Category: Music

The Moving On Post

Oh boy

Story time


Once upon a time there was a young boy. He was just an average young boy growing up in America. His parents got divorced when he was only three and so he lived with his mother and loved her very much and lived with his father for the summers. He went to school and performed like any average boy would – averagely – and no one thought anything special about him.

In his school in Chicago, he befriended a local DJ and producer at the tender age of 10. This DJ became a mentor of sorts to the boy. The boy, as young as he was, had the talent to put together some real beats. He was a nobody, but his music didn’t sound like they were made by a nobody. The boy spent some time, in the years, producing for local artists and came about a signature style and everything. Eventually, he got his big break and was presented with the chance to produce for a bigshot rapper.

The year after that, he worked more with the bigshot rapper and produced even more music for what became regarded as one of the greatest rap albums of all time. Ever since then, the boy went on to produce for other big names in the hip hop industry.

The boy wanted to do more than just produce music, though. He wanted to be the one rapping over it. He pleaded with labels to let him rap and headline, but no one gave him a chance because he wasn’t a g like the rest of the rappers at the time. The boy has never hustled a day in his life and wore Polos and loafers. The boy became depressed and would leave meetings crying all the time.

But he was determined to make it happen on his own, even surviving a car crash and forcing himself through the pain, in the most difficult circumstances, to put out his debut album. It hit the charts hard and made a lasting impact. His well known talent producing music merged with his lyricism tackling societal norms and religion and as a result, his album broke the gangsta rap mold. Soon after the hit album, the boy created his own label with other big names.

A year later, the boy released his second album. He steps up his lyrical game and showed the world that he didn’t just want to create pop music, he wanted to be pop music. He pushed the limits of rap and hip hop by incorporating an orchestra and a composer. None of this had been seen before. The boy was a household name and was beginning to cause media storms with his fame and cynicism of the world around him.

Another album later, the boy was still hitting all the album sale sweet spots, skyrocketing to number 1 within the first week of release. But that was the last high for a while. A few years later, the boy’s mother died from a heart attack and his fourth album reflected all his sorrow and grief. The boy chose not to rap and opted to adopt autotuning to process his voice for his album. The fragility of his mind was brought to attention when he made a scene and a fool of himself at an awards show in front of the whole world.

On hiatus from music, the boy ventured into other facets of his creativity. Fashion was the avenue he chose to explore and he, like many other things, poured all his time and effort into it. Collaborating with Nike to make limited edition sneakers and interning at Gap and Fendi, the boy had a foothold due to his fame. He released his own apparel collection, but to mixed reviews.

He returned to the music scene with his fifth album, with darker tones and production value on a grand scale. The content of the album was aurally and visually grandiose in all senses of the word. His work was like art. He followed this with two collaboration albums, his wedding, a daughter and seemingly everything he could have ever wanted.

His next album denied anyone who thought the boy was living a calm and idle life. His music was dark, loud, abrasive and uncut. It was received with heavy criticism and is the only album to date to have sold fewer than a million albums in the United States. He claimed to be a god and went on to compare himself in interviews to the biggest minds in history. People were beginning to guess the size of the boy’s ego.

A few more media storms later, the boy released his seventh album which was another hit. Another triumph and potentially one well worth the catharsis. In it, he included sounds and influences from gospel music to trap and dancehall. It was his sixth solo album in a row to debut at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU LIKED THE OLD KANYE?

Learning a song with an amateur

So after watching Mike Boyd on YouTube I got inspired to starting learning random skills. So let’s look at what I’m doing.

Quick background on Mike Boyd. His YouTube channel is based on him learning random skills. This will be things like lock picking, solving a Rubiks cube, doing a kick-flip etc.

So why did I choose to learn a song? I wanted something I could do in short bursts and sort of do everyday. I decided to learn a song while I drove to and from work.

