Entries tagged with: DJ Premier
by Ian Chainey
Wu-Tang Clan have released a new single from oft-delayed A Better Tomorrow. This one is called "Ron O'Neal" and you can listen to it below. The Wu performed the song yesterday (August 6) on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which featured an interview where Raekwon and RZA appeared to be on better terms after a recent spat. The interview appears below. Stewart mentioned that A Better Tomorrow will be out in November, but no formal release date has been announced. The record is currently available for preorder with, as Pitchfork pointed out, the ominous note of, "The long awaited 20th anniversary album by Wu-Tang Clan is in the works and almost ready to ship." Pitchfork caught that in March.
Wu-Tang will be playing shows starting mid-August. They'll stop in to Brooklyn on September 20 at the Barclays Center with Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony (more on them in a second), Lil Kim (ditto), The Diplomats (who kinda put out a new single this year with Cam'ron and Juelz Santana appearing on "Dipshits" in March), Currren$y (who just wrapped up a tour as Spitta Andretti), and Dom Kennedy (tickets). All dates are listed below.
Since it made headlines, not much has been said about the Wu's other work, the one-of-a-kind The Wu -- Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. After purposefully letting slip a 51-second snippet to Forbes in May that maybe had Cher on the outro, things have been quiet, beyond RZA saying they received a five million dollar bid. Of course, that presented five million reasons for other groups to take notice. So Bone Thugs-N-Harmony got in on the action, reforming to release literally one last album before hanging it up. Titled E.1999 Legends, the two disc set will consist of one album of pure Bone Thugs, one album of guest spots that, according to Krayzie Bone in an XXL interview, include Mariah Carey, Phil Collins, Wiz Khalifa, Drake, A$AP Mob, and Kendrick Lamar. (Phil Collins, of course, is referred to as the "sixth Bone" by no one.) The album will be "released" in 2015 and, per Krayzie to HipHopDX, there's already a million dollar bid on the table. Bone Thugs are currently on the road, playing select eastern dates. They have two NYC shows lined up, at S.O.B.'s on August 11 (tickets) and the aforementioned September 20 stop at Barclays Center. Maybe there they'll all have a bid measuring contest. (*sad face* - Christ Bearer) The full list of dates appears below.
Speaking of Lil Kim, she recently dropped two diss tracks aimed at Nicki Minaj after the latter released her "Flawless" remix with Beyonce. You can hear Kim's take on "Flawless" below and "Identity Theft" is available through Twitmusic. Minaj released "Anaconda" this week which references Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back." When Mix-A-Lot was interviewed by MTV News, he said of the song's proactive cover, "Wooooh! When I saw the cover, I almost forgot about the song. I looked at that for about an hour." High praise.
Finally, how about something that won't set you back a bajillion bucks? De La Soul will be recording a mixtape with DJ Premier and Pete Rock. De La Soul's Dave told XXL, "The guys have been sending us beats. No real idea of what the theme is gonna be, the theme behind the title, what that's gonna be, if it's gonna be skits, if it's gonna be songs, remakes, whatever it is. Right now we've just been accumulating beats and waiting for Premier to handle some stuff as well. So it's still in its early stages, but we actually plan on recording through the month of September for it, so we're getting on it." Primo and Pete Rock will be battling again at NYC's B.B. King's on September 26. Tickets are available now.
All of the dates along with streams from Wu-Tang and Lil Kim and the Daily Show Wu-Tang interview appear below.
As previously discussed, Dave Chappelle is playing Radio City Music Hall in June, and since we last spoke his June 19 show was expanded to a 5-night run (6/18-22) which are all sold out.
In addition to those comedy shows, Chappelle will also do three more shows at the venue from June 24-26 that include different musical guests each night. On 6/24 it's The Roots, followed by Busta Rhymes, DJ Premier (who's up to other stuff too) and Janelle Monae on 6/25, and finally Erykah Badu on 6/26. Each one will also feature a full orchestra. Tickets for all three shows go on sale Monday (6/2) at 10 AM with an AmEx presale starting Thursday (5/29) at 10 AM and a local presale starting Saturday (5/31) at 10 AM.
by Ian Chainey
DJ Premier, one of hip hop's greatest and most influential guiding hands, is staying busier than a bee with a pollen monopoly. The Houston-born, Brooklyn-raised producer and DJ has a number of irons in the fire; as you'd expect from a guy with Discogs credits exceeding 1,300. On the production/collabo docket? Well, lots. (The man's blog refreshes more frequently than Guy Pearce in Memento checking his Twitter feed.) Yet, as always, Premo is full of surprises. He took a seat with Life + Times and let slip two biggies.
