Friday, October 29, 2010

The Whirlwind October Is Finally Over....

The Heroes! at the B.o.B. concert at Emory University, Oct. 23rd

We almost let an entire month pass by without posting, but if you've been following the Heroes! whereabouts, you'd know why. Last month, they were preparing for a slate of performances around Atlanta, starting with their performance at Georgia Tech's NPHC Homecoming Step Show. As the month went on, performing at Apache Cafe and Sharp's Bar, their stage presence became stronger and their chemistry developed as everyone, the artists and the band, got comfortable with each other. Watching them through the many shows, I can tell that they're growing with time and will get better.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Shalamar the Situation: Coming To Save The Game 2.0 In Review


If you didn't understand the Shalamar reference...I hope you expand your musical tastes just a little bit.

Coming To Save The Game 2.0...Better? or not?


Track 1, "Superhero Music," sets the tone for this mixtape in its apparent production quality and lyrical content. The delivery flows well and meshes properly with all the instruments and sounds within the production.

One of the first things you should notice is the blatant LACK of DJ drops....great move. Now the music can be truly appreciated without "internal external" (in the track, but not a part of it) interruptions.

Track 2, "Can't Be Serious" was the pre-released track from this mixtape. In all honesty, I didn't really mess with this track initially. I love the production quality (consistent theme throughout this mixtape), but I felt like the lyrical quality didn't tap into The Heroes! greater capability. As I listened to it again, it started to grow on my however; I always liked the hook, but the verses are good verses, even though they don't tap into that greater potential.

Tracks 3-8 are the from the first mixtape and therefore need no further discussion.

Track 9, "Heroes of the Game Pt. 2," the beginning seemed a little shaky in relation to the sounds that were introduced and the way they meshed with the artist's beginning and the transition between the last two artists was a little rocky. Worthy of note is the first lyrical appearance of Norrin Radd on The Heroes! tracks.

Track 10, "Show Us Some Love"... High hopes were established for this track in particular. The last verse should have faded into nonexistence in my opinion. It didn't meet up the standards set by the verse before it and its lack of comparison wasn't compensated by a refreshingly different just filled space. Insider's Scoop: There's a lost verse for this track that I wish would have made it to the final cut and I guarantee you guys would have loved it. Eh...but what do I know?...I'm just a Clerk.

Track 11, "Stay With Me Tonight (feat. Kim Kelsey)" has been a must release for quite some time. The R&B/Pop style of this production feels a little better than the version you'll find on the original "DJ Hollywood Presents: Coming to Save the Game."

Track 12, "Ain't No Way" is full of heart. I say that to say that you can feel the drive of each artist buried in their verses.

Track 13, "All I Know" comes in with a feel good almost "Step In The Name Of Love" feel to it. The official last track of "Coming to Save the Game 2.0" (sans *Bonus Tracks*), it leaves you feeling better about life in general.

All tracks after Track 13 are *Bonus Tracks* so I'll leave them unreviewed.

The Recap

All and all...2.0 displays the drastic growth of The Heroes! on the pursuit to "Save the Game." Continue with The Heroes! on this journey as they utilize their powers to save mankind.

-T. Drake

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Mic Sounds Nice: Hips, Lips, and Rhymes (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1 of this article.

The business profile of the female MC vanished with each passing year, apparently due to the budget constraints of the label. Seeing an image of a perfectly done-up female with a mic in her hand served to draw attention to them, and I understand that purpose in the fight against the double standard, even in hip-hop - not many people want to see a female wearing a doo-rag and dirt under her nails. The documentary says this "keeping up with the Joneses" approach prevented labels from signing any more female artists, probably letting their existing artists finish their contracts or buying them out of their deals. Is that a conspiracy, you ask? No, it's just the label's way of cutting their losses, especially if all that they were paying for didn't translate into sales. What isn't mentioned in the program is the rise of digital music, dropping the bottom out of the music business as a whole, as well as that already weakened niche as the public was getting used to not paying for music, further damaging their livelihoods.

My Mic Sounds Nice: Heart, Soul and Flow (Part 1)


Last night, I was winding down my Sunday when I'd affixed my channel to BET - which I rarely do nowadays - and caught the beginning of their new documentary My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women and Hip-Hop. Definitely not one of those "woe is me/respectful females wouldn't do this" documentaries about video vixens, this program focuses on the female wordsmiths in the game - their semi-concurrent rise with hip-hop, their staying power at the end of the century, and then the current decline of mainstream female rappers with the turn of the new millenium. I figured I'd bless BET with the ratings and take a peek. If you haven't seen it, it's definitely an eye-opener.

The Clerks Strike Again....

It's been a while, I know...すみません。

From the collective minds of Sage and T. Drake comes "hot fyah" so to speak...

If you've been to any Heroes! events then you've seen the shirts The Heroes! wear; well this isn't about them.
Many of you have heard of Good Wood and if not, they're renowned for their custom wooden necklaces, most notably their "Jesus Piece."

Well, posted below is the newest addition to the The Heroes! uniform: Good Wood Heroes "H!"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

From The Desk Of B. Reilly: The Heroes' Latest Practice


Last time we left this program, the release party of The Heroes' latest project, Coming To Save The Game 2.0, was scheduled for August 27th. As you should have heard recently, that party is now finalized for September 18th in midtown Atlanta. This past Monday, The Heroes sans Mister Xavier gathered at a friend's home to practice their new set. Walking into the house, I could already tell that this space would allow everyone more breathing room than Avatar Studios, if you remember. We were introduced to the new guitarist, Nick, one of Dylan's contacts. As the artists got used to the space, a feeling of excitement filled the air because they had been building momentum with their practices, knowing that they are getting better with each moment, creating a chemistry with each other.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (Love To Infinity DMC Mix)

I collect Michael Jackson remixes like none other - I'm sort of a digital packrat. Within these remixes is one in particular that I always thought was epic in presentation, which is Love To Infinity's DMC Mix of Billie Jean. I found myself searching on YouTube repeatedly to see if anyone had ever made a video to it, which someone has, but it's just the shortened version of the song laid over the video. I've had the idea to make a video to this song, but I just never had the time and/or the resources to do it. It's been gestating on my computer's hard drive for the longest time, so I decided to finish it in time for Michael's birthday this year - this is my attempt at adding to his YouTube legacy (and getting some Sony Vegas practice in). I was up 'til 7AM editing this thing, and I'm thinking about re-cutting it later....but not anytime soon since since the video takes a day to render AND upload to YouTube :/ I hope you enjoy my labor of love!


"We're sendin' out, a major love / And this is our message to you / The planets are linin' up, we're bringin' brighter days / They're all in line, waiting for you / So know the're just another part of me..."
Michael Jackson, Another Part of Me

I have been a fan of Michael's since 2001, shortly before Invincible came out. I was watching the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards in my room and N*SYNC came on to perform their song "Pop". I wasn't really stuntin' it too much, but it was the Video Music Awards, where something usually crazy happens out of nowhere, so I gave them a chance and didn't turn the channel. I watched Justin and 'nem dance and sing, like they usually do. Towards the end, the playback was having quote-unquote technical difficulties, so I was like, "OK, something stupid is about to happen." They circled around to the main part of the stage, and the end of the song was different: "We, Must, Be/Kings of.....POP!" Meanwhile, a giant Etch-A-Sketch was lowered behind them ever so conspicuously. "Kings of Pop" was written on it, and then shaken to make it read "King of Pop". It took me like 2-3 seconds to realize what the hell was going on, and by the time I realized it, a silhouette of the Smooth Criminal outfit was starting to come together.

And then Michael emerged from behind the drawing.