Monthly Archives: January 2015

She Takes My Breath Away

“Frozen as snow I show no emotion whatsoever so
Don’t ask me why I have no love for these bad wording bad words
Bloodsucking succubuses, what the bad word is up with this?
I’ve tried in this department but I ain’t had no luck with this
It sucks but it’s exactly what I thought it would be”- Eminem in Space Bound

It’s interesting how us guys don’t have feelings or at least how we never bring them up because when or if we do, weak we’re convicted, speak or forever hold your macho, a beat of a macho trend, a seed, a need, a song served up by society we eat the beat that quiets us strong.

Well, maybe there is an exception, if you put your feelings on a rap, roughen them up with ten, twenty, dirty words, you’re winning. Eminem rapped “You take my breath away” in “Space Bound” and he’s still the coolest rapper on Earth… A regular John Doe like you and I would never get away with that. Try saying your girl takes your breath away and the reaction you’ll get will be a little something like this…

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Eminem in “Space Bound”

 

A twist of reality, society preaches equilibrium between genders, the same society that has been practicing a different tune for a millennium, make that eons, it may sound a bit dumb but this time I honestly don’t know how to finish this rhyme, so I’ll just hum the SA itunes top 5 songs, better yet, I’ll count them down for you, no, even better, I’ll just randomly write about some or all of them… wish me luck, this is my last chance to save this post, Heck, who am I kidding? “She Takes My Breath Away”? this bad word post was doomed from the start, but here goes…

Days and days “Take Me To Church” by Hozier and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran have been playing tug-of-war for the runner-up spot ’til a third contender jumped into the party yesterday momentarily claiming its peak so far, yep “Four Five Seconds” by Rihanna + Kanye West + Paul McCarthney made it to #2 yesterday, since then “Thinking Out Loud” has reclaimed that spot, Hozier is 3rd in line with “Take Me To Church” and “Four Five Seconds” is behaving at #4, it’s the newest kid on the block after all, so it sounds reasonable, all three are bowing down to what has been king of charts all over the world for a while now, “Up Town Funk” by Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars, most of us know Mark for his work with the late Amy Winehouse… remember “Valerie”? Yep, that’s his number, Amy was just featured on it. Lets see how long he can hold down the #1 spot this time. Sorry for not mentioning #5… Wait, I think I just did. Cheers.

 


Rock Stars Hate Cop Cars

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The last time we saw Kanye collaborate with Rihanna on a single, the song came with a video where we saw Kanye mathematically align his words with good rhythm, with good timing wrapping our minds around this idea he was conveying, rhyming, rapping  on top of a cop car, This time he and the songstress are accompanied by one of the biggest rock stars alive, Of course the “odd” grouping meant fans who only listen to good music would listen to a song with an artist(s) who doesn’t do their kind of “good music”, yeap, in this number we get to see two worlds collide.

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Musically, it’s a sight to see, socially divided they be. You know what they say, you can’t please everyone, It’s best to look at the good side, we’ve all heard about the glass being half full, saying we got 3 more days ’til Friday? Now that’s seeing the glass as a third full. It’s something unheard of, yet the sentiment is alive, it lives within all of us. “Rockstar” by the world’s most favourite rock band Nickelback (Yes, I’m being sarcastic) talks about how we all want to be rock stars, have fifteen cars, live by the hill, have a drug dealer on speed dial and all that good stuff, but do we all share the same idea of what a “rock star” is? Well, The Great Kanye West (I’m most probably being sarcastic here too) once said Rap is the new Rock & Roll, that rappers are the rock stars and he’s the biggest of them all. Not to take away anything from The Gad, The Great Nelson Mandela once mentioned how love is the most natural feeling us humans have. This is why we all hate self-righteous humans who feel sorry for us for hating the world because these know-it-all humans know that we weren’t always like this, that something bad must’ve happened to us to be the way we are.

