Recent Posts in hiphop
October 29, 2014
by Sean O'Connell
During a week where it seems anyone with a guitar is playing a show, the 7th annual CMJ Takeover brought hip hop heads from across the region to bask in a late-night showcase at Highline Ballroom on Thursday (10/23) featuring a different genre's hottest up-and-comers. In true hip hop fashion, the already late show (billed as 11pm) had trouble getting people into the venue, and festivities only began around 12. An otherwise jovial crowd struggled with the Sandman, and after standing in line upwards of three hours to get into the free show, they were hard to rouse. Still, the host Low Key didn't miss a beat during interludes, handing out anything - including weed and half-drunk beer - to get the crowd involved. The usual roll call of boroughs occurred multiple times throughout the night, and Bobby Shmurda viral hits spun between sets were shown more love by the young crowd than Biggie classics.
As for performances, the majority of the crowd was there to see 19-year-old Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew, but that didn't stop the other performers from winning the crowd over. Raz Fresco, another youngblood from Toronto, brought his '90s revival style to the stage, quick-fire rapping over a medley of beats with a lyrical prowess that the crowd certainly appreciated. Sporting an oversized jacket and accompanied by slapping boom bap instrumentals, Raz fit in nicely with the Beast Coast caliber artists that value pure lyricism as he showcased some tracks from his upcoming debut "Pablo Frescobar".
An underwhelming set by Chicago drill rapper SD proved that trap anthems do not translate well to live settings when the crowd doesn't know the lyrics. At one point the ex-GBE rapper even said "I guess New York don't fuck with Chiraq" due to the lackluster response of the already tired crowd. The bass was overpowering on an otherwise crystal clear sound system and the lyrically sparse songs seemed to drag on. The set felt out of place in a lineup of lyrical rappers.
Following was Cozz who was just signed to J Cole's Dreamville label back in May. With his debut Cozz and Effect freshly released, Cozz brought the high energy of a hungry rookie for a short set that was the most refreshing of the night. Even after experiencing technical difficulties with his DJ and slipping up on some lyrics, Cozz remained upbeat, getting the crowd to chant along to "Knock the Hustle", the song that J Cole discovered and later remixed.
Smoke DZA, the self-proclamed "Kushed God" piggybacked Cozz's set with his crowd-friendly smoker anthems that filled the room with smoke within minutes. The towering rapper came out blunt-in-hand and wasted no time tearing through ethereal beats, going off on meandering a capella verses, and saying his catchphrase "Riiiiiiight" about 100 times. It was a communion by shared weed as he threw a lit blunt into the crowd and proclaimed "It's 2 am and I'm high as fuck". Songs of note were his remixes of Schoolboy Q's hit "Hands on the Wheel" and "Hearses", his collab with TDE's Ab-Soul.
It was 3am by the time DJ Statik Selektah took over, immediately putting on the instrumental to Joey Bada$$' "95 til Infinity". Joey and his Pro Era conglomerate had a polished set, with up-and-comers Nyck Caution and CJ Fly each getting their own segment of the show and the burgeoning producer of the crew Kirk Knight joined in for his hard-hitting track "Extortion" with Dyemond Lewis. Nyck Caution hit the crowd with a new track, and overall had the strongest stage presence of the Era. The highlights of the set were Joey's singles from his highly anticipated debut B4.DA.$$. Kirk Knight's gritty production on "Big Dusty" sounded great over the PA, and Joey's Method Man-esque rapping on "Christ Conscious" was theatrical and had the crowd bouncing still at 4am.
Notably absent from the lineup was Vince Staples, who was on the bill and is currently on tour with Joey Bada$$. The B4.DA.$$ tour with Vince Staples, CJ Fly, Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution comes to NYC's Irving Plaza on November 8 and 11. Tickets for those shows are still available.
A few more pictures from the show below...
by Andrew Sacher
Black Hippy's hardest but least prolific member Jay Rock returned with his first single since 2011 earlier this month, "Parental Advisory." Now he's back yet again with a new one, "Pay For It" which features a raging verse from his pal Kendrick Lamar and a hook from Chantal. Hopefully this mean's a new album's on the way soon. Check out both tracks below...
October 28, 2014
photos by Bao Nguyen
iLoveMakonnen / Cam'ron
FADER Fort returned during CMJ this year and wrapped up on Saturday (10/25) with a lineup surprise-headlined by Mary J. Blige. That day also featured sets from rapper iLoveMakonnen, whose Drake-assisted hit "Tuesday" is basically everywhere (and luckily he wasn't attacked this time), wannabe pop star Ryn Weaver, ambient pop musician Foxes In Fiction, veteran rapper Cam'ron who's been having a pretty good year thanks to his A-Trak collaborations, Will Smith's children Willow and Jaden Smith who played with alt-R&B singer SZA, rapper Sir Michael Rocks and UK singer George Maple.
More pictures from that day below...
A-Trak at North Coast Music Festival 2013 (more by James Richards IV)
Also on tonight's bill is DJ Flan Emoji. If that name doesn't ring a bell immediately, perhaps you heard about the time The Daily Mail misidentified A-Trak as an Odd Future member named Flan Emoji. A-Trak, whose current Twitter name is Flan Solo, just tweeted "I heard DJ Flan Emoji might be djing somewhere in New York tonight...?" DJ JR is on the bill too. Tickets are on sale now.
October 27, 2014
RTJ at Lollapalooza 2014 (more by James Richards IV)
Run the Jewels, aka El-P and Killer Mike, gave away downloads of their new album for free last week. Now it's officially released physically and as a deluxe version on iTunes which includes the bonus track "Blockbuster Night Pt. 2" which features Despot and Wiki of Ratking. You can stream that below.
RTJ are celebrating the new release on Wednesday (10/29) at Rough Trade with a big event that begins at 6:30 PM and includes "an album play-through, a meet and greet, poster giveaways, and more." The first 20 people to get in will also gain entry to a private event happening afterwards that includes "a brief Q&A session with the group and Mass Appeal's Sacha Jenkins," followed by a screening of NYC classic The Warriors at nearby Nitehawk Cinema. Another way to get into that screening/Q&A is by entering our contest to win a pair of tickets. Details below.
They'll also be performing "Early" on the 'Late Show With David Letterman' this week with Boots, who also appears on the album version of the track. That airs on Halloween.
After FFF, they play NYC on November 29 at Stage 48 with Ratking and Despot. Tickets for that show are still available and we're also giving away a pair. Details below.
October 24, 2014
Killer Mike and El-P's new Run the Jewels album RTJ2 comes out next week (10/28) via Mass Appeal, but apparently it leaked ahead of time. El-P and Killer Mike found about it, but instead of being bad sports, they each tweeted links to a free download of the album themselves. You can grab it HERE.
The duo are also working with Zola Jesus, Just Blaze, Baauer, Portishead's Geoff Barrow, the Alchemist, Boots, Dan the Automator and more to make a cat-themed remix album called Meow the Jewels. If you're a cat, you can audition to be part of it.
Drake @ SOB's (via)
Though Drake didn't make an appearance with his friend iLoveMakonnen at SOB's on Tuesday (maybe he could have broke up the fight), he did show up last night at the same club to make a CMJ guest appearance with his other friend Partynextdoor. Video below.
iLoveMakonnen plays CMJ again at Fader Fort.
Speaking of not-so surprising CMJ guest appearances and Fader Fort, Dev Hynes joined his friend and collaborator Kindness on stage at Fader Fort late last night. Rapper DeJ Loaf (who brought out Remy Ma and her mom at Santos Tuesday) also joined rappers Rae Sremmurd (who played SOB's Tuesday before iLoveMakonnen who also joined Rae Sremmurd on stage).
Last night was also the late Joey Bada$$ and Vince Staples show at Highline Ballroomm, but more about that one later.
The day parties at Baby's All Right TODAY (10/24) AND TOMORROW are our BrooklynVegan ones. Hope to see you there.
Fader Fort continues tonight. Watch a video of FADER spending the day with Vince Staples before his recent SOB's show, with the Drake video, below...
October 23, 2014
iLoveMakonnen at MoMA PS1 in September (more by PSquared)
The fan was in front of the stage while Makonnen was performing "Tuesday." He reached out for a dap and Makonnen gladly reciprocated in showing love back. The fan would then grab Makonnen, pull him down, and land a punch in before being taken away and escorted. No word on why the assault took place. Nonetheless, everyone continued to turn up, despite the skirmish.You can watch a video of that below. Rae Sremmurd also played SOB's that night, and video of them playing "No Type" and "No Flex Zone" at that show is also below.
Makonnen plays FADER Fort on Saturday (10/25).
October 21, 2014
As discussed, Joey Bada$$ and Vince Staples are on tour together which hits NYC on Nov. 8 & 11 at Irving Plaza (tickets), but they've since added a show happening much sooner. They'll be here this week for the 7th annual CMJ Takeover which happens Thursday (10/23) at Highline Ballroom with Smoke DZA, Cozz, SD, Raz Fresco and DP on the bill too. It's a late show (11 PM doors), and admission is free with RSVP. You also have to follow @FILAUSA on Instagram and RSVP doesn't guarantee entry. Updated Joey Bada$$/Vince Staples dates are listed below.
Speaking of hip hop at CMJ, Mississippi duo Rae Sremmurd (pronounced Ray-Shrim-er"), who you may know for their Makonnen-ish hit "No Flex Zone," play their first headlining NYC show tonight (10/21) at SOB's with OG Maco and Father. Tickets for the Electric Circus/Rock Smith-presented show are on sale. You can watch the "No Flex Zone" video below.
Another CMJ hip hop show tonight is Dertoit rapper Dej Loaf, who (like Makonnen) was co-signed by Drake. She plays the Noisey/Beats by Dre/Burn It Down Group show at Santos tonight (10/21). It's her NYC debut, and support comes from Key! and Mike Zombie. Tickets are on sale now. The video for "Try Me" can be watched below.
And last but definitely not least, Deniro Farrar and Denzel Curry are currently on a co-headlining tour which hits NYC for a CMJ show on Friday (10/24) at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall with Remy Banks, D.R.A.M., Kevin Abstract and JK the Reaper. Tickets for that show are available.
We also highlighted NYC rapper Cakes Da Killa in our list of local artists to catch at CMJ.
Lists of Deniro/Denzel dates and Joey/Vince dates, and those videos, below...