MUSIC FOR THE MOMENT: HOW OUR ENTERTAINMENT REFLECT THE TIMES

Silver-colored Microphone

“Singing for the culture.”


music for the masses

We have always seen artist in music speak on political issues and make music around the times. And today is no different especially considering the state of America. But my question is, is it always the best move to make. I know they are in an industry that prides itself on moving with the culture. But do they always know what they are doing, or are people around them pushing them along? Because certain topics they speak on, they don’t have all the answers. Then again, there have musicians who have broke down color barriers of the past and forced the hands of politicians so things had to change.  What is going on today that has so many artist up in arms that they are now part of the movement.

2016 vote

When the current president Donald Trump won the election, so many people took issue with him becoming president. And because of that, the culture of music started to change where people wanted to get more political and conscious. And who could blame them, we went from a president who was given the Nobel Peace Prize. Now we had a man in the White House who shot from the hip. A says what he means and means what he says. And because of that, it tends to make so many people uncomfortable. But it’s not only the language that makes people feel this way. His stance on illegal immigration that has displaced so many Mexican families have people railing against him. Not to mention how he handled the hurricane in Puerto Rico. And with all this so many artist interjected themselves in the conversation of who is running the country.

just sing

A lot of people have said just be quiet and sing the song. And the reality behind that is, should they just be quiet. Because if they were singing about something you like, then you wouldn’t mind. People who say I respect the leader of the country, you say nothing. But they are still being political. This is why it never bothers me when people express their politics in music because everyone is triggered when it’s not someone they like. Which is why it’s best to not say anything about anyone. But then again, when does that happen.


Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com
Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson; @faheemjacksonphotography
Twitter Me: @2320howe

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OUR CULTURE IS POP CULTURE: THE REAL FACE OF AMERICA

 

Elvis Presley Digital Wallpaper

“We set the standard.”


who we are

For anyone interested in knowing what the culture of America is, then I will tell you. This is a pop culture country, considering we have so many different ethnic groups in this country. With each, people bring their own style which contributes to the pop culture of the nation. Some may see that is an uncomfortable reality because all pop means is popular. People don’t want their culture sometimes to be seen as the pop thing because pop goes in and out of style. And culture of a group should not be seen as a style for many to use then throw away. But I guess that is the downsides of living in such a diverse nation.

song-dance-dress

In this country, we have such a strong identity via the music we listen to, the way we dress, and the dances that correlate with the music. We have even influenced the world with the music and the way we dress. Why, well we as Americans have always set the tone for what is cool in society. Other countries have their idea and perception of cool, but with so many different groups in America, if you have been cool here you are big everywhere.

anyone can be anything

In how many other countries can you see a musician become a world leader? Or better yet, a television personality who became president of the country? America is a country where this happens and we think nothing about it. In other countries, a leader has to hold positions for lengthy periods of time in public office. We as Americans will feel an attachment to a celebrity and think they should lead. But that is also a good thing about living in this country. You can always continue to reinvent yourself. And for someone like me living in New York City, you can be what you want everyday. And rarely see the same two people twice.


Personal Website: http://www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson; @faheemjacksonphotography

Twitter Me: @2320howe

INDIE WORLD: WHO WILL BE THE LAST TO STAND

Image result for INDIE

“The last of the Mahicans.”


indie

In the world of Indie filmmaking, music, theatre, etc., there are so many people out in the world like never before. But the question is how long will these Indies stick around. Because being independent sounds good, until it’s time to make money. Then people would be more than happy to be with a  major name behind them.

So if it’s so hard for people to push their projects independently, then why are so many in a foot race to do so?

control control control

The reason why so many are in a foot race to be indie is because they want to have more creative control over their work. When the is a big name behind, there is the illusion of you having say. But in reality, you have limited to no say because they are generally the main financial backers. Another reason people become indie is control over the narrative of the story they’re telling.

If your stories left in the hands of others, it may come across as weak, or less than what you would have brought to it.

the grind

Being the boss sounds goo to people, but do you always want to be? Because I can tell you first hand from writing, directing, and producing a short film that it’s a lot because it was just me. You are trying to first tell a compelling story. That in and of itself is a tough feat. But if you manage to get past that, then you have the other aspect of the grind.

