My Fantasy Band Called “Gold Fusion”

My Fantasy Band If I could create a band with musicians from different generations it would probably be something like this. With hits like “Green onions”, “Over Easy” and “Chinese Checkers” the Stax Records House Band would be my rhythm section. The band consists of Al Jackson junior on the drums, Donald “Duck” Dunn on the bass, Steve Copper on the guitar, and Booker T. Jones on the keys. Miles Davis would be on the trumpet, Mariah Carey would be the supporting main performer and the great Stevie Wonder would be my main performer while playing the harmonica.

The style of music they would create would be a soul music with a hint of rhythm and blues. To start off my fantasy band would cover songs like “Burnt Biscuits” and “Over Easy” by the Stax Records House Band by adding some vocals by Stevie and a fusion jazz solo trumpet by Miles. Mariah Carey would use that seven-octave voice on “Over Easy” that would make the listener jaw drop. After covering some songs from the Stax House Records Band by adding to them then we would go on to creating original songs with lyrics written by me, Stevie and Mariah.

My unique talents as a producer would make this piece of art worthy of all their talents because I would make sure everybody has a say so in what we create but still be able to lay the law down on what is good and what is great. I would also contribute in lyrics that are relevant to both of my performers. The name of the band would Gold Fusion because all the musicians in this band have went gold before in their careers and now they are performing together so that’s where the fusion comes from. How I would market this band would be videos on all major social sites and a small tour. I would not put them on a major label unless we could own our masters and sign to nice size advancement. So what do think? Does this fantasy band sound like something you would want to see?

Best Regards,

Carl Baldwin aka Drac

Independent Research: Nas is so Illmatic

 

Hip Hop was forever changed after the released of Illmatic in 1994. The impact it had on music was huge. Before the release of Nas’s first LP a album had beats that were arranged by one or two producers but Illmatic had beats that were provided heavyweight producers of the 90’s like Dj Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip, L.E.S and Pete Rock. Illmatic also set the bar for album artwork, which featured a picture of Nas as a kid and a backdrop picture of Queens Bridge Projects; the place he grew up at. Rapper Lil Wayne followed this idea with his album in 2008 entitled The Carter 3.

 

Two characteristics that made Illmatic stand out are the content and lyrics. “One Love” was a song written to a friend who was locked up in prison and Nas wanted him to know what was still going on in their neighborhood, “The World Is Yours” was a song written for people to follow their dreams and to live everyday like its their last and “ New York State Of Mind” was a song written about what happens in a day in Nas environment. The lyrics in Illmatic will make you rewind and rewind to catch the complex rhyme patterns and word play Nas wrote.

 

In the song “ It Aint Hard To Tell” Nas raps “The buddha monk’s in your trunk, turn the bass up,
Not stories by Aesop, place your loot up, parties I shoot up,
Nas, I analyze, drop a jewel, inhale from the L
,School a fool well, you feel it like Braille, it ain’t hard to tell
,I kick a skill like Shaquille holds a pill
,Vocabulary spills I’m Ill plus Matic,
I freak beats, slam it like Iron Sheik
,Jam like a Tec with correct techniques,
So analyze me, surprise me, but can’t magnetize me,
Scannin’ while you’re plannin’ ways to sabotage me
,I leave ’em froze like her-on in your nose,
Nas’ll rock well, it ain’t hard to tell.

 

The impression Illmatic leaves on me as listener is wow this is in my top ten greatest Hip Hop album of all time. As an industry professional Illmatic is the blueprint of Blues Rap and the making a classic album. Illmatic created its own lane and set the foundation for other Hip Hop artists throughout the country.

 

This album will help me reach my five year goal by being the template of how I should approach my dreams of working at a high end recording studio and that is being yourself, staying in my own lane of creativity and knowing that the world is mines I just have to be dedicated and work hard.

 

Sincerely,

Carl Baldwin aka Drac

 

 

References:

 

Zide, F. (2010, June 18). Nas’ illmatic documentary. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhC3pdi_oeU

 

Marriott, R. (2013, April 19). 10-ways-nas-illmatic-changed-hip-hop. Retrieved from http://www.complex.com/music/2013/04/10-ways-nas-illmatic-changed-hip-hop/

 

Ahmed, I. (2013, April 19). How nas’ “illmatic” ruined hip-hop. Retrieved from http://www.complex.com/music/2013/04/how-nas-illmatic-ruined-hip-hop

 

Jones, N. (n.d.). Nas – it ain’t hard to tell lyrics. Retrieved from http://rapgenius.com/Nas-it-aint-hard-to-tell-lyrics

 

Michael Jackson: Bad Blog

An album that speaks on certain issue’s that are still going on today, can keep your ears anticipating what will be the next song, that crosses over into different genres, production is sample by different artist’s, song titles and lyrics are stupendous and album artwork is memorable is what I consider to be a classic; and Michael Jackson’s Bad album embodies all of those characteristics. With songs like Man In The Mirror, Just Good Friends featuring Stevie Wonder, Leave Me Alone, Liberian Girl and the self entitled single Bad; Michael showed his growth and versatility. And 25 years later, Bad is still a prolific album of our time.

