• Club Bangers Compilation Vol.1 Snippets

Da Brat Out Of Prison With A New Outlook On Life.

Da Brat Is OUT!

I Must Admit, She’s Still Looking Good! What Do You Think, “Funkdafied”???

Check Out Her Article From “The Boombox

Da BratFresh off her release from prison, Da Brat is excited to get back into the swing of things. The female rapper is prepping tons of new projects including new music, a book, and getting up to speed on Twitter. Earlier this week, the 36-year-old completed a three-year bid for assaulting a waitress with an alcohol bottle back in 2007, and her new found freedom has changed her outlook on just about everything.

“It feels great,” Brat told The BoomBox about her new found freedom. “I’m still on house arrest, but I can do everything I need to do inside the house. I probably don’t need to go out right now anyway, so I’m blessed.”

Being confined to a cell where her structured routine included waking up at 7AM, cleaning her cell every morning for inspections from the warden, and keeping busy with prison activities, the Chicago native now appreciates the little things. “I get to sleep on a regular bed. I get to eat regular food. I get access to my computer toDa Brat see what’s going on in the world, because in there I didn’t have access to a computer. I’m just grateful to be out. I’ve been feeling great since I got out. I felt great when I was in there [because] I woke up every morning. You learn to count your blessings, to be grateful for the little things when you’re in a place like that.”

During her time behind bars Brat joined a prison “office club,” where she began work on her autobiography aptly titled, ‘Insubordination.’ The name was inspired by a trip to solitary confinement, which she says was the result of a young prison guard looking to “show off” by slapping her with the disciplinary action. “The book is pretty much about my life and lot of things that I have been through that nobody knows that I have been through, except the people close to me and my family. I think it’s a great book. It’s probably going to end up being some type of movie. I’m not trying to brag on it but everybody who reads it, they can’t put it down!” ‘Insubordination’ is currently without an ending, and will be released once Da Brat is able to have it professionally edited.

As previously reported, halfway through her sentence, Brat got a small taste of freedom through a prison work-release program that allowed her to work for a local company in AtlaDa Bratnta making windows. But even with the new skill under her belt, music remains her main goal, and although she has yet to get into the studio, she plans on following the lead of longtime friend Jermaine Dupri in plotting her return to the business. “The first thing that I wanna do is make some records,” Brat says. “I’m ready to record and make some songs. JD is ready with the equipment, with microphone, with a few beats, so I’m ready to knock them out as they come one by one.”

“I haven’t recorded in like two and a half years, so I don’t know what it’s gonna sound like,” she says. “I’m going to do a mixtape first, or whatever JD thinks.” Despite missing out on the social media craze of the past three years, Brat’s already jumped on Dupri’s Global 14 website. “There’s a fake Facebook page that’s not me,” she adds. ‘I’m doing my Twitter tonight. I’m just catching up on all this stuff.”

With hip-hop stars making news for going in and out of prison, and boosting their street cred in the process, Brat wants to make sure that breaking the law isn’t glorified, and urges her fans to stay on the straight and narrow. “You don’t wanna go to prison because you’re going to miss the people who love you,” she warns. “You’re going to miss your everyday life, and you’re going to miss everything that you take for granted right now. It’s not a good idea to go to prison. Trust me. I know.”

Rihanna and Ciara Going At It On Twitter.

CiaraRihannaRihanna & Cierra Beef’n?

It goes without saying that this recent beef between Rihanna and Ciara definitely increased their twitter statuses. I myself saw several people on Facebook and Twitter posting about it. So in case you were under a rock the last few days and did not get the chance to see or hear about how the beef got started, here’s the low down for you compliments of www.billboard.com.

Rihanna and Ciara fans got a taste of R&Beef when the sexy singers got into a war of words on Twitter last night (Feb. 25). Riri took offense to Ci Ci’s comments on E!’s “Fashion Police,” where Ciara mentioned that her last encounter with the Barbados beauty was less than positive. A few minutes later, Rihanna took to Twitter to retaliate, prompting a cat fight for all the world to see.

The Video that started the BEEF! 

Despite the saucy words exchanged, the diva battle was short-lived, as the pair quickly squashed the beef, kissed and made up … all on Twitter, of course. How ladylike!

