Category: Culture

DJ Shiftee and Enferno collaborate on E.A.S.Y. “When Will The Bass Drop” #LiveRemix

Get Turned Up To Death! While SNL rightfully parodies EDM culture now that it’s a mainstream phenomenon and looks quite foolish to the uninitiated, DJs Shiftee and Enferno put together this live reaction video to the original Andy Samberg SNL skit that spoofed Avicii and other DJs in the genre on SNL. The video doubles up as the release of a new track called “Fly Away.”

What this video does is to show the creativity and skill that goes into producing, mixing and developing the sounds of today’s generation of electronic music producers create. It’s certainly fun to watch!

Dead Prez headlines at Santos Party House in New York City

Dead Prez at Santos Party House - October 19th, 2014
Dead Prez at Santos Party House – October 19th, 2014

One of the best things about running Netmix for over 19-years is supporting our long time industry relationships through the blog, as well as our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Some of which have transformed into great personal friendships.

There’s one deep friendship made over 20-years with DJ and Hip-Hop producer, Madsol Desar, who has been active in house and Hip-Hop scene since we left Boston in the mid-90s for New York City. Madsol went on to launch Hi-Rise Records with his partner, Derek Ferguson. Today, Madsol is still manning the decks and we’re always psyched to promote his appearances. He’s become a dear friend of Netmix and we’ve collaborated on a number of opportunities over the last 20-years. It’s easy to just get the word out about Madsol, who is a great producer and even better friend!

On October 19th at Santos Party House in New York City, Sky’s The Limit Entertainment, 007 INC, and No Sleep Till Brooklyn present a live performance by Dead Prez, with special guest appearances by A-Alikes and KO-P.

Of course, music is served up by the one and only, DJ Madsol-Desar and E.R.O.C.

Doors open at 7 pm and the show kicks off at 10 pm until midnight. The price is $25.00 in advance and you’ll need a few more dollars at the door. Sorry, the show is 21+.

Kick it to Santos Party House at 96 Lafayette St (Between Walker St & White St) in NYC for this event. Buy advance tix at Tickemaster.

Check out Dead Prez last studio album, Information Age (2012) on Amazon below.




DJ Madsol-Desar

An Introduction

Ilya Danilkevich photo
Ilya Danilkevich

As a new contributing author for this blog, I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Ilya aka Master Ill (that is ILL and not “the 3rd”). I am a recent graduate of Washington & Lee University Law School (Lexington, VA) now back in Los Angeles post-graduation seeking to make my way back into the music entertainment industry. Before law school, I was a DJ (I still make mixes on occasion, but not nearly as much as I wish I had time for), an aspiring minimal house music producer, and the founder of Twisted Entertainment Group (TEG).

TEG was a collective of unsigned and unrepresented EDM DJ’s and producers with varying skillsets key to any up-and-coming artist in the EDM scene. We were a close-knit group of friends looking to get our music careers off the ground. But we needed help marketing and selling our “brand.”

The members had complimentary skills in management, electronic music production, photography, videography, graphic design, and a myriad of other DIY skills to the collective. We met on a weekly basis to discuss how each member’s career was progressing and offered advice or provided networking opportunities to each other. We also collaborated on creating EPKs and websites to secure gigs, as well as assist each other in music production.

As a group of unknown and often financially struggling artists, the collective offered an opportunity for the members to trade services with other members to advance each others careers without having to seek paid-for services. I would like to think that TEG acted as a stepping-stone for those who continued with their music careers. Or, at the very least, some great memories from the time spent in our in-home studio for those who shared in the music only, but had no music career aspirations. I can say, with a huge smile on my face, although TEG is no longer around, one of our traditions remains alive and well – our annual retreat.

Over time, we have gotten to know each other very well and remain very close friends. Every year, we gather a small group of available TEG members and their closest friends. The DJ’s and producers in the collective would showcase their love of EDM music, creating a mix specifically designed for group, often times different from what we would play for the general public. We played these sets back-to-back for our friends to hear. These retreats pushed us to create some of the deepest, most interesting mixes that were often ahead of their time and ones that we would never dare to play at our usual gigs. After the one-day retreat had been over, some of these sets were never heard again, while others have been posted online with very few listeners. So as I plan this year’s mix, I would like to share with you, my very first set that I created for the TEG retreat, which was first heard by our small group back in August of 2010.

Gemstones “Fire In My Heart” video from release party goes viral on Facebook

A few days ago, I caught this incredible video from Chicago rapper, Gemstones, being shared around on Facebook. At first, by Ibo-Granmoun Bakalulu-Baka, who had posted the video to his Facebook timeline. At the time of this post, the video has over 37,900 shares with 5,400 likes and counting. Curious, I set out to learn more about this artist and the song, “Fire In My Heart.” (Lyrics)

On the original post, Bakalulu-Baka writes:

This is what Hip Hop suppose to be if she was never raped, prostituted and discarded by major and small record labels.

Who is Gemstones and why is this video going viral now?

According to Rap lyrics site, profile post about Gemstones, his real name is Demarco Castle. He grew up in Jeffrey Manor/South C on Chicago’s South Side. Originally known as Gemini, he signed to Lupe Fiasco’s 1st and 15th Recordings, but later split from the label. After changing his artist name for legal reasons to Gemstones, he released the mixtape, Elephant In The Room on October 27, 2012 at CMPLX 2010 on Chicago’s South Side to friends, families and supporters. This raw, homemade video, was shot in the basement of the complex.

