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Joey Bada$$ disses O.T. Genasis

November 25th, 2014 | By

Joey Bada$$ disses O.T. Genasis

I’m not one to hype up Twitter beef or get into some TMZ gossip, but I felt I needed to call attention to this one. Last night, the sad news came that the cop who shot and killed an unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson would not face any criminal charges. This elicited several responses, especially from Hip-Hop artists, like Q-Tip, who went as far as joining fellow protesters in New York City’s Times Square.

While he didn’t take it to the streets, Brooklyn-native Joey Bada$$ took to Twitter to say how he felt about the situation. One of his most powerful tweets was this one – “We need more black revolutionaries less OT genesis’…. The music plays a heavy part in all of this. ACT LIKE YOU KNOW“. With over 2,000 re-tweets, it’s clear a lot of people agreed with him.

For those that don’t know, O.T. Genasis has been blowing up radio and the internets with his single “Coco“, which is your basic trap-esque anthem about selling cocaine. The video comes complete with a table full of flour and stacks of fake money as he proclaims “I got baking soda!“.

So why is this news-worthy? Well, it’s about time a talented artist had some balls to call out a garbage artist and realizing the impact this type of music has on the community. Hopefully the tweet doesn’t escalate into to violence between the two and I REALLY hope we don’t get an apology later today/deleted tweet.

I skimmed through the comments of the “Coco” video and a lot of people defend the song by saying “it’s catchy“. So was “Who Let the Dogs Out” but no one is going to argue how great they are, are they?

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Facebook Limits Your Page Reach, Again….

November 17th, 2014 | By

Facebook - Y U No Show Posts?

Last week Facebook announced that it would be making changes to their secret algorithm again. This time, they stated they will be limiting the amount of brand-page posts that appear on users’ timelines. For anyone that already has a Facebook Page, you know how challenging it is to accomplish a decent amount of views.

Facebook said that after researching, they found most users think the ads are annoying and overly promotional, so they will begin hiding them from your timeline, unless of course you pay to “boost” the post. The types of posts that will be hidden include anything asking a user to make a purchase, downloading an app, or re-using ad content. It’s also worth pointing out that Facebook has banned incentivized posts altogether – i.e. “like this post for a chance to win a free t-shirt“.

So what does that mean for your artist page? It means you’re going to have to either get more creative with your posts or start paying for your fans to see them. For those looking for extra tips, check out this article I wrote a while back.

There have been some other changes since I wrote the article, so check out these tips as well…

1. Don’t Post YouTube Videos – Facebook wants to keep your traffic on their site. They initially launched an embedded player for YouTube, but they’ve taken it one step further. Facebook actually prefers you to upload the video directly to them instead of posting a YouTube link. If you want your video to seen by your fans without paying, upload the video.

2. Connect with Instagram – My Instagram posts are some of the highest viewed posts within Facebook, especially the videos. For whatever reason (well actually FB owns Instagram so we know the reason) posts that come directly from IG are viewed at a much higher rate. For example, some recent beat videos I posted reached between 250-450 users out of my 1,100+ fan base. In comparison, my text posts including a link only reached 50-100.

3. Try to Avoid External Links – This is the hardest hurdle to overcome, but posts that contain a link are immediately deemed “advertisements” and they will never reach users’ timelines.

Overall, you’re going to have to get more creative (and visual) with your Facebook content. Either that, or start paying $20 a post…

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Aaliyah - Are You That Somebody?

November 16th, 2014 | By

Aaliyah - Are You That Somebody sample

Twitter blew up last night with the hashtag #AaliyahMovie criticizing the choice of casting within the Lifetime biopic. I didn’t watch it, but apparently everyone in the film looked nothing like the people they were based on. In honor of the real Aaliyah, I decided to post up an often overlooked sample from her track “Are You That Somebody?“.

Are You That Somebody?” was a huge hit for Aaliyah and was produced by her long-time collaborator Timbaland. Timbaland might not known as the “realest” producer ever, but he is super talented and known for sampling a lot of non-conventional sounds (think the whole Bollywood craze). During the hook of the track, you can hear baby noises. Most people probably thought Timbo brought in a live baby (or Magoo!) and recorded the noises. In reality, they were lifted from a Sound Effect LP by Jac Holzman.

A small snippet of the same baby noises also appear on the Wildstyle instrumental soundtrack. Not sure which one Timbaland used, but they are definitely the same ones in “Are You That Somebody?“.

Peep the original to see how it was flipped.

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Edo G - Pay Per View

November 13th, 2014 | By

Veteran Boston emcee Edo G has dropped his new single “Pay Per View” produced by Dr3matic on 7 Series Music. The single will be released on limited edition (300 copies) 7-inch vinyl available on the labels website for pre-order.

For those not familiar, 7 Series Music is based out of the UK, but is ran by North Carolina native and producer/deejay Dr3matic. The label is putting quality over quantity and focusing on a small collection of 7 emcees that have a golden era sound. Their releases won’t be limited to older artists, as several up-and-comers also fall into this category. Each 7-inch single will be limited to 300 physical copies.

Check out the vid and support real hip-hop!

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Brothas Be, Yo Like George

November 3rd, 2014 | By

Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge fan of George Clinton / Parliament / Funkadelic and also heavily influenced by them. (Maybe not musically, but definitely spiritually). Because of that, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on George’s new auto-biography Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?. The book is a self-told memoir starting back from George’s humble beginnings all the way up to present-day recording with Kendrick Lamar.

I saw Dr. Funkenstein speak at the New York Public Library last week and decided to write a quick book review for all those interested. It won’t break the bank, so hit up Amazon and get it!

