Trend Spotting

There seems to be a new trend in the world of creative culture. There seems to be more and more trend spotters rising in the midst of know-it-alls on all there is to be trendy. Recently, I've been grouped in with trend spotters. This person's comments not only offended me, but forced me to reflect on the image that I'm projecting to others. My image of myself is completely representative to Underground Live. So, this blog is for clarification.

To clarify, Underground Live is not a trend spotting think tank because trend spotting is reactive to recognizing the aesthetics of trend setters. We do not people watch nor predict what is going to be the next big thing. Our mission is to examine the psychology behind individuals and collectives that guide the hearts and minds of the masses into following trends. We aren't some group of individuals on safari looking for the lion. We are more concerned with the ecosystem that exists around the lion that makes him the king of the jungle.

We explore the mental conditioning of the lion cub growing into the king of beasts. Somewhere in his early childhood development or teenage years a trend setter decides to live on the fringes of accepted mass culture in order to create his own. Right there my friends is where Underground Live earns its bread and butter. We look at the developing stages of this creative person and apply logic, rationale, and reasoning to his actions. No one makes arbitrary decisions without some level thought, especially when it is representative of his entire being.

Moreover, Underground Live experiments with the creative class, trend setters, or whatever you call people that differently cool. We take the time to gather these individuals together in various locations throughout the country into a social setting and observe their behavior around one another. It is like placing a lion in a jungle full of lions. Does one rise as king or do they all become pack animals? This good people is Underground Live.

I know many of you have never been to an Underground Live event, but believe me you are missing one of the best sonic-organic, artistically-inspired, and urban upscale events of the year. There is something for everyone at one of these events. You can admire the creator of your favorite Nike SBs, watch an renowned artist paint his heart out, be the first to see a video showcase that is hyped on the Internet, taste the best culinary fusion delicacies, or groove to the best mix-up of DJs nationwide. There is method to our madness and all our shows are themed for people of exquisite taste. Do you believe an actual trend setter would attend anything less? Well, I wouldn't. So, Underground Live goes out like the Passion of Christ in order to give you an event to feast your eyes, ears, hands, and mouth on.

Underground Live has the gall to write about our coveted event filled with not only famous people, but with the people that shape culture that live in the shadows. You know the people that value being themselves over the cost of fame.

Lastly, I will reiterate. We do not focus on trend spotting. We are the trend setter in forming unions like Voltron between those that guide the feeble minds of the masses. We are like mad scientists that experiment with gene slicing like Dr. Maureau, but slicing the genes of creative individuals for the betterment of Creative Culture.

Welcome to the Creative Culture.


The Fresh Jive on Streetwear

It is refreshing to hear a man that loves his art discuss his inspiration behind his creations. But, it is more impressive to hear a man turn his art into a business and be proud of his newfound livelihood. Well, here is a small interview with Freshjive creator Rick Klotz. Rick is an Angeleno, which is a rare find in Los Angeles. Yes, many people claim Los Angeles as their hometown, but very few are actually from Los Angeles.

In his short interview, he discusses his issue with trendy hipsters. Watch and learn.


Review: C.R.A.C. Music

Everyone that I know loves C.R.A.C. music. C.R.A.C. is pronounced "crass." You know unrefined, flagrant, grungy, untactful obnoxious music. The name actually stems from the acronym Collect Respect Anna Check.

C.R.A.C. Knuckles is the killer collabo of Blu and Ta'Raach. The two emcees have a plethora of banging albums- Below the Heavens, Powders & Oils, The Fevers, Triple P, Welcome 2 Detroit, etc. C.R.A.C. is beyond interesting, it is damn good. This album stands out even against their previous works.

As Ta'raach and Blu float through a sea of exquisite production on the Piece Talks, you realize C.R.A.C. is only for the open-minded and the brave hearted. The songs remind you of the classic sounds of J-Dilla, yet carry a harder punch than Wu-Tang. Listening to The Piece Talks is a must have for true music lovers.

  • 1. "What Up (Part 2)"
  • 2. "Buy Me Lunch"
  • 3. "Love Don't"
  • 4. "Major Way"
  • 5. "Activate (Too...)"
  • 6. "CRACHAUSE"
  • 7. "Respect"
  • 8. "Pop Dem Boyz"
  • 9. "2.16.05"
  • 10. "Mr. Big Fizz"
  • 11. "Chill"
  • 12. "Hello?!"
  • 13. "Go!"
  • 14. "Activate (As Well)"
  • 15. "Bullet Through Me"
  • 16. "Cotton"


New Vision of Hip-Hop

I have made some pretty steep claims before such as a white boy from Detroit spitting Nas-like lyrics could possibly be the best rapper alive. I also made the suggestion that a college dropout has the average cat swagger with larger than life dreams will rise to the top of the scene.

Now, I am telling you that this young cat, Ced Hughes will be the next big thing. His soundscapes raise the bar above the majority of independent artists trying to find a home in this forever changing world of music. Ced incorporates production from many high-concept electronic artists such as Mark Ronson, Sa-Ra, Flying Lotus,Sterolab, and Daft Punk. These magnetizing musical pieces contain a complexity of a Bach orchestration; therefore, it is difficult for any vocalists or artists to deliver a solid persona.

Ced remarkably delivers a persona over the complex instrumentals. His lyrical prowess does not outshine the production nor does it allow the production to dictate the pacing of his skills. Ced saunters through the soundscapes with ease. His flow is effortless like J-Dilla over his own production or Madlib over his own production. The first sampling of his mixtape immediately caused me to draw comparisons with Black Thought, Common, and Kanye. He never allowed the subject matter to falter into the realm of bogus fiction.

Even in his flaws, Ced is able to maintain good energy on his mixtape. Besides, it is a mixtape. I cannot expect someone else's production to be tailored to his design. With that said, I await an album that is specifically crafted by this young talented artist.

  1. Greetings from the Firing Squad (Interpol mix)
  2. Say Hello and Make Sure You Applaud (Sneaky Soundsystem mix)
  3. Friends Don't Let Friends Use Protection (Justice vs. Simian mix)
  4. Polyphonic Prostitution (Mark Ronson & Kasabian mix)
  5. The Juke Joint (produced by Ced)
  6. On My Lean Casually (produced by EJ and Steve)
  7. My Cool is the Envy of Iceman (produced by Ced)
  8. Jus Move (produced by Nick Speed)
  9. Ced Can't Hold Her (Amy Winehouse mix)
  10. Instead of U and I, It Could Be Us (featuring Kid A, produced by Gabe Niles)
  11. Moonlight TigraRhymeKiller on the Misty Planes of Neptune (Justice mix)
  12. ReWorked Angles (Justice vs. Daft Punk mix)
  13. Nething U Want 2 Do (Sa-Ra mix)
  14. Blame It On Ced (Phoenix mix)
  15. Simple Addiction, Boy Meets Girl (produced by Ced)
  16. We Don't Care. Really We Don't (Mark Ronson & Daptones mix)
  17. Are We Gonna Give Up Umm No (produced by Flying Lotus)
  18. Sunset Round Up the Galaxy (Stereolab mix)