“I got my hands up, what else am I supposed to do??”
Actually not a bad record. All talk and no action though or enough to silence critics who say, “What is hip-hop doing about the Mike Brown/Ferguson?“
The audio on 50 and G-unit‘s commentary on the Mike Brown/Ferguson situation dropped last week. Now here’s goes the video. Track also on G-Unit’s just released new EP, The Beauty of Independence which you can download HERE.
Also, order Young Buck‘s Mike Brown shirts HERE – all proceeds will go to Michael Brown’s memorial fund (supposedly!).
Also on The Kitchen:
- “Black Rage” – Lauryn Hill‘s commentary on Ferguson.
What can I say about Melbourne, Australia’s Audego? I discovered this
trip hop electronic soul duo while doing a little side gig hustle screening submissions for NXNE this year and I have been a committed fan ever since checking out both of their shows when they flew halfway around the world to perform twice at NXNE, at one venue literally on my block and then at one two blocks away from me. How could I not ask them to contribute a track to the This One Goes to Eleven… album under those circumstances??
Luckily they said yes and I’m glad they did. Their track, “Gone” is not only incredible but is undeniably the hit of the compilation so far racking up over 8,000 plays on Soundcloud to date. I can’t say enough good things about Carolyn and Paso. Not only are they amazing musicians and really chill people, those cool day count banners I used during the 11 day roll-out campaign? Thank Paso for those too. Anyway, I wish them all the best but based on their talent and tremendous karma, I don’t think they need my wishes. It was great to talk with them about their music though which you can read here:
DK: I’ve seen Audego described as doing future soul but listening to your second album reminds me lot of Portishead at times. However Carolyn, your stated vocal influences tends more towards 90s R&B singers like Brandy and Whitney Houston which some might find surprising based on the sound of your music. Can you talk about how those singers inform your music now and what your other musical inspirations or reference points are?
Carolyn: Growing up, I was surrounded by such diverse music. My parents were really into Queen, Joe Cocker, Michael Jackson and Billy Joel, so I listened to those guys a lot growing up, and I still love all of them. My brothers got me into Nirvana and Silverchair later. I definitely listened to a lot of RnB when I was a teenager, but I was also really into Fiona Apple and Aretha Franklin and then later I got into Billie Holiday and the Andrews Sisters. Basically, I don’t doubt that I have been influenced in some way or another by all of the singers I’ve been obsessed with over my life, but my tone is what it is. I sound like me and I definitely don’t want to sound like anyone else.
Voices are such personal things and are the result of your genetic makeup, your own creative directions and the amount of substance abuse you’ve subjected it to. My voice would be so different if I hadn’t smoked so much. I think I just sound like me. I try not to listen to other singers that much now because I really don’t want to adopt any of their stylistic behaviors. I would like to sound as unique as I can.
DK: Paso, I hear a lot of hip-hop influences in your sound, big drum beats and loops, samples and even scratching. Are you a hip-hop fan and which acts do you listen to?
Paso: I listened to hip hop exclusively from around age 8 to around my late teens. I first got into Run DMC, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, all those early Def Jam acts. The song that really tipped me over the edge was Public Enemy‘s ‘Terminator X to the Edge of Panic.’ From the cut up intro to (what I thought was) a boiling kettle whistle looped in the background [ed note: actually a great sample chop of James Brown side group, The JB's "The Grunt"] to Chuck‘s attitude and Flav‘s comic asides, I was totally blown away. I had never heard anything like it. That raw energy and abstract wall of noise left a lasting impression. Production wise I am most influenced by the The Bomb Squad, Prince Paul, Primo and RZA.
DK: OK, that makes sense. “Fight” and “From My Blue” were the first songs I heard from you guys off your last (second) album, Beneath the Static and the Low and they seem to be the tracks getting the most attention. Can you talk about how that album differs from your debut album?
