July 30, 2011

Music Is...David Dallas "Rose Tint" Playlist


P.S. I love "Postcard" and "Life Is". Everything is good though...

The Rose Tint by David Dallas

David Dallas

Art Is...Kidrobot: Graphics Alive 2 Book

I've always loved pop-art, bold logos, graphic designs, unique architecture and just art in general. This was an interesting book that caught my eye on Kidrobot.com. These are two pictures I chose.

The book explores the powerful yet humble forms of graphic art and illustration that we experience in our everyday lives. It covers everything from fashion and furniture to toys, household goods, in-store decorations and shop windows.
Works featured include items that embrace us from head to toe and transport us (both physically and mentally) near and far; all have been created by top international designers and artists.

Art Is... Style Depth - As One: Simon and Schuster

Artistically, I think the design brings the message alive...

Simon and Schuster
 Interior design for Simon and Schuster publishers HQ in Sydney, Australia. Again they were looking for some urban rawness. Stencil graffiti was the result.

Style Depth - As One: Home
As One: Walls

July 29, 2011

Art Is... As One: Style Depth: "Silk Recordings"

Silk Recordings is an up and coming Drum & Bass record label from Melbourne, which is enjoying growing success on the world scene. I took on the branding and identity for this label.

A conversation between my mom and I


When my mom came home from work yesterday, I prepared us some hot dogs While I was fixing them, I randomly asked her if she'd heard of the band Rage Against The Machine. She said, "Uhh hhu but, I couldn't tell you a single song from em'." I just laughed and said cool. I was just fascinated for some reason at the fact that she'd heard of them. She asked me though if I knew what that meant. In the back of my mind, I was going to say that the "Machine" symbolized the government and how everyone and everything seems to be a number nowadays. It's like you're identified by your debit/credit card number, your social security number, your licence plate tag. Instead, I said something to that effect, except musically. I said, the "Machine" represented the way music sounds robotically created. Everything is credited by numbers and sales as opposed to sound and impact that it has. When she said it meant what I was really thinking, was just like "Urrrggghh, that's what I was gonna say!"

Just thought I'd share that...

Music Is... David Bowie "Space Oddity"

I was watching some classic videos this morning. This David Bowie piece came on and I had to post it. Had to give it to you. This sounds like it could have bee remastered a bit but, I'm not 100% on that. Check it out.

My Review: Cornel West & Lupe Fiasco at the Youth Leadership Institute

Let me say that I LOVE an in depth conversation. In regards to that, I feel compelled to respond to the recorded stream I watched on The LupE.ND. Blog. It  featured a very in depth and intriguing Q&A between Lupe Fiasco, Dr. Cornel West and the audience at the Youth Leadership Institute in Los Angeles put together in part by Tavis Smiley. Among many other purposes of the discussion, critical thinking was at the core.Critical thinking it was. One thing I appreciated most was the views brought forth where not imposed on anyone. In other words no one was forced to think in accordance with the next person. Instead the intent was to give and honest and logical analysis of any subject at hand. In essence, the entire session was carried out in a respectable manner & tone. Concerning the subject matter, the significance for me was that everything hashed up was content everyone could grasp and have input. No topic was placed of particular importance above the other. All were of high pertinence and very relevant when it came down to it.

Lupe was primarily at the receiving end of the questions. He was asked things such as where he drew his musical inspiration and where that initiated. He was asked about about his thoughts towards the particular degradation of women in hip hop and how many less than respectful terms are thrown around in relation to them. The statement that Lupe made about Obama was brought up in the midst as well. To that I have to say, that ya boy very sensibly, articulately and logically gave an explanation that is almost impossible to debate but, you'd have to be on your super game to give a reply. In one instance (switching subjects), a young lady questioned Lupe as to if he'd ever been asked to compromise his artistic integrity and digress from his message of positivity for the sake of more notoriety. Within that she also mentioned  those who seem to focus on issues regarding the masses and "intellectually gifted" artists, which specifically peaked his interest in her question. A bit later he asked "...what about Rick Ross?", implying is he not apart of that? He went on to explain that he doesn't place artists into that box of who's on this level. Who's vocabulary, way of conceptualizing and communicating is less or more than the next person. It's more so about what your saying.

