RefinedHype​.​com​+​Different​-​Kitchen​.​com Present: MaG & the B​-​Sides

by Joel. (aka MaG)

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  • I've included mini-breakdowns of each track explaining the thought process during the time of recording. There's also some bonus stuff (lyrics, video, etc.) included in the download to show thanks and appreciation for all of those who took the time to download this project...enjoy!

     

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03:42
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02:52

about

I've been toying with the idea of putting out an unreleased project. It finally felt like the right time. Plus, having Refined Hype and Different Kitchen behind the project felt like a good fit. This is a collection of some of my older, unreleased (some unfinished) songs. Some didn't fit certain projects; some were recorded just because I thought they sounded good. But, I"ll let you make that decision for yourself. For those of you who have never heard of MaG and want to get an idea of how I got to be where I'm at now as an artist, this may be a good starting point. For those who are somewhat familiar, this music should be new to all of you. Some of these joints are a little rough around the edges, but the message has always been the same: dope beats, dope rhymes, and a message to suit.

1. Strapped Freestyle
"Strapped" was one of the first tracks I recorded in 2007 before Tiff and I left for Florida. The session was cool cause my homey Gif (dope emcee) was there as well as my brother D. The beat is off the Jaylib (J-Dilla and Madlib) "Champion Sounds" project. I felt like I didn't have enough freestyles that reflected how I felt I had grown lyrically. I felt like this hit the nail on the head. Tiff has a great idea for this video, whenever we decide to shoot it.

2. La Dolce Vita (remix)
Here's the deal...the beat is off 14KT's "Nowalataz" beat tape. This is actually the original version of "La Dolce Vita" but it went unreleased. The version that was released was produced by DJ Priority (bonus track on "I Ain't Goin' Back to Retail!"). But this was the first version, and honestly, my favorite. Wanted it to be the first track off the "Retail" LP...but alas, here it is. Wrote the song after my man Boola's moms passed away. I needed a way to let him and her know I loved them, and also talk about how good life can be, in spite of our problems and pitfalls. I shout out Uncle Gary on verse 3 too..that's Tiff's uncle who passed away.

3. Bring You Light
This is off an Alchemist instrumental project. I wanted it to feel like an interview. I remember recording this because I didn't have any of the speaking parts inbetween the verses written down so I had to make it up on the spot. I also remember performing the 2nd verse acapella at S.O.B.'s and the reaction people had after the "Saddam Hussein in a hurricane" line. And Sha Stimuli shouting me out afterwards when he got on stage. That was a good night.

4. Not Fair
Anytime I hear this track I think about being in Dan Da Man's Studio (PRO! Engineer/Producer extraordinaire) and him asking what the track was about and me saying about oppression and stereotypes Blacks face. Dan, a White man, proceeded to tell me that's old and been done. And me thinking, he's absolutely right. And that the song isn't just about Black stereotypes, but stereotypes in general. The idea is relative...its not fair to be boxed in but views and ideas people choose to assign to you because of race, gender, etc. And this is a Dilla beat. Nuff said.

5. You Ain't Neva Scene It
This joint is off MF Doom's Special Herbs instrumental project from a few years back. It was pretty dark and gloomy. I actually wanted it on the Reaganomics Mixtape/Album project but it didn't make the cut. Basically, talking about the dangers and perils of life on the street. Also telling us not to judge, cause somebody may not know any other way.

6. Gota Gun?
Beat is off the J-Dilla and Madlib (Jaylib) "Champion Sounds" album. One of my favorites. This was during the time when it felt like emcees were really getting on their "shoot em' up bang bang". Just felt like everyone was talking about killing or shooting somebody in their songs but ain't none of em doing time. I wanted to tell real stories of what happens when people get shot and people die. Death is real. No coming back from that.

7. So.NY
I love this Madlib beat. I heard it and was like I need a NY anthem, for me. Something I would perform and New Yorkers would go crazy. The actual title is from a verse a dude had on a Jaz-O song when he said something like "I'm so NY like Sony" or something like that. Its just me getting on my gritty rhyme scheme. No real subject matter. Just a lot of lyrics.

