Dev's Vids

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

My 10 favorite albums

Okay, so I already explained what I spend the majority of my time doing; drawing buildings that eventually become reality. Cool. What I didn't mention is what I listen to on the daily when I do this, and other things. The following, in no particular order, are my top 10 favorite bodies of music:

MF DOOM - Madvillany



Outkast - Aquemeni



Outkast - ATLiens



Mos Def & Talib Kwali - Blackstar



Wu Tang Clan - 36 Chambers



Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele



Busta Rhymes - Extinction Level Event



Kendrick Lamar - Section80



Danny Brown - The Hybrid



Daft Punk - Homework


Of course there's other stuff I love to listen to. But a day of this collection is a pretty good one. Honorable mentions because I swap em in and out sometimes:

Radiohead - Kid A


Wiz Khalifa - Kush and Orange Juice


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"What is your desire?"

I wish the homie J.O.T.B would release this damned song lolololol wtf it haunts me.

For the first time, I'm looking at music as less therapeutic, and more from a business stance...you know, generating revenue and the like. I underestimated many aspects of what they consider "The Industry" as a whole. Hollyhood, the mom of Pittsburgh rap, put me on to this notion of wishing things into existence...so what do I want?

I see artists with flashy shit and I think, like many people, that shit is dope...but a part of me wonders if I'll get bored of it...sort of like a ratio of wealth to happiness.

I think I'd like to work on side projects of all kinds! I don't want the money to be flashy per say, but I want it to affect changes I WANT. I'd like to finance my game, I'd like to buy property and do renovation projects, I'm really into farming and renewable energy sources, so I'd dabble in that...and then there's weed (lololololol). Maybe get into movies, shows of some sort...you know, really branch out.

There is something else I wanna do...but it's a secret. People would just get in my way if I revealed it anyway, because that's what people do, intervene. I cannot afford that.

It's not like I wanna give the money away, that's wasteful. But I wanna take the amounts I would spend on nonsensical shit, and contribute to what I perceive as gaps in society...I can't save everybody, but what I can do is spark systematic change with rapper wealth. I have very specific plans for the future as a whole. I don't wanna look at it helplessly, I wanna take hold of the brush and paint my own picture. I'm no Van Gogh, but I think it'd be amazing.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Disability

In 2017, I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia, after a series of...attacks, if you will, occurred from 2015 to the beginning of 2016.

If I was to accurately explain this...I suffer from what people refer to as audio hallucinations(paranoid schizophrenia)...I hear things that aren't really happening. It starts off as something small like people I may personally know monitoring my every movement, and expands to celebrities, then breaks reality by bringing into consideration non-corporeal entities like cartoon characters.

They aren't my friends. They aren't my allies. They don't have anything positive set out for me, and kind of feed into my self destructive tenancies. It's affected every single thing I attempt to do.

I've heard the voices of everyone I've ever looked up to, everyone of relevance, everyone of importance, talk to me and about me in condemnation. It's affected my belief in God, self, and others. It makes simple tasks difficult by continuously distracting and attempting to re-program me, . It feeds into moments of self doubt, and multiplies the feeling, bringing me towards suicide, a thing I don't want, but the voices encourage. Attempting to do things means to become successful at said task, I have to defeat myself. I am literally as of this point my own worst enemy.

On the medication provided, the voices are subdued. The problem is that with it, I feel hollowed out, left with my own mind intact, devoid of emotion. Nothing feels right. I'm stuck with questions I can't answer, feelings I cannot convey.

So I don't know what to say...if I ever have an episode, and you witness it, I deeply apologize. This is hyper embarrassing and I'm dealing with it in my own way, but this is gonna haunt me for the rest of my life.

Music is just how I deal with it I guess. Music is how I deal with my faults, my desires, my mistakes. You may not think much of it, but it literally keeps my world in tact. I won't let it fall apart again.

Influences

Off the top of my head (not really, copied from my Looperman profile lol) , the following are my musical influences:

1) Wu Tang Clan (How are they not on everyone's list??? TF?)



2) Busta Rhymes ( Wild energy, excellent career growth, amazing cuts take your pick)



3) Missy Elliot (THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FEMALE MC TO DATE. Unfuckwithable.)



4) Eminem (Slim Shady and Marshal Mathers albums were amazing. Aged kinda bad, but always had a deep respect for him and his work.)



5) 50 Cent (Get Rich or Die Tryin was something to ride to for a long time. Didn't connect with allot of themes until I was older.)



6) Radiohead (When I stopped listening to rap for awhile, I stumbled onto these guys...maybe like around middle school? The mellowness, exploration of emotion beyond what was promoted at the time...they just matched the vibe I was going through. My favorite band!




7) Most Def and Talib Kwali (Blackstar) I was in my 20s when I first heard this. I was at a weird kind of transition in life, and these guys painted a picture I was a part of. Blackness and self-realization were consistent themes for me around this time. Self discovery, if you will.


8) MF DOOM The Myth, the legend! Another artist I discovered in my 20s. My favorite MC haha. Was inspired by his self-production! Despite the odds being against him and having a tragic background, he became quite the prolific artist.




9) Outkast - I nodded my head to Rosa Parks like everyone else did, but once again, it wasn't until my 20s that I comprehended allot of themes that occurred between Aquemeni and ATLiens. The re-occurring theme of blackness and where I fit in the grand scheme of life was tackled while bumping these guys.



10) Wiz Khalifa - This is a long ass story, but basically he demonstrated to me the power of music outside of my own circumstances, and how music affects crowds...the masses. He also serves as a bridge between older and newer styled music. He made pursuing music something not to be ashamed of, because he showed me that artists can make a difference through sheer will. Oh, and weed, lol.



They aren't in order, and are mostly based off of where I was in life when I first heard their music. The music these people make have been the backdrop to some life changing decisions I've made over the years. Of  course there are other artists, but these ones affected my life directly.

Irregardless, they mean quite a bit to me. I dunno if I sound like any of them, but they greatly influenced me.

Monday, February 19, 2018

What kind of artist are you?

So I'm about a week out from hitting up SOMA studio out in Philly with JC and EJ, and L after L comes up out of nowhere, blindsiding tf out of me. The car that I got last year in Jul needs a new motor/engine, rent's going up, and bills are due. Fuckfuckfuckfuck. Whatever, I'll make a way, what choice do I have?

This thought keeps bothering me thinking about the music I've written recently; what if people take me way too literal? What kind of artist am I supposed to display myself as? Who am I, even?

I dunno if "turn-up" describes me at all...I mean I'm depressed af. It takes considerable effort/weed to even have be in an optimistic mindset. The sober me is how I often find myself, so the energy of my music is super up and down...I almost come off as manic.

Niggas in the hood think of me as the nerd nigga in this video lol. 


Am I a "wierdo" rapper? I think I may get shuffled into this category because its just too much of a task to dissect me or whatever I'm going through. I'm okay with this; makes things simpler for everyone, and would, in a way, give me more of a range of expression.


My favorite Tyler song. Bars!


"The Drake effect" - RnB? You wanna sing? When I write my music I always envisioned other people...singing. But I can barely move a beat, much less network with artists to see this happen...don't think the interest is there, so I just been doin it myself! I get really self-conscious about this, and sometimes, this by itself makes me wanna stop because I dunno how I come off.

I'm not that cool tho lol


The "Gangsta/Trap" rapper - Nononononononono. Non. Nah. Listen, I rap about things that have occured in real time, but I dunno if I qualify as a gangsta nigga. My mentality towards group activities is...well, the loner. Doing gangsta ass shit requires normally a number of niggas on your side ready to do some gangsta shit with you...and ultimately, be prepared to sit in a little box with you. One may argue I live amongst the shit, but that doesn't mean I'm in it. I'm just a guy raising my family trynna get out of the projects. I'm not proud about this, and just vent about this shit through my music.

This is dope, but this isn't me. 212121 lol


"That real shit" rapper - I shy away from this too because people expect you to be transparent. I don't know if I really wanna be judged as some holier than thou street teacher. Seems redundant even thinking about it, really. I am a contrarian; I'm just as capable of doing uplifting shit as I am doing obnoxious, or even horrible things. Trying to hold me to this stance may just disappoint the fuck out of you.

I dunno if I have enough honor to be this. So much responsibility!


So I don't know. I just go through shit, hear a beat/make a beat, catch a vibe, and reflect what I feel. You will not always agree. You won't always care, but this is 100% truth. Take from it what you will.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rinse, Wash, Repeat

One of my bigger fears is the repeated failures causing me to reset again. How do you take an L and not change? Some of the shit I reflected on before deleting my older posts was a combination of resignation and embarrassment.

