Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: Hip-Hop (Page 1 of 4)


Lamar’s Album Grows on You

billb-300x200Bill Banfield is a professor of Africana studies/music and society and director of the Center for Africana Studies and programs at Berklee. An award-winning composer, jazz guitarist, recording artist, and public radio show host, he has authored five books for Scarecrow Press on music, arts, cultural criticism, and history.

After much fuss from and persuasion by many of my students, I decided to take a deeper look at Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. With my first listen in a car riding home, I didn’t like what I heard. It was not just a repulsion of the language and the seemingly thug spirit it seemed to evoke in me, but the language as well and the images inside the CD booklet. I only saw the same dark, twisted, exploited, projected and closed, broken narrative of so many contemporary hip-hop records. But I pushed myself to listen again more deeply with an eye toward the art and arc, and reach of the music.

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Professor Prince Charles Alexander: The State of Black Music in America

PCAPrince Charles Alexander is a musician, recording artist, record producer, audio engineer and educator. He is a professor in the Music Production and Engineering Department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Something happened to black music in America!

In 1979, I hated “Rapper’s Delight”! You could have shut down hip-hop right there for me and called that a novelty record. How dare they steal Nile Rodgers’s hard-earned intellectual property! Besides, I had just put out my first single and that record was taking up my airtime at local radio.

In 1985, while walking down 7th Avenue in Times Square, I saw the Billboard magazine headline, “Walk This Way” Reaches No. 1. I knew then that the handwriting was on the wall, and, sure enough, most of the funk and soul artists got dropped from their record labels within a two-year span. A cheaper, more cost-effective way of making music had proven its economic viability.

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Entrevista com Michael League do Snarky Puppy!

This post was authored by Andre Vasconcelos, writer of the Brazilian Portuguese tab for the Berklee Blogs.

Na semana passada eu e dois colegas entrevistamos um dos músicos que mais chama atenção na indústria hoje em dia. O baixista, compositor, arranjador, produtor, empresário do famoso grupo Snarky Puppy, Michael League separou alguns minutos de seu ocupadíssimo itinerário para conceder uma entrevista para o Berklee Blogs.


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Andre Vasconcelos interviews Michael League

Last week me and two companions had the pleasure to interview one of the most notorious young artists of today’s scene. Michael League is a bassist, composer, producer, arranger, manager, record label owner and much, much more. This very capable musician took some time out of his intensely busy schedule to do a video interview with me for the Berklee Blogs!


This post was authored by Andre Vasconcelos, writer of the Brazilian Portuguese tab for the Berklee Blogs.

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Conoce a Lowtone Society

Lowtone Society  es una banda que esta lista para fortalecer su mente, cuerpo y alma con genuina música necesaria para una vida sana y feliz. Los miembros de LTS se reunieron en la primavera de 2012, desde diferentes ángulos y orígenes, pero todos con un amor puro de hacer música. Los miembros tienen  formación musical y experiencia en todo, desde jazz a música clásica a hip-hop, desde el gospel hasta el reggae y el dancehall.

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