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Music

Big Boi – Apple Of My Eye

The intro on this track really caught my ear, and that’s not easy especially when the lyrics don’t come in until 42 seconds, which for me at that point I usually skip to a different track but being a huge fan of Big Boi I knew I was going to hear the unexpected.  The creative sounds, the eerie anticipation of what the breakdown of the beat is going to be.  That’s how it has always been even back in the Outkast days, (which really wasn’t that long ago) just this beautiful unpredictability of unique, funky hip-hop, with great vocals and great lyrics and a flow that is hard to match.  I know most people are still living in denial that Outkast has now just become the two dudes on their own, Andre 3000 and Big Boi, but we all knew in the back of our minds it was going to happen so just snap out of it and stop whining!

I think what they have created on their own is great, and especially on Big Boi’s new album “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors” (which by the way is a dope title for an album), you can appreciate the fact that Big Boi doesn’t stray away from some of the old patterns, techniques, and melodic structures that made the boys from Outkast who they are and will always be remembered as today.  So those of you living in denial mode you are still essentially getting that same bite from the past, but everyone has to grow and keep moving with the world as it is evolving, right?..Right!  This is another track I am going to stick in my study stash, great flow, catchy structure, boss lyrics as always, I gotta study hard as an artist myself to keep up with some of these Greats!

I have been under the weather the past couple days and I have no idea what sick is anymore because it’s been so damn long that I still try and run around like a mad women each day and come to find my body just crashing hard as of last night after a phenomenal Knicks game…So looks like the couch, football and some good music are keeping me locked inside of my apartment today, and Apple of My Eye, perked me up as much as I can be perked right now.

Stay healthy people, Enjoy!

Big Boi – Apple Of My Eye

Categories
Music

Outkast – She Lives In My Lap

I’ve been on a new music kick for the past couple of months, so I figured I’d slow things down a bit and remind everyone where the kings lay. I can’t remember if I’ve talked about this on EMPT before, but I’ve been taking DJ classes for the past couple of months. It’s a decision that I’ve never been happier about, and I’m really thrilled about the outcome. It’s all about the turntables, scratching, vinyl, and on any given day, sweet and soulful hip-hop. My teacher plays an assortment of quality music whenever performing a demo, but he has a knack for throwing on some of my favorite Outkast tunes. Spottieottiedopalicious, Rooster…and this lovely work of art.

Whenever I talk about or hear this song, I want to make sounds with my mouth. Not word sounds, but more like the sound an attentive listener makes when engaging with good funk or jazz. I can’t translate it onto the page, but I think you guys get it. It’s usually paired with smile and a slight head bob that turns into a dive, particularly if you’re sitting down, the foot might be tapping so much that it forces the whole leg to start bouncing.

Maybe.

Or maybe your teacher plays this song in an attempt to show you how Andre 3000 broke every single rule of hip-hop not only on this track, but in this whole album. Sure it’s from a few years ago, but I know ya’ll can appreciate a timeless sound.

Forever my fiance…

I have to say, I definitely learned something that day about counting. Don’t jump the gun, and take it easy especially in the musical presence of an artist who takes their time. Wait for the extra long chorus and get a feel for what you’re dealing with — it’s a whole different monster. After all, knowing the rules then knowing how to break them, is how all music evolves.

Outkast – She Lives In My Lap

 

 

Categories
Music Remixes

Jeremiah – 773 Love (Cashmere Cat Edit)

There is refined taste and then there is universal taste when it comes to music in my book. I like to think that mine is a combination of the two, and that most of the people who surround me on a day to day basis are the same way. It’s really exciting to encounter someone who has a fundamental similarity with you in that their taste of music aligns with your own. It’s easy to forget who is similar to you, and who isn’t. There are people in life that are reasons for your love of a certain genre — for me, my father is the reason for my fundamental love of rock n’ roll, and he will always be. Which means that it should be easy for me to always remember that my father and I will always be connected in that musical sense. Of course, as humans, we tend to forget. And it’s always a really cute reminder to catch another person, whether it’s a parent, loved one, or best friend, in a moment of surprise for both you and them. This was the case today when I was in the car with a dear friend. I decided to show off some of the new music I was listening to as of late.

This was one of the songs that came on, and while we were talking about things non-music related, I saw something in his eyes that I know happens to me, too, when I hear a song that I immediately enjoy. It’s the same way you look at someone you care about when they’re talking to you and you’re being silent, with a smile in your eye but not necessarily on your mouth. “I like this,” was all he said. And never mind the fact that we had both grown up together with a mutual love for such different music, like Queen, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, & Yes. The formula, beginning with those undoubtable classics, meant that we’d be connected forever no matter how different our music tastes became.

I was really happy in this moment because not only did I have the same reaction to this song as my friend when I first encountered it, but I was proud of how modern his taste had become. We’re always going to be rooted in our classics, no doubt, but to be open to sounds that make us feel good, is the true musicianship of a quality listener.

The ride continued on to unearth the sounds of Busta Rhymes, How To Dress Well, Outkast, & Nicolas Jaar, which both of us enjoyed happily.

Pre-Thanksgiving jams are the best, with anticipation of food and love on the horizon, allow the time that you set aside to listen to this song to be a shared moment with someone you care about. You’ll thank me later.

Jermiah – 773 Love (Cashmere Cat Edit)

Categories
Classics Music Remixes

Outkast – Ms. Jackson (Jean Tonique Remix)

When Outkast unleashed “Ms. Jackson” on the world in January of 2001, the song immediately became a cross-over smash hit. You couldn’t turn on the radio or TV–Z100 or Hot97, MTV or BET–without hearing or seeing Andre 3000 and Big Boi lay the truth down.

“Ms. Jackson” hits such a widespread nerve cause it’s a simple song that anyone who’s found themselves in an illicit relationship or dealt with interfering parental units can relate to. “Ms. Jackson” is about being young, having fun, and living in the moment. It didn’t matter who you were or where you lived–this song was playing from your speakers over and over again throughout the year.

“Me and your daughter
Got a special thang going on
You say it’s puppy love
We say it’s full grown
Hope that we feel this
Feel this way forever
You could plan a pretty picnic
But you can’t predict the weather, Ms. Jackson”

For me and anyone who grew up in the ’90s, this song has become synonymous with adolescence and likewise become nostalgic. Any time “Ms. Jackson” comes on, I’m brought a decade back to weekends as a 13-year-old, when my social life was as simple as Bar Mitzvahs. Chicken fingers, karaoke, and attempting to grind to “Ms. Jackson” were the norm. As the song plays, I can see forgotten names in braces trying to keep up with Andre 3000‘s flow while our parents looked on, completely out of touch. The song, unlike us, never gets old.

Jean Tonique, a French producer and master of the funk, puta fresh spin on the Outkast anthem and it doesn’t disappoint. The smooth bassline and crisp beats will bring you right back to 2001, wherever that was for you.

Outkast – Ms.  Jackson (Jean Tonique Remix)

Also, great sampling by Outkast:

Brothers Johnson – Strawberry Letter

Categories
Music

OutKast – ATLiens

When it comes to Hip Hop, no one will argue that the boys from Atlanta were in a league of their own. OutKast never made gangsta rap, they didn’t make southern hip hop and they sure as hell didn’t make boom bap, they made OutKast. As fads came and went they continued to deliver unique lyrics and productions that always reminded us of hip hops endless potential as a form of expression.

The alienators cause we different, keep your hands to the sky…”

It’s safe to say they are the most underground minded hip hop group to have major commercial success and in this world that’s quite impressive.

So, a throw back BANGER from OutKast, yes please!  ATLiens was their second album from 1996 and it’s a great one. I would have been 10 years old and yes I was listening to OutKast at that age since my swag older brother listened to all the sickest music. You can’t beat the old school joints so I wanted to relive this jam with all of you, ENJOY!

Now throw your hands in the air
And wave ’em like you just don’t care
And if you like fish and grits and all that pimp shit
Then everybody say O-Yea-yer!”

 OutKast – ATLiens

Categories
Music

Outkast – Git Up, Git Out

Every man must endure one of two pains in life: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret…”

I was recently put on to this quote by one of my brothers, and never in my life has a group of words had such a profound impact on me. It got me thinking about my life as a whole and made me realize that there is no greater pain in the world than that of regret. I’ve been living my life by this quote recently; and have been very pleased with the results. I have taken time to begin restructuring some very important relationships with people, took a step back and have been working smarter towards my career goals and overall bettering myself as a person. Our time on this Earth is so limited and its a disservice to people to not go as hard as they possibly can in every venture and eliminate all those “What If’s?” that can burden a person as they progress in life. I’ve realized that I would rather work hard at something, even if it doesn’t pan out, than ever look back with a feeling of regret.

You need to get up, get out and get something…Don’t let the days of your life pass you by…”

I’m turning 24 this week, and similar to Hector, I feel like I’ve had enough ups and downs in the last year to last me a lifetime. However, I can’t help but feel that there are big things on the horizon, not only for myself, but for everyone around me as well. Every year around my birthday, I like to reflect on what I’ve accomplished in the last year and compile a list of goals for the upcoming year. This year, I’m aiming higher than ever and am putting my best foot forward to make everything happen. I also like to think about those who have positively impacted my life, helped me out in any capacity, or provided a source of inspiration to better myself – if you’re reading this and thinking that’s you, it probably is, so thank you for the love and support. This has always been one of my favorite Outkast joints, and I have always felt it has flown under the radar a little bit and hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.

