Tag Archives: hiphop

Song Analysis: Kanye West – All Day

[Produced by Velous, Kanye West, Diddy and Charlie Heat; Co-produced by Mike Dean, French Montana and Noah Goldstein; Additional production by Plain Pat, Travi$ Scott, Allen Ritter & Mario Winans]

Yo. I remember seeing this video for the first time. It always cracks me up how, if you’ve been to a more “urban” rap show, rappers would always have like 5 – 10 of their friends just up on stage bouncing around.

Kanye, in true Kanye fashion, took this idea and multiplied it a billion times. AND IT’S AWESOME. The flame throwers are what really got to me. Once I saw those, I was like Kanye damn did it again.

The track was produced by newcomer Velous (with coproduction from a whole lotta people). Velous  came up by producing beats for French Montana.

That growly bass used sparingly in the song is a great touch. As much as I love the true 808 basses, I like how Kanye really diversifies and makes the beats he uses standout from typical trap tracks. That wall of brass bass and chorus is also awesome. Followed by some nice contrast with the angelic singing and the Allan Kingdom hook.
My favorite line in the whole song is the Denzel Washington reference. Come on Ye, that’s David Palmer from 24. The followup line is also super dope. “If you run into me, you better have Allstate with ya.”

24/7, 365 days, everybody gettin’ paid” Ohh shiieet !



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BookKeeping For Musicians Pt. 1 – 2/7/2014

For as long as I can remember, I have never been a numbers person.

I took an accounting class when I was 19. Got a 37%. And that was me trying !

That’s gonna change. You all gonna respect me for ability to do basic book keeping !

I am gonna record my kaizen-like journey into book keeping and how I am gonna use it for music.

Like for example tomorrow, Im going to play a show in Bloomington, IN.

and I have absolutely no idea how to record it. But I will soon.

Here’s 4 Reasons to Keep Records from Canada Business.

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Kaizen and SongWriting

Kaizen  is the idea of continuous improvement.

Something. Anything.

In anyway shape or form.

Today, write a lyric. Write a poem. Play guitar. Watch a Reason tutorial video. Read a book on How2Rap. Run a few laps around your block. Do those vocal exercises. Find out who Robin Frederick is.

Something. Anything.

Do something that will make you 1% better than you were yesterday.

It adds up.

Of course, always feel free to go more than 1%. go 110% if you want.

But keep going.

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The Ten Most Important Themes For SongWriting


 Songs about relationships rule the charts.

I love you. Now we’re done. Now I lost you. Im so lonely. I cheated on my girlfriend. She cheated on me. We get back together. We break up again. Im never giving this up.

People LOVE drama. They’re addicted to it.  Whether it’s the fun happy times or the endless aching, people need to feel something. If you want to level up your songwriting, then you need to understand why people listen and respond to certain songs.

We’re all natural voyeurs. Curious of everything that is going in our lives and other people’s lives. It’s just human nature.

Being a songwriter, we need to write about the moments that offer change and insight.

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Book Review: James Brown The GodFather of Soul: An Autobiography

James Brown is the hardest working man ever in show business.

When it comes down to it, music is judged and enjoyed on how well you write songs and play live. That’s really it. Reading from this book, you can feel how much James Brown LOVED playing live. He needed it. He lived for it. Nothing was gonna stop him. Getting inspiration from how hard his dad worked, James Brown gave it all his every single time.

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4 Points Of Views That Will Supercharge Your Lyrics

4 points of view

Lyrics are what make or break a song. It is what helps you create that authentic connection with your crowd. The words you write are the steak in the four course meal.  What really helps give the song you’re writing some direction is knowing whose point of view the song is coming from. From this, you can write the verses that best expresses the way you or this person feels. There are 4 different types.

First person to another

By far, this is the most popular style of song to write in. Just take a look at the Billboard charts and you’ll see a lot of effective examples that utilize this type of point of view. Bruno Mars When I Was Your Man, Selena Gomez, Come & Get It, Justin Timberlake’s Mirror. A lot of rap songs are from this point of view as well. Mostly toward haters and doubters and hoes, but you get the point. It’s really effective because the audience will fill in their own meaning for whoever you’re writing about it, allowing them to really make a connection. Some of the love songs written in this style are either about success stories or unrequited love. Kendrick Lamar’s “Sing About Me, Im Dying Of Thirst” is a really moving example of this. Eminem’s “Stan”  is another,

First person about another person

You ever vent to your friends about someone you’re crushing on. That’s what this style of writing does. It’s like you’re telling your best friend about someone else. And it’s very cathartic. A lot of Weezer songs are in this style. “No One Else” “Butterfly”.  Drake’s “HYFR” is also another good example.

In first person, plural together

Now this style stresses the “we” part of where the emotions are coming from. A lot of duets are written with this style. Pink’s song with Nate Ruess, Just Give Me A Reason, Rihanna’s duet with Mikky Ekko, Stay. A lot of hip hop posse cuts are written with “the clique” in mind too. Rick Ross’s Stay Schemin comes to mind. Some other hip hop examples are SugarHillGang’s “Rapper’s Delight”  and Atmosphere’s “Crewed Up”.

Third person narrative

With this style, you’re expressing “she did this or this happened to him.” It takes a lot of storytelling discipline to write verses from this point of view. You’ll be using a lot of “he, she” pronouns. I like to pretend that Im telling my friends about a certain event. Again, just do your best to make the song sound like you’re having a conversation. There’s a ton of Beatles songs that use the the third person narrative. Ob la di, Eleanor Rigby, etc. Lil Wayne’s Love Me. Slick Rick’s Children Story.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when writing lyrics is to be straightforward and honest. Get right to the point and be genuine about it. Remember where you, or your characters are coming from. From the very first word, make sure everyone stays in line with their emotions. Always review your work.

SongWriting Exercise

Come up with a list of songs that coming from each point of view. Examine what makes you like the song.

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Song Analysis – Mase “Feels So Good”

I remember being 12 years old and listening to Mase’s Harlem World, thinking this Bad Boy Records is the coolest ever. Honestly, one of the most influential cds in my life. My nickname “Rockonova” came from excessively listening to these tracks. The single, Feels So Good, introduced us to Puff Daddy’s shiny suit jacket sidekick, Ma$e. No longer called Murda Mase, he went on to sign to Bad Boy Records.


From the trumpet intro accompanied by Puff Daddy talking smack, the song grabs you right away. The original sample is Kool & The Gang’s “Hollywood Swinging” and the track was produced by D-Dot and Puff Daddy. I know most people hate on such a blatant sample, but this track does what it’s suppose to do, which is to get girls dancing at the club. The bass riff played by Andre Beeka really adds to that groove that makes the whole song.


With a hook interpolated from Miami’s Sound Machine “Bad Boy”, the track is just a feel good track made for the clubs. With verses swaggin it out, Ma$e’s flow is perfect for when you’re on the dancefloor just trying to grind up some girls.

Do Mase got the ladies?
Do Puff drive Mercedes?
Take hits from the 80’s?
But do it sound so crazy?


A great hook makes everything. And a great groove completes the song. So combining two of these elements from two already great songs makes for one awesome song! Before Mase became Father Mason, the dude was the king of swagger and that slow lyrical drawl. If you want a good blueprint for a lead single, look no further than this song.


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