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Flying Lotus - You're Dead


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#271 1stN3rd

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 10:21 AM

 

 

this album is basically the first true synthesis of hip-hop and jazz since the birth of hip-hop from jazz 40+ years ago

Saying that hip-hop was birthed from jazz is a bit revisionary. If anything, hip-hop came from funk and disco, jazz tracks weren't getting sampled until the 90s came along. This is actually a pretty important point. A lot of people seem to assume that jazz and hip-hop are, like, necessarily intertwined. They aren't. And, as far as this being "the first true synthesis of jazz and hip-hop," I would say Madlib's work on albums like Shades of Blue, Angles Without Edges, and even some of his more hip-hop stuff does that more credibly. And we can go back even further, into the 90s with 4hero and a thousand other cats whose names I can't remember. The jazz/hip-hop thing aint nothing new. Like that other guy said, it's all been done before.

 

As per this entire discussion, I would like to point people's attention to a quote from Herbie Hancock that I think sums up the discussion. This is from the Fader article:

 

 

 

Looking back on their experiences in the studio together, [Hancock] stresses the questing soul in Ellison: “Jazz is something he’s interested in, and he feels, [but] his music is uniquely his own. It didn’t sound like anything I knew. He hears and feels a complete gamut of sounds."

 

I mean, it's a really interesting debate. There are some really cool sounds on this album. But why call it jazz? Unless, of course, your goal is to appear highbrow in the eyes of an uninformed public....The other thing is, we're treating jazz like this sacred cow, when in fact many of the actual luminaries of the genre eventually rejected the term, as a sort of invention of the critics. Hell, you can go back to the 50s when cool jazz segued into Bebop and many of the cool jazz guys were saying Bebop wasn't jazz. So, this debate itself is as old as dirt. 

 

 

 

get real, major-level recognition from audiences around the world.  that means good things for us, if anything...it means that we were successful, we actually have gotten the ball rolling in a new direction that has yet to be explored.  i think the short tracks here are just as justified as the short tracks on any punk release, or the short tracks on MV for that matter.  that was jazz then; this is what jazz has become now

I mean, I don't really see this getting popular enough to make any serious mainstream headway or shake up the music industry or anything like that. If anything, it's the highwater mark for FlyLo's own career. And he should be proud. And it is a good album. Like you said, how can he top this? But, your statement about Tribute To Jack Johnson being "jazz then, and this is what jazz has become now," that's just a gross oversimplification. There are hundreds of thousands of players who are out there grinding, practicing for upwards of ten hours a day, studying recordings, gigging, and writing incredible music. They just don't get written up on all the wannabe tastemaker blogs. I think this is a good album, and I wouldn't want to get in the way of anyone's enjoyment of it. But, at the same time, "don't believe the hype." 



#272 James Frank.

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 10:38 AM

i agree with ODK, although i should reiterate that i never tried to pretend like this album is completely independent of its influences, i'm very well aware of a good chunk of the other music genres FL incorprates into his own...

most of the artists that he mentioned, however, have not been in the public sphere since their initial rises to fame back in the original heyday of these genres...and from what i understand, none of them have ever made official entries into hip-hop or any other offshoot of it. of course all music is related, and of course there's no such thing as completely new and unique music just like every painting in existence technically uses the same basic hues. it's what an artist does with that pallette that makes or breaks them, and every once in a while someone brilliant enough chugs along and pushes us all into a direction that hasn't been explored too much. And for a good 90% of us producers, those genres FL is messing around with have largely been ignored...so it IS new to see that hard bop and prog elements are now fair game in hip-hop, and even though technically it was always there, you can't tell me that it was this huge prevalent thing in our industry that FlyLo just re-appropriated to jerry-rig an interesting sound. this album and others like it are communicating to this new generation that it's okay to get crazy with your experiments, and that it should be commonplace to dream big concepts for your album; i know i sure as fuck didn't have that growing up in the early '00s listening to radio rap, the closest thing i got to inspired was listening to that Eminem track that samples that Aerosmith track.



oh, and as for 1st's response...i disagree. and certain things he said are just plain wrong, cool jazz deceloped in the west coast as a result of bebop's poularity in the '40s which in turn was a reaction to swing. Hard bop, which is bebop times ten basically, developed around the same time in the '50s as a reaction to both cool jazz and the constraints of regular bebop. anyway, the point there is that jazz, or music in general, is reactionary to its own climate. the days of suit-wearing, highbrow jazz players are done, they're just not doing anything new or interesting, SORRY to those current-day jazz musicians who lack the creative drive to realize they could pioneer new sounds by not being snobby and introducing the idea of ostinatos, electronic instrumentation and sound manipulation into their jazz...that's what FL has done, and his innovations are deserving of praise. its amazing that people will say YNQ is this forward-thinking musical force...but whoa, look out if you add Snoop Dogg to the mix, now its much too ruffian for any refined ears to enjoy.

also, check your history man; jazz and hip-hop are essentially synonymous in attitude, its just manners of execution and technology that separate them.