First off, there's the mysterious tease. Premier is putting the finishing touches on an LP for an as-yet-unknown performer. He avoided the name, but didn't skimp on the details:
It's a really unique project. It's a project where I sample only one artist and only used their samples for the entire album. I strictly just use that one person - took all their samples, broke it into pieces and made my own beats out of it, and scratched it - the whole album. It was gonna be an EP, but it turned into a whole album. It's gonna have nine tracks on it. It's a really cool project.The record contains guest turns from Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, Slaughterhouse, and possibly others. It's apparently coming soon, but his KRS-One team-up, Return of the Boom Bip, has also been coming soon. . .for years. Its Facebook page is liked by tumbleweeds. So, we'll see.
However, in the year of Illmatic's 20th anniversary, Premo dropped this Nas news nugget:
This is what Nas told me recently and every time that we talk this is what he tells me; he says, "Look, I got another new album I got to do on Def Jam and then my contract is over. I'd rather do your album...that's because we can do whatever we want. There's no strings. We can just rock out." Everybody's like, "When are ya'll gonna do an album?" I'm not rushing it and I have other things to do. I don't even take it personal when he's like, "Yo, I'm working this first." Whenever he says that he's ready, I'm going in. So, that was always my way of looking at it. I never looked at it no other way. I ain't trippin.'Whoa. Of course, Nas and Premier are no strangers, having worked together often. But, a full album of the two? Money: how do I give it to you? Details are surely forthcoming unless this quote is courtesy of one of his Multiplicity clones. Hey, it's the only way to explain how he accomplishes so much.
A clip from Scratch, the DJ documentary featuring DJ Premier, along with -- for kicks -- a classic WBLS broadcast from 1994 (complete with commercials!), below...
De La Soul recently gave away their entire catalog for free download in celebration of the 25th anniversary of 3 Feet High and Rising, and they'll continue that celebration with more new material, including a mixtape, Smell the D.A.I.S.Y., which will have all beats by the late, great J Dilla. They recently released one of those, "Dilla Plugged In" (which reworks "Plug Tunin'"), which you can listen to below.
Dilla will also be celebrated in NYC with the inaugural "NY Loves Dilla" concert at Marlin Room at Webster Hall on March 23. The show will be headlined by Talib Kweli, and also features sets from Phony PPL and YC the Cynic, with host Maureen "Ma Dukes" Yancey. TIckets for that show are on sale now.
That's one of three NYC shows the busy Talib Kweli is taking part in that week. He'll also be at a special edition of Soulive's 8-night Bowlive at Brooklyn Bowl on March 20. Also appearing that day is DMC of Run DMC, The Shady Horns and Alan Evans Trio (tickets). Talib then does a free in-store and signing at Rough Trade NYC on March 22.
Stream the De La Soul/Dilla song, with a message from De La on the upcoming material, below...
Neo-soul great Jill Scott is still doing shows in support of 2011's The Light of the Sun, and she's got a few more coming up this year, including a couple year-end shows in the NYC-area. First she'll play an Atlantic City show on December 29 at Caesars, and then she'll come to NYC on the actual night of New Year's Eve for a show at Radio CIty Music Hall (12/31). Opening the Radio City show is Luke James and DJ Premier. Tickets for the Atlantic City show go on sale today (10/25) at 10 AM, and tickets (same link) for the Radio City show go on Chase presale today at 11 AM, with a general on-sale beginning Friday, November 1 at 11 AM. All dates are listed below.
Browse our 'New Year's Eve' tag for more NYE options in the NYC-area.
As discussed, Jill Scott contributed vocals to "Calls" off the new Robert Glasper album. That song recently got the video treatment, which you can watch, along with a Spotify stream of Jill's most recent album and the list of tour dates, below...
For 15 years, NYU 89.1 has hosted The Halftime Show, a hip hop show dedicated to young and upcoming artists that housed names like Aesop Rock, Fat Joe, Eminem, Kanye West & Big L in their earliest days. DJ Eclipse (of Fat Beats/Non-Phixion) & DJ Riz take listeners on a journey weekly, and now they seek to continue that journey in the flesh at an anniversary show at Le Poisson Rouge tonight (8/29). Along with the hosts of the show, look for appearances from DJ Premier, Stretch Armstrong, D-Stroy (The Arsonists) & Lord Sear, as well as some ruprise guests. Tickets are still available.
In related news a few of the DJs will head from LPR directly to Santos for tonight's The Originals party, which sees sets by Tony Touch, DJ Clark Kent, D-Nice and Rich Medina in addition to DJ Eclipse and Stretch Armstrong. Tickets are also still available for that event.
You can check out an excellent video recapping The Halftime Show and another video of DJ Eclipse on an episode of "Crate Diggers," where he discusses his vinyl collection. Watch both below.
Les Savy Fav in Austin in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows. Here are some highlights...
Ty Segall, VietNam, David Novick @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Ty Segall releases a lot of records (a lot) but they're all pretty different. Sleeper finds him in acoustic mode and expect him to be in a similar mode tonight -- his performance at FYF fest last weekend had him sitting down most of the show. For the louder Ty experience, he'll be back with Fuzz later this year.
Zero Boys, Night Birds, Nuclear Santa Claust, SpEd @ Europa
Midwest punk favorites Zero Boys return to NYC to bless Europa with the great surf-punk locals Night Birds and the Ramones-y Nuclear Santa Claust in tow. Fans of early 80s/punk hardcore, make sure to make it out, Zero Boys' appearance is a rare one and not to be missed.
She Keeps Bees, Last Good Tooth, Railbird @ Glasslands
Indie folk duo She Keeps Bees are busy cooking up a new record but gave a taste via a new single last month (stream it below). Tonight's show is well-matched with Providence, RI's Last Good Tooth and the slinky sounds of Railbird
Les Savy Fav, Delorean, Small Black @ House of Vans
The line-up is a little schizo, but no one seems to care at House of Vans. Les Savy Fav's music is fun, but the band truly comes alive live thanks to wildcard frontman Tim Harrington whose onstage antics are, at this point, legendary (see above). Spanish (well, Basque if your getting technical) dance troupe Delorean should get you primed and it's been revealed that the "Special Guest" is Brooklyn chillwavers Small Black. Free, but RSVP has been closed for some time, BUT the show will also be streaming online.
Classixx, Digitalism, Lou Teti, Le Youth, Plastic Plates, Malandro @ Output
The weekly INPUT party at Output (every Thursday) always gets a helluva lineup, and this week is no exception with LA dance duo Classixx, German electro duo Digitalism, and more.
Psychobuildings, Daytona, Grand Resort, Suburban Living, Literature, Haybaby @ Pianos
Tonight's the last show of Grand Resort's August residency, and it's a terrific (big) line-up, with Philadelphia's super-fun Literature, Norfolk, VA's Suburban Living, and more.
DJ Clark Kent, D-Nice, Stretch Armstrong, Tony Touch, Rich Medina @ Santos Party House
Five, yes FIVE, legendary DJs from the 90s and beyond team up for an unforgettable night of hip hop, soul, and everything under the sun. Highly recommended for fans of the era, deep grooves, or people who just like to get down.
DJ Eclipse, DJ Riz, DJ Premier, DJ Stretch Armstrong @ Le Poisson Rouge
The Halftime show, the heir to CM Famalam and much of the great underground hip hop of the 90s, celebrates 15 years at LPR tonight with hip hop legends like Lord Sear, DJ Premier, Eclipse, Stretch Armstrong and more. Expect surprise performances and appearances and a night of classic hip hop.
