Throwback Thursday: Gucci Mane – “Lemonade”

*cracks knuckles*… let’s see what a lil SEO keywording can get us in clicks on the best LEMONADE of the week and of all time!

Before Beyonce got presumptive and ambitious with the drink of the Summer and named her album Lemonade. Before she “allegedly” (this is B.S. btw) pulled all her marriage’s skeletons out the closet as an “apparent” metaphor of Black America as the under appreciated in the U.S.A.’s multi-cultural melting pot marriage. HOLD UP, before all that sweet, and sour cold on a hot day Lemonade – was it Jack White, Kendrick Lamar, James Blake or The Weekend servin up these streets? NO!  Gucci Mane was the mixologist in the FORMATION of the original musical refreshment, Lemonade. Gucci buffered any “apparent diss” Jay Z might face even 6 years later by preemptively surfing the TIDAL wave the “BeyHive” is riding on this week. Sorry BEYloved, Guwop knows the future. #FreeGuwop

Q&A: Lyrics Born On Greatest Hits, Independent Music, And The End

In celebration of his ninth album, Now Look What You’ve Done, Lyrics Born! Greatest Hits, Lyrics Born took the time to speak with us about greatest hits albums, independent music, and what’s next.

This interview took place on April 15, 2016. Portions of this interview have been edited for clarity, space, and Siya rambling. 

Ben: Let’s get going, man. How you doing today?

Lyrics Born (LB): I’m doing well, man. Thank you. Today my album came out so it’s been a little hectic.

Ben: So with 25 years in the industry… What made now the right time for that greatest hits?

LB: You know…  It was just time, man. There was just so much music and so much time had gone by that I just felt like with, [this being] the 9th album, it was time. To be honest with you, I probably could have done one a little earlier and I probably should have. But it was just felt like the right time. I felt like I had done so many different kinds of albums too that it would just make more sense to a do a greatest hits album at this point.

Ben: Well that’s something I actually wanted to ask you about, because, going through your discography, each album has a very distinct sound. You play with multiple genres, jumping from funk and Motown influence to even some southwestern in there. What did you learn about your own music when you started listening and recollecting all these tracks for a greatest hits?

LB: I think that’s a really great question. For myself, it’s kind of a trip putting this all together because I’m always just so focused on tomorrow – what’s the next gig, what’s the album going to sound like, what’s the next song going to be about – and it wasn’t until I sat down and was actually forced to actually go through all these songs and forced to comb through my past, which I’m just not in the habit of doing, that I realized it was really dope man. It was really cool to see. I think one of the moments that made it so special was when I announced that I was going to do this, the flood of social media response of what songs should be on the track list, from the fans. That was really amazing. That was touching. And also admittedly, we picked from their suggestions…

Ben: Oh really, you took that social media response into account?

LB: Oh yeah! I mean, the fans basically put this track listing together.

Siya: No lie?!

LB: Yeah, which to me it should be that way…

Siya: After all, it’s a greatest hits. It’s a fan thing. Not what you think?

LB: Right, exactly! I mean, I right the songs, I record them, I put them out. But honestly it’s the fans that make them quote, unquote “hits”. You know what I mean? Once I put them out I have no control over who likes it, who hears it, who doesn’t. The fans are the ones who actually turn them into hits. So basically, whatever fans unanimously saying this song should be on there that song should be on there, that’s what we ended up putting on the album. And it was kind of difficult. It got a little heated! Continue reading Q&A: Lyrics Born On Greatest Hits, Independent Music, And The End

Monday Mood: Kendrick Lamar – “Untitled 2” (Late Night Performance)

In case you needed to wipe that let-down that average “Party In L.A.“, here’s K-Dot bringing down the house with a follow-up to his first and better “Untitled” on a lesser show host’s stage. Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Fallon is the lesser show host, Stephen Colbert is the greater – in case that wasn’t clear.

4 Reasons To Be Excited 4 Colbert, The Greatest Night Show Host

So, George Bush – GREAT president, or the GREATEST president?” In the golden years of the Colbert Report,”Stephen ” the conservative, loud-mouthed, self proclaimed “truth-feeler” often asked his exasperated guests to answer that one simple question after the 5 minute mental roller coaster of their professional lives.  Tonight, Stephen Colbert debuts to answer a more important question. Here are 4 reasons there is no wrong answer:

1.  Breaking up the JIMMopoly:
Okay, that was slightly terrible, almost as terribly plastic as the content and context has become on the late night tip. The Jimmies are having a field day with ratings, thanks in part to curation for viral video viewership (say that fast 3 times).

When Letterman announced his retirement, he conceded in that old curmudgeon swagger we mentioned on his tribute. In a subsequent Rolling Stone interview he affirmed “I hear about things going viral and I think, ‘How do you do that?’ I think I’m the blockage in the plumbing.”

To date, top Jimmy is pummeling bottom Jimmy so hard in that department, that he went and created another show on a whole other network, and THAT is the #1 Show on THAT network. It’s an entire show where celebrities are lip-syncing other singer’s songs. -_- (I mean REALLY!? What’re we doin here?).

Executive Producer of The Tonight Show, Lorne Michaels now has his hands in creating SNL, subsequently Jimmy Fallon, and now grandfathering America’s karaoke machine. NO ONE MAN SHOULD HAVE ALL THAT unfunny POWER!  Since Colbert Report ended, my 10:30PM (Central) has been basically Charlie Rose only – into Seth Myers, when I’m not too busy hosting sexy parties.  We shouldn’t have to choose between marginally funny, and topically informative and edgy late night. We can have both! We will, on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert

2. Jon Stewart is gone, Long Live Jon Stewart: Continue reading 4 Reasons To Be Excited 4 Colbert, The Greatest Night Show Host

Humpday Hymn: Jidenna – “Classic Man” (Remix Ft. Kendrick Lamar)

Bring out the zoot suits, and wingtips on this one! If for nothing else, to listen to the wordsmith that is Kendrick Lamar absolutely rip this party beat to shreds. Janelle Monae collaborator, Jidenna brings the suited and booted croonin, mama-phucka! Snaps or claps to this? Check it out and swing:

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.
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