Carolyn: I think “Liar” has actually gotten the most plays out of all of our tracks, but “Fight” and “From My Blue” are definitely getting some love too. Beneath the Static… is a lot more polished than Abominable Galaxy. We took a lot more care in its inception. I rushed into a lot of decisions vocally in Abominable Galaxy, which made me cringe later. I think Abominable Galaxy is a lot darker production wise and lyrically too.
Paso: On Abominable Galaxy I was just excited to be making music with Carolyn! Being a new partnership we only had a vague idea of what our sound was. I had just started using a new program and was starting to mess with synth plug-ins. With Beneath the Static… I knew my tools better. We put more thought into crafting ‘songs’ as opposed to making beats with singing. We experimented with different song structures (e.g. “Fractures”‘ build-/crescendo-fade out). We had a clearer idea of what our sound could be. The guiding catch phrase for Beneath the Static… was ‘future noir’.
DK: You said when we met up last in June at NXNE that you guys had more fans in the US and Canada than your native Australia. Why do you think that is?
Paso: It’s been the US and Canadian blogs that have given us some shine that’s really helped. I don’t know of many beats/electronic/new music focused blogs in Australia that have followings that big. Maybe it’s just a numbers thing, there are a whole lot more people over there!
Carolyn: Also, I just think we don’t fit in to the music scene here. Australia is really into barbeque friendly, sunshine, party music and we’re not that. Australia also really loves to support male vocalists. It’s much harder to get love if you’re a female vocalist in Australia. But we’re so grateful that we’re finding our niche overseas.
DK: I know “Gone” comes from a pretty dark place in terms of what inspired it and your music has quite a dark, blue feeling in general. Can you share what inspired the song and if you find more inspiration tapping into those darker feelings or moods than more lighthearted subject matter?
Carolyn: Emotionally I can be pretty stunted. I tend to hide behind inappropriate jokes and sarcasm and don’t really communicate properly. Music is a great avenue to express things that are too much for me to cope with. “Gone” is about losing someone to addiction and watching them slowly kill themselves. I was making myself sick with sadness from that situation and it was just festering internally until I wrote “Gone.” Songwriting can be a sort of exorcism.
The track actually started off quite chipper melodically; it was in a bed of harmonies that were arranged in a major scale, then Paso flipped it on it’s back by writing the arrangement in the relative minor, which he always does by accident, but it’s such a cool mistake to make. So, the track became quite grim sounding, which is suitable for the lyrical content.
DK: “Gone” and another track, “Moments” you gave KCRW are from your forthcoming album. Are they indicative of how that album will sound and if not, can you share any details on how the rest of the album will sound, how it is different from Beneath the Static… and when can we expect it?
Paso: I think those two songs are a fair indication of how the new album will sound. We’re still in the very early stages though, writing as much as we can. We don’t yet have the concept nailed down. It’s like we’re speeding along in a manual car and we’ve gone to change gear but haven’t quite engaged yet.
Carolyn: Yeah, it’s still definitely taking its shape. We don’t have a predetermined concept for the whole album. We like to let the songs happen naturally.
DK: “Gone” has become the break out track of the compilation which is ironic since it is one of only two tracks on there that aren’t hip-hop. Thank you for sharing it with the DK readers early. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap this up?
Carolyn: Just thank you for letting us be a part of the album! We love Different Kitchen and are really excited to be involved with the compilation.
Paso: Thanks, DK for your support!
DK: Thank you, guys!
Haven’t heard “Gone” yet? Hit play below (then GO HERE to listen to the entire THIS ONE GOES TO ELEVEN… album):
Written & Produced by Carolyn Tariq, Shehab Tariq
Cover Art Design Tiffany Pilgrim for Tiffany Pilgrim Art & Design
Audio mastering by Neil McDonald & Paul Kehayas for Echosound Studiolab
Gotta give the homie, J.Nolan mad props. He took getting down with the #DK11 THIS ONE GOES TO ELEVEN… album real serious and hustled to get his contribution to the album, a track titled “Deluxe Edition” on all kinds of blogs and sites. Shouts to DJBooth.net, All In A Day’s Work, CWMuzik, AyeBro, TOAN Magazine, Unheard Voices and all the other sites I may have missed for supporting the song.
