I can’t count how many times I’ve told artists not to use samples. I’ve said it so much, I have stopped talking music with people. I’ve said from day one treat your career like you’re already in the biz. Stop giving away everything and use all the tools of monetizing. If you don’t own it, don’t use it.
Yesterday Brandon Meeks (add his site he’s dope) shared an article from TechCrunch. The article was stating why SoundCloud will be worth more than Spotify. Basically what the article was saying is that SoundCloud currently has an extensive amount of MU. More important, those MUs are creating a community which gives SoundCloud the ability to become “Facebook for music/Youtube for Music”. My immediate reaction was, “No, Facebook is Facebook for music and YouTube is music for music.” I say this because I just witnessed an emcee go from 1000 likes to 25,000 likes in one month’s time without Facebook Ads. (See this emcee Ohene Savant on Facebook, Buy his music on Amazon.) And while YouTube is known as a video platform the casual listener discovers more music via YouTube than you can imagine, so much so that my own music company is seeing stream revenue from both YouTube Key and YouTube Red. When Brandon posted this question on Facebook there was a great debate. Because I know that debate will be lost to the sands of social media in a day, I decided to cut and paste my thoughts here. Write me and let me know if you understand where I’m coming from or if you disagree with me.
Jose James put down a revolutionary set that’s just in time for the holidays. Something to make you feel good, and then something to inspire.
Oh and when you get to 31:00 minutes in… ridiculous.
Come to My Door
While You Were Sleeping
Anywhere U Go
Simply Beautiful (Al Green)
Grandma’s Hands (Bill Withers)
Park Bench People (Freestyle Fellowship)
Behind Enemy Lines/Police State (Dead Prez)
A Change is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)
As a guy who grew up in the Hip-Hop era, and also as a person who loves all types of music, let me clarify. What was done in the 80s and 90s is not what I’m talking about here. I remember sitting in front of the radio on a Saturday night and recording the Mega Mix to a tape. Rakim would be mixed with Steady B and then the DJ would drop in some Mantronix and then Rodney O and Joe Cooley. That was the first time I heard of mixtapes and the name implied that the DJ was playing a mix of music intended to keep a party going. As I got older in the 90s a mixtape was taking all of my CDs and burning or copying my favorite songs to one disc.
Dude is dope. End of the blog post. Click the link below and buy his shit. Okay I got that out of the way. Seriously. This guy has been around for over a decade and I pride myself on finding music and writing something about it just to kind of get my my “Music Snobs” on… although I really don’t do this enough, I really like finding new music. So I’m sitting around using Bing to search for stuff about sneakers for ARCH and I’m going through my bookmarks and I see Anthony David’s name.
A mix of Stevie Nicks, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, with a dash of interpretation like Cassandra Wilson ,the Phenomenal Ruthie Foster captures a new rock and soul sound mixed with spirituals, jazz and country in generating her signature sound. I guess it is not quite a signature sound because she floats effortlessly between a sound that is not as rich as Nina Simone, but definitely it is as vital and important. As usual I was working while listening to the Gil Scott Heron station and Foster came on and I was captured. Since I just got to know Ruthie Foster I think you should also. Visit her site and like her Facebook!
Everyday, we all wake up with a new idea or we wake up focused on something that we are dreaming about doing. The difficult aspect is actually getting started. A couple of years ago I found myself getting distracted by music. I wanted to do something with it although I don’t play any instruments and I have never really been in that business. I just know that I love the artform and felt that I should be helping people with it and contributing to it since I tend to think that I have a really good ear. I have always been hesitant to do something because I felt that I didn’t know enough about the business to participate. I soon realized I didn’t know enough about the business after putting about 3000 dollars into a few artists and not really accomplishing much or getting any return on that 3000.
This will be one of many articles on this subject. We have a lot of problems in our community. We blame education, poverty, etc. on our problems. Some of the real culprits are right there in front of us. Correcting these problems won’t cost a dime. Solutions can be as simple as changing the station on your radio dial. I’m not trying to preach, but I’m going to start this series of by eulogizing my dear friend, The Love Song.
Let’s get something out of the way first. My name is Byron Braxton and I’m an old head. There! I said it. Therefore, I will use the phrase, “Back in the day…” a lot! That being said, back in the day, I did not go on a date without a 90 minute cassette tape in my pocket loaded with Luther, Boyz to Men, New Edition, Surface, Tony Toni Tone, and Troop. These songs were the background music for when you alone and talking with each other. These songs gave your date an idea of who you were. These songs set the tone for the night. These songs helped you express your feelings if you couldn’t quite find the words. New Edition’s Helplessly in Love could represent you like Johnnie Cochran. These songs were magnetic. Generally by the third song, the two of you made your way to the center of the sofa. These songs made you think about the future.
