The New Album “15 Minutes to E” Deluxe Version in store March 18 2014
Featuring “Long Run”
Buzzing World wide
Impacting Radio Now !!!
Enjoy the Video and share.
Brightlife Music (c) 2014
All Rights Reserved
The Highly Anticipated Mixtape ” AKTrated” from a Native born California ” AKTIVE ” Tongue-twisting MC from Watts, Aktive’s style is fresh and original, true to who he is. Ride Along or Stay Behind.
By Heather McDonald.
Playing a show as the opening band is a fast way to get your music to a larger audience. Don’t wait around for people to come knocking on your door, asking you to play their show. Follow these steps to get your name on the bill.
- Choose Your Targets:What’s the dream concert for your band? Who would you really love to play with? Make a short list of the bands that you want a chance to play with, and then find out who their agent and manager are. Get in touch with both the agent and manager, send them a promo package and let them know you’re interested in playing with the band. At the same time, keep an eye on that band’s touring schedule. When you know shows are in the works, reach out to the musicians’ team and say, “remember me?” Agents and managers don’t always get involved with picking the openers, but they often do, and being on their radar is always a good thing.
- Make Friends with the Venues and Promoters:As mentioned, agents aren’t your only hope for getting on a bill. Often, the support bands are chosen by the venues or the promoters of the shows. If you are already a part of your local live music circuit, then these people should already be on your radar (and you on theirs), but if not, get out there and make yourself known. Let the venues and promoters in your area know your band is always on the lookout for a good support slot and that you hope they will consider you when they need an opener.
- Putting it All Together:This one combines steps one and two and may be a drag, but when the perfect opening band opportunity comes along, you’ll be glad you did it. Make a contact database of all of the agents, promoters and venues that you have identified as helpful to you in your quest to be the opening band. Not only will you always have the info you need on hand when you need it, but your database will also help you keep track of with whom you are (and should be) sharing news about your band.
Incidentally, don’t be afraid to be the “opener for the opener.” That first band on a three or four band bill doesn’t usually have the biggest crowd, but on your local circuit, your willingness to pay your dues on these kinds of slots can help you get bumped up the bill in the future.
- Timing is Everything:When you know that the perfect supporting act opportunity for your band is coming up, don’t wait around for your contacts to think of you. Hit up the right agents, promoters, and venues and ask for the gig. Finding the opening band is one thing crossed off the very long “to do” list for people working on a show, so the first band that asks often gets. Act fast, and be the first to throw your hat in the ring.
- Don’t be a Deal Diva:Generally speaking, being the opening act doesn’t pay particularly well, at least in terms of cold, hard cash. The pay comes in the form of a chance to play in front of a larger audience than you would get on your own, and the chance to play in front of other people who can help you in your career – press, labels, managers, promoters, agents, and so on. If you refuse a good opening gig because you don’t think the money is right, you’ll only hurt yourself.
- Do the Job:Opening slots tend to beget opening slots, provided you deliver the goods. Be professional and polite, show up on time, grin and bear it if you get shafted on the soundcheck, play a good show, and stick within your allotted time. Thank the headlining band/agent/manager/promoter/venue for the opportunity. Reliability goes a long way in the music industry, and if you get a reputation for it, the offers will start pouring in. Learn more about how to be a good opening act.
- Promote Yourself:Many opening bands are lucky to get a mention on a concert poster, so you should take matters of promoting your opening gig in your own hands. Send out a press releaseletting the local media know about your upcoming show. Be sure to email your mailing list so your fans can come out and support you, and of course, update your website to include the show. You may not get a very long set as the opening band, but you should treat it as you would any other concert. Don’t, however, try to pass yourself off as the headliner – make clear in all your promo material that you are the opening act.
- Choose your Shows Wisely:When you are making your shortlist of bands with whom you would love to play, remember that you’re not just picking your favorite bands. Pick the bands whose audience you believe is a good audience for your kind of music.
