dj erb and the Art of the Mash-up: Making the Rhythm and Rhyme Collide

Alright guys, I’m back. Sorry I was gone so long. Did you miss me? No? Well that’s just… Anyway it seems that if you didn’t miss me, you have had a good reason because XIV has posted not once, not twice, but three times since the last time I put something up. Three times! I feel totally behind and incompetent. That being said, maybe I can make up for it by bringing you some more awesome music today. Deal? Deal.

I want to talk about two people today. The first of these you may have heard of. His (stage) name is Lupe Fiasco, and he is one of many talented rappers hailing from the Chicago area. He has been around for a while now, but is starting to build in terms of popularity. His most recent radio hit was “The Show Goes On” which didn’t so much sample Modest Mouse’s “Float On” as steal the melody of the chorus outright. Maybe stealing is too harsh, as Lupe never made any attempt to hide or deny it that I’m aware of. In any case, it was not his most original work, but trust me, he has a lot of works that are quite original, probably more so than most of the rappers you’ll find in the mainstream nowadays.

The second person I want to introduce you to is dj erb. I don’t know who dj erb is actually, and all I can really gather about him is that he is a huge Ohio State Buckeyes fan and he despises the Texas Longhorns. I forgive him for that last part,  however, because he makes some of the most high quality killer mash-ups I’ve had the opportunity to hear.

I’m talking about these guys together because, well, two of erb’s best mash-ups involve Lupe. Here’s one:

Kick Push was one of Lupe’s first hits, and it’s good enough on its own, but by taking the a capella of the track and laying it over “Look In My Eyes” off of the soundtrack to the 2003 drama The Cooler, Erb gives it a whole new feel. The song, despite not changing at all lyrically, adapts perfectly to the more serious tones of “Look In My Eyes”, and is, in my opinion, the better for it.

This next example is possibly my favorite dj erb mix. erb takes Lupe’s “Daydreamin'” (which features Jill Scott on the refrain) and interweaves it with the classic “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac from the legendary album Rumors. The result is again an improvement on the original, and even the lyrics make sense together (something many mash-up artists don’t seem to worry that much about).

The original version of this is actually quite good too, and has a sort of classic movie soundtrack vibe (perhaps that’s how erb got the idea for the first example, since Lupe apparently likes doing that kind of thing anyway). My only regret is that erb only uses censored versions of songs in his mash-ups and re-mixes, so a bit of the meaning is lost to that. But if you open the video above on youtube and watch it directly from the page, the full lyrics are posted, so have at it.

Well, that’s it for today. If you like dj erb as much as I do, look him up. He’s got his own blog where he posts his stuff, selling some of it and just giving some of it away. It should be the first thing that comes up through google when you type his name in, if I’m not mistaken.

Until next time, which hopefully won’t be near as long
13

XIV’s Dossier: Page Three: Even the Best Scenes Can Drag On

XIV here, with another look into the spyglass that is firmly affixed atop the mount peering into the void of music that the people have been missing. Page three is hard to spot. It tends to stay static locked next to page two and refuses to yield to that thing people do with their fingers on the edge of the page to allow themselves to move on to the next one. But, I got it unstuck and here is the next page. Without any more ado, here is “Page Three”:

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The funny thing about this song, is that when I watched the movie it came out for the first time, I never heard it on there consciously. Most of “Scott Pilrgim vs. The World” was spent being in awe of the awesome soundtrack for one of my favorite comic book turned movie movies. I could (and very well might do a Dossier Page for almost each song) But, I bought the soundtrack immediately and heard this. I was hooked and watched the movie 3 times trying to find it. It was really quick and and there was a short snippet of it but It was totally worth it. It gets a bit boring everywhere and the fact is that even the most scenic places pose the same threat of inactivity and dullness as a  suburban torture center.

I doubt that is what this song is about though. Anyhoo, turn your brain off words and back to music:

XIV

P.S. I think Dossier Pages are gonna be my main pages for a while. I plan on doing artist/album reviews on Sundays or Tuesdays now. So, now that I’ve laid down a plan. Expect more pages and reviews.

