David Bell Jr.
David Bell Jr.
- 2014 HOLLYWOOD MUSIC IN MEDIA HIP HOP SONG winner, 2011 PATRON XO CAFE MUSIC PROJECT WINNER & BILLBOARD WORLDWIDE SONG CONTEST winner
Block Scholars is the indie Hip Hop musical collaboration between NOBULL (Bennett Baskerville; Bronx, NY) and Slimdog of Slimdog Productions (David Bell Jr.; Akron, OH) & 2mental (Nathan Andreas; Philadelphia, PA).The group first met each other through Myspace and mutual friends in 2005. Home now in Colorado Springs, CO, the rap act is heavily influenced by an eclectic mix of music ranging from Biggie Smalls, 2Pac, Madlib, Dr. Dre, Pharrell and Prince to even Jazz, Opera, Rock and Classical music. They are also considered a “triple threat” because collectively they can write high quality lyrics, produce and perform their own music. Block Scholars won the 2014 Hollywood Music In Media Award for Rap/Hip Hop Song with, "All My Life", received the 2011 "Excellence In Songwriting" Award from The 18th Annual Billboard/Starmaker 360 Worldwide Songwriting Contest for placing in 3rd out of 1000s of entries in the Rap/Hip Hop genre, plus getting an "Honorable Mention" for (R&B/Hip Hop) and semi-finalists in the (Unsigned Only) categories in the 2010 International Songwriting Competition for the song "Time Machine", both of these contests known for being the two of the best songwriting competitions in the world. They are one of three grand prize winners in Patron XO Cafe's 2011 Music Project, where they won sponsorship from Patron XO Cafe to help further their career with judges from SPIN Magazine & RCRD LBL (a free mp3 download music blog featuring emerging artists), nominated for Best Hip Hop Artist/Song from Hollywood Music In Media in September 2012 for "Time Machine", July 2010 & January 2011 for the songs, "Flossin'" & "This Is For My People (The Rhythm Of A Scholar)" respectively, Slimdog Productions was also nominated in the 2012 Contemporary/Orchestral Instrumental Song Of The Year by HMMA, selected as one of the “Next 1000” artists to watch for in 2009 by URB Magazine, and were named the 2009 KIAC Open Songs Competition Winner in Hip Hop for their track, "Livin’ In Tha’ Jungle ft. 2mental". They also have received the “Collective Works Honor” from SongOfTheYear.com in 2009 for high scores on multiple works in that contest
- Colorado Springs, CO
Love this track! I can really see this appealing to both the wider/top 40 audience and hip hop heads who are more into the underground stuff. I don't say this often but I actually think this track could have gone on for another minute or so. The sampled vocals in the background are great and I like how they seem to match up with the old timey nature of the black and white photo. Will definitely try and help spread the word!
In my experience, "old" music (music that has been out for a while) is hard to push in a current market without significant help (i.e. motion picture or television placements, commercial placement, or as a cover by another popular artist). For example, two motion pictures soundtracks that heavily feature covers and are doing decently on iTunes (the Soundtracks to "50 Shades of Gray" and "Pitch Perfect 2") no doubt boosted sales of the original recordings that are covered on those albums. This song, while very relevant in today's social turmoil, came out four years ago, and may have missed it's window to promote. You can try reaching out to those companies that work to promote music through social media awareness, but whether investing money in that way is practical for your purposes is another matter all together. That being said, you can always try to push the song through a second round through your own social media platforms. I went online to check out (look for) your various social media accounts and I was a little confused as to why your account names seem to vary across platforms. Your soundcloud seems to be named Block Scholars, your twitter is named Block Scholars but uses @Slimdog as the handle, on Facebook there is no Block Scholars and only a Slimdog account, and on Instagram there's a @BlockScholars account. I'm not sure whether it would help, but I think that consolidating social media accounts with the same name, especially for lesser known acts, would help. I also checked Youtube for videos by Block Scholars, and I noticed that there doesn't seem to be an "official" music video for the track. Given the nature of the song, the lyrical imagery and subject matter, a well-made, socially conscious "official" video, with solid modern imagery reflective of the lyrics, could possibly help spread more awareness of the music. Hope the tips help.
