Saturday, February 28, 2009
Gotta have some theme music for his one: EPMD "please listen to my demo"
Now, this is a sensitive one. Maybe the most sensitive blog I've written yet. Not because the topic in itself is controversial, but because undoubtedly there are some cats out there that read my blog and are artists. There's a chance that yall do beats, or rhyme, or sing. And maybe some of you I have met before, and maybe at some point one of you has given me a CD to check out.
So let me be completely honest here first--there are a LOT of artists out there that aren't trying to hear your shit. I look at new rap music like i look at meeting new people at the bar--the more new interesting shit the better, even when it goes bad. In general, I'm a fan of interesting--which has nothing to do with good or bad. It might sound shallow but I'm just being honest here. So I actually try to check out cats CDs, even if it isn't until the end of the tour...but I do try.
But i digress. Anyways, tonight as i was choppin' it up with this cat i realized that there are a few things that you should absolutely, positively, never, ever, ever do when you're giving your CD/demo to somebody. This shit may seem very trivial and obvious to some of y'all, but trust me--there are a LOT of artists out there that don't know or don't even think about this shit, so I'm gonna go in because maybe this particular blog will be helpful at some point. So please don't get mad at Printnificence for this one because he has good intentions, and I probably wouldn't even be writing this shit had i not heard ALL of these things tonight.
So here we go. Here are the absolute worst things you can do when you're about to give somebody your demo (and trust me, I've heard each and every one of these dozens of times):
1. tell me that "you're about to change the game"
On one hand I have to admire your confidence to be able to say "look the game is fucked up and i got the answer!", but on the other hand it's kind of comical to hear somebody that has never released a record for real, or done a real show, tell me that he's going to shake up the world. To be honest, it kind of makes you look like an arrogant asshole. Not to say you shouldn't believe in your shit but come on, a little humbleness never hurt anybody.
2. tell me that "heads ain't ready for you" or "your too advanced"
This goes hand-in-hand with #1. You say you're going to change the game, but then in the same breath you say the game is not ready for you and fans are probably not going to understand where you're coming from because its too deep/advanced for them? Hmmmmm...as soon as you say this to me, I'm thinking "cop out" because usually it's just a way to rationalize being terrible at what you do. What's worse is that the entire thing is speculation! You have no idea whether you're too advanced or not because these people you're referring to have never even heard your shit! When people say this my brain starts to shut down.
3. Invite me to your car to listen to your shit right now.
Gross violation of protocol and personal space. Now, I'm not saying that I have never been in a car listening to some new music with a friend before i walked into the spot. I'm not above it. I'm even known to cipher with the gods occasionally, particularly if I'm bored. But this is some other shit. Number one, I just met you so the thought of me being in an isolated awkward situation with you isn't appealing at all. Number two, I haven't heard your music before. What if it sucks? Do i sit there for 30 minutes and pretend your shit is bangin? Bad scenario all around. Number three, the entire reason i came to the spot was for girls or music; you know, the reason ALL dudes go out. So me going to your car, when shit is poppin inside, while girls are around, when i haven't heard your shit before, is out-of-the-fucking-question. It goes against all the reasons I went out in the first place. Plus i don't know you dog. Slow down.
4. Ask me to collab w/ you before I've even heard you.
This might be the most ridiculous shit ever. You say "you should check out my shit", I say "give me a cd to check out", and you say "I'll do that, but we should collaborate on some shit". Then my face says WTF? I'm not even gonna go into how wild this one is cause y'all already know.
5. overly explain what you're trying to do.
I'm oldschool. I come from the era where you picked up a CD or album, looked at the artwork, paid for it, then went home and listened to it. At no point in that process did I ever have the artist who created the art telling me what it is they're doing down to the most minute detail. Music is to be heard and felt, and it shouldn't come with an instruction manual. Either you feel it or you don't, and no amount of words is gonna make that shit sound good. Just give me the CD and let me listen for myself.
