Entries tagged with: Kendrick Lamar

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The new issue of UK music mag Uncut is out now, and it includes their Top 75 Albums of 2015 list. Like fellow UK mags MOJO and Q, they've got a lot of love for Julia Holter. They also have Sleaford Mods pretty high, lots of the 2015 year-end regulars in the top 10 (Kendrick, Sufjan, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett), and lots of older musicians throughout the list (Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Killing Joke, PiL, Paul Weller, Robert Forster, etc). Check out the full list below.

Continue reading "Uncut's Top 75 Albums of 2015"

Mojo Mag

Like their sister magazine Q, the folks at MOJO are fans of Julia Holter's Have You in My Wilderness, naming it 2015's Album of the Year. (It is a fine, fine choice.) For a magazine that usually has a Beatle on the cover twice a year, MOJO's albums list feels pretty contemporary, with Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala, Sleaford Mods, Sufjan Stevens and Bill Ryder-Jones all making the Top 10. Don't worry, there's room for Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Paul Weller, Boz Scaggs and and other classic artists on the list, too. Check out MOJO's whole Top 50 Albums of 2015 list, below...

Continue reading "MOJO's Top 50 LPs of 2015"


British music mag Q just put out their latest issue which has Coldplay on the cover and also includes their Top 50 Albums of 2015 list (not including the new Coldplay album, which isn't out yet). It's got a lot of the bands that the UK press tends to favor more than the American press (Palma Violets, Wolf Alice, Years & Years, Slaves, Everything Everything), tons of the stuff we'll probably see on most lists (Tame Impala, Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar, Courtney Barnett), and a few surprises.

Check out the full list below...

Continue reading "Q Magazine's Top 50 Albums of 2015"

photos by Jimmy King
David Bowie

Last week, David Bowie released the really great title track off his upcoming album '★' (pronounced "Blackstar") and now a new feature on Rolling Stone reveals more details on the album. LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, who remixed a song off his last album, plays percussion on two tracks on this one. He was going to be one of the producers at first too, but it never came to be:

LCD Soundsystem founder James Murphy plays percussion on two tracks, though his role on the album was originally going to be much more significant. "At one point we were talking about three producers for the album: David, James and myself," says Visconti. "[Murphy] was there for a brief time, but he had his own projects to go off to." Adds Guiliana, "His role was never really defined. He brought in some synths and some percussion and had a ton of ideas."
Longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti also reveals that Kendrick Lamar was an influence on the record. He said, "We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar. We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn't do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll."

The article also reveals that he recorded the album with saxophonist Donny McCaslin's jazz quartet (featuring bassist Tim Lefebvre, drummer Mark Guiliana, and keyboardist Jason Lindner). Bowie went to see play a club in the West Village in 2014, and later that year they played with him on his single "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)." Jazz guitarist Ben Monder plays on a song too (album closer "I Can't Give Everything Away").

This album is sounding pretty exciting. Read more here and check out the '★' video below...

Continue reading "David Bowie's '★' features James Murphy and a jazz quartet, was inspired by Kendrick Lamar's new album"

by Rob Sperry-Fromm

Unauthorized Tupac Biopic

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:

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...

Continue reading "There's a trailer out for a weird unauthorized Chinese biopic on Tupac (who didn't make Billboard's top 10 rappers list)"

Bjork Vulnicura

It's that time of year again when folks start publishing their End of Year Best-Of lists. Almost always first out of the gates is UK-based Rough Trade Shops who dropped their 100 Best Albums of 2015 list today. Coming in at #1 was Bjork's devastatingly personal Vulnicura. And here's their Top 20:

1) Bjork - Vulnicura
2) Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear
3) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
4) Ezra Furman - Perpetual Motion People
5) Max Richter - From Sleep
6) Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool
7) Kamasi Washington - The Epic
8) Royal Headache - High
9) Romare - Projections
10) Jamie XX - In Colour
11) John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
12) Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell
13) Tame Impala - Currents
14) Nadine Shah - Fast Food
15) Wand - Golem
16) Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
17) Django Django - Born Under Saturn
18) Tobias Jesso Jr - Goon
19) Georgia - S/T
20) Palma Violets - Danger in the Club
You can check out Rough Trade Shops full Top 100 Albums of 2015 list below...