@Rihanna: My bad ci, did I 4get to tip u? #howrudeofme

@ciara: Trust me Rhianna u dont want to see me on or off the stage

@Rihanna: U gangsta huh? Haaa

@Rihanna: Good luck with bookin that stage u speak of

@ciara: Pure comedy…

@Rihanna: Ciara baby, I love u girl! U hurt my feelings real bad on TV! I’m heartbroken! That’s y I retaliated this way! So sorry! #letsmakeup

@ciara: Rhi u know its always been love since day 1! Doing shows/everything. you threw me off in that party! Apology accepted. Let’s chat in person

 

What’s The Meaning Of Song Craft?

lyrics

Make Song Craft Work For You!

We all know that as songwriters, we sometimes think that if we feel an emotion or think a thought while writing a song, it will somehow, magically be communicated to listeners.

NOT! Don’t fool yourself!

Occasionally, accidently, that happens but, more often than not, listeners don’t seem to get it.

What’s happening here…?

The emotion that launched the song is simply not being communicated to listeners in a way they can understand and feel. This is where Song Craft can be your lifesaver.

So how do we address this matter…?

It’s a known fact that most successful songwriters have noticed that creating contrast just before or during an important line, like the hook, can make listeners suddenly tune in and take notice. You might suddenly leap from a low to a high note (an interval jump) on the first word of the line or stretch out the pace of the words to create contrast in pace. Listeners will notice there’s something different going on and they’ll pay attention, it’s human nature. Now you’ve got them involved and whatever it is you want to say, they’ll hear it!

This is just one example of how song craft can make your song more accessible and help get your message across.

Keep in mind that craft is never a substitute for heart. It’s your message, your story, your emotions that are driving the song. Song craft is there to deliver the message and make sure it gets heard. But the message, ultimately, is yours. If you’ve got an original, compelling and authentic message, song craft can ensure your listeners hear and feel the emotion you want to experience!writing

There are two important things to remember about song craft:

If you have something to say, but no song craft… listeners may not hear you.

If you have song craft, but nothing to say… listeners may not care.

Craft is always at the service of the song, never the other way around. It’s there to help you communicate effectively and memorably but it’s no substitute for YOU!

What song craft can do for you

So let’s get back to that song…the one that wasn’t grabbing listeners and shaking them up…and see what you can do to change that.

  • Are you giving listeners enough lyric information and developing it in a way they can follow?
  • Is your melody memorable, fresh and compelling?
  • Are you using contrast to keep and hold attention?
  • Is there enough repetition to provide a sense of structure but not so much that listeners get bored?

Remember, a hit song is one that effectively communicates emotion to listeners. The tools of the song craft trade are there to help you do exactly that!

Featured Artist: Armah Ogund’e

ArmahHailing from the Eastern Shore of Maryland with deep roots in both Cambridge and Salisbury Maryland, Armah Ogund’e has a true meaning of the genre R & B Soul. With his second album, “Healing Process” to be released in the last quarter of 2011, Dubb Spot Records was honored to have the opportunity to talk to Armah Ogund’e as our Featured Artist Of The Week.

Armah Ogund’e indulged us with his experiences as an R & B Artist from the Eastorn Shore, musical giants that he was inspired by and a long list of where his music can be found in several digital stores online.

DSR: How old were you when you developed an interest in music? 

AO: My love and passion for music actually developed at an early age. I was about 3 years old when it really caught my attention. I use to sneak and listen to my mother’s 45inch records. I use to take some of them and go play them on my peter cotton tail record player. Back then the substance of music was pure and heartfelt with such a good feel to it.   

DSR: So you’re from the Salisbury Maryland area. How is it to be an r & b artist on the eastern shore of Maryland?

AO: Well I was born and raised in Cambridge, Maryland but my bloodline comes from Salisbury, Maryland. My father is originally from the Salisbury area so I represent both areas to be honest. My mother is from Cambridge and my father is from Salisbury. As far a being an r & b artist in my area, I would say it’s a challenge. So much hidden talent resides here on the shore. You have to really make yourself stand out in whatever craft you choose. You have to display creativity and originality for people to take to you. Believe or not, people here on the shore are tougher than the Apollo crowd when they want to be. We respect real music and if your not putting it out you don’t get any attention.

