Recent Posts in hiphop
December 20, 2014
You may have heard that demos of a new Madonna album leaked this week, and that she responded by saying she was "artistically raped" by hackers. Well now the Queen of Pop has officially announced her new album, which is called Rebel Heart and will be out on March 10 via Interscope.
She's also made six of the tracks available right now, including one called "Bitch I'm Madonna" featuring Nicki Minaj (!), and some of those tracks were produced by Kanye West and Diplo, according to Billboard. The album also may feature production from Blood Diamonds, SOPHIE, and not Ariel Pink.
You can purchase those six tracks via iTunes and stream them via Spotify below...
December 19, 2014
photos by James Richards IV
As far as their live show, whether it's quirky dance moves, getting the crowd to do silly shit, or damn-near inciting a riot, these guys put on a clinic as far as what a live hip-hop show is supposed to be. What helps that even more is how live their songs are, which are perfect for the live show, spinning classes, or both at the same damn time.El-P and Killer Mike, aka Run the Jewels, recently wrapped up their tour with Ratking, which included a "Suck My Dick Sun Kil Moon!" chant at Fun Fun Fun Fest, an impassioned speech in St. Louis, two NYC shows, two Chicago shows and more. The pictures in this post are from one of the Chicago shows.
Despite both artists having a more-than-solid body of solo work to their name, they never stray from their RTJ material. Don't expect "Deep Space 9mm" or anything off the I Pledge Allegiance series. El-P and Killer Mike came strictly to run the jewels and after an hour-plus of one of the best live shows I've seen, it's safe to say the jewels got run. [Profile Wild]
Run the Jewels have been making a bunch of Best of 2014 album lists, and coming in at #1 on a few like Pitchfork, Stereogum, and the recently posted Complex list. Complex also didn't hesitate to throw 2014's big December releases on there that were left out of a lot of lists that came out already, including Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, D'Angelo and Charli XCX. You can browse their top 50 here.
More pictures from Chicago below...
"Rip to the greatest hip hop producer of all times.... Larry Smith. Produced my biggest and most significant hits." - Rev Run
Hip hop producer / musician Larry Smith, the man behind the sound of Run DMC's "It's Like That" and "Sucker MCs" as well as early singles by Whodini, Kurtis Blow (he co-wrote and played bass on "The Breaks" and "Hard Times") and others, has died at age 63. He suffered a dibilitating stroke in 2007 which left him voiceless, partially paralyzed and bedridden since. Last month, Ebony published an "unsung legend" feature on Smith, interviewing Run-DMC's Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels and Kurtis "Kurtis Blow" Walker and others. Said McDaniels:
He was a musician. Even today, you have beat makers and producers who are musicians. The best producers are musicians and DJs. Anybody can make a beat. I could make a beat and then put lyrics on it and it could become a record, but I'm not a musician. Larry knew music. What separated Larry way back then and what allowed him to make all those hits was the fact he was a musician. Run and I used to tease him because he talked like a musician. The jazz, blues, and rock musicians all call each other "cats." We would use our hip-hop slang, and he would always use his musician slang. Run and I were irresponsible little kids. We would giggle when he would say "other cats." We were like, "What the hell is he talking about?" But he was a musician. He could produce blues, rock, gospel, R&B, and hip-hop.Read the rest of the feature here. Rest in peace, Larry.
Maybe Run DMC will have some sort of tribute for him at their Barclays Center show tonight (12/19). A few of Larry Smith's productions can be streamed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Le1f-associated rapper/singer DonChristian released his album Renzo Piano earlier this year, which features Le1f, fellow avant-rapper Antwon, production from The-Drum's Jeremiah Meece, frequent Le1f collaborator Boody, FACT year-end list maker lsdxoxo and others. If you're into the kind of dark, left-field stuff of Le1f and Antwon, you'll likely dig DonChristian too. You can stream the album and watch the video for its track "Clerk" below, and download it for free here.
Later this month, he opens Le1f's Kwanzaa show at SOB's on 12/28, which also features singer Rahel (who's on Renzo Piano as well), Boody, Abdu Ali, Juliana Huxtable, Joey Labeija and more special guests. Tickets for that are still available too.
In addition to guesting on Renzo Piano, Rahel also has a song with Jeremiah Meece, and she's featured on that FACT-approved lsdxoxo album, whorecore, which also features another great left-field NYC rapper Cakes Da Killa. You can stream that album below.
