My project is called 'The Indie Experiment'. Over the last couple of years, I picked up the guitar again (I've been playing on and off since I was 9) and discovered rock/indie/electro/alternative music, and it had a huge affect on me. I decided that I wanted to undertake my first ever solo project by adding my vocals to some of my favourite indie tunes, but instead of chopping the songs up like most rappers tend to do, I left the original song intact and placed my vocals around those of the artist, creating a whole new dichotomy for the song.
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Angus & Julia Stone
As with our 2009 wrap up, this is a bit late, but that's life. What we decided to do this year was rather than list everyone's answers to every category, I combined all the responses and made an overall list. And from the blog contributors/Fam members who hollered, it seems we all pretty much agreed. Peep the details after the jump...
Songs of the year Kanye West - Runaway Laws ft. Emilio Rojas and Big KRIT- Hold You Down (Remix) Angus & Julia Stone - Yellow Brick Road Aloe Blacc - I Need A Dollar Bruno Mars - Liquor Store Blues ft Damian Marley Miike Snow - Plastic Jungle Travie McCoy - Billionaire ft Bruno Mars Chris Brown & Tyga - Deuces Kanye West - See Me Now ft. Beyonce & Charlie Wilson Asking Alexandria - Final Episode (Let's Change The Channel)
Hip Hop Albums of the year Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (album of the year, hands down) Kid Cudi - Man On The Moon 2 Nas & Damien Marley - Distant Relatives Freeway and Jake One - Stimulus Package The Roots - How I Got Over The Roots and John Legend - Wake Up N.E.R.D. - Nothing Rick Ross - Teflon Don Statik Selektah and Termanology - 1982 Big Boi - Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty Celph Titled - Nineteen Ninety Now Shad - TSOL Kno - Death is Silent B.o.B. - B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray Black Milk - Album Of The Year Drake - Thank Me Later Eternia & MoSS - At Last Hezekiah - Conscious Porn Skyzoo & Illmind - Live From The Tape Deck Yelawolf - Trunk Muzik Cee & Bekah - The Soul Movement Originals
Albums of the year (other genres) These are pretty much in alphabetical order as I'm going through my iTunes to see what I was feeling in 2010: Aloe Blacc - Good Things Angus & Julia Stone - Down The Way The Black Keys - Brothers British India - Avalanche Bruno Mars - Doo Wops & Hooligans Cee-Lo - The Lady Killa Chromeo - Business Casual Dead Letter Circus - This Is The Warning Delphic - Acolyte Ellie Goulding - Lights Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two (Return Of The Ankh) The Foreign Exchange - Authenticity Jamie Lidell - Compass Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks Kids of 88 - Sugarpills Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can Miike Snow - Miike Snow Plan B - The Defamation of Strickland Banks RPA & The United Nations of Sound - RPA & The United Nations of Sound Tame Impala - Innerspeaker Tinie Tempah - Disc-Overy
Mixtapes of the year Wiz Khalifa - Kush and OJ Wale - More about Nothing Laws - 5:01 Overtime Freddie Gibbs- Str8 Killa No Filla Emilio Rojas- Life Without Shame Chris Brown & Tyga - Fan Of A Fan J. Cole - Friday Night Lights The Movement Fam - The Movement Fam LIVE @ The Evelyn Hotel (27th March 2010) Notion - On The Corner of Notion & 9th: A Tribute to 9th Wonder
Videos of the year Kanye West - Runaway Erykah Badu - Window Seat
Verse of the year Emilio Rojas - Hold You Down Remix Nobody even came anywhere near as dope as Emilio came on this joint. Incredible.
Show of the year These were my favourite shows in 2010, the year where I saw more shows than the last few years combined: Alexisonfire / Norma Jean / Four Year Strong (Sound Academy, Toronto) The Temper Trap (Festival Hall, Melbourne and Phoenix, Toronto) Florence & The Machine (Festival Hall, Melbourne) dead prez (The Espy, Melbourne) Mayer Hawthorne (The Corner Hotel, Melbourne / The Bowery Ballroom, New York) Asking Alexandria / Born of Osiris / All That Remains (Phoenix, Toronto) Dilated Peoples (The Espy, Melbourne) B.o.B. (Billboard, Melbourne) Richard Ashcroft (The Palace, Melbourne) John Mayer (Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne) Laura Marling (Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne) Drake (Fox Theatre, Atlanta) Black Milk (Revival, Toronto) Emilio Rojas (A3C, Masquerade, Atlanta) Duck Down (CMJ Showcase, Le Poisson Rouge, New York) La Roux (Festival Hall, Melbourne) Angus & Julia Stone (The Palais, Melbourne and Bell House, Brooklyn) Paul Dempsey (CMJ, Rockwood Music Hall, New York and Ariel Hyatt's house, Brooklyn / Drake Underground, Toronto) Newton Faulkner (The Palais, Melbourne) British India (The Corner Hotel, Melbourne) Urthboy (The Corner Hotel, Melbourne) Jamie Lidell (The Corner Hotel, Melbourne)
Rookie of the year J. Cole Laws Freddie Gibbs
Overachiever of the year (artist that did way beyond what was expected) Wiz Khalifa I just can't understand this whole phenomenon. To me, his music is nothing short of average. I've tried on numerous occasions to get into the tunes but I can't. Definitely achieved way more than expected.
Underachiever of the year (artist that was expected to do a lot but didn't) Emilio Rojas His latest mixtape had a damn near superstar line up (production from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, features from B.o.B., Killa Mike, Yelawolf, etc) and was presented by Travis Barker's clothing line yet it made minimal noise. Folks will wake up in 2011.
Biggest disappointments Drake - Thank Me Later and Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday Both of these albums were almost unprecedented in their anticipation, yet both were average at best. The still spawned hits but definitely let folks down; or perhaps the hype was just too much for them.
Producers of the year Kanye West (did you HEAR his album?) Statik Selektah (he grinds damn hard and is always consistently good) Tokyo Cigar Statik Selectah Buckwild Apollo Brown
Dopest artists discovered in 2010 (whether they debuted this year or not) I was MEGA late on a lot of aritsts, but 2010 was my year of discovery. I heard more new music in 2010 than ever before, and it honestly changed my life: J. Cole (Cyclops' inclusion) Laura Marling Angus & Julia Stone The Shins Alexisonfire Miike Snow The Temper Trap Florence & The Machine Paul Dempsey / Something For Kate Stone Temple Pilots Pretty Lights Ellie Goulding Pixies Passion Pit Parkway Drive Paramore Panic! At The Disco Muse Mazzy Star The Mars Volta Katie Noonan / George Joshua Radin James Morrison Doves The Dillinger Escape Plan Bertie Blackman Beirut
Movies of the year Stone Buried Unstoppable Twelve You Don’t know Jack The Killer Inside Me The Social Network
Predictions for 2011 Kanye will clean up at next years Grammys Music will continue to get better, just as it did in 2010 after a shitty 2009 British music will absolutely kill shit. Already artists like Jessie J, Jamie Woon and James Blake are making some serious noise with their unique sounds, including the relatively new genre of post-dub step.
Aight, so we're a bit delayed on this one. But y'all can forgive us. We'd never been to anything like this before, and the shit is hard work. Seriously. Networking. Trying to talk to that producer/MC/DJ/industry dude without looking or sounding like a groupie or a new jack. Yelling over loud music all night. Up early and paying attention to panels all day. It's a full time job doing this shit. But we ain't complaining; both of these conferences were some of the most amazing experiences we've had thus far with music, and in 2011, we finna be rockin' shows there, beleeeeedat. We kicked off Atlanta by scoring tickets to the Drake show at the Fox Theatre. Bonus. Notion and I walked into a room full of people rapping every word to a Soulja Boy song. Oh-kay. Five minutes after we got in there, Drake started so it was perfect timing. Apparently Tyga opened, so we prolly didn't miss much. The crowd, mostly women and their generally less-than-enthusiastic partners, stood up pretty much the whole time and there was a lot of screaming. Drizzy did most of the joints I wanted to hear bar 'Say What's Real'. 'Forever' was dope; he even brought Young Jeezy and The-Dream out for their respective collaborations (I have no idea what they are), and the pyrotechnics for 'Fireworks' were awesome. Great show.
So A3C (it stands for All 3 Coasts, for those who ain't know. I didn't til recently) kicked off on Thursday at the Masquerade complex in East Atlanta. The venue was dope as it had about 5 stages with either performances, demonstrations or panels on at any given time, so there was never a moment of boredom. We finally got to meet a gang of folks we'd built with over the years but never met in person (as well as a bunch of folks we respect and have admired for years), including North Carolina producer S.T.T.R.E.S.S. (below with The Fam), Kevin Nottingham, Dasha, Hassahn, Emilio Rojas, Hezekiah, Donwill and Von Pea of Tanya Morgan, Che Grand, Big Dho, Chaundon, J The S, DJ Evil Dee, DJ Z of DJ Booth.net, Crooked I, El Da Sensei, Illmaculate, Laws, The Bodega Brovas, Khrysis and a gang more.
Day 1 was the 9th Wonder interview by Dres The Beatnik, and included guests and collaborators Buckshot and Murs. It was an awesome insight into 9th's work ethic, inspirations and methods. The rest of the night included performances from Jamla artists like Skyzoo, The Away Team, Rapsody, Big Reemo, Murs and Jean Grae. And of course, DJ Evil Dee was on the mix (c'mon kick it!).
Day 2 was full of more shows and informative panels. The two main showcases we caught were Kevin Nottingham's and DJ Booth's. Kev's included dope sets from HiPNOTT Records artists like Jermside, Nobody Famous and the Hall of Justus cats headlined and tore it down (Rapper Big Pooh, Chaundon, Jozeemo and Joe Scudda). DJ Booth's showcase had sets from cats like J The S, Emilio Rojas, Cyhi The Prince, Laws, Exile and Crooked I. We ventured inside to catch Illmaculate's set, followed by Seattle native J. Pinder, both of whom murked it.
Nosh even caught Mr Douthit to get a quick photo and pass on a copy of his tribute mixtape to the man himself. And we also managed to chill with Crooked I for a while and explain our move to Canada from Australia to pursue our music, which he said he really respected and that we'll be successful with that sort of determination, belief and passion. That really meant a lot coming from him. Great dude.
Day 3 was just as hectic. More panels in the early afternoon and the weather was gorgeous. Atlanta turned it on for us, we were drinking beers in the sun; it felt like home. More networking and more shows, including Torae, Sha Stimuli, Lessondary Crew (Jermiside, Von Pea, Donwill and Che Grand), Reks and Statik Selektah, the big homies The Bodega Brovas (Traviii 7th, Keynote and Headkrack), Hezekiah and horn section 'Me So Horny' (who KILLED it), The Artifacts, Emilio Rojas, Camp Lo and Rhymefest. All up, it was an amazing festival and we'll be there next year for sure.
After a quick couple days in Toronto to do some laundry and re-pack, we were on the bus to New York City to catch CMJ (College Music Journal). Yet another amazing experience; though a little different than A3C in the sense that it was general music business across all genres rather than strictly Hip Hop. We chilled for a couple days to check out the city as it was VP's first time, but Notion and I caught the David Icke lecture on the Sunday before booking it to the Mayer Hawthorne show downtown at the Bowery Ballroom, missing half his set. We got to hang with the homie Cyclops too, which was dope.
CMJ started on the Tuesday, and it was full on. The panels went from 11am to 4.45pm every day, with only 15 minutes break between each one, where we had to fit in any quick chats to panelists and toilet breaks before heading to the next panel and trying to get there early to ensure a seat. It was like being back at Uni. But the information we gathered was absolutely incredible, and the people we met will definitely be either long term friends or business associates.
The first night we caught the New Zealand showcase at Le Poisson Rouge, where we saw awesome bands like Street Chant, Ruby Frost and Kids of 88, saw Blonde Summer over at Kenny's Castaway (where Bruce Springsteen apparently did his first ever gig), and then back to LPR for the Duck Down vs Blacksmith Showcase. It was Duck Down's 15 Year Anniversary so they went all out. The 16 year old in me lost my fucking shit when every Duck Down artist (with the exception of Louieville Sluggah pretty much) rocked the stage, performing classics like 'Le Fleh, Le Flah, Eshkoshka', 'Operation Lockdown', 'I Gotcha Opin' and more. Incredible. The newly signed Black Rob even came through to perform 'Whoa'. No words.
The Blacksmith kids killed it too. Jean Grae and Mela Machinko, Pharoahe Monch and Strong Arm Steady did an awesome job. We bailed after SAS so I'm not sure who else rocked, but it was an incredible night.
The rest of the week consisted of panels until Friday and shows every night. The soul showcase with Eric Roberson was amazing, the international showcase at 92Y Tribeca was really interesting, we even caught Aussies Paul Dempsey (from Something For Kate) and Angus & Julia Stone doing their thing. Israeli electro artist Onili was awesome, as was closing night with Foreign Exchange (who had Darien Brockington and Zo rocking with them all night, and they even brought out Rapper Big Pooh and Jesse Boykins III). Shouts to the big homie outta Jersey, Mike Philson, who we connected with. So after two weeks of shows every night and early mornings at panels, we're absolutely shambles. Now it's time to re-up, consolidate the networks and use the new info we learned. Until next year...