Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CE in Japan...

Collective Efforts was featured on the debut album of Robert de Boron, not the 12th century French poet, but the producer...out of Japan. We did a track called "Take Your Turn" and today I stumbled across the most bizarre video, which is apparently the official video from GoonTrax! Pretty hilarious, check it out. CE represent in Japan! Peace to Robert de Boron and crew.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Modus Operandi...

This Photek track sets the perfect tone for my evening...one of my favorite drum breaks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rhymes With Frisbee...

Diggin' this French band called Grisbi, fronted by the angelic voice of singer-songwriter Natasha Penot (on whom I have a huge "voice crush" at the moment) along with Antoine Chaperon.



I haven't heard much, but this Bjork cover they did is on repeat.



Check their online bio for more info.

They are also on Myspace at www.myspace.com/grisbimusic. They are worth checking out for sure, especially if you like Esthero-esque music.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Are You Afraid Of...

Super dope remix of a track by LA rock group, West Indian Girl, I believe it's on their Remix EP.



and wow!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chill Song For Halloween...

Winter Song by The Heliocentrics...




Cop it:

Great songwriting...

Van Hunt's self-titled LP released in 2004 is some of the best songwriting that I have heard in a very long time. Like if David Ryan Harris, Curtis Mayfield, Prince and Jimi Hendrix had a music-baby...that's what it sounds like. His second album, On The Jungle Floor, not really my cup of tea., but he is definitely a talented dude.



That track, What Can I Say (For Millicent), I liked a lot, so I learned the piano parts on guitar and Ruthie and I learned to sing the harmonies together. Then we sang it together in Nicaragua with Manu, JT and the fellas on the balcony overlooking the streets of San Juan del Sur during a late night acoustic jammie-jam. There were some questionable lyric interpretations, but it didn't matter. Maybe someone has figured them out by now...she walks with me on pillows enstoned...and stone? Not sure.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Perfect collision...

Here is a great example of two genres being blended tastefully together, and not just an obvious rapper cameo in an R&B song. I love this beat; simple, but smoking. J Cole is on point, also.

It's been a while...

Totally neglecting the blog/journal...have been spending some time concentrating on the physical realm, which seems to be making me a lot more healthy, as I've lost 20 pounds of fat and went down a pants size. Mostly working til 6, then coming home and working out immediately, then after dinner I spend my last few waking hours organizing and unpacking, or writing to some loose beats and finishing up odds and ends with the upcoming CE projects. We are supposed to have a Diamond EP, Dillon EP, and STS9 EP coming soon, but who knows. Still some work to do, but for the most part, it's all about the art at this point and prepping people for the release.

We just played another A3C...



Sometimes less is more.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Musical nightcap...

Ok, last post for the night...this is just so smooth.

Giant Panda...

The instrumental of this came on Pandora, and got my head bobbin' for real...I love their energy, really cool people, too, got a chance to chill and collab with them briefly at the CE Estate (RIP) when they were in town for one of the A3c's.

Parental advisory for people at work: the Japanese member, Chikaramanga, says sh*t a few times and drops the MF-bomb, but it sounds so interesting that it's not really vulgar...

Peace to the whole crew, Newman, Jamaan, Chikara, y'all boys hold it down.

Diggin...

I love the intro to this...I smell a remix.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quote of the day...

Clear the cobwebs...

Been sorting through bins of old cd and dvd data discs, lyrics, photos, posters, fliers...uncovering so many memories in the process. This song has been on repeat for the past hour, somehow it is helping me decide what to keep and what to purge.

Show me you can catch it...

Wow! I can't wait for this full length collabo project. Not too many cats can rap like this, or make beats like Illmind.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quote of the day...

"The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."

-- William James

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A new era begins...