8. Whutkanido
This joint was supposed to have Torae on it. But his schedule was crazy and I was leaving for Florida in a few so it didn't pan out. Another Madlib beat. This was during the time I was just on itunes buying instrumental tracks. I didn't really have beatmaking/producer friends and hadn't discovered beat tape websites so the only way I could get my write on was to download guys like Dilla and Madlib and DJ Babu. And then I'd cross my fingers that I after I recorded the tracks, somehow Madlib would hear it and go, "Man, I want to work with this dude for the rest of my life". I'm still working on that.

9. Check (w/ G.O.D of Pitch Black)
So I think G.O. (G.O.D. of Pitch Black fame. He's also on the "Lego's" track with Skyzoo off the Reaganomics project) said DJ Premier produced this track. I can't remember but I definitely remember being in the session with Tiff and G.O. and Nancy (G.O.'s wife) and having a blast. Might have been my last session before we left for Florida for a year. The hook we wrote on the spot. Half of it was part of a hook I had for another song I had never recorded. G.O. dug it and he came up with some other bars to go along with it. Felt like we were the perfect complement.

10. True Story
A Paul Danjer produced joint. Same session as the "Check" track with G.O.D. Another one of my favorites. The sample is from Mike Tyson's Punchout. Crazy. When I wrote this, it was kinda like me talking to myself and telling myself the move down south is justified and needed. Really, a lot of my songs are me talking myself into or out of a situation. Like explaining it so I have a clearer understanding of it. This track is definitely no exception. Last 6-8 bars? I wound up freestyling cause I only wrote half of the third verse.

11. uncomfortable.
This joint is another instrumental off of the 14KT "Nowalaterz" beat tape. Being with Tiff, I have a different perspective on being bi-racial, since she is. And I see Obama differently.The first verse is really an intro to me because I'm not bi-racial but I feel different; and a lot of times multi-racial and bi-racial people are misunderstood. Obama is half black and half white. He's both. "I'm more Obama than a Huxtable" because I'm more complex; we're all more complex. A lot of times, people want to confine you to a certain box; check the one that applies. What if you're multiple boxes? What then? People like to simplify what they don't understand.

12. Ladder of Success
This joint (shouts to DJ. K.O. and Kevin Nottingham) was part of the Picture This contest sponsored by KN.com and DJ K.O. Emcees were to submit a remix to one of the instrumentals. I had just come back to NYC in 08' and had stumbled upon KN.com a few months prior while in Atlanta (we've been around lol), saw the contest and was like I want in. Just talking about wanting to be successful in the hook. Kind of trying to get you familiar with me through the verses.

13. Outta Space
This was supposed to be a "I Ain't Goin' Back to Retail!" track. Was also supposed to feature my man Zack Berkman. I just never got around to completing it. That's my moms on the bridge. I love having family and friends on tracks or mentioned in songs. It means they live forever you know? There's audio of that person that will never go away. The song itself is off a Dert produced instrumental project he put out (another itunes purchase).

14. I'm Me
This track means a lot to me. It was produced by Diego Bernal. He put out a beat tape and this joint was a standout to me. At the time, Tiff and I were working with Stage 13, a theater/production company here in NYC. We were helping students at Poly Prep in Brooklyn, a wonderful school, for their annual Diversity Day projects. They use skits and workshops to promote diversity amongst the students. Anyway, they asked me to create a song based around the group discussions we had with the students involving some of the issues they dealt with at Poly Prep. In the song I mention the "kids in the Black hall". That actually exists. There's a spot in the hallway that people called the "Black hall" cause that's where the Black kids would hang out. We don't give our teens enough credit. They're spirited, intelligent, bright, thoughtful, and have a lot to say and contribute. You give the kids the power and incentive to change and they will. We made t-shirts for the day with the hook's lyrics used as the front of the shirts. I felt honored. And yeah, Ann Coulter can kick rocks man. Fa sho.

credits

released 26 July 2011

Executive Producer: J. Daniels

Creative Director: T. Clary

Post Production: D "D-Dub" Daniels

Mixing and Recording: Stephen "Sdot" Joseph

Sponsors: RefinedHype.com, Different-Kitchen.com

Featuring: MaG, 14KT, J-Dilla, Madlib, Jaylib, Paul Danjer & J-Slant, G.O.D., Dert, MF Doom, Alchemist, Diego Bernal, Small Professor

