Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Music is a mission...and a competition

I have a few informal rule for this music ish, I don't write dem down or nothing but I always have them in the back of my mind like Rosa Parks before she stood up and decided to make noise. One of these rules is "Thou shall not hate", as in, you should not waste your time hating on people. And trust me, sometimes you go feel it.

People do it all the time. How many times have you heard a song that is really popular and the general consensus, even though they bumping it 24/7 to their own apparent chagrin, is that the song or artiste is real mess? And that may be right and it's fine for normal people but me as an artiste, I cyah waste time with even that. I have to dissect that song to find out why it is popular as well as rightly give that soul a pat on the back because even though it may have solely been luck, he/she found a way to advance which is what we all want to do.

Which brings me two paragraphs down to my point: this professional music thing is a game in which we are all competing, jumanji style. There are limited spaces in the vip balcony of success so if you want to be financially successful, whether you like it or choose to acknowledge it, you're competing like Manning and Kamla for those vip seats. And I'm definitely saying that financial success shouldn't be your sole goal unless you wanna work for 96.1 or something but if you want to make money then it will become a concern.

I can see why but it's still kinda strange to me why competing musically has gotten such a bad rep. I have numerous friends who are artistes within my genre of Trinidad rap music and yet I compete with all of them. All of them I'm sure, strive to be the best and yet at the same time I don't hate when I see them getting success and actually try to help them be successful as much as I can. It's almost like a duality, a weird tighrope, where you balance competing hard with helping your adversaries but in my mind true success can never come from a back stab because then you're not really the best; you're just Panday before fate dealt with him. In my opinion, if every artiste in Trinidad, was competing to be the best artiste in Trinidad then there we be a lot of better music.

But we don't compete for that particular accolade. What we compete for is more myopic goals like who could be best friends with radio djs. Or who could win road march. Or who could get the most likes/comments on their facebook video. With exception to the first, nothing is wrong with these smaller goals but they have to be framed within something bigger because it's pretty impossible to not be petty if your main goal is a petty one. Trust me, if your goal is to be the best artiste in Trinidad, likes on facebook is just a small aspect because there are artistes in Trinidad who aren't on facebook but they rough and yuh don't want to follow after they perform and done rip a crowd.

Some of you may still not understand but that's fine cause this is me. And that's why one of my rules is "Thou shall not hate" because it's too easy to lose focus when competing. The focus should be on improving your skills to be the best; not breaking down people who are better like fresh cane to make yourself the best by default. And with that said, I gone. This week I have some videos below for you to check out including the much praised "Stress" video as well as the earlier released "Raining Shots" video so enjoy. Face out.

Music Player web

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Top 5 Trini Facebook Rap Videos 03/18/2010 - 03/25/2010)

Aye folks, waz de scn? Anybody see stress today? No. Yuh sure? Well I release stress today so ah feeling better. If you want to feel better I suggest you see some stress one time. Nice. Daz better.

This week we had two men tying for the top stop and to decide I took the one who got the most comments.With that evaluation, John John emerged the winner with 38 comments at this time of writing to Flipo and Ren's 36. Congrats John John, you're the top man this week and you know how we do, we print the list and we keep it moving till next week where we'll see if Da Face can make it on his own list (with the kinda competition they have out there it go be a real fight). Till de next one, Face out.

1) The Game called Life - John John (20 likes)

2) Flipo Ft. Ren, Glass & Greene_ You Aint Hard!!!!! Watch Now!!!!!! (20 likes)

3) My Girl-My Queen (M.A.D. PRODUCTIONZ) (15 likes)

4) Micwise - Her Dream (13 likes)

5) Why they hating? - Firestar (11 likes)

If you eh hear songs from me like "Stress" and "Girls Like Radio" you can vibes it below. Till next week fellas. Face out.

stand alone player

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Top 5 Trini Facebook Rap Videos 03/11/2010 - 03/18/2010)

Yo folks, waz de scn. I apologize if dese charts are a little late cause I sprained my foot balling (on the basketball court literally) yesterday and was really out ah commission last night hopping about like some damn bunny. No scn still though, we still pumping and this week we have Roxii and Nem dominating the charts with their offering "We on tha go" grabbing about 58 likes and about a gazillion comments. I believe Nem has a mixtape coming out as well so look to cop that.

1)We On Tha Go - Nem Red & Roxii (58 likes)

2)Flipo Ft. Greene - Cyah Go (District 6 Approved) (44 likes)

3) It's Over" Freeverse- KG (37 likes)

4) fakers, by lucid, is the cornmill asshole (22 likes)

5) Scientific Delivery(Soft Nothings) (11 likes)

If you eh hear songs from me like "Stress" and "Girls Like Radio" you can vibes it below. Till next week fellas. Face out.

stand alone player

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Top 5 Trini Facebook Rap Videos 03/04/2010 - 03/11/2010)

I just want to remind people to put their videos up on the wall of my facebook group Underground Trini Artiste if they really want me to find them. Yes I try and keep track of what's going on but it's easy for me to miss since I usually toggle between doing this and the life I have independent to blogging.

This week we have a tie and on these charts when a tie occurs, preference is given to the newcomer in an effort to keep the charts as fresh as possible. So this week KG is down to second with Mista Ren getting the chance to "Say Something" at the top. Face out.

1)Mista Ren - Say something (27 likes)

2)I Wanna Rock- KG (27 likes)

3) I Wanna Rock (Official South Trini Remix) (20 likes)

4) Judah Maccabee & Nemesis Enforcer - Wha Yuh Go Do (12 likes)

5) O LETS TRAP IT - Joshua Dboy Derby (9 likes)

Additionally, check out this video by my man Synister that got overlooked by me: Synister - "Venting". I won't be doing this ever again for anybody but as the weekly charts is still young is no scn. Face out.

stand alone player

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Top Five Artiste Cliches

Most artistes I know strive for relevance and uniqueness believing themselves to be a worthy addition to the respective genre in which they reside. Most don't want to be a cliche just like most people don't want to have bad breath but both can happen if you aren't vigilant and/or lack proper self-evaluation. Some of the things I'm going to mention are things that I myself get catch in at some point so don't take it personal but remember if all your actions are cliched then you become a cliche and then that's just sad.

1) Album coming soon - Almost every artiste has an album coming soon. Do you have a budget? Marketing strategy - online or offline? How much money have you saved? Where are you going to record? Have you lined up producers, decided on features, envisioned a concept? It's the easiest thing in the world to say but makes you look silly when you've been saying it for years with nothing to show. My personal method? Don't talk until you have something concrete.

2) Is radio fault - Yeah radio doesn't play people but that is never going to change (even if programme directors were benevolent, which they aren't) given the number of people that drop stuff off and the number of radio time available. Some people will complain about airplay but blank opportunities to perform live which gives you even better exposure if you ask me. There are lots of ways to promote yourself other than radio so if you aren't using them, don't complain. If you do, especially on record, you join the long army of zombies that rinse out potential fans ears with problems on wax and it can be monotonous on the ears.

3) I'm so multi-talented I go rap and... - Nuttin wrong with jumping out in multiple stuff but remember that you risk alienating your fan base that way, especially if it's diametrically opposed disciplines like rap and soca. Nevertheless the norm, especially with upcoming artistes, is throw everything at the target in an effort to get that hit so I don't anticipate this one changing soon.

4) Dem men hating - It's easy to think that people hating on you. I sometimes do but it's usually much less than my ego perceives, even worse, there are lot of people who are indifferent. The funniest thing to me is how in US rap, the biggest artistes uniformly speak about being hated on. If your music is being bought by millions is that really hate? If so then maybe I should reincarnate as Hitler and suck all that hate up. Either way, nutting wrong wit dropping an anti-hater song now and then but being constantly paranoid and delusional when people don't even know who you are is just wack.

5) I not big yet but I still be getting money - It's usually a good strategy to position yourself where you want to be rather than where you are right now, especially if you aren't in a good place. However, if you claim to be rolling in cash and men keep catching yuh jostling in city gate, quarelling about the increase in maxi fares and/or paying the driver short then it not going to look good. However, this is quite common in Trinidad rap being epitomized by our brethren in the US most of whom don't have money either but at least have the means to borrow jewelery and be more convincing. I eh telling no one what to write but trust me, people do snicker and it's one of the main points they use to bun down local rap.

So that's it folks. Till later vibes on "Stress" below if you haven't heard it yet and look out for that video. Face out.

Web music player

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Top 5 Trini Facebook Rap Videos (02/24/2010 - 03/03/2010)

Hey folks, waz de scn. This week been stressful for me but I still pushed to get these charts out and bout because I know at least a few people find them important. Right now it seems like KG running things as he tops it easily for yet another week with another of his freeverses. If you find that you should be here and you aren't, try and put you vids in the group Underground Trini Artiste so I can easily find them. Face out.

1)KG - "Say What's Real freeverse (37 likes)

2) Regazzi Gates - "Show Off" (25 likes)

3) Big Lexx - "Blood In My Eyes" (18 likes)

4) MAVIOSO feat KAY SAY - "Shawdy Don't Believe" (17 likes)

5)Firestar & Lil Bling - "Turned Up" (8 likes)

So that's the trini rap video chart for this week, scene. Check out my song "Stress" off the album "Hitchhiker's Guide to Uwi" below, video shooting Saturday.

stand alone player

Monday, March 1, 2010

Road March: Democratic or fixed?

Road March always seemed like a funny word to me, like you were part of an army or something. The thing about armies though is that all known armies have a leader and those doing the marching normally aren't the ones doing the thinking which raises several pertinent questions. Do people wine in a trance brought about by alcohol or am are they gyrating on strings manipulated by the whims and fancies of deejays 'pre-lured' with blue notes? Are you dancing to what you like or are you liking what you happen to be dancing to? Do the 'wild ants swarming the streets in their over-priced costumes really have a say? Strangely enough, I say yes they do, from what I have observed, and though the soca mafia eh nuttin to uff wit I believe road march is largely the people's choice.

I'm pretty sure most won't agree with me so I'll get lined up one time and shoot, not talk. I'm going to use examples of road marches past to learn you why the masquerader will not be denied and then if you want you can use your anecdotes in the comments and we'll see what's what. So lewwe go:

1) Wayne Rodriguez with "Footsteps" in 1998 - The year was 1998 and Machel was fresh from his huge "Big Truck" win the year before. Both "Toro" and "Footsteps" outta de Xtatic camp were running it that year and I was liming with the fam till late, feet hurting, waiting for Road March and Band of the year results. It was reported that both songs were still close when I saw some band (Babarossa or something) crossing the stage and the deejay perched up high decided to think outside the box and go with Machel instead of "Footsteps". Bad choice. The masqueraders proceeded to stop dancing and sit on the ground until the deejay reluctantly played "Footsteps". I always remember that because it's not often that trinis protest but I guess we doh play when it comes to palancing.

2) Sanelle Dempster with "River" in 1999 - 1999 was a real slow year for soca; 2010 is like Usain Bolt by comparison. Then as carnival itself was nearing its end, a first timer comes in and steals it singing a song titled "River" of all things. If the soca mafia was working there then I guess we do have a secret service.

3) The Mighty Shadow with "Stranger" in 2001 - All I have to say is Shadow actually won. Yeah his song deserved it that year but it's well documented that the calypso mafia doesn't like Shadow so I can't see the soca mafia pushing him either.

4) Fay-Ann Lyons with "Meet Superblue" in 2009 - I don't think this was the best road march song for '09 but Mrs. Alvarez had everyone on her side last year, especially with the baby talking stunt she pulled in soca monarch finals in which she won (see below). Meanwhile, the soca mafia was pushing "Wild Ants" hard, harder than the ninth month of pregnancy, harder than that even. They played the video on repeat in Bachannal Wednesday, on television and they played the song on repeat on radio during the last carnival week. And in the end the people spoke and they still lost.

So those are the cold hard facts people. The only anomalies in the last decade of road march that I'm aware of have been some of Destra's defeats but then who fights with Denise Belfon two weeks before carnival, loses and expects to take road march? So that's my stance and you can check my song "Stress" below which I'm shamelessly plugging and currently shooting a music video for that will make four with your eyes soon. Face out.

Web music player