August 2002

Volume 3

 

August 3, 2002

Smoking

As I said in my bio, I don't smoke or drink alcohol or coffee. I've never smoked, if you do I encourage you to quit. In my opinion, coffee is bitter and too strong. I don't like the taste. Yet when we were out to dinner, my mom order a type of cappuccino and I tried it knowing I didn't like coffee and sure enough, I didn't like this either. 

Smoke bothers my voice. I don't smoke, but even if it didn't bother my voice, I wouldn't smoke anyway. I don't even light candles because the smoke from it bothers me and I will start getting a sore throat if I stay around it for too long. I bought some candles anyway. When I picked them up I was thinking, these candles are so pretty...knowing that the smoke from them bothers my voice, I bought them anyway. 

It's funny how different packaging can make something more appealing than it really is. I suppose that's how temptation works. Certainly if someone said to you, do you see that guy over there, he's gonna bring trouble into your life, you would run from him...or if you are a guy and someone said to you, do you see that girl over there, she is gonna bring suffering into your life, certainly you would run from her...but it doesn't work that way. Things that are bad for us often have the appearance of good. 

That's where character comes into play. Integrity will help you make the right decisions. God forgives, but the consequences of our decisions linger.  

 


August 7, 2002

Rap Feuds

I read an interview where a British rapper insulted Americans out of frustration, due to the lack of airplay his debut single is receiving in his country. I love America and I love Britain so it was sad for me to read his unfair, unfounded remarks. One of his complaints was that American artists receive more airplay than British artists in Britain. I do not agree and this cannot be blamed on America.

I also read a similar article where a member of a band complained of the lack of airplay his group was receiving and how odd he thought it was that there is a segment for British music on British stations. Though when you think about it, maybe it is radio stations in Britain turning the spotlight on local talent for that segment, rather than isolation and limiting airplay for British acts to that show. This artist did not blame American artists for this and I thought that was very mature of him.

I know the playlists in Britain and many other countries. For example, just going through this week's list for one of the biggest radio stations in London, of the 56 songs on their playlist, 19 are by Americans. All the other stations have similar playlists. This proves that Americans do not dominate the stations in Britain. I think they may get more attention as foreigners and stand out for that reason, but to British radio stations credit, their acts receive just as much, if not more airplay as those numbers show.

I think this is more about one artist being in competition with another artist who is American and not British people disliking Americans as the article had some people thinking. The first artist I mentioned took a unprovoked swipe at a very successful American rapper who's current single is receiving more airplay than he is. However, the rapper he insulted has a more popular song than he does, therefore it is receiving more airplay. 

Another factor for the lack of airplay is that record companies go with what sells. Record companies seldom care about patriotism. They are more concerned with revenues and artists who sell more records are the priority at the label regardless of what country they are from. 

America has the most lucrative music industry in the world. The RIAA released a statement that confirms this. The music industry grosses 40 billion annually and America accounts for 1/3 of those revenues. So its logical that American music is being played in many countries. America, just like several other countries has made many significant contributions to music earning it's place in the industry.   

Americans do love British music. I watched an American program about the top rock groups in music history voted on by American music industry professionals and I noticed the top 10 were dominated by British acts. I think that's a great compliment to Britain. The rapper that made the negative comments about America would be surprised to know that. He would also be surprised to know that his music is played in America by DJ's and his imports are purchased in this country as well. 

As trivial as I think this squabbling is, if people insist on the being contentious, their argument should be between two people, rather than turn it into an argument between two nations because that's how people reacted to the article. Britain vs. America and that's not fair to the people like myself who love both countries. It only sparks and promotes prejudice and hatred. 

I remember the last time two rappers had a disagreement, a few members of the press facilitated and encouraged it to sell their product and took it one step further by turning it into a war between the east and west coast in America. We all know how that one ended. I do not wish to see a repeat.


August 17, 2002

Payola

A lot of songs reach to #1 by unscrupulous means. It's something I've known for years, but still I wonder how people can in good conscience brag about those achievements when there were other artists on the charts more deserving of it based on their sales. When I see that happen, I have a habit of looking at the guy at #2 and for a moment lament for him...well, only if that record was at #2 honestly that is. 

It's better to have the #1 song when you know you earned it, meaning people are really requesting, buying and playing it. Otherwise, accumulating number #1's on any other basis is not building a career. Those accolades are empty and without merit if they aren't earned. Never mind the number of number 1's, how about the number of artists that didn't get the number #1, because you wrongfully did. As for record sales...


August 28, 2002

Expensive Cell Phones

There is a new cell phone for $30,000. It comes in gold, white gold and platinum with a jewel encrusted face. Though if you are on a budget, you can get the lower priced model for $10,000. You'll just have to cut back on a few other things like food and shelter to afford it. Yes I know, it's made for people with substantial bank accounts, therefore I was  kidding, though there are some people out there who can't afford it, but will try to buy it in an effort to keep up appearances. 

...and to think I got my regular cell phone for free. I feel so silly now [Aisha kicking herself]. 

People do lose phones. Fancy finding a $30,000 dollar cell phone. I guess that's what insurance is for. 

Do People Change When They Become Famous

People say people change when they become famous. That is true of some people. You give up your privacy when you become famous, so you do change in some ways. Still, people shouldn't complain. Most people who become famous understood that is what their job would entail, while others unintentionally become known due to a bad news event which is often classified as notoriety. 

Why like someone after they are famous that you didn't like before just because they became famous. It shows very little character and is very duplicitous. I don't see how people feel anyone should be flattered under those circumstances. You should have brotherly love, but it should be sincere. 

I do also believe that people change when other people become famous. People pay them more attention and value their opinions more. Why? You can be unknown and unwise and then become famous, but still be unwise. There are many famous people out there with no character or common sense. Some become famous because they can sing or play an instrument...still this does not make them wise. It means they have talent. Some become famous based on their looks, but how much of that is real. Looks fade. 


August 30, 2002

Web Site Plagiarism

I've been very vague on this site in describing certain projects I'm working on, careful not to give out too much information in advance. It is due to the fact that I work in a very competitive, unscrupulous industry. There are artists that go to great lengths to ensure complete privacy when they're working. They do this in an effort to prevent other artists from using their ideas or their material before they do. No, it's not paranoia. People in the industry have no qualms about stealing from each other. Companies will rush to put out a project they stole from someone else just to beat the true owner to the punch.

I did not want to write about this, but I see this is the only way to stop a problem that's been happening. Recently, a music company that I contacted via fax, stole from me. They did something unethical to a group of people I know and I gave them the chance to discreetly rectify it, asking for nothing in return. As usual, I was trying to be nice and speak up for people who have been taken advantage of ... and how do they repay me for my discretion when I could have publicly humiliated them. They came to this web site and decided to steal from me. 

The letter I faxed contained the address of this web site and Sonustar's web site address is written on the letterhead. I'm very serious when it comes to my work, so theft is not something I take lightly. In the past, I've written things in a casual environment that gave these people ideas for songs, a collaboration and corrected where they were going wrong among other things and it has benefited them, for which I'm sure they will continue to arrogantly take credit for coming up with. 

However, coming to my web site and stealing from me was just plain greedy. Six days after they received my fax, they took the concept for the interact page on this site and adapted it to their web site, even using the very same text I wrote, only substituting my name with their artist's name. It's not the first time they've used my words either, but that's another subject.

For this artist's forthcoming single, they also used a sound that neither the producer or the artist had used before. They used a vocoder on the vocals of the artist's new single, which months ago I mentioned on this site that I used on my track "Metronome" (see description of track 5 on the interview page). Normally I wouldn't take exception to something like that because producers do sometimes use vocoders, but it's a drastic departure from that artist's sound, to the point that people notice it and the producer that did the track has never used that application on any of the various songs he has produced.  

A well known singer also complained about this singer stealing their style and having experienced them stealing from me, I can see why the other singer said that. When you listen to these two singers, they do sound a lot a like and it's because one is listening to the other's records and doing his best to duplicate them. This other singer was so upset when he realized it, that when he did an interview recently, he brought up how this person copied his style. At first I wondered why this singer said the other singer's name in the interview and kind of embarrassed him, but now I understand. He wasn't really trying to embarrass him. He mentioned it publicly to get him and the people he works with to stop stealing from him, much like I'm trying to do right now. 

My main concern is what else they've taken that I don't know about as I have only heard a preview of the vocoded track I mentioned above. Therefore, I'm waiting to hear this artist's forthcoming CD. I strongly suggest that if anything else has been taken from my work and incorporated into that CD, you need to take it back to the studio and have it removed. I value my work and do not wish to see your name on it. I will not tolerate it.

Do not strengthen my case by taking anything else. I'm being nice and not mentioning any names, take that as a courtesy and rectify what you have done. Do not view it as clearance to continue taking what you want. I do have proof to back up my claims and I have no qualms about suing you. I'm very busy right now, but once I've completed the projects I'm working on, I will turn my attention to resolving this matter.

   

 


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