Monthly Archives: April 2015

Satan Loves A Bomb Scare (Freedom Is The Rhythm)

“I’m in awe of the universe, but I don’t necessarily believe there’s an intelligence or agent behind it. I do have a passion for the visual in religious rituals, though, even though they may be completely empty and bereft of substance. The incense is powerful and provocative, whether Buddhist or Catholic.”- David Bowie

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Find something to believe in and stick to it. I’m Kidding, question it til your last breath, at least that’s what I’ve been doing, (minus the last breath… I’m still breathing… I think), it’s what I see as the window to growth, the door to growth. In a strange way, I wouldn’t be fully living to that mantra if I didn’t question it. See where I’m going with this? Nowhere. Come along anyway.

Being a kid in a Christian/traditional, Zulu household, I was told, no, lets say I was taught to believe in God, simultaneously I was fed traditional ways and rituals and their importance in my existence. Having this wandering mind, I’ve always struggled to link the two or to find them complementary to each other.

Though I can never truly know for sure that the certain song I’m about to mention and the lyrics in it were meant to be received by how my younger teenage self received them. Listening to Another Universe didn’t at all feel like I was listening to another universe, Ironically, it felt like I was listening to lines about home, where I come from, my roots, what I think and how I freely view or see them and my impending judgement on them. Lines that in a playful sense juxtapose traditions that date way back, with modern doings: A juvenile view of our traditions.”Sharp is the knife and alive is the night, I’m gonna slit the throat of the holy goat, ceremony to the UFO and SMS ’em where we wanna go”

It’s crazy how so many humans die and how many wars start because of our cultural and religious views and their differences. Yes, it’s important to find something to believe in, something to rely on, it’s also our responsibility to keep an open mind, to allow other humans, our fellow brothers and sisters the freedom to explore their views, their religion, their cultures… there’s a whole galaxy to explore, what we know or think we know might very well merely be a drop in the ocean.

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It might seem like it, but I haven’t forgotten that this is actually a music blog. Above I mentioned how important evolution is, how important growth is, to explore and question everything and to be honest, I’m not sure if my teenage heavy rock fan self would’ve fully appreciated Arno Carstens Lightning Prevails album, it’s a bit laydback for the ignorant crazy head I once was.

From a song on his solo debut to a song on his 2014 solo album (That was meant to be a collection of reworks but took a life of its own), “Rely On” like a few other numbers on Lightning Prevails is packed with talent, vocally and otherwise. I like how the backing vocals aren’t really in the background but are given a chance to come forth and shine. It all comes together beautifully but it’s the message of the song that I wanted to talk about here. We all need something to rely on, whether it’s a God, love or a loved one to keep us strong on our path, something to hold on to through life’s harsh winds. Took me a while to realize this, but I talk about love a lot on this blog, this is mostly because I believe in the quote; love is in the air, no seriously, love is everywhere, it’s all around us, we breathe it, it’s not as scarce or foreign as many brothers and sisters may make it out to be. Love is the easiest thing to find, to feel, to have, it’s building a lasting, healthy partnership, an understanding with someone else that is more of a challenge to us humans, it’s finding a connection one we can rely on.

To close this one off, I’m not as good with words as I’d like to think I am, though a wise man once said something to the effect of; If you chase two at the same time, you’re bound to lose both. With that, I’d say it’s very important for anyone to have the ability or to learn to prioritize, to maintain a focus through the Earthly winds to dedicating themselves to something that matters. Something they can rely on. The freedom to be.

 


Stripper From The South

 

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“Say my name and his in the same breath, I dare you to say they taste the same, Let the leaves fall off in the summer and let December glow in flames”

These one-sided or perhaps western (more correctly, Northern hemisphere) influenced lyrics written by Fall Out Boy are a lot like many other regionally influenced traditions the modern-day society follows. I’m talking about Christmas, Easters and more, but just to focus on the two I’ve mentioned, Christmas is themed around the Northern hemisphere climate or season so is Easter, Christmas in South Africa is usually hot as hell, if Santa came here, he’d mos definitely lose that hat and coat. As for Easter, unlike the brightly wrapped easter eggs and spring inspired marketing tactics, things here aren’t really all that bright and spring-y… We have Easter during autumn after all. Back to the song lyrics, our December actually DOES glow in flames, yeap, not a big deal. It happens all the time. Leaves falling off in the summer? well, that we can talk about, leaves not falling off during summer is something a bit more universal, much like having to deal with a heart you didn’t break or saying you Don’t Care when you actually do.

