¡MAYDAY!
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¡MAYDAY!

Miami, Florida, United States | INDIE

Miami, Florida, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Hip Hop

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"URB Magazine "Stuck on an Island" Review"

When listeners first met ¡MAYDAY!, their sound was predominately hip-hop. Over the years, however, they have allowed their timbre to evolve, sharing stages with Daft Punk and collaborating with musical gems ranging from the brilliantly oddballish Devin the Dude to the far-out Cee-Lo. Their video for “Groundhog Day,” which featured the Gnarls Barkley half, premiered on YouTube in 2007, breaking two million views in less than two days and receiving hefty recognition from major media figures including the New York Times. Packaging both their success and growth into a brand new album, ¡MAYDAY! returns with Stuck on an Island, an artistic reflection of how the happenings of the past few years have shaped them into who they are now and where they ultimately plan to be.

Straddling the bar of hip-hop and a more alternative appeal, the album opens up with “I’ll Be Gone,” a funky, futuristic number on the grounds of Mark Ronson and K-OS. Venturing far, far away from their previous work, its deep, rattling bass line shakes, rattles and rolls as melodic vocals glide into Travie McCoy-esque rap and piano chords rage in the background. Songs like “Lost Highway” take on a darker persona with an ominous and murky boom, while “Transparent,” sounding like something produced underwater, possesses a muffled, smothered quality of resonance. A few more songs in, and we’ve reached “On 2 Someth’n,” which keeps the infectious ball rolling with the adornment of sassy female vocalist, Jovi Rockwell. With its punchy beats and contagious melodies, this 19-track compilation makes it difficult to sit still.

Following an obviously more eclectic and eccentric path, the album finds the group experimenting with a more untried sound, producing an album of urban music with a little more electro and pop/rock than there is boom-bap. The reason? As quoted by website Music Remedy, producer/guitarist Plex Luthor stated that Stuck on an Island displays ¡MAYDAY!’s intentions “to make sure the world knows musicians from this city can compete culturally with the best of them.” Was their goal met? After one rotation, it’s appealingly undeniable to the ears that it was.
- Stephanie Long


"Best of Miami 2009"

Almost three years ago, ¡Mayday! released its self-titled debut solo album to serious Internet buzz and positive critical reception. On the strength of that disc's breakout single, "Groundhog Day," which featured Cee-Lo singing the hook, it seemed like ¡Mayday! was ready for national play. But after a couple of years on the grind, founding members Plex Luthor and Bernbiz decided to switch things up and get back on their hometown's radar. As such, they've ditched their earlier, sampler-heavy sound in favor of a more organic, live band approach. They've added four new members, including battle champ MC Wrekonize. The new equation has proven to be alchemy — Luthor, Bernbiz, and company have stepped up their live game, laying down a soulful hip-hop funk with an electric energy. We've heard that at an occasional residency at Jazid, their live jams have inspired people to disrobe. You'll have to see for yourself. - The Miami New Times


"New York Times"

How "Groundhog Day" Became an Overnight YouTube Sensation

Around 2 a.m. Tuesday, something very ordinary happened. A four-minute video was uploaded onto YouTube.com, one of 40,000 that are added to the site every day. This one was for a song called "Groundhog Day," by an underground Miami hip-hop duo called Mayday!, with a chorus from the hip-hop eccentric Cee-Lo and scratches by the champion turntablist DJ Craze.
But it soon became clear that something quite extraordinary was happening. Within a few hours executives at Mayday!'s record company, Southbeat, noticed that people were watching the video. Lots of people. YouTube puts a view counter beneath each video, and on "Groundhog Day" the counter swiftly passed 100,000. The number kept rising that day, and passed a million just after lunch. By Tuesday night it was heading toward 1.5 million. "Groundhog Day" had become the most popular clip on YouTube, with about four times as many viewers as its closest rival. And by Wednesday, when the number hit two million, "Groundhog Day" was firmly established as one of the most-viewed videos in YouTube's brief history.
"Groundhog Day" is by no means the first music video to be described as an overnight sensation. But it might be the first that truly is one. Or is something else going on?

