Entries tagged with: Jay Electronica
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
We've never gotten the Tupac biopic that we probably deserve, though he has appeared as a character in Straight Outta Compton and Notorious. Now some people in China have taken it upon themselves to deliver the goods, as a trailer for an unauthorized Chinese Tupac biopic has recently surfaced online. It's called Until the End of Time and the trailer is pretty psychotic. It seems as though the film will involve a high school student doing a research project on Tupac that leads him to cross paths with Pac's ex-lover, or something along those lines. It's one of the better trailers I've seen in quite some time, and you can watch it below.
In related news, it angered many Tupac fans when Billboard recently published a list of the 10 greatest rappers of all time that omitted Tupac. (But hey, at least Macklemore wasn't involved.) I would note that the list in general shows a pretty strong east coast slant, with Biggie, Jay Z, Nas, Ghostface Killah and Rakim all showing up and Kendrick Lamar the sole west coast rapper recognized on the list. Rappers like T.I., Snoop Dogg and Scarface have taken to social media to express their disagreement with the list, although I would argue that Jay Electronica has perhaps the best take on the situation:
why is everyone so upset about the billboard list. upset over a top 10 list of rap greats written by these dudes? pic.twitter.com/cJDw3YJ6fi— سيف الله (@JayElectronica) November 17, 2015
And for you LA residents, there's also a new Tupac-centric "All Eyez On Me" exhibit at the Grammy Museum downtown.
Check out the trailer for Until The End of Time, along with some anti-Billboard social media posts below...
photo: Panda Bear at Warsaw in 2014 (more by PSquared)
Because of CMJ, we're doing 'What's Going On' slightly different this week. Each day there's a handful of day shows which are listed first, followed by the night shows. With so many events happening each day, we've limited this to our top picks, but there's a list of other good ones below the fold. Not all of these shows are associated with CMJ, but most are. And for even more of tonight's shows, you can browse our full NYC show calendar.
Panda Bear, PC Worship, Deakin (DJ) @ Bowery Ballroom
Panda Bear's new album does what Panda Bear does best -- futuristic psychedelic pop with a lot of Brian Wilson influence -- but it's a clear progression from his earlier work too. Tonight he begins a sold-out three-night run at Bowery Ballroom, and openers PC Worship are worth showing up for.
Jay Electronica, Fame School & friends, DonMonique, Jay IDK, Young Roddy, Russ, Staten America @ Santos Party House
Will Jay Electronica ever release his debut album? No one knows, but at least he stays active in other ways like squeezing in a CMJ show tonight.
Gooch Palms, Surfbort, Bent Denim, Sweet Bronco @ Cake Shop (DAY)
Day parties don't really kick in till Wednesday, but you can head to Ludlow St. for a few options, including Cake Shop which today has Australia's Gooch Palms, wild Brooklyn punks Surfbort and more. Pianos also has a day party today, and their lineup is listed below.
Lontalius, Anthonie Tonnon, Marlon Williams, Carb on Carb @ Baby's All Right
It's the free annual New Zealand @ CMJ showcase with Dead Oceans signee Marlon Williams, emo/punk duo Carb on Carb, and more.
Frankie Cosmos, Mega Bog, Sheer Agony, Laced @ Baby's All Right
This is the Bayonet / Couples Skate showcase and in addition to Frankie Cosmos, make a point to check out Montreal powerpop trio Sheer Agony who recall vintage dB's by way of The Kinks.
Hooton Tennis Club, Sykes, Jake Isaac, Garden of Elks, Stealing Sheep @ Living Room
Liverpool's Stealing Sheep are somewhere between late '60s faery folk and early '80s synthpop, for a sound that is modern and unlike anyone else. (Though they do sound a little like...Metronomy?) Also on the bill: another Liverpool band, Hooton Tennis Club, who owe a lot to '90s indie rock.
Kero Kero Bonito @ Palisades
PC Music-related London trio Kero Kero Bonito's music pays tongue-in-cheek homage to the shiny plastic future of J-pop, rapping and singing about food, playing videogames, the merits of cats vs dogs and other light conversation.
Tav Falco & The Panther Burns, Mike Watt @ The Grand Victory
Art-damaged, highly eccentric rockibilly artist Tav Falco has been scaring the neighbors since the late '70s when his band Panther Burns often included Alex Chilton. For this tour, his rhythm section is Mike Watt and Toby Dammit who, among their many awesome individual accomplishments, both played in more recent lineups of The Stooges.
Steely Dan @ Beacon Theatre
Steely Dan are back for another multi-night run at Beacon Theatre and each night is a different theme. Tonight it's their much-loved Aja in full, plus a second set of hits. Also: not a CMJ show (though we'd go if it was).
Greg Barris "Unbunned" @ Union Hall
Greg Barris' "Unbunned" this week features appearances from funny folk like Dave Hill, Brooke Van Poppelen, Chris Gethard, and Barry Rothbart.
Hooton Tennis Club, Martin Courtney (of Real Estate), Francis A. Gorman, The Suffers @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2
Martin Courtney's first solo album Many Moons isn't a radical departure from what he does with Real Estate, though it's a little more '70s soft rock (in a good way). Get an early preview at this show that also features Texas soul act The Suffers and another (of what will be many chances) to see Hooton Tennis Club.
PRhyme & Adrian Younge @ Gramercy Theatre
PRhyme is the duo of legendary producer DJ Premier and Eminem associate Royce da 5'9", and their self-titled debut was one of the very best rap albums of last year. Tonight they play a one-off show backed by Adrian Younge, whose music was the source of DJ Premier's samples on the PRhyme album.
Beach Baby, Dilly Dally, Oscar, Monika @ Output (roof)
This is a pretty cool CMJ rooftop party going from 6-10 PM. Especially of note are Canada's Dilly Dally who hearken back to '90s indie rock bands like The Breeders, and the pop shapeshifter Monika, who takes on '70s disco, modern pop and plenty in between.
Zebra Katz, Octo Octa, Nire, Jamie Nxir @ National Sawdust
The Red Bull Music Academy and Reggie "Regg Roc" Gray and his FLEXN dance crew are teaming up to put on this show that features a "night of flex beats, dance and rhymes" with rapper Zebra Katz and various electronic artists.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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Even more shows listed below. What else?
Jay Z at Terminal 5 - 5/16/15 (via @mirsadness)
Jay Z's intimate "B-sides" shows happened at Terminal 5 on Saturday (5/16) and Sunday (5/17). Jay promised a night of older songs and deeper cuts, and he followed through on that promise with "Young Gifted & Black," "Streets Is Watching," "Friend or Foe," "Show U How To Do This," and a lot more. He did do some big hits like "Clique," included a few freestyles, brought out Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Young Jeezy, Jay Electronica and more, and held a moment of silence for the late BB King. You can watch a video of the full night 1 set and check out the setlist, below.
by Andrew Sacher
Royce da 5'9", who maybe you recently heard with a bunch of other Detroit rappers on Eminem's "Detroit vs Everybody," teamed up with legendary producer DJ Premier for a collaborative project called PRhyme and the duo released their self-titled album this week. Royce and Premo are on their A games, and impressive guests including Killer Mike, Schoolboy Q, Common, Jay Electronica and Ab Soul join them for this tightly packed 9-track album. The production is terrifically dark, and Royce's rhymes are aggressive from start to finish. Whine rap this is not. Listen to the whole album over at NPR and check out two videos from it below.
PRhyme is supporting the album on a tour in 2015 that hits NYC on February 22 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets for that show go on sale at noon today (12/10).
All dates are listed, with those videos, below...
