Good Read: The Making of The College Dropout

Anything that reads..”The making of….[enter hot album here]” I want to read it. The stories behind these great tracks are priceless. This one doesnt disppoint either, I learned quite a few things. Complex is doing a tribute for the 10th anniversary. So get a hot beverage, cut the tv off, and enjoy this good read.

The making of The College Dropout

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The Kendrick Lamar Song From GKMC that I Almost Missed Out On

So the story behind this post begins with me listening to Kendrick Lamar’s Tim Westwood freestyle. I like listening to that particular freestyle because the beat is so chill. His lyrics also entrap the listeners’ ear straight out the gate. It’s like he silently says “come here and let me tell you a story”. I’ve listened to this joint so many times that in my mind it’s a separate entity and I didn’t want to associate any of the lyrics to any particular songs. Well I knew that Continue reading

Good Read: The Making of “Below The Heavens”

Its a good day because finally I get insights on the making of one of my all time personal favorite albums. Brew some coffee and enjoy this read.

“My World Is…”
Blu: “‘My World Is’ was probably the last song recorded for the record. Exile and I would go periodically to Mainframe’s to record. He actually signed Exile and I to Sound In Color. He was one of the original owners. We would periodically go to his spot as opposed to the Sound In Color studios. So we found The Dells’ record at Exile’s, and we brought it to Mainframe’s to chop it up there. But we brought it to Mainframe’s house and lost the record there, and we couldn’t find the record for I don’t know how long. So as we were recording the record, we were going to record shops trying to find this The Dells’ album and shit. We couldn’t find the shit. No record stores had it, no thrift shops. So we were forced to sample off a CD, man. That’s probably my biggest regret of the album. That was the only sample that wasn’t from vinyl. No less than a week after we make the song, like three copies of the fucking vinyl surface. I got like four copies of that Dells record.”

Exile: “I remember Blu kept trying to push me to sample the record used for ‘The World Is’ and I wasn’t into it, but eventually I got it done and we went in the studio to record the verse. When he spit it to me we knew this was the song that would start off the album. When he did the first take and he recorded the first verse with the line, ‘I flow conscious rep the Koochie Monstas’ I was like, ‘Nah, spit it differently like this.’ Back then Blu was a lot more open to trying ideas in the studio. But the funny thing is, listening to the song now I actually like the OG patterns he used for the line. Every time I hear it I’m like, ‘Why did I ask him to do that?’” -XXL

Good Read: Oddisee Breaks Down His 15 Most Essential Songs

I always like to hear the backstory behind tracks from artists, producers, whoever. Oddisee broke down 15 of his tracks with a thorough explanation for each. If you got 20 mins or so, this is an interesting read from one of the best producer/emcees out. Check it out over at Pigeons and Planes.

Streets Wont Let Me Chill

Oddisee: “Back to us putting our stamp. That vocal sample on the hook is from [popular Go-Go group] Backyard Band’s frontman. I was listening to a clip on YouTube of Smoke, the conga player. And the frontman was hyping up the conga player, and somewhere right in the middle, he was like, ‘The streets won’t let me chill!’ And I was like, ‘Oh, that’s it.’ If you listen to that sample, there’s a crazy, rapid sound in the back. And that’s a conga. So again, it’s that whole, east coast vibe, but come down 95 South a bit more. Continue reading

Good Read: Loyalty And Betrayal: A Debate On The Future Of J. Cole

An interesting conversation between writers on J.Cole and his fanbase. Good points are pointed out but I can’t say I agree with it all as it is a subjective read. While Cole’s debut was a solid offering, I’m like a lot of fans who thought it was less than what was expected from such a great MC. Read this over at HipHopDX and see if you can relate.

J.Cole -Sideline Story

Good Read: Empire State Of Mind

I picked up this book and honestly didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been a Jay-Z fan since the beginning and know his music like the back of my hand but what I didn’t know was the business side of things, the things that are not publicized in the media, why and how such things happened the way they did. This book is a different perspective from the rapper we all know and admire, it starts from the beginning to present day. After reading in the first few pages of the book, it states that Jay-Z did not agree to participate in the making of this book (in return he released his own book, Decoded), I was curious of how it would play out and how Zack O’Malley Greenburg, the book’s author, would push forward.

Some of main topics revolve his business dealings with Live Nation, Def Jam, New Jersey Nets, Jeep, Armand de Brignac and more. Upon finishing the book, you will realize that Greensburg went above and beyond to make this book a success despite not having Jay-Z participate. In total, he says he interviewed over “70 people who have interacted with Jay-Z personally or professionally”. Its informative, funny, shocking, and inspirational all at the same time. Jay-Z really made a way from himself and Continue reading