“To be Yourself is all that You can Do”
If rap music was a man, he would be the cocky, flashy, guy who get’s all the attention, basically the life of the party. Rock music would be the heavily tattooed, chain smoking sex god. Soul music would be the cute but shy guy sitting in the corner having a deep meaningful conversation. This guy mostly goes unnoticed but if you’re looking for love advice or some wise words he would be your first port of call. Imagine soul music as that old wise uncle who always knows the smoothest lines. Now neo-soul would be the youngster who has had his uncle’s knowledge passed down to him and he’s put his own spin on everything he’s learnt. So basically, although soul music doesn’t get the same amount of attention as its louder counterparts, it is still a powerful inspirational part of music.Soul music has an incredible legacy, the likes of Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin are just a few of soul’s greats. When I say Neo-soul I’m talking about the new school of soul music, which saw a rise in the mid 90s. The fusion of soul and contemporary is Neo soul. When I think of this genre, 3 names come to mind Maxwell, D’Angelo and of couse Erykah Badu. These artists and their albums Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, Brown Sugar and Baduizm changed the game. Now I tend to be all over the place when it comes to music but my love and respect for soul music will always remain and will probably continue to grow. Last week I watched Maxwell on VH1 Storytellers and I marvelled at his talent and passion as well as the fact that his music is timeless. For him it’s not about the trend or the “in thing” he just makes music from the soul. His performance got me thinking about soul music, it’s beauty it’s growth and it’s depth. So with this in mind, today’s post is dedicated to Neo Soul and these are some of my favourite songs artists.
Something about me: I am majoring in visual art history and I love analysing paintings and other artworks. Because I am so into music I also add to the list of artworks album covers. An album cover is a very important part of a record because it says in pictorial language what is being said in the music. Album covers seem to be considered as “low art” but I think they are artworks in their own right so this is a celebration of that.
From an art historian’s persective this cover is a reference to collage but from a songwriter’s point of view this cover is so poetic. The term paper trail is usually associated with criminals but here it is related to the art of songwriting and how every song written adds to a paper trail. I love how the papers all come together to form his face. This was artisitc and well as symbolic.
Simplistic, symbolic but also straight to the point. That’s my description of this cover. Without doing much this cover says it all. The iconic logo does that for it.
If you’re looking for an album cover that says it all, look no further. The album’s called Ready and Trey looks…well…ready, so what more could you ask for? Plus he’s hot so of course it’s a nice one.
Today I spent the whole afternoon researching for my radio show, which by now you know is a hip hop one. So with that strongly in mind here is a list and commentary of the songs stuck in my headphones.
BLACK EYED PEAS/MACY GRAY Request Line: this is back when BEP still made deep music and were not annoying us with rip offs of classic songs (Dirty bit) and weren’t messing up perfectly good songs (Switch up). Because I am a radio DJ this song obviously has a special meaning. I love how they are celebrating music and giving a shout out to musicians they respect. BEP should stop the party and return to decency.
MC LYTE/XSCAPE-KEEP ON KEEPING ON: Before Nicki Minaj and even before Eve, there was Mc Lyte. I love this track coz it shows of her amazing rhyming skills and I just love the attitude as well as the sample of Jacko’s Liberian Girl. This song is a CLASSIC no doubt. If you don’t know you better ask somebody.
QUEEN LATIFAH Bananas (who you gonna call?) She isn’t called Queen for nothing…this lady is hip hop royalty. It’s a weird track but I think that’s why I like it and you cannot forget ger attitude and rhyming skills. See for yourself.
BIG PUNISHER/NOREAGA You Came Up The music industry was robbed when this talent died at the tender age of 28. My friend Thelma and I used to sing this song when I was growing up. I espcially loved the trumpet sound in the track, it gave a hip hop song an interesting jazzy edge and classic status.
BIG BROTHER Kanye West For a lot of girls the first encounter with hip hop is usuallythrough their older brothers and I am no exception. If it wasn’t for my brother I wouldn’t love hip hop the way I do so this song is on this list for that reason. It is a dedication to the special places our older brothers hold in our hearts. Plus it’s also a good song. I love it when he says, “my big brother, was BIG’s brother, used to be Dame and Big’s brother, who was hip hop brother, who was No I.D friend, No ID my mentor now let the story begin.”
So there you have it. Five songs That have been stuck in my headphones today. There are so many more but those are the ones that really stuck with me today.
This is my first blog post in about two months. Single female has been on a bit of a hiatus, but I am back. So look forward to more posts, comments and musings about my first love: MUSIC. I love it all. Soul, pop, rock and of course hip hop. Me and hip hop share a particularly special relationship, one which is at times distant but always present. By a very fortunate coincidence, my love of hip hop will be transmitted live on UCT Radio (where I am a DJ). I have the huge honour of being the co host on the weekly hip hop show which is a very exciting position. I am getting a head rush just thinking about it. Just imagine 3 hours of hip hop. Jay-Z, Wu tang, The Roots and everything else in between. So in short my love for hip hop will be transmitted live every Tuesday on UCT Radio, 104.5 fm, be there or be nowhere.