Ain't No Shade - Alien Genre Challenge

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« on: June 28, 2020, 10:38:27 PM »
Here is the long heralded Grime extravaganza. I already had a line "No Shade in LA" about someone who kept bumping into their ex. It was a bit cliched and boring and so I thought, what if it was a policeman that the protagonist couldn't stop meeting, which was much more fun to write.

Until it wasn't. Mrs Lutehill immediately said, I don't think you can get away with that these days. And, although I don't think there's overt racism here, it sure does sound like white privilege to think that being wrongly profiled or pursued by the police could be a bit of an amusing anecdote...

So I was thinking of binning the entire thing, or going back to the boring ex story. Instead it now has a final twist to try to turn the mirror on the listener and myself and say this is all very well but there's a serious point here which we shouldn't miss... Too much or not enough, I don't even know.

Musically, grime is essentially rapping over a fast jolty beat, if possible with a bit of East London slang thrown in. I added a prechorus for more variety. It was almost like doing a genre that was totally alien to me... There's a famous grime MC who at the end of each song exclaims "One take!". I am not he.

Finally. if you're the lady from the sample, I'd love to credit you but I can't find out anywhere who you are.
Ain't No Shade

Man out in London / on a celebration
Not getting drunken / or on a demonstration
Couldn’t evade an / interrogation
From an indecent / fricking policeman
All outspoken / dissing my version
He's draconian / he's taken an aversion
He's getting Grievous on me, fam,
Treating me like I'm his Obi-wan

Moving on nicely / but he's there behind me
He’s been slyly / quietly spying on me
Highly surprisingly / seems I've acquired me
My own violently / arch adversary
Thought our relationship / would be only cursory
But we're joined at the hip now / when's our anniversary?!
Been fleeing the constabulary
Ever since I was in nursery

Trying to keep cool like a cactus
Trying to hang tough like a gangsta
Everywhere cops getting tougher
I just need some shade to give me some cover

From E3 - there ain't no shade
to E18 - there ain't no shade
Aldgate East, Petticoat Lane
Dagenham Heathway - ain't no shade
L A, Lagos, San José
Saint Tropez - there ain't no shade
No escape, can't get a break, cos there ain't no shade

I mind my own business / with minimum low stress
But without due process / ain’t getting no rest
Maybe I could hop it / on a bike left by Boris
But what we need to stop this / now is a forest
I'm doing circuits / going round the backstreets
Hanging out like a hermit / to calm down my heartbeat
Here’s my sad plea to Sadiq
Please give us some palm trees

Manz in bad shape / Can't find a safe place
Ain’t no haven / out in the landscape
Cops never be straight / Feels like a police state
My pic saved on / CCTV tape
Always blatant / plain malpractice
In the ways they / traced and tracked us
Perpetrating ABH
on our personal data

Trying to keep cool like a cactus
Trying to hang tough like a gangsta
Just trying to get me some closure
But everywhere I go, sure, I’m getting exposure


Humorous songs about police abuses / maybe not a good image
I only found it amuses / cos I'm white and privileged
Statues and assumptions shattered, new ones emerging
I’m gonna rap #blacklivesmatter and keep listening and learning

(c) Adam Farr, 2020, all rights reserved
Sample: @glamoisticos
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 10:42:50 PM by adamfarr »


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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 07:30:51 AM »
@adamfarr - Pure Brilliance, didn't know what Grime was, and you've nailed what I didn't know...The vocal has a light tone to it, and the rhythm track is well spaced leaving plenty of room for the centre piece vocal

Very clever lyrics.

I also like the way you didn't conk out through lack of breath.

Great job


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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2020, 08:32:57 AM »
This is fabulous @adamfarr I've really been looking forward to listening to this. Great lyrics. Top work fitting all those lyrics in. Clever backing track. All fits together so seamlessly. This is the challenge that doesn't stop giving  :)


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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2020, 11:53:33 AM »
Hola @adamfarr

The song has a complex intelligent and acid  lyric, which leaves you pensive...
 the speed of the vocals rapping the story left me exhausted hahaha ... How difficult it would be for me to do something like that!
I did not know that to live we had to die so many times
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2020, 02:26:49 PM »
Hi Adam, this is brilliant! Love the sparse backing track which leaves all the room for the attention on the fab lyrics which are delivered machine gun stylie! Loved the epilogue too!




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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2020, 03:17:51 PM »
Great work Adam, how the hell did you get all those words out!

Loved the ending!

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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2020, 07:41:35 PM »
Brilliant Adam!

No let up...well, not much in that delivery. You did famously though with the rap rhythm and it works well over the slower pace of the backing which i confess eluded me on the first listen I was so mesmerised by the vocal part.
Well done on the double lots of rhymes in the verses...quite a feat...and paints a good picture too...double the feat!
Good memorable hookline too which is a great title and a strong image.


You should have shouted 'One take' anyway. Who would know?
Take it easy.

You can check my stuff out here. Mini-album getting bigger slowly. Free download if you're poorer than me.

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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2020, 08:14:55 PM »
What a cracking song, Adam.

A home run, this fucker. Sounds like this sort of thing was made for you.

Lyrics are absolutely brilliant...and the way you deliver them is truly fabulous. I was intending to pick out a couple of highlights...but it'd mean missing other lines i'll just go back and read them again to myself.

A revelation and absolutely one of the best of all the great songs that this challenge has thrown up.


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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 02:15:03 AM »
Pretty incredible track Adam! love the pacing & timing. as mentioned lyrics
are well done and wow did you breath? dig this one !!


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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 08:25:04 AM »
Thanks so much everyone - I do like a bit of rap and sometimes fancy myself as a rhymer but everything seemed to come together here. Even then I was rewriting and removing over-ambitious bits right until the last take (as the ever-on-the-ball Kate Tempest once said, songs are made in the mouth not the mind).

Was nice to give lutehill a bit of a character and learn something about beatmaking.

Great challenge - I'll admit this one wasn't unwelcome for me but with a bit a work it's amazing what pearls you can fish (and all the other alien tracks are evidence of that).


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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 02:24:16 PM »
Wow, Hip Hop Grandad has a faster rapping son! Really enjoyable track this, and I marvelled at the speed of your rapping delivery.

The Ain't No Shade chorus is very catchy due to the clever rhythm, and there's loads of amusing little lyrical treats right through this.

You're a very self deprecating chap, so you did the Epilogue. Good though it was I don't think you needed to apologise or justify this piece of work. It had attitude not to be messed with, but was definitely tongue in cheek from start to finish. I'm sure you must be proud of it, it's a really top and most entertaining piece of work!


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« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 12:27:47 PM »
Hi Adam
I raelly enjoyed this track reminded me a bit of the Streets. Great lyrics, great rapping and great production.