2012

Shiiit, another year down.

I’m posted up on Kapiti Island right now eating my way through the tail end of a Hennesy, Ciroc, Patron, Frangelico and Jim Beam hangover. But that’s what New Years is about right? Still made it up in time for a 9am Paua gathering hunt with the homies so it’s not all bad.

I’m not Skillz so my 2011 wrap up isn’t gonna rhyme, but the concept remains.

I spent 2011 working like a corporate slave so I could eat like a maori king come bonus time. Except that phrase would be better suited to someone who doesn’t have a $38,000 debt to an insurance company that needs to be settled before he can look at joining the first home buyer gang.

I like to think of myself as having a pretty solid work ethic, which as an unsigned artist pretty much accounts for half my visibility. The downside to that is that it’s not specific to the music game, so when I’m putting in work at my 9-5…I’m really putting in work and it often turns into an 8-6, with a 15 minute break for a feed if I’m feeling lazy. The effect of that on my music is obviously having less time in front of the speakers with a pen and (i)Pad.
That being said, I have nearly finished this EP/album I’ve been chipping away at in silence. My promo game was the first thing to get pushed down the list when I started working full time (OK, so it probably got pushed off the list, but the actual making of music still dominates my day when I’m not at work, or at home doing work. The slowing down of my promo grind just means you won’t have heard much about it, but I’m still doing it.
I’m pretty much waiting on a coupe verses from the bros, then it’s mixing time, then I’ll have it out there for you to listen to if you so choose.
In the meantime there’s a video on the way for Outta My Hands and another joint, and maybe even another blog post before then…
Welcome to twenty twelve!

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Just finished reading this

 

If you’ve read the rest of the series (or watched Game of Thrones on TV) then you already know what it is, this dudes books are crazy – when it comes to genre of choice I’m pretty much a fantasy novel nerd so it’s a no brainer that I’ve read all of 5 these and part of me will be hanging the fuck out for the next 8 years it’ll probably take him to finish the next one. For humours sake, check out his blog – he looks like an old, post-village people version of Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

Now that I’ve smashed that 1022 page bastard I can finally pick this back up (cue: token rap related topic) – if you haven’t read this and you like raps, then you should, I pretty much skip the pages breaking down Jay Hova’s verses, cause there’s not much enjoyment to be had reading rap lyrics you already know word for word, but his descriptions of what it was like coming up for him (which is where I’m up to at the moment) and narratives on hip hop in general are prettttty good. If there’s not enough gangster in his accounts, try this one

 

“Chop the loop or shoot the gap”

Had an interesting convo with homie a while back about looped up beats. You know the ones, the beat is in essence just a loop (predominantly soul thanks to yeezy’s pwnage of said genre).
The bro has been messing round and making beats for a bit and was of the opinion that there’s no real skill or creativity needed when you’re just slapping on some drums, bass, and maybe some strings in the hook. Another bro suggested digging for those samples was part of the art and a skill in itself.
Alphabethead said this about it in his blog:

When making sample-based music I feel I’ve succeeded when, rather than the old ‘Oh, he just slightly tweaked Kraftwerk’ type of response I elicit more of a ‘What the hell was that? Was it Frank Sinatra or Frank Zappa?’ The further removed my piece is from the original the better. This kinda sums up my thoughts on sampling. I have absolutely no qualms about using another artist’s work just as long as:

(a) The ‘sample’ of another piece of work is a ‘component’ or ‘element’ in the new work rather than the ‘crux’.

(b) The work can be viewed as a new composition in its own right and doesn’t decrease the artistic merit or impinge on the viability of the existing piece.

Of course what defines a ‘new composition’ or constitutes an ‘element’ is certainly a contentious issue. I’ve found that proving a piece of sample-based music is (at least) equal to the sum of its parts can be an uphill battle…

I think as a beatmaker you can get caught up in making sure you’re doing the above, but from an MCs perspective, regardless of how many times you’ve heard a sample, or even an instrumental, it’s never gonna be the same as those previous joints after you’ve put your words on the canvas. Personally, if I find a loop that I haven’t heard used before, and I wanna rap on it, I’ll make it into a beat so I CAN rap on it, means to an end. Any sort of ‘that’s not creative’ doesn’t get a second of entertainment throughout the process, because I’m always thinking about the end result of words over beat. Keen to hear your thoughts on the topic if you’ve got any…

If you haven’t listened to Outta my Hands …firstly, we’re not friends anymore, and secondly – it’s just down there… but here’s what I sampled for that beat:

Delegate it up

Earlier this week I managed to pull the-now international-homie D Dot Dallas away from the tennis for an advice filled convo about how I’m gonna go about releasing my new stuff, and how I should be going about gettin my thing done in general. Dave is one of my favourite rap mates (not that I have heaps) to go to for advice…firstly cause he obviously knows his shit, and secondly cause he’ll mix the advice in with enough insults for you to not really feel like you’re abusing your friendship for free career advice.

I think I’ve had this same conversation Continue reading

Upcoming NZ on Air changes

Worth knowing if you’re thinking of applying for, or been applying for, NZ On Air video grants, especially the part about more focus on emerging artists!

NZ On Air is set to undergo a fairly significant set of changes to the way funding is distributed to artists seeking assistance.

Music business consultant (and former head of EMI) Chris Caddick was commissioned in April 2010 to undertake a full and unbiased review of New Zealand’s domestic music funding programmes. As a result, NZ On Air is now planning a massive set of changes to the way New Zealand music is funded and promoted.

Over a hundred “industry types” were interviewed, while 655 members of the public responded to a comprehensive online survey on the matter.

Acknowledging the invaluable assistance that NZ On Air has given our artists, and the boost that NZ Music has seen over the past two decades, Caddick’s report also concluded that certain aspects of the music industry (most notably digital platforms, alternative radio and up-and-coming artists) were not receiving the Continue reading

Baaaaalling!

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I obviously kept my expenses to a minimum October/November. I don’t think I can justify going into a bank to deposit this. Thanks anyway IRD…

On that note…I think I wrote a post on this back in www.percieve.co.nz version 1.0 but in case you didn’t read that one… if you’re rapping/making any sort of music with an intent to sell that music, if you’re paying for anything related to said musical pursuit… register yourself a company and claim that GST back! Meeting your crew to talk about album ideas? That’s a business lunch homie. Topping up the ride to drive out for a gig practise? That’s a business trip – keep the receipts!