An that is coming up with ingenious ways to raise funding for your projects. Trust and believe the work is not done there because if it’s to be profitable, then you have to know how to market your project. But even after that, you’re not rolling in dough even if it is a big project. Because chances are you need to put that money back in for the next project.

play it safe or go hard

Before you step out there into Indie world, know that it is a grind that takes years. And be prepared for rejection after rejection after rejection. It could take you 10 – 20 years to be the person you want to be. So know that and work; and if it’s still worth it keep fighting.


My Personal Website: www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

Twitter Me: @2320howe

Medium.com/@faheemjackson

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THE AMERICAN BASE IS THE BASE: HOW FOREIGN ENTERTAINERS TRY TO PENETRATE THE AMERICAN MARKET

Image result for LATIN MUSIC

“Why aren’t they biggest everywhere?”


global entertainment

The photo at the top of the page is of Latin musicians Daddy Yankee and Fonsi. Now Daddy Yankee is more globally known, but yet Fonsi is a major name as well. But why aren’t they both the same height as a Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, or Pitbull. It’s because breaking into the American market is still a base for breaking into the globe.

Doesn’t mean that we are the better nation in regards to music, simply put, we are still the cosign for what’s global. So when you become big in America, you become big everywhere. Singer Nicky Jam has been making music consistently since the year 2000. But why has he all of a sudden now become more known. It’s not that his music is not good.

the land of opportunity

America has always been seen as the land of opportunity. Where you can come here and make a living where you previously couldn’t do so elsewhere. Not to mention we are third in the world in population and now back on top in GDP. So it’s no wonder so many people want to come here. But on the other hand, why not China? China is right with us in economy.

Cityscape during Nighttime Near Body of Water and Sail Boat

Not only with us in the economic base, but they are also boasting a middle class that is the same size of the United States population. That is some major spending power, so why aren’t they the country to run to for opportunity. And key word that sticks out the most would be diversity. Nowhere on Earth is this wealthy and this ethnically ambiguous as a collection.

 making moves

When trying to venture out, the artists that are trying to break into the American market can either try to collaborate with other artists or just move here. But what you usually notice in today’s society, is that they Gangnam Style Official Cover.pngdepend on viral hopes like Psy’s Gangnam Style. Or, link up with other ethnically similar artists such as a known singer in Puerto Rico performing wit Jennifer Lopez.

We know Jennifer Lopez globally, but that artist in PR might only be known in PR, or other small Latin America pockets of North and South America. Singing with J Lo will make them big everywhere. It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that this is what it is in society.

glory be the internet

Luckily in today’s society you can be known a lot sooner than actually having to travel to the United States to make music. Because K-Pop (Korean Pop Music) is starting to become a trend in small places in the United States with pre-teens and teenagers. It’s not as big, but the fact that it exist says a lot. And with the success of massive viral videos, we now have a more instant connection.


My Personal Website: www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

Twitter Me: @2320howe

Medium.com/@faheemjackson

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GLORY BE TO ADDICTS: WHY IS THE DRUG USER THE NEW CULTURAL FIGURE

addiction, adult, capsule

“The new form of fun.”


drug culture

In America, we have always had this culture where drugs have been apart of our lives. Cocaine was such a big influence in entertainment as with the 80’s and 90’s. But the glorifying of the drug addict was not real. The hustler was the one so many people wanted to be. The hustler is the one who had the lavish lifestyle.

But today we have the user being the one everyone wants to be. The idea of attaining wealth and prospering has gone out the window. And where does it all come from? One major driver is the entertainment we consume.

it’s what we consume

When you listen to a lot of the music, you have so much that is geared toward the drug use. You constantly are inundated with popping pills and drinking alcohol. Even a few musicians have taken on monikers that are linked to drugs. But it’s not just any style of music, it’s rap music that has taken on the drug culture.

What’s odd about the music geared toward using drugs is that in the past the seller was glorified. Now I ask, “What are the results o fall this drug usage?”

one’s lose is another’s gain

In an industry that generates billions of dollars, whose to lose and gain through all of this drug promoting? Because of course the artists is the obvious choice, but they have even become addicted to drugs. But what about people who work for bigger brands that are partnered with these artists? They don’t allow their children to listen to the music they use to make money.