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about

Joel. (aka MaG) Bronx, New York

Joel. (aka MaG) has been featured in popular media outlets such as BBC Radio, RCRD LBL, URB, BRM, AllHipHop, The Source, RESPECT, and HipHopDX, and has performed at Webster Hall, Brooklyn Bowl, Piano's, S.O.B.'s, Southpaw, Public Assembly and other popular venues in New York City and throughout the U.S., continuing to spread his message of Hip-Hop/Soul music to the masses. ... more

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Track Name: Bring You Light
(When I was five, I had always had this vision of me being up on stage and doing what I love to do. And I really wasn't sure what it was, nahmean? Like I was in school all the time but I always felt like there was something else I should be doing with my life nahmean? So...)

Verse:

Saw the rocks on my steps gettin' moved like amethyst/professors tried to doubt my intelligence/you stink at math/english ain't bad/just failed lab/but always at the front of the class raising his hand/take notes/do well on exams/but all he ever do is quote nas/jay-z and the x-clan/the wait's (weight's) over/skip scales/kilo's or grams/grand-dragon of the klan lived in my girl old land/few miles away from old man/while i was up north playing games of pac-man/crackers down south played lynching and hang-man/so try to plant ya feet right next to where i stand/next to the fruit stand/spics and the eggplants/few sips away from a full can so that's who i am/yeah/fair warning/i'm hot this year/ya'll fair warming/so cool he born with the air on him/came out the womb wit two pairs of nike airs on him/can't compare none of the heirs to the throne to him here/not fair/what he hear attuned to the ears of his peers and their fears/over beers?/made music come out of his tears/to make spirits come out of they chairs/so yeah he near the tier of the top/me flop?/not

(I had always loved hip-hop, like I had always loved hip-hop nahmean? Like I've been a fan of other music like country, jazz, r&b, soul music...I loved it. But hip-hop is in my nature nahmean? Like...like...I feel like I was born to do this, you know?)

flow like jekyll and hyde/the haters like to heckle and hide/but i sidestep wit it and slide like its homeplate/this is food for thought/i make plates/new york is the homebase/found my pace/my place in the sun/my placing is one/no race to be won/my racing is done/growing like im raising a son/like rays in the sun/was raised on a raisin in the sun/got tired of making it dumb/so the crumbs of the bums of the slums is where i write from/strike-in like light-non (lightning)/jab with the left then i hook with the right one/need a good hook?/ i can write one/need asylum/heh/who sayin' im playin'?/i'm saddam hussein in a hurricane/not for the fame/or the vain/but for the blood/for the vein/for my people/for the depth/for the pain/for the blind/feel the pain of the left of the mind of his brain that left when he laid his breath on the line for the rhymes that he made/so fresh so clean like he working for maids/you'se a server/you'se working for me/i'm a server/i'm a networker bee/stop joking/ya'll funny to me/pray these bars can finally get mumia free/one

(Like, I just hope that the music I make can affect people in the way that the music I listened to affected me nahmean? So, like, people can throw in a a...a...MaG joint and go wow man, like this reminds me of how it used to be, this reminds me of how music is supposed to sound nahmean? So that's what I do every time I step into the booth, every time I...I lay my vocals down; I try to make music for ya'll man. Cause I wanna make music that I love and you love too.)
Track Name: So.NY
(Yeah, you can turn up a lil' bit too Steve? Yeah, yeah yeah...)

Verse:

The epitome of emcee/not squared/can't compare/like apples to pears/not clear/i'm the best here/good aim/moving targets?/don't care/shoulda wore ya vest there/it never stops/the top of the crop?/i nest there like yeeeeah/i'm the heir apparent/too cool/i'm the air/not fair/my appearance seems passive but i'm fire/use stairs/baby boy here's ya chance/meet ya parent/inventor of the rhyme/meet a patent on the climb/grind all day/f*ck shine/get mine/watch a n*gga in his prime/screw time/clock all day/right in the hallway near bodegas/came a long from atari's and sega's/to beaches/trips to vegas/yeah i want paper/depends on the labor/remember the nerd who used to be ya neighbor/now he wears a goatee and you call him ya savior/gautier cologne/feel fresh/i'm home/so calm/all alone/in a zone/wit a mic on a throne/dis n*gga gone

