Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dilla Month 2013


First of all, I would like to apologize for neglecting the few fans I have, and leaving you hungry for seconds. I understand that I'm not exactly making this new venture look promising or successful when I publish a "Best of 2012" article and don't follow it up with something. Trying to find time to write these articles can be difficult (I'm an Aerospace Engineering major, hop off), but nonetheless, I enjoy opening that valve and releasing creativity - creative ideas that build and build, until I begin to worry that I will forget all of them. I never really pondered what might become of this blog or how frequently I would post, but I have some heavy things about this hip-hop community that stay on my mind, and so the plan is that when the timing is right, I can periodically express these views. The blog never really got a formal introduction of the basis on which it was created, but telling the story of this blog should serve as a nice segue way into this Dilla month post.

Don't Nobody Care About Us, and you should too!

"don't nobody care about us, 
all they do is doubt us, 
'till we blow tha spot, then they all wanna crowd us..."

The song has been a longtime favorite of mine, up until around the time I listened to my first Jay Dee album. It probably sits somewhere near the top of my top 10 Dilla beats, and the hook is just so damn catchy. Aside from what Phat Kat intended these lyrics to evoke, they embody what I started this blog for. This is about the artists that get overlooked, underplayed, or just flat out ignored. It bothers me that I can't count the number of times I've played a hot new song at a party, but folks don't vibe to it just because they don't recognize the artist or haven't heard it in the club or on the radio. Then several months later, when the video is released, or the song reaches commercial airplay, or the artist has been on the cover of a magazine and made his/her way up, everyone that once demanded the song be omitted from the playlist now cannot even fathom having a good time without hearing it twice during the course of the night. It's a cycle of injustice that disturbs me and corrupts the innocence of fresh, creative styles. Such is life, and when the arenas of art and business are merged, one must concede to the other.

On the other hand, I can't bear to hear the words "real hip-hop" because of the emptiness and arbitrary wording in defining a sub-genre that way. If it's intellectual, conscious, political, or speaking out against current events, yes that's real hip-hop. But trap music, slow loud and bang, and club tunes are very real too. Calling hip-hop an art form and then partitioning it and being accepting of only an ounce of its whole while denying all other forms is contradictory. Art is supposed to be the purest form of self-expression, and while that self-expression is meaningless to one, it may carry importance with another. So all hip-hop is real, just on different platforms with different people.

Anyways, this blog will be updated in conjunction with the radio show, "Don't Nobody Care About Us" on the student radio station for the University of Texas, KVRX Austin. If you're familiar with ATX hip-hop, you're familiar with The Marcus and Tayo Show, the longest running, most meaningful hip-hop show in KVRX history. I was on the show for a while, and when it came to its official end last December, I knew the responsibility of continuing its legacy was my own. I'm currently in the process of getting my show scheduled, but I'll let the world know as soon as I get word. You'll be able to tune in online at

The Last Donut of the Night

James Dewitt Yancey, among the other artists to be featured in this blog,was under-appreciated. The man who single-handedly brought back the soul of Motown records, pumped through the conduits of dollar-bin rough cut samples and mix-free eq levels, worked behind the scenes of the most prolific 90s neo-soul acts including Erykah Badu, Common, The Tribe, Talib Kweli, D'Angelo, The Roots, Bilal, De La and countless others. Dilla was a 21st century Van Gogh, soft spoken, and little known for his work while alive, but posthumously recognized as a legend and innovator. I could write for days about the way that the instrumental collection provided by Dilla touches my soul and expresses so many vivid images without the use of an emcee, but I'll let his genius speak for itself:

Think Twice feat. Dwele

Let's Take it Back

Time: The Donut of the Heart

Starz feat. Madlib

She Said (Remix) feat. The Pharcyde

3 Beat Tapes Volume 1: Track 12

Thank You, Jay Dee. Rest in Beats.

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