I've saved the best for last because it has to do with my 2 favorite subjects: music history and never before heard music.
So we are all aware of the group Sista: 4 dope women, harmonies like their mentors Jodeci, and one chick in particular who just seemed to stand out more than the others, yes Missy Elliott. Just in case we forgot, we were reminded that this wasn't Missy's first group rather it was the group formerly known as Sista, none other than Fayze (Fa Zee).
Fayze never released an album and soon changed names to Sista per Devante's suggestion....or did they?
As it turns out Fayze did release a single! A track called "First Move" which is considered to be the very first official track in music history that features Missy. Here take a listen to the track and it's remix:
"First Move" (Extended Underground Remix)
So where did this person on youtube get the track? Well in truth they did a great job of ripping the audio from the very thorough review of "First Move" by the one and only Werner Von Wallenrod (I'm not kidding) which I recommend you check out:
Now how dope is that? For all you Timbaland family purists, heck even you music purists in general this is some cool shit!
So where did this piece of history end up? Actually I'm holding it in my hand right now ;)
Hope you enjoyed this week!
Friday, February 26, 2010
I've saved the best for last because it has to do with my 2 favorite subjects: music history and never before heard music.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
For today's Basment info let's go back to one of my favorite sites of the moment New Jack Swing 4Ever and check out an interveiw with Accion. Who? I know I was with you too but Accion was another memeber of Da Basmement that you might not have known about before but you defienitely heard him. Check Devante's "Gin N Juice" Remix), yes that's Accion on the rap with the rest of the crew.
Here's the interview and I suggest you read the whole thing as it is the best to date of a first hand account of life back in Da Basement days:
NJS4E: So were you the last to join out of the original members of Da Bassment then?
Yeah- I was the last artist that was part of the original Bassment crew. The group had already been formed for a while before me and were known as ‘Swing Mob’ initially. As the concept grew under DeVante, the name changed- probably around 2 years later- between ’92-’93. Da Bassment crew itself used to be called The 45.4 Q Clique.
NJS4E: ’45 point 4 Q clique’- what does that stand for?
Well there was this house that DeVante owned in New Jersey when he first got the inspiration to put the crew together. The address of that house was 454, Queen Anne Road. The 45 point 4 Q clique was an abbreviation for that. So that’s what Da Bassment crew was originally called and at that time he didn’t have all of the original members- he had Sista, Sugah, Darryl Pearson, Playa, Tim, Magoo & Ginuwine. In ’94 when he moved everyone down to Rochester to produce Jodeci’s album & Renee’s project- that’s when the rest of us joined including other Rochester artists- and the name of Da Bassment crew came up. And that name came up because of the way that the studio was-we all worked in the basement. Although there were multiple studio rooms in this one particular studio building we worked in, a lot of the groundwork was made in the basement of that building. And what we liked about that name was not just the fact that a lot of the work was done in the basement- but also the analogy behind it which we thought was kinda cool- the idea that the music we were living and doing at the time was taking it back to the old school basement party. That’s why the first single that was supposed to come out of the bassment project was "Nothing But A B Party Y’all."
NJS4E: I'd have loved to be sitting in the studio at that time to witness that! You mentioned creative sounds- DeVante & Da Bassment as a collective developed an incredibly unique and special sound- not just melodically or beats-wise or even in terms of the style of singing- it was a combined result of all three and one that's unique to each and all of you and has helped launch a number of careers which are still going strong to this day. Do you think that 'sound' which we have seen with Timbaland, Missy etc. was born from the days with Da Bassment & DeVante?
Definitely. Let me tell you- that musical sound that you heard back then that creatively moved mountains in the music industry- that musical sound was mostly DeVante. It developed in Da Bassment and was managed between him & Timbaland but it was mainly DeVante in terms of the development, because he really was the only one who had the skills to do that. Timbaland at that point was a very talented young man but he was learning and being schooled by DeVante. The actual bass drums, and the way Timbaland would pattern his drumbeats, that was actually a combination of my mouth and a producer called SMK that DeVante liked and brought in from Rochester. What would happen is, like I'd already described- a typical day in the life of Da Bassment consisted of what we called vibin'. So we'd be vibin' in a cypher and we'd all be just impromptu singin', rhymin' freestylin' and somebody would have to bust a beat out. So the way I used to beatbox with my mouth- I don't know if you're going to hear this clearly over the phone properly, but I'd do this (Accion beatboxes for 15 seconds and it sounds uncannily like what we classed as a Timbaland drum beat between 1997-1999). So I'd beatbox like that, but I wasn't producing music, so what would happen is DeVante & Tim would go into the studio and duplicate my pattern with the drum machine and develop it. SMK's music was very bass heavy so he brought in the bass pattern to match with my beatboxing & DeVante's drum pattern, and it sounded like this (Accion beatboxes for another 15 seconds). So basically DeVante & Tim took those two ideals and then developed it further and made that sound you're referring to.
