Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Highlights of CTR2, Part 4: Ebbony Davis & POES

Check The Recipe 2 is my latest mixtape which features 18 musical talents from the 781 area and beyond. I'll be giving some background info on two of the people involved in CTR2 in this entry. Sit back and take in some insight on the Recipe.

At just over 18 years old, Ebbony Davis, who sings Air to Breathe on CTR2, has proven that she is a youth with ambition. She first began recording songs under the tutelage of G. Jonz and Thright Hook about 7 years ago, but she's been singing since she could talk. Since then, Ebbony has been honing her craft with voice lessons and has become a more well-rounded entertainer by joining Runna's ITM Step Squad. As of this writing, she has already sung with one of Berklee College's Music Groups at Boston's former Mayor Menino's retirement party. Below is footage of Ebbony with others on the first of Berklee's "Corner Spot" video-bio series.

The man known as POES (People Only Envy Strength) has worked with Sunspot for years. He first made waves with the Sunspot team by performing on the first Check the Recipe project, blessing us with lyricism for "You Like It" and "Huntin For The Game". Later, he impressed the masses again with his production skills by composing 8 out of 13 songs on One Night Stand, Sunspot's first R&B/pop album. Since moving to New York, POES has not slowed down as he has linked up with Perfect Connect and other notable names in the music industry. While in New York, he was still able to help out G. Jonz by laying down lyrics to the CTR2 song, "Nobody Has To Know". He's a talent who won't let anything stop him from his goals. Below, POES takes a Moment to Speak in the heart of the city.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


When someone screams that out at the beginning of a song, you get hyped, right? What are you expecting when you hear that? Do you expect the same beat and lyrics, but with an added verse somewhere in the song? Or maybe the same song with a completely different beat? A "remix" can mean different things.

In the original song Where Did She Go?, the song is driven by heavy drums with a guitar to help fill out the "body" of the song. The remix version contains strong synth chords and also has changes in the lyric layout and delivery (due to different notes in the beat). The song layout between the two songs are clearly different as well.



Yum Yummz will make you dance no matter which version you listen to. The initial version gives a strong dancehall/island vibe that's comparable to R. Kelly's "Fiesta." Seth Chaos, who has worked alongside Sunspot for years, took the idea of the song and flipped it. Chaos created a more hip-hop based remix by adding a simplified guitar riff and a bass-heavy drum pattern. The lyrics for this remix are rearranged as well. Seth Chaos has also remixed the title track to the Morning After album. It is available only through an ALBUM download of Check The Recipe 2, which is free.



As of this writing, Raw and it's evolved counterpart have the most plays on our Bandcamp site combined. That may be due to the type of remix that it embodies. The original song had 4 emcees on the track while the remix doubles that number of lyricists. Eight different emcees means eight different fan bases the song possibly reached. The second version also keeps the same tempo and feel of the original, which is late 80s/early 90s hip-hop. The hook is gone in the latter track to make room for the Elite Eight - which is a moniker not only for the number of the emcees in the song, but the amount of bars each one delivers.

Original, Raw

Remix, Still Raw

Every remix on this list is unique from the others, but Nobody Has To Know is a remix, but could also be considered a remake. The original song, Caught Red Handed, presents as a jazz/hip-hop/R&B hybrid, written and performed by Thright Hook. The idea for restyled version was to give the melody a more pronounced bass presence. Part of the hook of the original is reworked into the new hook and performed by G. Jonz. Finally, the song becomes more of a hip-hop version of "Trapped In The Closet" as POES lays down lyrics to a similar story to Caught Red Handed. [Didn't think I'd have two different paragraphs referencing R. Kelly... craziness.]

Caught Red Handed

Nobody Has To Know