6. Ask somebody to do a show together before they've heard you.
This goes with #4. Can't fuck with you until I've heard you. Wow @ you for even asking.
7. Ask me if it's ok to rhyme right then on the spot.
Now, I have a love/hate relationship with this one. On one hand, when a cat just spontaneously busts out into rhyme on the spot, without being asked, there's a part of me that flashes back to when i would go to battles and open mics and rhyme for the glory. I think its dope that cats are hungry and down to get theirs and I'll always have a soft spot for that kind of shit. But i gotta keep it all the way real here, there's another part of me that HATES that shit. Why you ask? Because if I'm chillin' at the bar, or kickin' it in a normal situation and you just bust into rhyme it totally fucks up the vibe. Maybe I'm hollerin at a chick, or maybe I'm just about to order a drink, or pass out a flyer, or go take a piss, whatever! Either way, you're on some shit that is pretty selfish, on some ole hey-look-at-me type shit so i can't feel you.
The worst part about this one is what happens after you spontaneously bust out into rhyme? Then next thing you know 10 more dudes think its okay to share their unfocused bars, when i didn't even wanna hear the first one. Nothing good ever comes of this one.
Ahhhhhhhhh.....feels so much better getting that one off my chest.
I know somebody is gonna get mad about this shit, but on some really real shit, y'all know I'm right. Don't front. Cut that shit out. Just tell a muthafucka you do this shit, give him a CD, and slide off. If you do that, you will be remembered as a class act and I guarantee you'll be heard. Otherwise it might be a wrap for you.
So take these words home and think em through. Or the next blog i write might be about you!
Word is blog.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Then my face scrunches up.
And they say "what, you dont think so-and-so is talented?"
And i say "yes, they're talented, but if I can't say their name in the same sentence as Stevie Wonder then the word Genius shouldn't be used fam."
The above clip is Stevie Wonder on the Talkbox--not to ever, ever, ever, in your entire life, be confused with Auto-tune. There is a reason why there are very few people who are Amazing at Talk-Box, and so many people who are using autotune.
Here's another one for good measure:
And one more just to let you know what time it is:
That's genius. Leave me alone with that other shit fam.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
It's not because they wear tie-dyed shirts, clothes that never fit, flip flops in the coldest of temperatures, and have absolutely no sense of style.
It's not because they have dreads, claim rasta because of their love of weed, and talk about peace & love to the point that even the most peaceful person would want to smack them repeatedly.
And it's not because they never shower and smell like hot dog water, oh no.
It's because of this:
Hippies can't dance for shit.
Word is Blog.
Shout out to Possum for diggin this one up.
I remember the first time i heard the term "handcuffin". It was definitely a west coast rap record. I can't remember who it was but they were talkin about cats "handcuffin hoes" (i.e. trying to stop girls from talking to other dudes by any means necessary). I used to think that shit was restricted to insecure hip-hop dudes, but trust me that shit is universal.
Black, white, asian, latin--all these dudes be handcuffin' their bitches, and ain't shit you can say about it. They do all do it differently though.
Here's why i feel that way. So tonight I'm at this metal show. Don't ask why i was there. I didnt know what it was until i walked in there. Not that i dont dig some metal but I went there for the $1 grilled cheese sandwiches and beer, but when i walked in it was on some other shit. I'm not trippin. My dude introduces me to this chick (goth looking white chick w/ black hair of course), who was kind of socially weird and not interested (of course). I don't think this chick smiled the entire time she was talkin to us. Everything about her said "leave me the fuck alone" so i did. I'm like cool, go back to my grilled-cheese, red beans & rice. Metal bands keep playin, they go smoke some weed, then I see her down at the other end of the bar 10-minutes later talking to some other cat, but this time she was different--smiling and giggling and actually looking like she had some personality, God forbid.
