Filed under: Discoveries | Tags: Canada, classified, halifax, hip-hop, Luke Boyd, nova scotia, rap
Though most would consider a majority of modern music to originate from the US and England, I thought that for my first post on Creatively Boundless I would observe the credo and look outside of these regions. Hailing from the East coast of Canada, the one man rap group “Classified” is slowly removing the social stigmas associated with the region.
DJ Classified, born Luke Boyd, is one of many up and coming rappers from Halifax, and is now a rising star in the Canadian industry. Classified is a rarity in America, and even if you’ve had the off chance of hearing him, it was not until his ninth album, Trial and Error (2003) that he began to gain notoriety, meaning that you’re unlikely to have heard his earlier work. A quick listen to “It’s Sickening” off the aforementioned album will have most hooked, and his most recent LP, Hitch Hikin’ Music (2006) is well worth a few iTunes™ downloads.
Classified mentions his only musical influence on iTunes™ as Redman from the mega group “The Wu-Tang Clan,” though even the average listener can observe traces of Eminem in his lyrical presentation, and a 90’s old-school influence in his viral beats (not to be missed.) The product is a well rounded artist, able to write bar anthems such as “The Maritimes,” as well as soulful rhymes, as with “All About U.” His most common themes include parodies of the Canadian stereotype, the destruction of the music industry, life in poverty, and his life-long love, sweet Mary Jane. The mix brings out a few laughs, and its originality is a welcome departure from mainstream rap.
I’m currently at odds with mainstream rap myself, but for even the most lukewarm hip-hop fans, Boyd’s highly original hooks are well worth a play. Be sure to give a listen to all the previously mentioned songs on YouTube™ as well as any others you come across. Recommended also are his tracks Heavy Artillery, 5th Element, Gossip, and Hard to Be Hip-Hop Feel free to post your opinions. Included is his unofficial anthem, “The Maritimes.”
Filed under: Discoveries | Tags: Andre 3000, B.o.B, Generation Lost, I'll Be in the Sky
Hello viewers, this is my first post on creatively boundless, so I thought I’d first explain what it is that I’ll almost always be writing about. My articles will generally be about new artists that I like, new songs or albums, or up and coming concert tours and events that look good. The types of music that I will cover will be mostly R&B/ Soul, some hip hop, and some alternative.
Today, I’d like to discuss an artist that I recently stumbled upon and liked instantly. He is billed as B.o.B., and I first found out about him on youtube. (By the way, I recommend that everybody out there try to use youtube to find music, because sometimes iTunes will not add an artist to their store because of copyright laws). B.o.B. is a relatively unknown artist right now, but I believe that he is someone to keep an eye on because he shows great potential, and already has some great tracks. B.o.B. is a young artist who spans his musical productions over a mix of different genres. Some of his songs are hip hop, and have great hooks, but still some deviate from the traditional view of hip hop, with B.o.B. on the piano or guitar.
For people looking for a comparison, B.o.B. is quite similar to Andre 3000, they both have a very unique sound, and a wide variety of styles. B.o.B. can sing well, and can rap even better. The song that I took note of at first was a song called “I’ll be in the Sky”, which starts with B.o.B. on the piano, and breaks into a fast paced, and illustrative song about his life growing up, and his struggles in the business. Even though B.o.B. is working hard, he still keeps an attitude to be admired. His lyrics make listeners think about what they are listening to, and engages them in the music.
Still, don’t let this low profile deceive you. B.o.B. lets his listeners know that he is always changing; always upping his game to the next level. In “I’ll be in the Sky”, B.o.B. says, “Remember when I leave,/ That the one in the mirror ain’t me,/ It’s just someone that I call B.o.B./ It’s Kinda me,/ But it’s not”. B.o.B. is telling us that he is always hungry to be on top, and that he is never the same as he was the day before.
Recently, his talents have been reaching out to many different facets of society. His acronym billing name can be written out as one of many different things. Some say that his name means, “Bring one Blunt”, or “Bring one Beer”. Others suggest that it means “Business over Bullshit.” These translations have taken on a negative undertone that B.o.B. wanted to keep in check, so while he does not deny these translations, he also offers, “Books over Bullets”, and his personal favorite, “Beats on Blast.”
Any way you look at B.o.B., you’ll see a versatile artist with the ability to change things up in the current rap community. With his meaningful lyrics that are still clean enough to play on the radio in most instances, he has changed up the game of popular music today. B.o.B. puts power behind his words and raises the bar for the other artists out there. B.o.B’s influence in hip hop is going to change popular hip hop for the better. B.o.B talks about his thoughts on the current popular radio rap in his song Generation Lost.
