Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mixtape Review: Rotimi – The Resume

There has been a lot of buzz about this guy from Mapelwood, New Jersey - Rotimi. The Resume is his mixtape and it just dropped today 29/03/2011. It had been preceded by promo tracks such “Bottles ft. Gucci Mane” “Already Know ft Dawn Richard”. By the way the mixtape was hosted by Boi Jeanius and DJ L.

Boi jeanius introduces  Rotimi to the us after which Rotimi takes over and gives a little something something about himself and the mixtape.

Its ma turn. Its been a long wait and I don’t want to give to you’ll like this but they call me the future of R&B. What am doing right now am just living ma dream – The Resume. This is ma body of work I put blood and sweat and tear into this music mehn, the highs and the lows, the ups and downs and i want you to be my employer, enjoy the music.
After which the first song Body Ft. Lou Will begins. Needless to say this track will keep you bumping head and the lyrical delivery is good. It also has that “tad-ah tad-ah” along with the chorus to give it a hooky feel. It a bascially Contemporary R&B with subtle hints of crunk (for that head bumping feeling) Just as an FYI the signature line of Boi jeanius goes thus, a female voice saying “Oh my God its Boi Jeanius”

The first song then finely transits into the second track Mr. Maserati without a break in the beat but with a dynamism to it. On this track Rotimi talks about his flyness telling us to call him Mr Maserati. It pretty tongue in cheek (but in a good way)

The third track Already Know ft Dawn Richards exhudes feeling of Omarion’s I get It In (which in this case is a good thing). The first three track are kinda mid-high tempo club-banging-head bumping tracks.

On Try Me ft JB he takes its down a notch to pure classic R&B delivery. It basically a sensual track exhuding early 90’s R&B feelings. He’s asking a girl to give him a chance at going out with him. Track 5 Nothing Compares to You  has the cool feeling of the previous track but in a contemporary R&B production laced with drum machines and a heavy bass line.

On Bottles ft Gucci Mane we are back to the club. As the name suggests its an ode to alcohol and girls in the club. Its pretty a let yourself-go-and-have-fun song. On the following song Rotimi is an apologetic mood saying I’m the One.

On track 8 Rotimi needs a Hero. Rotimi shows his passionate side and his emotion comes through on the slighly rock guitar tinged R&B song.

Well get ready for sexual innuedos on this piano lace R&B song as he likens making love to making Beautiful music. Saying they can make a “hit record” “tempo fast or slow” “the perfect duet” “we can do it accapella, jazz it up…we can do it autotune”. I could go on with the sexual innuendos but am sure you get the picture already but its (the song) pretty amazing and I like it.

If you thought the innuendos were over then you are so wrong cuz on Red Light Green Light Rotimi shows he still has quite a few more stuff from his bags of tricks (in this case bag of innuendos)

Forever is a you’ve-been-gone-a-long-time song (please  excuse me but I couldn’t find the one word that will summarises it all up). On Prescription he’s telling a girl that probably just came out of a bad relationship that he can be her remedy, her love doctor and her prescription for love.

Bare with me is a cool track with minimalistic instrumentation in its production. It is then followed by a personal favourite of mine, a cover of Michael Jackson’s Hollywood Tonight (from his posthumous work - Michael). What makes me like this song is that it is very striped bringing out the soul in the voice of the song. On Rotimi’s cover he gives a more R&B feel than the original pop feeling ditching the drum machine but still retaining the guitars.

The closing track If It wasn’t for Mama is an ode to Rotimi’s Mama. Its a cover/remix of the song originally performed by Trey Songz.

This mixtape  could easily be an LP (after a little touches here and there) because I really loved every track, each one had its own persona and must really say he is really the Future of R&B. If I were to grade this I would give him a B+. With that said guys go an get this awesome mixtape from Rotimi’s website http://rotimimusic.com. You also follow him on twitter @Rotimi1

Monday, March 7, 2011

Is There Talent in Popular Music Today?