Continue reading "Rough Trade Shops list their Top 100 LPs of 2015"

by Andrew Sacher

Ty Dolla $ign

Ty Dolla $ign's much-anticipated official debut album Free TC is finally out today (via Taylor Gang / Pu$haz Ink / Atlantic). The guest list is stacked, with modern rap (Kendrick Lamar, Future, Fetty Wap, Rae Sremmurd, YG), veteran R&B (R. Kelly, Brandy, Babyface), rap moguls (Kanye West and Puff Daddy -- on the same song), and weird outliers like E-40. The veteran R&B guests make a ton of sense; Ty's biggest song to date ("Paranoid") is over a DJ Mustard beat, and there are two here, but a chunk of this album actually sounds like the kind of R&B that was popular 15-20 years ago. The acoustic guitars on the Babyface collaboration "Solid" make it sound like a radio hit from no later than 2002, the same could be said for the clean electric guitars of "Horses In The Stable," and the slow jams of "Straight Up" fit in more with those guests than Ty's contemporaries (like say, The Weeknd or Miguel).

It's not all nostalgia though. The Metro Boomin-produced Trey Songz collab "Know Ya," the Future & Rae Sremmurd collab "Blase," and the Fetty Wap collab "When I See Ya" sound entirely of the moment. And as if you expected any less, Kendrick's show-stealing verse on "LA" (the first song on the record) continues to prove that he just cannot be stopped. There's a lot to unpack on this 16-song, 73-minute album, and now you can do just that by listening below.

Continue reading "stream Ty Dolla $ign's album 'Free TC' ft. Kendrick, Future, Kanye, Puff Daddy, R. Kelly & many more"

Puff Daddy

There's always a good amount of hip hop shows happening in and around NYC, but we don't get a chance to post about all of it. Here's a roundup of some cool stuff coming up that we haven't talked about yet, new music, and more:

Hot 97 is throwing a holiday show at Newark's Prudential Center on December 5 that's pretty stacked with both the old and the new: Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, Puff Daddy, Lil Wayne, French Montana, Sean Paul, Jeremih and Fetty Wap. Tickets are available.

Speaking of, Puff Daddy is planning a sequel to his hits-filled 1997 debut No Way Out (called No Way Out 2), but in the meantime he just released the MMM mixtape ("Money Making Mitch") which features Jadakiss, Styles P, Pusha T, Lil Kim, Lil Wayne, Big Sean, Travi$ Scott, Ty Dolla $ign and more; and co-production from Young Chop, Mike Will Made It, Hit-Boy, Harry Fraud and more. You can stream the whole thing below.

For another stacked Newark show: the recurring 'Masters of Ceremony' concert, that brings a number of influential old school heads together, happens again on November 27 at NJPAC with KRS-One, The LOX, Ja Rule, Rakim, Mad Lion, Lords of the Underground and Black Moon. Tickets are available.

You can catch the legendary Rakim much sooner than that though. He plays TONIGHT (11/11) at SOB's in Manhattan in with Ceez, JSwiss and Lyricks. Tickets for tonight's show are available.

For more old school rap in NYC tonight, GZA, Afrika Bambaataa, Doug E. Fresh, Rhymefest, Ma Dukes and more are being honored at the Hip-Hop Education Center's first annual Extra Credit Awards at NYU's Kimmel Center from 6 to 9 PM.

Coincidentally (?) the same night as the 'Masters of Ceremony' show, Ja Rule's collaborator Ashanti plays a NYC show at BB King's (11/27). Tickets are available.