If you love P-Funk, this book will fill in a lot of blanks. George tells several stories from behind the scenes which are for the most part hilarious. The book starts out with George moving to New Jersey and how he fell in love with music. He eventually finds himself in Detroit trying to start the next Temptations, but get’s rejected by Motown. The story follows his career to the height of the P Funk empire and moves on towards it’s demise in the early 80’s. Strung out on crack, it’s a dark time but is eventually gets brighter with the resurgence of P funk, spearheaded by young rap acts sampling his work. The book closes out with George’s recent legal battles trying to get his copyrights back and excerpts about his new recordings.

Overall, the book is great but to a long time fan like me, there are still a bunch of missing pieces. They obviously didn’t want to make the book 1000 pages long, and it’s been so long George might not remember everything that happened to him. The editing isn’t the best either. The book tries to remain chronological, but sometimes things skip around. At times, the book can get really depressing especially during George’s crack addiction and time spent with Sly Stone.

However, this shouldn’t stop you from checking it out. The stories from the 70’s are worth it alone. Also, the book helps to high-light George’s ongoing legal battles and how his copyrights were essentially stolen from him.

And funk is it’s own reward.

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Hasan Salaam Interview

October 22nd, 2014 | By

Hasan Salaam

Photo credit Jessica Siemens Photography

I first crossed paths with Jersey emcee Hasan Salaam when The ILLZ was performing at local NYC venues in 2011. I’m glad to see him getting the shine he deserves – especially being an artist that touches on topics most others are afraid to. Salaam recently released his new single “Jericho” a few weeks back. I had a chance to ask him some questions and learned a lot about him – like he dabbles in the adult film industry! Check out the Q&A below…

1. How did you come to work with producer Hezekiah?

I first worked with Hezekiah on a song I was featured on Range Da Messenga’s album. Range said I should speak to Hez about production and he sent over a batch of tracks. I picked three, and two of them are on Life In Black & White.

2. How did you pick the beat for “Jericho”?

When I was going the beats that Hezekiah sent over. For real as soon as I heard those dusty record sounds I was locked in! Then once I heard the drums that was it. It was just something different and it had the feel of a heart pounding and I know exactly what I wanted needed talk about on the track.

3. How did you and Immortal Technique first connect?

I first met Tech at EOW (End of the Weak) but we really linked up through the grassroots artist movement as well. He respected my hustle and offered to take me on the road for some shows thanks to DJ GI Joe’s recommendation. This will be my first solo album on a label and I appreciate Tech and Viper Records for the opportunity.

4. Many artists are using music as a way to get into other industries (fashion, acting, record labels, etc). Are you focused strictly on music or trying to do something else?

I have been involved in other industries since before I even put out a record. Primarily, I’ve been involved in adult entertainment in some shape form or fashion since I was legally allowed to do so. I do Fantasy Flight parties with the company Jet Setting Jasmine and own Royal Fetish Films and Sensual Noire Entertainment. What we do is “The Renaissance for The Art of Making Love” bringing couples to higher levels of intimacy, empowering women/men sexually and normalizing fetishes all while providing top notch quality entertainment. I also co-own a fitness studio in Clearwater, Florida called Body Altitudes and we are about to celebrate our first year in business!

5. What’s the worst thing about being an artist right now?

People don’t look to artists for art anymore in a sense. People look to artists for an image for social media not so much the substance of their art. There are a lot of people who judge an artist on their associations instead of there art. Too many carbon copies.

6. What do you feel the most important source of promotion is? – YouTube, Blogs, Radio, Mixtapes, Social Media or Streets?

They all hold weight. No matter the source though, nothing is better promo than word of mouth. The people are the best promotion. If they dig it they share it. Social media in all its forms from online to print means nothing without the people.

7. Streaming services like Pandora and Spotify have come under a lot of fire for not paying artists enough. How do you feel about that?

I believe that every artist and everything being that does any kind of work deserves to be paid. The Internet is kind a like the final frontier of them discover ways to manipulate and use artists material. There needs to be proper compensation for artists on sites that make money off of us.

8. Which social media platform do you focus on the most? FB, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, or Tumblr?

I’m on all of them way too much. I have 4 Instagram accounts that I’m on every day for all of my various businesses. Three FB pages, two twitters, YouTube, Tumblr, Reverb Nation and my own website and am a sexpert blogger for Calexotics. It’s crazy I grew up without a computer and now look at me! My Grandmother would be proud.

Follow Hasan to keep up to date on all his latest ventures!

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Adult Ent.
Facebook | Instagram

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Ghostface - Starkology

October 19th, 2014 | By

David Matthews album Dune has been used by crate diggers for a long time. Being on CTI it’s always been a prime target for producers, including both Large Pro and Pete Rock. Most people usually think of the cut “Sandworms“, used most famously on Extra P’s single “The Mad Scientist“. However, the flip side has some heat too.

Side B contains a jazz rework of “The Main Theme from Star Wars“. The track starts out pretty simple with the trademark horns and strings we all know from the movie, over a weird time signature. In the middle of the track, a crazy break beat kicks in with weird light phaser and space sound effects. Producer Scram Jones looped the break and added some harder drums for the Ghostface cut “Starkology” off of Apollo Kids.

For the bonus trivia, the horns that kick in right before the break were used by the Jungle Brothers hip-house hit “I’ll House You“.

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Hasan Salaam featuring Immortal Technique - Jericho

October 9th, 2014 | By

Fellow NJ native Hasan Salaam dropped his new video featuring underground legend Immortal Technique. The song is one of the few (good) hip-hop songs to touch on the topic of police brutality. Hezekiah provides the beat, which isn’t your average sounding track. Very light and filtered drums are layered on top of a haunting choir. “Jericho” will appear on Life In Black & White, Hasan’s forthcoming Viper Records full-length album.

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