Veteran rapper Common, who put out the new album Nobody's Smiling earlier this year and recently brought out Jay Electronica and Vince Staples in Chicago for the remix of the new LP's track "Kingdom" (which is out now and can be streamed below), will be teaming up with Jay Electronica once again for a US tour later this year. That tour brings the two rappers to NYC on December 9 at Irving Plaza. Tickets for that show are currently on Citi, Live Nation and Ticketmaster presales (password: greatseats) and the general on-sale begins Friday (10/10) at 10 AM.
This month, Common is touring Australia with Maxwell. Vince Staples will on tour with Joey Bada$$ soon. All Common's dates are listed, with the "Kingdom" remix stream, below...
The performance configurations switch seamlessly, with Jay disappearing through a trap door in the floor to make way for Beyoncé and her troupe of eight dancers. And they often support each other in ways we haven't heard before - not just when Beyoncé takes over the Justin Timberlake part of "Holy Grail" or the Mr. Hudson part in "Young Forever," but the way "If I Were a Boy" took on some of the heavy metal elements of "99 Problems" or the way "Love on Top" moved into The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" to better segue into Jay's "Izzo." [Newsday]Beyonce and Jay Z brought their 'On the Run' tour to the NYC-area for two nights at MetLife Stadium this weekend (Friday, 7/11 and Saturday, 7/12). Their 46-song setlist included favorites from all over their careers like "No Church in the Wild," "Crazy In Love," "Flawless," "Hard Knock Life," "Tom Ford," "Countdown," "Izzo," "Single Ladies" and so many more. As the review above mentions, Beyonce took over Justin Timberlake's part in "Holy Grail" only a day after JT played that song himself in NYC. Check out a couple videos from night 1, along with the full setlist, below. Stay tuned for more footage from the tour in their upcoming HBO special.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, Jay Z made another appearance in NYC when another Jay, Jay Electronica (who's signed to Jay Z's label), brought him out during his set at Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. They played "Young Gifted & Black", "We Made It", "Shiny Suit Theory", and "P.S.A. (Public Service Announcement)." Videos of that (via MissInfo) below.
As discussed, Brooklyn Bodega's Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival returns for its 10th annual year from today (7/9) through Saturday (7/12), and more details on this year's fest have arisen since we last spoke.
The kickoff event is today (7/9) at Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont St) from 7-9 PM with the 'Told It First Hand' discussion. The details:
This special "Told It First Hand" kicks off the 10th Annual Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Festival Executive Director Wes Jackson sits down with Scott Stedman, Founder of the Northside Media Group, and Kevin Powell, activist, writer, and entrepreneur, to tackle cultural appropriation and the sometimes thorny issue of gentrification in the ever growing borough of Brooklyn. Starting at 8:15 pm, Wes Jackson will welcome hip-hop culture pioneer, Ralph McDaniels, and world-renowned turntablist and DJ, Rob Swift, to the stage to contiue the conversation and discuss important issues facing the hip-hop community.Admission is $5 or free for BHS members. There's also a second event at 8:15 with Ralph McDaniels and Rob Swift.
UPDATE: Earlier today Brooklyn Historical Society's website listed two events, one with Pete Rock at 5 PM and another with this year's headliners at 8 PM, but it's since been changed to what it says above.
The full lineup was also announced for the main show which happens Saturday at 50 Kent. We already knew it included Raekwon, Jay Electronica and CJ Fly (of Pro Era), and it now also features Cyhi The Prynce (whose mixtape came out not long ago), plus Uncle Ralph McDaniels and Torae will be hosting, and Rob Swift will be on DJ duties. Tickets for Saturday's show are available.
More info on the rest of the fest at BK Hip Hop Fest's site.
Raekwon at NXNE 2012 (more by David Andrako)
Brooklyn Bodega's Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival will return for its 10th annual year from July 9 - 12. This year's headliners include Raekwon of Wu-Tang (whose group has made the news a lot lately), Jay Electronica (who is still taking forever to release an album, but did just release a Drake remix/diss featuring Jay Z), and CJ Fly of the Pro Era crew (which also includes Joey Bada$$). The rest of the lineup is TBA. Tickets go on sale via Queue next week.
