• #INDIANA: LONEgevity “rap, etc.” Release & Interview | @LONEgevity

    Our own LONEgevity unveiled his rap, etc. album today with all of the instrumentals, and wrote a bit about it below. Listen, read, bump and download for free from Bandcamp.

    RAPRAPRAP – I actually made this beat when showing Jay Diff a few cool things about Ableton back in July of 2014. Later, when I sat down to finalize the album, I didn’t have an intro, and instead of doing something more somber, which was my initial plan, I decided to come straight out the gate and just do clever rap stuff. Even though I’ve been rapping longer than producing, and have put out numerous projects with hip hop groups with me rapping (Hinx Jones / Beats & Breakfast), most people know me for my production. I think the angst and idea that I get overlooked in the rap realm by most people is frustrating at times, and this song was meant to pretty much showcase my wordplay and ability. I tend to have a bit of aggression and cockyness in my rap persona, and I’ve always been pretty opinionated. So yeah, this is just what it is…like hey, listen up and learn something. Blah blah, look at me, I’m a rapper.

    STONES – This is an older song that I remixed. I tend to remix my songs quite a bit, as you’ll understand after reading all of this. This song was originally recorded back in 2012 when I was working on a “Drums Bang” project (which eventually turned into a business) and had a completely different beat. I ended up losing some of the stems, so I had to remix it, and I actually like it a bit more now. I flipped a Madlib/MED track. The features are my homies G Granite and Gritts, who wrote some really great rah rah rap stuff for it. “Stones” references the last lines of the song.

    WANNA DO – I wrote and recorded this song in one night back in August of 2014. The beat was one that I made when I first started messing around in Ableton back in June of 2014, and was just a real simple loop. Sometimes simplicity works wonders, and it did for this one. I’m not sure what exactly sparked this song, but here it is. I enjoy doing spacious octave singing over tracks, and it gave me the vibe I wanted.

    SITTING IN MY CAR – The whole idea for this song is kind of funny because I wrote it about a past life I had. I used to work the typical 40+ hours a week as an engineer in the medical field, and back in 2010 I was laid off. Managing working a ton of hours on top of all of the other things I did was tough, and I kind of looked back to a previous life to draw inspiration a bit when I wrote this song last year (around May of 2013 I think). Right around this time, Mike Schpitz actually drove to Indianapolis from Chicago to do a weekend recording session for a project we were working on, and this song was actually a stem from after that session. I think. Maybe it was right before? Actually, now I’m not too sure. Ha. Either way, I sent this track to him around the same time we were putting out our “Sunday Brunch” project (April of 2013) and our recording session (May of 2013). He was able to chime in and add his experience as the 9-5 rapper with a family to add a great take on my idea: that necessary “me moment” the song is about. This is one of my favorite songs I’ve done.

    I WONDER – When I initially opened Ableton to make this beat, my intention was for this to be the intro. It turned out a bit too vibey. Then I wanted it to be the outro, but I re-realized that I already had a perfect outro. I put this interlude in the middle to simply show another side of my creativity. It’s minimal and to the point.

    THRONES – I wrote this song when I was in the middle of binge-watching Game of Thrones. I was sitting and making a beat while re-watching an episode I partially missed, and the sample you hear came on. I instantly got the idea to write a song from the perspective of a bold and crass, yet loved king in this world. It turned out to be a mixture of many of the characters spaced throughout my 5 mini-verses, and at the end the “now all my people say…” part gets revealed as I say “he’s the great” at the end. It all ties together.

    WAKE UP – This is another older track that I had sitting around. Kind of. I made the beat and wrote the verse to this in the summer of 2013, and Pete actually sent me the verse pretty quickly. I got the scratches from Spoolz shortly after, but I didn’t actually piece this song together until about a month ago. Pete has been one of my favorite rappers for along time, so I’ll proudly play back fiddle to him. It’s more or less just a rappidy rap song telling you that we can rap. It’s fun.

    STUCK - This song is pieces of a song that I wrote for my lady about 2 years ago, re-imagined with a different beat than I originally used. I knew I wanted to put out this song before, but I thought the vibe was a little weird, so when I was randomly browsing through beats I made in 2010, I found this one. I had completely forgot about it, but it was perfect for what I wanted to share. Short and sweet.

    KISS – This is a bonus track because I didn’t really want to have two songs like “Quickie” on here, and they were both pretty similar. But also, this song is literally like 6-7 years old…recording and all. I had to do some clever things to get it to sound decent. The idea of this song is pretty simple, yet cleverly complex. I wrote this song with two ideas in mind so that depending on the person, they would think I’m talking about two completely separate things: 1) the first kiss, and 2) the first kiss down below. If you listen closely you’ll realize it can be interpreted both ways. I’d like to shoot a side-by-side shot video showcasing this at some point, but if the lifespan of this song is any indicator, it might not happen for a few more years.