Outkast – Git Up, Git Out

Categories
Music

Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Joe Simon et Outkast

Outkast haters are are almost as hard to find as Bob Marley haters.  Like my boy Hec said once, “Who doesn’t like Bob Marley, think about it…”  I’ll admit while Outkast was releasing their earliest work, my walkman was glued shut with my Wu-Tang tape inside.  But after constant influence from my big homie Evan Frey I began to take notice.  Then came Stankonia in 2000 which turned me, and I’m sure countless others, into true fans.  I recall first coming across the “Bombs Over Baghdad” video, it was unlike anything I had ever seen.  The group’s eccentric style made them standout in an always over saturated market and separated them from the rest.  Their ability to maintain such different identities yet stay strong as a group is what ultimately propelled them to their Hall of Fame status.

Ain’t nobody dope as me.. I’m dressed so fresh, so clean.”

The catchiest tune on Stankonia’s diverse soundscape is definitely the smooth “So Fresh, So Clean”, which features a sample from the renowned Joe Simon.  It’s hard to even tell if the sample is laid underneath the chorus, but there’s no doubt where Outkast got that funky vocal melody from.  The song was produced by long time collaborators Organized Noize, with Sleepy Brown on the hook.  The record was released as the third single and charted with moderate success… but still a defining moment for the duo. (K.Casey/P.Walsh)

Joe Simon – Before the Night is Over

Outkast – So Fresh, So Clean

via KevinCaseyMusic

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Categories
Music

Diplo – Fabriclive 24

Every day we come across well-intended artists that make an attempt at ameliorating an already epic song by remixing it in their own style. I don’t know about you, but looking for a good remix of a classic tune is like looking for your contact lens in the middle of a crowded dance floor.

A bit over three years ago I had my first experience of the renowned night club Fabric in the heart of London, to go see my friend Nathan C. lay down a set. Several floors of rooms diversified by each DJ playing any given night make that place a musical dojo. Whatever butters your muffin, they had it. A sober trance induced by musical mastery is what I was submitted to.

That being said, the boys n girls at Fabric management, not stupid in the least, release an album of their best sets. Diplo’s edition is the 24th of over 40 all incredibly unique and epic Farbiclive sets.
As I was preparing for one of my many meetings last week, I ran across Diplo’s epic transition between The Cure’s Lovesong and Outkast’s B.O.B. It is amazing how some people can listen to a song, and within a matter of seconds, a number of paralleling tunes pop up in their head. “Damn, that would mix well’ is an exemplary thought crossing his mind.

It was blatant that these two bad boys needed to be posted in our family dojo. Hoping it has the same effect on you as it did on me, here’s Diplo’s transitional mastery. Enjoy.

The Cure – Lovesong (Diplo Remix)

Outkast – B.O.B. (Diplo Remix)

Categories
Music

Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Willie Hutch et UGK

Southern rap is most commonly backed up by colorful synths and 808 drums – but every now and then you may catch a record that contains a sample (…and 808 drums).  Some producers frown upon sampling using straight loops, but when it works it works, and in this case it does.  The beat is constructed using three different 4 bar loops, taken from 0:09, 1:11, and 2:41.

The drums don’t come in until after Andre 3000’s verse, a smart move to make sure you don’t miss a word.  He can say more in a verse than some do on an album.  If you were a fan of “Int’l Players Anthem,” you will surely enjoy rocking out to the Willie Hutch original.

Willie Hutch – I Choose You

UGK – International Players Anthem (Feat Outkast)

via Kevin Casey Music

Categories
Music

Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra

Sometimes my severe eclecticism and ceaseless desire for new music leads me to all sorts of obscure artist and genres, most of which is flat out weird and never makes it to EMPT but this time I think I’ve found a happy medium, Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra. I came across Shawn Lee while looking for some cool music for a playlist I was making for Phillipe Chow’s in the city. Long story short I heard all these genre blending, multicultural albums by Shawn Lee and then ran into his cover album Hits the Hits in which he transforms some of our most exhausted pop songs into these creative vintage sounding pieces one can’t help but love. Pop done the bachelor pad way, enjoy.

Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra - Hey Ya (Outkast Cover)

Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra – Rehab (Amy Whinehouse Cover)

Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra – Get UR Freak On (Missy Elliot Cover)