Category Archives: Music

Eminem Merch – Kamikaze Official Cap

When you’re just about to head out to go to see Jeff Goldblum and his Jazz band when you receive your official @eminem #kamikaze cap. I might need to change my outfit 😂

#music #musicismylife #eminem #slimshady #eminemstore #cap #eminemmerch #merch #kamikazealbum #rockchick #hiphop #rap #goat #rapgod https://ift.tt/2RZhJqC

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Signed Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra CD

Signed CD and ticket to see Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra this weekend. 😍

#jeffgoldblum @londonjazzfest #londonjazzfestival #getinsidemyjazz #jazz #signed #memorabilia #musicismylife #musicis #livemusic #merch #blue #jurassicpark https://ift.tt/2K23GOl

1:6 scale Chester Bennington head (Hot-Toys style)

1:6 scale Chester Bennington head. 😍 Can’t have it until Christmas but got a quick look. Amazing! Can’t wait to make my own 1:6 scale figure.

@chesterbe #chesterbennington #linkinpark #modelmaking #actionman #customfigure #Christmas #musicismylife #musicis #fuckdepression #mentalhealth #makechesterproud #lpfamily https://ift.tt/2yPUPKq

Rap God vs Rap Devil

Today saw the release of Eminem’s Kamikaze (if you’re old-fashioned like me, and don’t download).

Since the album dropped, MP3-style, the reception of Kamikaze has been insane. But this post is about Machine Gun Kelly’s diss track that surfaced three days after Kamikaze dropped. In Em’s track ‘Fall’, he attacks multiple rappers, and in response to a few lines about him, Machine Gun Kelly, has released a ‘diss track’. He’s brave, or stupid!

My initial thoughts on MGK’s ‘Rap Devil’ was that it wasn’t bad, except the auto-tune chorus, I didn’t like that, but overall, initially it wasn’t bad. But the more I listened it, it sounded childish, with no real content to back it up with, and with pretty poor delivery. He spits well, but let’s face it, he’s not the Rap God.

JayBlac points out, ‘he’s young, Eminem, he doesn’t know what he’s sayin’ … MGK doesn’t know what he’s doin’ right now, bro.’ Orlando Rob also reacts, ‘the one thing with Eminem, you don’t wanna get personal…so all these young dudes out there, that are tryin’ to get back at Eminem for callin’ them out, Imma tell you right now, keep it with the music…if not, Eminem’s gonna end you … Machine Gun Kelly, he’s gonna dig into your past, and he’s going to end you, even though technically, you never started.’ The favourite term being thrown around here is ‘white on white crime’, this thing is only just startin’, and I’ll be honest, I’m stupidly excited to see where this goes.

We have to remember where Em comes from, where he started. He was B-Rabbit, he was on the streets taking part in battle raps. MGK hasn’t got a chance – he gave it good, but not good enough.

If you’re gonna critique me
You better at least be as good or better – ‘Fall’ by Eminem

‘Rap Devil’ has mixed messages too. Em knows straight what he wants to say and he says it. MGK can’t make his mind up whether he admires Em or not. The more you listen to ‘Rap Devil’, the more it sounds like a love letter to Eminem in disguise. The one thing that troubled me more than anything though was the level of ageism. MGK is clearly unaware that he’s going to age too. What I can say for certain is that when he’s 46 it is highly unlikely he will rapping in the mainstream, and no matter how old he is, he won’t ever be doing it the way that Em does it. He should retire now if his goal is to conquer the rap god.

Just remember, I was here before you
And I’ll be here after you make your run-in for you – ‘Fall’ by Eminem

So why did this all start? Em has always been protective of his daughter, and most fathers would be pissed if some punk-ass guy was leching over his 16 year old daughter  – keeping in mind that Em’s daughter was classed as underage at the time too.

So what’s going to happen now? Hip Hop is known for it’s diss tracks and beefs, but in the industry, everyone knows who not to mention, merely because of the impact it will have on their career (and that’s a negative, not a positive). We’re all sitting on the edge of seats right now.