Did your mouths just fall open?? Mine did!!
NJS4E: So was that when Timbaland, Magoo & Ginuwine followed her [Missy] out too?
Well yeah. Missy, Tim & Magoo were very good friends from the same hometown. And you have to remember that the three of them and Ginuwine had been together a part of Da Bassment longer than anybody else, so quite naturally once the door of opportunity opened for Missy, she was still plugged in to what Tim, Magoo & Ginuwine were doing. No sooner than her thing popped off, Tim & Magoo were silently establishing their progression musically with Missy. Like I said before, Ginuwine was pretty much doing the same thing but not directly with Missy. He was the first person to leave Da Bassment and Rob Reeves was silently establishing a connection with Sony/550 Music and negotiating a deal for Ginuwine, based on the song "Pony." That record was penned by Static & arranged by Smokey & Black, who as you know were Playa- it was made in the basement, for Da Bassment and was supposed to be Ginuwine’s first single off the upcoming Da Bassment compilation album. Ginuwine obviously left and signed a deal with Sony/550, based on the song "Pony," and soon after Tim & Magoo left. Tim was then pulled in to produce Ginuwine’s first album. All that stuff pretty much happened without DeVante being aware of it and from that point on DeVante just cut off any personal ties with them because the professional ones were severed in what he believed to be an unforgiveable manner.
How incredible was that interview!? It doesn't get much better than that folks!
Ok so we're down to the wire. We got a few hours left before the Skype Listening Party over at Static Major's Blog. 7:00PM Eastern, go get a Skpe account, and get ready to hear some new music fresh out the vaults!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
It's Day 3 of Da Basement Days and let me start out my saying I'm no expert on this time period, rather that would be Roderick and Buddha. I am just skimming the surface of the story and music of what happened during this time. This has been just as much as an music education for me as it may be for you. So on with the show...
When you think of the Da Basement you think Timbo, Magoo, Missy, Ginuwine, the Playa boys, Sista, Sugah, Fayze, Jimmy D, etc etc but someone you might not think of is a woman named Renee Anderson. Renee was definitely a part of the crew and could hold her own vocally with the best of them. In fact she was supposed to have a solo album released via MCA, executive produced by Devante, of the following tracks:
1. Maybe (produced by Darryl Pearson)
2. Aw Yeah (produced Regi Moore)
3. Don't Be Afraid (produced Regi Moore)
4. Everytime F/ Static (produced by )
5. Gonna Be Your Night F/ DeVante Swing (produced by ?)
6. Makin Love (produced by Darryl Pearson)
7. Bad By Myself (produced Regi Moore
8. Do It Up (produced Regi Moore)
9. Me 4 U F/ Timbaland (produced by ?)
10. Wind (prdocued by Devante)
11. One Of A Kind F/ Static (produced by ?)
12. Its Alright (produced by Regi Moore)
13. Don't Be Gone- F/ Static (produced by ?)
14. Throw Ya Hands Up F/ Timbaland (produced by ?)
15. My Guy (produced Regi Moore)
16. Greater Love (produced Regi Moore)
17. Have Your Way (produced Regi Moore)
18. Romeo (produced Regi Moore)
19. Time Or Chance (produced Regi Moore)
20. Crying (produced Regi Moore)
All that unreleased Timbo music! So what does Renee Anderson sound like? Have a listen yourself:
"Things That You Say" produced by Elijah K.J. Harris and Courtney Horton
"Gonna Be Your Night" produced by Devante
and my personal favorite "Wind" produced by Devante
She also does some ad libs on the Devante produced track "Could This Be Love" by Al Green. Who's that singing background? Playa of course!
So there you have Day 3 and a new member of the crew you might not have known before.
Alright so one more day to go. Tomorrow, 7PM EST, Skype Listening Party, Basement tracks, Playa tracks, hopefully some Timbo tracks. Get yourselves over to Static Major's Blog!
Monday, February 22, 2010
For Day 2 of Da Basement Days, I'd thought we'd look at another great interview, this time with 1/3 of the harmonies-like-no-other trio of Playa, the one and only Smoke E. Digglera. Here you have the story of how it all started from someone who was actually there, check it out:
I’d do some producing but in terms of other producers, mostly we’d work with Timbaland. Around that era, was when Ginuwine’s "Pony" got created. And you’ve got to keep in mind Steve J, the hitman. He was around then too, producing records. He was within Da Bassment, but he was Dalvin’s artist on Clownin’ Records. We had him too and of course Darryl Pearson. Sometimes we’d also work with other producers from Rochester, but for the most part it was cutting records with Timbaland, coz DeVante was always busy.
NJS4E: Speaking of albums- your group was credited a lot in Jodeci’s last album and you yourself produced half the work on the first Playa album, not to mention background vocals for some of DeVante’s other productions. Not many people today are fully aware of that, particularly with tracks like Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’ which was a huge hit?
Yeah. The Jodeci album we were credited. Pony was created back in Da Bassment days. But our names weren’t credited then. But yeah, Timbaland did the track, the chords played and the music were basically me, & Static helped write it. We were all involved with that record but not all of us got that recognition at the time. But that’s how it is.
NJS4E: Finally, out of all the producers you’ve worked with, who would you say is the most inspirational producer you’ve ever worked with?
Besides DeVante or including DeVante?
NJS4E: Including DeVante first, and then besides DeVante?
NJS4E: And besides DeVante?
Good question. Probably a guy called J-Dub. Key Beats, which is Eric Seats & Rapture Stewart. A guy named Butta.
He's actually talking about Buddha (pronounced Butta) who may be best known for his (not Timbaland's) production of Timbaland's "Party" F/ Sin off the Exit Wounds Soundtrack.
So have you ever wondered what other tracks were created back in Da Basement days but were released later? Well I can let you know of 3 for sure:
1. "Smoke In Da Air" Currently we hear Timbo rap "...cause my n***a Static he's got that killa, what?" but originally Tim's line went "...cause my n***a D he's got that killa, what?" Also Static's current rap goes "...Tim's speakers, thumpin'" versus the original Basement days when it was "...D's speakers bumpin'." It goes without saying that the "D" both Timbo and Static mention is DeVante and it's interesting how it was taken out (for obvious reasons).
2. "Everybody Wanna Luv Somebody" another tune from Playa's album, this originally had a much harder hitting beat and it was Static on the first verse instead of Black as it is today.
3. "Hello" (Shock Value Bonus Track) The hook, versus the beat, is from The Basement days. Somehow I have to wonder if that beat isn't too.
So Day 2 finished and big props go to Buddha for the info. Did I mention the Skype Listening Party? This Thursday, 7:00PM EST, never before heard Playa, hopefully never heard before Timbaland. Hit up Static Major's blog for more info.
Sometimes to appreciate the present you have to take a step back and remember the past. I have to admit I wish Timbo did that more lately (like when he created "We Belong To The Music") but at the end of the day Tim's got a backyard with a alligator in it and I...hell I don't even have a backyard so I get it: if it ain't broke don't fix it. With that said I thought we'd take a stutter step down Da Basement brick road this week and hopefully you may learn a little something.
For Day 1, I thought we'd take a look at Ginuwine's first album. No not The Bachelor rather his first album. Confused yet? Believe me I was too until I heard the first single from that album called "I Want You" produced by Devante Swing, take a listen:
If you grew up in Jodeci era like I did, this is classic Devante and you can definitely hear how Tim incorporated some of Devante's production style into his own at this time. This unreleased and untitled album was supposed to be released via Elektra in '96 with this tracklisting:
1. Lady-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
2. Pony-(produced by Timbaland)
3. Yeah Come On-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
4. I Want You-(produced by DeVante)
5. Rock-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
6. Feel It-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
7. Love U Down-(produced by DeVante) F/ Playa, DeVante, Suga, Misdemeanor, & Da Boogieman
8. Come On Baby-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
9. Soaking Wet-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
10. Straight Like That-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
11. One Reason Why-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
12. Come Inside-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
13. I'm Going To Fall In Love-(produced by Darryl Pearson)
Yes this album is where the original "Pony" was supposed to be released and don't forget the
Susan Weems interview where she talked about Darryl Pearson being part of Da Basement from the start as a producer before moving over to other behind the scenes duties throughout the years.
So there you have it the Ginuwine album before the Ginuwine album.
Now keeping with our theme this week, the good people over at Static Major's blog are having a Skype Listening Party this Thursday at 7:00PM EST. They're working on the guest list but if it's anything like the exclusive music and news they've been giving than you can expect some never before Basement (and hopefully Timbo) music being shared. Make sure to check it out!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Check out one of the first members of the Timbaland family, the one and only Twista, jumping on the "remix" of Timbo's latest single "Carry Out".
The beat definitely doesn't fit Twista's flow but it's always nice to hear Twista on a Timbaland beat. Hopefully we'll get more one day.
Here's some basic facts for you that explains how it works when your a producer working with an A list producer no matter how close the relationship:
Rihanna's "Rehab" Produced by Timbaland, co-produced by Hannon Lane
Esmée Denters "Gravity" Produced by Justin Timberlake and Hannon Lane
=Hannon Lane is the producer of both tracks
Remember not to believe everything you read. The liners can be wrong as we've expose many times before.