Many a people today might argue that a high number pop stars(the use of pop here doesn’t only refer to people that in the pop genre only) out today making it big time are talentless. We’ve heard claims that it is their management team that do all the work and the artiste themselves do not inject their creativity (i.e if they possess any) into the finished product. In other words they are just a face. While i won’t support and at the same time dispute the claim, I’ll like to take a look into what talent is in context with popular music today. Please know that the points I raise in this exposition might be supported or disputed but any way you see it just know that this is just an opinionated article and nothing more.

First of all I’ll like to defines some of the terms i might be using in this article

Talent means the skill that someone has quite naturally to do something that is hard. Someone who has talent is able to do something without trying hard – Wikipedia
An usual natural ability to do something well, especially in artistic areas that can be developed by training – Encarta Dictionary
Popular Music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres having wide appeal and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. Popular music is a generic term for music of all ages - Wikipedia
Popular music is music produced for and sold to a broad audience – Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia
Urban Contemporary Music
       This is a music radio format that includes of a mix of dance, and upbeat rhythmic  pop,hip-hop and R&B hits – Wikipedia 

Now that we got the definitions out of the way lets delve into the article proper. What we look for as talent in an artiste (whether upcoming or established) am sure will consist of questions like: Does he(he hear refers to both male and female..before i get attacked for being chauvinistic or sexist) have a good voice? Can she sing? Is he a good dancer? Does the person write her own songs? Stage Persona and showmanship? Can he create music outside the box? etc.

Most of us will want the artiste to have some of these qualities if not all…well only few have succeeded in having all. So if an artiste doesn’t have the obvious talents and is making serious waves (chart topping,record breaking sales) we as the music consuming community tend to brand the person as talentless.

To put this more into perspective lets use examples. For instance am sure many of us have heard the barrage of you-don’t-have-talent-why-are-you-topping-charts insult that have been heaped on Rihanna real name Robyn Fenty since her debut five years ago. Rihanna have been castigated for having a horrible voice live (I agree that voice is not that when she sings live), little or no stage charisma, not having song writing credits, she has even been branded an Illuminati puppet as a reason behind her “undeserved” fame. I beg to differ at some point and I say she has talent. Why? Someone might ask. My reason goes thus she does have a talent of releasing an album every year, she also puts together a perfect team of producers and songwriters that make-up for what she lacks for in natural ability. For her fifth album, Loud, she organised a writing camp where different songwriters wrote songs which she am sure she scrutinized and picked songs that she felt would channel what she wanted for the album and it worked.

Some of you might term me crazy or just plain stupid maybe I am, maybe am not but you cannot deny the fact that she has that x-factor and that should also count as talent. You don’t have to be a power house singer before you are considered talent and it doesn’t guarantee success (go and ask Christina Aguilera how her fourth LP was like) Don’t get me mistaken for a Rihanna Stan I am not…as a matter fact i have issues with her but a guy just have to state the obvious.*grins*

Next stop is Ke$ha (with a dollar sign) She stormed the music industry with her hit single Tik-tok in 2009, many believed because of her auto-tuned and trashy image she was going to be a one hit wonder, well her 15 minutes of fame has refused to end and she has been one of billboard’s favourite since late 2009 as every one of her single has peaked in the top ten category on the Hot 100. So one might wonder how is it that a person with this trash image will have such success when many consider her annoying and talentless. I’ll go on and highlight where her talents lie. She is a song writer (she even wrote a single for Britney Spears which is the second single on Brit’s up coming album Femme Fatale) she co-wrote most of her songs, she knows how to cook up some catchy hooks and she sure knows how to get people off their seats with her song. Well that is talent cuz if you refer to the definition of the term  above you would notice that talent is something a particular person has the ability to do very well.

What I hope to achieve with this exposition is that we should look outside the box when we want to identify talent in an artiste. It doesn’t always have to be the power-house singers, the perfect dancers and excellent performers that have to be classified as having talent. God knows I have criticized some of these people I have used as case studies but I just came to a realisation that popular music is commercial music so it must have a little something for everyone, it must be catchy and addictive. So people let us learn to enjoy the unusual talents in popular music culture of today. *winks*

Thoughts? Contributions?

You can also drop a tweet comment @Tallstretch

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hilarious:Breast Milk Ice Cream named “Baby Gaga”, Lady Gaga threatens to Sue

I just couldn’t stop laughing and wondering WTF when I saw this, there were actually three things that tickled my fancy….the name of the ice cream, what it was made up of and Lady Gaga’s threat to sue.