“Woke up an optimist, sun was shining I’m positive
Then I heard you was talkin’ trash
Hold me back I’m bout’ to spaz”- Kany West in “Four Five Seconds”

Just to indulge myself on this post, Anthony Kiedis of The Red Hot Chili Peppers is in no way the greatest singer in the world, yet he’s been making it work, hell, he’s been making it work longer than I’ve been alive, singing and rapping as the frontman of one of the greatest rock bands of our time. That’s it, How I see it, that’s exactly what being a “rock star” is all about, it’s about taking whatever you have and making it work, it’s about making a single third of water count. Kanye and them other rappers would never win any singing contest, they’re rappers, yet they don’t hesitate to use every fibre of their voices for all it’s worth, hey, I’ve never been a fan of autotune but… they make it work.

“I think I’ve had enough, I might get a little drunk
I say what’s on my mind, I might do a little time
Cause all of my kindness, is taken for weakness”- Rihanna in “Four Five Seconds”

We started this post with a picture of a rap… excuse me, a rock star rapping on top of a cop car, it may seem ground breaking to younger fellows, not only that, some may argue it’s the greatest act of being “bad ass”. It’s amazing how bad ass is the new cool, it’s a rule we’re too cool not to follow, it’s a tool we us to façade our “weakness” with a darkness, a shadow, too strong to swallow the truth, shallow we bury our kindness.

Sad world. Good music.

 


Me, The Alpha Dog

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I am the A plus best, I am the best plus the “a”, I am the beast, the beasts are us, often accused of being dogs us guys truly are hound dogs, we are hunters, always in the mood to pounce onto something good. Misunderstood even by ourselves… alright, scrap the whole poetic approach. No rhyme could ever coach what time has embedded in our testosterone infested minds.

 

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As I’ve mentioned above, us boys are hunters driven by instincts, we fail to understand how powerful our minds are, how the only way for us to maintain or be in an exclusive relationship is to continuously weigh what we have and if we’re willing to lose it, and if what we have still includes exclusivity hence happiness without hidden guilt, that too is on the line.

“I like a long-haired thick red bone
Open up her legs then filet mignon that bad word
I’mma get in and on that bad word
If she let me in I’mma own that bad word
Gonna throw it back and bust it open like you ‘posed to”- Young Money

Us brothers need to understand that there is never just a “one time thing”, whether the person we’re with catches us or not, we will do it again, Why? that’s easy. If the person we’re with catches us and forgives us, we can never get their full trust ever again, but we can get frisky with someone else, should we get found out, the 2nd time will come less of a surprise anyway, so will being forgiven… if we’ve been forgiven the 1st time, surely we’ll be forgiven the 19th time, yeah? On the other hand not being caught means that we’re good with what we’re doing, so why stop?

“Cause we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And she like us too

I wish I could bad word every girl in the world
I wish I could bad word every girl in the world
I wish I could bad word every girl in the world”- Young Money

Yes, if we could, we would bad word every girl in the world, too bad most of them are taken… wait, why would that stop us? Right, it doesn’t.

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There’s this “Steal Your Girl” song currently on charts and on the radio, I’d share my two cents as far as what I think it’s about, but I haven’t really payed much attention to it, anyway, being “hunters”, there’s alway competition between us guys, but lets face it, when it comes to girls, none of us ever really win. See, being with someone, you invest in them, you help them grow, you teach them stuff… if you dump or breakup with her, someone else will gain through your hard work, at the same time, “winning” a girl from someone else or “stealing” her doesn’t make one much of a winner because somehow in one way or another, we suffer through mistakes the guy(s) before us have made.

No, there’s no happy ending here, monogamy is tough business, that’s that, take it. Drinks up to those who put their lover’s happiness before their hormones. Kanye says love is cursed by monogamy, I say it’s cursed by lust. Curb your lust. Cheers!


Monday Sounds Like A Bad Word, Oh Snap! It’s Monday

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Eve Rakow of The Frown

Someone once said, life is a movie, too bad there will never be a sequel. Honestly what could ever equal a sequel when the main character is no longer around? How I see it, a sequel doesn’t have to be bound by the existence of the main character. Life is bigger than we think, and once we see that, we will realise that we aren’t the main characters, but the things we believe and stand for are. Our actions are proof of our existence, and once an action causes a ripple effect like what’s happening right now, our existence is immortalized in that action. As long as someone takes inspiration or strength in something we’ve said or done, we’re invisible alive, we’re the whispers in the scream. We are alive in architecting a dream, we are the silent fuel, the unseen spark that ignites the VOICE that will take an individual, a generation forward.