So here's when it gets strange. I'm talking to another chick and i see this very same girl who was cold earlier say to me "HELP ME! GET ME OUTTA HERE" while the dude she's talking to is hollerin at her. She said this shit when his back was turned and he couldn't see her. I think to myself, fuck it i dont give a shit, then motion to her to come here and get the chick i'm with to do the same so it looks cool. She comes down there and says thanks. Me and her start talking, but every 5 minutes dude from the other side of the bar walks down and walks up behind her like I'm violating his territory...handcuffin. Old boy was clearly not trying to let me live. I laugh about the whole shit shit and so does she. We ignore him but this goes on for another 30 minutes to an hour.
Then it occurs to me, why is this cat handcuffin this broad? Granted when I'm drunk I'm known to be on some funny shit when it comes to chicks, but if a chick a) walks away from me, b) sits down next to another dude, and c) buys a drink with that other dude I would be inclined to believe that it was a wrap for me and her. But what does dude do? He continues handcuffin! Real strong. Dude was on a steak out like he was po-po or somethin. It got to the point where he was making other DUDES uncomfortable with his actions and they were askin me "who is this wierd ass dude standing over my shoulder making me uncomfortable?" I'm like "I dont know that cat, he's just here handcuffin this chick because he don't want me to talk to her."
So my conclusion is this: handcuffin girls is not some hip-hop shit at all. We ain't the only suckas out there. There are sucka ass suckas in every race and economic background. We gotta be fair with that shit. They some haters, but lets be real here, haters never prosper like that. But the most important thing to recognize here is that handcuffin girls is universal. Young people get they handcuff on. Old muthafuckas be handcuffin they old ass companions from other old ass dudes in the nursing home, you know? They don't wanna see nobody shine! Every culture and creed got some player-hater in em. Shit's natural i guess. I'm not sayin it's right, I'm just saying its natural.
Hell, I might even believe that other cultures handcuff worse because they don't even have a term like "handcuffin" to make them feel guilty about shit.
Ok...time to pass out. Word is blog.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
If you like it order the CD or tell a friend to do the same:
Even if you don't like the NBA, don't front. That shit is amazing. Pay particular attention to how he gets that shit off right before the red light on the announcers table lights up behind him.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I used to own some Nike Boots back in 2002. I remember I was on tour in Seattle and it was my first time seeing a "real" Nike store. See, I'm from Columbus, OH. We have plenty of shoe stores that sell Nikes, but no real Nike stores; you know, the ones that are like 3 levels and have tons of shit you don't see anywhere else? Those are the ones I'm talking about.
Even though they were pretty expensive, i bought the Nike boots, and loved them immediately. Unforunately I made the cardinal mistake of touring--never buy shoes you really like on tour, because you'll wear them on stage and in the club and they will get completely ruined. At least that's how broke dudes like me do it. So anyway, my Nike boots were ruined by the time i got home with them, and in some strange way I fell out of love with them.
That being said, you have to imagine that I was never really moved when Wale's song "Nike Boots", took off. I didn't dislike it, I was just like whatever about the song, but it did remind me of my past love affair with Nike boots; although short-lived. So about a month ago, when our first REALLY cold spell hit, i went out looking for some boots and ended up buying some Nike Boots again, the joints above. They cost over 150 bucks but I'll be damned if those muthafuckas don't feel anything less than AMAZING when i put em on. They feel so damn good...it's like I'm learning how to walk all over again, or like I'm walking in 4-pair of socks all the time, or walking on freshly laid 3-inch thick shag carpet, feel me?
So with that, I just want to say thank you Wale. Thank you for reminding me how amazing Nike Boots are--because even though your song has very little to do with how amazing Nike boots actually feel on your feet, it did remind me that I needed them in my life again. I mean, sure Wale says they look good, but who buys $150 pair of shoes just because they look good? Not me!
Word is blog.
