The second track in his 2017 monthly series is "Separate Ways", both featuring and produced by his brother Notion. It's a return to their historical sound - a driving soulful head nodder, drenched in their signature honesty, passion and genuine aspiration for achievement. With a hook loosely inspired by Nirvana, the boys break down how they're moving away from any negative energy while truly embracing and manifesting their inevitable success.
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Initially released in late 2015 as a teaser, lead single, "Holdin' Hands" grabs you as soon as the snare hits with its heart-wrenching sample and Notion's personal, introspective lyrics where he tracks his musical journey and professes his gratitude for his fam and his supporters. Crafted by production team DiazSima based out of Budapest, Hungary, the slick video - expertly shot + chopped by King Richard and tirelessly directed + produced by Andrew Cameron - sees Notion deliver his passionate lyrics alongside his brother Cee with support from the 701 Squad b-boy crew.
Cee is kicking off 2017 with the first single from his new monthly series. "Meta" is nightmare trap; rolling hi-hats, eerie synths, vocal stabs and a drawling BPM that allows Cee to breathe as he casually delivers topical word association, with dark, creepy, Marilyn Manson-esque visuals to match courtesy of King Richard. Notion and newcomer Ben Tramer expertly laced the haunting soundscape; they'll be providing the sonic canvas for many of Cee's singles this year.
"Snares & Soul" encompasses 11 soulful, sample-heavy beats, perfectly sequenced to take the listener on a moody almost-30 minute journey through Notion's recent catalogue. Some of these are the very same productions that were showcased on the super popular vlogs, and they showcase Notion's innate affinity for samples. The tape can be enjoyed as a standalone project, or as a playground for singers and MCs looking for their next hit.
The arresting visuals, directed by Jonathan Emile and shot by King Richard, follow Cee as he discovers his neighbour (played by Angela Nashed) has been a victim of domestic abuse, so much so that she does something very drastic to escape her situation. The upbeat vibe and positive lyrical content are juxtaposed with the dark themes, providing a jarring and thought-provoking experience for the viewer.
Once again curated by Cee and Tiffany Alexis, the mixtape takes you on a journey that perfectly complements the most romantic night of the year. With synth pop from UK alt R&B baritone Kwabs to trap soul from Bryson Tiller, smooth future soul from IAMNOBODI to reggae-infused rock from Joss Stone, minimal indie pop from Banks to moving slow jams from Aussie Jarryd James, thug love songs from Sean Price (RIP) to island vibes from Jonathan Emile, 'The Valentine's Day Mixtape Volume 8' has something for every taste.
Produced by Notion, the Arabesque neck-snapper channels J. Dilla via the muffled Middle Eastern vocal sample and tough boom bap drums, while Cross, Cee and Notion break down the challenges of trying to expand and grow beyond their current borders. Serial TMF collaborator Digital Junkie comes correct with the vocal cuts on the hook, exclusively sampling some of the dopest female MCs to ever touch a mic.
Released right on time for the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto (February 12th to 14th), the newest b-ball anthem "SWISH" came about when theory, a TMF affiliate, visited Montreal over the summer in 2015. Notion provided the sample-laden banger from Toronto, and Cee and theory hit the lab in MTL which resulted in the catchy NBA dedication.
The second single from Cee and SVNTY6's collaborative EP, "Be Better", samples Ms. Rodrigues' classic "O Xaile de Minha Mãe", a song Cee discovered a decade back during Spanish lessons. He had sent the song to around ten different producers over the years, and only SVNTY6 had been able to flip it right.
Communicating exclusively via email and text, the project was inspired by SVNTY6's recent battle with depression. His motto, 'Be Better', became the mantra and in turn, the title of the project. Steeped in soulful samples, hard hitting drums and funky breaks, SVNTY6 channeled his positive energy into the production to give Cee a canvas to talk through his own demons via a lens of positivity.
Listen as we delve into the wonderful and mysterious world of sampling. Say what you like, but sampling will never go away; it's too unique, inspiring and dope to ever let a couple lawsuits stop the true Hip Hop heads. It's too ingrained in the essence of the genre to let go. Where possible, you should always try to clear your samples or use royalty free ones. But c'mon, if you get busted that means you're making enough noise and you're doing something right. Good on ya. For all of us who haven't been chased down by lawyers because your MPC game is too fire, here are a few quick tips and guidelines to get you there.
Two years ago today, Cee and Dr. MaD released their debut collaborative EP 'Steps To The Peak'. Alaiz x The Movement Fam. This was the first proper EP either artist had dropped; Cee had given us a bunch of mixtapes and some loosies as a solo artist in the past few years, while MaD had dropped a ton of singles and digital-only EPs.
Cee has taken this a step further and teamed with good friend Scott Cole for Beer & Other Shhh: The Podcast! Available via iTunes right now - with new episodes every other Wednesday - the first episode includes an introduction to the two beer enthusiasts, a review of a wicked Montreal blanche beer, and more cussing than every existing beer podcast combined.
Notion is not only an MC and a producer; he's also a very talented audio engineer. His mixing and mastering skills are essential to the label, and to the art we produce as a whole. His signature sound emanates throughout every project we've released since 2008, and has gone on to truly define The Movement Fam's aural direction. So we're extremely excited to announce that Notion is now offering his services outside of the immediate circle - to artists anywhere in the world. Shouts to the internet.
After being the supporting act on their last four tours - to Canadian legends and American veterans, no less - the aptly titled 'Get A Tour Up Ya!' sees the expat Aussies finally cement themselves as viable names for the top of the marquee. We partnered with Toronto's Digital Junkie, a mash up DJ and all around top bloke (who you may remember from our Port Hope Jazz Festival headline set last summer), to bring an amped, fun yet laid back vibe to the stage with none of the typical attitude that can come with Hip Hop tours. We chose regional Ontario for this tour as the major cities are so spoiled for choice - why not show some love to the towns who show so much love to us?
Curated by Cee and Tiffany Alexis, 'The Valentine's Day Mixtape Volume 7: High In Lust' features cuts from the likes of the smooth Elijah Blake, the incredible Kwabs, indie pop starlet Banks, the soulful Jack Garratt, British production team The Code, the amazing SOHN, fellow Aussie MC AllDay, OVO's Majid Jordan, the sultry Doja Cat, the powerful Paolo Nutini and even a feature from Cee and Aria Zenua on their Illmind-produced love song 'No Conversation' (from Cee's internationally charting 'This Is All I Know' 2014 debut LP).
The homie J-Lah is a producer/DJ/fashion designer out of Toronto, and he laced us with the soundscape that became 'Wrecked'. A haunting sample kicks off the club-oriented, 808-drenched cut, with tongue-in-cheek tales of intoxication courtesy of Cee and Notion. And for those familiar with internet hilarity, the cover art is a variation of the Really Stoned Guy meme - it's definitely not an old pic of either of the boys...
Quebec representative JPolo hit us with the more soulful production of the two joints; 'Still The Kid' is a slow groove sample-based cut that sees Cee and Notion on their usual TMF ish - double time flows over the eerie synths allow the kids to flex a little, all the while letting y'all know where they came from.