV right now is Treme´. So, having the recent opportunity to go to New Orleans was very exciting for me. Not only was I excited about seeing the city where my favorite show is set, but more so, I was excited to be in the birth place of American music. As a musician, I saw this as my pilgrimage to Mecca. Standing in Congo Square where slaves once roamed and and played instruments, I was surprised that there weren't more people in that section of Louis Armstrong Park, but then again we really don't appreciate Jazz in America like we should. I also walked around the Basin St. area that was once known as Storyville. During the evening on Canal and Bourbon St. a youth jazz band played some of the best music that I heard during my stay. Bourbon Street was alive during the evening, and lived up to its reputation. I ducked in and out of various venues and bars to listen to different bands play everything from jazz to rock and RnB.
My time in New Orleans wasn't all about music, however. I also was interested in experiencing the infamous cuisine of city. I had all of the staple dishes: po-boys, beignets, gumbo, muffalettas, and jambalaya among other things. But the thing I anticipated most was the acclaimed fried chicken from Willie Mae's Scotch House. Well, I was disappointed in Willie Mae's – after making the trek up to Treme´ on Monday, I found a note on the door saying they were only open on Tuesday through Saturday during the summer. I went back to Treme´ the next day, to check out another New Orleans legendary spot called Dooky Chase's. It was fantastic. I had the buffet that included red beans and rice, seafood gumbo, jambalaya, greens, some delicious green beans, and some of the best catfish I've ever tasted. Did I mention the fried chicken was top-notch. The desert was incredible! I'm not even a fan of peaches that much, but the peach cobbler they served for desert made me a believer.
On my next visit to New Orleans I'd like to listen to more jazz bands and maybe catch a second line in action. Also, I would like to hang out more in the neighborhoods. Sure, taking the trolley down St. Charles through Uptown was fun, but I wanna see whats poppin in the Magnolia–or do I? Lol.
It's been a dreary couple of days here in NYC. So to pick up my spirits, I decided to make a list of my favorite dances of all time and the songs that go with them. Here we go:
5. The Stanky Legg- When you hear the beginning of this beat you know what time it is! A lot of people hate on this dance, but it smacks in the club and when everybody's doing it its a good time. I like it because you can groove to it and have fun.
4. The Chicken Head- This was one of my favorites back in high school, during my marching band days. We used to do this on the football field i believe, lol. All the good dances came out back then in 2000 to 2003, and this was one of my favorites.
3.The Harlem Shake- Back in the day this was MY DANCE! Me and my homie Marques would tear the party up with this. Just shake your shoulders. I think I was on the level of these New York cats back in my prime. I chose this song to represent for the Shake because the little kids in the video were doin their thing. I just might have to catch the train uptown to see what's really good.
2. The Dougie- My new favorite. I love that it's all about the groove, like dances were back when I was growing up in the early 90's. Since it's inspired by one of the New Jack Swing era greats, Doug E. Fresh, you can expect it to have that kinda groove to it. Shout out to D-town too. they're coming up with all the new dances.
1. Krumping/Clowing- I had to put this at number one. I love the free-form rawness of this dance. You can go from the birthday party to the battlezone with this. I also love the movie Rize, which chronicles the dance movement in Los Angeles. Next time you in the club, GET BUCK!
M-Bone from the hip-hop group Cali Swag District
It's crazy. Here I was, happy as can be, dancing to "Teach Me How to Dougie" by Cali Swag District and about to write something about the song, and then I look down at the comments on the Youtube video and see that M-Bone was murdered Sunday night in his hometown of Inglewood, California. One fourth of CSD, Mbone's public persona seemed to be a fun loving, quiet guy, yet his life was taken in violence.
My first thoughts when I learned of the way he died was that someone was probably jealous of his success. Him being who he is and still living in the hood, may have provoked someone to do this. I'm not sure what caused the event but, I hate to see a life go from unnecessary violence. Hip-hop has seen too many succumb to the streets. It's hard to believe that someone who's claim to fame is "Teach Me How to Dougie" would lose his life in such a way. I hope that young men and women learn to handle their issues in more constructive ways. Life is too short as it is. We need to build each other instead of perpetually tearing each other down.
For more on the story click here.
In honor of the late great Bob Marley on his 30th Anniversary, I'm posting this track I did a few years back. I named the track after the legendary Marley and sampled some percussion from a song of his. I remember around the time i made this, I had just got his Best of... CD I believe from a friend of mine. I was just listening to the tracks on there, thinking, I gotta make something with that old reggae feel like Marley had. Vibe to it as you remember the legacy of Bob Marley on this day. One Love!
April 2011 Cover of Fortune Magazine
I recently was reading the latest Fortune Magazine cover story on the current state of Twitter. Since everyone and there mother is utilizing the power of the tweet, this revolutionary company is always the microscope. With its plethora of leadership issues and lack of product development, The company will be under greater scrutiny as competitors continue to gain market share. Having read the cover story, I found these points most interesting:
Twitter's lack of ad revenue needs to be rectified quickly. Thus far, ad sales seems to be the only viable revenue stream that produces results in the social-networking world. Twitter has become big enough and influential enough that the bottom line is the most important aspect of the company.
Twitter's user activity is indicative of how the digital era is. With so many upstarts and alternatives, most people only stick with a service for a short time and then its on to the next. Also, the ability and the necessity to have accessibility over multiple platforms has caused usage to shrink from a metrics standpoint. It becomes more difficult to analyze exactly who is using your service when its being used over a wide variety of websites, applications, and mobile devices.
The world is shrinking with each technological advance. At some point I think we'll see a company develop a site that incorporates the best of Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Stumble Upon, Tumbler, Digg...etc, basically becoming "THE" social network; everything to everyone. This might be a little too ambitious, but maybe Twitter will become it once it bolsters its product development and figures out which direction it wants to fly.
Read the full Fortune article here.
If you haven't heard it yet, listen to my Twitter song "Tweet Tweet (Jungle Bird)."
I've been listening to a lot of R&B lately. Early 90's R&B that is. They don't make it like they used to. This track below is something I've recently been working on that makes use of a sample from Tony Toni Tone's jam "Whatever You Want." I originally wanted to go in a more smooth direction with it, but in the process of creating it evolved into something a little different. I may add a few more things to the track and record some vocals, but for now it is what it is. Let me know if you have any ideas on what I should do. Enjoy!