Another guy who was shaping the sound of mainstream hip hop around the same time as Puff Daddy, Timbaland, has a new memoir called The Emperor of Sound coming out November 17. The next day, he'll come to NYC for an interview/book launch at Highline Ballroom (11/18) (tickets).

Timbaland's also been putting out some new songs lately. He recently dropped "Them Jeans" featuring Migos and "UFO" featuring Future and Tink. Listen to both below. He's also teasing a new track with Pusha T.

Rap Tees

Speaking of rap books, DJ Ross One just released Rap Tees: A Collection of Hip-Hop T-Shirts 1980-1999. The description reads:

Beginning with the earliest rap concert shirts from the Sugar Hill Gang and New York Fresh Fest, circa 1980-84, and spanning the next two decades, Rap Tees includes rare shirts from a wide selection of the who's-who of the business including: Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, Beastie Boys, Eric B and Rakim, Wu Tang Clan, Jay Z, Nas, EMPD, and many, many more. Rap Tees bookends the golden age of rap with unique street-corner memorial shirts commemorating the deaths of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.
There's a sample of three of the shirts above, via MIke Nouveau's Instagram.

That Timbaland/Tink collab isn't the only new Future song. He just put one out called "Last Breath," produced by Metro Boomin and Ludwig Goransson, that will appear on the soundtrack to the upcoming Rocky spinoff Creed. Listen below.

The busiest band in rap, The Roots, can always be found as Fallon's house band and you can always catch Questlove's mostly-weekly DJ night at Brooklyn Bowl, and they'll play a Long Island show the Saturday after Christmas at The Paramount (12/26). Tickets are available.

Roots member Black Thought is on the brand new Freddie GIbbs song, "Extradite." That's one of two songs that Gibbs put out today, the other being "Packages," and both will appear on his Shadow of a Doubt mixtape due 11/20 via ESGN. Listen below.

A few other upcoming NYC shows: Key! plays SOB's on November 17 (tickets).

Loaf Muzik, who BV had open our recent Vince Staples show, play The Studio at Webster Hall on November 14 with Young M.A (tickets).

We're not crazy about G-Eazy, but we do want to let you know that A$AP Ferg is opening his Terminal 5 show on January 24. Tickets are on AmEx presale now, general on-sale starts Friday (11/13) at noon.

Oxymorrons play the Marlin Room at Webster Hall on 11/18 with Turquoise Jeep, Pants Velour and Kosha Dillz; and Knitting Factory on 12/9 (tickets).

We already mentioned the Curren$y show happening December 3 at Irving Plaza, and since we last spoke Bodega Bamz was added. Tickets are still available.

And a few more new songs: Ty Dolla $ign released "LA" (featuring Kendrick Lamar, Brandy & James Fauntleroy) off his new album Free TC, due out next week. Lil Durk & DeJ Loaf released "My Beyonce"; Atmosphere, Aesop Rock and Blueprint teamed up for "This Lonely Rose"; and Erykah Badu (who plays Brooklyn in December) released "Phone Down" off her upcoming But You Caint Use My Phone mixtape. Listen to all of those below.

Other previously-discussed shows coming up in and around NYC: Lupe Fiasco, Azealia Banks (NYC is her only not-cancelled tour date), Jay Rock, Joey Bada$$, the A Tribe Called Quest reissue party, Action Bronson, Angel Haze, Vince Staples, Kevin Gates, and more.

What else?

Continue reading "upcoming rap shows & new music: Puff Daddy, Timbaland, KRS-One, Rakim, The Roots, Atmosphere & Aesop Rock, more"

photos by PSquared

Kendrick Lamar at T5, 11/2/15
Kendrick Lamar

"Every nigger is a star."