 

“ I’m going to make change, for once in my life, its going to feel real good, going to make a difference, going to make it right.” These are the opening lyrics to Mr. Jackson song Man In The Mirror. With fame and fortune there comes a responsibility to speak on issues that not only your peers can relate to but the world and Mr. Jackson shows exactly that with this track. “ In order for us to change the world, we must first change ourselves.”

 

“There’s a time when you’re right, and you know you must fight; and there’s that choice that we make, and this choice you will take, who laughing baby.” When I hear Leave Me Alone I smile and laugh because thats how musicians really feel when they are in a creative stage.  I also hear a song that could have been remixed by the late great James Brown who Michael grew up idolizing in that home in Gary, Indiana.

 

No one can ever duplicate ‘The Godfather of Soul’ but Mr. Jackson does come close to doing so. Listen to songs by James Brown “Gonna Have A Funky Good Time” and “It’s a Man’s World”. Mr. Jon Pareles of the New York Times is quoted saying that “It is well made, catchy dance record by an enigmatic pop star.”(parales.1987. New York Times. Para.11)

 

My favorite song on Bad is “Liberian Girl”. The song starts off with a female speaking in an what sounds like spanish then the beat comes in and it has a smooth mediation feel to it and its very catchy. One of my favorite rappers Tupac Shakur, sampled “Liberian Girl” and used it for a song called “Letter 2 My Unborn child” off his posthumous double disc album “Until The End Of Time”.

 

Mr. Jacksons sings “ Liberian girl…. you know that came and you changed my world, just like in the movies, with two lovers in a scene and she says “ do you love me” and he says so endlessly…. I love you, Liberian girl.” We all love someone unconditionally like this Liberian girl and thats what makes this song relevant, touching and also my favorite on this album.

 

The generation that grew up on I Got The Feeling singing baby, baby, ba-by would enjoy Bad. It has powerful lyrics and according to Jon Pareles of the New York Times “ 8 of the 10 songs on the “bad” LP, of the cassette, and 9 of 11 on the cd were written by Mr. Jackson.” (Pareles. 1987 New York Times. Para.6)

With the vision of the great Quincy Jones behind the production, Bad is very well put together from the start to the ending. You cannot listen to this album and not like at least five songs. Out of the eleven songs I like ten.

Though Bad was not able to sell the 38.5 million records Thriller did, according to Jon Pareles of New York Times; it showed a different Michael Jackson, the more rugged, rough, raw, edgier, intellectual Michael Jackson. He may not be the Godfather of Soul but he is the King of Pop.

 

References:

Parales, J. 8/31/1987. “POP: Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad,’ Follow-Up To A Blockbuster.” http://www.nytimes.com/1987/08/31/arts/pop-michael-jackson-s-bad-follow-up-to-a-blockbuster.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Innovation: Akai MPC

Music Innovation: The Akai MPC

 

The impact that the Akai MPC has had on electronic music is enormous. The very first midi production center console was the MPC 60. Created by Roger Linn in 1988; it has been said that Linn who was a guitar player invented the MPC because he could not play the drums. Producers such as Kayne West, Todd Terry, Apollo 440 and Freddy Fresh made some great beats using the MPC 2000; released in 1999. The MPC is used in Hip Hop, Trip Hop, R&B, EDM, IDM, Techno and many more other genres.

 

There are many characteristics of the MPC that make it stand out but the most important would have to be the sampling and sequencing technique. According to OnlyTheRealest.com the MPC 60 has 26 seconds of 12 bit non-linear sampling at 40 kHz sampling rate and 16 simultaneous voices. The MPC 2000XL resampled and down converted samples to 22kHz and 8- bit and simultaneous playback of a second sequence. The MPC 4000 has a 64-voice 24-bit stereo digital sampler and 128-track midi sequencer and it was released in 2002.

 

As a listener the MPC is the best. It is the creator of the funky, sampled, in your face beats that I really like to listen to. As an industry professional the MPC makes me not want to be the beat maker who sits in front of a computer putting in eighth notes one by one; it makes me want to be active in producing beats by hitting those pads and researching songs to sample and sequence. The MPC would be a very good investment to any industry professional studio and I need one.

 

DJ Shadow is stating saying “I’d fantasized about the MPC for so long that when I got it, I took it home and I was shaking and sweating.

I stayed up all night reading the manual front to back. I had to use it immediately because I was bursting with all these ideas.”

 

Best Regards,

 

Carl Baldwin aka Drac

 

 

 

 

 

References:

History of the akai mpc. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://onlytherealest.com/history-of-the-akai-mpc/

 

oliver, M. (2012, Dec). my-precious-the-history-of-the-akai-mpc. Retrieved from http://www.clashmusic.com/features/my-precious-the-history-of-the-akai-mpc

 

SoundLabs, F. (2009, Dec 24). Two hand band (the history of the mpc). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJAy2JXTgvo