Posts filed under ‘Hip Hop Music’

Gil Scott Heron’s Death (April 1949-May 2011)

Although many people have been saying that this is simply a rumour, it is in fact true that Gil Scott Heron passed away. He was more than just a musician. In addition Heron was a spoke word poet and author who used his music to get political messages across. His poetic style was one that influenced almost every type and sub genre of Hip Hop ever since his popularity, including those that are popular today.

I was fortunate enough to see him perform in concert not even a year ago last Summer, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best concerts I’ve been to. Although he had a high association with black militant groups and was arrested on many occasions as a result, I did expect the crowd to be predominantly black. To my surprise the crown consisted of people of every colour, age and background; which just goes to show he was one of many influential artists who was able to bring everyone together with his music and the messages he portrayed.

One thing I’ve been reminded of from his death is to appreciate people while they are still here. One thing that surprised many about his death is that they didn’t expect it to come so soon (he was 62). So whether it’s a celebrity you admire, a family member, peer or close friend, let this be a reminder to you to appreciate those while they are still here. Don’t let it get too late and only realize the significance they had on your life until they’re gone.

For those who are familiar with Gil Scott Heron, you’ll understand what I mean when I say his legacy still lives on. For those who don’t, I suggest you use this an opportunity to listen to some of his songs, as there is a big chance that he had a huge influence on some of the artists you currently listen to. (e.g Kanye West, Common, Eminem)

Right now the circumstances under which he passed away are unknown, I will be sure to update this when I find out


May 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

…What Happened? [The Overuse of Auto Tune]

There used to be a time when Hip Hop music was good. While [some of it] still is, it’s slow deteriation over the years have definitely not made it as good as the original stuff used to be. One aspect that has changed that is Auto Tune.

For those who don’t know what it is, Auto Tune is when an artist uses a program to make their voice sound electronic and some what robotic.

Though it has been used once or twice before by artists like the Scissor Sisters, it’s most common use today is by Hip Hop/Rap artists (if you can even call some ofthem artists). Just listen to any T-Pain song for an example.

At first, I didn’t mind it because it wasn’t used much in music. However now, it just annoys me. While T-Pain was one of the first to consistently use it, his music wasn’t always like that. Listen to one of the first songs he did like “I’m Sprung”. There you can hear his voice and what he sounds like as a “singer”‘; Now…all you hear are the computerized vocals that done in a studio.

Even singers like Jamie Foxx are using it  =(. Anyone who know’s Jamie Foxx’s singing would know that he doesn’t need that crap on his songs. The song “Blame It” is o-k, but isn’t that good compared to stuff on his last album. That being said, I’d rather see his music go downhill than his acting.

I’ve only liked one consistent use of Auto Tune…and that’s on Kanye West’s 808’s & Heartbreak. It wasn’t as heavily electronic as other artists… so it came off in a decent way. Despite that, I still prefer his old stuff, and as far as i know, the whole AT thing isn’t permanent, he’s just taking a break from Rap music.

There’s nothing wrong with that, every artist has the right to try out something new. As long as he goes back to his College Drop out Late Regristration days I’m happy.

On a general note, not only is the AT thing getting used more, but it’s becoming pretty popular. What happened to GOOD music? What happened to liking an artist’s real voice that’s not computerized? What happened to ORIGINALITY?! Or are some “artists” just that desperate to sell records?

Jay Z did a song about the over use of AT called DOA [Death of Auto Tune]…and I agree with every word he says. The fact that this song is so popular is good…it’s a sign that people are realising that AT needs to stop being used so much [if not all together]. It’s a sign that people appreciate artists for their true voices. Most importantly…it’s a sign that people are sick of AT.

Even the American Rock band Death Cab for Cutie are campaigning to get it banned in music. To me, that’s one of many signs that it NEEDS TO STOP.

If artists in the music industry want to keep the quality of music [especially Hip Hop/Rap music] on the verge of decency and not “dying”….then one major step they need to do is get rid of Auto Tune.

August 24, 2009 at 7:49 pm 1 comment

Money Money Money…(originally posted on 22nd September 2009)

Maybe this topic isn’t new, maybe this has progressed over the years, but this obsession with money and the “status” it supposedly gives you has REALLY seemed to get out of control these days…
And it seems to be affecting quite a few people, whether it’s spoilt teenagers, some music artists out there, or maybe just people in this world with too much power and authority…

For instance, take the school that I’m at now. While there are tons of nice people there, you still get the occasional person who thinks just because of the amount of money they have and how rich they are, that somehow makes them better than people who don’t even have half the money that they or their family have. This is sad because, their parents actually brought them up thinking that was true, when its clearly not :S…

That doesn’t just relate to some people from my school, but people in general. But that being said, I’ve only met those few occasional people with that mind set…
But like I said before, not EVERYONE there is like that. I know people there that are probably part of one of the richest families in the school community; but they don’t show it. While it is true that they have lots of money, for them it doesn’t mean that all their clothes should consist of only expensive designer labels. Meeting people like them has helped me highlight the fact that not all rich people are show offs who feel that they have to portray their wealth to everyone hey know and see (not that I thought that before, but it just helps lower the stereotype of that…)

And while all rich people DON’T feel they are better than others because of their wealth, you still get those who feel that they have to tell everyone how rich they are and how much money they HAVE; a good example of people doing this are some rappers out there (only some).
Don’t get me wrong, I like Hip Hop and Rap music (well, not all of it), but if some songs in that genre just consist of the artist going on about how much money they have, how stinking rich they are and how they are “getting paper”, then I REALY don’t want to hear it; It’s probably because of artists like them, that the music quality of that genre has gotten worse over the last few years…not that I’m mentioning anyone in particular (**cough cough** 50 cent**).

