Archive for the 'Music' Category

J Ross Parrelli Album Release Party

My brother-in-law, Noel, hooked me up with a flyer of J Ross Parrelli, his co-worker’s album release party @ the Rhythm Lounge here in Long Beach. She’s got a really nice jazzy-Hip-Hop-neosoul vibe to her music and I personally think it’s well worth supporting. I’m just starting to listen to her CDs which I also just recieved and it’s very chill. The show will be on Saturday, August 15th and you will recieve a copy of her new album FREE with paid admission.


Can’t wait! All these good events at around the end of summer. So come, enjoy, and support good music.


Making of ‘New Divide’

I’m anxiously waiting to see the final outcome of this music video. I’ve always loved what Linkin Park’s been doing and have owned every one of their DVDs from ‘Frat Party At The Pankake Festival’ onward — also own all their albums. I’m hoping they make a DVD of behind-the-scene clips for this video also. The band’s work ethic is amazing and they’re very well-versed in their craft. There aren’t many rock bands who are so detailed in every aspect of their work which surpasses just the musical aspect, but the video production, album cover art, and even going as far as taking time out of their busy schedules to stay in touch with their fans at all times. As much as I’m anticipating the music video, I’m also stoked about the new Transformers movie also. Linkin Park were given the oppurtunity to do the score for the movie and have been working in the studio with Hans Zimmer, so you know that’s not going to disappoint at all. But until all of that unfolds, we have a little teaser vid here…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Johnny P

Back in September of last year, we went to a party hosted by 10 Deep @ The Standard LA. There we met one of the performers of the night, Johnny Polygon, and took a ton of pictures with him. I can honestly say that crowd was dead, but we were right there in front of the stage vibin’ to his music and hyping him up as much as we can. There were some mechanical failures with the sound system, but he still did a great job when he went a capella. Looks like he’s come a long way. Last night, he had the oppurtunity to perform with Nas at the BET Inauguration Ball for President Barack Obama.

The 10 Deep Party:

BET’s Presidential Inauguration Ball:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Huge congratulations to Mr. Johnny P!


Everybody Knows…

…but nobody really knows. A really good song about real people with real issues. Finally, another video and single from his ‘Evolver’ album. Why’d it take so long? One of John Legend’s best singles since ‘Ordinary People’, although his whole catalogue is amazing.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

John Legend — Everybody Knows


We Are The ABCrew

Remember Jin the Emcee? He took over BET for seven-weeks on their ‘Freestyle Friday’ battle segments and was signed to Ruff Ryders soon after. The hype was there but marketing, promotions, pressures from the label-heads, and a forced image made for a shortlived career. I still think he has a lot of talent and potential, but the world wasn’t ready for an Asian rapper. Plus, I honestly didn’t think Ruff Ryders was a good choice since the label became lackluster after DMX and The Lox parted ways. Anyways, since then, Jin has been making his own noise back in the motherland — China. Looks like he’s in the process of releasing a collaborative effort with Subcrew, whose been a staple ‘go-to’ hat manufacturer in the scene for a good while.


Here we have a little teaser of the ABC x Subcrew project, though there hasn’t been any word on the release date as of yet.


POWER Ranger

We’ve all seen and heard of the fiasco that happened between Kanye West and the TMZ papparazzi crew at the airport. This clip shows just how scared they are of Kanye now because the camera crew seemed to be delightfully kissing up to him hard and it’s just funny to see them try so hard to keep their distance also — even running into a bush at one point. We also get a snippet of Kanye’s Louis Vuitton shoes that are being released this June.
Looks like Kanye’s really living his dream now, being that he’s been such a strong supporter of the LV brand since the good ol’ days when people still pronounced his name ‘Kayne’ and he solidified himself as the ‘Louis Vuitton Don’ right before ‘The College Dropout’ dropped.


Album Of The Year

Atmosphere will go down as one of the best Hip-Hop duo in history. They’ve garnered critical acclaims and a huge fanbase through lyrics that are different from what you usually hear in rap music. Slug has a way of penning down lyrics that are down-right relatable to the average man who’s unable to put feelings into words. To celebrate flaws as a perfection of sorts is a hard thing to do — and to do it with such consistency can be an overwhelming task — but Slug delivers with ease. As you go through their catalogue, you can see the man’s progressive evolution. The craziest thing to me is that I feel like I’m able to grow up with each album as I hear them. When I first picked up the “When Life Gives You Lemons…” album, I went through the entire album wondering where this new journey is going to take me, and what I’m left with is a feeling of awe. I can hear a whole new progression in Slug’s lyrics that I hadn’t heard in his other works. The blurred line between good and evil still exists, but he seems to be able to scrape every bit of joy from the beatings he’s dealt with. The other thing that makes this album my pick of the year is the storytelling. We’re taken on this dark and dreary road with each story which ends with a lesson we can all take to heart in our own lives. Packed with metaphors galore and a handful of ‘life’, I paint this album gold.
The stand-out track which solidifies this album for me is ‘Yesterday’ which is a conversation Slug has with his deceased father. In the song, he comes to peace with his father who he’s had a bitterness towards for a long time.

