Entries tagged with: Bishop Nehru

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Andrew Jackson Jihad
AJJ

Folk punks Andrew Jackson Jihad returned this year with their fifth album, Christmas Island, and they've now announced they'll continue supporting it with a 2015 tour. It's a pretty stacked tour, with support from their Australian SideOneDummy labelmates The Smith Street Band, their American labelmate Jeff Rosenstock, and Brooklyn DIY pop punks Chumped. The A.V. Club-presented tour hits NYC on March 20 at Warsaw. Tickets for that show (and all other dates) go on sale Friday (12/12). All dates are listed below.

As usual, you've got other chances to catch Chumped in their hometown before that. They celebrate their great debut record, Teenage Retirement, on Saturday (12/13) at Suburbia, also with Jeff Rosenstock, as well as Cayetana, Chris Gethard and Adult Dude (tix at door). Then, they open for Plow United on 12/30 at Acheron (tickets). If you haven't checked out Teenage Retirement, you can change that by listening below.

Both Chumped and Andrew Jackson Jihad made Jeff Rosenstock's 2014 year-end list. Speaking of year-end lists, SideOneDummy, and Chumped, Chumped's SideOneDummy-signed recent tourmates PUP also gave us a list of their favorite albums of 2014. And (wait for it), it includes Cayetana, who play Chumped's release show (and whose release show Chumped played) and who toured with PUP when both bands opened for The Menzingers (who have dates coming up) who it also includes!

Check out their whole list/entertaining commentary, with the AJJ dates, below...

Continue reading "Andrew Jackson Jihad announce tour w/ Chumped & more; PUP told us their favorite LPs of 2014"

The Cribs at MHOW in 2012 (more by Guy Eppel)
Cribs

A ton of artists were already announced for SXSW 2015 (March 17-22), and now the second artist announcement has come with several more including Twin Shadow, The Cribs, Swervedriver, Gang of Four, KEN mode, Weyes Blood, Wild Throne, Elvis Depressedly, SURVIVE, Juan Wauters, San Fermin, Lydia Ainsworth, The Blind Shake, Ex-Cult, Ikonika, King Tuff, Pujol, The Velvet Teen, The Zombies, Zookeeper, Yumi Zouma and tons more.

Full round 2 list below...

Continue reading "SXSW 2015 2nd round of artists announced"

by Andrew Sacher

Weezer

Next week (October 7) is a pretty major album release week, which means a lot of major albums are streaming in full this week. We already posted full album streams from Zola Jesus, Godflesh, Iceage and Single Mothers, and here's a roundup of some of the other anticipated records coming out this Tuesday.

Aussie/UK's Allo Darlin make more of their charming indie pop on We Come From the Same Place, due out via Slumberland. You can listen to that one at Pitchfork. Their tour hits Glasslands in October.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen, aka the duo of Stars of the Lid's Adam Wiltzie and pianist/composer Dustin O'Halloran, release their droning new album, Atomos, via Kranky. Listen at NPR.

Dan Snaith's electronic psych dancepop return as Caribou, Our Love, is coming via Merge and can now be streamed at iTunes Radio. His tour with album collaborator Jessy Lanza hits Webster Hall twice in November.

Mary Timony's (Wild Flag, Helium, Autoclave) current band Ex Hex have been killing it as a live band for a while and their debut album Rips finally comes out next week via Merge. It's packed with ultra-catchy glammy punk and can be streamed at NPR. They're touring with Speedy Ortiz soon.

Justin Vernon associate Field Report brings in new synthy layers to his folk songs on Marigolden, due via Partisan. That can be streamed at Pitchfork.

Foxygen will release their wacky, long, psychedelic double album, ...And Star Power, in two weeks (10/14) via Jagjaguwar, but that one's streaming now too. You can listen via NPR. They'll be on tour soon too.

Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, who has also played in The The, Electronic, Modest Mouse, The Cribs and more, goes solo for his second time with Playland, coming via Warner Bros and following last year's solo debut, The Messenger. That can be streamed in full below via Spotify. His upcoming tour includes two NYC shows and a NJ show in November.

