Royce da 5’9 - PRhyme (Ill Tal Remix)

December 15th, 2014 | By

Honestly, I’m not usually one for remix contests. In a lot of cases, the voting is done through Facebook so they turn into popularity contests or can be fixed all together. HOWEVER, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to remix one of the songs off the new DJ Premier / Royce da 5’9 project – PRhyme.

The good folks at put this conetest together. What makes this one different is, the actual artists will go through the submissions (assuming you have a BeatStars account) instead of just relying on fan votes. The winner should be announced some time in February. Check it out.

If you looking to download it, go to here.

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Interview: Garrett Shider

December 14th, 2014 | By

I recently had the chance to chop it up with one of the musicians featured on Funkadelic’s new album (review here) – Garrett Shider. Shider is a vocalist / guitarist / producer dabbling in everything from funk to hip-hop. For those that don’t know, he’s also son to legendary Parliament-Funkadelic member Garry Shider. While Garry may be gone, the funk lives on through Garrett aka Starchild Jr.

Garrett is a busy dude currently working on a clothing line, a comic book, as well as his musical duties. Peep the interview to learn about his work on the new Funkadelic album, what it was like having Diaper Man as a dad, and his current views on music.

1. You were recently featured on Funkadelic’s new album. Can you give some insight into the tracks and how they came together?

I wrote/co-wrote 2 songs on the album – “Talking to the Wall“, which I’m featured on and “Where Would I Go“, to which I wrote the music and some of lyrics. This song features George himself along with Sidney Barnes.

Talking to the Wall” was a song that I had for awhile and I decided to record it for this record. As for “Where Would I Go“, I was actually writing the music for someone else. George heard it and proceeded to record his lyrics to it. I was trying to find a way to tell him that this wasn’t for him. I heard what he was doing, but realized that he was ignoring me anyways lol. What other choice did I have but to go with it? I mean its George! lol

2. When we spoke before the interview, you mentioned you weren’t really involved in the final mix downs of the songs that appeared on the album. What would you have done different?

If I were involved in the mixing of these songs, I would have definitely done less looping of tracks on “Talking to the Wall“, a lot of instrumentation and genuinality was lost in the current mix. I liked the mix for “Where Would I Go“.

3. What was it like growing up with the Diaper Man as a father?

It was pretty cool growing up with Diaper Man as a dad. We lived an overall normal life though. My dad was a very cool, humble, down to earth person. He supported everything that I did. He groomed me for this, from the time that I could walk I was on the road with him. He would even pull me put of school for weeks to roll with him if he could get away with it. lol

4. A few years back, Westbound released the work of your dad’s band United Soul. We all know Westbound isn’t known for being the most honorable company. Did your family support that release?

We really have no say so in what is done with those records. We have never owned the rights to that stuff.

5. Are there any other unreleased projects of your father that you’re trying to put out?

I’m trying to round up what I can for some kind of release, but as I said – we don’t own the rights to any of his past material. His more current stuff is not really release quality. I would like to do it correctly as opposed to just releasing anything you know?

6. Can you talk about and what you’re trying to accomplish with it?

Forever Starchild is my brand – named to commemorate my dad’s legacy. I’m starting a Forever Starchild apparel and novelty line. I’m working on a comic book and some music as well.

Visit the site to keep current on P funk and Forever Starchild news, tour dates and visit the store if you need to do some Christmas shopping for your favorite funkateer! I just introduced some cool Forever Starchild varsity jackets!

7. Being an indy artist, how do you feel about the current landscape of the music industry?

I’m disappointed with the quality of music these days, but the business of music has shifted momentum to the unsigned artist which I think is a great thing. Labels have always been nothing but middle men, I don’t think that it’s so bad to see them go extinct. We collect 100% of our music now!

8. Besides the industry, how do you feel about the actual music?

I’m disappointed with the quality of today’s music, but the industry is always changing, so what can you do besides keep pushing right? Thank goodness its the age of the independent artist! I can find my fan base, stay true to them, and still make a living.

9. Can fans ever expect to see you on stage in a diaper?

Lol… No, I will not put on the diaper. I think i have to have my own identity as well. Plus, I think that it becomes cheapened and cheesy if I went for all of that. It was HIS thing, and it should go to the grave with him and live in funk lore.

