"In Your Corner" by Revolution

"In Your Corner" by Revolution, a West Philadelphia native, is a very refreshing, positive and encouraging hip hop track focusing on loyalty, integrity and love, real love, the type of love that only comes from true loyalty and integrity.  Revolution is not only a skilled and artistic lyricist, he also endeavors to uplift his listeners through his music, other creative arts, and through cultivating friendships, evident in his latest track "In Your Corner."  Check out the laid-back feel-good video for the tune below:

Not just because I spent a good bit of my formative years growing up in West Philadelphia, I tend to really appreciate the hip hop that comes out of Philly, from Eve to The Roots to Cassidy and even Will Smith (his earlier stuff).  A good deal of philly hip hop always comes across genuine, authentic, community-driven, and Revolution's music fits this mold as well.

The song "In Your Corner" speaks of something I consider a rare and lost art.  Loyalty.  The ability to stand by a friend through right and wrong, ups and downs, thicks and thins.  An act lost in today's society due to a lost in overall integrity.  Getting flustered and lost in others' judgements of us, we tend to drop integrity, devalue the worth of our word, hold and give little trust, and often find ourselves feeling is if we have no one to call on, not realizing it's because in possessing no integrity and putting forth no loyalty, we in turn receive no loyalty and integrity from the ones around us.  A self perpetuating act that leaves trust, few and far in between.

Revolutions brings it back and informs us to take pride in loyalty, exercise it and allay any distrusts by simply letting your friend know straight-up that you are in their corner and willing to fight with them when they do not want to battle alone.  He drives these points hope with poetic glory throwing in lyrical gems such as:
  • "When you're running through the flames, I'll be there running too.  I'll meet you at the finish line, waiting right in front of you."
  • "To everybody special in your life, take time to let them know that you will never take flight.  You're still there whether they're wrong or they're right.  You're still up in their corner, you're along for the fight."
 Leave a comment on his youtube video, and stay in his corner by checking out his website at revolution-musik.com, and showing some loyalty!

My Misery by Ian Alistair Gosbee

My Misery by Canadian singer-songwriter Ian Alistair Gosbee is a bright, fun pop tune of his album "Life Gets in the Way," with hints of light 80's glam, and a catchy snap-your-fingers melody.  Having received a great deal of accolade in the Canadian market for his prolific songwriting, Gosbee showcases a great singing voice, a refreshing trait in today's deluge of untrained vocalists. 

The song touches on the complicated relationships, particularly the tendency for couples to slowly drift apart mentally or emotionally, eventually become jaded and ultimately miserable.  The often seemingly inevitable point where lovers stick together but want to part is almost a Catch-22 because they stay together due to a sort of compassion and understanding, yet want to leave for the very same reason.  This bitter yet ambivalent internal turmoil within each individual in the relationship is an insecurity that I believe can only truly be cured with a strong self acceptance by both parties, a situation where both parties are right, both parties win and where there are no mysteries.

West Virginia by Manteye

West Virginia by Canadian singer-songwriter Manteye, is an Alternative Rock song, possessing elements of Americana, about the simplicities of life back in West Virginia before the responsibilities and choices came and changed everything.  The song's refrain "There is something in the air" holds a nostalgic feel that hooks the listener. 

After taking a two decade hiatus from the music scene Manteye has returned with some intimate, honest material.  I feel all mainstreamers, yes, even Beiber, should consider following Manteye's footsteps and writing songs with more depth, honesty and meaning.  The song may still be mainstream and catchy, but the lyrics and feel should still not only have an emotional depth to them, but a meaning deeper than the surface rough and tumble.  Manteye does a good job of connect back to roots and impressing a message into his music.

Without Music by Playfio

Without Music by UK's Playfio Music Productions, is a very chill drum & bass / trip-hop production with strong musical qualities and poetic lyrics.  Wrapped in a soothing progression of chords, the trance track puts forth a deep message regarding the importance of music and it's integration in our emotions and our lives in general.  Rob Playford, founder of Plafio Music, wrote the song after being inspired by an article he wrote as part of a guest blog post for the Music Learning Workshop called, “How does music have the ability to stir long lost emotions and memories?"