One: This friggin game I was working on fell apart again...well, teamwise. My man Joey is still on deck but without a character artist and a pixel artist (*cough* a fuckin budget because shared revenue sales for labor contracts DO NOT WORK) I'm dead in the water again. Unsure of where to go regarding that, but I really don't wanna give up on it. Trying to look out for a scenario where maybe I can get a comic series going out of the story.

Two: I've been taking some financial Ls lately. No bread = no movements. So I was dead in the water for awhile just making beats and doing my daily routine. Fortunately, the current situation with these two guys help out. Lemmie tell you about this rq hahah!

 *Listen to this on loop*


So December came and the show was the 29th (Thank you DJ Goodnight for showing me love with an interview and a show slot), but things took an odd turn.

The Interview




Le venue. Down the steps.


The venue was in Oakland, but it was in the cut, so you had to get down these steps and into the show...before the impending snowstorm. So the people in there were basically the crowd...uninterested, somewhat sober, somewhat mixed crowd distracted in mostly sports conversation (God damn I wasn't supposed to watch but wtf is with that Steelers/Patriots call? Bitch ass niggas, that was a burgh win -_-). Fk you Tom Brady, you amazing fk you.

I get in with my people that came with me, coupled up just there to show some support and maybe get out the house. I appreciated that allot. I get to the DJ...but some one else was workin the front. DJ Goodnight has another show, and dips roughly 6 minutes after we spoke, so his man's was on the one's and two's. Ok, roll with the punches.

We chop it up real quick and I get to the bar...no I didn't get sloppy or anything, just super casual...I mean I'm rappin in a bar, so I kind of feel like an ass without a drink in my hand.

I did these two songs:




One of the speakers were blown, so the sound reception was awkward af. The mic squealed over and over on my music. I was distracted...which led to dejection.

Then, while on stage, this odd thought occurred to me; "Why the fuck am I even doing this shit anymore?" I'm doin the lyrics but my mind is elsewhere. The songs end, I get off akwardly, shaken. The claps and reception felt forced. It felt like, "Yeah I like the songs, but I'm here to turn up or do my own thing basically.", wtf is this?

The drinking commences. More rappers rap, vibe in the room unchanged despite the switch-up to turn up artists...until the next odd turn, the strippers. It's like we were all just performing for each other until they came in the room. I had no clue strippers were gonna be here. Off guard af.

*Loop*


Now, your in a bar, drinking, not really in the greatest mood, and your company is coupled up so you have to witness the mushy shit and kinda stew in your now, newly forming, third wheel designation. Then half nekkid women pop up like, HUZZAH!

I'm, not gonna describe them too deep, but they came as a team of an amazingly built young woman and a petite version of the first. It was an odd, yet easy on the eyes kinda contrast, but now I'm in this situation to where things get financial.

Where there is strippers, money will be thrown. The money I made off the show went right into throwing it in the air like fuck it. A whole $40. Lmao I gotta laugh at my broke ass one time.

But she was feelin me, so I got some freebies for the rest of the night basically. I threw some more money at one point and the smaller one got aggressive *BWAHAH* because she didn't really have my attention. Nothin personal, pheromones linked up rq or something, because it was like even though she was doing her job, she kept coming over. I think my homie had something to do with that, cause him and his girl were throwin bills too. I must have looked depressed af hahah but she showed love, and I appreciated it.

Here I am, knowing I should be putting this shit back into this music and I'm here frontin with a room full of people probably doing the same. My head is elsewhere, and the momentary activity of watching nekkid women do tricks looses it's luster. Now I'm hot at myself because I felt like my performance and the sound presentation was fucked up, but I didn't have the vibe that matched this kind of venue? I dunno, I'm confused reflecting on it. Lost some weed. gave some weed away. 

*Loop*



So by the end of the night, the snow has touched down and we have to drive through this shit. I walk outside and witness this younger lady being gripped up, and felt some type way about it. I walked over, kinda unsteadily due to the snow, and asked if she was okay...which pissed ol dude off doing the vice gripping.

We get into a verbal confrontation that starts edging towards a fight. We about to look like two drunk assholes tusslin in the snow until my homie steps in and breaks the situation up. We walk back to the car and try and cool off with a blunt that got lost somewhere, when my mans steps out the car because he claims he dropped something and needed to go back. In hindsight, he went back and got into a bit of a scrap himself on the steps on some cause and effect kinda shit, but came out unscathed and got in the whip.

