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Currently Browsing: Music Education

SoundCloud’s Best Educators & Storytellers

Digging up the most fascinating conversations on the 'Cloud

Learning through sound is one of my favorite ways to relax. I can just sit back and listen. However, music seems to be taking up most of my time, but I plan to change that. Since my listening routine with music is mostly on SoundCloud, integrating storytellers & educators into my SoundCloud stream might even out my daily bias towards music.

So I’ve taken to SoundCloud to find & filter the most fascinating SoundClouders around. I’ve rummaged through Voices, the Fellowship program and their “Suggested users” to come up with eleven knowledgable SoundClouders in their own right. It basically comes down to what they say and how they say it (kinda like music), but here’s more specifics on how I determined who to select: […]

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How to Properly Dropbox Your Music on SoundCloud

The best chance you got in getting picked up by music blogs

For about a year now, I’ve only accepted music through my SoundCloud dropbox. SoundCloud just makes it much more efficient to organize and search through submissions than traditional email. And as many problems as SoundCloud needs to fix for us bloggers, there’s a bigger problem we have with musicians and their etiquette on SoundCloud.

Here I’ve highlighted the proper etiquette on how to submit your music to blogs using SoundCloud’s dropbox. Mind you, this isn’t some quick fix, but partly a long-term plan to separate yourself from all the other SoundClouders who spam our inbox (you know who you are!)

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The Next SoundCloud

What "Your Stream" is Missing

Getting back from vacation two weeks ago, I was finally accepted into the beta testing of SoundCloud’s latest revamp, ‘The Next SoundCloud.’ My first thought, like most, was that “this looks pretty slick.” But after exploring around a bit, I realized, like most, that I had to revert back to the classic mode for one reason or another.

Many are having issues with the beta and have been bitching about it on SoundCloud’s blog and other forums. As much as I agree with most of their complaints, most forget that this is a beta testing. That said, I do have a few issues myself to “bitch about.” And it’s strictly to do with the new stream, or ‘Your Stream,’ because that’s the only reason I switched back to classic mode so fast, which is why I never explored the other additions to SoundCloud NEXT […]

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SoundCloud is Lackin Some Key Talent

So we're gonna bring the Hip-Hop & Blogging Communities to help out

Last month, I did a tribute to 31 great producers I’ve come across on SoundCloud in a series I dubbed SoundKlout. It was mostly just to pump out a shitload of good music, but I also wanted to engage more with the SoundCloud community and immerse myself in its user experience.

While searching for the 31 SoundKlouters, and about a year’s worth before that, I’ve noticed that most producers sample & remix other works or produce everything electronically. There just isn’t enough legitimate collaborations with vocalists & instrumentalists. One reason is the musicians that make up these genres aren’t all that involved in SoundCloud’s community. Another reason, which may be even more detrimental, is the lack of tools to help these musicians connect, especially across different genres.

So I’m gonna lay out how I can help SoundCloud attract more of these genres through two communities I’m actively involved in, the hip-hop & blogging communities. I’ll take care of how they can improve connecting between musicians in the next article.

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Best Thing About Turntable.fm Isn’t the DJing/Music

Plus, some good hip-hop from one of my favorite TT rooms

Turntable.fm is a live chat room where music lovers come to share and listen to music together. Rooms can be setup by anyone and consist of 1-5 DJ’s at a time. Topics for each room range from specific genres to music blogs that play just about everything.

The first type of room I got into was dubstep- although, I quickly realized that the crowd and music wasn’t for me. Apparently, I’m not into the “right” kind of dubstep, so I hit up the hip-hop & mashup rooms for a while. As much good music as I’ve found through these rooms, I wasn’t quite connecting with that many people. I started to realize that the best quality in TT.fm wasn’t finding new music, but connecting with […]

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The Hype Machine Should Go Green

And when I say green, I mean organic... in which I really mean automated.

The Hype Machine allows you to manually subscribe to the artists, blogs, friends and search terms of your choice. As helpful as it’s been to create a more customized playlist, it becomes increasingly harder to keep up with and subscribe to all the stuff you like. Therefore, Hypem should start building an automated recommendation system to do the task for you. Before we can figure out what to recommend and how to display it on Hypem – which’ll be covered in a later post – we’ll need to find out where to pull the information from. Luckily, it’s right at the heart of The Hype Machine… literally, the Hypem Heart […]

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Scratch: The Story of Hip-Hop Turntablism

"Havin' fun is what it's all about."

I still can’t believe how interesting this doc was. Usually when I’m watching any documentary, I surf the net or do something else to bide the time. Scratch, however, kept my attention 99% of the time – I had the laptop on for the first few minutes (habit).

