Category Archives: Thought For The Week

Thought For The Week: Immortal Technique – Bin Laden

http://m.youtube.com/results?q=bin%20laden%20death&oq=bin%20laden%20&gs_l=youtube-reduced.1.3.0l4.890.4947.0.5845.10.6.0.4.4.0.175.769.1j5.6.0….0…1ac.1.23.youtube-reduced..0.10.819.8oPHGrrXjgc

An Immortal Technique track for the thought of the week, mainly because I’m not that big of a fan of it as a song in itself, but I like the ideas it brings up and made me think a lot. Straight off the bat I’m not really a fan of the notion that 9/11 was an inside job. There was a mass debate about it with theories and whatnot, and while not all the questions are answered, I’m not on the side that says that the Government did it to themselves to start the war. Interesting side note, the X files had an unscreened episode where the Government flew planes into the trade centre and blamed it on terrorists to gain public support to go to war. But I digress.

This track taught be quite a bit, most notably that Osama Bin Laden worked as a CIA tactician and funded by the US. Also that the US sold chemical weapons to Iraq. Pretty crazy when you think about it. Anyway, lots to think about amongst a lot of propoganda. So do your own research. Or just listen. Hope you like it.

J

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Thought For The Week: The Art Of Sampling – Pt 1. ‘How Not To Sample’ ft. Vanilla Ice

I have been thinking quite a bit about sampling. I don’t produce/beat-make/remix or anything to do with music production (If I knew where to start, I would) but it does interest me on the legality and ethics of it all, and the creative process and inspiration behind choosing a sample and then moulding that into something new.

The first thing that interested me is what happens if an artist gets called out on it and denies it? From what I understand, sampling is allowed as long as the artist you sampled from is given a mention in the credits of the song or money for using the sample. A simple mark of respect to know that the work is not all original and you have remastered somebody elses original work.

I give you a perfect example of straight denial and its consequences:

Vanilla Ice Vs David Bowie + Queen

To quote Mr.Ice:

We sampled it from them but it’s not the same bassline. It goes ‘ding ding ding di di ding ding… ding ding ding di di ding ding.’ That’s the way theirs goes. Ours goes ‘ding ding ding di di ding ding… DING… ding ding ding di di ding ding.’ That little bitty change — it’s not the same.

Are you convinced by his reasoning? Me neither. This is not how to sample, especially with a heavy sample (essentially no change to the original). If he had sampled it, and gave the due credits, this wouldn’t be an issue. It would just be like the Dire straits sample on ‘Can I Kick it’. That’s one of the most chill beats I’ve ever heard, and given all due credit where it was obviously needed. A lot of hip hop beats use plenty of heavy samples from other songs. This practice stems form the very origins of Hip Hop by looping vinyl records, but there has been no backlash to this practice in the media due to credit being given. But the way Vanilla Ice has tried to worm his way out and full-out deny that it’s a straight copy and not a small sample, it doesn’t help and makes him look bad.

So the lesson for the day: Don’t do what Vanilla Ice did. That statement transcends sampling.

 

Here are the songs in question for you to make your own mind up.

Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby

David Bowie + Queen – Under Pressure

 

Next week… Part 2: ‘How To Sample Properly’ ft. Kanye West

J

 

PS: In the end, Vanilla Ice ended up paying Queen due to a lawsuit.

Thought For The Week: Lara Fabian – Je t’aime

I’m off to Paris this week for a highly anticipated trip to Ms.Rankin, so why not have a French music themed week here. Without knowing it, I’ve been lucky enough to come across a range of French (including French Speaking) artists so there’s no more perfect time than to share my discoveries with you now. So firstly, my thought for the week.
I think it was Reddit that introduced me to this emotional song a while ago. The artist here is the beautiful Lara Fabian, and although I have no idea what she is saying, the answer is yes.
From my B in GCSE French, I can deduce the title of this song to be ‘I love you’. Even though I don’t know what else is being said, you can feel the emotion in her voice, and she sings amazingly. This still gives me goose-bumps when I watch it, and that rarely happens to me through music, so I know its good. This is a very powerful video, and an added bonus, Christian Bale on the piano…
When I first heard of it, it came with an amazing back-story. Not in the same way as X factor milks its sob stories, but this one is truly heartbreaking. But doing some research on it, I can’t find the source I read it from, so I don’t know if its bullshit. See what you think…
‘The story goes that Lara wrote this song about her fiancé, and tragically, he died. Despite this, she still chose to perform soon after which is where this video is taken from, and still performed this song, about her now deceased fiancé. As she sings ‘‘je t’aime’’ the whole audience sings ‘‘on t’aime’’ meaning ‘we love you’, essentially being there with her during the song.’
Like I said, I don’t know if its true or not, I thought it was but having found no evidence of it while looking for the source, I doubt it. If it’s not true, that shouldn’t take away from the power of the song though, its still very powerful.
Hope you like it and check out my other French music this week!

J

Thought For The Week: Joshua Bennett – Tamara’s Opus

Another start to the week, and again another spoken word piece. I stumbled upon this guy randomly on Youtube after watching def jam poetry videos. I found them a few years ago and introduced them to a friend in my first year of Uni as I figured she had a similar interest. Turns out, her best friend was living with him at Warwick Uni. Pretty crazy.
This is the best poem I found by this guy, and its pretty original in its delivery. I haven’t seen a poem use sign language since this either, so this is really cool. A lot of people seem to agree, as he has been given the opportunity to perform at the White House. Hope you like it, have a good week!
J

Thought For The Week: Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra – Tapha Niang

Another week has gone by and so much is going on in the world. Countries are falling apart. Syria are blowing up the Universities, Algeria is under terrorist threats with all their hostages and Mali has been overpowered by Islamic Fundamentalists. Same old story. This post is about Mali.