They laughing bout the situation but I'm hot for so many reasons now. I perform and feel like I suck. I earn nothing because people that said they'd buy tickets didn't and left me with $40 that went up in the air to good looking deception. I tried to do the right thing and intervene in a situation that looked like a woman was about to get Iked when they were just horny and being playful with each other in a was she was already familiar with, so I look like a dick that nearly rumbles for no reason. I'm driving slow af from Oakland to Northside, just stewing in failure. "Why am I doing this?", on repeat. "I'm fuckin tired of this shit. I'm tired of loosing like this. I'm tired of not making any real bread regarding this rap shit."


*Loop*




So I get home, my mind made up. I'm not rappin anymore. I'm done. I spend the next couple days kind of in a funk, doing my normal routine, just feeling enslaved by it. It's like a world without color. Everything is slow, boring af, and uninteresting. I feel like I got this big ass L on my forehead so I'm just checking out funny memes an shit, trying to get a good laugh.

 Something tells me to check my emails, just to clean them out, when I notice this one that mentions Looperman. Now I really like this site and utilize it to build on my music, as I'll pull stuff from the site to assist with my production. You know, samples you can commercially use and whatnot. So I click on it, paying special attention.

This guy by the name of JC hits me up, showin me love over the Inhale/Exhale track that he heard on the site, and was interested in working together. The love shown in contrast to the dejection felt over the past couple days confused me, so I just said fuck it and tried not to think about it. Day two comes and I feel like a dick, so I reply; I mean, I'm really just in my feelings, so I don't have to really put that on anyone. Besides, Looperman got me the most listens to my music, and actual feedback on my production and music in general. I appreciate people who use that site. Feels more personal.

*Loop*

 

So I reply and thank him, because it cheered me up abit, and exchanged information with him. What I didn't expect was the phone call that evening, which led to a conference call with another guy by the name of EJ. A pair of friends interested in the music industry, looking for artists to work with. They wanted to work with me; I don't mean like collab on a beat, I mean like try and form an entire business plan. Damn, never thought enough of my own music to expect that kind of conversation. My state of confusion continues. 

Here I was, ready to quit and just do...I dunno, some normal nigga shit in life...whatever that is, when two people approach me based on my music and present a mutually beneficial opportunity to attempt to make some bread. Basically, progress.

Short end of the stick from that point on is that JC does production/sound engineering, EJ does marketing. We all went in on some recording time in Philly, and I'm driving out there the 24th. 

Do I expect my life to magically change overnight? Nah. But I damned sure ain't think rap was gonna move me in one direction or another. A mountain of Ls fails to accurately portray how much you can get defeated before you see some kind of progress. I don't know what's gonna happen, but I guess as things stand I'm just gonna keep working on music to record out there and see what happens. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Hi

I look at this wireless keyboard and draw a straight-up blank; I don't know what to say. I'm just gonna type and whatever comes out...well hey, that's what you get.

I would like to think of myself as a hiphop artist, but my day-job is in structural design, hence the moniker, Dev Structures. I've been drawing the plans for buildings being built all over the US and even some outside of such. When I die, there will be beyond the shadow of a doubt evidence of my existence...but I'm not the most enthusiastic about it.

In all honesty I thought my life should mean more then coming in to work bum-fuck ass early, getting hopped up on coffee to function, and aimlessly drawing shit I won't more than likely see finished, or afford to live in...pretty frustrating at times.

More than anything I would like to be recognized for my musical contributions and maybe doing some projects I have a heart for...maybe stuff centered in where I live or things for my community. I have some releases that will be coming up in the next coming weeks.

I work predominantly on my own production in FL studio 12 with the help of Looperman for my pads and synths to start off. I can make beats from scratch, but really enjoy the community of the site and the interesting sounds made available.

No, I am not a cheerful person. I go back and forth between blind optimism and the world falling on my head. This kind of reflects in my music. I don't feel the need to censor, nor do I feel like it's my job to warn you. Not everything I make will make you feel good. Hey if Radiohead made a career off of it, I think I can afford little honesty in my music.

I don't know who I am writing this for, much less who has the time to care, but thank you for being here. Hopefully between the end of this and the next time I write something, I'll have more to say.


My Soundcloud