Sunday, December 9, 2012
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
Off my soapbox, and on to the next one...
What we have here is a J Rocc short video, detailing the interludes of some very hot James Yancey joints. For those not in the know, Mr. Yancey is the late, great J Dilla (Dilla Dawg, Jay Dee, etc.). One of my biggest inspirations in this culture when it comes to crafting heat rocks like the new version of Pete Rock, Dilla has been revered by those inside AND outside of the Hip Hop box. Box may be the wrong term, because listening to some of the aural concoctions from J Dilla will let you know that his music had few, if any, boundaries. This 1:53 visual brings you into the insular world that was Dilla, at least in terms of his prowess behind the artistry that is beatmaking. His interludes were doper than many full-blown beats. J Rocc does a good job when discussing Somewhere Over The Radio.
Peep the vid, courtesy of Bling47 and Okayplayer, and do some diggin' to find out what type of ear Dilla had by combing through the audio treats of Somewhere Over The Radio (the 1979 comedy release from humorists Stevens & Grdnic).
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
One of the most slept-on emcees in the Hip Hop world, Thomas Jones, better known as Rapper Big Pooh, is set deliver the next installment from his creative mind, Fat Boy Fresh Volume 2 (due November 20th). The new single for this project is "Friends", a concept we can all relate to in this day and age. Produced by Astronote, this song covers familiar territory, but coming from the unique perspective of Pooh. Inside and outside of this industry, friendship is a topic that is at times touchy, yet all too real. As the chorus states, "they don't love you, they know how to pretend/and these are the people who call themselves friends". Nice ode to Whodini with this expectedly dope joint from one of my all-time favorites. I champion the underdog, or in this case, the "fat boy freshest". Visit Rapper Big Pooh at the following: http://thefreshestfatboy.com/. You can also follow him on Twitter: @RapperBigPooh. Peace to Shamz at Okayplayer for bringing this joint to light for the underground masses.
Monday, October 8, 2012
The Underground Railroad (The Prequel).mp3 by dj awethentic
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
For sho'!! As long as there's breath in my lungs and I don't have arthritis in my hands it's possible. Gray Matter for life yo! I got 'dem beats...lol.
Discuss the dynamics of being in a group that has not realized its potential.
Well, at times it's a little disheartening; especially knowing the talent that lies within all of us. My life's dream has been to be a performer of sorts and I guess I'm kind of living that out to some degree now since I'm DJing in clubs. But, I wanted it for us man...we brought a different aspect or perspective to the game. I also know everything happens for a reason and we're channeling our energy in different ways now. I feel good about what I'm doing at this point in life. Looking back at the incredible grind we would've had to go through to be successful in the rap game vs. being there raising our families; I wouldn't trade it. Rap fans are so trendy and fickle man, I would've been pissed if we went unnoticed and unappreciated after putting in all that work.
How do you feel about today's Hip Hop climate?
Ehhh...it's alright. As I said before, there's not enough diversity in it right now. Or should I say the diversity doesn't show, because media doesn't expose us to the entirety of dopeness that's out there. Everybody's beats sound alike, everybody rhyming the same. What's up with the stuffy nose sound? Change your flows up.
Because we have SO MUCH MORE to discuss, we will follow-up with a continued, more in-depth interview with DJ Awethentic. Hopefully the next round of discussion will be audio/video in the same location. Until then, peace to all of the WISDOM SEEKER followers in the blogosphere!
Friday, September 14, 2012
A song by song review is forthcoming for Consumer Voice 360° Project, because this brief description will not do justice to the hard work put forth by the artists and entities involved. Mark Carey of Street Legal Entertainment fame deserves mention for recording, mixing, and mastering this audacious undertaking. Without his input and expertise, I doubt that we would have the finished product that is Consumer Voice 360° Project. All in all, listeners will not be disappointed in the least bit. What we have here in this mixtape is a project that realized the vision of Lewis Williams III to provide quality Hip Hop that B-more and beyond will be proud of in 2012 going forward. To connect more with Consumer Voice, utilize the social media outlets listed below.
