June 28, 2010

Fall In Love - Slum Village

Last week was totally awesome and here's my thoughts on the Bullfrog incident (including an apology to A. Peezie of The Freshmen) and the #fantastic and #epic show at St. Andrews starring Jay Electronica, Slum Village, 5 ELA, Guilty Simpson, Ro Spit and One Be Lo hosted by my homie Miz Korona and House Shoes was the official DJ for the event (#classic) and some show clips ... well SV clips, lol.

June 23, 2010

Red Cup Chronicles - Chuck Good

I've been hearing about this thing, Red Cup Session, for quite sometime now. Take your typical a kickback, toss in live performances and you got yourself the Red Cup Session. What makes this really interesting is the fact that the people performing are "kids", fresh out of high school and Pampers. True, I'm not much older but I was Big Wheel kindergarten pimpin' when some of them came into existence. Anyway, there's this guy by the name of Chuck Good, he's only about 16 years old (I believe he'll be 17 soon) and the reason the session exists.  The Red Cup Summer Session pops off this Friday at the Omega Psi Phi house at Wayne State Univ. In this quick Q & A with Mr. Red Cup we find out  about his upcoming mixtape, Red Cup Chronicles, and what it's like being 16 and in this scene.

Alex Washington (AW): How did you come up with the idea for the Red Cup Sessions?

Chuck Good (CG) : I came up with the sessions basically off the premise that there weren’t really any opportunity out here for young up&coming artists in Michigan, so the sessions give them a night to shine.

AW: What made you get into rapping?

CG: Well, I always did poetry and writing, but that really doesn’t get the same attention that rapping does, so it was really an easy change.

AW How would you describe your rapping style?

CG: I think it’d best be described as like laid-back. Very similar to your smooth cali music like your Dom Kennedys, but still hype and something you can jam to.

AW: What can people expect from your upcoming mixtape Red Cup Chronicles?

CG: People can expect to get to know me, as a person; from how I deal with relationships to having groupies to just chilling out smoking some of the finest. People will pretty much get an introduction to Charles via Chuck Good’s lyrics.

Chuck Good feat Jae Alyse: "Kick It"

AW How is it being 16/17 entering into the Detroit rap scene? Do you think your age will help or hinder you?

CG: It’s interesting to say the least. You know some of the shows are 18 or 21 and up and I have to call in favors and what not to get in. But then again it’s a big advantage because my competition may be 2-3 years older than me and we’re on the same level. I mean I’m only getting better.

AW: Who are some of your influences?

CG: Some of my influences would be Rich Hil, Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Dom Kennedy, just name a few.

AW: What's the best advice another local artist has given you?

CG: Be you. Make sure that when you make a song, it feels like people can get to know you by the end of that song. Never seem untouchable to your fan.

AW: What do you plan on doing with the rest of the year?

CG: I really just plan on pushing my name a little more in the state and hopefully do a few college shows; maybe some out of state ones. But most of all, finishing high school and getting my college stuff in.

Flashback: Black Coffee - Heavy D & The Boyz

Black Coffee, no sugar ... no cream.

Heavy D & The Boyz had hits and Black Coffee definitely is my favorite joint by them. I really remember being in kindergarten singing this song on the way to school in the morning (one of very few child approved joints I could listen to). Clearly since the mid-90's rappers have been looking for 100% genuine girls ... no sugar, no cream. I don't think too many have tasted Black Coffee just yet, seeing as they still talk about it.

June 22, 2010

Nowhere But Up - Nametag

I don't know what it is about summer, but it's like musicians go into music overkill. Maybe it's the warm weather that makes them in a great mood to release music but I'm not one for complaining.
Recently (as in within the last week) three of Detroit's best put out albums.

Nametag, Miz Korona, and Fatt Father all released their projects this past week, click each photo to check them out:

Also, Nametag recently released his video for "Another Other" the track that was produced by Black Milk and served as the album's single. Besides a dope beat and flawless lyrics he gets points for wearing Freshman Clothing and DSE gear.

Keep the Change - Cold Men Young

Cold. Men. Young.

I've been trying to write something on these phenomenal four gentlemen forever.
Kopelli, Mic Write, Blaksmith and Phenom make up the hip-hop quartet and if you really look at it, Cold Men Young ... Coleman Young, clever right?
<a href="http://coldmenyoung.com/track/det-riot">Det Riot!&#8734; by Cold Men Young</a>

Anyway, they have this album, Champagne Nights/Red Stripe Budget that dropped in April and I've been listening to it since then. I feel it's only right for me to post it on here since I never did. Thing is, I know a lot of people don't know who they are, haven't heard of them and unless you follow me on Twitter you never heard me mention them.