Mali is slowly but forcefully being over run by a strict islamic rule, and this is a massive culture clash to Mali. In a list of unreasonable demands to set in the 21st century (such as a lack of women’s rights to name one of the most predominant in islamic rule) the one that is most changing for Mali is that music is banned. It sounds like a modern African equivalent of ‘Footloose’ but this is deadly serious. I wasn’t aware until this issue came up, but Mali has such a rich tradition in music that this is a culture shock that is destroying Mali (as if the other Islamic rules aren’t enough).

So upon finding out that Mali has an amazing set of musicians, I decided to venture out and try to find some, as I assumed I hadn’t heard any. I was wrong. I found a few artists that had been brought to my attention through other sources, and now I have found them and explored them I’ve found to love the music. I think I will post a few links ove the coming weeks about Mali as the situation progresses.

The song I’ve put up today was the first song I’d heard from Mali even though I didn’t know that at the time.
Those that know me, know that one of my all time favourite video games is LittleBigPlanet. I fell in love with it. What I also liked about the game was the soundtrack, and it was through LittleBigPlanet that I found DJ Krush, and this guy Toumani Diabate. The song I’v posted here was on the game, and it was this song that meant the games release had to be postponed because some people (guess who) were offended by the song containing verses from the qur’an in it. The reason to be offended? They thought that music is ‘haram’ and is in the same category of things such as alcohol and drugs, so including the qur’an in music can be seen to be offensive. So my favourite game ever was delayed because people got offended by an un-offensive lyric which is in the book they worship so highly. Ugh.

This issue does matter to me. Mainly because Islamic Fascism is trying to take over another country and I’m sick of that shit. Also, because a country rich in a musical tradition is having that stripped away. So enjoy.

J

Thought For The Week: StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson & GZA

This post here is not a song, and has no musical content, but if you take the time to watch this, I personally found it fascinating. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a pretty big name on the online science and atheist community even though he doesn’t get involved in religious debates or online arguments. He’s at the natural history museum in New York, and when I was there I wish I went to the planetarium rather than some bullshit bioluminescence exhibition. His grasp on concepts and the way he tells them to people are truly amazing, and if my physics teacher showed as much passion as this guy does, I may not have chosen biology.
So why have I put this as the thought for the week on my music blog? Well in this episode they had a pretty interesting guest on. GZA from the Wu Tang Clan has been known to have a vast interest in science through interviews and it has recently been revealed that GZA has teamed up with Neil deGrasse Tyson to produce an album about the cosmos. Now that’s insane.
The reason GZA appeared on the show was to share his insight in the links between his music and his inspiration he draws from the natural world, in particular the cosmos. The whole idea is how to use hip-hop to make science education seem culturally relevant to ‘youth of colour’ as they put it. In the interview they also touch on violence in their music and the consequences of that, as well as the current state of hip-hop in general.
Altogether, this is my favourite episode due to GZA making an unexpected experience, and its interesting here his perspective on things.

TL/DR – SCIENCE & HIP-HOP, BITCHES!!

On a space theme, I’ve entered an online competition in which four winners get sent up to space. I thought it was bullshit at first but it seems pretty legit, it only takes 10 seconds to vote so please cn you click the link and get me to space!! https://www.lynxapollo.com/en_GB/14905/jonathan-nixon/

J

Thought For The Week: Mutabaruka – Dis Poem

Let me get straight into this blog again by giving you another thought for the week, although I don’t really know what to think of this.

At first I was really confused by this, as I didn’t really know what he was talking about. If i have it correct, ‘Dis Poem’ is the poetry movement, that needs to attack certain problems and fight back against the problems and evils in the world.

Whether I’m right or wrong, I still like this. So maybe you’ll enjoy it too.
J

Thought For The Week: Skyler Page – Crater Face

This is a cute video I found a few years ago. That’s all there is to say. Enjoy.

J

Thought For The Week: Joe Rogan – What Is Reality?

Another thought for the week, but like a significant number of these Monday posts, it isn’t a song. This is a speech/rant/monologue by Joe Rogan. If anybody is a fan of UFC then they will know who this guy is. He is a UFC commentator and stand-up comedian, and a pretty intimidating guy. I don’t know much about his relation to this kind of rant that he goes on, but it’s a pretty interesting perspective to see life from. He has a few other rants about his experiences with drugs and I think that definitely affects how he thinks. I’ve played this through a few times know and some of the concepts he thinks up are just plain weird. But I’ve put it here as a thought for the week as it definitely gives a lot of food for thought. Hope you enjoy, and have a good week.

J

Thought For The Week: Prince EA – Smoking Weed With The President

Another Monday, another thought. This is a track done by Prince EA but through his charity ‘Make Smart Cool’. There is a hot topic in America and South America about whether wee should become legalised in the US. Some of the main arguments for legalisation is that it would reduce prison numbers therefore saving money which the desperately need to do, nobody has every overdosed and that it was legal before a propaganda campaign so that hemp wouldn’t overtake paper manufacturing. The main arguments against it is that it is a gateway drug to harder substances, should not be encouraged in a efficient working society and that the long term effects are claimed to cause mental health problems. It’s all quite complex, and now Latin American nations have got involved calling for legalisation as the war in drugs in the US has become too costly and isn’t working.

Now what Prince EA has done is made a track that is supposed to get enough support to actually be sent to Obama. I highly doubt that will happen but this track is very interesting. He includes a lot of research into the history of the laws surrounding this issue and puts across a lot of very valid points that politicians in charge don’t bring up. He gives strong counter-arguments to some of the claims by the politicians, so all in all is a strong piece to put forward, I just don’t think it will reach Obama. Whether you are for or against the issue, check out this track and see how he clearly lays out his stance with evidence to back it up. Hope you like it.

J