Entertainers have been getting away with this for years. Some songs have been flat out stolen. Others were sampled to death. But in our advanced society, technology is being used to cover up music theft. Robin Thicke and Pharrell learned the hard way that it is unlawful to take someone’s song, chop it up, rearrange it and pass it off as your creation. Will this open the flood gates for more law suits? I hope so, because I’ve had enough.
At first, I thought “Aw bull-doody!” The Gaye family needs to sit down. Then one day I found myself listening to Diamonds by Rhianna. For some odd reason, I wanted to throw out “1-2-3-1-2-2-3” from Sia’s Chandelier. I listened to both songs several times and realized that I wasn’t having a Ghetto Boyz moment… My mind wasn’t playing tricks on me. Those songs are very similar. That forced me to go back and listen to Got to Give it Up and Blurred Lines. I still wasn’t completely convinced. Then a few weeks later, I was listening to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk. There were several times throughout the song I expected to either hear Prince scream “Ow-uh!” or Morris Day yell “Chili Sauce!” He’s getting kudos for this sound that’s been around for the longest. This has gone too far! Some of the riffs in the song I can pinpoint to various jam sessions of Prince’s that I’ve heard. Not to mention I think he sampled Oran Juice Jones’ The Rain in his song Grenade but I digress
A couple of days ago I switched on the Roku and clicked on my Pandora link to listen to some music while I graded some papers. As usual, I encountered someone that took my attention away from my papers and kept me in a lightweight trance. Sia has been around for over 10 years, but I never took notice. I consider myself avant garde in my musical interests and I attempt to seek out music that enlightens, empowers and generates emotion. In other words, if the music doesn’t have the ability to evoke my 3E theory, I don’t listen. I tuned into the Regina Spektor station and in the rotation was Sia. Get To Know Sia by peeping this video and then take the time to visit the site.
It’s a known fact that we learn through repetition. Unfortunately, parents repeating the same thing over and over again tend to go in one ear and out the next. I call this current generation the ear bud generation. They always have ear buds in their ears and listening to God knows what. Music shapes our lives whether or not we want to admit it. The messages in songs influence decisions in many people’s lives. Some good… A lot of them bad. I’m an Usher fan, but I am very disappointed in him (not that he cares) with his song, I don’t mind. To me, it encourages our young women to be strippers. Whether or not it is a proper career is another topic for discussion, but not today. What happened to the songs that inspire us to achieve or fight for what we believe?
Acoustic + Soul + Country + Spring + Summer + Fall + Warmth + Date Night …
I could go on and on and on, but sometimes when you discover someone and they actually make you feel some kind of way, you don’t run out of words to explain just what they are. By now it’s probably obvious I have a serious music romance with all things Foreign Exchange so it only stands that I would eventually get to Jeanne Jolly.
Her voice is like cool rain on a hot southern day. If you want to tuck the kids in and go out to the back porch and have a drink, or leave the kids at their grandparents and enjoy a date night that includes opening the moonroof and just driving around under the stars, then you have to put some of her music on your phone/cd/mp3. If there is a comparison that can be made, I guess it would be something like looking into the past to ask Crystal Gayle to remind everyone how fantastic it is to be an artist who bends genres instead of being one thing.
Alright as you know, or probably don’t since I don’t get as much traffic as I should, I only post a Get To Know when I have a fit of inspiration. Consider this a straight up conniption fit. It’s hard for me to get excited about Hip-Hop lately. Obviously we all lose it with another Jay Elect verse or a Kendrick sighting. Run the Jewels 2 can keep me satiated, but The Roots ATYSYC was just too damn short to keep me happy. So a couple of days ago I’m sharing some Zo! and I get a friend add on Facebook from Brandon Meeks letting me know the bass player in the video is a part of a collective out of Indianapolis named Native Sun. (Funny thing is… he’s the bass player! How dope is that!) The other funny thing – who the hell lives in Indianapolis? (My bad Will, I know you’re holding it down in The Nap – Will is my brother from another who runs the House of Hoops there so there is one person I know in the Speedway… because honestly the only thing I know about Indianapolis is the race – shoulder shrug – not anymore though.)
Originally posted this in May of 2010, I wrote this because I had been digging Dwele for a while. Although I knew many people wouldn’t see this post I wrote it because I feel that great artists deserve whatever search engine info that can be put out there. A couple of days ago, Jan 2015, I made my son watch this video right here: http://www.cbpublish.com/invest-8-minutes-for-inspiration/
My son plays guitar and is teaching himself piano. I know watching this video would inspire him. Sometimes that’s what we need is inspiration. By the way Dwele was digging in hard with the Youtube promotion but touring is slowed that down, but there are over 70 videos there of behind the scenes action. I have every Dwele joint (Except Drive the Future, my bad) and suggest you take some time to follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. I finally got around to doing all of that, smh. Then visit Amazon and buy everything dude has made, throw it on and start cooking those Super Bowl snacks, or setting up the house while listening. Stop and dance with your lady and your daughter (skip Flapjacks when you dance with your daughter tho, lol) With that said, here is my old, short, Get To Know post on Dwele G:
I tend to keep Dwele in the CD Rotation. After being introduced to Dwele when Dilla was pushing the Slum Village project in the early 2000’s, I found myself waiting and waiting on anything he was dropping. There are certain artists you have to be confident in yourself with, to let wifey or your lady, listen too without getting jealous that they are feeling the singer too much.
