Entries tagged with: Common
by Andrew Sacher
After much delay, rumors proved true and false, and some uncertain info, Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music compilation album, Cruel Summer, is fully confirmed and will be out this Tuesday (9/18). Many of its tracks -- "Clique," "Mercy," "New God Flow," "Cold" (previously titled "Theraflu"), and his guest-filled remix of Chief Keef's "I Don't Like" -- have been floating around the internet for some time now. You can stream all of those and snippets of every album track below.
Though Kanye only actually raps on about half the album, his presence is felt throughout and Cruel Summer succeeds at playing from start to finish with an album flow, despite it technically being a compilation. It opens as huge as you expect any Kanye related release to open, addressing the album not just to his fans, friends or family, but of course, "To The World." The track brings together beat master Hudson Mohawke (who's been having a great year as one half of TNGHT) with R. Kelly and Ye. It immediately follows with the album's strongest track, "Clique," which features one of the best Jay-Z verses in recent years and a towering beat from Hit-Boy, who is also behind Cruel Summer tracks "Cold," "Higher," and of course you may know him as the guy behind "Niggas In Paris."
After it continues colossally with previously released singles "Mercy" and "New God Flow," we get the first track on the album without Kanye's voice, "The Morning." However, there's no lack of all-star rappers on the track. We get killer verses from vets Pusha T, Common, and Raekwon, and if guys like Kid Cudi and 2 Chainz are your thing, well they're there too. Cudi, though not the strongest of Kanye associates, does have a shining moment on the album though. Over a clattering beat in "Creepers," he delivers a solo vocal performance making for a rare standout personal moment from not-Kanye in the midst of Ye's encapsulating ego. That's followed by "Bliss," which sees the return of Hudson Mohawke to the boards and is the album's sole track with all singing, no rapping. A distinct contrast to the hanging out and freestyling feel of the closing "I Don't Like" remix.
Streams and tracklist are below.
We just posted about Austra who's coming back to North America (including 9/19 at Music Hall of Williamsburg) after a tour of Europe. She's also one of many artists playing the 2012 Osheaga Festival in Montreal which happens August 3 - 5. Tickets are still available for the three-day event.
In addition to Austra, Osheaga plays host to The Black Keys, Snoop Dogg, Justice, Metric (who play Radio City Music Hall soon), Sigur Ros (who play Prospect Park and are streaming their new LP), Florence & The Machine (who plays Jones Beach this summer), The Weeknd, Passion Pit (who play Governor's Ball soon), The Jesus & Mary Chain, MGMT, Santigold (who just played Irving), Zola Jesus (who just played the Guggenheim) and many many more.
Full Osheaga lineup is below.
by Andrew Sacher
Earlier this week, Pusha dropped a freestyle over Common's "Sweet" off of his new LP, The Dreamer/The Believer, which came out on Tuesday. The Smoking Section reports that the track is a diss at Drake (who is touring in 2012 with Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky). Stream it below.
Common played Highline Ballroom on Monday (12/19). Nas joined him at the show. You can stream the whole show below, and also check out a video of Nas joining in on "Ghetto Dreams" below.
Speaking of Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire and Emilio Rojas, they both just played S.O.B.'s with Kendrick Lamar on Monday (12/19). Talib Kweli saw the show, and tweeted, "The ASAP crew did a 20 min walk thru during the set. Classic Harlem lol." Check out a video from the show below.
Maybe Talib should give Diplo a heads up about Kendrick. Diplo recently tweeted "Kendrick lamar sounds like somebody that played for the supersonics in the 90s. Didn't know he was a rapper. What's his best tune?" (Hey Diplo, check out "The Spiteful Chant").
In other news, Kendrick told XXLMag that he and J. Cole are planning a joint album. "We're still trying to formulate it and sit down in a neutral zone, where either one of us is moving and doing shows, interviews and press all the time," he said. Kendrick told HipHopDx that he's lined up Just Blaze and Pete Rock for his next LP.
Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire will play NYC again when he opens for Action Bronson at Highline Ballroom on December 27. Tickets are still available. eXquire and Bronson both made Heems' list of favorite albums released in 2011.
Dates, videos and stream below...
by Andrew Sacher
Common will release his first album for Warner Brothers, The Dreamer/The Believer on December 20. The album was produced entirely by No I.D., who handled the production on the majority of Common's first three albums. The album features guest spots by Nas, John Legend, Makeba Riddick, and an original poem by Maya Angelou. It's no surprise that the album differs sonically from the boom bap of Common and No I.D.'s previous collaborations, but save for a few autotuned vocal hooks, they ignore most of the current hip hop trends, and like the like-minded and recently released new Roots album, undun, The Dreamer/The Believer immediately sounds like an album that won't be losing its impact any time soon.
Check out videos of the Nas-featuring "Ghetto Dreams," "Sweet," and "Blue Sky" below, along with streams of "The Believer" ft. John Legend and "Celebrate. You can pre-order the album at Common's website, which also offers a bundle package with his memoir One Day It'll All Make Sense, which he released this past September via Atria Books.
Common has a few upcoming dates surrounding the release of the album including one on December 19 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Speaking of Common and Nas collaborations, in an interview with Hard Knock TV this past October, Common said that the two rappers are working on a collaborative LP called Nas (Dot) Com. The video of that interview is below.
All dates, videos, and streams below...
Raekwon at Best Buy Theater (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Raekwon will headline Prospect Park Bandshell on Saturday (7/9 @ 7:30pm) featuring an impressive lineup of Smif-n-Wessun, Joell Ortiz, Large Professor & Neek The Exotic, and more. There is a suggested $3 donation to get in to the (free) Lyricist Lounge-sponsored Celebrate Brooklyn show.
While on the subject of Smif N Wessun, the crew joined Pete Rock in a protest earlier this week at City Hall regarding the incident following the Monumental release party at Tammany Hall. General Steele of Smif N Wessun also sat down with Planet Ill to discuss the madness:
As an artist with a socially conscious solo catalog, why was this the wrong show for the police to show out at?Investigations continue.
General Steele: Oh yeah. Well they didn't know that; they didn't do their homework. And what I found out was after this event, after the melee they caused, they started going to clubs. I forget what the particular names of the clubs were, uh... UG Lounge, in L.E.S. [(CultureFix is one of them)] Why they would go there is beyond me, maybe they're the hub for criminals or something, but they went there asking about us. Inquiring about "what is these guys, who are they connected with? What is their real thing, what can we dig up on these guys?"
And to think about that is crazy to me.
This is our fifth album. This is our career. We just came from Norway. Before that we was in Czechoslovakia, before that we was in Poland. We do this for a living. Rap is not the side gig.
In other news, Raekwon and Nas recently teamed up for the track "Rich And Black" from Rae's new album Shaolin vs. Wu-tang. That song now has a video and related behind the scenes footage courtesy of LRG Films. Watch it all below.
Nas more recently teamed with Common for "Ghetto Dreams" from Com's forthcoming Warner Brothers release The Dreamer, The Believer. The just-released track can be streamed below and bought on iTunes.
AS announced, Nas and Damian Marley play Central Park Summerstage on 8/11. The show is still happening and tickets are still on sale, though the pair's show at Merriweather Post Pavilion (outside of DC) with The Roots, Chuck Brown and others has been cancelled. Chuck Brown however is also coming to NYC for some shows including one on the same stage Raekwon is playing this weekend in Prospect Park.
And last but certainly not least, Raekwon's partner in crime Ghostface Killah has a bit of legal trouble on his hands all of a sudden over his classic 2000 LP Supreme Clientele.
Hollywood composer Jack Urbont is suing Sony Music Entertainment and Ghostface Killah for illegally sampling his "Iron Man Theme," originally created for the 1960s television show, The Marvel Super Heroes.While you ponder this lawsuit, Boing Boing has a fascinating piece on how Paul's Boutique would lose $19.8M in sales if it followed today's copyright law.