    QUICKIE – I mean, it’s exactly what it seems like. It’s a song about a quick sexual encounter. It’s very descriptive. I remixed this beat after I made it to give it a better feel. This song is also roughly three years old.

    SLEEP – This song has many meanings. Aside from referencing Naptown (Indianapolis), the song talks about being slept on as an emcee, being a bit older than some of the newer cats emerging, and all of the weirdness that goes along with it. It’s not necessarily a cocky song as much as it is an awakening; it’s a respect due type of thing. As much as I have love for the entire Indianapolis and Indiana music scene, sometimes I feel like I get overlooked due to being a blogger and somewhat of a “mover” in the scene. It’s hard to describe sometimes, as I’m not a typical artist, so it’s frustrating sometimes. There just isn’t a “perfect place” for some of us. This is just my way of saying that I may be seasoned, but don’t sleep on this old man – go and dig and you’ll find my work. You might just like it, and I’ll still give you 30/10/5! Ps, I’m not THAT old. This beat is also a remix from the original…but it was a great segway from the previous song so I kept it.

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  • Killer Mike Breaks Down Ferguson on CNN (Video) | @KillerMikeGTO

    Killer Mike Render took a break from the Run The Jewels tour recently to again speak with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin. He discussed his emotional speech at the Run The Jewels show in St. Louis the day the news broke of the grand jury’s decision, his thoughts on the Rams players’ “hands up” gestures, the grand jury decision itself, and what Mike would say to Wilson himself. Part one above, and part two below.

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  • Killer Mike Speaks on Ferguson At Concert in St. Louis (Video) | @KillerMikeGTO

    Last night’s decision to not indict Officer Wilson for the death of Micheal Brown has us all feelin’ a certain type of way this morning. Last night though, Killer Mike and El-P were performing in St. Louis on their Run The Jewels tour when the news broke. The video shows Killer Mike bearing his soul to the crowd. He shares his thoughts, feelings and fears due to the decision. It gets emotional and got me all choked up.

    The fan’s video also got the boys performing a song at the end so stick around after you listen to his words.

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  • Nuvo Selects Four Indiana Artists to Interview Slug (of Atmosphere) | @DJKyleLong @atmosphere

    In an article today put together over at Nuvo, DJ Kyle Long asked four different artists from Indiana to come up with a question for Atmosphere’s Slug. You can read the entire interview here at Nuvo, but I’ve quoted my favorite question and response below, which was asked by Diop. Atmosphere will be here on November 20th, which we shared along with a bunch of other upcoming Indianapolis events earlier today.

    The last question comes from Diopostle who dropped his superb debut album Driving on Faith earlier this year. Diopostle asks: “What are a few critical steps to building a sustainable and independent local music scene in a city where the market doesn’t currently exist?”

    Slug: That’s a good question, and if I had that magic answer I’d write a book and get rich. For us it was accidental. We didn’t know what we were doing. Truthfully the steps we took in the ’90s probably wouldn’t even work today because the landscape has evolved. When we were building Rhymesayers there was no Internet. It was all about showing up with a stack of fliers and tapes to give away or sell. The things we did back then are obsolete now.

    But the main thing I try to tell people is to always be honest with everybody, especially yourself. If you have to lie to get where you’re going, then you’re hustling people. And hustling people works, but it’s temporary. All hustles are temporary. If you want something that’s sustainable it has to be honest and true. I’ve always tried to be as honest as possible in my music and outside my music. I look at it like this, if you don’t want my truth, if you don’t want my honesty, then you probably don’t want me. If you can’t respect me for being myself then we don’t need to work together. I don’t want colleagues or even fans that can’t accept me for who I am. I ain’t here to trick nobody.

    I also think you need to stay community-minded. The funny thing about mixing art with commerce is that it becomes very insular. It makes it hard to stay communal. I think that’s the thing that most people bang their heads against when they’re trying to establish a scene. There’s a short list of people in hip-hop history that have been able to keep it communal as opposed to keeping it focused on self. I would point to Afrika Bambaataa, or Proof out of Detroit. Proof was known for creating a space where people could come and freestyle or just kick it. And it wasn’t about Proof it was about the community. Luckily I was working with a few people who were really good at staying community minded, and I think that’s why we were able to get where we got in Minneapolis.

    There’s a dude there in Indianapolis named Rusty from the Mudkids (Last IV, Birdmen of Alcatraz) who everybody there knows. That means there already is a community in Indianapolis. Every time I talk to him or see him I can see that he is a leader. I don’t live there, so I have no idea if he’s regarded as a leader by the younger kids. But if not they should really look to this guy because he’s got a lot of history,

    inspiration, and charisma. Those are the types of things that create a leader. So Indianapolis has the leaders, you’ve got the soldiers, and you’ve got the people with talent. That’s all it takes to spark interest from people outside the scene to look in and make it a larger scene. The energy is infectious. This hip-hop shit is contagious. It just requires people to not be so insular, and to put their ego in the backseat.