That bold self-affirmation, taken from Jamaican singer Boris Gardiner's 1973 soundtrack cut, welcomes you into Kendrick Lamar's latest opus, To Pimp a Butterfly. It's also what plays him off the stage at his Kunta's Groove Sessions tour, a brief run at small-capacity, "intimate" venues, which stopped at New York City's Terminal 5 on Monday night. Originally planned for Webster Hall but moved last-minute, the show carries the album's opening mantra close to the chest, upending Kendrick's black-boy flyness with theatrical merit that should have Lin-Manuel Miranda taking notice.

...Midway through the show, following a dizzying run through of back-to-back Butterfly cuts and good kid, m.A.A.d city hits that've aged beautifully ("Backseat Freestyle" mixed with Eazy-E's "Boyz N' Tha Hood" was an early favorite), Kendrick hinted that this may be the last time he performs Butterfly in its entirety. "They call this the album of the year, album of this generation, but for me it was therapy," he said the LP, the culmination of multiple treks 'round the world behind good kid. Interacting with thousands of fans every night, he says, was eye-opening for his growth as both an artist and a human being, but there's nothing like getting to look his "core motherfucking following" in the eye like he did all night at the diverse 3,000 people packed into T5. "When shit hits the fan, is you still a fan?" he demanded of those nearest to him at center stage, on the album's introspective outro, "Mortal Man." [Dee Lockett for Vulture]

Kendrick Lamar's "Kunta's Groove Sessions" tour in support of this year's fantastic To Pimp A Butterfly hit NYC last night (11/2). The tour has Kendrick backed by a full band with his fellow Black Hippy member Jay Rock opening, and the idea is to have him hitting intimate venues. It was moved at the last minute from Webster Hall to the slightly less intimate Terminal 5, but that's still way smaller than the Barclays Center show he played a week and a half earlier. As the above review points out, they played basically the entire new album with some favorites from good kid, m.A.A.d city thrown in, plus a few references to some of the music that's inspired him.

Check out some videos and the setlist from the show, below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar brought his "Kunta's Groove Sessions" to Terminal 5 with Jay Rock (pics, videos, setlist)"

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar's "Kunta's Groove Sessions" tour with backing back the Wesley Theory and Jay Rock was set to hit NYC on Monday (11/2) at Webster Hall. That show sold out very quickly, but now it's actually been moved to the larger Terminal 5. Tickets for T5 go on sale today (10/30) at 5 PM and all tickets purchased for Webster will be honored.

Kendrick also put out a video for "These Walls" off To Pimp A Butterfly this week. Watch that, with the updated list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar moves Webster Hall show to Terminal 5 (tix back on sale today)"

by Jonathan Dick

Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein's creative versatility might otherwise be astonishing were it not for the fact that the actor, musician, and writer, is grounded to a familiar commonality in which her fans continue to find comfort and even catharsis. From Portlandia to Sleater-Kinney and everything in between, the trajectory of Brownstein's creative mind remains a vulnerable place of self-awareness and a rare kind of honesty concerning her perspective of her own celebrity. That characteristic is especially present in her newly released memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. A humbling, bare, hilarious, and altogether moving recounting of her life and the challenges both past and present she faces, the book is simply yet another perspective on Brownstein's powerful simplicity and candor.

Season 6 of Portlandia is due in 2016 (with Danzig) and Sleater-Kinney will be going on another tour this year, five December NYC shows included. Currently touring for her memoir, Brownstein just made two NYC appearances this week -- the Barnes & Noble in Union Square on Wednesday (10/28) with Gaby Hoffman and Saint Vitus on Tuesday (10/27) with Questlove. Guests on other upcoming dates include Amy Poehler, Dave Eggers, Jessica Hopper and more.

I recently caught up with Carrie and discussed the tour, the challenges of writing her memoir, and why music remains a sacred space for her:


BV: You've got a number of interesting and influential guests that you're collaborating with on your book tour. Was that something you wanted to do from the outset once you'd finished Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl?

