EARGASM – Zodiac

Here’s a great hip-hop beat titled Zodiac by Monte Booker. It starts with an unnerving yet interesting electronic/glitchy sample then slowly progresses into a catchy, and funky hip hop beat. It’s a great journey aurally and definitely worth the share. Know anyone who makes cool music? Shoot me a link to their soundcloud, youtube or bandcamp page and if I like what I hear I’ll feature them. I’ll have another eargasm for you tomorrow at noon so stay tuned!

Big Sean “Dark Sky Paradise” Review (GB&U Music Review)

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Music Reviews

Dark Sky Paradise – Big Sean (2015)

Welcome to the review of Big Sean’s most recent release “Dark Sky Paradise”. So let’s begin exploring the good, the bad and the ugly from this album shall we.

The Good

Big Sean is HUNGRY on this album. Get this man a buffet! You can tell from the first song “Dark Sky (Skyscrapers)” that he has something to prove this album. His lines are still as clever as always. I feel like he has matured a lot on this album and songs like “Win Some, Lose Some” prove that. This album is very deep and introspective with a balance of fun songs like “I Don’t Fuck with You”. This balance of substance and play is something I find is lacking in most mainstream hip hop. Not to mention even the bonus tracks sound album worthy but any way onto..

The Bad

Who keeps telling Big Sean he can sing his own hooks? His “singing” sounds like monotone crooning on most songs, sometimes it works but on song like “I Know” he should leave it his guest feature Jhene Aiko. Seriously though.

The Ugly

I think the main thing that brings the album down on the whole are the features. I feel like most of the features fall flat or don’t bring much to the song and are forgettable especially when compared to Big Sean’s energy. The singers do a great job on hooks though (except for Chris Brown on “Play No Games” something about it just didn’t mesh with my ears). For instance, E-40 on “I Don’t Fuck with You” I can’t remember a line from his verse. Lil Wayne on “Deep” sounded like a computer trying to rap because when he started speed up his flow the auto tune took over his vocals killing clarity. Then don’t get me started on Kanye’s lack luster verse on “All your fault” (Though that last verse where they switch back and forth is dope.)

Would I recommend this album? Yes

Who would I recommend this album to: Those needing some motivation or something to get hyped up for the rest of the day.

Favorite Song: Win Some, Lose Some

Least Favorite Song: Deep

Next week’s review: Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece”

Sampling in Music: Creativity or Robbery?

So sampling. Yeah I get a fair amount of request from people to make instrumentals that include samples of famous (copywrtitten) sound bites from TV shows, songs, etc and I am like “No!”. I’m not against sampling, which is using sounds from another source to use in music. I am against lazy sampling. Lazy sampling is where the producer just takes a clip from a famous song and just loops it. Adding maybe a fatter bass line or slightly pitch shifting but you still know where it came from. Examples of sampling I hate. Dance (Ass) by Big Sean, Anaconda by Nicki Minaj or the worst Never Been by Wiz Khalifa.

Never Been is the Laziest example of sampling and I hope the producer didnt get paid to make this for wiz because he literally took a song from a video game took 16 bars and just added a heavy bass line? don’t believe me ok. Here’s Schala’s Theme from Chromo Trigger

Here’s Wiz Khalifa’s Never Been

Just an exact copy with added bass. Super lazy and the reason I RARELY sample unless its from an original sound source or I mutilate the original copywritten source so drastically that it’s not possible to tell where it came from because if I don’t I legally couldn’t sell the instrumental. (unless I paid the copyright holder)Plus, Wouldn’t it be more fun to compose your own music instead of copy paste some else loop?

I understand the in  the beginning days of some music genres. Particularly hip hop, the pioneers sampled because at the time it was extremely difficult for people (especially in the Bronx, hip hop’s birthplace) to get the necessary equipment to create songs from scratch, but sampling from vinyl was easy. That excuse, however, is not defensible in the 21st century. Considering that there are numerous free or cheap programs (my first program I composed in Cakewalk Kinetic 2 $50 in 2007!) and the wealth of information Google provides about music theory and composition, Any form of lazy sampling is inexcusable…unless you have hundreds of thousand to pay record labels and copy right holders.

So yeah. There we go my views on (Lazy) sampling.