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Tag Archives: hip hop

Michael Jackson’s This Is It: Review

Last night I was able to catch an Advance Screening of the new Michael Jackson concert documentary This Is It. The film chronicles the dress rehearsals and sound checks of what was to be Jackson’s come back, as well as his final curtain call. Running almost completed performances of hits like Billie Jean, They Don’t Really Care About Us, Beat It and Man In The Mirror, Jackson and his crew of producers, directors, dancers and musicians brought together what could possibly have been one of the best and most successful career comebacks of all time.

Jackson was in his element, his singing was dead on and all of his vocals were done live with no backing tracks which prove that he possesed a level of professionalism and pure ability that is almost unheard of today in the Pop world. At some points he did look a little rusty as far as dance moves are concerned, but taking into account the fact that the man was 50 years old at the time and hadn’t performed live in almost 10 years makes sense. But all of the skepticism about his dancing abilities were put to rest during his dance sequence for Billie Jean.

The Thriller portion of the film saw the addition of new footage in the style of the original music video filmed in 3DĀ  for use on the digital backdrop during the concerts. This was also done for other songs including a scene with Jackson and Humphrey Bogart for Smooth Criminal and a digital army for They Don’t Really Care About Us among others, but most elaborately for Thriller. The new visualĀ  technology that was used made for some great looking effects and surreal backdrops.

Aside from the music, the film showed some rare behind the scenes footage of just how a production of that magnitude comes together. Along side the show (and film) director Kenny Ortega, Jackson crafted a great work and was hands on in every aspect of the concert from musical direction and filming to set and costume design. His work with the musicians and his vast and complete knowledge of his entire catalog was striking and showed that he was not just a talented performer but also an amazing songwriter and arranger.

The only problem that I have with this film is that I will never get to see the finished product live and in person. This Is It is a great look at the interworkings and passions of a man who still had it, could still do what everyone remembered him and would no doubt have been back on top of the Pop world, the tragedy being that he would never able to bring it to his fans in person.

sombodycuurs Somebody Cares is a Bellingham hip hop group featuring Chris Willis of Rec room, Lokeye of N/NW and Basement Basics, Whiplash and Adjectives of The Educataz and DJ Booger of Wilson Project. They also sometimes feature appearances by Micheal Harris of Idiot Pilot. Their new mixtape is available for download below.

Mixtape Download

Somebody Cares Myspace

SolDFEP

Sol is an up and coming MC from Seattle, WA. Today is the drop date for his new digital release, the “Dear Friends” EP which you can download for free at the link below. Check this stuff out:

www.solsays.com

808sreview21

Kanye West’s “808’s and Heartbreak”

Yesterday I received my copy of Kanye West’s “808’s and Heartbreak.” The packaging on the Limited Edition version (I think they all might be “LE”) is super fresh. Mr. West and his art team created a winning combination of modern design, style and color. Along with the 3 Fold Album Jacket comes an 8 Fold (16 Page) foldout including the albums lyrics and info as well as a Mini-Poster of Kanye on one side in his “808” Suit and on the other a photo of him and his mother, the late Mrs. Donda West. The design is an Instant Classic.

All that and I haven’t even gotten to the music yet. This departure from the usual cocky and overbearing West shows a softer side of him as a human and artist. Mixing his signature 808 drum settings with live orchestration and heavy synth the album is a nice change that may be overlooked by and miss-communicated to the normal listening public. Must listen tracks include the single “Love Lockdown” as well as “Amazing” feat. Young Jeezy (which includes my favorite line so far: I’m exhausted, barely breathing, holding on to what I believe in, no matter what you’ll never take that from me, my reign is as far as your eyes can see.) and “Robocop.” The only weak spots I have found so are are the final track “Pinocchio Story” which is a Live freestyle and the overtly long drum outros on a couple of the tracks.

Packaging: A+
Music: A-
Overall: A

Thoughts?

C.R.E.A.M. by Wu Tang Clan from there debut album 36 Chambers.

Wu Tang World Wide Coming At Ya!

Blackout 2! arrives on Western Washington University’s campus a few weeks early when Redman and Method Man take the VU’s MPR Stage on Nov. 2nd. R&M’s new album Blackout 2! won’t hit the stores till December 9th, hopefully they will have some advance copies for us. Get your tickets through Western at the Box Office on campus or online through WWU’s website.

Kanye West is an American Hip Hop Artist from Chicago, Illinois. This video is the first single for his upcoming fourth album “808’s and Heartbreaks.”

Thoughts?