Ohio State Marching Band’s Awesome TV-Themed Halftime Show

This performance was from a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it. It’s pretty awesome (as are all their performances). They cover everything from The Simpsons, to Dragnet to Game of Thrones. I wonder how long it takes to choreograph something like this.

Miles Ahead

A Miles Davis biopic has been floating around Hollywood for years, but has never been made. With movies like Walk the Line and Ray hitting theaters, I thought for sure the film would be made. Mile Davis is one of the most influential musicians in American history, after all. Sadly, the script has been sitting idle after several false starts. Not anymore. Don Cheadle (in a role he was born to play) is now turning to Indie GoGo to help get financing for the film.

So why a movie about Miles Davis? Cheadle writes

I want to tell a story that Miles himself would have wanted to see, something hip, cool, alive and AHEAD.

I’ve taken my marching orders from Miles’ mandates (“Play what’s not there.” “Fear no mistakes. There are none.”) and focused in on a very specific point in his life to explore his relationship with his muse, his voice, his fears and challenges to come out of his silent period and return to the music. I’m hopefully making a movie that tells a story many people can relate to, jazz fan or not.

MILES AHEAD is not just about the music. It’s about what we all face at one time or another in our lives; questions about who we really are, what we have to say and how will we say it. How will we ultimately be defined and who gets to say so?

Watch the campaign video below. You can support the project here.

Kanye West for Mayor?

God, I hope not.

Ben Shepard has launched the “Kanye 4 Mayor” campaign. The initiative includes a website, Kanye4Mayor.org, that features several pages of explanations on why Ye would be the best successor to Chicago’s current leader Rahm Emanuel. Shepard believes “Mayor West could lead a movement to make it the best city in the world.”

In open letter to Kanye, Shepard points out four main issues he feels the citizens of Chicago need addressing by a new administration: failing schools, a sub par transportation system, excessive shootings, and an undemocratic police force.

If Kanye ever becomes mayor of anything it will mark the fall of America.

Jurassic 5 release new song and video

It’s been 8 years since one of the best groups in hip hop called in quits, but Jurassic 5 is back… sort of. They recently released a new song and video in preparation for their first US tour in 8 years. The song is entitled The Way We Do It and was produced by the late Heavy D. Watch the video below.

Dueling Good Days

As an amateur historian and hip hop aficionado, I found the research of what day in history is actually Ice Cube’s “Good Day” fascinating. Murk Avenue breaks down the clues of Ice Cube’s It Was a Good Day to pinpoint the day.

CLUE 1:
“went to short dogs house, they was watching Yo MTV RAPS”
Yo MTV RAPS first aired:
Aug 6th 1988

CLUE 2:
Ice Cubes single “today was a good day” released on:
Feb 23 1993

CLUE 3:
”The Lakers beat the Super Sonics”
Dates between Yo MTV Raps air date AUGUST 6 1988 and the release of the single FEBRUARY 23 1993 where the Lakers beat the Super Sonics:
Nov 11 1988    114-103
Nov 30 1988    110-106
Apr    4 1989    115-97
Apr  23 1989    121-117
Jan  17 1990    100-90
Feb  28 1990    112-107
Mar  25 1990    116-94
Apr  17  1990    102-101
Jan  18  1991    105-96
Mar  24  1991    113-96
Apr  21  1991    103-100
Jan  20  1992    116-110

CLUE 4:
Dates of those Laker wins over SuperSonics where it was a clear day with no Smog:
Nov 30 1988
Apr   4  1989
Jan 18  1991
Jan 20  1992

CLUE 5:
“Got a beep from Kim, and she can fuck all night”
beepers weren’t adopted by mobile phone companies until the 1990s. Dates left where mobile beepers were availible to public:
Jan 18 1991
Jan 20 1992

CLUE 6:
Ice Cube starred in the film “Boyz in the hood” that released late Summer of 1991, but was being filmed mid-late 1990 early 1991 and Ice Cube was busy on set filming the movie Jan 18 1991 too busy to be lounging around the streets with no plans. Ladies and Gentlemen..

The ONLY day where:
Yo MTV Raps was on air
It was a clear and smogless day
Beepers were commercially sold
Lakers beat the SuperSonics
and Ice Cube had no events to attend was…

JANUARY 20 1992
National Good Day Day

Of course, it’s not that easy. Someone else has already set to disprove the day of January 20, 1992 as being the Good Day. 

Blue Scholars Sign to the People

blue scholars

One of my favorite underground hip hop groups over the past couple of years has been Seattle-based Blue Scholars. If you don’t know much about them, they are a duo comprised of producer/DJ Sabzi and MC Geologic. They produce really good socially conscious hip hop. Some of the themes that appear throughout their albums and EPs include struggles between socioeconomic classes, challenging authority and youth empowerment. Recently they announced that their forthcoming album, Cinemetropolis, would forgo a traditional record label release. Instead, they are signing to “the people.”

After weighing all options for the release of our third full-length studio album, Cinemetropolis, we’ve decided to forego all traditional channels and return to the independent approach that made Blue Scholars who we are. No record label. No marketing and distribution deal. No middlemen. No bullsh*t.

Instead, we’re going to sign a deal with the people. Specifically, you.

An industry-standard release leaves very little to the imagination or creative diversion. A set amount of singles, videos, and a tour, constantly negotiated by a contract that dictates the “life cycle” of an album. Thing is, Cinemetropolis is our most ambitious release yet, and we don’t want to stick to the script.

Our philosophy has always been to create our music and our media with creative freedom while still being able to sustain and grow ourselves. And at this point, we don’t believe that the tired music industrial model is necessary for people to pick up what we’re putting down. We don’t need to compromise our vision by ascribing to the “deal.” We believe the power of word-of-mouth far more than industry-induced hype, recognizing that it’s been the support of our fans and not what we’ve signed that have gotten us where we are.

With your support, we’ll be able to release Cinemetropolis to you directly. Those who pledge in this campaign will receive the digital album weeks before it’s actually released in June, and will get special exclusive-to-Kickstarter swag, not to mention be the first people to find out about when our Cinemetropolis singles, videos, and merch gets released.

Check out their Kickstarter video.

So, they group has created a Kickstarter page. Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. The premise is simple, donate money and receive stuff. What you receive from Blue Scholars depends on how much you donate. You can see the different levels here. Blue Scholars is definitely one of the most creative groups out there. You should kick in a few bucks and help them out. When you think about it, you’d be spending $10 for their album on iTunes anyway. Why not send it directly to them and get the album for free before it’s released? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Personally, I’m glad to see more and more musicians using Kickstarter. It definitely helps show that their music is appreciated and allows the musician to cut out middle men and release directly to the fans that support them.