Ice Cube has returned to his rap music roots with his latest album, “I Am The West,” his first album since 2008′s “Raw Footage.” To date, I Am The West is receiving a lukewarm reception from rap music critics, who charge that the former NWA star is sticking too close to home, while the rest of the rap music genre has moved on.
Ice Cube hasn’t been sitting still. His initial work in rap music put him on pace to release a rap album once per year, something he did from 1990-1993. After that, he released an album (War & Peace, Volume 1) in 1998, having spent the intervening time establishing his acting career, working steadily (and mostly) in films as both an actor and producer. He’s recently picked up a television series, “Are We There Yet” where he pulls double duty as a cast member and also serves as the show’s executive producer.
That schedule hasn’t left much time for music. He released War & Peace, Volume 2 in 2000 and Laugh Now, Cry Later in 2006. With I Am The West, critics say that Ice Cube is still spending his time producing gangsta rap when the rest of the industry has moved on. Today’s rap music, they say, is more than guns, women and drugs.
For his part, Ice Cube simply doesn’t care. I Am The West is a protest album of sorts. Ice Cube rails against contemporary rappers, whom Ice Cube plainly and decidedly says he’s not. He’s happy creating gangsta rap and knows that his latest music will appeal to his dedicated fan base. While today’s celebrated rap artists find more inspiration in human relationships than in drug deals gone bad, Ice Cube is happy to make the kind of music he’s always made – California-centric street rap.
While his music may have an increasingly limited popular appeal, the rap music industry needs more artists like Ice Cube –not because there’s a pent-up demand for gangsta rap (there’s not), but because Ice Cube is willing to make the music he wants to make without bowing to today’s rap music style.
Rappers who want to make their own music and who aren’t interested so much in what the critics have to say as they are in being comfortable where they’re at are the artists that will ensure that rap music is around for generations to come. Ice Cube’s lyrics may be less meaningful to the masses, but as an artist, he still possesses the power to move the genre forward.
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September 27 marks not only Lil Wayne’s birthday, it’s also the release date for Weezy’s latest beat making album, “I Am Not A Human Being.” Weezy himself won’t be doing a lot of celebrating; the rapper is finishing out a little stretch in New York’s Riker’s Island state prison and won’t be back home until November.
Originally, “I Am Not A Human Being” was supposed to be a free EP release, but along the way it turned into a full 12-track album of what Weezy’s manager Cortez Bryant thinks will precede a different sound that emerges when Weezy’s released. The new album features Drake collaborations entitle “Gonorrhea,” “Right Above It,” “With You,” and “I’m Single.” It also features a Nicki Minaj track entitled “What’s Wrong With Them.”
Lil Wayne may be cooling his heels in prison, but that doesn’t mean he’s sitting around. Both the artist and his manager say that Weezy’s spent his time productively, writing new songs that will be recorded after he’s released. Already in the works is another planned mixtape, possibly with DJ Drama.
The Lil Wayne case illustrates that you can create music no matter where you are. If you already have the music in your head, producing music is easy if you have the right tools. One great tool to consider is Sonic Producer. Sonic Producer is available for both the PC and Mac platforms and enables you to create all of the royalty-free music you want.
Sonic Producer comes with tons of samples that you can plug right into your songs. Use Sonic Producer to create your own sound, mixtapes or full length self-produced albums. There’s no need to buy any additional equipment. As long as you have a computer and Sonic Producer, you can create your own professional-sounding music. Export your tracks to MP3 and listen to them on your own, share them with friends or make them part of a live-music show.
Sonic Producer puts you in control of your music. It’s simple to use – even a novice can do it. Sonic Producer also comes with video tutorials to show you how to make your own beats. With Sonic Producer, there are no limits to what you can do. Make and publish your own rap music. Don’t sit around waiting to be discovered. Discover yourself and put together the music you want to hear!
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Some analysts attribute the decline in sales to the recession and music piracy. Digital distribution is also cutting into album sales, but digital music sales are also reported to be down. The album format isn’t as popular as it may have been at one time in part because digital distribution enables people to buy the songs they want without having to buy an entire album.
The popularity of music services like iTunes should convince at least some people that consumers are willing to buy music. The advantage that iTunes offers is that it enables people to buy music economically and choose only the songs they want to hear, without having to pay for songs they don’t. It’s popular because it delivers exactly what the consumer wants.
Still, industry analysts are left with the nagging impression that music sales should be higher. They base this conclusion on the fact that there are a lot of MP3 players, and sales of MP3 devices are relatively healthy. They reason that if people are buying the players, they should also be buying the music to go along with them, right?
MP3 players are for more than just digital music though. A lot of people have converted their existing music libraries to digital format. This provides the listener with what they want at no cost since they’ve already purchased the media. People choose to listen to other audio products like podcasts.