Initial event schedule and a stream of Jay's Drake diss, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Pitchfork just posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2013. It's got what some people might call the worst song ever, the song with the most talked-about rap verse of the year, some surprises, and some of the year's most undeniable songs. Their #1 pick is certainly one of those undeniable songs, whether or not you're a fan of the artist who made it. What do you think of their list? Did your favorite song make it? Any glaring omissions?
Check out the full top 100 below...
by Andrew Sacher
Kendrick Lamar at Osheaga 2013 (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Big Sean is releasing his new album, Hall of Fame, on August 27, and between his recent singles and guest verses, there's definitely some anticipation behind it. But the most exciting thing about it right now is the fact that last night (8/12) on Hot 97 (via Pitchfork), Big Sean revealed an outtake from the album, "Control (HOF)" (it didn't make the cut due to sample clearance issues), that features Jay Electronica and possibly the best battle-rap verse in years, courtesy of Kendrick Lamar. Check it out below.
Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar will be in the NYC-area to play Rock the Bells in October.
Song stream below...
Continuing 6 years after Hip-Hop visionary J Dilla's death, the annual Donuts Are Forever tribute benefit is slated for this Sunday at Brooklyn Bowl (2/19). The concert includes DJ sets by TARA, Brina Payne, Ill Digitz, GETLIVE!, and returning act Parler, with producer Prince Paul and DJ Neil Armstrong headlining. Rap trio Tanya Morgan will share hosting responsibilities for the evening, following a performance Wednesday night (2/15) in iHeartDilla's "One Song" lineup at Southpaw. Tickets for the Brooklyn Bowl show are still available. Flyer below.
While "Donuts Are Forever" further solidifies itself as a tradition each year, new odes to the late maestro are still taking form. Questlove recently DJed an hour-long set for Hot 97 devised soley of J Dilla tunes, which is available for download here. The drummer also wrote an essay for XXL rhapsodizing J Dilla's singular talent, explaining his influence on Hip-Hop and his own work:
"The day after he recorded "Think Twice," for Welcome to Detroit, I look at the drum set, and I was like, "Wait, you recorded that on this?" And it was the most dingiest, dirtiest, not even second-hand. [It] looked like the Fat Albert junkyard gang drum set. Screws were missing; some of the heads were broken. Matter of fact, he didn't even use real drumsticks on "Think Twice." He used a vibraphone mallet, and he had a broken drumstick that he got some toilet paper from the bathroom, and some rubber bands. I was like, "You would rather go through this MacGuyver shit than buy new drumsticks?" He's like, "I didn't know where to get 'em this late at night; I had to make due." I was like, "Well, why did you hit the drums with the mallet?" He was like, "I didn't want the dynamic to be too aggressive. I wanted to sound muted, so I decided to play the drums with the soft cotton mallet." It looked like putting a marshmallow at the end of a toothpick [Laughs]. Next thing I know, I'm now flying to Philadelphia--I think the next week, [to work on] The Roots' Phrenology record [and] I tracked both "Quills" and "Pussy Galore" the same way. I went and got some orchestra mallets, and then I too started, just 'cause I seen how he got that sound."As per usual, Questlove DJ'd at Brooklyn Bowl last night (as he will on many more Thursdays). He's also scheduled to appear at "Bowlive" events at Brooklyn Bowl on 3/1 and 3/8.
In Detroit, J Dilla's mother, Maureen Yancey, organzied a "Dilla Day" concert and community celebration in the producer's hometown this past weekend (2/10-2/11). Performers for the Friday night show included Danny Brown, Busta Rhymes,, Jay Electronica, and A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg (who has a NYC show coming up), while Saturday's free event included "hands-on beat-making exhibits for children" and a preview of a short-form documentary "Rebirth in Detroit," which followed J Dilla and other local musicians and is to be released later this year. Above photos of the Fillmore marquee via jmackhh.
