Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hip Hop is Dead the Album

Nas's upcoming album titled " Hip Hop Is Dead," can easily be the most anticpated Hip Hop album of 2006.
Ever since Nas made peace with former hip hop rival, Jay-Z, and signed to his record label, the hip hop community were anxiously waiting for his next album release. Nas has always been known to be one of the top lyricsts in Hip Hop. His first album "Illmatic," was so good that many serious Hip Hop scolars proclaimed it be the best Hip Hop album ever created. Now, nearly 15 years into the Hip Hop industry, Nas is still making songs that attract serious attention.
In his latest album, Nas is attempting to make people realize that Hip Hop is dying. He wants people to know that Hip Hop is not what it once was and that today's Hip Hop is more focused on money and snapping fingers. The title "Hip Hop is Dead," can act as an eye opener for those who have not noticed the corrupted state that Hip Hop is currently in. `
So far, the album has going through some tough times. At the beginning of the year, it was predicted that Nas's album would be release around September 14. As the time approaches, Nas was forced to delay his album to a November release. And again, Nas was then forced to delay the album to December 19. Nas delayed his album because it was not ready yet.
Along side the delays, some of the tracks on the album leaked. Tracks such as The N, Hip Hop is Dead, Where are they now, and Black Republican, the highly anticipated Nas and Jay-Z collaboration song, were leaked onto the internet. The leak tracks were considered very impressive by fans.
Just today on BET, Nas released his first music video from the Album, to the public. The music video is of the song "Hip Hop is Dead." Overall, the song and the music video centered around a fictional setting were Hip Hop was officially nonexistent in the public.

Nas Album drops December 19. I highly suggest serious Hip Hop heads to check it out.

Hip Hop is Dead music video

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

East Vs West Hip Hop

For those of you who are not familiar with Hip Hop, it has several sides. The two sides Hip Hop that tends to be the most infamous is the West Coast and the East Coast. Though some people might think that rap is just rap, hip hop actually has different styles according to coast or personality of the emcee.

East Coast is known to be the originators of hip hop. It was at the East Coast were hip hop started. Most of East Coast hip hop is based on the fundamentals, the lyrics and break beats. Upon hear an emcee, it can quite easy to tell if he or she is from New York. A rapper from New York would tend to be very lyrical. Example of some fine New York rappers include Nas, The Notrious B.I.G, Jay-Z, KRS-ONE, and many others. These emcee's lyrics tend to be really thought provoking and stays very close to the foundation of true hip hop. Not New York artists tend to be lyrically gifted but they are also different when it comes to music production. The beats from East Coast producers would contain sampling, and other traditional forms of hip hop production.

The West Coast whoever is a different story. While the East Coast as been known for originating hip hop, the West coast has been known for inovating it. The West Coast started gangster rap. Gangster rap tends to be less traditional than the music from the East Coast. Gangster rap uses funky beats, and would tend to be more straight forward than lyrical. For most of the time, lyrics of gangster rappers would revolve around life in poverty and mischieves acts committed by the rappers.Excellent examples of West Coast emcees include, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Tupac, and Ice T. Most of the noticable West Coast rap would come Los Angeles. There are other parts of the West Coast, such as the Bay Area, that would contribute musically. Bay Area rappers such as Too Short, E-40, Mac Dre, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien all part of the West Coast.

The balance for hip hop dominance is constantly shifting. Not all the money and power comes from one coast. The Coasts are constantly battling each other for Hip Hop supremecy. When Hip Hop first started, Hip Hop belonged to the East Coast. Then in 1988, when the West Coast group, N.W.A, dropped Straight Outta Compton, then the attention when directly to West Coast. From that time till 1993, the West Coast owned Hip Hop. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg's G-Funk made people forget about the East Coast during that time period. Then in 1994, New York emcee's Nas and The Notorious B.I.G. release albums that shifted the power back to the East Coast. Now, mainstream hip hop is currently being overrun by the South by their Crunk style music.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Last Training Day with KSJS

My Last Training Day with KSJS can be described in one word, disaster. I suffered a lot of technical problems while I was on the air. One of the notable problems was the major mistake I did with the instrumental track. At the radio station, it is good to play an instrumental track while talking live on air. Playing an instrumental track makes the DJ sound more enjoyable as he or she speaks. One of the major mistakes I did at my last training day involved the instrumental track. As I looked up at the clock, I noticed that it was almost my time to announce my live Public Service announcement. It was planned that after the track that is currently playing would end, I would play the instrumental and begin my announcement. When the track ended, I pushed the button to play instrumental. To my surprise, the intrumental track did not play on the air. As I fidget with the control panel, trying to get the instrumental to play, nothing was being played on the air. In other words, there was arounds 20 seconds of dead air. Dead air means nothing is being heard from the radio station.
Another problem I suffered was reading the Live PSA. Some of the public service annoucements were hard to read due to the faded ink on the paper, that I had to read. While reading the announcement on air, I would stumble on a couple of the phrases.
Those problems basically made my show sound unprepaired and utterly boring. Though there was some people that called the station claiming I was doing a good job, I had to feel that is was kind of like pity. Having 2 hours to myself seems to be a lot harder than I thought.

