Mattress Nominated For Young Artist Award (2016) and Vancouver Joey Awards (2015)
Just as the title says, this movie is about a mattress. While that might not sound great, this short film, which is only ten minutes in length, follows the situation that unfolds when, under cover of darkness, a family dumps an old mattress in a dirty Strathcona alley. What happens next is an all-out suburban war, and the next day, blame passes from neighbor to neighbor with no one willing to take responsibility for the abandoned and illegally dumped mattress.
Dodging rotten eggs and Molotov cocktails, the youngest member of the Lee family, has to do the right thing, and the movie is about how Little Boy Lee has to take responsibility for his actions and clean up the streets.
The Movie ‘Mattress’ was Inspired By True Events
While it might sound unbelievable to you, this short movie was written by Michelle Kee, who said that she had always envisioned Mattress to be an extension of her overly-indulgent imagination during one strange month when a pale blue mattress was dumped on her garage and began a passive-aggressive mini-war between her neighbors, she said: “During that month, the mattress degraded into this disgusting big blue eyesore that had been spat on, peed on and even run over. The mystery of how and when the mattress ended up in the alley and the emotion it sparked between my neighbors fascinated me. We actually filmed this story in the same alley as the original inspiration.”
While only a short film, ‘Mattress’ is in a sense, an epic retelling of this incident from the perspective of the ‘dump and ditchers’ – specifically the youngest member of the family, Little Boy Lee.
Michelle Kee, who has lived in Singapore, the UK, and the USA before laying down roots in Vancouver, Canada, and has directed one short film and two music videos.
Mattress is a Tale Through a Young Boy’s Eyes
Every scene of Mattress is from the perspective of Little Boy Lee, and while it is an entertaining and funny film, at its very core, it’s a story about a little boy coming of age. The film is enjoyable as although only short, it takes you on a ride as the situation in the alley continues to escalate but what is the most important and endearing part of the film is that you get to see Little Boy Lee finding out and learning that a person’s actions can lead to disastrous consequences and that there’s a difference between family and world values.
Discovering The Influence of Jazz and Soul in Hip-Hop Sampling
Hip-hop music has taken over the world since its ascension from the streets of the Bronx in New York City. Characterized by its unique blend of poetry, rhythm, and beats, hip-hop has produced some of the world’s most iconic musicians and songs. One of the hallmarks of hip-hop music is its creative sampling techniques, which involves using snippets of music from old records to recreate new sounds. But where do these samples come from? And what has been the major influence behind hip-hop sampling?
The answer is jazz and soul music. In this blog post, we’ll put jazz and soul music under the microscope as expert Benjy Grinberg explores how these genres have influenced hip-hop sampling.
Jazz Music Influence On Hip-Hop Sampling
Jazz music was a major inspiration behind the early days of hip-hop music. Jazz music was all about improvisation and freestyling, which is very much in the DNA of hip-hop. In the early days of hip-hop, DJs often looped beats from jazz records to create breakbeats, which became the building blocks of early hip-hop music. One of the most sampled jazz artists in hip-hop is none other than the legendary saxophonist John Coltrane. Coltrane’s music has been sampled in countless hip-hop songs, and his influence can be felt in the music of many hip-hop icons, including Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Kendrick Lamar.
Soul Music Influence On Hip-Hop Sampling
Soul music, on the other hand, was all about emotion and expression. The raw, unfiltered passion of soul music was aptly captured in the sampling techniques of early hip-hop producers. One of the most sampled soul artists in hip-hop is James Brown. Brown’s unique blend of funk, soul, rhythm, and blues has been sampled in countless hip-hop tracks. Brown’s “Funky Drummer” has become one of the most iconic samples in hip-hop and has been used by everyone from Public Enemy and Run-DMC to Dr. Dre and Kanye West.
Jazz And Soul Music As A Source Of Inspiration For Hip-Hop Sampling
As hip-hop music evolved, so did its sampling techniques. Producers and artists began to look beyond just using samples to create beats but also as a source of inspiration for their lyrics and melodies. Jazz and soul music became fertile ground for this kind of experimentation. Artists like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and The Roots infused jazz and soul samples into their music, not just for the danceable beats but also to add depth and richness to their lyrics and melodies.
Other Examples Of Jazz And Soul Sampling
Hip-hop’s rich history is peppered with countless examples of jazz and soul samples. Some of the most iconic tracks in the genre owe their existence to these tried-and-true sources. One example of hip-hop greatly influenced by these genres is “N.Y. State of Mind” by Nas. The track samples Joe Chambers’ “Mind Rain,” featuring a haunting and soulful beat with Nas’s gritty and introspective lyrics. Another iconic track that has sampled jazz is “Electric Relaxation” by A Tribe Called Quest. The track heavily samples Ronnie Foster’s “Mystic Brew,” creating a hypnotic and smooth rhythm that complements Q-Tip and Phife Dawg’s playful yet insightful lyrics. These songs and many more showcase the versatility and creative genius of hip-hop producers who have skillfully incorporated jazz and soul samples to create a new wave of music.
In conclusion, jazz and soul music have significantly influenced hip-hop music. Jazz represents the improvisational spirit and freestyling DNA that runs through hip-hop music, while soul represents the raw, unfiltered emotions that hip-hop music embodies. Jazz and soul music have been sampled and used as inspiration by countless hip-hop producers and artists, and their influence can be felt in the music of some of hip-hop’s most iconic names, from Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Kendrick Lamar to Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, and Kanye West. According to Benjy Grinberg, without jazz and soul music, hip-hop music would not be what it is today – a global phenomenon that has influenced not just music but also fashion, art, and culture.
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