April 13, 2013 § Leave a Comment
A while ago, I tweeted about how “this “cover” thing stays confusing a nigga”, it was not really cos I didn’t know how to differentiate, and it was borne out of “concern” for the way “Nigerian Upcoming Artistes” approach it. So I decided to re-enlighten myself and then share some of the light.
According to Wikipedia, “In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a sound recording in a different song or piece.”
In the American and some European music industries, the use of samples is somewhat controversial, an artiste and or producer could get sued if proper legal clearances are not obtained for samples before they are used. However, I do not think that is the case in Nigeria since sampling is not as rampant or used “commercially”.
In America, usually, when sample(s) are used on mixtapes, they are “illegal” sort of like M.I’s Illegal Music mixtapes cos they contain samples that are not legally cleared. The owner(s) of the original recordings don’t usually sue the artiste for the illegal use, however sometimes they do; Lord Finesse recently sued and later dropped charges against Mac Miller for the use of illegal samples on a track off his mixtape.
A more recent, obvious and popular use of sampling in our own music industry would be on Modenine + XYZ’s album; “Alphabetical Order” on several tracks including “Flow For The Streets” produced by XYZ on which he sampled Nas’ “Hate Me Now”. Sampling is most prominently used in the hip-hop and rap genre when compared to other genres.
A sample can consist of the song’s rhythm, or vocals, or instrument(s) pattern, or a combination of any of the aforementioned.
The cover of a song and the remix of a song are two very different things. Frequently, some artistes confuse entirely different tracks over the song’s instrumental with the remix of a track.
A cover version or “song cover” is the performance and or recording of a previously recorded and released song by someone other than the original artist. Most times, cover versions are recorded by new artists. If executed well, they can garner some and even enough attention to get signed (Karmin is a perfect example) or significantly increase their fan base, one thing they however fail to realize is that the comments they’ll get for it range from “its good,…but not as good as the original” to “this *artiste’s name* just ruined this song for me”. Cover versions are rarely better than the original tracks; I’ve definitely not heard one out of Naija.
It is important to note that covers are not limited to upcoming or other artistes. An artiste can cover his own song.
“A cover is a song that uses no actual audio from the original, but is derivative of the original arrangement (the composition of the melody and harmony, plus any lyrics). The audio can be from both the master track or separate track stems.” Hence, any artist that records over the original instrumental of a track cannot tag the track as a “cover”.
Covers range from an exact duplicate of the original song (e.g. Beneath Your Beautiful by Tiwa Savage & Dr. Sid) to a reworked version of the original version to suit the artiste’s “taste” (e.g. Marvin Room Cover by Simi/Fucking Problems by Saeon). Song covers are more popular in the R&B/Pop scene than the rap/hip-hop scene.
Taylor Swift during some of her concerts in 2011/2012 covered a couple of rap songs including Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”.
Song covers are usually done by artistes at the popular singing competitions (Nigerian Idol, The Voice, etc.) at home & abroad, also on the popular TV show; “Glee”.
“A remix is a track that has taken portions of the actual audio recording from the original track and used them in a new creative song recording”. A remix is a song that has been edited to sound different from the original version. There are many versions of a song that can be considered a remix; however, radio edits are not remixes. Another difference between remixes and covers is that remixes usually contain audio pieces of the original recording while covers do not.
For example, Rukus’ “freestyle” over D’Banj’s “Oliver Twist” instrumental is exactly what it is; a freestyle and NOT a remix, but when it is edited and “combined” with Wale’s Oliver Twist Freestyle and some parts of the ORIGINAL Oliver Twist track like *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebo9rMaH4aY*, it becomes a remix though its unofficial.
Unlike sampling, there’s no such thing as an “unauthorized cover” UNLESS you’re going to make money from it by putting the track on an album or say offering it for sale on iTunes like some singing competitions (The Voice) do, unofficial remixes however are NOT to be put up for sale as a single or included on an album, that is why they are usually included on mixtapes (which are free).
On the issue of where does sampling “stop”, personally, I think sampling is one of the great things that has happened to music production, but it is not utilized in this part of the world (The Paper by Mo’Fame or Lord V is another example of a great track containing a sample of Biggie’s Dead Wrong, produced by the SugarKing). Using America as a “case study”, using a sample on a mixtape or free EP does not necessarily require sample clearance (cos the artists or their estates choose not to sue), but on an album, it is absolutely required, else it can lead to lawsuits filed against the producer(s), artist and even the record label.
However, in Nigeria, sampling of our own songs (songs by Nigerian artists) on albums is very rare, but I think there are copyright laws protecting the hard work of our artists, hence the same laws should apply. For unofficial remixes, they should NOT be included on albums, they however can be included on mixtapes or free EP’s (I’m On Remix on Griot XL’s Soul Therapy EP)
Sampling is however not for everyone, it takes a certain special kind of finesse (pun intended).
April 7, 2013 § Leave a Comment
She doesn’t understand
She can’t fathom how someone how someone can love her so much
She’s afraid, she’s afraid that she won’t be able to love him back
She’s been down this road too many times
Why won’t she just accept it?
I love her so much I would do anything for her
If only, if she could just feel or begin to grasp the depth of my love for her
I guess I’m stuck in this orbit of unrequited love
When I started writing this piece, I wasn’t thinking too deep, but as I progressed, I began to think of God like I’ve been doing lately, and how God loves us so much that he sent his son to die for us, yet we still remain faithful to ourselves only, how we love this world and ourselves only. I wonder how if he had feelings, how would he feel? He made this great sacrifice, and we seem unconcerned with it and what he has offered to us. I want to make a conscious decision to try.
March 16, 2013 § 25 Comments
Written by @ehiscombs
Rap in Nigeria has come a long way since the late 90s when it made its major presence and like every other business or industry, partnerships, collaborations and mergers have been key factors in enhancing its growth. Posse cuts like ‘Living it up’ where Amuwo –Odofin’s lad Nutty Pin gathered over 8emcees to represent their hood, Da trybe’s ‘Otiya’, Blaze remix ft M.I, Blaise, Jagz and Ice to mention a few have set a trend still vibrant till this day.
A Posse cut is a collaborative track featuring at least 4Rappers who are not members of the same group, hence this piece takes a look at Naija’s 20 best Rap Posse cuts in 2012. Read, enjoy and criticize.
20. Most Incredible (Classick tunes ft Profyle, Haybah, Drew, Labzy Lawal, Dharsaw, Young Soss): DOWNLOAD
Now this joint took me ‘many multiple’ listens to earn its spot on this list, the beat is like a mash-up of sorts, not an explosive hook by Sosick, Profyle surely fitted the profile with his verse, Haybah had an enjoyable showing, Drew was next but not the best, LABZY’s one Mc on my next rated list and he didn’t disappoint, forwards Dharsaw’s verse, Young Soss rode the beat quite well.
“Don’t wanna hear the fat lady sing, or else its Jill Scott or Aretha Franklin/searching for that Benjamin, franklin, that’s a hundee in case anyone be asking/On the net with hard bars, no be goal post, it’s your boy…” – Haybah
“Me versus you equals you in a bandage/…./Me I am heavy, lyrically most impeccable/Most magnificent, Most incredible” – Labzy Lawal
Best Verse – Labzy Lawal
19. Lion Heart(Buckwylla, Syko, Dharsaw, Base1, Drew, Labzy Lawal, Boogey): DOWNLOAD
Now this is one of those joints which you immediately download once you see the line-up of Cats, still can’t get away from seeing Dharsaw as a poor photocopy of Grin, Syko and Drew rocked the mic in their own way, Labzy showed why he’s not far from the big league, as for Boogey, adjectives don finish.
“Kiwi nimo fi para, shey ori bi mo se black ni/…/moti di star loju e bi Baba Fryo” – SERIKI
“I’m brave enough to face a pack of wolves even if I’m packing nothing but a plastic spoon” – BOOGEY
Best Verse – Boogey
18. Show Them Colours(Tupengo ft Krystal, Ms.Chief, Oluwatipsy, Zee & Romeo): DOWNLOAD
Tupengo got me excited with this one, 4 Femcees on this and 3 did their verse majorly in Yoruba, now that’s rare, really loved how Krystal attacked the beat with her dope flow from the get-go, Ms Chief and Oluwatipsy brought heat on this, while Zee who rapped in English added a different flavor that helped in making this a really dope street jam. Tupengo did kill the hook yet again.
“I’m ill son, like Keri/…/2 possible hits and I did it in a row” – Ms. Chief
Best Verse – Ms. Chief
17. Chocolate (Brymo ft Pryse, MI, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince): Maybe “Nobody test me” would have been a better Choc Boiz song on this list, but year of release and having only 3rappers ruled it out. Is Choc boys a group? No album to justify that so they make this list + a crazy beat from Konnect, a mad hook by Brymo and some dope deliveries made this joint too good to be ignored, though lyrically, all rappers put up a below par showing.
