Very often I try to consider whether it is better to be a jack of all trades vs master of one. Or rather, if I should focus my attention on numerous pursuits or focus on one in particular. Continue reading
Here’s an excellent episode of science show StarTalk. It talks about science and rap and features Wu-Tang’s GZA! It’s hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Continue reading
Is your art a product? This is a question I felt compelled to ask and try to answer for myself after reading an excellent article from the great Talib Kweli expressing his views defending the equally great Lauryn Hill. He is speaking out against some of the flack she has received in recent years from critics and fans alike. Continue reading
I want to talk about dealing with criticism. Criticism is something you’re inevitably going to go through whatever you do. Especially if you actually stand for something. It’s important to remember it’s ok to royally fuck up sometimes especially when you have good intentions behind those actions. These embarrassing moments are often the times you learn the most and the quickest. Everyone stumbles. The people that never succeed are the people that didn’t fail enough. All that being said, sometimes you can do everything right and with the best of intentions and still receive staunch criticism from people. Continue reading
As many Rap fans in the UK will be aware there was a recent Fire in the Booth Cypher (the first ever in fact) featured on Charlie Sloth’s BBC Radio 1 Rap Show.
It featured some of the UK’s most popular rappers today and no doubt they went in! Nonetheless it called into question what a real ‘cypher’ is. As was expressed in this GRM Daily post which shows an interesting twitter discussion between Swiss of So Solid Crew and Charlie Sloth himself. In Swiss’ opinion in a ‘real cypher’ rappers don’t know what beat they’re going to be rhyming to. Many would argue a step further and say that rappers shouldn’t even know what their rhymes are going to be either and should in fact be all off the top.
This is a question often asked and thought about in rap circles especially amongst rap purists. Freestyling VS Pre-Written? Does it matter? In other words does it matter whether a rapper pre-wrote his or her lyrics, or whether they came up with them on the fly? Continue reading
I have a new song ‘Do What I Love’ out now! Come check it out! It’s a heavily Jazz influenced Rap song about doing the grind in numerous aspects in life and doing it for the love of doing it regardless of whether or not I’m getting any of that love back. Continue reading
Yes as the musical world has now been thoroughly digitally overthrown, I thought I’d take a look at the good and bad of digital DJing.
I was once a purist in the world of Hip Hop with a very ‘dustier than now’ disposition. This is both in terms of DJing and music production. I had no interest in using computers. I only sampled from vinyl (ok occasionally from CD shhh!…) I’d only play with ‘real’ records. None of this CDJ rubbish and heaven forbid I use Serato or Traktor. Continue reading
So let’s talk a little more in depth about what Jazz taught me about Hip Hop. In part 1 I explained how I came to the decision to gain a deeper understanding of Jazz. Now let’s actually explain what it taught me. First of all it’s given me a deep understanding of chords and chord progressions which has allowed me the ability to create music without being reliant on sampling other music. I found that a lot of my favourite samples are that of Jazz and there are certain patterns consistent in Jazz that can be recreated in a Hip Hop format. One example is that almost all Jazz chord progressions go down in fifths and often in the widely known ii V I chord progression. What can be confusing about Jazz is that it very regularly changes key every 4 or so chords in a single composition so you may well hear different examples of ii V I progression or other chords going down in fifths often going back to resolve at the original key the piece started off in.