Facebook: Consumer Voice Ent. Group
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
August 11, 1973 may not mean much to those not in the know, but for me, it is a pivotal point in the evolution and creation of a culture. A nondescript party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, concocted by Cindy Campbell, sister of Hip Hop legend Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell, paved the way for this thing we revere, take for granted, utilize, abuse: Hip Hop. “I didn’t want to go to Fordham Road to buy clothes because you’d go to school and see everybody with the same thing on,” Cindy Campbell said in an interview about that fateful initial party. “I wanted to go to Delancey Street and get something unusual.” In her eyes, that unusual was clothing, but in the bigger picture what we received was the birth of a culture, or at least the planting of the proverbial seeds.
This is how the original invite looked on a simple, yet quite effective index card. Even in infancy, Hip Hop made its mark with simplicity, and in a positive manner. Truth be told, Hip Hop would have most likely evolved if this party would have never existed, but this DJ Kool Herc party surely served as a catalyst for a cultural explosion that started as a very slow burn initially. With August 11th in the past, we can reflect on how a Back To School Jam opened the doors for those that followed, be it Grandmaster Flash, The Cold Crush Brothers, The Treacherous Three, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, NWA, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie, Tupac, Souls Of Mischief, Pharcyde, The Geto Boys, Outkast, Goodie MOB, The Roots, The Fugees, Ludacris, T.I., Foxy Brown, Li'l Kim, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, and a plethora of other colorful monikers. Let's give everlasting thanks to the foresight of those that participated and made this historic party occur at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in West Bronx!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Last night, while perusing Twitter as usual, I came across a shocking revelation or declaration from fellow journalist and respected writer dream hampton. If you don't know, dream hampton has been entrenched in hip hop culture for the better part of the past twenty years, from being an editor with The Source, writing for a multitude of publications such as Vibe and The Village Voice, and recently co-authoring the Jay-Z best-seller Decoded. What caught me off guard was her assertion that Nas used ghostwriters for his Untitled album (better known in hip hop circles as Nigger). Reading her tweet may take more abstract thinking than literal, but in essence she pointed out stic.man from dead prez and Jay Electronica as the two individuals responsible for the alleged ghostwriting duties. In all fairness, both highly respected artists (in their own rights) are credited on a few of the songs, such as "Queens Get The Money" (Jay Electronica) and "Sly Fox" (stic.man). Also, the context of the allegation needs to be noted, as dream hampton was discussing another hot hip hop topic in relation to her friend and cohort Jay-Z (about Jay discussing more substantive items in his material). Obviously, these points all lead up to Mr. Jones going on Power 106 in Cali with Big Boy. Part of the conversation with host Big Boy was if a prolific lyricist such as Nas has used ghostwriters in the past to craft his lyrics. Check out the response during the video, and you be the judge.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Thursday, July 5, 2012
No relief in sight unless you look to the future
Don't live in the past because it will entrap you
In a prison that can be escaped once mind is refocused
Reloaded ammunition into life gun and shoot for the stars
Spit bars of hope instead of spend time and money in bars
Barred from that existence is what the outcome should be
Let income accumulate to build the American Dream
And stop having nightmares filled with fright and terror
Welcome To The Terrordome blaring from speakers made for deaf ears
Maybe one day listening instead of babbling may end the battling
But ears are filled with wax made of parrafin
Paraphasing paragraphs prepared for perpetual motion
Mountains out of molehills made mental notes of commotion
Not sure why these words appear on these pages
Maybe it's a way to deal with anger and rage
Slave to master 'bout to make escape into dark
Might hurt heart but life needs resuscitating
Hip hop not dead, I am hip hop
I am soul, I am rock and roll
I am neo-soul, like Neo in The Matrix trilogy
Looking for The One except eyes have seen too many
Empty feeling with two so now is the time to go underground
With railroad, with hip hop, with pipelines
Not sniffing white lines or telling white lies
Truth in coded language only a select few will understand
Who won't undermine or underappreciate
Or make mistakes the basis of existence
Facing resistance, flee into the woods
Following streams of consciousness to new land, new time, new person...
