Timothe Davis

Timothe Davis


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Friday, 22 November 2013 00:14

"Hush" - RC and the Gritz

RC and the Gritz.

Grits because they are the epitome of soul food? Or grits because the word implies the need for grit, for strength, for resilience? Perhaps their name - RC and the Gritz - is a fusion of both ideas. Because fusion is what RC and the Gritz have stirred up in their gumbo called "Hush."

The lyrics themselves are simple: "I'm about to lose my cool. Girl, you need to hush."

And just as good soul food starts with simple ingredients and then is layered with all types of spicy, sugary, and salty goodness, so it this song. This song is a boiling pot of soul and hip hop. It's a sprinking of jazz, pinch of funk, and sauteed in R&B.

The song is not meant to be an appetizer, it's the main course. It's a delicious bowl of grits. Give it a listen and eat up. While you're doing that, sit back and enjoy the video. I gotta say, I keep seeing great videos by Dallas' artist; and I keep seeing Jeff Adair's named attached to them ... 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 21:22

"Lipstick on her Cigar" - Chris Robinson

Chris has been teasing us for weeks about the release of his new song "Lipstick on her Cigar." We are happy to say the day has finally arrived.

If you know Chris and his work, then you know his guitar playing is stellar. We'd expect that on any song. But being a stellar guitar player doesn't mean that you can emote with your guitar. And that's exactly what he does here. The song is tense, dramatic, striking - everything the blues is meant to be. At one point, I expected Bobby "Blue" Bland to start singing because Chris has invoked such intense feeling. 

The mystery of the blues is that the threat isn't always clear. And it isn't clear here. Is there a threat? Why is there lipstick on her cigar? I don't know. So I guess I'll listen again. Until I figure it out. 

Monday, 18 November 2013 00:00

Are you inflating your social net worth?

Would you buy your own albums to go Platinum? Or your own books to have a best-seller? Of course not, you're saying. Who would do that?

My guess? A lot of people – if they could afford it.

Because what I've learned, since joining Twitter, is that hundreds of artists buy FB likes, Twitter followers, and Youtube views to inflate their social net worth.

Honestly, is there really any difference between the buying your own albums and buying your own followers. They both work like crazy Ponzi schemes!

Don't get me wrong. I get it. On surface, the plan makes sense. More likes, more followers, and more views will lead to more attention. More attention will ultimately lead to a sales and/or a deal. But honestly, what are you really buying? You're buying lists of people who don't exist (they aren't real) or, worse yet, don't care about your music, your book, your artistry.

What that means is that you won't be able to translate those likes or those followers into sales. Those followers won't buy. You've falsely inflated your social net worth. Your stock price is high, but your value is low. So when you do drop that album or release that book, how many of those followers can you really expect to buy it?

I've tweeted out song reviews to great artists who have had less than 10K followers and reviews to mediocre artists who have between 50K – 1MM. Either way, the artist with true fans gets a reaction from his or her followers.

When an artist doesn't get a reaction – especially when the artist has a zillion followers – when he or she gets no congrats, no kudos, no comments, no RTS from their followers, I gotta wonder, are their followers listening and do their followers care?

Not to mention, any savvy record company or book publisher will be able to determine how deep an artist's true following is.

Listen, as artists, we have to believe in ourselves. We have to invest in ourselves. We have to find unique ways to get our artistry to the masses and rise above the competition. I encourage that.

But an inflated social net worth – well that's good for the ego; rarely does it do much for the bank account. And even if you're grinding out your art for the love, it is nice to get a real paycheck from time to time.

Monday, 18 November 2013 21:59

"Believe" - Rachel Marie

Rachel Marie has two songs available on Soundcloud. Her single "High" and the R&B infused gospel song "Believe." 

I've choosen to review "Believe" - it's sweet, sincere, and sung effortlessly. Over beat that's intent on making you groove to its sound, Marie declares her belief in a Higher Power. It's the type of song meant to be bring spirituality to a wide audience, and cater to those who prefer Mary Mary to the more traditional gospel songs.

"Believe" me, Marie has nailed it. Favoring lower tones, and careful not to oversing, she embues afffection for faith and an affirmation for God. She's done a great job - I played the song five times in a row - and she should be proud of her work here. 

Kaskade, Tiesto, and Haley? Need I say more? It's Saturday evening and here's another one of my favorite electronica songs. It's a shame that these classics are relegated to clubs ...

