(AllHipHop News) Berklee Online is using a series of "Master Track" videos to celebrate its new Master’s Program which offers students the opportunity to learn directly from music industry insiders. Each two-minute video highlights a different teacher from the program.
Contributors, like former Bad Boy Records engineer Prince Charles Alexander, recount behind-the-scenes stories as animated imagery reenacts the narrative. For his video, Alexander recalls how recording with The Notorious B.I.G. ended his animosity toward Hip Hop.
"Hip Hop blew Funk out of the water. Every Funk artist in 1985 lost their deal because of the success of [Run-DMC's] 'Walk This Way,'" says Prince Charles. "I thought Hip Hop was a joke and a fiasco. Rap took our jobs. Rap said let's get into a fight and just sucker punched us."
The Grammy winner later added, "Around '96 is when I was like this is Black music. I don't care how it's made. I don't care whether they're seen as prolific or not. This is Fats Waller. This is Little Richard. This is the new thing."
Besides Biggie, Prince Charles Alexander also worked with Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child, Faith Evans, Usher, Boyz II Men, Brandy, Babyface, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Usher, Brian McKnight, and others. He now teaches advanced production and mixing at Berklee.
"I want to create, in my classroom, an environment that closely mirrors my experience in the real world. I'm a former recording artist, a producer, an engineer. . . . I've managed, I've done tour support, I've done live sound," states Alexander. "So I want to teach my students how to survive in the music business and put them in as many realistic situations as possible. If you're going to take advantage of this educational process, you need to investigate as many of those tangents as possible. You never know when one of them might be the one that opens the door."
Previously, Psychoacoustics in Music Production professor Susan Rogers' "Master Track" video narrated her experiences as a recording engineer for Prince. Upcoming episodes will include Sean Slade (Culminating Experience in Music Production 1 and 2) discussing an "explosive" session with Lou Reed as well as E. Michael Harrington (Music Business Law) sharing how he helped bring the Civil Rights-era anthem “We Shall Overcome” into the public domain.
“This is a chance for students to spend a year doing everything they love and hone their knowledge and skills to advance their career in the music industry,” says Berklee Vice President of Online Education Carin Nuernberg. "Students will learn from world-renowned faculty in an interactive, collaborative course environment while forging connections with a network of talented industry professionals from around the globe. We couldn’t be more excited for students to apply and for the program to launch.”