Probably the most appealing aspect to me, and what I came to respect most, was the humility shown in the room. The gestures by Dr. Cornel West along with the inflection in his voice kept you engaged. The audience/students were noticeably amped but, remained considerate. The fashion and tone by which Fiasco answered the questions didn't put down anyone nor did he make himself seem higher than the rest. He simply caught what was thrown his way. However, when "Food & Liquor 2" came into play towards the very end, he reminded us in a sly voice that he's going back to the basis as to why he is dubbed
"the nicest M.C.", 
and I couldn't agree more.

July 20, 2011

ARTST: Nevermind

Some artwork I found on Artst.com by Nevermind.

I'm Loosing My Mind...What About You?

Something For Your Mind

ARTST/Andre Bato (Nvrmnd)

Music Is... "Green Light" (video) Andre 3000 & John Legend

I love this song. I like the combo of John and Andre because while some wouldn't consider Mr.3000 a singer primarily, I think he has a solid voice.
"I hope you're more like Anita Baker than Robin Givens" :)

July 18, 2011

Music Is... dela: Transition Lost

This consists of some interesting sounds and arrangements. Very jazzy and laid back is the mood of every track. Again, this is due to my "rummaging" if you will, around bandcamp.com. If you haven't already, I suggest you visit this site when you get the chance. If I'm right, the majority of the content it holds is from independent labels and artists. It's definitely worth it in my book.


Music Is... Das Racist "Who's That? Brooown!"

I found these guys roaming around bancamp.com a few weeks ago. Check it out.

July 14, 2011

Music Is... Nikki Jean "Pennies In A Jar"

In today's music scene, it's tough for me to find a very well composed harmonious album, especially in popular culture. I feel that things have evolved from "quality" to "quantity". Not to say that artists of the past didn't create many works but, more emphasis was placed on the music, placed on good production. With "Pennies In A Jar", it's that attribute of quality and getting it right that I find at the forefront and that I really appreciate.

Very honestly I can say that in one way or another I enjoyed and continue to enjoy every song on this album. To quote SeanTheRobot (Head Cut Off), who reviewed this piece as well,
"Seeing that Nikki co-wrote a song with Lamont Dozier and that some of the other songwriters were also involved with Motown, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the sound of the album is somewhat reminiscent of the old Motown Sound without actually sounding old though."
It's exactly that. In a post I put up a while ago about longevity, I mentioned that even if an artists meshed the past with the present, it was the ability to maintain staying power and dish out something GOOD. The ability to release a genuine, full flavored product. Keeping that in mind, each and every song contains this vulnerable aspect that makes them that much more attractive. With each number, I feel like she's saying, "I'm giving you Nikki Jean. I'm giving you a piece of my heart on every track." Honesty. That's another attribute that makes itself obvious, at least to me. She gives you truth with every note. 

Each song works cohesively with each other. Lyrically, when I listen to songs such as the title track "Pennies In A Jar" or "Steel And Feathers (Don't Ever)" I get someone who has some excellent songwriting skills. And it's not even that the lyrics are complicated or super dense but, that they're so nicely written and thought out. Not too much though. You don't have to get cha' "Dig Dug" on just to understand what she's implying. She talks about love and the various aspects that go into that. She talks about emotions and various feelings towards that significant other and just the ins & outs of many things.

In terms of the sound, I love that she didn't follow suit with all the techno, trance, fast paced music that's out now. I'm not dissing that because I myslef like some of it. It's just that (and I'm gonna use what may seem to be a cliche phrase here) I really find this album to be a breath of fresh air. Feels like the majority of the time I've been inhaling 90% smog and 10% "Even worse". OK, I might be stretching it right there but, you get my point. I have to note too, that Black Thought and Lupe Fiasco lend some words on "Million Star Motel". What I respect there is that no one is overshadowed. Again, there's the cohesiveness that melds everything together. Personally, there is much to be said about "Pennies In A Jar". I feel this is one of those albums that will become a reference. Something that current and future artists will be able to look at and draw inspiration from.