- Start Locally:Getting in touch with agents and trying your hand at getting on regional/national tours as the supporting band is a good thing to do. However, especially when you’re first getting started, actually landing this kind of gig can be a little tricky. Put an emphasis of being one of the go-to opening bands of choice for your local area by working with local venues and promoters. Sometimes this may mean you’re the “opener for the opener” on a three band bill, but it is a great way to build an audience while building relationships with bands, promoters, agents, and venues that will be handy in the future.
- The Show Isn’t About You:Sad, but true – the opening band can get the shaft in many ways. Your soundcheck may be cut to to five minutes, you may not get to share in the rider, you may not be getting paid much, if at all, and after all that, the audience may all be at the bar or talking through your set. Frustrating? Definitely. But no band has ever played a show that hasn’t made an impression on someone, and if you want that impression to be good, stay professional and positive. Some show experiences may be better than others, but each show can be a stepping stone to something bigger.
- Ask Before you Do:Some headlining bands (or at least their agents and managers) can get a little huffy about opening bands selling their merchandise at shows – after all, if someone buys your album, they may decide not to buy the headliner’s t-shirt. Find out before the show if you will be allowed to sell merchandise, and where in the venue you can set up. I know, I know, it’s a bit annoying, especially if you are out of pocket to play the show anyway. Just focus on how well you will treat the opening bands when you’re the headliners.
- Beware the Buy-On:On very large tours, you may find that the opening slot is filled through a “buy-on” – meaning that the opening band pays a fee to get to be on the tour. This kind of thing usually happens between major labels/major label artists and on stadium or arena tours. If you are an indie band (or an indie label), don’t sell the car to stump up the cash for a buy-on gig. Before you go buy-on, carefully weigh up the risk and reward. If you’re not going to return from the tour with any cash to, uh, cash in on the increased interest in your band hopefully generated by the tour, then your buy-on fee isn’t money well spent
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All right reserved 2013.
Misogyny within the hip hop world is far from a recent issue. Criticism has been levied for years at the derogatory depictions of women as nothing but greedy, manipulative sex dolls within the genre, and the always tricky artistic expression is often cited in defense. While the use of inflammatory language and imagery certainly has its place within pop culture entertainment, whatever “message” is aimed for becomes muddled in between calls of ‘bitch ass hos’ being good-for-nothing sex slaves. Love ‘em and leave ‘em seems to be an accepted belief within the hip hop realm, and is indicative of larger social problems and warped, archaic cultural beliefs (which we don’t have the time to delve too deep into).
Lil’ Wayne certainly hasn’t attempted to help alleviate these misogynistic criticisms. He has been called many things, but a feminist would probably never be on that list. With songs like “Lollipop,” “Mrs. Officer,” and lyrics like, “baby just make me c*m, then don’t make a sound,” his opinion of women, at least within the context of his music and artistry, is, well, it’s not the highest regard for the female gender, is it.
Not that any of this has stopped him from becoming one of the biggest hip hop acts in the game. With his trademark raspy/nasal delivery and hood/skater/rock star amorphous style, the public demand for Weezy seems unquenchable. In 2013 alone, he has been featured on TEN singles by ten different artists (not including his two solo single releases), the latest of which was with the legendarily respected nu-metal outfit Limp Bizkit (sarcasm is reflected in words on a screen, right?)
His newest solo single, “Rich as F*ck,” was released on March 13 (and is not the ubiquitous “I’m on that good kush and alcohol…” track). A slowed down, laid back beat anchors a low-key celebration of Lil’ Wayne and his crew’s success, illustrated with the chorus: “All my niggas look rich as f*ck!” In addition, the song somewhat celebrates the violent, crime-ridden lifestyle of many young, urban (and, yes, mostly minority) men in this country, proclaiming, “I’m spraying that on these rusty niggas like WD40,” while decrying he, “Never talk to the cops…all rats gotta die, even Master Splinter.”
The song is good, as you’d expect from a musician of Lil’ Wayne’s caliber and level. He doesn’t disappoint in his delivery and flow, and creates many of the distinctive, clever wordplays in his rapping that focuses on the themes of the song. A chorus anchored by 2 Chainz provides a nice up-tempo contrast to the subdued verses. But a prevalent theme within the lyrics presents the common viewpoint (within hip hop and Lil’ Wayne’s discography) of women being there simply for a man’s pleasure and having no other interest outside of “wanting that hose pipe, so [he] give all these hoes pipe.” Another line alludes to his manipulating and using women as he’s “selling all these hoes dreams,” while also denouncing that one “can’t trust none of these hoes.”