The last few weeks I have been swept up in a whirlwind...cleaning, moving, partying, working, moving, working, moving, cleaning, partying...I turned 34 on the 21st of last month, and celebrated so hard that I apparently injured my rib at my party clowning around. I had to temporarily stop my Insanity workouts, which I have been doing since Aug 1st, which really blows because I had been feeling so good and have lost around 10 pounds of fat in the process. Then last weekend I went on our yearly BooMan Blue Ridge Cabin Retreat with all of the old school homies, and my rib pain kicked into overdrive (of course), yet I still managed to have a great time kickin' it. I was very daunted by the thought of moving the entire CE studio and office along with all of my other personal stuff, including an upright piano, to a new place within the limited time I had upon my return (Not to mention the thousands of records Mil had to haul off to storage). We pulled it off, though, and just yesterday I did the final sweep of the old house and relinquished my key. Trying to get some of the deposit back, although our landlord complained about a lot of petty shit that was broken when we moved in 5 years ago. Granted there are a couple of minor repairs, but they are supposed to put new carpet in and clean the place for the next tenant. Anyway, we shall see...now, it's all about cleaning up the new place to temporarily accommodate the studio, and finally organizing so much stuff I have had floating with me for the past couple of residences. Time to purge a lot of useless baggage...it really feels good to be in a new place, and Ruthie has been kicking ass. She helped me sort all of my clothes, and my closet for starters, and has really been stepping up to get the place clean and ready to move things into. I feel like I made the right move, and that things will only get better from here. There is a sense of order, and a drive that was lacking in that old place. I did love living there, and had some great years, made some great music, and lived with really cool people who I consider my brothers. It was just obvious we couldn't live in the same place anymore and be happy and productive. We all outgrew our situation and need the space to grow, in order to wash away all of the petty resentment that builds living under the same roof with people whose expectations are so different. Here's to new beginnings...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beats to think to...

Immediately searching for more from these producers/musicians:

Little People - "Moon"



Ratatat - "Swisha"

Esperanza Spalding...



Introducing yet another young, brilliant female multi-instrumentalist...born and raised in the King neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, Esperanza Spalding plays bass, violin, cello, etc. and is incredibly soulful and all-around beautiful. Learn more about her on Wiki or on her official website. Enjoy!



I love her hair! Reminds me of an old friend...what a beauty!

"I Get Down" review...



Someone from DJMag.com really liked this song, and I love the alliteration and throw-back references used in this brief but flattering write-up:

"Ooooh man, a Diamond D production! Yeah! Y'heard me! Fantastically spectral spooked stuff that chills the bones even in this hot summer, with brilliant shards of piano and strings and mellotron (set to William Castle settings) rolling under Collective Efforts' back'n'forth nonchalance. Propulsive and punchy and as utterly absorbing as anything he's done since the untouchable 'Stunts Blunts & Hip Hop'. You know you're gonna dig this."

Article taken from HERE.

Much love to TK...

Please send out love and positive vibrations to my little brother TK, who just found out that his dad just had three heart-attacks and is not doing well. I can't imagine what he must be going through right now (even though my own pops had bypass surgery and came pretty close to having a heart attack, I never actually thought that he wouldn't make it). They are telling Tommy that most people in his father's condition don't make it out of the hospital. Keep hope in your heart...



UPDATE: Just found out that he seems to be stabilized and getting ready to go home!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The truth...

"The truth is in things, and not in words."

- Herman Melville


Friday, July 30, 2010

Os Tincoãs



Beautiful music from Brazil, from the absolutely mind-blowing album "1973":

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Smart-ass Master...

Australian satirist, writer and graphic designer David Thorne got famous off an "email exchange" where he attempted to pay an overdue bill using a picture of a 7-legged spider. He is relentless yet somehow polite in his idiot-bashing; in other words he will keep going with inane gibberish and subtle insults, but ultimately wait for the other side to get heated and act like the moron he expects them to be. There is some questionable material on his site, and it seems that he really despises cats, but he has a way of humorously expressing what so many of us feel when faced with stupid questions, requests or situations - and he is genuinely funny and creative, not just a smart-ass.



Here is an example of his sense of humor...but you really have to go to his site and get sucked in for yourself. Take a look:

www.27bslash6.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Birthday George...

One of the first concerts I remember seeing was way back in the day, pops took an under-aged me to see George Clinton & P-Funk at the original Center Stage. They had these wooden bleacher seats that rattled every time the bass hit, and I just remember how powerful it felt on my little middle school frame...it was almost overbearing. I was mesmerized by the colors and the energy on the stage, from big George himself to the boisterous backup singers, the rock solid band to the the guy running around on stage in a diaper...quite a spectacle, indeed. Definitely stands out in my mind as one of the most memorable shows I've seen. I also remember pops bumping into a student who told him that one of his former students passed away (he was also in a band and had given him a cassette that we had listened to a few times)...anyway, keep living it up, George, slow down on the crack, and may you enjoy many more funky, colorful years on this Earth.