With this mini goal, it was something I thought as I was driving to work one day. I was blasting out Run The Jewels – Legend Has It, windows down and attempting to recite the lyrics. Since this was a rap song I mumbled so much of the song and messed up many words.

Side note: this song was used in the upcoming Black Panther movie so wait for it to explode.

Why this song? My driving playlist consists of over 733 songs. My liked songs is just over 1000 songs. As I stated in a previous post, I like a large variety of music. EDM would have been a bad choice on learning lyrics because its more music based rather than lyrics. Rap has some complex lyrics and getting the correct mnemonics is easier.

So to do this I usually have a 10-20 min drive from home to work and vice versa. I play the song 2-3 times during that trip. As the song progresses I will try recite as many of the lyrics as I can.

I’ve done this for the past 2 weeks. I have yet to actually read through the lyrics, I’ve learnt the lyrics via sounds only. At this stage with only the music I can recite about 70% of the lyrics. What will I do once I can recite the song? Nothing really. This is a fun side project that I wanted to complete on my own and with minimal effort. Maybe I’ll move on to a new song and see if I can do it faster. Maybe I’ll move on to a new skill.

In the groove

Lets break it down!!!

Music. The art form of conveying a story/message in a rhythmic manner.

Ever since I got my first MP3 player back in high-school I’ve been addicted to music. One of the earliest artists I remember liking a lot was Linkin Park. This was during a stage of just entering my teenage years and of course being that edgy teen, Linkin Park really spoke to me. I’ve always seen music as its origin – a form of story telling. Music doesn’t need words to communicate its message. So let’s take a look into my musical taste.

 

Genre

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Through high-school there was this strange concept of “people should only like one genre of music”. I found this weird because I liked music from most popular genre at that time. It’s probably Linkin Park that sparked my enthusiasm for both rock and rap, either together or individually. So my choice of genre is never set on one. My musical choice for the time is usually set on my mood at the time.

If I’m going to the gym, driving or just in a high energy state I usually start with some rap or rock. My go-to at this stage is currently Run The Jewels.

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I love their latest album Run the Jewels 3. So much energy on a single album. The album is also nicely designed. As each song ends it smoothly flows into the next song on the album. There have been countless times where I have looped through the album a few times before realising it.

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Then for the other days of just chilling and having a calm day, it’s usually a mix of EDM, Rock, Hip Hop or just whatever.

Mr Suicide Sheep is my go to for EDM track I have yet to discover. Quite often I find myself just scouring Youtube videos’ comment sections for the title of a song that sounded just right for the video. This song, I actually discovered while DSPStanky was streaming and it was on his ‘Get Hype’ playlist. These tracks aren’t as chill as other songs. There’s also barely any lyrics to the song. But with these songs I can feel the energy of it. It triggers my imagination and my thoughts.

 

Musical Preferences

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I tend to avoid Top 40 hits. A large majority of the time I feel its full of too many Pop songs. Yes they’re catchy but they easily get overplayed and the songs slowly lose their hype and energy. There are some songs which I’m glad are there, i.e. Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE. In fact I barely listen to the radio. I use my phone and my driving playlist. I usually find new music via the Internet. Most of that will be from the New Release section on Google Play. As I said above, I will use YouTube videos. Most of those videos are ones like ‘Overwatch highlights of the week’. Even watching twitch/stream highlights I will pause the video and try figure out the song that was lightly playing the background. So yes I do have some preference on music but my preference is based on the mood of the song being presented.

So as you can see above my music taste relies on my mood and the state of mind I’m in. I don’t rely on the radio for my entertainment. I have a driving playlist with 600+ songs. I usually throw that on random and away I go. The playlist has a multitude of songs that aren’t hugely popular but generally those are from artists that many people haven’t heard about or they’re an artist who is just starting out. My recommendation – go on to Soundcloud, Youtube or any platform where there are less heard of artists. Click on any of the suggested videos. Don’t limit yourself to one genre or type. Go out  and explore. There are millions and millions of different tracks out there and each one is unique in its own way.

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