I’m not really sure at what point my iTunes library became the memoirs of my life. For as far back as I can remember I’ve loved music, and specifically collecting music. It all began when my parents bought me a CD player when I was in fifth grade, along with my first CD (Billy Joel’s Storm Front). As I grew older my musical tastes changed, as did the common media for music. I went from tapes, to CDs, to burning my own mixtapes via my dad’s CD burner, and finally digital media. By that point my collection exploded and I was hopelessly hooked to collecting music.
Each album in my iTunes library tells a story. Whether it be a CD found while scouring my local Hastings on my weekly visit, or an album I downloaded on the recommendation by a friend. They all remind me of specific times in my life. Some bad, but mostly good. Music though has been the foundation that has held it all together, and simply hearing a song while scrolling through my library can take me back to whatever exactly moment and emotion that I have related to it.
I recently have been going back through my library as I moved all my music and subsequently lost a good majority of my album artwork. My musical OCD will not allow me to put the music on my iPod without having artwork, so I’ve been hard at working going through all 24,756 songs. This has led to me being reminded of some gems that have been hidden on my iPod for years, so here they are…
It has been a super long time since I’d posted anything, and I’ve finally gotten around to it. Life has just been super crazy, with the addition of the newest member of my family making her appearance back on April 4th. We named her Madeline Grace, and she is perfect, beautiful, and wonderful. Having a newborn again in the house is a bit of an adjustment as I am now recalling what functioning on small amounts of sleep really is. All of it incredibly worth it though.
The track I’m sharing today is an old Chiddy Bang track off their mixtape Swelly Express. It’s hands down my favorite track on the mixtape, and even now I just can’t stop listening to it. With that pitch-shifted hook, and some great lines it is no wonder how Chiddy Bang blew up as quick as they did. One of my favorite parts about the song though is how Chiddy looks at his life and talks about how he wants to live it in an uncompromising manner. Chasing his dream and doing it his way, not worrying about what others think. You also have to love a Harry Potter reference in a hip-hop song.
So here’s to going about life in an uncompromising fashion, focusing on what God has for you instead of getting caught up in what the world has for you.
A few days ago I came across the Beautiful Eulogy album Satellite Kite. It’s pretty much all I’ve been listening too. In fact, I’ve looked for any chance to listen to it. Especially while I’m at work. The production of the album is on point, with some beautiful chill wavish type beats, but more importantly is the lyrical content. The album has just really resonated with my heart, and really has helped to put my mind where it needs to be to start every day. These guys are nothing but encouraging as you hear about their everyday struggles, just trying to follow Christ the best they can.
One of the stand out tracks for me is called “Anchor.” With a feature from Portland folk-singer Josh Garrels, it is truly a beautiful song. “Anchor of my soul you sustain. When I’m in the storm you remain.” What a great chorus sung in Josh’s falsetto and reminder of how much God loves us. The lush sonic landscape filled with some effected piano is the perfect backdrop for these words. A little dark, but mostly hopeful. The rhymes are also incredibly compelling, and thought provoking.
I came across a new website today. I know it’s not a “new” website but it’s new to me. The website is Humble Beast, and I am now a believer.
Charged with the mission of being, ” a creative collective of individuals who attempt to express our life through our gifts with our best.” These individuals happen to be incredibly talented producers and MCs. One of them being Propaganda.
His album Excellent is the featured album at the site on the moment and with good reason. Filled with chilled out beats, passionate and intelligent rhymes, and a desire to share Christ in a relevant way. I had always had a bit of a beef with Christian hip hop, since I thought a majority of it sounded like the new good hip hop I heard on the radio. Propaganda is the remedy to this. He shares his life, his experiences, and his faith with out sounding cheesy and the production is on point. It gears more towards the underground world of hip hop, which has always been the hip hop I’ve always enjoyed, but with a message parallel with my life.
I finally found exactly what I was looking for with hip hop, a perfect marriage of faith and creativity. Thanks Propaganda and Humble Beast. Download his album Excellent right here.
This track from the bay area production duo Friendzone has been on heavy repeat on my iPod the last few weeks. Every time I lesson to “Change” it just get’s better and better.
Filled with some difficult to understand, yet beautiful vocal production, and hip-hop beats, “Change” is the perfect representation of change. Anytime I listen to it, it just makes me go with the flow. Slowly taking my through a trip down memory lane where my life has been filled with plenty of change that has lead to amazing things. Whether it be meeting my wife, the birth of my son, or giving my life to Christ. Thankfully my life has been filled with lot’s of beautiful, unexpected change.
Take a listen and be reminded of all the good things that have happened in your life.
I can’t believe another year is done. It seems like the older I get, the faster the time flies. So today for a New Years Eve playlist I thought I would reflect on some songs from the past, and throw in some new ones for 2013 and the year to come.
This is more of a kind of kick back and reflect on the year that was, and prepare for all that a new year offers. New opportunities, new challenges, and new chances to better the world around us.
Happy New Years, and I hope the new year offers you grace, love, and courage.
With the success of the collaborative project of Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, TNGHT, it seems like instrumental hip-hop/trip-hop trap has really taken off in popularity. With that in mind, I came across producer Josh Hawkins of Brooklyn who has put out his own offering of instrumental hip-hop.
Hawkins goes by the name Super Duper, and the name is definitely fitting. His EP release Momentary, is filled with lots of bleeps, synths, produced vocals, and drum machine, yet still managing to have that hip-hop vibe to it. The epitome of Hawkin’s instrumental craft is the track “Falling.” While clocking in at just under 3 minutes, it takes the listener for a ride through the world of Super Duper. Part video game, and part hip-hop, it’s definitely interesting enough for multiple listens.
Super Duper is definitely ready to fill a musical niche, and is making some darn interesting music. You can check out his EP here.