For those of you who don't get our emails... huge news update today.
And if you don't get the emails... c'mon. Sign up already.
Thanks to Keith Huang for the great mention!
I've been spending the last couple days moving around the pieces of The Sound of Young America website. Some things are still in rough draft mode, some things are pretty close do "done."
Hopefully one day I'll do a real overhaul of the site (which was designed like five years ago), but in the meantime, how is this? Any thoughts?
Beanie Sigel "Feel It In The Air" (recorded shortly before he was incarcerated)
Over the past couple years, Beanie Sigel's become one of my favorite rappers. Every verse Mac Mittens spits is drenched in sincerity and passion. Even his party records are heartfelt. I don't always agree with him -- if I had been shot, for example, I would co-operate with police -- but it's amazing to hear someone pour themselves out on a track as he does. Perhaps his commitment to "realness" has had negative consequences for his life -- besides being shot earlier this year, he did almost a year in prison shortly after the video above was recorded, and his step-father was shot late last year. His music is often a potent mixture of resignation and defiance that can only be compared to all-time greats like Scarface.
In fact, in this great interview for The Fader, he describes the direction his music is headed in and cites Face specifically:
"[I'm making] Real music. If you listen to any of my albums, I always gave you that real music that soulful music, even when it’s hard. Right now, to me, the standard of hip-hop and the music today is no integrity and nothing, like as far as production, everything sounds the same. Quote me on this: I will never put out a song—everybody putting out songs that got dances to it, like that’s the hit. You either gotta lean with it, you gotta lean back, you gotta rock with it, make your shoulder do this and you gotta do that and that’s the stuff that’s winning and its like, Where the integrity at in the music? Where the thought process at? Where the real lyrics at?
Right now hip-hop is bubblegum and the standard is so low. I went back because I can’t even listen to rap music today. I gotta go back and go grab the best of Scarface and Cuban Linx. Right now I’m riding around to The Fix. Scarface, The Fix. That’s what’s in my tape deck. He got a joint on it—I think it’s number ten. That song should be re-released right now to be playing on the airwaves 24 hours. Number ten where he exposing people in the rap game for prostituting themselves trying to make hits. And he tell you right in the joint, “If real niggas respect it, then the squares gonna rep it.” So when you got real niggas respecting dumb shit, the squares gonna rep it. They gonna be like, “Alright, such and such—he roll like that, so then I’m gonna do it too.” If you wear your hat a certain way and you looked at as a real nigga, then the squares gonna wear their hat a certain way and it’s gonna spread because it’s more squares out there than it is real niggas."
Here's his newest track (and my new favorite) "Why Wouldn't I."
Here's what he says about it in the interview:
"I mean that’s just me giving people something that they missing right now. I just threw it out there. A situation happened—I got shot in my shoulder. It was allegedly—I gotta word this right because I’m still on federal parole, and when I get off federal parole then I’ll be able to elaborate on it a little bit better and people will understand how real I am. Allegedly I was supposed to have been shot and robbed or something. So me being who I am—and I was allegedly robbed in my neighborhood. The day that I allegedly got shot and robbed, I went in the studio that very night and I did that song. The same night, as soon as I got out of the hospital I went in the studio that night and I recorded that song and I MP3-ed it to every DJ in the country. And like, “Put that out there ASAP.” So it was in rotation the very next day. I got a good nine months, twelve months and people will know about the story behind the alleged incidents, but not right now."
That's Beans for you.
PS: Listen for my favorite part of "Why Wouldn't I," the lyric "Whatchall BABIES gon' do? Where y'all diapers?"
So, I moved the blog from tsoya.blogspot.com to maximumfun.org/blog/ today. Your RSS feeds, if they point to http://feeds.feedburner.com/tsoya shouldn't need an update (and if you're reading this via a feed, that's probably how you got it.)
Unfortunately, moving your blog to your own host "frees" your blogger URL. Literally while I was transferring the blog... a spammer grabbed tsoya.blogspot.com.
Luckily, blogger deleted the spam blog, and an alert listener snagged the URL and sent me the login. So it looks like things are OK.
Please do update any links you may have, though.