My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

We're putting YOU in the drivers seat!

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

Post Reply
User avatar
brrrse
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 am
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Contact:

My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by brrrse » Tue May 09, 2017 7:03 am

I'm 51 years old and I want to write for the current market. This means jumping off cliffs. I created this in Stagelight - I composed all but three of the loops, and then used Reaper to add my 2 vocal lines and mix. I over-distorted my voice because I didn't want to sound like Julie Andrews trying to rap. I don't have aspirations to perform in this genre - just write for it.

So did I fail gloriously? Personally, I feel I have a good start. What did I do right and what would you have done differently?

Thank you for the feedback.

Lyrics are posted on the soundcloud link but I'll also post them below the link a bit.

https://soundcloud.com/tasha-parker-gibbs/restless



For as long I remember
I’ve been on my own
The hard way or the highway
And I owned it all alone
No family to damn me
My bosses all canned me
The walls are closing in
And I'm restless

No fix is gonna fix me
No rush to get me by
I gotta find some action
My life is passin by
I want to be a major player
But I can’t make the team
Cant go on any longer
Watching others live the dream

I’m restless
But I don’t know what to do
I’m restless
But I don’t know what to do

No one beside me
up against the wall
your responsibility
I took the fall
From bench warmer to performer
I just need a start
I’m a mover and a shaker
And I’m restless

No fix is gonna fix me
Wont BE, no getting by
I gotta find some action
My life is passin by
I want to be a major player
But I can’t make the team
I can’t sit here any longer
Watching others live the dream

I’m restless
But I don’t know what to do
I’m restless
But I don’t know what to do

Its all wrong
Its only getting stronger
I don’t know if I can
Go on any longer
With the tries and the lies
And i’m never surprised
It’s like i’m stuck in a rut
And I'm restless

Try to beat the heat
But it’s only getting hotter
Drowning going down
Like i'm living under water
Didn't get it from my mother
cant blame it on my father
Its taking me down
Last time, I’m going under

I’m restless
But I don’t know what to do
I’m restless
But I don’t know what to do
Tasha Parker Gibbs - singer/songwriter/composer
http://www.briarrosemcdougal.com
https://briarrosemcdougal.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/tasha-parker-gibbs

The light shines on the worthy and unworthy equally.
Accept, don't expect.

User avatar
cassmcentee
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 2886
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:40 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by cassmcentee » Tue May 09, 2017 7:34 am

Hey Tasha,
Musically it's a good start but the vocals aren't going to cut it the way they sit right now.
Your voice dominates/muddies the song in the way you have the vocal mixed
Too much midrange and too much reverb
My suggestion, find someone in the Collab Corner to sing it for you
Someone who has Rap/Bounce vocal abilities and offer a 50/50 split
You will find that using a skilled Rapper makes the mixing easier
We get so wrapped up hearing our own voices that we tend to try to hide the honesty that needs to be conveyed to the audience.

The other option, if you want to remain the vocalist, is to import and compare a song that you are trying to emulate and match your vocal mix to it's
I like where you are headed with this! Keep It Up!
Sincerely,
Cass

User avatar
brrrse
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 am
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by brrrse » Tue May 09, 2017 7:46 am

Oh yes, as I said, I have no intentions of performing, and this is not mixed very much at all. I'm more interested in structure and writing - are my lyrics current enough - do they flow or am I ear-blind. Instrumention - did I get the instruments close.

Thank you so much for your comments, and I hear what you're talking about with the midrange. I appreciate your time!! :)

It will go to the collab forum once I know what I"m doin LOL This is my first ever attempt at anything like this :)
Tasha Parker Gibbs - singer/songwriter/composer
http://www.briarrosemcdougal.com
https://briarrosemcdougal.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/tasha-parker-gibbs

The light shines on the worthy and unworthy equally.
Accept, don't expect.

User avatar
cassmcentee
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 2886
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:40 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by cassmcentee » Tue May 09, 2017 8:54 am

Cool Tasha!
Hopefully you'll get some feedback from someone better associated with Rap!
I'm more of an engineering cat :D

User avatar
brrrse
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 am
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by brrrse » Tue May 09, 2017 9:14 am

Yes sir, don't worry, I"ll eventually get around to hitting you up for advice :) slow and steady step by step! Thanks for helping me see where it can go! that's important too :)
Tasha Parker Gibbs - singer/songwriter/composer
http://www.briarrosemcdougal.com
https://briarrosemcdougal.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/tasha-parker-gibbs

The light shines on the worthy and unworthy equally.
Accept, don't expect.

DavidS
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:04 am
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by DavidS » Tue May 09, 2017 9:48 am

Hi

First of all, I applaud you for attempting a new genre. I don't do hip hop, but listen to a ton of it via my teenage kids.