Urbont is a veteran actor and producer on Broadway as well as the creator of theme music for Guiding Light, One Life to Live, General Hospital, as well as music for That 70's Show, Oprah, 20/20 and The View. He earned an Emmy for Lorne Greene's New Wilderness and won BMI's TV/Film Pioneer award in 1986.
... According to the complaint: "Defendant Ghostface is also known for the nickname, 'Tony Starks,' which is a take-off of the name 'Tony Stark,' Iron Man's real name and true identity. In this way, Defendants' use of Urbont's 'Iron Man Theme' gives them a substantial commercial advantage by linking Ghostface to Iron Man without paying for it." -[Hollywood Reporter]
Videos & song streams below.
Quincy Jones, Aloe Blacc, and Kanye West
The above photo comes from crooner/MC Aloe Blacc's site and a benefit show that featured the three. So far, no indication that the trio will form a mega-trio, although if possible it will have to wait until Aloe Blacc returns from his current tour in the EU. Aloe Blacc spent Saturday night (6/25) playing Glastonbury in the UK alongside names like Radiohead, Pulp, Beyonce, and countless notable others. Check video of his performance below.
Aloe Blacc will spend the bulk of July touring overseas before heading back to the US to prep for a new batch of East Coast dates in early September. Those dates include a return to Highline Ballroom on September 2nd. Tickets are on sale.
Kanye's GOOD Music just released Big Sean's LP Finally Famous this week. What do you think of Big Sean? As Pitchfork pointed out, Flying Lotus is not a fan ("This Big Sean album is not sweet. I dunno why I try to like this stuff. I want my time back! same wack ass post drake cadence,talking about the same shit i heard in the last rap album i bought(nothing).more autotune.more snare repeat"). Flylo does however like the new Shabazz Palaces.
Speaking of Flying Lotus and Aloe Blacc, they both performed with the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble in LA in 2010. Pharoahe Monch performs with the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble in NYC in July 2011.
All Aloe tour dates and some video is below.
Havoc of Mobb Deep @ the kick-off in LA (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
In addition to initially announced Rock The Bells lineup (Nas playing Illmatic? Mobb Deep on The Infamous detail? wow), the festival has made some interesting additions like Erykah Badu performing all of Baduism (on select dates), Common performing all of Be (on select dates), Killah Priest performing all of Heavy Mental, Slaughterhouse, and DOOM. More lineup details are below.
The NYC show on 9/3 at Governor's Island gets the Erykah Badu appearance, and tickets are on presale, password is "ILLMATIC". General sale begins Saturday, 6/11, at 10:00 AM.
In other Hip Hop festival news, Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest's lineup has expanded too adding MOP (!), Torae, Random Axe (Sean Price + Black Milk + Guilty Simpson), eLZhi, Marley Marl, Roli Rho (5th Platoon), Grand Wizzard Theodore and Twilite Tone. Tickets are on sale for all Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival events, including an after-party at Southpaw on July 16th which proclaims to have "special guests invited including the entire BHF '11 lineup".
Full Rock The Bells details, alongside some videos, below...
National Christmas Tree
The countdown is on until the lighting of the National Christmas tree!
My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James will have the honor of performing at the 2010 National Christmas Tree Lighting. The event will be held [today] December 9th at 5pm EST on the Ellipse at President's Park in Washington DC. He will be joined by fellow performers B.B. King, Sara Bareilles, Maroon 5, and Jackie Evancho, and the evening will be hosted by rapper/actor Common. You can watch the ceremony live at www.thenationaltree.org or on public television throughout December. My Morning Jacket is currently recording a new full-length album, which will be released in 2011.Aside from the news on the tree-lighting, there's a few interesting things in the above statement: Jim James is playing for the President and is recording a new LP with MMJ, former battle-rhymer Common is non-threatening enough to be a TV show host on PBS, and BB King, despite numerous facebook and twitter hoaxes, is alive.
