Entries for Life

When is a beat done?

To this day, I ask myself that question. With this post I’d like to dig in a little deeper, provide some background, and reveal my own decision making process and how it results in an end piece.

First let me explain what I do know about my musical preferences, especially that of my own music. I like simplicity. There’s a quote by Claude Debussy (classical composer) that resonates with me, “Music is the space between the notes.” I’ve found throughout the years that the type of music that moves me isn’t heavily orchestrated, it’s mostly works that are less busy, more airy & open.

I place importance on the groove/feeling of a beat rather than the amount of audible layers it has. If I can physically “feel” a beat, then it has moved beyond ear candy to something more personal. I equate “feeling” to the bodily chills that some beats give me or the “fuuuck! this beat is the shiiiiit!” moments I have when hearing certain tracks. If a beat can do that, it has penetrated my being. I’m not impressed by overly complex compositions or the amount of layers/samples that folks cram into their works. If it doesn’t have a consistent groove that keeps me nodding my head nor an ounce of soul, then it has failed to capture me. Some of the greatest beats I’ve heard in my life have been simple 2 bar melodic loops with drums on top (see some of RZA’s early works). That’s the type of dude I am, and those songs are ones I probably still listen to today. » Continue reading…

The process of “The Process”

A few days ago I released a short film I created titled “The Process” which is a small glimpse into the way I create beats and the various tools I use. Through sound and imagery I hoped to express the “essence” of beatmaking rather than detail every step involved. I figured there were enough well-done tutorials out there that accomplished that task so I thought it’d be interesting to create something less explanatory and more open to interpretation. I wanted to capture some of the less glamorized details that tend to go unnoticed when a hip hop instrumental is born. » Continue reading…

DECT Preview: Mind Mechanics Decals

Just a quick preview of a couple of the decals we have coming soon. My cousin and I have formed what are the beginnings of a gear/style co-operative we call DECT, a combination of the words deck (To clothe with finery; adorn) and intellect (The ability to think abstractly or profoundly). Our purpose is to develop concepts, ideas, and movements worth wearing, showcasing meaningful art using clothing and accessories as our canvas. Keep an eye out, our first products which will be based on Mind Mechanics.

mm logo on the columbia

mm decal on 1200s

Mind Mechanics Holiday ’09 Drive Video.

To give a little back for the holidays, Memphis Reigns and I sold a limited run of our CDs and used the proceeds to buy some turkeys and hams for folks in need. We filmed our excursion and I put together a short video showing how the day went. This should give you a little peek into our lives and some of the sights of my hometown, San Jose. Hope you enjoy it and many thanks to all the fans & supporters who were kind enough to help the cause.

This video was added to the motion & video area of the site.

Some thoughts about the Allied Forces EP.

Allied Forces EP

It’s been a wild year. Reconnecting with Memphis Reigns in the summer of ’08 after a ridiculously long hiatus was the fuel to get the fire burning again. We had pretty much parted ways after college to focus on our “careers”, but during that time our appreciation and passion for hip hop never wavered. I guess you could say we were just distracted a bit. » Continue reading…

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