The great hip hop weirdo DOOM (aka MF Doom) seemingly never stops collaborating, and next week he'll be teaming up with the young impressive Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru for NehruvianDOOM, via Lex/Noizy Cricket!!. You hear that over at Pitchfork.

Brooklyn goth country collective O'Death have a super raw record, Out of Hands We Go, coming next week through Northern Spy. Listen in full (via CMJ) below. Theyll be on tour with Death Vessel and Stone Jack Jones soon.

Psychedelic duo Peaking Lights sound funkier than ever on their newest album, Cosmic Logic, coming out via Domino affiliate Weird World. There's an appropriately trippy album visualizer with the stream over at Domino's site. Check it out. They'll be in NYC to make four different appearances this week.

SBTRKT's new album, Wonder Where We Land, is weirder and less hooky than his last, and filled with an impressive cast of guests including Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, Chairlift's Caroline Polacheck, Jessie Ware, A$AP Ferg, Warpaint, Sampha, Raury and more. Listen at STBRKT's site. His tour includes two Terminal 5 shows this month.

The newest installment of Famous Class' LAMC series of split 7"s comes out next week with Speedy Ortiz's "Doomsday" and Chris Weisman's "I Took It Off A Record." The Speedy song is more of their quality indie rock and Chris's track leans more on the folk side. Stream both tracks below. Speedy are touring with Ex Hex soon.

Steve Gunn's kinda-psychedelic folk and excellent guitar playing are intact for his newest LP, Way Out Weather, due via Paradise of Bachelors. Listen at NPR.

Stevie Nicks' newest, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault, which includes songs mostly written between 1969 and 1987, one from '94 and one from '95, can be streamed at Amazon. Fleetwood Mac's classic lineup is on tour now and hitting NYC for two nights at MSG in a few days.

Cult folk legend Vashti Bunyan sounds gorgeous as ever on Heartleap, her third album (following 1970's Just Another Diamond Day and 2005's Lookaftering), reportedly also her final album, and the first she produced largely on her own. It's coming out via FatCat in Europe and DiCristina in North America. Take a listen to this gem over at Pitchfork.

Wampire's new album, Bazaar, due via Polyvinyl, is genuinely weird but also genuinely rocking. Check it out for yourself, below. They'll be touring with TOPS and also playing CMJ.

Weezer have gone for the "comeback" album a few times already, and they're going for it again on Everything Will Be Alright in the End. Does it live up? Is it a return to form? (I'd say it's a return to Green Album, personally.) Hear it for yourself on iTunes Radio.

And lastly, this one's not a full album stream, but speaking of '90s bands making returns to form, Rancid definitely sound like they're doing just that with the three songs they put out from their new album, ...Honor Is All We Know, due out 10/27 via Hellcat/Epitaph. It was produced by Bad Religion guitarist/Epitaph CEO Brett Gurewitz (whose band is also riding the "do it like we did in our prime" train). Watch a video with those three tracks below.

Continue reading "stream roundup: Johnny Marr, Vashti Bunyan, Stevie Nicks, Peaking Lights, Speedy Ortiz, Weezer, Rancid, more"

Olga Bell at Rough Trade in May (more by Chris La Putt)
Olga

NYC's annual CMJ Music Marathon (Oct. 21-25) already announced one batch of artists and they've now revealed many more, including some whose shows were previously announced like A Place to Bury Strangers, DIIV, James, and more. Other additions include The A-Bones, Adult Jazz, Amanda X, Beliefs, The Beverleys, Bishop Nehru, Blue Hawaii, Dilly Dally, The Dirty Nil, Doug Gillard, Dusted, Ex-Breathers, Fielded, Girlpool, Guy Blakeslee, Heavenly Beat, HSY, J Fernandez, Jack & Eliza, Krill, Lia Ices, Literature, Nude Beach, Olga Bell, Paul Collins Beat, Pinact, Popstrangers, Radical Dads, Residual Kid, Run Forever, September Girls, She Keeps Bees, Shilpa Ray, Solids, Weyes Blood and a bunch of others.

