Music, Writings and Art live from the twisted mind of Tokyo Cigar

Archive for December, 2010

The Triple Crown of Rap #1: CYCLOPS “When Inspiration Hits” ( produced by TOKYO CIGAR )

Well. Here goes the album. We dropped it on the one year anniversary of us dropping the Plexiglass Fountain album.  Enjoy. For kicks i also put up the artwork for it.  The Triple Crown of Rap has officially begun

Peep the DOPE review the Giant wrote about the album:

whengiantsmeet.com

Cyclops is back with ‘When Inspiration Hits’ and accompanying him thru this journey is the talented Tokyo Cigar on beats. I’ve always felt that Cyclops has that wintery Hip-Hop hoodie feel to it, soo much this time around that this album bleeds of the winter time when cut. Always touching on topics that impact all our lives and bringing the honesty and consciousness that we all need to have while trying to survive, it makes you think and know that there is more effort being poured into lyrics. If your new to both Cy and Tok welcome to good music and open that mind up, I know you’ll enjoy your stay the entire time. ‘When inspiration Hits’ is an album that gets better with each listen and you will end up discovering angles and sounds that you didn’t hear before.

This is yet another example of the growing quality in Hip-Hop that is being released weekly if not daily. Everything that these two create always seem to have another level that can be reached if you just open that mind a little more. Cinematic in sound and lyrics relevant to many this album touches different levels of thought, the beats give it that extra push and manifest a world of it’s own while sucking you into it. The total package includes guest Emcees that do their thing and add to Cyclops vision in a great way, always delivering the message while not getting lost in the passage. Stay tuned for the further completion of Tokyo Cigar’s Triple Crown of Rap as it has only begun with the excellent introductory album from Cyclops.”


THE TRIPLE CROWN OF RAP

One day it dawned on me that there was gonna be 3 albums i produced in their entirety dropping within a 3 month span. So i decided to make it an event.

In 2010 being strictly an artist is a thing of the past. The Internet gave heads a way to get the music in peoples hands directly and while i don’t plan on being a businessman ( Dude, i’m an ARTIST not a fucking executive ) I have always seen the value in taking initiative and working hard to get the songs to people. While i was at Red Emma’s in Baltimore yesterday i bumped into this cat that i gave my music to a couple of months back and he said that when he goes through depression or post traumatic stress he listens to my music to get him through. He told me that i really should keep going hard with pushing my music and that really hit me in the heart so much it was wild.

The first album dropping will be “When Inspiration Hits” by Cyclops. You all know that thats my dude from my group The Plexiglass Fountain. We were named “The #1 Free album of 2009” on Kevinnottingham.com for our album “Left of the Scenery” ( 2009 was a damn good year cause i was also named #5 on the top 10 producers of ’09 list ) and we also dropped a follow up album earlier this year  “Midnight Hindsight” The Cyclops album is what i consider a Magnum Opus type project. Epic in scope and concepts. I gave him very cinematic sounding beats that played out like a novel at the same time ( you have to listen to it to fully understand ) He came with lyrics that explored the inner workings of this thing called life to a crazy degree. Topics like Teen pregnancy, growing old, drug addiction and death share album space with vicious battle rhymes and form a very intense listening experience. The album features Tokyo Cigar, Notion, Czarina,The Sekond Element, Nasty Nyne and Verbz. The single “Sit back and Laugh” b/w “Cold Blooded” featuring Notion is out now.

“CoExist” is the next album dropping and that is what i would call an emotional masterpiece. Like “When Inspiration Hits” this album deals with life on another level. Highly personal but extremely easy to relate to. keb0 truly exorcises his soul on this album. Tackling relationship issues, self reflection, insanity, appreciation and more in a way that is strikingly serious but also intelligently humorous. The soundscapes i provided for this album are more designed to put people in an emotional trance. This album also has probably the SCARIEST beat i have ever made in my life, which became the song “Deja Vu” i singled this track out because on top of this beat being so creepy i actually find it physically uncomfortable to listen to but impossible to stop playing, keb0 spits on of the most visually twisted tales i ever heard. When you hear it you’ll know what i mean. The album features Kaville, Tokyo Cigar, HL and Amplified. Peep the first single “Stray Dog”

The last album “codename: DEVASTATOR”  is what i refer to as “My version of the Chronic” I started off rhyming. I will always love the art of spitting flames but i am a producer at heart. I rhyme through out this album but i wanted to make it half solo half compilation. It features Cyclops, keb0, Nanigan, Teddy Faley, Nasty Nyne and Mally rhyming. Czarina, Mal Moe and Gray Click also pop on the album on the singing tip. Lyrically it is my most honest work ever. The sort of album that if you hear it and meet me you would say “okay he is exactly who he says he is” Topics range from how i feel about music, Growing up traveling, women, life, working hard as well as good old fashioned IGNORANT battle rhymes. Every Guest on the album played their part magnificently and really brought their A game to the project. Production wise it is very musical but brutal at the same time.  This is an album that i always wanted to make musically and i don’t hold anything back on it. Check out the first single “Alley cats” b/w “Cinema Life” featuring Czarina

To all the heads out there that wanna support Please consider posting up the banner or Pic on your site/blog etc to help spread the word.

Videos, Shows and special limited edition packages coming soon for all these projects.