Thursday, July 1, 2010

Freezing World review...

Our new record is officially BloggerHouse approved!

"Hip-Hop as it stands today, is completely overloaded with wannabe thugs, internet beef and simplistic production. Remaining true to the earlier beginnings of the music, the Atlanta-based crew, Collective Efforts offers up anything but the expected with their recent offering “Freezing World”. Throughout the last half-decade, Collective Efforts has left an imprint on the underground by providing the listener with back to the basics production and lyricism. While Collective Efforts has yet to attain true commercial success, their consistent approach to making music is very admirable as opposed to the simplistic measures that are often the path to the garbage we that we are subjected to on the radio.

With their most recent outing, “Freezing World”, Collective Efforts’ attempts to uncover happiness amidst the everyday struggles that we often tackle as individuals. The album possesses a feeling of hope, filled with lyrical and sonic gems that find the trio of trio of MC J Mil, Bambu De Asiatic and Ben Hameen painting visual portraits of fading dreams, unfulfilled commitments and and critical oversight from the overseers of the music industry who slept on the trio. The production on the album, handled by the Collective Efforts trio is solid if not spectacular, yet it’s the lone beat contribution from the legendary Diamond D that is “Freezing World’s” crowning moment. Recognized for his musical contributions as a member of the world-renown “Diggin’ In The Crates” collective, Diamond’s production found on “I Get Down,” fits the overall feel of the album perfectly.

With hits of live instrumentation and melodic backdrops seamlessly intertwined with drunk-rattling drum spikes, “Freezing World” is a musical expedition, and a true class on “originality”. Each of the trio brings their own unique input and personalities to the developing storyline that is the culmination of all their past and present workings. “Freezing World” also features notable lyrical appearances from the likes of fellow ATL-iens, Senor Kaos (“The Dream”) and Dillon (“Freezing World”) making the album somewhat of a family affair.

With “Freezing World”, it may very well be “when hell freezes over” that the trio achieves the critical acclaim that they so do deserve, yet Collective Efforts has delivered an album that Hip-Hop needs. While the album’s title reads: “Freezing World”, Collective Efforts is sure to heat things up this summer with this stellar outing that even I slept on for months!!"

Thanks to Eric for the great write-up! Peace.

Check the review on Bloggerhouse.net

Zipitty Do Dah...

Ruthie and I just reserved spots to do the North Georgia Zip-line Canopy Tour this fall! This is a big deal for her as she hoping this excursion will be a step towards overcoming her acrophobia. We got a great deal at half-price, my only concern is whether the zip-line can hold my big ass!! Check the video, doesn't look that high up, but it looks pretty frickin' awesome.



"Enjoy a birds-eye view of the North Oconee River, ravines, ponds, pastures, and wildlife. Soar through the air attached to a steel cable—which will soon disappear from your consciousness. Two certified eco-trained guides lead up to eight participants on each Tour, which include ziplines, sky bridges, moderate hikes through a natural beautiful area, and a dual zip over the Hilltop Pond in front of our Tour Observation Deck."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Punjabe Prelude...

The drums in this are gangster...on some Bollywood banger shit!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sound advice...



"Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97... wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.
Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen."


...courtesy of Baz Luhrmann. Originally written by Mary Schmich, not Kurt Vonnegut.

Read more about the "Sunscreen Speech" on Wikipedia.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Let Me Chill...

I love this drumloop, and I really like what Detroit producer Apollo Brown did with this joint. I will be checking his new album "The Reset" for sure. Here is the remix featuring Diamond District who definitely tear it up.



Thanks to KNott for the put-on.

And the instrumental...



Check more Diamond District out HERE.

(A really dope blog-site, and I think Oddisee and them are reppin' it to the fullest. Dope artists. Support these cats.)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tommy Guerrero...

