Nottz: Raw

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.

Sources

http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com/lectures/nottz-sp-footprints

House Shoes: One of Hip Hops Top Authorities

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!

 

Sources

  1. http://www.factmag.com/2015/11/29/houseshoes-interview/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFAtJxj__AY
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN67V0jd4Ek

New World Charts: First Week of December

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

 

DJ Roomba’s 2015 Recap

Best Music Video of 2015:  RihannaBitch Better Have My Money

Rihanna‘s music video starts off with her kidnapping a woman and throwing her in a suitcase.  Rihanna and her friends drive around with her in the trunk of her car and make fun of the woman.  The song itself is based on Rihanna‘s personal issues with her accountant.  On top of that the video clocks in at around 7 minutes and is explicit.  As Rihanna approaches her eighth studio album, this song proves that she is still going strong.

Best Video Game of 2015:  Halo 5

Halo 5 is an amazing installment in the franchise that introduced new gameplay mechanics and helped move the story forward in the next trilogy by 343 Industries.  With  a 4-player cooperative campaign and new Warzone mode, both the online and campaign remain fresh and give players more options in how to play the game.  New abilities, weapons, modes, and level design have made this game better than it was before.  Despite the lack of split-screen, there is plenty of content  to keep players busy and entertained.

Best Movie of 2015: Mad Max Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise.  Tom Hardy has filled the role formerly played by Mel Gibson and succeeds in it by wandering the wasteland while being pursued by Immortan Joe’s gang.  In addition, Charlize Theron does a great job as Furiosa who tries to protect a group of women who are also being pursued.  Practical effects, realistic explosions and car chases define this film.  It’s definitely one of the best action films of the year compared to other high budget films of the summer.

 

KZSC Show Reviews: Froth

This past week, psychedelic/shoegaze band Froth made their way up to Santa Cruz to play a show at the Crepe Place. I’ve seen Froth once before down in Pomona and it was a spectacle to behold. The lighting, visuals, and fog was amazing to see onstage. The audience, primarily being from the LA and OC area, were ecstatic. Knowing that a lot of UCSC students come from the Southern California area, I got to the Crepe Place as soon as I can to try to relive the experience.

It should be known that the Crepe Place is a very small venue (capacity of about 100 people) and tends to fill up very quickly. In essence, I didn’t see Froth at a concert venue, I saw Froth at the most active and packed house show I’ve ever attended. Anticipation for Froth to play was high. The band could barely get some of their gear through the front door in order to set up and play. Once everything was set up, the Crepe Place exploded. I knew the crowd was going to go crazy, but I completely underestimated how crazy it was going to go. Joojoo’s voice and guitar filled the room being backed by Nick’s ethereal guitar effects, Cameron’s insane drumming, and Jeremy’s bass holding the rhythm. At first, Froth was sort of jamming, but they started gaining more and more energy as the night went on. The energy of the crowd was feeding the band, and the band was sending more energy right back at the crowd. I don’t know how nobody didn’t get injured. People jumped so high their heads hit the ceiling, some guy climbed on other people to crowd surf, people were falling over the PA, and the venue was well above legal capacity. It was fantastic! It is by far and away the best show I have ever seen at the Crepe Place. It’s one of those shows that will go down in history as a legendary show.

Froth was really great playing under the pressure of the large crowd. They mostly played songs off they’re latest and best album “Bleak”. Songs like “On My Chest” and “Afternoon” were played so much louder and denser than what’s on the album. “Bleak” already was pretty breath taking, but hearing the songs live took the air out of my lungs. Joojoo and Nick playing together is a wonderful dynamic that comes out so much better live than it does on the record. Their guitar playing is very complementary and is best done when it’s mixed equally throughout a whole song. Also, I’m not sure how Cameron doesn’t break any drum heads after seeing how hard he hit his drums. He’s loud and furiously fast, but nails fills and triplets like they’re nothing. Jeremy’s bass playing is so much better live as well. As it is a key component on most of their songs, hearing it much louder and bassier than the recorded version adds another layer of tonal depth to the instrumentation that is really the cherry of the ice cream sundae. A personal favorite of mine from the concert was when they broke out into a near-perfect cover of “Needle In Camel’s Eye” by Brian Eno. I had to put away my camera that I was using to photograph the show and jam out to that. As a huge Brian Eno fan, I really appreciate that they did that.

Check out “Bleak” here along with Froth’s other releases.

 

KZSC Show Reviews: Kendrick Lamar – 1st Annual Kunta Groove Sessions

Written by Alex Seradj

Kendrick Lamar has undoubtedly had one of the most rapid progressions of any artists in recent memory. He announced his presence with the release of section 8.0. He proved his mass appeal with the success of Good Kid M.A.A.D City. It may be too early to make such a bold claim, but it seems with the release of his latest album, To Pimp A Butterfly, he has cemented his legacy as one of the great lyricists of his generation. He’s in a stage of his career where as far as his fan base is concerned he can do no wrong. He could have easily started an arena tour back in March, when the album released, phoned in every performance, and still sold out every show.. He instead chose to play only a dozen shows in intimate venues, in cities that have supported him since the beginning of his career. That’s what made the Kunta Groove Sessions spectacular.

The show opened with a brief set from label mate Jay Rock, who made waves with his latest release, 90059, this past summer. He notably played three tracks that featured Kendrick, without him. It was perhaps the most off putting when he traded bars with the pre-recorded Lamar vocals on “Easy Bake.” That being said, it is obvious that they were trying to build anticipation for Lamar’s set. During the intermission Jay Rock visited the merch booth and met fans. He was extremely friendly and seemed genuinely excited to be there.

When the curtained opened for the headline set, Kendrick and his 4-piece jazz/funk band, The Wesley Theory, emerged. The band immediately announced their presence with a brief cover of “Can’t Hide Love” by Earth Wind and Fire while Kendrick sat on a couch. After the band fell silent he teased the crowd, stepping up to the mic to thunderous applause, only to shudder and fall away a few times. After soaking in the applause as the crowds anticipation mounted he opened his mouth and proclaimed, “This dick ain’t” as the crowd responded “freeeeeee.” “For free? (interlude)” served as a fantastic showcase for his band as they nailed its frantic pace. He went on to perform all of To Pimp A Butterfly, excluding “You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Moma Said.)” In addition he played most of the essential hits off of Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. He surprised the crowd when he free styled alternative lyrics to “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” and threw in an unrecorded track. Knowing his track record, based on his unreleased “untitled” track preformed on The Colbert Report finale and unfinished freestyle snippet in his “Alright” music video, it seems unlikely I will ever hear that track again. That being said I hope I’m wrong.

He spoke about the last time he had performed the Fox Theater, in 2012 to 350 of the loudest people he had ever seen. He did a few bars of his first major hit off Section 8.0., ADHD, acapella, leaving it up to the crowd to finish the verse. They passed his test with flying colors roaring the remainder. Prior to his encore the crowd belted out the chant “We gonna be alright!” When Lamar came back onstage he urged the crowd to get louder for a few minutes before conceding “alright,” and dropping the track. He dedicated the track to the city of Oakland and reminded the crowd he chose to film the tracks video there for a reason.

This show was far from a typical hip-hop show. There were no features or surprise guests for that matter. The stage setup resembled an art installation with canted metal bars and a neon arrow reading “pimps only” pointed at the mic. The Fox Theater itself was a spectacle. It was my first time at the venue and did not expect it to be a renovated movie palace from the silent era. It was the prefect venue for the type of show Kendrick Lamar wanted to deliver. It was equal parts grandiose and intimate. It was a thank you to his loyal fans, as well as, a celebration his success as well as the city of Oakland itself.