Playfio touches on a subject that I find of great interest.  Music and it's relation to human emotions, growth and development.  Many musicians report listlessness and even depression if they haven't rehearsed in a while, and even non-musicians can attest to a certain tune or lyric triggering certain memories, happinesses, sadnesses.  There are a mass of studies linking music and neurology as well as music and psychology, as it is clear evolution has kept music in the world to help aid survival in some way.  In short, we need music and would be best off not knowing what life would be without it.

"Misery, Poverty and War" by Chris D and The Broken Machine

"Misery, Poverty and War" by Chris D and The Broken Machine is a bluesy-rock tune that taps into raw Occupy-esque anti-The Man sociopolitical sentiments with simple yet emotive lyrics.  A relatively new band of international talents, each band member brings to the table their separate trials and experiences through music.  The video showcases different clips embodying misery, poverty and war, making clear the fact that, though we try our hardest to secure things for ourselves, an unseen "They" continues to try and keep "Us" in those three deplorable states. 

"Look" by Anti

"Look" by Anti, an indie alternative-hip hop artist influenced by an array of genres, is a laid back and mellow production with a haunting and almost soothing chord progressions along with an almost hypnotic percussion line.  Hints of Mike Shinoda but with an aspect of raw realness come to mind.  It's poetry set to music.  ​In 2/13, Anti will release Blend, an EP featuring the singles "Look" and "Choices," for free!  Check out "Look" below.

"Look" tends to phase tangentially onto an eye-opening (no pun intended) topic I often find myself musing over.  How we tend to lose love for our partners or friends due to an increasing intolerance of their flaws.  The caveat being that we are indeed only seeing our own flaws in them and are in essence simply unable to tolerate ourselves.  They reflect to us each day our own weaknesses through their own, due to our intolerence.  It's a difficult concept to grasp let alone put into words; but it is a fundament for internal growth once understood. 

 The greatest human strength is love, i.e. forgiveness.  Thus, the greatest human weakness is the inability to forgive....whether it be to forgive one's self or others.  So when someone presents you with a flaw of theirs that you just can't get over or tolerate (i.e. forgive), then you are being presented with your greatest flaw...the inability to get over, tolerate, or forgive (i.e. love).  This inability is a weakness, an insecurity.  So when slapped in the face with your own deepest insecurity (again the inability to forgive others' flaws), you begin to feel a halo of negativity associated with that person and want to get away, break up, or spend less time with them, or even worse, hurt them to show some sort of superiority (essentially a misguided attempt to show strength through an act of weakness).

In a slightly confounding, yet succinct and poetic way, "Look" touches on this subject.  I would encourage not only the artist, but the reader, to look deeper into the concept and unfold it to a raw ingestable state in order to arm oneself and others with that knowledge, and to utilize it for further self-growth.

"Why Dare" by Ate A Clock

"Why Dare" by Ate A Clock, a professional musician (fiddle player/singer) and Singer/Songwriter from Melbourne Australia and living in Dublin Ireland, is a haunting melody with new-age sociopolitical lyrics yet a spacey Thom Yorke meets George Harrison feel.  The chord progressions played elegantly and classically on the guitar introduce a soothing feel, and you're whisked away throughout the tune.


The song asks "Why Dare?...Why care?"   A very simple yet appropriate life-question.  Why dare to dream?  Why dare to ask for that raise, to ask for her phone number, to sell those stocks...to get up each morning?  Dare.  It is always the risks in life that warrant the great rewards, as one is not living until they take risks....until they further from crawling to walking thus heightening their ability to explore.  If you can garner enough inner strength to take responsibility for the outcomes of your decisions, then you have nothing to fear.  Why dare?  Because without our backbone, we are not whole.  If we are not able to take-on the baton and run, we are simply standing still, we are not living.