As I’ve dragged in how we sometimes find ourselves having to deal with hearts we didn’t break, with lyrics that open with the words; Say my name and his in the same breath, I dare you to say they taste the same, the protagonist is clearly trying to prove a point to his love interest, he is trying to convince her that he is not her ex or the boy whom broke her heart, that he shouldn’t have to pay for his sins.

“I Don’t Care” may be know as the lead single that lead to Fall Out Boy’s four-year hiatus. After realizing a decline in sales and popularity, Sold Out Boy (or so they were called by disappointed fans and critics) had sold out to a new audience. When the band took time off to regroup and “find” themselves, it was evident that they in fact did care about making that dough and of course being liked by the buying audience.

“I don’t care what you think as long as it’s about me, The best of us can find happiness in misery”

Stepping away from the song entirely, saying I don’t care is one of the biggest most common lies told by man, or should I say the cool macho men and women who think they’ve got it all together. Personally one of the main things I’ve always felt separate me from the average cool human is that the average cool man spends way too much of their energy guarding their hearts. On the other hand, I’ve always felt more of a need to guard my mind instead. It’s most powerful. My heart keeps my body alive. My mind keeps Ndumiso alive. My heart will never change my body or how it is seen, though my mind can change who I am, my name, what it stands for and how it’s received. Only I am completely in charge of that.

What I’m saying is, the average cool human spends so much of his or her time going on about how they Don’t Care what other humans think. Meanwhile they’re sounding as emotional as BAD WORD and they don’t even see it. Honestly, I care what humans think, doesn’t mean I’m bothered by it. I own up to all good and bad thought of me, it’s all me, I’m not ashamed. Of course if there was something to be ashamed of, I’d try to block it out and pretend not to care at all. Makes sense? Well, maybe it wasn’t meant to.

 


These Chicks Don’t Even Know The Name Of My Band

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Sex Diet. That was something wasn’t it? That post could’ve went on forever… you know… like a good career. When longevity and success come together, we get something some may call excellence. Someone who has reached excellence in their music career is of course Eminem. On that Sex Diet tip, I may as well ask the million dollar question, What would Eminem be without a sample? more importantly, What would Eminem be without Dr Dre?

Though unlike most mega rappers, Eminem isn’t as big on samples though one of his biggest most iconic numbers is fueled by a sample from “Thank You” by Dido. What’s interesting about this number is that it is the polar opposite of the sampled number in it. Titled with words of gratitude, “Thank You” by Dido is a fine breeze of love and kindness, on the other hand “Stan” by Eminem is a rough storm of intense emotions.

Being the bad word that I am, nothing annoys me more than dancers, and by dancers I’m referring to people who buy into terms or use terms they may (sometimes) understand but don’t really have a clue as to where or how the term came about but merely jump into the bandwagon just because all the cool kids are using that certain term.

When Eminem released “Stan” back in 2000 most of the kids who run Twitter weren’t even born. It was when this number was released that the term “Stan” or “Stanning” came to life, “Stan” being the title of the song as well as the name of an obssessive fan in the song/video. Of course “Stan” being someone’s name we assume it’s short for Stanley, at the same time it’s very clear that “Stan” is a combination of the words stalker and fan and understanding the term stan or stanning in its truest form, and looking at Stan in the “Stan” video and his efforts and mental state, I can safely say that I’ve never and probably never will be someone’s stan, it’s too much work for a sane person, wouldn’t you say? Of course you wouldn’t, you’re probably one of them, Stanley.

With that said, I don’t have any artist I’d stan or come close to stanning for but as far as music goes, that, like many of you, I am a loyal stan of… at least if stalking music is possible in a more sanely sense.

 


Sex Diet

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Me when I’m asking myself deep stuff, like, What would I be without music?… No, Some of you may know this brother as Ex. Funny pic.

