Here’s another joint from Brooklyn’s own rapper and producer combo, Weekend Money called “Demons.” Ness spills out his tales from hell of living within the rap-realm, and his relationship with his daughter, while balancing his double-tempo flow over the murky, harrowing production of Baghdaddy. Not sure what this will be on if this is a start, I can’t wait until more stuff comes out from them. Stay tuned to find out when they’ll premiere more stuff.
I am a big Kid Cudi fan. I felt like this is statement is appropriate given the heat towards people who write reviews of music from artists they don’t naturally listen to, or aren’t involved in the culture, which eventually leaves big words stuffed into six paragraphs and the reader still wondering if they should embrace the artist or not. That won’t happen here. The goal in this is to make you love Kid Cudi.
Kid Cudi’s third album, Indicud, is his best work, without a doubt. I say that with all confidence. If you’ve followed Cudi through his musical offerings, you would realize that this album is the culmination of all of his best sounds, minus only the things we’ve hated. Yes, there is the influence of WZRD, but the elements of it are more developed, and more in tune with Cudder’s deep-voiced, singing style. If you’re expecting a rap album, you won’t find it here. If you’re expecting a rock album, you, won’t find it here. So what do you have? I never really know what to call these genre-melding and pushing sounds. We’ll just call it a natural morphing of the two sounds, like a 2013 “Walk This Way” with relevant viewpoints. Some of them have the best elements of each, while some of them are the worst, but still tolerable because it’s complimented by the other. I would even say it’s more NYC punk-rock than anything, given the melting pot of the music scene which Cudi has grown into while living there. That part is actually the enjoyable one. There’s nothing out there that sounds like this which is what fans, of music in general, wish for.
Fans know that the anti-authority, you-don’t-know-my-life, give me those drugs to deal lane has been solidly occupied by Cudder and he doesn’t disappoint. The rager anthems which we’ve come to appreciate are still in their purest form with tracks like “Unfuckwittable” and “King Wizard.” It’s necessary to point out that his features do outshine him, which is nothing new, especially on tracks like “Red Eye,” “Mr. Solo Dolo Pt II” and even surprisingly, “Afterwards (Bring Your Friends)” with Michael Bolton. You sometimes get worried for him with his talks about new drugs that’s he’s consuming, but then you’re like “shit, if he’s making this kind of music, rage on! But please don’t die.” This is a play through album, and includes the necessary tempo interruptions to guide the listener through different points of emotion which is what an album should have.
I’ve been reading a lot about this album from other reviewers and it baffles me when they talk about their want for Cudi to be boxed in, whether that be a rapper or a rocker. That’s not what I want. I want an artist to grow and mature, just like me, and like all true fans. We all aren’t going to get it right the first time, but there’s this thing called potential and will. If life imitates art then the attitude Kid Cudi possesses will certainly lead him to the promised land.
When Beyonce was first announced to be the halftime performer for this past Super Bowl, I have to admit, I wasn’t excited. I felt as if the game would now be overshadowed by women screaming how much they don’t need a man and unfathomable comparisons of my work accomplishments to Shawn Carter. Most importantly, I’d have to watch it around women who really don’t know jack shit about football.
On gameday, my Twitter timeline became flooded with tweets suggesting that there is a game to go with a concert. Even the females I was with proudly proclaimed that they were only there for halftime. So insulting! Now, I will admit, her halftime show was impressive, possibly second only to MJ’s, but I didn’t immediately go home and pop in 4 and sing along. The use of technology and the fact that she had the attitude to boot really raised the level of excitement in that performance.
(If you’re unsure what a Stan is, please refer to urbandictionary.com.)
This morning I woke up and someone entered the question I love to hate: who’s better Jay-Z or 2pac? My fingers couldn’t move fast enough. I defended Jay-Z like he was my own flesh and blood, leaving two paragraphs of songs and lyrics which, beyond a reasonable doubt (see what I did there?) proved that he is the best rapper alive (stan level on high). Then I felt like a monster, but it was in that moment I knew how it felt to be a Beyonce stan.
“It’s called the Beyhive, Sean!” That was the response I got from a friend of mine after asking her what her fans are called. I get it, women love Beyonce because it seems she has it all. She’s living the American dream, and they want it badly. Women want her curvy body, choreographed dancing, baby, style, music, emotions, and most importantly, Jay-Z. She’s every man’s dream, a compliment, but can stand on her own.
Jay-Z stans, like myself, are a little different. We know all his lyrics, believe he is the greatest rapper alive and we respect his business grind. That’s about it. That’s where it ends. In fact, I want to be better than Jay-Z even though he might be the soundtrack and the motivation to my eventual success.
Which one is worse? Definitely Beyonce stans. All that singing about not having a ring on your finger is just annoying and if it wasn’t for the post-blackout football play, I wouldn’t have heard the end of it. And man, even Michelle got a little bit of stan-age out of it.
What do you think?
Music is universally linked to almost every emotion in the world but none as much as that of love. Think about the scene in an infinite amount of movie scenes when the guy is looking at the girl he likes and they make eye contact. What comes after the slow motion walk towards each other? Music. Now imagine when a DJ meets a girl and in turn, she also learns a few tricks on the one’s and two’s. What we get is Brooklyn’s duo: Jordan aka All-En1 and his fiancé TJ aka GIRL VS MACHINE.
I had the privilege of hearing these two spin numerous times at their monthly gig in Bed-Stuy’s One Last Shag, watching them switch seamlessly between their two sets in which they cover everything from Top 40, Trap-Rap, Whitney Houston, and Kid Cudi. You can see the constant admiration between the pair when the songs transition, always supporting each other while maintaining the art of DJing, which is creating an environment that fosters love. It’s an environment where it truly is a projection of their love.
Where are you two from?
GIRL VS MACHINE: Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
All-En1: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Would you say your backgrounds influence your taste in music?
GVM: Absolutely. I tend to draw inspiration from a myriad of life experiences; perhaps most significant is my upbringing. I grew up around music. My father was a drummer and a lover of soul and funk music. Naturally–along with a few vinyl records–that love was passed on to me. My admiration for soul and funk music is apparent in almost all of my sets.
AE1: My background definitely influences my taste in music. When I was younger my mom played a lot of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Frank Sinatra and music of that nature around the house. I wasn’t able to listen to anything with explicit lyrics, but like any kid, that restriction made me want to listen to the music even more.
They say you always remember the day when you fell in love with music, what experience was it for each of you?
GVM: For me, it was the first time I heard the opening guitar riff of Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child’. From that minute on, I was gone–a hopeless romantic searching for an electric feeling. I had to get my hands on whatever was making that sound. I had to get close to a guitar, and recreate that energy. A lot of my life is centered on energy: trying to find it right, and hang on to it.
AE1: I knew music was something I wanted to do in 8th grade. Since I lived in Florida, I always took end of year school trips to the amusement parks and everyone would make tapes of songs, mostly off of the radio. I stayed up all night listening to the mix shows trying to get all the new songs for the trip. And during that trip everyone on the bus wanted hear the tape I made.
After you two met, what was that first conversation about music like?
GVM: I don’t exactly remember the first conversation about music but I do remember when I felt like I met my musical counterpart. He had accompanied me to countless indie rock band shows all over Brooklyn and one night asked me to come with him to a Slaughterhouse show in the city (I had never even heard of Slaughterhouse at that point). As I stood there among the crowd in my beat up oxfords and looked around everyone was laced in their finest–girls in little dresses and sky-high heels, and boys in huge bubble coats. I felt soo out of place until Jordan/All-En1 started telling me the story of Slaughterhouse and even tried to teach me a few of their jams.
I knew then I could totally be “me” with him and it would always be good. That’s dope, huh?
AE1: GVM is a big Theo[philus] London fan. He was one of the first live shows I saw when I moved to NY. I made fun of his live show and dancing. She loved it. We kept going back and forth about that.
How did you two go from dating into becoming the DJ couple that everyone loves to watch?
GVM: Growing up around music my whole life (even drumming in an all-girl band) I’ve always had a love for music as a universal connector, or healer. When I met a guy in the spring of 2010 who was a DJ I said to myself “that would be fun.” Yeah, it wasn’t. Spinning is an art form that I quickly grew to respect. Those turntables beat the crap out of me during those first few lessons. In fact, it’s where my DJ name “GIRL VS MACHINE” comes from. The machine was definitely winning at that point. But, I stuck with it. With each “hang out session/DJ lesson” I got to know All-En1 a little more. He was extremely patient, totally non-judgmental, and overall, super easy to be around. I kept at it [DJing,] and we kept at dating; the rest is history.
AE1: It all came very natural. I taught GVM to DJ and she eventually got very comfortable with it. I’ve been a DJ since ‘03 and even though she was new to it. In fact, she took the initiative and secured our first gig at Odyssea Bar. GVM came up with the name “Brooklyn Bar Project” and it landed us our first residency.
You’re approach to showcasing your love online seems very genuine and inspiring. What was the motivation behind that?
GVM: It’s been super natural for us since we first started dating two years ago. We’ve never had that “you never claim me in public” awkward ass conversation. Nor did we ever feel like we’d be doing our love a disservice by sharing it openly. Everyday isn’t perfect but, the universe couldn’t have picked a more perfect partner for me. Each day I’m allowed with him, to be in love, to grow, to explore…I’m thankful. I’m huge on meditation. One of the things I do in my practice is thanking the universe aloud. Probably a lot of my online interaction with All-En1 is thanking him, aloud.
AE1: There is no motivation, its just natural. We’ve been through a lot in a short time and, as cliché as it sounds, its true. When you have someone that has been one of your biggest supporters in anything you do, you should be able to express that without any fear of ridicule or embarrassment. If you can’t do that, what’s the point of it all?
What role do you two think music plays in love?
GVM: I think music is the backbone of love. Music is love’s support system. If you really think about it, every great love story is set to a soundtrack. Just think about your own love stories and lovers, I’m sure they’re all set to a tune. Music is not only a big part of my life, It’s a major part of my love. What I’m trying to say is, music kind of equals love.
AE1: Music gives love a soundtrack. It’s cheesy in movies when you think about the scenes where the guy gets the girl: the trumpets blare and the violins play. You also have songs that tie you to events– house parties, road trips, special occasions– all have a song that works for them and evokes memories when you hear them. For example, anytime we hear “Novacane” [by Frank Ocean] we think of our trips to Coachella.
All-En1, what was the one song that you heard GIRL VS MACHINE play, that you let you know she’s the one?
AE1: It wasn’t one song but more so the song selection GVM has. One minute she drops David Banner’s “On The Floor” and then Whitney Houston or Passion Pit. She plays things I wouldn’t plan or think of, and it shows her music tastes spans across so many genres and decades; it’s amazing.
What about you GIRL VS MACHINE?
GVM: “Vibrant Thing” by Q-Tip. It’s my favorite song of all time, and it doesn’t hurt that they kind of look alike.
Would you two say you have two different DJ styles or that they’re seamless?
GVM: Both. Our styles are extremely different. I’m more indie, funk, soul, with a little ratchet, down south hip-hop (circa 2003) and All-En1 is everything else. Together it works. We have a little something for everyone.
AE1: We have different styles, but they work for our crowd. It’s like having the best of both worlds. She knows the indie and eclectic music; I know the mainstream and Top 40. Put them together and it makes for a great time.
I have to ask, since you two are getting married, what’s the wedding song, and who’s DJ’ing?
AE1: Cee-Lo’s “Old Fashioned” is the song. In terms of the DJ, there’s a healthy competition for that going on. GVM’s brother is a DJ in North Carolina, but I have a bunch of DJs in my Violator All Star crew that expressed interest. I wouldn’t be surprised if we jump behind the decks at some point during the night.
GVM: We currently have a wait-list of DJs wanting to spin at our reception and beach party. Stay tuned.
**So what happens when you replace the two characters in the movie with All-En1 and GIRL VS MACHINE? You get a soundtrack of love that last forever.
Not a huge fan of Mr. Gibbs but if I was looking for the definition of gangsta sh*t, this is it. These visuals come from his “BFK” (Baby Faced Killa) tape.