In preparation for my new album I have shot a couple of music videos; one for a song called "keep bouncing" and another for a song called "radioinactive". The video for Keep Bouncing was shot at my favorite wateringhole in Columbus, Carabar. The video for Radioinactive was shot in New York while i was on tour this past fall with Atmosphere. I've noticed that a lot of cats will talk about shooting "low-budget" videos, but that can be very decieving because low budget is relative. One man's low budget might be another mans feature film. Therefore I've decided that there should be a new term for shooting videos called "no-budget". That's how we've been rolling so far, and I want to thank the videographers (justin and shankar) that I've worked with thus far for believing in my music enough to do it. I have another shoot scheduled for March. I hope to shoot 1-2 more videos since I don't have any shows for a while...might as well be productive.
I don't know how many of you have heard of an artist named Supastition (Kam Moye), but me and him did a song together for one of his upcoming projects. I have always been a fan of his, and I hope that those that haven't checked him out before will do so. He's got a free EP for download on his myspace page if you need an introduction.
Since my album is done I've been trying to plug away at the new greenhouse album that Illogic and I have been working on. I'm doing all the production on the record, but me and illogic are both rhyming on it. The name of the album is Bend But Don't Break. We wanted to release it last year but I ended up touring with Atmosphere during that time so we pushed it back. At any rate, things are sounding nice. If you haven't added the Greenhouse crew yet, please do so! And if you haven't added my dude Illogic please do. He has a new album coming out on March 24th on our label weightless Recordings (http://www.weightless.net). He and I hope to tour together when the greenhouse album comes out.
Also, we wil be releasing 2 FREE Greenhouse EPs very soon. Please stay tuned, and add us if you haven't already (http://www.myspace.com/greenhousecrew), or just subscribe to the blog so when we start blogging you can be in the mix.
I've been posting new beats instead of songs because it seems more interesting. Coincidentally i still get at least 4-5 messages a weak from dudes trying to sell me "industry standard" beats, or just regular dudes who want to just give me beats. Cut it out, I'm good.
BAD NEWS FIRST:
The release date of my album was originally April 21st but its looking like it's going to get pushed back a little bit. I'm not completely sure i can speak on why but hopefully everything will be in place soon to get it out, although slightly delayed. Until then yall can find me in Columbus wishing i was somewhere warm...at least the record is done, and has been done for a while, which brings me to the GOOD news...
NEW MUSIC (2 new Blueprint projects! OMG!)
I have two production projects that I am going to release in in a LIMITED run. They are both instrumental projects. One is the follow-up to my Chamber Music instrumental album called "Sign Language". The other is more of a straight up hip-hop beat cd type of thing called "Weightless Radio". There will only be 500 copies of each of these CDs, and they will be sold only on weightless.net. I repeat, there will only be 500 of each title, and they will only be sold at www.weightless.net, but you can also buy them off this page as well. The reason I repeat this is because when i did the funkadelic project it sold very quickly, and i still had many many many people come to my shows this past fall asking why i wasn't selling the CD. Shit was gone by then. Then when i tell them that it was gone a long time ago, they tell me i should press more. So i want to tell everybody now BUY THE SHIT WHEN IT'S AVAILABLE, because i dont want to get a shitload of e-mails and people walking up to me saying they saw it for sale and thought it should still be for sale a year or two later when they passed up the chance to get it the first time around. While there are instances where i can save certain titles for the road, i can't gurantee that happening. but on the brighter side, we will be doing presales. These presales will ship out on average 3-4 business days before the actually release date, therefore you will have it in your hand before everybody else does.
This is the first one:
Blueprint "Sign Language" CD from weightless recordings on Vimeo.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
So i'm out thinking about all the shit that goes down on a daily basis (you know, all the wild ass shit that maybe you and your homies do or did that you wake up laughing about the next day), that only a few people know about. My belief is that shit is awesome. Shit, i think that shit is amazing. the fact that people can go out to God knows where, and do God knows what, with God knows who is some shit that i think is beautiful.