Steel Phantoms, Dusted, Rituals, Lurve @ Shea Stadium
Two Toronto bands, Dusted (the indie pop project from Holy Fuck's Brian Borcherdt) and the shoegazey/postpunky Rituals, are in NYC this week for two shows. Tonight they bless Brooklyn DIY spot Shea Stadium, and tomorrow they'll be at Cake Shop.
Bent Shapes, Shark?, The Doubts @ Silent Barn
If you missed Boston's Bent Shapes when they were in town last weekend, here's another chance to catch them. Their new album, Feels Weird, is filled with hooky, smart indiepop.
Light Asylum, Celebration, Mirror Mirror, Lone Wolf @ The Bowery Electric
Here's a show filled with magnetic live performers: Light Asylum's Shannon Fuchness is a pistol on stage, as is Celebration's Katrina Ford. The rest of the bill is similarly pitched dark, with electrorockers Mirror Mirror and Ryan Sawyer's solo project, Lone Wolf.
Anthony Naples, Lemonade (DJ set), Blouse (listening party) @ Topside Bar at SmorgasBar (FREE)
Captured Tracks kicks off it's CT5 weekend with this free event that starts with a listening party for Blouse's new album and continues with DJ sets after that.
A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Young Statues @ Asbury Lanes
Brooklyn's A Great Big Pile of Leaves play their hometown a lot (like last week), but if Asbury Park is an easier trip for you to make, tonight's show at the Lanes is not to miss. Their new album, You're Always On My Mind, dropped back in July and has been one hell of a summer album.
Roy Ayers @ Blue Note
Vibraphone master and funk legend Roy Ayers continues his four-night run with early and late shows. Let's hope her pulls out tracks from his much-lauded score to blaxploitation flick, Coffy (amongst his other great work).
Taj Mahal @ City Winery
The blues rock legend has been putting out records for 45 years and, at age 71, is still going strong, performing over 150 shows a year. This is his first of two City Winery shows this week.
Dave Chappelle, Flight of the Conchords @ Comcast Theatre (CT)
Funny or Die's travelling Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival doesn't stop in NYC proper, but it's not too far away tonight (Hartford, CT) and features a killer line-up of funny people.
Stephen Brodsky, Snake Oil, PC Worship @ Saint Vitus
Stephen Brodsky has been known for his work in some very heavy bands (Cave In, Converge), but as a solo artist, he takes a much softer approach. He'll still feel home at Brooklyn's mostly-metal bar Saint Vitus though, and that's where you can see him tonight.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our full NYC show calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt will be making his SXSW debut this year (he wasn't there when the rest of his crew first played), and will be doing collaborative sets with Captain Murphy, aka Flying Lotus' rap alter ego (who collaborated with him on "Between Friends"). Those sets include the Life or Death showcase on Wednesday (3/13) at Scoot Inn at midnight, the Green Label Sound showcase on Friday (3/15) at Lucille at 9:30 PM, and FADER Fort on Saturday (3/16) at 6 PM. Flyers for all three of those shows with full lineups are below.
Earl just appeared at Flying Lotus' LA show at Low End Theory last week (3/7) and they performed three tracks off Earl's upcoming album, Doris, "Burgundy" (produced by Pharrell), "Hive," and "Guild." Mac Miller is featured on that last one and he was at the LA show too. You can check it all out in a video from the show, which is below. Also below is the video for previously released Doris track, "Chum," and Earl has another new video on the way too.
DOWNLOAD: Joey Baa$$ - "Unorthodox" (prod. DJ Premier) (MP3)
Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ has announced the international "Beast Coast Tour" with fellow Beast Coast associates Flatbush Zombies and The Underachievers, which kicks off in Austin at SXSW and continues into early May. The tour hits NYC on
April 20 at Gramercy Theater (note: the date has been announced as 4/21 in other places, but as you can see on Live Nation, the venue is hosting Paganfest USA that day) (UPDATE: The show has been moved to 4/18.)
Tickets for that show are not on sale yet, but you can check Ticketmaster for updates. You may remember that all three artists on the tour previously teamed up in NYC for a Red Bull Music Academy/Boiler Room show in October during Flying Lotus' NYC takeover.