 

Have I ever mentioned my narrow-minded know-it-all view of our local music scene? Well, how I see it, the scene is rather healthy though it doesn’t take a mega mind analyst of any sort to see that it isn’t as steady as the scene we may see overseas (more specifically the U.S). I’d say it’s reasonable to suspect that our music industry or the pond we have here is rapidly filling up with big fish mostly because so many of us want to be the big fish, we want to be the star, we want to be rappers and Deejays and not enough of us are willing to dedicate ourselves to expanding this pond into the sea it can be. For God’s sake, let us construct and study the ins to marketing our local talents and be the masterminds behind the growth.

Whenever I hear the name HHP, amongst other classic hits, Harambe comes to mind though it’s “Music And Lights” that made me see HHP as more than just a rapper or artist but an informer, a conversation starter, someone who could help take our local music scene to different heights. Yes, we all enjoyed seeing American singer Amerie in the Music And Lights video, but it’s what Jabba says towards the start of the song that really caught my attention…

(Music and Lights by HHP composes of a sample from an 80s hit of the same title by a three-piece post-disco band Imagination.)

“What would Jabba be without a sample?” A Question that makes you want to ask even more questions or share your two cents on a blog as I’m doing right now. I’ve mentioned on The Mass Mentality Of Conformity post how Hip Hop could survive without samples but mostly revolves around samples, one of SA’s most recognisable hip hop artists right now AKA can back this up, especially since his mega hits Jealousy and Congratulate both consist of samples. Where would his career be without those two numbers? He certainly wouldn’t have as many awards, would he? which leads me to a question I’ve been wanting to ask since the first paragraph. Where would Jay Z be without a sample?

Though one of my most favourite moments of Jay Z’s career was when he released a Smells Like Teen Spirit sampling number as his lead single for his record-breaking first week sales (For his Magna Carta Holy Grail album)… Who could forget that? But it was when he sampled a jingle from a broadway play; Annie that he first caught the ear of the mainstream audience leading him to being the hip hop giant you see today. (In his words he went…)From lukewarm to hot.

We see hot new artists come and go all the time, of course some do stay. It’s so easy fo us, the audience to disregard the work and years the “hot new” artist has endured to be what they are, in fact, they themselves may not particularly feel new.

What would Jabba be without a sample? wait, lemme take it further, what would Cassper Nyovest be without Jabba? Invisible Alive. Yes, he’d be the same person with just as much passion and drive, though I’m not sure if he’d have all those cool awards to his name as he does. There are so many other Cassper Nyovest out there hustling for recognition… unfortunately if more Hip Hop Pantsulas don’t rise up to offer opportunities, that is all they’ll ever be.

 


Holy Bread Butter

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They say all good things come in pairs or is it threes? I can’t remember, though something else we may sometimes struggle to remember or perhaps keep alive in our minds are artists that have given us nothing more than one hit wonders. With that, I guess it’s safe to say that sometimes great things come in singles. Yeap, I’d like to take this time to list some of the greatest one hit wonders we’ve had over the years… Wait, we’ve already established that sometimes great things do come in singles, so today I’ll just focus on one, one hit wonder.

Branching away from my Daily Bread format that required friends to share one of their all time favorite numbers, I’ll go ahead against my better judgement and make this post about my choice… cos I can, no, seriously, I was gonna ask you guys to give/make suggestions, but then I got high…. Because I’m high, because I’m high… No. that’s not the one, though the artist I’m leaning towards kinda rocks an afro as well.

Released almost 16 years ago already, “I Try” by Macy Gray is without a doubt one of my personal favourite one hit wonders of all time. I know, it’s kind of like saying my dad is amongst the worst bakers in the world but this one time he nailed one scone out of the whole dozen he made and it was the best scone made by a baker as unsuccessful or perhaps as unpopular as he is that I’ve EVER tasted, DAMN! it was delicious.

On a more serious note, this Grammy winning number wouldn’t be the R&B classic it is if it weren’t for the soul Macy Gray poured into it, and not to mention her raspy, gravely voice that has been said to sound like it’s made of smoke and scotch, though a music blogger whom likes pretending he has a science degree like myself would like to contest that notion by saying her voice is in fact made of sound, air traveling through her vocal folds. Like a normal human being. I could be wrong… but at least this will stop you cheap okes from trying to swallow the air coming out of her mouth to buzz.

I’ve said what I wanted to say, it’s your turn now, I know you have a favourite one hit wonder… share… alright, be like that. Cheers.