My Lyfestyle Through Lyrics
The music industry today is saturated with artists who sign multi-million dollar contracts and can’t even carry a note that’s even in tune. That reason alone is why I rarely listen to the radio, and when I do listen to the radio I’m listening to a syndicated show out of Chicago, New York, The Bay Area and/or other cities in the world thanks to my TuneIn Radio App.
However, since I’ve been on twitter, I’ve found hidden treasures of indie artists amongst my polynesian brothers and sisters. It’s been quite delightful and refreshing hearing music that isn’t mainstream… YET, but deep down I’m praying they do get heard and end up in the mainstream.
Of the many indie artists I’ve come across on twitter, two stand out imparticularly because of their sound and their home state: B-Side and Playboi Short. Both hail from Utah (aka The Lake aka The 801).
Why have I chosen B-Side and Playboi Short’s albums to be the first albums I review… together? Let me put it to you like this; the 801 is about to be on the map and these two Polynesian lyricists are at the forefront of the movement. There are enough reggae and R&B Polynesian artists, but not enough GREAT Polyesian lyricists (notice the emphasis on the word great). The East coast, Midwest, South, Southwest and West Coast are already on the mainstream map with the hip hop and rap genre, but overloaded with artists who come and go and lack the type of talent that has longevity to be in and maintain their stake in the music industry.
My prediction: B-Side and Playboi Short will not only put the 801 on the map, but both will have music executives from big named labels taking a second look at artists who hail from the Northwest all together; Polynesian hip hop and rap artists especially.
Although I’ve reviewed B-Side’s album with him thoroughly already, I felt I’d share a brief review with all of you, of his album as well as Playboi Short’s album because I truly feel as if these two talented lyricists can make a big push for The 801 and other Polynesian lyricists.
In my initial review I shared with B-Side, I included possible video concepts and treatments for each of his songs. I’m a visual person. When I hear a song, things play out in my head like a movie or music video. It wasn’t hard for me to envision video treatments for each of the tracks on B Myself & I, because of the vivid imagery provided by the lyrics on top of the unique sounds of each track. However, for the sake of the length of this post, I’ll exclude the music video concepts because the details would have this post hitting the four-posts-long mark. I’ll spare you the wordiness.
On August 6th of this year, B-Side’s debut album titled B, Myself & I was released. I reviewed the album for B-Side, but only shared with my readers and twitter followers my thoughts and how I related to his first single Stick To Code (the most views I’ve had in one day on one post because of his supporterse).
B-Side’s 14 Track debut album is definitely a “banga”. The first time I listened and played it completely through I was proud, giddy and inspired: proud that this lyricist was Polynesian and that the beats were eclectic; giddy that my ears finally heard great music that hadn’t gone mainstream… YET; and inspired by more than half the songs on the album (so much so that I wrote a verse to the track Cleaning Out The Lake, of which I have yet to share with B-Side. I’ll share it soon).
I’m not going to lie, I’m finding it difficult to pick which songs I want to discuss because I like something specific about all of them, which means B-Side’s done a great job of selecting what to put on this album. Aside from the lyrical content and flows displayed on B, Myself & I, what I like most about this album are the wide range of collaborations featured and the sound effects used in each of the songs. Each time I hear a song, there’s something new that I discover: a sound effect, a lyric, the change in tempo of the beat. I enjoy albums that do that; hear something different each time I hear it.
There are always those songs that have a hook so sick that it get’s stuck in your head Stick to the Code, B Myself & I, Come Too Far, Dream Killas, I Want Mines, Wassup Uce and Glass Ceilings, Tell Me Why are all examples of that. A west coast vibe with a twist, each song is bound to leave a lasting impression on listeners even after they stopped listening to any of the songs.
I was pleasantly surprised that only one track on this album had a reggae vibe about it. Tell Me Why featuring Josh “WaWa” White is sure to attract a Polynesian crowd with the beat alone, but the depth of the lyrical content matches that of the beat.
B-Side doesn’t disappoint the females. Love, High Heels and Definition of Cool is sure to leave the women wanting more! Of the three songs, High Heels is definitely an homage to those who are married or in long-term relationships. From the point of view of a married man, B-Side serenades his wife (lucky and blessed woman). Women will either smack their men for not being as romantic as these lyrics or add this song to their repertoire of songs that remind them of their men. Either way, listeners will be jealous of B-Side’s wife and family because he not only raps on the this romantic track, but he also showcases his vocals by singing the hook and harmonizing throughout the song.
The three tracks that showcase a dope beat laid under dope vocals are Stone Cold, Dopeman and Cleaning Out The Lake. A bit of a change of pace from the other songs on the album.
Don’t sleep on Cleaning Out The Lake. Listen carefully and you’ll see why I was inspired to write a verse to this song (I have yet to share the verse with B-Side). We already know that in mainstream music there are poor representations of hip hop and rap artists. Can you imagine what it’s like for new upcoming artists? This song addresses that issue in The Lake. B-Side and his collaborators Kis-B, SyncroNice, Mike Skillz and Ya Boy Pell confront weak rappers in The 801 straight on with this track (My verse? Well, let’s just say, when I finally share it with B-Side, the scope of the confrontation will move from addressing weak rappers in the Lake to… weak rappers nationwide. Someone has/had to do it. I don’t mind being the one to throw my hat in the ring). This issue is also addressed on Playboi Short’s album titled Follow My Lead. Apparently it’s an epidemic in their area, but one that exists everywhere else too.
[Continue to 801 On The Map (pt. 2) for Playboi Short’s – Follow My Lead album review]