I went out last night, and had one of the most hilarious and amazing nights i've had in a long time. The people who were there knew what level of madness was poppin off, but those who didn't missed out. Honestly i think that shit is what makes the shit so special. That a few people in a spot can witness more amazing moments than a few hundred people in another spot. If that's not some amazing shit then i dont know what is.
But let me cut to the chase, because this shit that I'm getting at is more about relationships than anything else.
First of all, i think men and women do the same shit. No sex is more slutty or more moral than the next. We all do dumb ass shit and fuck people we wish we wouldn't have fucked. And we all fuck people who we feel good about fucking. You know, good shit for the resume if you will.
But my thing is this: stop bragging about that shit. If you fuck somebody that is hot then you should only share that with the people who knew what it was or were there when it was about to happen. See, people make the mistake of thinking women gossip more than men, but I'm here to tell you, no they dont. Shit is the same. hell, i might even believe that dudes gossip MORE than women. Why? Because we typically feel like we have less to lose. Women don't want to look like sluts, but men are completely cool with looking like sluts because society thinks its amazing that men are out there adding notches to their belt.
However, tonight it dawned on me that dudes need to start keeping that shit under wraps. And i know you might be thinking to yourself that i'm on some humanitarian, we are the world, women's lib shit when you're reading this. But let me assure you that my reasons are far less altruistic and far more selfish: I want yall to keep that shit under wraps because it completely fucks up the flow of pussy. Feel me on this shit before you judge me--there is NOTHING good that can come from you having sex with somebody and telling your homies about it, NOTHING. Unless that is to tell your homie NOT to do it, but that's about it.
Maybe to feel me you have to look at sex as a commodity. Some shit that is publicly traded. The market for that said commodity is defined by those who want it and those who want to make it available. The worth of said commodity is somewhere in between those two extremes. So think about it: what happens when you dont use discretion and have all your business in the streets? You slow down the rate at which said commodity exchanges hands because the value of said commodity becomes volatile, feel me? Its no different than the stock market buddy.
For example, say a girl is a snob who is known to fuck only NBA players and dope boys, then what happens to her stock, simply because the rumors not because she is a quality woman? Shit skyrockets. Same chick who probably cant cook for shit and has a shitty attitude is now in high demand. Now on the opposite end of things, say theres a girl you've wanted to bone for years. Yall go to all the same parties, and have some mutual friends. Then you hear that she fucked some other cat last year that you didnt know about. This is the tricky part. Her stock could go up and down depending on what YOU and your social scene think about dude. If dude is a chump it goes down. If he's got some status then it goes up. But its the same piece of ass that you wanted from jump.
What I'm gettin at is this--don't let the market dictate the value of a quality piece of ass for you. You need to define that shit for yourself, without all the rumors and insider trading tips. Decided for yourself what it's worth because otherwise you could a) be purchasing something that is inflated in price and truly not worth it or b) walking away from something that is actually pretty slick because of some shit somebody else said. The same shit Warren Buffet does, just with your penis or vagina.
So I'm going to end this shit here, because if yall feel me then yall feel me.
Word is blog.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tonight i was on that familiar mission--flyering. For those that are unaware, there are people who go to events, people who perform at events, and people who promote events--I just happen to wear all those hats sometimes. So tonight, with my promoter hat on, I left my house promptly at 12:45am, which should indicate my excitement level for flyering tonight, on a mission to pass out flyers.
I got to the spot and from across the street i hear people arguing; fuck this, fuck that, etc. The usual bullshit when you go to this kinda show. People yelling but nobody getting manhandled, and no cops, so i was cool. I roll up to more arguing and wait for my dude who works the door to come back so i can creep in on the low and get my flyers off (the club is nice enough to let me pass out flyers for events i have there without charging me cover, i just gotta go to the right doorman.)
