Entries tagged with: A Tribe Called Quest

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 29):

Busta Q

Around the time Busta Rhymes came out as a guest at A Tribe Called Quest's "final" shows (opening for Kanye West at Barclays and MSG), it was announced that Busta and ATCQ's Q-Tip would be releasing a collaborative mixtape. That mixtape is out now, and features guest appearances from Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, Talib Kweli, Missy Elliot, Raekwon, and others. That's the artwork above, which clearly riffs on ATCQ's The Low End Theory cover art.

Q-Tip's next #Offline DJ party happens on Wednesday (12/18) at Output (tickets).

You can download the mixtape for free at LiveMixtapes and stream it below...

Continue reading "Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip release free collaborative mixtape"

by Andrew Sacher

Kanye @ MSG - 11/24/13 (via BrooklynVegan Instagram)
Kanye

Kanye West just wrapped the 4-night NYC runYeezus tour at MSG last night (11/24) with legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest opening, and billing it as their "final" show. The run also included another show with Tribe last Wednesday (11/20) at Barclays Center and two with Kendrick Lamar -- 11/19 at Barclays and Saturday (11/23) at MSG.

It was Kanye's second live appearance(s) in NYC this year, after having headlined Governors Ball back in June. His GovBall set was an incredibly elaborate affair, with a massive light show and intense on-screen footage that was more about the overall audio/visual experience than it was "a concert." And last night's MSG show was a similar experience, but a totally different delivery. Instead of video clips, Kanye was backed by a giant 3-dimensional pyramid, a "sky" screen above it, and a silent group of "dancers" who looked more like a cult-ish or religious group than dancers. The setlist was super heavy on Yeezus early on, playing most of the older hits towards the end, but it was those dark, abrasive moments of the new album mixed with the ominous stage show that really made it an unforgettable experience. That, and of course, Kanye's nightly rant, which this time was about how "nobody says anything bad about Lenny Kravitz," how terrible the fashion industry is, and about not letting your ego get to your head too much.

During A Tribe Called Quest's set, like he did at Barclays Center, Busta Rhymes came out during "Scenario" which got him and Tribe a standing ovation. Busta and ATCQ's Q-Tip have a collaborative mixtape, The Abstract & The Dragon, coming out on December 12, and they just made a video for its single "Thank You," which features Kanye, in addition to Lil Wayne. A$AP Ferg, A$AP Nast, and Tristan Wilds make cameos in the video, but aren't on the song. Check it out below.

And in more related news, James Franco and Seth Rogen decided to make their own version of Kanye's "Bound 2" video, which you can watch, along with a couple videos from MSG (including a "rant" video) and Kanye's setlist, below...

Continue reading "Kanye West played 2 shows @ MSG & 2 @ Barclays Center, appears on new Busta Rhymes/Q-Tip track (videos & setlist)"

A Tribe Called Quest at Barclays Center - 11/20/13 (via)
Tribe

Kanye West's tour currently has him in the midst of his 4-night NYC run, which included stops at Barclays Center with Kendrick Lamar on Tuesday (11/19) and A Tribe Called Quest last night (11/20). The run resumes at MSG on Saturday (11/23) with Kendrick and MSG on Sunday (11/24) with Tribe.

For A Tribe Called Quest, these opening slots are being billed as the legendary group's "final" shows. Regarding their set last night, which had an absolutely killer setlist, OkayPlayer writes:

I feel silly saying they played classics. I mean... "Sucka N*gga," "Find A Way" (Dilla dilla, beats beats) and "Bonita Applebum"... I don't think there is such a thing as a non-classic Tribe tune! For "Bonita," a full bodied Stephanie Santiago painted head to toe in red, black, and green stripes ala the iconic Low End Theory artwork, mesmerized the crowd as she walked to the center of the arena holding a cut-out apple with "38-24-37″ written on the reverse side.
A picture of the full setlist (also via Okayplayer) and a video of them performing "Scenario" with Busta Rhymes last night, below.

Tickets for both Kanye shows at MSG are still available.

Video and setlist below...

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest played their first of two "final" shows with Kanye West (setlist & video)"

Kanye West in Sweden in 2011 (more)
Kanye

Kanye West just premiered the video for "Bound 2," the final track on Yeezus, during his appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The video features (a topless) Kim Kardashian and was directed by Nick Knight. You can watch it, along with his Ellen interview, below.

UPDATE: The uncensored version of the video is out now, and you can watch that below. NSFW obviously.

Kanye also just responded to president Barack Obama calling him a "jackass" during a 2009 Hot 107.9 interview. Via The Guardian:

On the "jackass" comment, Kanye admitted that "that's how the world felt," but that Obama shouldn't have responded negatively. "I don't care if somebody the President or not. I care about thoughts, and how you helpin' people, and what you bring to the world. My music brings joy to people. What I create brings joy to people, and I'm about people. Me, I'm not about me. I'm about, 'I got an idea that people gonna like.'"
Yeezy's tour begins its four-night run in NYC tonight (11/19) at Barclays Center. It also hits Barclays on Wednesday (11/20) and then MSG on Saturday (11/23) and Sunday (11/24). Tonight's and Saturday's shows are being opened by Kendrick Lamar, and Wednesday's and Sunday's shows will be the "final" shows for legendary group A Tribe Called Quest. Tickets for all four nights are still available.

In between those shows, you might run into him at a local Wendy's.