And if their kids do listen to the music, parents make sure they separate the reality and the fiction. This way, their child or children don’t fall victim to the pitfalls of drugs. Because inevitably those that care will have to continue to fight the uphill battle against this new drug culture.


My Personal Website: www.faheemjackson.squarespace.com

Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

Twitter Me: @2320howe

Medium.com/@faheemjackson

Tumblr Me: @fjackson44

WRITING! DIRECTING! PRODUCING: HOW I’M NAVIGATING THE FILM WORLD

Close-up of a Man

“A tough road ahead.”


In November of 2015, I made my first short film. It is the beginning of my Independent Filmmaking career. I did not attend film school, so I am learning while doing. The first film was a seven minute short entitled, “First Day Fears. A film that you can watch on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvgKx6fDflA). The film took me an entire year to edit because of the process I had to undergo. Now, had I had an editor to assist me along, it would have been completed earlier. But this is the learning curve I must take on my journey. Now that I am on to my second short film, I get that feeling again.

That feeling, you know that feeling of will I raise the funding, won’t I raise the funding. The Indiegogo campaign is next month, and I cannot believe it has been a year since I started promoting the project. Hopefully this goes well planned so I can move on to my next which I plan on it being a feature. You see, this process is a long tedious process that can take years to Image result for indiegogoaccomplish. But a lot of people don’t realize it can take years. They just look on a screen and see film. You would think it took about year to a year and a half. But sometimes films have taken five to ten years, or sometimes more. Now how long will my first feature take to push.

Well, I am putting myself on a two year window to build it, and then raise the funding to shoot it. So in all, I would say about three years in all. You might ask yourself, what is my process for making my films. For right now, I of course start with an idea. I build a character analysis about the person/s who will be the principle actors. Then I go on to writing my outline, which is a tedious process. Well why, why are my outlines so tedious? The reason is that I see the entire film all the way through. Wait, wait, wait, really? That’s right, from beginning to end, all the way through. So how do I do it?

Imagine sitting in a theater seat, then the theater goes black. From there, the opening credits pop onto the screen, and into the first scene. The title emerges somewhere around this time, then we go into the movie. Imagine the whole movie, all the way until the closing credits as they scroll down the screen. And that is how I build my screenplay outline. So when I write the Image result for screenplayscript, I know the character, I know the story and I start from the beginning of the outline, and write the script all the way through. Knowing the story and the characters, I base the dialogue around that in each scene from my outline; and that’s the first draft.

Now, my first draft is the first draft, most likely, none of the first stuff will make the cut because I write more than I need. Once I do have myself a Image result for pre-production planworkable script, I set the script aside. Opening myself a nice spreadsheet, I start to build myself a pre-production plan. In that plan, I take into account
how long it took me to write my script. Then I go along add how much time it could approximately take to complete task that must be accomplished. Image result for storyboardFor example, from my workable script, I design myself a storyboard that is basic. This storyboard will show in imagery the story from start to finish. Here is where I would start building my social media awareness for my film. Because I start my budgetary concerns at this initial point.

Over the course of this past year, I took into account many different budget concerns: wardrobe, props, equipment, staff, insurance, location for shoot, craft services, editing, and composition (music). This budget I work, as well as adjusting the script if need be along the way. Now for me, I raised Image result for film budgetfunding on a crowdfunding platform. So about halfway into the pre-production planning, I started brainstorming incentives for people who give toward my film. Time progress on as I continue to refine the budget and eventually coming to an Indiegogo launch date. This will be the time frame for me to raise funding for my film. And in this time, you have no clue the amount of money raised.

But eventually the campaign ends, and you wait for the finances to clear so you can start funding your film. Make sure you give those that chose an incentive their goods. Then you want to start purchasing and hiring for the film. By the time the Indiegogo campaign was already complete I had my People at the Green Grass Field With the Distance Holding Filming Camera during Day Timeactors. Days pass, and then, the shoot date. All this time put in, and you’re finally here. You have no clue still how the day will go, but hopefully it works out. My day went fine, except for a few issues, sound, some continuity, oh and a key player didn’t show; yeah that’s nice. But nonetheless, I still made my first short film.

