Friday, July 28, 2006

It's all about me, me, me, me (c) Mya

It's my Elle B-Day!
(c) JB on

I'm in NYC doing it real big. Hollar at yall later.


Monday, July 24, 2006

New Shyt! New Shyt!

This is my latest song, just in today from the mixer. I don't know how I feel about it - it's missing something I think. That - bounce or punch - something.

"Addict Me"

powered by ODEO

*please be honest with me!*

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Did you know?

It was revealed in 2006 that the Dolls are salaried employees of Interscope Records, giving the label a high level of control over the group's finances and business decisions.

The industry is trying new stuff everyday. Also, this explains Nicole's prominence as singer and songwriter. She's the only member of PCD with writing credit on the album.

*whatchu think about that?*

Can't Say Much...

But I will say, that everyday my life is changing. Something have been decided for me, while others are the result of preparation and opportunity having a chance meeting.

I hate to be so cryptic and all, but I will have more of an update later today or tomorrow.

*back to work*

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

[The Movement] Hip-Hop Is Dead.

Disclaimer: I would not describe myself as a hip-hop head or a journalist. I am merely a music-lover & music-maker who loves to observe and discuss the goings-on in Urban Music.

With that said, I’ll say it again:

“Hip-Hop is Dead.”

I have only recently begun to surf the OKP boards after Honorable has sent me several relevant music-related links. Going through the site, I’ve noticed an overwhelming presence of the above statement - Hip-Hop is dead.

Before I give my two cents on the subject matter, I’d like to share with you my initial thoughts:

  1. All urban music is not hip-hop
  2. Hip-hop still persists, but not in the way some would like it to appear in the mainstream
  3. If Hip-Hop is dead, then what are you listening to?

Now, my opinion comes from an artist point of view – still young in the game and with a tendency to look for the silver lining. So with that said, I don’t think Hip-Hop is dead; it’s just in its proverbial teens.

I am 22 – so I am young myself. I didn’t grow up with BDP, Rakim, or Pete Rock; I can’t tell you about the heyday of Hip-Hop. But being 22, I can say that looking back on the times when Hip-Hop was “great,” it appeared to only be in its infancy. What cats are saying about Hip-Hop now is not dissimilar to when my mom recalls how cute I was when I was a toddler.

Before you begin the barrage of comments about how I trivialized Hip-Hop’s significance, think about it. Remember how much you and your folks beefed as adolescents? Or being asked the rhetorical question “If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” It seems as though Hip-Hop might have answered “yes” and when the opportunity presented itself – willing went over the ledge and plunged to its death…leaving, Hip-Hop, well, dead.

However, I don’t believe that is the case. Instead, Hip-Hop is growing up and doing all the dumb shit adolescents do. I must admit, that is unfortunate that all of these movements look like they should be accompanied by Black Face. But that’s another post topic for another day.

In a recent blog post, Hip-Hop: The New Minstrel Show, writer Khary McGhee reflects on a concert in Fayetteville, NC. Among the Crunk/Snap artists billed for the show was North Carolina’s own, Little Brother – true Hip-Hop purveyors of the present – who received a lack-luster response from the crowd. Khary used this incident as a catalyst to maintain this growing notion that Hip-Hop is dead (or dying) because a “real” Hip-Hop act can get no love, meanwhile, Cadillac Don and J Money (who?…wth!) has the audience going stupid. However, McGhee later proves my point by noting the following:

“As it stands now, rap music is becoming more and more disposable. Great records aren’t being made. Careers are getting shorter and shorter. The music is becoming more homogenous.

In many ways, this period in hip-hop reminds me of the new-age rock period of the 1980s. Remember all of those one-hit wonders? Toni Basil (Mickey), a-ha (Take On Me), Nena (99 Luftballoons), Soft Cell (Tainted Love). In a few years, artists like Dem Franchize Boyz, Yung Joc and the Ying-Yang Twins will join that group of 1980s has-beens as answers as Trivial Pursuit questions.”

So not unlike the Doo Wop movement of the 60s or the new-age rock of the 80s, these movements will come and go, but the true art form will remain. Would we say that Crunk is truly Hip-Hop, anyway? And why can’t you have a little 3-6 Mafia with your Lupe? Aren’t LB and Fiasco signed to Atlantic – a major label?

What we are observing is the necessary transition of “Hip-Hop” which is essential to its commercial viability. With each of the cookie-cuttter acts being signed to regurgitate a movement to the masses, true Hip-Hop acts are given access to the industry in ways unseen before. They, by no means, have the keys to the city, but I think we are moving towards maturity.

In closing, Hip-Hop is not dead – it’s evolving. Hip-Hop is still here – the good, the bad, and the snapping.

Monday, July 17, 2006

S.E.X. is Fiya!!!

So I know that I all kinds of late on Lyfe Jennings because I heard his album for the first time only recently. I really enjoy his sound and his message because it's real. My only quip is that a lot of his songs lack strong melody which makes listening more like a chore after several listens - however, it wasn't enough to turn me off.

The first single from his new album is S.E.X. which has a great message. Fortunately for me, this song has a strong melody and a strong message. I am happy to know that Lyfe made some improvements but maintained what made him appealing to me in the first place. Let me know whatchu think!!!

And for the heck of it because i love Fanny.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Quote of the day...

Being an artist is not about the end result, instead, it's about the journey.

The Audition...

So today (technically, it would be yesterday) I auditioned for the Elvis tour. Although I don't know whether I was cast or not officially, I'd say that I am not going to get the gig. It's not any reflection on my potential or natural talent, it's just that well, my skills needs work.

Yeah, that's right - my skill needs work. My ear training is not as strong as it once was and I found myself needing just a bit longer than the other vocalists to nail the notes. Although the MD was a sweetheart, easing my harmonic discontent initially, I felt as though I was out of my league.

Years ago this would have been classified as a train wreck - immaturity would have veiled it as such. Instead, however, I am prompted to add a few items to my 'Summer Action Plan' in order to get my skill sets back up to par.

I will:
- Begin Vocal Training once again
- Teach myself to play the guitar (that I've owned now for quite some time now)

This past Sunday at the studio, I was blown away by how many of the people around me have perfect pitch - or even relative pitch. My freshman year of college was the first time I'd learned that anyone could have perfect pitch - ie hearing a fire alarm and identifying it as a Bflat, maybe. I thought this gift was only bestowed on a rare few musically geniuses, but in fact, it's about practice and persistence.

Why would any of this be relevant you may ask? Why I am so inclined to attain a certain level of skill?

Simply put, I'd like to work in the Music Business and the Record Business. My 'Summer Action Plan' recently only addressed my needs for the Record Business - ie, dance lessons and completing my demo...

You may be wondering what's the difference between the two, but that's a whole other topic for another day.

*Going to Sleep after I tune my guitar*

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Forever Young, I Will Be - I'm still a babe at a mere 23!

*come celebrate with me*

Monday, July 10, 2006


I have a big audition coming up this Wednesday. I am excited and extremely nervous because if this goes well, then I may be very well on my way to singing professionally as a career. The show is an Elvis Tribute. But it's not just a show put together by Elvis enthusiests, it's THE Elvis show.

I spoke with the musical director on Saturday about the tour, the run-down is as follows:

- It will be a two week tour in Austraila and New Zealand.
- I am auditioning for the spot of one of the background singers
- The tour will be in October

The audition is this Wednesday in Burbank at a place called Center Staging. I have four songs to choose from to prepare. Although I think I am going to prepare all of them, just in case things go extremely well.

The down side is that the MD said he already has a girl to sing the "middle" or alto part. I can sing soprano, but only second. So I will try my best - I will practice all of the parts and go in there and do my best.

I feel blessed to even have this opportunity.

Tour Info
Producer's Website
Musical Director's Website

*working and rehearsing*

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I STILL Care!!!

OhWord thinks otherwise:
It's hard to care about outkast anymore by Sacha Orenstein
"Like a more dramatic Tribe Called Quest with pop flair, they managed to drop knowledge and evolve musically without alienating (no pun intended) a core audience of Hiphop fans. Even Erykah Badu’s LSD laced genitals couldn’t ruin the group since Dre took the weirdness in stride and just got iller on the mic."

The Honorable present...
Laugh Now, Cry Later by W. Jelani Cobb

Nothing better illustrates that point than the recent Oprah Debacle.
Prior to last month, if you’d heard that a group of rappers had teamed
up to attack a billionaire media mogul you would think that hip hop
had finally produced a moment of black pride on par with 1968
Olympics. But nay, just more blackface.

My namesake, is back! I know there is hope for me:
Lauryn Hill, Cold Vampin'
as seen on OhNoTheyDidn't

The vibe of the evening was clear from the start: Hill, who has often hinted at permanent retirement from popular music, has seemingly rediscovered her vigor for performing live. What isn't clear is what exactly that means: were the rehearsals for a new album? A tour? And what ever happened to the much-hyped, Verizon-sponsored Fugees reunion album and tour that came and went with the ill-received single, "Take it Easy"?


Sony's Inappropriate Dutch Ad...

I'm understand both sides of the argument on whether or not this is offensive. Personally, however, I think it is definitely inappropriate.

This ad, while obviously not intended for America must have been discussed in terms of racial connotations at some point. I won't take up a crusade about it - I'll leave that to Jesse Jacksn to take on Sony and their ad agency - however, I do encourage you to peep the article and decide how you feel about this occurance and similar issues that arise relating to images of race that may have deeper undertones.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

New New New!!!

Below is a snippet of my newest song. Recorded this last Sunday at the Boom Boom Room in Burbank, CA. This song is a new style for me - seductive and soulful.

This is only a rough mix, but many of you come by here and read about the projects and what not that I've been working on but I haven't heard any new music in the past couple of months.

powered by ODEO

*track produced by*
N. Stewart>>>
*lyrics and melody by*
L. Ball and T. Armstrong>>>
*recorded by* C. C. Baliff for Elevated Enterprises>>>
*production assts.* S. Debessai and G. Vitte for Elevated Enterprises>>>

As part of my summer action plan I said that I was going to be recording 5-6 songs for my demo before the end of July. 1 down and 5 to go. This Sunday I'll be recording - "Work It Out" and "All On Your Own"


Monday, July 03, 2006


do you see what time it is?

It's 3am here in LA and I just got home. Today (or yesterday, rather), I pulled a 7 hour studio session - starting and completing - Addict Me, a new track for my demo/mixtape/EP/LP. After the studio, we all went to see Superman! I don't know how it is that I am still awake and typing coherently, but this weekend has been nothing short of amazing, not to mention exhausting. Well I am back to the salt mines, er - um, I mean, work in just a few hours. My intern is starting in the morning, so I can't decide to take an impromptu vacation/sick day if I can't manage to open my eyes in the morning.

More details from the weekend coming soon - plus, video!