Apparently Lady Gaga has threatened to sue the makers of the British makers of “Baby Gaga” ice cream if they don’t change the name. (*whispering* in her cracked-up mind of hers she think she owns the word Gaga)

The Breast milk Ice cream is the invention of Icreamists parlour located in Convent Garden and the product was made by combining donated breast milk with vanilla pods and lemon zest (WTF breast milk ewwww)

The lawyers of the Born to-crave attention Born this way singer drafted a letter to the ice cream makers claiming that they had “ridden the coattails of her reputation” by calling their product Baby Gaga (*clears throat* excuse me lawyers the word Gaga has existed way before your oga decided to adopt it)

The store owner Matt O’Connor which obviously would not take things lying down replied in an interview with The Guardian (Uk version that is)
"A global superstar has taken umbrage at what she describes as a 'nausea-inducing' product. This from a woman with a penchant for wearing rotting cows' flesh,” (better put her meat dress) “At least our customers are still alive when they contribute to our 'art'.
“How can she possibly claim ownership of the word 'gaga', which since the dawn of time has been one of the first discernable phrases to come from a baby's mouth?”
Oucch that’s gotta hurt. Please tell her ooooo no be only she dey make the word gaga for.

Unfortunately Westminster council has confiscated all stocks of the ice cream over fears that it did not meet with hygiene requirements and standards.



Friday, March 4, 2011

New Music: Retta – Would You Be Mine

First time I heard this song I was like Nigerians are really stepping up their game (yeah! that’s how good the song is). This track is soulful R&B complete with piano chords, drums,guitars and the icing on the cake – Retta’s Voice. This song gives you Alicia Keys and Asa vibes (in a good way)

Enough of the song already, (some might say) who is this Retta girl?Well here is the little i could find about her; she should be 21 years old this year and she is Port-Harcourt based. According to notjustok.com she was discovered by Joy Tongo in 2008, President Jton productions while vacationing in Nigeria.

She debuted with an equally stunning single late last year – Kolo For You. Both tracks (i.e Would You Be Mine, kolo for You) were produced by Oscar Heman-Ackah (ChidinmaJankoliko)

Take A Listen to Would You Be Mine & Kolo For You


Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Music: 2Shotz ft Brymo - Attention

Ibo rapper 2shotz has churned out a song (whether its an official single or a leak i don’t know) with assistance from the latest addition to the Choc boy family and soon-to-be-Naija chorus king Brymo.

The Song basically explores the theme of being “blessed and not lucky”.
2Shotz raps in his Music Business era style while Brymo dishes the chorus and a verse in his fuji-toutish-esque approach (which is a good thing) that we fell in love with on Ice Prince’s Oleku.

Am Predicting this song to be a toast on the air waves very soon.

So as usual head on to mp3skull.com to take a listen.

Friday, February 25, 2011

New Music: Glee Original Songs Out

Yes! gleeks and non-gleeks alike, the wait for original songs from Glee is over. If you are a reader of my blog then you would have read a post where I said Glee was to release original songs…well the songs are out.

The first one ‘Loser Like Me’ is an upbeat pop song co-written and produced by Max Martin. The other ‘Get It Right’ is a ballad featuring Lea Michele (She gets a solo as Rachel berry in Glee, now she gets a solo as herself in real life!)

The track will feature in an an upcoming episode of Glee which will air March 15th. It will also be include in the Glee upcoming compilation album “Glee, the music Volume 5” due – March 8th.

So head on to iLeaks to take a listen.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Music: Chidinma – Jankoliko + Carry You Go

Chidinma Ekile winner  of Project Fame West Africa III is set on to take on the Nigeria music scene as she is out with two new promotional singles.

The tracks are Jankoliko ft Sound Sultan (Naija Ninja whooyah) and Carry You Go.

The tracks are pretty good, taking cues from the pop international music scene and mixing it our very own Naija flavour. 

The songs were written and produced by Oscar Heman Ackah

You can head over to BellaNaija or Mp3skull to take a listen