The idea of four guys as one group may seem outrageous or that it wouldn't work but as CMY has proven it's not the case.  From the spoken word intro to the collab with Street Justice, Champagne Nights/Red Stripe Budget is truly enjoyable.

If the question of who they are is killing your brain right, check this video interview I found of them, they know themselves better than I do.

Buffies & Benihanas - Dusty McFly

I just love the title of this, it's so Detroit, though Buffies & Belle Isle would have been way more Detroit (someone tweeted this but I don't remember who). Dusty McFly, name probably sounds super familiar because he was featured on "Iraq" on the UKNOWBIGSEAN mixtape last year. Moving on, Dusty has been kind of silent on the music scene and now I know why. Buffies & Benihanas is his latest project and to build up anticipation, Mr. McFly has released a trailer for it shot by Mr. Dante Marshall. Dope stuff and I can say my interest is piqued.

Renaissance State of Mind - Ro Spit & Monica Blaire

Of all the performances I've been to (ask Cliff and Mos it's not nearly enough) none has yet to top seeing Ro Spit and Monica Blaire perform "Renaissance State of Mind" with a live band at Ro's release party back in December.

If you haven't seen them together, well you may just miss your chance July 2, 2010 (NEXT Friday), Ro Spit and Monica Blaire present the "Renaissance State of Mind Experience" (which I won tickets to, #holla). It's a family friendly affair happening at the legendary St. Andrew's Hall in Downtown Detroit. The event celebrates the release of Ro's "A Different Arrangement" and Monica's "Circus of the Mind" projects.

Experience is definitely the best word to describe this event, it's more so like a Detroit hip-hop block party or family reunion. There will be food, music, possible spades game (emphasis on possible) and just a good afternoon of fun.

In reference to what I said earlier, word around town is that this will be the last time Ro and Monica will be performing "Renaissance State of Mind" live (I know my heart is breaking). They will be combining both of their bands and I'm sure the performance is going to be epic (maybe even historic?).

Tickets are on sale at Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique for $10 and $25 for V.I.P. package (which includes a meet-and-greet, early entry and balcony access). Or if you don't have the time to make it to the shop, you can get your tickets at the door for a solid $15.

Immediately following the Experience is the Third Anniversary party for Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique. Tickets are only $5 with your stub from the Ro and Monica show. It's going to be in The Shelter and is being hosted by Ron Dance and sounds will be provided by DJ Graffiti.

It amazes me that Rick and Ro have only owned BR for three years and have turned it into a solid Michigan hip-hop staple. The infamous Chef logo is recognized everywhere and has been seen on some of everybody both local and not (like Chris Brown).

This day is sure to be a great one and what better way to kick off the Independence Day weekend than with good music, good food and a lot of fun.
totally facebook jacked that photo, BTW.

What You Doing? (Bulls#!ttin') - Big Sean

You may remember Dante Marshall posting this photo of Big Sean while they were down in Florida (Miami if my memory recalls me correctly). Anyway, there's this infectious question and answer that have been going around and Big Sean can be cited as the source of creation ... F**k you doing? Bullsh*ttin.
First performed at the XXL showcase in New York a couple months back, "What You Doing?" has been infecting people everywhere and has even began to hit airwaves. Soon, Mr. Finally Famous himself will be releasing the video for "What You Doing?" and this trailer dropped to let fans in on what to expect. Directed by Dante Marshall and produced by Michigan's own The Olympicks. It's safe to say Big Sean is not "Bullsh*ttin'"

End of the Night - Bei Maejor

Where I've been is not nearly as important as all the cool stuff my "slacking" has had you all missing out on. Well, I'm pulling the pot that is "Tha 'A' Side" off the back burner and jumping feet first back into the wonderful world of blog.

Enough chatter.

There's this guy from Detroit by the name of Bei Maejor, some of you may have heard of him. Before becoming one of Jive Records latest signee's, Bei Maejor had produced tracks for the like of Trey Songz, Bun B, LaToya Luckett, Chrisette Michele, Plies and a slew of others. Taking what I like to call a Ne-yo approach, Bei was featured on Plies' "She Got It Made, Ciara's "Ride (Remix)" with Andre 3000 and Diggy Simmons' "Great Expectations". He even released his own track, "Drunk in the Club" which from what I've heard have been doing pretty good on the airwaves and of course ... in clubs.

