In the dark, womb-like sanctuary of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady studios in downtown Manhattan-a place that has birthed historical musical moments-sits the artist known as Iron Lung, Tical, Wu Brother #1, Johnny Blaze, and of course...Method Man. With a trusty, half-lit blunt by his side, he is lounging in front of white grand piano, his hands sweeping the keyboards, trying to remember a tune he memorized years ago.
Maybe the idea of one of hip hop's finest-and grimiest-emcees tickling the ivories sounds odd, or out of place, but Mr. Mef has never been the type to fit in. His husky, guttural voice is perhaps the most distinct in the game, his flow-dark and complex like the graphic novels from which he took his moniker from-can bury itself in cinematic tracks from RZA, complement the voices of R&B divas and or attack party tracks from Rocwilder. Whether he is trading verses with partner in rhyme, Redman, crowd surfing at a Wu Tang show, or stealing a scene in various television shows and films, Method Man is a true individual spirit. With his latest album, 4:21, The Day After, he is also focused on being a true artist.
Unlike some previous efforts-where Meth admits his priorities were different-on this new album, he says he's focusing on lyrics. After his last album, Tical O: The Prequel, he went through an especially rough time in his life-both personally and professionally-which provided him with a bulk of material. "I had a lot on my mind at the time and the second thing was, I decided to really talk about something and I had a lot to draw from and when the pen hit the paper it was like damn, remember this? And by the time I was done it was like shit, let's go." The result is his most personal and introspective work yet.
Doing the work behind the boards on 4:21, are Wu Tang mastermind and long-time collaborator, RZA as well as Scott Storch, Havoc, K1 and Eric Sermon. "With Eric, we did three songs in three days," Meth says with an amazed smile, "He just comes in with ideas of top. And with RZA, shit, I've watched him build tracks from scratch, so all I really have to do is put the pen to the paper". Eric Sermon provided the beat for Meth's first single, "Say", featuring Lauryn Hill. The track finds Meth addressing critics, fickle fans and haters for disrespecting him and his Wu Tang brethren.
"I've been venting about all this for years and [my manager] was like, 'Write about it, Eric has the perfect joint.' And, Lauryn Hill herself, she just had the raw emotion, the small things she said on the song was enough for me to push my pen and let myself be vulnerable." Meth says his ability to let himself be so open is in line with the entire concept of the album, and its title. "The national weed smoking day is 4/20, so I named my album 4/21 the day after. Because after that day, you have this moment of clarity when you're not high and you see things clearly." The Grammy-winner sighs and continues, a serious, determined look on his face. "You feel like you're not in on the joke, and everyone's laughing at you. I felt like no one was taking me seriously. I got real angry and I just starting writing."
Anger proved to be a great motivator, as the Ticalion Stallion wrapped up the album in a few short months. He says the creative process has been cathartic, and though his skin hasn't gotten any thicker, he's able to use his writing talent to inspire self-confidence. "It's real talk, I'm going to keep my spirits up and not let it get things to me. You know, if you start reading your own press and feeding into it, and you start questioning yourself, like, 'am I wack?' and you have to be like, 'No!' I learned to pat myself on the back, and that it's ok to pat myself on the back sometimes." We definitely agree.
New Jersey rapper Redman made his initial impact with Whut? Thee Album in 1992. He blended reggae and funk influences with topical commentary and displayed a terse, though fluid rap style that was sometimes satirical, sometimes tough, and sometimes silly. Redman returned in 1994 with his second album, Dare Iz a Darkside, which was a harder album than his debut. Muddy Waters, Redman's third album, followed in 1996; he returned two years later with Doc's Da Name. New album "Red Gone Wild" Thee Album in stores now
Light It Up, the new record from artist Collie Buddz, is momentous, gigantic and booming! It’s immediately undeniable an awe-struck song complete with an unforgettable sing-along hook, the kind of beats that pound in the chest and a vocal performance that's as uncommon as it is infectious.
A hit record is probably the only thing that makes Salaam Remi pause his day. Remi, most known as one of the top-selling music producers in the world [Fugees, Usher, Fergie, and Amy Winehouse] and Executive Vice-President at Sony Music knows an irrefutable song when he hears it. After discovering Light It Up, Remi made an offer to Collie Buddz to join his label imprint Louder Than Life, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
"Salaam knows music. It feels good. I want to reach a certain level with my career and go places I haven't gone yet. Being with Sony Music definitely helps with that," Buddz says with some anticipation.
Light It Up, is a new anthem spreading across every college campus and radio stations, but the artist that created the tune has a name that may sound familiar to some music fans. Buddz exploded onto the scene a few years ago when critics and tastemakers alike embraced him - Spin Magazine proclaiming, "Buddz proves the pop rule: Catchiness transcends color." From Vibe Magazine to Entertainment Weekly, Collie Buddz made quite an impression with music critics.
Chali 2na MC. Musician. Actor. Painter. Renaissance Man.
Chali 2na has done it all. From his days growing up on the hardscrabble streets of Chicago’s south side, to his subsequent explosion onto Los Angeles’ burgeoning hip-hop scene, to his tenure as MC for seminal hip-hop group Jurassic 5, Chali epitomizes the portrait of a 21st century artist.