This will not be the end of my radio experience. I will continue to show up at Beatnik's show for a couple more weeks, including this Thanksgiving. Though Deejaying maybe somewhat hard, it also fun as well. I will use the remaining weeks I have to sharpen my skills. Thank you for all those that were able to listen me on the radio station.

Want to become connected with KSJS? Here is the Message Board. You can contact the KSJS DJs here.

Listen to KSJS RIGHT NOW!!!

I'll still be at the station this Thanksgiving Thursday. 8:00-10:00 am.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Is Hip Hop Dead?

According to Nas, a self-conscious rapper, Hip Hop is slowly dying due to it's lack of self control. Hip Hop is not like what it was once now. Back then, Hip Hop was not about money, it was actually more about being something. At that early time period, Hip Hop did not involve a lot of money. Local DJs would assemble parties at the parks and play music to people for free. Now, Hip Hop has changed. Hip Hop is being crupted by money and large corporations.
Money has been one of the main reasons why Hip Hop is dying. Hip Hop artists of today are more focused on money rather than talent and skill. Instead of exposing some lyrical talent on the mic, current artist would rather make club hits and make more money.
Another reason why Hip Hop is dying is because the large corporations. Large corporations are the ones in control of the music artists. They are one's that influence the artist music style. Rappers are not in control of their music anymore because they are now slaves to the record label.
Much of the blame can be pointed towards the South. Their "Crunk," style of Hip Hop involves a lot of yelling and very little talent. Though their music lacks creativity, the beats of their songs are very easy to dance too, that is why it is so popular. This "Crunk," has then shadowed over what true Hip Hop sounded like. "Crunk," is best example of the death of Hip Hop. "Crunk," focuses on money rather than lyrical talent, and also it is widely influenced by the corporations the pushes it to make club hits.
Though most of the Hip Hop radio stations are filled with this type of music, there are some artists out there that are bringing the orignal style of Hip Hop back. For example, the group Little Brother is widely known for their lyrical abilities that mimicked early 90's Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Others artist such as Lupe Fiasco, Common, Nas, and many others are also contributing to the return to the Golden Age of Hip Hop. It's is up to the listeners to decide which is more important, the essence of Hip Hop culture or money.

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Fourth Training Day at KSJS

I started my fourth training day with a quick review. I first asked my trainer operate the board and fill out the logs while I observed for the very last time. This will be the very last time Beatnik would show me how everything works. After she spent an hour reviewing the basics, I was ready to start an hour all to myself.
To start of my hour, I played the "Kings of Rock," by Run DMC. It was a lively track that lasted five mins. I choose this song because it's longer than an average hip hop track, also I helps establish the mood for the rest of the show. During the 5 mins, I was able to dig into to KSJS music library and find the songs that I would play on air. Also during time, I would ready the medium rotation tracks and the heavy rotation tracks. After playing another song, I had prepare myself before talking on the air live. Right when the song ended, I started up the instrumental track, a track contains only music and no lyrics, and began to speak. I basically told my listeners that I have officially taken over the radio station and kicked Beatnik off the studio. Beatnik thought it was a funny gimmick. Shortly after making my first solo annoucment live, the phone rang. It was listener who wanted to request a song. I digged through the library again and I was able to find the exact track he wanted.
Through out most of my show, I was bombared with numerous phone calls. All of them requested certain tracks to be played on air. Though I was frustrated that I was not able to select most of the music for my program, I was still able to abide by my listeners request.
There was part of the program were I messed up pretty bad. At around the 20 min. mark, I had to read a live public service annoucement on air. After reading it, potted down the instrumental and began to play another track. As I played the track, I began to ramble about how my voice sounded funny. To my surprise, Beatnik pointed out that I forgot to turn off my microphone. In other words, my listeners were able to hear the ramblings I made toward myself.
After the my finishing my training session, I was greeted by my friends at the Student Union. They claimed that they heard me on the radio. Suddenly, my friends started to laugh. My friends then told me that they were the ones making the requests on the radio. Also, they even altered their voice so I would not recognize them.
Overall, my session was really fun. I was able to play music for my listeners to enjoy. This week would be my last Training Session. According to Beatnik, I would have 2 hours all to myself. I just hope that I would be able to pull this gig off.

Want to listen to KSJS but don't know when your favorite music genre will be on? Here is the schedule.

Don't forget to tune in to my last training session this
Thursday 8:00-10:00 am.

Listen to KSJS right now.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Since I won't be in class this Thursday, I decided to a blog about a very important TV station in the Philippines. ABS-CBN is a very popular TV station in the country. The station contains a lot of different kinds of TV programs. Out of all the programs, dramas, game shows, and talk shows seemed to be most favored by Filipinos.
In the Philippines, soap operas a very popular. One of the reasons why it is so popular is because Filipinos in the Philippines are constantly living in a troubled state. Philippines is a third world country and many of it's citizens are poor or constantly in need of help. I believe Filipinos love these soap operas because they can easily relate to the characters on the shows.
One popular show called,Maalaala Mo Kaya, is show that features a different heart warming story everytime. Popular themes for these kinds of stories include love and overcoming hardships. These kinds of shows can fill Filipinos with much hope.
Other than dramas, talk shows tend to be another popular part of the TV station. Talk shows would most likely feature celebrities, Filipino's with special talents, or Filipino with special stories to tell.
The reason why these talk shows are popular is because Filipinos love celebrities. Filipinos are constantly talking about Celebrities all the time. So, a good way to gossip about celebrities is on talk shows. Seeing succussful Filipinos can also give the people some hope.
Another popular part of the station has to include game shows. Game shows such as the infamous "Wowowee" are popular because there is money involved. These game shows can give people in the Philippines better lives if they win.
This station is important to the Philippines because it influences the whole country. ABS-CBN can keep Filipinos informed and entertained. Also, It can give hope to those Filipinos who watch it.

In their website, there are a lot of different features. There are sections about celebrities, movies, and TV programs. The site is in Tagalish, a slang term meaning half Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines, and English. Basically the whole country can understand English pretty well because it was a colony of the United States.

Another important thing about the site is the numerous references to Text messages. In the United States, text messaging can be used as an alternative of form of comunication, though it's not commonly used. In the Philippines, text messaging is life. Filipinos constantly text message each other all the time. They reason why text messages are so popular is because of the cheep price. A simple text message can cost a person about 1 piso. A piso is equivelent to 2 pennys. With text message references all over the site, Filipinos can easily communicate with the station.

Here's their website

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My Third Training Day on KSJS

From the last time I wrote about the radio station, I had my first chance to actually say something on the air. My third day of training is nothing compared to the first two training sessions.
My third day started off with a bang. As soon as I entered the studio, Beatnik immediatley asked me to use the mic. She asked me to say hello and tell listeners that I was at the studio. After saying such things, I then had to ready the list of music I had to play on the air. Beatnik then told me that I am going to speak at every time we go on air. So, for the rest of Beatnik's show, I was the one front annoucing and back annoucing tracks, reading the live PSA and promos, and updating listeners with information. It was tough at first, but at the end, I got the hang of it. I'm actually quite familar with using the mic now.
Not only was I speaking on the mic a lot, I was also the one playing the music. I was the one setting up the cds, queing up the music tracks, and adjusting the volume the board. It's still a pretty overwhelming process. I would probably get use to it over the next training session.
Another thing I had to do on my third training session was answer the phone lines. This tended to be a very annoying process. Every couple of minutes the phone would ring and I would forced to answer the call. Most of the time, the caller would make music request. These request were annoying because I had to literally dig into the shelves of the studio to find the specific song the caller wanted.
Another task I had to complete was filling out the music and traffic logs. Everytime I played a song or presented a PSA, I had to write it down on the log. It's one of the radio stations way of keeping track with what was said on the air.
Though my third day was pretty much an overwhelming day, it was still pretty much fun. I got a lot of feed back from friends and family that were listening to me. Basically, everyone that knew that listened to the radio the station said that my voice sounded funny. I just can't wait for my next training to come.

My next training day is at Thurday morning, 8:00-10:00 a.m.

Listen to KSJS right now.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nas's new album leaks a couple of tracks

Hip Hop is Dead, the newest album by Nas, is destined to be the most anticpated hip hop album of the year. Ever since Nas signed with Def Jam and former rival Jay-Z, concious hip hops eagerly wait for his next masterpiece to come out. In last year's Vibe magazine , Nas's next album was voted to be the most anticipated album of 2006, next to The Game's The Doctor's Advocate. Halfway through the year, Nas stunned the media by annoucing the title of his next album. The title "Hip Hop is Dead," drew some mix feedback between hip hop fans. Many of the fans thought the title was a great idea because it helped addressed the problem that Hip Hop is slowing dying due to it's money hungry corporations. Others believe the title was irrelevant because they believed that Hip Hop is still alive and that it is not dying. Overvall, Nas addressed the public saying that his latest album will include topics that revolve around the Hip Hop is dying belief, a dedication to old school rap artists, an unauthorized biography of KRS-ONE, and the long awaited collaboration with Jay-Z. Nas also said that his album would include great Hip Hop producers such as DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, Will.I.AM.,and Salam Remi. Most of all, the hype for this album has been unbelieveable. Numerous Hip Hop forums were flooded by Nas fans due to their excitement of the album. Though everything looked good for Nas, there were some times where he would suffered some negative parts. "Hip Hop is Dead," was scheduled to released on September, 14, Nas's birthday, but instead the album delayed to till some time in the month November. As time grew closer, Nas album again was then again delayed till the month of December. Not only is his album being delayed, he also has to face some tough competition. Jay-Z, just recently coming out of retirement, is dropping his album, "Kingdom Come", in the month of November along side The Game's "Doctor's Advocate."
Just recently, inside Hip Hop forums, there were numerous threads that would show leaked songs of Nas's album. The songs leaked from album so far is "
I suggest you download these leaked songs and formulate an early opinion on the album. From what I have heard so far, this is destined to one of Nas's best works. It's a classic in the making.