Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

– Eminem on “Till I Collapse

Sometimes, you gotta strong arm the game. I mean, you gotta REALLY muscle your way through every hurdle and every obstacle and everything going against you. There comes a point where you can’t sit back; instead, you have to step up, take charge, and fight your way through the BS. We all encounter it, and let’s face it…lots of people give in to the pressure. Well, I wanted to give in myself this past month; instead, I did the opposite. I got my ass back up and fought through it. This month wasn’t bad by any means, but it did require me to push harder. But yes, I’ll get to that in a minute.

What is the deals my peoples? I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve hit you with an Opinions Column. Perhaps it’s because the last edition was shortened…or maybeee it’s because there’s been so much that’s happened this past month that I’ve been aching for this day to come. Whatever it is, welcome to the February 2012 Opinions Column (almost typed 2011 there for a second, whoa). It feels good to be in the full swing of the new year. *Inhale!* For those that are new to the site, this is the place where I talk about anything and everything going on in my life. Consider it my personal journal, if you may. For those of you that’re regulars, welcome back (as always). And with that said, let’s talk about January!

So in December, I was featured on the Forces of Nature: World Tour mixtape. I originally planned to include a different song on there, but a last minute decision led me to use “Tell Me” instead. It’s all good because I really like that song too, but it wasn’t what I planned in my head. The song I DID wanna use was called “Do It 2 Me” (which was produced by Digital Desi and features my boy Jabi). Unfortunately it wasn’t completed in time so I wasn’t able to use it. So now, why wasn’t it completed on time you ask? I had to have the chorus re-recorded a few times and the vocals mixed down by three separate engineers. Not one, not two, but three. Coordinating all that was not easy, but I SOMEHOW managed to finish it. Most people would’ve been like whatever or just said screw it, but I pushed. Andddd, we eventually got it done. And even better? I submitted it for a film that’s now being premiered at Tampa’s third annual India International Film Festival.

So with my upcoming CD coming out later this year, I really need to follow up “Blow” with a strong second single. I still want to use this new song I recorded call “Free”, but that’s taking forever to get finalized too. So I’ve been throwing around the idea of using “One of a Kind” instead, which I’ve had recorded for awhile. It’s vintage Ajaxxx, it features an Indian beat, and I’m eager to drop it. However (and of course there’s a however LoL), getting this song finalized is also no joke. I’ve had three producers work on it so far, with a fourth one now doing his thing. I’m confident it’ll FINALLY get done, but damn. Songs shouldn’t drag on for this long. I should’ve given up by now…but again, ya’ gotta strong arm your way through the fog. When times get tough, get tougher!

With EACH song turning into its own adventure (and you can imagine how many songs I have recorded), it really takes its toll on you. But you know what? I go back to it, but I gotta persist. That means I have to stay mad focused and continue working towards the same goal. It SHOULD be easier, but hey…gotta play the cards you’re dealt.

So with all the drama of mixing, production, etc. going on, I’ve decided to learn. I’ve said this before, and I’ve even mixed down some of my own songs before so it’s not like I’m new to it. But, I wanna get better and start mixing on a regular basis. So between all 500 other things I have going on, I’ll add numero 501 to the list. This is really important in order for me to preserve my sanity.

Whenever I feel like I’m tired, I try to remind myself that I could do SO much more. Check what Jay-Z said about Kanye West: “He puts so much into everything, and he’s like, ‘You have to treat it like I treat it.’ It drives you crazy sometimes—like when you’ve put seventy-five versions of a snare on one song and he’s like, ‘No!’ and you’re like, ‘Come on, man,’” he says.

More? Okay…look what Royce da 5’9″ said about Diddy: “I went in there and wrote at least 40 verses. Diddy is really a huge perfectionist. He’s one of those guys that knows what he wants to hear, but he’s not the best at explaining what he wants. So he doesn’t really know it until he hears it. He had me write verse after verse and he picked different pieces. It was an interesting process and I’m thankful for that because it actually made me be a little more nit-picky and start rewriting my own stuff. I learned a lot from that process.”

And now check out this video by 50 Cent where he talks about the work ethic of Dre and Eminem:

Get More: Music News

Y’see what I mean? You can’t stop at the first draft or the second midown. You gotta keep workin! Strong arm your way through the game!

In terms of new music, I MUST talk about the Common Drake beef that’s been goin’ on (and I use the term beef loosely). Okay, before we start, I’m a huge Common fan. I’ve been listening to him for years, and I think he’s a dope emcee. He’s not my favorite rapper of all time or anything, but he’s got skills on the mic and he knows how to convey a message. Okay, so we got that, right? I’m a fan. Despite that, I think you’re crazy if you think Common came better than Drake on this battle. I’ve said this before, but Drake is ridiculously talented if you can get past all the singing. When he raps, he’s got krazy skills and lots of depth. Anyway, Comm’s verse was aight (Sweet was actually more entertaining to listen to) compared to Drake’s verse. I really feel that if you thought Comm came better than Drake on this, it’s because you were a fan from before. Again, so am I, but I’m able to separate the battle from that. Drake got busy and there’s no denying that.

And in case you need to catch up, here’s the back-and-forth in order of the diss tracks.

And moving onto something much lighter, I traveled to San Antonio this past month. It was a real refreshing feeling to get away from it all for a week and a half, especially when I’m surrounded by lots of drama. I had a chance to take in the sights, meet up with some old colleagues, and party it up too. Of course I worked lots, but you know I played lots too haha. I gotta admit it too, San Antonio’s a really culturally-rich city with a lot to admire. Between the Riverwalk, the pig racing we came across in a club, or the bull I saw in the street, it was an awesome place. I only wish I had some extra time to see the Alamo! Oh well, next time fa’ sho.

I can’t front…so far, 2012 has been good. Not great, but good. I didn’t get as much done as I would’ve liked, but again…I’m strong armin’ it. I’m fighting through the time constraints, the lazy collaborators, and the sleep that I so desperately need. I’m DETERMINED to get this new music heard. So guess what? This month, there’s gonna’ be more of that. No rest for me.

Anddddddd with that said, that’ll do it for me. Thank you as always for reading up on the site and hearing me out as I vent Lol. Til next time…stay up, stay safe, and hold ya’ head. Ajaxxx signin’ out…PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And oh yea, GO GIANTS!