Wednesday, June 23, 2010

..D&D Studios Part Two..Not All Rappers Are A$$e$..

..So by now yall know I worked at D&D Recording Studios.Good,GREAT.It was the best place to work in HipHop at the time for sure.We made more than hits there we made classics.Not to say that classics weren't made anywhere else but,let's face it, if a client ate ramen noodles for almost a year just so they could mix their record in the same room Premier mixed "Mass Appeal",that says a whole lot..right?!I'm also a fan of Rap music,I got my faves,my top ten,Blah Blah Blah..but a lot of times,these rap dudes will let you down.This time we won't get into those dudes.However one cat will forever stand out as the most humble, down to earth dude I have ever met...KRS One.To this day I can't say a bad word about my dude Krs...(or Kenny his brother for that matter)..

I'm a big fan of KRS,one of my favorite Emcees without doubt.So of course the opportunity to meet your favorite artist would make anybody's day.Imagine getting to work with your favorite artist on their new project...yeah exactly!I'm still an intern at the time mind you but who cares, I get to sit in on the the sessions and learn a few things and get a preview of the new KRS album.Can't get no better right?Wrong!Here's  why.Everyone has their favorite snack food..KRS Loved cashews...I mean he LOVED them joints.In particular the ones that came in the slim pack that would be on the counter of every corner bodega in NY. He would have me go to the store about every two hours or so to get him five packs of cashews,which were like a buck a piece.Why he didn't just buy a big ole can of em is beyond me,nor did I care.He would give me $20,each run,to buy five packs of cashews.So on my first run, me being the good intern, I bring him his cashews and hand him his change.He looks at me and says" What Are You Doing?".. In my mind I was like.."FUCK! What Did I Do?...'This Cat Is Gonna Chew Me Out!".Oh by the way,Preemo is the room,Kenny,ICU,Willie D,Pal Joey..it was packed in there and I'm expecting to be clowned thoroughly.He says.."The Change Is Yours".....me..(whew!).."OK!"..Now mind you intern status means you work for FREE!If you're lucky you'll get clients that give you tips but basically you're free labor.And $15 for a dude that been working since 11am and it's now like 9:30pm(cause the night intern flaked so I had to stay) was alotta money!I could get chicken fried rice instead of plain!...Repeat the Cashew scenario, and this time I'm sure he wants his change,he just gave me $15.,no way he gives up another $15.WRONG AGAIN!..He gives me the same look and laughs at me.."Yo This Kid Is Buggin'" he goes.."Take The Money Man I'm Good"..From that day forward I worked on every KRS One session they put on the board,and he worked daily!

So let's fast forward a bit to when Krs is working on the"KRS ONE" album.I'm still an intern but they let me assist certain sessions. This day I'm assisting,not on Krs' session, but I'm still in the studio cause my session got cancelled or whateva.Krs  is working with Norty Cotto and Luis Tineo(engineer and assistant engineer).Luis comes out the room and says to me" Krs needs you"..I go into the room..."Whuddup Krs?"..him.."Yo could you go to that store up the street and buy me a cheap pocket recorder..you know the ones you tape your voice notes with?"..me.."Sure no problem."I go to the store, come back , drop off the recorder,bounce out the room.Louie comes out again.."Krs needs you again"..me.."Sup Krs?!"..him.."OK this is what I need you to do for me..."..his instructions.. I was to go out into the street and record street noises and say as loudly as possible.." These Are The Streets..Shit Is Real Out Here..This Ain't No Fucking Joke!"..apprehensive and feeling a lil silly I did it anyway(plus Louie went with me so I wouldn't look completely bonkers) ..and that's how I ended up on the song "R.E.A.L.I.T.Y." off that album.Oh did I mention I got to keep the change from the $100 he gave me get the $15 pocket recorder?And got another $30 for looking out?How could you possibly hate a dude like that?My point?..not all rappers are A$$E$!(But Some Are!)...One!..

Thursday, June 3, 2010

..Commercial Radio..

..I recently went on a trip with my lady to New York.Usually when I drive I don't listen to anything unless it's gonna keep me up.My girl on the other hand needs to either talk or listen to music.Seeing as I was catching some sleep on the way back..I wasn't much for conversation.So on came the radio,yeah the freakin radio.I heard the same Drake,Nikki Minaj,Usher,Rick Ross songs on every "Home of Hip Hop and RnB" station from New York to South Carolina.THE SAME SONGS!It was unreal!I went to sleep Rhianna was singing "Rude Boy"..I wake up the broad still singing the same song!...Can we say "Programming?"Now I have nothing against the mentioned artists or any other artist pounded to death into the ear drums of the masses..but now that the record label is pretty much a thing of the past,shouldn't radio programmers take liberty to explore all the Independent Artists out there?Give them an opportunity to shine a lil bit?I mean "the suits"aka the record labels don't hold that much power anymore seeing as nobody wants a deal.So why not?There are a ton of artists with great material that the masses would be able to latch onto...and I know that the programmers know this.So again I ask..WHY NOT?..Why play the same crappy music every hour on the hour?Does anyone else feel this way?..

Trust me I am not here for a boycott of commercial radio.We need it for those who are to lazy to go out and find new music on their own.And now that record sales mean absolutely nothing to the signed artist,the labels cant say its to help promote the artist and boost their sales.Sales of what?No one is buying it anyways.Radio should be an open playing field,like it is for lil kids now,no one cares who wins just as long you get your turn.You don't need a deal to get your music out there and if commercial radio still exists it should reflect that in it's play-lists..When one hundred thousand sales gives you a number one album, you can see the forest for the trees.Times have changed,the industry has changed,the public(well most of them)is changing.Do you remember the last album you bought?No?I remember what I bought..the IdleWild soundtrack by Outkast.Yeah..that long ago.I'm sure for some it's been even longer than that, but the fact of the matter is if you want new music there are easier ways to get it than going to the record store..wait...are there anymore record stores? Hmmmm..Well..all I'm saying is if there are new ways of getting music,and a greater variety of it,then it should be greater variety of music on the public airwaves....Done.