Aside from his tribute duties, Prince Paul is reuniting with his erstwhile collaborators De La Soul for a new album. While the group's latest creative incarnation First Serve is still underway, two new videos were uploaded to their Youtube channel last weekend teasing new material. Check out "Life is Great" and "Mr. Big Mouph II" below...
Janelle at Afro-Punk 2009 (more by Tim Griffin)
Afro-Punk 2011 will take place in Fort Greene's Commodore Barry Park on August 27 and 28. This year's crazy lineup consists of Cee Lo Green, Janelle Monae (who played the fest in 09), Fishbone, Santigold, Jay Electronica, Toro y Moi, Reggie Watts and more. The festival will also a hold a Skate and BMX competition, and other related events. Admission is free to the general public.
Full lineup below...
Jay Electronica @ Summerstage in Red Hook Park (Solo72vh)
The rain didn't stop the show and Jay Electronica was joined by a guest at his SummerStage season kick off on Tuesday (6/1) - Pharoahe Monch stopped by to check out the show and got called onstage to do an acapella verse. Video of that, and other parts of the night, is below. Tonight (6/2) Roy Ayers & DJ Jon Quick are at Brooklyn's Betsy Head Park.
Memorial Day Weekend officially opened the summer, and for those in the Pacific Northwest it also brought Sasquatch Music Festival (pictures from all three days are coming soon). Now the lineup for its Labor Day cousin, Bumbershoot 2010, has been announced. That fest, happening at Seattle, WA's Seattle Center September 4th-6th, will include headliners Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Weezer, Hole, Rise Against, Neko Case, The Decemberists, J. Cole and "one more very special guest to be announced soon."
Tickets (including non-Mainstage 'economy' passes) are on sale now. The rest of the lineup (by day) for the seven-stage festival is posted below...
Central Park Summerstage (more by Chris La Putt)
The schedule for the 2010 SummerStage series, which has music not just at Central Park, is out, and there are some great looking shows to highlight.
At Central Park, the first "rock" show happens on Saturday, June 5th with Living Colour, Ebony Bones!, Pillow Theory and CX KiDTRONiK. Baaba Maal, who just played Irving Plaza, will be at Central Park too on Monday, June 14th The Tinariwen show on Saturday, June 26th also features Syrian beat & mikeman Omar Souleyman. Gil Scott-Heron plays Central Park in June and Marcus Garvey Park in August.
There's also El Guincho, Bostich and Fussible and others in Central Park on July 7th. Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff plays Central Park on Sunday, July 11th. Raphael Saadiq performs there Saturday, July 17 at 3pm. The Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba/Fool's Gold show on Sunday, July 25th will also feature "West African electronica" band Burkina Electric.
On Wednesday, July 21st, there'll be a Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Friends Central Park gig hosted by Lewis Black with John Oliver, Rob Riggle, Wyatt Cenac, Adam Lowitt and Rory Albanese.
There's also music from St. Vincent, Tune-Yards and Basia Bulat on August 1st at Central Park. The xx play with Jack Penate and Chairlift there on August 8th. At the same spot, Public Enemy play an August 15th day show to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fear of A Black Planet, and the Specials play on August 22nd with Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears and $mall ¢hange.
There's lots of great jazz too: McCoy Tyner plays with Ravi Coltrane, Esperanza Spalding and Francisco Mela as part of the CareFusion Jazz Festival on June 23rd. He also plays in the Charlie Parker Jazz Fest, which comes at the end of the summer with an incredible lineup. McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Scott, Jason Moran and the Bandwagon and Revive da Live play during the day at Marcus Garvey on Saturday, August 28th. Then the next day, James Moody, Catherine Russell, Vijay Iyer and The JD Allen Trio play at Tompkins Square Park.
The park benefit shows include John Butler Trio and State Radio on June 15th (tickets on sale), The Flaming Lips on July 26th, The Black Keys with the Morning Benders on July 27th and 28th, Hot Chip/Hercules & Love Affair/Holy Ghost on August 4th, Govt' Mule on August 11th (tickets), and one of the four Pavement shows September 21-24. Plus there's a "songbook of Simon & Garfunkel" benefit on June 8th.
