Now celebrating its eleventh year in production, Lightning in a Bottle Art and Music Festival, returns to San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley, CA, Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-30, 2016) with music headliners including Chet Faker, Jamie XX, Cashmere Cat, Tokimonsta, Grimes, Four Tet and over 300 additional musicians and artists.
Anderson .Paak is one of the up and coming artists of the past few years. His work ethic is reflected in the projects he puts out as well as those who notice him. Releasing two albums, Venice and Malibu, as well as being extensively featured on the Dr. Dre project Compton speak to this ethic. There is also the group NxWorries which features .Paak in vocals and Stones Throw Knxwledge as producer. To top it off he has just recently been signed to Aftermath Entertainment. Anderson .Paak is defiantly embracing the opportunities around to him.
Like many, to get to this point in life was no easy feat. In listening to his songs on Malibu it becomes obvious where this work ethic comes from. In songs like “The Season/Carry Me” and “The Water” we learn how nothing was ever handed to this man. His status now is a result of the dedication he has to his art and his confidence in his creativity. Again all this is back up through his music.
One of the first projects released by the young musician was Cover Art. He decided to flip a handful of rock and blues song by injecting a nice dose of funk. According to an article in LA Weekly .Paak decided to flip soulful songs done by white artists that, “mean[t] a lot to,” to him (http://www.laweekly.com/music/randb-singer-anderson-paak-has-a-curious-new-project-4169754). Some of the songs covered are “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes as well as “Such Great Heights” by the Postal Service. By flipping them through a different musical perspective he succeeds in demonstrating his creativity. In my opinion it would have been difficult to listen to this in 2013 and not think this guy was going to be a star.
But the best thing about this man is his range. While he obviously can reinvent songs and display his struggle through rhyme he can also write very meaningful songs. But he does not just talk about universal attitudes concerning love or greed or whatever but rather draws from personal experience (where else would someone come up with stuff like this) to better address these attitudes. In a song like “Drugs,” off the album Venice, we learn of the issue of allowing drugs, or any material thing really, to play a central role in your love life. Like, really, how many people are singing about this type of stuff right now? Or you have songs like “I Miss that Whip” off the same album. A new take on break up songs where rather than ruminating on a break up or the person he reminisces on what he actually missed about his Ex. It really begs the question of why people make relationships in the first place. Then you have songs were he performs assault on your ear. “Come Down” off of Malibu is the best example.
If that wasn’t enough there is the Stones Throw project with Knxwledge called NxWorries. The EP was released only a week or so ago. His attitude shines on the EP in a different way from his other work. Like on the track “Suede”.Paak exudes confidence on a level reminiscent of 90s Hip Hop yet with a freshness that makes you appreciate the present (Thank you both for that one). Of course the lyrics are only half of the duo. Knxwledge’s production on the EP makes it clear why he holds the reputation he does among producers.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, Anderson .Paak is the man. The only way to classify his music is good. Go out and listen.
written by David Reid
Quasimoto, simply put, is one of the baddest MCs out there. Paying no attention to time Lord Quas has been around for years and years but only recently made his appearance in hip hop within the last 16 due to help from the prolific, loop digging producer Madlib the Bad Kid. As a stellar producer/ MC duo Quasimoto was able to put his stamp on hip hop with three albums released under Stones Throw Records : The Unseen (2000), The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (2005), and his most recent Yessir…Whatever (2014).
Quasimoto has held a complicated place history. Being around for as long as someone like Lord Quas you will undoubtedly make enemies. Royal governments, national assemblies, landlords… the list can go on. Keeping his mind zoned and cosmic none of these issues ever fazed the MC. With his bad character, adherence to supernatural practices, along with something rolled from DOOM he was able to stay free from stress. Reports of littered roaches at some of the most defining events in history give evidence to his presence. Who do you think threw a brick through the Bastille during the French Revolution? Orchestrated the dumping of massive amounts of tea into the Boston Harbor? These are just the minor examples of his role in history. His influence could fill volumes yet was and continues to be unnoticed.
Regardless of the general public’s inability to appreciate the particular attitude of this MC we can no doubt notice his presence throughout history. This lack of appreciation would lead Lord Quas to change his attitude toward the world. Always looking towards tomorrow and yesterday Lord Quas redirected his multiple abilities towards bullyshit and some rather perverted activities. In fact, it was Quasimoto who had the idea to make man fall in the garden. Most of which are much to explicit to be put into words. For the curious, his discography provides the tamest of the MCs exploits (so go cop it!).
Eventually moving to Anytime, LA Quas found his ability to express his experiences in a creative fashion with the help Madlib. Madlib was the only producer able to compliment the inflated voice of the MC yet their relationship could be rocky at points. It is reported from the Bad Kid himself that altercations occurred but the reasons for it are classified. Despite Lord Quas’s size Madlib was able to cause a nose injury but did not escape unscathed. Quasimoto never plays fair. A roach burn and several brick shaped bruises were reported to have covered Madlib after the fight. As a result we have not heard much from Quasimoto lately.
We can only make assumptions.
written by David Reid
Whether or not you know the man you know Nottz. Busta Rhymes, Talib Kweli, Kanye are only a small portion of the people Nottz has produced for. Having such a substantial production history (and this is true of so many people) as well as being Awarded a Grammy for his work on Kanye’s Graduation (Barry Bonds), along with verbal accolades from a variety of notable producers, it seems strange that he is not better known.