Ye also just spoke on Bret Eason Ellis' new podcast, which you can listen to here. New videos and updated list of tour dates below...

Continue reading "Kanye West begins 4-night NYC run, debuted "Bound 2" video (w/ topless Kim Kardashian) on 'Ellen,' responded to Obama calling him a "jackass""

A Tribe Called Quest
Tribe

As you may have heard, Kanye West's tour was plagued with some equipment damages which caused certain shows to be cancelled, but Kanye's since fully updated his tour schedule, and is set to pick things up again on 11/16 in Philly. As long as everything goes right this time, this means his NYC shows -- 11/19 & 20 at Barclays Center and 11/23 & 24 at MSG -- will happen according to plan. As discussed, the 11/19 & 11/23 shows are being opened by Kendrick Lamar, and the 11/20 & 11/24 shows are being opened by A Tribe Called Quest. Tickets for all four NYC shows are still available. Updated dates are listed below.

For ATCQ, these will be the legendary group's "final" shows. Tribe member Q-Tip tweeted, "In August, ATCQ did our last show FOR Cali. It's only right we do our FINAL 2 joints where we started...NYC."

For Kendrick Lamar, these shows will be his second trip to NYC this month. He was just here for Power 105.1 Powerhouse at Barclays Center, where he brought out Lil Kim.

Updated dates are listed below...

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest's 'final' two shows going on as planned; Kanye West reschedules other dates"

Tribe

As discussed, Kanye West is going on his first solo headlining tour in five years, and as you may know, Kendrick Lamar is set to open most of it, but no openers were ever announced for the four NYC shows. Now it's finally been announced that Kendrick opens two of them, and the other two are being opened by... legendary Queens crew A Tribe Called Quest! The schedule for NYC looks like this:

November 19 - Barclays Center w/ Kendrick Lamar
November 20 - Barclays Center w/ A Tribe Called Quest
November 23 - Madison Square Garden w/ Kendrick Lamar
November 24 - Madison Square Garden w/ A Tribe Called Quest
Tickets for all four shows are still available.

A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad DJs the RSVPed-out NPR CMJ showcase that Pusha T (whose new album Kanye produced) plays.

Kendrick Lamar (who's on that Pusha T album) joins his Black Hippy mate Schoolboy Q and others for Power 105.1's Powerhouse at Barclays Center on November 2 (tickets).

Meanwhile, Schoolboy Q plays a CMJ show this week at Webster Hall on Wednesday (10/16) with Casey Veggies, three A$AP Mob members, Bishop Nehru, The Bots and more (tickets).

Updated Kanye dates are listed below...

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest and Kendrick Lamar opening for Kanye West in NYC (separately)"

Kendrick Lamar

Amid all the noise that is SXSW, Yahoo! announced that Kendrick Lamar, fun., the Lumineers, J. Cole, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Imagine Dragons and more would be a part of a travelling festival called "Yahoo! on the Road" that kicks with a show in NYC on May 3. No word on exact line-up or venue just yet but the new media conglomerate promises details soon.

The tour concludes the three-day Wireless Festival in London (July 12 - 14) that will also feature Jay-Z & Justin Timberlake (who just added a second Yankee Stadium show), Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Miguel, Ke$ha, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, A$AP Rocky and more. All Yahoo on the Road dates are listed below.

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar, The Lumineers and more participating in "Yahoo on the Road" travelling festival (dates)"

Chris Lighty tribute

As rumored, rivals Fat Joe and 50 Cent came together to honor Chris Lighty at the BET Hip Hop Awards last night. Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Diggy Simmons, Phife Dawg, LL Cool J and Funkmaster Flex took part of the 10 minute segment too. Watch it below...

Continue reading "VIDEO: watch Chris Lighty tribute @ BET Hip Hop Awards (A Tribe Called Quest, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent, Fat Joe & more)"

Rick Ross at Fader Fort, Austin 2012 (more by Angelina Castillo)
Rick Ross

Tension exploded between Rick Ross' MMG crew, Young Jeezy's camp and G-unit in Atlanta this weekend.

During Saturday's (September 29) taping for BET's 2012 Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta, Rozay and the Snowman reportedly got into a shoving match backstage before the scuffle spilled outside into the parking lot. Shots were fired and at least one man was said to be arrested.

That's not all. Multiple sources who witnessed the fray confirmed to MTV News that Ross' protégé Gunplay was also involved in fisticuffs with members of 50 Cent's G-Unit camp. Gun was seen with visible wounds and a witness told us that the Miami MC was put into handcuffs and detained, but a separate source close to Gunplay told us that he was not arrested. -[MTV News]

The BET Awards took place at the Atlanta Civic Center where, in front of the cameras, both Rick Ross and Young Jeezy's individual sets went off without a hitch, along with a tribute to the revered Chris Lighty (RIP) that featured A Tribe Called Quest, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe and 50 Cent (the latter two have well documented beef). Check out some video of the Rick Ross/Young Jeezy scuffle (including a broken mirror... bad luck, guys!) courtesy of TMZ below.

In related news, Rick Ross and his Maybach Music associates Wale and Meek Mill have announced a fall tour, and those dates are also listed below...

Continue reading "Rick Ross & Young Jeezy tussle backstage at the BET Awards (video); Maybach Music announce tour (dates)"

Busta Ryhmes @ Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest
BK

Busta Rhymes headlined the closing night of the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival on Saturday (7/14) with a set which saw him reunited with Leaders of the New School -- the group which launched his career -- marking the first time Busta's performed with them since the mid-'90s (despite the group reuniting without him back in 2010). Though it had been hinted at, Raekwon and Rakim did not appear as guests at the show, but A Tribe Called Quest members Q-Tip and Phife Dawg, among others, did show up.

