Sunday, May 22, 2011

Please Listen to my Demo...

(session where all of this was recorded)

2009 Demo by The_Karlster

For some reason it feels like it's been forever since I've updated this blog. Lately I've just been working on more listener friendly material (Translation: watered-down/ sugar coated/ melodic  me), and in the the process of doing so I've constantly gone back to check out my old stuff. 
Thus far every year I've made a few tracks that I believed would take me places at the time. This is give or take the tracks that I submitted to a few labels back in 09. If nothing else they've definitely brought back memories.
Sidebar: "ZuLu N*g9@" was performed by a group that me and two friends of mine formed back in the day called the Zulu Tribe. (We may or may not put this back together, who knows?)

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Current "thing": Karl Anthony - MJ is Back (Michael's Revenge)

Karl Anthony - MJ is Back (Michael's Revenge) by The_Karlster

[DISCLAIMER: In no way, shape, fashion, or form am I trying to disrespect the great Michael J. Jackson. If you've read any of my previous blogs, or just know me in general then you'd know how much I respect, admire, and appreciate, his work and contribution to humanity. RIP] 

I've never been good with following trends. In fact whenever I usually try to be in-sync with the crowd, they move! So on that note I "do me" as much as I can!

With all of that said I didn't just rap over this beat because "everybody else did" or because "it's the beat of the moment"; hell, I'd pull up the "A Millie" beat if I felt like it! Truth be told, I've been unable to listen to a lot new rap songs the whole way through lately (unless it catches my attention within the first 30sec.-1.30min). If I rapped over this beat it was more so for creative reasons.

The pieces that I did catch of the other renditions featured the artist who was rapping comparing himself to a dead rapper who had influenced him/her. Now I don't want to sound like I'm bashing anybody, but I've always found that whole thing corny; even on other songs. [disclaimer: When I do it, it's because I have a better punchline coming]. I thought the concept was great though, I just didn't like the direction (nor did I feel like hearing a rapper comparing himself to a dead legend for 2mins).

I initially wrote this as a joke (if you couldn't tell). In fact I wanted to do a song called "Like it or Not" instead when I went to record on Saturday. However, I didn't really feel like I could give my best performance on that song so I made this instead.

I might do a montage for this like I did with "90's Baby", so be on the look for that!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ownership 101: Do the Right Thing

I was watching Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" last night (or very early this morning) and the importance of ownership became clearer than ever in my head. From my views on racism to the cycle of evolution; all of these were topics that I had to revisit and think twice about my stance on. By incorporating everything going on in the world at large it became clearer to me how right Frank Lucas was when he said "the man I worked for didn't own his company. White men owned it, so they owned him." I don't want to sound racist in the least; this is strictly factual information.

I believe the reason why Europeans were able to conquer the world so easily hundreds of years ago is because they had what everybody else lacked; a sense of ownership. The day I get the keys to my multi-million dollar complex, I'd die before letting somebody come to MY house and telling ME how to live. It's not being materialistic, it's simply fighting for what's rightfully yours. The fact that it's MY house gives me a sense of ownership that I'd be willing to kill and die to defend. That's something that us, Africans and Native Americans lacked at the time.

[I've heard some of the reasoning behind why the sense of ownership was none existent to the Native Americans. From my understanding, land could not be "owned", fore they had merely found it. Therefore it must have belonged to a higher power. Sort of like in order to really corner the bottled water industry you'd have to be able to dictate when and where it rains, and who can have access to the oceans and other water ways. (But of course, people still make a fortune from Fiji bottled water)]

Ownership is something that we see come into play repeatedly throughout history. The ownership of slaves and share cropping are just a few things that come to mind while on the subject. The occidental "pimp hand" stays strong till this day in Africa through colonization and the other monopolistic methods used to take advantage of Africa's soil and resources.

It really gets interesting when racism is added into the mix. This is actually where the concept of the post came from. In "Do the Right Thing" Radio Rahim is killed for trying to get black people's pictures on the wall of an ITALIAN pizzeria. And as I was watching that scene, I thought to myself "that's the dumbest thing you could possibly die over." If you want pictures of Black Heroes on a wall, why don't you just open up an African-American themed soul food Restaurant, decorate it how you want, and make money at the same time?

