#ThrowbackThursday | Cleanse with a Bit of Tidal (1996)

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Time to get a little vintage. I seemed to have locked myself in the 90s as of late; it’s the state I’m in, (what can I say? I’m a 91’ baby.) Lately I’ve been yearning for something beautiful and honest. And beauty and honesty is what you get with Fiona Apple’s Tidal (1996).

 

If I had to think of a description for Tidal (1996) I would have to say its alternative eclectic, whimsical, haunting perfection. Tidal (1996) takes these finely woven figurative pieces that are even more beautiful with the composition of the music around the words. Her piano arrangement makes me want to melt as much as her lyrics; it’s like a soft personal orchestra in the ear.

 

Some highlight tracks:

Sleep to Dream- The opening rhythmic percussion adds emphasis to the frustration of being in a dead end relationship. It’s like she’s pushing back from an unhealthy relationship and demanding the distance she needs away from it: “Don’t forget what I told ya/ Don’t come around/ I’ve got my own hell to raise.” Cause ain’t nobody got time to deal with other people’s bullshit, when dealing with their own.

Sullen Girl-This is like my favorite song right now. It’s a haunting picture of a girl trying to recover from the draining nature of relationships. It makes me think of a mermaid losing her fins, or a bird losing the ability of flight. There’s a sense of something lost and something just isn’t right. She isn’t the way she used to be: “And there’s too much going on/But its calm under the waves, in the blue of my oblivion/Under the waves in the blue of my oblivion.” For some reason she’s in the calm in the middle of her own chaos.

 

Carrion-I tend to like darker themes. As this song is comparing her love for someone to a carrion (a rotting murdered animal) one can get the sense of a dying love. Such a grim way to put it, but the music is so beautiful as she ends the album with this proclamation: “Honey, I’ve gone away/ I’ve gone away…My feel for you boy is decaying right in front of me/ like the carrion of a murdered prey.” The contrast, in imagery and the music, has both a gruesome and mesmerizing effect.

 

If you’re not into darker themes this album may not be for you. Admittedly, Tidal (1996) can be a bit of a downer if you’re looking for something upbeat and energetic. However, I always feel like Fiona Apple’s songs are acknowledgements of life’s not so great, or not so bright moments, but a pep talk to keep moving anyway. She leaves the necessary pause before progress. Tidal (1996) is an amazing album to meditate and dance to. On a bad day turn it all the way up and wail the lyrics away. And if I’m not pushing this enough, it literally makes for lovely strolling music anywhere (feels like a fanciful indie film).

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New Music | Berko Lover – “Assata” (Produced by Action Bastard)

Peace & many blessings folks!

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Baltimore female emcee Berko Lover just released a song called “Assata” today on SoundCloud. The song, produced by Action Bastard, aggressively discusses the terrible story of Assata Shakur’s fight for freedom. As Berko says at the beginning, “put your MF’in fists in the air” and listen to the song below:

Find Berko on SoundCloud and Twitter.

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Video | Baltimore Artist FluX Releases “Watch The Sun Come Up” video from 2010 Mixtape Elevator Musiq

I normally write musical rants for AmirahRashidah. Today, I wanted to focus on something different this month. I’m honestly into rap music more than R&B. I guess, according to Amirah, I have a sweet talent in writing about singers. But I rarely come across them, especially at the open mics I visit around Baltimore. I see, hear, and breath rap music. But hey, I’ll take the R&B challenge every once in awhile.

This month I’ll be highlighting a local artist named FluX (pronounced Floo-eks).  Check out his video for “Watch the Sun Come Up” from his mixtape Elevator Musiq.

Cory “FLuX” Moore got involved in music at the age of 12 after meeting childhood friends James “Jimmy Apoet” Bumbray & Quinn “Shabaz” Parham. After a failed attempt to form a rap group, FLuX went through multiple changes with his artist name, from names as “fly guy” to “Conflict Edmondson”. Later years of lyrical practiced and song composition he meets up with fellow artist Terrance “Pharaoh Slumzyniah” David & Bernard “Big Thraxx” Maiden who help him develop as an artist and work with him all throughout high school. Finally after years of contemplation, deciding on the name FLuX [floo•eks] having multiple meanings which he feels all confide within him. One definition being to flow, another to melt, fusion and a continuous change, which is his favorite. Around 2009, he became a little more interested in the production of his work. During that year he began working with Big Thraxx for about a year on “Elevator MusiQ” but the project was lost and never released until after his first mixtape “sounds from a toy box”. Taking more time for practice and to obtain better equipment that very next year he engineered & dropped “Elevator MusiQ” In 2012, he gave us AlterN8ive’s “ThanksGiving” and his mixtape “Routine”.  In February 2013, he gave us Jimmy Apoets’ “Hear me out” and many more from his fellow War Drumz Audio Art (WDAA) label artists. In 2014 so far he has release Pharaoh Slumzyniah’s “The Red Dawg Pharaoh” and plans to release his final mixtape on his birthday towards the end of this year.

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Video | Amanda Seales Recreates Wu Tang Hits in “Mo’ Betta Wu: Jazz From The 36 Chambers”

Peace & many blessings fam!

Photo of Amanda Seales taken by Kia Chenelle Photography.

I wish I were in New York this past week to witness this in person, but Amanda Seales (a TV personality on VH1, the creator of the webseries Things I Learned This Week (TIL This Week), actress, DJ, singer and rapper) and Kris Bowers (jazz composer and musician) did a show called “Mo’ Betta Wu: Jazz from the 36 Chambers.” If you’re not familiar, “Mo’ Betta Wu” comes from the title of one of Spike Lee’s films, Mo’ Better Blues, which is about the life of a jazz musician played by Denzel Washington. I knew it was going to be interesting based off of the title and Amanda Seales’ talent. However, I was floored when I watched her jazz rendition of Wu Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M.,” which her persona, Killandra Bea, and her band, the Shinobis, covered flawlessly. Continue reading

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New Video | SZA – Warm Winds (feat. Isaiah Rashad)

Peace & many blessings folks!

TDE is back at it with the release of SZA‘s video for the second half of “Warm Winds.” The video, which was co-directed by SZA and APLUS FILMZ, starts off with sounds from her collaboration with Chance The Rapper on “Childs Play” and gives you a nostalgic, innocent, and throwback feel (using VHS effects) that is very simple and goes well with the two songs.  Isaiah Rashad makes an appearance in the video. Check out the video below:

Make sure you purchase SZA’s debut album, Z, on iTunes now.

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