People also choose to produce their own music. Self-produced music is growing in popularity and people now have the tools they need to make the sounds they’re interested in hearing. Sonic Producer is a great example of a complete music production software suite. With Sonic Producer, even a novice music producer can create the sounds s/he wants to hear and export professional-sounding results to MP3. Don’t believe me? Download your copy of Sonic Producer today and find out just how easy it can be to self-produce your own music.
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At Fat Beats, it was not at all unusual to find professional and amateur DJs, and fans alike crowded around the store’s turntables to hear the latest that the musical genre had to offer. DJs and MCs were free to promote themselves among true hip hop aficionados. New sounds and new techniques were the order of the day at Fat Beats and many new artists found their inspiration there. The staff were hired based on their knowledge and love of hip hop,
Scratching has given way to electronic sampling and sound generation. Selling music has also been replaced by the digital download. And ultimately, that’s what’s brought Fat Beats to its current state. When it comes to music, digital is the way to go from production to distribution. Electronic music formats make not only professional production and distribution easier, it also enables self-publishing for individuals who – no matter how talented – escape the notice of the music publishing industry.
Fat Beats has closed its last retail store, but the company isn’t gone. It’s merely moving into the next phase of its existence. It has reinvented itself as a music label, and an online music retailer. Yes, it will still sell the vinyl that made its name, but it will also distribute music. Hip hop music fans can still count on Fat Beats to provide the best hip hop music collection available.
Digital distribution outlets like iTunes and Fat Beats give self-publishers a real opportunity to make the kind of music they want to make as well as an opportunity to be heard. Self-published music defeats the record label “‘gatekeeping” system that’s been established. The traditional system of music publishing meant that “hit” sounds and styles were copied precisely because the originals were successful, even though it meant that other original sounds – which might have had more public appeal – went unnoticed or unpublished.
Today, self-publication makes music anyone’s game. Anyone can come up with a club hit, a YouTube smash or just consistently good music that’s followed by a limited number of loyal fans.
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Drive-In Music Company, which owns the rights to Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man, says it didn’t notice the infringement until recently, but filed the suit almost immediately after the infringement came to their attention. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages, a permanent injunction to prevent future sales of the Leaders of the New School album “A Future Without A Past” on which the disputed song appears, and to have any remaining CDs removed from store shelves. The track in question is still available as a download.
Sampling is an integral part of rap music, but it tends to cut down on the artist’s profits because typically, samples are used with permission in an arrangement called a “split.” A split is a negotiated share of a song’s earnings that go to the sampled artist.
For new music producers, including samples can be particularly dangerous. In this case, the alleged infringement happened nearly 20 years ago and the current and future commercial value of both songs in question is small. Using royalty-free samples is one way to avoid this kind of problem, even into the future.
Music production software like Sonic Producer features thousands of royalty-free samples that can be used on any music track created with the software. There will be no future royalty payments on any work using a Sonic Producer sample. This makes Sonic Producer the ideal tool for both beginning and experienced rap music artists who want to self-produce their music.
Sonic Producer works on both the PC and Mac platforms and requires no additional equipment or software to work. You can add your own music, samples and lyrics and create professional-sounding tracks that you can export and share. Sonic Producer is a great way to break into the music business. Learn how to create your own music, mix your own sounds and get your music out to the world. Download your copy of Sonic Producer today!
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Breakthrough rap artist MC Jin originally made a name for himself on BET’s “106 & Park” by winning seven consecutive “Freestyle Friday” rap competitions. He even had some success with a US record deal, but the rapper tackled an even larger challenge when he moved to Hong Kong in 2008. Though he had a loyal following of fans in Hong Kong who loved his English lyrics, many of them didn’t understand them since they don’t speak the language.
No problem for MC Jin, who has re-invented himself by rapping in Cantonese, no easy feat for someone born in Miami. Cantonese is a less common Chinese dialect and relies on sound and inflection to transmit meaning. A single word can have 6-9 meanings, depending upon how the word is said. One of the elements of his raps that is still missing in his Cantonese work is the clever use of words that MC Jin is known for in his English-language raps. He says that simply mastering Cantonese is hard and he hasn’t quite gotten to “clever” yet. MC Jin still releases some materials in English and combines English and Cantonese in others.
Rap music is also making waves among Southeast Asian Muslims who are attracted to “classic” American rap styles. The messages aren’t inspired by Islam nor are they political, but focus on the same social ills that American rap music has become associated with.
The pervasiveness of rap music and its appeal to other cultures is a testament to the music form’s universality. Regardless of your culture or language, rap music is a way to get your message out, and rap music can be a conduit among people from a variety of backgrounds. If you’ve got a desire to get your message out, try producing your own rap beats with Sonic Producer. Sonic Producer delivers thousands of royalty-free samples that you can use to create your own mixtapes and music. Export your tracks to MP3 format and share them with friends, fans and the rest of the world. Download your copy today and start making your own rap beats!
