Category Archives: Producer’s Corner

Official #SwitchedOnBapChallenge presented by Ski Beatz

It’s now official, Ski Beatz is calling all singers/emcees/musicians to record yourselves singing, rhyming or playing an instrument to your favorite track off of “Switched On Bap” and post to instagram.

@ariasvoice did her thing to the track “When Spring Pull Up”.

So are you ready for the challenge?

Go on then…

Stop looking and buy the album here for your archives.

Now go hurry, record, post and tag us!

…and that’s #thebrooklynword.

There Is A Thin Line Between Sampling And Ownership

New producers and experienced provocateurs of sound, watch this flick to prevent treading in treacherous legal waters.

It’s dope video which repeatedly hammers in the importance of sampling the right way (by paying).  The video also reveals some hidden gems to achieve similar effects and other nuances that will be a valuable tool when in the studio or music area.

Rest In Love Clyde.

…and thats #thebrooklynword.

Grab Ya Keyboard and Try Playing In Between This Epic Battle of The Keys Between Family

 

We are unlocking training Gems from our private youtube playlist for your musical evolution.

These videos are designed to carry you through to an evolved state of rhythmic understanding.  How do I know, it’s what I use to tap into the matrix of sound.

If you get what I’m saying here cool, if not, its ok… that eye will open in the future.

Try anyway, even if you play one key at a time.  One key turns to two and so on…  before long, your sorta playing along in your own unique way.

The same principle goes for dancing.

If you dance with a better dancer, you progressive much quicker.  Less about the skill of the dancer doing the magic, but to me it’s about the energy of the dancer.

It can be absorbed and it can be given, said from experience.

Each of these players are dope within their own rights.

The brother in the white’s style has more jazz influence.  He’s creative and sporadic with phrasing.  Now peep his nod to classical music near the middle.  That different vibrational energy strengthens the understanding of his jazz influence and the other styles thrown into this dope freestyle session.

Now the other brother with the Jordan cap is more of a Gospel/R&B player.  Its more structured, not all over the place and sound in structure.  It vibrating differently plus he’s playing at a lower octave comfortably.  He also throws in Jazz but you can feel that, if this was college, he would major in Gospel/R&B and minor Jazz/Classical.

One is not better than the other, they are interpreting the music sphere differently yet similarly.  Also noting they are relatives plays apart because their own frequencies are in tune and connected.

It also tells a lot about their personalities.  The one in the white is more impetuous and likelier to not want to be held back when playing.  Jordan cap is more stable and would firmly stay in his lane when playing in a group dynamic.  Just our opinion.

Ok, this is getting deep so i’ll stop there.  Mentally ingest slowly…

All these little things and more are told by the sound, you can just hear and feel it.  If you can’t, just means you need more developing and embracing more sounds spectrums simple.

…and that’s #thebrooklynword.

This Man Has The Bronx Covered in Clean or Dirty Music C.O.D

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Cover (Head of C.O.D) to the Bronx to check out Clean or Dirty Music’s C.O.D studio.  It was the end of the night after Ski Beatz’s live listening session of Switched On Bap and all were showing nothing but love.

 

It’s been a minute since I been to the Boogie Down and I forgot how much of a journey it was.  The trip was well worth it as the artist met, were all unique with varied talents.  The generation gap of sound spanned 90’s to the current trap vibes.

Here Cover tells us about his journey which began with an eventful meeting of Ski, and then developed it’s own life, which pushed the Bronx culture in not only music, but art and film.

Some pretty dope shit.  The brother Cover has stories for days, all valuable lessons for navigating the music industry.

I mean, meeting Ski, Camp Lo, Dame, Jay Z and the early Rocafella crew off the jump is one dope ass thing.  What’s even more amazing, is that each energy present that day would shift the their surrounding culture in different ways.

That’s priceless, salute to all involved.

Cover touched on art only a bit.  At another time, I really want to hear more about C.O.D and its graffiti movement.

That strikes a chord because my older brother was the original SKAM of the KWK crew in Brooklyn.   So that stuff has always been dope visually.

Hopefully we can make that happen and share that with you in the future.

Another thing that isn’t really seen in the videos, is the respect that he gets from his team and artist.  They were like a family unit moving as one creatively.  The younger artist gave nothing but praise and admiration for the label head’s assistance in developing their sound and brand.

That was dope and definitely a Bronx/Uptown thing.

Every city has their quirks and all, but NYC is a funny city when it comes to working together and pushing their own.

Out of all the boroughs, most would agree Brooklyn is the worse at supporting it’s own entertainers compared to other boroughs like Strong Island, the Boogie Down, Uptown and Downtown.

Queens comes after Brooklyn.  It’s all love, but they shady like us, Bk that is.

Strength comes in numbers, and the day we all realize that, is the day we conquer.

Good shit, C.O.D

C.O.D Artist

Broc was the cool no nonsense brother that was about his business.  Sounds like Harlem right, yup.

We had a lengthy discussion that ate up most of my memory card, but worth it.  He shared his early times with Bad Boy and how important it is to be aware of contracts with labels.