A few of my observations: The concept of "I'm Restless" is great. And you take off with some great metaphors such as sports teams, sitting on the sidelines vs. participating. But one thing I have noticed about this genre is that the lyrics usually have "cultural qualifiers" used in clever, even goofy ways. "I want to live life like the Kardashians", "I'm gonna slam it like LeBron", "Cruising in my Lambo", etc... Its often about the bling, the cash, the sex that I've got or that I want. In your case, lay out some signs of success that youth identifies with. Also, another thing I've noticed is a lot of rap and hip hop has self-deprecating or ironic humor . Your lyrics are a bit glum. "i'm gonna drown myself in Haagen Daas", I'm gonna find a bus I can jump in front of", "i'm so broke I can't even pay attention". Most rap has at least a few lines that make me grin. Rap is entertainment and wordplay; it can also be confessional and deal with feelings, but always coming from a cool place with attitude.

David Silverstone

User avatar
brrrse
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 am
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by brrrse » Tue May 09, 2017 9:56 am

David, thank you! That's some great feedback!! My kid is a classical guitarist who loves show tunes - no woofers in the house.... I tend to skirt the edges of hard lyrics, but I see where I can let loose a little more! Thanks again, I appreciate your time!!!

I laughed at the Haagan daas
Tasha Parker Gibbs - singer/songwriter/composer
http://www.briarrosemcdougal.com
https://briarrosemcdougal.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/tasha-parker-gibbs

The light shines on the worthy and unworthy equally.
Accept, don't expect.

User avatar
brrrse
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 am
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by brrrse » Wed May 10, 2017 1:47 am

Interesting thing about the distortion- I am new to all this, so I may be rediscovering the obvious - but....

I listened to my song so much that my brain actually filtered out the distortion on my vocals. I was actually surprised at one point, thinking wow..that sounds a lot more clear than they are saying. I knew the eyes could adapt and adjust, I just never really thought about my ears.

So I guess the biggest lesson I've learned from this exercise is I need to not listen to my stuff so much in the mixing/editing stage or I'll only hear what I want to hear. That's a good lesson to learn.
Tasha Parker Gibbs - singer/songwriter/composer
http://www.briarrosemcdougal.com
https://briarrosemcdougal.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/tasha-parker-gibbs

The light shines on the worthy and unworthy equally.
Accept, don't expect.

User avatar
annayarbrough
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 1223
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:18 pm
Gender: Female
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by annayarbrough » Wed May 10, 2017 8:11 am

Hey Tasha!
Congrats on trying something new - you're braver than I am.
Hip-hop is by no means my forte, but I did have a listen and have some thoughts!

Some things I really like:
  • The pad entry at the start - brings in tension right away
  • Love the shortness of the "I'm restless" line in the verses - brings a nice contrast to the narrative that comes before it
  • Love the 'space vs busy' in the choruses with the long/short lines - it gives the song space to breathe
  • I really like the vocal "ahhs" (etc) over the top. Cool sound.
  • I like the breakdown of the rhythm in the final choruses - brings some nice variation as it comes to a close
Have a couple of suggestions, but these are merely my two cents - like I said, Hip Hop isn't necessarily my thing! Someone more experienced in Hip Hop can give you more constructive feedback in terms of the genre, but these were just a couple of musical things that stood out to me:
  • I would maybe do the chorus just once when you hit it the first time - I think it would possibly give you a bit more impact that way, rather than doing the double that you do later on in the song. Just enough to give a taster and peak interest
  • I didn't over-analyze this, but it felt like there was quite a difference in terms of syllables between the first and second sets of verses. It starts of with great momentum - maybe loses just a little of this in the second verses due to fewer syllables. Not quite as driving as the first verses
  • You could possibly develop the bridge a little further to bring a more shocking 'contrast' - I'm sure this is a challenge in the genre, but I think it would possibly serve you well to have something that the listener doesn't expect at all!
  • Lastly, you could develop the outro so that it isn't quite as meandering (unless that's the style you're after!) I'd be interested in hearing an ad lib portion that touches on the 'I'm restless' theme but maybe isn't quite as repetitive in terms of material (I don't know whether I'm explaining that well at all! Ha)
Hope that helps in some way. I'm most definitely not an authority on the genre! Good luck with it - and keep us updated if you develop it further!

User avatar
brrrse
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 am
Location: Pacific Northwest USA
Contact:

Re: My first attempt at hip hop? Did I fail gloriously?

Post by brrrse » Wed May 10, 2017 11:39 am

annayarbrough:

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments!! I do appreciate your time! Song crafting is song crafting - so all advice from you guys at taxi is worth listening to :)

The things you listed you liked were checkpoints I had set to hit just from my experience with rap back in my high school days. I'm glad you heard them :)

The chorus 1x 1stx - I agree. That's a good suggestion.

I hear exactly what you mean in the difference in the verses. I think I spent more time crafting the first verse just because I wrote it from start to finish. More crafting on the verses is in the plan :)

A bridge is a great idea too, where I can put in some of those wikked drops and risers and cement grinders and police sirens (terms are descriptive not derogatory LOL) ... why hold back, right?

Yes, the outro - put a bow on it so to speak - I think it's real pretty - but it is more "meandering" than restless :)

I will keep updates here on it. It's a long term project I'm working on.
Tasha Parker Gibbs - singer/songwriter/composer
http://www.briarrosemcdougal.com
https://briarrosemcdougal.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/tasha-parker-gibbs

The light shines on the worthy and unworthy equally.
Accept, don't expect.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests