Archive for the ‘Analysis’ Category

Young Jeezy x DJ Drama – The Real is Back

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Remember back when Jeezy was that dude? The Recession was a critical and commercial success, well received by both internet rap nerds and actual dope boys. Trap or Die 2 would have made a worthy follow up album, so as a mixtape, it was more than sufficient.

And then, out of nowhere, Jeezy fell off. Or maybe he didn’t. I can’t call it. In an era where 3 months is like a year, and a year is like a decade, it seems like forever since he’s been relevant.

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The Throwback: Dame Dash’s Last Hurrah

Team Roc

Released in early 2005 and intended as a showcase for all the artists under his newly branded Dame Dash Music Group (which at this point still included Beanie Sigel and State Property, Cam’ron and The Diplomats, N.O.R.E, M.O.P., R&B acts Rell, Denim and Nicole Wray, and the rights to the Roc-A-Fella recordings of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard), Damon Dash presents Roc 4 Life – Vol. 2: The Second Part Of The Life actually became sort of a swan song for Dame, who by 2006 had seen the dissolution of his label after only one release (Beanie Sigel’s The B. Coming) and by ’07 had almost completely fell back from the music industry, choosing to turn his focus to his other companies. Over the years, rumors of bad investments, money mismanagement and bankruptcy begun to surface and Dash showed back up on the scene in ’09, this time moving behind the scenes as a “consultant” to Jim Jones, eventually netting an executive producer credit on his Pray IV Reign album.  It wasn’t until 2010 that Dash fully reinvented himself and reemerged as a joint toking, gray beard sporting Warhol-esque leader of his own DIY hipster rap/alt-rock collective  DD172 and his BluRoc imprint, which released Curren$y’s critically acclaimed Pilot Talk and Pilot Talk 2 thru Island Def Jam.

A “rare” mixtape with a limited run of copies, what’s most notable about this one (Outside of a few epic rants by Dame) is the apparent inclusion of Joe Budden into the Roc family, an under publicized chapter in Budden’s career that I’ve never really had any clarity on. Was he ever signed to Roc-A-Fella? Cause the couple of times he pops up on this tape along with the song he recorded with Bleek and Beans lead me to believe that at some point there was some sort of agreement between Dame and Budden. Still, the collection of talent gathered on this tape was thorough and had Dame actually been given a fair shot to get his label off the ground, I think DDMG actually showed some promise. Will Dame ever get another opportunity to make an impact similar to the one Roc-A-Fella had when they came in the game? I seriously doubt it. But there’s no denying the guy had vision.

Damon Dash presents Roc 4 Life – Vol. 2: The Second Part Of The Life (Hosted By DJ Big Mike)

1. Dame Dash Is Done Skit
2. Dame Dash Intro (Produced By Boola & Dame Dash)
3. Joe Budden, Raekwon, Young Chris, Oschino, Sparks, Peedi Crakk, N.O.R.E. & Nature – Triumph
4. Raekwon Feat. Denim – Tribute
5. Nicole Wray Feat. Beanie Sigel – Can’t Get Out The Game
6. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Stomp
7. Beanie Sigel Feat. Peedi Crakk, Joe Budden & Young Chris – Flatline (Remix)
8. Beanie Sigel – One Shot Deal
9. Dame Dash Skit
11. M.O.P. – Instigator
12. Bun B Freestyle
13. N.O.R.E. – Cuts From N.O.R.E.
14. Rell – Don’t Take It Away
15. Beanie Sigel Feat. Melissa – Feel It In The Air
16. Juelz Santana Feat. Hell Rell – Not !!ing With Dip Set
17. Killa 3 Freestyle
18. Jim Jones Freestyle
19. Cam’ron Feat. Kanye West & Sylenna Johnson – Down & Out
18. Joe Budden Freestyle
19. Militainment/Gem Star & Big Mato – Nueva York
20. Clark Kent – Ol’ Dirty Bastard Segment
21. Dame Dash Outro

5 Mixtapes That Deserve Your Hard Drive Space (From Jan-Apr)

We “old heads” enjoy bitching and moaning about how Hip-Hop today will never stack up to the “Golden Era”– its fun, and in many ways, it’s true. Constant comparisons between the “new hotness” and your favorite rapper from the 90’s are unavoidable.

But let’s be realistic.

We aren’t getting another Illmatic; There will NEVER be another Biggie, and do you really believe you can compare Drake and J. Cole to Hov and Nas? Well… good luck with that. (more…)

Jimmy Iovine on Bloomberg

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Let’s talk business & technology for a minute…

So the other day, Jimmy Iovine (Chairman of Interscope & Owner of Beats By) was on Bloomberg talking about a range of topics, some interesting and some pretty absurd if you ask me.