Of course, Lil’ Wayne has gone on record that he “believes females deserve the ultimate respect at all times, no matter when, where or how,” in an interview with MTV News last year. While there is at least a touch of contradiction and hypocrisy in those words when you break down the music of Lil’ Wayne through the years (don’t song lyrics constitute a “where or how” for females being respected?), the fact remains that the culture of hip hop has been shaped to, in many ways, need to continue spewing out misogynistic themes and lyrics. While exceptions to this rule have been prominent at times throughout the history of the hip hop genre, by and large, it appears there is still a market and, furthermore, a desire to hear lyrics belittling women and raising up the patriarchal standard. For artists like Lil’ Wayne, there’s little incentive to change their approach to the lyrics they sing and themes they push forth, particularly when the idea of artistic expression and freedom of speech rights are thrown into the mix. Until the day comes when these themes can be extinguished from popular culture, those of us uneasy will have to do what most Americans do when faced with a problem they don’t want to address: pretend it doesn’t exist.
– Adam Swierk
The “sophomore slump” (or “second year slump” if you’re so inclined) is a rather fascinating concept. Clearly, or at least rationally speaking, there is no larger force in place that a musician, athlete, student or whomever needs to somehow elude to avoid falling into the slump’s grasp. No, rather, the idea comes from a first year (or album) passing all pre-established expectations for what a debut of that nature should look like. Presumably, overwhelming evidence suggests that a successful introduction is the exception, not the rule. So if one defies all preconceived prospects, achieving success beyond anyone’s wildest hopes, how does one possibly match, let alone exceed, the success and brilliance of that with their follow-up?
It’s easy to imagine these questions and concerns weren’t lost on the members of Rage Against the Machine in the years before their sophomore release, Evil Empire. RATM was, from the beginning, a different breed of rock band. The rap metal outfit seemed determined to use any potential fame as a platform for exposing the socio-political injustices occurring both domestic and abroad, while lambasting the ambivalent complacency of the population at large. The system was both irreconcilably broken and rigged, and drastic change was needed NOW. The happy-go-lucky façade which the “machine” had established would be torn down to divulge the cold, empty truth.
The combination of Zack de la Rocha’s growling vocals, Tom Morello’s indisputably innovative lead guitar, smoothly integrated bass of Tim Commerford, and the pounding, yet never ostentatious, drumming of Brad Wilk provided a musical weapon more potent than anyone could have imagined. Over three and a half years passed between the seminal self-titled debut of RATM and their follow-up, yet the power and breadth of their auditory arsenal had not dissipated one bit. Anticipation, both in the media and public at large, was sky-high for the band’s second studio release, and any fears that the rage had been mollified or assuaged by fame and fortune were immediately wiped away.
But was the album, Evil Empire, actually any good from a musical standpoint? Well, of course it was; and if you’ve ever listened to it, yet still need to read this review for a critical endorsement of greatness on this all-time great record, well, alright: Evil Empire is, any way you slice it, one of the best second albums in music history. In addition to bringing all the vitriol towards corrupt institutions they brought in their debut, the music of Evil Empire is undeniably fantastic. With the long timeframe between albums, RATM seemed to fully grasp how best to utilize the political platform they possessed in order to project their message for as many ears to hear as possible. The radio-ready tracks of Evil Empire are by and large shorter and more blistering in their delivery, while seeming to both globalize and narrowly specify the gripes of the system felt by the band.
So let’s jump right ahead and go track-by-track to analyze the indignant brilliance that is Evil Empire:
- “People of the Sun:” A perfect opener, with a chorus asserting, “This is for the people of the sun!” and the combat has begun. A looping, almost circular riff intertwines impeccably with the declaration that, “It’s coming back around again!” The battle for the world is upon us, and RATM has declared war.
