Gilbere Forte's Latest Free Mixtape, Eye of Veritas

Gilbere Forte is what rap should be. At times introspective, at times completely material. Instrumentally, the beats don't all sound the same. On one mixtape he can seamlessly switch between praising his choice of shoes, his choice of women, and discussing the ups and downs of life in music from track to track. This bespectacled rapper creates music for passion, not money. He drops lines like, "While I'm opening her mind/You chasin' her ass". Check out Forte's latest free mixtape, dropped today, Eye of Veritas. 

Eye of Veritas

History of a Beat

Beats have as much of an ability to make a name for themselves as the artists themselves. Certain instrumental tracks in hip-hop become instantly engraved into our minds, the kicks, the snares, synths and subs permeate our mind just as heavily, if not more, then the lyrics that grace them. Kanye made a name for himself creating these iconic beats before he became a symbol of an entire genre. Jay-Z's success is indebted to Kanye's production and ways around a some kicks and a sample.

One J Dilla produced beat has become especially iconic over the years. It may not be engraves in the minds of the masses, but for anyone who truly respects rap,  this beat epitomizes what can be done in the genre. Runnin' by Pharcyde. The minimal beat features and unbelievably catchy, yet simplistic sung chant over laid back guitar. The rhythm is powered by a minimalist beat, consisting of hi hats, a kick. The sound of drumsticks tapping glues the kicks and hats, all tied together by a clap on every other beat. Brass samples creep their way into the beat as well. The beat is simply perfection in instrumental terms.

Marc Mac, half of production duo 4hero, teamed up with a few musicians deemed the Visioneers in 2006 to create a hip-hop instrumental cover album called Dirty Old Hip Hop. Runnin was one of the songs covered in the album. Marc Mac presents the Visioneers added a jazzy vibe to the songs they covered, although most of them were already decently infused with jazz. There are a few non-hip-hop songs on the album as well, which are rebuilt around a hip-hop foundation. 
I couldn't find the Runnin' cover on YouTube, but here is their cover of The World is Yours by Nas, to give you a feel of what Marc Mac presents the Visioneers is all about. 

A few years after the reworking of J Dilla's classic beat on Dirty Old Hip-Hop, Wiz Khalifa was making a name for himself as a talented party rapper who's stoner flow worked wonderfully over unique beats. He took the lazy, melodic Dilla beat and made it his own just as Marc Mac did earlier. 

55 Most Memorable Rap Lines

I'll be back with better posts later on, but to hold you over until I get out of work, here are the 55 most memorable opening lines of rap by the Smoking Section. There are actually some great songs in here, and some equally as good lines from some legends.
Get your literature game on here...
Famous First Words


Up and Coming Seattle Rapper Sol, Making Waves, Dropping Free Tracks

Sol is a 21 year old Seattle rapper who's making a name for himself in the scene. He's got talent and seems set to be a part of the next wave of rappers heading up towards the mainstream. He's also giving away a good amount of music for free, which is actually a very intelligent marketing technique in today's music industry.

The Omaha Scene

Commander Venus
Some people are true artists. They enter the world destined to create music, to be prolific masters, mind set to a constant stream of rhythms and melodies and words. Omaha, Nebraska produced two of the greatest musicians of the mid 90s and 2000s. These two created music together at the beginning of their careers, in high school, but eventually went their separate ways, one gaining mainstream fame as a master of folk infused with sounds of punk, soul, blues and country, Conor Oberst. The other found underground fame as a member of several well known and critically acclaimed groups, Tim Kasher. In 1995, while Conor Oberst was still 14, him and Kasher fronted a band called Commander Venus. Although they were a small indie band still in high school, they were signed and the recording of their second album was excessive, and cost $15,000. Rumors began floating around that Commander Venus was the next big thing, and the future of indie music. The band broke up though, as members got fed up with the "emo" scene.

After leaving Commander Venus Conor Oberst found success as a member of Saddle Creek Records, with as a member of several groups including Desaparacidos, and most famously as Bright Eyes. You can listen to the Bright Eyes latest album here.

Oberst covering Elliot Smith

Tim Kasher found success through his band Cursive. Cursive was powered by Kasher's deep introspective lyrics, idiosyncratic guitar style and powerful rhythm section. Cursive has long been one of my favorite bands of all time. Following Kasher's ugly divorce from his wife, his songwriting became deeply personal, constantly scrutinizing the details of his long divorce. This became a creative force that deeply permeated his songwriting, infusing his music with passion and energy. Here are some of Kasher's highlights.

The Recluse - Cursive

Album of the Year - The Good Life