LOS ANGELES, CA — Snoop Dogg was the recipient of a BMI Icon award and several tributes from colleagues Too $hort, Dr. Dre, Nas, Bootsy Collins and others last night at BMI’s Urban Awards from Hollywood’s Pantages Theater.
BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) holds annual events to recognize the top songwriters, publishers and producers in music. Snoop Dogg’s award recognized his 20 years in music.
Snoop’s all-star tributes featured covers from Wiz Khalifa (“Nuthin But a G Thang”), The Lady of Rage (“Deep Cover”), Too $hort (Gin & Juice”), Charlie Wilson (“Beautiful”), Game (“Murder Was the Case”), Akon (“Sexual Seduction”), Nas and Kurupt (“Next Episode”), and a rendition of “Ain’t No Fun” with Warren G, Kurupt and Daz Dillinger. Dr. Dre delivered a speech before Snoop joined the stage with Bootsy Collins and Charlie Wilson to perform “What’s My Name?”
Other award recipients for the next included Lex Luger (Producer of the Year), B.o.B. for “Nothin’ on You” (Urban Song of the Year) and Drake (Songwriter of the Year).
DR. DRE SPEECH, “WHAT’S MY NAME” (CHARLIE WILSON, DAZ, GAME, RAGE, BOOTSY COLLINS)
“No electro, no metro, a little retro…ah, perfecto!”
When Hip-Hop fans complain about how they miss the 90s, what do you think they really mean? Is it the baggy jeans or box braids they’re bemoaning the depature of? No, it’s the loss of the sound that defined the decade, specifically the early and mid 90′s work of producers like DJ Premier, Q-Tip, and Pete Rock. After playing around with autotune and the neo-electro stylings of today’s music, Kanye West seems to have begun to miss that sound too ( see his RZA/No I.D. track “Dark Fantasy” ). So this G.O.O.D. Friday/Saturday track isn’t your standard offering, but a DeLorean trip down memory lane featuring Pete Rock on the boards, and Jay-Z reminiscing on the “good old days.”
For the beat, Pete goes to Curtis Mayfield’s classic debut, Curtis, for “The Makings of You.” He uses Mayfield’s vocals for the intro, and loops the funk guitar led melody for the foundation. For bells and whistles, Pete includes the famous opening grunt adlibs from Syl Johnson’s “Different Strokes.” Finally, Charlie Wilson and Kid Cudi add subtle but recognizable background crooning to flesh out the song’s musicianship, delivering a lush palette of sounds for the emcees to rock over.
Kanye and Jay are drawn into nostalgic musings from different angles. West begins strong, rhyming on being inspired to deliver excellence by those who missed getting to his position (failed street rappers, emcees turned A&Rs, etc). Like many of Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Friday lyrics, there’s several lines of debauchery like ejaculating on a groupie’s face. But Mayfield’s lyrics on children also cause Kanye to think about the effects of unplanned pregnancies, and being haunted by “the ghosts of kids that I never had.”
“I never understood Planned Parenthood, ’cause I never met anyone that planned to be a parent in the hood,” Kanye rhymes. “Taking refills of that Plan B pill/ Another shorty that won’t make it to the family will.”
In his second verse, ‘Ye briefly goes back to his tawdry ways when discussing how he and a friend obtained two black women with the names of “white bitches.” Overall, Kanye uses the verse to indicate that not only is he hot again from a publicity standpoint, but that there’s music to back it up (“So next time you see me in your Fallopian/ Know the jewelry’s Egyptian/ Know the hunger’s Ethiopian”). As with most of us, and definitely Kanye West, the biggest potential obstacle is the face in the mirror.
”In the mirror where I see my only enemy/ Your life’s cursed?/ Oh, mine’s an obscenity.”
The music has a special meaning for Jay-Z, considering it’s his “Mama’s shit.” He sets the era by noting his household was littered by Afros, marijuana sticks, Bally shoes, and Ballantine Ale. Jay only briefly mentions his drug-dealing past. Instead, the verse is really an homage to his mother Gloria. He praises her strength in the face of the criticism she endured from the religious (“Virgin Marys tried to judge her/ I’m like where the Madonnas now?”). The end result was a child that became a “warrior,” and Jay promises that no one will ever take away their joy.
Early reports suggest this song may be a part of the Kanye West/Jay-Z album Watch the Throne. Both artists have been very instrumental in setting trends in Hip-Hop. Kanye, for example, played a hand in the neo-electro phase mainstream Hip-Hop is now enamored with. Don’t be surprised if within the year the next “retro” phrase results in a return to music like this.
KANYE WEST X JAY-Z X PETE ROCK X CHARLIE WILSON X KID CUDI ” THE JOY”
Due to hackers releasing unfinished tracks off his new album, Kanye West has announced the cancellation of this week’s G.O.O.D. Friday song.
This afternoon, blogs began posting unfinished leaks of ”Lost in the World,” “All of the Lights,” and “Touch It.” Early reports state that an unidentified hacker obtained the tracks and then bids from blog sites who wished to have the tracks first.
West took to Twitter to express his immense disappointment with the hacking. For over a month, Kanye has been releasing free music every week featuring high-profile guests like Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Mos Def, Nicki Minaj, Charlie Wilson, John Legend, and Pusha T. Earlier today, Lloyd Banks gave fans a heads up that he would be on this week’s G.O.O.D. Friday, which may also feature Nas. That song’s release is now in doubt.
“Due to blogs leaking unfinished songs from my actual album I’ve decided to pass on G.O.O.D. Fridays this week,” Kanye stated. “It’s messed up that one hacker can mess everything up for everyone. I love to take a year to finish my songs and deliver them to you guys in there most completed form.”
West further detailed the work he has put in daily to make sure fans received high quality every week for G.O.O.D. Friday. The G.O.O.D. Music founder also has been juggling time for his Watch the Throne EP with Jay-Z, an upcoming special performance for Saturday Night Live, and completing a 40-minute film for the song ”Runaway.”
“It would have seemed like since I give free music every week, even the lowest form of human being would respect that enough not to leak unfinished songs from my real album,” he continued. “I’m in the studio or editing suite every night to 3AM finishing the film and the album or practicing for my SNL performance. We’ve got four engineers mixing the album to finish it as soon as possible.”
At press time, Kanye West has not canceled next week’s (October 8) G.O.O.D. Friday edition.
I think in 2010 most artists have come to the realization that they’re albums will leak at minimum a week before the actual release date. But I don’t think any of them can ever be content with the idea of their art being disseminated all over the net while they’re still in the creative process.
Unfortunately, it’s going to be some time (if ever) before journalism ethics becomes normal Hip-Hop blogger protocol. These days the concern for many is simply being the first to report news or a new song instead of being the one who gets the story right. Because of that disturbing reality, we gets cases like this with everyone falling over themselves to post an unfinished song hoping for a few extra site hits.
Kanye has a great thing going with G.O.O.D. Friday. It’s a perfect example of how an artist should mobilize his fanbase. So I sincerely hope he doesn’t let this latest nonsense deter too much from his vision.
Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music series ran into a snag yesterday. Due to a delay in Swizz Beatz finishing his verse, this week’s G.O.O.D. Friday quickly morphed into G.O.O.D. Saturday with the release with “Lord Lord Lord.”
For this offering, Kanye takes his sample from Brian Bennett’s highly melodic and lush space funk track “Soltice.” The original is so layered that West, who’s lately been adding a lot of transitions to his music as of alte, opted to wisely leave this one alone as a simple loop.
Despite the religious implications, Mos Def’s opening verse is the only one that gives strong thought to anything past the secular. The Brooklynite implies that there is an existence beyond what is seen if people are willing to look deeper. As a Muslim, Mos claims there is a visible divine order to everything.
