Beyond the Mic

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Last week K3mistry Productions released its second album entitled “higher. This 15 track recording highlights hip-hop artist Memo as he aspires to achieve success in his own personal endeavors, articulated through music. While the release of “higher” comes as a great accomplishment, showcasing the abilities of K3mistry Productions in musical orchestration, it is imperative that we illustrate how this album ties in with the company’s overall intent (especially when it comes to promoting positive media). But first, let’s start with a breakdown of the album…

Intro

“higher” begins with an opening skit entitled “The Message”. In this opener, Memo has just gotten off stage after performing a song from “Metropolis Lp”, K3mistry’s first album released via datpiff.com, at an open mic. He comes across a spectator named Austin, who encourages Memo to take his aspirations (not mentioned but presumed to be music) to the next level. Memo, considering Austin’s idea, suddenly has an epiphany, causing him to leave and pursue a new venture. The phrase “systems ready” can be heard at the end of this skit, notifying listeners of both the album’s taking off point as well as the beginning to a metaphor of Memo’s craft (his artistry) literally taking off.

The song “Phoning Home” directly follows after the opening skit, capturing Memo’s desire to achieve his newfound aspirations. During the chorus, pandemonium emerges sonically, causing the listener to sense a type of urgency. Ultimately, Memo feels as though he must aim for the highest form of success in his area of interest, or metaphorically speaking journey far into the galaxy. “Sideswipe” acts as a counter to Memo’s hopes for the future. In this skit, a woman named Keisha is introduced to represent criticism or opposition. This placement of Keisha so early on in the album is meant to showcase how many dreams are often doubted in their earlier stages by naysayers, content with the status quo (which this album refers to as the hip-hop artist Drake).

Keisha’s words seem to affect Memo on his journey, since the song “Mayday” is specifically designed to mock opposing forces operating against his dream. The line “thinkin’ out the box, you better cop a squat, you better fall in line with the rest of us” is stated in Memo’s beginning verse mimicking the attitudes of an oppressor. During the bridge of this song, there is a change in the music meant to symbolize Memo’s craft (aspirations) continuing to rise despite outside forces trying to bring it down. This leads into the next song, “Looking to the Sky (feat. Brandon Tyler)”, which showcases different obstacles one may face in life. Memo uses this song to help the listener understand his reasons for wanting to achieve success and journey outward; those reasons being a lack of morality in the world. At the end of “Looking to the Sky (feat. Brandon Tyler)”, a child can be heard saying “I’m on my way out”. This feature acts as a slight reveal to Memo’s master plan, which involves catering to youth.

Switching gears

The album’s interlude shares its same name, “Higher” (except with a capital “h” of course). The interlude is meant to signify Memo’s ascent from earth into outer space, or more literally his departure from outside pressures. Gentle strings and an entourage of sounds end this interlude, signifying a clarity of mind as Memo learns to focus more on his aspirations rather than what others are saying. For listeners, this is a chance to learn about increasing one’s self efficacy when dreaming big. “Sidreal (feat. Candice Rena)” directly follows the album’s interlude, and underscores loneliness one may feel when taking the road less traveled (this song also pays homage to Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken). In the end, Memo states “I’m tryna’ save souls when my album drop, homie, reach for the stars and start giving me some props” in an effort to tell the listener that he wishes to lead others to make healthy life decisions.

Keisha (a.k.a. criticism and opposition) returns in the next skit “One Love”, as an adversary to Memo’s newfound success at making moves toward his ultimate goal. However, her friend who is unnamed, works to defend our tenacious hip-hop artist. This friend represents love and support. “higher” seeks to get across the message that even one supporter should be cherished and treated as if they were 1,000 supporters. Seeing that the unnamed friend is voiced by a female, the following song “Lady of Mine (feat. Justin Kopicki) specifically deals with Memo admiring a woman who he makes his significant other. At the end of this song, gas can be heard as the soprano saxophone is featured one last time. This is meant to signify Memo’s craft slowing down, or more importantly the end of a long journey.

At last, Memo reaches “The Moment (feat. Jarone McCray)”. In this song, Memo speaks on his ability to overcome adversity on his path to achieving his end goal. At its end, the listener is meant to feel an excitement for Memo’s triumph. Next is the skit “Jay Pt. 2”, which gives insight into how Memo was able to block out criticism and opposition. As an aside for listeners, the song “Take you Away (feat. Brandon Tyler)” comes as an opportunity to relax from the album’s intense adventure.

In “Folly”, the album’s final skit, Keisha is overheard going to a party in which one of Memo’s first mainstream songs, “Dance For Me”, plays in the background. The listener is meant to observe that despite Memo’s success in achieving his goal (which if you haven’t figured out by now is his encouragement of youth to follow their dreams and constructively think about how to succeed) people will continue to criticize and look for fault. This, in turn, brings about one final response in the form of a song entitled “Ignore S**t”. This song concludes with the phrase “your journey is complete”.

The point of it all

Being hip-hop Stans, we at K3mistry Productions at the last minute decided to add an outro to “higher” entitled “Make a Wish”. In this song, Memo calls out other MCs and states that he has big plans for the future, involving his passion for helping youth. All in all, “higher” seeks to motivate listeners, specifically youth, to act on their goals and do so with zeal. The album also serves as positive media in a music genre known for promoting misogyny, violence, and reckless behavior. If you haven’t had a chance to listen or download the album yet, please do so. You can purchase “higher” on iTunes and Google Play, or stream it via Spotify, Tidal, Rdio, and Deezer (make sure to use the search terms “higher memo”). All proceeds from the album will go into financing future ventures by K3mistry Productions, which involve, but are not limited to, hosting youth events, helping youth with college finances, keeping youth off the streets, and promoting positive media via multiple outlets.

Special thanks to: Brandon Tyler, Candice Rena, Justin Kopicki, and Jarone McCray for their help with this project.

**Let us know what you thought about the album (if you haven’t heard it yet, maybe you should do so), and please remember to follow/like us on Facebook and YouTube!! P.S. We have a Pinterest page now also, so yeah… Thank you for your support! We appreciate you all!

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