Every now and then I get to watch something which completely blows me away. The Documentary ’20 ft from Stardom’ is a look into the musical paths of back up singers for some of the worlds biggest artists. The creative process is usually hidden away from consumers and we only get to witness the end products. Here we get a glimpse into the creative process surrounding a beautiful and powerful song (Gimme Shelter) which Merry Clayton laced with perfect emotive vocals.
Leadbelly was the name Huddie Ledbetter received in prison after he was found guilty of murder in 1917. Texas governor Pat Neff pardoned Huddie only a few years into the twenty year sentence after he sang a song for him. Five years later Lead Belly was involved in a stabbing incident which led to ‘assault with murder’ charges and subsequently another prison sentence. Built like a bull Continue reading Leadbelly
Timothy Zachery Mosley aka Timbaland has blessed our ears with some of the most authentic and creative hip hop beats ever. There is stiff competition from Dr Dre, Pharell & Swizz Beats as they have all impacted the 90’s and 00s in emphatic style. Timbaland first worked with artists such as Jodeci, Ginuwine, Missy Elliot and Aaliyah, where his beats seemed futuristic and ahead of his time. He blended R&B and Hip Hop in such a seamless way, it became internationally acceptable and he quickly shot success working with some of the best and most popular artists of our generation. These days we have a mixed bag oh hip hop producers, and a lot of the genre sounds the same. The innovation in his music is blatant and the results are astounding. Timbaland will forever be one of the greatest producers of his time.
Azealia Banks is probably more mentally stable than you.
Azealia Banks is a female American rapper born in 1991. Notorious for her sharp tongue and liberating music, Azealia has inspired just as many people as she has offended and her life journey seems to reflect this. Growing up she had a troubled childhood. Her Dad passed away from pancreatic cancer when she was 2 and her mom submitted Azealia and her two sisters to physical and emotional abuse.
Skepta aka Joseph Junior Adenuga born in 1982 is an MC from Tottenham North London. He started his musical career as a DJ and began to develop his own sound as part of the roll deep crew with his brother JME. Grime was still underground at this stage and a lot of the music and MC’s sounded the same. Skepta didn’t really stand out at this point as Wiley, Kano and Dizzee Rascal became the evolving faces of the scene. Skepta branched out to form Boy Better Know which was a truly independent record label. From here Skepta’s originality and audible proficiency was showcased on a variety of singles, mix-tapes and clashes. The sound remained within genre, with typical grime beats and a jabbing flow. Listen to ‘Microphone champion’ and you can see the potential of the artist swallowed up by what the status-quo expected from a grime artists at the time. This is why the grime scene stayed stagnant for so long.
- Trinidad James ft Mystikal and Lil Dicky – Just a lil thick. Trinidad James’s verse was mediocre which is where he’s always been as a rapper. Mystikal shouts too much and probably shouldn’t be around all these women in the video. Lil Dicky kills them both in flow, lyirical content and wit.
Tupac Shakur, born June 1971. He was a well known rapper, who was infamously known for his trouble with the law and his prominent West Coast affiliation. Even though he was born in East Harlem, New York.
I always admired how Tupac came across in some of his interviews and some of his song lyrics are deep. Some people would describe him as a conscious rapper who speaks to black youth, a lyrical soldier afraid of no one. He’s also been labelled as the greatest rapper of all time. Many young black children today look up to Tupac as a visionary leader and there have been numerous documentaries supporting these claims as his fan love is constantly splattered all over the internet.
The reality is Tupac was a living contradiction.