Midnight Snack: Lauryn Hill – “Nothing Even Matters” (Ft. D’Angelo)

Neo Soul to a new week

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Humpday Hymn: D’Angelo – “Sometimes It Snows In April” (Live Prince Cover)

At the 5 minute mark of this video is the start of the 3rd verse in this Prince classic. It’s also when it all came crashing down in a brief overwhelming moment. D’Angelo and Questlove have always shared a deep affinity for Prince’s friendship, general ridiculousness, and mostly his music.
Knowing that Questo’s in the same room watching him sing “maybe he’s found another friend” is enough to break any man or woman but, D held it together to finish the ballad with help from Princess (Maya Rudolph apparently???). I can’t imagine how heavy it was to perform an ode Prince wrote to a friend gone too soon in April almost 30 years later as Prince’s friend, Prince now being that friend. It was a hell of a palpable sight to see and here even on a screen.

P.s.
Last night, I mistakenly posted the day’s selection AFTER watching this. My concentration was questionable. You now have a double shot of #HumpdayHymn

Monday Mood: D’Angelo & The Vanguard – “Ain’t That Easy”

This is a special weekend. It was such a hot love, how could you leave us so soon – with no fight? I can’t even do this witcha right now. I’ll let the Black Messiah tell it.

You can’t leave me, it ain’t that easy… (how could you) walk away, when I want you to stay!

Okay – faux dedication aside – how INSANE are D’Angelo harmonies?  That man must’ve sold his soul for that. IMPOSSIBLE.
As they say, if you love somethin, let it go away – if it comes back, it will stay. We’ll give you 4-5 days MAX, weekend. Go do ya thing, while we chill with Monday.

Open Letter: Dear Bootleggers, MP3 Is Dead. PLEASE BURY IT!

Downloading music was cool – till it was “not so cool” to download music and they arrested people to make examples of them. We started on Napster, when that was a free thing. Then they got busted, and spiderman’s brother – Sean Parker moved along amicably. So did we, to Kazaa (or Bearshare, or whatever P2P sharing system got those viruses on your parents’ computers, but you denied it like the stone-cold vigilante you were).  All along, the bit-rate (basically how good the code makes the music file sound based on how its compressed If I lost ya already, its okay to move along and skip through) was confined to the bit-rate of around 128 kbps governed by the widely accepted “.mp3 standard”.

That was a mistake we made. All of us: the music industry that allowed that to be how music was digitally distributed, the hardware makers of “.mp3 players” (remember those?), and artists for allowing their hours of laborious art-work to go down the digital drain never to be appreciated again. That is bad!

How bad? That is the audio equivalent of watching the 3-D movie Avatar on that black and white T.V. with a big butt that your grandmother refused to let you connect your Nintendo to.  That is like viewing a Picasso painting or Basquiat for you new-age hippies through an Instagram-filtered photo taken from your friend’s iPhone 4 on that Euro-trip they took with their family.
[Sidenote: NOBODY CARES, JANET! YOUR FAMILY MIGHT BE “CULTURED” AND LOADED WITH FREQUENT FLIER MILES, BUT EVER THINK YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT IF YOU’RE INSTATWEETBOOKING EVERY GALLERY AND MONUMENT? IT’S ALMOST 4TH OF JULY, AND YOU’RE NOT HERE! ENJOY BEING “ON FLEEK” IN FOREIGN LANDS AND ABANDONING AMERICA! That’s BASICALLY TREASON. ALSO… get a better camera, OH WAIT YOU CAN’T IT’S AN IPHONE 4, YOUR PARENTS DON’T LOVE YOU, BYE JANET! BURN]
So here we are today. Streaming is the water all levels of listeners and audiophiles sip from.  The convenience of poppin open your Youtube (variable), Spotify (320 kbps), or – as of today – Apple Music app (256kbps) and hearing your jam instantly is unbeatable. That’s fair. However some of us dinosaurs still have the iPod Classic with a click-wheel (its 160 Gigs in the palm of my hand. Stream THAT).  We also load individual files to our iFuns (Pandora, and iTunes haven’t quite kept up with extensive catalogues of Young Thug, and Gucci Mane).  Whether it’s that, or putting together a dj set – the difference is definitely notable when your earphones or speakers puke out an .mp3 version of a mastered instrumentally dynamic album by D’Angelo, Kendrick Lamar, or Muse.  While streaming is still in its infancy (though growing fast), this is one of the main issues it is supposed to fix – raise music appreciation by fixing the audio quality for listeners.  We ALL LOVE the music. Whether we buy, stream, or steal illegally download it, that love remains steadfast. It’s how we treat and value it that is inexcusable today. So bloggers, new musicians, and online bootleggers – STOP POSTING MP3s for download! DEAD THAT.  Unless it’s the aforementioned thugger-thugger leak that will never land on iTunes or be worthy of higher mastering, consider it like the Zune laid to rest in the image above – DEAD.

Yours Musically,

-Audio African