I like pretty much everything I hear from this pro-skater/guitarist/composer. Trying to fill up the collection right now...here's a few from the 'Tube. I really like all the acoustic jams on the album "Loose Grooves and Bastard Blues" - listened to that front to back. Don't sleep.







Check his site out HERE.

April March...

This California born song-writer sings in English and French, and is famous for her song "Chick Habit" from the album of the same name, released in 1995. The song was featured in Tarantino's Death Proof.



Here are some of my favorite cuts from the album:





Here's the album version of "Chick Habit" also known as "Laisse Tomber Les Filles" which was featured in the Tarantino flick:



As I'm posting, I'm listening to her second album, and now I'm about to grab all four. She's hot! Learn more about April March on Wiki.

Goodbye Lala...

So it's reaching the end of the month, and Lala.com has been bought out by Apple and will no longer be there for me to stream full-length albums on all day long at work! Sucks. So as I'm sitting here doing some late-spring cleaning, I just wanted to share some of the music I've discovered over the past month (scribbled on numerous little office sticky-notes). Most are pretty chill, but that's what I've been feeling at work lately. Anyway, thank you, Lala, and as much as I'll miss you, I'm sure another site will soon take your place.

Let's get right into the music...

First up, a song from French pop duo Holden, not to be confused with the British Techno producer of the same name, whose stuff I did not particularly care for. Their music is kind of sleepy, but the girl's voice is smooth and sexy, and overall it has a very soothing vibe to it...

This song is called Madrid...





They have a 2008 album, Pedrolira, but it's a little boring.

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's official...

I went and bought a new Martin acoustic/electric last weekend. Already feel the inspiration flooding back, I wrote three or four quick ideas that Richard Jones laid some percussion down for last night. So, hopefully we will be able to try a new acoustic set out at the Smith's show next month with Vonnegut. More info to come...if you don't hear from me for a while, I'm working on my calluses:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Make The Road...

...by Walking! This Menahan Street Band album is bananas! I might have posted about them before, they pop up a lot on my Dap Kings and Budos Band playlists...check the whole album out! Smooth instrumental funk at it's finest. Also reminds me of El Michel Affair...good music.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dengue Fever...

Been listening to Dengue Fever at work today, vibin' on a few tracks. They are a band from L.A. that plays a mix of Cambodian pop and psychadelic rock. Here is a slick cut from their 2008 album, Venus on Earth.



The track is called "Ethanopium" and you can learn more about the group by clicking the picture below:

Word of the day...

impecunious

\'im-pi-'kyü-nē-s\ adj : having very little or no money usually habitually : penniless

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quote of the day...

"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn."

-- David Russell (classical guitarist)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Blah Blah Blah...

Grip made a video of this with Will Power and team...can't find it on the interweb anywhere. It was just him, walking around 4th ward, through some apartments, bumpin' his head on trees and shit. Here is the song, complete with the gaffled Susana Baca sample. This was one of the first beats I made on the MPC2000, and Grip sounds nice on it.

LANGUAGE ADVISORY (not suitable for minors or those offended by gratuitous use of the F-bomb)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Soul of Black Peru...

That last post also reminded me of one of my favorite female vocalists...Susana Baca.

My favorite song of hers is called "De Los Amores" and if any of you heard Gripplyaz' first album Cumngitslum, produced by Poncho Grady and myself (which is a real collector's item, there is not a trace left of it online or info about it anywhere), you may recognize this one. (Keep talking "Blah Blah Blah"...)



I first heard her on this Soul of Black Peru compilation a while back. The song was called Maria Lando, about a girl who spends all day working for someone else's gain, and never has any time to appreciate her life. You can feel the emotion pouring out of her...such a gem.

Here is a lo-fi rip of it:



And I had to throw in this flawless live version I found of Maria Lando with some of Peru's finest backing her...brilliant:



http://www.susanabaca.com/

Al cantar a Manuel...



This is a beautiful piece by Spanish singer Mayte Martin, taken from the album, "Al cantar a Manuel," where she does flamenco interpretations of poetry by Manuel Alcantara (for non-Spanish speakers, "cantar" is "to sing" - get it? That's the guy's name!). Takes me back to when I did my own versions of Pablo Neruda poetry set to original music - by versions, I mean two. Such a beautiful language.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Bedtime...



