Prince has died age 57

Goodbye Prince

I sit here in shock and disbelief.

Few artists had such an effect on my late teens and early 20s as Prince did.

Now he has passed aged just 57.

2016 in general seems to have been a fucker of a year in terms of losing legends but for me Prince was THE legend.

I had always kinda liked the songs he had released as I was growing up like Alphabet Street etc but it wasn’t until I left school that a good friend of mine really introduced me to his music and his passion.

Party like it’s 1991

Not long after I left high school my friend Chris introduced me to Purple Rain, Love Sexy, Sign ‘O’ the Times and Graffiti Bridge.

I was hooked!!

It was rare then, even rarer now, to see a musician who put so much of himself into everything he wrote and performed.

His sheer passion was evident in every performance, you only have to see him perform The Cross in the concert recording of the Sign ‘O’ the Times album to see it, or watch him wipe a tear from his eye during Purple Rain.

He felt every single note, chord and riff.

Sign ‘O’ the Times quickly became one of my favourite albums of all time and if you think Michael Jackson could move, seriously, checkout the concert recording for the album.

I’ve never seen an artist actually swap places with his drummer mid song before or since.

Very few artists can be said to have an impact on future generations in the way that he did.

Able to play multiple instruments and responsible for some of the best know tracks of all time recorded by a number of Artists such as Chaka Khan, Sinead O’Conner and many others, he truly was inspirational to so many people.

Me included.

His music could lift your spirits, touch your soul and bring you to tears effortlessly.

He could cross from genres effortlessly bringing rock, funk and soul together in a blend so unique.

I’m not sure anyone else has ever been able to do that or quite possibly ever will.

All good things come to an end I guess 😦

Emancipation

I think it was around the Emancipation album era that I lost touch with him really.

The album didn’t speak to me the way his previous ones had and I think I also let outside influence cloud my perceptions.

I have bought a couple of his albums since but not many which I now regret, not just because he has passed but because I don’t think I gave them a chance to grow on me.

I know a lot of the music he was putting out at that time was really about breaking free from his label etc (we all remember the SLAVE on his face) and I think maybe now he has passed there will be tonnes of his music which will actually see the light of day that no one has heard before.

I remember watching a talk by Kevin Smith about when he was asked by Prince to make a film at Paisley Park… it never saw the light of day and in the process he discovered Prince had 50+ fully finished music videos that also never left Paisley Park.

I hope we may now get to see these in all their glory.

Maybe that will be the silver lining to a day that in all honestly has me genuinely sad at the passing of a man I never met, never knew and never had a connection with other than via his music.

Maybe that was enough.

RIP Prince Rogers Nelson, you will be missed.

Prince Performs β€œPurple Rain” During Downpour | Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show | NFL

Prince – Cream

Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others — “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

I Remember When This Was All Just Fields!

I was reminded the other day that I am now in the unenviable position of working with people who are less than half my age.

This is a sobering thought as until recently I had been under the impression I was still young and sprightly, despite the repeated abuse from my children about how old I am.

So having been forced to face the truth; that I am in fact the wrong side of 40 and not getting any younger, I thought I would compile my guide to the things that helped me realise… yes I am old. Continue reading “I Remember When This Was All Just Fields!”

Play That Funky Music White Boy

It was recently our middle son’s 10th Birthday and following on from the Piano theme of my last post, we decided to also get him a musical instrument as we did his brother.

He already had a kids guitar, which, to be frank, was shocking, and he said he would like a proper one and he is learning the basics at school so my wife contacted a friend of hers and we bought an electric guitar from him along with an amp. Continue reading “Play That Funky Music White Boy”

In the Thicke of it

Robin Thicke at the DNC convention on August 2...
Robin Thicke at the DNC convention on August 29, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK so by now you would have to have been living in a cave to have not heard the new(ish) song by Robin Thicke; Blurred Lines.

This is quite probably the catchiest song of the year and has stormed to number one in the charts in countless countries. Every time I hear it I find myself humming along for ages with the tune refusing to leave the dusty attic which is my brain. The rest of his album in fact is pretty good – disco and funk inspired soul music really and it’s very listenable.

So, what’s the problem?

Continue reading “In the Thicke of it”

Do You Really Like It?

Today I had the day off as it was induction day at High School for my Eldest (*sigh*, how frickin’ old do I feel!!).