This person is right, the beat was produced by Hannon co-produced by Timbaland and just a demo not meant for any album in particular.
The woman singing is some random and for reference only. Sadly the beat was meant to stay unreleased until it was official but we now how that goes.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Though this is an old track, check out the first trio of T Pain's Nappy Boy Entertainment Sophia Fresh and their song "Do The Dance":
Do parts of the song sound familiar? How about the "Whoooo!" in the background? Yep that's from Tim and Sebastian's "Go Head & Do Your Thang." The synth pattern during the bridge? Yup that's from Flo Rida "Elevator." There's even a "Work It"esque sound right before the rap and on top of all that the track samples Justice's "D.A.N.C.E."
So is this a Timbo track? Nope but rather Hannon Lane who again proves his skills. Check the ending...
Monday, February 15, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
FINALLY! FInally something about the legendary Daryl Pearson. Check your liner notes from Timbo's productions from start to finish and you will see Daryl's name there over and over. Whether it be back up vocals, keyboards, sequencing, or what he's most known for the guitar, Daryl and Timmy have been making music together since they both were part of Da Basement family. Check the interview:
How did you get started in the music business?
I met DeVante Swing from Jodeci and became part of his production crew called the Swing Mob. I played guitar, bass, keyboards, did sequencing and sang background vocals for various artists like Usher, Mary J. Blige, CeCe Peniston, H-Town and a whole host of others.
How did you first start running Steinberg products?
A friend of mine named Jeffrey Smith turned me on to Steinberg because he was using Cubase. I fell in love with it when I saw it. I was using an MPC 60 and I realized how much more I could do with Cubase. Ed Spence at Washington Music Center has always been incredibly helpful.
What projects have you been working on recently?
I worked on projects with Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Chris Cornell. I also do commercials for Greibo Media in Baltimore including Coca Cola, Morgan State University, Humana, Sotheby’s and Hewlett-Packard.
You do a lot of projects with Timbaland. How did you two first meet?
We were both in DeVante’s production crew. Brian Kidd and myself were using Nuendo, and Timbaland saw how we were using it with our NeKos, and then I set up a laptop with it and he has been using it ever since.
Have you used the AudioWarp on any projects?
Rodney Jerkins and I were working in Ireland on a Michael Jackson project. Rodney had done a special beat at a certain tempo. Then we wanted to slow down the whole song to match the groove. We stretched the audio of the song in Pro Tools to no avail. We were able to stretch the tempo in real time in Nuendo with great results. Everyone was very impressed.
Are you doing anything in surround?
We are doing a whole movie in 10.2 scoring and mixing entirely in Nuendo.
Have you started running Cubase 5?
I am working on various artists for Universal Entertainment’s Brooklyn Entertainment. I love the VariAudio feature. The sound quality is excellent and the features can’t be beaten. I have used Melodyne but it is more complicated as it wasn’t integrated into the program and autotune wasn’t as advanced or flexible.
Have you had a chance to check out the Steinberg hardware?
I am very impressed by it and I am looking to doing my next project with it. I want to set up dedicated Steinberg studios in different locations and want the people to hear how Steinberg sounds better than Pro Tools. I can get so much more done with it.
Do you carry your own system to various studios?
I have a NeKo and a laptop. I was recently in a studio, bypassed the big Mac and went to my three-year old Toshiba laptop where I was able to sequence 18 VST instruments with no problems and then bounce down to an entire vocal session on the laptop. The studio was blown away by the performance as they couldn’t sequence six instruments on their G5 with their full-blown Pro Tools rig. The way that Steinberg works with virtual instruments is superior because they invented it.
Do you see a lot of your friends switching to Steinberg?
Everyone that sees me use it switches over to a Steinberg system and wants me to configure it for them. I have done systems for Justin Timberlake, Hannon Lane who worked with Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna, and, of course, Timbaland. They are all very happy with the Steinberg gear.
"We were both in Devante's production crew. Brian Kidd and myself..." Remember that, it will be important.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I've always been a huge fan of the history of Timbaland, Missy, Ginuwine, and the whole Da Basement crew. With that said, you can imagine my excitement when I ran into an extensive interview with Susan Weems! Who's Susan Weems you ask? Not only is she an amazing singer (how dope is that track?!) but she's also one third of the group Sugah. Yes that's right Tweet's old group. For all you Da Basement history buffs, get ready for a literal treasure mine of great Da Basement history. Check it:
Amazing! To read the story from the beginning really makes me wish I could have been a fly on the wall way back when. Check out the video for the Jodeci's "Gin and Juice" (Remix), can you spot Da Basement crew?