Adding to my thoughts above, we all have different views as far as the afterlife and heaven go, but we all know that none of us are permanent residents of this beautiful yet painful to land on soil, Earth, we are all meer mortals, our flesh is defenseless against time, no heavy crime could ever steal time but it’s the ideas we have that can last forever, this post is in good rhythm with my last two post as I’ve been talking about the reworking of songs.

Going on a little tangent, something I’ve learned in my twenty odd years on this planet is how profoundly sober and quiet true heroism is, I was recently reminded of this when a brother came up to me and told me how a simple favour I had done for him had impacted him, how he was able to go visit his then sick daughter because of a bit of selflessness, it reminded me of a brother who once gave a helping hand in my family’s life, though he helped, I doubt he has any idea how much we really needed his help and how deep my appreciation still is almost ten years after the event.

We can never know the full consequences of everything we do, we can start something though we seldom see how it really ends, if it ever ends. Discovered by others, our actions, ideas, intentions take a life of their own.

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When American funk rock band N.E.R.D released “Rock Star” as their second single from their 2001 debut album, they had no idea if South African band The Frown would ever exist, let alone rework their song to electronic pop perfection, Ladies and gentlemen, this is most definitely one of the best covers you’ve yet to hear, though side by side the two songs seem like two sides of a coin, the heart is all the same, pure genius.

Though The Frown seem to be taking a break from the scene, those silky vocals that served as the soul of the duo live on. Yeap, Eve Rakow has been seen as the “it girl”, a trend setter and an all-round artist in everything she does though between putting on her daring outfits she still finds time to do music, currently touring with Stolen Pony on their The Rumors Are True tour around Gauteng. Catch her and the band live on their 2 remaining dates, download every song she has ever done, solo or otherwise, you wont regret it. Cheers!


Classic Beauties & Virgins

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It’s a known fact that Pharrell Williams had a massive year last year, especially because of his Despicable Me 2 soundtrack contribution, “Happy”, this number was such a global phenomenon it sparked a few jokes like how money can’t buy you happiness though “Happy” helped Pharrell buy a few new cars… well, shoot me for not remembering the joke word for word. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of that number though I’ve always hoped that if N.E.R.D ever reunited, it would be something for me to write about. Sampling the Spongebob Squarepants jingle, N.E.R.D have coined up a tropical themed number titled “Squeeze Me” as their contribution to the up + coming Spongebob soundtrack, If it worked once, why not do it again? Someone else who owned 2014 with their (movie) soundtrack contribution is of course Charli XCX with “Boom Clap”, I can name numbers of recent hits that happen to be part of a soundtrack album, instead, I’ll just mention one more from 1989… Wanna guess which one it’s gonna be?

Not to take away from the song, life is a journey and as soon as an individual is exposed to a song that corresponds to where they currently are in their journey the song becomes an instant companion, the individual holds on to it and with that said, a movie has the power to take one on a journey, whilst watching, we become the main character, we feel their pain their glory and everything in-between. Considering that a soundtrack is engineered to don or capture the theme, the feel of a movie, it only makes sense that upon experiencing every emotion within the movie, we feel we can relate to the theme song. It becomes our companion, it becomes a hit. That ladies and gentlemen is why we often find artists telling a story and taking us on a journey not just with their music, but with the videos that come along with the music.

Wrapping up my thoughts about Pharrell Williams and Soundracks, “Happy” was also featured on his 1st solo album in 8 years, the whole deal reminds me of the song title “Soundtracks and Comebacks” by Goldfish… (I’m not sure if I should label them as our local band since they’ve made their mark in Europe and other parts of the world,) nonetheless, Pharrell Williams made a huge comeback with his album “G I R L”, an album titled to honor female figures that have been part of his life, of course this is very refreshing as we have mother’s day and women’s day (here in SA) and on both these days we howl the fact of how we should honor our mothers, our nurturer(s), women in general 365 days a year rather than waiting for these “special” days to do so, yet howling about that movement is all we ever do.

