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i know i haven't said anything here in a long time. i've been busy. but i read this recently:

"Because I'd done two or three projects in a row that were quite serious, maybe I just needed to get that out of my system or something. So all I wanted to do for this album was just to have fun and do something that was full-bodied and really up."

that's bjork on her new album. which timbaland is having a hand in producing.

that sound you just heard was me squealing like a pig with joy.

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i have come to terms with my love for the pussycat dolls. especially the lead singer, nicole scherzinger, who i find to be stunning. she just might be my new number one girl crush (past recipients have been angelina jolie, foxy brown, gina gershon, amongst others).

that is all.

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i've recently come across some info. it all might be rumors, it might all be fact. but whatever it is, it's got me making a severe mess in my pants.

- pharrell may or may not be calling a re-do with his album "in my mind". this second time around, he's got roots masterminds ?uestlove and james poyser at the boards. as you may remember, he did something similar when n.e.r.d.'s first album came out. they had recorded it, and at the last minute pulled it so they could re-record it with live instruments provided by the obscure, midwest rock band spymob. i'm told pharrell heard the new roots album "game theory", was awed by the sonic quality, and called them up to re-do the album with live instrumentation.

- al green may or may not also be working with the roots crew on his new album. i'm told it's just as good as his 70's material.

- jill scott is working on a new album. which is big news to me, as she spent so damn long in between her first and second. and again, ?uesto is at the boards.


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t.i. - why you wanna

fergie f/ will.i.am - here i come

mobb deep - got it twisted

notice something here? these songs sample other, older songs. there's nothing wrong with sampling. i think it can be very creative. reinterpreting a sample is one of the coolest things one can do. however, i don't think these guys do anything creative with their samples whatsoever. i'm only speaking from personal experience here, but when i listen to them, i scratch my head and wonder, "why did they sample that?"

t.i.: he samples crystal waters's early 90's hit "gypsy woman". it was an alright song. she did much better a few years later with "100% pure love". the sample t.i. uses just feels unnecessary. like the producer was lazy and didn't feel like making a new beat, so he found some random song, switched it up, and added some drums or something. that's the only reason i can think of that would justify taking a song about a homeless woman and changing it into something else entirely.
sample, "gypsy woman":

fergie: call me old fashioned, but no one should be able to sample the temptations. they're too big, too recognizable, too legendary to separate who they are from whatever the artist intends to do. when i hear this song, i only think about how kind of awkward the beat is, and it only makes me want to hear "get ready". who allowed her to clear this?
sample, "get ready":

mobb deep: let's talk about nonsensical samples. "she blinded me with science"?? somehow, mobb deep turns this into a song about threats and boasts. much like t.i., this only leaves me confused. maybe this producer felt lazy too? wouldn't it be weird if it was the same producer? yikes.
sample, "she blinded me with science":

that's all. a nice little short entry.

Current Mood: confused confused

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so i've taken a small step in making/creating/whatevering music. i figure there's only so much talking i can do about music before i actually start doing something about it. it's pretty common knowledge that i admire dj's very much. i only wish i could do the things they do.

so, in an effort to sound like a dj, i made an mp3 of my favorite songs to dance to. many are "mixed" together. and by that, i mean i used a primitive sound editing program i have to weave together my favorite songs; either by using quotes to tie similar elements together, or other dj's routines and meshes to kind of "sew" tracks together. you'll understand what i mean when you listen to it. so please downlowd it here!:

tommy o - party mix

i hope you guys like it. it's a huge file - it's an hour and fifteen minutes. but i urge you to play it at any (and maybe every) party you throw. it's very fun. and i actually worked really hard on it. making it at times was like doing intensive surgery - no joke. taking verses from rare remixes and inserting them into original versions, all that fun stuff. all in all, i think it's a very fun sort of "mixtape". and i'd appreciate any feedback you may have. you'll find some really rare and surprising shit on there. to get an idea of what it's made of, here's a list of the artists you'll hear on it:

gnarls barkley, cypress hill, beyonce, jay-z, busta rhymes, mary j. blige, rah digga, missy elliott, lloyd banks, papoose, dmx, gwen stefani, joe budden, notorious b.i.g., craig mack, rampage, ll cool j, le tigre, lil' kim, faith evans, fatman scoop, george michael, vanity 6, justin timberlake, clipse, nelly furtado, timbaland, gorillaz, de la soul, snoop dogg, and basement jaxx.

if the link becomes dead, just let me know and i'll re-uplaod it. enjoy, and party on!
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alright. i feel like a jerk for not having posted a second entry in forever. school has been really freakin' hectic and i haven't had the time to sit down and write another entry here - until now. and i'm at work. haha. in truth, i really do love that i have this lj account here where i can talk about music all i want to. i hope you guys will enjoy the things i have to say here.


