Thursday, February 3, 2011

Patience, Young Skywalker

I think that everyone my age looks to Yoda to be a sage prophet. I've heard time and time again from my rabbis throughout my life "Patience". It's a lesson I've often passed on, but it takes much practice to not do anything when everything around you is popping off, but it's a lesson I continue to practice. In poker, a sign of a pro is the good laydown... assessing a situation and getting out of the way of a superior hand. It's a special skill.

I don't want to get in the practice of name-dropping, but I know personally people who have sold millions of records. Such feats are not nearly as easy as it once was, but the potential for success is something those who are attuned to their surroundings can detect. The unifying element in all these people was a genuine love for what they were doing, and the idea of having fun. Yes, you must have drive, but if you don't love what you do, "success" is elusive.

Anybody who befriends me on Facebook have seen my numerous posts regarding Native Instruments and the Maschine. I've been on this thing for almost a year now, becoming more and more impressed with its potential with every update. I've been making music for most of my life now, and in my chosen genre of expression, the Akai MPC is a staple and an icon. There's a reason for it: it's a lot of fun to use. Many have imitated it, but have been unable to capture it's ease and workflow, and the hardcore users have been reluctant to throw their support behind anything else; until now.

I don't want to make this an overly technical blog about the mechanics of the MPC, I'll just tell you that it's a joy sometimes to just tap out a rhythm on it and before you know it, you've got something special... the problem comes in the process of tracking everything out one piece at a time. This could be anything from a 15 minute process to well over an hour. In today's computer environment, there's no reason this has to be the case with the right interface. For whatever reason, the guys over at Akai never thought to address this, and they've allowed the people over at Native Instruments to take all the best elements of their unit and marry it perfectly into the software world. The Maschine is one of the most exciting innovations in digital music since the creation of the mp3 itself.

I've had the pleasure of owning the MPC in a few different forms, and unfortunately I've not ever completed an entire project with one. My first had some technical difficulties (MPC1000), my 2nd was stolen (MPC2000XL), and my 3rd wasn't all mine, the other owner was not a dedicated "music" person (we don't part with equipment, it's like a painter selling his brushes... once you do that, you can't paint) and when the hard times of the recession came down, he opted to move on by selling the unit. So it's been some time since I had my own tools to compose.

I'm expecting delivery of my very own Maschine in a couple days, and I'm DYING to get my hands on this thing. As my friend Beth quoted on my status, I'm as nervous as a virgin at a prison rodeo. I'm so amped to get my hands on this thing, I could punch somebody. I've watched dozens of videos and seen what someone who knows what they are doing could potentially do. My friend Justin Aswell is a virtuoso on groove boxes and he just MURDERS this thing. I won't do anything like what Justin does, I'm a programmer, not a performer, but I intend to be just as vicious.

I'm dying to get my hands on this thing because it means I have the final pieces to finally put this long-awaited solo project in full-gear. There's a host of other insanely-good artists around me all hitting their stride, like my friend Rob Roy who now has his video "Carmencita" added to MTVs rotation through an online campaign. I'm hugely proud of his accomplishment and look forward to more awesome music coming out of him.

I've never had the desire to do this as a solo artist. From the time I started in all this, I had my brother Tza right there with me. He's become a (very good) engineer and retired from the stage, and my best friend and partner-in-rhyme is putting the finishing touches on his "Plan B". I respect him, but I never had a Plan B. Music and HipHop have been my life. My son is now following in my footsteps, and I want him to know the love of this culture without some of the pitfalls I've encountered. So now I get to be an example, and to be honest I look forward to it.

I have a personal beef with a former group member of mine, and regardless of the ancillary differences I have with him, one of the primary was his insistence of saying things in his music about how this was "all about his kids" when every action I saw him take stood in stark contrast to that statement. Whether you're a studio gangsta or a false prophet, I can't make music with you when I know every word coming out of your mouth is a lie. This album I'm about to make will literally be a blueprint for my son, because we've always said we wanted something to pass on to our kids. I know he will be right there watching me, and I want to mold him into the emcee/producer/artist who I can be proud of, and I can call him a Child Of HipHop, raised on all the best principles we put forth. For him, "Keep It Real" will not just be a catchphrase.

So in short, I'm ready to go headfirst into completing a lifegoal, spending some time with my kid doing what he and I both love, and having some real damn fun. Any wonder I'm about ready to jump out of my skin?

Where the HELL is that UPS Delivery truck?!

-ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

1 comment:

David said...

If you love the music the music will love you back.