This one’s called “Final Words.” Music and lyrics by Kim Pingul f.k.a Cocoa, produced and arranged by Kim Pingul and me and some extra assistance from Harmony Speaks.
This one’s pretty dark; Kim needed to get something off her chest. This was the first rock/acoustic song I’ve ever produced, and it came out great. I finally got to record my drums and bass and use the acoustic guitar recording setup that I outlined here. We’re pretty happy with the final product, and we hope you guys like the song.
Later on this week, Less will be coming through to record some material. So we might be releasing new stuff very soon!
MsP’s staying real busy. More coming your way, very soon!
I remember walking into the Virgin Megastore that was on Union Square on August 25, 2001. It was my first day at my dorm at NYU for my sophomore year. It was a small tradition that I made for myself that each year I go back to New York I would buy a CD at that store. The first year it was Dilated Peoples “The Platform,” and that year it was Canibus’s “2000 B.C.”
I walked up to the counter and while ringing up the CD, he asks me, “Did you hear about Aaliyah?”
I said, “No, what happened?”
He replied, “She was in a plane crash and passed away.”
My jaw dropped.
I admired Aaliyah, because her “One in a Million” album was a classic to me. The combination of Aaliyah on top of Timbaland beats were a match made in heaven, and I had bumped the songs from that album consistently for a number of years, most especially “If Your Girl Only Knew,” “One in a Million,” “Four Page Letter,” and the remix to “Hot Like Fire.” Her voice was just right; she wasn’t a flashy singer, but on point with emotion and delivery with that correct amount of soul. Her harmonies always sounded great.
Most people usually use the word “angel” to describe her, and I’d have to say that description is pretty accurate especially when it came to her voice. There was a smooth feel there that just made you feel, “this girl’s definitely got it.”
And you have to admit, the hair over the eye, shades, and the baggy jeans/pants and tank tops were a good look without sluttiness giving a touch of not-so-feminine but sexy.
She had great versatility too. On that album alone you had ballads like “Four Page Letter” and “How Could the One I Gave My Heart To,” more funky songs like “If Your Girl Only Knew” and “Hot Like Fire” (remix was RIDICULOUS), and sensual sounding songs like “One in a Million,” and she handled her business properly on each.
Couple that with Timbaland’s ingenuity, and you had the perfect combination. Sorry Keri Hilson (even as great a songwriter as you are), but Keri doesn’t match nearly as well with Timbo as Aaliyah did.
Even her later works, like “More than a Woman,” “We Need a Resolution,” “Rock the Boat,” “Try Again,” and “Miss you,” were all really good songs, and I thought Aaliyah opening up “Up Jumps the Boogie” with Timbo, Missy and Magoo was just epic; there was just a feel to it that made you feel something was about to happen.
When I think of female R&B artists now, there’s a void where Aaliyah should be. No disrespect to the Beyonce’s and Alicia Keys’s of the world (both great artists, mind you), but there was something about Aaliyah that was different. The right amount of soul and sweet melody with no gimmicks, no overdone sexiness, and a good amount of versatility.
Here’s just some of my favorites from YouTube so you can enjoy the greatness that was Aaliyah:
Here we are with another Production Vault Wednesday. =]
A few weeks back we were in New York, and now we fly over to LA and hit you with these kits. Again, I feel that these drums can be used for a variety of applications, but they were categorized as west coast by the originator.
On the second kit that’s on here, there’s an instrument folder that definitely has a west coast feel to them. The bass sounds as well as the wah-wah’d guitars and other sounds should give you that g-funk sound you need for that west coast bounce, similar to that mid 90’s Dr. Dre sound.
This bundle weighs in at a little less than 500 samples, so it should keep you busy for a while.
I’m going to be on Real Heat Radio, an internet based hip-hop radio show based out of Nyack, New York this coming Monday, August 30, 2010 at 10:30PM. As the details come in, I will be updating everyone on how to watch the show online. I’m looking forward to this, since I’m going to get to promote stuff from Phase 3 as well as putting some shine on the United Five song Vincent, Timmy Titus and I just completed.
I get to be on for a half hour, including time for the DJ to play songs in its regular rotation. In that half hour, the first twenty minutes will be an interview and the last ten minutes will be a freestyle or performance of a single. Again, this is including the time to play songs that it needs to play during the rotation since it is a radio station.
Most, if not all, people love puzzles to a certain extent. People like the challenge and being able to boast that they had figured it all out when people couldn’t have. Give somebody a riddle, and they would dare not walk away without an answer, whether they figured it out or whether they ask the person giving the riddle for the answer.
Looking back in the history of music, there have been a number of instances where people have put symbols and hidden messages behind people’s music whether it was the intention of the artist or not. How many stories have you heard where if you play a certain record backwards at a certain point in a track you will hear some hidden message? People love it, the speculation, the guessing, just for the privilege of saying “I told you that’s what it was!”
One of the biggest hidden message stories had to do with the biggest band to date, “The Beatles.”
Is Paul McCartney dead? That was the question. Was he replaced with a body double by the name of William Campbell who won a Paul look-alike contest? Fans and conspiracy-theorists alike have speculated over this for years, and have given the following as some of the “evidence:”
On “Strawberry Fields Forever,” John supposedly says “I buried Paul” near the end of the song. (John says he said “Cranberry Sauce,” not “I buried Paul”)
Play “I’m So Tired” backwards, and you’ll hear John say “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him, miss him.”
Play “Revolution 9” backwards, and the droning number 9’s, turn to “Turn me on dead man.”
The order in which The Beatles are walking in Abbey Road put Paul in position to be the one in the casket during funeral proceedings. John, dressed in white is the preacher, Ringo is the pallbearer, Paul (who is smoking, barefoot, and out of step with everyone else) would be the corpse, and George is dressed like a grave digger.
A walrus is symbol of death in certain cultures, and coincidentally, Paul is the Walrus on the Magical Mystery Tour cover. He’s also wearing a black rose instead of a red rose as the other three are wearing.
Now are these coincidences? Or was it planned by The Beatles? These are just a few of the many instances on music and on pictures and album covers that people have found and speculate that the Paul we have heard over the years since roughly around 1965 is the not the original Paul.
If this “Paul is Dead Hoax” stuff interests you, click here for a more detailed rundown of all the “hints.”
Of course, backmasking (the real term for using reverse-playing sounds on a forward playing track) has been the subject of notoriety when it comes to hidden messages. Stuff by Ozzy Osbourne, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, and others have been said to have evil messages when played backwards, though they have denied any evil doing. More modern bands such as Slayer and Cradle of Filth have had their share of admittedly backmasking messages. There have been good messages also, such as by the Christian band Petra, who asks why people look for the devil instead of seeking the Lord, and others who have made parodies by placing funny messages backwards just for people to play it and have a good laugh.
And with that, I embark on my fourth solo album, with all of that in mind.
Behind the vault door today, we have a pretty big kit for you!
This kit comes from DJay Cas, a producer who has production credits with well-known artists such as Young Jeezy, Paul Wall, Yung La, Ice Cube, and others. Although this kit doesn’t contain original drums that he has created/recorded/tweaked, he put it together from his stash for the sake of others to use.
He dropped this kit a long time ago on The RapMusic.com Boards, and for me it’s been quite useful. The marching band stuff, though few in number, were great to me and provided a different yet pleasing sound for kicks and snares. The vox folder also has some good vocal cuts to help hype up your records; many of which you’ve heard on hit records, from hey’s to ow’s and oh’s.
At 701 samples, this kit should definitely keep you occupied for your next several production endeavors.