Maybe if it wasn’t for programs like “Super Sweet 16”, then maybe (just maybe) this money obsession wouldn’t be so bad amongst teenagers. Anyone who’s watched that will know that the people on there are just TOO spoilt. I mean, what’s the point in spending so much money on all those unnecessary things?! You probably get some young people watching that thinking something like “They have such big expensive parties turning 16, so I must too when I reach that age”
Not that I’m saying everyone is that naïve and easlily influenced, but we all know what impact MTV has had on some people :/…

I can tell you now that if you got to the richest people out there in this wolrd an asked them if they were truly happy, not all of them would say yes; because once you take away the big house(s), the expensive cars, and anything else that their riches have given them, you’ll find that for some of them, there’s something missing in their life; something that all the money they own put together can’t buy them.

It really is true that money can’t buy you happiness, because there are people out there who live in one of the poorest countries, with little money and probably not much belongings, but are still probably happier than some of the richest people on this earth; that’s because they appreciate the little and important things in life, like life itself, or maybe the fact that they’re still here on this earth; it’s people like them who are truly happy…

May 16, 2009 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

Is Soulja Boy A B****? (originally posted on 14th August 2009)

Unless you haven’t figured it out by now…I watch quite a few things on YouTube…though I didn’t watch it recently I just want to talk about the news video I saw by Philip DeFranco, which was called “Soulja Boy Is A B****”. He talked about the conflict between young rapper Soulja Boy (I’ll put SB for short) and Eastcoast rapper Ice T which started after Ice T had said that SB had “single handedly killed Hip Hop”, he also talked about SB’s reactions and what he said back.

What struck me the most about the video is when Philip told people what he thought of SB’s music. He said how he didn’t even consider it Hip Hop or even Rap; if anything, he described SB’s music as “bitch rap”, which I thought was pretty funny aswell as true…

After watching the Philip DeFranco video, I wanted to know more on the whole “SB vs. Ice T” situation…so I watched the two videos myself (Ice T’s views first, then SB’s reaction after) And I have to say that after watching SB’s reaction and what he said about Ice T, I just lost…well not my rescpect for him (I don’t think I really had any to begin with) but definitely my liking for SB; this is because In the video, SB is just cursing like mad and saying the N word about 80 times =/, therefore whatever he was trying to say, it didn’t come across very clearly…that and it’s bad enough that the N word is used so frequently in music…but to say it so often in the space of a 7 minute video just made me sick.

Now not only did the video make him seem ignorant and slightly uneducated…but he had two of his friends laughing in the backround the whole time like total prats! What kind of message is that sending to people?! It’s probably because of people like him that black people are seen as at times nothing but “uneducated thugs” If not something along those lines by other races…Maybe artists like SB are the reason that some people can’t stand to listen to rap music…And SB was said to be a positive role model for younger people…

For Ice T to say that SB “single handedly killed Hip Hop” is a bit harsh…and while I think it is harsh, there are quite a few other bad rappers out there who seem to do music worse than SB’s…so if SB did kill Hip Hop, he certainly didn’t do it alone…Not necessarily from the point explained before, but I can in a way understand where Ice T was coming from; there are rappers out there that spend a long time coming out with deep and meaningful lyrics, and for SB to just say a few mindless repetitive things in his songs, and also for them to be hits must tick some other rappers off…

I admit, it wasn’t that long ago when I was doing the dance and listening to some of his songs…but when I actually sat back and listened to one of his lyrics going
“I’m bouncing on my toe, watch me supersoak that ho”,
I just thought “Wait, what?!” I even had to rewind the song to check I wasn’t hearing things =/…for those who don’t know what that “supersoak that ho” means, here’s a link to a definition:

It’s weird because some people have described his music as something good for 10 year olds to listen to…I’m sorry but if you knew the full meaning of the lyric I quoted above, would you let a ten year old listen to that?!
I understand that SB is kinda young at 18, so I know that he won’t exactly be saying lyrics that would typically fall under the Gangsta Rap catergory…but it doesn’t make his lyrics 100% clean and innocent as they are sometimes made out to be does it?

Now I may say these things about SB, but I don’t hate him…I just don’t see what’s so great about him anymore…his biggest hit was obviously “Crank Dat”, but songs like “Yahhh” just get on my last nerve =/

So whether I’m on SB’s side or Ice T’s side I don’t know…I try not to take sides on that sort of thing and see things from both points of view, but I think the conflict between them is over by now anyway, so they’ll be no sides to take I suppose…and the whole issue about SB being a b****, well it seems at times that to me, he kinda acts like one coming out with the comments he said about Ice T…

May 16, 2009 at 8:44 am Leave a comment

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