Posts Tagged ‘hip hop’

Dawg Gone DavisWhile the musical style of Rap/Hip Hop has become extremely popular over the years and has become a lot more serious as that popularity has grown, there are still artists out there today who choose to create new Rap music with a less-than-serious side. One artist out there right now making a name for herself as she creates somewhat humorous (or at least light-hearted) rap music is Kansas City-based Rebecca Davis, better known under her stage name as Dawg Gone Davis.

As herself, Rebecca Davis splits her time between working an office job and writing as an author. It is the creative side of the author in her that led Davis to explore the musical side of her personality. And that musical side led to Dawg Gone Davis. As Dawg Gone Davis, Rebecca Davis is currently creating and releasing one song at a time. At this point, Davis has released four light-hearted Rap tracks which she has released as part of the four-song EP called In the Dawg Pound.

Currently, Dawg Gone Davis is promoting In the Dawg Pound with the first track that she has released as a single, “Middle Age Woman – Hip Hop Style”. “Middle Age Woman – Hip Hop Style” begins with a rather laidback backing track that contains a relatively jazzy feel to it. Once Dawg Gone Davis begins rapping, she raps about being the age she is and making music. The lyrics deal with growing old and not doing it lying down. The easy feel of the music along with the laidback pace to that music allow for Davis to take her time going through the message she wants to convey. This track proves that Dawg Gone Davis definitely can hang with the best of ‘em. And the fact that the track already gained notoriety having reached the top spot on the charts in Europe, Asia (including Russia) and South America doesn’t hurt.

Another track from In the Dawg Pound from Dawg Gone Davis is the track “Forever Music”. Just like the track before it, “Forever Music” contains a strong jazz-like feel to the music. And for the lyrical delivery on the track, Dawg Gone Davis takes a more straight-out “rapping” approach, keeping one thing in mind- “rapping” once simply meant “talking”. Davis’s vocals are simply her reciting the lyrics to the track. With that straight-out talking feel to the lyrics, “Forever Music’s” approach helps to show off Davis’ voice as it would normally be. “Forever Music” also shows off Davis’ sense of humor.  Lines like “Bach is not getting royalties…because he’s dead” show off that humor rather well. Just like “Middle Age Woman – Hip Hop Style” before it, the listener of In the Dawg Pound from Dawg Gone Davis gets to experience “Forever Music” after it already made its presence known over it Europe having already reached its peak position of #11.

Dawg Gone Davis continues her In the Dawg Pound EP with the track “Anthem Pandemonium”. The music for the track will remind many of pop-rock found on today’s Top 40 pop radio, in the style of someone like Ricky Martin (especially for the “pop” quality). For the lyrical content of the track, Davis creates lyrics that would fit with any Hip Hop/Pop icon who talks about their successes in the music field.  And like those she is following in the footsteps of, Dawg Gone Davis has the credentials to back up her boasts on the track; without going overboard with the bragging, that is. The track even has a refrain that is easily one of the most infectious moments on the EP.

For the final track that helps to make up the In the Dawg Pound EP, Dawg Gone Davis concludes with the track “Butt On Fiya”. While the track’s title may seem rather amusing, the track features a rather somber lyrical content as the lyrics deal with Davis’ real-life bout with cancer. Of course, the track isn’t all that serious as Davis talks about replacing the breasts she lost because the cancer that went through her body with an augmentation to her butt, hence the title of the track.  “I’m a pancake for sure. Nothing way up high. Oh yeah, baby. This Butt is On Fiya”. As far as the music of the track goes, the track features music that seems to fit more into Alternative Rock than anything else. It even contains a strong saxophone solo.

While Dawg Gone Davis may not seem like the type to grab the spotlight away from artist like J-Lo, Jay-Z or Kanye, she has already had her share of success. And that success that has come from both her music and the books she has written as an author has helped others as all proceeds from Rebecca’s book and music sales go to Operation Breakthrough’s neediest and most challenged babies and children. She is currently gearing up to release her fifth single to go along with the four that make up the In the Dawg Pound EP.

The In the Dawg Pound EP from Dawg Gone Davis can be found on the Bandcamp profile for the artist. Go there for each and every one of the four singles that make up the EP. You can also find her on i-tunes

For more information, check out the band’s PR Firm, Whiplash PR. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

Whiplash 

Singer-songwriter Scott Smith left Charleston, South Carolina because of a personal reason and moved to the Cleveland area. That same reason made Scott leave a few months ago after spending 3 years as a resident in the area. During the time he was here, Scott played at several of the area’s smaller venues where he would perfect songs he was writing. As a result of Smith expanding his songbook to include his own compositions, he ended up with enough songs to create an album. It is this group of songs that make up his new 2007 album, Quicksand Remedies.

Quicksand Remedies was recorded by Scott while he was in transition between leaving Cleveland and relocating back to Charleston. The album was produced by another local musician, Joe Rohan. Along with Rohan and co-producer Curt Leonard adding their musical touches to the release, it also features some of Cleveland’s best musicians backing Scott up. The inclusion of these talented individuals in the recording process of Scott Smith’s new album ended up making the release full-bodied and varied from track-to-track.