His journey was deep, followed by the coolest flow stacked with entendres.

This is my type of flow.

Insightful thought out bars that’s straight street.  I wanted to hear more without the beat in the back tho.

Outside the lyrics, his energy had it’s own story that made him even more interesting.

Will add that later, when time to edit…

 

Next is Provalone P.  He reminds me of Rocky from Bugs Bunny.

Dead ass!

In place of Rocky’s big white fedora is a fitted and in place of a cigar is blunt.  Then you add the voice and boom…

His words come off mad slick, the grime of it is so New York.  Plus he’s a story teller that brings you in.

Peep the quick off the top freestyles that dropped effortlessly throughout our conversation.

I like to catch heads off guard to see how they react and I watch.

Though short, he went off the top easy.  Which means he’s a product of the old New York.  Makes sense that he’d work with Torch and Gunplay (MMG).

P also talked a bit about the happenings in todays music and his latest project Black Whodini dropping in July.

Here is a lil something to get you through till then…

This is what New York sounds like.  No mumbling…

 

Next up is the millennial Dot Dollaz.

This young Brother is developing around a solid team that will guide him through the art of being an emcee.  He was eager and cool, with a quicker pace flow.

In time, I see it developing into a slightly slower, controlled dagger.  Right now he is still sharpening that dagger.  But I could tell there was more so I vetted him out and found these joints which give a listener a better idea of where he is lyrically…

This is what I’m talking about.  This slightly slower pace gives the lyrics more and personality of his flow a brighter shine.  Nothing wrong with the faster pace, it’s just that you have to control that pace with 100% energy or else it could come off different than intended.

This is the energy and control I wanted in the interview Dollaz, damn fam.  You hit multiple levels here.  Took it past monotone, raised the voice pitch and other lyrical personalities started coming out.

That every time.  Every time meaning the commitment to the words and power of the song.  Keep an eye out for Dollaz, he got heat.

 

Next was Aharri.

They represented the sound of today and all the mannerisms of it.  I gotta laugh because they had the most energy and personality.  They were the first I interviewed (coming later when time to edit) and the only duo there that night.

The chemistry between them makes sense when their together.  Chevy Le Flair is confident with his lyrical flow and understand it’s character.  Rowdy is the Busta Rhymes of the pair, with mad energy.   When he comes out it like ‘Oh Shit’, it’s time to turn up.

Crazy that I said turn up, my 90’s frame of mind slipped, normally I would have said wilding out smh.  I guess that’s some old 90’s head shit, aight, whatever.

Check em out here…

Totally off topic, that mic shadow is killing me lol.  Damn overhead light… aight back on topic.

See what I’m sayin, they work perfectly together.  We talked music, influences and the music game.  Was good to hear their foundation was rooted in oldschool hip hop.

Lets check out some other sounds that they had going on, oh and visuals…

Ok, some smooth shit by Le Flare.

This is a dope video for an indie artist to do for dolo.  It’s telling a story, it’s clear and has texture to it with the coney island backdrop.  I’m looking at this from the perspective of seeing an artist that can execute an idea without relying on some expensive team.

Dope job with the video..  Whats next.

Damn I feel a ways about liking this video and track but it’s too late.  Their infectious when it’s playing over and over while I write this.

Hey, I’m an parent now and certain messages don’t work well for my personal ear.  But I’m not basing my review on that, it’s off the artist as a growing artist and with that I salute them.

That’s not the only thing, I wanted to show that they have a their own fan base that supports them and the love of the track looks legit from the people.

These dudes are making the right moves and with cover watching their backs, they’re bound to be a name that represents the Bronx streets.

and thats #theBrooklynWord.

 

Ski Beatz – “Ground Wire” | Video by the dope artist Distrakt

The Ground Wire video is now resonating, tune in.

Ski Beatz artistic direction is just as impressive as his creative direction.  For this project he brought on the soulful 3d artist/animator/emcee/composer/designer and more Distrakt.

The choice was perfect in our opinion because Distrakt’s mind is not really from this planets time space frequency.  He vibrates inter-dimensionally.

If that’s over ya head, then ya eye is not open yet… no problem, in due time that will change.

First thing noticed, rather felt, is his keen ability to adhere to sound and redirect as animation.

It’s details are simplistic on the initial layer, similar to the use of simplistic analog gear used by Ski.  Yet the many underlying layers of each frame choice and graphic addition expressed the world of Ground Wire’s.

Ok, gonna get a lil deep here follow me.  

There’s more to producing than creating a track.  There’s the not so talked about world of that track.

A world that the producer creates/simulates and is actually alive in the mind.

Ok, I know your like wtf?

Tis true and in our opinion all artist experience a similar occurrence, though might not know how to interpret it.  But it’s an alternate world of sound within the producer’s mind.

Now if this world could be visualized, the above video is one very close possibility of how that reality looks like.

The pyramid over the main graphic character’s head (aka Ski) tapping into the circuitry source and controlling that reality, birthing the sound we now here as Ground Wire and really the genesis of the Switched On Bap project.

Yes, that’s what it is, we’re tapped in.

