I write about culture from a pro-Black perspective

What’s the Best Way to Make Music?

I’m rather opinionated about music. Folks know this.

And while all that frustration criticism comes through loud and clear when I write or tweet, I’m definitely not as good at communicating that I understand and respect how profoundly difficult making music really is.

I thought about this when I came across this Tyrese quote on Singersroom.com:

“Producers these days are lazy. Making tracks. Sending emails. I’m just saying. When you make music under the same roof, with the actual artist that you’re working with, everybody is praying together, eating together, laughing together. It’s a different kind of nuance that’s created around music.”  (emphasis mine)

I do think there’s something profoundly special about the music that can come from songwriters, producers and artists spending time together crafting music that the artist feels a close connection to because that artist has had some input into making it, but with that understanding comes a deeper understanding that I think critics of black music don’t articulate nearly enough: what Tyrese longs for is the exception in the music industry, not the rule, particularly with black popular music.

In other words, a lot of people aren’t afforded the luxury of getting into a room with the best songwriters and producers and creating something that they can feel has the personal touch because that’s not the kind of artist they are intended to be, whether they know it and acknowledge it or not. We should be honest about this fact.

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Posted on February 13th, 2013 - Filed under Music
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Flashback: Bobby Brown Singing Donny Hathaway’s ‘A Song For You’

At 10 years old, you couldn't tell me Bobby Brown wasn't the illest brotha in the world.

Twenty years later, you still can't.

I might have watched this 5 or 6 times in a row before deciding to post it here. There is something special about watching a great artist at the peak of his powers.

Bobby Brown was known for his high-energy, controversial performances. But his considerable vocal skills have been forgotten, I think.  He's fantastic here, nailing the song, but also giving it a new jack swing and a gospel flair (particularly when the background singers go in) that makes it a little different.

Posted on January 6th, 2012 - Filed under Hot Videos,Music
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