Because Scott Smith incorporates many different musical genres into his writing including jazz,  funk and even hip hop, Quicksand Remedies provides the listener with just a snapshot of what Scott’s sound is like. For instance, on tracks like “Parking Lot” and “Lively,” Scott lets out his reggae side and shows you what he was known for down in Charleston before he started writing his own music. Other songs like “Comin’ Round” and “G Funk” show Scott’s funky side.

Most of the songs on Quicksand Remedies are fleshed-out versions of stuff that Scott has been playing solo for years in the Cleveland area. However, there are songs like “Quicksand” and “Pocket” that show off Scott by allowing the listener to hear what those of us who followed Scott here in Cleveland have known for years: He is just as talented and entertaining when he is alone with just his guitar.

One of the best examples of what Scott sounds like live is displayed on his song, “The Flight”. “The Flight” is a Michael Hedges-inspired song that features Scott performing on his guitar: no band, no singing, just the guitar. While playing this song live, Scott would turn up the reverb on his sound board and let the reverb create a layering effect. Scott recreated this live sound in the studio. The resulting track reminds me of seeing Scott playing this song in concert.

One of the most interesting, and commercial radio-friendly songs on Quicksand Remedies is Scott’s song, “Amazed”. With this song, think Santana w/Rob Thomas-meets-Marc Cohn. The song starts with the listener joining in on a Santana-style jam that becomes a piano-driven ballad. Changing paces several times during the 4-plus minutes, the song fades out way too fast.

Scott Smith has created an album that you must hear that features music of many styles, from rock to reggae; from funk to jazz and everything in between. Each track on this CD has a very distinct sound and the resulting songs that make up this album definitely give a small but powerful indication of the talent of this musician. While it would absolutely require seeing this musician in concert to truly appreciate all he can do with his guitar, Scott Smith has created a release with the help of Joe Rohan and Curt Leonard that shows off just a small amount of his musical ability. Pick up a copy of Quicksand Remedies from Scott Smith and experience this talented musician for yourself.

For more information, go to Scott Smith’s website. Also check out his Facebook account.

Click HERE for a live performance of “The Flight” by Scott Smith

There is a movement in the music industry to create fresh sounds by combining elements from different music genres. Illinois-based Midwest Hype is one particular band that has created a new style by taking rock and roll and mixing it with several other genres. The resulting style from the band takes music in a whole different direction while keeping lovers of rock and roll happy.

Midwest Hype contains seven musicians who all come together to create the band’s style. The band consists of George Matthew Prellwitz on lead vocals and guitar, Max Kepler on drums, Nathan Miller on bass, Kevin Krizmanich on keyboards, Ben Morrisey on sax and Scott Whitford on trumpet and Justin “Ideal” Diehl as the vocalist/emcee. Along with the rock base, the band’s sound also incorporates jazz, R&B and hip-hop together to make a style that everyone can get behind. The band took several of their songs and entered the studio, where they worked with producer Steven Gillis who took their music and created a very strong release entitled Dayglow. Dayglow from Midwest Hype is a six-song release. And while the release is rather short, the powerful music created by Midwest Hype will keep the listener hanging on to each note played by the talented seven-piece band.

Dayglow begins with the song “Behind Our Eyes”. Right from the very first note of this track, you get a very good indication of what the band is all about. The track contains a solid reggae base to the music. Along with the reggae, you hear plenty of jazz influence through the playing Ben Morrisey on sax and Scott Whitford on trumpet. And while the words from Justin “Ideal” Diehl are done in a hip hop rhythm, his words fit well with the rest of the track, without adding any unneeded attitude you usually get from hip hop emcees.

Diehl is the first member of Midwest Hype that takes the spotlight on “Elastic Booty Shorts,” the second track of Dayglow. He takes the lead on the vocals while the band really takes amount of jazz on the approach to the music of the track. The hip hop/jazz fusion on this rock hybrid song creates a strong and commercial radio-friendly song that many will find very entertaining.

While the song “All is Water” still contains the same mixture of jazz, rock, reggae that is found on the rest of the release, the smooth approach to the song is a little softer than the previous tracks, which makes it perfect to be played on today’s smooth jazz radio stations.

The beginning of the track “Runaway” brings back just enough of the memory of Bob Marley to give fans of straight reggae music a reason to smile with a sound that seems to be reminiscent of Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”. George Matthew Prellwitz’s voice creates a strong focal point to draw the listener in. And when the band brings back the rest of their hybrid sound later in the track, they keep the energy up with Morrisey’s sax playing and Justin “Ideal” Diehl’s rapping.

The track “Do or Die” is probably the closest thing to a rock and roll feeling you’ll find on the release, as the band takes the song into a ska direction: The electric guitar from Prellwitz combined with the horns of Ben Morrisey and Scott Whitford make a strong rock/jazz combination that any ska lover will enjoy.

The Dayglow release from Midwest Hype comes to an end with the track “People of America”. Like a lot of the songs in reggae music, “People of America” has a strong message within the lyrics. The lyrics speak of enjoying the peace of our time.

Dayglow from Midwest Hype is a strong six-song release that incorporates many musical genres into one style that will make jazz fans, rock fans, and even hip hop fans happy. The songs created by Midwest Hype give the listener a clear view of the talent that each member of the band possesses, and the talent of the band as a whole. The only thing that may be a problem is the length of the CD: With only six songs, the release is over way too soon.

Click HERE to see the video to the band’s song “Do Or Die“.