Southbeat's president and chief executive, Gregory Frankel, founded the company in 2004 in partnership with executives from the online dating site Webdate.com. Southbeat, which is based in Miami Beach, has one proven hitmaker on its roster: the producer Jim Jonsin, who has helped create hits for Jamie Foxx ("Unpredictable"), Twista ("Girl Tonite") and Pretty Ricky ("Grind With Me"). But for a relatively unknown act like Mayday! Mr. Frankel said it made more sense to put his company's online resources to work.

"We have a network of well over three or four million people," he said, thanks to Webdate and other sites. So as soon as the "Groundhog Day" video was uploaded to YouTube, he sent e-mail announcements — please don't call them spam — to people in the company's databases. Enough people responded to propel the video onto YouTube's "most viewed" page, and soon the video took on a life of its own. "Once it got to the top," Mr. Frankel claims, "it spoke for itself."

Part of the key to Mayday!'s success: Internet pornography. The video has been heavily plugged on a number of adult sites, some of which have posted it on their home pages, and encouraged users to watch it. (On several sites the video was accompanied by a plea that read, in part: "Our friends from MAYDAY have a SICK video. I need you to watch it, rate it, comment on it and embed it in your myspace accounts.") This marketing tactic reverses a familiar Internet ruse: a surfer innocently looking for pornography might find himself staring at a nonpornographic music video rather than vice versa.

As of Tuesday night YouTube statistics showed that more than 100,000 clicks, nearly 10 percent of the total, came from three pornographic sites. One of them was registered to an address that matches the address of Southbeat Records. Mr. Frankel said there were "some common ownerships" between Southbeat Records and the pornography sites, but noted that Southbeat was a separate company. Skeptics might cite this clever scheme — using pornographic sites to help boost a video onto the most-viewed list — as proof that YouTube's ranking system is flawed. Others might call it canny promotion.

YouTube publicly unveiled its free video-sharing service on Dec. 15, and the site almost instantly transformed the way people watch video online. YouTube makes it easy and quick for users to stream videos right in their browser windows, instead of downloading them or opening a separate application. (To your average twitchy but slightly lazy Web surfer, this makes a huge difference.) And YouTube also makes it easy for blogs (and, it's now clear, pornography sites) to "embed" YouTube videos on their own Web pages; instead of following a link, visitors can simply press "play."

But even by YouTube's standards, the rise of "Groundhog Day" has been spectacular. At 7:30 on Tuesday night, when the video reached 1.2 million views, the second-place video, showing President Bush rehearsing for his immigration speech, had 322,000 views. And the view counts declined sharply after that. The No. 14 clip, for example, was the singer and actress Emmy Rossum (from the film "Poseidon") on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno"; that video, which was a good-size hit way back on Monday — ah, the good old days — had only about 30,000 views when it was "removed due to copyright infringement."

"Groundhog Day" isn't a classic, but there is something likable about the song. Bernbiz is an able rapper, but the main attraction is the unusually fast, clubby beat by his partner Plex. Meanwhile, Cee-Lo wheezes one of his typically memorable choruses, this one about the drudgery of a 9-to-5 workday.

It probably helps too that the song reflects two emerging trends in hip-hop. One is the rise of Miami, home to the big, bearded rapper Rick Ross and to the production duo of Cool & Dre, the team behind the singer Christina Milian. The other is the return of Cee-Lo, the former Goodie Mob star who scored a huge British hit with "Crazy," a song he recorded with the producer Danger Mouse. The two call themselves Gnarls Barkley, and as it happens the music video for Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" is a YouTube favorite. It earned four million views in the past month, and seemingly without help from pornographic sites.

Part of the charm of YouTube is that it just doesn't make sense. News reports rub elbows with home-video bloopers. Big celebrities like Tom Cruise get shrunken into short, grainy clips. And formerly anonymous exhibitionists (like the determinedly PG-rated Webcam talker who calls herself Filthywhore) become, for a few days or hours or weeks, a big deal. In this world, regulated only by obscenity censors (who remove most of the dirty stuff) and corporate censors (who remove some of the copyrighted stuff), there's no way to tell whether "Groundhog Day" is a smash hit, a slick scheme or a bit of both. - Kelefa Sanneh


"ABC News"

YouTube Phenom: "Groundhog Day"
A video on YouTube.com has quickly become a hit single.

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=1982054 - ABC News


"Miami New Times"

MAYDAY featuring Cee-lo Green and DJ Craze
"Groundhog Day" (Southbeat)

Continuing to create a buzz for its debut release, the 305's own Mayday drops this neck-snapping single, riding a skittering keyboard pattern, along with the soul-powered Cee-lo on the hook and Craze delivering those funky, cuchillo-like cuts. In an ode to Bill Murray and Office Space rhetoric, the duo shows how to fight the powers that be.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2006-05-04/music/mayday-featuring-cee-lo-green-and-dj-craze/ - Sire Esquire


"URB Magazine"

Mayday
(Guerilla ARC) This is one of the sweetest singles to come across the desk in a long time, and beat magician Plex from Miami's Algorithm has much to do with it. His production melts hopless orchestra strings, Biz Markie beat-box loops, and Jeru the Damaja vocal clips with relentless, marching drum breaks. This is meaningful, politically charged hip-hop that you can use to smack-up a house party. Bernbiz holds down mic duties superbly; you know you're in for a ride when you hear, "it's Darwinism how we battle the rhythm/Cats who don't evolve get dissovled and hauled off." Out of the gates, Mayday offers a versatile, top-shelf 12-inch. PD - URB Magazine


"About: Top 40/Pop"

Friday Fun Video: Mayday - Groundhog Day

This video literally forced its way into being the choice for Friday video this week. "Groundhog Day" by the Miami hip hop duo Mayday became a musical sensation earlier this week when the video for the song was viewed over 2,000,000 times in one day on freewheeling Internet video site YouTube. Apparently, some question exactly how those views were generated. Was it through mass e-mailing? Was it through advertising on Internet porn sites?

Regardless of the advertising methodology, the song is mind-numbingly catchy, features red-hot Cee-Lo from Gnarls Barkley, and is well worth hearing. Although it has been advertised on some porn sites, there is nothing pornographic about the song or the video. It's simply a cry for escape from 9-5 workday drudgery. Don't miss this one! - Bill Lamb


"Orlando Weekly"

The group to see here is Miami's own Mayday. Everyman rhymer Bernbiz, with the help of Plex and DJ Craze, have become instant sensations, the focus of major national press for their single "Groundhog Day" (with once-again phenom Cee-lo of Gnarls Barkley). This may be the last chance to see them while they can still claim "struggling underground" status and before MTV comes slowly, creakily knocking. - OW Staff


"Alt Magazine"

" This video is on constant download and replay on YouTube, burning up all bandwidth between here and there with one of the best hooks about the 9 to 5 ever " - Alt Magazine


"URB Magazine Next 20"

Mayday
Casual Friday for the Working Shlub...

Gnarls Barkley may enjoy playing dress-up like your childhood wall come to terrifying life, but it takes some real balls to cast Cee-lo as a pleading voice of perestroika for the working class. Miami MC Bernbiz and his bearded, Rubin-esque comrade, Plex, had just that bright idea and it turned them into overnight sensations earlier this year. On "Groundhog Day," the video that garnered over two million viewings in a few days on the Internet, Bernbiz rants over a warmly familiar beat about the zombie life of timecard punchers as the rotund Goodie Mobster effectively slogans like a soviet, chanting "same shit different day, we pretend to work while they pretend to pay." The song connected with ladder-climers as if it were the theme song for Office Space, and the gent from Magic City are off and running with their full-length debut album, featuring comfortable mixture of existentialist poetry and organic musicianship, from rumba-flavored sing-alongs to rocking, Zeppelin-inspired hedgerow bustling - and at half the wardrobe budget. - Justin Strout


Discography

Quicksand 12" (single)
Angles 12" (single)
Groundhog Day (single)
MAYDAY (LP)
The Thinnest Line (EP)
Technology(EP)
Stuck on an Island (LP)
Take Me To Your Leader (LP)
Thrift Store Halos (EP)

Photos

Bio

Traditionally, “mayday” is an attention grabbing distress signal, so, it’s no wonder that the Miami-based hip-hop group ¡MAYDAY! is generating a sound way too strong for anyone to tune out.

Starting out as a 2-man project ¡MAYDAY! has since evolved into a full-fledged 6-man band with a buzz so loud that it came to the attention of hip-hop mogul Lil’ Wayne who had to stop and take notice. He invited the band, which consists of MCs Bernz and Wrekonize, producer/guitarist Plex Luthor, bassist/keyboardist Gianni Ca$h, drummer L.T. Hopkins and percussionist Nonymous, to be his on-screen band in 3 of his videos (“Get A Life,” “Da Da Da,” and “On Fire”), had them perform at his 2010 Super Bowl party, and then gave them the ultimate high-five by wearing a ¡MAYDAY! t-shirt in his “Get A Life” video and proclaiming himself the next member of the band. It doesn’t stop with Lil Wayne – as the #1 indie rapper alive, Tech N9ne quickly signed the band to his Strange Music label. So far, the relationship has proved fruitful. The band completed two US Strange Music tours, including the record breaking 90 shows in 99 days Hostile Takeover tour with Tech and Machine Gun Kelly; produced the entire Tech N9ne Klusterfuk EP which hit #1 on the indie Billboard charts; released their Billboard top 100 charting Strange debut album, Take Me To Your Leader, and most recently, released their new EP, Thirft Store Halos, which quickly hit #3 on the iTunes Hip-Hop charts on the first day of release. Numerous platinum and buzz-worthy artists and producers such as Cee-Lo, David Banner, Black Thought (The Roots), SpaceGhostPurrp, NORE, Jim Jonsin (TI, Lil’ Wayne, Kid Cudi), Ace Hood and more have stepped up to work with the ¡MAYDAY! crew.

¡MAYDAY!’s distinctive fusion of urban and alt.rock is pushing the boundaries of music as they flex their muscles in areas of funk that hip-hop has yet to explore. Their attention to detail (they write, arrange, mix and produce all the music themselves) and explosive live show is impossible to ignore. Miami Magazine said of their performance: “¡MAYDAY!’s musical mash-up fuels both its frenzied live shows and a new album that oozes Miami cool.” ¡MAYDAY!’s signature style has already caught the ear of media outlets like MTV, XXL, RapRadar, HipHopDX, 2DopeBoyz and more, and as DJ Khaled proclaimed: “¡MAYDAY! is headed to the top floor.”

After premiering the video for their Cee-Lo assisted single “Groundhog Day” on Youtube, the clip achieved a record-breaking 2 million plus views in less than two days and garnered attention from The New York Times, ABC World News Tonight, NBC 6 Evening News and Inside Edition. Later that year “Groundhog Day” was featured on HBO’s Entourage. Other songs including “Watching Me” from ¡MAYDAY!‘s debut album, have been used in video games (NBA Street Homecourt 2007) and television, including Stuck on an Island’s “On 2 Somth’n” which was featured in ABC Family’s popular show Lincoln Heights.

¡MAYDAY! has long been a force in the Miami underground scene. Live ¡MAYDAY! puts on an impressive show with a exhilarating party vibe. The Miami Herald said ¡MAYDAY! “…captures the electric excitement of a city on the verge of a breakthrough” and the Miami New Times called them “…one of Miami’s hardest-hitting bands.” After the release of their self-titled debut album, URB Magazine placed ¡MAYDAY! In their next 20 Artists to Watch and MTV chose them as one of the Freshmen Five giving them opportunities to travel the US performing to packed houses with a spectrum of artists ranging from Daft Punk to Big Boi to Method Man and Goodie Mob.

¡MAYDAY! is a band that fits right in, but their sound is different. It’s live, hard-hitting, future brand of music posted up somewhere between rock and a hard place, strangely familiar, yet brand new.