Now, I’ve always strongly agreed that the digital era of music that we’re in has decreased audio quality. An mp3 is so heavily compressed, too much data is lost in the process of transferring formats. It’s acually better to listen to a .wav file, although they are much larger files than mp3’s.

But I strongly disagree with him saying they want to “replicate how it sounds in the studio”.

This is near impossible because studios are specifically tuned so that the acoustics are as “full” as possible.

It’s important to understand that sound quality decreases once a track leaves the studio. The mixing desk and state of the art sound systems aren’t there to support that sound, outside of the studio.

I also find it patronizing how he expects people to pay $100’s for some headphones, just to hear “how it was supposed to be heard”. I’m an audiophile, so I kind of care about that sort of stuff, but I doubt the average 14 year old browsing iTunes gives a shit about sound quality.

Talking Points

  • growth of Beats By exceeded expectations
  • “how can you buy an mp3 for $400 and then buy an earbud for $3 or $15 “
  • said sound increased with HDTV but digital era (mp3’s) has decreased the quality of sound
  • wants to fix the “ecosystem” of sound
  • wants to put pressure on tech companies to fix the sound quality of laptops/pc’s
  • Beats By is 50 % of the American market of headphones over $100 – and soon to be 50% worldwide
  • Dr Dre and other producers (Timbaland/Will I Am/Don Was) spent 2 years tuning the headphones
  • says the industry has declined due to piracy – not the same since 10 years ago
  • wants to get music subscription on a mass scale to combat piracy/increase sales
  • “people want music on demand, quick & good” –“want to be their own dj”

Now Playing…

For some reason, they keep letting this Khaled guy release records.  I wouldn’t mind so much if they were actually good records and at one point, there was some novelty to having every artist from the South not currently incarcerated (and Fat Joe) on a single track with Akon or T-Pain on the hook.  Too bad that idea got stale right after Khaled’s second album hit stores…4 YEARS AGO. But for some reason, Khaled continues to have a recording career despite the fact he has little actual musical talent (I mean, he says he’s a producer but 1 beat every 3-4 years? That’s not a career as a producer. That’s a hobby).  At any rate, this time around, Khaled managed to link up with Cash Money Records for album number four, the modestly titled We The Best Forever. The first single, “Welcome To My Hood“, takes the Khaled blueprint to its peak  but neither it, nor it’s over the top  remix (including a hot 16 from DJ Khaled) made me blink an eye. Heard it before, seen it before. Meh. Nice try. The second single however, fares a little better. (more…)

Lost Tapes 2 is Dead

Looks Like The Lost Tapes Vol. 2 Will Remain Lost

If you haven’t heard by now, Lost Tapes 2 is “canceled” according to Esco himself. What the fuck is going on over at Deaf Jam? (Let’s call it “Deaf Jam” from now on, because apparently, those bastards can’t hear) If I’m running a label with Nas on the roster, I’m making sure that shit gets out. Obviously, I don’t run a label, I’m speaking as a fan, but let’s look at it from a numbers perspective – if you want a Nasir album that has the best chance to succeed, why wouldn’t it be Lost Tapes 2? An LP of new Esco material would be welcomed at this point, but let’s be realistic, it could very well end up being more I Am than Stillmatic. Distant Relatives 2? Nah.. no thanks. Lost Tapes is prepackaged crack. The best producers in the game have gone on record saying they have Nas joints in the vaults. One would assume that the songs that would make up Lost Tapes 2 would be the same caliber as it’s predecessor, which most fans count among their favorite Nas LP’s. People WANT this album to drop. The controversy alone surrounding this project has provided it with a bigger buzz than Distant Relatives ever had. (more…)

Are Viacom right to ban Game: Red Nation?

Viacom allegedly banned Game’s latest video, Red Nation.

Now it’s possible the video was purposely banned to create publicity, for example Kanye West’s cover for My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy.  Let’s be honest here. Nicki is in more demand than Wayne and if Interscope really thought Game was in high demand, they’d have given his album a fixed release date.

However, it seems like a strange decision to me, mainly because Viacom has had no problem with content that promotes organized crime and gang activity, as well as other deviant social issues.

Game is 31 years old. Lil Wayne is 28 and resides in a $14 million home, in an exclusive gated community of Florida. Wayne is the probable heir to a $400 million business.I find it hard to believe that these  2 rappers are on the streets, putting in work for their sets in between studio, stage, interviews etc.

There have been several high-ranking gang members who have questioned the authenticity of rappers claiming gangs.

Many rappers were never initiated into gangs and some have even been victims of racketeering by gangs, judging by recent reports.

Granted, rappers claim they aren’t role models but we should at least hold them responsible to portraying reality.

“be about that life” (c) GBM Comments Section

Maybe, I’m wrong and Game unintentionally got himself censored (or intentionally, I don’t know his stance on politics) with pro Communist propaganda such as:

Russia got a red flag U.S. got red stripes

Che Guevara of the New Era test me