HipHopDX was at the show, and here's what they had to say about it:

With Spliff Star by his side, Bussa Bus rattled through a gaggle of hits from his illustrious, 20-plus year career - including anthems "Woo Ha!," "Pass The Courvoisier," "Party Goin' On Over Here," "Look At Me Now," "Everybody Rise," and others. The Brooklyn-native also brought Lil Fame and Slick Rick to the stage for performances of "Ante Up Remix" and "Children's Story," respectively, as well as Reek Da Villain, and BHF regulars, Buckshot and Smif-N-Wessun of Boot Camp Clik. In a classy display of skill, Busta Rhymes continued leading the audience in his rendition of "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" even after the sound was cut because the show went past the park's 8PM curfew. Those in attendance loved it, waving their hands to Rhymes impromptu, pantomime performance, leaving on an upbeat note despite a day of noticeable challenges.
A NewYorkMusicNews video, which you can watch below, reports that Busta's set was cut off due to time constraints and though they turned off his mic, he stayed on stage and got the crowd swaying their arms and cheering. The video's also got a clip of Busta doing one of those mile-a-minute freestyles that he does so well.

Speaking of turning off mics, and as a lot of the internet is reporting, the same thing happened to Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and Tom Morello in London this weekend.

"Bruce Springsteen had been waiting for this moment for a long time. "I gotta tell you," he said to the 76,000-strong crowd, "I've been trying to do this for 50 years." For the finale of his headline slot in London's Hyde Park on Saturday, he'd arranged a very special treat: An onstage collaboration with Beatles legend Paul McCartney. But the rock megastar hadn't banked on the local London council deciding to show him who was boss." [CNN]
Check out the video below.

You can catch Q-Tip again this Friday (7/20) at Irving Plaza where he'll be djing the second edition of his "Offline" party, but note: "There will be a strict door policy. No single guys will be admitted unless there are ladies in your group. Dress To Impress. We love style and we know you do too, so please dress smart. Management reserves the right to refuse admission." Sounds fun.

Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest and Springsteen/McCartney videos below...

Continue reading "Busta Rhymes reunited Leaders of the New School @ Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest, got his mic cut off (like Paul McCartney & Bruce Springsteen) -- videos"

by BBG

The Jungle Brothers at SOB's last night via MuphoricSounds
The Jungle Brothers

As expected, The Jungle Brothers DID bring out members of the Native Tongues (and others) last night at SOB's (2/7), but that did not include many of the "invited guests". The reunion and associated guest appearances were limited to Leaders of The New School (Charlie Brown & Dinco D, but sans the crucial Busta Rhymes), Jarobi (of a Tribe Called Quest), members of the UMC's and Black Sheep, Sadat X, Force MDs and possibly some others. Bum out, but it was sort of expected.

No word on whether members of A Tribe Called Quest will be in attendance at Harlem Stage in March either, but they will be the subject of a three day event:

On the heels of a major Producers Guild Award for the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest -Harlem Stage, in conjunction with Revive Music, will celebrate the impact, importance and influence of the pioneering crew with A Tribe Called Quest: Innovation and Legacies - A Movement in Four Parts March 1-3 at Harlem Stage. This four part series features live performances, dance events and a free humanities event headlined by a panel of hip-hop scholars, journalists and artists.

"A Tribe Called Quest is one of the most important groups in the history of hip-hop, with a legacy that continues to impact generations of artists, musicians and audiences." says Simone Eccleston, Harlem Stage's Assistant Director of Programming, who curated the tribute. "With their signature sound, they created timeless gems, and this series seeks to celebrate their cultural significance, their musicianship and their roles as composers and producers. It is our goal to provide audiences with a multidimensional experience that highlights ATCQ's music, the historical context, and their influence on artists that have come after them."

In the span of three years, starting in 1990, A Tribe Called Quest - made up of rappers Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Jarobi White, and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad - released three albums - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders - widely acknowledged by hip-hop fans to be some of the best recordings ever. The crew became part of a larger community of artists making redemptive, transcendent music: groups like the Black Sheep, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, and Leaders of the New School; solo performers Monie Love and Queen Latifah; and others who formed the collective Native Tongues. They made songs together and often referred to each other in recordings.

Tickets for A Tribe Called Quest: Innovation and Legacies - A Movement in Four Parts, range from free to $25 and are available by phone at (212) 281-9240, ext 19 or 20, and online at www.harlemstage.org. Free programs require RSVP at boxoffice@harlemstage.org.
More details on each event below.

In other hip hop news, head on over to Public Assembly TONIGHT (2/8) for a FREE show as part of the Red Bull Academy. Kicking off with a conversation with Buckshot (of Black Moon), Dru Ha (of Duck Down), and Skyzoo, the evening will also feature live performances from Smif-N-Wessun, Buckshot and Skyzoo as well. The show kicks off at 7PM and you can RSVP at Yamez@redbullmusicacademy.com (might not be necessary).

Check out a preview of tonight's discussion, as well as a new video for "Still Standing" by Pharaohe Monch and a preview of Sean Price's Mic Tyson (both are on Duck Down), with more Harlem Stage info, below...

