VIDEO: Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark featuring Diamond D. & K-Natural’s “King”

Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark feat. Diamond D. & K-Natural – KING (Official Music Video) from dreambear on Vimeo.

The idea of putting these four together may not have come up over the years but now it’s here. You’ll know Slimkid3 (Slim Kid Tre) from his time with The Pharcyde and Nu-Mark from being one of the DJ’s in Jurassic 5 but they unite for “King” and bring in Diamond D of DITC and K-Natural throwing things left and right. The animation was organized by Daniel Cordero. Slimkid3 & DJ Nu-Mark’s album can be ordered directly from Delicious Vinyl or below through Amazon.



SOME STUFFS: Amerigo Gazaway’s “Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to The Pharcyde” mix pulled back by Sony

 photo Amerigo_cover2a_zpsc84ccc20.jpg
Seven months ago, Amerigo Gazaway presented his mix album Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to The Pharcyde as a means to show his respect to A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcude, and did so by posting it on Bandcamp for free. In fact, I had made it my Bandcamp Suggestion on November 4th. This week, Sony made not a request, but a demand to “cease and desist” the recording in question because they own the rights to the material by A Tribe Called Quest. Sony has claimed copyright infringement, and if the recordings were not taken down, it was possible that the parties involved would face “further litigation for damages”. Damages: for a free album, right? Well, the means of copyrights and intellectual property involves a number of sticky situations.

The album was released through Gummy Soul Records, who had this to say about the ordeal:
Though we are confident that our work falls under “fair use” as defined by the Copyright Act of 1976, (something we explain further in our open letter response , we cannot afford to take on a Goliath like Sony Music. Due to the sheer amount of samples required to create this project, it would be impossible for a label of our size to release Bizarre Tribe through traditional means. Although Bizarre Tribe has always been available for free, Sony is demanding our immediate compliance.

If you would like to read the full response from Gummy Soul to Sony, you may click here. If you’d like to know how to spread the word about this, head to on how you may assist.

MY OPINION: The songs in this mix/album were released for the sole purpose of being free. They were not meant to exploit or damage the reputations of Sony or A Tribe Called Quest, or the reputations of Delicious Vinyl and The Pharcyde. It was meant to be a celebration of music by creating music that is a recreation. Even though Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to The Pharcyde has been pulled from Bandcamp, that alone does not stop the circulation of the mix. If music fans know where to go, they will be able to obtain it through other means, so how exactly does one stop the flow of this album through “unofficial means”? I think it would have been more beneficial if Sony chose to work with Gummy Soul and Amerigo Gazaway and somehow prosper from it: use the mixes in TV shows or commercials, or in a film. In the end, this will only help to focus on future works from Amerigo Gazaway, and perhaps he can benefit from creating exclusive mixes in an official manner.

BANDCAMP SUGGESTIONS: Amerigo Gazaway’s “Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to The Pharcyde”

Photobucket Deep listenings of A Tribe Called Quest like to interpret their music in different ways, including the choice of samples in their songs, along with how they are constructed. Gummy Soul’s Amerigo Gazaway has taken the original sample sources for those songs and turned them into the platform for new songs, blending them with acapella tracks for The Pharcyde. The end result is a very good one, and is sure to cause you to go “OH, I KNOW WHAT THAT IS!” many times over.

There are more Gummy Soul mixes that can be found on the Bandcamp page, so click here for a look at the funky goodness.

VIDEO/OPINION: Kanye West’s “Runaway: The Movie”

  • As reported a few days ago, Kanye West revealed the cover art for his new album, now having an additional word in the title: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In Twitter, West stated that the cover was banned, at least in the U.S. The buzz had begun. A day later, West said that the banned cover would be one of five different covers. In my editorial piece, I felt that perhaps it was nothing more than a promotional tactic, the idea that a cover can be banned in 2010 is out but not entirely out of the question. Even before the news of this being one of five covers, I felt that perhaps he would just reveal a new image each week, and maybe the week before the release date, we’d see the final version.
  • This isn’t the first album cover that has been banned or changed in some fashion, nor is it the first album to be released with multiple covers. Jane’s Addiction‘s third album, Ritual de lo Habitual, featured a portrait put together by vocalist Perry Farrell that pictured him with his wife and lady friend. While it was illustrated nudity, some felt it was too naughty, so Farrell released the album in a “freedom of speech”-type cover. It was released this way on vinyl, cassette, and CD.
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    The Rolling Stones are known for the Andy Warhol-designed cover for 1971’s Sticky Fingers, but in Spain, their record label didn’t want people to see Joe Dallesandro‘s, um, “impression”, so an alternate cover was made. Arguably, a photo of fingers in what may be cranberry sauce almost comes off as blood, and maybe more sinister.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Led Zeppelin released six different covers for what would end up being their last album, In Through The Out Door.
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    The Police released not two, three, or six, but 36 different covers for their 1983 album, Synchronicity. A Tribe Called Quest released three variations for their album Midnight Marauders, The Roots played with alternate covers not once, but twice, for Things Fall Apart (five different covers), and The Tipping Point (promotionally, each member of the group had their own cover made up for them, although in stores and online, two covers were made and released.)

  • Playing with album cover art may be an oddity in 2010, especially as there is a belief that the album format is dead, but artists like West are letting fans realize that it’s not, it is still very much about the full-length experience. This leads us to West’s new thing to experience, that of his 33 minute “film”, Runaway. In my day, we called it a long-form video but since music videos are no longer on MTV and VH-1, people only remember videos by what they see on YouTube. People are comparing Runaway, directed by Hype Williams, to the works of Michael Jackson, since he was known for being extravagant with his videos, but take a look at it. It is nothing more than a very good, artistic, abstract “highlight reel”, on cassingles and CD singles they would call this the equivalent of a “snippet tape”, where all you would hear are excerpts. This video serves as a sampler of what’s to come on his album. I wouldn’t compare this to MJ as I would to artists who created long form videos that served as a sampler for their albums, including Tin Machine:


    and The Roots.