- “Bulls on Parade:” The modern rock radio staple provides a scathing takedown of the military-industrial complex in the U.S., revealing the harsh reality of it all: “Weapons, not food, not home, not shoes, not need; just feed the war cannibal animal.” An apt metaphor of societal leaders trouncing over the masses as, “Bulls on parade!” with a legendary wah-wah riff that has remained imprinted in popular culture.
- “Vietnow:” A funky start-and-stop track that critiques the propaganda contrivance delivered by, specifically, right-wing conservatives and organized religion. “Fear is your only God,” and, “terror is the product ya push,” prompts the unbearably bleak question: “Is all the world jails and churches?”
- “Revolver:” A stark, somewhat twisted call imploring abused and mistreated women to take harsh revenge on the men inflicting pain. Calm, almost soothing verses plunge into a vicious chorus that asks, “Don’t mothers make good fathers?” with shouts for the titular weapon that’ll allow women to take the power back.
- “Snakecharmer:” A searing energy runs throughout this takedown of the American capitalistic system and the faux promise is presents. Steady distortion provides a musical allegory for the false hope preached in this country, pulling away the mask and demanding we, “vomit all ideals and serve…sleep and wake and serve.”
- “Tire Me:” Allegedly written in celebration of Richard Nixon’s death (according to Wikipedia, whatever that’s worth), this anti-celebration of our nation’s celebrity culture obsession asserts the band’s weariness of it all: “Yeah, I see you in front of me…so get the f*ck from in front of me.” Guitar riffs that resemble a blaring megaphone gives the fast-paced song the feeling of a soap box lecture.
- “Down Rodeo:” An attack on racial tensions and cultural stereotypes impact on the perpetual cycle of poverty and crime in inner-city, minority filled areas. “Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse,” accentuate the desperation emanating from those born into the worst areas of this country, and the hypocrisy of the system keeping wealth in a small number of hands: “We hungry but them belly full, the structure is set ya never change it with a ballot pull.”
- “Without a Face:” The plight of the Zapatistas in Mexico was a worthy cause to champion for the band, as a riff reminiscent of an alarm rings out to begin the song alerting the world of their struggles. A chorus analogizes those fighting for independence as they, “Walk unseen past tha graves and tha gates,” and are reduced to being, “born without a face.” This wasn’t the first time they addressed the Zapatista revolution, and it wouldn’t be the last…
- “Wind Below:” As the following song also directly calls attention to the cause. A creepy, echoing riff throughout this largely slowed down track evokes a horror film, along with lines like, “So here they come one by one them killers of the new frontier,” and the framing of the Zapatistas as victims in their own horror story is complete.
- “Roll Right:” A scathing, amped up take on colonial imperialism and the enslavement of indigenous peoples. Denouncing settlers with, “Here comes the hands on the leashes,” natives are reduced to having to, “Roll right!” for, “Roll call!” The lasting impact of our ancestors alleged triumphs is brutally acknowledged, “For their lives and our lives are never settled.”
- “Year of Tha Boomerang:” A funky denigration of the power of the elite being imposed on the masses. The song (released two years before the album) is actually pretty standard fare within the band’s social agenda, referencing Franz Fanon’s examination of colonialism’s lasting impact and its dehumanizing effect. A great song regardless and an impeccable choice to end the album.
Seeing as I’ve written almost 1200 words touting the genius of Rage Against the Machine and Evil Empire, let’s give the last word to Tom Morello, who demonstrates (from an op-ed in Rolling Stone magazine last year in response to Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan calling RATM his favorite band during the campaign) that, even though it’s been over twenty years since uniting, the band will continue raging against the machine to their last, dying breath:
“Rage’s music affects people in different ways. Some tune out what the band stands for and concentrate on the moshing and throwing elbows in the pit. For others, Rage has changed their minds and their life…perhaps Paul Ryan was moshing when he should have been listening.”
– Adam Swierk
Is there any feasible way a musical review or “Greatest of…” declaration can be anything but fully subjective? Read through any list of the greatest artists, songs, albums, debuts, reviews, etc. and there’s always a common thread: every attempt at complete and unabashed objectivity is inevitably drenched in oh-so-many layers of personal subjectivity. The enjoyment of music, and a definition therein of what constitutes great music, varies so wildly from person to person, let alone from community to community, that to come up with an apt metaphor seems rather pedantic. Suffice it to say that the band or artist you may swear is the greatest gift to music in the history of humanity elicits a shrug of indifference from the next person.
