90’s Music Review: Homebase by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Already having achieved notable music success through the previous two albums, “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” and “In this Corner….”, and maintaining the popular sitcom, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince aimed to prove they could still produce hits by with the 1991 release of their third album, “Homebase.” In terms of sales, this album proved successful going certified Double Platinum and receiving an American Music award for the Favorite Hip Hop Album of the 91 year.

“Homebase” is one of the last rap albums with the ‘just want to have fun’ flavor, featuring soul-filled backgrounds and laid-back lyrics, which were very popular in the early 90’s right before gangsta rap became mainstream. With hits “You Saw My Blinker” and “The Things that You Do”, Smith and Towns stick to their guns of success, in making their young audiences laugh and feel good while enjoying their youth.

This album benefited from being released at the height of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” sitcom, but also from the popular hit “Summertime.” This single features backgrounds samples of the 80’s group Kool and the Gang’s “Summer Madness” with Will Smith vividly describing summertime in his hometown of Philadephia. “Summertime” has become a timeless classic, rising to number 4 on the Billboard100 list and being the number 1 played Rap Single during the year of its release. Today, “Summertime” recieves continous radio play, usually during the spring and summer months of the year. No doubt, this single amazingly made the whole album a success.

While the rest of this album did not leave as impressionable comparisons, “Homebase” does feature other notable samples from previous 80’s and 70’s hits. “Ring my Bell” and “A Dog is a Dog” are offer smooth rap renditions to 70’s singer Anita Ward and her Disco styles. The duo also samples the background sounds of the 80’s singer Rick James‘ “Give It to Me Baby” in the single, “I’m All That.”

What Music Means to Me

When I listen to a song, I don’t just hear music, or even instruments. I hear the emotions. I know this is going to be hard to understand for some, but some of you may understand it right away. When I listen to a song, it can instantly take me back to a time when I listened to that song in the past, and even fill me with an emotion close to the one I had then. Honestly, it’s probably just familiarity that ends up filling me with happiness and peace.

To be music is an important part of life. It’s inspirational, energizing, relaxing and can help you on many occasions in your life. Some people have a different way of seeing the world than others. As an example, just by changing the music I’m listening to, I can change my entire mood. This comes in handy quite often. Right now I’m listening to purely instrumental music and I feel at peace.

How do you feel when you listen to music? I’m going to guess most people listen to music to calm down or to relax. Do you prefer music or television? Personally, I listen to all kinds of music because sticking to one type is a bit close-minded if you have never tried the rest. There are many types of music I enjoy, and each one brings me a bit more peace, although some, such as metal or heavy rock bands like Korn or Slipknot, seem to give me a ton of energy and give me that “I feel like a bad @$$” type thing… even though i know I’m not.

So yeah, I would like to hear how you all feel about music, and what it means to you.

A Night of Musical Splendor

As I watched the evening concert,
The air filled with musical notes.

The sunshine faded away 
Painting a silhouetted skyline 
Of majestic oak trees.

The conductor stood against the shadows. 
He raised his baton to begin a new symphony. 
The thundering sound of the brass instruments 
Sent a wave of chills down my spine.

The violins spoke in such sweet voices. 
The flutes playfully joined along. 
And the harp danced across the heavens, 
Dotting the clouds with harmonious notes.

When the full moon rose in the sky, 
And said good evening to the stars, 
The conductor lifted his baton once more 
In a gesture of pure delight.

The orchestra performed one final number. 
It was uplifting and oh so grand. 
The trumpets and trombones came together, 
To bring music throughout the land. 

Night Music on Ivy Drive

I heard the notes you played,

So I lingered there.

The streetlight’s light around me illuminated

White tree branches against darkest sky.

I imagined the gloss of the piano

From soft lamplight, and

Your strong, slender fingers

Embracing each new measure.

My breath came sweet and soft,

Metered by the music.

I swayed, held the tree,

Pressed trembling arms on rough bark,

Hearing notes racing to crescendo.

I spun into your entryway


Just before ringing every doorbell

To find you.

But I stopped —

Put my hands in my pockets,

And ran childlike away

Piano keys playing my way home.