Before SXSW, Joey's crew Pro Era is playing a NYC show billed as CJ Fly & Pro Era at Public Assembly on March 6 with Wordspit, Dyme-A-Duzin, and many others. Tickets for that show are on sale now. No official word on whether or not Joey will be there, but he hates when people say "Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era", so maybe the CJ Fly (another Pro Era member) billing is meant as a play on that? The flyer for this show is below.
When the tour ends, Joey has a few festival dates scheduled, including The Roots Picnic in Philly. All dates are listed below.
Joey Bada$$ has been dropping tracks and videos left and right lately. Back in January, he released his single for Mountain Dew's Green Label Sound, which was a collaboration with DJ Premier called "Unorthodox." Then he followed that with a video with Smoke DZA for "Gotham Fucking City" off DZA's K.O.N.Y. tape, a diss track aimed at Lil B (in response to Lil B's diss to him), and another video with Smoke DZA, which also features Big K.R.I.T., for "Underground Airplay" off the Ecko Unlimited mixtape of the same name. You can stream/watch all of those songs/videos below.
Meanwhile, The Underachievers just released the free Indiogism mixtape on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label. You can download the mixtape for free at DatPiff and stream it in its entirety below.
All streams the list of all tour dates below...
The Roots are putting on their 6th Annual Roots Picnic in Philly on June 1 at Penns Landing with a pretty great lineup of Grimes, Solange, Joey Bada$$, How to Dress Well, Hit-Boy, Araabmuzik, DJ Premier, Naughty By Nature (backed by The Roots), Robert Glasper, Gary Clark Jr., Lushlife, and more. Tickets for the festival are on sale now.
Full lineup below...
East River Park Summerstage in 2010 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Free Summerstage shows at East River Park are underway and will be going down throughout this week and next. As mentioned, tonight (8/19), UCB Comedy will be presenting The All-Stars of Improv with two acts of improvised comedy from various performers. Tonight's show starts at 7 PM just after the Jamaica 50th Independence Day celebration is wrapping up farther uptown at Central Park Summerstage.
Other shows at East River Park include the previously discussed Red Bull Music Academy co-presented show with Araabmuzik, Flosstradamus, Teengirl Fantasy, and Nick Hook on Monday (8/20), the previously discussed Lyricist Lounge 20th Anniversary show on Wednesday (8/22) with DJ Premier vs. Pete Rock, and the Two Boots 25th Anniversary show on Thursday (8/23) with Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Mamarazzi, Odetta Hartman, Himalayas, and The Whiskeyhickon Boys. That show will be hosted by Luis Guzman, will feature poetry from Nuyorican Poet's Café: Caroline Rothstein, Mahogany Browne, and Marshall "Soulful" Jones, and performance art from Lady Circus and the Magic Beans, Free Art Society, and 4Heads Art Collective, plus free pizza.
An updated East River Park schedule is below...
A-Trak, Lord Finesse and Roc Raida (R.I.P)
They say that the good die young, and that was definitely the case for the legendary Roc Raida, who passed from this mortal plane two years ago. In memoriam, A-Trak will link up with DJ Premier, DJ Stretch Armstrong, and the rest of Roc Raida's crew, X-Ecutioners, for an event to remember the turntablist and pioneer. Tickets are still available for the 10/25 event at Brooklyn Bowl.
A-Trak just played NYC on Saturday night as part of a SPIN CMJ event with the Rapture & Crystal Castles. Pictures HERE.
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...
Lauryn Hill reacts to reviews from her Saturday appearance
at Rock The Bells in Mountain View (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Any music event that pins its hopes on Lauryn Hill -- one of the most maddeningly disappointing performers of recent years -- is fighting an uphill battle right from the very start.I'm guessing he didn't like Lauryn Hill. Judge for yourself when she headlines the upcoming Rock The Bells date in NYC this weekend (9/3). The shows goes down on Governors Island (may the weather gods be nicer to hip hop than they were to Dave Matthews) Tickets are still available and set times have been announced, though NOTE:
Fortunately, the 2011 Rock the Bells festival tour, which stopped Saturday (8/27) at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, has so many other things going for it -- so many, in fact, that it's a shame to have to even bring up the headliner. But organizers made their bed, by picking Ms. Hill for the prime time slot, and now they have to sleep in it.