as most people know, i can't stand crunk music and all genres affiliated with it. every now and then, a hit will come along that i find tolerable, but the bad FAR outweigh the few.

crunk originated in the south. it's known for high-energy beats and loud, crude yelling. it's minimalistic, but not in a good way. there is often a high-hat associated percussion with much synthesization in terms of musicality. i believe that it contains and fosters no creativity whatsoever. to get an idea of what the genre sounds like, listen to these popular songs:

lil' jon and the eastside boyz - get low
usher featuring ludacris - yeah!
ciara featuring petey pablo - goodies
ying yang twins - salt shaker
petey pablo - freek-a-leek

those are the more common, mainstream examples. odds are you've heard at least one of them (and probably at length). and those songs are ones i find fairly tolerable. however, artists like t.i., dem franchize boyz, bone crusher, lil' scrappy, chamillionaire, and three 6 mafia - i have no patience for.

and it bugs me so much that three 6 mafia is so "in" right now. just because they won that oscar for that song in "hustle and flow". granted, it was a really funny moment. queen latifah, who had been presenting the award, stumbled back upon opening the envelope and abandoned all poise she had spent years cultivating and maintaining and yelled, "oh mah GAHD, three 6 mafia!!" but come on. three 6 mafia had never been wholly respected before. and now because they beat out alison krauss and dolly parton at the oscars, they get all sorts of cred? if that had never happened, would they really be on justin timberlake's new album?

and crunk has pervaded the music scene so much now that in order to have a hit, one must incorporate crunk elements into their music. take a listen to top 40 radio - i guarantee you'll hear that high hat, that cacophanous synth, or that abrasive, gritty yelling in half the songs.

i never thought i'd say this, but thank god for christina aguilera. to incorporate a hip-hop sound into her new album, she hired a producer who actually makes hip-hop. dj premier, a true oldschooler and the genius behind the beats of gangstarr and countless other classic hip-hop songs, manned the booth for aguilera's first disc of her new album. what a smart, classy move. i'm so relieved she knows what's up and didn't go the way of crunk - a useless, tired fad that will be nothing but embarrassing ten years from now. i bet we'll all look back on this period of music and realize how dismal it was.

and unfortuantely, some people i highly respect are falling into the trend. dj shadow, one of the frontrunners of the trip-hop movement, went all crunk in his latest album. in the south, they call it crunk. on the west coast, they call it hyphy (pronounced "HY-fee"). to me, that's like calling garbage rubbish. and dan the automator, an incredible producer and mastermind for acts like handsome boy modeling school, kool keith, and almost anything mike patton has done, has also jumped on the crunk bandwagon! why do these people think it's okay?? e-40, someone who used to have a lot of oldschool clout but has fallen into the dark depths of this shit-tastic trend, is on both of these guys' new albums. ugh. it makes me sick.

i miss the days when rap, r&b, hip-hop, and soul used to be smooth. remember how it was in the 90's and early 00's? i have no problem with those genres being hard - it just needs to be executed well (see wu-tang clan). but man, when biggie, ll cool j, aaliyah, keith sweat, and total were big - daaamn that was the shit.

to get an idea of what i'm talking about (and to get your hands on some really good music), check out the following:

notorious b.i.g. - one more chance (remix)
the isley brothers featuring lil' kim - float on (remix)
aaliyah - rock the boat
erick sermon featuring marvin gaye - music
total featuring dmx - trippin' (remix)
mary j. blige - not gon' cry
jay-z featuring mary j. blige - can't knock the hustle
jodeci featuring redman - you got it

consider that your homework, i guess. thanks for reading!

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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my first real entry. yeeeaaah!


so, everyone knows snoop dogg. for almost as long as i can remember, he's been in the forefront of the music scene. he started out in the early 90's as dr. dre's first protege, and has soared to damn near immortality since. his laid-back flow has inspired countless wannabes, and his chill, gangsta attitude has been nothing but magnetic.

lately, snoop's been a go-to guy for your album or remix if you want the rap community to hear you. he and busta rhymes have been on countless artists' songs - so much so that it's kind of gotten to a point (in my opinion at least) that having snoop or busta on your song doesn't really mean anything anymore. sometimes the pairing is even mis-matched (see the pussycat dolls' "buttons", lucy pearl's "you", and angie stone's "i wanna thank ya"). and snoop has changed camps so much (suge knight's death row, to master p's no limit, to pharrell's star trak) that he's kind of lost a sense of stability.

