Unpredictable and full of surprises, life is more of a journey than a quest. One experiences a roller coaster of emotions during this journey full of obstacles, challenges, moments of happiness, and times when one feels lonely and wishes to give up. One moment, there is joy and happiness all around, and right in the next moment, there is grief, sadness, and hopelessness. This element of surprise and unpredictability in life demotivates many people, deviating them from their life goals and bringing many to the point of giving up.
No one knows what they are going to come across in the next moment. It is the ‘not knowing’ that makes life beautiful. The adversities, a part of life no one can escape, serve as a motivation for one to make it big life. The way one handles these obstacles and challenges determines their successes and failures.
There is one secret to success in life; facing adversities with head held high and coming out stronger than ever. Serving as an example is the founder and CEO of MyLife Entertainment, who is currently working on his music career. ML Underwood, a name not unknown to the music artists and listeners.
Spending time in federal prison can strip away a person’s confidence and self-esteem, pushing them into a world of intense emotions such as grief, depression, and hopelessness. Underwood is one of those who do not give in to their adversities, stay consistent, and give their all to fulfill their dreams. He not came out of prison as a stronger version of himself but also to help all other inmates who had huge expectations from life.
A Story Worth Narrating…
Born in the hometown of Michael Jackson, a legend, on October 13, 1973, ML Underwood’s story is an example of how adversities help a person grow into a better version of themselves. Failures come in different forms; regardless, they must not be looked upon as a hurdle but as a stepping stone. Underwood was meant to make a name for himself in the music industry.
The fact that ML Underwood was afraid of failures as a child makes his story relatable to millions of struggles out there. When asked about his take on failures, he stated, “As a child, I was afraid to fail because my dad always pushed greatness upon me.” As a child, he was an athletic individual who loved playing basketball. Wrestling was where his heart was, and he even earned the title of a state champion in high school. He wrestled for two years. His priorities were different as a child, and as an athletic kid, he did not see music as a career choice.
Even though he grew up listening to Jackson 5 and he was even named after Marlon Jackson from this pop band by his sister, Melody. It was after he met his music teacher, Mrs. Hatcher that made him feel his soul connect with music. When he began admiring the purity of this artistic form of expression, he could not pursue it as his father always wanted him to go to college. He entered Purdue College to study Electrical Engineering.
Underwood used to hang out with gangsters a lot, which led him into the Federal Penitentiary. During these years, he thought about all the things that he could have done outside. He used his prison time to sort things out in life and decided it was music he wanted to pursue. Life in prison is tough and can crush the dreams of many people. Realizing this, Underwood also took up a responsibility to change things for all those inmates who were dreaming of acquiring stability in life after the release from the prison.
Turning His Dreams into Reality
After spending five years in prison, ML Underwood stepped out with an aim to turn his life around and establish standing in the world of music. The world around him tried to bring him down and hurt his confidence. He states, “It is funny how people kept on telling me that I can’t do something or that something is hard and impossible.” His determination and high self-esteem helped him lay the foundations of his consulting agency, “MyLife Entertainment”. He attempted to acquire a prominent standing in the world of entertainment. Through his company, he offered artist management, marketing strategy advising, and business performance consulting.
The company will also host the hip-hop Awards 2020. ML Underwood worked with some notable clients in the entertainment world, including Bun B, Juvenile, Sandy Redd from NBC’s the Voice, Willie Taylor, Shawnna from DTP, and Boosie Badazz. With time, the company has acquired an esteemed standing in the world of entertainment, and it turned Underwood into a renowned talent manager in the music industry. Through this platform, Underwood hopes to ‘reform hip hop to the next highest level.’ Another reason why he founded the company was to finance his own dreams. On one occasion, Underwood talked about how ‘before distributing music, an aspiring artist should have a budget for Marketing their Music.’
After the company established a firm foundation, he decided it was time to step into the music world as a musician, something he aspired to be, ever since he stepped out of prison. Finally, Underwood released his first song with the support of Willie Taylor (Day 26) and Shawanna. The remix of ‘Crazy Love’ was his ticket into the music world as a musician. While discussing his debut, he stated, “Crazy Love came from my heart because it really describes my relationship with my wife. The struggles of Marriage and understanding the love language of your partner can be just CRAZY.”
His debut was followed by a plethora of other releases such as ‘Coalition,’ ‘My Life,’ ‘King God Legend,’ ‘That’s on My Life,’ ‘Show Me,’ and ‘I’m the Light.’ After investing millions of dollars in helping other artists build their careers, Underwood found it fitting to invest in himself. He stated, “You never go wrong investing in yourself.” In just seven months, his track acquired one million streams, a dream of many aspiring artists, and he aims to reach 100 million streams.
A Man Helping the Strugglers Turn their Lives Around
Not only his dreams, but he also stepped up to improve the lives of his fellow inmates who were struggling to achieve stability in life. It led to the establishment of a beneficial service for inmates known as, The United Prisoner Association. Serving as the voice of the young African-American generation, he is helping inmates turn their lives around by providing them a platform through which they can fulfill their long-lost dreams.
Born in Gary, a small town in Indiana, ML Underwood not just an entrepreneur and a musician, but also a philanthropist life coach, and motivational speaker. All his tracks have a message that listeners, who dive deep into the lyrics, will be able to find. The Hip Hop music artist creates tracks that are a perfect amalgamation of knowledge, emotions, and melody. He uses his music to empower the African-American community to follow the light and find success in their lives. His music is a force that is acquiring worldwide recognition in African-American music. Underwood’s life is serving as a source of inspiration who are failing to turn their dreams into reality, and his music is encouraging people to take a stand and fight to live lives exactly the way they want to!
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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