Now, in no way am I advocating racism, but consider this: If racism is just being prejudice towards a different race, what is being prejudice really other than an over nurtured sense of pride? If you really stop to think about it, we all casually exercise some form of encouraged prejudice when we go to sporting events and "boo" at everything the other team does; or at a high school pep rally when the underclassmen get put down just for being underclassmen. The only reason why it's not okay when it comes to race is because of things that have happened in the past. Not to get too political, but we all know people (not everybody) of all colors who voted for Obama just because he was black (and vice versa); being that the vote was based on skin color, was it not a racially driven vote?

Looking at things from that angle, it makes me question whether or not racism can truly ever end. And if there is even a slightest possibility of that happening, it'll have to start with opposing fans not getting upset with the Lakers every time they take home a championship!

Getting back to the matter of owner ship; if black people are so sick and tired of being "discriminated against" in this system formed by white men, why don't we all go back and really take ownership of Africa (like Nas said in "Belly")? And don't give me the "we helped build this country" excuse. Slavery is internationally recognized as a loss for black people everywhere on multiple levels.

The point I'm trying to get across is this: let’s take ownership of our losses like we do our victories and our tomorrows like we do our yesterdays. Is racism still alive? Yes; but slavery was well over a hundred years ago. A black man has since been elected leader of the free world. We're no longer shackled on cotton fields. In fact, on paper we are all pretty much granted the same opportunities. Let's stop constantly trying to burden other people with our baggage. The world might not be a utopia, but taking ownership may create one.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Karl Anthony - Leave Me Alone

Karl Anthony - Leave Me Alone by The_Karlster

With all the events that have been taking place in my life, including all the things that I've been watching take place; I couldn't find a better way to put it. This is just how I'm feeling right now...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Karl Anthony - Will Power (Prod. by Flawless R&B + Karl Anthony) [Inspired by words from Will Smith]

Karl Anthony - Will Power by The_Karlster

This was initially the opening act off of"Foreign Exchange".

 I've always been a huge fan of Will Smith's. Sometime last year I ran across a put together YouTube clip of him revealing the keys to success and his views on life in general. 

During the months that followed his words echoed in the back of mind as I faced every obstacle. I found myself constantly going back to the video; to the point where I decided to take the audio from it and put it in a song!  

I hope this inspires you like it did me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Karl Anthony - Vanilla Sky (ft/ M.O.E.) [prod. by Ear to the Beat]

Karl Anthony - Vanilla Sky (ft M.O.E.) [prod. by Ear to the Beat] by The Karlster

As you can see I'm trying to make good on my "At least once a week" promise. This is Track 15 off of what would have been "Foreign Exchange". It is also one of my personal favorites... so enjoy!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

March Madness: The Start of A Dream

This blog was inspired a movie trailer of the same title.

A friend brought it to my attention that when reading my blogs it is sometimes hard to keep up with my train of thought. So I highlighted all my sidebar comments in red to make it easier to follow.

March is usually the Month when even the most resilient start turning their backs on the resolutions they made at the beginning of the year. I came to this realization when I stopped putting any effort into my Accounting and Phys Ed classes about a month ago.

When I came back from Cameroon this past January, after seeing cousins, aunts, and uncles who could barely afford a $100 school pension (High School in most cases), I felt I owed it to THEM to AT LEAST get my masters when I came back to the states. I had just taken the semester prior off doing nothing else besides scrambling to complete “Foreign Exchange” and making it on to the “XXL Freshmen Cover” for 2012. With that being taken into account, I was convinced that when I got back in school I would give it my 100%; no matter what.

That was the problem though; I only gave it my 100%. 100% to me is the bare minimum. You don’t ACTUALLY put in effort until you go above and beyond what you are naturally capable of; that’s the “effort” in it. When I first came to States for example, I hated not being able to come with a rebuttal when the other kids would say something slick about me; so I gave my 1000% effort to be able to speak English properly. Or when I was in the seventh grade and this asshole (who shall remain anonymous) would challenge me to rap battles knowing very well that I could barely speak the English language (let alone start doing tricks with it), every night before I went to bed I gave a 1000% effort to come up with a verse good enough to battle with; until a year and some change later I finally beat him. And even now, when I write a song I go above and beyond what I’m capable of to make sure it’s better than my last. And when I feel myself slipping to 999.9%, I stop writing and wait to get that 0.1 percent back. That “above and beyond” in me is what I refer to as “The Karlster”.

