For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

It seems as though many artists’ marketing tactics these days consists of giving away free music downloads in hopes of getting attention. If you’re an artist with this game plan, the problem is that free music alone isn’t going to get you the recognition that you probably hoped it would. Some people equate the free music promotion phenomenon to radio. But free music isn’t the equivalent of radio. With free music, someone downloads it once, adding it to a collection of thousands of songs on their media device. Radio, on the other hand, mostly force feeds its audience the same music all day. These are two distinct activities with different results. The first helps you get music into someone’s library, that’s it. Just because your music is in a media player doesn’t mean someones going to listen to it. On the other hand, radio gets your music heard. The problem of course is that radio, for the most part, is an option for a select group of artists backed by deep pockets.

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Charles Bradley continues to show that age is no barrier to entry into the new music industry. He continues to barrel through with a classic sound that demands your undivided rhythmic attention. This time he delivers the goods on his Black Friday released single “Aint’ It A Sin” with some help from his original band, The Bullets.

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Will Their Ever Be Justice?

tupac pix

The murder of Tupac Shakur and the lack of any comprehensive investigation to bring his killers to justice is one of the scars that Hip Hop and cultural influencers need to bring to a just resolution.

Tupac: Conspiracy And Aftermath is a double disc DVD that will bring you up close and personal to the players who were on the scene.  In this hard-hitting documentary, the trail can easily be followed in order to solve the mystery of who killed Tupac Shakur.  The questions and answers in this video documentary are quite compelling.  Clearly, the producers of this documentary feel their needs to be a credible investigation to bring his killers to justice.

Director Richard Bond brings the players who were directly involved in the Tupac mystery to the forefront.  Hear directly from Frank Alexander, the head of security for Tupac.  There are plenty of questions the viewer takes away from this film. Why was he not armed on the infamous night of Tupac’s murder in Las Vegas?  Was there a conspiracy in the violent execution of Tupac Shakur?  Who would benefit from his demise and who had the motive and opportunity to pull off one of the most notorious killings in Hip Hop history?

Hear directly from Michael Moore, the only other security assigned to Tupac on that infamous night.  Listen to him and make up your own mind.  Michael’s interview concerning what he heard and when he heard the confirmation of Tupac’s killing should be reason enough for a real investigation in order to put this injustice to rest.

Love him or hate him, Tupac has become an even more beloved figure after his unsolved murder.  There have been countless articles and theories concerning who committed the ultimate act – the brazen Las Vegas execution of a Hip Hop super star.  The fact Tupac was on top of the Hip Hop world at the time of his murder makes the story even more tragic.

Tupac: Conspiracy And Aftermath are well worth viewing.  Maybe one day the whole truth will surface and his killers will get justice.

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Sadly, Mantronix is far from a household name among so called “Hip Hop heads” today, however, they were one of the most innovative acts in the genre, and certainly pioneers worth knowing. DJ Mantronik and MC T pushed the boundaries by not just melding sounds, but by also creating a new direction for Hip Hop. This included House, Electronica, and New Wave, as you can hear from the 80′s clip below. In many ways, artists that went off the beaten path were actually Hip Hop purists because they took the lead from Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and other predecessors by pushing the envelope of the evolving genre.

Today’s artists seeking to make a long lasting impact would be greatly served by going back to Hip Hop’s golden era and studying the masters. The keys to the furtherance of the art form can be found in that time period. Taking the cue and picking up where they left off is the challenge. Even if an attempt doesn’t result in perfection, it will surely be more than what we’ve seen since transpire during the better part of the last two decades, which have been riddled with a near unlimited amount rap riddled with the same old tired themes: materialism, gangsterism, sexism, and stagnant lowest-common-denominator drivel. If you’re a new artist, take the challenge, pick up where Mantronix left off decades ago. You might be surprised how far into the future the results might place you.

-I. Vasquetelle

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Here’s a short documentary about mini-metal heads with a not so small sound.

Unlocking The Truth – Malcolm Brickhouse & Jarad Dawkins from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo.

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