What's ironic, however, is that this was arguably the best performance locals have seen from Hill in many a moon. And it still sent thousands scurrying for the exits, with some complaining loudly about the 36-year-old soul singer's poor outing, midway through the set.
That's how low Hill has set the bar -- basically at ground level -- and anything greater than a complete train wreck will clear it. That fans weren't demanding refunds, like they had when Hill performed a 2007 show at Oakland's Paramount Theatre, can be seen as a kind of victory for this troubled performer.
Still, it was disappointing, especially for those die-hard fans hoping against all reason that Hill can someday return to the heights she reached in the '90s. And it was the only disappointment during an otherwise splendid day of hip-hop, which ran some 12 hours.
"DOOM will no longer perform on the remaining scheduled festival dates. He extends his apologizes to fans for not being able to make the US shows but looks forward to performing on Rock The Bells soon."Curren$y also had to cancel the 8/27 show in California due to a broken ankle sustained at the 8/20 California date.
In related news, Erykah Badu (who is on board for Rock The Bells) will be in NYC early to spin at Le Poisson Rouge on September 1st with Adrian Younge. The event is FREE with RSVP (send to email@example.com..Please include date of show in subject line). The event is one of two FREE Wax Poetics/Skullcandy events at the venue, with the second taking place on 9/29 with DJ Premier and Kendra Morris. RSVP with the same email to that show as well.
Check out some videos/interviews from California below...
Gang Starr: Guru (left), DJ Premier (in the background)
One year ago, on April 19th, 2010 to be exact, the world waved goodbye to Guru, one half of Gang Starr and the brain behind the Jazzmatazz series. DJ Premier paid tribute to Keith Elam on Hot 97 (stream all two hours of it below) and Guru will be further eulogized at Le Poisson Rouge TONIGHT (4/21). Revive Da Live Big Band will pay tribute to the Gang Starr MC at the venue, and will have some help from ex-Gang Starr Foundation member Jeru the Damaja, as well as Masta Ace, Lord Finesse, DJ Logic and others. Tickets are still available.
Stream all of DJ Premier's Guru tribute below.
photos by Brook Bobbins
In the Stretch & Bobbito world, mainstream was a four-letter word.In addition to the above-mentioned artists, the Stretch & Bob reunion featured appearances from DJ Premier, The Beatnuts, Natural Elements and many many others (and is that Spike from Top Chef in one of the pics?). More pictures from the indie hip-hop star-studded event below...
...For the eight years it ran, from 1 to 5 in the early hours of Friday morning, "The Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show" gave early exposure to artists like Jay-Z, Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan, who eventually went on to mainstream stardom. But for every one who made it, there were several who remained in the underground, happily or otherwise.
Of the many guests on Thursday night [at Le Poisson Rouge, Feb 10th]-- including Raekwon and Masta Killa of the Wu-Tang Clan -- the underground stalwarts were the fiercest, and often the most visibly moved. There was the fantastically gravelly Rock, of Heltah Skeltah, who performed a bit of "Laflaur Leflah Eshkoshka," and Artifacts, who were the night's first guests, and whose "Wrong Side of da Tracks" was still sturdy, more than 15 years after it was released.
After solo sets, Masta Ace and Buckshot collaborated for an impromptu reunion of two-thirds of the Crooklyn Dodgers, the one-off group assembled for the soundtrack of the 1994 Spike Lee film, "Crooklyn." Nice & Smooth closed the night, and almost stole it, with vintage hits, a tribute to Guru of Gang Starr, who died last year, and boundless energy.-[NYTimes]
Kool Herc at Inspire (more by Andrew St. Clair)
The man who inspired a music, a movement, and a culture needs your help:
DJ Kool Herc, one of the founding fathers of hip-hop, is allegedly "very sick" and cannot afford hospital treatment. The man who invented breakbeats is without health insurance and needs help, his friends say, to pay for surgery.Sonce the above article was posted, Kool Herc has left the hospital (according to AllHipHop CEO Chuck Creekmur) but his medical issues persist. No details on what might be ailing the hip hop legend, but we'll keep you posted.
"[He] who we call the father of hip-hop, Kool Herc, is not doing well," DJ Premier revealed on his Sirius XM radio show this weekend. "Since he's very sick and has no insurance ... [he] needs to pay his bills so he can get out of hospital."
Kool Herc, real name Clive Campbell, was an integral figure in early hip-hop, developing DJ techniques and encouraging breakdance culture. But although he was a major influence on artists such as Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc was a DJ, not a record producer, and did not score any hits. Consequently, Premier said, the 55-year-old cannot afford surgery.
"We spoke today, and he needs some help to pay his bills for the hospital because he can't hold it down," Premier said. "And being that he is the man who set this whole culture off, ya'll should be wanting to do it any type of way that you can." -[The Guardian]
If you want to help then according to DJ Premier, you can either Paypal Kool Herc's sister Cindy Campbell via cindycampbell1 [AT] aol [DOT] com or mail in any donations to Kool Herc Production, PO Box 20472 Huntington Station, NY 11746. There will also be a Tony Touch-hosted fundraiser (with not many details available) at Sutra this Tuesday night.
Get well soon Kool Herc.
photos by Andrew St. Clair, words by BBG
Headlined by Nas and featuring appearances from Cee-Lo (who did perform "Fuck You!"), Pete Rock with surprise guest Dres of Black Sheep, Diplo and "surprise guest" J. Cole, the Heineken Inspire show went down on Saturday (11/13) at Pier 36 under the Manhattan Bridge in Manhattan. With doors at 3pm, it was a long show, and Nas had some technical difficulties but it was free and there was free beer. DJ Kool Herc didn't perform but he came out on stage to say hello.
DJ Premier was not on hand to link up with Pete Rock, even though the duo are working on a new LP together! The album is expected to be completed by year-end, and though hardly any details regarding release have been revealed, it is known that GZA will make an appearance on the album. Preemo and KRS-One also have a collaborative LP in the works, and Nas recently told Premier that he still wants a collaborative album, and he recently announced a label comp entitled Get Used to Us due on December 7th. Premier recently spoke with the Village Voice on the current state of hip hop.
More pictures and some video from the Heineken Inspire event are below.
GZA at ATP (more by Abbey Braden)
I already ran through some of the upcoming hip hop shows, many of them for CMJ (Ghostface, Audible Treats, Blacksmith & Duck Down included). Here are some more.
GZA will headline the Frankradio x Babygrande x iHipHop Distribution CMJ Showcase at Le Poisson Rouge alongside appearances from DJ Premier, Tabi Bonney, Trademark da Skydiver, Marz Lovejoy , Polyester the Saint, Lavish, Rocky Business, Christian Rich and as well as DJ Jasmine Solano. The show, which goes down Thursday 10/21 kicks off at 11PM and tickets are on sale (or use your CMJ badge).
Meanwhile, DJ Premier recently released a classic freestyle from the Stretch & Bobbito Show which features 10 minutes of Big L and Jay-Z. If you are a fan of either, it's a must (stream/DL it below). Listen closely though, as you can hear Jay-Z scheming to steal the line "all I got for chicks is hard dick & bubblegum" for his song "A Million & One Questions" (which came out two years after this freestyle).
Speaking of the late/great Big L, Return of the Devil's Son is the posthumous MC's new album which will feature "21 unreleased songs" and see release on 11/23 via Distrolord/SMC Recordings. Check out a reworking of the Big L classic "Danger Zone" called "Zone of Danger" stream/downloadable below courtesy RCRD LBL. Full tracklisting is below too.
And last but certainly not least, Knitting Factory will host the return of Leaders Of The New School on 12/23 with Son of Bazerk (who recently came back at Central Park), and DJ sets from Johnny Juice (Public Enemy) and J-Zone. Tickets are on sale. For the unaware, LONS was Busta Rhymes' first project before going solo with the monster hit "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check". LONS also is featured in the A Tribe Called Quest classic "Scenario".
UPDATE: grandgood reports that: "ccording to DJ Johnny Juice, Busta Rhymes is not part of this show. Only Dinco D, Charlie Brown and Cut Monitor Milo will be performing along with Son Of Bazerk. Still sounds like a dope show."