#273 ODK

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 03:28 PM

Sorry dude.
Don't always have time to read punters comments supa thourghly. Scans get me by. If you are seeing the same ideas repeated it means we generally share the same views.


#BirdsOfAFeather

Yup !! true that, seems this album is having quite an effect on us all !!



#274 ODK

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 03:46 PM

James I know your aware dude, your totally right about most of what I mentioned about the public sphere of these acts, but when it was at the time, it was ground breaking, it set the bar, the 90's was fuck the rules, we haven't had that energy since, be great if that energy made a comeback though.

 

And don't forget because it's not your scene there is less chance of you hearing about what they're doing, only 1 or 2 I mentioned that don't do anything, And how did I forget to mention Squarepusher, and Aphex Twin, both have that crazy wavelength of odd, and still doing their thing, it's acts like this that get forgotten about, and what they innovated in the first place.

 

Be interesting to see what the next style of samples to use will be. I can totally see it going Prog Rock, and the 4/4 timing going, it's about time really.



#275 1stN3rd

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 09:24 PM

oh, and as for 1st's response...i disagree. and certain things he said are just plain wrong, cool jazz deceloped in the west coast as a result of bebop's poularity in the '40s which in turn was a reaction to swing. Hard bop, which is bebop times ten basically, developed around the same time in the '50s as a reaction to both cool jazz and the constraints of regular bebop. anyway, the point there is that jazz, or music in general, is reactionary to its own climate. the days of suit-wearing, highbrow jazz players are done, they're just not doing anything new or interesting, SORRY to those current-day jazz musicians who lack the creative drive to realize they could pioneer new sounds by not being snobby and introducing the idea of ostinatos, electronic instrumentation and sound manipulation into their jazz...that's what FL has done, and his innovations are deserving of praise. its amazing that people will say YNQ is this forward-thinking musical force...but whoa, look out if you add Snoop Dogg to the mix, now its much too ruffian for any refined ears to enjoy.

also, check your history man; jazz and hip-hop are essentially synonymous in attitude, its just manners of execution and technology that separate them.

Thanks for the history lesson, but the cool jazz example was just to illustrate how throughout the history of jazz, what jazz is has constantly been disputed. If you're disputing that, well, you're just wrong. What I don't get is why you seem so hell-bent on claiming that You're Dead is this ridiculously innovative album that has singlehandedly changed the face of jazz, hip-hop and electronic music. Like, why can't it just be a good hip-hop/electronic album, with jazz influences? And using the example of the Snoop Dogg feature is especially perplexing – it's a really lacklustre verse and the song almost falls apart there. If you're trying to say that somehow that particular performance is on a par above classic jazz albums like Bitches Brew, or, idk, A Love Supreme or something...I just feel sorry for you.

 

But all this is really beside the point. Lemme take off the kiddie gloves and say how I really feel. Let's be real here: At this stage in FlyLo's career, he can't just release another "beat tape." That would be a snooze-fest in the eyes of the critics, especially following UTQC, which was negatively reviewed by a lot of critics, basically for not being titillating enough. So he needed something to make it pop, something with some pizzazz – in short, a gimmick. So he does this short song thing and then tacks on the spooky "death" theme (which is only marginally evident in the music), and rolls out the massive publicity campaign. To me this just reeks of a last-ditch desperate attempt to maintain relevance in a dying industry with increasingly low margins. And I don't even begrudge him that. In fact, I think he acknowledges as much in the title of the record (he stated that it was partially in reference to the L.A. "beat scene"). But when I hear people drooling over themselves like they found Jesus, it just sounds to me like they bought into the hype hook, line and sinker, and I'm gonna call them out.


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#276 James Frank.

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Posted 18 October 2014 - 11:30 PM

i bought the hype, hook line and sinker?

you seem to think very highly of yourself, man -- and more than anything else, you just seem like the kind of person who has to be contrary to any popular opinion because you think marginalizing yourself makes you cool.

 

if you think you are so much smarter than me, then please -- by all means, show me where you think the "real" innovators are.  who are they, you? your friends?  lol, it's funny to see someone talk such mad shit about easily the most interesting act in the industry today when they themselves aren't even a fraction as ambitious in their own music production...



#277 GC90

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Posted Yesterday, 12:52 AM

Def no hate to JF but 1st makes some good points imo

#278 The Jackal

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Posted Yesterday, 07:11 AM

 So he needed something to make it pop, something with some pizzazz – in short, a gimmick. So he does this short song thing and then tacks on the spooky "death" theme (which is only marginally evident in the music), and rolls out the massive publicity campaign. To me this just reeks of a last-ditch desperate attempt to maintain relevance in a dying industry with increasingly low margins. And I don't even begrudge him that. In fact, I think he acknowledges as much in the title of the record (he stated that it was partially in reference to the L.A. "beat scene"). But when I hear people drooling over themselves like they found Jesus, it just sounds to me like they bought into the hype hook, line and sinker, and I'm gonna call them out.

 

So we're going to forget the part where obviously death was an important theme in FlyLo's own life, and pretend that any kind of personal concept album must be totally bogus gimmickry? 

He's routinely acknowledged that his Aunt, Alice Coltrane, is one of his biggest influences. And she, along with many of his friends and influences are all dead. So now he tries to make an album about his philosophy on death and his feelings about it, and that's a gimmick? 

It seems to me like you just were disappointed with the album, and now want to find criticism in areas where it doesn't belong. For the record, I don't think anyone is saying this is the greatest Jazz album of all time. But at one point in time Jazz was constantly being innovated upon. There hasn't been any real innovations in jazz in like 40 years... 

And yes, this isn't a pure Jazz album either. It's pastiche jazz, hip hop, funk, soul, prog rock, etc... It's obvious on every Fly Lo record that he's recognizing his influences and wearing them on his sleeve. But his style is his own, and You're Dead is a perfect addition to his catalogue of albums so far. 


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#279 SwampThing

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Posted Yesterday, 10:23 AM

Album sounds great to me, but snoop is almost a trainwreck in my opinion. Will there come a day when we can collectively admit that no matter how nice he once was snoop has fallen off? When he appears on stuff im otherwise excited about i get let down. Im no longer sure why he's getting features anymore. I know i might be in the minority but 7the days of funk seemed like a lotta Dam wasted by snoop's stoned, lazy and irrelevant verses. His rhymes are not so great at this point, is it just his cadence? I just feel like everyone gives him the benefit of the doubt as a one-time giant, when what he does these days is just quite uninteresting

#280 James Frank.

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Posted Yesterday, 11:01 AM

dat beat for Dead Man's Tetris doe...
i'm sorta used to the idea that not every rapper has lyricism going for them, but can still be good under the right production.

and in this case, i've never heard Snoop rap over a beat this weirdly catchy, totally sounded like a sister song to "Jurassic Notion/M Theory", which is probably my favorite FlyLo track of all; so for me, Snoop's verse is validated just by virtue of the fact that the production under him is that amazing.

#281 SwampThing

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Posted Yesterday, 12:16 PM

Well yeah thats partly what i mean. The production is great, but then snoop comes in sounding a little like an out of touch uncle with little fire or flare left to bring to the table. Im sure it is a dream of flylo and Dam to work with snoop, but i cant imagine they werent disappointed that it wasnt fifteen or twenty years ago.

How you can hate on flylo doing an experimental jazz-infused album at the moment it would have been so easy to make something commercial (considering his massive upswing in popularity recently) is beyond me. I think he took some big risks and they almost all paid off. Of course, i wouldnt have said no to a bunch if hard flylo rap beats, but theres plenty of time for that
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#282 mangoes cash

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Posted Yesterday, 05:52 PM

dat beat for Dead Man's Tetris doe...
i'm sorta used to the idea that not every rapper has lyricism going for them, but can still be good under the right production.
and in this case, i've never heard Snoop rap over a beat this weirdly catchy, totally sounded like a sister song to "Jurassic Notion/M Theory", which is probably my favorite FlyLo track of all; so for me, Snoop's verse is validated just by virtue of the fact that the production under him is that amazing.



FL had to rework the beat for Snoops part as he thought Snoop's verse didn't really fit it. Maybe Captain Murph should have ghost written it.

#283 James Frank.

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Posted Yesterday, 07:03 PM

i like the progression of the beat during Snoop's verse though, it's very melodic for a hip-hop beat but i think it works.



#284 1stN3rd

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Posted Yesterday, 07:23 PM

 

So we're going to forget the part where obviously death was an important theme in FlyLo's own life, and pretend that any kind of personal concept album must be totally bogus gimmickry? 

He's routinely acknowledged that his Aunt, Alice Coltrane, is one of his biggest influences. And she, along with many of his friends and influences are all dead. So now he tries to make an album about his philosophy on death and his feelings about it, and that's a gimmick? 

It seems to me like you just were disappointed with the album, and now want to find criticism in areas where it doesn't belong. For the record, I don't think anyone is saying this is the greatest Jazz album of all time. But at one point in time Jazz was constantly being innovated upon. There hasn't been any real innovations in jazz in like 40 years... 

And yes, this isn't a pure Jazz album either. It's pastiche jazz, hip hop, funk, soul, prog rock, etc... It's obvious on every Fly Lo record that he's recognizing his influences and wearing them on his sleeve. But his style is his own, and You're Dead is a perfect addition to his catalogue of albums so far. 

Yeah, this is probably true. The album did fall short of my expectations. But I mean, he set them pretty high with the album supposedly capturing the experience of death. 

 

And yall are constantly throwing around the term innovation. I know what innovation means in software engineering, or perhaps in creating a more efficient system for building cars or something. But in music? Music is like mathematics. It's just there, in the air. You can re-arrange the elements, but it's all already there.

 

 

i bought the hype, hook line and sinker?

you seem to think very highly of yourself, man -- and more than anything else, you just seem like the kind of person whohas to be contrary to any popular opinion because you think marginalizing yourself makes you cool.

Not really. If you look at my posts in any thread about Madlib, they're almost all positive. Because I like Madlib's music. I thought You're Dead was a pretty unsatisfactory listen. That's what it comes down to. But, like I've said, I only like a very, very small percentage of FlyLo's music, although the stuff I do like, I really, really like. Do the Astral Plane, RobertaFlack, Getting There are all fantastic. Unfortunately, a lot of the other shit just underwhelms me. He's the kind of artist who I follow because I think he has a lot of potential. But I'm still waiting for him to deliver on it. This, to me, isn't it. A lot of people are giving it the benefit of the doubt because of the high-falutin concept, all the big names attached, and all the sophisticated musical genres in play. Then again, there are also a lot of Yes-Men out there in today's music industry. Take Kendrick's verse. To me, it's pseudo-profound. Yeah, he's talking about life and death and a whole bunch of other shit, but the words don't ring true (I actually feel this way about every Kendrick verse I've heard, btw). But, hey, if you like it you like it, I'm not here to convince anyone that it sucks, I'm just explaining my viewpoint, and at this point, it's probably been overstated, so I'm probably gonna peace from this thread after this post. Still, personally, I'm waiting to hear FlyLo's masterpiece.



#285 mangoes cash

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Posted Yesterday, 09:17 PM

i like the progression of the beat during Snoop's verse though, it's very melodic for a hip-hop beat but i think it works.


I think it works.

But, like my one issue, all be it a minuscule complaint, is, that song, like many on the album, fumble out of the original intro, first verse.... First quarter of th song is different from what it becomes in the end.

That's why I have been hang on pop structure. Verse chourse verse goes a long way.


Anyhow, again. I am not complaining as he can fumble around with his songs structures as much as he wants. I could care less as the end up working.




Honestly, he is like a 5 star chef, while most are 2.

#286 SunnyMeadowz

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Posted Today, 05:16 AM

Somehow I've avoided FL's music all these years except for that track he did for Killa Mike a few years ago. At this point I just like standing on the outside and watching you guys go back and forth. I feel like an anthropologist.
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#287 orchidthegreat

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Posted Today, 08:17 AM

Somehow I've avoided FL's music all these years except for that track he did for Killa Mike a few years ago. At this point I just like standing on the outside and watching you guys go back and forth. I feel like an anthropologist.

 

*Insert condescending remark to Sunny here*

 

*Insert empassioned rebuttal about the genius of FlyLo here*

 

*Insert profanity and internet threats here*


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#288 mangoes cash

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Posted Today, 06:40 PM

Somehow I've avoided FL's music all these years except for that track he did for Killa Mike a few years ago. At this point I just like standing on the outside and watching you guys go back and forth. I feel like an anthropologist.

Dude. Get on it!!!




#289 mangoes cash

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Posted Today, 06:51 PM




#290 SunnyMeadowz

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Posted Today, 06:58 PM

At this point man I'm content with watching from the outside. Besides I'm a vinyl fiend and if I got into FL in 2014 I'd go broke trying to acquire every record; which I'd have to do.



#291 mangoes cash

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Posted Today, 07:15 PM

At this point man I'm content with watching from the outside. Besides I'm a vinyl fiend and if I got into FL in 2014 I'd go broke trying to acquire every record; which I'd have to do.


To each there own, but bro, he is a talent beyond talent.

#292 mangoes cash

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Posted Today, 07:27 PM

So I was thinking an Andre 3000 Flying Lotus album would be amazing. Throw in some Cpt Murph and we got a winner!




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