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Rappers and Melody: An Analysis by Chilly Gonzales
Jul 22, 2014 5:26am | Drowned In Sound

With his 'Re-Introduction Etudes' Chilly Gonzales hopes to bring some of the joy back to the lapsed amateur pianist with a collection of songs specifically designed to unlock musical mysteries for those who gave it up. DiS has an exclusive premiere of the video tutorial for 'Knight Moves' from the '...Etudes':

Knight Moves

To mark the release of these "24 easy-to-master, fun-to-play piano pieces", Chilly has also written an exclusive piece for DiS looking at some of the melodic tricks used by a few of his favourite rappers...

Budding rap producers may obsess over the snap of their claps or the bowel-loosening capacity of their 808s, but there is more melody in the actual raps than a casual listener might think.

Most people think of rap vocals as based on talking. The truth is most good rappers choose vocal pitch carefully.

A rapper who might be dismissed as monotonous is probably just underplaying any clear and recognizable musical note. In reality, they are repeating carefully chosen notes within a very small register of no more than a semitone (E to F on a piano). Jadakiss rarely varies the tone of his blunt-ravaged half-whisper. And no one can imagine much melodic variation from Nas or the more high-pitched yet equally monotonous Lloyd Banks.


Then there are rappers who vary the pitch without "singing". I once played some chords underneath "Many Men" (a 50 Cent ac...

George Harrison memorial tree killed by infestation of beetles
Jul 22, 2014 5:24am | NME
The pine in Los Angeles has died but a new tree will be planted

Saul Williams speaks out on closure of Tupac musical: America prefers its stories packaged like Rocky
Jul 22, 2014 4:47am | Fact Magazine

Holler If Ya Hear Me, the musical based on Tupac’s songs and starring Saul Williams, was forced to close last week after just a month on the stage.

While producer Eric Gold blamed the musical’s failure on the “financial burdens of Broadway”, actor and singer Williams has now spoken out about how the “American race psyche” shaped critics’ reception of the show and his hopes for reviving it in the future.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Williams said the show’s critical reception was disappointing: “There was something deeply embedded in a lot of the reviews that went deeper than just a dislike of the play.”

He continued: “The idea of having a play that centres around, how do you stop the cycles of gun violence in our community? It’s weird to hear someone feel like the story is generic when it’s the front page of every fucking paper to date. And when you look at the reviews and compare them to everything from Do the Right Thing to Menace II Society, it’s always the same fucking review.

“There’s actually a generic response when I don’t think critics realise they’re playing into the hands of something that runs deeper than how this made you feel. I am speaking to that American race psyche; that thing that Harry Belafonte said to me after he saw the play, which is, ‘You took...

'Ouija' - producers of 'Insidious' scare up Halloween shocker
Jul 22, 2014 4:09am | NME
Watch the first trailer for the Hasbro board game inspired horror

Jamie T announces new album 'Carry On The Grudge' - tracklist and details
Jul 22, 2014 4:00am | NME
The London songwriter will put out his third LP on September 29

Little Dragon at Somerset House in London
Jul 22, 2014 4:00am | The Line Of Best Fit
The Gothenburg quartet play the last of the Summer Series concerts in central London with support from Sébastien Tellier. Wunmi Onibudo shoots.

Simon Cowell issues a statement denying that he is gay following claim in Tulisa drugs trial
Jul 22, 2014 3:47am | NME
"The question of whether someone is or is not gay is antiquated" the statement reads after the mogul's private life was referenced in the trial

Listen: Hooray For Earth - “Racy” [UK Premiere]
Jul 22, 2014 3:45am | The Line Of Best Fit
New York synth-poppers Hooray For Earth crank up the volume on their brand new cut, "Racy".

A$AP Rocky sued by fan over alleged slapping at Philadelphia concert
Jul 22, 2014 3:36am | Fact Magazine

Fan demands $75,000 in damages.

If this is sounding familiar, cast your mind back to last year when A$AP Rocky was accused of slapping a female fan in the face during his set at Jay-Z’s Made in America Fest in Philadelphia.

As TMZ documented in minute detail at the time, Rocky avoided the charge because the fan, Lisamarie Wade, had to file a private criminal complaint and was unable to provide an address for him.

The case hasn’t gone away though, and now TMZ reports that Wade has sued Rocky for damages of at least $75,000. She claims that the rapper has a history of bad behaviour, including a similar incident in Sydney where he appeared to hit a female fan, and says the slap caused a host of ailments which interfere with her ability to “enjoy society with her minor child as a young, single mother.”

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to hear Rocky’s long-planned instrumental albumBeauty and the Beast Slowed Down Sessions Ch. 1, which he’s previously teased with the tracks ‘Unicorn’ and ‘Riot Rave’.

Listen: Eliot Sumner - “Information” (Trentmøller Remix) [Premiere]
Jul 22, 2014 3:30am | The Line Of Best Fit
Eliot Sumner continues her stylistic shift towards the darker side of pop and appoints Danish producer Trentmøller to remix the highly impressive comeback single "Information".

‘68 - In Humor and Sadness
Jul 22, 2014 3:30am | The Line Of Best Fit
Another entry from a unique voice in extreme music, Josh Scogin's '68 attempts a slightly free-form take on post-hardcore.

Conor Oberst drops legal case against woman who accused him of rape
Jul 22, 2014 3:23am | NME
Singer-songwriter was pursuing Joanie Faircloth for £410,000 in lost earnings

Kendrick Lamar has recorded 30 to 40 songs for Good Kid sequel
Jul 22, 2014 3:09am | Fact Magazine

The follow-up to our favourite album of 2012 will arrive before the year is out, it seems. 

In an interview with Complex, Compton torchbearer Kendrick Lamar has opened up about his sequel to his (still stunning) major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d cityHe reveals that hes already recorded 30-40 new songs for the album (short of the 70-odd songs he recorded for good kid, m.A.A.d city, mind). TDE regulars Tae Beats and Sounwave have been Lamars principal collaborators, and hes also worked with Dr. Dre on new material.

Although the new record is by no means finished – hes still in the flirting with ideas stage, apparently – Lamar is also quoted saying the album is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2014. So that’s that, then.

On a more vulgar note, the interview also reveals how much you can expect to pay for a Kendrick guest spot. According to the piece, a typical Kendrick guest verse costs $250,000, although his team once charged $400,000 (one assumes theyre not talking about his recent karaoke efforts)

Back in 2012, FACT TV sat down with Lamar to talk about the gestation of good kid, m.A.A.d city.

Listen: astronomyy - “Pack Of Wolves”
Jul 22, 2014 3:00am | The Line Of Best Fit
In the build up to his debut EP, astronomyy has unleashed his latest minimal and emotive track, "Pack Of Wolves" on to the world.

Lily Allen reflects on 'Sheezus': 'Maybe the songs aren't good enough?'
Jul 22, 2014 2:59am | NME
Singer is critical of third studio album, saying she 'can't wait' to record new music

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