Give the song a listen. You'll be singing along to the romantic hook before it's even finished. Or you'll be dancing across your living room floor. 

Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:36

"Our Freedom" - Trylogi

"Our Freedom" by Trylogi is not about our freedom. It's about the sacrifices that have been made to attain and retain that freedom. It's a song of deep appreciation meant to honor the men and women who leave family and friends to fight for liberty.

The three ladies of Trylogi exchange lead vocals on a song that reminds us that freedom isn't alway free, and thus they are compelled to thank these soldiers "for the way they keep us safe."

While the song kicks off with a bit of  a rap/spoken-word-prose, at its heart, it's a country song. Country music has a uniquely American heritage. And the group seeks to honor America, its heritage, and its freedom in their tune.

Just as the song is a touching tribute, the video is as well. The group says "thank you" face-to-face, and the soldiers beam in appreciation.

Never should someone's sacrifice be taken for granted. And in this song, Trylogi reminds us how true that statement is. 

 

Friday, 15 November 2013 01:42

"Gettin' It" - the Bodega Brovas

I'm not sure which I enjoyed more, the video to the Bodega Brovas' song "Gettin' It" or the song itself. And I mean that as a compliment.

"Gettin It" is about getting respect, attention, and an audience. And if this song is a measure, then the trio deserves all three. Armed with some witty word play and more than a few cultural references, the Bodega Brovas aren't afraid to make their feelings known. 'Like a 30 year old virgin, they are tired of getting jerked ...' so it's time for action, they wont' be held down anymore, they are ready to carry the torch. 

The song is an anthem for any group that's toiled underground and has been trying fiercely to get it. Get on. Get noticed. Get Paid.

All this against the backdrop of a tongue-in-cheek highly spirited and humorous video. That's artistry - taking yourself seriously but not too seriously. The Bodega Brovas are "Gettin' It," and you should too ...

Thursday, 14 November 2013 02:17

"Look Me In My Eyes" - Lil YG Rilla

"Look Me In My Eyes" is Lil YG Rilla's request. If you do so, you'll find him baring his soul as he reflects on who he is and where came from.

The tale isn't a happy one, unless you consider the fact that Rilla has the talent and the depth to share his story a happy ending. Even if so, the trials along the way are not to be forgotten.  

Rilla borders on instrospection when he states he hustles because hustling is the only game he knows. He recounts getting his first gun at fifteen. He bemoans the friends he's lost to the game. And he questions why all his "niggas gettin' sent to prison."

A friend of mine was standing beside me as I played it. He said, "that's some real shit." True. A sad reality for too many bruthas. But Lil YG ain't bragging. He's just sharing his truth.

Lil YG Rilla. He invites us to look into his eyes. Yet, in this tale, he's taken the time to look into his own. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 16:28

"Disco Queen" - Ishi

I'm always amazed at the amount of musical talent that exists. The strange thing is where it exists. It's not always at the top of the charts. Sometimes the best musicians are the ones who are grinding, day-in-day-out, without a major label.

You can add Ishi to the list. Recently selected as the Best Electronic Act in Dallas, Ishi is releasing soulful funky house - the kind you groove and move to.

Let's take "Disco Queen" as an example. While no one would call Ishi "dancers," the song makes you wanna dance. Actually, it makes you wanna find your Disco Queen (or King) and, as Ishi puts it, "collide to the rhythm of the night." Give it a listen and you'll understand why their music has been described as kinetic!

The song is another example of great electronca. So an ode to Ishi and a Disco Queen (whoever theirs and yours may be).

Mine was Donna Summer - may she rest in peace.

Monday, 11 November 2013 22:03

"Crazy Love" - Klass Money ft. Leila Capri

They say that men give love to have sex and women give sex to get love. The line between those two ideas are blended and blurred on Klass Money's sex-driven "Crazy Love."

What could've descended into another song about a rapper's sexual prowess - those songs are a dime a dozen - melts into a song where the making love leads to falling in love. 

Songs like this don't work without a strong hook and a pretty voice to sing it. Fortunately, "Crazy Love" has both. Featured artist Leila Capri rises to the occasion and serenades (sounding a bit like Amerie). 

The production values are strong and the rhymes are nice.

 Lots of songs like this come my way. This one is one of my favorites.

 

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