Wednesday, October 12, 2011

LOA - Presentation (1999)



Click the album cover and it will take you back in time to 1999, and the second Live On Arrival album, now available for your listening or downloading pleasure.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rainy Evening...

On second thought, this eerie TM Juke remix of Bonobo's "Just For A Day" fits the weather a little bit better. Enjoy.

Independence Jam...

Courtesy of TM Juke & The Jack Baker Trio:



Support the artists here:

www.tru-thoughts.co.uk

Begin Again...



From the album Make New Friends by Flevans.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Zen quotes...




"Beware of the anger
Of the mind.
Master your thoughts.
Let them serve truth."


- The Dhammapada

"The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be."

- Bruce Lee

Thursday, June 30, 2011

WTF Podcast...

Marc Maron's podcast has been getting me through my workdays for the past couple weeks. He interviews some of my favorites comedians (usually from his garage), asks great questions, and always gets some interesting, honest conversation out of them. Check it out, there's even an app for that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

True soul...

I haven't shared anything recently, partly because I've been a little caught up in the grind, but also because nothing has really grabbed me in a while...enter Charles Bradley. I slept on this for a minute.





After listening to those, you might feel compelled to read his story, and perhaps even support his artistic endeavors. Peace.

Thanks to Mil for the put on.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tonight's Theme Song...

Courtesy of Blu, a true poetic genius...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mammas Gata...

As a self-proclaimed international hip-hop connoisseur, I always appreciate some heat from overseas. Thanks to the good people over at B&E Worldwide for the heads up on the newest solo effort from Swedish rapper/graffiti artist Promoe, of the group Looptroop Rockers. The video is dope, on some Lord of the Rings meets Narnia shit (I think they were actually LARPing at the end of it). I love the sound of this, it just feels authentic, and I'm a sucker for some reggae-influenced shit. The first rapper resembling some kind of Satyr (who I believe is Swedish rapper Timbuktu) gave my favorite performance, but even Gandalf himself (Promoe) and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (Supreme, also of Looptroop Rockers) represented to the fullest (from what I can tell without knowing what the hell they are saying).

The name of the song is "Mammas Gata" which translates into "Mom's Street??" There's gotta be something else to it, maybe it's a neighborhood they rep? Anyway, enough nerding out, here's the track. Peace.



Here's the group's official site:

www.looptrooprockers.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Our tax dollars at work...




It seems, my friends, that we are doomed. Sorry, Martin, I'm afraid we will never learn.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

American Rapstar...

The one and only Big K.R.I.T. is on top of the music world right now, and this song is absolutely beautiful!



If you're interested, check www.cecrew.com to hear "Where It Began" featuring Big K.R.I.T from our "Time For Hope EP". (It's the third song on the player. Krit wrote and performed the hook and the last verse. The man is a song-writing machine, for real. One of the greats. Go get all his shit.)

Real Hip Hop is Back...

...in the form of Big Rec (actually it's the name of his latest project). I'm not sure that "real hip hop" as he sees it ever really went anywhere, it's just harder to locate, especially if you rely upon mainstream radio or television for that kind of music. That would be disheartening to say the least. It's out there, though...just not getting any money or attention. Big Rec is reppin' my hometown Atlanta via Oklahoma via New Orleans, and in my personal opinion he is quite the lyrical monster.



Last year Collective Efforts shared the bill with his supergroup The 5ive (five dope MCs that met in the ATL battle rap circuit and decided to combine forces) and Diamond D (who also provided the group with some production and a cameo verse). Although all five MCs wrecked shop, Big Rec definitely lived up to his name with his high energy, relentless multis and captivating stage presence. The first words that popped into mind when I saw him rapping were BATTLE and BEAST, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that his off-stage personality is quite the opposite. Without a hint of arrogance he maneuvered through the crowd, politely and humbly introducing himself to fans and other artists. Stylistically, he has a tendency to drop multi-syllabic battle rhymes that may offend the sensibilities of some listeners (those who would prefer not to be aurally bombarded with quote after quote of ceaseless self-aggrandizing). [Note the conversation he had with what appears to be RecZilla's biggest fan judging from the number of times he commented on his video.] But in the world of "real" hip hop, of which Big Rec is a proud representative, that is exactly the mission. You must convince the audience that you are the best, and let all scrub MCs know that they need to step up their unimpressive simpleton lines and never again get in the way of the complete lyrical dominance being witnessed...or to quote a young Aceyalone, "Every rapper in the house shut the f*ck up!"

I admit the battle rap scene does bore me, as it just gets more and more predictable (granted once I hit thirty the whole thing just seemed adolescent and contrived). But Big Rec does not bore me, and it's not just his constant barrage of meticulously crafted phrases that keeps me listening, it's his genuine passion for the art form that shines through and really makes him stand out from the mediocrity - that and the strong voice, which always helps. I am looking forward to hearing some big things from Big Rec, and maybe even collaborating with him on a track (those wheels are already in motion).

Sidenote: I don't want to call him out, because this can also be perceived as a weakness in the minds of fickle rap purists, but Rec can sing, too. The 5ive tracked their verses for one of the Diamond D joints over at the CE Estate, and he had a singing part on it. I wasn't recording it, but I heard it from the other room, and afterwards I had to find out who it was. Solid.

For more info on the artist and his projects, check the sites below.

www.BigRecOnline.com
www.RealHipHopisBack.com
www.TheFiveHipHop.com

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Say what you feel...

"I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts."
- Mark Twain

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fishbone & Fishburne...

This new documentary about Fishbone looks very dope.

It's called Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, directed by Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler, and it's narrated by the one and only Larry Fishburne.

For more info, peep the site:

www.fishbonedocumentary.com

"Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone" - documentary trailer from Tilapia Film on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Freezing World Review...

As soon as I read this at work today, I began to have an awesome day. After getting painfully bad reviews of Trail Mix and Medicine at RapReviews.com (e.g. the guy who reviewed Medicine said not to operate heavy machinery while listening - HA!), we finally got some redemption in the form of Pete T. My self-esteem jumped up a couple notches, mainly because of lines like these:

"...their meticulously penned verses should offer at least something for everyone, and Ben Hameen in particular impresses throughout the tracklist. His blissfully smoked-out tone might be likened to Myka 9, but when he sings the hooks and backing vocals, it's more akin to an ungangstafied Nate Dogg. His multiple talents and endlessly soulful hooks buoy even the less effusive numbers. Their dedication to rap as an art and wholesome, tireless optimism will rub some the wrong way, but vocally "Freezing World" is often fantastic. "This Far" is gorgeously balanced between smooth guitar, percussion, somber synths, and a show-stopping performance from Ben Hameen for perhaps the LP's best track. The stark closer "See What You Find" is breathtaking, with a gloomy guitar line perfectly suited for his calls for introspection."

I must say, it really is a well-written and honest (and flattering) review. Thanks, Pete!

Read Pete's entire review here (or click the pic):

Work gettin' done...

Man, I just looked up and realized March was almost over, and I have not really been posting any updates. Rest assured I am not hibernating, your boy's been busy this month:

- Diamond D EP almost done (photos, artwork, design...BOOM!)

- shooting a video for a song I did with W.I.C. (which is turning out very cool, more to come on that soon)

- working on an acoustic guitar score to a dope short film my homie Sam Dyches wrote and directed

- mixing some tracks up for young Eli Sweet from his last visit from China

- just dropped a hook and verse idea for another Goon Trax release over a beat by Japanese producer Re:Plus.

- speaking of Japan, filling out my application for Red Bull Music Academy

I wonder if they still will be holding it in Japan this year...

UPDATE 3/31/11: Just found out that it will not be in Japan this year. Damn. The new location will be announced April 11th, they apparently extended the deadline to April 26th, which is great for the slack-ass procrastinators like myself.

Not that I think I could necessarily get in, but I really want to go through the process as sort of a self-evaluation, as it requires you to make a thirty minute compilation of the best of what you have to offer, and answer a shitload of introspective questions about who you are and where you see yourself in the musical universe. So, coming soon, thirty minute Best of Ben Hameen compilation (as I will definitely be throwing a version up for download, considering it has been taking up so much of my time).

Anyway, if you are having Hameen withdrawal and need more immediate contact, you can find me on Twitter @hameen for an occasional quote, pic, comment or response.

Or actually, you can just follow me in Google World, go to my Buzz. I always share anything interesting I find while perusing the infinite blogosphere, and it automatically lists any posts I do here, and any of my amazing tweets. So it's a win/win.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Inspiration...

Dope new video from Bambu's new solo project. Inspiration produced by Rah Groove featuring Art Soul on vocals with DJ Mafioso on the cuts. Video filmed, directed and edited by Chad Hess. CE REPRESENT!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Quadrivi-what?



Just copped the new album from British producer/DJ Eric Lau.

It's called "Quadrivium." <-- Click the name to find out what the hell that is. Haven't checked it out in its entirety yet, but from what I've heard so far, very nice.






Sunday, February 27, 2011

Man Vs. Maschine...

Mil and I went over to Guitar Center on Saturday to take advantage of the $100 off deal they had poppin' this weekend. He said he needed a new beat machine (something more portable than his current MPC2500) to take back and forth from New York while he is working on this project for work. He had his mind set on the Maschine by Native Instruments, which is a relatively inexpensive piece that is designed for more computer-based production with an MPC "inspired" interface:



Looks like a nice piece of gear, and if he needs it to get inspired on the beats, then it was a worthy purchase for the crew. Hopefully he will have the time to get some use out of it, being that he has been so swamped at the job. Maybe he will one day be able to work it like David "Fingers" Haynes, but that is setting the bar pretty high! I will be more than happy hearing some new dope Mil beats.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ATL to NY...

Shouts to the homie Gripplyaz rocking a show in NYC! I'm sure they don't know what hit 'em.



WARNING: The following tracks are loud!





For more on the world of Grip, check him out on Twitter.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Until My Life's Gone

Found a link to a store that is selling a digitized version of the Until My Life's Gone 12" that CE / Arc The Finger put out in 2006. First, when are they sending us a check, and second, why in the world would they use this old picture of the crew in Philly that they found on LastFM?:



Here's the artwork that Mil designed. I found it online, courtesy of Discogs.com.





You can hear samples HERE. Sounds like a terrible rip, if anyone wants this, I have much better versions of these songs in the archives that I will be happy to post for free. For now, if you want to hear I Feel Free feat H20 (aka Kid Captain Koolout), it's the second song on the player on CE's Official Site. HOLLER!

More wise words...

There is an image here with words on it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wise words...

"In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Atlanta gets shut down...

The view from my driveway this morning...

Click to see large pic

It's getting ready to sleet all day, after a night of majestic snow. Atlanta is shut down already...this might get ugly, we are not prepared for this.

Instead of driving around, I recommend that all of us Atliens (and anyone else caught in this winter storm) do the following: sit back, make a little drink of your favorite whisky/scotch on the rocks, twist your favorite flavor, and listen to the most apropos album I can think of, courtesy of one of my favorite music blogs (until someone politely asks them to take it down and leave a purchase link in it's place):

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Diamond D + CE album?

According to our buddy Chad Radford over at the Creative Loafing, Diamond D is producing Collective Efforts' entire new album. What is strange is that it's in the middle of an article about clubs that closed in Atlanta, and kind of comes out of nowhere. Much love to Chad for the shout, we'll take it where we can get it.

But just for the record, so far the plan is just to release an EP with Diamond...but with 6 epic tracks, and the legendary producer himself on the beats, it feels like an album. Mil and I have been working for a while on our last couple verses (we wanted to feel like what we were offering this particular project was some of our best work to date). I am very proud of we have so far, and I'd say we are a good 3/4 of the way done, so I will keep you posted with any updates - and who knows, I might even give you some previews as they get mastered...



I think it's hilarious that the picture on the wikipedia page for Diamond D is the same picture as above with Mil cut out.
Find out what motivates, captivates and rejuvenates me on my never-ending quest for knowledge and art.
Peace, fam, thanks for checkin' in...