VIDEO: Foreign Exchange’s “The Last Fall

The Foreign Exchange – The Last Fall (Official music video) from The Foreign Exchange on Vimeo.

Foreign Exchange have a brand new video, and if you know and love “The Last Fall”, now you may be able to fall in love with the visuals. Do so, now.

VIDEO/ RECORD CRACK: Foreign Exchange new video and vinyl pressings of “Authencity” is available

Foreign Exchange have just presented fans with a video for the song “Maybe She’ll Dream Of Me”. As the weather gets colder up here in the Northern Hemisphere, that group stationed in the Northern Carolina state may provide the perfect heat for those cold autumn and soon-to-be winter nights. Just imagine: a generation of little Phonte‘s and Nicolay‘s around the world. “No, you’re not my daddy, but mommy said you helped make me.” Phonte’ll be like “what?”

On a less humorous note, the Authenticity album is now available on vinyl, a double LP to boot.

You can buy it and/or the YahZarah albums on vinyl right now, individually or a special package deal by heading to the Foreign Exchange store, or find it through your favorite vinyl merchants.

REVIEW: J-Live’s “Undivided Attention” EP

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Making it to the majors but not blowing up in a fashion deserving of his skills and talents, J-Live has been an essential part of hip-hop listening for the last 15 years. You can add another year to that when he drops a new album in 2011, but for the time being, he has released an EP that requires your Undivided Attention.

Now, does a rapper who has been making music for 15 years deserve anyone’s attention? When you are capable of writing, rhyming, and production your work with incredible quality, yes. Hip-hop fans and critics tend to have issue with the word relevancy, as if everyone is waiting for one’s shelf life to expire. One is now allowed to mature and grow old gracefully, but as Heltah Skeltah proved with their most recent album, you can do so in style. Same can be said with J-Live, who in the opening track (“Home Or Away”) comes out strong:
Every rhyme, I write with full force
Why they sound so right, they not yours
The voice is choice, even when I’m hoarse
I’m a stallion, you see the girl, them smilin’
I get around, my profile beguiling
Rhymes like these even on laundry day
Threadbare, who cares, I’m styling
You think you want to rhyme next, you wilding

Personally, this made my day because of the Polynesian reference
I’m chillin’, keeping it simple and sippin’ a mimosa
And sittin’ Indian style while eating a samosa
Loungin’ with a lady friend, fit for a poster
Ass fatter than a left tackle from Samoa

You have references that make sense, you have someone who is rapping what he sees or what he wants to see and they are believable, none of these are club tales that suffocate the listener, and all done with a thin layer of humor that continues to show not only his wit, but a humble side.

Yet with that said, in the right hands someone could turn “Fitness” (produced by Locsmif) inside out and actually turn it into a genuine hit single in 2010/2011. The song is about “lyrical fitness” but someone might think it’s a song perfect for strip mall fitness rooms, which in the process would educate the masses/them asses. The interaction between J-Live and Homeboy Sandman is just sick, as they pass references on everything from comic books to movie titles. Nicolay‘s work on “How I Feel” is along the path of what he has been doing with his own music and the work with the Grammy-nominated Foreign Exchange, and it suits J-Live well. The title track hits hard with incredible FWAK power and a nice piano hook courtesy of S.M.K.A., and it made me want to hear at least another track from him.

Korede is the only one on this EP that gets a chance to produce more than one track (including the powerful “Home Or Away”), but J-Live gets a chance to shine some more on the closer, “Calculations”, and even with only six songs, Undivided Attention is so compressed with content that it actually feels like a full-length album. I’m not joking, a lot of artists and producers need to listen to this to understand how to create music properly. Albums with two hit singles, 12 interludes, and 16 fillers don’t cut it anymore. The internet age has made the EP format one worthy of exploration, but these 6-songs also serve as a small pinch of what will be on his full length, S.P.T.A. (pronounced “spitta”, standing for Said Person of That Ability). This is capable hip-hop, and J-Live simply adds to the music’s vast fabric with new tones and shades in sound.


SOME STUFFS/RECORD CRACK: New Foreign Exchange album is on its way

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Last year around this time, you were not able to say what I’m about to say in the second sentence. Grammy-nominated Foreign Exchange will be returning with their third album, Authenticity (+FE Music), which is said to be a deeper exploration into what both Phonte Coleman and Nicolay Rook have wanted in their sound as FE.

The album will be released on CD and MP3, and yes, as double vinyl. I’m very glad FE are choosing to keep the vinyl light alive, so vinyl junkies, so some support when the album goes on sale October 12th.

VIDEO: YahZarah’s “Why Don’tcha Call Me No More”

You’ve been hearing her voice for a few years, may have seen her sit in with Foreign Exchange a number of times, probably noticed her on WGN a few weeks ago. YahZarah has just released her debut album called Ballad Of Purple Saint James, and this is the first video from it, called “Why Don’tcha Call Me No More.” The video was directed by Matt Koza, and you will see cameos from her FE brethren.

Since it is an indie album, you may not be able to find it at your usual stores, or at least what record stores are left in the United States. However, going online and ordering it from a merchant is usually your best best, less B.S. to deal with too. You can order your copy of the CD from Amazon, click the link below.

