Showdown: Blahzay Blahzay vs. Mystikal

The Contestants:

blahzayBlahzay Blahzay was a 2-man rap group consisting of DJ PF Cuttin’ and Outloud. There’s a distinct likelihood you’ve never heard of them as they only released one album, though they are featured on a track from the very good posthumous Ol’ Dirty Bastard mixtape Osirus from 2005 (remind me to write something about “Dirty Dirty” sometime, one of the best beats I’ve ever heard).

MystikalMystikal was a rapper from New Orleans who peaked with 2000’s Let’s Get Ready. You’ve almost assuredly heard of him because he’s the guy that did “Shake Ya Ass,” which is EVERYWHERE. You’re probably thinking it’s been quite a while though, and it has, because he served six years in prison for making his hairstylist perform sex acts on him (and here I thought that was part of the famous Aveda Institute method).

The Rep:

Danger

There’s something about the word “danger” that has inspired a tremendous amount of quality music, from the Kenny Loggins masterpiece “Danger Zone” to the legendary in my world “Danger High Voltage” of Electric Six. Danger is defined as the possibility of suffering harm or injury, so you know there’s a great chance shit’s about to get real real. Continue reading

Death and the Maiden’s New Clothes

It’s interesting to consider just how important a role the instrumentation and orchestration of a piece of music play in its overall aesthetic. I never gave it all that much thought. I knew there were some tremendously gifted orchestrators scattered throughout musical history like Rimsky-Korsakov and Berlioz and Haydn. I knew that many composers had authorized arrangements of their music in new orchestrations if they didn’t do it themselves. I knew that the character of a piece could change based on the instrumental colors it was dressed in. But rarely has the fundamental nature of a musical moment shifted so radically to my ears than when I ran across a version of the Schubert “Death and the Maiden” Quartet for full orchestra. Continue reading