Continue reading "Native Tongues sort-of reunited (not really); A Tribe Called Quest are subject of Harlem Stage series; Smif-N-Wessun, Buckshot & Skyzoo play FREE show tonight"

Q-Tip at Rock The Bells w/ A Tribe Called Quest (more by Eric Townsend)
Q-Tip

Q-Tip will headline the 7th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival on July 18th in DUMBO, the last day of a week-long celebration of hip hop culture at various venues in Brooklyn. The daytime show (12-8PM) will undoubtedly also feature a gang of other hip hop notables, but the full lineup is still TBA. Tickets are on sale though.

Q-Tip is featured in the new documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (which recently played as part of the Tribeca Film Festival), and after previously denouncing the film, has come around:

Despite their initial concerns, it appears that A Tribe Called Quest is finally on board with Michael Rapaport's controversial documentary, 'Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.'

Though Tribe frontman Q-Tip publicly denounced Rapaport's film, which he claimed was not a fair representation of his group, he has since turned an about-face, voicing his approval, though he was notably absent at its Sundance and Tribeca film festival screenings.

Appearing to "support and represent" at Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday (April 29), alongside Tribe rapper Phife Dawg, DJ-producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad said that the group is happy with the film's final cut, despite Tip's absence.

"Just because Q-Tip is not here does not mean he's not in support of the film," Muhammad told Rolling Stone. "I'm here, and I'm representing Q-Tip. We're happy with the finished version. If none of us were fine with this, no one would be seeing the film."

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest opens on July 8th in NYC and LA, and wider in July and August. Full list of theaters and opening dates below.

Continue reading "Q-Tip headlining Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, is okay w/ A Tribe Called Quest documentary (which is out in July)"

Tribeca Film

As that little banner I grabbed off their site says, tickets go on AmEx presale today (4/12) for Tribeca Film Festival movies. To be more exact, starting at 11am, "Single Tickets on sale exclusively for American Express® Cardmembers (Online, Phone, and Ticket Outlets)." Tickets then go on sale to "downtown residents" starting at the same time on Sunday. General public can grab tickets starting Monday, April 18th.

Music-related films this year include Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, Mama Africa (about Miriam Makeba), The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, Crash&Burn, God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, Sing Your Song (about Harry Belafonte who will also be on hand for a conversation moderated by "noted broadcaster" Tavis Smiley), The Swell Season (a documentary about Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova and their film Once), The Union (about Elton John & Leon Russell), When the Drum is Beating (about Haiti's 20-member band Septentrional), Roadie (about a roadie for Blue Oyster Cult), and Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon.

Elton John

Elton John will also be performing live on opening night, April 20th...

"The first big piece of news about the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival has broken, and it's a doozy. To open the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express®, we've assembled some serious talent: award-winning director Cameron Crowe, seminal rock keyboardist Leon Russell, and Elton John, with the latter performing live on April 20!

What do these three men have in common? Well, in 2009, Elton John teamed up with his longtime idol Russell to make an album called The Union, produced by the legendary T-Bone Burnett. Director Crowe--himself an avid music fan, having explored the musician's life in such classics as Almost Famous and Singles--decided to film their collaborative process, from writing through recording. The result is a documentary of the same name, the world premiere of which will be shown as the opening night film on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

"As a longtime fan of both artists, it was a pleasure to spend a year filming their collaboration," said Cameron Crowe. "We can't wait to show it to one of the greatest audiences in the world, the Tribeca Film Festival."

What's more, with this year being the 10th edition of the Festival, opening night will be a free, outdoor screening--as a sincere thank-you to the New York City community for its ongoing support. After the film screens at the North Cove at the World Financial Plaza, the legendary Elton John will perform live for the audience. How cool is that?...

....Details will follow about how YOU can join us on opening night. We can't wait to share The Union with you!" [Tribeca Film Fest]

According to comments on the fest's blog, they're working out a wristband distribution system for the free concert.

Other special events include the Tribeca Drive-In with free films at the World Financial Center Plaza, and the April 30th Family Festival. A clip from "The Union" is below...

Continue reading "Tribeca Film Fest begins 4/20, tix on sale today, Elton John to perform live, lots of music-related films"

by BBG

A Tribe Called Quest takes it to the stage.
A Tribe Called Quest Live

The Sundance Film Festival is the pre-eminent independent film festival in the US, and 2011 features some interesting competitors in the way of music (and music related) film. First up is a new documentary on a legendary hip hop crew, A Tribe Called Quest. directed by Michael Rapaport (yes, that one). Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest chronicles the internal battles between Q-Tip & Phife Dawg and features appearances from Nas, De La Soul, The Roots, Mos Def, Kanye West, Large Professor, Prince Paul, all four members of ATCQ, and many many others. Trailer for the film is below.

Elgin James has distanced himself from his FSU past, and now he's stepping behind the camera for a new film etitled Little Girls. James serves as Director and Screenwriter for this feature...

"Amidst the stark landscape of the Salton Sea, two 15-year-old girls test the limits of their friendship when one follows the other to Los Angeles. Cast: Juno Temple, Kay Panabaker, Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, Kyle Gallner."
I didn't see the words "edge", "core", or "scene" anywhere in that synopsis. And yes, that Leslie Mann and Kate Bosworth.

James Taylor & Carole King will be the subject of Troubadours "A musical journey tracing the lives and careers of ...[these] pillars of the California singer/songwriter scene, which converged in and around LA's Troubadour Club in the late 1960s and early 1970s." This documentary is directed by Morgan Neville, who helmed docs on Stax Records, Iggy Pop, Johnny Cash, and many others.