however, that may all change with his new album due out some time in the next couple of months. if the first single "vato" is any indication, he'll be doing some real throwing back to his g-funk roots. and not "throwback" in the sense that mary j. blige tried to do on her album "love & life" - those never really work. but listen to his new song, i've posted it below:

snoop dogg featuring b-real - vato

produced by the neptunes and featuring a chorus from b-real of cypress hill, this song could stand its own against "murder was the case" or "ain't nothin' but a g thing". this is the kind of hard rapping that's been noticeably missing lately. what's considered "hard" nowadays is people making loud, abrasive threats and boasts over equally as cacophanous beats (see three 6 mafia, t.i., david banner, etc.). snoop schools them all in this song as he reminds us that subtlety is infinitely more effective than brash, show-off-iness. the same theory applies to horror movies: the scariest ones aren't where the villain is fully explained as some otherworldly monster who has to feed every dozen years or so, but as the quiet sociopath whose motives (and sometimes identity) aren't wholly revealed.

such is the case with snoop on this new song. his calm, cavalier attitude makes much more of a mark on the listener's ear than any grand posturing. this is what hard rap should sound like. add an incomparable neptunes beat which doesn't quite sound like the material you're used to hearing from them, and the guest appearance from b-real (isn't a collaboration between these two long overdue?), and you've got a great goddamn new song. i don't know how long the song will be available from this post - maybe a week or two unless it gets downloaded a lot before then. but take a listen and remember why snoop is so big in the first place.


along the same lines of oldschool artists releasing new material these days, i took the liberty of downloading the new janet jackson album "20 y.o." yesterday.

i consider myself a janet fan. her 80's and early 90's stuff are straight up classics. i'm a particular fan of "alright", "the pleasure principle", and "that's the way love goes". so it's nice to hear janet referencing her old material, however minimally, on her new album. that's the whole point of this album - janet's been in the biz for twenty years now, and feels she must celebrate. every now and then you might hear a tiny snippet of an old song (the beginning two seconds of "i get lonely" can be heard on one of her interludes).

janet brings the old and new onboard with this album. mainstays jimmy jam and terry lewis (who janet has been working with since she started) and boyfriend jermaine dupri all provide their midas touch. also, relative newcomer johnta austin lends a hand. also on board are a few guest artists, which sadly are more strange than anything. they don't really complement janet's style very well. miss "my neck, my back" khia shows up on the second track (and first song) - a move which made me do a double-take. as could be expected, she brings a whole lot of nothing to the table. the steadily fading nelly is also heard on the first single "call on me". you'd think he'd have learned his lesson to stop singing after that awful song with tim mcgraw, but apparently nelly is as stupid as he is talentless.

but it's the three songs after the khia-assisted "so excited" that got me all excited that janet was back and better than ever - well, at least better than "velvet rope" and "damita jo". the succession that is "show me", "get it out me", and "do it 2 me" are so good that janet fans across the nation will be raising their arms in triumph. sure, the titles are rather demanding - seeing as how they all have the word "me" in them - but we've learned long ago to not expect anything less from janet ("miss jackson" if you're nasty).

however, and it pains me to say this, almost every song after those three trail off and whimper. the momentum she's built up with three solid, danceable hits fizzles off into light, breezy b-material. what happened? janet, you were rocking out so well for the first third of the album! is it your older age showing? because you can't front and imply to us that you aren't down for having a good time anymore. we know you love dancing your ass off. we love doing it with you. so give us more! MORE!

you're probably better off just buying (or illegally downloading) the tracks i've mentioned here. but who knows, maybe you're such a hardcore janet fan that you'll find something to like in the dozen other tracks i've dissed. as long as we keep showing her that our love's true, that we'll never doubt her, our hearts belong to her, that's alright with me.


i just wanna do a little shout-out to daft punk here. i recently watched their movie "interstella 5555" with my friend josh that was an accompaniment to their songs from their album "discovery". that album came out in 2001 and was a true classic. hardly a misstep on that one. and after watching that movie, my love and interest in daft punk has been all renewed. i strongly suggest you rent or buy the movie. you won't be disappointed.

in particular, i've been listening to this song a lot lately:

daft punk - voyager

josh put it so right: this song is awesome to drive to. it's an incredible chill-out piece, and (in my opinion) goes along best with the scene it portrays in the movie - more than any other. so take it, listen to it, enjoy it.


boo-ya for my first post!

Current Mood: chipper chipper

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welcome everyone to "flava in ya ear". as you may or may not know, i'm a huge fan of music. and i have a lot to say about it. if you've ever gotten into a discussion with me about music, you know that i could talk your ear off.

well, here is a space where i am going to do just that. i've decided to jump on the blog bandwagon and talk 'til i'm blue in the face about my likes and gripes about music and the state of it today. i must warn you - you will be exposed to my extreme biases. for example, the people listed in the "interests" section of this profile are people who i think are pretty much the best in the biz right now. unfortunately, i could only list 150 people. but i tried to make it as well-rounded as i could, so as to give an accurate representation of my tastes. i certainly would have loved to put more people on, but them's the breaks.

this is going to be a lot of fun, i can tell. i hope that you enjoy this and learn something!

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