Month: May 2012

What’s on my iPod??

So today features a bunch of albums that I listen to straight through, no skipping.

Naturally they are song that go on repeat and threepeat if you will.

Depending on my mood which normally follows me throughout the day unless someone/thing screws it up…

I feel for some smooth thumping beats and I can’t miss with these gems:

Res – How I Do and Black•Girls•Rock!, The Roots – How I got over and Undun and Lupe Fiasco – Lasers and The Cool.


Now, I discovered Res when she was signed to MCA back in 2001 when MTV/VH1 used to play music videos, this was her debut and the video was “They-Say Vision“, this was also the start of the Neo-Soul movement that produce Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, India Arie etc.

I was all over the place looking for it, I bought 5 albums that day, but over the next couple months I only listen to Res.

She was more than Neo-Soul or R&B, she was a breath…a deep breath…a mix of r&b, neo-soul and rock, and her voice further softer the hard sharp base and guitar riffs, and they all blend perfectly to create a new sound which was hard to categorize her but couldn’t be ignored that she’d be denied a deal.

The lyrics were the main driver of my adoration for her soul…her music.

Songs like : They Say-Vision – “I wanna try that pill that people take, Make you believe all the things that people say ”

Ice King – “…Like a fallen star in Babylon, You said I was your princess baby, I told you certain things you can’t possess, So let me go let me go…”

and my favorite, I could listen to this over and over…and a couple more times to make sure it sinks in…..

Tsunami – “Ride, ride this wave of mine, There are brighter things out on the other side

Ride, ride this wave of mine, I know that things are going to be all right.”

If you just got out of a break up or had a rough day, just put this song on grab some ice cream, a glass of your favorite wine or gin (not all at once thou…greedy) and just mellow out, this song will cradle you and take you on a journey and back, lay you down gently and just waver off…with Res’ sweet voice lingering your ear.

It’s the last song on the album, what i like to call acoustic soul, it has the sweet strumming of the guitar with just enough bass to ground it.

Her other album Black•Girls•Rock! has a more define robust sound with more song writing gold, “By myself”, “For Who You Are” and “Not a Pretender” are a couple of my favorites songs. This album was released digitally via iTunes and her website, but now it’s not available, but you could get the free download here.

but if you want to hear more from her, there is the IdleWarship – Habits of the Heart album that she and Talib Kweli collaborated on, that’s available on iTunes.

I’ve said this over and over, I plan to stalk her this summer, I want to see her live on stage!
Every time I’m in new york, I never get to see her perform and I might miss her again because she doesn’t have any schedule performance while I’ll be there. 😦

The Roots, who doesn’t love the roots??…seriously who doesn’t?

Not your ordinary hip hop band…well first and only they are a Band!

Questlove one of the best producers and musician of our time, Black Thought, one of the best lyricist in the game, he should be in everybody’s top 5 rappers list,

How i Got Over – “Walk Alone” …soundtrack of my life (3peat!), “The Day” and the title Song…”How i Got Over”

Undun, their latest album; this album is like a hip hop symphony – “Sleep“, “Stomp” and “I Remember

Lupe Fiasco is lyrically iconic, metaphors flow into each other like using tai chi to form musical Feng shui.

the subject matter throughout both albums varies around social issues, hints on political, life’s struggles and the troubles in the music industry for the artist and their motivations as well as how they handle fame.

Intruder Alert” a melodic love song of trust, drugs and family –

“…She said that there was no love in her heart, Cause one day a rapist attacked her and broke that all apart, She said there was no way to fix it….Knew that it was right cause something was wrong, The alarms in her mind didn’t tell her he didn’t belong”

Fighters“, “Put you on Game” and timeless rap ode that speaks of evil (the Game) in this world and the ways it guides and affects peoples lives.

“…I am the American dream, The rape of Africa, The undying machine, The overpriced medicine, The murderous regime, The tough guy’s front, And the one behind the scenes…”

Lasers – more of the lyrical wizardry but this one has a more UK techno dance feel which Lupe raps blends not always smoothly but it works favorite songs “Words i Never said …Complain about the gloom but when’d you pick a broom up?, Just listening to Pac aint gone make it stop, A rebel in your thoughts, aint gon make it halt, If you don’t become an actor you’ll never be a factor, Pills with million side effects, Take em when the pains felt,

Shining down” and “All Black Everything

This will get me thru my day, a soundtrack to keep me mellow, positive and conscious.

I highly recommend y’all check these guys out, they aren’t “main stream”, with raw talent and love for their craft and they have something to say…all you have to do is listen….

And buy Res’ Albums and see her concerts tell her hi for me (shit, i didn’t mention how sexy she is…y’all can tell her that too), she’s been Indie for the past 10 years and still doing her music.

From Bounty to a wet verandah.

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It started with a phone call.
I was heading down to half way tree in a taxi, I had just left Monique and her daughter Kiki.
Being that it was Monique’s birthday I said I’d come and spend some time with her, nothing too fancy, just to chill.
Upon reaching Matilda’s corner I remembered I was suppose to see another Monique and J that weekend also…(everybody has children now, it like a plague 🙂 ) so I gave her a call….”hey mum, wey yu deh?”….now this question has started many a disagreements in and out of context when it comes to the man and woman department, but seeing that its not that type of relationship, I was clear for usage.
She then proceeded to tell me that she was on her was to drop off J by her mother’s because Red Stripe the company she works for was having a Heineken ” drink my beer, its cool!” party at the old train station in downtown Kingston, and this was by invitation only.