As a matter of fact, BB King, who did not have a stroke, will begin another tour of the United States on New Years Eve in Atlantic City. The tour stretches into the end of April, and he tags Wellmont Theater on 1/6 along the way. Full tour dates for (not zombified) BB King are below, along with some videos...
by Andrew Frisicano
SummerStage hosted the first of its two shows with Gil Scott-Heron on June 27th at Central Park. A good number of sweaty New Yorkers showed up for an afternoon in the blazing sun with Gil "from up the block," as he put it. For the most part, Gil played with a band comprised of piano, flute/sax, congas, harmonica, and himself on keys or just vocals.
Gil Scott-Heron is equal parts musician, poet and storyteller, so it was appropriate that he started with a long monologue before sitting behind the keys to play a few solo songs. The poet part came in handy when telling stories that would make most musicians blush - like recounting the libidinous origins of the term jazz ("ass and jism music," he says, which may not be so untrue). The set was varied, with clasics like "Winter in America," "Pieces of a Man" and "The Bottle," one cut off the amazing 2010 disc I'm New Here (the bluesy "I'll Take Care of You"), and even a moment for pianist Kim Gordon to play a frantic, Tower-of-Power-esque piece off her forthcoming record (backed by a synth track and congas).
Special guest Common came out to perform his verses on "My Way Home" (from Kanye's Late Registration) and "The People" (off his own Finding Forever), both of which sample Gil. Common took a minute to find his place in the band's lolling chords a bit awkardly before hitting the groove.
Gil was candid and cracked wise about his time in jail, dealing with critics and traveling Europe during the volcano. In an ideal world, we'd get the crushing I'm New Here track "Me and the Devil" paired with "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" but it's pretty clear that Gil isn't about making perfect worlds.
More pictures and videos from Central Park below...
Common at Terminal Five (more by Eric Townsend)
Its a doubleheader for the hip hop fan in you! Common will play Highline Ballroom THIS SATURDAY for an early show at 8PM (tickets are on sale for $50), with Busta Rhymes headlining a separate show at the same venue at 11PM. Tickets for Busta are $20 on the day of the show, and you can RSVP to email@example.com.
Speaking of big bang MCs (no pun intended) at Highline Ballroom, Nas will team up with Damian Marley for a show on May 17th. Tickets go on sale at noon FRIDAY/TOMORROW (5/7). The duo's new album, Distant Relatives, is due on May 18th and they are schedukled to play the Williamsburg Waterfront on 7/31,
Catch Clipse at Highline Ballroom tonight (5/6).
Full Common and Nas/Damian Marley tour dates and some videos are below...
photos by Eric Townsend
Q-Tip and Common
"The Hennessy Artistry concert series ended with it's grand finale in Hip-Hop's birthplace last night in a true celebration of Hip Hop Music. As The Roots band backed Common, New York City erupted with energy unmatched even at a certain "fest" that took place last weekend. With only Common and The Roots on the bill, special guests Bilal,Don Omar, Consequence, Karen Wheeler of Soul II Soul, Q-Tip, and Queen Latifah made it night to remember. Seriously, watching Queen Latifah perform "Unity" live gave me chills." [MissInfo.TV]Pictures and videos from the night (10/7), below...