For anyone looking to keep up with all of Garrett Shider’s latest endeavors, check him out at the below links:

Facebook: Garret Shider | Starchild Jr. Fan Page
Twitter: @TheRealHGreen
Instagram: @starchildjr

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Pete Rock - The Game

December 7th, 2014 | By

For anyone that’s been diggin’ for as long as I have, you shouldn’t need an introduction to Henry Mancini. The composer had a career spanning almost 30 years and included several albums and hit singles. He’s best known for his work on film soundtracks, including some ridiculously famous ones like “The Pink Panther“, “Peter Gunn“, and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“. With so many albums and soundtracks, it’s no wonder he has a catalog that includes several samples.

Hangin’ Out is a mid-70’s album by Mancini featuring several covers of soundtrack cuts. His mid-70’s albums are known for being a little bit more funky/modern sounding than his 60’s work. This one even features Shelly Manne on drums. Soul brother number 1 used the intro loop to “Theme from The Girl from Petrovka” for his classic cut “The Game“.

After the breakup of Pete Rock and CL Smooth, the world was eager to hear what he had in store as a soloist. His debut album Soul Survivor featured tons of hot beats and legions of dope emcees including Ghostface, Raekwon, and Prodigy who were all featured on “The Game“. For those who lived in NYC at the time, you’ll remember Pete Rock playing it on Hot 97’s Future Flavas a few months before the album dropped.

The song is one of the stand outs of the album and features a Ghostface verse, that no one (including Ghostface himself) understands till this day. During an interview on BET, Big Tigger had asked Ghost what certain lines meant and he said “When I wrote it in the studio, it made sense at the time.

Regardless if you know what Ghost is saying, the song is still dope. Check out how Pete Rock flipped the original.

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Review: Funkadelic - First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate

December 5th, 2014 | By

Funkadelic - First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate

After 33 years, Funkadelic finally returns with 3 albums worth of material for all the hardcore P Funk fans out there. Released digitally earlier this month, George Clinton hopes to prove he can still funk you up even though he’s in his mid-70’s.

The album is an eclectic mix of genres including funk, soul, g-funk, rap, rock, and jazz. The 3-disc set includes 33 songs in total, representing the 33 years since their last album The Electric Spanking of War Babies, released in 1981. George brings on some mainstays such as long-time guitarist Michael Hampton and his son Trey Lewd, as well as many new musicians. As with previous efforts, George tries to remain relevant to the mainstream by allowing heavy influence from current pop/hip-hop music by adding elements such as auto tune and sampling.

Unfortunately, with 33 tracks of various genres (and recorded at different time periods) the album sounds seriously disjointed. I feel it could have benefited by cutting out all the filler and trimming down to just 1 disc. The overuse of auto-tuned vocals and sequenced synth loops rather than live instruments really take away from the organic funkiness P Funk fans would expect of the album.

If you read George’s auto-biography, you’ll note that George admits he’s always kept a younger crowd around him to keep him sounding new and fresh. It sounds like that younger crowd really pushed him in a direction he shouldn’t have gone. If George wanted to make a hip-hop album, he should have done that and enlisted the legion of talented producers that have sampled his work (and they probably would have been honored to do it). The thing is, George is at a point in his life where he no longer needs to try to sound like anyone else; because everyone is trying to sound like him.

With that being said, I don’t want to deter anyone from copping this album. Within the 3 discs, there is definitely a large chunk of funk that is some of the best work George and crew have put out since the mid-90’s. We all have to accept that we’re in a new era and the days of the Mothership landing are long gone. But every now and then, she re-visits the Earth’s atmosphere to deploy some clones to keep the funk alive.

For those looking for an in-depth track-by-track review, keep reading…

Disc 1

1. Baby Like Fonkin’ it Up – Disc 1 starts off with a tune reminiscent of Parliament’s “Mr. Wiggles” – a long, simple groove with some light horn riffs. The song features 2 rap verses (one in Spanish) and some slightly off-beat singing. My biggest problem with the song is the bass line. It’s not funky at all, but rather a low, droning synth bass. Definitely not on “the one“.