Pros: - I like the beat, especially the bass drum and the sample - Lyrically, y'all paint a great picture. - I like the concept of the song overall. Cons: - I don't like the way the vocal is stacked on the chorus. It's a bit grating. - I'd try to add some more energy into the delivery. Something about it feels very "generic late 90s NY", and I think finding a way to twist that and make it unique would be in your best interest. Not a bad place to start. Keep working and keeping me posted on new music!
Compelling lyrics and hypnotic beat. I was left wanting more, which is extremely rare for me. Was still thinking about the lyrics after the song ended. I like that there's a conscious message but still a hard-hitting flow that captures the listener's attention. Pleased to hear that a hip-hop song with substance has received so many accolades.
Hello! I really enjoyed this song, though the only thing that I didn't like was the background vocals. Everything else about the track felt really strong, and the vocals felt really distracted while I was listening. Other than that, its a great song. Keep it up!
Raw and rugged beat is reminiscent of Northeastern US hip hop. Great production, solid lyricism and storytelling, enjoyable raps and solid verses. Sounded very professional and encourages multiple listens. Nicely done.
Love the sample in the background. Not only does your track combine hip hop, catchy lyrics, and an old school feel in the overall tone, you have created an addictive story told throughout your vocals and music. Great work!
Instantly identifiable as solid, better than most submissions. Head-noddable production on lock. Overall I really enjoyed the energy, the vibe, the sample and the flow. The song cut off IMO too early, would have liked for it to actually keep going for another minute or so. I Googled the record and I see that it was first released in 2011. Hopefully you're still making music that sounds like this.
Hey guys, So I note this track has won awards But you're confusing awards with them meaning anything to the industry at large Yes it is a good tune but: Is the sample cleared? If it is, you can pitch it for syncs & TV. If it isn't, you can't. So nobody can sign it and release it as without cleared samples there is nothing to sign and use. And doing that is down to you guys. Also speaking from an A&R perspective, no new or current A&R is going to sign a track from 2010 when it has been out there since 2015. Why would they when the pressure on record labels is to sign the next new big thing rather than old tracks that have had their time? So if you seriously want people to notice it, remove any reference to it being old This isn't to be a bitch about the track btw, just the reality of the record industry. So what you need to do is work it and build it yourself and not push old material thinking that the industry, that is about the new, is going to change and for the first time ever care about something old. This is a good strong tune. But without cleared samples it's unworkable (it is not going to be sync'd by anybody that actually is worth working with). So either try and clear it, remake it with sample packs, or move on to a new track that can be pushed. Don't forget that I am also talking from an industry perspective - if you don't care about the industry then you have a certain freedom to do it yourself. All that matters is that you build your own fanbase and sell to that and there are many ways - pledge, bandcamp, etc - that allow you to do that. I would ignore the industry initially in any case - work YouTube, build your following, etc. Work the blogs, come with proper PR sheets (the only thing stopping you doing these things is laziness), push to the guys who like the old school sounds. Look at releasing yourself. Btw your press releases are awful. There is nothing there that is of any interest to any blog - and I am sure you know that blogs basically cut and paste your Press Release and publish that instead of writing for themselves. So your PR sheet should have quotes, almost be in the form of an interview (who you are, who inspires you, influences, aims), should have quotes from well known artists about you so you have instant credibility, etc You can't just whack out a boring list of competitions (not relevant) and a couple of names and expect people to care You have MC Lyte as a collaborator on one of your tunes so work the angles - build from your 1000 soundcloud and 2700 facebook fans and get your mailing list up etc. 500 paying fans will do you well and they will build to 1000, 1500, etc But it will take time and more importantly effort. You say you want this track out there but nobody is going to notice and care if you don't play the game and also make it so it can be used (the sample point again) And radio - chase proper radio and not just in America but across the world. The USA is but one country and the internet is worldwide
Good song. Real hip hop. Track works with the flow. Catchy hook. Send clean version and drop to firstname.lastname@example.org. For drop tag miss j NYce (nice) and Strictly Hip Hop 88.9 fm Baltimore miss j NYce Radio.
Thanks for the submission gentlemen. Starting out the mix on the track sounds pretty solid. The drums punch through nicely and the chopped sample sounds clear and crisp. It would have been nice to have a live bass on the track to give it some more dimension, but the current one works. As far as the rapping there is some good charisma and energy shown. I like the story that is told through the lyrics. Am I blown away by the lyrics/punchlines...not really. The concept "Time Machine" is just not really grabbing me either. It's a little too basic for me. I'm all about great and innovative concepts to make the listener think and put a puzzle together in their head. My main issue with the record is that at least in the main stream this sound isn't relevant anymore. Coming from listening to some of the best to do it in my opinion on a more conscious/positive level like Common, KRS, Tribe etc. I definitely respect that you're staying true to the roots of hip hop, but the game is so different now. I don't have to sit here and go over what is wrong with hip hop these days since I'm sure you're aware. I think the record could work for TV/Film though. In a major arena no I just have to be a realist here. People have moved past this sound now for a while. Congratulations on all your awards though. I hope my feedback helps guys. Thanks for letting me listen.
Whoa! All the elements I look for in a good ol' skool Hip Hop Jammie. But with pleasant surprise of some blistering harmonies. Whole song laid in the pocket and I knew it was on smash within the first 5 seconds a big plus to me cuz that's how long you have to grab peoples attention in the noise out here today. Now the lyrics were a major plus because they allowed me to place myself in the lead singer or should I say messengers place and actually think about those same scenarios if this song was downloadable I would play it on my reverbradio Network. Overall: ╭∩╭∩╭∩╭∩╭∩ (︶︿︶)∩╮∩╮∩╮∩╮∩╮10THUMBS UP ℬℒ ∀☪Ҟ☪ᗩᗴ§ᗩℜ✘✌ you want it to be heard send me an mp3 plus cover art 799wX600h px my network on site connected to ReverbNation is http://bit.ly/reverbradio if I can I will attach our ratinds in the next screen.
First impressions were good. An interesting concept for a song and delivered with confidence. Kept me interested throughout with the different ideas and story. Great rhyming, cool vocals and strong beat. This isn't my strongest genre and my own tastes are more melodic. Personally I'd have preferred the beat to vary a little more. That said, if I heard this on radio or in a bar/club at high volume I'd probably think it sounded great. A very promising band with a good future. I'll send to a couple of producers I know.
Hi, Thanks for sending this through. I can see why you won awards with this and congrats for it's success so far. If I was to lend some advice... I just clicked through to your Soundcloud page and its full of music - which is fab... but some have 100,000 + views and others have under 10. I would put albums up in playlists and take them down as individual tracks so the page isn't SO full. It's great to keep re-introducing this track and yes agreed it is still of course new to a lot of listeners, but be careful not to dwell on the past.. Labels and A&R's want to see what you're writing now is as good as what you wrote there so mentioning your accolades is a great thing to build from but be sure to have new music that's as good if not better to follow on that conversation with.
really good song and rapper featured on this track. Sound was slightly dated...heard influences of early Jay Z and The Lox. As mentioned very very strong though overall. The key with hip-hop is to crack the blogosphere first. Make a name on social media and continue to develop your craft and work with producers, DJs and other names that can help increase views. Youtube is incredibly important. blogs are too.
Nice to hear a people from Colorado, probably one of the most underrated states when it comes to music. Thank you for sharing your music with me, means a lot. [★ OVERALL SOUND] There's a specific type of cheesy sound that is favored in licensing and I think you guys have nailed it, especially when it comes to independent film, documentaries and lots of other television shows that use background music. Please, do not take that as an insult as it is not meant as one. I love the blend of multiple artists, it makes it versatile and whoever is on the hook – nice texture [★ INSTRUMENTAL] How many people were working on this instrument? I ask because it sounds like a good blend of Electric, Madlib and a few eclectic subgenres I've been exposed to over the last few years. It's not something you'd hear on mainstream radio of course, but it does have a really nice blend to it and it's easy to listen to. [★ SUGGESTIONS] These are more so 'things to consider'. As I tell most people, work on different versions of the song, if you haven't already of course. This will open up many more doors for licensing opportunities. Now when I look at the title of your track I noticed that it says 'radio edit' when I think of a radio, I think of a song that is easy to BPM match and merge with other pop songs. Depending on what type of radio you're going for, you might want to think about a reworking the track to fit in the broad factor of what's out today. Not for the sake of changing your image, but more so catching the attention of the DJ. [★ YES, I CAN HELP WITH PROMOTION] I can definitely help with the promo especially to indie radio, but if you're looking for placements on bigger stations, It needs to hit a wider audience for the Dj to play with. Let me know what you'd like to do and keep up the good work. Feel free to contact me anytime here or my site http://diymusicbiz.com
Uplifting lyrics, keeping it real at the same time, symphonic strings, and that catchy bells hook... this is awesome! Please create a profile at amazingtunes.com and upload it, then send me the link so I can extra-double highlight it to our radio team DJ's who would be more inclined to hand-pick this tune. Thanks for sharing! Ysanne
Good rhythm and flow, nice lyrical composition and overall production. Could use some help on the singing element of the chorus in the "life hurts so you gotta soul search" portion. The first chorus sounds like the key isn't kept throughout. It sounds better in the other chorus parts. Good use of movie mixing at the end for the quote to fully establish the point.
It is a pretty good song. I like it. Simple beat, which makes you concentrate on the lyrics. I am curious about minute 2:15 to about 2:45 it was not as clean as the rest of the song and I am wondering if it was because of the radio editing. Overall a really good song though.
WHERE I AM FT. TRINITYI RMX BY NICK JONES BY BLOCK SCHOLARS This track was a cool use of the Edie Brickell & New Bohemians sample. If you actually sampled it, I would advise you to clear it before you release this. If you played it, make sure you properly obtain the license. I like the track, but I think the vocals over powered the beat, which was a bit lacking. Although this is a laid-back type of groove, it could use a bit more knock in the beats department. From an A&R perspective, I think the track needs to be more polished before releasing it. Best of luck
Love this! Of course, I love the original too. Oh yeah, but that's "What I Am." You've done a great job combining elements to make something fresh. I don't have any way to get you radio play, but I'd be happy to tweet this out to my followers. Thanks for sharing it with me!
fantastic track! love hearing Edie Brickell used in a hip hop track. great flow, as well. reminds me of ll cool j. the hook needs some work. feels forced and a little cheesy. I'd prefer it feel more like the original track. also, vocal production on 2nd verse feels different than the first. should be more consistent.
Hi guys Hm, is this a cover, or a cheeky bootleg? lol :) I like creativity, and am a huge fan of sampling and using things in a new way Overall this is a new track with great hooks and flow This does sound a little old skool, but thats not always a good bad thing if used creatively I think overall its a nice track, and I think it would be nice in an album of other tracks Good work
This is a fantastic submission in every way. I really liked the description. I'll paste it here for others because it's so great. "Looking for radio airplay. We are already doing a 90 day promo with Hits 93 fm Toronto with some favorites and retweets by listeners. Not your typical mainstream Hip Hop, we approach Hip Hop from the "old school" side, to reach and teach. We have won numerous international contests with our music (see our bio here at Fluence or www.iacmusic.com/SlimdogProductions)." I'm going to recommend some folks who don't do radio, but check out their profiles see if they can be helpful. Also check out http://fluence.io/lists for radio and pr. I think this is a great track and am going to share it with my friends and followers. Thanks for sending this to me.
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