Dre Day Pay Day

http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2014/05/09/apples-3-2b-beats-buy-would-make-dre-raps-richest-man/

Amazing to see raps first billionaire, Dr.Dre, a world famous producer and the man behind the beats by dre headphones which are widely popular. The price Apple paid for the company was a staggering 3.2 billion dollars. This purchase by Apple moves Dr.Dre among the top of the raps most “ballin” list for the next few years, something tells me Diddy is on his way to.

Top Rap Producers

http://www.complex.com/music/2013/09/best-rap-producers/

This article found on complex.com gives us a quick overview of the most relevant and “hottest” producers out now. Some are the same faces such as kanye and Pharell, but then you have the like of Mike Will Made It who was behind Miley Cyrus “Bangers” album and Dj Mustard. His first name ironically is “Dejeon” but thats besides the point, this post is about the up and coming and the best out right now.

“The Audio-Visual Ipod”

Sometimes we listen to music as a way to connect with others. Whether you’re at a concert trying to share a dance with someone or moshing with others, or you are on a road trip and everyone in the car is singing along to the song, music is very often a means for personal connection. But does music also have the ability to isolate one’s self and privatize their listening experience? The article by Michael Bull would suggest that it does. The author ties this closed experience to the experience of an urban dweller, one who does not need to look around at his/her environment while walking from point A to point B. I can definitely agree with this; when I walk on the NYC streets I want nothing more than to walk as fast as I can to where I’m going to and I want to outpace every slow walker in front of me. With so many distractions and people trying to stop me to separate me from my money, I also see the benefit of shutting myself out and tuning in just to my music. I think that when the article compares listening to music while watching the world to being in a movie and having a “soundtrack” it is a good point but slightly off base. It is a very existentialist thing to feel like you are a part of your own movie, and the music you have on for yourself can be your “soundtrack” but I personally like to believe that everything else that would happen that day to every other person has absolutely nothing to do with one’s own actions and the sounds they hear while observing the world. Some people believe that listening to music creates an environment of solipsism, where you are an outside observer. I disagree with that. You totally are there! You just are listening to music instead of taking in natural sounds or engaging in conversation. Furthermore, even in a case where let’s say someone sits across from me on a subway and observes me enjoying myself listening to whatever I am listening to. Let’s say that they even go as far as saying “gee, I wish I could listen to whatever that guy is listening to as I’m sure it would make my day better”. Well, it’s uplifting to think that we may then encounter a situation of “sharing” in the music socially, but it just is not the case. Even if I would lend that stranger an earbud (which I wouldn’t freaking do, ok), it seems highly unlikely to me that the person would enjoy some random improv-jam from a random midwestern phish show in the 90’s. Maybe they would, maybe not. But they certainly wouldn’t enjoy it in the way that I was enjoying it, as we are different people.

For all of the arguments that listening to music with headphones on can seem like an act of isolation, I do give credit to MP3 players for making music personal again. Many people prefer to collect their music and listen to it at their own discretion, and knowing that you are collecting this music to play for yourself makes it that much more motivating to create a good personal music collection.

Another interesting thing to note is how Apple has played such a large role in this. Those white earbuds are totally ubiquitous! So much so that other companies have taken advantage of pointing out the irony that Apple, who used to advertise about individuality and breaking away from the pack now is the reason that a vast majority of people listen to their music from the same kind of device on the same kind of headphones.

I want to illustrate how some in the media like to point fingers at Apple for this. Here is a great ad that kind of spoofs a legendary Apple commercial from the 1984 Super Bowl.

original ad:

Videogames

Hey everyone,

I wanted to show this trailer during my presentation but didn’t have enough time.

check it out. One of the most amazing game trailers I have seen. Great score as well.

