Posts tagged ‘Song’

December 17, 2013

Black Skinhead

black skinhead

Black Skinhead‘ (also stylized as ‘BLKKK SKKKN HEAD’) is a 2013 song by Kanye West, from his sixth studio album ‘Yeezus.’ It was produced by West alongside Daft Punk, Gesaffelstein, Brodinski, Mike Dean, Lupe Fiasco, No ID, Jack Donoghue and Noah Goldstein.

For five months leading up to the single’s announcement, West worked on a music video with photographer Nick Knight. An interactive portion of the video allows users to control the video’s speed down to almost one-sixteenth the normal rate, as well as take screenshots for use in social media platforms. The user’s cursor changes to that of a black hand giving the middle finger when interacting with the video.

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October 16, 2013

The Fox

Ylvis

The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)’ is a 2013 electronic dance music song and viral video by Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis. Brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker produced the song and music video to promote the upcoming season of their television talk show ‘Tonight with Ylvis.’ Vegard was initially skeptical about making a song about a fox, but soon relented, saying in an interview:

‘The way we work is we just sit around and talk about things and get ideas and take some notes. I guess we must have been talking about what sound a fox makes. And then we had a chance to work with Stargate, a production company in New York City… We actually did a favor for them and we asked them if they could produce a song for the new season in exchange.’

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July 24, 2013

C.R.E.A.M.

C.R.E.A.M.

C.R.E.A.M.‘ (‘Cash Rules Everything Around Me’) is a song by the Wu-Tang Clan, from their 1993 studio album, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).’

The song was produced by Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA, and samples The Charmels’ 1967 song, ‘As Long As I’ve Got You.’ The track features a verse from Raekwon, a long verse from Inspectah Deck, and the hook performed by Method Man: ‘Cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M./Get the money; dollar, dollar bill, y’all.’

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July 13, 2013

Everytime

everytime

Everytime‘ is a 2004 song by pop star Britney Spears from her fourth album, ‘In the Zone.’ After Spears ended her relationship with singer Justin Timberlake in 2002, she made friends with her backing vocalist Annet Artani.

They started writing songs together at Spears’s house in Los Angeles, and then traveled to Lombardy, Italy, where ‘Everytime’ was written. Spears composed the music on her piano, and she developed the lyrics with Artani. According to Artani, the song was written as a response to Timberlake’s 2002 single ‘Cry Me a River’ and various of his radio interviews. Spears has neither confirmed nor denied these allegations.

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June 5, 2013

Juicy

Juicy‘ is a single by American hip hop artist The Notorious B.I.G. and his solo debut single from his 1994 debut album ‘Ready to Die.’ It was produced by Poke of Trackmasters & Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs. It is a sample of Mtume’s ‘Juicy Fruit,’ but samples from the song’s ‘Fruity Instrumental’ mix, and has an alternative chorus sung by girl group Total.

The song is considered one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time. After the death of The Notorious B.I.G. in 1997, a tribute version of this song was made in his honor by the R&B musical group Next with new lyrics.

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May 21, 2013

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition‘ is an American patriotic song written by Frank Loesser and published as sheet music in 1942 by Famous Music Corp. The song was a response to the attack on Pearl Harbor that marked United States involvement in World War II.

The song describes a chaplain (‘sky pilot’) being with some fighting men who are under attack from an enemy. He is asked to say a prayer for the men who were engaged in firing at the oncoming planes. The chaplain puts down his Bible, mans one of the ship’s gun turrets and begins firing back, saying, ‘Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.’

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February 18, 2013

Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake‘ is a song recorded by American DJ and producer Baauer. It was released as a free digital download by Mad Decent imprint label Jeffree’s in 2012. The song incorporates samples of growling-lion sounds and Plastic Little’s 2001 song ‘Miller Time,’ specifically its line ‘then do the Harlem shake.’

In 2013, a user-submitted video set to ‘Harlem Shake’ became a viral hit on YouTube. The song features an undulating synth, harsh snares, and a mechanical bassline. It is categorized by Resident Advisor’s Andrew Ryce as a hip hop and bass song, while David Wagner of ‘The Atlantic’ describes its music as trap, a sub-genre with stylistic origins in EDM and Southern hip hop. 

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December 11, 2012

How to Rob

How to Rob‘ is a 1999 song by American hip hop recording artist 50 Cent. The song serves as his debut single and the lead single from his album ‘Power of the Dollar’ (officially unreleased but heavily bootlegged).