B.o.B. presents a new face that is much needed in the popular rap community today, and puts some significance back into the art of lyric writing. He does this, and can still maintain a sell out crowd promise. B.o.B. says of himself, “I got everything you need when you need it. I know how to make you sing”.
I’ll be in the Sky – B.o.B (Right Click and Click “Save Link As” to Download)
Alright, so this is the first post ( in a sense) for creatively boundless. Like most of what i’ll be doing, this post is geared towards rock and alternative music listeners, although i may write about hip hop from time to time, since I have a lot of interest in new rap music as well. My articles are most likely going to be either album reviews, concert reviews, some form of rant about rock n’ roll, or me gushing for days about a band I find to be BA. Today’s entry falls into the last category.
Los Angeles has been known to generate many a punk rock group. While New York and D.C. had their own respective hardcore punk scenes in the 1980’s, L.A. generated the greater amount of bands that defined the hardcore punk genre. Groups like Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, X, and the Germs put a new, more agressive, and at times, more creative, spin on the punk rock they grew up on. They made efforts to redefine both live and recorded music, but were always in your face about it, and playing passionately with amplifiers turned up to 11.
In some ways, Los Angeles band the Bronx are the same kind of band. They have all the ingredients of the perfect SoCal punk group. The singer sounds as if he starts each morning eating nails and shattered glass washed down with molten magma. He spends most of the time yelling in a gritty and completely unrestrained voice, reminiscent of Motorhead’s Lemmy Killmister or Circle Jerk’s Keith Morris. While his voice is obviously flawed, he screams with conviction, and this kind of passion and fury is what makes a legendary punk rock frontman. There are two guitarists in the Bronx, but many times you wouldn’t know this hearing them. Both guitars are usually playing the same riff, but this makes the sound all the more powerful. This works because their riffs are consistently original, ranging from hectic stacatto guitar attacks (see their song “Knifeman”) fist pumping hooks that recall Black Flag’s Greg Ginn ( see the intense ” They Will Kill Us All” and “Shitty Future”), and occassionally classic rock jams a la AC/DC’s angus young (the swaggery anthem “White Guilt”). Their rhythm section is just as boisterous and aggressive as you’d expect of a band such as the Bronx and then some. The bass usually just adds more low end to the thundering guitar riffs, although the bass often comes to the forefront, adding exciting fills while keeping the upbeat tempo, in true punk form. The drums are cymbal-heavy and louder than holy hell, which is definitely a necessity, and also adds original and fire to the already intense rhythms of the Bronx’s songs. He plays like Keith Moon if he were drumming behind Keith Morris.
The sum of these parts is what makes the Bronx stand out among dozens of new punk rock bands. While most groups ( and fans, for that matter) in modern hardcore punk are happy with punk by numbers that sounds exactly like the bands that came before it, the Bronx are refreshingly original. Leave it up to a band from Los Angeles’s D.I.Y. punk scene to rekindle the fire of the genre. The Bronx are abrasive yet catchy, gritty and still witty, profound and profane, the perfect mixture of street and smart.
Long story short, they can scream profanity with more conviction and songwriting ability than half of the bands out there today.
For starters, check out their homepage www.thebronxxx.com. Not only can you find most of their tunes there, but you can also check out their tour stories, which are hilarious as well as more BA than most road tales you’ll hear from any modern band.
Also, check out their videos, which are equally as creative as their music.
That one’s a link to the video for White Guilt, a song with a sort of classic rock anthemic feel. Also, it’s about a coke addled prostitute, but still comes across as a clever song that isn’t too grossly direct. Overall, an incredible song to say the least.
That links to a Bronx song called History’s Stranglers. It has sort of a Motorhead feel to it. The lyrics seem to be from the perspective of a murderer, bent on revenge. It’s perfectly sleazy and cocky, basically if Hannibal lecter wrote a BA rock number, this would, without a doubt, be that song.
False Alarm is a song from the Bronx’s debut. It’s a great hardcore punk style song with a stomping beat. It’s aggressively rock and roll but still catchy enough to get stuck on your head with it’s guitar riffage. The video is basically the band edited into a bunch of old horror films, which is somehow perfect for the music, and seems sort of like something the Misfits would do. Y’know, back when they were good.
P.S. the bronx have been known to perform as Mariachi El Bronx. IN that case, they dress up in matching outfits and play traditional style mexican mariachi numbers that they’ve written. Yeah. You heard right.
The Binks, signing out for now.