Posts Tagged ‘Cancer’

…and That’s All…….

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

People of a certain age will have been saddened by the death of Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch of the Beastie Boys, after a long battle with cancer.

Whilst the group has an enviable back catalogue, stayed ahead of the game by re-invention & diversification (Grand Royal record label & magazine to name a few), I think their true legacy has been making legitimate for white kids (often, but no way exclusively middle class) to like & listen to rap music.

Now, before anyone starts having a go or making race-based accusations, let’s not forget, there has been previous precedent; there has long been a phenomenon those in the music industry have tried to exploit which I call ‘The Elvis Effect’, that is to say finding white artists that can make or front music that is or originates in the black community (some now call it ‘Urban’ for the sake of political correctness, but you get the point).

I call, it the ‘Elvis Effect’ after the often repeated story of a record producer prior to finding Elvis looking for a ‘White guy that sings like a Negro’.

Regardless of the accuracy of this anecdote, from Elvis, to Eminem & beyond, the juxtaposition, combining ‘white marketability with black credibility’ has been seen by certain industry bods as a bit of a ‘holy grail’ & when it happens, can be hugely profitable. Indeed, Eminem was well aware of the ‘Elvis Effect, often making reference to it on his early singles & parodying it in his videos.

Now like Elvis, The Beastie Boys were actually quite talented, their change to a raucous, ‘frat-boy’ image proving to be a shrewd move (although many Volkswagen owners at the time would disagree) They themselves have inspired many artists, black as well as white, notably Jay-Z as well as Eminiem citing the group as touchstone.

I still remember hearing ‘Hold It Now (Hit It)’ and trying to get hold of a copy for ages, only to pick it up years later.

Whether the remaining members choose to continue as a unit or decide to call it a day out of respect for Adam, they can be assured the legacy will continue to be a wealth of inspiration for a long time.

Walkng on Planet C

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

As The Wife & I come to terms with recent events, I stumbled across the blog of one of my heros – Musician, composer, producer, Funk monster & part of the funk/disco behemoth that was CHIC, Mr Nile Rogers.

‘So what ?’, you may say.

Turns out he’s been battling a particularly aggressive form of cancer since late 2010 and has been blogging about it & the effect on his life in ‘Walking on Planet C’.

We aren’t having to deal with cancer (thankfully) & while don’t think I could make that decision to blog about it, I DO applaud him for taking the step to bring the issue out into the open and FULLY respect his decision to do so.

It has also helped to make my feelings more bearable – hopefully I can be more supportive of My Wife in the times to come……