Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jahah x J Dilla B R A Z I L I A N G I R L

I was talking to one of my associates the other day and he was telling me that he enjoyed most of my music and how I continue to stay true to my roots (blah, blah, blah). 

This associate and I spoke for what might of been 15 minutes and the main thing I took away from our conversation was that when I sing (as opposed to emcee), I don't make music for the fellas to listen to. Buddy basically told that I'd gotten soft and lost my edge but he respected my ability to re-invent myself after rapping for so many years. As I sat there and listened, I decided not to say a word and just hear this brotha out. After all, buddy wasn't being offensive. He provided me with constructive criticism from his point of view. I can respect that.

You see, I've learned from my past that sometimes a response isn't necessary all the time. Even if you have a valid point to make or want to defend yourself. Silence can sometimes offer you all the answers you've been looking for and often times you can gain more wisdom. Just an opinion...

Anyhow, when I was driving home I thought about the conversation I just had and wanted to do something about it. I mean, I do make a lot of songs (when I sing) about love and women but that's only because I love women (in all shapes, shades, and sizes) and I come from a time and place where R&B/Soul songs had meaning and substance. I've learned from the greats like Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind and Fire, and Aretha Franklin etc. That's the kind of music my mama and them played when it was Saturday clean up time! You better act like you know!

Okay, Back To My Story...

In my mind I kept saying, I wanna give the fellas something that they can vibe to but still be myself through the music. Then I remembered a tune I'd wrote while in Rio, Brazil entitled "Brazilian Girl".

Yeah, not to long ago I had the opportunity to tour in Brazil and I soaked it all in! The beautiful hills, the ocean-side views, the food, the culture, and of coarse the beautiful and lovely ladies that came from all directions (good Lawd)! I mean dayum! I'd never seen multiple women at a time that all looked exotic. It was like the good Lord crafted these women with special features, skin tone, eyes, shapes, and hair. I can even begin to explain myself...it was a surreal time in Rio to be honest.

Inspiration seemed to be everywhere and on the day before I left Rio, I started listening to J Dilla's "Welcome to Detroit" album that he concocted for BBE many years prior to his death. On this album is a song entitled "Brazilian Groove" (sampled from Earth Wind and Fire) that I've always loved because of the drums J Dilla programmed. The crazy thing is that I'd heard "Brazilian Groove" many many times before but on this day it felt different and had more meaning. As I recall, I sat in my hotel room at Caesar Park and kept repeating the first minute or two of "Brazilian Groove" on my iPod until I'd finished writing two verses and a repetitive chorus. 

I was definitely in my zone and feeling myself because as soon as I returned to the United States I recorded "Brazilian Girl" with an SM58! For those of you who don't have a clue, an SM58 is a stage mic...not a condenser studio mic. It's not a big deal to me but for some techies, using an SM58 mic for this type of record is a big no-no. For me, it's always been about the feel of the tune and if I'm able to vibe. 

I think I accomplished a good feel on "Brazilian Girl" and most important I think I finally gave the fellas something they can tune in to as well. After all, what heterosexual male doesn't want to visit Brazil or have a Brazilian mama in his team...I thought so!

No this record is for my ladies (who I make 99% of my records for) but I do believe the ladies can vibe to this joint if they get past me singing, "Brazilian Girl"!

Whatever the case...continue to spread that love!


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