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Written By: WISDOM
NOTE: This interview was conducted earlier in 2012 and was slated for print via On The Rise Magazine. I am now including this interview for my WISDOM SEEKER readers to view and enjoy. Special thanks goes to Doc Ice and Mocca Styles for allowing me access into the musical life of a hip hop legend.
Iconic. Legendary. Trendsetter. These are just a few words that aptly describe Doctor Ice, from UTFO fame. Now going by the shortened moniker Doc Ice, he is making his presence felt again in this constantly fickle hip hop landscape. He has never truly disappeared from the music scene, still recording and performing for the customary old school hip hop heads, all the while gaining newer fans. Most know him for his contributions with UTFO, some recognize him as a prior dancer with Whodini (whose group member Jalil is the older brother of Doc Ice). Doc Ice is blazing a new trail here in the 21st Century, reacquainting himself with the hip hop realm. Because he is such a busy individual with recording and performing, it took a good while before we were able to connect for this interview. I extend special thanks to Mocca Styles with 4 Diamonds Productions for granting access and providing excellent PR with Doc Ice.
WISDOM: It's a pleasure and honor having this opportunity to interview a hip hop icon. Thanks to your PR rep Mocca Styles, I've had the chance to listen to the new song "They'll Never Be" featuring Full Force. Tell the readers what you are currently working on music-wise.
DOC ICE: Thank you for this interview. I am blessed that somebody wants to interview me (Laughter). Much appreciated. Currently I'm working on a new album called The Doctor Will See You Now. I have two singles circulating, one titled “The Comeback” and the other “They'll Neva B” (Valentine’s Day). “The Comeback” video is done; getting some great feedback and continuing to climb in numbers.
WISDOM: Being a part of both UTFO and Whodini as an MC and dancer, is there a possibility of recording any new music or going on tour in the upcoming future?
DOC ICE: I'm actually on the Royalty Of Hip Hop tour with Whodini, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, Rakim, DJ Kool. As far as UTFO is concerned I don't see anything happening right now.
WISDOM: How do you see your position as an elder statesman in the hip hop realm?
DOC ICE: I see my position as grounded, and I hope that I can get the fans from our era to continue to buy our new CD's and download songs because they are just as knowledgeable as the kids nowadays, and that would really make me feel more rooted and grounded in the realm of hip hop.
WISDOM: I had the opportunity to see you come onstage with Whodini when they performed last year in Baltimore for an old school hip hop show. How does it feel to still get on stage to perform?
DOC ICE: It's one of the best feelings in the world to get on stage and party with the people. It's a blessing to still be rapping and dancing in 2012.
WISDOM: Name three hip hop artists that you are currently listening to.
DOC ICE: Jay-Z, Ludacris, Rick Ross, etc.
WISDOM: When "Roxanne, Roxanne" first exploded on the scene, did you expect so many response records?
DOC ICE: Not at all, it was a total surprise! We couldn't believe that we created the soap opera of hip hop with “Roxanne, Roxanne”.
WISDOM: Are there any artists you would love to record with at the moment?
DOC ICE: The real question is, are there any artists that would want to record with me (LOL). But if I had to choose I would say Busta Rhymes, maybe Chris Brown, maybe Nicki Minaj.
WISDOM: What pieces of advice would you give an aspiring artist looking to enter the music business?
DOC ICE: Do not let anybody tell you that you can't do it, stay focused, and never give up on your dream. Even if you have to work to make a living stay on the path.
WISDOM: Since WISDOM SEEKER is designed to illuminate those that are reaching new artistic heights, how does it feel to still be recognized within the hip hop world?