80’s Music – Depeche Mode

The 80’s was not only a time of colorful clothes, big hair, eclectic style and rubber arm bands but also great music, whether punk rock or pop. One of the most impressive musical treasures that came out of this era was the band Depeche Mode. This mega band was so fierce in the 80’s that they not only were able to continue their career in the 90’s but also managed to make a successful come back recently. But what made this band so admired by fans besides their all so cool appearance was their catchy lyrics and electronic pop style sound.

This English band from Essex was actually formed in the 70’s but only gained phenomenal recognition in the 80’s. The band consisted of band members Dave Gahan who was the lead vocalist, Martin Gore on keyboard, guitar, and vocals and who also was the chief songwriter. On Keyboard were Andrew Fletcher and Vince Clarke. Alan Wilder later replaced Vince Clarke who left the band after their 1981 debut album was released. The band now only consists of 3 members, Dave, Martin and Andrew but their music is still as captivating.

With successful songs like Dreaming of Me, New Life and Just Can’t Get Enough, the band reached top position on the charts. Even their new album, Sounds of the Universe has received awesome reviews and top sales.

A truly influential force this band was and still influences the sounds of groups like Pet Shop boys, Coldplay and Linkin Park. Although in the beginning they were mainly successful in the UK, their tunes have traveled world wide resulting in them selling over 75 million albums across the globe. Their sound continuous to attract many listeners and because of the bands re-entry into the music world they appeal to both young and old.

Rock Music Mentality

Some believe rock music negatively affects the mental state of a person’s mind. This is the theory inflicting “old people” everywhere as they puzzle over the next generation’s mood swings and anti-social behavior. Back in the Renaissance era, musical note patterns that are common in rock and metal songs today (such as minor scales) were considered notes that summoned the devil himself. Those notes were banned and considered sinful if played aloud. Now, these musical patterns are obviously not “sinful,” as people assumed hundreds of years ago. Otherwise the world would be in utter catastrophe. Sadly, rock music today still has a bad reputation, but new studies today show that rock music does not badly influence its listeners.

To what effect does rock music, particularly metal, have on people? Many researchers accuse metal as the cause for aggression, depression, and other behavioral problems among teenagers. This is wrong. Research has shown that heavy rock music actually decreases these negative feelings and relieves stress to those who prefer to listen to this genre. However, if someone who prefers country listens to heavy metal, their feelings of aggression increase. Emotions all depend on a person’s preferred genre, not the actual genre itself.

Too many times has rock music been blamed in tragedies. The most distressing example is the Columbine Shootings in 1999, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people, and injured 24 others. Unfortunately, the media placed the blame on their musical tastes. Both boys expressed interest in heavy metal and Goth music, and reporters were quick to point fingers at artists such as Marilyn Manson. When delving into their personal lives, however, it was found that the boys felt like outcasts at school, were picked on and teased, and thus reacted in an extreme, terrifying way. People fear what they do not know, and blaming social problems on music is a quick, inaccurate solution.

Music does not inhibit life, but enriches it. Every category of music will generate different feelings in every different person, so next time someone wants to accuse rock music of instigating angry emotions in teenagers, know they are misinformed. Those who love rock wont stop listening to it if it makes them feel good.

Google Music All Access

Google Music All Access uses the same app as Google Music and extends the functionality of the Google Music service for $9.99 a month. You can create radio stations, check out playlists, and listen to the songs you want when you want to. Songs you listen to are automatically put into playlists.

At the same time, the radio function allows you to create an experience around a single song; similar songs branch off of a song of your choosing. If you don’t know what an artist’s songs are, just type in the name of the artist.

Unlike Pandora, you can go back to a song you just heard and play it again. There are no listening limits, and there are no ads. Cached music prevents you from having to pay for data that does not need to be used. If you listen to the same songs Google can save them to the device in the cache for automatic playback.

The option to store 20,000 songs still exists. This is a great idea, but I do think Google should have added an option to either subsidize or replace the $9.99 monthly price through ads. I’m already considering cancelling my Hulu Plus subscription, and just paying $7.99 a month plus $9.99 a month for All Access to keep my bills for the cloud under $20 a month.

My only issue with the service is that it plays like 9/10 of a song, then stops. I’ve tried manipulating the settings in the program to no avail. Hopefully Google takes care of this on a future update to the software.