The album, which was originally set for a 2000 release, was supposed to be his debut with Columbia Records, but was cancelled after 50 Cent was dropped from the label when Columbia discovered that he had been shot. ‘How to Rob’ was produced by Tone & Poke of Trackmasters and features D-Dot, also known as The Madd Rapper. The song was also included on the soundtrack to the 1999 film ‘In Too Deep,’ staring LL Cool J and Omar Epps.

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November 27, 2012

Walk On By

 

Dionne Warwick

Walk On By‘ is a song composed by Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by frequent collaborator  Hal David. The song was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick at the same December 1963 session that yielded her hit ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart.’ ‘Walk On By’ was the follow-up to that single, released in 1964 and reaching #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Warwick also recorded a German version of the song, entitled ‘Geh Vorbei.’ Funk/soul musician Isaac Hayes released a cover version in 1969 on his album ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ and transformed the song into a twelve-and-a-half minute funk vamp.

Edited for single release down to under 5 minutes, this single reached #30 on the U.S. charts. In 1978, The Stranglers recorded a gritty punk-inspired version (with an extended organ solo) that charted in the UK. Alicia Keys recorded a hip hop version of the song on 2003 mutli-platinum album ‘The Diary of Alicia Keys.’ The Isaac Hayes version samples from a cover of the song by The Jackson 5, and was itself sampled by numerous artists, notably Hooverphonic in ‘2Wicky,’ The Notorious B.I.G. in ‘Warning,’ 2Pac in ‘Me Against the World,’ and Portishead in ‘All Mine.’

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September 10, 2012

Gangnam Style

 

Psy

Gangnam Style‘ is a 2012 K-pop single by the South Korean rapper PSY. ‘Gangnam Style’ is widely praised for its humor, catchy rhythm as well as Psy’s unusual dance moves that have introduced many people to K-pop (South Korean pop music).  ‘Gangnam Style’ is a Korean language colloquialism that refers to a luxurious lifestyle associated with the Gangnam district, an affluent and trendy area of Seoul. The music video depicts Psy dancing at various locations in Gangnam.

The song is about ‘the perfect girlfriend who knows when to be refined and when to get wild.’ The music video shows PSY dancing a comical horse-riding dance and appearing in unexpected locations around Gangnam such as an outdoor yoga session and a hot tub. The ‘skewering [of] the Gangnam image’ by the ‘non-Gangnam PSY’ is recognizable to Korean viewers, but those less familiar with the cultural context have found the video ‘fresh’ amidst the teen pop idol groups increasingly popular with overseas viewers.

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April 29, 2012

Earache My Eye

alice bowie

Earache My Eye‘ is a comedy routine and song by Cheech and Chong which features ‘Alice Bowie’ (one of Cheech Marin’s characters). It first appeared on ‘Cheech & Chong’s Wedding Album’ (1974). Cheech And Chong also lip sync to the recording (with Chong behind the drumkit) in their first movie ‘Up in Smoke’ (1978). This piece has been featured repeatedly on the ‘Doctor Demento’ radio show. According to Tommy Chong’s autobiography, the famous guitar riff is played by Gaye Delorme, who also composed the music for the song. Additionally, Chong states that drums on the song are played by famed international percussionist Airto Moreira.

The B-side, ‘Turn That Thing Down’ features the remainder of the musical track, from the point of Marin’s monologue about his wealth, without the actual dialogue, complete to its conclusion. It is possible to assemble the full-length version of the song by editing the two sections together. Several radio stations refused to play the song. Once the song hit its peak on the charts, radio station managers pulled the song out of the format of airplay, due to complaints by parents, teachers, psychologists, principals, and counselors, who stated that this song mostly appealed to junkies, dropouts, drug addicts, and drunks, as well as for students playing hooky from class, giving them a bad example of behavior.

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April 6, 2012

Minnie the Moocher

cab calloway

Minnie the Moocher‘ is a jazz song first recorded in 1931 by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, famous for its nonsensical ad libbed (‘scat’) lyrics. In performances, Calloway would have the audience participate by repeating each scat phrase in a form of call and response. Eventually Calloway’s phrases would become so long and complex that the audience would laugh at their own failed attempts to repeat them. The song is based both musically and lyrically on Frankie ‘Half-Pint’ Jaxon’s 1927 ‘Willie the Weeper’ (Bette Davis sings this version in ‘The Cabin in the Cotton’).

The lyrics are heavily laden with drug references. The character ‘Smokey’ is described as ‘cokey’ meaning a user of cocaine; the phrase ‘kicking the gong around’ was a slang reference to smoking opium. It was followed two years later by Lonnie Johnson’s ‘Winnie the Wailer.’

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