Saturday, August 07, 2010

New Artist Spotlight: Bei Maejor

"You can't concern yourself with standards when you're chasing greatness"
Late last year around November, I heard a track that caught my ear called Drunk in the much so that I still rock that joint to this day, which is unheard of with my on-to-the-next-one, promiscuous attitude toward music. Having that strong of a first impression has had me constantly on the look out for new stuff from Bei Maejor. Up until this month, he hadn't really released any noteworthy solo albums/mixtapes and he had been more well-known for his production, which was still top notch (especially the @diggy_simmons track Great Expectations). Finally this week Bei dropped a free mixtape on us titled Upside Down, which he has put on his website free to download here.
To be completely honest, I'm trying to be selective in who I follow on Twitter because the more people/artists/producers I follow, the easier it is to miss stuff on the feed. That's why I recently decided to follow @beimaejor, making him one of 18 people I follow on Twitter a good decision because everything he is touching lately sounds good and is blowing up. I like the fact that a lot of these really talented, young, up and coming producers (i.e. KaneBeatz, Boi-1da) are all sticking together and repping each other's work. Big reason why I take the time to shout all of them out, they all produce great music and deserve more credit for what they do in my opinion.

Before I get too far into my favorite tracks on his new mixtape, which is by far the best R&B mixtape I've heard since Kevin Cossum's Hook vs Bridge mixtape from last year, I'll be honest in saying it was initially hard to root for Bei. Talent and music aside, he is a graduate of Michigan and I've been brainwashed to dislike anything Michigan related since I went to Ohio State. By the way, #2 pre-season, how bout them apples?? It has helped that my best friend also went to Michigan, as well as his wife, so this won't be the first time I'll be making an exception for someone who graduated from the school up north. As an intro to Bei Meajor as a person, check the video below where he talks about the reason why he spells his name so crazy and how he started producing song for @treysongz while he was 18 and still in college.

Definitely comes off as a soft spoken dude, but he's clearly got a lot of ambition with the direction he's headed with his music, even wanting to work with Owl City. Below is the album cover for his new tape, Upside Down:
On the mixtape, Bei takes the first 4 songs to explain in storytelling detail the reason for titling it Upside Down. I'm not going to ruin it, but give a listen to Barbershop Talk, which has sort of a Biz Markie sound to it, while it tells a story similar to Biggie's Story to Tell. Add to that a slightly British accent and that's the best way I can explain it, but I thought of Biz on the delivery and Biggie a little bit with the way he went about explaining the whole predicament he ended up in with his girl and her....listen to the mixtape.

My personal favorite on the whole mixtape is the second track in the story called Kisses in the V.I.P.. The backbone of the track is a beautiful piano based slow jam that sets a perfect scene to describe a sexy encounter in the V.I.P. Seems like everyone has at least one PDA story to tell about in their life and this track is a perfect soundtrack for that memory. Overall I was impressed mostly with the production of the track as a whole by Bei, but it's also a track where he shows off some serious vocals. He also does a great job at building the drama and incorporating the story within the track while maintaining the beat, which isn't an easy thing to pull off. Check it out...

Bei Maejor - Kisses in the V.I.P.
| Download

The second part of the album is filled with 9 tracks that are stand alone songs not having to do with the Upside Down story. While tracks like the video game inspired Gamez with Keri Hilson, Drinks on Me with Trey Songz and a great balled with Drake titled July, are going to get the majority of the attention, I was a bigger fan of two other tracks on the mixtape. The first being the Journey - Don't Stop Believin' inspired All Night. The sample is a little sped up, but it's definitely a good use of a well known piano sample. On this he takes more of a Hip Hop angle on the verses, but is able to incorporate a catchy R&B hook, giving a new sound to an old sample. I would have given the thumbs up on a Sample Justice here because he deviated from the sample and made it his own, but the original sound of the track is retained. Give it a listen...

Bei Maejor - All Night
| Download

Toward the end, the mixtape ends with a bang as Bei collaborated with Canadian beat chemist, Boi-1da on Facelifts and Waterfalls. Lyrically it goes waaay more than skin deep wondering aloud why men encourage women to take their clothes off, yet look down on them for it and how the most beautiful women are usually the ones that keep tweaking their looks with things like facelifts. Found it provocative how he compared the social acceptableness of white people going crazy watching World Cup soccer to the negative connotation of how a ground of black people watching the NBA would be called ghetto. I can see where he's goin' with the point because white soccer fans can be stupid and act a fool watching soccer at times, but I don't think there's as big of a negative connotation surrounding watching basketball to warrant comparison...but that's neither here nor there because the song does a great job at bringing to light some things that socially and culturally don't make sense. Listen below...

Bei Maejor - Facelifts and Waterfalls (prod by Boi-1da)
| Download

If you're in the mood for an upbeat, heartfelt love story that does a complete 180 at the end, in a almost so sad it's funny sort of way, give She Was (A Broken Love Story) a listen. I agree the story was artistic, extremely well told and easy to follow. Another great example of why artists that also produce are the ones that consistently put out the highest quality material.

Be on the look out for more Bei features on this blog as well as (hopefully) more solo material like the tracks on Upside Down. <----Last Chance to cop it!...

Bonus: An upbeat remix of his first single Drunk in the Club. Shouts out to Logan de Gaulle and @CLINTONSPARKS on the remix...

Bei Maejor feat Clinton Sparks - Drunk in the Club (Logan de Gaulle rmx) | Download


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