Put em to sleep, Ike...

Good night!

Ethio Jazz...

Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics...not up? Now is the time...





You will definitely recognize this one...

CE International...

We have reached the last day in the Collective Efforts Remix Challenge...

LISTEN TO FIRST 13 ENTRIES HERE

HERE ARE SOME LAST MINUTE ENTRIES

...we've given producers until tomorrow morning to finish up. The really cool thing about this contest has been connecting with all of these great producers from literally all over the world...UK, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Romania, Mexico, here in the US, etc. It has been an honor and a pleasure to hear all of them deliver their own vision of our music, each one so unique and creative. We will be making the final decision this weekend (while we are celebrating my brother Tommy's dirty thirty, super blessings go out to him!!)...stay tuned to www.cecrew.com.

Peace April...hello May!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Black Dub Collective...

Thanks to Max for putting me on to this group of incredible musicians. They recently formed a group called Black Dub and are getting ready to release a full-length soon. With all the crap coming out I almost forgot what good music sounded like...make sure your learn more about these talented artists:

Brian Blade, Daniel Lanois, Trixie Whitley, and Daryl Johnson...



Find out more at the offical Black Dub website. Don't sleep.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

An Unlikely Hero...



If it's too small, here's a link:

See the video of our new hero

It takes a minute to load, but it's worth it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Record Store Day...

This Saturday is the day to get out and show appreciation to the local record stores that have kept independent music alive for all these years. Head on down to Criminal Records or Wax N Facts and grab a little something...for old times sake.



Click here for a list of participating stores in Georgia.

Included are Criminal Records, Wax N Facts, Wuxtry, Moods Music, Atlanta Bench and more...show your support!

The Ballad of Little Bobby...

Little baby Bobby, that is...

On the way to play our Asheville show last Saturday, Bambu's wife Karen gave birth to a cute little baby boy named Jacob Michael Cowan. Congratulations to them as they begin their journey as new parents! A pre-warning for young Jacob, if your dad ever tells you anything that doesn't really make sense, make sure you ask your mom or Google it before you go repeating it! Have fun, guys...





Sunday, April 11, 2010

CE Remix Contest...



Friday, we posted a Remix Contest on the Collective Efforts website and so far have had some really cool submissions. We gave producers a choice between remixing one of two cuts from Freezing World. Either "I Get Down" originally produced by the legendary Diamond D:



...or "Hour of Change," the ominous, yet somehow uplifting tune about struggling to make ends meet, and trying to find light in these dark days:



Everyone who submits at least one remix wins a gift from the crew, and the grand prize is to have their remix featured in the next CE video. So basically, the video we do next is somewhat contingent upon the outcome of this contest, which is pretty exciting! To learn more about the Remix Challenge, check out the rules on the website HERE.

To hear some of the entries, you can double-click and stream them one by one by visiting the DropBox we made. So far, we got West Coast rap versions, techno remixes, even an "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" remix that is slammin'. I love hearing what different people come up with...so many different styles, tastes, and influences. Anyway, check them all out at http://drop.io/CERemix. Let anyone you know who makes beats, it's time to Get Down!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Tunes...

Today I was in the mood for some laid back tracks when I woke up, so I chose these tunes as my soundtrack for the morning. Chillin at the crib, doing laundry, cleaning up, getting the house somewhat presentable...today I'm having the fam over for a last minute Easter grub-down. Anyway, have a beautiful day, Easter celebration or not!



I feel like writing a verse to this second one...I like that double time flip, on some ATL bossanova shit.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Would You Change...

I just finished typing the lyrics to "What Would You Change" feat Root & Grip (from the Medicine album). One of our fans from Istanbul, Turkey really loved the song but couldn't understand the words. I listened carefully and typed them up, and I still don't understand all of them, see if you can take a whack at it...HA!

Oh, and FYI, the group that Grip is struggling to remember at the end of the song is The Doobie Brothers - so basically he is saying that I sound like Michael McDonald. Classic! One of my favorite outros of all time!



Scroll down for the lyrics.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE feat Root & Grip

Available here:



Root:

if you talk about or try to work it out in your soul,
in this world around you may feel like it's out of control,
what would you change if you could?
would it all be explained, now the world's rearranging?
what if you wanted to...you could.

