Monthly Archives: October 2008

Awareness

Happy Halloween from 4080Records

Just wanted to wish you all a Happy Halloween!

To celebrate, here’s a tribute video for The Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff’s Nightmare on My Street


And here’s Zombie Kanye:

Music

Jay-Z Launches New Label With Norwegian Duo | Pitchfork

Pitchfork media is reporting that Jay-Z is about to launch a whole new music label called StarRoc.   Weird name, I guess, but there’s a story  behind it.

Hova’s looking to lock down the hottest top40 production team since the Neptunes.  Stargate, a Norwegian duo comprised of or Erik Hermansen and Mikkel S. Eriksen.  It seems like a bit of a contrast in styles, but these electro-pop geniuses are making waves in mainstream hip hop all over North America.

They’re the ones behind the beats for songs like Irreplacable (Beyonce’s recent big hit) or Unfaithful by Rihanna.  Not exactly our style over here at 4080 Records, but definitely huge sellers in the market.

The New York Times describes these dudes as:

…wholesome-looking, milk-complexioned Norwegians who, despite having no public persona, have quickly become two of the most in-demand figures in pop music.

So there you have it.  Zeroes in terms of public image, but definitely the rising producing stars for a lot of artists (many of him Jay-Z’s already tied to).  So locking them down into a new label seems like a genius move.

Smartest of all, Hova’s new label will sign everyone to a 360 degree contract.  That means the artists get a share of everything.  This has become the new norm since the decline of CD sales, and really results in a better deal for the artist.

[Source: Pitchfork]

Music

New Q-tip video

We’ve all been excited for Q-tip’s new record to drop.  As we previously reported, The Renaissance is about to drop, and I for one cannot wait.

Check out the first single: Move.

Cool Geek

The rebirth of music videos

Everyone has been saying that the music video is dying.  MTV has, in the past decade, essentially given up on it.  Now we see MTV and Muchmusic and VH1 and all the others focusing way more on other programming.  We get awful ‘dramas’ like The Hills, or people hurting each other (Jackass).  Hell, even The Real World, or My Super Sweet 16 are enough to make you long for the days of cheesy midi keyboards and hilarious fades.

Either way, I think you’ll all appreciate the new MTV Music site:

MTV MUSIC – I Want My MTV

There are more than enough videos on there to keep you busy.

Then again, you could probably find most of these on Youtube anyways.

Politics

Officials foil ‘plot’ to kill Obama

In what is basically breaking news, law enforcement officials in the US have “broken” a plot to kill Barack Obama.

The plot itself does lack some credibility, but I’m happy that the security officials took it so seriously.  In essence, this is what transpired:

Two neonazi skinhead douchebags (one of them pictured on the left) met on the internet, decided they needed to kill some people.  These idiots hatched a plan to murder 102 people by attacking a primarily black school.  Then, they would drive at Obama really fast and try shooting at him from the windows of their car.  Oh, and the whole time they’d be dressed in white suits with white tophats.

It sounds like something out of a movie, right?  Wrong.   This was actually their plan.  In fact, they were aware of its flaws and intended on dying during the ‘mission.’  This was, in essentially, a suicide mission.  The worry is that this really does highlight the underlying racial tension that is present during this electoral campaign.

Personally, I think that these two idiots are not representative of anyone.  They’re extremists, plain and simple, and deserve punishment.

[Source: The Guardian]

Music

Muslim hip hop is a bigger genre than you thought

Islam has actually become a more and more common influence on hip hop.  Some of the most important hip hop artists of our generation openly embrace islam (for example, Mos Def).

However, there is a fundamental difference between artists who embrace their Islam, and Muslim artists who really base their whole stage concept around Islam.  There are numerous groups popping up all over the place, showing that hip hop is making inroads into all different types of cultures.

Several groups are becoming increasingly prominent.  Brother Ali is probably the most well known out of the US, and he’s been getting more and more love on the underground circuit.  Ali is a convert to Islam and is a white dude (he’s actually an albino), which originally caused him no end of grief.  However, people have come to accept his conversion

Here’s Soul Whisper by Brother Ali.

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Outlandish, a Danish hip hop quartet is one of the most well known.  In fact, at the University of South Florida, two students named Jawad Fayiz and Akbar Qayum won a talent contest and got the opportunity to open up for Outlandish.  They call themselves D-Clique (admittedly a pretty poor name) but their message is interesting.  They advocate some pretty strict Islamic values (abstaining from alcohol and dating), but also preach about respecting women and touch on some lighter topics.

Here’s Stand Tall (Acoustic) from D-Clique

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There are other notable groups out there.  Mecca2Medina is definitely the biggest name out of the UK, Australia has the Brothahood (who have one of the best MySpace sites I’ve ever seen), and obviously many other countries have their share of representation.   To kill two birds with one stone, here’s a collabo track between Mecca2Medina and the Brothahood:

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Geek

Killer turntable you can never afford

Gizmodo, the ever-present tech blog has presented a pretty amazing concept…in certain ways.  It’s a $56,000 turntable that actually has four arms.  Why you need that, I’m not too sure, because from the looks of it you can still only play one record at a time. read more »

Cool

Vinyl Record Generator

This is a one-trick pony of a website, but one that may actually prove useful to you from time to time.

The Vinyl Record Generator lets you produce an image of a LP (or 45) that features the text you want on the label.  Basically, it’s a quick and dirty method of making album art for whatever your purposes are.

This could be useful if you’re one of the few people in this world still burning CDs and intend to print some labels.  Could make your next mixtape for your girl a little extra special.

Check out our sample below:

Music Politics

Why Ludacris should stay out of politics

So Luda, like a lot of hip hop artists, supports Obama.  Unfortunately, his efforts to produce a pro-Obama song haven’t really worked that well.

First of all, Obama rejected the song because it was too contraversial.  That’s a smart move on his part because the right-wing has really capitalized on it.

The lyrics are typically bombastic, but there are some seriously bad judgment errors.  For example, in the track Ludacris called Hillary Clinton a bitch.  Not the best move to keep the party united, so it’s no wonder Obama had to distance himself really quickly.

If anything, he’s doing way more harm than good.  He should live the political arena alone, or at least pull a Puffy and focus on trying to get youth out to vote.  No one needs to hear Luda’s opinions, but he can still be a positive force.

You can actually listen to it below.

[Source: LA Times]

Politics

McCain supporters are not racist

There has been an increasing amount of talk about how McCain’s supporters (well, mainly on the Palin side) have begun a pretty vicious campaign and there has been an increasing amount of vitriolic racial attacks.  A lot of emphasis on Obama being a secret Muslim,  or calling him an Arab, or a lot of things.

Blogger Interrupted has posted a video detailing some of the ignorant attacks of SOME of the attendees.  With thousands of ralliers, it’s not surprising that you find some people like that.

What was more surprising was that finally, John McCain began to calm things down.  He took a step back and actually disputed some of his supporters.  In fact, one moment I can be proud of, he directly told the crowd that they did not need to be afraid of Obama.   He did, however, stop short of saying what Colin Powell did in his endorsement the other day: that even if Obama was a Muslim, that shouldn’t be an insult or a weakness.

Here’s a video of a brief moment:

The best thing I’ve seen so far, is the reaction of a few smart McCain supporters to xenophobic McCain supporters.  They essentially yelled at them till they left.   I think it does go to show that despite accusations from both sides, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.