I ended up slowly losing that drive I had of excelling in school as the months of January and February went on. It could have been because the classes didn’t meet enough (if at all) for me to build any momentum, or because I was too distracted thinking raps to focus in class; either way you flip it: My heart just wasn’t in it!

As time went on, each class started seeming dumber than the last; reminding me why I “took the semester off” to start with. Let’s take my Phys Ed class for instance; this is a class that only met once, and wanted me to mail in reports on all my work outs. I found this tremendously idiotic. When I work out it’s to clear my mind of all else, and zero in better on my goals; not to get graded on my “heart rate”. And then there is accounting. No disrespect to that beautiful black (I believe she is mixed though) queen, but I realized that the lady got paid to summarize the book for us, and then when HER summary was complete, test us on what we learned from HER interpretation of the book. All of this on material that we probably would have had a better understanding of had we (at least me anyways) read the book on our own and done the work at our own pace. People read books on how to make relationships work for Christ sake I think I can read a book on accounting on my own!

[Come to think of it, I’ve always been at my best (school wise) by just using common sense! The teachers would parade me around as a genius, when in reality I was just breaking away from the book! The only reason the other kids couldn’t come up with the answers that I came up with was because they were thinking in terms of how the book was telling them think. On separate occasions I could’ve sworn I was an idiot because I couldn’t figure out the simplest things. And when I heard the answers out loud I felt even dumber  because it was common sense . Meaning that although we were use the book to figure somethings out we didn’t necessarily need to; we already know the answers!]

Needless to say that by the time I got to thinking about dropping out of classes it was too late, so I had no choice but to stick it out [Pause]. Ironically enough this is when I decided to really rededicate myself to something that I was genuinely passionate about; Hip-Hop. The only problem was I no longer knew what to Rap about!  I had spent so much time working on “Foreign Exchange”, and trying to get people to hear it that the material I had for it started sounding dated to me. By this time the emotions and situations I was rapping about on these songs were at least six months old, and the new stuff I was coming up with was sounding better, but were conceptually nothing like “Foreign Exchange”! I still wanted to at least properly finish those songs so I wouldn’t feel like the past six months had gone to waste. So with J. Rob’s computer being broken, no job, and no studio money, I had to pull out a move of desperation. I decided to sell all and every college book I ever owned back to the school.

The more I started thinking of not putting out “Foreign Exchange” as it is, the more sense it started to make. The entire music industry has changed, especially Hip-Hop! The listener’s attention span is about the same length as a female tennis player’s skirt. Secondly, if by some miracle enough people are curious about your music, they’ll download your album if you’re lucky. In order for them to go out and buy it, they’ve gotta WANT you to release it (i.e: Tha Carter III, Thank Me Later, Pink Friday, Rolling Papers, & Lasers, just to name a few).

Quite honestly, I don’t think people want to hear me that badly! I wouldn’t even be considered a fly on the wall in comparison to those guys (and girl) at this point. And “Foreign Exchange”, my story, and my movement is more than a fly a on the wall to me. I deserve a documentary, a movie, and at least 50 parades when my shit drops. So it WILL be released; only a 1000% better than it is now. (p.s: I will be releasing a new song off the 2010 version of “FE” at least once a week)

The reason why I named this post “The Start of A Dream” is because at every turn there’s a new start! New seconds, new minutes every 60 seconds, new hours every 60 minutes, new days every 24hrs., so on and so forth. Similarly to me and school, it is never too late to realize that your heart is not fully set on one objective and rededicating it to wherever your mind is. Currently, I am working on Introducing Karl Anthony (the brand) to the world. My three main objectives this month are getting “” up and running, getting “The Karlster” apparels up for sell, and shooting the “Hollywood MILFs” video. So when you see me this April, ask me how close I am to fulfilling these goals.

Sincerely yours as always, _Karl A. Talla Demgueu