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This women’s work, this women’s world, this is my way of honoring women all over the world, the gender that gives birth to us, the 1st gender any of us made our first ever bond with pre-birth. A song that was not only written for a movie but also had a very grabbing story telling video is of course “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush. “This Woman’s Work” is about being forced to confront an unexpected and frightening crisis during the normal event of childbirth, written in a father’s helpless point of view, this number explores the thoughts of an expecting father waiting in the waiting room, his prayers to the almighty and how HIS part is over, how He has given them this little life and how it’s time for him to take over, to man up… now starts the craft of the father.

Birth, it’s such a beautiful thing, ain’t it? at the same time it’s very unpredictable, it’s fickle, anything can happen as we all know that so many have died during such a beautiful event… giving birth. Reworked By R&B star Maxwell, the song remained golden over the years, most recently reworked by Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit, this number keeps coming back… which is good news for the next generation.

Life’s just a pace-car on death only less diligent and when the two collide, it’s no coincidence”


The Mad Adventures Of Super Girl

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As a kid I remember a time in my life when I was so overwhelmed by all the great music being released at the time, part of me started fearing the possibility of artists running out of new good beats , new tunes, new melodies, new music. I couldn’t imagine anything ever possibly topping what was then currently on the radio.

I’m Alright In Bed But I’m Better With A Pen couldn’t have featured a better artist to convey the message I was trying to convey in it, that artist of course being the arguably most underrated artist of our time, Cyndi Lauper.

Back in ’06 The Soul Candy crew released “Time After Time”, to my young ears, it sounded so fresh, no, it sounded genius, it was magic to my ears… ’til my mother heard me play it, that’s when she broke it down to me. Originally done by Cyndi Lauper, “Time After Time” wasn’t as fresh as I thought it was, at least the melody and the words weren’t, and that ladies and gentlemen was when I really started understanding the whole concept of reworking and “sampling” songs. Of course we will get “new” music but there’s a million classic songs that can still be reworked and tweaked to don the sound of the season, to be relevant to the buying generation… some bands have made a career of this… reworking songs, Westlife being obvious suspects, One Direction is also bordering on that direction, and if you’re a fan, you’re probably mad at me for saying that, you’re also probably 12 years old and of course wouldn’t know which classics they’ve reworked.

With this new year we’re in, we can expect tons of new music, and with that, we’ll probably get an okay amount of “covers”. Covers can go either way, they can be better than the original, like when rock band Seether decided to do “Careless Whisper” by George Michaels/WHAM or when Florence + The Machine did “You’ve Got The Love”, When Marilyn Manson did “Tainted Love”, when The Fray did Kanye West’s “Heartless”… I could go on and on. On the other hand, one can easily hate an artist for screwing up with a great song, like when Miley Cyrus attempted singing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana…

Just looking at our itunes local charts, focusing on some of the top ten numbers, at number 7 we have the song that took us to 2015, “Koze Kuse” by DJ Merlon ft Mondli Ngcobo, a song about getting down til’ dawn, yet with a decent amount of attention, one can understand that it’s less about the current but more about party vibes that have already been experienced and being able to live off those high times. At number 3 we have the spanking new Kanye West ft Paul McCartney release titled “Only One”, a song Kanye feels was sung to him and through him by his late mother Dr Donda West to his daughter North West as in the early development of the song whilst listening to the recording, Kanye couldn’t recall actually singing the words “(Hello my) only one” which happens to be the meaning behind “Kanye”, a name his mother picked for him. At number 1… well, you won’t believe this, but at number 1 we have a cover song, Ben Haenow’s rendition of One Republic’s “Something I Need”, I can’t say if it’s better than the original but it definitely has South Africa and the rest of the world buying. Let’s see who’s at the top next time. Cheers.