Scratch mainly focused on DJing/turntablism/scratching, hence the name, but it was all hip-hop. It covered the important figures in the development of turntablism and the effect it’s had on hip-hop as a whole.

I’ve been reading Jeff Chang’s “Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip-Hop” and a lot of the material from Scratch tied into the book. The doc also really helped me put faces to some of the figures in the book – I suck at remembering names and what they actually did, unless I get a glimpse of their face.

Once you get into it, the rest is a breeze. I was actually wanting more at the ended, unlike most times, but it was definitely full of some good info.

Give a shout-out to your favorite DJ from this – I’ll post mine in the comments a lil’ later.

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Rebel Music: The Bob Marley Story

The heart-wrenching tale of a legendary reggae superstar.

Bob Marley on Ethiopian Flag

It was interesting to hear Bob Marley sit down and talk for once. Before this documentary I had only seen him in videos from his concerts, which he barely spoke what he didn’t sing. Rebel Music: The Bob Marley Story does a good job at presenting him as a struggling man trying to overcome the oppression of his people. The film takes you through the political turmoils throughout his life and the battles he waged through words. His story reminds me of Ghandi’s, both struggling for individual freedom in one form or another.

I chose No Woman No Cry because of the memories I’ve shared with it. Bob Marley and the Wailers have contributed many songs that seem to have popped up in some point in my life, as I’m sure some have for yours.

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Ghost Ride the Whip (The Hyphy Movement)

Thizz or Die - The Hizztory of Gettin' Thizzy

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Ghost Ride the Whip (The Hyphy Movement) is a documentary based on where the Bay Area got its roots from and why the culture is like it is today. It covers many key proponents of the movement, including Keek da Sneek, E-40, and even M.C. Hammer, but one in particular is highlighted, Mac Dre.

When I first heard about Mac Dre in 2004 I had just started out college. My roommate, who’s from the Bay, was upset about a rapper who had been murdered. I had no idea who he was at the time, but since then I’ve gotten to know his music and now fully understand why Mac Dre will be missed so much. What makes him so memorable is his lyrically inventive rhymes, coming up with shit that’s still fresh & fun today. Not only that, he’s an artist that puts some amusement in hip hop, giving us a break from all the serious shit (which is definitely needed at times). To be fair though, many protest what Mac Dre and some others of the movement advocate, questioning its dangers.

Some elements of the Hyphy Movement include Ghost-riding & Thizzin’, which as fun as they may be… can be dangerous. But people need to realize that those elements are not what the Hyphy Movement is solely about. What it all really comes down to is having a good time or more commonly know there as: gettin’ stupid, goin’ stewie, etc. etc. (I tried looking up synonyms of go stupid without much success). Some may not understand why gettin’ stupid would be fun, but I think it’s just because they haven’t tried it themselves.

Whether your into Bay Area hip hop or not, this is an informative & entertaining film that all hip hop heads need to watch. I’ve also included one of Mac Dre’s best in case any of y’all don’t have anything to get stewie to. R.I.P. Mac Dre.

Play dat Film

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Copyright Criminals: This is a Sampling Sport

A documentary by Benjamin Franzen & Kembrew McLeod

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“Copyright Criminals” is an episode from the PBS series, Independent Lens, which premiered January 19th of this year. Independent Lens is a series that “introduces new documentaries and dramas made by independent thinkers: filmmakers who are taking creative risks, calling their own shots and finding untold stories in unexpected places”. If you like this feature then check out the rest of the series, it’s very well done.

The reason I chose to feature this documentary is because (a.) apparently, I need to post more than just music, or so some of my viewers think; (b.) it informs viewers about the problems and benefits of DJ’s sampling music from a fairly neutral perspective; and (c.) simply put, it’s a good watch. I’ve watched a couple of other documentaries about music sampling, and I felt this one was the least bias. It gave fair and equal arguments to both sides of the situation, and presented it in a professional, yet engaging fashion.

There are many DJ/producers featured in this documentary, my favorite being Jeff Chang, author of a book I’m reading right now, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, and more importantly, a founding member of the Soulsides record label (which is now Quannum Projects). Others featured include Public Enemy & George Clinton, but the most sincere & touching artist featured was Clyde Stubblefield (drummer for James Brown). Clyde talks about his openness and appreciation for people sampling his music, but only asks for one thing in return, credit! Even over money, Clyde just wants people to recognize that he was the original creator. I mean common, if you’re gonna sample someone’s music, the least you can do is credit them (among other things, case by case). I think that’s fair… don’t you Give us your opinions in the comments section. We’d love to hear ’em.

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