Last but not least, Sing Your Song examines the man that I best knew for soundtracking my favorite Beetlejuice scene, Harry Belafonte. Besides sunny songs, the film "unearths his significant contribution to and his leadership in the civil rights movement in America and to social justice globally."

Full list of Sundance films is here, and you can check out the (must see) ATCQ trailer below.

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest documentary & other Sundance films"

photos by Brook Bobbins

Lauryn Hill

Okay, so everyone advertised did perform. But it sure was a nail-biter. Lauryn Hill, the eccentric erstwhile Fugee who has mostly stayed out of sight since her lone solo album, 1998's still-scintillating R&B masterpiece "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," was clearly the lineup's chief curiosity. When it comes to her behavior over the past decade there's been no rumor too bizarre to believe. Sunday's rumor was a doozy, and it was true -- she really was three hours late to the stage because she was getting a manicure-pedicure. Suddenly, the attempt by her former band mate Wyclef Jean to become president of Haiti doesn't seem quite so self-centered.

As her 4:30 start time approached, the elaborate stage plot was ready to go. And then . . . nothing. A 10-minute wait became a half-hour, which became a full hour. Scattered heckles became heavy boos as the stage was broken down at 5:30... Her toenails apparently dry, Lauryn Hill [finally performed later], but she probably shouldn't have bothered. The performance was a messy rush through highlights from "Miseducation," but they were hardly recognizable due to her hoarse voice, speedy delivery and clunky, overstuffed arrangements. Hill wasn't lacking for energy, just focus. The feedback on her microphone was ear-splitting; special guest Nas came out for a 45-second cameo, and his microphone wasn't working for half of it. After 20 minutes she departed to an equal mix of cheers and boos, seemingly oblivious as to why anyone might be upset.

...As headliner Snoop Dogg's stage props were assembled -- that would be a large video screen and a park bench covered in 40s in brown paper bags -- and the clock began ticking toward the venue's 11 p.m. curfew, the chatter started again. As a general rule of thumb, chatter at hip-hop shows is not a good thing. Where's Snoop? He was in New York performing at a Michael Jackson tribute show earlier in the day and at 10:45 p.m. was nowhere to be seen. Boos, again.

He did finally emerge, wearing what seemed to be your grandmother's old kitchen tablecloth and performed a truncated version of his iconic gangsta rap album "Doggystyle."... He mostly stayed true to character, never smiling -- maybe he was too focused reading his lyrics off teleprompters -- but his listless performance gave off the vibe that he'd rather be somewhere else. Like, New York. Snoop drawled over the atomic G-funk of "What's My Name?" as the house lights went on -- the venue's not-so-subtle way of saying, "It's time for you to go now." It's hard to think Snoop minded too much. -[Washington Post]

I was wondering if Snoop's afternoon appearance in Prospect Park was really a good idea. There were significantly less complaints from the Rock the Bells show that happened one day earlier on Governors Island in NYC. Lauryn was only 30 minutes late.

Pictures from Rock the Bells NYC HERE, HERE, and a third set continued (we don't have pictures from DC), below...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells DC didn't go so smooth ++ more pics from NYC"

photos by Andrew St. Clair

Raekwon shows potential groupies his current relationship status
Wu-Tang Clan

What kind of oldies concert draws a huge audience in its 20s? Rock the Bells, the daylong hip-hop festival that came to Governors Island on Saturday. This year's Rock the Bells borrowed an idea from the indie-rock festival All Tomorrow's Parties, booking groups to perform watershed albums in their entirety.

Two headliners, Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang Clan, largely complied with the assignment. Snoop Dogg brought along most of the guests from his 1993 album, "Doggystyle," made back when he was Snoop Doggy Dogg. The others - A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Rakim and Slick Rick - went "veering off," as Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest put it, to play additional hits (which no one minded) or to plug more recent projects.

And then there was the wild card: Lauryn Hill, the singer and rapper formerly of the Fugees, appearing half an hour late. She hasn't released a studio album since "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1998, and she has recorded and toured only sporadically since then while raising five children. "I miss you," she told the crowd repeatedly. Partway through the set she pulled guests out of the V.I.P. section and onstage: Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, John Legend. They missed her too.
-[New York Times]

A second set from the NYC edition of Rock The Bells (first is HERE), continue below...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells @ Governors Island - pics (part 2) (Wu-Tang, Street Sweeper Social Club, Yelawolf, Slick Rick & more) "

by BBG

A Tribe Called Quest at Knit (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
A Tribe Called Quest

With these new additions, Rock The Bells 2010 has upped the ante on an already great festival:

JUST ADDED TO THE EPIC ROCK THE BELLS LINEUP:
SNOOP DOGG performing Doggystyle
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST performing Midnight Marauders
DJ PREMIER performing a Tribute to Gang Starr
& VERY SPECIAL GUEST: MS. LAURYN HILL
Say what you will about live hip hop, but A Tribe Called Quest has tons of energy live... and Midnight Marauders in it's entirety! No word on whether Consequence (who wasn't officially a member at the time of the LP), Jarobi (who was somewhat inactive by that point), or Large Professor/Trugoy/Busta Rhymes/Raphael Saadiq (who all guested on the LP) will be on hand.

Los Angeles is the only date so far that will NOT get Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle treatment, which also means a no-go to the classic Chronic era crew who will appear at the other dates with Snoop. That includes Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, Lady of Rage and RBX, but oddly no Nate Dogg?

