Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Ever since I ran across this little ditty over at the good Deacon’s pulpit, I’ve been dying to “Meet John Crown.” Maybe it’s the Tacoma ties…maybe it’s the pure ease of his delivery…or, maybe it’s just lines like this: “They go to the lab, smoke some weed and write a hook/but I got more to say than them, I need to write a book.” Whatever it is, one listen to this viral snippet, and I was sure I wanted to hear more.
Lucky for me – and for you – “more” just became available today. John Crown’s Before I Wake You Up is a six-song EP serving as a proper introduction to this emcee from the 253. Over a year in the making, with a break from the game in between, this offering is a glass of cold water to the face of those that keep hitting “snooze.” Of course, Crown accepts there will always be Rip Van Winkles - “Used to the sleepers/so now I ignore them snoring,” - but it won’t be from lack of effort on his part.
Every single track is filled with “rewinders,” (but don’t stop and go back in the middle of a cut, just put it on repeat and you’ll be able to hear what you missed as you find yourself listening over and over again). With throwback storytelling skills, verbal dexterity, plus an unbridled – and apparently re-energized (see: “The Love”) – passion for the art, this “King of the Common Man” lyrically beats you into submission across a slew of big beats.
Local South-Sounders DJ Semaj, Enstrumental, TrussOne and Xplicit provide the soundtrack to this journey, and they do it very well. Here’s the thing about that: if I didn’t tell you these guys were local, you’d never know…or, maybe you would – after all, the Northwest is a veritable producer hotbed!! Plenty of brass, bass, strings and samples prove the perfect backdrop for Crown’s debut effort.
On the real, Before I Wake You Up is more than a T-Town gem – this EP should be welcomed everywhere. Everywhere they work hard (“How you ‘posed to dream when you can’t even sleep? / Wake up, wake up / Now it’s time to go to work / and you find it difficult ‘cause they don’t pay you what you worth”); everywhere they value honest, well-told life-stories; shit, everywhere they listen to music, Crown should be a topic of discussion after this one.
So go ‘head then: stop hittin’ “snooze” and meet John Crown…you’ll be glad you did. Besides, you don’t want to be the cat who’s still sleepin’ in early 2011, sayin’ “Who’s John Crown?” when Coffee and Beats hits – do you?!? It’s rhetorical, dick.
P.S. – Follow him on twitter. Fucking Comical. What you got against Ochocinco, John?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Seriously, it’s what makes the fall/winter bearable. So many sounds from football would be great samples for a hip-hop beat – and many have tried to make it happen. Some more successful than others, but dare I say none as filthy as this one…this right here is straight HEAT! I mean, there aren’t many songs in sports that are as iconic as the Monday Night Football open: DUN-dun-dun-daaaaaaa! I hear that shit and I come runnin’ like a fat kid to the dinner table. But give it to me in a dope-ass hip-hop beat, and man…that’s having your cake and eating it too. Listen:
See what I’m sayin’?? Someone needs to lace that beat with some lyrics to match that ridiculous beat; someone needs to hit that shit!!
What’s that? Oh…the girl? Oh, sorry, didn’t notice her. Yeah, she’s alright…but that beat! Wooooooo!!!
Monday, October 18, 2010
The original article was posted here: http://www.examiner.com/hip-hop-music-in-minneapolis/the-passing-of-our-dear-friend-eyedea
The passing of our dear friend Eyedea
October 17th, 2010 11:28 pm CT.
|Photo: Rodney Urbanski |
Mike was wonderful human being who made deeply beautiful music. His impact on the world continues to widen its gyre, especially at this time when so many friends and fans replay his songs in an accidentally concerted tribute to his life.
Most people knew Micheal as Eyedea. That's the stage name he'd been using since he was a teenager, a time when Micheal gained recognition for his excellence in hip-hop music and proved himself as one of the most talented, and youngest improvisational rappers in the world. Eyedea grew into a Renaissance man, performing lead vocals in a rock group, publishing his own poetry books co-written by his grandmother and playing shows as a member of various hip-hop, improvisational and acoustic bands formed in the Twin Cities. Eyedea sometimes used the moniker Oliver Hart. His mom called him Mikey. He made a lot of good music.
Micheal believed in the power of empathy and felt a deeply visceral sense of duty to contemplate the meaning of humanity, both in its suffering and in its capacity to love. He thought about the truth in awareness and wrote songs that made us aware. He applied mythology to the mystery of existence and talked about science with a spiritual tone. Mike was thoughtful, tough and innovative. He embraced uncertainty and broke the boundaries in every genre. He shattered every label. His music was smart, witty, provocative and sad. His music was beautiful. It was almost always eye opening and rarely was it anything but deep. Mike could make you think, cry, smile and laugh, and he always made you feel.
Mike's heart was big and his mind was complex. He never settled in a comfort of complacence and never abandoned a moral obligation to ponder what life was all about. Mike was dedicated friend, family member and student of the world. He told the world his personal trials, and vulnerabilities, and offered us hope in understanding our own stories as well. Mike told us a lot of jokes when we were down and lent an ear when we needed counsel.
I remember Mike showing up at my wedding, a big smile from ear to ear, wearing a shirt that said "Band T-shirt" written in permanent marker. He gave me and Alissa a warm hug and apologized for having to leave so early. He was in between shows that night. I was happy to see him and his mom, Kathy at the wedding. They were always a joy to interact with, it was never a boring conversation.
Micheal Larsen will be missed by many, many people and our sorrows will pave a difficult path. But, fortunately we have his life to celebrate. We have his stories to cherish and his music to inspire us. Micheal's music, in any form, was so immensely authentic that he left within it, an imprint of his soul. He continues to live as long as we continue to appreciate his work.
Kathy, Mike's mother, posted the following message on his Facebook page (please take a look):
"It is with great pain and sadness that I tell you my son Mikey (Eyedea) has passed away.
At this time we kindly request your respect and our privacy as we process this devastating loss.
We do, however, welcome your kind words, memories, and positive thoughts. We have created a Paypal account and are accepting donations towards the cost of his services. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so by accessing this link:
On behalf of Mikey's family, close friends and fans. Thank you.
Mike, thank you for all of the stories, songs and poems.
We love you,
Please do click the link above and help out with whatever you can. One.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Man…leave it to Bambu to have me feeling indignant AND hungry in one fell swoop. Filthy, peep:
If you haven’t seen the original Das Racist video, it’s a must view. Plus, this Sabzi beat is so nice, I have no problem postin’ it twice:
Thursday, October 14, 2010
"Shadow of a Giant" is a short film by Clement & Co. featuring Grieves, an artist recently signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment. Filmed entirely during the Las Vegas stop in his recent tour with Atmosphere, "Shadow of a Giant" documents Grieves as he comments on the tour, how his signing with Rhymesayers has affected him and his expectations for his future releases. This four-minute film encapsulates the artist as he comes to grips with the shift from being a respected tour musician with a cult following to a representative of what URB Magazine calls the "best label of the decade". Produced by Clement & Co. (http://www.clementco.com/) and directed by John Bollozos.
Grieves: Shadow of a Giant from Clement & Co. on Vimeo.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I forgot that he sent through another video for My Story also from "Sneakerboxxx". This video was shot "in a one-afternoon guerilla-style shoot" by Jenkin Au of justalilhype. Check it out as well.