But i digress. As I'm outside one of the cats working there tells me that an opening act got boo'ed. opening from the out-of-town band. And not only that, he says they got shit thrown at them. Now, I've seen a lotta shit in my day in the Columbus music scene/hip-hop scene, but getting bottles thrown at you, is some OTHER shit. So much so that i didn't even believe it and went on in and ordered a pitcher of that hipster shit, pabst.
In the next 30 minutes i get word that there were two fights before i got there, and confirmation that yes, bottles had been thrown at cats.
Now, I didn't start writing this to defend or accost those that threw bottles tonight, because that's neither here nor there, and since i wasn't there i have no idea what really went down. But i was taken aback by the mere mention of shit getting thrown at the stage...ahhh the sweet memories...ain't nothin like gettin heckled or having some shit tossed at you from the back of a dark ass room from somebody that you can't even see. Gotta love it, right?
Anyways, what came to mind was this question: how bad does the opener have to piss you off before you do some shit like that? See for me, i consider it almost a mathematical equation that goes like this: my willingness to boo or throw shit at the openers is equal to my desire to see the headliner divided by the number of quality opening acts on the bill. Obviously, I'm failing to take into account the time factor (i.e. headlining acts going on stage at 1:45a.m type shit), but you feel me. My point is just how bad does a muthafucka have to be before you decide to air him out?
This fall i opened for Atmosphere on a 10-week tour. One night i will never forget was in Burlington, Vermont. There was this group of girls that i met at the end of the night who had never seen me before and said something like this when we met, "We never heard of you before but you killed it tonight. Usually we can smell the fear in opening acts, and we usually get ready to boo them immediately but you had no fear and that really impressed us". So i said "thanks". Yeah i appreciate the props but i also appreciate that fact that they saw me seeing them not seeing me being scared, feel me? That shit is important. Because if a group of three harmless-looking chicks can see the fear in an openers eyes, it makes me really assume that everybody in the room might be able to, you know?
So as i lay it down this fine tuesday night/wednesday morning i will think on these things, and wonder what my personal breaking point is with an opening act, and just how much (or how little) i can take before i act-a-fool, because obviously a few people reached that breaking point tonight, nahmeen? I'm not sayin' it's right, I'm just sayin.
Word is blog.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
and it occurs to me that as an artist our entire struggle is to write something "great". something that defines US. we struggle to come up with fly shit, angry shit, expressive shit, etc in hopes that the common muthafucka that gives a rats ass about art hears that shit and believes in it enough to believe in us, right?
so as i'm warming up my rice and throwing a turkey burger on the foreman grill the thought occurs to me:
what if its not about the song, or the art?
what if how we look at this shit, is all fucked up?
specifically i mean this:
what if, we as people who do art, are EXCEPTIONAL people. Not exceptional artists. Just really interesting, fun, cool people. People who would be interesting to drink with whether or not we were on stage, right? so the thought occurs to me, that exceptional people will be that regardless of whether they write a fucking good song, right? wtf does writing a good song have to do with being a good artist, is my point. Its not about the song, or the painting, or the fucking art--its about the person. exceptional shit is done by people with the aptitude to do so, is my point. not people who are average. or people who dont have it in them. so i look at this shit like "why the fuck am i defining great artists by the great art they created, as opposed to defining great art by the great PERSON that did it.
Look. There's a LOT of AVERAGE joes in this fucking world. we all can agree there. all of which can do some aight shit. but what happens when an exceptional cat steps up? exceptional shit.
i am now rethinking everything. this shit is some drunk shit, but not without merit so bear with me.
lets take an example. people consider some people "one hit wonders" right? and we look down on them right? but what if a one hit wonder is a regular person who was able to pull some exception shit out of himself? so the question then becomes, what the fuck are YOU? and why aren't you able to pull some exceptional shit out of yourself? at least to the point to where you don't feel like a fucking loser ass loser.
but i digress. my point is this: instead of defining great artists by the art they create, we should look at great art as a subset/expression of great person who do created it, feel me?
probably not...but fuck it.
good night. happy valentines day and all that other hallmark shit.