Hip Hop, 2010 and ScienZe
Hip Hop Hip hop can represent the positives and negatives of our culture. It's certain that men expressing emotions doesn't sell records unless they are singing about cheating or being cheated on. Also, genuinely talking about vulnerability, loss and mourning is not something that the mainstream let the general public see. In my opinion, music (and art in general) is about expression. If there is no substance or if an artist doesn't invest themselves in their work, I won't listen and I definitely won't write about it. Life is too short to fill it with garbage. It's my opinion and I know a lot of people think music is simply entertainment. To each their own, but I live my life seeking substance and culture. When I sit down to paint, draw, design or create spaces, I don't think about what is popular or what people will want to see. I don't immediately go to magazines and look in other places for inspiration either. I sit down and think, brainstorm, explore, experiment, repeat and refine. It's a process and I love to do it. Automatic expression may have worked for Warhol back in the 80's, but automation is commonplace in 2010. Everything is automated and people need real human interaction, expression and creativity......aka substance. I started to first think about this when I was listening to the interludes on Save Bewler: The Memoirs of Muhammad Mc'Fly by Rugz D Bewler where he really shares personal ideas that have made an impact on him. It dawned on me that I just heard another album, Her Favorite Subject that made me think the same thing, so I decided to write about it.
2010 2010 was an amazing year and it is was impossible to write about all of the great music put out for us all to hear. Everyone realized that they have an opportunity to put music out in 2010. With the advancement of Wordpress, Blogger by Google and Tumblr, people also realized that anyone can have a blog too. The combination created a wasteland of copycats in the blogosphere and in the music world. Every rapper is the chosen one here to "save the game", "start a movement" and has to prove they have the most "swagger". The voice of genuine artists are being muted like "a mumble in the jungle of shouts and screams" (Outkast).
With the current excess of artistically underachieving music, there is still a void in the music industry because the majority of listeners aren't curious enough to seek out high quality music on their own, unless it is spoon fed by the mainstream market or the copycats that want to be the next mainstream media outlet. Instead, the outdated format of radio and music television feeds the entertainment consumer with a supersized plastic Happy Meals like those depicted in Superfast Jellyfish. The mainstream blog follows the suit of mainstream radio and music television. They are thermometers that can only tell you what is "hot" and simultaneously disregard the blood, sweat and tears that only a barometer can detect.
One of the ideas behind www.boywithstick.com is to allow creative people to pursue their interests and establish a platform for quality music, fashion, art and writing. I share my taste in music with anyone that is willing to listen because I lean toward a style of hip hop that doesn't look to only sell tickets or cd's. These artists need to be heard to balance the perception of hop hop and show its diversity. Obviously, people have to make a living and most people want to live comfortably. But, if an artist goes in a direction that doesn't align with the herd, I am always open to listen as long as the quality is there. There are a lot of talented artists that deserve the airtime. No despair. There are always snakes out there that try to bite the ankles of those few that veer off and do their own thing and try to go along for the ride. Boywithstick.com is a counterweight to the current state of the mainstream media in general.
ScienZe, Her Favorite Subject, 2010. Scienze earned instant respect when I heard that he dropped a tribute album to Jay Dilla called Ode 2 Dilla. I had to do a little bit more digging to find this album called Her Favorite Subject, but I'm glad I found it. My memory was first jogged when I saw this post about ScienZe's upcoming album, Hall Pass. Her Favorite Subject is a cool, laid back and somewhat moody collection of tracks that tell stories of relationships through the eyes of ScienZe. Life music. Lyrical topics range from the process of falling in love, the wrenching pain of being cheated on, being in a healthy relationship, running into a past love and of course the topic that is part of every adult relationship, sex. Thorough.
ScienZe is from Crown Heights/Brooklyn and I am infinitely surprised by the amount of talent in BK, the borough where I live. ScienZe has a homegrown presence and he doesn't continually beat his ego over your head on Her Favorite Subject, like some artists do. Battle rapping is a style that I definitely appreciate and it is evident by my last post about Heltah Skeltah. But not every mc is a battle rapper. ScienZe is a writer and you can hear the pages turning in the background. To me, this means there is a process, a style and thoughtfulness that goes hand in hand with writing, but I equally appreciate both style of mc's. Features Track Crescent Moon featuring Niaschene is an ephemeral track that is reminiscent of old school Slum Village. The production has simple jazz drums, background guitar riffs and echo effects that soften the vocals to complete the whole experience. Niaschene's beautiful voice softly brushes the beat with soul.
[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/boywithstick/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ScienZe-Her-Favorite-Subject-09-Crescent-Moon-feat.-Niachene.mp3|titles=ScienZe - Her Favorite Subject - 09 Crescent Moon feat. Niachene] Discography
Ode to Dilla
Her Favorite Subject
Hall Pass (12/20/2010)
Make sure to check out Hall Pass, dropping December 20th!