DSR: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?

AO: I would say my sound give off a seductive vibe with lush melodies. Easy on the ears with the lyrics I choose to display for my listeners. My music is people friendly, it helps some get through certain situations or it just makes you feel good when you listen to it.

DSR: What influences shaped your musical style?

AO: I’m an inspired writer so my influence would have to be life. Personal experience helps me create my heartfelt music for my listeners. I can’t record a song without it being able to reach someone at some point of there life.   

DSR: If you had to put yourself into a genre or create your own, what would it be called?

AO: If I could create my own genre of music, I would have to label it “Healing Soul Music”.

DSR: Who is in charge of writing the songs? Where do you draw your inspiration?

AO: I actually write my own songs when I create my music. Inspiration comes from past or present events that take place in my life. That allows me to share some of the same experiences with my listeners in which they can relate.

DSR: So, we all know you’re a singer, but you’re also a songwriter. What’s the easiest kind of song for you to write?

AO: My easiest songs to construct would be love songs. My specialty falls in the relationship department. I have had a great deal of experience in good and bad relationships. I also played both sides from the cheater to being cheated on. So I think that qualifies me to do so.  

DSR: What is your main goal at this point? Where do you possibly see yourself 5-10 years from now?

AO: Well, my main goal right now is to help encourage people through my music to simply bring back the love in our relationships. A lot of people are together these days just to say they have someone, that’s the wrong reason to be with someone. So my goal is to rebuild relationships with good music with substance. Within the next 5-10 years I see myself actually working with other artist helping them to brand their name in the industry. That’s what I’m actually in College for now. I’m seeking my Bachelors in the Music Business.

DSR: Tell us about the musical giants who profoundly inspired you, such as Marvin Gaye, Steve Wonder (the Black artist awarded the most Grammys), and Michael Jackson.

AO: Well most of my favorites came and went to soon well before their time. I look up to artist such as Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding & Sam Cook they always had something to say in their music. Their music had meat in it the music wasn’t watered down. They gave you their all when they brought it to the listeners. If they felt pain in a song so did the listener, if they felt joy so did anyone who played their music. Music like that is my inspiration.   

DSR: Are there any artists you wish to work with in the future?

AO: Well I’m open to working with anyone who can appreciate real music. As long as the song has substance within the lyrics and the sound is soulful I’m open to network.

DSR: If you could create your dream tour, who would be a part of it?

AO: Lyfe Jennings, Anthony Hamilton, Musiq Soulchild & Tank 

DSR: Have you learned any lessons so far and if so, what are they?

AO: I have learned a lot in my past years of experience. I have went through different sets of management and I’ve learn that your greatest investment is ones self. You have to invest in yourself. Never put your life in someone else’s hands, become partner or handle your own business. I also learned that everyone who poses to be your friend in this business will be far and few. A good friend told me a long time ago to always keep my eyes open and treat everyone the same. But the same friend also said with your kindness people will take for a joke so let your work ethic show strength.

DSR: Are you working on any projects at the moment?

AO: I’m currently working on my second album “Healing Process” due to release the fourth quarter of this year produced by Keith Johnson of FOTL Productions. It will be released under New Struggle Muzik Group/MG Records/Island Def Jam Digital Distribution. mg

DSR: Where can we find your music? Online and offline?

AO: Right now I have my music all over the place. You actually can find everything on my Personal Website http://armahogunde.com

Follow Me On Twitter http://twitter.com/armahogunde

ReverbNation http://reverbnation.com/newstrugglemuzik 

YouTube http://youtube.com/armahogunde

Coast2Coast Mixtape Artist Site:http://coast2coastmixtapes.com/artists/artistdetail.aspx?artistid=31214

NAPSTER.COM http://music.napster.com/armah-ogund%27e-music/album/here-is-where-you-belong—single/14026484#s_module=artist_header

ZUNE.COM http://social.zune.net/artist/Armah-Ogund%27E/554b1900-0200-11db-89ca-0019b92a3933?cache=true

AMAZON.COM http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004DBXX4M/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_VpX6mb0GVDGKQ

MYSPACE MUSIC http://www.myspace.com/armahogundemusic/music/albums/here-is-where-you-belong-single-17029819

