Archive for Music

Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , on June 5, 2009 by letterlbeats

I’m sitting here staring at this O’Jays record. It’s called the The Year 2000. I got a sample from it last night. These brothers are wearing leisure jumsuits. WTF? I love soul music. It seems like that love has developed over the last year and a half since I began producing. However, I think it’s always been there but I just didn’t know it. It seems like sometimes people forget that hip hop is an extension of R&B. And I don’t mean R&B after the New Jack Swing era where hip hop and R&B were fused permanently. I mean that hip hop is the descendant of Quincy Jones, Marvin Gaye, Natalie Cole, Curtis Mayfield, Minnie Ripperton, Ohio Players…I love lists like these; they can go on forever and every one I name is just as perfect as the one before.

We’re trying to get everything together for the Red Bull Big Tune Beat Battle. Since last year I’ve had this in the back of my mind. I entered and didn’t get selected. I knew for certain one song that I was going to enter. You have to submit three. Jason never really heard of it until I told him about it for this year. This event is interesting because it’s the second time it’s come around since I began making beats. The 2009 edition basically can be a litmus test to my growth as a producer. Not to be dramatic but if I don’t get selected again, it’s basically like my skills haven’t grown in the last year.

Hopefully J will have those free drum loop packs posted for download. I always look out for fellow producers. I know how it is. Be sure to check out my favorite websites over to your right. I don’t just recommend anybody’s site.

Hip Hop Love Soul


Keyword Drops: david carradine keith carradine david carradine found dead ranee proper john carradine martha plimpton russell peters joe jonas single ladies video tom kapinos kate gosselin in bikini rams head live minka kelly pics house of thin belmont stakes odds robert carradine bryce harper site julia voth osben laparra carradine brothers memorial golf tournament 2009 orange peel hal turner annie bierman joe sacco kung fu tv series


Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2009 by letterlbeats

“I stretched the game out, etched your name out, wrote Jigga on top and drop albums for ya non stop.”

Source Cover

The Source did it back in the fall and now Vibe just did it too. I’m glad people are finally starting to ask this question: Is 1998 the best year in hip hop?

Obviously it’s a complicated question especially when you begin to consider the criteria that would qualify a given year. Highest sales? Best albums? Best rappers? Most commercial exposure? Most cultural impact? Best lyrics? Yes. All of those. They talked about the success of underground, or should I say the success of underground going mainstream with examples like Mos Def and Talib Kweli and their accomplishments with the Black Star album as well as the rise of Southern independent record labels Cash Money and No Limit. They talked about the re-emergence of the East Coast with great albums from The Lox, DMX, Def Squad, Busta Rhymes, Wu Tang, Big Pun etc. DMX did something that had never been done in hip hop by dropping two albums that debuted at #1. They talked about record breaking sales numbers and the fact that rappers were signing contracts for obscene amounts of money.

In the end it’s all about the music. What I took away from the examination of ’98 was this: Right now, today if you went to the store to buy a rap/hip hop album, (I know we don’t do that much anymore but I am making a point to compare the present day to ’98) of the 20 or so that they have pushed to the forefront as “hot” or recently released, you might find one that you can call a.) real hip hop and b.) an album that you can listen to from start to finish, These two things are rare. Conversely, in ’98 almost every album was like that. If you look at rap beefs you can also find contrasting discrepancies. Rick Ross and 50 Cent are going at it right now but none if it is based in lyrical skill or content. It’s web videos and skits and mud slinging that does not occur on wax. Back then you had the whole Canibus v. LL thing and it actually had people debating about who was better. It had classic lines: “99% of your fans wear high heels,” vs. “99% of your fans don’t exist.” Have 50 and Rick Ross even put out records behind their beef?

It is what it is…

L’s Top 5 hip hop albums of 1998:

1. Jay-Z Hard Knock Life
2. DMX It’s Dark And Hell is Hot
3. Wu Tang Clan Forever (remember double discs?)
4. Big Punisher Capital Punishment
5. Jermaine Dupri The Life And Times of 1492

The Cavs pulled out game 5. It still doesn’t look good though. They have a matchup problem. Lebron can’t guard everybody. They need to go ahead and stop airing these Lebron vs. Kobe commercials because considering the state of the conference finals, it’s definitely a bad look.