No word on what kind of set Hill will have (acoustic probably?) or exactly what "a unique tribute to Gang Starr" means, but hopefully the latter will be more than just the man spinning (poorly, I might add) his classics whilst shouting over them (like he did at Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival 2009). Fingers crossed for Jeru The Damaja, Group Home, Nice & Smooth, and the extended Gang Starr fam.

Tickets go on presale for the LA and NYC dates on Friday (6/11) from 10AM to 10PM via Ticketfly, the presale code is CLASSIC. Tickets go on regular sale the next day at 10AM.

Dates and confirmed lineup and ticket info by date is below, along with a few videos....

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest & Snoop Dogg added to & performing albums @ Rock the Bells, Lauryn Hill & more confirmed too"

words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

The Heavy Sound Presents Jay Electronica, Talib Kweli, and more (Diabetes Awareness Concert)

The old Knitting Factory used to be a bastion for independent hip hop in New York City. The new incarnation just took a big step at continuing that legacy, as it hosted one of the most historic hip hop concerts in recent memory.

On Wednesday night (1/20), An astounding array of legends and rising stars rocked the stage to honor everyone's favorite five-footer, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. The event, Mind Body Soul, was a benefit to raise awareness for diabetes (Phife just received a kidney transplant related to his trials with the disease). And while diabetes was often on the mind and tongues of the performers, the show was really more of a demonstration of the persisting camaraderie and mutual adoration within a genre too often beleaguered with battles and conflict.

After quick opening sets by Hook, Jasmine Solano, Scotch Davis, and Monica Rush, the venue went from a displaced chill to full on engagement as Talib Kweli lead off the roster of A-listers. Having just arrived at the venue and already sent out to perform, Kweli showed his undying humility and his utmost flexibility though microphone heroics on a short notice set. Greg Nice (of obscure but beloved group Nice and Smooth) then burst out with a virulent spirit, with the mohawked, larger-than-life OG launching himself straight into the audience to parlay with the youngsters up front.

Jeru Tha Damaja was glib and full of grimy charm; he laid down classic tracks and told stories from the tombs of Brooklyn Hip Hop lore. A soft-spoken Dres (from Black Sheep) smoothly enticed with new material to go with that little ditty about train derailment you might have heard.

Compared to the illustrious resumes of many performers preceding and following him, up-and-comer Jay Electronica might have felt a bit overwhelmed. But Jay's heartfelt thanks to his peers was the most touching moment of the night, and his outrageous performance - with help from Mos Def, Hi Tek, and Kweli (all of whom recently cancelled performances at Highline Ballroom) - resonated with the youthful segments of the crowd and proved his position as the brightest star on the hip hop horizon.

Jay might have been the showstopper if he wasn't followed by hip hop ambassador (and its greatest living performer) KRS-One. Accompanied by hype man BusyBee (of the original Zulu Nation crew), KRS got metaphysical with beyond-cerebral freestyles. But still being the most humble braggadocio around, he bumped out covers of Biggie and Tribe to continue the showing of utmost respect and brotherhood that categorized the night.

There were some awkward and antagonizing moments throughout: posse upon posse swelling to the width of the stage and getting shooed away numerous times by Heavy Sound (the presenter) organizers, strange interactions between host Michael Rapaport and house turntablist DJ D-Lyfe, not to mention an off-performance by a sheepish Mr. Cheeks (of The Lost Boyz).

But it wouldn't really be a memorable hip hop conglomeration if it wasn't just the slightest bit disorganized or sporadically contentious. Even without a single piece of original vinyl brandished throughout the laptop-swapping spree behind the DJ table, the event still felt like a storied Bronx block party or an impromptu Brooklyn corner concert or a Queens Native Tongue poetry slam.

As Consequence dragged Phife on stage, followed by Ali Shaheed Muhameed and then Q-Tip to perform the final set of the night as a united Quest, on display was a vivid demonstration of the greatest hope for the future of hip hop: its ability to nurture its own existence through such reciprocal love. It might take a village to raise a child, but on this night, it only took one Tribe to raise up hip hop.

Ghostface was on the bill, but didn't show. More pictures from the night below...

Continue reading "A Tribe Called Quest got together (w/ help from Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Hi-Tek & more) @ Knitting Factory in NYC - pics "

by Benjamin Lozovsky

Reunion

Former Blackstar bandmates and continuing collaborators Talib Kweli and Mos Def are keeping up the busy pace they each set in 2009 with even more tour dates and releases to come in the new year.

After performing a spattering of shows with long-time producer Hi-Tek as a reunited Reflection Eternal last year, the much beloved pair is coming back to the New York area with a late show at Highline Ballroom on Friday, January 22nd (tickets are on sale). This date comes in the support of The Re:Union Mixtape, the fantastic new free compilation of fresh and unreleased Reflection Eternal cuts (with some classic Kweli and Hi-Tek jams throw in as well) mixed, mastered, and co-produced by Statik Selektah. If the new tracks are any indication, Kweli and Hi-Tek are poised to make a splashing return to form on their upcoming full-length LP Revolutions Per Minute, which has a tentative release date of March 2010.

Before that gig, Talib has two more scheduled local appearances. The first is this Sunday, January 17th, when he'll perform at Pyramid for an End Of The Weak party with special guest Webbafied.