    So what about the West video?

  • For one, it is obviously a big budget music video, or for the sake of not arguing, a film. It’s a “mini-film” that represents the music that is on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and if you’re watching to hear the music, it shows that he is still being very intricate and deliberate with what he’s saying and how he’s saying it. You can complain about his methods of promotion, of his music or self, but he’s putting an incredible amount into his music and that pays off in the end. As for the imagery, it is not typical of an average music video, although you might see it in a lot of videos from Mexico or Spain, or something more arty in the indie rock world. I will go as far as to say the video reminds me of some of the more left-of-center films of the 70’s, such as Ken Russell‘s The Devils, Pier Paolio Pasolini‘s Salò (The 120 Days of Sodom), and Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s The Holy Mountain. All of these films play with spirituality and human nature, and while West’s video is not religious in tone, you do have the visuals of a bird that may be a fallen angel, which of course leads to the questions “who is the fallen angel?” and “who exactly does the fallen angel represent?”

    Fans on blogs and boards have touched on West’s use of mythology, bringing up something Brian “B+” Cross stated in a reply to me on Twitter: “what is he really saying retelling the Phoenix myth? Neoclassical navalgazzery?” In comic books, one of the more celebrated stories in the Marvel Universe and X-Men legacy involves Jean Gray, known earlier on as Phoenix or Dark Phoenix. There was a storyline where Gray commits suicide, something you never experienced in a comic book, especially not in the 1980’s. Now, I haven’t been into The X-Men since the 80’s, but I definitely remember the image on The Uncanny X-Men #136, citing the death of “the child of light and darkness”.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic.

    Now go back to the album cover. Is West suggesting that he is “the child of light and darkness”, the dark beast and the woman of light complexion, of good and evil, two opposite forces uniting as one?

    I think that will be a recurring theme for him in the next two years, the idea of renewal and resurrection of himself and hip-hop, if he is exploring the idea that hip-hop is dead. Is that what West is doing, and if so, is he doing it well? Maybe the unique imagery is fooling us into thinking this is good, or as B+ stated, “Runaway was like anorexic Cocteau”, in reference to filmmaker Jean Cocteau.

  • Compared to most hip-hop music videos, even the more independent works, this is fairly avant-garde and it may move someone to question West and whether or not he’s evil, demonic, or a disciple of Lord Satana. In a recent tweet, West said he calls his works “commercial art” and mentions it almost as if it was an epiphany. He is a commercial artist creating art, that’s what an artist is, but in a time when the public is unsure of what they’re seeing and hearing, that art is either unknown or brushed off as being too high-brow, especially by a black artist, as if great works of art by black people or anyone “of color” does not (or cannot) exist.
  • It’s not exactly a color thing, but it will be brought up because that is what’s being presented in the artwork for the cover and the imagery in the video. You see an ugly beast on the cover, that’s one issue. You see a ballerina on another cover, what makes one more beautiful and accepted over the other? Is it the colors and shades used, or are we in control of the unseen and unknown beast, as portrayed on the cover? Do we put blame on the beast when it is evil and sinister, and do we only praise what’s beautiful when it has an established and accepted look? Watch the video, it’s very elegant, and when was the last time you said that for a hip-hop video? It’s not hip-hop, and yet the nature of hip-hop suggests that it is. Hip-hop, at its best, has always been about a sponge that sucks up anything and everything, and spits it out in a new way. Writer/journalist Todd “Stereo” Williams watched the video, and posted on Twitter that “(The Pharcyde) did the ‘white servants’ thing in the “Runnin” video 15 years ago, because Runaway features scenes that look like it could have been pulled from that video. In a recent Twitter search about the “white servants” in the video, a lot of people are taken aback by it, but it was done before to great effect.

    While it may not be 1995, it’s 2010, and a younger generation who have no idea of the references and suggestions might thing it’s revolutionary, but they’re not. The execution is great, but what I’m more fascinated with is more or less the telling of the story, whatever the story may be.

  • If anything, Runaway: The Movie and his latest music is making people discuss and decipher the art. Everyone knows what it’s like to go into the club, talk in the club, get high in the club, and drink up and sigh in the club, maybe get a little nub while piling up on the grub. Now, he’s giving you maybe not something different, but “something else”. That “something else” has existed for years in other places, but now it’s being presented to a new audience, a new generation, in a nicely dusted fashion. It’s the telling of the story that will determine its fate, and we’re only in the intro of the telling of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Maybe the end credits to this story will roll on December 20, 2012, the day before the much hyped end of the world, and maybe that beast on his album cover will “dominate and smile over us for all eternity (or its last 24 hours). Either that, or he’ll laugh at it all and start on his next album, to be released on the end of the world’s first anniversary in 2013.

    (Mahalo nui to B+ of Mochilla for the feedback and last minute addition to this article, and Donald Ely for reminding me of the crotch ID error. I wrote this article late in the evening, I’ll blame that.)

  • VIDEO: Shad featuring Lisa Lobsinger’s “Rose Garden”

    I beg your pardon/Shad never promised you a…

    Love this homage to The Pharcyde, it’s “Rose Garden” by a Canadian MC named Shad, with Lisa Lobsinger of the Reverie Sound Revue helping out on vocals.

    If for some reason you are not familiar with the inspiration of this video, it is shown at the end. You can explore that here: