The Quietus interviews Hank Shocklee on hip-hop production team The Bomb Squad and Public Enemy's legendary sound
I've got a big jazz background and listening to a lot of jazz records I got an understanding of how you can be eclectic, in terms of your musical scales. You could create melodies and rhythms that were atonal. It didn't necessarily have any real tone but the tone would be determined by what you layered on top of it. So, for example, because Chuck has this kind of baritone voice, Chuck becomes the melody, and the track becomes the accompaniment. If you take a Billie Holiday record, and a Public Enemy record, in a way they are very similar. This is where it gets crazy. And Flav, well basically Flav is a tenor. I read a Clive Davis interview. And to me, Clive is one of the greatest producers of all time. And he said something that was cool, he said the artist always has to be the star, and sound like a star. And the beautiful thing about the Public Enemy records is, Chuck and Flavor provide the melody, on all the records.
Various news sources report that Charles Wright will today be named the next Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry of the United States Library of Congress. An extensive biography and 50 poems are available from the Poetry Foundation. [more inside]
In 1991, Ice Cube was a force of nature. The idea that he could someday star in Are We There Yet? was inconceivable. Still, commercialism wasn't foreign to him. He shilled St. Ides malt liquor as furiously as he called out the police.St. Ides, manufactured by Pabst Brewing Company, targeted young black people. They built an advertising strategy around rappers and hired DJ Pooh to produce beats and commercials. Rappers responded with zeal. [more inside]
"Money" is a completely AWESOME music video of a track by N.A.S.A. (North America South America), a DJ collective featuring Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon plus many famous guest artists, including, on this track alone, David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, & Z-Trip. (Other tracks by N.A.S.A. feature the likes of Tom Waits, M.I.A., Gift of Gab and Kool Keith.) The video features the artwork of Shepard Fairey, who has been discussed previously here. The video was directed by Paul Griswold and Syd Garon (who also did this great video for DJ Qbert and this one for Dan the Automator, which features some nice Gilliamesque touches.)
U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. Privacy & Piracy: The Paradox of Illegal File Sharing on Peer-to-Peer Networks and the Impact of Technology on the Entertainment Industry. View the hearing of September 29. [Real Media].
MTV bans Public Enemy 's video "Gotta Give the Peeps What They Need" because the video contains the lyric "Free Mumia and H Rap Brown". MTV are willing to air the video if the lyric is cut. Public Enemy front-man Chuck D is vocal in his response. Responsible action or censorship in its worst form?
The most misunderstood and underrated band of the '80's is back. And they've got a website and a terrific tribute album (featuring Motorhead and Chuck D[!]) to go with it.The Sister, as we S.M.F.'s call them, started off a New York Dolls inspired bar band, testified before Congress, and made some undeniably great videos. The old early 70's publicity photos alone make it worth the click. So "What do you wanna do with your life?...."
"95% of all music will be free, at least for a period…" says Chuck D, while praising the magic of Napster. I <heart> Chuck D.