Full list below...

Continue reading "CMJ 2014 adds a ton of more artists"

Bishop Nehru

Young Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru just opened for Disclosure at one of their three Terminal 5 shows, and now the two have teamed up for a new song, "You Stressin'," which you can stream below...

Continue reading "Disclosure & Bishop Nehru team up on "You Stressin'" (listen)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Leo Maymind

Disclosure w/ Sam Smith @ T5 1/17/2013
Disclosure
Disclosure

The UK brotherly duo Disclosure completed a sold-out, three night run at Terminal 5 this weekend, proving that, despite the fact that their critically-acclaimed debut album Settle clearly mines very British influences, their potential to grow here seems unlimited. Pictures from night 1 (Friday, 1/17) are in this post.

I attended Saturday night's show (1/18). Two young hip-hop artists, Bishop Nehru and Vic Mensa (along with Samo Sound Boy), opened the show, each utilizing just a DJ and their own energy to work the crowd. Nehru in particular was delightfully charismatic, reaching across the venue's security pit to touch the hands of fans throughout his set. While many of his songs relied on fairly generic, mid-tempo beats that could easily slide into a range of commercial playlists, his drawl-heavy lyrics were often entrancing and quick-witted. Mensa's set began shortly after Nehru finished, and he brought out a few hype-men who seemed both thrilled and anxious to be on stage in front of 3,000 people. Despite mentioning his hometown of Chicago several times, Mensa gave lots of endearing shout-outs to New York before ending his set rather abruptly and hightailing it off the stage.

Disclosure's dual tables full of gear and elaborate light setup came to life with a bright screen flashing their now-iconic face logo as the brothers unassumingly took the stage following a short break. The set began with a deep, ambient swell before launching into "F For You," which found Howard adding his own voice under a submerged and pitch-shifted vocal line. Both Howard and Guy sporadically supplemented their booming tracks with live keyboard playing and minimal yet tasteful percussion accents, but it's hard to overstate the importance of the band's elaborate, strobe-heavy light show. Despite the fact that Disclosure is now playing to festival-size crowds, neither brother seemed to be terribly confident on stage, and more, um, un-Settle-ing was the lack of interaction between Howard and Guy, as they rarely spoke or looked at each other.

While many of the songs didn't differ greatly from the recorded versions, Guy did trigger many of their signature vocal samples in new rhythms and arrangements. The set relied on a few tight, seamless transitions, making especially nice use of noise swells from a Korg Monotribe. "When a Fire Starts to Burn" got hands in the air, as did "You and Me." Despite lacking in spontaneity and interaction, much of the crowd was simply thrilled at the opportunity to witness Disclosure's undeniably well-written songs being pumped through Terminal 5's massive, bass-heavy sound system and it was clear that the duo's popularity is still on the rise.

All three nights, Sam Smith joined the band for the encore to sing on single "Latch" and they'll do it again tonight (1/20) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Sam will be back in NYC when his solo tour hits March 24 at Webster Hall and tickets for that show are still available.

More special guests: at Sunday's show (1/19) Mary J. Blige came out to provide vocals on "F for You" and video of that is below. Surprisingly, though Disclosure collaborators London Grammar were in town for their own shows right beforehand, they didn't perform with them.

In other news, Pitchfork reports that the Lawrence brothers spent some time in the studio with Q-Tip while here, so keep an eye out for that collaboration. Meanwhile, check out more pictures from Disclosure's first Terminal 5 show below...