I’d say this specific video of the track, “Fire In My Heart” (which kicks off the mixtape), is going viral, simply because of it’s strong message to rappers about being fake, capitalizing on the misfortunes of others while limiting his opportunity, which he says he’s overcome. Gemstones had left the game for a bit to regroup. He also says that he found God and from what we’ve read so far, Gemstones if focused on changing his lyrics and approach from street lyrics to bringing a bit of reality and positivity to the rap game. So far, he’s doing a fantastic job.

Our favorite verse:

All you fake MCs that’s misleading our youth

Talking about the cars you all ain’t got

Crack that you never sold

Neighborhoods that you know you can’t go in

You ain’t real

Be yourself

It’s Gemstones and there ain’t no question who’s the elephant in the room

You’re gonna wish you never met me

What’s really interesting about “Fire In My Heart,” is that it’s backed by a house beat, which had been increasingly rare in Hip-Hop since the mid-90s when both genres were more similar than they were different. If you listen to the entire mixtape, it’s extremely creative and uses various samples. One that stands out is a riff from “Say, Say, Say,” a collaboration between Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.

There are other references to electronic music interspersed. For example, the intro and hook on the second track of the mixtape, “Irregular,” are from Armin Van Buuren’s “Never Say Never.” Very creative, different and refreshing for the Hip-Hop arena.

We hope this solved the riddle for a lot of folks on Facebook who are hearing the song and discovering Gemstones for the first time. We wish him the best of luck and look forward.

Here’s his latest, “Let Your Light Shine Final.”

Talib Kweli and Don Lemon have a conversation on CNN about Ferguson media coverage

A very important discussion on the media happened when conscious Hip Hop artist, Talib Kweli, was invited to appear on CNN for an interview with one of the network’s reporters, Don Lemon, to discuss Kweli’s organizing and activism on the ground in Ferguson, MO in response to the Michael Brown shooting. Kweli was asked by Lemon about why he chose to make his way to Ferguson. Kweli said it was important to go and be with the protesters on the ground, which makes a difference. He said that anyone could go to Twitter, post a few tweets, and state their outrage. Making the effort to be there in person, he could – along with others – influence positive change.

During the interview, Kweli critiqued white-controlled media outlets like CNN, which in his opinion use language that put protesters instead of the police in a negative light. He said that he witnessed antagonistic behavior by the police who donned themselves in riot gear and threatened to harm or even kill protesters. Those actions raised the level of anxiety with protesters and somehow violence ensured. Where it started is a matter of speculation, but CNN’s report blamed the violence on a thrown bottle from someone on the side of the protesters. Kweli said he did not see the bottle thrown, but implied the tear gas and batons resulting in violence was more problematic than the perceived threat. That police used the thrown bottle as a trigger to attack protesters peacefully assembling to voice their outrage.

In defense of his employer, CNN’s Lemon attempted to interject and cut off Kweli, intending to ask if it was just Kweli’s perception of what happened, and to question whether Kweli could make a credible judgment given he may not have been able to see everything going on during the specific incident. In doing so, Lemon suggests an alternative point of view, which CNN may have based its reporting on.

Watch the CNN with Talib Kwelie interview below.

Feeling as though Lemon was going to cut him off before he could finish his statement, Kweli rightfully stood his ground to make a very specific point: the article was misleading.  Determined to set the record straight, Kweli told Lemon that if he couldn’t finish his sentence he would end the interview. While Kweli generally agreed that CNN’s coverage was “fair” and “balanced,” the point he we think he was attempting to make is, despite CNN’s coverage being fair and balanced, those who write the headlines and the stories (known in media circles as “the producer perspective”) can manipulate the narrative simply by writing from a perspective that is not the same as those on the ground. That view serves the narrative CNN believes will attract an audience, resulting in revenue from more eyeballs to the sensationalized content.

Creatively writing these headlines, which may portray the protesters as being the problem while leaving out key information in the story, serves to deliver audience metrics resulting in higher advertising revenue for the time slot. But, is it accurate? Here Kweli is accusing CNN on sensationalism at the expense of the truth. It’s a powerful and important argument to make on national television and one that is sometimes hard to decipher by the average viewer.

While other websites used sensational headlines about how Kweli “blasts” Lemon ( and “flips out” on Lemon ( during the interview, we’re not going to do that here, because that’s Kweli’s primary point. Using sensationalistic headlines in media colors the story to slant it to the side the media company publishing the article or airing the segment hopes attracts an audience to sell ads to. Instead of news, it’s sensationalism to drive revenue.

Using words like “flips out” in a headline is exactly the issue Kweli is raising and we’re saddened, but not surprised, to see that other media outlets are trying to portray the black man as angry and out of control, when that was not the case. This has been the narrative and it needs to change. We all get into heated discussions to make our point, but when it’s a white person making a passionate argument, media portrayals tend to celebrate the person for “speaking out” or “defending” their point of view. It’s a shame Salon and TalkingPointsMemo, as well as other media outlets jump on the bandwagon and use negative headlines about Kweli’s opinion. They are simply perpetuating the problem and to Kweli’s point – they just don’t get it.