Dwele is one of the most underrated singers of our generation. His last CD dropped in 2014 the cover is below with a single in the Youtube vid. I want to be one of the first to say that if you haven’t bought a Dwele CD treat yourself to one and as a matter of fact buy more than one. We have to support artists who are compelling, talented and maintain a high quality while dealing with the status quo.
Typically I have a lot to say when I write a Get To Know. I’m inspired and I have a need for you to know what I’m feeling when I’ve heard or seen something that is so necessary… that I am at a loss for words. I’m not at a loss: Buy everything by Gregory Porter and transcend. That is all.
If I see an artist with Herbie Hancock there is an instant amount of validation. Obviously I expect the artist with him to be a pianist. I also expect that artist to be capable of composing and blending music styles. Since I’m in my office I miss the introduction and I have to sit through the entire video to discover who this new voice is.
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, these Get To Know posts are often created from moments of inspiration where I feel compelled to share something I think other people should support.
Sometimes I want to delve into the research on a group and dig to find out more information before posting a Get To Know. Every now and then, I want to just dig the music and tell you all to just dig this shit. Put it on, sit back with a glass of your favorite, or pop on your headphones and read something interesting and just listen.
I was walking into a Footaction store today and through the noise I hear the horns for Jay Z’s “Roc Boys (And The Winner Is)“ but no words… which for me is a good thing. I’m not the biggest Jay Z fan, and I always vote Ether over Takeover (and Mos Def’s Rapeover over Takeover) but I digress… I walk in and I’m like, “Damn, that’s dope.” I ask my guy Will to let me know who cut that instrumental. He heads to the back and comes back out with, “The Menahan Street Band.” I put that in my mental Rolodex and now we are here.
I will probably repeat this over and over again as I begin to write more articles for CBP. My goal is to make maturity dope. In other words, jumping and bouncing all over the place is cool when you’re young. As much as I like seeing people Nay-Nay (sp?), when you get to a certain age you begin to enjoy the slowed down aspects of cool. This doesn’t mean putting on Crosby, Stills and Nash, drinking tea on the porch and driving in the right lane with your signal turned on. Being mature means that you are just as comfortable listening to Trane and Miles as you are listening to Gregory Porter and Jose James.
This week FE+ arrived in Memphis and instead of going to enjoy the show at the Hi-Tone, I found myself working on some business things. If you see me, slap me for that one. Sometimes you have to learn to enjoy what you have and take a break. I’ve been playing the hell out of Love In Flying Colors, and I basically played Connected into the ground as well. Leave It All Behind was on repeat for months as well. To be honest I only discovered FE+ because of an accidental search on Vevo. I found a one night only, invite performance video and watched it all in one setting. This was about two years ago. I began buying their records and realized that the group was basically built kind of like Cee-lo and Dangermouse forming Gnarls Barkley. Phonte, formerly of Little Brother and Nicolay a musician/producer from Europe(I forget where and I’m too lazy to google/bing it) began transferring files after meeting on the Okayplayer message boards.
There are certain times of year that I get these bursts of creativity. They are usually sparked by something I’ve read or something I’ve heard. Lately my creativity has been somewhat drained due to the release of my new shoes. But this isn’t the place or the time to talk about that… this is about why I’ve decided to do a Get To Know.
There are symbols that generate a certain feeling. When I see a Blue Note logo, I automatically feel like snatching a Coltrane CD and putting it in the computer. I say this to make it clear that Blue Note is synonymous with classic music. Jose James is Blue Note continuing to remain a relevant force in creating music that matters (a little metonymy? yeah a bit). The album No Beginning No End is James fourth CD. I recommend you taking the time to purchase each CD, but instead of purchasing them in “order” I think NBNE is the perfect place to start.
Sometimes there isn’t a comment that can be made about a musician that is just right. In my daily browsing I ran across this video on www.okayplayer.com. I really don’t care if this video has been featured in other places, because the song is plain and simple… dope. The video is even better when you consider it features two of my favorite things: Great lyrics and a brother rocking dojo gear with a pair of Black/Cement Air Jordan 3s. Peep the video and then do your own searching for Frank Ocean. I’m waiting for an album.