More Relentlessly Speaking About Music
Another blog by DJ Relentless
I recently started getting requests for a track called “Cry” by the Bingo Players. At first (being that I am that old) I thought of “Cry”by Godley & Creme and part of me felt that it would have been brilliant to have dug up this 80’s classic and update it for the kids today. So, when I finally got it through my digital pool, I was surprised to find that it is a filtered track that samples a couple of lines from Brenda Russell’s “Piano In The Dark” on a loop. It’s a catchy and clever use of the sample, but it just makes me sad that there aren’t really any original tracks anymore.
“Die Young” is the new single by Kesha. You know....I find it kind of irresponsible in her lyrics that she is encouraging her fans to “die young”. As if there is nothing after the age of 30. Hell, it wasn’t until I turned 30 that I really began to live. And I know that most would say that I am taking a simplistic approach, but I am a firm believer that words carry weight. And what you send out to the universe is exactly what you will get.
Innovators in music like Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison & Janis Joplin alll died young. Just think what they could have done if they had lived. But of course the song is already climbing the charts.
And after the season premiere of SNL this year, everyone has heard “Gangnam Style” by PSY. I think it is great that a Korean Pop Rapper has invaded the charts. Although I do feel like it is the new Macarena, it’s a fun track and my floor seems to love it.
Now, everybody knows that I loves me some Pink. “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” was her debut track for her new album. I was disappointed to find that her next single that I got through my pool is a duet with Eminem called “Here Comes The Weekend”. And I know it’s old news, but I still haven’t forgiven him for his and Dr. Dre’s irresponsible comments about the gay community back in the early 2000’s Rolling Stone interview. It’s funny how people feel invincible when they are on the top of the charts. But now that his angry white raps aren’t working anymore he seems to be doing whatever he can to remain relevant. As my grandmother would say...”You only gotta show yo’ ass one time for me!” And I’m done. But my dislikes aside....I can see this track being a radio hit. It rings of a Pop Banga and Em’s flow is reminiscent of his early style when he was happy to just be at the mic.
By now you should have heard about the feud between Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey on the set of the auditions for American Idol. First let me say....they should have never hired Nicki in the first place. It’s a singing competition and her input is not going to be that valuable. Yes, she sings her own hooks, but who cares? This is where age and experience play a big part. Do I consider Jennifer Lopez to be a great singer? Absolutely not! But she has been in the music businesss over a decade and has topped the charts. So, there is credibility there. The Nicki Minaj that you saw on Ellen being sweet with those two British girls is not the Nicki that was cursing out Mariah on the leaked video. NIcki is a plastic persona that varies from situation to situation. And some say it was a publicity stunt, but I just feel like it sets black folks back a few years to have another angry black woman on TV. This reeks of stereotyping. Just what we need....another neck rolling, loud black bitch showin’ huh ass in front of the cameras. I feel this is the last season of Idol for me.
But anyway....Miss Minaj has a new single out featuring Cassie called “The Boys”. It has definite potiential to be a hit. The production is a mix of today’s Hip Hop sound and the acoustic guitar of a commercial track. So far it has been doing well on my floor.
And on a sad note, we recently lost a drag performer, recording artist and reality TV star. Sahara Davenport of Drag Race fame died on October 1st, 2012. The news was quite shocking to most. Sahara’s mother gave a statement a day later saying that she had died of heart failure. I remember meeting Sahara shortly after she arried in NYC. Her,Britney Houston and her drag sister, Deja Davenport were the new gyrls on the scene. Harmonica Sunbeam gave all of them bookings for our Sunday T-Dance at Escuelita. Many people got their introduction through our weekly event. She once asked me about producing a bitch track for her. At the time, I didn’t have any means to produce one. I didn’t play any instruments and I mainly did home-made remixes by re-arranging samples and beats with a carefully time stretched vocal.
After being on Drag Race she released two singles, “Pump With Me” and “Go Off”. They both have over 100,000 views on YouTube and served her quite well. I had moved to Toronto by this point, but wished that I had the opportunity to remix “Pump With Me” to turn it into the bitch track that she originally wanted. So, when I got the opportunity to do a track with her vocals from an interview on Feirth.com after last year’s Glammy Awards (for an online remix contest), my production partner (Bryan Greenwood) and I began piecing together a classic style bitch track with the help of my other alter-ego, Paprika Jones. The result was a verbal catfight called “Bitch You Don’t Want It” by The Snatsch Sisters featuring Sahara and Paprika.
Unfortunately, it was released on the internet the same day that Drag Race aired an episode with Jiggly Calente making a statement about drag queen dating other drag queens. I believe this was too much for Sahara’s lover, Manila Luzon. You see in the track my persona makes a few digs at Sahara by calling her a “lez-bo-dagga” for dating another queen. Manila immediately wrote me this horrible email telling me that I was a has-been that was jealous of her and Sahara’s success. It was really sad because I wanted to do the paperwork to release the track and even shoot a video for it. It would have been hilarious and I’m sure it would have been a YouTube hit. But Sahara never returned my emails. Instead she and Manila went on a campaign against the track and Jiggly. It’s really horrible to not resolve things. Especially when something tragic happens like this.
The truth of the matter was, I never meant any disrespect to either of them. The contest I entered wanted the participants to create a “Bitch Track” out of her vocals. I knew that everyone was just going to use her vocals and out of context they didn’t really make any sense. So, I came up with the idea to make Sahara have a confrontation with another queen. My Paprika Jones persona fit that perfectly. And with the comments that Sahara said in anger because Manila did not win “Entertainer Of The Year”, it could only have been a verbal war. It was meant to be funny. It’s a shame that they couldn’t see the potential in the track.
All I can say is that Sahara was a fabulous entertainer and a party gal. Before she was on Drag Race, she was in the pilot for my reality TV show, “Showgirl 101” (which you can also find on YouTube). My condolences to her family and Manila. I have lost several loved ones throughout my life and it is never easy.