DOC ICE: Like Kanye said, "it's amazing, so amazing".
WISDOM: What is allowing Doc Ice to still be "on the rise"?
DOC ICE: Just knowing that there are people around the world still looking for something from me, and I don't wanna leave the fans that we gained empty and without a choice. Whether people like it or not hip hop is not for the youth; it's a music that keeps you young, but we all enjoy it, so what keeps me "on the rise" is the people.
WISDOM: Let the WISDOM SEEKER family know how to reach out to you with social media or websites.
DOC ICE: I can be reached @therealdocice on Twitter, at www.reverbnation.com/DOCICE, or Doc Ice on Facebook.
WISDOM: Thank you very much Doc Ice for being gracious enough to give WISDOM SEEKER access to your professional life. Again, it is an honor to speak with someone who has been an influential figure within hip hop.
DOC ICE: Thank you again for this privilege, keep on rising! Peace… Doc Ice.
Doc Ice is a hip hop pioneer, both as an MC with UTFO and breakdancer with Whodini, emerging on the hip hop scene in ’83-’84. As part of UTFO (which stood for Untouchable Force Organization), he unknowingly became part of hip hop lore with the classic “Roxanne, Roxanne”, a song which spun a long thread of response records during the 1980’s. Not one to rest on his laurels, you can still find Doc Ice pursuing his musical passion, still recording quality music and performing. Stay tuned for more from the artist known as Doc Ice!
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON---A DUAL INTERVIEW WITH GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER S1 AND RISING SON VOHN BEATZ
Written By: Wisdom
NOTE: This interview was originally conducted via e-mail February-March 2012 as part of On The Rise Magazine. Unfortunately it was never published, so I am bringing it to the masses via WISDOM SEEKER. Thank you to S1, Vohn Beatz, and Theresa Griffin for the professionalism and a dope interview opportunity.
Waco, Texas native Larry Griffin, Jr., also known as Symbolyc One (or S1), has been on my hip hop radar since I first discovered Strange Fruit Project around 2004, with the release of their album Soul Travelin’. I loved the positive lyricism and imagery that was presented by the three-man group, comprised of S1, Myth, and Myone. Their musical concoctions were similar in nature and stance to other left-of-center groups such as Little Brother, Tanya Morgan, Slum Village, and the like. Years later, S1 would garner acclaim as co-producer of Kanye West’s “Power”. He now can add “Grammy Award Winner” to the list of accolades, winning the coveted award for Best Rap Album Category with Mr. West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Along the way, his very talented son, known to the hip hop world as Vohn Beatz, is a budding producer/artist in his own right, following in his father’s blessed footsteps. After reaching out to the powers that be for S1 and Vohn Beatz, I was able to secure a dope interview (via e-mail) for both individuals. What you have here is a closer look into the musical and familial connection with S1 and Vohn Beatz.
Wisdom: It is a pleasure and honor to have this interview opportunity with a blessed producer/artist such as yourself. My first exposure to your music was with Strange Fruit Project. How did Strange Fruit Project come into being?
S1: SFP (Strange Fruit Project). My cousin Myth and I formed a group back in the day named Symbolyc Elementz (‘94 The Source Unsigned Hype). I met Myone at a job I was working at. I invited him to our session one day and after that he stayed at all our sessions we had. The music we were creating was great so we decided to form a group. We also had a female vocalist by the name of Lysoul in the group at the time.
Wisdom: Is the group name a reference to the song that Billie Holiday made famous, "Strange Fruit"?
S1: Yes. It represents the struggle and pain we go through and we feel our music represents the same thing.
Wisdom: Even though you have created some very high profile joints with Kanye West and Jay-Z, you've been able to maintain an almost enigmatic image. Is that by choice?
S1: I don't get caught up in all the Hollywood stuff. I love creating my music and hanging with my family…that keeps me humble.
