Its always exciting to see a member of your crew really hold their own. I introduce to you, Openmic.
Openmic has been my partner in crime when it comes to music since trading church freestyles back when I was like 13 haha. Together we are Clean Cut (dont ask me what it is exactly, i really dont know myself yet lol), but over the years it has become our common "mission statement"... that not only sets us apart and defines us as artists, but continually stretches our potential and keeps us musically focused and driven. Its been amazing to me to really see how me and Mike have grown so far apart if u listen to our music, but still remain eerily in the same mindset with our drive and passion. We have that Big Boi/Andre 3000 complex. I cant BEGIN to tell you how different we are musically... but still it works.
We have both come such a long way, and are both FINALLY beginning to tap into our own styles, images, and personas. Me as the waaaaay left, "out-there", techno rappin, melody singin, pop music makin artist; with Openmic as the hip hop guru, graffiti, dope lyricism, full-blood emcee.
Openmic's latest project is a mixtape entitled Fresh: The Lost Tapes, which is a compliation of unreleased tracks dating back to last year that he is finally making available to the public. Its a free download... u cant beat that. And anybody that knows Mike, knows that every track he does beats the one he just did cuz he progresses just THAT much. So this is a MUST have for not only Hip Hop fans but all those that appreciate passionate music. The passion is in the lyrics, his growth, and his freakin trailer for the mixtape haha. HOW COME I CANT HAVE A MIXTAPE TRAILER!!?!?!? lol check it out
No need in me filling you in on the events that happened yesterday. The King of Pop died. Michael Jackson. I just want to give my two cents on the whole situation. Id be stupid to not add that Michael Jackson has had a HUGE role in shaping pop music, pop culture, dance music, etc etc etc. He was an international superstar, he surpassed 3 entire generations on top, and he was a legend before he died. Hell, even all the people around him or associated with him became legendary. I always felt cooler growing up tellin people I was from the home of the Jackson 5 (and plus it was a way to avoid saying it was the former murder capitol lol).
I never met him, or had a personal relationship with him, but am still affected by this deeply because we all knew him... thru his story, music, and legacy. I used to study his videos, and notice I still cant moonwalk haha. I used to run out of the room when the "Thriller" video came on cuz I was sooooo scared! I used to watch old footage of his concerts in awe and ask my mom "Why are those women crying and fainting?" Hahaha! And to this day, there hasnt been a single week in my life when one of his songs hasnt come up on my iPod or his name come up in conversation between me and my friends. For cryin out loud DARKCHILD produced for him! Michael Jackson was still freakin COOL and smooth as ever in the "You Rock My World" video! That was on BET when I was in middle school! He is timeless!
I just think that its sooo funny how the media hasnt had anything good to say about Michael Jackson for years, but now its all tributes and memories since his passing. I have never had an opinion about his court cases or plastic surgey or anything. All I know is there will never be another "King Of Pop".
I just entered this Toyota Music competition for a chance to get signed with Myspace Records and win a buncha free Fender equipment. I figured it never hurts to take a chance at these things. This one seems like a cool opportunity tho. I submitted my song "Grow Old With You" from me last project The Sci Fly EP.
PLEASE help support! All u gotta do is post this widget to your blog or myspace page. The judges are also lookin for proactive artists that can get their online fan base involved as well. So anyway... yeeeaaaa
Wutup yall. Sorry its been a minute since I last blogged. Ive been job hunting my butt off, and finally found something I can deal with for the moment (shout out to my nigga Kroger)... and I was outta town in Illinois for a minute with my uncle and cousins.
But.. IM BACK! And things are definitely still poppin when it comes to the music. More shows, more songs, more blog topics.
Todays post, kids, is about my up and coming WEBSITE! It was designed by my boy Tyzayah, who is a Jack-of-all-trades (He makes beats as well), and he did his THING on my website. Its simple yet effective, and the theme is futuristic, just like I like it! It will be going live soon, but here are some pics just to give u a taste of the greatness of my website lol. You can also visit http://combinedvisions.com/Future/
I log on Twitter from a late afternoon nap to see whats new, and I see all these posts about Jay-Z. So instantly, I'm like "Oh snap! Its gotta be something huge about my part-time favorite rapper!" Anybody that knows me, knows I'm a HUGE Jay fan, from Reasonable Doubt to American Gangster.
I research a lil more on the Twitter and soon find out Jay just leaked a new song...
I quickly find it on zshare, (cuz yall know its gon be deleted pretty soon), and listen to its about 4 times back to back.
I expected Jay to be using auto tune, or something crazy, with some really different sounding beat, and him really commenting on how certain artists KILL auto tune
Honestly, to me (lemme remind u this is MY opinion), its the same ole Jay. Crazy soul sample, him snappin about somethin, doin his Hov thing. Dont get me wrong tho...
Lyrics: DOPE Beat: CRAZY! (what u expect from NO-ID and Ye??!) Topic: errrr... uhhh... i disagree
Jay went EXTRA hard on niggaz using Auto Tune, as if Jay-Hova, the God MC, can just suddenly record and leak a track and KILL the use of auto tune... this God stuff really been gettin to his head even more the older he get
PLEASE listen to it. This is what pissed me off even more. Cuz it sounds like some OLD HEAD rap niggaz SNAPPIN on these young kats tryna follow the NEXT hottest trend in not only Hip Hop, but MUSIC. What some people fail to realize, is that the key in music's progression is evolution. People feed off each other in music, and as a result new sub genres are created, characteristics from older periods of music re-emerge with new characteristics, etc etc. Its has never progressed by people tryna to REMAIN stuck and set in their ways. Cuz what happens then?? That artist than becomes irrelevant.
>Think about College Dropout compared to Graduation. >>Same thing goes for Block Is Hot and Carter III. >>>OR! How about Drake's FIRST TAPE compared to So Far Gone
EVOLUTION + PROGRESSION =
The whole time in the interview Jay talkin bout leavin the auto-tune trend and pretty much how its waaaay overused. I get that what he is trying to is encourage the CONTINUING GROWTH of Hip Hop. Yet he tries to accomplish that by rappin with the same style he been doin FOREVER! Soul sample, and a sub-par hook. Just bein real. A lil contradictory my nigga.
And lemme say that I do agree auto-tune is overused, but everyone knows the newest, hottest sh** is always overused. Remember crunk music and snap music, whatever....?? GAWWD I THOUGHT IT WOULD NEVER END! But rest assured, the people doing it right WILL survive and will be the ones remembered for it. Cmon Jay, Kanye T-Pain and Lil Wayne aint gon be the only ones who go down in history as the Hip Hop artists that perfected auto tune.
I was just tweetin with Tatiana from CultureShockMag.Com and told her people are finally learning how to use auto-tune right. Instead of niggaz tryna copy Wayne's style of rappin (wailing with it) or instead of copying T-Pain's use of it (singing it on hooks) people are making it more relevant and using it effectively now. (That Drake sh** was ARTISTIC, MAN! The new Black Eyed Peas joints are CRAZY!) Lemme stress, MOST PEOPLE. Not all. But music has been headed in the techno/electronic/Euro-pop direction for a while. We hear its influence on all the singles and everything nowadays. And this is just the beginning.
ANYWAY, Thats my 95 cents on this issue, forget all that 2 cents nonsense. Sometimes an nigga gotta speak his WHOLE mind!
Their latest project, "The Polkadotted Stripe", is inspiring, innovative, and artistic. And I mean artistic in a Shakespeare/Picasso-type way. Its ridiculous. I haven't been so inspired in a while. And lately I've just been on some "different" stuff for my music fix. Artists like The Bird and the Bee and Sondre Lerche. Cuz quite frankly, regular old Hip Hop and R&B just doesn't cut it for me on the inspiration tip anymore. It doesn't really contribute to my GROWTH as an artist. Yeeeaaaa suuuure every so often I'll hear a new song on the radio I'm feeling, go illegally download it, bump it on my iPod for a week or two, then trash it. But I'm talkin more about the songs you can study, learn from, emulate, and even ... thats the type of music I'm on a never-ending quest for (dang that just reminded me about that movie Never Ending Story, with that big fluffy flying thing... I used to LOVE that movie!)
And Jaspects have produced a work of ART. My band Biscuits and Gravy had the opportinuty to open up for them when they played in Nashville at B.B. Kings, and I consider myself acquaintances of theirs. My band has always viewed them as our "big brothers" with them being a dope band making their name blending Jazz and Hip Hop. But anyway, that particular night I wasn't feeling too well, the my band didn't perform as good as we should have, so I just went home before their set. So I didn't even realize they had a released a new album!
The way in which "The Polkadotted Stripe" differs from the previous Jaspects albums is that it blends the Jazz aspect of their music so deceptively and intricately in their songs, that a non musician, or musically inclined listener can't obviously point it out. Each song is soooo detailed, from the instrumentataion, vocals, and the even the specifics of the engineering aspects (like the levels, automation, auto-tune, etc.). Its such a progressive album for the hip hop sub genre which has been emerging in the past couple years. I took notes the entire time I listened to the album. I DEFINITELY have to step my game up.
Even the album features are perfect. Janelle Monae and PJ Morton alone were enough to draw me in when I read the track titles.
I want you all to make your own opinion of the music, so I wont go into detail about my favorite tracks or what I didn't like, cause sometimes I can spoil the listeners experience (hey atleast Im honest!). But definitely go cop "The Polkadotted Stripe". Its a worthy purchase for Jazz, Hip Hop, R&B, and even the "out-there" lovers like me.
The more I listen to all these ATL artists on the rise like Proton, Hollyweerd, and the Jaspects, the more I wanna just pack up everything and move to the A-town so I can start soakin up whatever they got!
Best believe, my newest goal for the year is to try and collab with these kats. And trust me, its loooong overdue
Heres an UPDATED list of my upcoming summer performances so far... *Note the cancellation of the July 9th show
June 8th @ Mercy Lounge, 8 PM Featuring 7 other random acts... lol I really dont know who... Admission: FREE (21+) I'll also be performing with the Speakerspell DJ's, so its gonna be extra dope
*July 9th @ 12th and Porter, 9 PM- CANCELLED
July 27th at Limelight, 9 PM Featuring DJ Wick-It and some of the best local DJ's Admission: $5, Ladies Free Also this is my OFFICIAL WEBSITE RELEASE PARTY! I dont think you can "release" a website like a CD, but anyway, MY WEBSITE WILL BE UP! More details sooooon
Aug 22 @ 12th and Porter, 9 PM W/ Afroman and DJ Wick-It Admission: TBD HAHAHAHA This is gonna be the highest show of my life LOL enough said
I'll keep you all posted on more dates as they come. Hope to see you at the next few shows!