Filed under: Cool ppl, Jamz | Tags: 7 Questions with, Cool People, Dopeness, GM Celestics, jamz, Kaytradamus Celestic, Lady Gaga-Bad Romance (kaytradamus mix), Rhianna- Rudeboy( Kaytradamus remix), Robin Thicke-Wanna Love you Girl (Kaytradamus remix), Wiz Khalifa- This Plane (kaytradamus remix)
Recently, I posted a remix for one of my favorite Janet Jackson jams of all time that was, in my opinion, quite fresh. Upon doing my research on the producer I was interested to find a young, unsigned, talent currently residing in Montreal. For Kevin Celestin aka Kaytradamus Celestic aka DJ KC, music has always been a major facet of life and now his skill and passion for making beats is gaining him a growing fanbase and plenty respect. I made contact and asked for permission to pick his brain. He agreed and what follows is the result of my curiousity and his willingness to share. So take a second and get to know Kaytradamus……….
HBBNG: You credit your father with being the catalyst for your pursuit of music, what kind of musician was your pops and in what way did he make the biggest impact on your musical philosophy?
KC: He used to make Haitian music which I wasn’t interested back then…but I remember my dad was always playing some Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald and many more on tapes, CD’s and Vinyls (my favorites) during my childhood. But it was kind a different when he was playing Bob Marley. This is an artist that I was so attached [to] he was my idol back at 5 years old. I wish I had more time with my dad, to just relax, chill and play music.
HBBNG: What’s the mission of your art, what do you hope to accomplish with your craft?
KC: I hope that it’s exactly like I wish it was. I wish I could not only make music, but make dope photography & album covers. The world needs my creativity and enjoy it.
HBBNG: In your interview with Fashion Life Crew you mentioned that hearing Dilla’s handy work on the Tribe classic Find A Way was a turning point for you in the way you approached beat making. What was it about that particular beat that struck you and further more what was it about J Dilla’s music that connected you so strongly to it?
KC: Back then when I didn’t know Dilla, it was rare for me to listen to some dope ass beats like his. ‘Find A Way’ made me discover how dope he was. I had to do research , I didn’t know he was the one that made beats [for] the illest rappers and singers between the late-90’s and the 2000’s.
HBBNG: Please finish the sentence: When I was driving home I saw the lights of the Goodyear blimp and it said Kaytradamus ?
KC: highly anticipated album is in stores now! Cop That SHIT! 😄
HBBNG: What’s the underground scene in Montreal like right about now?
KC: Well the underground scene in Montreal is for the French rappers and I don’t listen to French rap (in Montreal). I gotta admit that lyrics matter over here but im not really paying attention to the underground in Montreal. It’s hard to find somebody that listens to the same artists like me.
HBBNG: I know that you’re currently unsigned. Would you rather be scooped up by a label or do you want to continue grinding independently? Given the impact of the internet in promoting and marketing music do you feel that being signed to a label is still necessary for substantial success?
KC: I just wish I could get signed one day, it is one of my biggest dreams but if I get signed and I want substantial success like you said, you have to do a catchy song that a lot of people would like & I don’t know if promoting will help.
HBBNG: What’s next for you and your crew God Monsters/Celestics? Where are you trying to take your sound in 2010 and beyond?
KC: We’re gonna try to drop a mixtape this year, if everything goes as planned. My brother (Louie P.) is recording tracks. We’re gonna release singles from the mixtape on our youtube account (youtube.com/gmcelestics) and yeah…be on the lookout for the mixtape.
some remixes from his youtube channel
Filed under: Jamz | Tags: Bilal, Dopeness, Erykah Badu, Erykah Badu ft Lil Wayne and Bilal- Jump up in the air, Erykah Badu- Jump up in the Air, jamz, Jump up in the air official video, Lil Wayne, music videos
Filed under: Cool ppl, Photography | Tags: Art, Dopeness, francisco and elizabeth catlett moran, Ife, Naima, nia mora, Photography, photography by nia mora
It is no surprise that Nia Mora, the grandaughter of Francisco and Elizabeth Calett Mora , is talented. Artistry runs freely and generously through the whole of her family tree. Her father and mother are accomplished musicians and her sisters include Sweetie front woman Ife and model/actress/singer and identical twin Naima,former winner of America’s Next Top Model. In this series of photographs Nia states that her focus is “….to explore the inner workings of the human imagination, the subconcious, and dreaming states of mind……I had an overwhelming sense in my own life that reality is not what it seems to be and everybody percieves it differently.” Given the fact that she is an identical twin, its not farreaching to assume that her perception of reality is uncommon, her situation is rare. Only one third of twins born in the United States are monozygotic, identical. Having an identical twin could be likened in some ways to an out of body experience. Twins have the unique of observing their physical likeness in ways that most people will never, unless they are having an out of body experience by which they can survey themselves as an impartial observer. With that being said Mora’s perception of reality is tinged with a certain disorientation, a subtle hallmark in the images presented in this set. It is her unique sense of perception and her manipulation of the perception of her audience that is the most striking thing about her work. Each image jarrs the senses with the conflict between the imagination of the artist and limits of the viewer adding a layer of tense excitement to the viewing experience. The narrative becomes loose and pliable like the dreaming state of mind Nia refers to in her mission statement. Each frame registers as provocative and unsettling. There is something not quite not right about her imagery yet there is something within it that compels the viewer to look deeper and make peace with the fact that they could get lost. Double images are an expected component in most of her imagery and there is a strong sense of visual and emotional juxtaposition that lends to the sense of disorientation that confronts the viewer. For example there is an eroticism in the bathtub image that sharply contrasts with the fact that the image is of sisters, or is a digital manipulation of one woman. The image of the woman in blue with her head sticking out of what appears to be a plastic sheet is both morbid and calming as blue is the color of tranquility and is oddly enough the color of flesh that is derived of oxygen. She looks at once like a drowning victim or some etherel creature poking her head out of a portal to another dimension. Just like in our dreams, Mora has presented us with images that blur the edges that seperate fantasy from reality and invites her viewer to define those boundaries for themselves.
Filed under: Jamz | Tags: Beyonce Ft Lady Gaga- Video Phone, Dopeness, hype williams, music videos, Video Phone video, visual analysis
After watching the video for Video Phone, my appreciation for the directorial talents of Hype Williams remained solidified. He makes a mean ass video and this was no exception. Hype is known for is his ingenious application and use of color within his compositions. Brilliant neons, muted purples and metalics, amplified earth tones, his creations perfectly fit the tone and energy of the musical pieces they accompany. As a young grafitti artist he wanted to be the Basquiat or Keith Haring of the streets, an ambition as indicative of his artistic prowess as it is of his extraordinary aesthetic ideology. His canvas is film and he masters it with the grace of Boticelli and the eye of a visionary. I became somewhat of a fan when Beyonce dropped the video for Single Ladies. Like Kanye, I must agree that it was one of the best of the decade. It was stunning in it’s simplicity, a perfect blend of stylish direction and flawless performance that will certainly be heralded as a classic 20 years from now. After it, however, Beyonce’s video game slipped a tad which was probably due to the pressure of trying to top herself. Hype single handedly up’d her cool points in my book about 50%. It seemed she let go of what her fans have come to expect and just had fun with this video, and it worked. Hype shoots women as surreally beautiful creatures, an augmentation of the qualities already existent within his female subjects. In this respect, since he’s dealing with Beyonce’s self proclaimed hardcore alter ego Sasha Fierce, we are presented with Beyonce as a collage of femme fatale archetypes complete with pop art shotguns, high heels and side-swept bangs. Influences range from Betty Page and Priss Asagiri, to Sin City’s Gail, Barbarella and g’d up chulas in the style of Mr. Cartoon. The men play the background as Beyonce’s faceless playthings, tied to chairs, stroked with instruments of death and impailed on spinning wheels. The song itself is coquettishly airheaded, lyrically vacant but you know it wasn’t intended to be a grammy nominee. It’s a slice of friday night/saturday morning sexiness better suited for 2am strobe light and smoke machine induced frenzies. Flash editing, festive and opulent colors and tight close-ups of cat eyes and moist lips provide the ambiance for Beyonce’s phone freak fantasies, leaving the viewer with a 5 minute exhortation of pulp magzine-esque visuals. The result is something like a bondage/peep show you would see at Cirque Du Soleil. I can dig it
Filed under: Cool ppl, Jamz | Tags: bands, Dopeness, interview, jamz, live performance, music, seven questions, the oOohh baby gimme mores
Colanthony Humprhey and Densil McFarlane make music that, if not outright pulling you first, gently slides you toward the dance floor like a persistent suitor. You might not have came to the club to dance with somebody, you might have came to play the sidelines and work the wall with a bar special in hand, but the more your pursuer pleads their case the more it all starts to make sense. They’d rather see you sweaty and amped on a scuffed up hardwood floor than posted comatose on a wall. They just want to give you a little something to shake your assets to. It’s party music. Authentic and finely constructed melodies engineered for large crowds, dim basements and neon light littered clubs. I dig it. Equal parts angst and swag, pub and discotheque. I was intrigued after hearing a track off their EP Interchorus, and so I put my google sense to work finding all the information I could about whoever it was that had created what I just heard. I was surprised to find that the sound machine better known as The oOohh Baby Gimme Mores was comprised of two young brothas out of Toronto as legit as the music they make. Don’t sleep, the EP is available now and the LP is on the way, if you don’t know now you know…………………
HB: So you originally started out as a hip hop production duo but wanted to do something different musically, how did two producers morph into an extremely dope two man wrecking crew of a band such as yourself . Have you always wanted to be performers in this sense or is this, musically, a place you’d never imagined you’d be?
C: We were always musicians… Densil was determined to learn guitar, and I started out playing drums in church (still play there till this day). As Densil got better, we started looking for members… actually we went through around 8 or maybe 9 different people. When our last homie left, that’s when everything began. We were fed up, and just felt like it was time to do our own thing. “Don’t Be Stush” was the first song we wrote. The rest is history. Also, I think I speak for the both of us when I say we’ve always wanted to be famous musicians… even before we met each other
D: True. I always wanted to have my name in lights. Before I met Colanthony, I was thinking that was going to happen with acting. I never thought i’d get recognized for being a musician. And I damned sure didn’t think i’d be a lead singer of a punk band.
HB If you were an ornament on the lawn of love would you be a sweet and tender gnome, a shiny and sexy orb, a sleek and seductive flamingo, or a dark and dirty gargoyle?
C: Hmm… I’d be the garden hose. Love can’t grow without my love juice…..
D: I think i’m gonna have to go with the gargoyle. Ladies dig gargoyles.
HB. As you have gained more popularity do your find yourselves getting love from listeners outside of the Afro Punk and indie/punk/alt rock communities? Given how mainstream hip hop and pop artists like Lil Wayne and Rihanna are leaning toward more progressive and experimental rock inspired sounds do you think it’s a blessing or a curse for bands such as yourself who genuinely embody those elements outside of it being a trend to do so?
D: Absolutely. The gift and the curse about our sound is that it doesn’t exclusively have a box to categorize it. So it’s nice to have some hip hop heads, punk kids, etc. finding something about our sound that they can enjoy. The opposite side is that since we don’t sound like the box, a lot of times we get the stiff boot for not being exactly the same as everyone. Good music is good music. That shouldn’t be judged. And if weezy can make a dope ass rock song. Do it. We need more quality music.
C: At first I thought we were only getting love from outside of those places because of our friends and whatnot, but the more we have shows, the more I believe it’s because of the music, and not who we are. I’m not too sure how the scenes are in other cities, but over here (Toronto), the scenes are very mixed. Punk bands play in electro shows and vice versa. Not only that, but some hip hop/R&B artists over here are really experimental and doing crossovers with different styles all the time.
HB: How dope was it to perform with Saul Williams and other artists on the Niggy Tardust Tour, what would you say is the most important thing you took away from the experience as artists and as fans?
C: It was too dope! The American Fangs, KraK AttacK, and Saul Williams himself are some cool ass dudes! Not only them, but everyone else on the AP team that was with them from Matthew and Whitney to Keith and everyone else who was with them.The thing I took away was a humble attitude. Saul is the most humble musician I’ve ever encountered. Especially someone that has reached his level of fame. He invited us on stage to rock with him during his performance as well. He didn’t have to do that at all, and he did. Truly an amazing night.Not only that, but it’s okay to be a fan. We spent the majority of the night running back and forth between backstage and into the crowd because we enjoy the music so much
D: It was easily the best musical experience I have had a pleasure to be apart of in my life. Thank you Saul Williams, Krak Attack, American Fangs, Saidah Baba Talibah and not to forget Afro Punk. You’ll never know how much we appreciate it.
HB: Please finish the sentence: Because when the night falls, my lonely heart……?
C: beats really fast because I’m trying not to get caught making sweet sweet love to my employers fine ass daughter? On his desk? Where there are pictures of her, her mom, and him?
D: …falls. ooooooh I wanna dance with somebody. I want to feel the heat with somebody. yeah! I want to dance with somebody. With somebody who loves me! (please don’t get me started… I could go on).
HB: I find your musical influences fascinating especially your inclusion of New Jack Swing as one of them. The New Jack Swing sound had a certain funk and smooth grit to it I can definitely hear traces of in your music especially on Interchorus, which is one of my favorite songs by the way. What is the main thing about that particular style that draws you to it? What’s one of your favorite songs from the era?
D: I grew up with it. High top fades and kangols. New Jack swing embodies everything I loved growing up. It’s got soul, funk, rap, swinging jazz elements, these are some of the bases in me becoming who I am today. I’m not sure if I could single it down to just one song but i’m listening to “If this isn’t love” by New Edition right now. *does old school dance*
C: The energy of it. It’s fun! Hard drums that make you wanna dance, phat ass basslines to go along with the drums, and the old school grooves. You can’t help but feel good when you hear it.One of my favorite songs from that era is “Just Can’t Handle It” by Hi-Five. The musicianship of the intro, the beat, the story of a 16 yr old kid and a 25 yr old woman (I think all dudes dream about that at that age). Classic
7. Ooohh baby gimme more of…..what?
C: Ask the ladies for that answer… It may be music today… It may be loving tonight… or it may be eggs and toast the morning after… Right now, let’s just say music… and by music, I mean sexual Interchorus.
D: if I tell you… I’d have to kill you. And I don’t want to have to do that again. In all seriousness, it took us 3 years to make that name. It came to me in a dream. But if I was gonna say what I want more of… well… black men can’t get enough of that ass. So shake it fast. watch yourself.
Filed under: Dopeness, Photography | Tags: Dopeness, Photography, photography by Ricky Flores, Ricky Flores
I’m from the south bronx, the south south bronx……
I came across my man Ricky Flores on some online magazine I can’t remember the name of right now. He has a collection entitled The South Bronx during 80’s and 90’s and I was intrigued enough to find his site and check out the rest of his work. I’m a budding photographer myself, I want to take a film and photography class at the local community college real soon. Words and images are everything, our whole lives, the basis of our existence all boils down to words and images. The power of a photograph is………I can’t really think of a word. To preserve a moment in time, an expression, a feeling, a memory…it’s magic.
due to good ol’ copyright laws, I could only post selected images so feast on his work in its entirety here