Archive for Michael Jackson

Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2009 by letterlbeats

It’s time for another Top 5 Friday

Good Friday Hip Hop! If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I try to get at least one top 5 list in every month. Today I will countdown the top 5 trends in hip hop production for 2009.

5. The Airhorn

This has been a mixtape staple for years but only recently are we hearing it in actual songs on purpose. It originated in Reggae dance halls as a like a call to the dance floor. I remember hearing in a mixtape I got in like ’01 from Canal Street in NY. Then I would hear it from Dj’s at parties (probably because half of their stuff came from mixtapes). Obviously Drake’s Forever was the linchpin song that demonstrated this trick but I heard some others this year as well. Even Young General wanted me to throw it in Headbanger Boogie.

Drake Forever Cover

4. The Drumma Boy Sound Effect

Even though Put On by Young Jeezy was the summer anthem for 2008, in 2009 everybody started biting Drumma Boy’s (the prodcuer of the song) style by inserting that electro synth build up sound effect into every damned song. My understanding is that it was supposed to be his signature tag but I guess it doesn’t work if everyone else does it.

3. Synthesizers

I suppose this was more of a carryover from 2008 but I think the death of Michael Jackson and the trend of 80’s throwback kept it going. In the last month I can’t turn on the radio without feeling like the line between hip hop, pop, techno and electro has been blurred beyond recognition.

2. Hi Pass Filtered Ad Libs

This is also known as the “telephone” effect. Obviously we were first introduced to this on B.I.G.’s Warning. But now it’s like people can’t make a song without having at least one track of vocals passed through the filter. Even singing vocals. That Sean Kingston song is a perfect example. Melodies or some sh*t like that.

1. The Triplet Kick

The staple song for the year on this one would be Every Girls by Drake, produced by Tha Bizness. It’s essentially an extra kick between a double. It’s really simple but I’ve heard it so much that I don’t understand why this never happened before. Timbaland used to do it all the time but when he did it with a bunch of other off beat type rhythms. These are like your basic 1,4,7,11 patterns (on a 16 step based sequencer) but done on a 1/32 as to be able to add that quick triplet. It’s funny because I know Jason is reading this right now and has no idea whatI am talking about.

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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by letterlbeats

It’s time for another Top Five Friday! I love my top five lists and I haven’t done one since my Top Five Hip Hop Movies of all time.

So I am DJing the dance tonight at the school where I work. It is our Halloween dance…kind of. The theme is Michael Jackson and we are celebrating every era of MJ. Kids will be dressing like him and everything. So to celebrate the dance and the man, here are my top five Michael Jackson Songs:

5. Billie Jean

While this is a great song, I think the image of Michael’s first moonwalk at the Motown 25th Anniversary celebration is what cements this in the top 5 for me.

Billie Jean

4. Remember The Time

This song was as much about great songwriting as it was about Mike’s performance. The song was co-written by MJ, Teddy Riley and Bernard Belle. It’s such a timeless classic that brings back great memories for me.

Remember The Time

3. Thriller

I remember when I was about 11 and I rented the Making Of Thriller video (yes, cassette tape) and I watched that thing like 20 times. It was a little bit scary but it was soooo cool. Especially the break dancing zombies at the end. Remember the Taiwanese prison where the inmates re-enacted the entire routine? Ha!


2. Smooth Criminal

The video was Michael’s key to adult success. First of all, that white suit with the blue dress shirt, black tie and black armband was so damn smooth. And the the lean that everybody busted their face trying to do…classic. You add that to a nasty guitar riff, and it’s another MJ classic!

Smooth Criminal

1. Bad

The year was 1987. Simultaneous to the release of LL Cool J’s I’m Bad, Michael Jackson confirmed bad as the thing to be. I know how corny it sounds now, but I guess you had to be there. My favorite part of this video was the guy rollerskating at the end.


The effect that Michael Jackson had on music as a whole cannot be understated. everyone listened to his music. That’s why he was the king of pop. Pop music is defined as music that reaches the most people in terms of popularity. His music was rock, R&B, pop and hip hop. Moreover, because he was a black entertainer, black people could identify with him and his music so culturally, his influence on urban music is undeniable. Without Michael, there are no Chris Browns, no Usher, T-Pain, Diddy, Drake, Ne-yo, Kanye West, Jay-Z. etc. This is a generation of performers who grew up on Michael Jackson.

Here is a list of songs that sample his songs:

Good Life-Kanye West & T-Pain

Love Will Be Right Here-SWV

O.P.P.-Naughty By Nature

H To The Izzo-Jay-Z Produced by Kanye West


Hey Lover-LL Cool J Featuring Boyz II Men

It Ain’t Hard To Tell-Nas

Good Good-Ashanti

One More Drink-Ludacris

Ill Na Na-Foxy Brown

…Just to name a few

And for the record he was spoofed by Weird Al Yankovic…twice:

Weird Al

Weird Al 2

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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2009 by letterlbeats

This weekend was craaaazy! And it kind of rolled into Monday.

On Friday I went to an event at Clarendon Park in Chicago. It was like a small piece of hip hop heaven. A community group called Kuumba Lynx provides a hip hop education and awareness program for students in the neighborhood. I used to run a kids program in Ohio and I wish I could have had something like this to get them involved in. They had grafitti artwork displayed that kids had done. There were kids break dancing. It was just one of things that if you missed it, you missed it. It was very cool and I had a chance to meet some people. It was really a refreshing reminder that this isn’t all about making money. It’s about doing it because you love to do it and because it’s fun…who took the fun out of hip hop?

So Rock The Bells was insane. They have a second stage at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park (IL). That was nuts because you are like 10 feet from the stage. When we first got over there, M.O.P. was killing it. I have never felt that type of energy at a concert before. Oh and by the way… I MET KRS ONE!!!!! That’s like an aspiring director meeting Scorcese. And on top of that he was cool as hell.

I gave beat CDs to damn near everybody but the highlight was being able to hand them to the GZA, M.O.P., Supernatural, KRS One and Murs. And one of those white guys who looks really important in hip hop (You know what I’m talking about…hahaha).

On top of all of that, at the last minute, I came back to Chicago for Mixtape Mondays at Exedus II. Big shot out to them as they continue to provide a forum for artists, however they should think about changing the format. General shut it down with me as his hype man but it took so long to get to round 2 that we had to beat it around 12:30.

Look for new videos from me this week. Also the mixtape is out. It’s called Hip Hop Loves Soul Volume I. Jason will have it available for download this week but you can download it now for FREE on my Myspace.


P.S. WTF was going an at the BET awards? I understand all the Michael Jackson tributes even though it seemed to be a bit much at times, but why did Beyonce sing Ave Maria? Why was Young Money’s performance poor? I know Drake tore his ACL but Weezy is usually better than that. Why did they let Don Cornelius go on like your grandpa was talking?

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Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , on June 26, 2009 by letterlbeats

My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Michael Joseph Jackson.

Michael Jackson was one of my earliest musical experiences in life. He was an outstanding dancer and superb overall performer.

He will be missed…

Michael Jackson

As I type these words I am burning CDs to hand out tomorrow at an event in Clarendon Park in Chicago being hosted by KRS ONE. Check that out here: Then on Saturday J and I will be at Rock The Bells. We got backstage passes so hopefull we can pass out some CDs there too. This is definitely a grind…but I love it…

Here is a random quotable. One of my favorite verses:

“Black Thought the super lyricist, your arch-nemesis
Still with the Punisher, that’s my accomplice
Stressin’ to emcees how they don’t really want this
Electrifying shit his excellency Thought spit
These cats they sentimental such with a gentle touch
Dancin’ double dutch and all sayin’ nothin’ much
My sound wave liftin’ your chin up like uppercuts
New found ways of rippin’ shit up, I de-ve-lop
Your squad chest swell up, still you’re mini-ay-ture to me
Nature-ally I bring the extremity
Musically intense with the globe in suspense
Contemplatin’ where the world traveler been since
The Roots bless you with a strong record, long like a epic
Immerse you in some ‘ol next shit, ill poetic
Thought from Illadelph somethin’ like nothin’ else
My talk stomp like elephants upon every elf, cause…what…”

Black Thought from Big Punisher’s Superlyrical


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