Ok beat check time: First of all I took all of my equipment into school to show my students how to make beats. They realized it wasn’t as hard as they thought so now they’re all running home to ask their parents to buy $1000 worth of software and MIDI controllers. In the process I found out that I had some kids who could play a little. I actually started two beats based on melodies they laid down. As well, the night before I had gotten two beats pretty well laid and I had one more from earlier in the week. So basically I have five beats I need to finish. I have just been really busy, not only with work but I’ve been in Chicago the past two weekends and I’m going again this weekend for Jason’s birthday. I just need a day where I can get up and do nothing but work on these beats. Obviously they’ll be posted when I finish them so hopefully that can be by Monday.

Have a great weekend hip hop…One

Keyword drops–laodicean definition, noemi letizia pictures, melissa weber, national spelling bee 2009 winner, kavya shivashankar wikipedia, omar edwards, lydia cornell, irobot roomba 535 robotic vacuum with lighthouse technology, swine flu may 28, jared ashley, chaseonline, roland garros 2009 official site, french open tennis 2009, the good family abc


Daily Dose of L

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

“I’m a poet to some, a regular modern day Shakespeare,
Jesus Christ the King of these latter day saints here.”

I was extremely moved by an Eminem article that I read this weekend in Vibe called Can I Kick It. As good friends and fans of real hip hop, Jason and I bonded over Em’s first album The Slim Shady LP. I’ve been a fan of his music almost 10 years. I haven’t always agreed with everything that he’s said or done but I think he’s one of the top five lyricist to touch a mic.

1. Can-I-Bus
2. Eminem
3. Rakim
4. Jay-Z
5. Common

Anyway it’s hard not to be touched by this story. Publicity stunts, homophobia and rap beefs aside, you have to be a human being. I feel for the guy and I am glad he has his life back on track.

It’s time for me to go to the record store and stock up again. I feel like I have too many as is but I am constantly in search of something that I can chop into tiny pieces. Sometimes I don’t even want to make a song, I can just sit there for hours and play with the chops. Some people say that sampling is not real music. One of my students asked me the other day if I play any instruments. I told him that I played the MPC. He said, “Is that a real instrument?” Hell yeah it is. I could do a live show with an MPC. I LOVE SAMPLING!! Where would hip hop be without it.

I’m not going to talk about game 3.

So the big news today is that the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 which placed a ban on gay marriage. I remember there was this other ban one time. The ban prevented blacks from using certain bathrooms and going to certain schools…I wonder how that worked out?

Kanye West has commented many times on homophobia in hip hop. You don’t have to agree with what people do but you do have to let them live.

Big ups to Obama putting people of color in high places. Congratulations Sonia Sotomayor!

The Agenda:

3pm–Quitting time
4pm–Break it down and roll it up
4:30pm–Record store
5:15–Chopping samples
6pm–Game 4


Keywords– icosahedron, obama, benjamin cardozo, proposition 8, eppicard, chrysler dealers, Sonia Sotomayor, jose canseco, mma, supreme court, mike tyson, california, abortion, notre dame, heidi northcott, exodus, ricci v. destefano,, belcourt castle


Daily Dose of L

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

“I ain’t talking about the two-three
Mami in the zone like the homie 2-3
Jordan or James, makes no difference
I’m ballin the same”

I’m still recovering from last night. No, I didn’t even go out. I’m talking about that shot that Lebron James hit to win game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

I was honestly speechless for 5 minutes. That was the type of moment that defines a career. The same way they show that clip of Jordan switching hands in mid air and Marv Albert saying, “What a spectacular move by Michael Jordan.” They’ll be airing that highlight for years.

They keep comparing that to the shot that Jordan hit to advance past the Cavs in ’89. The difference is, there was no Jordan to pattern himself after. Enjoy this moment people because it’s happening before our eyes. Lebron is becoming the next. Athletically and culturally. You think Jay-Z won’t go to every Cavs v. Lakers game in the finals? You think Lebron won’t be rocking the hottest gear and showing every ounce of his swag at the post game press conferences?

The litmus test to verify Lebron’s status is the fact that I see grown men (35-40+) rocking his shoes. I saw the new patent leather color way on the red carpet. For those of you thinking that you came to this page for hip hop and your getting sports, think again because when you have iconic status in the same stratosphere as Lebron James, everything you do affects hip hop…on and off the court.

I’m in Chicago right now (Oak Park to be exact) and I am looking forward to kicking it at Jason’s tonight, maybe going to the beach tomorrow and hitting the suburbs with the family to go to a couple of barbecues.

Obviously if you take a look above,I finally got Infinite finished. I stay working on beats so more coming. I got all the software and everything to get my DJ game going so likely the first videos you see of me will be me spinning.

The next event on the agenda will be selecting the songs for and entering the 2009 Red Bull Big Tune Beat Battle. Knowing Jason, he’ll probably setup a poll and have you guys vote on which three we should submit. Obviously we are going to have Eric Yoder over at Horse Drawn Productions here in Chicago put his hands on it to make it really knock. So be on the look out for that.

Have a great holiday weekend hip hop.

Keyword drops: Mos Def, Gangstarr, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, J Dilla, Pete Rock, Black Milk, Boon Doc, Marley Marl, Kid Cudi, Asher Roth, Ace Hood, Charles Hamilton, Ryan Leslie, Flo Rida, Jay-Z, Keri Hilson, Neyo, B-Hamp, Hurricane Chris, Electric Red, Polo Da Don, Ciara, Bow Wow, Young Money, Nas, Dj Khaled, DJ Toomp, 9th Wonder, E. Jones, Little Brother, Illa J, Busta Rhymes, T.I., Lil’ Wayne, Eminem, ?uestlove, The Roots, Black Thought, Common, GLC, Consequence, John Legend, Andre 3000, Big Boi


Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2009 by letterlbeats

Good morning hip hop…

I’ve been trying to finish this beat for three days. Like I told Jason, I do have a distinct style but it takes work to make something better than what you’ve already done. I am taking my time on this one. I hope it shows. I’ll make sure the song Infinite doesn’t turn into Detox.

Dr Dre Detox

That reminds me, Detox really is supposed to be out this year. Vibe did a 4 page spread about the top 50 hip hop and R&B albums that never came out. Obviously Dr. Dre’s Detox was on there. Also a joint by The Commission; remember the group that B.I.G, Jay-Z and Charli Baltimore were supposed to have? I think they were trying to be like The Firm (Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown).

Damn, whatever happened to AZ? What ever happened to Keith Murray, Craig Mack, Ras Kass, Canibus? Hip Hop is not the same.

It’s hot out here. I am going to use the summer to stay in as much as possible and learn how to DJ. I got M-Audio’s Torq and the Conectiv interface. I bought two Numark turntables and a second video monitor. A Numark mixer and an Ortofon needle on the way. I don’t think the mixing part will be too difficult. Torq has automatic beat matching. I think the hard part will be learning to scratch but it should be easier with the time coded vinyl (the look like real records but they control mp3’s.

So with all the new gear and the rearrangements the studio is looking pretty sick. I’ll have J get some pictures up by next. Week. That also reminds me…big ups to Jason for being a beast on the website. It’s looking better and better everyday.

Lebron let one go yesterday. And Mo Williams almost hit that shot off the tip. It’s actually sad that they lost that after the game that Bron had. Two nasty blocks on Dwight Howard, 40+ points too. That’s why it’s a 7 game series though…you can lose one.

Infinite is coming…I promise.


Key word drops… M–Audio Akai Digidesign MPC2000 Reason Cubase Sonar Logic Propellerhead Line 6 Sam Ash Guitar Center Numark Technics NN-XT Yamaha Korg MIDI MMC Axiom Roland Ensoniq Sp 1200 MPK49 S950 SSL Maschine Recycle FL Studio ASR-10 ASR-X Battery VST Motif Triton Shure 1200 Sp 606 Fantom MV 8800 RS7000


Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2009 by letterlbeats

Hello hip hop!

So much to talk about…but I’ll definitely start with this weekend. Friday night Jason and I went to E-Train’s show at Abbey Pub in Chicago. E-Train was the headliner, J. Gatz and Young General also performed. We got there late and we missed General’s performance so not only did I not get to hear my own beats get performed, I had to pay a $15 cover…wtf!

We had a very productive session at the new Horse Drawn Studios with Eric Yoder. He has one of the strongest mixes that I have come across so far in the game. He is like the mad scientist of sound. He made some of my beats pop.

As you may already know I lost my MPK49 in the infamous incident involving my son, a bouncy ball and a bottle of pop. So I hit Craigslist pretty hard Thursday and Friday and found some replacement gear for pretty cheap. I have to have pads so I picked up an Akai MPD24. I love this thing waaaay better than the pads on the MPK49. As far as keys go I’m not picky (I really don’t play the piano) so I grabbed an M-Audio 49e Keystation. It all worked out and I have new beats coming this week.

Please don’t forget to vote for your favorite song of the month while you’re here. If you’re from Future Producer’s thank you so much for showing love. FP is my fam.

Has anyone seen the commercials with Kobe and Lebron as puppets? The one where Lebron was clapping chalk everywhere was hilarious. But after seeing those and the Vitamin Water commercial with the people debating about who is better I started thinking. I teach and I have kids coming up to me all day long asking me who is better; Kobe Bryant or Lebron James. It’s a tough question to answer but I kept asking myself why it had to be answered now…then I realized that these companies (Nike, Vitamin water, etc.) are trying to set up for the finals when/if the Lakers and the Cavs match up. Maybe I was late on that realization but if I was it’s only because the Lakers got exposed so badly against Houston that I never thought of the Lakers as the automatic Western Conference champs.

Anyway…beats coming soon…thank you for showing love

P. S. You know how we do…keyword drops: Colgate, Paul Blart Mall Cop, NBA, NHL, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Taken, Liam Neeson, Obama, X-Men Origins, The Hangover, Mike Tyson, Kim Kardashian



Daily Dose of L

Posted in Daily Dose of L with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by letterlbeats

Good evening ladies and gentleman…

I’m gone off that Foster’s right now…but I’m feeling real breezy

I just sat here and smashed some chicken wings while I was listening to this loop I made. I have to try and make a beat without a MIDI controller. You know why? Because my son threw a ball and knocked over a bottle of pop on my Akai MPK49. The producers out there reading this are cringing right now…damn, I just realized that I got chicken grease all over the keys…f*ck…it’s all bad.

I am trying to remain in good spirits. I do have a little extra cash and I can grab some keys off eBay. Shots out to my boy DG for letting me borrow the MPD…nothing happens without pads…at least that’s my perspective as a producer.

R.I.P. Chuck Daly…’92 Dream Team

This beat is crackin I just have to add a little more to it.

I am watching the Nuggets v. Mavs game 5. If Mark Cuban would’ve talked to my mom like that I would have whooped his a$$. Even Chris Webber said on TNT, “You can’t even point at my momma like that.”

It’s almost Friday, kind of. I can’t wait to get to Chicago this weekend. Shots out to Eric Yoder at Horse Drawn Studios. Getting an 8 hour session in on Saturday with Young General.

Let’s get it!


P.S. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

P.P.S. Colgate, Dodge, DIRECTV, Geico, Yankees, Budweiser, Nike, Superman, Sony, Coca Cola, VIBE, Doritos, Goodyear, Disney, Motorola, Energizer, Yamaha, Blackberry, Twitter, RCA, MTV, Ellen, Jordan, Notre Dame, Tupac, MSNBC…Google get at me!