Entries tagged with: Blu
by Andrew Sacher
Kool Keith (aka Dr. Octagon aka Dr. Dooom aka a member of Ultramagnetic MC's, etc etc etc) recently returned with a new album on Mello Music Group, Time? Astonishing!. It's a collaboration with North Carolina producer L'Orange, for whom it was his second collaborative LP of 2015. (The other was The Night Took Us In Like Family with Jeremiah Jae.) Time? Astonishing! features Open Mike Eagle, Blu, Mr. Lif, J-Live and more, and as you might expect from Kool Keith, it's spacey psychedelic rap. Stream the whole thing (and the whole Jeremiah Jae/L'Orange album) below.
As previously mentioned, Kool Keith is playing shows this year, including NYC's Brooklyn Bowl on August 20. Since we last spoke, that became a co-headlining show with Blacklicious. Tickets are still available.
That show is part of a much longer tour for Blackalicious (aka Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel), which is in support of their upcoming album, Imani, Vol. 1, that they're self-releasing on September 18. It's their fourth album total and first since 2005's The Craft, and from the sounds of new single "Blacka," these guys are still fired up. Check it out, with the list of tour dates, below.
CunninLynguists' new album art (not Smash Mouth's)
Kentucky rap crew CunninLynguists followed 2011's Oneirology LP earlier this year with a new mixtape. It's the third in their Strange Journey mixtape series, and thus titled Strange Journey Volume Three. It's got a handful of great guests including Del The Funy Homosapien, Aesop Rock, Murs, Blu, Psalm One and Masta Ace. This fall, they'll be heading out on tour in support of the release with J-Live (who's also on the mixtape), stopping in NYC to play The Studio at Webster Hall on November 13. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All tour dates are listed, with a stream of Strange Journey Volume Three, below...
by Ian Chainey
Madlib, Blu, M.E.D.
Los Angeles rapper Blu will be setting out on the Bad Neighbor Tour with frequent collaborator M.E.D. later this summer. Most dates are still pending announcement, but a few have been revealed including a number of California engagements and New York's S.O.B.'s on August 19. Tickets for that show are available now, as are tables. All currently known dates are listed below.
Blu recently released the Bombay-produced LP Good to Be Home, which features guest spots from Prodigy, Oh No, Alchemist, and Evidence, among many others. The double disc produced the single "The West" which you can hear below. Blu and M.E.D. also have released a new video for "Peroxide" from last year's The Buzz EP, which features Madlib beats and Dam-Funk's g-ness. Consider it a warm-up for the Bad Neighbor LP, which will reprise the Blu/M.E.D./Madlib connection later this year.
List of known dates, with "The West" and the video for "Peroxide," below...
by Andrew Sacher
West Coast hip hop trio Pac Div (short for Pacific Division) have been at it for a few years and have two albums under their belt, including the late 2012 release, GMB, which you can stream on Spotify and download on iTunes. GMB is a solid record combining some classic West Coast elements with 21st century styles, not unlike the beat Pac Div member Like produced for Kendrick Lamar's "Sing About Me." Pac Div and Kendrick also team up with another West Coaster, Blu, for GMB standout cut, "Cross-Trainers," which you can stream below.
Pac Div will be heading to Austin for SXSW in March, and after that, they'll kick off a month-long tour with Johnny Polygon and After The Smoke which hits NYC on April 7 at The Studio at Webster Hall. That show also includes Cypher Clique, Noah Caine, and Smokey Robotic. Tickets are on sale now.
All dates are listed, along with the tour flyer and that song stream, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Cali rapper Blu was supposed to release NoYork! through Warner back in 2011 but he was dropped from the label and "unofficial" releases began circling the web instead. Now he's finally set to give the album a proper birth on March 26 of this year. NoYork! is helmed by an all-star cast of producers -- Flying Lotus, Madlib, Daedelus, Samiyam, Exile, Knxwledge, Shafiq Husayn, and Dibia$e -- and features a ton of great guest spots as well -- Edan, U-God (Wu-Tang), Pac Div, J*Davey, Tiron & Ayomari, and more. You can pre-order the album at Nature Sounds (which comes with an immediate free download) and stream some of its tracks below.
Blu and Madlib also teamed up with MED for another collaborative release, The Burgundy EP, which came out today (2/19) and can be purchased at the Stones Throw Webstore. Each track is produced by Madlib, except "This Is Your Life," which was done by Madlib collaborator Georgia Anne Muldrow. You can stream the opening track "Burgundy Whip" below.
Blu will also be going on a short tour this April with Tiron & Ayomari (who appear on NoYork!), as Potholes In My Blog reports. The tour kicks off in NYC on April 10 at Public Assembly. No advance tickets for this show yet, but you can check ticketweb for updates.