Wisdom: Your son is Vohn Beatz, and he seems to be following in your production footsteps. When did you first notice his interest in music?
S1: Vohn showed signs of wanting to play piano and drums at a young age. He would always be in my sessions when he was 2 years old and up so he picked it up really fast.
Wisdom: How are you guiding your son through this musical path he is walking?
S1: Just by being a father/parent and teaching him was right from wrong and letting him know that God has to be the foundation.
Wisdom: I unfortunately didn't have the opportunity to see Erykah Badu perform recently with her electronic band The Cannabinoids here in Baltimore. Did you perform with the band, and how is that experience?
S1: Yes, I'm in the ‘Noids group. Yes, I performed and we had a great show! Erykah is a great performer and great person, along with all the other members in the group. We all love what we do and we show that on stage.
Wisdom: If you can, talk about some upcoming projects on deck for Symbolyc One.
S1: Working on a lot of Kanye things right now. I’m also working on Willow Smith, 50 Cent, Talib Kweli, and Rodney Jerkins and a lot of his artists like Ace Primo, Young Steff and Alex.
Wisdom: Who are some of your musical influences?
S1: I have so many, but I will say a few: Justus League, J Dilla, Hi-Tek, Timbaland, Darkchild, Kanye, DJ Khalil, No ID, Dr Dre and many more.
Wisdom: How do you balance your musical career with your strong faith foundation?
S1: Just by surrounding myself around great people like my family and closest friends. And staying in God's word. That all keeps me level headed and humble, but yet confident enough to excel me in my music.
Wisdom: What does being "on the rise" mean to Symbolyc One as a producer, emcee, and performer?
S1: It means me progressing and evolving as a producer, artist, and performer.
Wisdom: What would you like to say in closing to the readers?
S1: Love each and every one of you and thanks for the love. ---S1
Vohn Beatz Interview---
Wisdom: Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you. It is rare to be able to speak with a father and son that are both forging a path down the road with hip hop. How did you become interested in music and hip hop?
VB: I have always wanted to make music and hear artists sing/rap over my music. I used to just hang out in the studio with my dad all the time. And I still do because I am still learning.
Wisdom: How long have you been producing?
VB: I have been producing since I was 10 years old, which would be 4 years now.
Wisdom: Your presence is strong online with some of your videos on YouTube. Do you plan to utilize social media to expand what you're creating?
VB: I do use the social media when I can. I am in the 8th grade and with homework, sports, band, and family it can be hard to log in and do videos or chat on Twitter or Facebook.
Wisdom: How is your father helping to guide you with music?
VB: My dad allows me to learn from him. He is my mentor and teacher.
Wisdom: Who are some of your influences with music?
VB: My dad S1, J Dilla, Pete Rock, Darkchild, M-Phazes, Hi-Tek, Nottz, Needlez, Illmind, DJ Khalil, T-Minus, Tha Business, Justus League, and so many more.
Wisdom: Do you feel any pressure because your father has been a part of the industry?
VB: No, not at all. He has taught me how to make it fun. No pressure at all.
Wisdom: What do you have on the horizon musically for 2012?
VB: I have been building my catalog and continuing to learn and collaborate with my dad. I plan to join the drumline as I start high school. I did co-produce on a record for Talib Kweli that should come out this summer. And there are some other things that I cannot speak about.
Wisdom: What are some other things outside of music that you have a passion for?
VB: I love playing basketball with my school, hanging out with my big brother and friends, playing video games, and also just having family time.
Wisdom: What would you like to say to the readers?
VB: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview with you. I thank you for the support as I grow in this industry.
You can visit www.symbolycone.com for more insight into the artist and producer known as S1. You can also follow him on Twitter: @SymbolycOne. His son Vohn Beatz can also be found on Twitter: @VohnBeatz. Together, these two will be creating music, collectively and individually, that will touch the ears and souls of many. Special thanks goes to Team S.K.P. for the opportunity to discuss music with both entities.