Continue reading "Disclosure played 3 nights at T5 w/ Sam Smith, Mary J Blige, playing 'Fallon' tonight, working w/ Q-Tip (pics, video)"

IMAGEIMAGE
IMAGEIMAGE

The 2014 SXSW Festival is coming up soon -- March 11 - 16 in Austin, Texas -- and they've just announced the third round of showcasing bands which is a massive update. That includes Mary Timony's Ex Hex (who we just speculated about), Dum Dum Girls, Natural Child, Ratking, Buffalo Daughter, Action Bronson, Perfect Pussy, Nothing, Windhand, Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Vic Mensa, Deniro Farrar, Roosevelt, Pure Bathing Culture and a whole lot more. Full list of third round bands is listed below.

Continue reading "SXSW 2014 announces third round of showcasing artists"

Joanna Gruesome photos by Dominick Mastrangelo; words by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher

Joanna Gruesome at Pianos 10/16/2013
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We're in the midst of a crazy-as-usual CMJ -- we're on day 3 (10/17) -- and the headaches and lack-of-sleep are already kicking in. But it's all worth it for the many hours of live music. We already talked a bit about seeing Joanna Gruesome yesterday, and here's some more highlights of our Wednesday (10/16) of CMJ...

Bonzie @ Pianos (photo by Amanda Hatfield for BrooklynVegan Instagram)
Bonzie

After I saw Joanna Gruesome downstairs at Pianos, I headed upstairs to catch young Chicago singer/songwriter Bonzie. I was a little skeptical about her potentially being a bit too on the manufactured-pop side, and there is definitely some of that, but she's also got a great voice and is clearly determined to be a memorable performer as well. Bonzie's got the kind of folky pop songs that are very much in style (and successful), but she and her band add some quirks to them that recall early-mid '00s freak folk more than they do Mumford & Sons.

Other than Joanna Gruesome, the best thing I saw at Pianos had to have been Bleeding Rainbow. They mentioned on stage that they're working on a new record (expected to be out February 2014) and were playing a lot of songs from it, and man were these new songs good. Their last record -- this year's Yeah Right -- is mostly poppy shoegaze (not that there's anything wrong with that), and they've always been heavier live than that album would suggest, but these new songs were sounding like some of their most driving, punkiest stuff. They often worked practically-screamed vocals, Sonic Youth-y string bends, and dirty power chords into their set -- not the typical elements of a band tagged as shoegaze and indie pop. - [AS]

Bill here... like ships passing in the night, Andrew left for Webster Hall and I got to Pianos for the night show that was happening in the upstairs. CMJ is about the only time to see full bands up there where's no stage, giving things more of a DIY feeling. I got there just in time to catch Brooklyn's Gross Relations who bang out '90s-style crunchy, keyboard-friendly indie rock a la The Rentals or The Pulsars. They do it really well and if you've never checked them out, their live show is a lot of fun. Their record's good too.

Next up was the band I came to see -- and whom Andrew had just seen downstairs at Pianos -- Joanna Gruesome. Already a big fan of their terrific debut, Weird Sister, I knew they were not going to be your quiet type cardigan-wearing indiepop band live, but they really threw themselves into their performance, and around the room a bit too. They're a no holds barred band -- a bit wild and wooly but holding it together -- and the packed room was fully into it. In addition to album cuts like the "Sugarcrush," "Secret Surprise" and "Madison" they turned Galaxie 500's dreamy "Tugboat Captain" into a killer noise-jam. I haven't seen Hookworms yet but Joanna Gruesome are my CMJ band to beat.

BV photographer Dominick Mastrangelo happened to be there too and was kind enough to send a few JG pictures which are in this post.

From there I headed back to Williamsburg for the NME showcase at Glasslands. Leeds, UK's Eagulls are a band I've been wanting to see for some time. Coming on stage in a long coat, George Mitchell looks like the singer of a British postpunk band, and has the sneery stage presence -- and Northern England drawl -- to back it up. Kicking things off with excellent new single "Nerve Endings," they blasted through their short, fierce set with nary a nod to the audience. They play our BV day party on Friday (10/18).