Not all "Summerstage" shows are in Central Park anymore which drives home the point even further that the name of the venue in Central Park is actually "Rumsey Playfield" which hosts non-"Summerstage" shows too. Those so far include Coheed/Torche, CAKE, Ween, and Broken Social Scene.
The full Summerstage free show schedule is below...
SummerStage 2009's last show of the year (more by Chris La Putt)
"On Tuesday, June 8, 2010, City Parks Foundation will welcome guests to the SummerStage 25th Anniversary Celebration in association with Michael Dorf & City Winery, an annual fundraising benefit, to support CPF's free year-round arts programming. This year's benefit will feature the songbook of Simon & Garfunkel with unique duets performed by Shawn Colvin, Aimee Mann, Dar Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Joan Osborne, Stephen Kellogg, Dean & Britta, Cory Chisel, The Holmes Brothers, John Forte, Valerie June, John Roderick, Ricky Skaggs, Willie Nile, Paula Cole, Alejandro Esovedo, Ollabelle (house band) and many more.Tickets for this benefit will run you from $1000 to $25,000. Tickets to the other "benefits" (aka regular old ticketed shows) at the venue, are much cheaper. Those include John Butler Trio / State Radio, The Flaming Lips, The Black Keys, Hot Chip, Gov't Mule and Pavement.
The 2010 SummerStage series has also expanded its free shows outside of Central Park to include parks in all five boroughs. Look for free "Summerstage" music, theater and other events this summer in Brooklyn's Von King Park and Betsy Head Park, Bronx's St. Mary's Park and Crotona Park, Queens' Springfield Park, and Marcus Garvey Park East River Park in Manhattan, and others. Those parks have always had free shows, but for whatever reason, they are now "Summerstage".
The free-show lineup is 100% ANNOUNCED
being slowly released (we're posting it all day today) (also check out the full free Celebrate Brooklyn lineup). Some of the Summerstage lineup, along with the list of theater productions (happening in all of the above-mentioned parks), is posted below...
N.E.R.D. (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
American rapper/producer/designer/all around great bro Pharrell Williams has recently confirmed that his rap duo N.E.R.D. will pen a track for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.I'm guessing that "Lapdance" won't be their official submission, but odds are you can hear N.E.R.D. play said banger when they headline Irving on April 28th with the great Jay Electronica. Tickets are on sale.
"We have submitted a track to FIFA which will hopefully be chosen as the official anthem," Williams told Sun newspaper. "I follow football a little bit - it would be great if it happens."
The announcement follows in the footsteps of a slew of recording artists with the same aim, including Akon's "Oh Africa" and K'Naan's "Wavin' Flag". [Shoutcast]-
Jay Electronica plays SUNY Culture Shock Fest earlier in April (as does Black Milk) and is also on board for Bonnaroo along with Stevie Wonder, Phoenix, Melvins, and many many others in June. He recently told MTV News about his wishes to collaborate with another hip hop artist, Chicago's Lupe Fiasco. Lupe plays two sold-out nights at Irving on April 10th and 11th with B.O.B.
Full NERD dates and some videos are below...
DOWNLOAD: Deer Tick - Beautiful Girls (Sean Kingston Cover) (MP3)
Murphy's Law @ Culture Shock '09 (Serenaz)
The lineup is out for Culture Shock 2010, which will take place April 16th and 17th at SUNY Purchase. Headliners for this year's fest are pop-punk band Bayside (avoid the "Beautiful Girls" cover on their MySpace) (and check out another version above) and indie-pop collective Los Campesinos (who'll play Irving Plaza April 22nd) Friday night, and rapper Jay Electronica and The Books on Saturday. The rest of the bill is a varied mix that includes Surfer Blood, Black Milk, Maps & Atlases, L Mag Band You Need To Hear Ava Luna, Maluca, Das Racist, The So So Glos and Turbo Fruits. The annual event isn't technically open to non-students. The full lineup is below.
