It’s been a hot, wet and sticky summer so far. And it’s hard to stay focused with all the distractions of politics and healthcare news that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. So, forgive me if this month’s mix is all ovah the place. Some are still fighting the good fight while others are checking out. But weirdly enough I felt a little better after programing this mix.
So, let’s dive in shall we…
The news seems to hit me hard everyday that I often avoid watching CNN. I felt it was fitting to start with the new Holy x Dirty Doses. “Hit Me” has a great production and vocal. Starts smooth and comes in hard with the beats. This track is in regular rotation on my iPod (and yeah…I still actually have a classic 160 Gigabyte iPod).
And speaking of news…I was really shocked to hear that Chester Bennington (lead vocalist for Linkin Park) committed suicide on July 20th. When I dug into his history, I had no idea he had fronted other alternative Rock groups like Stone Temple Pilots and Dead By Sunrise. So, as tribute I found Deober’s clever remix of the mashup of “Numb” by Linkin Park with Jay Z’s “Encore”.
And speaking of Jay Z…I didn’t include it in this mix but I have to say his leaked track and video for “The Story Of O.J.” is not only brilliant but also very timely since O.J. Simpson just got granted parole as early as October of this year. The track is a little slow since it samples Nina Simone’s “Four Women” but his word play and message is spot on. And if you think that he spends the entire song hashing over the details of how O.J. got where he is today, you’re in for a big surprise! O.J.’s story is broken down to one line in the song…and it says it all. Loved it!
After watching HBO’s “Defiant Ones” four part docu-series on Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s rise to success with their labels and the artists they produced I was surprised and impressed with all the names that were in the documentary. From Marilyn Manson and Eminem to Gwen Stefani and Lady GaGa, their choices and labors of love defined Pop Culture from the 90s to today. So I was blown away to realize that Kendrick Lamar was on that roster as well. You see, since music is no longer consumed on vinyl, cassettes or even CDs anymore, record labels are the last thing you think of when you are downloading or streaming what you listen to these days. So, I had no clue that Interscope Records was responsible for chaining the music industry forever.
Which brings us to Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble”. Definitely an artist that has changed the rap game. I was so happy to find that Barry Harris had “Club Enhanced” this song for us working DJs who can’t always dip down into the 70 BPM range like most of today’s Trap and Hip Hop music seems to be. It’s a great mix and a hot summer track.
And then I had to follow it up with a slamming new mix of “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre featuring Nate Dogg. Since the legalization of pot across North America, the phrase “smoke weed everyday” is the mainstay in this track.
Only fitting that I followed that with the Adaptiv & Alex Martura Bootleg of “Chasing Highs” by ALMA. The title says it all. Nice vocal and solid club sound for the dance floor or and outdoor festival.
Almost everything I hear from Jax Jones catches my attention immediately. This English DJ, producer, singer, songwriter and remixer is definitely making an impact on House Music right now. “You Don’t Know Me” featuring Raye is another track that is in normal rotation for my floor and iPod.
For a hot moment, I thought Nick Jonas was gonna knock Justin Bieber out of his spot on the Pop charts. He was doing all the right things. And his gay roles definitely made me a fan. But I also notice with most of our sexually free male icons that they burn hot for a year or so and then fade into the background. I don’t believe Nick is gay but he is a hero for taking on those roles. The last episode of “Kingdom” happened on August 2nd.
I mean…even people like Michael Sam who bravely came out as the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL has drifted into obscurity, this is why we gotta support our allies. Go see their shows. Go buy tickets to their games. Watch their TV shows. We can’t just have them stand up and be heard then move on to the next thing. I hear young gays say things like “I don’t understand why these old queens love Judy Garland or Barbra Streisand so much.” It’s because the older gays saw the pain and heartache of their struggle and applied that to their own lives. They heard Judy’s voice as a reflection of the cry for equality and rights. And Judy even judged drag pageants. She appreciated her gay audience in a time when that could have ended her career. This is why the gay icons of the past reigned and are still near and dear to those over a certain age.
I said all that to say that I don’t think that Nick Jonas’ new track, “Remember I Told You” featuring Anne Marie and Mike Posner is going to make a dent on the charts. But I’m gonna play it to be supportive. I hope that all my LGBT DJs out there will do the same. The Dave Aude mix is kinda hot. I like it a lot.
DJ Khaled…I really am sick of him. He is popping up on shows and doing commercials. Apparently his Instagram and Twitter following is obscene. But I have to say that with his vision and ear for Pop samples he is quickly turning into the new P. Diddy when it comes to hits. He seems to be buddies with all the big names. And his “Wild Thoughts” featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller is burning up the charts. And God bless Barry Harris for his Club Enhanced Mix. That Santana guitar is infectious and Barry gave us DJs a lovely intro and outré to work with.
I didn’t really love this song until I watched the music video. French Montana’s “Unforgettable” video featuring Swae Lee was shot in Kampala, Uganda and features a local dance group called The Ghetto Kids. Apparently French saw footage of these kids and decided to direct his next video with them. I love it! And I love the Kameo remix.
I often say that there is nothing really new in music. And a lot of today’s music is a rehash of yesterday’s hits. Well, this is definitely the case with “Crying In The Club” by Camila Cabello. The melody and the hook is very reminiscent of Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle”. The original is around 85 BPM but the Pink Panda Remix bumped that gyrl up to 101. Moombahton is very popular right now.
And the Moombahton sound is the backbone of Pop Latin crossovers. My favorite track right now is “Mi Gente” by J Bavin featuring Willy William. Don’t understand a word of it since I don’t speak Spanish (even though I am part Puerto Rican). But the beat and the hook gets ya the second it starts!
Sean Paul has been a mainstay on the charts since the early 2000s. His latest “Body” featuring Migos reminds me of cocktails out at the beach. Definitely a summer jam.
On June 20th Albert Johnson died of complications with sickle-cell anemia. Doesn’t sound like news but Albert was better known as rapper Prodigy from the Hip Hop duo Mobb Deep. Unfortunately how I got introduced to Mobb Deep was through the East Coast / West Coast beef that the media drove between Tupac and Notorious BIG. On one of Tupac’s rants during a show he dissed Mobb Deep and all the Bad Boy Family. And the track that really got my attention was “Quiet Storm” featuring Lil Kim. So, as a tribute I did a re-edit of the Rite Bros. remix for this set.
Often I don’t give enough credit to my digital record pool, My MP3 Pool. They don’t always label some of their older tracks properly but their team does a great job of gathering some of the best remixes. And they also have a great collection of transition tracks like this one. “Bangarang x Like This” by Skrillex vs. Reese Low which took me back up to club speed at 128 BPMs.
And to close out I used another mashup “Hot Drum x Fade x Pjanoo” (Joe Maz Bootleg) by Joyride vs. Kanye West vs. Eric Prydz. Love the track (even though they should have given Barbra Tucker or Masters At Work credit instead of Kanye West for the samples of “Deep Inside”). Listening back at the whole mix it seems like a testimony of where I am this summer. Hope you got something out of it.