Davey D Top 21 & Music Notes: Good bye Ms Melodie.. Brother Ali Gets Arrested ..Miller vs Finesse

Davey D’s Top 21 Music Chart:  07/19/12

01-Killer Mike– ‘Reagan


03-Lupe FiascoAround My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)

04-Jasiri X & Elon James  ‘10 Frisk Commandments

05-I Self Devine w/ Brother Ali  ‘Living Under Seige

06-Cihautl-CeWe Need U on the Front Lines

07-Yasiin Bey, dead prez & Mikeflo– ‘Made You Die (Trayvon Tribute)

08-Brother Ali w/ Nikki JeanShine On

09-Public EnemyI Shall Not be Moved

10-Georgia Ann Mudrow  w/ DeclaimeThe Few

11-Jasiri X– ‘Do We Need to Start a Riot?

12-D-Sharp Lightweight

13-B-DolanWhich Side Are On?

14-Dregs OneLetter to the President

15-Tiye PhoenixSkybound

16-RDACBX w/ Rebel DiazStop! Stop and Frisk

17-Aesop RockZero Dark Thirty

18-Hakim GreenMy name is Hak

19-Anita TijouxShock

20-El-PDrones Over Brooklyn

21-4Two7Butta on Ya Muffintop


Ms Melodie

Music Notes: First we wanna pay respects and offer condolences to the passing of a Hip Hop legend Ms Ramona Parker aka Ms Melodie. Sadly until yesterday she was written out of the minds of many Hip Hop fans who forgot her being one of the first commercially released female emcees.

She was a powerful figure who rolled w/ the BDP (Boogie Down Productions)Crew. Some suggested she was put on because she was married to Blastmaster KRS-One, but Ms Melodie could spit flows with the best.

Her best shining moments was the bars she spit on the landmark song Self-Destruction and her signature song ‘Live on Stage… My personal favorite was off the Diva album.. the Soul Train inspired  Remember When ? .Ms Melodie will be missed..along with icons like Donna Summers, MCA and Chuck Brown who we also lost this year..

Brother Ali got arrested over some real beef.. Beef with bankers

Props go out to Minneapolis artist Brother Ali for getting himself arrested a couple of weeks ago. No Ali wasn’t doing the Chris brown/ Drake number and tossing bottles in a club. He got arrested for standing up and helping Occupy a House that was scheduled to be foreclosed on by greedy bankers. That’s who we need to be tossing bottles at. bankers who have made record profits and yet still insist on fraudulently foreclosing on homes.

In this recent case, the Cruz family in Minneapolis attempted to make a payment online, which the bank refused. This triggered the bank to impose a two month fine, which the family couldn’t pay which then led to foreclosing proceedings. Such tactic are not unusual and in this particular case, lots of folks came out to help the family keep their home. One of them was Brother Ali who wound up being charged with trespassing when he refused to walk away and let the bankers keep the house.

This week we have a couple of joints featuring this hard-hitting Rhymesayer including ‘Shine On‘ featuring him and singer Nikki Jean and Living Under Seige‘ featuring his label mate I Self Devine.

Since we’re on the conscious tip, I wonder if San Francisco rapper Dregs One will show up at Oakland’s Fox Theater this Monday and perform his song ‘Letter to the President‘ which is a scathing critique of the president and some key issues he dropped the ball on. Dregs has been making a lot of noise both as a rapper and a commentator. He goes around with a camera and gives these great on the street commentaries called the Wake Up Report, like this one he did on gentrification.


Lord Finesse

Moving along, many of y’all have heard about the beef between legendary producer Lord Finesse and Mac Miller, the up and coming superstar out of Pittsburgh.. For those who don’t know, Finesse is suing Mac Miller for $10 million because Miller used the beat to his song ‘Hip 2 Da Game‘ for a mixtape song he titled ‘Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza‘.

I gotta be honest, I ain’t feeling the lawsuit.. In fact I think it’s wack for a number of reasons. We can start with how the music industry got lawsuit happy when it came to Hip Hop artists and went way overboard with licensing, regulating samples and just being anal over who owns a particular beat or riff. At the end of the day the music industry established a lucrative cottage industry that made a whole lot of non-music makers rich, while really short-changing and many cases handcuffed not just Hip Hop artists, but musicians in general.

When I heard Finesse wanted to sue Miller for using his  15-year-old song for a mixtape, I couldn’t separate his actions from that of record executive Aaron Fuchs of Tuff America music who came under fire when he went after the Beastie Boys in a lawsuit for music used in their landmark album Paul’s Boutique just days after MCA passed. many of us thought his behavior was mad shady.

