Tag Archives: Jean Grae

YOU’RE LOOKIN’ AT THE NEW HARRIET TUBMAN

This month’s been full of big birthdays already, and even though I missed both of ’em by a day or so, I was still happy to be celebrating births of people that I love.  Today, I wasn’t so lucky.

Maybe you’ve already heard, but we lost Etta James today, and that is not something that should go unrecognized.  There’s no way I could try to tackle the hugeness of her place in the world, so I’ll just try and do what I do best and show a sort of rare connection with her music to some modern-day shit.  I dunno.  I’d rather do that than try to describe how awesome ir unique her vocal style is or something.

Blue Sky Black Death & Jean Grae – Threats (feat. Chen Lo)

This song is pretty interesting on a lot of levels.  It’s got Jean Grae rapping over Etta James samples, which by itself is pretty cool, but if you listen to her verse, you’ll notice a lot of similarities to the Jay-Z song with almost the same title.

Etta James – Something’s Got A Hold On Me

Jay-Z – Threat

If soul music wasn’t so great at handling being so sad and so hopeful at the same time, I would be pissed that I’ve only gained a deep love for it over the past few years, because we’ve lost so many key figures lately (Isaac Hayes, Gil Scott-Heron, etc. etc.) and it kinda bums me out to feel such profound new love and then lose those people so soon after.  But I feel like if I’ve picked up anything from listening to this music, it’s to appreciate what you’ve got and not to dwell on the heartache too long. There’s always a brighter tomorrow.  Rest in peace, Etta.  Let’s hope the artists of today can do your legacy proud.  I know I’ve got faith.

 

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LET THE BEAT BUILD #4 – NAS

I guess the cat’s out of the bag as far as my excessive, undying love for The RZA and the whole Wu-Tang Clan after that last post, so it should come as no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to see them live a few years back when their tour came through this part of the country.  I still had to go all the way to Chicago to see ’em, but man was it worth it.  It was definitely one of the most star-struck moments I’ve had in my life, seeing all those dudes just a few feet away from me after listening to them and seeing in them in videos for years.  I even got to touch Method Man when he crowd-surfed after performing his self-titled single from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)!  Fuckin’ unreal.

But it wasn’t just those dudes that I got star struck by that day.  That same day I got to see Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Slum Village, and, last but absolutely not least, Nasir Jones, aka Nas.  He was the only one at the show to perform without a DJ, which I thought was a little weird, but I got over that real quick because he really did an amazing job performing all the songs he did.  I’ll particularly never forget this one, because the live context only intensified the crazy build this beat goes through.  I still kinda can’t believe I got to witness this.

Nas – One Mic

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