I recently stumbled across this wonderful piece of slam poetry. It was very touching to me, and also eye opening. Give it a look, you shan't regret it.
I've just decided that I am going to start a "Song of The Week" series on my blog. Every week, I will post a song, review it, and give some background to it. So, here is the first one. Stay tuned!
Song: So Far To Go
Artist(s): J Dilla (Feat. Common and D'Angelo)
Album: J Dilla - The Shining
"So Far To Go" is one of J Dilla's most popular songs. J Dilla is a hip hop beat maker/ MC from Detroit. He was a pioneer in hip hop music not only for his style of rapping, but his skill and innovativeness with DJ technology. He is compared to Nobel Prize winning scientists for his outstanding work with technology.
This song is said to be one of his best works. It has a very warm, vintage, and soulful feel to it. In this song, Dilla combines the roots of the music with the latest tech to create a unique blend. At the beginning, there is a steady drum beat mixed with echoey synth sounds and a short fills from a pre-recorded gospel choir. Common and D'angelo begin rapping with a deep and romantic sound. About half way through, Dilla adds a jazz piano to the mix, creating even more of a "roots" feel. This song touches that part of you that's deep in your chest, a part that can't be touched by inauthentic pop music. It leaves you feeling downright satisfied, like you just ate a Thanksgiving dinner. Give it a look, you won't regret it!
As I endured the -7 degree weather this morning, I overheard an uplifting piece of news over the radio. We only have a few more weeks until the start of spring! This winter has been a particularly rough one, with record braking amounts of snow and low termeperatures. While it seems as though we are still in the dead of winter, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Spring is coming.
Reggae, it's a style of music, it's a culture, it's a way of life. Reggae first came about in the early 1900's Kingston, Jamaica, and it was born of the formerly enslaved people. African rhythms were passed down from generation to generation among these slaves. When the slaves were finally emancipated, they were able to access European instruments such as trumpets and guitars. Now, they created a fusion of European influenced melodies with traditional African rhythms. Thus, Reggae was born. It was a musical clashing of cultures, with the unique "laid back" feel of the Caribbean that truly made Reggae what it is. Reggae was secluded only to the streets of Kingston, Jamaica until the 1960's, when a man named Bob Marley exposed America to this wonderful from of art. Reggae had made several attempts to reach America before Bob Marley, but at the time there was great racial prejudice in the country, and people disregarded it as "Black Music", and did not even brother to listen to it. With Bob's incredible and revolutionary take to Reggae, he was able to expose it not only to America, but to the entire world. Bob also familiarized the world the Rastafarian movement, which is a religion based on the beliefs that Halie Selassie I (a former Ethiopian emperor) is the Messiah. A vast majority of the greatest Reggae artists are Rastafarians. Reggae has inspired people, countries, and even religions. If you haven already, listen to Reggae. It will change your life.
Here's a bit of a reflection on our final year at Fenn that Hayden, Stephon, Billy, and I did a few months back. We played around with different angles on the "pad casters" and had some fun discussing. It's lengthy, but give it a look!
Here's an interesting video about the history of Valentines day. I learned a great deal through this video.
I feel as though I have chosen a great piece for this year's contest. While it is quite lengthy, it has a lot of meaning and depth, and I can really say it with passion. I would love to actually win this year. In past years, I never really tried to win, but I figured I might as well try this year.
This past Saturday night, I was given the opportunity to see the NPR radio show "From The Top" in action with several other members of the Fenn concert band. This show travels across the country featuring extremely talented young musicians. We saw the show at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall in Boston. To say the least, it was stunning. There were five or six different musicians featured, the youngest of them being 11 years old. All of these people had very interesting life stories and interests, along with being musical prodigies. It was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend witnessing it for yourself.
Tea, It's more than just a beverage. It's an experience, a lifestyle, an art. Last year, I was introduced to it by a good friend of mine. Before truly getting to know tea, I thought of it as nothing more than an old school substitute for coffee. Little did I know, it was much more than that. Upon being introduced to it, I loved it. It brought to me a sense of freshness, tastefulness, and class. I now drink tea regularly, and enjoy it just as much as I did when I first drank it. I would recommend tea to anyone. There is a perfect kind for everyone.
I recently heard about this wonderful new album on an NPR segment. As soon as I heard it, I was absolutely captivated. "Shipwreck From the Shore" is a new album by Anthony D'Amato, a new and upcoming musical artist and a graduate from Princeton. This album features very upbeat and catchy songs with addicting melodies and interesting instrumental choices. He reminds me of a mix between Mumford and Sons and Bob Dylan. There is a very folky/indie vibe to his music. I truly believe that absolutely anyone will like his music. So please, give it a listen. Check it below.