Now this is a quaint venue for a party, and I’ve been tricked by events like this before. Where it said invitation only…only to go and see everybody and dem muma dog with an invite….seriously guys, what is the point??

Needless to say I was hesitant in accepting her invitation and previous to this I had another conversation with ma brethren ” The Squid” about it. So birthday Monique (even thou they both have birthdays in the same month, a phenomenon I realized when I called one wishing her happy birthday only to be told I was couple weeks early) was going to the old hits party Mello Vibes later that night with her girlfriends, I told her I might pass through since I didnt make any plans for the night at the time. I called “The Squid” asking him wey him up to…he told me about the same Heineken party, but we could go to Mello Vibes after. So with the combination of hearing about the Heineken party a second time, i haven’t seen Monique and the crew in a long while…and I had promised “The Squid” we’d hang out that weekend…I decided to go.

Now my expectations were very low, given my experience with these types of parties and pair with the fact that I’m getting old….er, so the chance to go to a party is not very high on my list, it right below; going to Church (Acropolis), playing video games til my thumbs get numb (Kratos….doom doom…Kratos…doom doom…Kratos….I will kill Zeus!), hanging out and doing nothing, I don’t get to do that alot or what use to be my answer for everything…”I rather be f$&:ing”

But in essesense what actually gets me out is “friends”…just to interact in a different setting with my choosen few will get me to go anywhere, but that doesn’t say I won’t mingle with a couple cute female strangers…

Random thought….you ever notice you flirt more when your in a relationship? You all can admit it…men out loud and women in that deep dark corner of your mind where you keep the rest of your delusions (some of you).

Anyways…we met up at 11:30 by moe’s, I’d hang with the crew then link up with “The Squid”, then to Mello Vibes to see the birthday moe (it would help to differentiate them but both of them have dreads).
We got to the venue…there was a parking away from the actual venue and a shuttle bus…so I thought, maybe it wouldn’t be a free for all after all,  where I had to battle to get in and out and i was hungry so I hoped there was food. Only to get to the gate and see the real crowd…it was 12midnight and it started from 7:30pm, but they were still people streaming in….well trickling in. But it was as I expected, everybody and dem muma was there…walkers and bengay everywhere.
We went into the party, there were the usually….Heineken green theme decor…the cute people taking pictures of themselves…the dancers were present…posers or fashionista as they fashion themselves (pun intended) and the dancehall music seekers (the tourist, that never leave the island). So the party was in full swing and a bee line to the bar was then formed, then to the chill spot, you know where everybody settles and when an individuals break off for watever reason….this was the origin point.

Now just as we settled….the music stopped…and the place goes dark…only to realize we ended up right in front of the little stage and there was an performance element to this party. Now I’m not a fan of  “stage shows”, so I’m not even slightly impressed even when it’s the familiar cry of “pppppeople dead!!!” Yes ladies and gentlemen Veteran dancehall artist Bounty Killer has taken the stage, who recently is more known for his usage of handy dandy tools, bad english rants (eeeeenglish a dead!!!) and poor choice in women, a parody of his former self. I turn around to see if I accidently stumbled into a Heineken startime oldies show instead of which he would have been an opening act.
Ok, don’t get me wrong I’m was a big bounty killa fan back in the day…Bounty Killa with the fugees was huge!!! But I listen to this man now, coincidentally decaying much like the meaning of dancehall in his innovation, power and relevance.
The power dancehall once had in terms of it’s reach and appeal, the sharing of the “ghetto” experience, we are all interwoven in. This was the “Jamaicans surviving” experience…it just took on different manifestation through out the classes, this was the Jamaica people came here looking for when they heard the music; they weren’t sure what it was or that they were looking for it, but that blend of words, beats and life created something so relatable, it was instantanious understood. Now this has been corrupted by the source that helped its rise…that raw hungry talent; sure they were some upstarts looking for a ‘bust’ but the real talented and hungrier ones that showed they wanted it…they got the prestige and money that came with it. Dancehall was a gateway to escape the poverty they experienced growing up and now to be saddled with fame…not the screaming fans willing to do anything just to be in their presence like in the states. They were everyday day ppl and still were, but now they had money and with enough money you can buy puppets…who charge dearly for their yeses…
So these thoughts ran thru my mind as the performance went on, I took my phone out and took some pictures for Bryan, thinking “my olive colored skin friend in new york would love this, I bet he’s never seen Bounty Killa live” and then the music grabbed me…I heard no more words, no lyrics, no bad English crashing against my temple…forcing its way into my ears…but I refuse to comprehend it. i was taken…
I sway, rocked then danced…
I was with friends, had music, a couple Heinekens (which happen to be my favorite beer) and I let go….feeling only free…

Thats what i remember about the saturday night as i sat on my wet verandah, after the rains had passed, i heard montego bay was washing away with the amount of rain fall the whole weekend, only to get here and nothing…..