Courtney Barnett @ Glasslands (via @soundbitesnyc)
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Then came Australian singer Courtney Barnett who is my kind of singer-songwriter: funny, charming, unassuming and un-singer-songwritery. With a rhythm section backing her up, sonically she's more in the garage-psych world (in an almost Kinks kinda way) with her almost stream-of-consciousness story style lyrics driving things. She can rock but you leave remembering lyrical phrases as much as the music. And I left smiling with much of both.

You can catch Courtney a bunch this week, including the BV day party on Saturday. -[BP]

Now back to Andrew...

A$AP Rocky and Ferg @ Webster Hall (via @iboTV)
ASAP

I spent my entire night portion of CMJ Wednesday at the Mass Appeal/Grooveshark showcase at Webster Hall, where we got sets from promising young Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru, punky duo The Bots, A$AP Mob, Casey Veggies and Schoolboy Q. A$AP Mob's set was only billed to feature Twelvy, Ant, and Nast, but A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg came out for the last few songs, including big Ferg songs "Work" and "Shabba" (video below). Ferg and Rocky were pretty much the stars of the night, but before they came out the rest of the Mob proved they could put on a fun show without them too. It wasn't long ago that A$AP Ferg wasn't a well-known solo artist yet, and it doesn't seem out of the question for other A$AP Mob members to start getting recognized for their own careers too.

Schoolboy Q's set included no guest appearances, but he did bring out new TDE signee Isaiah Rashad to do two of his own songs, and it wasn't hard to see what TDE sees in this guy. But back to Q. I don't think the place was sold out but it was pretty packed and Q had the whole crowd going nuts for him. When I saw Schoolboy Q in NYC earlier this year, the penultimate song in his set was his big song "Hands on the Wheel," which he cut off early saying he was tired of that and wanted to move on to new material, so he ended his set with the then-new single "Yay Yay." It was fun (and funny), but almost came off like he was forcing the crowd to be into his new stuff. This time around, he didn't need to do anything of the sort. He played "Hands on the Wheel" in the middle of his set without commenting on it, and ended the set with two of his new singles, "Collard Greens" and "Yay Yay." He not only pulled it off, but the crowd seemed more into those songs than his older stuff. I think we're all ready for that new album, Schoolboy Q. Check out a video from last night below. - [AS]

And back to Bill...

Regal Degal @ Ran Tea House (via @soundbitesnyc)
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Yuck headlined the Glasslands show but went on laaaaaate as drummer (and American) Jonny Rogoff announced from the stage that the rest of the band were a bit slow in getting here due to visa issues (they were supposed to be here Tuesday) and airport security and such (but not a blizzard like their first US show).

I didn't stick around -- Yuck (who are all here now) are playing our BV day party on Saturday -- and went a few doors down Kent to Ran Tea House for the Terrible Records show to catch Regal Degal. The trio spent a year in Los Angeles which definitely did them some good, they are much tighter band than before they left. They're still making somewhat obtuse, arty music -- think 154 or The Pop Group with The Fall's repetition repetition repetition -- but it's never indulgently weird. It's naturally weird. And the rhythm section (Jamen Whitelock and Josiah Wolfson) is just killer.

And then I went to bed. - [BP]

CMJ continues today. Check out our list of day shows and night shows. We'll have more pictures from Wednesday's Pianos day parties and more CMJ coverage soon. More pics from Joanna Gruesome's Upstairs Pianos set and the videos from Webster Hall below...

Continue reading "CMJ Wednesday recap (Schoolboy Q, A$AP Rocky, Bonzie, Joanna Gruesome, Eagulls, Courtney Barnett & more)"

Kendrick Lamar at ACL Fest 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Kendrick Lamar

The 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards cypher aired last night (10/15) and featured cyphers from TDE (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul and new signee Isaiah Rashad), A$AP Mob (Rocky, Ferg, Twelvy, Nast, and Ant), Lil Kim & Action Bronson, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and more. As you may have heard, Kendrick's verse in the TDE cypher included a much-talked-about diss at Drake. You can read his entire verse (via Complex) and watch videos of the above-mentioned cyphers, below.