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Jay-Z opened the show, leaving Eminem to headline the event in the rap music artist’s hometown. Eminem will return the favor when he opens a pair of sold-out New York City shows at Yankee Stadium for Jay-Z on September 13 and 14. Rap music heavy-hitters Jay-Z and Eminem have a long collaborative history dating back to 2001. Since that time, the pair have worked together on tracks for each others’ albums and also promoted the “DJ Hero” video game last year.
Eminem is touring to promote his Recovery album, released in June, but the singer hasn’t toured since 2005 and performed only one full-length concert in 2009, largely due to his battles with drug addiction. Eminem did make a few appearances in Europe in July of this year, but the Motown show will be the first time he’s performed with a live band in his rap music career. By contrast, Jay-Z tours regularly despite his other business interests. Careerwise, Jay-Z and Eminem have sold about the same number of records – 27 million each. Eminem holds a slight edge in Grammy awards – eleven to Jay-Z’s 10, but Jay-Z has more Grammy nominations – 36 to Eminem’s 26.
Last week, Eminem hosted a national rap battle sponsored by Red Bull at St. Andrew’s Hall, a metro Detroit area music venue, which was also featured in Eminem’s film, “8 Mile.” He did not perform at the event, but his message to his fans was clear: “I’m back.” Fans will get another chance to see Eminem (without Jay-Z) on September 24 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. No other tour dates for the Recovery album have been announced.
If Eminem’s seemingly endless re-invention inspires you to make your own music, don’t do it alone! Take Sonic Producer along for the ride. Sonic Producer is an unbeatable music production software package that will allow you to put together professional-sounding beats in no time. Sonic Producer comes with thousands of royalty-free samples and tutorial videos that show you how to create the music that people want to hear. Download your copy today!
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Chad Butler, known as Pimp C, spent three years in prison following a conviction for aggravated assault and probation violations. He was released in late 2005 and spent time compiling recordings for the UGK’s 2006 album release, Pimpalation. Pimpalation was certified gold and reached the number one spot on both the Billboard US R&B and Rap music charts. It also reached the number three spot on the US Billboard 200 chart. Pimp C was also featured in two other singles in 2006, Love Song by Missez and D-Girl by Brooke Valentine.
What Up isn’t the first time Bun B and Drake have worked together. Bun B’s current album, Trill O.G., features a Drake collaboration entitled “Put It Down.”
Rap music collaborations are hot today; rarely does an artist release an album that doesn’t feature at least one, and several of the top albums feature a majority of collaborative tracks. With the right recording and post-production tools, you can create your own collaborations with friends, colleagues or other artists you’ve never even met!
Sonic Producer is an excellent, full-featured software package that enables you to create your own mixes, collaborate with other artists and produce professional-sounding tracks for nothing more than the cost of the software and the time it takes to create your music.
Sonic Producer offers royalty-free samples that you’re free to use in any way. Once the track is finished, the sound is yours to keep. No splits or other payments that could reduce your cut or prevent your music from being heard, played or sold.
Sonic Producer is available for both the PC and Macintosh platforms, so you’ll be able to get started on your music production right away, without the need for special equipment or additional software. Once your music is finished, export your work to MP3 and keep it, share it, play it or sell it! Download your copy of Sonic Producer today and get started on your music career!
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Jean was born in Haiti but his family moved to the United States when the 40-year old singer was just nine. He has spent most of his time in the United States, though he travels to Haiti frequently and operates a charitable foundation designed to fund public works projects in the country.
Jean began his career as part of the hip-hop group The Fugees,in the late 1990′s and established a solo career in 2000. He has several recent collaborations with other artists including T.I., will.i.am, Niia, Akon, L’Il Wayne, Eva, L’il Kim, Cyndi Lauper and Timbaland.
Although his presidential bid was cut short, there’s no doubt that Jean would have been one of the most visible candidates in the Haitian election. Before the election commission’s ruling was handed down, Jean talked about his ability to reach out to young Haitians to inspire them to make a better future for themselves and Haiti. Analysts were divided on whether Jean could have made a difference if elected, since he doesn’t speak French or Creole, the two languages most often spoken in Haiti.
Jean would not be the first hip-hop music artist to use his musical roots to start a new career, though most “graduates” opt for careers in related industries like entertainment; music promotion for other up-and-coming artists; and celebrity endorsements. Jean’s political ambitions aren’t expected to put a damper on his career. He still plans to release a self-titled album, wyclefjean, sometime in 2010. That album’s first single is entitled Hold On, featuring Mavado.
If you’re interested in starting your own career in hip-hop music, your options have never been better. You can get into the scene quickly with a little help from Sonic Producer. Sonic Producer is a software application that will help you make your own beats, using the thousands of royalty-free samples that are included with the program. In addition, you’ll get valuable tutorials that show you how to create the beats that today’s hip-hop music lovers want to hear. Download your copy of Sonic Producer today!
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