In Defense of Disco

In Defense of Disco

Richard Dyer, in his article “In Defense of Disco,” seeks to silence all of the critics of Disco music. He addresses all of the popular criticisms of Disco, and point-by-point explains how they are invalid. But while he successfully debunks certain myths about disco, I believe he is missing the point as to why this particular style of music culminated in ridicule. He first addresses the critique of Disco being too capitalistic. Dyers’ counterpoint can be diluted into the simple retort that all music is inherently capitalistic; any popular music is popular because there is value in the product that has been exploited. While Dyer addresses that Disco is more of a finely produced product, he fails to understand exactly why that matters. Music means many different things to many different people, but Dyer fails to acknowledge that there is an ideal at the heart of music for many. This ideal consists of the sheer artistic beauty of real people producing mellifluous sounds with actual instruments. This is conceived, as music in is purist form. I do not say this as an objective fact, but a subjective ideal held in the public conscience of generations. Music can be enhanced by technology, but the more technology is infused, the further away the music tends to be perceived as pure. The underlying theme of the article is that Disco died because it was viewed as an inauthentic capitalist product. Dyer directs his counterpoints to this assumption. He goes into great detail as to why Capitalism is no more a virus to Disco than any other form of popular music, such as rock and roll. Dyer even argues that the main tenants of Disco are inherently antithetical to socialist ideology. He explains that Disco has three main characteristics; eroticism, romanticism and materialism. These three intertwine well with gay culture, and “prove stumbling In Dyer’s defense of Disco however, I believe he misses the point as to why it died. He addresses Disco’s relation to Capitalism as though society made a collective intellectual decision that a specific form of music was inauthentic, and thus must be discarded. The reality as to why Disco died I believe is far more simplistic. Disco was a fad, and like all fads in pop culture, there is a backlash and an eventual dilution. Disco didn’t die per se; its musical influence can be heard in many popular songs being produced today. It was the culture that died off. Disco’s close ties to capitalism only served as an excuse for the publics’ insatiable desire for something new. Did grunge music die off because of any particular reason, or how about glam rock? While Dyer eruditely dispels the publics’ criticism of Disco, It seems to me an exercise is futility, because academia essentially has no place in the comings and goings of popular fads.

Silent Hill – Monstrous Noise

The soundtrack to a horror film can make-or-brake the film. Ominous, frantic, and unsettling music is a powerful  tool for instilling frightening feelings in the viewer. Horror films tend to get very creative with how they use sound design to play games with the audience’s minds. Often before something frightening happens in a horror movie the score becomes extra frantic, or it will become incredibly quite, which causes viewers to be on edge, expecting an upcoming sudden loud noise to break the silence. However, horror films will often use dead silence or intense frightening music at times when nothing even happens in order to fake out the audience and keep them guessing about when something frightening might happen. In addition, horror films will often feature all kinds of strange sounds that are meant to keep the viewer confused about what is happening in the surrounding within the film.

Will Cheng makes a good point about how when a person is watching a horror movie, he or she can simply try and tune out what they are seeing and hearing right before they think something is going to happen, the viewer has no way of effecting the outcome of the film so tuning out during the most frightening parts is no problem. However, in a video game the player needs to be alert and pay extra close attention to the sounds in the game in order to be to ready to respond to an oncoming attack. This is what makes the eerie soundtrack of Silent Hill, which borrows a lot from the conventions of horror movie soundtracks, even more effective than when it is used in horror films.

After reading Cheng’s description of the game, I kind of have desire to find a copy of Silent Hill, dust off my old Playstation 2 and try it out for myself.

 

 

1990’s not so underground Rap/ Hip-Hop

Thesis Statement:

Rap and Hip-Hop not so underground:

My project focus is on Hip Hop in the early 90’s. Just after much of the subculture was underground within the 90’s it really started to become a more main stream excepted culture for teens and young adults. This subculture has remained alive for over thirty years now. The fact that this type of subculture has remained so popular means that it is constantly recycling itself and changing to adapt to each new generation that comes. To keep the popularity of this subculture there are a few things an observer of this culture must understand. The way in which it remains a hot way of life, the way it still appeals to new generations, how it changes with the times but yet remains the same all at once.