Ken Thomson (Asphalt Orchestra mem.) @ LPR (more by Andrew Frisicano)
tonight in NYC
* Kanye West @ Cipriani
* Carimi @ Brower Park
* The Fabulous Thunderbirds @ BB Kings
* Los Salseros del Hudson @ Wagner Park
* John Scofield Trio @ Madion Square Park
* Alberta Cross, Phonograph @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Asphalt Orchestra @ Lincoln Center's Broadway Plaza
* Cirque Du Rock: Gotham Underworld @ Highline Ballroom
* Tyshawn Sorey, Todd Neufield, Thomas Morgan @ The Stone
* The Pedrito Martinez Project @ Central Park Summerstage
* Yardwork, Beach Fossils, Sam Buck Rosen @ Death By Audio
* Chris Isaak, Michelle Branch, Dorian Spencer @ Beacon Theatre
* Portugal the Man, The Love Language, Hesta Prynn @ Mercury Lounge
* Lincoln Center OoD w/ Amir el Saffar Ensemble & Dave Brubeck Quartet @ Damrosch Park
* Music & Reading Series w/ Rachel Cohen, Brandon Stosuy, Colin Stetson, Buke & Gass @ Joe's Pub
Lots of free outdoor music tonight, so hopefully the weather holds out. One event so far, Fame at the McCarren Park SummerScreen, has been rescheduled for August 26th. (Wild at Heart, last week's cancellation, happens August 19th.) Carimi is at Brower Park. The Pedrito Martinez Project plays the Central Park Summerstage with a screening of I Am Cuba. Los Salseros del Hudson play Wagner Park. John Scofield Trio is at Madion Square Park.
Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival kicks off tonight with Amir el Saffar & Dave Brubeck and their respective bands at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. Catch Bang on a Can's Asphalt Orchestra, who will be playing at outdoor locations through Sunday, tonight at the Lincoln Center's Broadway Plaza.
All of the above events are free, as is Alberta Cross and Phonograph at the Brooklyn Bowl.
Tyshawn Sorey plays at The Stone with Todd Neufield and Thomas Morgan -- together they form the trio on Sorey's forthcoming album, Koan.
Happy Ending Music & Reading Series hosts Rachel Cohen, Brandon Stosuy, Colin Stetson, Buke & Gass and more at Joe's Pub.
See a pair of Deerhoof videos, including the new "Jagged Fruit," below. They come to NYC on September 15th.
Kid Cudi's "Make Her Say" featuring Kanye West & Common is below too. Tonight...
CASIO G-Shock will celebrate their advancements in wristwatch technology, outline the future evolution of the Casio family of timepieces and unveil an entirely new collection of limited edition collaborative pieces.Common has a show coming up at Terminal 5.
The star-studded evening kicks off with a press conference highlighting these milestones. Cipriani 55 Wall Street will be transformed into the ultimate showplace for both the brand and for Kanye West, who will cap the night off with an exclusive performance.
Cipriani * 55 Wall Street (Between Wall and William Street): Press conference at 6:30PM, expected celebrity arrival
Los Campesinos! played Webster Hall last night. Video from that below.
photos by Bao Nguyen
The Roots @ Webster Hall - 7/30/09
"Hennessy announces the fourth annual edition of the acclaimed Hennessy Artistry series, curated and headlined by hip-hop impresario Common, with The Roots also appearing as the house band.Four Hennessey dates have been announced, one of which will take place at Terminal 5 in NYC on October 7th. I'm not sure how you get tickets at the moment, but it will probably involve doing something at Hennessey's website.
Hosted exclusively by Hennessy, each show will feature a unique blend of performers and collaborators ranging from up-and-coming talent to cameos by iconic special guests.
Says Common: "Hennessy is the master of blending, and Artistry, is all about artistic blends of music genre, culture and style. The lineup is coming together nicely. The Roots and I are really collaborating to create a musical blend of talent that will do Artistry justice. We are planning some surprises as well, it should be quite an experience and I am thrilled to be a part of it.""
You can also catch The Roots as house band each weeknight on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (which Arctic Monkeys play tonight - 8/4), and on a regular basis with special guests at the Highline Ballroom.
Last week (7/30) The Roots played a Diesel-sponsored show where they were joined on the Webster Hall stage by Lykke Li (who played All Points West on Sunday). All Hennessey dates, a Hennessey trailer, and the rest of the Roots pics from Webster Hall, below....