SOME STUFFS: Foreign Exchange and an open letter to FuseTV (Part II)

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It had come to my attention that the music cable network FuseTV did not want to play a music video by Foreign Exchange, the duo featuring MC/vocalist Phonte Coleman and producer Nicolay. The reason given was that FuseTV, a network once known for their underground/indie spirit, especially with rock bands, only played hit artists. Obviously it means FuseTV changed their policy from when they started, but networks do that. Upon sending an e-mail to FuseTV, I had found a description on their own website about what their programming is about. I decided to add that to my e-mail and forward it to them. Since I hoped to gain a bit more attention towards the cause, I decided to post it on Twitter. The website that held that Tweet is no more, but another website was nice enough to archive the e-mail, so here it is. It was re-Tweeted by many people, and that was my goal, in the hopes to have someone at FuseTV react. No response.

Last night, Foreign Exchange were nominated for a Grammy Award. I decided to write a second e-mail to them, which was sent on Twitter, and immediately people proceeded to RT. Here is that e-mail:

@Phontigallo @nicolaymusic @FEOfficial A second open letter to @FuseTV about Foreign Exchange. Dear FuseTV: This letter is a follow-up to an e-mail I sent directly to your cable network concerning the fact that your channel does not want to play the new music video by Foreign Exchange, a duo featuring producer Nicolay and MC/singer Phonte Coleman. If you do not remember my e-mail, it has been archived here for posterity.

As your music research department knows by now, Foreign Exchange has been nominated for a Grammy Award. I go back to my initial e-mail, concerning your refusal to play their music video. The claim is that FuseTV only plays videos by “hit artists”, even though there is a statement on your own website which indicates your network is about “celebrating the hit makers of today, familiar favorites and edgy newcomers.” Foreign Exchange has made two albums, and one of their songs from their most recent album has been officially nominated for a Grammy award tonight:

Best Urban/Alternative Performance
(For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances, with vocals. Singles or Tracks only.)

* Daykeeper
The Foreign Exchange
Track from: Leave It All Behind
[Hard Boiled Records]

If you need further proof, here is the URL:

Not everyone has the honor of being nominated for a Grammy, and I feel this is significant enough for your network to put their music videos in rotation. There are many fans out there, and you know what? You may help to bring the group more fans. In turn, fans who have never heard of Fuse-TV before may now know your network as the one who, through fan support, gave Foreign Exchange a chance.

You know what I’d love, though? There’s a band Fuse-TV supports, a great hard rock band called Valient Thorr (@ValientThorr). They claim they are from Burlatia, somewhere on planet Venus, and I believe them, but they call the state of North Carolina home. Did you know that one half of Foreign Exchange calls North Carolina home too? Nicolay, whose last name rhymes with my own, is from the Netherlands, and I am almost certain the vikings of Valient Thorr may have some Earthly connections there as well.

I partly joke, but the real reason behind this “open letter” to you, FuseTV, is to say please, re-consider playing a video by Foreign Exchange on your network. Or I should change that: reconsider playing a video by the Grammy-nominated Foreign Exchange on your network. If Nicolay comes to the U.S. for the ceremony, get Phonte together and create a 30- to 60-minute profile show. Play music videos, interview them, have them perform live. Fans? I’m sure if you put out a call, fans will show up. Or I will send an open letter to their fans.

@FuseTV, I thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

-John Book, journalist/artist/producer/music’s biggest fan

If you want to show some support, feel free to RT this Tweet:

I’m doing this to show support for a group whose music I like, and two artists whose work I’m a fan of. As a fellow artist and producer, I know the hard work it takes to be heard and seen. As a journalist, I’d like to think that my words can make an impact, however small. “Kill them with kindness” as they say, I hope to do more of this in the 10’s, and I hope others will do the same. The internet has made it possible to complain about music and other forms of entertainment, more than any other era in the “music business”, so why not act and react in a positive manner?

Again, RT my Tweet and let FuseTV know that you want Foreign Exchange to at least have a chance. Here are the e-mail addresses that you should write to:

Thank you.

VIDEO: Foreign Exchange’s “I Wanna Know”

You love it, you want it, and if you could you would eat it. I speak of course Foreign Exchange and their brand new video for “I Wanna Know”. CAUTION: The audio on this sounds like it was mastered brickwall style, so watch your volume levels.

The Foreign Exchange – ”I Wanna Know” from The Foreign Exchange on Vimeo.

SOME STUFFS: Nicolay begins new “Inside The Producer’s Studio” blog series

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Producer Nicolay has been getting a lot of attention for his work in the last few years, and now you get a chance to see him put together his works from start to finish in a new blog series on his website.

You’ll get a chance to find out how he does it by going Inside The Producer’s Studio where he talks about equipment, the process towards starting a song, developing/embellishing a track, and what will be considered final mixes.

Nicolay plans to reveal as much as possible, with a few exceptions:
1) No sample snitching
2) He’ll only endorse products that he uses, it’s not just a free for all

Discover the magic from the inside out, and bookmark this series.