Music Is... RUN MNC "My Adidas"

In part, due to this song, Adidas is officially my favorite footwear. Don't get me wrong, I definitely have others but, something about those three stripes pulled me in. Love em' :)


July 11, 2011

Music Is... Lupe Fiasco and Gemini "We On" (video)

 I was already familiar with the song but, I just saw the vid a lil bit ago. Fell in love with it already. The beat is insane. LOOOVE IT!
"Chica , go mane"...

July 10, 2011

Music Is... K.O. Beatz "Odyssey"

This is another ill instrumental from K.O. I wouldn't say this sound strays far from his style but, it's something different than what I'm used to. I like a mix up though, keeps things fresh =)

July 06, 2011

Music Is... Lupe Fiasco: LASERS "All Black Everything"

Love Always Shines Every time Remember To Smile - March 8, 2011
As I discussed on my look towards the album a while ago, this song is weighty. To elaborate, it asks what if slaves were paid to be deported? How would that "transaction" change the face of society today? A very thought provoking track. Love the beat too. Lupe did it on this one :)


Music Is... Kanye West: Graduation "I Wonder"

Graduation - Released September 11, 2007
I love this song. Beat and everything is just nice. It says something. 

Kanye West.com

ARTST: Artek606 "Some Old 94' Sketchbook Session"

ARTST is a site I joined about 3 or 4 years ago. I believed it was conceived by part, if not whole, by Pharrell Williams as a way to reveal talented artists and/or allow people to post art of any kind. Any type: various media, photographs, drawings, paintings, video and many subcategories of each. It's sort of like a blog in a way.

Anywho I was browsing around and I stumbled on this graffiti sketch. I think it's ill.

Artek606 ARTST profile
Artek606 myspace

July 04, 2011

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone is a series my mom put me on very early. Along with shows such as Alfred Hitchcock and The Outer Limits, the Zone is undoubtedly among my favorites. I prefer the 1959-64' run hosted by Rod Serling. The intro changed a few times over the years but, that music remained at the top. I love everything about The Twilight Zone. Every episode holds a theme, a main point that's driven home each time. 

Take one of my favorite episodes "A Most Unusual Camera". Some small thieves steal a camera, amongst many other things, that can take pictures predicting the image3-5 minutes into the future.After the brother of one of them enters the picture, they soon figure they can make money with it and eventually earn a few hundred thousand if not millions from the huge stacks on the table. Any who, from a undesirable source, they find out the camera has only 2 photos left...I'll leave it at that for anyone who hasn't see this one yet. 

What's most interesting about this episode is how everyone involved reacts to the pictures taken. I take it to mean that the camera was only showing events that were going to happen regardless. The impression that the foresight of the camera had truly caused them to further carry out these happenings and really showcased the greed among them. 
"A hotel suite that in this instance serves as a den of crime, the aftermath of a rather minor event to be noted on a police blotter, an insurance claim, perhaps a three-inch box on page twelve of the evening paper. Small addenda to be added to the list of the loot: a camera, a most unimposing addition to the flotsam and jetsam that it came with, hardly worth mentioning really, because cameras are cameras, some expensive, some purchasable at five-and-dime stores. But this camera, this one's unusual, because in just a moment we'll watch it inject itself into the destinies of three people. It happens to be a fact that the pictures that it takes can only be developed in the Twilight Zone."

 The Twilight Zone

July 01, 2011

Music Is... K.O. Beatz "Minutes"

Yes, another K.O. Beats production. Again, I love my instrumentals.

Music Is... Camp Lo "Coolie High"

This is a funky question:  Have you ever known you knew something but, forgot you knew it? 

Well that happened to me. I stumbled upon this looking for something else. Can't even remember what I was looking for, something hip hop related though. Anywayz, this is a 90's joint. The track samples Janet Jackson's 1986 "Control" single "Funny How Time Flies (When Your Having Fun)". Just something to vibe out to, something mellow. 

Whewww, early post for me :) 

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