In ‘Rap Devil’, MGK thanks Em for introducing him to all his fans – that’s not something to celebrate, we’re waiting for the lyrical ass-kicking, we’re not going to suddenly buy your record.

Will Em respond?

RediKnow lists the following as possibilities:

  1. Eminem ignores it – though highly unlikely.
  2. 50Cent & D12 invite themselves into the Battle as this has happened before – Bizarre (D12) has already responded ‘I think it was good … I think he stayed up all night, wrote the best possible bars that he possibly could … but boy, the repercussions … that boy gonna do you summin’ nasty. You better stop playin’ with that boy’
  3. Kamikaze victims collaborate – again, highly unlikely as they all know that they can’t out-rap Em.
  4. Eminem responds and shreds MGK career – Many believe this is the most likely outcome and that MGK’s career will not survive.

So, quite a bit of pressure on Em, but his track record for destroying people in his music is so extensive that we have no doubts that this will just be another nail in the coffin. 

#RipMGK

Eminem – Greatest in the World, No Lie, He Might Be

Wha! I hadn’t even had my cuppa in bed when I read that the God of rap had only gone and dropped a surprise album. Em simply posted a picture of the album cover on social media and exclaimed not to have overthought this one – I was not ready for this!

I wanted to indulge in this 13-track (too short) pool of lyrical genius before I wrote anything, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of immediate responses. Talking about responses – this album is a response record, personally and professionally, and I have to say I understand his frustration when millennials who write for the likes of NME and other media outlets, simply claim he has lost it and should retire. One uninformed article referred to the album having a couple of ‘weird skits’ – have they never listened to an Eminem album before?

There having been many outrages aired about the lyrical choices, and I guess my question to those people is the same as the author of the ‘weird skit’ article, – have you never listened to an Eminem album before? What are you expecting from him – bubble-gum pop lyrics?

Critiques are so 2-dimensional these days. You can’t really critique an album without understanding and acknowledging the context from which it came. But hey, anyone can write an opinion, however uninformed.

‘Smash into everyone, crash into everything,
Back, and I’ve just begun, Fack 2017
Fack, fack on everyone…’ – Kamikaze

Consider Em’s background (his social upbringing, his social circles, his place in society…), then consider the context of his anger (he even mocks himself for the fact he is attacking everyone who disagrees with him – the second skit where he responds to his managers message (first skit)).

Kamikaze is incredible. It’s hard to ignore his lyrical genius. I know I say this a lot, but it’s true, and there is no point attempting to reword it – it is what it is – and he knows it, as he indicates in ‘Greatest’. His brilliance with words is no more true than in ‘Not Alike’ feat. Royce 5’9.

I won’t go on about it any longer. Listen for yourself (Spotify playlist below) and to the critics who simple respond without consideration, I leave you with these lyrics from ‘Fall’ :

‘Gotta concentrate, against the clock I race
Got no time to waste, I’m already late, I got a marathoner’s pace
Went from addict to a workaholic, word to Dr. Dre
In that first marijuana tape—guess I got a chronic case (yeah)
And I ain’t just blowin’ smoke, ‘less it’s in your momma’s face
I know this time Paul and Dre, they won’t tell me what not to say
And though me and my party days have all pretty much parted ways
You’d swear to God I’ve forgot I’m the guy that made “Not Afraid” …
I’ve had as much as I can tolerate
I’m sick and tired of waitin’, I done lost my patience
I can take all of you motherfuckers on at once
You wanted, Shady? You got it! …’

 

Gig Photography: Reading Festival, 25 Aug 2018

A small look into the Music Festival world. I specifically attended to see Skindred, Mike Shinoda and Papa Roach. Here is a selection of photographs of those bands, including a few from Sum 41’s set.

Mike Shinoda’s Post Traumatic is my Healing Record

POST TRAUMATIC IS A SPECTACULAR POST-TRAUMATIC ALBUM. A HEALING RECORD.