The second, and definitely more eye-popping event is Mind Body Soul: A Concert Event To Raise Awareness For Diabetes. Organized by Heavy Sound and taking place at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Wednesday, January 20th, the benefit concert will feature hosts Michael Rapaport, Okayplayer (perhaps ?uestlove), and Phife Dawg, and performances by Kweli, Ghostface Killah, Jay Electronica (whom Talib just collaborated with for killer Re:Union track 'Just Begun'), and Consequence. Tribe Called Quest member Phife, a long-time diabetic, was first diagnosed with the disease back in 1990, and is making his first appearance in the public spotlight after recently receiving a much needed kidney transplant. Other performers are promised as well (an earlier flyer for the event had Blakroc listed, although that has now vanished from the more updated version...let's hope they might be one of the special guests). Email RSVP@heavysounds.com to get in for free before 11:00pm.

Meanwhile, Mos Def will be back to perform tracks from his Grammy-nominated album The Ecstatic this Sunday, January 17th, at The Highline Ballroom. The show is a rescheduled appearance from December 20th of last year, which was canceled due to weather ($45 tickets). Later in the month, the Mighty Mos performs two more times. First it's at the Apollo Theater for IMAN Presents: Special Edition of Community Café, on Saturday, January 23rd. He'll be there along side Daily Show correspondent and comedian Aasif Mandvi as well as other guests ($20 tickets). Then you can catch Mos when he opens for DOOM at Nokia Theatre on January 30th ($40 tickets)

Event flyers below:

Continue reading "Reflection Eternal mixtape & a show (on sale) + Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Ghostface and even a Phife Dawg appearance too"

De La DMC @ Nokia Theatre, NYC - 8/13/09 (by Tim Griffin)
De La Soul

As Del La Soul told the crowd when they took the stage at Nokia Theatre in NYC last night (8/13), their show was not going to be all music from 3 Feet High & Rising. Why would anyone think it would be? Probably because the show was billed as "20 Years High and Rising" (and everyone and their mother is playing full albums these days) (including Buckshot who opened the show, but didn't play a full album at this one either). I was more than okay with them not playing the full thing, though it would have been nice to hear a few more songs from that album. Specifically, I wished they played "The Magic Number" and "Jenifa Taught Me (Derwin's Revenge)".

I loved every second of the packed show, and the 10-piece backing band was an especially nice touch. That said, I was selfishly hoping for a few more special guests, not that there weren't any. I thought for sure that Q-Tip would show up, and the Jungle Brothers and Black Sheep, and maybe even Doom, and who knows who else. Ends up they sort of kept the guests to a minimum. Bumpy Knuckles performed a short unannounced opening set. Prince Paul was brought out for a second to say hello. Dres from Black Sheep and Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest were watching from the side of the stage and were brought forward to dance for a minute during "Buddy". And then, the big, and maybe only real special guest moment came during a cover of Run DMC's "Rock Box" which was completed with DMC himself on stage as part of the group. They covered Rakim too, but he wasn't there, maybe because he was downtown playing his own show at Highline Ballroom the same evening.

This Sunday (8/16) indie rock leaves the Williamsburg Waterfront for one week (Central Park Summerstage stole it for the day), and another big (mostly) hip hop show happens in NYC, courtesy of JellyNYC, and it's free (and/or $50). The Sunday Pool Party lineup includes Gravy Train!!!, DD/MM/YYYY, Kenan Bell (who also opened for De La Soul on Thursday), a DJ set by Prince Paul (Plug Four), and a headlining set by DEL the Funky Homosapien.

We have a full set of pictures coming from De La Soul (more tour dates HERE), and we'll have some from Sunday too. In the meantime, here's a few videos from the show...

Continue reading "De La Soul (& DMC) played Nokia, Prince Paul DJing Pool Party Sunday (w/ Del da Funky Homosapien, Kenan Bell, others) "

photos by Toby Tenenbaum

qtip

"Central Park SummerStage is a tradition in New York, one in which music lovers flock to in order to catch a free show from an array of artists. This past weekend Q-Tip took to the stage, after performances by openers Benji B, Little Dragon and Max and D.A. of pop band Chester French and rocked the park at the Giant Step sponsored event.

The 'Renaissance Man' ran through his set with the energy and exuberance he's known for but it was his impromptu dance partner who stole the show.

While fans surely won't forget the SummerStage performances of Tribe classics, including 'Bonita Applebum,' 'Award Tour' and 'Sucka N---a,' it was Diddy's participation on Tip's solo hit 'Vivrant Thing' that made the crowd go wild. Sean "Diddy" Combs took it back to the '90s with the Puff Daddy two-step/shuffle as he danced alongside Tip. Anything and everything can happen in New York!" [The Boombox]

Saturday's show in Central Park happened at the same time as the Siren Festival in Coney Island. More pictures and a bunch of videos from it, below...

Continue reading "(Diddy joined) Q-Tip, Little Dragon & Chester French @ Central Park Summerstage - pics & video"

Q-Tip @ Highline Ballroom in December (more by Leia Jospe)
Q-Tip

Ballantine Books will publish Industry Rules by Q-Tip, world-renowned artist, producer, DJ, and lead MC of hip-hop's legendary A Tribe Called Quest...Q-Tip was inspired to write Industry Rules as he acknowledged upcoming milestones in his personal life and professional career--most notably, 2010 marks the twentieth anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest's first album, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (Jive Records, 1990). The main idea for the book grew from a verse Q-Tip penned a year later, in the group's critically acclaimed 1991 release The Low End Theory. In the song "Check the Rhime," he raps, "Industry rule number 4080: record company people are shady." The book will expand on the 4080th rule and include more of Q-Tip's thoughts on the entertainment business, fashion, love, and morality.
Q-Tip will playing the Central Park Summerstage on Saturday, July 18th (3pm-7pm) for a free show with Chester French, Little Dragon & Benji B. His album Kamaal/The Abstract, originally recorded in 2001, is finally due out September 15th on (BMG-owned) Battery Recrods.