Those Big L tracks, the LP tracklisting and a bunch of videos are below. Big L, Rest in Peace!
photos by Brook Bobbins
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.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.
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]
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Raekwon shows potential groupies his current relationship status
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.A second set from the NYC edition of Rock The Bells (first is HERE), continue below...
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]
words by BBG, photos by Brook Bobbins
"Wht a fckin day! Was a 90s hipHop reunion backstge DAMN! Nice & smooth, dela soul, group home, primo, pete rck& cl smooth, large prof, craig g" -MastaAce
"Damn Pete Rock and CL Smooth rockin under the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a beautiful thing. Straighten it out! -greenspam
"I really am sorry that you're not here with me watching De La Soul kill shit live in Brooklyn" -djreadycee
De La Soul at Brooklyn Hip hop Fest in DUMBO - July 10, 2010
Though the rain did rear it's ugly head momentarily on July 10th, the crowd was nonetheless rocked at the 2010 Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest on Saturday. It was the final day of a week-long celebration, and also the biggest event of the fest. With a lineup that consisted of greats like De La Soul, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Black Moon, Smif n Wessun, and many others, the surprise additions of Nice & Smooth, Black Sheep and Group Home gave the event an especially 90s touch. It wasn't all veterans though; relative newcomers like Curren$y, Black Milk, Diamond District, The Money Making Jam Boys, and many others brought new blood under the Brooklyn Bridge to get the block rockin'.
Tons more pics (starting with Black Milk's 3:45 set), and video are below...
photos by Jaecyne Howell
DJ Spinna and Q-Tip @ Nokia Theatre
"On Saturday, August 29th, what would have been Michael Jackson's 51st birthday, fans of the King of Pop gathered at New York City's NOKIA Theatre Times Square for Q-Tip Presents: "Long Live the King! A Birthday Celebration for Michael Jackson." The sold-out crowd danced the night away to never-before-heard remixes of Michael Jackson's hits, as well as rare video footage from the Motown and Sony vaults. Joining Q-Tip onstage to DJ were special guests DJ Spinna and Mark Ronson. At one point, Quincy Jones called in to say a few words to the audience. Other celebrities in attendance included Solange Knowles, Marsha Ambrosius, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Premier and Anthony Anderson."A similar party happened earlier the same day in Prospect Park where DJ Spinna also provided music and Grandmaster Flash was also in attendance. Solange has a busy weekend - on Sunday she was checking out Grizzly Bear at the Williamsburg Waterfront. More pictures from Nokia Theatre below...
by Black Bubblegum
Marty Markowitz and Ralph McDaniels
The theme of this summer has been rain, and though the skies opened up halfway into the 5th anniversary show of The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival on June 20th in Empire Fulton-Ferry State Park, that didn't stop the crowd from swaying to the classic beats and rhymes by a stable of 90s artists. Thankfully the organizers of the DUMBO show thought ahead, and though it was a little packed in there, everyone stayed perfectly dry inside the emergency tent.
With all the veterans of hip hop on Saturday's lineup, you'd think that the most kinetic performance of the day would come from a Grand Puba or Pharoahe Monch. You'd be wrong. Oddly enough, the least "conscious" MC and the one that I always felt was slightly overrated, Styles P of D-Block (fka The Lox), delivered an energetic performance of hits that was matched only by the energy that the crowd bounced back. I was shocked, though pleasantly so.
I was glad to be wrong about Styles P, and I definitely learned a few other things that rainy Saturday:
view from St. Mary's Park in the Bronx (Big Map)
Man Man and the BCC crews are in great company this summer. The New York City Parks Foundation will again present its annual CityParks Concerts series of free concerts throughout the five boroughs. Those free events include shows by KRS-One, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Slick Rick, Naughty by Nature, MC Lyte, and even BCC collaborator Raekwon. (By the way... Cuban Links 2 on August 11? I still don't believe it - BB.)
Not every park is covered in this series (like Prospect, Central, and Asser Levy for instance), but I wouldn't be surprised if covers almost every one that doesn't already host its own larger series . Full schedule below...