Friday, December 16, 2005

The Corner

I really like this song (and video), by the rapper Common. It kind of takes me back, and connects me with a lot of places that perhaps many people would want to avoid, but for others it reminds them of home, and of past memories. It's put together like a little film, almost all in black & white, and produced by Kanye West, who seems to have the golden touch these days with everything he handles. There's a feeling of pride in this video, in spite of hard circumstances, and I love how that vibe is sent out, in contrast to the same 'ol same 'ol, with most of the formulaic, "let me just cash in on this" rappers of the moment. I like how they included in it "The Last Poets", some older fellows from the '60's-'70's, showing the connection from past to the present, with the struggle still going on. This is kind of how hip-hop could be, in its original tradition, instead of largely how it is today, not saying much of anything. Common and Kanye West are bringing back some depth to the hip-hop sound, which can only be a good thing.

Other songs I either listened to, or saw the video of, in the last day or so: "I'm Goin' Down" - Mary J. Blige (I like old neo-soul Mary J. better than new Mary J.), "A Long Walk" - Jill Scott (boy, that one reminds of Smiley Jr. High, summer afternoons, sirens and cops at the school, basketball, romances, etc.), and "Heard 'Em Say" - Kanye West (Tommorow's not promised to us, only today - something to think about).

I guess I'm in a neo-soul mood right now. Who are some other good artists to learn about and listen to in the neo-soul genre? Or, what kinds of music do you like, and what musical mood are you in now?


Blogger willowtree said...

I prefer old Mary J too, but I do remember that Im going down video, with a whole bunch of Marys walking down the stairs hehe. I used to listen to Envouge now and then, is that neo-soul?
This weekend I have listened to xm classical christmas. (It's nice boring music that reminds me of HS, because I used to be in the choir that sang that type of music.)
and Ive listened to Bollywood movie music, because some of it really is so corny, yet catchy! Perfect combo. Love it!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Sometimes I stay after work,when everyone's left, and do stuff like watch videos on Yahoo Music thru the office high-speed connection.I saw all the Marys walkin down the stairs this weekend too, Common/The Corner Video,and the Kanye West one I saw at home on MTV2 (free MTV). This weekend MTV2 also played "And You Don't Stop-30 yrs. of Hip-Hop", so of course I did stop, and sat back down for that, before leaving the house.

I remember En Vogue, who I also liked, as being like a '90's revved-up version of The Supremes, so you might call that neo-soul, but definitely Jill Scott for sure, some Lauren Hill, some Mary J.Blige, Angie Stone, some Alicia Keys, India Arie, D'Angelo, and so on. They all have somewhat of a "throwback" sound, to an earlier era.
Is there any Bollywood Christmas movies/soundtracks? If not, I'll bet one day, there will be!

A few weeks ago I heard some Michael Bolton Christmas songs on the radio; I don't know why people make fun of that guy, they were incredible!

9:33 PM  
Blogger willowtree said...

Oh, ok- you know I have at least 2 CDs from every one of those artists you named except Angie Stone. I guess I should have known more about what you were talking about huh?
I listened to a lot of that music in High School and College.
I should probably take a few refresher listens.
I saw of that program about 30 years of Hip Hop on VH1.
You notice people dont make fun of Micheal Bolton since he cut his hair off though right? I guess they were just jealous.
Im not sure you know, I dont think many Indians celebrate Christmas, only the Christian ones, and the rebels perhaps.
But that would be cool wouldnt it? A Bollywood Christmas hehe.

8:17 AM  
Blogger GC (God's Child) said...

Neosoul is a good mood to be in. That Jill Scott song you mentioned--that's a good one.
And I would just like to give a shout out to Anthony Hamilton and Will Downing.

9:42 AM  

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