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I’ve decided to get back on my scribe game and pen (read:type) at least one piece a day*…well, maybe two if I’m up for it. So much has been going on around the planet – from the occupy movement to foolish folks who really should know better to, of course, immersive addicting worlds with their own ishyuhs – that I’ve gotta write about this stuff. My mind won’t let me do otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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This past weekend I had the chance to build with a cool, down-to-earth hip hop producer about his philosophy on making music and the state of things in hip hop right now. I tend to be too cynical at times so it was refreshing to speak with someone about their optimism about where we’re at. His excitement about the vast opportunities open to indie and DIY (do-it-yourself) artists was infectious, and I found myself agreeing with his comments. Musicians and artists really don’t need recording labels or major distribution to get their stuff out there. Smaller groups and acts can get pretty big by building a following online and in their hometowns. It makes for a ton of competition, if you see it that way, but also allows for a lot of creative collaboration and oodles of good music.

We did lament the fact that even though there is more opportunity it doesn’t mean that there’s always more creativity. Folks get trapped in doing “what sells” or “what’s popular” and miss out on the uniqueness of going against the grain, taking risks, and being “dangerous”…you know, doing things that can really change the soundscape of what we listen to. Most of my favorite musicians have gone the dangerous route and created art that I still enjoy blasting to this day. I feel like I try to place myself in that camp by doing what I feel although I often let myself get sidetracked by the little hater

One of the things that stuck with me after the convo was tied to creating something brand new and developing a new way to express ourselves linguistically through music. Most hip hop artists have been using the lexicon built in the 80’s and 90’s, and it’s probably about time to add some fresh slang to the mix. I got a couple ideas derived from all the sci-fi I watch and read along with some fancy colors that just might get things started.

Now on to the fun stuff –

I’m in the market for some beatmaking equipment, samplers and sequencers to be exact. I’ve been looking for something compact and affordable, and something that I can use to play live. I was going to write about how I’ve been wavering between the Boss SP-303 and the Akai MPC 500, but after watching countless videos on teh youtubez showing these machines in action I’ve pretty much made my decision. Plus seeing this guy do his thing was a big sell: