Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dionysian, personified.

Last night I had a Brooklyn experience. Probably an experience you can only have in Brooklyn nowadays- the quintessential raging loft party. I went with one of my oldest friends who was working taking pictures of the event (which I'll hopefully put up if I can coerce her to send them to me) and invited me to tag along. This party got me thinking about the Dionysian in everyone and in myself. So, this post is about something I briefly linked to in a previous post, Rick-Hop (a name so poignantly bestowed upon me by my friends in Miami). I think it deserves some explanation:

So. By this time (well, maybe a bit earlier- around March) last year, I was fed up with Jazz. I had spent my life learning and implementing advanced harmonic concepts, sophisticated melodic phrasings, and "space" in my solos. Apparently, the prodigious use of space is supposed to make you sound mature.

At any rate, this bombardment of drivel from academia led me to start a project based in a completely different musical world than that of music school: Hip-Hop. I grew up with hip-hop. I listened to Jay-Z, Biggie, Redman-Method Man; all of the music coming out of the 90s scene. Moreover, I grew up breakdancing and listening to the sounds of Run DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, Afrika Bambata, and the Rocksteady Crew.

Thus, tentatively, I created my first "beat". I sang a hook on it, having to do with an inside joke about beautiful girls who my friends and I called "harans" (or "ha" for short), and showed it to my roomates. The response was one of considerable wonder, as I don't think they would have pegged me to make something like this, and of genuine amusement. To be honest, I was amused with myself. It would be more than fair to describe the response as positive. And so, I wrote another song having to do with another silly inside joke (and, as it were, actual event) called "Girls Night In", and brought one of my good friends then girlfriend to record a girl verse on it. Again, the response was of considerable enjoyment and amusement.

Gaining a bit of confidence, I set out to see how far I could take it. I set my sights on the current hip-hop climate, and let myself go completely. It felt great. I put onto tape those Dionysian desires that I think everyone has, yet few are brazen enough to relate to the larger population. It was fun and absolutely hilarious, and I got many of my amazingly musical friends to record raps, hooks, horn lines, and guitar parts.

Though the lyrics get silly, and certainly are in many ways myself and my friends "personified", I think we should all let ourselves and our inhibitions go every once in a while. See the results below:

Rick Hop's Profile Songs

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