Dabblin’ ’round in Ableton

So, I recently downloaded Ableton and I’ve been messing around seeing what works and what doesn’t. Essentially, experimenting.  This is also, my first dabble in music production. This will, as  I work on it, become a beat which I will then write lyrics over.

I used four clips to make this, Hip hop Congos 100bpm, Two Step Garage 125bpm, DMX Bust It – 115 – Groove 1 and Suicide Bass. With both the DMX and Bass, I EQ’d them so that they didn’t clash with each other.

I’m also really drawn to the combo of the Two Step and the Congos, they go together really well.

Anyway, give it a listen and tell me your thoughts. Peace!

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“You think my rap shit a gimmick / I ain’t seen parole in a minute”

This is one of the smoothest beats in Hip Hop, with smooth verses to follow. The prouducers, G Rock and Medi have done a great job of using subtle percussives and what I believe to be heavily effected piano or another type of orchestral instrument (It’s probably a synth) to make a silky smooth yet still heavy beat. Also the verses from 50 Cent and Jadakiss add to the lingering fear. Also the repeated “I can hear your heartbeat” heighten the sense of danger being just around the corner.

Also, there is no reverb on any of the vocals in this track, presenting the listening with a delivery that juxtapositions the usually violent delivery of a gangsta rap song. However, having no reverb heightens the mood of living in the ghetto or of being a gangster; that there is a disconnect between what you’re doing how you’re viewed by the world and the monotonous and ever detrimental cycle of a life of crime. The use of reverb, even a little bit, would change to song’s tone. This point links this new one.  The production elements and the subtlety of the percussives give the song the vibe that all the energy has been sucked out; placed in a vacuum. I feel that this allows you to be more engaged with the song and the alignment of your attention. The instruments used to make up the beat are also muted (Dull, toned down) which add the vacuum of the song. I think, overall, the beat is a drum machine, and a syth. In its entirety.

Give the track a listen for yourself and tell me your thoughts. Also, see my other post about 50 Cent here: “A thug’s what I want, a thug’s what I need”

Irregular Heartbeat is track seven off 50 Cent’s 2014 album, Animal Ambition: An Untamed Desire to Win 

You can stream or buy the album below via the following links:Animal Ambition Cover.jpg

Animal Ambition at JB Hi-Fi

Animal Ambition on iTunes

Animal Ambition on Vinyl

“A thug’s what I want / a thug’s what I need”

50 Cent, one of Hip Hop’s biggest ballers!!
50 Cent.jpg

Before 50 Cent’s big break in 2003 with “Get Rich or Die Trying” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Rich_or_Die_Tryin’) his 2000 album “Power of the Dollar” was released to the underground scene. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_of_the_Dollar) The album is great! A standout track is Ghetto Qu’ran, a song detailing what life is like in South Jamaica, Queens and the struggles of being a hustler.

I say it was released to the underground scene, which is technically correct as 50 got shot nine times on 24th of April, two moths before the album’s scheduled release date.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent#2000.E2.80.9301:_Shooting) This ultimately led to the album being cancelled and thus getting heavily bootlegged. 50 was also dropped from his then label, Trackmasters Entertainment, Columbia.  The shooting also happened three days before the scheduled videotaping of his song “Thug Love”* which features Destiny’s Child. “Thug Love” is a really good song and Destiny’s Child do really we on the chorus and harmonising.

Also, the use of the word “Thug” is not an insult in Hip Hop. Instead, it means “Someone who is going through struggles, has gone through struggles and will continue to go through struggles” In contrast, in other medias, a “Thug” is a criminal.

Sampling… “Taking images from diverse places”

One major part of Hip Hop culture is sampling. Listening to records, finding one part of a song and extending that into a totally different form of art. Sampling is a technique that intrigues me. Most of my favourite songs have stemmed from samples. As I’ve become more infatuated with Hip Hop I’ve started to compile a list of songs I want to sample. Below are twenty-five songs which have parts which I want to create “diverse images”* from. Some of the songs listed below have been sampled by others many times before, especially Simon and Garfunkel’s – The Sound of Silence.

Songs to sample:

  1. Kate Miller Heike – Yours Was the Body
  2. The Beatles – Flying
  3. Japanese Wallpaper – Forces
  4. Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Everybody Loves the Sunshine
  5. D12 – How Come
  6. Jay Z – A Week Ago
  7. The Poppy Family – Of Cities and Escapes (“I’m caught in the grip of the city… Madness”)
  8. Robert Miles – Children [Dream Version] (In fact, some of the other versions of this song would also work for sampling)
  9. The Script – Breakeven
  10. The Eagles – New York Minute
  11. Troye Sivan – DKLA (Instrumental)
  12. Enya – Only Time – Original Version (From 0:40)
  13. Illy – One For the City (feat. Thomas Jules) (“The cities tell the story of a lifetime“)
  14. Aronchupa – I’m an Albatraoz
  15. Jay Z – Empire State of Mind (“Welcome to the melting pot”, “Welcome to the bright light”, “The city never sleeps”)
  16. Illy – More Than Gold
  17. Jay Z – The City Is Mine (Feat. Blackstreet)
  18. 50 Cent – The Good Die Young
  19. Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise (feat. L.V.) (“Tell me why are we so blind to see / That the ones we hurt are you and me?”)
  20. Michael Hunter – Soviet Connection (With this song it’d be cool to incorporate it into a cool instrumental; the song has a very New York, Bronx vibe – Hip Hop undertones)
  21. The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony
  22. 50 Cent – In Da Club (“If you talking about money homie / I ain’t concerned”)
  23. Obie Trice – The Setup
  24. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality“)
  25. Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence (Original version from 1964) (“Hello darkness, my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again“)
*https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/chrisofili515548.html?src=t_sampling
Read more about Sampling here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_(music)