Hook:

Excuse me/
N*gga don't confuse me/
Yeah/
I'm so NY/
F*ck what you heard man I'm so NY/
Middle finger to the sky man I'm so NY/

Excuse me/
N*gga don't confuse me/
Yeah/
I'm so NY/
F*ck what you heard man I'm so NY/
Middle finger to the sky man I'm so NY/

Verse:

took flight like air nike's in 06/notice how he focused/i sense sh*t/on the block like duncan when i send sh*t/back to where it came from/a blockbuster hustler/you borrowed ya game son/i serve dese customers/dishin' out and 1's/some would attest he's the best yet/yes/no test can approve what he do to these crews with the text/pen to the pad like flu's to the masses/flew on jet blue/now he fuels jets with the blue on his neck/next/there is none/fools contest i don't have enough hits or got enough plays/i only got one disc in/grown business/before you even diss/i dismiss this dumb quick/we talking bout dumb sh*t/the way that i dump sh*t/like fire to dun wick/i'm dunn wit it like warrick/can't put me ina box/we not sparring/not even warring/not even a warning/07 version of global warming/f*cker i'm here/and the reign keeps pouring/my function is to keep on scoring/like jordan/i'm 2-3 wit ink and a koofie/course i'ma boss/no shaking/can't move me/this part two of my full-length movie

Hook:
Excuse me/
N*gga don't confuse me/
Yeah/
I'm so NY/
F*ck what you heard man I'm so NY/
Middle finger to the sky man I'm so NY/
Track Name: I'm Me
(Everybody just be yo' self/Don't be scared just be yourself)

Hook:

I'm gay/
I'm straight/
I'ma jock/
I'ma nerd/
I'm rich/
I'm poor/
But I'm me/

I'm Black/
I'm White/
I'm Baptist/
I'm Jewish/
I'ma writer/
I'ma lifer/
I'm me (see)/

Just gimme room to be/
Gimme room to be please/
Just give me to breathe/
Just gimme room to see/
Gimme room to see/
The vacancy in me/

Verse 1:

They want you to change/ rearrange everything you live for/but what really remains is you/tryna contain your truth/mr. cosby/ the proof is in the pudding they say/so you gotta stay/comfortable in ya shoes no matter what you gotta do/they put you in a box/shackles and chains to keep you in the locks/and ms. ann coulter can kick rocks/don't label me what I'm not/see/i'm from the block where death is consistent/so please don't tell me i shouldn't be so different/i relate to you all/to the kids who sit in the Black hall/to the kids who got no group at all/they try to group us all/my advice?/live ya life/neva wrong if you're living it right/we're living for our rights/for freedom and glorious nights/for the insecure types?/stand up

Hook:

I'm gay/
I'm straight/
I'ma jock/
I'ma nerd/
I'm rich/
I'm poor/
But I'm me/

I'm Black/
I'm White/
I'm Baptist/
I'm Jewish/
I'ma writer/
I'ma lifer/
I'm me (see)/

Just gimme room to be/
Gimme room to be please/
Just give me to breathe/
Just gimme room to see/
Gimme room to see/
The vacancy in me/

Verse 2:

Maybe yo momma was a junkie/or maybe your daddy would beat you and call you ugly/maybe your sister is bulimic/and wears baggy clothes so her friends won't see it/or maybe your brother likes men and pretends that he don't and hopes you keep it a secret (shhh)/or maybe you slit your wrists/and ashamed of the pain and wish you didn't exist/and wear long sleeves so the teachers don't notice/if your best friend was an alcoholic/would you help her out or would you laugh and ignore it?/being yourself seems foreign/but if you are/be thankful for it and applaud it/life can be gorgeous/the media will keep you in a fortress/don't quit/never forfeit/regardless/ (cause)

Hook:

I'm gay/
I'm straight/
I'ma jock/
I'ma nerd/
I'm rich/
I'm poor/
But I'm me/

I'm Black/
I'm White/
I'm Baptist/
I'm Jewish/
I'ma writer/
I'ma lifer/
I'm me (see)/

Just gimme room to be/
Gimme room to be please/
Just give me to breathe/
Just gimme room to see/
Gimme room to see/
The vacancy in me/