We’ve been supporting ATL-based, J.Nolan for going on 6 years now here and on the old version of The Kitchen site so it was an honor, as with all the acts on the #DK11 comp, to have him be a part of the album. I asked him a few questions about the “Deluxe Edition” track and his prior work and this is the result:
DK: I can’t remember how I came across it now but The Up-Bringing 2.0 was the first music by you I heard and supported on the site. The title alone suggests that was not your first full length project? How long had you been making music at that point?
Jamar: That project was done in my 3rd year of actually recording music. The original Upbringing was an EP made exclusively for Myspace when the 5 track limit was still there, so we wanted to expand on that idea and gain some traction with the follow-up.
DK: Back in 2010 we premiered your Broken Dreams album as part of our Connoisseurs of Culture series. Looking back on that album what comes to mind and what are your recollections of making that album?
Jamar: Broken Dreams was my purest body of work, still to this day. I had just accepted God into my life and I was still young enough to not be bogged down from the business aspect of music. I recorded that album at my cousin, Yung B Da Producer‘s place in Colorado. The good ol’ days.
DK: You’re from Atlanta which nowadays is known for a very particular style of hip-hop which you don’t happen to do. Is it hard to be an artist whose sound could be described as more traditional, classic style hip hop living in the A?
Jamar: I’m originally from Connecticut, so that’s where I had my first encounters with music. My family only stayed a few years, but I always embraced the entire east coast sound because it reminded me of home. The Atlanta audience respects my craft, but I’m learning how to adapt my craft for those that may not listen to boom bap type records. My next project will showcase that.
DK: The opening ad-lib, “It’s that Rosenberg type stuff right here…” is a reference to Hot 97′s Peter Rosenberg, right? Did you shout him because he’s a champion of the kind of style of hip-hop you do?
Jamar: Well, I wrote the song around the time Hot 97′s Ebro was making his “Minors vs. Majors” declaration to everyone. At that time Rosenberg was still arguing on the behalf of traditional Hip-Hop at Hot 97 so yeah, I figured “Deluxe Edition” was the type of song he’d probably step up for.
DK: I also heard a reference to Jim Duggan on the track. Are you a pro wrestling fan? You know, ironically Rosenberg is apparently a massive wrestling fan too?
Jamar: Yeah, I’m a fan of pro wrestling too. I’m not as up to date as he is with the current cast of characters though, but I’ve always indulged.
DK: “Deluxe Edition” has been really well received and been picked up by a few other blogs. Can you talk a little about what the track is about and what the process was like making it?
Jamar: That song is about a year old, I’ve been performing it locally since last fall. Reese Jones and I formed a duo called The Humble Legends and that was one of the marquee songs I knew people would respond to. The concept of it was inspired by the deluxe version of albums being more coveted than the standard version, so I wanted to make a song that people regard as above the standard. I was listening to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx quite a bit at the time, too. You can tell by my choice of words on the record.
DK: It’s also slated to be on one of your upcoming projects. Can you talk a little about what that project is and when we can expect it?
Jamar: It’s gonna be on The Humble Legends full-length, Keep it Cordial. Reese and I have a great chemistry as a duo. People can expect that early next year. I have a promotional mixtape called Loose Files 2 coming in October for those that can’t wait.
DK: I haven’t really asked many of the other artists on the comp about this but the Ferguson situation around the murder of Michael Brown doesn’t seem to be abating. As a young black man whose been given this gift of being able to express yourself through the platform of music, do you have any personal opinions on what’s going on there or thoughts on how the hip hop creative community has addressed the situation so far?
Jamar: The Ferguson situation is disgusting to me, personally. I grew up being warned to be careful while out with friends just because we’re black. This is essentially what my elders warned me about, so it’s really disheartening. I don’t even understand why the police and national guard are at the site at this point [ed note: this interview was conducted a while ago when the National Guard were still in Ferguson]. All they have to do is leave and let the community nurse their wounds, man. Hip-Hop can’t do anything for those residents besides show gratitude for their courage. Ferguson is Hip-Hop, they don’t need some artist to put on a cape. But if anything, let’s actually display the struggles of our people instead of doing tribute songs one day out of the year. How about artists get back to speaking our truth as a culture?
DK: Thanks. Any final thoughts or things you want to share before we wrap up?
Jamar: Thank you for having me on the comp! Loose Files 2 is coming this October. Artists seeking a platform for their music can also check out the podcast I co-host called Fresh & Local Radio. Much love and respect!
DK: OK, that’s it! Thanks, Jamar.
Haven’t heard “Deluxe Edition” yet? Check it out right here:
Written by Jamar Nolan
Produced by Reese Jones
Audio mastering by Neil McDonald & Paul Kehayas for Echosound Studiolab
Art by Tiffany Pilgrim for Tiffany Pilgrim Art Direction & Graphic Design
Somehow missed listening to the THIS ONE GOES TO ELEVEN… album? CLICK HERE to hear it in FULL.
The Kitchen has been a supporter of Bronx native, Noah Vinson for a while now ever since we stumbled upon his mixtape, The Life almost two years ago in our submissions inbox. Since then he’s proven to be an adept MC who can handle himself over new school, minimalist trap feeling tracks or classic style hip hop beats alike.
We were honored to premiere his single “Nation” featuring long time collaborator, Frank Ramz last year so of course, we had to ask him to be a part of the #DK11 project and contribute a track to the This One Goes To Eleven… comp. He gave us a banger of a track called “Ex” featuring singer, Isis Ash, a track he said was:
“Based on real life occurrences. I know a lot of guys who could identify with this type of situation so I thought it’d be a great idea to turn the tables. Often you hear records like this from a woman’s perspective and more often it tends to be a negative reaction. A lot of times people break up with their significant others and it’s a negative response but it doesn’t really always have to be. Sometimes you end on a positive note through it all. I never heard anything like that before in song format so I thought it’d be a interesting take on a breakup song where, I’m not wrong, she’s not wrong and I’m not constantly demonizing her or placing blame. Sometimes no one is to blame.”
You see? Grown person themes over a beat that both bangs and has a sophisticated arrangement & song construction. Check that breakdown and gospel house style piano coda at the end of the track1 I’d love to hear “Ex” done live with a proper band some time. Get them soul claps going and while you are, get onto our conversation with Noah:
DK: I was a big fan of your mixtape album, The Life. Tell me about making that album and how you think you’ve evolved as a person and artist since then
Noah: The Life was a good turning point in my life, at that point I was still kind of playing with the sound that I wanted to go for. I had some damn good recordings on there, and at the time working with the team I was working with I was having a lot of fun, and I feel like that’s where I really found my sound. I feel like now things are so next level with my music, my perspective on things in life have changed so all of that effects what you hear today. The Life was good, but It’s really only getting better from here on out.
DK: Frank Ramz is a frequent collaborative partner of yours. Tell me about what it’s like working with him, and your relationship?
Noah: Well the first time I worked with Frank Ramz, was actually on The Life album, he was on “H.I.H (Humans In Hollywood)” alongside Rich-P, and ever since then we just been working more and more and more. He’s become one of my favorite artist and one of my favorite people to work with, he’s a good dude, dedicated and one of the best rappers I’ve had the pleasure of working with so far in my career. So we decided to do a project together, it should be dropping this September, its called …And The Phone Was On Silent. I know Frank and a lot of people on twitter have taken to calling it Watch The Phone (laughs). I look at Ramz like a big brother in this rap sh*t, and just a overall good friend.
DK: There are 2 other Bronx NY artist, Mickey Factz and Joel (fka MaG) on the album which I’m happy but bummed about at the same time since I was a Brooklyn head when I lived in NY and there’s no BK artist on it, Do you know those guys and what does being from BX mean to you as a hip-hop artist and as a person?