Mike Shinoda released his new album Post Traumatic, today, and is being consumed by many eager fans right now. The album starts with the three tracks he released as the EP a few months back, opening with ‘Place to Start’ – a really obvious and perfect introduction to his journey. However, like many Linkin Park fans, ‘Over Again’ is where it truly starts. We relate to it in a very anomalous way. Let’s face it, we didn’t know Chester Bennington, and yet, like Shinoda, we’re grieving. Listening to this track, absorbing the sound, the lyrics, in a silent space, you can truly hear that he was living it as he was recording it. You feel the build up of  the grief. In the chorus you have the sadness and the pain. In the verses you have the anger and the fear. This track is perhaps the rawest for me.

Shinoda hasn’t shied away from exposing his vulnerabilities on his online platforms or in his music, which is something I have a lot of respect for. As his third track, ‘Watching as I Fall’ stipulates, everybody is watching his actions, and watching his reactions.

‘My inside’s out, my left is right, my upside’s down, my black is white, I hold my breath, I close my eyes, and wait for dawn, but there’s no light.’ – ‘Nothing Makes Sense Anymore’

Although Shinoda’s solo sound is somewhat different to that of Linkin Park’s, his ability to write a memorable chorus is incredible, and the music itself is emotive. I’m not a fan of instrumentals, I like lyrics to relate to (and shout out, at the top of my lungs, in the car), or to understand the narrative of the author, but Shinoda has captivated me with his instrumental ‘Brooding’, I was right there with him, I could feel that sense of being inside myself, the many voices, questions, anxieties.

There is definitely a lost and found element to this album. He’s lost direction, he’s finding direction. He’s lost his friend, he’s rediscovering himself. He lost control, he regains control. It really is a roller-coaster.

‘And they’ll tell you I don’t care anymore, and I hope you’ll know that’s a lie…this is not a goodbye now, I’m not going away, no I don’t have the answers, but I do have the faith.’ – ‘Crossing a Line’

The album also feels like a message to the Linkin Park family, and perhaps to his friends and family too.

‘I’m just trying to hold my shit together, together, darlin’ ‘ – ‘Hold it Together’

Shinoda’s ‘Hold it Together’ track is something that many of us have felt, and it’s so encouraging almost, to have someone else feel the same way – but then again, that’s what bonded the Linkin Park family in the first place. Throughout the past six months particularly, Shinoda has been helping many fans hold their shit together, as much as I think the fans have helped him.

‘So I play along, I nod my head when they say I’m wrong, but each night falls and away I run, on the other side until the daylight comes.’ – ‘Ghosts’

The album contains some amazing collaborations, but K. Flay is my favourite – what a voice! It pierces your soul. The album, as a whole, exudes a strong emotional charge, and even the track that I was least impressed by, ended up winning me over by the end of the 2:43. Don’t hate on me, I rarely like every track on an album. To counter that thought, there is also a little treasure buried within all the tracks. A song which has a completely unique feel against the backdrop of the rest of Post Traumatic, possibly because Shinoda sings all the way through, no rapping, and is clearly a message to his wife. It’s the penultimate song on the album, giving a slightly more hopeful resolution to the record.

In short, this album is a record of Shinoda’s grieving. It has the emotional obstacles he’s faced, and facing, rendered in song. It is a vessel in which he shares with you his heart, his soul, his journey. The only thing I wish was different about the album, would have been the inclusion of his song ‘Looking for an Answer’ which he debuted at the Linkin Park & Friends Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington in Los Angeles, late last year.

I am so pleased for Shinoda. He has made Chester proud, I’m sure. But most importantly, I think he’s made himself proud. I find the death of Chester very hard sometimes, a sadness which is perhaps more profound than it should be towards someone I didn’t know, and yet it seems to be quite normal when you talk to other people when someone they admire pass away. But it’s important to understand that the impact his passing has had on those who did know him is clearly massive for many reasons, and Shinoda’s album demonstrates this in a passionate and acute way. This will be my healing record.