Conor Oberst @ Coachella 2009 (more by Darren Kim)
tonight in NYC
* The Roots @ Highline Ballroom
* Riverboat Gamblers @ Knitting Factory
* Ratatat, Tussle, Black Pus @ Terminal 5
* The Dripping Tap, Renminbi @ Santos Party House
* Drink Up Buttercup, Phil and the Osophers @ Bruar Falls
* Hot Panda, Youth Group, Thought So, Monika H Band @ Pianos
* Virgin Forest, The Foundry Field Recordings, Inoculist @ Cake Shop
* FNU Ronnies, Drunkdriver, Pop. 1280, The Golden Error @ Silent Barn
* Starfucker, Guidance Counselor, New Numbers, Faces on Film @ Mercury Lounge
* Hal Willner, Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda, Steve Buscemi, Richard Hell, Chloe Webb @ Issue Project Room
Fiasco is playing Silent Barn tomorrow.
Starfucker also plays Union Hall tomorrow.
The Lollapalooza lineup was announced.
Conor Oberst is playing a show in NYC on July 4th.
Bon Iver and Common were reviewed by the Breakfast at Sulimays crew. Video below...
Bon Iver performed with a high school jazz band. Video below...
by Black Bubblegum
Nas @ Rock The Bells 2008 in Jones Beach (more by villageslum.com)
OK, so it's not as much a big bang as last year (A Tribe Called Quest reunion) or the one before (Rage Against The Machine reunion), but Rock The Bells 2009 does have some interesting artists on the lineup. Besides a welcome reunion (Reflection Eternal) (Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek), one suspect one (House of Pain) and some great repeat offenders (Nas, RZA, Raekwon, MOP, Sage Francis, Slum Village), this year's Rock The Bells also boasts an Outkast (Big Boi), a windy city fave (Common), and a true sicko (Necro). The full lineup is:
words & photos by Faith-Ann Young
True - it was the worst kept secret and the most corporate plumping event of all of SXSW (if Kayne would have worn grillz sporting the The Levi's® logo, it would have completed his Levi's® outfit) - but that doesn't mean Saturday night's show at the Fader Fort wasn't one of the best (3/21). Kayne West acted like a grand circus ringmaster - introducing his whole G.O.O.D. record label crew including Consequence, GLC, and his prized diamond rapper all-star Kid Cudi. Then, just when you got sick of Kayne's world, in came fellow Chi-towner Common sweating out "Universal Mind Control." And then, like Mary Poppins on uppers, Kayne smiled and pulled out yet another prized gem from backstage: the gorgeous divine Erykah Badu (who is a Texas native and was wearing full-sequined silver pants- the combination of which got a hot scream from the crowd). To close out, like a big, super-talented brat pack, the entire G.O.O.D. crew came back on stage and danced around to songs from West's 808s. Whether you love him or hate him, Kayne sure knows how to party (or promote).
More pictures and the entire setlist below...
Melpo Mene @ Mercury Lounge (more by Faith Ann Young)
today in NYC
* Murphy's Law @ Trash
* NY Eye and Ear Festival
* Melpo Mene @ Cake Shop
* DJ Bob Mould @ Highline
* Ghostland Observatory @ Terminal 5
* Rhett Miller & Mia Riddle @ Maxwell's
* Hull, Ancient Sky & Apeshit @ Union Pool
* The Spinto Band & Oxford Collapse @ Maxwell's
* The Virgins & Lissy Trullie @ Bowery Ballroom
* The Butthole Surfers & Black Dice @ Warsaw
* Will Sheff & Charles Bissell @ Sound Fix Records
* Ramesh (of Voxtrot) @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Nat Baldwin, Zs & Skeletons @ Less Artists More Condos
* Bon Iver & The Tallest Man On Earth @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) & Steve Reid @ (le) poisson rouge
* Takka Takka, Loney Dear, Melpo Mene & Alina Simone @ The Bell House
* Team Robespierre, LiveFastDie, Terrible Twos & Tournament @ Cake Shop
* Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, Atarah Valentine & Lingering Doubt @ Santos
* The Mae Shi, Screaming Females, Hearts of Darknesses @ Silent Barn
* Antipop Consortium, The Bomb Squad, Dragons of Zynth, Chin Chin @ Knit
Ike Turner died today in 2007.
Common performed "Universal Mind Control" on Kimmel last night. Video below...
