Some videos that got my attention somewhat recently

I’ve been doing my best to check out a few things when I have some downtime especially after multiple long days at work. I have to stay sane even with the state of the world and the negative news or opinions pop up.

Benjamin Clementine’s music:

If you follow my Iridium Eye blog, you might recognize this name from my last Top 7. He’s a recent musical discovery who just astounded me with his talent, musicality, and has a very unique voice. I know I’m a sucker for experimental music and avant-garde stuff, so Benjamin Clementine’s music really moved me. Here’s the video for his song “London”.

Social Isolation Match Pt. II: Chuck Mambo Vs. Eddie Dennis

I’m liking how this is becoming a thing with the guys in Escaping the Midcard. Some of you may have seen the first video with Chuck Mambo and TK Cooper, but this one involves the former taking on Welsh wrestler Eddie Dennis in this hilarious match. This stuff is hilarious and they take it over the top with guitars, cats, and weed whackers. The editing was superb and they looked like they had so much fun having a “wrestling match” despite being in their homes in England and Wales.

“Roses are Red” by The Mac Band ft. The McCampbell Brothers

While I would be too young to know about this song, I admit to being a sucker for new jack swing R&B. Hey, I’m from the 90s, so I definitely remember hearing some of that stuff when I was little. Yes, I do admit that the chorus is based on one of the cheesiest rhymes, but dang it, these guys just sell that emotion. It feels romantic and not sleazy like a ton of modern music. I was even pleasantly surprised to see some class with how everyone was dressed in the video despite the dated videography and awkward dancing at points. I’m not sure if this song is still a guilty pleasure or bordering on me liking this unironically. Oh, wait. Things have been contradictory so far by putting an avant-garde singer and a social distancing wrestling match in the same article. Who am I to judge?

Stevie Wonder Isolated Vocals

I know this song and I’m sure most of you have heard “Sir Duke” at some point in your lives. One day, my mom of all people messaged me this video. Hearing the isolated vocals just blew my mind. This was done in one take which I didn’t realize. I’m starting to appreciate older music more often. Remember when singers actually recorded their vocals without the “safety net” of Auto-Tune? Pepperidge Farm remembers! Am I part of the last generation of people who actually remembers popular music being made without that technology? Wow, I must be getting old…

The Lion King Lie:

Special thanks to Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews for showing me this video. I don’t want to repeat myself given my tendency to bash this Disney movie for ripping off that 60s anime or the problematic cultural appropriation and bigoted crap associated with Mickey Mouse’s “creation” (I used that term loosely), but there were things I didn’t even know about or realize like some of the quotes from Disney’s side of things which only fuels my anger towards them. Also, I feel stupid for not realizing the similarities between Gargoyle G. Warthog’s “ashamed” dialogue and part of Pumbaa’s lyrics to “Hakuna Matata”. Definitely interesting even though there is some Disney bias there. However, I was pleasantly surprised that even Lion King fans in a bunch of the comments are FINALLY admitting that this movie literally wouldn’t exist without Kimba. That would’ve never happened years ago.

Hope you’re doing alright.

Ospreyshire Origins: Cameroonian Originality March

Lyrics:

Attention!

[French]
Nous avons des vautours de la culture a venir!
Notre musique est attaquee!
Marche en avant!
Oui, monsieur!

Barnwell, Baranquilla, Gary, Portsmouth
We’re coming for all of you
Your status as godfathers, hip shakers, kings, and misdemeanors
Have nothing on us
We’ll keep marching on (X2)

[French]
Nous devon securiser le berceau de nos ancetres (de nos ancetres) [X4]

What do we want? (Our original tunes!)
When do we want them? (Right now!)
(X4)


Before I get to talking about this song and what inspired me, I would like to give major props to my Cameroonian blogger friend Dr. Y from Afrolegends. He’s been awesome in making high quality posts for over a decade about African history, culture, news, trivia, proverbs, and then some. Dr. Y was able to educate me about some of the musicians from his home country and even gave me some nuggets about plagiarism cases involving their musicians.

Not going to lie, Cameroon has some great artists. I got into Mr. Leo’s music last year, been listening to some Salatiel (I knew who he was before he was a part of THAT companion soundtrack), and more recently Tim & Foty who are part of the topic of this song. I also wanted the song to have a balance between French and English lyrics to represent unity in that country given some of the issues going on with those communities based on those languages. There have been four high profile songs straight out of this Central African nation. Prepare your ears because some of these songs are going to sound familiar to you.

Exhibit A: “Zamina mina (ZangalĂ©wa)” by Golden Sounds

Exhibit B: “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango

Exhibit C: “Hot Koki” by Andre-Marie Tala

Exhibit D: “Douala by Night” by JM Tim and Foty

Doesn’t Cameroon have a lively music scene? Did you also think some of those songs sounded familiar? It would certainly be a shame if a Colombian and some Americans were to steal them.

Yes, that happened and I’m going to correlate each rip-off song to their respective originals.

Shakira stole from Golden Sounds:

Michael Jackson stole from Manu Dipango:

James Brown stole from Andre-Marie Tala:

Missy Elliott, Method Man and Redman stole from Tim & Foty:

All of this came from one country. Some of your favorite artists are musical robbers, so deal with it. This blew my mind and I have Dr. Y to thank when it came to the Shakira and James Brown issues before discovering the rest on my own. Unbelievable, and Cameroon deserves so much better and not just because of some of their current issues right now.

Besides that, I wanted that marching vibe like the “Zangelewa” song, but completely different chords and instrumentation with the Omnichord with hand percussion. This is homage and at least I acknowledge MY inspirations.

The Cameroonian flag picture is from Flags of the World.

Music Spotlight: “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)” by Joe Tex

Recently, I’ve been having a kick of listening to classic R&B, soul, and blues. There were so many artists that I have ignored after listening to so much music that was released when I was alive. After researching music plagiarism and how so many forms of Black music were stolen and appropriated without credit (contrary to semi-popular belief, I’m not just talking about “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” or the documentary The Lion’s Share). I underestimated how bad it was in America, but that’s a story for another time.

This is a ballad from the singer Joe Tex which dates back to 1966 called “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)”. I had never heard of Joe Tex or his music until just a few weeks ago, and this was the first song I heard from him. I stumbled across it when I researched how rock, blues, soul, and R&B were stolen en masse and this song was mentioned. This sound is haunting with the waltz time, orchestration, and Tex’s mournful vocals. The part of the song that really hit me hard was the second verse. Here are the lyrics that stood out to me:

“I’ve been pushed around
I’ve been lost and found
I’ve been given til sundown
To get out of town
I’ve been taken outside
And I’ve been brutalized
And I’ve had to always be the one to smile and apologize”

WOW! Those are tremendous words and it shows how so many musicians in multiple genres are such sheltered cowards while also being extremely relatable even though this came out decades before I was born. The sundown line is brutal since he’s clearly talking about sundown towns. Those were towns where Black people had to leave before night lest they be slaughtered by the white population during the Jim Crow era. The line that really hit me in the feels was the last one in that quote. I have a bad habit of apologizing too much and there were times where I was coerced to do so even when I didn’t do anything wrong. I HATE being treated like the bad guy when others are exalted for worse things! A song like that could ONLY be written by someone like him, but even I could relate to those lyrics even if it’s not entirely for the exact same reasons. How did I not know about Joe Tex or his music until now?

I hope you enjoy the song.