I had flashbacks of vintage SpiderMan cartoons with Dr Octopus.

Then I wanted to show you a bit of the Distrakt’s world and the level that he’s on.

Now peep his lyrical skills merged with selfless expression.  Yes, he created this eclectic artistic work, different vibrations going on here.

 

With that, definitely look out for the brother.  He’s an artistic sprit that mean more to the culture, than than the minds eye can see.

… and that’s #thebrooklynword.  Salute!

Ski Beatz Creates A Synthesized World with the release of “Switched On Bap”

I get an email package.

It’s from one of Rocafella’s original producers, Ski aka Ski Beatz. I know the brother is busy getting ready for the new release, so the call and package was pleasant gift.

“Hell yea”, i’m thinking! The snippets have been bananas, can’t wait to rock this.

I get the speakers ready then change to headphones for an immersed experience.

It’s an early MP3 preview of the full “Switched On Bap” album coming out July 6, 2018.

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The 27 min long promo copy hasn’t been broken up into individual tracks yet.

I dont mind that at all, as it’s easier to feel the track as a story playing out, enjoying it’s tale narrated by it’s composer.

You know Ski as the producer of Jay Z’sDead President” & “Feelin It“, as well as a member of Original Flavor. The early 90’s rap group that earned their place in the culture with dope bars, dope beats and an early appearance from the young Jay Z who had a rapid fire flow on their classic track “Can I Get Open“. Other notables include Mos Def, Jay Electronica, Joell Ortiz and Jean Grae.

Production includes Camp Lo’s “Uptown Saturday Night” album. That joint had straight heat on it, which further cemented Camp Lo’s position in Rap Culture.

Peep him on Mass Appeal’s “Rhythm Roulette”:

Ski was on fire then and he’s still on fire now. The latest project is a sonic kaleidoscope and boy does this process get deep.

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As Switched On Bap began, you immediately hear his recent transition into the world of modular synthesis.

What exactly is that world like?

Well, imagine taking a single note of sound and fine tuning it for hours/days perfecting the right pitch/noise and then building off that over and over to create what will eventually be one song.

This sound is unique to the engineer’s ear, translated to the end user (which is you and I).

It’s a world beyond our normal construct.

Time doesn’t exist there, there is only the execution of thought.

Too deep? Then your not ready for that seldom treaded sonic road. A Rabbit Hole of the mind that Ski is navigating through with a soulful integrity.

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  • Ground Wires: has the analog feel that can’t be duplicated with digital equipment. The frequencies are virgin pure, the difference can be felt when compared to it’s bastard cousin the compressed and imperfect digital sound.
  • The track has a west coast feel and drives real heavy. Any L.A. emcee would have a field day with this joint.
  • Katana Electric: oh my lawd, the name is perfect and melodically seducing. That patch, emits its analog voice like a cry. Just fucking beautiful. Light up, have a drink, fuck, meditate, whateva… it all goes when that joint is on.
  • Air Ride: Feels like im floating, solid headphones captures the ambience and spatial distance of the synths. Yea, this is some real chill shit right here.

  • Douglas Park: another in ya ear funk joint with so much goodness it makes you have that “stank face”. Every pass is entertaining and meticulously well thought out. The drops are delicious and the heart of this track, the low bass is the soul. That lil harmonica type ish and gated phase is straight nasty… son i’m done, dat shit crazy.
  • K Dot: head got that constant bob, to this track. When the vocals are not present, tracks become a gorgeous soundscape, where it’s up to the artist (aka producer) to create a masterpiece. Sure you can be minimal, nothing wrong with that. But you also have the option to be great and create an experience that only you can create. Thats what we have here ladies and gentleman. This sound cannot be duplicated.
  • Circuit City: sounds like its name, creating a cinematic world that’s delightful and charming. It’s the blissful pride of the synths at a high. It’s like the bonus round in the video game of life.
  • When Spring Pull Up: oh my gawd. Music at times becomes edible and everything about this is right. The beat is smooth the lead controlling it’s course like a well prepped meal. The keys are the conversation around the table, the lead the host Ski and the trinkling down sound is positivity vibrating higher. This is an R&B soul singers dream right here. Like an Amy Wine house meets Jill Scott vocal vibe would kill this.
  • The Rabbit Hole Theory: every track is visual and it’s own sonic world. This is what analog world sounds like once it goes to that very lonely and excitingly secluded place in the music realm. A place rarely traveled for it’s location is a long and treacherous. It drives some men insane, while others find the balance in and out of both dimensions.
  • Sneaky Feet: is a foreign urban jungle, banging hard. The sound is so clean and crisp, salute to the mixing, mastering.
  • Quantum Shy: is a mellow feel good joint. If you never heard a song that say’s emits a thank you feeling, you will when you hear Quantum Shy. You can here the producer rounding off the journey with the easy going pace. Ski is saying thank you for the experience, the journey, the prayers, the circuitry and the listeners.

Go check this project out when it drops July 6, 2018.

It’s perfect for cruising in the whip, working out, rocking the crowd or just chilling out.

https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/switched-on-bap/1388027087?app=itunes

… and that The Brooklyn Word!