Noah: I know about Mickey Factz. I don’t know about Joel, but I’ll check him out when I get the chance. I don’t know them personally but at one point I was a big fan of Factz, I think he’s super talented, and a smart individual. I follow his facebook account we often have a lot in common in terms of perspective and the type of things that we are interested in, (like anime, movies, games, etc.). I take pride in where I’m from and in what I’m doing with Frank collectively for the borough itself. Usually cats that come from where I’m from its Trap Music, and I feel like its so dope that we’ve chosen to do the opposite. There are a lot of REAL artist here and I’m proud to represent what I feel like is a borough forgotten. I like being the underdog. In reality I’m doing this for Noah Vinson, and I’m repping New York City. Period.
DK: Your track, “Ex” from This One Goes To Eleven… is also going to be on a forthcoming project of yours called Young & Proud but you also just dropped that new “On God” track from the …And The Phone Was On Silent Noah Vinson & Frank Ramz collab project. Can you talk a little about what each project is about and how they differ from one another?
Noah: Young & Proud is a little deeper than my up & coming project which is why I’ve kind’ve put my new project in the spotlight. Young & Proud is in a very delicate stage right now, the songs & content are very emotional and a more personal side of me: my thoughts, and the lives of the people around me. …And The Phone Was On Silent is more like a fantasy draft, like, “What if two of the most dangerous emcees coming out of the same area did a mixtape together?” It’s a different feel, it’s different music and all around engaging from start to finish so I’m very proud of the outcome thus far. “On God” was a complete GEM and we at the last moment decided to include it on our project. Ramz sent me the beat with his verse on it and then send it to ReQ and Wordsmiff and we all just made magic happen. They dropped it on Sunday (the Lord’s Day, get it?) which I thought was cool so I sent it to the people directly and within under 72 hours it got a lot of love from the twitter community so I appreciate and Love everyone who’s been rocking with us so far.
DK: Rockin’ with you no doubt! I know it’s a long time into the future but where do you want music, yours or the music industry as a whole, to go in the next 11 years?
Noah: Well we all know where the music industry is headed right now (laughs) as far as my music goes and where my catalog stands with all that is going on, I feel like I want it to be stand alone and actually WORTH something. I want my work to be well-valued, I want my recordings and lyrics to be valued more than anything. I want my core fans to be proud of the what we’ve accomplished, ten, twenty years from now. I may not live forever but these records will, and I want us to make an impact on the world as a whole through the poetry, through the art, and through the rhythm we create.
Haven’t heard “Ex” yet? The click play:
Want to hear Noah’s latest heater, “On God”? Hit the jump then CLICK HERE for the THIS ONE GOES TO ELEVEN… album featuring the single, “Ex” if you’ve somehow managed to miss it so far.
As long time readers know, I’m a big fan of Montreal rapper, Jai Nitai Lotus and his Something You Feel album from last year was certainly that! Enough for me to lend my endorsement to it for nomination consideration for Canada’s Polaris Music Prize last year. That didn’t happen but I stayed cool with Jai […]
What can I say about Melbourne, Australia’s Audego? I discovered this trip hop electronic soul duo while doing a little side gig hustle screening submissions for NXNE this year and I have been a committed fan ever since checking out both of their shows when they flew halfway around the world to perform twice at […]
Gotta give the homie, J.Nolan mad props. He took getting down with the #DK11 THIS ONE GOES TO ELEVEN… album real serious and hustled to get his contribution to the album, a track titled “Deluxe Edition” on all kinds of blogs and sites. Shouts to DJBooth.net, All In A Day’s Work, CWMuzik, AyeBro, TOAN Magazine, […]
The Kitchen has been a supporter of Bronx native, Noah Vinson for a while now ever since we stumbled upon his mixtape, The Life almost two years ago in our submissions inbox. Since then he’s proven to be an adept MC who can handle himself over new school, minimalist trap feeling tracks or classic style […]
Today’s feature interview from the This One Goes To Eleven… comp is a two-fer: Joel. (the Bronx-based hip-hop artist formerly known at MaG) has long been a fixture around these parts but Arthur Lewis, the featured artist on his amazing and heartfelt track fro the comp, “Make It In America” has also been a favorite […]
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