A list of all dates and those song streams below
by Andrew Sacher
NYC newcomer emcee Anthm is readying his new EP, Joy and Pain, due out on June 12. Unlike the cloud rap of fellow NYC rapper A$AP Rocky or the throwback hardcore hip hop of Action Bronson and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Anthm has more in common with the neo-conscious west coast rap of Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, or Blu, who appears on his newest joint, "Polaris." The two rappers work well together on top of RJF's chilled-out beats and tampered vocal samples. You can download that track, along with another Anthm cut called "Life Imitates Art," above, or stream them below. Also below is the video for "Manhattan."
Anthm and Blu will share a bill in NYC at the 2DopeBoyz-presented show at SOB's on June 13 with Bryant Dope. Tickets for that show are on sale now. The flier for this show is below.
Speaking of Blu, he just dropped a new single, "Kiss the Sky," last week (5/22) via Coalmine Records with guest vocals from Mela Machinko, production from M-Phazes, and cuts by DJ Dutchmaster. Stream that below, along with a list of all Blu dates, the Anthm song streams, video, and flier for the SOB's show.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by BBG
Lauryn / Erykah
Last year Rock the Bells, the touring hip-hop bonanza, picked up on the voguish festival concept in which an artist performs an old record from beginning to end. It went well, and this year's edition bought in twice as hard. On Saturday on Governors Island, amid other, more ordinary sets, 11 albums were performed in their entirety.Rock The Bells 2011 took Governors Island by storm on 9/3, and according to reports, ran smoothly and generally on time. There was a barrage of classic LPs (Nas's Illmatic, Mobb Deep's The Infamous, Lauryn Hill's Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu's Baduizm, Black Moon's Enta Da Stage, GZA's Liquid Swords, Cypress Hill's Black Sunday, and others), and performances from some of independent hip hop's great up-and-comers. Though it was clearly elders day, younger crews like Slaughterhouse, Big K.R.I.T., Fashawn, Blu & Exile, Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano and others also had the ability to shine on the Paid Dues stage (DOOM, an elder statesman via his days in KMD, was scheduled to play the Paid Dues stage but cancelled his appearance).
What a gorging! What an obligation! It seemed to weigh on the crowd. It meant that listeners weren't in the here and now, where they might be fratty or selfish or mean spirited. They were deep in the been and gone. They weren't just listening to hits, or to sustained works of art, but to their own pasts. The exercise cooled them out. Saturday's audience was truly racially mixed, with a heavy representation of the 30-to-45 age bracket, grown-up New Yorkers at their casual and courteous best. Many of them high, but still. -[New York Times]
In true hip hop fashion, guests abounded. Nas capped the day off with a performance of Illmatic, and he didn't hide the men/women behind the curtain of his first LP; MC Serch, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor (of Main Source), Akinyele, Fatal, AZ and many others who either blessed the LP or were instrumental in his come-up all made appearances (yes, they performed the Main Source classic "Live at the BBQ" featuring Nas's first recorded appearance). Pras of The Fugees joined Lauryn Hill for "Ready of Not", Big Noyd joined Mobb Deep for "Give Up the Goods (Just Step)" and other tracks, and Black Moon brought a full band.
More pictures from the whole day, below...
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Blu - "Amnesia" (MP3)
Jazzy West Coast rapper Blu plays Public Assembly on September 23 with Ari Why & The Invisible College and Voli. Blu released the Amnesia EP earlier this year, which included the track of the same name. You can download that track above and watch the video below. He is set to release his major label debut LP, NoYork! at some point this year, though no official date has been set yet. The album features production by frequent collaborator Exile, Flying Lotus, Samiyam, Madlib, and Daedelus and guest vocals by J*Davey, Edan, and others. Blu & Exile also play Rock the Bells in NYC this weekend with Fashawn.
Sean Price will also play the Brooklyn venue on September 30 with Natural Elements, Maffew Ragazino, Rasheed Chappell, Johnny 3 Rounds, Stark the Dutch, Zeps, and Ugly Brains. The flier for this show is below. Sean Price will also be at Rock the Bells this weekend as part of the supergroup Random Axe with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson.
Video and show flier below...
West Coast hip-hop crew Zion I & The Grouch have teamed up again to follow up 2006's Heroes in the City of Dope with the new LP Heroes in the Healing of the Nation. The new effort features guest shouts from Freeway, Fashawn, Casual, Mystic, Eligh, and many others, and will arrive a few days into their US tour which kicks off, after some SXSW shows, on 3/19 in San Francisco. The tour, with special guests The Shotgun Wedding Quintet, includes a stop in Brooklyn at Knitting Factory on April 22nd with One Be Lo. Tickets are on sale.
All tour dates, a stream of a couple new tracks, and some videos below...