Bam:

yo...so much times gone by, I wonder why
I'm still stuck in the same spot,
yo, I tried many times to escape,
but it seems that the gates locked,
I still fight to get away, everyday,
same story with the same plot,
now I start to feel hopeless,
mad at myself, 'cause I can't stop,
I'm barely makin' it through, the struggle's taking me down,
the pressure building in my head is insane,
I say that everything's cool, but still I'm stuck on the ground,
praying to God for someone to bring change,
how'd I get to this point, what am I gonna do now,
I seen it before but still it's so strange,
man, I'm lost in the mix, about ready to quit,
I don't think I have the strength to maintain,

Grip:

Creep with me slow, see me swap lanes,
fire up the purp while I drop down the brain,
CE rockin' it so re-up your slang,
and we ain't stoppin' it until that girl sang,
I know I might sound strange,
but I can't help my lefts, that's how I do my thang,
and I ain't tryin' to explain,
"if you could change something, Grip,
man what would you change?"
If I could change this world, I'd change this thang,
I'd flame it up and recreate this thang,
I'd do my best to rearrange this game
when I introduce my country ass slang,
so move it over if you're lame,
if you ain't down with us then don't hop on this train,
I don't mean to sound vain,
but I'm just too slick for it and we goin' against the grain.

Root:

if you talk about or try to work it out in your soul,
in this world around you may feel like it's out of control,
what would you change if you could?
would it all be explained, now the world's rearranging?
what if you wanted to, you could.

Ben:

That's right...if you wanted to, you could change your life,
you ain't gotta sit there with all that pain inside,
let your mind free and your body will follow,
live now, 'cause you ain't promised tomorrow,
every loss gets harder to swallow,
with every puff, every tip of the cup or the bottle,
enough of the hustle there must be a better way,
find something you trust that'll never stray.

Mil:

Given a chance to change, I'ma stay the same,
lovin' the good times but I learn from the pain,
maintain while I'm pullin' the reigns,
lovin' the way the beat bangs when it's still in my brain,
keepin' a brother sane,
can't change your fate,
you gotta put it in place with all the moves that you make,
never negate the way the world works,
gotta set the pace and put your best foot first.

Ben:

You see the world around,
don't let it hold you down,
you're still alive, and you will survive,
I see you broken now,
but I hope you found,
that you still can try,
what you feel inside.

(repeat)

Blast from the past...

One of my favorite groups from the 90s, doin' their thing on some Dilla beats. RIP to a legend, and much respect to a dope and innovative group.





See yall in April...

Kosmic vibes...



This guy Kosma, or Thomas Kretschmann, makes cool lounge beats, but I can't find much info about him, just a discography listing. The song I was actually looking for was called "Atlantis" - I heard it one day at work on LastFM and scribbled it down...but this one has some really tight drums, a little loungy, but cool.

Slow down...



"To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times."

-- Thomas Merton

"If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset."

-- Krishnamurti

Love Your Enemies...

"If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should see sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility."

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Legend of Zebda...

...a French group from the 90's "known for its political activism and its wide variety of musical styles." The group is truly the product of collective efforts, as it was "formed in 1985 when Magyd Cherfi, a community organizer at the time, organized a small group of his musician friends to shoot a video for a community organization for which he was working. More members joined the group later—several of the members met one another through involvement in community projects geared towards supporting arts and music involvement among Toulouse youth." Although they broke up after recording a live album in the early 2000s, "the individual members continued to be active in local politics and other activities for social advocacy." Their music is cool, but I really love their album covers.

Read more about Zebda on Wikipedia.





Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ATL to Spain...

Just finished recording a couple of CE drops for SoulCall radio show in Spain. Jonay and Julio Perez host the show, and play some really dope hip-hop and soul music. We were honored when Jonay hit us up and asked for a drop. He told us they were playing Collective Efforts and their listeners were loving it! We sent him a couple drops and some CE tracks with SoulCall shouts at the beginning. We are sending out a package this week with stickers, the full catalog of music in mp3 form, and a copy of the new record. I can't express enough how much I would like to travel to Spain to rock a show, even if had to come out of pocket...at this point, it would still be a dream come true just to be there. Anyway, enough rambling, I was checking out their last podcasts - available HERE - and noticed that in addition to non-stop dope music, all of the other drops were from artists I respect (and some that I know personally). I definitely recommend checking them out, as their podcast put me on to some shit I was sleeping on from last year, Jet Audio, and the track "Stand Alone" from the album Stand Alone Complex. Check it out below, and support the artists.

<a href="http://jetaudio.bandcamp.com/track/stand-alone-feat-curt-n-mickey-factz-danny-outasight">Stand Alone (Feat. Curt@!n$, Mickey Factz, Danny! &amp; Outasight) by Jet.Audio</a>

I found the whole album HERE, haven't peeped it yet...plan to soon.

[Revision: I did get the chance to check the full album out, and although there are some good tracks on it, some of the MCs lyrics are little suspect to me (corny). That's just a personal taste issue, but on a purely sonic level it is overall a great project. There's a few skippers, but I'm feeling Che Grand's joint, "Bookmark the Style" and of course the title track.]

Once again, thanks to my homies Jonay and Julio Perez at SoulCall for supporting independent artists! Please support these brothers and click the logo below to check their podcasts. Peace and respect...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Warning clouds...

The following images are taken from this website and they are photos taken of the sky right before Katrina. Very intimidating and awe-inspiring, gives me chills just looking at them...here are my favorites.





Saturday, March 13, 2010

No Idea's Original...

In keeping with the theme of the weekend, here's Nas and Barry White showing how people can take same basic idea and create completely different artistic expressions with them, each equally exquisite in their own right - and the Nas track is obviously apropos.



Friday, March 12, 2010

Be yourself...

Today, you will do something that only you can do. Speak with your own voice. If you can't find it on the surface, look deep inside and you will discover something special that only you can offer. Remember that you are unique and even in replicating another's thoughts or idea, you are still doing it like no other person can - YOUR WAY!!



"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."

-- Oscar Wilde

How fitting.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Countdown...



Midi Fighter...

immuzikation

So Fredo has figured out how to sync up a Street Fighter joystick with his midi gear and is totally wrecking shop on that thing. He entered a contest where all he has to do is end up with the most youtube views, so please check it out! He has until the end of February so pass it around to your friends and help Fredo get some views on this thing. You will not be disappointed!



Here is the link to email your friends:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E447XeggqX8

Here is the info for contest at DJ TechTools.com:

"For the month of February, we are running a special video contest in which the winner will get a brand new Midi-Fighter DIY kit. To enter, just download the songs below and record your own personalized performance using the same songs, ANY controller and your personal style of DJing. Add your video as a response to the tutorial above and whoever has the most YouTube views at the end of February will win a free Midi-Fighter!"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Esthero's voice...

...is like butter and silk. I'm not really sure what that is, but I can't think of any other way to describe it right now. It's soft and smooth, but thick and sultry. She's one of my favorites. Go Canada!









More info:

www.nearlycivilized.com
Esthero on Wiki

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The new record is here!

Yesterday, our new album Freezing World dropped on 1320 Records and iTunes. Check the e-blast HERE, and visit the site below:

CE Behind the Scenes...

Dope video Matt made for the Freezing World promo, check it out.



Here is the original post on CE's website:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Radio Do Canibal...

All-star cast on the new album from BK-One, who is Brother Ali's DJ, also from Rhymesayers camp. Apparently the beats on this album were inspired by Brazilian music, hence the name. Here's a taste:





Thanks to Musical Schizophrenia for the put-on.

One of the greats is back!

Gil Scott-Heron has been a huge influence on soul and rap music, and is a wonderful poet and revolutionary musician who I am glad to see is still putting out new music. One of my most memorable shows was Live On Arrival at The Cotton Club (the old one off Peachtree & 10th) opening for Gil Scott-Heron. It was amazing to see how he was able to captivate the crowd, even just him on piano, talking, wise-cracking...quite a character, I'm happy to see him doing his thing. You can play the whole album from the embedded player below which accompanies the release push. What a great idea, all you have to do is click on the song you want to hear, and click it again to stop it, or just play the whole record which I'm sure is worth at the very least one full listen.

The album is appropriately entitled "I'm New Here" and you can go support him on his website. While you are there, you can listen to (and read) a short recorded message from Gil about how to maximize your enjoyment of this and any new record that you decide to check out.

So far I have only heard the first 3 songs, but I really love how he's all over the place stylistically. Check it out below.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Nightmares on Wax...

Dope producer from the UK, aka DJ EASE (Experimental Sample Expert), one of the first artists released on Warp Records.






NightmaresOnWax.com/blog
Nightmares on Wax on Lala.com

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Norwegian Jazztronica...



These guys have been around since 1994 putting out dope albums:

www.jagajazzist.com
Jaga on Wiki

I found them by perusing the Ninja Tune artist line-up on Lala.com (which has proven to be great resource for my musical research). I started listening to the 1995 album "Animal Chin" and really was vibing on it. Some of the electronica-esque farting drum noises get a little out there, but they are very unique and creative, and the live instruments bring it back home for me. Only skipped one track (turns out it was another producer's remix of the "Lithuania" track featured below) and I will definitely be checking more of their discography. Here's a taste of the eclectic and diverse sounds they come up with, from what I could find on the 'Tube. If you like it, check out more on the Lala links above.



Words of wisdom...

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."

"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."


-- Mark Twain

He really has a way of putting things in perspective. I love his brutal honesty and cynical sense of humor. Click below for more quotes...



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Flyin' through February...

Damn, where does the time go?



Right now, most of it to the job, which I definitely am blessed to have...so in what little "me/CE/free-time" I am left with, in addition to dropping another dope song for the upcoming Diamond D EP, Mil and I managed to get our Freezing World single and accompanying art and blast out right on schedule...unfortunately no new video to back it up, but at least Mil made the graphics look purty again.

Click the album art to check out the latest CE Newsletter. If you missed it, you can sign up at the top of our website to get it each month (sometimes twice). www.cecrew.com



If you want to be a sport and support, you can purchase the single for $0.99 on 1320 Records.com.



Stay tuned, as we are about to leak another track from the album, and put out some behind-the-scenes videos as soon as the editing process is complete. The album drops in two weeks, and the release party is coming up quick! Anyone checking in may not hear from me that much this month, but rest assured that will be a good thing.

Peace and love.
Hameen

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dope Sade Remix...

Found this listening to Athen's WUOG Halftime Hip Hop Show. Check out the entire radio show, where they also feature a new Collective Efforts track, here. I love this new Sade single, and when this remix came on and I heard Ghostface ripping it, it validated those feelings. How can it be so gangster and so soothing at the same time? Thanks to DJ Critical Hype for the blend. Nice work!

Friday, January 29, 2010

CE on 11 Alive



Got up earlier than I ever imagined I would have to for a show this morning. Woke up at 1:45, snoozed for 15 then rode out with the crew. We loaded in, grabbed some coffee, and sound checked, EARLY!

Senor Kaos came through with CHICAGOrilla and represented on "The Dream"...the lil homie Dilly Mau came through for "Freezing World" (unfortunately we didn't time that one right and you didn't get to see him rapping. We even did "All The Time" at the end, but he had already left...damn.)...and the always hilarious DJ Synthesis of Psyche O rolled through and blessed on the 1's and 2's.

The staff and on-air personalities there were really laid back, and made us feel right at home. You can't tell from watching below, but we played in and out of commercial breaks for the full hour (6-7), and then played two full songs (actually three, but the last one, "All The Time", was a web-only). Aside from some questionable singing by yours truly (I give myself a pass, given that my vocal chords were still not fully awake), I thought it went really well. Thank you 11-Alive and whoever hooked that opportunity for us. Excellent exposure for the crew, and great promo for Freezing World, being that most of our "bump breaks" were offset with visions of freezing rain, sleet, ice and basically bad weather all around...anyway, enjoy. Thanks to everyone who set their DVRs or actually got up that early to tune in!

An edited version of the entire broadcast is coming soon, complete with all the bumps and news segway, so you can see Senor Kaos and and Dillon reppin' with us!

Peace,
Hameen

Find out what motivates, captivates and rejuvenates me on my never-ending quest for knowledge and art.
Peace, fam, thanks for checkin' in...