The U of Michigan alum is working on his own project, The uʍop ǝpısdn project, is slated to be released sometime this year and will be a free mixtape of sorts put out by the singing producer.
Last week, he gave people a taste of what's to come with this teaser video called "End of the Night".
And No, he's not in the Illuminati and you are not being possessed, the song runs backward for the beginning of the video. Enjoy.

June 14, 2010

In The Cut - Wiz Khalifa

So here's a little recap on Schoolz Out presented by Finally Famous. I just realized I cut the part out about Wiz's performance but all I said was I don't listen to him (like at all) but his performance of "Kid Frankie" and "Good Dank" were definitely dope. His energy was crazy and I didn't leave the Majestic hating him, at all. Enough chatter peep my thoughts on the show, some (horribly shot) show footage and my thoughts on people's after-thoughts.

June 12, 2010

What You Doing? - Big Sean.

I guess you can consider this a part one of two on Schoolz Out.
Thing is, it's not even about Schoolz Out.
I'm an observer by nature and often times if I plan to review a show or speak anything on it, I pay close attention to the crowd and the reaction.
People let you know the most about a show, the performances could be flawless but if a crowd is not reacting the show is a failure.
Last night, Schoolz Out was bananas (No Donkey Kong), you wouldn't think that the event was announced a week ago, wall to wall was packed with people.
One thing I wish people would learn is show etiquette, so I guess these are my five rules to events.

1) You are not too cool to dance: At EVERY show you have the girls that are too pretty to dance in fear they'll sweat out their Remi Velvet and MAC made faces and the guys with the "I'm too fly for this sh*t" attitude. If you're going to be like that why go? People like that bother me for the simple fact many are disguised as haters not all of them but a lot of them. They'll spend the night in the corner whispering about the show, saying the music was wack, complaining about seating, talking about people as they walk past and then speak when they're in their face. They really bring down the show and in the end they try to figure out if they can get an autograph.

2) Who you know doesn't matter: I saw this so much at the Mike Posner/Big Sean show I helped with in February and again last night. The thing I want people to realize is no matter how much you like them or are a fan of them or if you checked them out while you were at Target, they're local artists who know a lot of people. So while you may have shared a box of crayons in kindergarten with them, the next person shared their sandwich. Everyone can't get a backstage hookup and many people don't even deserve the hellos they're getting (those would be the people who only come around when it benefitted them). Truth of the matter is, CLOSE friends, family, the people they do business with or they plan on smashing/partying with at the end of the night are the ones that are going to be taken care of. It's nothing personal, strictly business.

3) Smoker's etiquette: While Michigan has a ban on smoking in clubs and bars and such last night a few people sparked up. Though I hate smelling like someone's pipe, if you are allowed to smoke in a venue by all means be respectful. This means do not blow smoke rings in the face of the person next to you and try not to burn me with the tip of your blunt as you hack up half your lung because you can't handle the purp you're toking on. Physically respect the people you're smoking around if you're not going to mention to them that you're sparking up.

4) There's a time and place: It's true you never know which moment is going to be YOUR moment, but sometimes just enjoy yourself. I'm used to going to events and coming back with mixtapes or fliers or hearing of someone new, usually I'm pretty ok with that. I do think there is a time and place for all that though; you can judge an event and know how you should approach it. Schoolz Out was just that, the perfect way to end the school year, just to relax, chill and enjoy the music. It really wasn't the place to hand out your mixtape and give a quick bio of yourself. Nine times out of ten, the person you're speaking to, isn't listening and is just trying to enjoy the show. Learn to recognize body language, sometimes conducting business at events is inevitable even when you're off the clock, word to Six. Don't try to hog a lot of time, get the necessary contact information and follow up the next day. Sweet simple and less stressful.

5) Respect the floor space: At events like this where capacity is hit, your personal space belongs to the person to the left, right, front and back of you. In short, you have none. Understand that I, just like you, don't want to be stuck in a square barely breathing in fear my breasts are going to push the gentleman in front of me over. I'm just like you, here to see artists I like and just have a good time, nobody wants to pick a fight with you and giving every person trying to walk past (whether they are trying to do their job or not) a hard time is not ok and makes you look like a tool. So, stand quiet, chug one if you're of age and try to enjoy yourself and if the bumping gets TOO much for you, just slip out to the back of the crowd, it's that easy.

Video Blog on the actual show coming soon :-)
Happy Saturday
-Alex Washington

June 4, 2010

Lock It Down - Slum Village

About to jump back in full throttle. Here's the happening's for June 2010... #LockItDown