Of course, this doesn’t stop anyone from constantly aiming to present to the world the definitive list or review for any particular aspect of music (looking at you, VH1). Is there an inherently deeper need for human beings to compulsively seek out third parties who proclaim “the greatest whatever of all time is UNQUESTIONABLY this,” for the purpose of…what, exactly? A desire to disagree and assert one’s superior beliefs; or for positive affirmation that a personal taste is valid and legitimate? No one, anywhere, has ever watched a countdown or read a list and thought, through each and every entry, “Yeah, this is perfect.” But none of this is new territory to explore (as much fun as I may find that exploration), and way too many minds have already attempted to crack that kernel.
Really, this is all a very roundabout, long-winded way of saying complete objectivity, in any sort of critical analysis, is a pipe dream. So rather than vainly claiming to reach for that standard, I embrace the innate subjectivity of critical thinking and say: Welcome to the Brightlife Music Review Revue! Several times each week (hopefully several times each day), we will review new, and old, music across all genres and aspects of popular music. From singles, to albums, to bands and individual artists, to film soundtracks, music videos, and far too many more topics to list, no person, band, topic, genre or anything else related to music is off limits for review and discussion. I will guarantee nothing, except that I guarantee everything I write will be completely and utterly true…from the perspective of a 27-year old from suburban Massachusetts whose musical tastes were shaped during the 1990s.
Check back here at IRadioSpin.com first thing Monday morning (July 29) for the first official Brightlife Music Review Revue posting, and everyday after that for analyses of all things music related. Remember, you either shine Bright or get outshined.
– Adam Swierk
The Brightlife Music family would like to send a huge congratulations to Norman and Victoria Strohdach, owners of CatMan-Doo and first prize winners at the 2013 SuperZoo Pet Convention in Las Vegas! SuperZoo, the National Show for Pet Retailers, takes place every year and is among the leading trade conventions for members of the pet services and products industry. This year’s convention, which ended yesterday, awarded it’s first prize for best product to CatMan-Doo, a toilet seat for cats that eliminates the need for kitty litter. On behalf of our CEO/Owner Bright Enabulele, and the entire Brightlife Music family, congratulations again to Norman and Victoria Strohdach on their first prize win at the 2013 SuperZoo Pet Convention!
Check out the link at The WTV for more details on CatMan-Doo, SuperZoo 2013, and all things the EZ Way:
On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, Brightlife artist Emaculent performed a short set at the Hubwize Gallery on Figueroa St. in Los Angeles. The Hubwize Gallery, a small urban art gallery by day, supports local and independent artists from painters to fashion designers to, of course, hip hop stars on the verge of breaking out.
Hubwize, owned by Jonathan Galatea aka Sea One, occasionally opens its doors on select evenings as an intimate, almost underground, environment for hip hop artists to perform for fellow musicians and supporters of independent art and music. The show featured several performances, including Masta X Kid and local independent hip hop legend Percee P, and was ended with a four song set by Brightlife Music’s own Emaculent.
Emaculent, who was joined on stage by local rappers (and features on his upcoming album, “15 Min. to E”) Sugah Ray and Rancho Dollaz, delivered one of his characteristic high-energy performances, beginning with “Kush in My Cigarillo,” featuring Sugah Ray. The set continued on with rousing renditions of “Made Man” (featuring Rancho) and “Roll On,” followed lastly by perennial crowd-pleaser “Mandoe” (also featuring Rancho). Emac ended the night with an acapella freestyle which captivated the already enthralled crowd and sent everyone home with a smile on their faces.
On Friday, July 12, Brightlife Music and GreatChance.org hosted the Brightlife Music Red Carpet Showcase from the Premiere Supper Club in Hollywood. The brainchild of Brightlife CEO/Owner Bright Enabulele, the event, which was a showcase for Brightlife artists Emaculent, Aktive and Gee Kazz, also raised awareness for the DBA Brightlife Charitable Foundation at GreatChance.org. GreatChance.org was created to raise awareness of those in the world who need help most, hoping to provide food, clean water and education to impoverished parts of the world.