So, Michelle and I took a drive and on the way we listened to a classic UK Garage track from back in the day:Β DJ Pied Piper & The Masters Of Ceremonies – Do You Really Like It.

Now I have listened to this track… maybe… 100 times or more, but today for the first time we heard a lyric which suddenly gave us reason to laugh out loud. Continue reading “Do You Really Like It?”

Addictive Drug with Beneficial Side-effects: Mystrogen

MystrogenAll right Muthaluvas!?

To any who know where this term originates it will come as no surprise that the subject of this blog post is the amazing new drug Mystrogen. Quite simply “it’s like oxygen only you need it a whole lot more”, according to it’s manufacturer any way.

Mystrogen is a re-usable drug, costing a maximum of Β£10 depending on the form you decide to take it in, with side effects that can only be beneficial and really only include a wish for more stimulation.

Sound to good to be true?

How can a drug be re-usable?

Well it’s all about the type of drug that this is.

Yes that’s right people, I have now officially become not only a web-developer, blog writer, book reviewer and all round sarcastic smart arse. I am now also a music reviewer! Whoop Whoop!!

OK so the opening of this blog post may seem a little mis-leading but it’s all tied into the theory behind the album I want to talk to you about. An album which I thought deserved some special attention.

Some of you may know that I love music in general but my first true love is Hip Hop & Rap. Now when I say this nowadays most people conjure up images of what is really just pop music like the Black Eyed Peas, Tinnie Tempa, or god forbid Nicky Minaj.

sorry I threw up a little, happens whenever I say Nicki Mina….

OK moving on.

To me, Hip Hop is not just about laying down a few words that rhyme over a sampled beat and selling it to the kids to get them buying designer clothes and wishing they drove a Benz etc. To me Hip Hop goes way deeper than that and comes from a place of struggle. In the words of KRS One:

For me I remember 1981
When I first wanted to rap it was mainly fun
But Hip Hop was made to run
So them dudes that think it’s all about money their day will come

KRS One – Just Like That

That’s why as soon as I stumbled onto a UK Hip Hop artist my the name of Mystro, A.K.A. MysDiggi, I knew I had found a rapper from the UK who could truly stand up and be counted as one of the great Hip Hop MC’s.

Now after more than 12 years in the game he has finally released his Debut album, I know, crazy right!

This guy is so well respected within the industry. If you need proof just listen to “Essence” by Logic & Last Resort where his name is dropped in the same sentence as Rodney P and Hijack. Yet he is relatively unknown in the big world of music that deserves to hear his words.

So what makes him so different?

Well the best way I can describe him is as a “One Man UK De La Soul”. He doesn’t take himself too seriously but still has a point to make in his lyrics. He is consistently putting out material that’s smart, funny and relevant and yet still knows how to have fun with it unlike many MC’s it seems these days.

So After all these years does the album stand up?

Simply: Yes.

There is something for all hip hop fans on this album. There are the upbeat bouncing tracks “That Rush” & “Worry Dem” which features Junior Reid. Both of which will keep your head nodding throughout.

The smooth summer vibe of “Hooked” is just sooo mellow, featuring the vocal talents of Daniel DeBourg and seemingly giving the impression that Mystro is a threesome loving Ladies man. In actual fact it’s about the three main vices in his life. What are they? I’ll leave that for you to work out.

There’s the hilarious track Neighbours which tells the tales of the block in which our hero lives, especially one family next door who’s kids give him a beat down for “allegedly” stealing their baby brothers bib.

“Routine Cancer” sounds to me like more subtle version of his raw and righteous track “Cokkadoodledoo” released not long before the album. Taking a swing at the industry in general and those within it who chose, in Mystro’s opinion, and to be fair, mine too, the wrong path, along with those who fake their interest to further themselves.

The masterpiece though has to be Mystentatious in which Mystro uses… well honestly I gave up counting, but LOTS of place names from Scotland to Shepherds Bush to bring a tale to life in ways that deserve huge respect for his lyrical talents.

From start to finish this album shows just how versatile Mystro is so please don’t just sit there readin this, go find his music, check him out on youtube and then go buy his album and his mix tapes.

Guys like this need the support they deserve.

some links below folks.

Mystrogen Album Sampler

That Rush Net Video

Mystro’s Website