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  • Nardwuar vs. Ab-Soul (Video) | @nardwuar @abdashsoul

    Nardwuar catches up with Ab-Soul for his latest, “I know more about you than you think I know”, interview. Ab-Soul is ready to punch Nardwuar over his knowledge of all things him. It’s all in fun, though. Peep how The Human Serviette avoids the “do you smoke weed?” question. Check it out.

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  • Red Bull Music Academy “Diggin’ In The Carts: Episode 6″ (Video) | @RBMA

    Unfortunately, we have come to the end of a great series put together by the Red Bull Music Academy. The final episode in RBMA’s Diggin’ In The Carts series is down below, which is titled “The End Of An Era”. This episode talks about the end of 16-bit games, as when the Playstation was first introduced in 1994 games switch from cartridges to CDs. The composers talk about the drum and bass music implemented in the Tekken games, and how game music has evolved throughout the years with not only music, but with the implementation of different styles and sound FX. Pretty interesting.

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  • The Combat Jack Show Interview w/ 9th Wonder @ A3C 2014 | @combatjackshow @9thWonderMusic @A3C

    The Combat Jack Show interviewed Jamla front-man 9th Wonder down at A3C this year, and he talks about quite a bit in the hour-long interview. Press play below.

    Live from Atlanta, at the tenth anniversary of the #A3c Music Festival, we finally caught up with producer and Harvard scholar 9th Wonder where he share his incredible story about leading a scene in North Carolina with the incredible Little Brother crew to not giving JAY Z a track he had for his own group. The breakup with Phonte and Big Pooh, making hits for Destiny’s Child and why he’s going so hard for his Jamla Records premier artist Rapsody, why he really wants to collaborate with Rich Homie Quan and of course, his journey in becoming a professor at Harvard University. This was truly an honor building with 9th and I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

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  • Interview w/ Leslie Ann Jones, Director of Music and Scoring at Skywalker Sound (Video)

    For all of the music producers and engineers interested in scoring, this is a video you may be interested in watching. This interview is with Leslie Ann Jones, who is the Director of Music and Scoring at the legendary Northern California Skywalker Sound.

    In this exclusive SoundWorks Collection video we feature Leslie Ann Jones, who is the Director of Music and Scoring at the legendary Northern California Skywalker Sound.

    Leslie Ann Jones has been a recording and mixing engineer for over 30 years. Starting her career at ABC Recording Studios in Los Angeles in 1975, she moved to Northern California in 1978 to accept a staff position with David Rubinson and Fred Catero at the legendary Automatt Recording Studios. There she worked with such artists as Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Holly Near, Angela Bofill, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Carlos Santana and Narada Michael Walden, and started her film score mixing career with “Apocalypse Now”.

    From 1987 to 1997 she was a staff engineer at Capitol Studios located in the historic Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood. She recorded projects with Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Michelle Shocked, BeBe & CeCe Winans, and Marcus Miller, as well as the scores for several feature films and television shows.

    In February of 1997 she returned to Northern California to accept a position as Director of Music Recording and Scoring with Skywalker Sound, where she continues her engineering career recording and mixing music for records, films, video games, television, and commercials. And she now adds Record Producer to her list of credits.

    In 2003, Leslie was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Recording, Classical, and received a Grammy Award for The Kronos Quartet’s recording of Berg: Lyric Suite, which won Best Chamber Music Album. In 2005 she received another Grammy Award for her work as engineer on Diane Reeves’ “Good Night and Good Luck” CD and in 2011 she won a Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Classical for Quincy Porter: Complete Viola Works by Eliesha Nelson & John McLaughlin Williams. In 2014 she was also nominated for Best Engineered Recording-Non-Classical for her work with Madeleine Peyroux as well as for Best Surround Sound Album.

    Leslie is a past Chair of The Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees and is a current Governor of the San Francisco Chapter. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of Institute for Musical Arts, and Ex’pression College for Digital Arts, and is an artistic advisor to the new Technology and Applied Composition degree program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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  • Red Bull Music Academy “Diggin’ In The Carts: Episode 5″ (Video) | @RBMA

    Press play on the fifth episode from Red Bull Music Academy‘s Diggin’ In The Carts series below, which focuses on the role of roleplay. Yeah, that means it touches on the infamous Final Fantasy series, which although I never got into, my friends growing up were heavy into. Lots of other greatness, including an interview with Nobuo Uematsu. Check below.

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