The Brightlife Music Red Carpet Showcase was a smashing success. From celebrity guests to industry bigwigs, the Hollywood elite came out in full force to support Brightlife Music and its artists along with GreatChance.org. After walking the red carpet past a throng of media personnel, guests were treated to spectacular performances from each of the Brightlife artists. Things kicked off with a rousing set by youngest Brightlife artist Gee Kazz, followed by fellow Brightlife newcomer Aktive, who worked the crowd as only he can. Ending the night was Brightlife veteran Emaculent, putting the perfect exclamation point on the evening.
The Brightlife Music family, along with CEO/Owner Bright Enabulele, would like to send a huge thanks to all those who attended the event to support the Brightlife Music family, as well as the DBA Brightlife Charitable Foundation at GreatChance.org. We would like to specifically thank Eric Zuley and EZWay Promotions for their immense support, as well of our gracious host from the evening, Jeffrey Henderson of The Jeffrey Henderson Show. Brightlife Music has arrived to change the music industry, and we’re not going anywhere!
Brightlife Music and CEO/Owner Bright Enabulele, along with the entire Brightlife family, would like to welcome our new artist, Aktive! After spending the last few years collaborating with fellow Brightlife artists, Aktive, aka AKT, has officially joined the Brightlife family. With tongue-twisting lyrics that will have jaws dropping, AKT delivers rhymes which demonstrate that whether it’s in the studio, on stage or just in a circle of friends, his element is in creating music that will leave a long-lasting impression.
Hailing from the streets of Watts, CA, Aktive is a perfect addition to the Brightlife roster because he embodies the Brightlife Music goal: to change the landscape of hip hop and forever alter the music industry. On behalf of the Brightlife Music family and our CEO/Owner Bright Enabulele, we’d like to welcome to the Brightlife family: Aktive!
Brightlife Music and CEO/Owner Bright Enabulele would like to welcome our newest artist, Gee Kazz! At just 19 years old, Gee is the youngest member of the Brightlife Music family. Gee Kazz brings an international flair and eclectic style to the rap game. With roots stretching from the tropics of Nigeria to the outback of Australia, Gee brings something wholly unique to the music industry: complete originality.
There has never been and never will be a player in the game quite like Gee. With an effortless flow and lyrics that bob and weave through the beats, he is here to captivate the minds of listeners the world over. On behalf of the Brightlife Music family and CEO/Owner Bright Enabulele, we would like to introduce to the world: Gee Kazz!
From Thewtv.com: “Many came out to support the cause. Great Chance was created by Brightlife Charitable Foundation. The foundation helps serve and encourage work to end hunger, help those that have lack of good drinking water, and prevent diseases. The foundation wants to give back and help those in need. The foundation also partners with American Red Cross, Unicef and water.org.
The red carpet event started at 8:00 p.m. and the party lasted until after midnight. Celebrity guest and talent such as Reatha Grey Simon, Actress “Betty White’s Off Your Rockers”, Jill Jaress, President from “Got A Laugh Entertainment”, Sam Sarpong, Actor/Producer, Eric Zuley, Founder of “WTV Networks ‘EZ’ the Hollywood It Guy”, Jeffrey Henderson, CEO & President at “The Jeffrey Henderson Show”, Jaira Valenti, Actress, Dawn Christie, “Dawn Christie Spiritual Readings Retreat and Spa”, Jarvee Hutcherson at “Multicultural Motion Pictures Association”, Buddy Sampson, “The Scoop LA”, D-Nyce, Rapper, Saint Tone, Singer/Motivational Musician, and foremost the important talent Bright Enabulele, CEO& President of Brightlife Music.”
Go to http://thewtv.com/events/bright-life-music-red-carpet-showcase-turn-out/ to see all the pictures and read more about this amazing event!! And don’t forget to go to Greatchance.org and see how you can help children in need!!
Sunday June 16th at Infusion Lounge, Universal City. Get your tickets now! http://brightlifemusic.bigcartel.com/product/rok-that-jam-tour-2013-show-ticket