Nottz hails from Virginia. Having a father as a DJ and brothers who produced music he had from an early age, much like all our favorite musicians, a consistent exposure to creating music. Starting from humble beginnings making beats on a simple 7-second sampling keyboard Nottz was, over time, able to utilize different equipment and advance his production skills. Eventually he caught the attention of Busta Rhymes and was given three tracks on his album Extinction Level Event. Along with the title track Nottz also produced another two. Nottz’s career seems to have taken off from there. Honing his natural talent into a perfected skill Nottz was able to gain recognition from a number of members within the hip hop community like Dr. Dre and Jay Dee.
What is more important about Nottz is his attitude. In an interview with Benji B under the Red Bull Music Academy Nottz reveals his integrity. Clearly he is hard working. No one comes from simple beginnings to being requested by giants of the industry. The people who choose to work with Nottz are a reflection of his ability, attitude and workmanship. In addition to his work ethic Nottz is about his art. Rather than change himself and make money in the several millions he stays true to himself by working with artist he wants and making the music he wants to make. It just an added bonus that Nottz is able to produce those million dollar records. In a business where authenticity is undervalued it is refreshing to see someone display dedication to the craft, not the almighty dollar.
Nottz has been rather busy in the last six years. Going back to his early roots as a rapper he put out a self-produced album called You Need This Music. Trust me you really do. It features stellar production, good guests, and decent vocals. One of the stand out tracks is I Still Love You which featured Mayer Hawthorne. His creative ability truly shine on this track, if you own Donuts you will see why. He also produced EPs for Asher Roth and Blu. His most recent work is the album Home Sweet Home with Rapper Big Pooh.
As for Nottz future he does not seem to be slowing down by any means. He just produced a single for the group O.G.ology which features Raekwon. Along with posting portions of his production on twitter it would seem that Nottz is going to around for awhile.
written by David Reid
Michael ‘House Shoes’ Buchanan has been apart of the hip hop community since the mid-90s. He transitioned from hip hop head, to resident DJ at St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, to owner of his own record label Street Corner Music. House Shoes, whether noticed or not, has acted as a strong backbone for the hip hop community by upholding integrity and workmanship as important values. He is infamous for his ability to recognize talent and is presently able to showcase such talent through Street Corner Music.
House Shoes is credited with introducing the art of James Yancey to the world by using his residency at St. Andrew’s hall to play, for unsuspecting ears, the sweet sampling technique of one of hip hops greatest. But he did not stop there. Over the years House Shoes used his position at St. Anderw’s Hall as a platform to reinforce a spiritual element to the music. His focus was not to play music to drunk people, well at least not all the time. Rather it was a more serious. For the participants, going to St. Andrew’s Hall on a Friday night was a beloved ritual. This type of attitude towards music oriented the choices of what would be played. Conscious lyrical content and killer production were the primary qualities needed if the music were to be deemed appropriate. House Shoes remained in this position for a few years building reputation along the way. Many events took place but to make a long story very short he eventually relocated to Los Angeles were he is currently living.
Never losing his spirit for introducing unsuspecting ears to great music House Shoes began his own record label called Street Corner Music. It began in tandem with a project called “The Gift”. After living in Los Angeles for a few year Shoes decided to begin releasing beat tapes from various, not universally known producers onto soundcloud. But he saw another opportunity. Shoes was hoping to reintroduce the value of owning a piece of music not only through the records but the linear notes and clever covers which imitate those previously released on Blue Note Records. Shoes would call producers he felt worthy of a record and work with their material to help shape the album. The Gift was a ten volume series, which have, for the most part, sold out. You can still cop the last in the series on fatbeats.com or check your local record store. They are worth the purchase.
But don’t worry! Being the man he is Shoes did not stop there. He released, and still is releasing, music off of his label. The two stand outs are Doc ILLingsworth and Swarvy. Two insanely talented musicians, the former from Detroit and the latter Los Angeles, who Shoes helped by providing them a platform to release their work. ILLingsworth released a music video for his song “Everhard” at the beginning of the month. Swarvy was placed on the top ten Artists to watch by an article in LA Weekly. You can listen to both on Shoes’s soundcloud linked above. And when your done listening you can go cop the records on fatbeats.com!
UCSC students, (Including our World DJS), are busy studying for finals. Why not crank up some Chilean Folk tunes? We have a song by Nano Stern that will soothe your nerves, and may give you “La confianza” you need to ace your exams. Stay worldly.
1 NANO STERN- Mil500 Vueltas
2 DABY TOURE- Amonafi
3 SHUJAAT HUSAIN KHAN AND KATAYOUN GOUDARZI- Ruby
4 JONNY GREENWOOD/SHYE BEN TZUR/RAJASTHAN EXPRESS- Junun
5 QWANQWA- Volume Two
6 KALASCIMA- Psychedelic Trance Tarantella
7 MELODIC INTERSECT- One Vision
8 STICK FIGURE- Set In Stone
9 BOOGAT– Neo-Reconquista
10 CEU– Live
1 SANJAY CHITALE AND SANDEEP CHOWTA– American Pilgrimage
2 MIMUR– Mimur
3 BAABA MAAL– “Fulani Rock” B/w “Gilli Men” [Single]
4 MICHAEL FRANTI AND SPEARHEAD — Once A Day Rise Up
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