Joe and I just got back from Germany, where we went to the Echo Awards (the German Grammys), and did a bunch of press for our upcoming Facebook video game, called RECHARGE. Good to see our friends and team out there, and great to hang with the awesome Til Schweiger, who has been a great supporter of LP.
I tried a little German on stage, which was fun. I don’t actually speak German, but people tell me that, for those who speak English, German is one of the “easier” languages to learn because there are a lot of similarities in sentence structure, etc. I’m not so sure about that…I had to practice the hell out of that speech in order to make it sound anything like German.
For those interested in our upcoming game, it’s called RECHARGE. It’s still in development, and we’re making improvements all the time. But we hope to have it ready by the middle of the year, maybe late summer. It all depends on how the testing goes, and how long it takes to handle all the challenges and changes presented in testing. A big thank you to everyone who is testing the game and telling us what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s not working.
In other news, how dope is that new Schoolboy Q song?
Joe, Dave, and I were hanging out today at Joe’s house. Joe said earlier this week, a song from the mid-90s came on the radio–a song that he remembered as being very energetic and heavy. But as he listened to it, he realized to really wasn’t that big-sounding by today’s standards.
I / we talked about how today, the easy-access to great sounding music software, when coupled with the University of YouTube, allows musicians of all levels to get big, amazing sounds.
It made me think of this KillSonik track that just came out. I feel like nothing sounded this big and nasty ten years ago…
There was so much good music this year! Lots of exciting stuff from indie and major label artists, from “throwback-analogue-made-new” songs to “how-the-hell-did-they-make-that-sound?!?” songs. There were a bunch of great tracks that came directly from artists, and weren’t available in the major music libraries (special mention to A$AP Rocky’s “1 Train”).
Most of the songs on this year’s list come from albums that are also great, so if you like a song and haven’t heard the whole album, I recommend checking it out.
If you want to check me out on Spotify and follow my playlists throughout the year, I’m at m_shinoda. Also, shout out to the fans on Spotify who sent me Top 40 tracks, with messages like “Mike, have you heard this? You should check it out!” Way to keep me in the loop, guys.
Anyway, here at the 12 best songs of the year:
NOTE: I added a song, because it’s awesome! 13!
EDIT: I think I accidentally deleted this playlist. Oh well. I’m here on Spotify, and I have lots of other playlists for you to listen to: m_shinoda
Here’s a quick little barrage of stuff I’ve been into lately. First, a shout out to everyone affected by hurricane Sandy–Music for Relief is partnering with International Medical Corps to support mobile medical units in Haiti and Save the Children to support Child Friendly Spaces in the U.S. Donate here.
Moving on; I wasn’t going to blog about any of the following things individually, but as they added up, I thought I’d share them with you, in case you missed some or all of them.
Thanks to my buddy Tal for sending me this link. A great clip for all the experts and haters on the internet. Video / song by SKisM.
Kendrick Lamar’s “good kid m.A.A.d city” album just came out, and I’ve got it on repeat. With that said, this track was just made and released (not on the album), reportedly as a celebration that the album has been selling well and getting great reviews. Shout out to Kendrick and team.
Lastly (while you’re listening to that) check out these images from the new show coming up at Lazarides. I know I just blogged about their last show, but this new show is the kind of star-studded affair that makes me mad I’m not going to be in London to see it. JR, Conor Harrington, Micallef, Kelsey Brookes, and Banksy, among others:
I first met STYLES OF BEYOND (S.O.B.) in the late ’90s, rapping at parties and with friends in the San Fernando Valley, north of L.A. Years later, I featured them on my Fort Minor album, on songs like Remember The Name and Believe Me.
After we wrapped up the touring for FM, the guys were signed to Linkin Park’s imprint Machine Shop Records. Above all, I believed in these guys, and I loved the music they made. Shortly thereafter, we began putting the finishing touches on an amazing album, Reseda Beach. Aside from the music they self-produced, we had tracks from J. Dilla and Scoop Deville, and even a super random cameo appearance by Michael Buble (which didn’t make album, but was an amazing experiment).
It was a very exciting time–I always felt like the album they put together showcased exactly what set this group apart from other rap collectives: their knack for setting a tone and vibe, their unique sense of humor, and their classic-sounding style.
As I mentioned HERE a while back, we had every intention of releasing the S.O.B. album on our imprint label, but we ran into roadblocks. When things got impossible, Styles Of Beyond split up, and decided to pursue separate interests. It was a terrible time, especially for them, but also for me–we had all put so much work and hope into this project, and it seemed that it might all go straight down the toilet.
But recently, thanks to persistent interest from fans, Ryu, Tak, Cheapshot, Skully, and some mutual friends decided to put out the album that we all put so much work into.
I’ve always been a big fan of this album, and I’m glad you’re all going to be able to hear it. Here’s one of my favorite tracks off the record, The Pirate Song:
So please support the guys, check this out, and spread the word. They’ve got a bundle that comes with a t-shirt, and another bundle that comes with a second CD (including many of the other tracks we recorded while making the album, featuring Bishop Lamont, Scoop Deville, Apathy, Celph Titled, and some guy named Mike Shinoda).
Get the album HERE
New track: Joey BadA$$, 2012:
The sample. I believe I was in the studio when they cut vocals to this song, in Skully’s garage in the valley: Styles Of Beyond, 1998.
Shout out to Broke Mogul for the heads up on this track…
The Raid is coming to theaters soon. Almost all of the music is instrumental–doing anything with vocals seemed to take away from the movie. I think it ended up being 50+ minutes of score.
But at the end of the film, I found room for two songs with vocals. I didn’t want to do sing or rap. I decided to call on some friends.