Outline: 

History of Hip hop: 

  • This music trend started in the late 1970’s
  • The subculture began in 1977 in bronx, New York.
  • Described as an urban lifestyle that would go on to change many different industries. A few examples:
    1. The music industry
    2. Clothing industry
    3. Teen culture in general
  • The journey to main stream media wasn’t so welcoming to begin with for this subculture. Pop culture was the over bearing radio choice at the time.
  • The subculture took off in the 1980’s
  • Where music videos began on MTV and gave the subculture life.
  • To be able to put images to the sound gave young teens a fast track into the type of clothing and image they would need to be apart of said culture.
  • Although this subculture exploded in the 1990’s.

My main focus: 

  • With the media now by Rap and Hip-hops side the subculture took on a new life.
  • The media industry understood that instead of fighting this subculture they could commercialize it and package it in a way that not only kept it appealing to new audiences but that they could make a large amount of money off of this.
  • TRL on top of MTV gave this subculture and these music artists a voice.
  • With companies that reflect this subculture being smashed into the young teens faces when these people who make television appearances.
  • An example of how this subculture adapts it the fashion forward movement:
  1. That image of a hip-hop rapper in baggy pants and a crooked walk wasn’t always the fashion iconic look for this subculture.
  2. Each generation has a significant fashion impression on hip-hop culture.
  3. It used to be matching baggy track suites with a boom box on the shoulder.
  4. And today it is a mix of different kinds of fashion styles with labels being the main focus of an outfit.

Rap vs. Hip-hop?

  • In the 1990’s rap and hip-hop became one unit.
  • A rap artist was often refereed to as a rapper who is also a hip-hop artist.
  • This music industry change wasn’t that far fetched. The reason being one may be a rapper but that beat in the background is a hip-hop beat.
  • In the 90’s music stores stopped having a separate section for rap and hi- hip you will now find that it its categorized as rap/hip-hop.
  • This genre of music is one of the largest and these two are put in the same category.
  • That significant hip-hop beat you hear is thanks to the electronic sound of 1980’s music.
  • It was the soundboard for artists that they used to rap off too.
  • On top of just the hip- hop sound what kept the rap industry going was the evolving slang words used by rappers to appeal to younger and younger audiences.
  • I use the word audience because that is what this subculture is an audience.

1990’s package image:

Gansta Rap 

    • This can probably be pin pointed straight at the rapper Ice-T.
    • This development of a subculture of a subculture.
    • This gave life to the baggy pants, hard core rapper look and lyrics.

The mainstream

    • Thanks to public enemy’s decision to go main stream for fear that their  subculture would die gave birth to a new era of rap/ hip-hop.
    • Introducing gansta rappers such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan just to name a few.
    • By re-packaging this lifestyle it selling it again to young teens kept it alive.
    • Rap/ Hip-hop remained in high demand thanks to the idea to go mainstream and change the subcultures image.

West coast vs. east coast 

    • The next move for the industry to spread across the country and get the audience more involved was making them choose sides.
    • This rivalry as real as it may have been for the Gangsta rappers themselves gave entertainment to young teens.
    • Both being areas of inner suburbia and the home to notorious gangs kept making headlining news for famous shoot outs or drive-bys.

Mention of the later 1990’s:

  • The west coast quickly lost in the battle between the coasts.
  • It became east coasts to repackage and make their own. It’s home New York City.
  • Introducing newer artists like nelly, lil jon, ying- yang twins with dr. dre and Jay Z still the top iconic figures of rap/ hip-hop.

