All posts by Chinwe Oniah

Issue: Copycats

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No matter the genre, sampling has been a mainstay in popular music, with hip-hop taking lead of the trend, but the trend has been a problem for some.

Rap artist Kanye West is well known for sampling music from musicians to make his own signature style of music and others have followed in his footsteps, but they haven’t taken the proper legal precautions to make sure that it was ok to do.

There are rap artists that make mixtapes – a mix of music not formally released by a record label, but independently by the artist – who outright use music from other artists without giving attribution or asking the artist if they could use their music. However, this is a growing trend in the underground rap/hip-hop scene where rappers take beats from other rappers and try to best them lyrically, to make a remix or to make their own version of the song.

For example rapper Vanilla Ice took David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” music and used it for his own song “Ice Ice Baby.” He claimed that he didn’t sample the music, but later released a statement saying that he did use their music.

Another recent example is singer/rapper Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas ripped the music for her song “Fergalicious” from J.J. Fad’s “Supersonic.” She didn’t ask permission to use the song and subsequently was sued by one of the creators of the song for not getting any royalties from the song. Fergie and the Black Eyes Peas have been accused of copyright infringement before and they last were sued by a music group Groundation for sampling their music without permission.

 

News Story: Running for “On the Run”

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Beyonce and Jay Z fans alike took off running to the closet source of Internet to grab their tickets for the “On the Run” tour, the first tour that the husband and wife duo has done together and tickets were not cheap.

Forbes.com reports that the average cost of tickets is $342.67, 90 percent more expensive than Jay Z’s Magna Carta tour and 17 percent more expensive than Beyonce’s Mrs. Carter tour.

Pre-sale tickets that were sold exclusively to those that bank with Chase on April 29 sold out quickly. Those that didn’t get tickets or were non-Chase members had to wait the next day to try and get the second wave of pre-sale tickets. Ticket prices range from $50 to $990 plus.

Some fans were able to cash out and pay for the nearly thousand-dollar floor seat. Reanne Swafford of Los Angeles posted on her Facebook page.

“Got ‘em,” she wrote. Floor seat tickets to the show that she received as a gift from her boyfriend she later revealed in the post.

But other were not so lucky.

Yozmine Modeste, a long time fan of Beyonce, was too late to get the pre-sale tickets. Instead of the getting up early like most fans did to get their tickets. She waited till later in the day and found out that the pre-sales were sold out.

“I was sad because I love my bitch,” she said.

She later learned that she could get tickets on other days, but the prices detracted her from buying a ticket.

“I lover her, but I don’t love her that much.”

http://www.ticketmaster.com/on-the-run-tour-beyonce-and-miami-florida-06-25-2014/event/0D004C98D3BCD312?tm_link=edp_onsale

Profile: Iman Europe

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Creativity is the engine that seems to keep the music industry staying afloat. With new artists bumping the old model of becoming successful and looking toward building a following through social media, the music world has become saturated with news sounds from a myriad of new artists.

One of those artists is Iman Europe, a California transplant who moved from the Golden State to The Big Apple to stand out from all the music acts coming out from the state.

“California has all the heavy hitters…and it’s very hard to try to shine in a place where so many people are already shining,” she said

Critics say that her sound is different and unique. She calls her sound ‘psychedelic soul’, drawing on elements from rap, R&B, soul, and trance music to produce a trippy conglomerate of different sounds that resemble Frank Ocean on an acid trip.

She had her first New York showcase at the legendary S.O.B’s music venue, a popular venue that was the launching pad for many of the artist that Europe draws inspiration from. Kanye West and Erykah Badu, artists that have played at S.O.B’s are among the few artists that have inspired Europe and her sound.

She’s also comes from a musical family. Her father is a musician playing bass while her mother was the lyricist. Europe believes that the combination of the two is what piqued her interest in music.

Europe symbolizes a new trend in the music business of up and coming artist that have forged their careers through social media and word of mouth. New popular artists like Kendrick Lamar, Jhene Aiko, and Evyn Streeter have created a following using social media. If list of big names that S.O.B’s has hosted is any indicator, Iman Europe is destined to be a big star

Review: Hey G I R L: Pharrell Williams releases New Album

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Pharrell Williams, the producer extraordinaire who has produced for the likes of Jay-Z, N.E.R.D, Robin Thicke, Gwen Stefani, and a slew of other artist released his second studio album “G I R L” March 3, 2014 on the heels of his catchy single “Happy”, a song that was part of the “Despicable Me 2” film soundtrack.

While we’ve come to know Williams because of his production, the production of this album falls flat.

To be fair, I hold Williams to a higher standard than I do most producers because the work that he produces is stellar and is beyond the curve of what is being produced today or in any era of hip-hop and R&B. So when “G I R L” was released, I was disappointed because the sounds were not revolutionary as I have come to know Williams’ music to be.

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The track “Happy” sticks out as the only track that shows off his musical prowess. The track features a group of singing voices that elevate the word ‘happy’ making the listener feel like spring has arrived and flowers are in bloom. Sonically, the song takes the listener back to time when they had no worries and were playing kickball with their friends at recess.

This track, however, is not the only one that was elevated above the rest. “Marilyn Monroe” the opening track gives a dark 70’s disco vibe, but falsely sets the tone for the rest of the album. Overall as a collection of songs, the album didn’t work for me because it started to feel monotonous and similar despite the varying textures in sound. As singles listened independently of each other, each track has it’s own special quirk that can be appreciated. I give this album 3 out of 5 stars.