A whole house full of dreams and steps
I think you’d be impressed with the pieces I kept
You disappeared but the history is still here
It’s why I try not to cry over spilt beer
I can’t even get mad that you’re gone
Leavin’ me was probably the best thing you ever taught me

I can write chapters upon chapters about how much I love this album, but I think you should pick it up and enjoy it for your own self. You’ll find many hidden gems in this album. Oh! All this talk about Slug and his lyrical content, I have to add that Ant’s production is one of the best this year also. For the last few years, producers have shared as much — if not more — of the spotlight as the rappers, and Ant deserves to have his name plastered next to all the greatest producers. Both him and Slug compliment each other so well, it’s a musical marriage made in Hip-Hop heaven. ‘Nuff said.

Atmosphere –“When Life Gives You Lemons…”

Notable 2008 Mentions: Maria Mena – Cause & Effect; Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreaks; RZA as Bobby Digital – Digi Snacks; Lenny Kravitz – It Is Time For A Love Revolution; The Roots – Rising Down; Santogold – Santogold; Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It; Tracy Chapman – Our Bright Future; N.E.R.D. – Seeing Sounds; Q-Tip – The Renaissance; Erykah Badu – New Amerykah Part 1 (4th World War); Common – Universal Mind Control

I apologize I couldn’t make out a ‘top-ten’ thingamajig because there were just too much good stuff I urge you all to give a chance to. I don’t think most of these albums were given the promotions they deserve — and I don’t think my blog would do much of a job either — but if I have one reader who becomes a fan to these albums, I did enough. Right?



Another segment of what I’d like to call GOOD music to start your day off with. Daniel Merriweather featuring Wale in a song titled ‘Change‘. Vibe to it.
I just recently stumbled upon this video so I don’t know too much about the singer as of yet, but Wale’s been everywhere this year, including finding himself in The Roots’ ‘Rising Down’ LP on a song called ‘Rising Up’.

Daniel Merriweather ft. Wale — Change

The Roots ft. Chrisette Michele and Wale — Rising Up


I Am.

Novel has been, in my opinion, one of the most overlooked artist EVER. He was signed to the now-defunct Rawkus Records and never had a chance to really be noticed by anyone…until NOW. I love sharing ‘new’ music with people and here’s to one of my favorites for a while. I remember back in 2004 when he did a Rock The Vote campaign commercial with a song ‘Lordy, Lordy’ which I can’t seem to find anywhere on YouTube, and I really want to post it as something worth watching. Oh well, all is not lost. Novel just released his “I Am…Future Black President” EP which you can check out and purchase on his Official Site.

I noticed that I’ve been blogging a lot about music lately…and I guess the reason is simple — I want to share good music to the world. Something with a message and depth is always nice most of the time, because poetry can put a thump in your heart in a more powerful way than any 808s, in my opinion. Sure, we all get bombarded with mindless, disposable music every second the radio is being played into our ears, so this is a quick change of pace.

Since I couldn’t find the clip from the ‘Rock the Vote’ campaign, here’s some recent videos from the one and only — Novel:

Novel ft. Talib Kweli & Spree Wilson — I Am…

And here’s a VERY visually powerful piece of art with a song which holds just as much weight.

Novel ft. Adelle — Intro-Spective



Beauty In Ugliness

I’ve been digging pretty deep into my music collection lately because a lot of new records don’t excite me anymore. Sure, there are a few gems that catch my attention, but to find something I’ve had for years and finally giving it a listen again can really make my day. I try to stay eclectic with my tastes and honestly, some of the things I’m into can deter people away because it’s so off-the-wall. The variety of music I can listen to throughout the day is very random — Bjork, RJD2, Blackstar, Musiq, Sage Francis, and I might end it with something sweet like Joy Denalane. If you were sitting in my room for a full day, you might rip your hair off just trying to get into any kind of vibe.
After going through my crates, I find something that was so beautifully written and executed, it just can’t be ignored. I remember hearing this song for the first time about six years ago, and I had it on repeat for a few times just to figure out what was going on. I love songs which told stories because it can really pull at your heart if done right. Remember when lyricism was an artform? This particular song is called ‘Taco Day’ (no it has nothing to do with your favorite Mexican food) and it speaks on a very serious topic — rape.
Two years prior to the release of this song, I was a Junior in high school and had met this wonderful person who sat next to me in speech class. I didn’t care much for the class at first-hand but as the school year progressed, the topics became more personal. What I remembered most was one of our very last speeches of that year. This girl, who had always been so uplifting and happy, stood in front of the entire classroom and spoke her heart out to what may be the most moving and honest speeches I’ve ever heard. She admitted that she was a victim of rape. Rape?!?! I felt like the whole world stopped in the classroom and everyone froze in silence as she started to break down into tears. Some things you witness in your life, you never forget, and that was one of those moments. I’ve heard stories on television, but to have something that devastating happen to someone so close had left me stunned. To think someone so beautiful would have to experience something so evil just didn’t make sense to me.
When I heard this song, and saw the video, that was the one thing that replayed in my head. These are the songs that made me write until this day. I think words can heal so many wounds and if read by the right person at the right time, nothing in this world can be more wonderful and rewarding.

Jean Grae — Taco Day