Common @ ACL 2007
I saw N.E.R.D. when they played SXSW in Austin this year. They definitely put on a good show. N.E.R.D. is also playing Austin again in September - at the ACL festtival. Common played ACL last year. I took some pictures at this one, but never posted them. Common is also good live. All tour dates and some more of those ACL2007 pictures below....
by Black Bubblegum
"People think I'm in the independent category by choice."
Brother Ali is a minority, but not in the ways you might expect. First, he's a white rapper in a genre filled with mostly black artists. Second, Brother Ali is an albino.Brother Ali came up in the same midwest hip hop scene that birthed fellow indie b-boy and Rhymesayers co-owner Slug, making a name for himself through his self-produced and self-released debut Rites Of Passage. On the strength of Rites, Ali signed to Rhymesayers and dropped Shadows On The Sun, followed by the Champion EP and ultimately The Undisputed Truth in 2007. He's not strictly a "booth" rhymer either. He battled and triumphed over freestyle champ and Rhymesayers MC Eyedea at Scribble 2000, and he has logged more than 500 shows on four continents.
Ali, who was born Jason Newman, converted to Islam when he was 15. He says that he felt like an outsider among white people, and has never identified with the word "white."
"I was taken in, early on, by black folks," he says. "Those are the people who taught me the things that I needed to know to survive being who and what I am." [NPR]
Brother Ali will be back in NYC to play a free show at South Street Seaport on Friday, August 1st (8 pm) with notorious DJ Crew The Rub (7 pm). We cornered Ali for a moment before that show as he dropped two pennies on working with Rhymesayers go-to guy Ant, the follow-up to The Undisputed Truth, and why he thinks 50 Cent is ill.
BrooklynVegan: Ant has produced each of your last few records. Is there something about Ant's production that you feel complements your own style/flow? Are there any plans on working with any other producers and if so, who?
Brother Ali: Ant and I have been working together for several years and he's one of my closest friends. Not only do I love his beats but we share a similar outlook on music and life. He's a true producer in the sense that he sees elements of the people he works with as human beings and creates musical beds that allow those things to come out in the work. He has an ability to read people and help them present themselves in a really raw and personal way. There are other producers that I like and respect but I just can't believe that I could have the same creative chemistry with someone I don't really know.
interview continued below...
* Todd Barry on Conan
* last Invite Them Up EVER
* Henry Rollins is speaking at Warsaw
* Big Head Todd & The Monsters is playing Bowery Ballroom
* Liam Finn is playing w/ Pela & Apollo Sunshine @ Music Hall
* The Acorn is playing w/ Bowerbirds & Phosphorescent @ Union Hall
* Marc Ribot, Sean Lennon & Yuka Honda are playing Knitting Factory
Human Giant (who recently cancelled some shows) released a new video from their upcoming season 2 on MTV. That's below. What else?
...or so says the press release....
DOWNLOAD: Bright Eyes - Coat Check Dream Song (Live) (MP3)
The last release date in November means slim pickings for music fans. This is not truly a bad thing, because as the number of worthwhile music releases dwindles, music bloggers and journalists have time to work on and post their "best of 2007" lists.
The other disc I can recommend is also a compilation, Causes I. The disc's proceeds benefit relief efforts in Darfur, and artists who submitted exclusive tracks include Bright Eyes, Spoon, Animal Collective and many more.
Are you picking up any new releases this week? Have I left any noteworthy albums off the list below?
I already posted some of these dates, but that was when they were just Common shows. A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip has a new album coming out in early 2008 - it's called The Renaissance. He's also a character in the video game NBA 2K8, and is on the soundtrack. All tour dates below...
Mos Def, Common & Talib Kweli @ Nokia Theatre, NYC - Aug 26, 2007 (CRED)
Hey NYU, you have a lot of catching up to do. The five colleges who most demand Talib to play a show at their school, win that show (I hope after that the show is free at least - doesn't say, so I assume not). California is currently kicking butt.