SHOCKHOUND.COM http://www.shockhound.com/albums/742326-armah-ogund-e-mp3s-here-is-where-you-belong—single

MOG.COM http://mog.com/albums/mn47839497/armah-ogund%27e/here-is-where-you-belong—single#play

ISLAND DEF JAM SITE http://www.idjfirstlook.com/music/armahogunde

A&R LIVE SITE http://www.arlive.com/music/armahogunde http://www.linkedin.com/in/armahogunde http://www.blogtalkradio.com/traptalkradio

My Online Store http://www.zazzle.com/armahogunde http://www.myspace.com/armahogunde

MYSPACE http://www.myspace.com/armahogundemusic

ITUNES  http://www.itunes.com/armahogunde

RHAPSODY http://www.rhapsody.com/armah-ogunde/get-2-know-me http://www.promofm.com/Armah_Ogunde

DIGITAL STORES. (ITUNES, AMAZON, NAPSTER, ZUNE, MYSPACE MUSIC, RHAPSODY, MOG, SHOCKHOUND, SPOTIFY ILIKE & MORE! GET IT TODAY! NOW AVAILABLE IN 7 COUNTRIES USA, CANADA, MEXICO, JAPAN, EUROPEAN UNION, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & COMING TO A LOCATION NEAR YOU.

DISTRIBUTION

DSR: We ask all the artists we interview, what’s the best piece of advice someone’s ever given to you?

AO: “The greatest investment comes from something you believe in, believe in yourself enough to invest time and money into making your dreams come true.” I would also like to thank you guys for having me come by your site. {Armah Ogund’e} New Struggle Muzik Group/MG Records/ASCAP URBAN

 

Hip Hop Beats: Song Structure

Hip Hop Beats: Song Structure

Everyone in their right mind wants to either be a hip hop producer or artist. If you have a need for producing Hip Hop beats, Song Structure is your best friend. Without the proper structure an emcee will have a difficult time catching the rhythm of the beat. A Hip Hop beat should compliment the emcee’s lyrical skill and vice versa. Hopefully this article will show you some simple steps that will give you a basic guideline on how most Hip Hop music is structured.

Create an Intro part…

This is usually from 1 to 8 bars. This should captivate the listener. Many people determine if they will listen to the rest of the song based on the quality of the intro.

Create a first Verse part…

The most common length for a Hip Hop verse is 16 bars. With Hip Hop music this part can be anything from a single loop repeated several times to a full on orchestrated piece of music that progresses with time and has transitions.

Create a first Hook part…

Usually approximately 4 to 8 bars. This should be catchy and in tune with the lyrics wrote for the Chorus. Sometimes the rhythm matches the rest of the song, sometimes it is a completely new beat and feel altogether.

Create a second Verse part…

The most common thing to do is to copy the first Verse part and paste it after the first Hook to create the second Verse. Something most producers will do to add some dynamic to the second verse is add or subtract a sound or two and maybe switch one of the melodies by a note.

Create a second Hook part…

This will basically be another 4 to 8 bars of the first Hook. Some producers add a little more dynamic to this part and build it up to transition into the breakdown.

Create a Bridge/Breakdown…

The bridge, or breakdown, is usually between 1 to 8 bars. This can be a stripped down drum beat, an instrumental solo, or a remix of the main beat.

Create a third Verse Part…

This part is usually similar to the first and second Verse parts. Some producers add some changes to the rhythm in the third verse or introduce a new melody to the song.

Create a third Hook part…

This is usually the Hook that takes you into the Outro of the song. This Hook part is sometimes mixed with little drums towards the end to give the feeling that the song is winding down.

Create an Outro part…

This is usually anywhere from 1 to 8 bars. This is an extension of the final Hook, an instrumental breakdown, complete silence to allow a vocal breakdown, or anything in between. Some producers will simply fade the beat out and call that the Outro. Some do not include an Outro at all.

For more information and a step by step tutorial on mixing and mastering your beats or music that gives a list of mastering plugins to use go here.

You should also consider grabbing this hip hop beat making book which will help you in getting started with your productions.

There you have it! We wish you much success in your endeavors of Hip Hop production. Feel free to submit your progress to us at bmdubb@dubbspotrecords.com.

Happy Producing!

Featured Artist: Relentlezz Dre

Relentlezz Dre30-year-old Relentlezz Dre doesn’t know the meaning of the word “rejection.” Sure, he’s faced it; with a sound that crosses genres and breaks the typical radio-friendly mold, many record labels had no clue what to do with him as an artist even if they recognized how enormously talented he was.

Persistence became this hip hop artist’s weapon of choice. He hustled his way through the streets of the DMV as a songwriter, performer and lyricist, while not-so-quietly taking the DMV underground by storm. With his mixtape series “Yea I’m Relentlezz Volumes 1, 2 and 3,” it glorifies the lyrical talent of Relentlezz Dre’s contribution not only to the DMV scene but also to hip-hop and rap.

Unsigned by choice, Relentlezz Dre is ready to unleash his debut album, tentatively titled Tyranny, to be released soon.

Dubb Spot Records jumped at the chance to chat with Relentlezz Dre for our Featured Artist Of The Week. We got down to business chatting about everything from his earliest musical memory, the state of the hip hop scene as we know it today and his current discography and future albums to be released.

Dubb Spot Records: How old were you when you developed an interest in music?

Relentlezz Dre: I was about 14 or 15.

DSR: What was your earliest musical memory? What formed your love of music in your head?

RD: My 1st tape was Outkast and I like the way the album was put together and since then I always had it in my mind that’s what I want to do!

DSR: Let’s get to know a little more about you and how you grew up. What was it like in your hometown? What kind of kid were you?

RD: I’m a real country boy. I grew up in a small town in the woods. Where everybody knew everybody. The type of kid I was? I always took things apart and put them back together. I was quiet.

DSR: So let’s talk about your music. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?

RD: I can’t really explain. All I can tell the people is if you like talent and thought behind the lyrics then my music is what you need. People tell me my sound is different but they can’t explain who or where it sounds like I’m from.Relentlezz Dre

DSR: What is the significance of your name?

RD: Because of where I’m from it wasn’t going to stop me from getting my name and my music out there.

DSR: There’s a part of the industry that irks me the most, where great music gets overlooked because it doesn’t fit a mold. How frustrating is that for you, if people seem to think that you don’t have that sound for radio?

RD: It kills me cause I know I have as much talent or more talent that’s on the radio. And I wouldn’t say my sound isn’t for radio but the majority of the listeners want watered down music so they get what they request.

DSR: What do you think needs to be brought to music in this decade and how do you plan to add to that?

RD: Realness!!! Not everybody has millions of dollars or fancy cars. I write about what average people, well that’s not a right way to put it but, what the majority of the people go through on a daily bases.

DSR: What do you think of the music that came out in the last decade?

RD: Most of it sounds like a bunch of people just got high and drunk and went into the studio.

DSR: How would you rate the music that your music competes against in your local area, the DMV?

RD: It’s hard to say. It’s alot of talent out here and I can’t really say.

DSR: Have you learned any lessons so far and if so, what are they?

RD: I learned you can’t do everything on your own. You definitely need a team. Definitely surround yourself with people you can trust and have as much faith in you as you do yourself.

DSR: Do you write all of your own material? And if so, are you working on any new projects or have any projects that you are promoting right now?

RD: Yes I write 100% of my music. Right now I’m working on my album called “Tyranny” and right now I’m promoting my “Yeah I’m Relentlezz” mixtape series.

Relentlezz DreDSR: Where can the people of the DMV find you performing or attend the events you are involved in?

RD: When it comes to shows, I can pop up anywhere. You never know when you might have a Relentlezz sighting lol.

DSR: Where can we find your music online and offline?

RD: Online my music can be found at http://www.relentlezz.com thats my official site.

DSR: We ask all Artists that we interview, what’s the best piece of advice that someone has ever given to you?

RD: Never give up cause of what other people think or say. You wouldn’t believe how people just knew I wouldn’t make it this far.

DSR: Is there anything else that you would like to include in closing of this interview?

RD: I would like to thank my family and fans that support me cause I’m being me. They let me keep my music honest and I love them for that.

 

Relentlezz Dre

More on Relentlezz Dre:  

 

 

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