The bands were announced earlier this month via film at an event at the school. That video, the lineup and more are below...
After a hectic day of updating the constantly updating Bonnaroo lineup page, the entire thing has been announced. Gwar, Norah Jones, and the rest of the lineup below...
words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky
The old Knitting Factory used to be a bastion for independent hip hop in New York City. The new incarnation just took a big step at continuing that legacy, as it hosted one of the most historic hip hop concerts in recent memory.
On Wednesday night (1/20), An astounding array of legends and rising stars rocked the stage to honor everyone's favorite five-footer, Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. The event, Mind Body Soul, was a benefit to raise awareness for diabetes (Phife just received a kidney transplant related to his trials with the disease). And while diabetes was often on the mind and tongues of the performers, the show was really more of a demonstration of the persisting camaraderie and mutual adoration within a genre too often beleaguered with battles and conflict.
After quick opening sets by Hook, Jasmine Solano, Scotch Davis, and Monica Rush, the venue went from a displaced chill to full on engagement as Talib Kweli lead off the roster of A-listers. Having just arrived at the venue and already sent out to perform, Kweli showed his undying humility and his utmost flexibility though microphone heroics on a short notice set. Greg Nice (of obscure but beloved group Nice and Smooth) then burst out with a virulent spirit, with the mohawked, larger-than-life OG launching himself straight into the audience to parlay with the youngsters up front.
Jeru Tha Damaja was glib and full of grimy charm; he laid down classic tracks and told stories from the tombs of Brooklyn Hip Hop lore. A soft-spoken Dres (from Black Sheep) smoothly enticed with new material to go with that little ditty about train derailment you might have heard.
Compared to the illustrious resumes of many performers preceding and following him, up-and-comer Jay Electronica might have felt a bit overwhelmed. But Jay's heartfelt thanks to his peers was the most touching moment of the night, and his outrageous performance - with help from Mos Def, Hi Tek, and Kweli (all of whom recently cancelled performances at Highline Ballroom) - resonated with the youthful segments of the crowd and proved his position as the brightest star on the hip hop horizon.
Jay might have been the showstopper if he wasn't followed by hip hop ambassador (and its greatest living performer) KRS-One. Accompanied by hype man BusyBee (of the original Zulu Nation crew), KRS got metaphysical with beyond-cerebral freestyles. But still being the most humble braggadocio around, he bumped out covers of Biggie and Tribe to continue the showing of utmost respect and brotherhood that categorized the night.
There were some awkward and antagonizing moments throughout: posse upon posse swelling to the width of the stage and getting shooed away numerous times by Heavy Sound (the presenter) organizers, strange interactions between host Michael Rapaport and house turntablist DJ D-Lyfe, not to mention an off-performance by a sheepish Mr. Cheeks (of The Lost Boyz).
But it wouldn't really be a memorable hip hop conglomeration if it wasn't just the slightest bit disorganized or sporadically contentious. Even without a single piece of original vinyl brandished throughout the laptop-swapping spree behind the DJ table, the event still felt like a storied Bronx block party or an impromptu Brooklyn corner concert or a Queens Native Tongue poetry slam.
As Consequence dragged Phife on stage, followed by Ali Shaheed Muhameed and then Q-Tip to perform the final set of the night as a united Quest, on display was a vivid demonstration of the greatest hope for the future of hip hop: its ability to nurture its own existence through such reciprocal love. It might take a village to raise a child, but on this night, it only took one Tribe to raise up hip hop.
Ghostface was on the bill, but didn't show. More pictures from the night below...
by Benjamin Lozovsky
Former Blackstar bandmates and continuing collaborators Talib Kweli and Mos Def are keeping up the busy pace they each set in 2009 with even more tour dates and releases to come in the new year.
