Category Archives: Cool

Might not fit anywhere else, but still worth reading.

Art Cool Music

The hip hop musical you didn’t know you needed

NPR has a full cast recording of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.   It’s a fantastic hip hop musical of the life and times of Alexander Hamilton.  You’d never have known you needed this in your life.  But you do.  So listen.

Cool

The last Audio Cassette Factory

 

(via digg)

Cool

Key & Peele – Rap Confessions

A funny sketch, but not that far off what happened to garbage rapper Tiny Doo.

Cool

Kenny G and Warren G Perform Regulators on Kimmel

In case you missed it, here’s two Gs, Kenny and Warren, performing the classic track “Regulators” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Weird on paper, this actually somehow works, and both dudes look like they’re having a blast.

#RIPNATEDOGG

Cool Hip-hop Film

New Netflix Series: ‘The Get Down’ by Baz Luhrmann

Spotted this over at Okayplayer: apparently Baz Luhrmann is bringing to Netflix a mini-series about the birth of hip hop in the Bronx (as well as punk and disco elsewhere in NYC) in the late 1970s. Check out the clip below, as well as this short synopsis from The Hollywood Reporter. Looks dope!

The Get Down will focus on 1970s New York — broken down and beaten up, violent, cash strapped — dying. … Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them — except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco — told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world … forever.

Awareness Cool

Hip-Hop Hamilton – The New Yorker

We’ve covered Lin-Manuel Miranda before, but we’re back with a quick update.  When we last discussed, Mr. Miranda had made an appearance at the White House and performed a rap about Alexander Hamilton.   The New Yorker has an extensive look at our friend, and how he has turned that one song into a full fledged musical that opens soon.

It’s a pretty amazing look at the the process behind creating this production, and worth a read.  Check out a snippet below:

At a workshop production in May, Miranda had delivered a final rap in which Hamilton gives an account of his preparations—“The sun is in my eyes and I’m almost giddy / As I watch it slowly rise over my New York City”—and weighs whether or not Burr has it in him to kill. Both musically and lyrically, the song hadn’t conveyed the high stakes that Miranda sought to capture, in which Hamilton’s fears about Burr’s lack of integrity extended to broad trepidation about the uncertain direction of the country. Nor had the song fully delivered a sense of tragic inevitability, in which Hamilton’s uncharacteristic reticence and Burr’s uncharacteristic forwardness ruin the lives of both men. Miranda was still revising the song, and expected to be still worrying over the scene in rehearsals. He said, “There are things that don’t exist, and that are not going to exist, until we have actors in the room, and I go, ‘Oh!’ ” Kail, who sets deadlines for Miranda, and reacts to every draft of every song, explained, “Lin’s response to pressure is to generate more material.”

Art Cool Music

Rhythm Roulette Illustrates the Art of Sampling

For at least a year now the magazine Mass Appeal has been producing a Youtube series called Rhythm Roulette. The premise is simple: a producer has to make a beat from three records he picks at random. Some sessions aren’t great – there’s a reason why a lot of records are never sampled – but other producers are able to whip up really solid beats, proving the creativity and technique that goes into making good hip-hop. Here’s the session with DJ Nu-Mark, but be sure to check out the whole series.

Cool Music

Jay-Z – I can’t get with that

I’ve been reading Decoded recently, which is a surprisingly good read.  The usual self-rationalization etc., but Jay-Z shows some surprisingly insightful moments.  In the book, he discusses the track I Can’t Get with That, as one of his first music videos when he was really trying to get out there.  Back before labels took him seriously.  He describes it as as a showcase for his various flows, and it’s a pretty amazing thing to watch.

Cool Music

Freestylin With The Roots On Fallon

As most of you know, the Roots are the greatest band in late night TV.  They have made Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a huge success, and have also indicated that they are likely to follow Jimmy when he moves to take over the Tonight Show in a couple of years.

One audience favourite bit is “Freestylin with the Roots”.  Jimmy goes into the audience, asks for some random facts, and then suggests a style of music that the Roots must perform the track in.  Black Thought kills it, as always, but it’s also amazing how quickly the rest of the group is able to come up with a perfect sounding musical accompaniment.

In a recent edition of Freestylin With The Roots, we are treated to a solid overall performance.

But the big shocker? The Roots have a platinum album!

Now I know what you’re thinking.  It’s not How I got over (although I love the album).  Instead, their 1999 opus Things Fall Apart just went platinum.

14 years after release.

It’s a huge accomplishment, and blows my mind that it hasn’t happened till now.  Congratulations to the Roots!

Cool

Jay Z in Time’s 100 Most Influential People

Read Michael Bloomberg’s quick little tribute to Jay Z  in Time’s (I keep wanting to call it Time Magazine, which I guess it will no longer be) The 100 Most Influential People in the World | TIME.com.

It’s amazing that a hip hop icon would get a tribute from a billionaire mayor of one of the largest cities in the world.