“The end is not the end/No stop but a pause/What we can witness isn’t all there is at all,” Mos rhymes. “Cuss the mark of the scotch and pork chops/The passion, expansion/The order of the random/See the dreamers, see the sleepers…seek heaven first.”
Kanye’s verse is standard ‘Ye, meaning a loose scenario (this time a woman he’s courting) mixed with a few punchlines. It’s a verse that emphasizes style over depth, but at times West’s garish bars and tone clash with the luminous rhythms of the sample and Charlie Wilson’s crooning of the title.
“Them other niggas will have you looking like a squirrel/Now that’s nuts/I only hang with white boys that like black sluts,” West spit. “I’m trying to worry about my scratch minus the crabs/I ain’t stopping for you niggas like yellow cabs/I got scripts so why we need a movie/And if I’m a douche than put me in your coochie…”
According to Swizz’s posts on Twitter, completing his verse held up the track. You can tell, because his vocals are unmastered and off with the beat. It’s nothing memorable, and in the context of the track would not have been missed if omitted. Raekwon plays closer and utilizes the subdued flow heard on Cuban Linx II tracks like “Pyrex.” In fact, it’s another cocaine-fueled verse that would have fit in just fine on last year’s consensus album of the year.
The total verses come in well over five minutes, and for reason Charlie Wilson is given an unnecessary minute plus solo. The Gap Band legend sounds fine, but considering it’s just a continuation of the “lord lord lord” refrain he’d been singing throughout piece, it adds nothing but filler.
Overall, Kanye West has delivered another solid track, and one of the best beats so far in the G.O.O.D. Friday series. Even though the sample has been used before by the likes of Nas and Alchemist, Kanye’s approach gives it his own distinct feel.
We’ll see next week if Kanye will be able to get in a new track by the Friday deadline. Enjoy.
Kanye West feat. Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Charlie Wilson “Lord Lord Lord”
“I’m a let you finish…but I got Beyonce on the track!”Kanye West
Earlier today on Hot 97 Kanye debuted a track he’s had in the vaults. Named “See Me Now,” the track features chorus work from both Beyonce and Charlie Wilson along with production from Lex Luger. The vibe will remind fans of Ye’s upbeat College Dropout work like “Family Business.” Beyonce’s carries a hum-along melody throughout the song doesn’t clash with Kanye’s lyrics, which has ear-catching lines like “Rap god, Greek mythology/And his life too crazy to think logically/Here’s something that you can use as an analogy/My life is like a child’s illusions become reality. ” Throughout the song, West does a great balancing act of mixing the spiritual with the secular, using topics such as Chicago gangs, God, fashion and battle raps.
Amusingly, the biggest shock people seem to have from this track is Beyonce singing “My niggas is home.” You know you’re a superstar when people can no longer fathom you using everyday language. People seem to have forgotten Bey didn’t grow up in a bubble, but Houston, Texas.
Personally I’m not big on the musical backdrop, but Kanye lyrics elevate the experience for me. Enjoy.
Ill Bill TV
By now you’re used to the weekly new material that’s being posted here from DJ Muggs and Ill Bills Kill Devils Hill album. Today, the duo dropped an official video for the track “Ill Bill TV.” The album has been pushed back a week and will now come out on August 31st via Fat Beats Records.
50 Cent Prank Calls Shyne
Last week Def Jam held a conference call for media to speak with Shyne about his future projects. 50 Cent got wind of the news and decided to crash the party by impersonating a fictional Radio One personality. Apparently, someone at Def Jam either realized it was 50 or just didn’t like 50’s valid question regarding Shyne’s issues with him. Before 50 could really go at him, his call was terminated.
Of course, when 50 tried to call back he was blocked. But that didn’t stop the Queens mogul from going into a mini-rant. Watch and get a decent chuckle. Ironically, neither artist is making stellar music these days.