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Classics Music Writing

DivineRule – (CLUE) WHO KILLED 2PAC and BIGGIE SMALLS?

You have the most to lose when you are ahead of the game.  The higher you are in this world the more people want to hate, the haters are always out for blood. Believe me I know this, I have always been a go getter, a really hard worker, I don’t believe in failure and if you tell me I can’t do something I work even harder because boy to I love to prove people wrong and I usually do.  People don’t like confidence because the majority of this world doesn’t have it, so much insecurities in this world, people could actually learn a thing or two from the confident few but they would rather hate, sad but true.  I think it’s just easier for people to focus on the negative, I wish I understood why, I can sometimes rationalize it in my head but I just don’t live in that type of head space.  I know what it’s like to feel like there is just this dark cloud hovering over your head at all times but that’s no way to live, it’s a shit way to live people.

I think the lives of Tupac and Biggie tell a true story of what happens when people live in a hateful head space, when jealousy and rage take over and you can’t appreciate someone else’s hustle.  To much competition since the beginning of time, how do we get rid of that, we probably never will but for a few of us and hopefully more and more as time goes on the word competition can leave our vocabulary. Who knows, all I know is I don’t focus on what everyone else is doing, I focus on my grind and what I need to do to keep pushing forward and eliminate haters, your haters are actually your biggest fans so learn to love them hard working badasses of the world, learn to love em’!

Thanks DivineRule for this jam and a reminder not to be afraid of the hustle, but watch your back if you got somethin’ special!

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Categories
Music

2Pac – I Ain’t Mad At Cha et Heaven Ain’t Hard 2 Find

Yesterday marked the 15th anniversary of the tragic death of Tupac Shakur. While I originally planned to get this post up yesterday, it proved difficult to choose the right song being that the man had an incredible catalog of classic records. His versatility remains unmatched, no rapper could seamlessly flow between subject matter like ‘Pac could. Whether it be a party track (“I Get Around”), a battle record (“Hit ‘Em Up”), a song for his mother (“Dear Mama”), or some hardcore gangster shit (“Ambitionz Az A Ridah”) you could always feel his passion and love for the music through his words and delivery. The man accomplished more in his 25 years than most do in an entire lifetime, and his legacy and cultural impact is up there with the likes of John Lennon and Bob Marley. Rest In Peace to a man who will live forever through his music.

-Pete

2Pac – I Ain’t Mad at Cha

2Pac – Heaven Ain’t Hard 2 Find

Categories
Music

Volta Cab – We Are Martians

When I was 20 I use to get in my car, turn up the music and literally race down the FDR like Ricky Bobby with a fake bag of girl strapped under my car. There’s something liberating about going fast, reminds me of sky diving and roller coasters except you’re in control of the thrill, which makes it that much better. Six years later, I’ve matured into a find young lad but absolutely nothing has changed and if the right song comes on I’m quick to turn Lewis Hamilton on those fools and live the fast life…

Ain’t no stopping at the red lights I’m sideways thug life  mother fu%#er crime pays…
Let the cops put they lights on, chase me ni%&@
Zig zaggin through the freeway, race me ni$%*@
In a high speed chase with the law, the realest mother fu%#er that you ever saw… – Tupac, Nothing To Lose

That’s one of the most overlooked Tupac tracks and one of my personal favorites, the first verse is absolute poetry. Anyways, Volta Cab’s We Are The Martians is one of those songs and it will be the soundtrack to one of the my late night adventures very soon. The last Volta Cab song I posted was Clarissa which is fantastic and if you haven’t heard it check it out here. Konstantyn Isaew is the man behind this very well produced Space-Disco. It’s not every day you get a new wave act from Russia but I heard their EP and every track is on point. It’s still not available in the U.S. but check out on Last.fm, you will not be disappointed. Alight, I have a bunch of meetings to go to and it finally stopped raining in the city so back to the lecture at hand, enjoy.

Volta Cab – We Are Martians

Categories
Music

Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Bruce Hornsby et 2Pac

When Death Row released 2Pac’s Greatest Hits, the double-disc contained four previously unheard records; one of those being “Changes.”  It quickly became one of the most notable and popular records of his career.  Pac discusses a bunch of issues that were related to his era of influence in the game; including racism, poverty, police brutality, and gangs.  Being released posthumously, it’s almost as if he was looking back, and addressing those issues that showed little progress or change during his lifetime. Reasons like this make “Changes” one of the greatest hip hop records of all time (yea I said it).  Before the third verse, Pac takes 8 bars off from rapping to lend a few spoken words, getting right to the point of his message.

It’s time for us as a people to start making some changes.  Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way live, and let’s change the way we treat each other.  See the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do…. to survive.”

The foundation of this classic record is built on the music of another classic record, “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and The Range.  Beyond just a musical backdrop, the sample is also a song that addresses the civil rights movement, and the disparity between rich and poor in America.  The lyrics to “The Way It Is” suggest that some things will never change if we don’t take active steps on our own to facilitate change itself.  The piano was replayed for the 2Pac version, giving the producer more flexibility in arrangement. With a keyboard lead, strings, and layers of male and female vocal riffs, the beat was ready.  They kept the tempo pretty much the same as the Hornsby version, which was very up-tempo as far as rap records went in that time period.  After 2Pac did his part, the end result was a record of legendary status, and a social commentary that will remain relevant for generations to come.

Bruce Hornsby – The Way It Is

2Pac – Changes

via Kevin Casey Music

Categories
Music

Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – The O’Jays et 2Pac

When All Eyez on Me came out in 1996, I was in middle school, and was still getting familiar with hip hop as a genre.  For years, all I listened to was the east coast heavy hitters of the time, and it took me a while to really give Pac the proper attention.  I still consider myself underexposed to Pac’s music, which is my own fault.  I guess the growing up in New York thing left me coast-bias deep down. Although it took me a while, I eventually gave All Eyes on Me the attention it deserves, and I understand why it is so highly acclaimed.  It’s not that other rappers don’t touch on the same subjects as Pac, it’s just that they don’t do it nearly as well.  On “Life Goes On,” the subject is losing a close friend, that friend being his lifetime partner Kato.  I listened to this song regularly after my boy DaVaughn died a few years back.

Life as a baller, alcohol and booty calls, we used to do them as adolescents do you recall.

The beat was made by Pac’s long time producer Johnny “J”, who produced a total of ten tracks on the double disc All Eyez on Me. He used various parts and loops of the opening sequence of “Brandy” by The O’Jays to create the basic framework, but elevated the track with live guitar licks and smooth female vocal riffs.  Exactly seven months after the album release, Pac was gunned down.  A few years ago, Johhny “J” died in a Los Angeles prison in an apparent suicide.  With both producer and artist passed away, the music certainly goes on, as this record manages to stand out amongst Pac’s large catalogue of music.

Sample Saturday is brought to you by Kevin Casey Music.

The O’Jays – Brandy

2Pac – Life Goes On

Categories
Music

Tupac – Nothing To Lose

“Rap music is the only form of vital music since punk.” – Kurt Cobain

While that statement would not apply in the present, songs like “Nothing to Lose” from 2 Pac’s 1997 “R U Still Down? (Remember Me)” LP are the reason why he said that. Everyone is so moderate these days, I miss the rebels. See the layers, try to understand people, try!

Tupac – Nothing To Lose