Meanwhile, Schoolboy Q and A$AP Mob (Ant, Twelvy, and Nast) are teaming up for a NYC show together TONIGHT (10/16) at Webster Hall as part of CMJ. The show also includes TDE's new signee Isaiah Rashad, in addition to former Odd Future associate Casey Veggies, young Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru (who has opened for more than one Black Hippy member in NYC), and The Bots. Tickets for tonight's show are still available, and you can also try to get in with your CMJ badge.

Meanwhile, Kendrick plays with Q at Barclays in November, and returns to that venue with Kanye later that month.

Videos and Kendrick lyrics below...

Continue reading "Schoolboy Q & A$AP Mob played BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher w/ Kendrick & Rocky, playing Webster Hall tonight"

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)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Kendrick Lamar @ Williamsburg Park - 9/10/13
Kendrick Lamar - Williamsburg Park, Brooklyn - September 10th, 2013

Kendrick Lamar brought his never-ending tour back to NYC last night (9/10) for at least the fifth time this year to headline big outdoor Brooklyn venue Williamsburg Park. The rapper (joined by a live band!) played a ton of favorites from his great 2012 album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, in addition to other live show staples like his verse on A$AP Rocky's "Fuckin' Problems." Plus he took a minute or two to address his beef with Meek Mill (who shared a bill with Kendrick's Black Hippy partner Schoolboy Q at Williamsburg Park in July).

Opening the show was the other two Black Hippy members Ab-Soul and Jay Rock, in addition to young upcoming Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru. Pictures from the show are in this post.

Black Hippy are playing Rock the Bells this year, including the NJ one in October, and Kendrick is also set to head out on tour supporting Kanye West.

More pictures from Williamsburg Park below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock & Bishop Nehru played Williamsburg Park (pics)"

Joey Bada$$ at NXNE 2013 (more by David Andrako)
Joey Bada$$

The Smokers Club Tour (which has previously included artists like Curren$y, Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA and more) is returning this year with a new lineup co-headlined by Black Hippy's Ab-Soul and Pro Era's Joey Bada$$. The rest of the Pro Era crew will be on the tour too, as will Joey's Beast Coast tourmates The Underachievers. It also features Chevy Woods, Cashius Green w/ Pheo, June, Minty Burnes, Shortstop, and Uiie P. All dates, including shows in New Haven and Philly, are listed below.

Though the tour doesn't currently include any NYC dates, you can catch The Underachievers in NYC when they play a Couch Sessions show at The Paper Box on Sunday (9/1) with Sango, Kendra Morris and many more. Admission is $5 with RSVP or $10 at the door. More info on that show here.

Ab-Soul will also be in NYC to open for his Black Hippy crewmate Kendrick Lamar when he plays Williamsburg Park on September 10. That show also includes another Black Hippy member, Jay Rock, and young upcoming Brooklyn rapper Bishop Nehru (who we caught opening for Ab-Soul earlier this year). Tickets for that show are still available.

Joey also just offered his response to Kendrick Lamar's "Control" verse with his song "Killuminati Pt. 2." Listen to that, along with the list of all Smokers Club Tour dates, the tour flyer, and other song streams, below...

Continue reading "Ab-Soul, Joey Bada$$, The Underachievers & more playing the 2013 Smokers Club Tour (dates & related NYC shows)"

by Andrew Sacher

Ab-Soul at SOB's - 2/27/13 (photo by Marvin H)
Ab-Soul

After Ab-Soul (and the rest of the Black Hippy crew) appeared on stage with Kendrick Lamar during Tuesday's Roseland show, he stuck around NYC for his own show at SOB's last night (2/27). Due to the previous night's events, everyone pretty much knew something similar would go down at SOB's, which Ab-Soul acknowledged early on at last night's show, and proceeded to make the hour-ish long show a split between solo Soulo and a showcase of his friends/collaborators.

