I’m going to stat today off with a fun historical factotum. Good music comes from all eras and places after all. Then I’ll get us into more contemporary sounds. I found a bachata artist to feature! Prince Royce is pretty famous, and not just for a bachata artist. I think that makes him a perfect window into the wonderful world of Dominican popular dance music – and beyond!
This was the first music video my dad ever produced back in 1981. It is believed to be the first music video specifically made for hip-hop culture. The song itself is funk, but the cultural and musical distinctions did not yet exist at the time. My mom is in the video as well, so it’s a funny little family affair. MTV would not play this video because the act was black. That was the official policy. It took the unrelenting popularity of Michael Jackson to change that. The 80s people, the 80s.
Now this song here shows that I have a lot of learning to do about various Latin American popular music forms. I would not have been able to pick this song out as bachata from some sort of sonic lineup. And that’s ok, such a quality does not a bad person make. It is confusing to me too though. On the radio there is a DJ, Alex Sensation, who is a bachata personality, that makes very different music that this. This here is a nice steady romantic song, you can dance to it, but in my mind this has slow dance at the end of the night written all over it – and what a night it will be 😉
But this Sensation character doesn’t produce this kind of music. He is a club DJ and as far as I can tell the only thing this song and Sensation’s have in common is dancability and language. This issue requires further sciencing. Until then, seduce somebody with ‘Te Robaré tonight.
This is a fine pump up song, and it takes a perfect combination of Rustie and Danny Brown to do it. Rustie is an EDM-ish artist who I predict you will hear more about in coming years. Danny Brown has been rapping for a while now, and personally I find his voice a bit grating. But he’s ideal for a project conceived such as this, and he kills it. Aggressive and antagonistic, ‘attak’ is the right name for this song. I like that it never feels so heavy that the successive verses and beats either fail to land, or become un-pleasurably overwhelming. I have found a mixed response to this song. I don’t get it, this hypes me up, but the world is the way it is, and I can forgive if this song doesn’t do it for you. But you are wrong. Also I like Danny’s new style, looks like a someone I would have seen at Afropunk (I told everyone to go, and I hope you did)
Speaking of Afropunk, I ran into this group there and I was more than impressed. They were, for my money, the best rappers who showed up to that part on Saturday. They don’t have any new videos up that feature the whole crew, so this older track will have to do. But if you like hip hop, eat up everything they have online.
Sometimes songs are a collection of puzzle pieces. Two songs are two different puzzles, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that all of the pieces usually don’t fit into one giant beautiful puzzle if you try to put them together. It takes a skilled mixer to identify and then create a good unified puzzle. We have an example of one such instance right here. Hearing it you would think Nas and Flume worked on this together, it seems so obvious.
Oh boy that’s a lot of excitement, so get out that having started the weekend off right