Previous month:
May 2009
Next month:
July 2009

Posts from June 2009

He's Out Of My Life

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

And I don't know whether to laugh or cry

I don't know whether to live or die

And it cuts like a knife

Michael Jackson -- the King of Pop -- is out of my life

Can we please have a momment of silence . . . 

for the iconic singer and dancer Michael Jackson who passed away on June 25 after possibly suffering a heart attack. He was 50 years old. According to his brother, Jermaine, the singer's personal doctor and paramedics attempted to resuscitate the singer at his home in Los Angeles. Michael was then rushed to UCLA Medical Center where doctors there performed CPR for more than one hour but was unsuccessful. Michael was declared dead at 2:26 p.m. PST. An autopsy is being conducted and a police investigation is underway to find the exact cause of death.

Undoubtedly, his music also touched his fans as well as his fellow peers. "I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news," said studio maestro Quincy Jones, who produced Michael's best-selling album of all time Thriller. "For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words. To this day, the music we created together on Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad is played in every corner of the world and the reason for that is because he had it all . . . talent, grace, professionalism and dedication. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."

Michael Jackson -- "She's Out of My Life" (Music Video)

I would never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be reporting on the tragic death of the "King of Pop" Michael Jackson. I have done many R.I.P. tributes here on Beats and Rants, but this one really, really hurts. I have never met Michael Jackson but I feel like I lost a family member.  I have been listening to Michael's music non-stop. It is so hard to fathom that he's gone. Why did he have to go so soon? I was hoping that his This Is It Tour in London this summer would bring him back to prominence and get the gears moving for one more album from the pop sensation. Michael deserved to have one more album -- just for his fans. But, alas, this is not going to happen. 

The Internets (©Dallas Penn) are flooded with MJ tributes. There are so many, but here are a few that caught my eye:

Continue reading "He's Out Of My Life" »

Trent's Daily Twit Hits:

Great Scott!: Jill Scott Confirms Split From Baby Daddy

20:15  RT @BET Top Ten: 10 Artists That WILL Smack A Blogger      ~>Wu-Tang Clan will definitely smack a blogger or journalist   #

12:01  RT @foliomag How Newspaper Newsrooms are Adapting to Twitter: #

12:12  RT @foliomag Ebony Mag in Financial Crisis; Considers Asking Readers for Old Copies:  #

13:13  RT @BondGyrl New blog post: Grilled Cider-glazed Swordfish Shiitake Mushroom Salad -> Yum! It's time 2 take my lunch  #

13:34  RT @StellasKid Blog post: #IranElection: A Round-up of Links:  #

14:59  SAY WHAT?!?!? SHOCKER!! -> Jill Scott Confirms Split With Fiancé John Roberts   #

16:21  So I guess the Pakistanis don't like Brüno's Ass ~> RT @foliomag GQ Censored by Hudson News - Again:  #

R.I.P.  Ed McMahon (1923-2009) -- Tonight Show sidekick, actor, comedian.


Trent's "Twitterings" are automatically shipped by LoudTwitter. And eff yo Twitter.

Trent's Daily Twit Hits:

  • 09:52 Monday's Horoscope - Virgo: Success is possible when each contributes an equal amount of effort. ~> Agreed! Happy Monday, folks. What's good?  #
  • 09:57 Working from home today in my PJs. I hate Mondays. It's time to clock in. That's right. Not "Lock In" like @iamdiddy, but "Clock In."  #
  • 14:08 RT @FYMTG J Dilla music video regarding US intervention in #Iranelection -> (inspired by J Dilla - no Charles Ham)  #
  • 14:12 RT @FYMTG J Dilla music video regarding US intervention in #Iranelection -> /~> War Is Not the Answer!  #
  • 15:34 #MusicMonday   My '09 "Get Money" Anthem ~> VIDEO:  The Clipse (featuring Kanye West) - "Kinda Like a Big Deal"   #
  • 15:50 Wow-zers! Gorgeous Model Jessica Skyy FTW! ~> and  #


Trent's "Twitterings" are automatically shipped by LoudTwitter.  And eff yo Twitter!

Tune-ing In or Out?

Stay Tuned: Jay-Z Is Back!

"The only rapper who rewrites history without a pen . . . " -- Jay-Z

Jay-Z -- "Death of Auto-Tune" (CDQ)

(props to YamiKashim3

If you haven't heard, Hova is back in the buildin'! 

On June 5, Jigga unveiled the street single from his upcoming eleventh disc, The Blueprint 3. According to reports, the collection will hit shelves Sept. 11, eight years after The Blueprint LP was released in 2001. Some are questioning the release date, which is on a Friday, but let's keep it real -- it's Jay-Z, he could probably release an album on Easter Sunday and nobody's going to complain.

The street single, "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)” was produced by No I.D. and Kanye West. It's only a teaser, the official radio single is called "Off That" featuring the other most-in-demand rapper Drake. Here in the NJ/Philly/Delaware area, "D.O.A." has been playing on the radio non-stop, along with every Jay-Z song that he ever recorded. It was certainly a Hova weekend in the tri-state area. 

Undoubtedly, the song is a head-nodding, fist-to-the-wall street banger, and apropos since the track is reminiscent of "Takeover" from The Blueprint. And no, the sales of Auto-Tune software won't take a hit because of this song. Quite frankly, I like the Auto-Tune sound when its done properly and not used as a gimmick. But yes, I agree with Jigga -- "Y'all niggas are singin' too much/ Y'all T-Pain-in' too much." 

Some have called Jay-Z's song a generational attack -- the old veteran rhyme-slinger angry at the young rappers who making hit songs using Auto-Tune. DJ Webstar who has the hottest song right now on radio ("Dancing on Me"), has already fired a shot at Jigga via Twitter. "Bottom line is . . . a 40 year-old can't relate to a 17 or 22 year-old," he tweeted. "So he could never end my career.

In a radio interview, Jay-Z explains that the song wasn't an attack on young artists, but a critique on rappers who use Auto-Tune as a "musical crutch." For Jay, he's ready to move on from Auto-Tune and explore new ways to create music.

*Sidebar*:  the Auto-Tune backlash has now gone further to rappers targeting those who wear nut-hugging skinny jeans. Rapper Craig G recently dropped the anti-skinny jeans song, "Skinny Jeans Funeral" via imeem. Click here to listen. (props to @Jean Grae)

Vibe's Sean Fennessey offers his thoughts on Jay-Z's "D.O.A" via his editorial. He also hit on something that I thought was interesting too [via his Twitter]: "[Wale's] 'Chillin' and Kristinia DeBarge's pop hit 'Goodbye' all use Steam's 'Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.'" 

Me:  And those artists are not using Auto-Tune! Is Jigga trying tell us something? Is he listening to rap-pop (or hip-pop) now?

Ian from A Different Kitchen offers his thoughts on Jigga's "D.O.A." jam.

"The record is meh to me," he writes. "I'm getting deja vu from when [Funkmaster] Flex and them were hyping up 'Blue Magic' and 'Jockin' Jay-Z.' They dropped crazy bombs and rewound both a million times just like they did tonight. Two weeks later nobody cared or was talking about either of those records."

What I also like about Jay-Z's "D.O.A." (Death of Auto-Tune) is the clarinet sample used throughout the song. I've been whistling that clarinet riff for the past 48 hours. I knew sooner or later, someone was going to go dig in the crates and find the sample. 

Who better to find it than Joe the Sample King? The sample is Janko Nilovic & Dave Sucky -- "In the Space." Listen to it right here:

Janko Nilovic & Dave Sucky -- "In the Space"

(props to Joe the Sample King via HipHop Update via Kevin Nottingham

Conclusion: Don't kill yourselves over this dope record. Listen to it and enjoy. Hova is back! We all should be grateful. 


Akro Is A One-Man SportsCenter

Acrobatic MC: Boston Rapper Akrobatik

Check out Akrobatik's Sports "Rap-Up" where he recaps the weekend sports highlights. With the Cavs losing to the Orlando Magic and Serena Williams accusing her opponent of cheating, Akro had plenty of material to work with. Not to mention, Akro is spitting over Busta Rhymes' classic club banger, "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See." Let's Go!

Take a listen:

Follow Akrobatik on Twitter: 

"But the line judge couldn't do his duty/ 'Cause he was too distracted by that big ol' booty . . . TURN IT UP! 

Black Is Booty-ful: Tennis Champion Serena Williams