To be sure, with his unmistakable, beloved baritone, Chali has firmly established himself as one of the most distinctive, charismatic personalities not just in hip-hop, but music in general.
Only a select few can say they’ve rocked microphones in front of thousands at a sold-out arena in Tokyo with Jurassic 5, spit rhymes at Lollapalooza, painted professional caliber oil color paintings in their California home and lent their distinctive bass-heavy voice, to such mega-brands as Coca Cola and Sega Dreamcast.
Now, buoyed by the wide spectrum of socio-cultural and geographical influences that have shaped him—hip-hop’s Renaissance man released his first solo album Fish Outta Water on Decon Records in the spring of 2009.
Indeed, this deeply personal body of work reveals a side of the long time Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli front man that his fans have never seen, a story from start to finish of his life, loves, triumphs and let downs, weaving in a powerful selection of beats from the likes of Scott Storch and Jake 1 and memorable appearances from Damian “Jr. Gong” and Stephen Marley, Anthony Hamilton, Beanie Man and others.
“I wanted this album to expose who I am as an artist. The majority of people know me from Jurassic 5 and Ozo, but I felt like nobody knew me as an artist,” Chali says. “I want to show you all facets of who I am. Man. Husband. Brother. Father. Son. Painter.”
Indeed, Chali’s diverse tastes—from the blues he was raised on to the political gangsta’ rap he loved to the graffiti art he sprayed as a teenager—flow from this album, like the oil colors Chali uses for his paintings.
There’s the Fury-produced,“Righteous Way,” an interpolation of Curtis Mayfield’s “The Makings Of You,” where Chali tells the story of his life through the eyes of his father, his 17 year- old son and himself.
Or the Scott Storch driven “Love Is Gonna Get You,” where Chali offers up his own take on the fabled KRS-One song that inspired this 21st century version.
“KRS was talking about how love was going to engulf his brother. This song talks about how love makes you do the strangest things, how it infects your heart and changes you forever,” he said.
Of course, no body of work involving Chali 2na would be complete without his trademark, articulate, spitfire rhymes, the sort of fearsome battle raps which first caught the ear of so many back when he honed his skills in Los Angeles’ storied underground hip-hop scene of the early nineties.
On “Don’t Stop,” featuring the ever soulful Anthony Hamilton, Chali beckons everyone– from revolutionaries to thugs to dime pieces–to leave their troubles at home over a melodic, flute-infused hook.
“Getting sick of the bickering from my peers and such. Bringing lyrics to keep your ears in touch,” he rhymes, daring anyone to test his mettle while playfully requesting that you too take your body to the dance floor in the same breath.
Indeed, Chali’s debut features a seemingly endless litany of groundbreaking tracks, which touch on topics the veteran musician has never bared to his listeners before. Whether it’s the trauma he experienced from the shooting death of a childhood friend to the twists and turns of his own family lineage, to the resistance to injustice that has always been imbued in Chali’s music, Fish Outta Water, is quite simply, a life’s worth of songs in the making.
Says Chali: “I want to free people’s asses and let their minds follow. To not be preachy, but to make them aware of what I’m about. I want to enlighten, but I ain’t trying to be a bumper sticker either.”
No doubt, there’s still plenty of fire in Chali’s lyrical arsenal. His days of training at the legendary Los Angeles hotspot, the Good Life Café, have taught him well. Only now, he’s fused the bass-heavy bravado with his own life’s story, and in doing so, creates an album of work that’s not only superb, it’s important.
Project 432...what does that even mean??? When you first hear the name, for a second it invokes images of Area 51 in the mind, or possibly some secret government experiments the C.I.A. is conducting on some poor souls turned lab rats.
Luckily for all of US, Project 432 has a much more benevolent mission that they intend to take worldwide. This Denver based band is creating a buzz and hitting the ground running already booking shows from Austin to L.A., bringing a brand new sound carrying an explosively dynamic range of grooves & vibrations.
Mixing a variation of styles, they draw you in with their steady soothing heartbeat created by their hip hop/funk sound and the rock drive behind their drummer/bass combination. They ground you with some fresh fatty dub as well as some funky grooves that'll get your entire body moving. The guitar and vocals will take you over with resounding elements in blues, hip hop, rock and soul music, screaming in moments, crying in others, and somehow carrying that happy, slinky, snapback skanky reggae flavor we love so much. With the keys bringing out beautiful bright tones, and in moments the spacy sounds that take us to celestial places as well as more subtle sub base and dub vibrations, the beauty of this cosmic creation is something unlike anything being done, and the fascinating part is the meaning of the very name.
Why 432??? Well, long story short, everything vibrates at a certain frequency range and 432hz is the perfect and actual range at which water, life, the earth as well as all elements are whole and centered and it is how we are all connected and aligned properly. Originally music was played and listened to at 432hz, and along the line it was changed to 440hz and caused our minds to come out of alignment, our vibrational frequency, our way of thinking, our pace and our natural rhythm in life altogether.
Project 432 tunes to 432hz as well as writes a message that tells a story of the hearts of the band members as well as the many stories that we all live out in this epic journey we walk out called life. They intend to impact the hearts of the masses literally healing people's minds and spirit by causing them to contemplate, consider, reconsider, and simply rock out and love the moment they are experiencing as they listen to the healing, grooving, and enchanting sounds that realign them with life.