2. Get Low – Probably one of the worst songs on the album (sorry George!). This is basically an attempt to sound like current hip-hop, but I imagine the song is probably a few years old as it sounds dated. It’s a mediocre Southern hip-hop beat at best with some rapping and singing. Whoever produced the song, definitely wasn’t a “hip-hop” producer. Also sucks that there really isn’t any room for actual musicians to do anything, other than a few keyboard lines.

3. If I Didn’t Love You – This song is pretty decent, but the auto-tune/vocal effect kind of ruins it for me. My only real complaint is the bass line. Instead of having someone play something funky, they use an “upright bass” patch from a synth and it’s just a simple loop. The song could have really benefited from live bass.

4. Fucked Up – George handles most of the lead vocals on this jazzy track, speaking on drug use. The song is really dope (because it actually uses live musicians!). I will say that I wouldn’t expect something this jazzy from George; it sounds more like something Roy Ayers would do.

5. Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You? – One of the best songs on the album and the name of George’s new auto-biography. The song is smooth, mellow, and funky with George doing most of the vocal leads. Only criticism of this track is the drums. The whole Roland 808/909 kits are kind of played out at this point; wish it had some live drumming.

6. I Mo B Yodog Fo Eva – Taking over where “Atomic Dog” left off, this track is filled with plenty of sexual dog innuendo. The beat draws on hip-hop influences, but in a good way. It sounds more like mid-90’s west coast G-Funk and there is nothing wrong with that. Woof!

7. In Da Kar – “In Da Kar” is a long, drawn out groove. It’s hard to describe, as it’s kind of vibey, speeding up and slowing down with some light key and guitar solos sprinkled throughout. Also not sure if George is trying to convey some deep message with a car metaphor or if he’s just talking nonsense and we’re interpreting it that way haha.

8. Radio Friendly – This is one of my favorite tracks on the album, which is heavily influenced by the G-Funk of the mid-90’s. In other words, this track would be right at home on T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M.

9. Mathematics of Love – Speaking of T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M., this one lifts a lot of the lyrics from a song on that album – “Mathematics“. It’s an interesting take on the original, but the synth strings sound too fake. Would have been really cool if they had a live orchestra doing the strings.

10. Creases – Another hip-hop track, but this beat is actually really dope! The track is compromised of some old P-Funk loops (I think from George’s work in the 80s?), but they work really well. What really helps is that the raps are provided by Deltron aka Del The Funky Homosapien.

11. Not Your Average Rapper – Yet another hip-hop track. This isn’t half bad and I think there is another sample used for the main loop. However, it would have benefited from a more well known rapper and some enhanced production. Basically a filler track.

Disc 2

1. First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate – Disc 2 kicks off with a modern day version of “Wars of Armageddon“. Basically, it’s a 9 minute simple groove with various vocal riffs, hooks, and stream of conscious nonsense that George is known for. Coolest thing about this track is the lead is played by a didgeridoo!?

2. Roller Rink – “Roller Rink” starts off with a sampled loop from “Atomic Dog” and Kendra Foster singing lead, almost imitating George’s voice (I think it’s Kendra, as without liner notes it’s hard to tell!). The song is definitely funky and fits better than other songs on the album, but it kind of drags out at 11+ minutes.

3. Jolene – I really wish the album sounded more like “Jolene“. The guitars (Michael Hampton?), horns, and bass take you back to a mid-70’s version of Parliament/Funkadelic. Aside from the live instrumentation, it’s great to have a song without over-the-top vocal effects and a rap verse.

4. Nuclear Dog, Pt. II – Another “Atomic Dog” influenced rap song. This definitely sounds inspired by George’s work from the mid/late 80’s. A decent groove but a little too much rap for my taste.

5. Dirty Queen – Funkadelic tries to return to it’s early rock roots with a heavy metal-esque track featuring God’s Weapon. It’s not necessarily a bad song, just really out of place in contrast to the rest of the album.

6. You Can’t Unring the Bell – Probably my favorite hip-hop influenced song on the album. Whoever made the beat did a great job sampling a break beat for the drums and what sounds like an old horn riff from George’s vaults. My only criticism is the auto-tune on George’s vocals. Would love to hear an un-altered version.

7. Old Fool – For those of you who read George’s autobiography, you’ll get the reference to the title of this song. The song is cool, but nothing ground breaking. Reminds me a bit of the late 70s/early 80s Funkadelic.