Cakes Da Killa also had lsdxoxo produce multiple tracks on this year's Hunger Pangs, and he's got two upcoming local shows too. He was added to the !!! (chk chk chk) / Prince Rama New Year's Eve show at Knitting Factory (tickets), and he's got a show at Baby's All Right on February 20 with UNIIQU3 (tickets).
DonChristian and lsdxoxo album streams below...
by Andrew Sacher
Miguel hasn't released an album since 2012's Kaleidoscope Dream, but he's stayed active, working with Jessie Ware, Janelle Monae, Beyonce and others. And now he's uploaded a surprise 3-song EP to his Soundcloud, which is pretty thirst-quenching for anyone that's longing for a Kaleidoscope Dream followup.
The first song is called "NWA" and features Kurupt. Stream all three below...
December 18, 2014
by Andrew Sacher
Shabazz Palaces collaborators and Sub Pop labelmates THEESatisfaction have announced their new album, EarthEE, which will be out on February 24. Like its predecessor, awE naturalE, it features Shabazz on multiple tracks, including lead single "Recognition" which also features Seattle postpunk dude/producer Erik Blood. THEESatisfaction fuck with the R&B formula about as much as Shabazz does with rap, and "Recognition" takes their warped sounds into even further-out territory than before. Hold on to your desk chair and stream that song below.
THEESatisfaction will celebrate the new album with a release party in NYC on March 6 at Santos Party House. Tickets for that show are on sale now. No full tour is announced yet, but they have a few other dates around the Santos show, which are listed below.
The Hip Hop Hall of Fame has launched a $1 million Indie GoGo campaign to open a Hip Hop Museum & Youth Media Education Academy in NYC. The permanent location will be in Midtown Manhattan, but being that construction on that will take 18-24 months to complete, there will be a satellite museum opening this spring on 125th St in Harlem until then. That location is also where the office headquarters and youth media academy will be permanently located, once the museum opens in Midtown. Here's more details details, via the campaign:
Introducing the 'Harlem Satellite Hip Hop Museum and Youth Media Education Academy' presented by the Hip Hop Hall of Fame a fully Chartered Non-Profit 501 (c) 3 Museum & Educational Institution. Together we will open the Satellite Hip Hop Museum, a Visitors Bureau, Coffee & Juice Bar, Retail Gift Shop, a State of the Art Television and Radio Broadcast Studio with our Youth Media Training & Education Academy, and our permanent offices in Harlem, New York City. We have finally 'Secured a Location' in Harlem.Head to Indie GoGo for more information and to donate. Watch the campaign video below...
The HHHOF goal is to raise $ 1,000,000, and we have received a 'Matching Challenge Grant' for $500,000 or half of our goal. We have teamed up with Indiegogo to raise the final required $500,000 through this campaign to meet our goal with your support. The funds raised will be utilized to finalize the site lease, facility design, construction, equipment, staffing, and two years of operations for the Hip Hop Museum and the Youth Media Program and TV Studio facility which is scheduled to open in April 2015. There will be job opportunities, internships, and volunteers needed for this historical effort. The 60 day campaign will feature HHHOF news, announcements, hip hop history, and themed content every week in social media and mainstream press and online media outlets leading up to the 2015 Hip Hop Hall of Fame Awards TV Show in March 2015.
by Andrew Sacher
R&B singer Dawn Richard's last album was 2013's Goldenheart, and she's since revealed that it is the first in a planned album trilogy. The second intallment, Blackheart, is coming on January 15, 2015, two years to the date after its predecessor. Its first single, "Blow," is out now. The production here dives a little deeper into heavy electronics than her last album, and similarly to that one, it's not really "indie R&B" but it's not exactly standard radio fare either. You can watch the video (dir. Monty Marsh) for the single and check out the album artwork below.
Dawn also has two shows scheduled following the release of the album, one in NYC and one in California. The NYC show happens January 22 at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Full tour schedule, with the video and LP artwork, below...
by Andrew Sacher
As always, NYC has a good amount of upcoming local hip hop shows and tours passing through. Here's a rundown of some of the cool stuff coming up...
NYC kush lover Smoke DZA has a hometown show happening January 25 at The Studio at Webster Hall with support from Manolo Rose, Tray Pizzy, JY, Dave East, Big Bz and Sha Hef. TIckets are on sale now. DZA's latest album was a collaboration with his group R.F.C. (Al-Doe, Bluntsmoker, NYMLo, and 183rd) called The Outsiders, which came out in late November. It features guests spots from A$AP Rocky, Cam'ron, Styles P, Chevy Woods, Dame Dash and Dom Kennedy, and production from Jahlil Beats, Ski Beatz, Lee Bannon and others. Stream it in full below.
The legendary Rakim squeezes in one more NYC show of 2014 before the year ends on December 27 at BB King's. It's a Christmas show presented by Funk Flex, and also featuring Special Ed, B Fats, Sponnie G and DJs Kool DJ Red Alert and DJ Chuck Chillout. Tickets are on sale now.
There's no lack of hip hop holiday celebrations in NYC between that Rakim show, the Run DMC Christmas show at Barclays Center on Friday (12/19) (tickets), the Le1f Kwanzaa show at SOB's on 12/28 (tickets), the Mykki Blanco show at Baby's All Right on New Year's Eve (tickets), and A$AP Ferg's opening set at the Skrillex/Diplo show at MSG on New Year's Eve (tickets).
Theophilus London recently released the new album, Vibes, which was executive produced by Kanye West, and also featured vocals from 'Ye, Blood Orange, Soko and more. He's now announced a tour in support of it for 2015 which hits NYC on February 16 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale at noon on Friday (12/19). List of dates and a stream of the track with Blood Orange below.
Theophilus's NYC show is with trippy R&B singer Doja Cat and Atlanta rapper Father, who just performed on stage with Tyler, the Creator, whose tour hits NJ on 12/20 at Starland Ballroom (tickets) and NYC on 12/21 at Terminal 5 (sold out).
Iggy Azalea, who was playing SOB's only two years ago and will soon likely be dominating the Grammys (for better or for worse), is making the step up to Barclays Center (5/7) on her next tour. That tour is with Nick Jonas, who appears to being trying to reinvent himself as an R&B singer, and Tinashe, who's a much more promising R&B singer and played her own NYC show at Highline Ballroom earlier this week. (Anyone catch that?) Tickets for the Barclays Center show go on sale at 9 AM on Friday (12/19). All dates are listed below.
Chicago rapper Lil Durk recently dropped the single "B.O.N." (streaming below), and has plans to tour in 2015 including a NYC show on February 24 at Gramercy Theatre with Villain$ and The Rapper: H. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
YG's tour with Nipsey Hussle was supposed to hit Best Buy Theater in November, but it was rescheduled for January 9. Tickets are still available, and any purchased for the November show will be honored.
To digress from live shows for a second, December is once again a time for last-minute hip hop releases. In addition to the looong-awaited D'Angelo album, Nicki Minaj's The Pinkprint and J. Cole's 2014 Forest Hills Drive, there's the new Kevin Gates mixtape, Luca Brasi 2, the sequel to his excellent 2013 mixtape, The Luca Brasi Story. Like that mixtape (and Stranger than Fiction and By Any Means, which have come out since), it's got Kevin seamlessly moving back and forth between melodic singing and aggressive rap. Kevin's prolific output can be a little intimidating to approach, but some of his best songs so far -- "Perfect Imperfection" and "Sit Down" are two early standouts -- are on here. Download the tape for free at DatPiff and stream it below.
The lists of Theophilus and Iggy/Tinashe dates, and the Theophilus/Blood Orange, Lil Durk and Smoke DZA song streams, also below...
December 17, 2014
The Colbert Report will air its final episode on Thursday night (12/18), after which Stephen Colbert (the real person, not his Report persona) will begin prepping to take over for the retiring David Letterman sometime next year. Last night (12/18) featured an appearance by Kendrick Lamar who will have the distinction of being the last-ever musical guest on the show -- unless Colbert pulls out some surprises tomorrow night. "No pressure, " Colbert told Kendrick, "but that means Paul McCartney, REM, Jack White and Nas were your opening acts." After an interview segment, Lamar performed a new, untitled song with backing from Thundercat, Terrace Martin on saxophone, and back vocals from Bilal and Anna Wise. You can watch that below.
Tonight's penultimate episode of The Colbert Report features Redeployment author Phil Klay and Thursday's finale features...the Grim Reaper? Tune in and find out. David Letterman's final The Late Show will be May 20, but reports are that Colbert may not take the host seat till September. Larry Wilmore will take over Colbert's time slot on Comedy Central. Craig Ferguson, meanwhile, will exit CBS' The Late Late Show at the end of December, with guest hosts filling in until James Corden (and bandleader Reggie Watts) take over in March.