Little Dragon will also be at the The Freedom Party NYC at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Friday (tonight). Tickets are on sale.

Q-Tip album art, tracklist, book info, and Little Dragon tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Q-Tip - an album, a book (Industry Rules) & a Summerstage show Saturday (w/ Little Dragon who is @ LPR tonight)"

by Ryan Barkan

Cloud Cult

10. CLOUD CULT: "LUCKY TODAY" - ESURANCE.COM
It's a music video! It's an ad! It's a music videad! It's the band Cloud Cult, fully animated in a TV spot for Esurance, but there isn't a sales pitch to be found. The Minneapolis psychedelic-pop band had traditionally shunned marketers, but the DTC insurance company won them over with some hard-fought green credentials. The result is a charming spot that not only fits in with the visual style of the band, but also features one of Cloud Cult's best songs.
[Ad Age Ad Songs of the Year]
This commercial came out late in 2008...though I think I only saw it one or two times. But thanks to an increase in rotation (January is the busiest month for car insurance!) partially influenced by the above placement in Ad Age, Esurance's Cloud Cult cartoon commercial has been on TV heavily over the past few weeks. The band shows up as animated characters in what comes off more as a music video for their 2005 song "Lucky Today", than as a sales pitch for insurance. A quick jump to Esurance's website and you can find a special Cloud Cult microsite where you can watch the commercial, stream/download a few songs, read why the band finds similarities in their and Esurance's love for being green, and learn how to be more eco-friendly.

According to SoundScan, the band sold more individual digital downloads of "Lucky Today" (1,400) in the last week than they usually sell in a month from all albums...combined.

Other Notable Licensing News:

RadioheadRadiohead gave gratis (aka free) permission to the National Coalition For The Homeless to use the song "MK1" in a spot that attempts to show homelessness can happen to anyone. (via Songs For Soap). This was their first commercial license ever. Watch the spot below.

Michael Stipe was cool with giving a gratis license for Amnesty International to use REM's "Until the Day Is Done" in a powerful new spot. Watch that below as well.

"In fact, it seems like the one thriving corner of the music business is ad placement. The only people making any money are the artists landing their songs in TV commercials and the royalties that come along with that, so the most successful bands this year will be the ones whose songs are most conducive to selling shit. Which means that Santogold is your Artist of the Year for 2009. Once the shampoo companies find out about 'I'm a Lady', forget about it. It's a wrap." [Tom Breihan in the new L Magazine]

Santogold says 'aha' a lot in the new commercial for the Samsung Pixon phone with her song, "Say Aha". Watch it here.

Audi goes old school in the new spot for the Q5, breaking out Woodie Guthrie's fun "Car Song."

Another car manufacturer went NOT-old school - Volkswagen stayed local (German) with the Berlin electro-group Team on their new (clearly inspired by the movie The Matrix) spot for the Golf. Watch below.

Vancouver band, Readymade, has a song used by Unilever in their new Sun spot, highlighting "Human Potential."

Apples in StereoI'm addicted to Diet Pepsi. It's my friend-mesis. Pepsi has rebranded my favorite drink and its overall image with a new "smile" logo. The brand launched its commercial campaign with a spot featuring the music of The Apples In Stereo (Via YANPicasso).

Papa John's sponsored an NCAA football bowl game last month. During said bowl game, the pizza maker debuted a commercial celebrating their 25th anniversary featuring Wang Chung's "Everybody Have Fun Tonight".

John Lennon may not be alive, but that didn't stop Yoko Ono from lending his voice to a good cause. Watch the OLPC PSA below.

Walmart promotes the football season with a commercial using Queen's anthem "We Will Rock You".

Fashionista Kanye West is teaming up with one of his favorite designers, Luis Vuitton, to create six shoes for the brand. You may have also noticed Kanye's song "Flashing Lights" in the Season 6 promo to the F/X channel's show "Nip/Tuck". Commercial below.

continued, with videos, below...

Continue reading "This week in Music Licensing"

photos by Leia Jospe

Q-Tip

"We're not together anymore. Rock the Bells was our last tour and we won't make any more records. We're still friends, I'm going to be working on Phife's solo album. Everyone's chilling and the tour was great -- Nas, De La Soul, Redman, Ghostface, Raekwon -- it was great to see old friends. You know, to be out there doing our thing." - Q-Tip
Q-Tip and The Cool Kids are on tour. Tuesday night (12/2) that tour hit NYC's Highline Ballroom (instead of Nokia Theatre where they originally played it). More pictures and video from the show below...

Continue reading "Q-Tip & the Cool Kids @ Highline Ballroom, NYC - pics"

Photos by Zach Stern

Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes played a free show at Knitting Factory last week. Q-Tip played a free show at the same venue a few weeks earlier. Busta showed up at Tip's show and Tip returned the favor at this one. Pacific Division opened the night. More pictures below...

Continue reading "Busta Rhymes (& Q-Tip) @ Knitting Factory, NYC - pics, video"

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