Quick question time!

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Question time

Very recently, I watched an episode of Everyday Struggle with 21 Savage, Savage was talking about his album and how he didn’t put out a lead single and the reason for that was that he didn’t want to release a song which suggested to the fans that they had to like it. He said that he wanted to release an album with music and let the listeners decide what songs they’d like on the project. I won’t even lie, I found this take so interesting because whenever I hear about an album, I’m always wondering what the lead single is going to be since I’m so used to it.

I’m sure there have been a lot of albums that have been released without lead singles but on the spot I can’t remember (and I’m too lazy to use Google to help me come up with an example). Since I always expect a lead single from an album, I don’t really give any thought to the significance of it. I will say this though, whenever I hear a lead single from an album, the quality of the song sets my expectations for the album.

I feel like 21 Savage was able to get away without releasing a lead single based off the buzz of songs like ‘No Heart’ and ‘X’ so people may have felt like they knew what to expect despite not knowing what to expect. If this wasn’t the case, it doesn’t stop it from being an idea that makes a lot of sense, although it is a bit of a gamble. In my opinion, one of the best ways to build hype for something is to keep people waiting, even if the project doesn’t come up (Detox).

At this point you know how it goes, I’m going to ask a question now. Do you think that albums need to have lead singles and why?

Link for the Everyday Struggle episode with 21 Savage.

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Rap is an art

Music is an art, I think rap is an art as well as other kinds of music but because I listen to rap more than I do others, I feel like I can personally relate more to what I’m saying if I describe rap. To be honest, I could never change my view on rapping being an art just because of how I’ve personally learned about how diverse it is as I’ve listened to it over the years.

A while back, I was thinking as people usually do and a couple of songs popped up in my head which made me realise how many styles of rap there are (again) and within those styles of rap, there are sub-genres which involve different things like the beats and the delivery. The lyrical content is sticking point for me when I understand the lyrics because the lyrics could be a critique of society, a group of catchy one liners that happen to rhyme, a story, some bragging, or something else that I haven’t mentioned.

As I said before, this could be said of other genres but I mostly listen to rap as my song of the week posts will tell you. Some people talk about rap having gone downhill in recent years and all that jazz because people mumble and the lines are hard to understand. I used to agree with it but the truth is that, with every era of rap, the genre diversifies and allows for more potential greatness within the genre. Every rapper plays their part and whilst not every rapper is good, they bring something to the table because they appeal to somebody.

Music is something that does a lot for those that listen to it, or at the very least it does a lot for me. Like I said before, rap is an art; hopefully one day I’ll be able to explain it better but for now I’m going to appreciate it.

 

Music feels again

Can you believe that sometimes I think of ways to start off my blog posts so that when people read them, they think “WOW! How did Jeffrey come up with this one?” unfortunately life doesn’t go that way so pretty much every time that I write a post, I ramble (some maybe/hopefully insightful things) for a little bit which makes up the word count but never really gets to the point. I’m doing the same thing now but if you’ve read through this then this post might just be doing its job.

This time around, I’m going to say it straight! I’m feeling myself for this song choice (I’m not feeling myself a bit too much, otherwise I might as well just top myself off… I’ve met people like that and they suck), if I can get you to understand why I’m feeling myself for this song choice then it might seem a bit reasonable but at the very least, you know. The song that’s responsible for all of this is ‘Deep Fried Frenz’ by MF DOOM and this song just makes me feel like a fucking genius; maybe not like a genius but it does make me feel smart in the sense of understanding lyrics.

MF DOOM talks about crappy friends in all of their shit stained glory on this song, which admittedly I don’t feel like I can relate to because every terrible person I’ve met has been ret-conned out of existence. I can always appreciate a DOOM song because one, they sound good and two, he’s what some might call a rapper’s rapper; if you listen to any of his songs it’s easy to understand this because he’s arguably one of the most lyrically gifted rappers out there. I still haven’t really explained why I feel smart listening to a MF DOOM song which I probably should have by now but anyway, the reason I feel this way is because his lyrics aren’t very easy to understand and honestly when it comes to understanding lyrics, most of the time I’m a fucking idiot. Going back, it doesn’t really make much sense that I said DOOM is very lyrically gifted if I’m not good at understanding lyrics but you know what? I’m feeling good writing this so I’m not allowed to make sense.

Personally I feel that if you take in loads of MF DOOM songs and fully understand what he’s saying then you’ve definitely got a higher understanding of lyrics and it probably makes more appealing to the purists out there.

Kind of music feels

I don’t know if I’d say that this song gives me feels but I had to post it. Whenever I talk about this song, my brother is the only person in the world that remembers it exists but everybody else looks at me like I’m on crack. The song I’m talking about is ‘Glory Days’ by Just Jack (see what I did there?), I don’t know why this song is so obscure, maybe it isn’t and I’m around the wrong people which is something that I’m willing to consider.

Sometimes this song comes into my head and I feel that it’s easy on the ears so enjoy.

Music thoughts

(Really didn’t know what to title which is why I have a title with no effort put in. If you have any suggestions, I’m open)

As I’ve grown my music tastes have developed (or just straight up changed), I sometimes go through cycles when listening to music but there always happens to be one specific thing that I’m interested in. For a long time that was hip-hop of any kind, in fact I think to an extent I’d be able to say that it still is (as my song of the week posts will tell you) but I’m more invested in stuff that is coming out of the UK which brings me (closer) to my observation.

The UK has a lot of gems, which could be said about a lot of countries but when it comes down to music that I’ve heard from here, I can very clearly hear punchlines, wordplay, occasional lyricism but what I fail to see often is a story. At this point in time when it comes to the urban scene in the UK, two types of music are really popular: grime (which is a genre of its own! Not every song that has rap in it is grime which people need to understand) and drill. I’m not a huge grime fan if I’m honest, whenever I’ve listened to that genre it’s been for flows before anything else and I’m not a huge drill fan either, but given how much drill the UK pumps out, it’s very hard for me not to hear it and the truth is that it all sounds the same.

I like to compare music from the UK to music from the US and when I listen to both of them, I always come to the conclusion that music from the US is much further ahead. There are many reasons for this but one of the biggest things for me are the stories, (this is my observation) music from the UK seems to have a serious lack of concepts, if you look through music from the UK you’ll quickly come to realise that a lot of music videos have people standing outside an apartment and rapping, sometimes they’re different and they involve people driving in a car but it will be some braggadocio shit.

Not to say that this stuff doesn’t come out of the US but even when they’re doing that, the videos seem to have more thought pumped into them. Getting back to my point, I’ve always found it weird that in the UK more people don’t try to add a story to their songs given the talent that is here. It probably isn’t something that matters much given the strides that music from the UK has made in recent years, the thing is that I can’t help but admit that I love a good story, I feel that it shows a level of versatility that pure lyricism can’t do because it’s the rapper using their words to create emotion and put a picture in your head (a picture that you have some freedom to interpret). There’s no doubt that stories add a lot to a genre as well, looking at someone like Eminem in his early days, I’m sure people thought that he was a silly horrorcore rapper but I can name plenty of songs where he had stories (As the World Turns has two stories and Guilty Conscience has three) which were well told; as silly as horrorcore is, there’s no way that I could say that these songs didn’t add depth to the genre (if those songs weren’t hip-hop).

Some rappers do have concepts to their songs but they’re far too underappreciated. I can’t talk about the effect that this has had on the UK on a wide scale but personally it is something that has bothered me for a while; the UK is still continuing on its path so I can confidently say that it’s too early to be worried about what the scene possesses and what it doesn’t but I think it would go a long way to closing the gap in quality between both countries.

A song from the UK with a story

Yet some more music feels

Have you ever listened to a tune so good that when it comes on and you hear the first three seconds you stop it and put it on repeat whilst whispering to yourself “fuck off”? (because doing it loudly on public transport isn’t a good idea). This is how I feel whenever I listen to ‘Killing Moon’ from the Street fighter 3: Third Strike OST. If I’m honest, the game itself has a great OST which is part of why in my opinion people should consider music from games if they’re ever looking for anything new to listen to.

I can tell you this, I’ve never been so gassed (hyped up) by a set of drums ever in my life. This might be my favourite video game song ever (until I hear something better). Whenever I hear this song I just want to close my eyes and say ‘oh my days!’ but most of time that I hear it, I’m travelling so that doesn’t let me do it but quietly appreciating the song is also good. To listen to a song and feel amped isn’t anything new, there are a few songs that do that for me but back to the super important question at the beginning of the post, does it make you repeat it and whisper “fuck off”?

Even more music feels

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these music feels blog posts and if I’m being honest, it’s because I’ve been a little scared. At the moment my playlist is full of just ignorant music, as in ignorant music topped up with some more ignorant music. It’s kind of weird that I’d be scared to post that kind of music given that a lot of my song of the week posts consisted of it.

I’m not sure what I’d do if I had this song on 24/7 but the plan is to be as successful as I want to be so that when I’m driving my car I can blast this at full volume. The song doesn’t make me feel any other way but then again I don’t think I’m meant to feel like an intellectual or anything listening to this.

Some more music feels

Just another quick post about the feels! This one is one that I wanted to write about for a while, I should have done this as a song of the week but life is weird like that. I guess what matters is that we get to destination, am I right?

The song I’m putting up this time is ‘Come Again’ by Section Boyz and it’s a simple reason. This song constantly gives me life, anytime that I listen to it. This became really obvious to me when I was on my way to a shift at 5 in the morning and I could barely keep my eyes open, and as soon as the instrumental hit, I was awake and bumping my head. It’s a shame that the song is only three minutes long because after it finished, I had about 40 more minutes to go until I got to work.

When I think about this group and the moves that they’ve made in the past two years, it gives me a good feeling for a number of reasons, one they’re putting South London on the map (even if I’m from a different part), they show that having a high work rate pays off and these guys aren’t too far apart from me in terms of age which makes me feel like now is the right time to try and make an impact on anything I do.

Music feels

Do you remember song of the week? That series of weekly posts I did talking about the songs that I was feeling every week until my laptop decided that it would quit working for me and fulfill its dream of destroying its hard drive and being useless (it’s doing a really good job if you were wondering). If you do then this is for you.

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I thought that I’d write about some songs and the feelings that I get from them because they made a lasting impression on me and it’s stuff that I feel won’t change even when I reach the age of 50 or further. You could say that this is the spiritual successor to song of the week but I’m definitely not doing this every week because fuck that.

I decided to put ‘Return of the Tres’ by Delinquent Habits and I’m not sure why because how it makes me feel isn’t great. I used to play this song all the time until I went to meet a girl (I should really say woman), I thought that we were going to bond over music since I talked to her a lot about it and she showed me a couple of decent tunes. I can’t say that things went well which sucks because this is one of the songs I showed her. I had a love for this song but these days I can’t play it too much because it reminds of her for some odd reason.

Is it only me that music does this to or have you had that kind of experience as well?