So my friend Stormy commented on my post about the 5 bands that I can't stand, saying that he'd like to hear about which bands/music I'd like to hear more of. I've been thinking for a while, wondering about it because I feel so jaded about music these days, since there doesn't seem to be a prevalence of music being released these days that I really like. I realize that part of the reason it is like that is because I don't have the time or energy these days to really look for new music that is along the lines that I like. And sadly, I also go back and listen to music I know I used to really like and think its horrible now. I mean, for God's sake, there was a very short period of time that I actually liked some of the Murder Inc. stuff. I'll admit it, I even liked a few songs that Ja Rule put out. I'm not sure if Stormy asked because he wanted me to think about it, or because he was just curious, but I did think about it quite a bit.
I think I'm going to have to split this into two categories: Rock music and hip hop music.
I have been a fan of Em's for a long long time. However, much like many artists in the last few years, the tone of his music has changed. I know that he's had some personal issues and whatnot, but I wish he would go back to making music like: Rock Bottom, Dead Wrong, or Hellbound. Em's performance on all of those songs was raw, and just so...real. You could hear his earnestness and genuine pain and anger just pouring through your speakers. Rock Bottom was great because it made me really feel his pain, especially because there have been several times when I have definitely hit rock bottom so those lyrics always resonate with me. His verses in Dead Wrong were so amazing because he was his usual shocking self and he spit his rhymes like 50 caliber bullets. Hellbound I think is one of my favorite examples of how he sounds on a non-mainstream, more mixtape oriented joint. I wish he'd go back to making music like any of that.
2. Empowering music for women:
Before you wonder who the fuck this is and what have they done with the real me, just keep reading. One of my favorite De La songs is Baby Phat. I love it because it's so well done, it's an upbeat song that has a serious point without forcing it on you, but the rhymes and the production are great, too. I know, I know, you're saying, “WTF of all people SHE is talking about female empowerment??” I know, I know. But remember that I'm a big girl myself, so the theme of Baby Phat appeals to me. And let's not forget that most women out there are actually not considered “normal” sized. Many of my friends who I think are just fine in terms of weight and looks actually are considered “overweight”. But I don't think any of you reading this like skinny bitches anyway, so you know what I mean.
Rewind has to be one of my most favorite Nas songs of all time. I think its because I get bored easily and need to be entertained, and you get a little way into the song before you're like “Hold up...what?” While the story he tells is along the usual lines of shit that goes down in the hood, he uses a great gimmick to make it not your usual storytelling song. I wish more people would just do different shit, music that makes you think instead of ABSORB.
When I first heard the title of Black Zombies I was like “WTF is this crazy dude talking about” so I gave the song a listen and was very impressed. He weaves the theme of people being zombies throughout the song and gives examples – its clear what he's talking about. Another song that makes you really listen hard to the lyrics and makes you think about shit afterwards. Srs biznes.
I should give an honorable mention here to “I Can”. I am pretty sure most real fans of hip hop (instead of the garbage that's played on radio stations) probably think the song is too gimmicky, but it has stood the test of time. I liked it when it came out, and I still like the song now. I just listened to it again this week. It's catchy because of the sample of Fur Elise (one of my favorites from Beethoven) and its got the kids on it, and its a message to the kids, or the otherwise uneducated. Which is basically most people these days. And best of all, it's a positive message and a plea to listeners to aspire to greater things. Nothing at all wrong in that.
4. Rage Against the Machine/One Day As A Lion/Zack de la Rocha: (and yes I know this is 3 in 1 but this is my blog so WHATEVA I DO WHAT I WANT)
Yeah, bet you guys saw this one coming. I just think there needs to be more socially conscious music out there PERIOD. I mean, there's so much shit going on in the world, and music is a great vehicle through which to send a message. I know RATM has said they will not make any more albums, but a girl can hope, right? Who knows whether or not Zack's collabo with dude from Mars Volta is going to ever bear any fruit than the one EP he put together, but I'm hoping something happens with that, too. And failing all that, I'm hoping Zack does something musical any time in the future.
Oh, also, I would pay CASH MONIES to hear the music that Zack did with Trent Reznor from NIN. I bet that shit was angry as fuck but with a serious message and musically awesome. Yes, I know he did “We Want It All”, but that's not enough. I want it all, too, god damnit.
5. Speaking of Trent Reznor:
I know he's quit making music for a while to focus on his wife and baby, but I'd also pay cash monies to hear any of the tracks he made with the group Tapeworm. It was basically him and Maynard from Tool. That's another power level of OVER NINE THOUSAND collabo that I'd really love to hear. From what I understand though, none of that music is ever gonna be released. *sigh*
Okay so...probably NONE of my choices on here are a big surprise to anyone, but hey, I'm old and I like what I like so deal with it.