Ab-Soul has a lot of fun at his shows, doing lots of call-and-response with the crowd, like: "When I say 'Hiii," you say 'Power!'" "Hiii!" "POWER!"; "When I say "TD," you say "E." "TD" "EEEE!"; and my personal favorite, "Soulo ho!" - "SOULO HO!", which he always followed with, "See how easy it is? that's a real song. Seriously!" When he raps, he kills it live as much as he does on record. In terms of material, he did a lot of 2012's Control System but also reached back for some earlier cuts, like "Gone Insane."

Because there's no backstage at SOB's and the smoke-filled room was packed, Ab-Soul's guests had to squeeze their way through the center of the crowd to pop up on stage. So depending on where you were standing, you knew who was about to get on stage, but maybe seeing them walk right past you was even more exciting (I for one, was on the side of the stage, and have no idea). First out was Black Hippy cohort Jay Rock for their track "Lust Demons." After that, he hung out on stage as the third Black Hippy member of the night, Schoolboy Q, came out to absolutely murder "Druggys Wit Hoes Again," which had the crowd screaming in the chorus. Then Soulo took a break from the Black Hippy members, and spent the next chunk of his set bringing out NYC rappers, like Smoke DZA, Joey Bada$$ (who also came out during Ab-Soul's set at Terminal 5 in 2012), and the most riotous of the local guest spots, A$AP Rocky, who came out in his usual manner of rushing the stage with hypemen to do his own track, "Angels."

Finally, towards the end of the set, Ab-Soul played "Illuminate," which of course meant the last Black Hippy member of the night was about to hit the stage: Kendrick Lamar. After that track, Kendrick asked the crowd, "Can I do one of my own?" The crowd screaming in the affirmative was answered by the beat to "Backseat Freestyle" and before you could even hear Kendrick, just about every person in that room yelled, "MARTIN HAD A DREAM... MARTIN HAD A DREAM... KENDRICK HAVE A DREEEEEEEEEEAM." Then he stuck around for yet another of his own cuts, "m.A.A.d. City," followed by Ab-Soul closing the night with arguably his best track, "Pineal Gland."

The show opened with sets from G.R.A.M.Z., Rikki Blu, an unbilled set from the Ryder Gang, and the very intriguing Bishop Nehru. Nehru is from NYC, he's only 16, and like fellow young NYC rapper Joey Bada$$, Bishop Nehru sounds most influenced by the rap that came out before he was even born. And even if his influences are worn on his sleeve a bit, he's still a promising young artist, and ended his set by cutting the beat and delivering a rapid fast verse on his own, to which the crowd only screamed louder and louder as he went on.

Bishop Nehru's recent music video for "Misruled Order," which he directed himself, and a video of Kendrick and Ab-Soul doing "Backstreet Freestyle" at SOB's, below...

Continue reading "Ab-Soul played SOB's with Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, A$AP Rocky, Bishop Nehru & more (review, video)"

photos by Dylan Johnson

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar touched down in NYC for two shows at Roseland Ballroom on Tuesday (2/26) (early and late)., part of HOT 97 and MetroPCS's "5 Boro Takeover Tour" that also includes an upcoming T.I. show.

No Drake, but he brought out an incredible group of collaborators including all of Black Hippy (Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul), A$AP Rocky, YG, 50 Cent, and Tony Yayo. Kendrick and his friends played a bunch of cuts off of his unstoppable good kid, m.A.A.d city, reached back to early albums and mixtapes, and played some of his guests' material (like "Fuckin Problems" with A$AP Rocky) with the crowd screaming along the whole time. Both shows were sold out and totally packed, and you can check out pictures of the craziness from the early show in this post.

Kendrick's tour continues and brings him to SXSW in March (with all of Black Hippy) and back to NYC for Governors Ball in June.

Ab-Soul (and friends?) sticks around NY and plays SOB's tonight (2/27) with Bishop Nehru and more.

Kendrick also performed "Poetic Justice" on on Letterman on Tuesday with his band. The video of that performance and more pictures and a video from the early show at Roseland below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar & special guests played shows @ Roseland Ballroom & Letterman (pics & video)"