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Archive for the ‘soundtrack’ Category

 

When I was junior in high school, a new hip hop album was released by a group called A Tribe Called Quest (ATCQ) entitled “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm”.  My then boyfriend had bought the new ATCQ cassette tape and he dubbed it for me.  I loved that album so much that I played the tape over and over again until the audio started sounding funny.

They were part of a crew called the Native Tongues, who I was really feeling back then (and even still now).  The Native Tongues were a group of hip hop artist known for their positive-minded, good-natured Afrocentric lyrics.  They also pioneered the use of eclectic sampling and jazz-influenced beats. They were different and more fun than the standard hip hop groups up until that time. I felt that I could relate to them the most out of all the other hip hop groups/crews at the time.  They  were young, black and seemed to have fun together.  Their lyrics didn’t focus on the ill realities of the inner city and as a carefree high schooler, that was more my speed.  Relatability has always been important to me.  They even had female emcees in the crew — one of which grew up close to where I lived.

As I matured and started to identify more with my Haitian culture, I still loved hip hop but was very aware that Haitian-Americans were not represented in the genre – not publicly anyway.  I was a sophomore in college when I heard the first real Haitian hip-hop reference…and it came from none other than Phife Dawg, a member of a Tribe Called Quest.

It was one line,  but it was such a big deal for us fans who were Haitian.  He said “I love ’em black, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian, name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation…”.  We were all so hyped to have been shout out by such an amazing, mainstream group.  Phife is Trinidadian, so he could have very well shout out his own country, or instead said “Jamaican” which was a more common Caribbean country that would also rhyme with “Nation”…but he didn’t; He said “Haitian”!!  I love how he SAW us..and loved us — so much so that he put it in his rhyme.  When people acknowledge you, you feel empowered.  Thanks to Phife, Haitians were no longer invisible in hip hop. That small gesture…to be seen, named, and publicly acknowledged was such huge deal to me.  My love for ATCQ was already deep, but it deepened after that.

I was saddened to learn that Malik Taylor, also known as Phife Dawg passed away recently.   I would have liked to thank him for that shout out.   I wonder if he knew how much we appreciated that line.

Electric Relaxation, A Tribe Called Quest

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Hi Friends,

We thought you’d like to know that Cornbread and Cremasse co-founders, Ingrid and DJ, will appear as guests this evening (Friday 10/19/12) on the weekly radio show, HAITIAN ALL-STARZ on www.radiolily.com!  Please tune in this evening for great music, learn more about how Cornbread and Cremasse came to be, hear a little about the founders and learn how you can contribute a post to the blog.
The show airs every Friday LIVE 6:00pm- 8:00pm from Miss Lily’s Variety at 130-132 West Houston (at the corner of Sullivan) in the West Village.  It’s a store front radio station — so if you’re in the area, you can even watch!
The show is hosted by DJ Hard Hittin Harry, DJ JayCee, DJ One, and Nit Ra Sit and features Kompas, Ra Ra Kanaval, Zouk, Reggae, Dancehall, Afrobeat and much more. Between the music sets, they generally discuss all things Haitian infused with American and World Pop culture, politics, entertainment, and current events.
We invite you to tune in and listen (wherever you are in the world!) — and please share with friends so they can jam and listen too!  (Go to the http://www.radiolily.com and listen to the stream.)
Hope you enjoy the show!
-Ingrid and DJ

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There are certain songs that as soon as I hear them, I am transported back to my childhood.

If I had to create a soundtrack for my life the musical influences would run the gamut. There would be Pop ( Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince), Rock(Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Aerosmith) , Hip-Hop (A Tribe Called Quest, De la Soul, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy), classical( Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin), and at the core Haitian music ( Tabou Combo, Skah Sha, Kassav, to name a few).

When I think of Haitian music, so many memories come flooding into my head. I think about the parties that I attended with my parents. I was just happy to be there because I got to stay up late and run around the hall with my cousins. We would sit and giggle at the grown-ups dancing to songs that seemed to last forever. An extra bonus would be if you got to see some grinding going on. The songs went on for what seemed like forever. You’d hear the horns, synthesizer, drums, and found yourself rocking to the beat. Once in awhile the dreaded might happen. An uncle, older male family friend , or worse someone YOUR age would ask you to dance. Your mom would cut you the evil eye and now you had no choice. You begrudgingly went, but spent the entire dance doing a side to side two step and swinging your arms side to side while all the while in a pair of uncomfortable shoes with lace socks.

When this song played, everyone was on the dance floor.

Then there are certain songs that remind me of my Dad specifically. My Dad would have friends over to play dominoes and would have “Tabou Combo” or “Kassav” playing in the background. The music would only be interrupted by the sounds of someone slamming down the winning game piece. I was often their gopher and again I didn’t mind because I got to stay up late once again.

This music is special to me, it defines a part of who I am. My parents aren’t taking me to parties anymore so the music nowadays just serves to transport me back to when I was young.

I still enjoy the music but if you asked me to rattle off the names of some current musicians, I’d be stuck at Wyclef. That’s a shame. I should do better. I will do better. I am going to need your help though. You have to promise to start thinking about your life and what songs/music would represent the various stages of your life. Once you’re done, I would love to hear about it.

Well, l have a start on this life soundtrack of mine. I thank my parents for helping it to be an eclectic mix.

Here’s your assignment for the week: Think about what music defines you? If you had to create a life soundtrack, what would it sound like? I look forward to hearing from you.

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