Annotated Bibliography: 

History of rap/ hip-hop:

http://www.hiphop-network.com/articles/general/kurtisblowversionofhiphop.asp

http://webserver1.oneonta.edu/faculty/bealt/alexander.htm

Mainstream:

http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/pamphlet/2013/11/20131115286905.html?CP.rss=true#axzz2ybL7E0kZ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYedRm5kv7I

http://iggie-classicdvds.blogspot.com/

Gangsta Rap:

http://www.allmusic.com/subgenre/gangsta-rap-ma0000002611

West vs. East:

http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_murders/celebrity/shakur_BIG/2a.html

https://sites.google.com/site/theevolutionofhiphop/east-coast-vs-west-coast\

Bibliography

  • I want to show this time period and the oppression and how the youth felt obligated to rock-and-roll.
  • Also discuss how in America: the civil rights movement was going on and how the Beatles were in full support of the struggle for racial equality
  • How they brought a symbol for individualism and freedom
  • Their embrace and influence over the youthful counterculture
  • How the Beatles discussed current events and were somehow orchestrating them through their records
  • Their shift from love and peace to politics and struggle

 

“”Beatlemania”” Newsweek (1963). Print.

Beatles, Anthology. Beatles Anthology. [S.l.]: Apple, 2003. Print.

Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology. New York: Oxford UP, 1999. Print.

Garofalo, Reebee. Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the USA. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.

MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head: the Beatles’ Records and the Sixties. Chicago, Ill: Chicago Review, 2007. Print.

Stark, Steven D. Meet the Beatles: a Cultural History of the Band That Shook Youth, Gender, and the World. New York: HarperEntertainment, 2005. Print.

Wald, Elijah. How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll: an Alternative History of American Popular Music. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.

Is Looping Its Own Genre?

As the years have past I have seen a musicians implement looping into their music. With looping you can even use it to create a whole band if you want. I realized in the past few years what the possibility of looping holds. It allows you to cover a song in a way that otherwise cannot be heard even if you had a whole band because the entire song just comes from one person harmonizing with him/herself in different ways. A loop can be created using a wide range of music technologies including digital samplers, synthesizers, sequencers, drum machines, tape machines, delay units, or they can be programmed using computer music software (Wikipedia).

I just saw an insanely awesome cover of a Nirvana song and I assume we all know that to cover a Nirvana song you have to be amazing to live up to the king of grunge known as Kurt Cobain. He was a man that stood against everything corporate and capital and wanted to only make music for making music. As we saw in class a couple weeks ago Kurt Cobain didn’t like to sell out in any shape or form and having to pretend to play they’re instruments for a show isn’t something that this man would ever do. As we saw he and his fellow band members shit all over that concert as a big “Fuck You” to the people that made them fake playing their instruments.

Kawehi – Robot Heart: Heart-Shaped Box (Cover)

Her name is Kawehi and she did (in my opinion) an absolutely amazing cover of Nirvana’s Heart-Shaped Box. She captured the mood of the original song with the musicianship and skills to create a great background composition. She completely revitalizes this song and makes it her own in so many different ways. I believe if Kurt Cobain were alive he would hate how obsessive our world has become with the internet but I believe he would also love the possibility of finding true musicians such as Kawehi. Looping creates an endless amount of possibilities for musicians to work with and create new songs or cover new songs in unique ways.

A couple of other cool looping artists:

ThePeteBox – Where is My Mind (Cover)

Brysen Andres – Violin Loopin

Proposal and Bibliography

  • Speak about the history of Producing, the pioneers and the way they changed the genre forever.
  • Why producing is very much so a sub culture of rap.
  • The instruments producers use and how they have changed through out time, and how old instruments can still be used today to make the perfect sounds.
  • Why is the producer not celebrated as much as the artist, why does the producer not get the same recognition.
  • How some producers are both rapping and creating the sound that they’re rapping on
  • How many skills and what type of skills the producer must have, both physically and mentally.
  • The impact some producers have had on todays youth, the schools that are in place to teach producing.
  • Why a growing number of people are wanting to become producers instead of the artist today.