After performing a spattering of shows with long-time producer Hi-Tek as a reunited Reflection Eternal last year, the much beloved pair is coming back to the New York area with a late show at Highline Ballroom on Friday, January 22nd (tickets are on sale). This date comes in the support of The Re:Union Mixtape, the fantastic new free compilation of fresh and unreleased Reflection Eternal cuts (with some classic Kweli and Hi-Tek jams throw in as well) mixed, mastered, and co-produced by Statik Selektah. If the new tracks are any indication, Kweli and Hi-Tek are poised to make a splashing return to form on their upcoming full-length LP Revolutions Per Minute, which has a tentative release date of March 2010.
Before that gig, Talib has two more scheduled local appearances. The first is this Sunday, January 17th, when he'll perform at Pyramid for an End Of The Weak party with special guest Webbafied.
The second, and definitely more eye-popping event is Mind Body Soul: A Concert Event To Raise Awareness For Diabetes. Organized by Heavy Sound and taking place at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Wednesday, January 20th, the benefit concert will feature hosts Michael Rapaport, Okayplayer (perhaps ?uestlove), and Phife Dawg, and performances by Kweli, Ghostface Killah, Jay Electronica (whom Talib just collaborated with for killer Re:Union track 'Just Begun'), and Consequence. Tribe Called Quest member Phife, a long-time diabetic, was first diagnosed with the disease back in 1990, and is making his first appearance in the public spotlight after recently receiving a much needed kidney transplant. Other performers are promised as well (an earlier flyer for the event had Blakroc listed, although that has now vanished from the more updated version...let's hope they might be one of the special guests). Email RSVP@heavysounds.com to get in for free before 11:00pm.
Meanwhile, Mos Def will be back to perform tracks from his Grammy-nominated album The Ecstatic this Sunday, January 17th, at The Highline Ballroom. The show is a rescheduled appearance from December 20th of last year, which was canceled due to weather ($45 tickets). Later in the month, the Mighty Mos performs two more times. First it's at the Apollo Theater for IMAN Presents: Special Edition of Community Café, on Saturday, January 23rd. He'll be there along side Daily Show correspondent and comedian Aasif Mandvi as well as other guests ($20 tickets). Then you can catch Mos when he opens for DOOM at Nokia Theatre on January 30th ($40 tickets)
Event flyers below:
photos by Erez Avissar
"Damon "Dame" Dash co-founded Roc-a-Fella Records, helped launch the career of Jay-Z and discovered Kanye West. He's produced or executive-produced about a dozen films, including the well-received 2002 urban flick "Paid in Full" and the 2004 movie "The Woodsman," starring Kevin Bacon. And he started lucrative apparel lines like Rocawear and Rachel Roy, of which he is still part owner with his wife, the company's namesake.New venue Under 100 (located in the basement of the Tribeca building where Damon Dash's office is located) is quickly becoming famous, after just two shows. The first, in November, featured sets by Sleigh Bells, Javelin & Knyfe Hyts 81 with help from Mos Def, Curren$y, and others. The second, just two nights ago (12/8), was rumored to include a performance by Blakroc (featuring Mos Def) who were on Letterman that same night. That didn't happen, but The Cool Kids, The London Souls, Curren$y (again), and some others did play. Mos Def and Damon Dash (again) were just hanging out. The third show is....
But the 37-year-old Dash still says he gets snubbed by the music industry. Media reports last year about his alleged financial difficulties and legal problems probably didn't help. "My mistake was watching everyone else's careers and not watching mine,'' he says.
More important was his acrimonious split a few years ago with his old friend and business partner Jay-Z. "It was like, either you are on his side or on mine," he says. "And because of all that, there's resistance on every level with me and the shit just bugs me out." [Billboard]
RSVP @ Lessartistsmorecondos@gmail.comMore pictures from the last event, below...
-- DARLINGS /// THESE ARE POWERS --
$ 7 bucks
09:00 pm Doors
09:30 pm DARLINGS
10:30 pm THESE ARE POWERS