I recently started watching Wu-Tang: An American Saga series on HULU. I love behind the scenes in general whether with film or music. Ray and Walk The Line, the story of Johnny Cash, won Oscars even the fictionalized group The Five Heartbeats has sustained a cultural impact spanning over two decades. This episode is directed … Continue reading Wu-Tang: An American Saga S1E1 Review: Can It Be All So Simple
Quincy is a legend. Winning 27 Grammys he’s the second most awarded and has contributed to the best selling album of all time, Thriller. Whether it’s philanthropy building 100 homes in Africa with Habitat for Humanity, speaking to the UN about eradicating extreme poverty or empowering Oprah and Will Smith he’s truly made the most of his 31000 days.
As someone who deals with depression it can be isolating and it’s very easy to try to get out of that head space. And with drugs it can numb or mask the pain but the wounds are still there. With the conversation of addiction coming back around I just hope that it’s more nuanced than victim blaming or a blunt anti-drug message that can tone deaf and not helpful at all. Addiction truly is a disease and just like any other disease there’s resources available to combat it. There’s also grace so be with those who are struggling and fighting because sobriety is much more complicated than many feel
What I like most about these loosies is that it shows his depth and also the different ways he can approach records. That he can go from just rapping his tail off on 435 to taking a groovy song lie Prophet’s I Wanna Be Your Man and giving a new flavor with Peach Fuzz is awesome. I’ve loved these songs so much that I complied them into a playlist. You can find these songs on his Twitter page and his YouTube channel.
This album is one of the records where you can turn it on and play it all the way through. The songs blend right into each other and the theme of gardens is all throughout the album from Dropping Seeds with Lil Wayne to Garden Shed featuring Estelle. If you haven’t heard it you need to check it out. It was placed #2 on Billboard even after the album leaked two weeks before his release date and has now been certified Gold along with being nominated for Best Rap Album at this past Grammy’s.
His naiveté works as a creative. In My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy he explains he’s fighting for custody over his ‘inner child’. And in tons of interviews he compares his process as creating like an 8 or 10 year old. He’s made brilliant music this way but when speaking on real issues like slavery, mental or physical, and not being able to name a policy he agrees with Trump on he’s turned from someone who influenced an entire generation to someone who’s name is being used to justify dangerous racist ideologies.
With each generation there’s new hurdles but because of the work that has been laid before by the legends it makes it easier to walk through those doors and explore new options to push the boundaries from what was expected.
I truly believe Death Row though fraught with controversy laid the groundwork that TDE now walks on as a $100M company with iconic artists making legendary music.
Now in the era of #NewLegends along with Drake and J Cole, Kendrick has a chokehold on the hip hop world and this film’s trust with TDE has paid off with the soundtrack about to hit #1 on Billboard 200 album charts.
Hip Hop is now Pop culture surpassing Rock & Roll as the most popular genre in the States.
With Eminem and Three Six Mafia each winning Academy Awards for their songs in films 8 Mile and Hustle and Flow it shows hip hop is here to stay and also that our soundtracks are just as valid as the dominant society.
This week I saw The Greatest Showman.
What pulled me in from the beginning was the music.
Knowing now that the composers were Benj Pasek and Justin Paul all made sense.
They are the industry's go to composers from their start on NBC's Smash to Oscar winning La La Land and Best Musical winning Dear Evan Hansen.
And the music supervisor was Alex Lacamore who is Tony award winner Lin Manuel Miranda right hand man.
If you love music and great performances then be prepare to be transformed to a place where the impossible is realized in a hyper realistic setting. This truly is the greatest show.
The Defiant Ones is a parallel look at Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s journey in the music business and how they got to where they are today.
There’s so many things I love about this episodic odyssey.
As a music lover there are interviews with those who created the soundtrack to so many people’s lives.
Jimmy Iovine worked at a studio and progressed to engineer then producer of such acts as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and U2.
In my generation a lot has been made of Dr. Dre who has been proclaimed by many as the greatest hip hop producer of all time but Iovine’s work with Lennon and Stevie Nicks is very special.