“Music ain’t a publicity issue, I’m the greatest, that shit is official” – Jesse Jagz
Best Verse – Ice Prince
16. I No Send You Final(Da Suspekt ft Teeto, Ice Prince, Skales, Reminisce, Eedris): DOWNLOAD
The Final remix to this massive Hiphop tune hosted by Dj Neptune was released in March 2012, some of the younger cats in the game alongside rap’s veteran Eedris Abulkareem featured on this. Banging beat by Suspekt, he kicked off with a lukewarm verse, Freshboy could have done way better with his bars, Ice Prince heated things up on this, Skales held his own, Remi surely didn’t send them and Mr Lecturer’s versatile flow ended the joint on a sound note.
“Little but my Rhythm Xtra large like Eldee/…/My single be like that Mnet show, cos men the thing sell…” – Ice Prince
“Mo fa smoke bi Smokey/…/I’m trilingual, motun so francais…” – Reminisce
Best Verse – Ice Prince
15. What It Do (Laylow f. Buckwylla, Sossick, Phyno, Yung6ix, Seriki, Phenom,Olamide, Liu T & Jesse Jagz): DOWNLOAD
Laylow has a knack for having multi rappers on his joint and this one made my Top Guest Rap appearances list for 2012. Phyno, Phenom, Seriki, Olamide, Yung6ix all jumped on this but Jesse had this matured and distinct verse that killed the song.
“They got the picture late like a ghost starring at his own obituary” – Phenom
“Tell me any ni**a got a better verse till date…anyone who’s on the list only impersonate” – Jesse Jagz
Best Verse – Jesse Jagz
14. Ghetto (Sholex Timboft Phenom, Seriki, Hi Bizzle & Pherowshuz): DOWNLOAD
Now this is a joint that could easily be a hit, lovely beat from Knighthouse’s Producer(Not Dj Klem), very catchy hook and 4 rappers spitting to rep their Ghettos, Willybang adds his Ragga flavor but let’s focus on the wordsmiths, again Phenom is on this, he reminds us of his early days hustle, Seriki extols the dangers he grew up facing in his ghetto, Hi Bizzle painted a brilliant picture with his verse while Pherow depicted his story in a way only he can.
“Me, I no be butter, I’m straight from the gutter, I remember when I dey trek from CMS to Ojota, all because of offer” – Phenom
Best Verse – Phenom
13. Number One (J-Stat ft Godwon, OD, Phenom, Seriki, Tupengo): DOWNLOAD
Didn’t really feel this song when I heard the first verse, but Tupengo’s voice over the hook reminded me of a young 9ice, so I played on, then came Phenom with his wordplays and finally the song had life, Godwon received the baton and held onto it like it was his, Seriki added his Yoruba flavor while OD rounded up with a laid back verse.
“I standout men sorta like a bouncer/…/quick to drive you nuts like a trip to Kaduna” – Phenom
“I was the ni**a most surprised when they found Obama, they killed his a**, five wives and a lama” – Godwon
Best Verse – Godwon
12. Oya Remix (19th Street ft Yung6ix, Skales & Pope): DOWNLOAD
After the little success this Pop duo had with the release of their ’All Heart’ EP in 2011, there was a need for them to consolidate and what better way than to do a remix of the standout track on the mixtape ‘Oya’ which they also shot a video for then. 19th Street employed young cats like 6ix, Chykes, d rapper in the team did well on the 2nd verse, Skales did remind us he cud still bust sixteens, while Pope was given the task of the hitman.
“Like Gidi traffic, I told her hold-up/…/I no be scam but this is for 19th street” – Yung6ix
“Sick flows that make your chairman cheer man/Son watch ur Pa blow like Picasso” – Pope
Best Verse – Pope
11. Never Love You (A-Q ft D-Truce, Pryse & Maytronomy): DOWNLOAD
Another posse cut off A-Q’s ‘Make your best rapper look stupid” EP. He had Choc City’s 1st lady making an appearance, Next rated D-truce and underground veteran Maytronomy as accomplices in killing this beat. D-truce did well though he digressed from what the song was about, Pryse reminded me that no matter how you try to please them, they will still never love you, Maytronomy chose to advice all, while A-Q hadhis chaotic energy all over.
