Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rappers Asking for Help

On our first meeting, we waited for a bit until we could see Quincy. Later, he told me that it was because he was working with a VERY high-profile rapper (for some reason I'm feeling I shouldn't mention his name) who is one of many rappers coming to him for help. The rap community is going through a growth stage that's probably happened in every genre where they feel the urge to get better at the music they're providing. They've been sharing that they're convinced they can make money but they want Quincy to help them raise the bar musically! And he's doing it. He's helping them see the importance of learning their musical language and studying their craft. His words are particular powerful with the rap community especially considering the important role he played in bringing rap music into the mainstream.

Quincy is a natural-born mentor and he has the creative horsepower to back up what he says. Most people don't know that he studied music very seriously and was mentored by some of the best musicians ever. Besides learning from the likes of Count Basie, Clark Terry, Duke Ellington, and Lionel Hampton, he studied arranging and composition with Nadia Boulange in Paris—she was the conductor/arranger/composer that taught Stravinsky, Aaron, Copeland, and many more iconic traditional musicians. He studied with her multiple times a week for nearly five years! That's amazing! So it will be very interesting to see how he transfers his passion for excellence and education to the rap and hip-hop scene.

These are the 24-track master tapes for Back on the Block, the album was likely the most influential in bringing rap to a wide-ranging audience.

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