Mac Miller

One would hate to see Finesse as shady, but its hard not to when it appears he’s going for a big payday vs defending some sort of egregious violation of his art..

From what it appears Finesse is upset for a couple of reasons. First, he wasn’t credited for his creation and two, even though it was a mixtape which was given away for free, Miller was able to make money off the song via his Youtube account which had 20 million views.  I say tough shyt.. Unless folks rapping over the beats to your song is a big issue, then I say brush it off and move on….As Hip Hoppers I say lets find another way to work these things out..

With respect to Lord Finesse, one might ask ‘did he give proper credit and share money with the late Oscar Peterson who he sample?’ Did he have Peterson come on tour, play live on any future creations?  Did he shout out his name and make his music known to folks far and wide back in ’95 when he dropped the song?

I’d be the first to argue that Finesse did what good musicians have always done.. He took a creation, flipped and made a name for himself off it. I understand that and accept it as a being part of Hip Hop.. However, over the years I’ve come to know and see the discomfort and unhappiness many musicians from past generations felt when they heard their music sampled and they didn’t get not even a handshake.. Many in my generation have been pretty callous and have literally told those elders, they ought to be happy because they were having their music exposed to new generations.. ironically, that’s pretty much what Miller been about when it comes to Finesse. He feels he’s exposing the DITC producer  to a new generation of rap fans..Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t..

Both Miller and Finesse owe Oscar Peterson some props

At the end of the day, I think Mac Miller’s fan got to know about Lord Finesse about as much as we who came up on Lord Finesse got to know about Oscar Peterson and any other music great he sampled. In other words we didn’t.. The name of the game for both Finesse and Miller was to create something for themselves. Finesse being a producer, flipped Peterson’s work and made a tight beat that he later used on his album. His end game was to show off his producer skillz..

Miller used Finesse’s beat for a mixtape where his goal was to show off his rhyme skillz. He wasn’t making beats. he was showing off his lyrics. so its ridiculous to somehow expect Miller to have flipped the beat like Finesse. Now if Miller bit rhymes from Finesse or Big L who Miller admired, then I could see the beef.

As for folks making money off the song.. In 2012 both Miller and Finesse have access to Youtube to exploit their works. Just so happens Miller got 20 million fans who probably could care less about the beat and were interested in what Miller had to say.. Yes, Miller may have gotten money from Youtube, but it’s not like Finesse doesn’t have access to the same outlets where he could post his work and get paid. In Hip Hop we have long jacked beats for our own come up projects.. We can’t get upset when someone snatches a 15-year-old song.. same way we didn’t want Peterson or any other artist upset with Finesse when he used their 15, 20-year-old songs.

In any case I think moving forward artist should develop some sort of code of conduct.. It would’ve been nice if Miller shouted out Finesse, included him in a video or had him produce a future track.. That’s a way to pay homage and give exposure. It’d be nice if Finesse did something for all the musicians he sampled. Maybe do a song with them or very deliberately expose them and their works to his wide fan base. Perhaps do a project with Peterson’s family..Don’t emulate and become like the industry executives who messed up the industry by suing everyone.. Miller and Finesse can come up with innovative ways to resolve their concerns and set a standard for others to follow. That’s my 3 cents..

Nas has just released one of his best albums ever..

As for this week’s chart, other highlights for the week are Nas‘ song ‘Daughters‘. His new album..Life is Good delivers on so many levels.. Nas is by far one of the best of the best and this is one of his best albums ever.. Songs like Stay produced by Large Professor and Where’s the love are works of brilliance.. Nas keeps improving his flow as he gets older.. .

Jasiri X of Pittsburgh is on fire with two songs we featured on this week’s chart including a great remake of Notorious BIG’s classic cut 10 Crack Commandments .. This is called 10 Frisk Commandments . The other song making noise is a militant anti-police brutality song called ‘Do We Need to Start a Riot?

If you’re not up on Chilean born emcee Ana Tijoux you need to be..Homegirl routinely sells out shows and kills it on the mic with every song and every performance. She’s been on the east coast in New York and Boston wooing large crowds.. She’s also been keeping her finger on the pulse by addressing key social issues. For example, in Chile there have been huge student led protests around the issue of education and proposed cuts.. Ana gets busy with this video and song called ‘Shock‘ The song is big in Chile..

She recently went to Arizona and was appalled at whats been going on around the issue of immigration and SB 1070. Hence Ana did a an acoustic reworking version of her hit song to address the issues facing Brown communities in Arizona.. props for stepping up and representing..

written by Davey D