PEACE


Tokyo Cigar Thoughts: BELLY

BELLY

Hood classic. That movie that represented the hood so thoroughly it is revered by ghetto dwellers world wide for showing outsiders ( which I myself was until I moved to Springhill Lake and started seeing firsthand what the hood was about ) the daily operation like Guru and Primo. Hood classics tend to only vary in terms of location. Weather it’s Uptown New York’s gritty sidewalks underscoring “Juice” or the Brazilian trenches that framed the blood soaked saga of “City Of God” the background adds it own element to the story but regardless of slang or fashion senses the drama had it’s own undertones that were indiscriminate of area. To quote  Rakim “It aint where your from it’s where your at” Weather your particularly “at” is Far Rockaway Queens or Kingston Jamaica certain things remain the same. Slugs burn, drugs are married to problems and shit is REAL.

This movie centered around the character Tommy “Buns” Bundy ( No relation to Al ) from Queens New York ( played by the kid DMX ) and gave a glimpse into his day to day life. Nas also starred in the movie as Sincere, Tommy’s right hand man, but DMX was the undisputed star of the flick. He came off as the cat he rhymed about on record but with more money. Shit, dude had the JUMPOFF crib for sure. Stacks in stacks but still that grimy project cat that would yoke anybody up over a wayward glance.  The ultimate charismatic villain. The plot revolves around an outta town trip to sling dope fronted to them by the Jamaican Kinpin Lennox ( THIS DUDE IS CRAZY!!!! ) They get snitched on by envious local dealers and a police raid stops the music like a drunk cat bumping the DJ’s turntable at a packed house party.  The movie is overall a commentary on the glamorization of crime in Black communities. DMX represented the devil in the equation. Overly ambitious and ruthless to perfection. Nas represented the tortured soul. Drawn to the lifestyle he and Tommy have but realizing the fact success in that life still represents a universal loss. Things kind of loosen up structure wise towards the end  but the message is still subliminally sprinkled throughout the movie. Like the part where Tommy has an argument with Knowledge ( Played by Power from Wu tang’s camp. Speaking of Wu, Method Man plays a ghetto assassin in the flick too. SUUUUUUUUU ) one of the characters asks “What happened to Knowledge?” and Tommy responds “Fuck Knowledge. Roll up. I wanna get high” Very slick move Hype. I like that.

Hype Williams has a right to be considered the best music video director of all time. Seriously. Dude is a monster with his.  He created marvelous epics for most of the certified superstars in Hip hop and RnB. Stuff like “Put your hands where my eyes can see”, “The rain” and “Can it be all so simple” redefined videos forever. The cinematography was beyond belief and his videos played like mini movies. Hollywood was the next logical step for him. His work on this movie is fucking amazing. The club scene with the black light, the parts in Jamaica, hell, every frame of this movie is beautifully shot. It’s one of those types of films that was hard to look away from even for a second because you didn’t want to miss that next fly image that was guaranteed to pop up. Even the image of the snitch ( Played by dude that played Cain in Menace 2 Society ) popping up for the first time rocking a VERY yellow track suit, hair permed, eating a banana just stuck out because of how it looked. ( me, Stix and Troub used to say his line from that scene “I don’t like that shit. Don’t like that shit one bit” at random times for weeks after we saw it, straight laughing our ass off every time ) I’m not a film student I’m just a cat that knows what I like and believe me I like the way this movie was directed. This flick is the embodiment of the term visually stunning. Hype combined all his tricks for this and stepped it up even further. It’s like when Dre made the Chronic. It had elements of his style from NWA but he redefined and perfected it on that album.

Hood classics may not win Oscars but the effect that they have are just as strong for those that relate to them. My boy called me up today and told me a crazy thing that happened to him and he said that he felt like DMX in Belly. Which caused both of us to laugh because the flick still gets brought up in casual conversations on the regular. And that, boys and girls, is a TRUE HOOD CLASSIC.

Peace


THE TRUTH ABOUT CATS AND DOG’S

 

Remember that movie? Me neither. Just the title ( and Uma Thurman’s sexy ass ) Which perfectly combines both the titles of these songs in a clever way ( at least it’s clever to me…………..so…………..uhhhhhh………READ THE DAMN POST )

“Alley Cats” b/w “Cinema Life” is the first official single from the “codename: DEVASTATOR”  album. Both tracks are in a word, HEAVY. “Alley Cats” is a 70’s influenced face smacking joint. I went in extra hard with the rhymes. Everything on the track screams SMOOTH AGGRESSION and it’s one of my favorites on the album. “Cinema Life” is a track i did with Australia’s own Czarina. I made the beat ( No samples y’all ) and called it “Cinema Life” as  a working title to send to her. She wrote the concept around cinema and sent the track back to me and i was blown away that she took the title and came up with some crazy lyrics around it. I got the demo back and immediately went to work on my verse. I feel if enough people hear this song it can be a certified hit. It’s dope and accessible but with enough real artistry that keeps it interesting. Another highlight on the album for sure.

“Stray Dog” is the first single off the “CoExist” album with keb0. He hit me up and told me he wanted to do a follow up to the “12 Fingered” musician EP we did and we knocked it out the park. The single has one of the best piano loops i ever flipped and is a very emotional song. keb0 always blows me away with the lyrics but i swear this song took it to another level. Dude most def has a gift with words. One thing i really like about artist is when they speak about their life in a way that makes you feel like they are talking about you and this track ( and “invalid” off the “12 fingered musician” ) hits me like that.  I remember that i was depressed as fuck once and i listened to this song and the third verse basically served as my therapy and made me feel better. Response to the joint has been good so far. I guess other people are feeling the same way.

Peace