“You punchlines, ok that’s cool, how about I shoot you with your memo pad and leave you frozen up like bad track pads” – D-Truce
“2 letters A-Q, 2 syllables; It’s Gilbert” – A-Q
Best Verse – Maytronomy
10. I’m On (Griot XL ft Boogey, Courage, Mo’Fame, Feedback): DOWNLOAD
5 upcoming cats with 5 different styles served one of the hottest Posse cut from the underground for 2012, Griot was incisive from the 1st line, Boogey with his fast and furious flow, Courage with his dense voice did good, tho I felt his delivery let him down a bit, Mo’ steady getting better, Feedback was just decent.
“I’m 25, now going on 26, future looking brighter than a ball park when it’s lit/…/You witnessing the birth of a legend, I’m the truth like the sermon of Reverends” – Boogey
“Persistence got me the title, the stubborn one” – Juzt Courage
Best Verse – Boogey
9. One Day(A-Q ft Koboko, Butafly, Boogey): DOWNLOAD
Shout-out to RPW for supporting the talented but unheard, This is one of those joints where the upcomers have a shot at testing their skills against an older cat, and Koboko and Butafly (neva knew ‘She was a SHE’) grabbed this opportunity with open hands, A-Q was on hand to Chaperone the lads while Boogey gives a new meaning to the word Ubiquitous and that Wande sub was epic. They all did justice to Senco’s banging beat.
“One day, I’ll never have to work on a Monday, imma sleep sleep never wake in a hurry” – Butafly
“Them one way rappers, making lastma richer/…/This is real like Banky without the hat on, Basketmouth with his lips sealed, this is no jokes” – A-Q
Best Verse – A-Q
8. Verse 6 (Ill Will ft Teckzilla, Mr.Raw, 12Gage, M-Trill, Rap6 and Boogey): DOWNLOAD
One of the finest gathering of emcees in 2012, over a Teckzilla beat, each one kept dropping jewels and crucified the beat, Teckzilla, Mr. Raw, 12Gage, Mtrill, Rap6 and Boogey all went in hard on this.
“Rappers who heed advice, will leave the mic, for we who write, to deepen the classic verses, they only scratching surface” – Boogey
Best Verse – Boogey
7. Awon Boyz (Terry Tha Rapman ft Pherowshuz, Vector, Olamide): DOWNLOAD
Crazy beat by Pherowshuz, then he introduces the boys, “when we in the booth they respect us like bosses….”, for sumone who owned last year in his own way this was one of those tracks where Olamide didn’t really impress, Vector kept it precise, Old school in the game like Big Daddy Kane was Terry’s way of bossing the boys.
“ The boy hot like he hell risen/…/I can kill you with two bars, no be yam” – Pherowshuz
“I’m paid in full like Rakim in 87/…/the one man that nearly out-rhymed Mode9, without even trying” – Terry Tha Rapman
Best Verse – Terry Tha Rapman
6. Eziokwu (Lynxx ft Ikechukwu, Ill Bliss & Phyno): DOWNLOAD
If you think ‘Ibile United’ is real, then ‘Ibo Boy’s Movement’(IBM) is realer, again Lynxx puts himself to test, this time against his fellow wise men from the East on this song tagged ‘Comedy Rap’ by a friend of mine. These dudes were having fun on the track, on the matter of the hook, which could make or mar a song, the hook on this is not a straight hit, Eziokwu is an Igbo word for truth, the lyrics has almost nothing to do with it, I’ve heard Killz do better on a track, Phyno stays visible, an enjoyable joint tho.
”Two million for one show, I dey ni**a like I own Glo” – Lynxx
“Oliver de Cooque banging in my convertible, Osadebe move like I’m untouchable” – Ill Bliss
Best Verse – Lynxx
5. Omo Naija Remix (Phenom f. ft Pryse, EFA, Shaydee, Seriki, Tesh Carter, Makilla, Flaimz, Peter Clarke): DOWNLOAD
Over Shaydee’s melodious voice, 5 emcees, 2 femcees featured with diverse styles, unconventional bars, some killed it easily, few had uninspiring verses, Flaimz had a strong showing but Peter Clarke employs the most straightforward style, providing simple and relative lines that enhanced his reputation in the game.
“Mio le pariwo, mo se gebelubelu……omode se gbogbo won bi Justin Bieber…..” – Seriki
“If the pen’s mightier than the sword, then I’m definitely Shakespeare on a Trojan horse/…/for all these rappers who said they be sitting on the throne, that’s a fancy looking chair” – Flaimz
Best Verse – Peter Clarke
4. If I Die Remix(Dagrin ft SDC,Nasty J & Styles P): DOWNLOAD
R.I.P Akogun, a post-humus celebration of Grin with a remake of his last major song before his demise, Frenzy laid the beat, which was a touch of the original version, Styles P’s verse was worth couple of Nike signs, Nasty J was inconsistent with his delivery, then came SDC and Ghost with his hoarse voice dropped golden bars.
“Go find an enemy, toss him a grenade/ then back to the block with a blonde and rosay”…… STYLES P
“Remember me thru this melodies, I live on, treat my kids like they were your own/…/I should have known, the flow was heavenly, it’s only right that he goes home” – Ghost
Best Verse – Ghost
3. The Future (Fecko ft Boogey, Peter Clarke & Pryse): DOWNLOAD
Now this is my kind of Rap music, one with a theme, a defined concept that challenges an emcee to awaken that script writer in him and drop bars that will paint pictures in the mind of listeners. How do you go up against an emcee like Boogey who at this point was like the hottest newcomer in the game?? Fecko hosted, Boogey introduced “Reporting live from the year 4045……..” Peter went Clarke Kent on this while Pryse held her own despite her lazy delivery.
“ I’m the only ni**a still rapping, what really happened was that scientist brought their beast to life& they killed rappers” – Boogey
“ They fear us, we’re awesome, all companies wanna endorse it/…/Ride the flow back like a drunk sailor” – Peter Clarke
Best Verse – Peter Clarke
2. Follow Me(Lynxx ft SDC & Poe): One of the jewels off Lynxx’s album that dropped some yrs back, like it so much, had to put it on the list, most don’t regard Lynxx lyrically but he’s been bold enough to go up against other emcees on some of his joints and on this, he delivered a brilliant verse that sets the 5minutes plus joint on a perfect start, Tec kept it casual but precise as usual, Poe had enough energy to create a nuclear weapon and his flow was on point, while Ghost justified the cliché about the last not been the least.
“Music’s my life so forever, I’ll be repping it, of course I’ll take it personal with others disrespecting it” – Poe
“The city’s hot, pray the heat won’t melt me/ me I do my best with the cards God dealt me/ so my riches could transform into what we call wealthy” – Ghost
Best Verse – Poe
1. Swat and BloodHounds I (Cyrus ft Godwon, Mtrill, A-Q, Pherowshuz, BIG T, D-truce): DOWNLOAD
Already said much about this joint on an earlier piece, arguably the biggest rap collaborative that dropped last year, Heavy verses across board.
“While they’re asking whats the true religion, I just wanna stack paper in my true religion” – A-Q
Best Verse – A-Q
March 13, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Been working on a couple of articles for this blog and a couple of others. Found this unfinished one, and decided to post it.
“Organized or disorganized thoughts painted on a blank canvas
Most times I’m more concerned about the thoughts
Than the canvas they’re painted on
But art is more than just one piece of the “puzzle”
The beauty lies in the way the pieces come together
Or the “secret” signature the artist leaves on his work
Sometimes, it’s just about the train of thoughts that leave the station
Or the truth the art helps us unlock
When you take in the elegance and behold the beauty of the art”
March 7, 2013 § 3 Comments
Sometimes i wonder who we are deceiving. We gallivant gallantly through life like the tsars and caesars of our own destinies. We call the shots and shoot whoever stands in our way. Like the pompous peacock we flaunt our skills, wealth and what-not in the faces of those who have not. We are selfish in our decision making and then we have the audacity to utter;
“Oluwa is involved” <— Spot the bullshit
I wonder – No, I shudder at the reality facing us today. If truly there is a God intricately intimate with the affairs of our lives, then why are we stuck in ruts. This was Gideon’s question. Hope you remember Gideon. You can always google it. Have we taken the wheels from the Lord and taken pride in our own fickle ability. Who is driving the bus?
IF TRULY Oluwa is involved… then to what degree? Is he merely playing second fiddle? A backup plan when your plan A, B, C don’t turn out fine? Have you relegated the Grand Designer of the Galaxies to the substitutes’ bench? is he a mere janitor cleaning up your mess instead of being the centerpiece of this show called your life?
Seriously let’s cut the crap. if we are for God then let’s be for Him. These are not my words alone, men from Moses to Elijah screamed these words at the top of their voices. WHO IS YOUR BOSS!!!