8. Pole Power – “Pole Power” is a play on James Brown‘s “Soul Power“. This is one of the more traditional sounding P Funk songs, complete with a really dope bridge like the old Parliament songs. If you listen closely in the background, you can hear a sample of Sir Nose. Once again, wish they got rid of the auto-tune.

9. Boom There We Go Again – This one is built on elements of Parliament’s “Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication“. It’s smooth track and a little disco-ish but still funky.

10. As In – The beautiful lead vocals of this track were done by Jessica Cleaves, who sadly passed away this year. For those that don’t know, she was lead singer of The Friends of Distinction. The song is actually a remake of a track by Bootsy’s Rubberband. I prefer the older, funkier version better, but Jessica definitely held her own on this sexy soul version. The live strings also make all the difference on this one.

11. Bernadette – This is a remake of a hit song by the Four Tops. There are samples buried in here too, but they are hard to hear. The song is okay, but I could have lived without it.

12. Meow Meow – Basically a female version of “Atomic Dog“. Not much to say about this track, other than it has a heavy 90’s west coast influence. Another filler track in my opinion.

Disc 3

1. Catchin’ Boogie Fever – I think this may be a track from George’s vaults (which isn’t a bad thing). The song sounds old and is mastered differently than the rest of the album.

2. The Naz – This song actually came out almost 2 years ago and features long time friend of George, Sly Stone. It’s basically just a simple funk groove with Sly talking nonsense over it. More filler.

3. Talking to the Wall – Really dope song featuring Gary Shider’s son Garrett. This is also an example of a hip-hop influenced track done right. The drums are sampled from a well-known break and there are reversed guitar loops in the background. I’m going to assume they are from George’s vaults and may be Gary Shider himself (he is credited on the Wiki page so most likely).

4. Where Would I Go? – One of the best songs on the album, also featuring Garett Shider. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a remake of a vaulted track as well. It’s a very soulful, funky tune reminiscent of the mid 70’s Parliament/Funkadelic.

5. Yesterdejavu – The album really hits a nice stride here with another traditional P Funk cut, complete with dope guitars, George alternating lead vocals, and Bernie Worrell on keys.

6. Zip It – Pretty sure this is another sample based track (or someone put an effect to make it sound that way). This track is just average with some fast-paced rapping and guitars. More filler.

7. The Wall – There is a very heavy Outkast influence on this track, but it doesn’t pan out too well for George. The vocals are drenched in auto-tune/effects and fast-paced drums are laid over the top of what would have been a really dope instrumental. The song also contains more rapping, which would have been a lot better if left to Andre 3000.

8. Snot n’ Booger – Song sounds more like T-Pain than P Funk. Too much auto-tune singing and rapping again. Towards the end of a song a sample kicks in, in the background (at least I think). I would much rather hear that song than the one they made out of it.

9. Yellow Light – More auto-tune and synths… Pretty average and boring track.

10. Dipety Dipety Doo Stop the Violence – The album closes out with a slow, hip-hop influenced soul ballad. If this instrumental was rapped on by someone like Wiz Khalifia it would probably be a hit, but doesn’t work so well with Funkadelic.

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Platter World Closing it’s Doors

December 1st, 2014 | By

Platter World Closing

After several years of operation, the famed Platter World of Garfield, NJ is finally closing it’s doors the end of December. Platter World was actually where I bought my first piece of wax and supplied me with several breaks over the years. The original owner’s daughter and son-in-law are holding a liquidation sale for the next few weeks. If any of you are in the New Jersey / New York / Pennsylvania area, I highly recommend you going to check it out. The place is huge so you are bound to find something in there. Below are the details:

Platter World, Collectible Vinyl Records store is closing its doors the end of December 2014 after 29 years in Garfield, NJ. We have over 250,000 pieces of new and used vinyl being liquidated in all genres.

Classic rock, Classical, R&B, Some Jazz, Big Band, Country, Vocals, Easy Listening, and more! Tons of Hip Hop, House, Club, Freestyle, etc. of 12 inch singles DJ’s dream of!

LP’s are $1.00 each.
2 record sets are $2.00 each
Box sets of 3 or more records are $5.00
12 inch singles are $1.00 each
45’s are 50 cents each.


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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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