Ingrid Michaelson and the New Way XIV lives

I love Music. Yes, I made “music” capitalized for a reason. Second to dreaming, other than my necessities, I would do nothing but listen to Music all day. I practically do, except for during work and the like. It’s a borderline obsession. Although, I can think of worse things to be addicted to. My love of Music was accelerated by working in a CD store for two years and have access to some of the best Music this side fo the Mason-Dixon line. Back in the Mid-Late Mid 2000s I heard a song on an Old Navy Commercial that would eventually change the way I heard Music. That was this song:

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Conquer your Fear

So, I’ve got a few guilty pleasures. Actually, I’ve got more guilty pleasures than I do non-guilty ones. One of them is Wavorly. Now, in order to tell you about them, I have to tell you how I heard about them.

Remember Phonezoo? Oh, some of you probably have no idea what that is. Okay, Phonezoo was/is a ringtone site. (Oh my, it does still exist. Nostalgia everywhere!) Anyway, back to the topic. I was creating a ringtone for my flip phone when I stumbled across a ringtone with a great beat. The words were all garbled but I could tell the sound was top-notch. (I’ve got these huge point ears. Great for discerning things.) It was called “Tale of the Dragon’s Defeat”. I myspaced the name and it brought up Wavorly. Heard their albums and have been a fan ever since. Also found about Flyleaf at the same time. But they are for another time.

Their first album was called: Conquering the Fear of Flying

So, without further ado, here is:

The Vocals are a bit strained, but the emotion is there. The Guitar is strong. Just how I dig it. Rock on.

-XIV

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Side Bar:

I (and maybe 13) plan on going to a few local shows in the area and giving you some reviews of them. Let’s Party Hard My Friends.

PHDYMA

Come Down by the River

Today, ladies and gents, I’m taking you to church. Or more specifically, a revival. Yes, I’m aware that it’s a Saturday. But that’s one of the cool things about music; it can transport you anytime.

About 8 years ago, brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart of South Carolina and two of their friends got together to form a band which had a sound that would soon catch the attention of Atlantic Records. That band was Needtobreathe. If you’ve heard of them, it’s probably because you either:

a) listen to at least a decent amount of Christian music (the band does not usually write songs that are specifically meant to be Christian, however Christianity is a large inspiration for much of their music, and as such, they get played on Christian radio stations and sold in Christian stores)

b) have been to a Taylor Swift show (they opened for her this last year) or

c) spend an inordinate amount of time in OfficeMax (actually, that probably isn’t a leading reason, but they do play them on the radio there. I used to work there and commented that one of the only redeeming qualities about that station was that the person who chose the music seemed to like Needtobreathe).

If you haven’t heard of them, you’re about to:

That’s “Washed By The Water”. If that didn’t get your blood flowing with the blend of southern rock and gospel, then maybe this will:

That one’s just pure fun. One of my favorite things about popular music is its emotional aspect, when the music and the lyrics line up in such a way that they feed off of each other, and enhance each other to levels that neither part could achieve on its own. This band has that in spades.

If you like what you hear, as always, I encourage you to check out more. That first song was from The Heat, the second one is from The Outsiders. But no matter what Bear Rinehart sings, it’s pretty good. So sit back, enjoy, and feel.

-13

XIV’s Dossier: Page Two – Music to Remember to

See, I’m not 100% sure of my partner’s appreciation of this next style of music. However, I also love Dubstep. I love all music, (Except maybe Celtic, but that was a torture session with number 1 and I’d rather not go too deep into it). As far as introductions to this genre go, if you like it, you like it. There’s more than this. If you hate it, give it another chance, because it is everywhere lately. One of the best groups in my opinion is Mt. Eden. They get huge respect for “Sierra Leone” and “Still Alive”. Not as widely known is this one:

Dubsep is meant to be played with full bass, or just at a rather loud volume. If your walls aren’t shaking you’re not doing right. Yes, I meant it that way.

-XIV-