In the end, I learned some valuable lessons. One, start researching venue space early. Don’t rely on one actor to fill spots, you may have to react on the fly. And last, but not least, I say start building your project early. It isn’t guaranteed to work, but you have done preparation at least. So, hopefully this next one goes well, so I can move forward. So, I strap up, and here goes nothing: lights, camera, action.


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1960’S – CADILLACS, LINCOLNS, AND CHEVY’S: A DECADE OF SOLID GOLD SOUL

Related image

“Not my generation, but my muse.”

From 1960 to 1969 was a decade of soulful music that may not have defined my generation, but I love it nonetheless. For me, being born in the 1980’s, 1960 was the year my mother was born. From the sounds of Ray Charles singing hits like Georgia On My Mind, a state that he refused to play a concert because of the Jim Crow laws of the south. A move that created tension toward him for years to come. But was it all about the Jim Crow Image result for ray charles 1960south? No, because the year 1961 brought hits like Etta James, At Last. A love song that anyone who has been hit by cupid’s arrow can relate to. And that same year Ray Charles would return with yet another hit song, Hit The Road Jack. A track that spans just over two minutes, but sends a powerful message to it’s listeners.

And in the same year of 1961 who could forget Ben E. King’s hit song, Stand By Me. Which just over twenty years later would carry the title of a 1980’s cult classic movie. Starring River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, John Cusack, and Wil Wheaton. The next year in 1962 kept the hits coming as Ray Charles reemerged, this time with three hit tracks: I Can’t Stop Loving You, You Don’t Know Me, and Your Cheatin Heart. But in 1963, not only was a Image result for martha and the vandellasyear in music, but the year president John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Such a heartfelt year brought joy, love, and sadness with the Shirelles, Foolish Little Girl. And who can forget in 1963 Heat Wave by Martha and The Vandellas. Then the following year 1964 came around with yet another tragedy. This time Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem.

Even with the tragedy, music kept being pumped out that year. Like The Four Tops, Baby I need your Loving, The Temptations with The Way You Do The Things You Do, The Supremes with Baby Love and Come See About Me, and Martha and The Vandellas returned with Dancing In The Streets. As with the groups, we saw Mary Wells come with the hit some My Guy and James Brown’s Please, Please, Please. Feeling the love of the 1960’s continued on into 1965 with songs like Sam Cooke’s Change Is Gonna Come. This hit song has Image result for marvin gayebeen replayed and remastered in numerous television shows, films, and theatre plays; adding to Sam Cooke’s already hit catalog. But you can’t talk great music of 1965 without including Marvin Gaye’s Aint That Peculiar and How Sweet It Is, The Four Tops Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, and James Brown I Feel Good and Poppa’s Got A Brand New Bag

That same year The Temptations brought us My Girl. Yet another song that would be the inspirational song behind a Hollywood movie. Starring Macaulay Culkin, Anna Chlumsky, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Dan Aykroyd. Meanwhile Martha and The Vandellas reminded us there’s Nowhere to Run and Nowhere To Hide adding to their catalog of hits. But let’s not forget Jr. Walker and The All Stars with Shotgun. As the we rounded past the mid 1960’s headed into the year 1966 hits continued to flow. Stevie Wonder let us know not to be “Uptight” cause everything’s going to be alright and Blowing In The Wind as Sam and Dave told us to Hold On, I’m Coming. As the year 1967 came we saw music from Aretha Franklin who taught us the value in be Respected and Natural Woman. As Jackie Wilson told us to reach Higher and Higher. The same year Sam and Dave gave us Soul Man.

1967 kept on with Gladys Knight and The Pips I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles I Second That Emotion. The year of 1968 was off to yet another emotional round-block as two leaders were assassinated: Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hard Image result for jackson 5to believe music could keep coming. But it commenced with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell with Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing,James Brown’s Say It Loud and I Got The Feeling, Otis Redding’s On The Dock Of The Bay. Then to round out the decade Marvin Gaye gave us his version of Heard It Through The Grapevine. We were also introduced to the Jackson 5 with I Want You Back. Throughout this decade there were highs and lows, but the music is what kept it all together. Above all, entertainment remained strong going into the 1970’s.