Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I know that if you took my advice from last week and downloaded J. Cole’s Friday Night Lights then your music quota has been filled for the month; but I wanted to discuss a group that really epitomizes the type of mixtapes I like to seek out. I’m all about what’s new and different, and when I caught wind about Das Racist last fall when they released their mixtape, Sit Down, Man, I had to get my ears on it.
Now, this isn’t one of those mixtapes that’s filled with simplistic, catchy tunes that you’ll want to bump with the windows down. These guys put out the type of music you’ll want to listen and pay attention to. Das Racist is smart. When you hear that the composite background of the group is Indian-African-Cuban American, your initial response is that such a rap group is that it’s so bizarre it’s almost humorous. And they know that. With the grace of intelligent, self-aware artists, Das Racist uses humor in their style to disarm the listener from disregarding all the witty and insightful criticisms they present from their incredibly unique perspective. The fourth track, “hahahaha jk”, illustrates this very concept. Rolling Stone even called it a top 50 song of 2010 citing just that fact.
The artists in the group are so unique, however, that occasionally their lyrics don’t always seem make sense. You know these guys are too intelligent for that to happen so I just write this problem off as the “Jim Morrison effect”. It’s kinda like you know that there’s a common, well thought out thread to the verse; but sometimes you feel as though only the artist really understands how each line connects.
If you’re sitting there right now thinking, “You still haven’t really given us much of a break-down of the mixtape,” I apologize but this is really about all I can give to you. Such a group is beyond my brain’s readiness to comprehend. I’m all about expanding my hip-hop index but I was not ready for what Das Racist has been and continues to be about. This is really one of those mixtapes where you tell your buddy, “I dunno, man, you just have to check it out.” Seriously. I wish I could give you more but this mixtape quite literally leaves me at a loss of words. I can’t tell you this’ll will be a mixtape that you’ll put in your top 10, but I can promise you that Sit Down, Man is worth the listen for any hip-hop fanatic.
Download Sit Down, Man here: http://www.djbooth.net/index/mixtapes/entry/das-racist-sit-down-man/ and know that it may take a few listens before you really pick up on their vibe. But once you do, you’ll see that these guys are on to something and that this group may very well have quite a substantial impact on the future of hip-hop. And if you don’t, just click back to J. Cole and come back next Sunday for another fresh mixtape.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
- MySpace reinvented the musician/audience connection
- Social networking's "friend" counts in some ways replaced SoundScan
- MySpace's clunky interface = musician participation killer
- The race and class stigma associated with MySpace deters audience participation
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
At the end of 2010, Mashable.com contributor Brenna Ehrlich created 5 predictions for the Music Industry in 2011. While her post takes on a cynical – albeit merited – stance on the future state of music, it is refreshing not to hear more posts from people riddled with angst about the profitable music industry of yesteryear (looking at you NPR). By looking into Ehrlich’s foresight with an inquisitive eye and not simply ones filled with hopeless tears, we might be able to come a bit closer to finding the industry savior we have all been waiting for.
Prediction #1 – Subscription services will be popular, but not profitable.
I completely agree. Spotify lost close to $27 million last year and old timers like last.fm still have yet to show a profit. Why is this? I think it is simple – the intimacy of an album is lost when it is simple to stream. Moreover, it treats music as a cheap commodity, not an art form but a service that you pay for, an endless sampler plate with no option to take home. Subscription services rely on the belief that people will pay for something they do not – and will never – own.
Prediction #2 – More artists will finally get social
This one does not even need discussing. If my grandmother is on Facebook, so should everyone trying to crack that Billboard chart. Frankly, I think it is easier for the artist and turns some profit in the long run (here’s to Kanye making his joining of Twitter a worldwide phenomenon). Artists need to see the web as a way to act independently of the labels and their now-dated protocol. Get involved and interact with fans and other artists in a way that was not possible before.
Prediction #3 – Music Videos will continue their renaissance online
It’s the only place we can watch music videos anyway.
Prediction #4 – Ping will never take off, never.
I don’t know enough about Ping to agree or disagree. Which probably proves that Ehrlich is right.
Prediction #5 – Music piracy will not die.
You know what they say for addicts: admitting you have a problem is the first step. So let’s be real; this is the paradox we call reality. No slight change will cure this; it will take a rather hefty makeover to create system that everyone is okay with. So let’s dry our tears and look into these predictions as well as our own personal beefs with music's current affairs. Then let's dissect what isn’t working and try to get ourselves to a place where the words “music” and “industry” in juxtaposition did not incite immediate eye rolls and headaches.