Carrie Brownstein: Yeah. I had interviewed both Lena Dunham and Kim Gordon on their respective book tours, and I really liked the conversations I had with both authors. I felt like what I wanted was to bring together a group of people that would each have a different perspective or take on the book, so that each night I was essentially having a different kind of conversation, so that I would never sort of be on message. I'm not somebody that feels I'm on message or on point very much in terms like a politician. [Laughs.] But at the same time I thought, well, this will at least highlight different elements of the book, or potentially veer of into a tangent that might be interesting or exciting every night.

continued below...

Continue reading "Carrie Brownstein talks her memoir, Kendrick Lamar, Sleater-Kinney, social media activism & more (in a BV interview)"

Kendrick Lamar

Tickets for the intimate full-band Kendrick Lamar show at Webster Hall have been on VIP package presale, and the general on-sale starts today at noon.

Last night he played the much larger Barclays Center. All tour dates HERE.

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar's tour schedule already includes the big Power 105.1 Powerhouse show at Barclays Center this Thursday (10/22) with Big Sean, Future, Fetty Wap, Meek Mill, Jeremih, Jidenna and Omarion. That's sold out, but Kendrick added a bunch of other tour dates, including a second NYC show.

This one is a WAY smaller show, happening at Webster Hall on November 2, and it's part of his "Kunta's Groove Sessions" tour which includes backing band the Wesley Theory and fellow Black HIppy member Jay Rock. Tickets for Webster go on sale Thursday (10/22) at 10 AM.

Jay Rock recently put out his long-awaited album 90059. Listen to a Spotify stream of that, with the list of tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar adds tour dates, including Webster Hall with Jay Rock (whose new album is out now)"

"Tutti Fruiti" single art on the drawing board
New Order Tutti Fruiti

New Order will release "Tutti Fruiti" (featuring La Roux's Elly Jackson) as the official second single from their new album, Music Complete which will come with a handful of remixes, including one by Hot Chip who make the song a little more bleepy/bloopy. You can stream it below.

Hot Chip's "Tutti Fruiti" remix is also one of the first contributions to a new site, New Order's Singularity, which will feature artists talking about the band's wide-reaching influence. Alexis Taylor writes:

Whether it is walking the streets late at night with 'Thieves Likes Us' as my soundtrack, or having the pleasure of remixing their new single with Hot Chip, New Order will always be a huge part of my life. They are true pioneers who manage to strike a great balance between emotional sincerity on record and good natured, irreverent charm in person.
The site, which just launched, also features a New Order playlist from The Cure's Robert Smith, and testimonials from Factory Floor (New Order drummer Stephen Morris produced an early FF single) and Algiers.

Still no word on a North American tour, but New Order will play Houston, TX's Day for Night Festival which happens December 19 & 20 and also features Kendrick Lamar, Janaelle Monae, the Philip Glass Ensemble, Dillon Francis, Death Grips, Nicolas Jaar, Psychic TV, Cocorosie, Elephant, Holly Herndon, U.S. Girls, Prince Rama and more. Festival passes are on sale now. All tour dates are listed below.

Related: Hot Chip just released a studio version of their cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark."

Continue reading "New Order share Hot Chip remix of "Tutti Fruiti," playing Day for Night fest in TX w/ Kendrick Lamar, Philip Glass, more"

by Andrew Sacher

photo: Kendrick Lamar at Sasquatch 2015 (more by Debi Del Grande)
Kendrick Lamar

The lineup for this year's Power 105.1 Powerhouse at Brooklyn's Barclays Center (10/22) is announced and it's pretty incredible. It'll be headlined by Kendrick Lamar (for whom it will be the first NYC show since the release of the incredible To Pimp A Butterfly), and it also includes Big Sean, Future, Fetty Wap, Meek Mill, Jeremih, Jidenna and Omarion. Tickets are on various presales now (password: BKSOCIAL) and the general on-sale starts Friday (9/4) at 10 AM.

Kendrick also plays the Life Is Beautiful Festival in Vegas this month. Watch his video for "Alright" below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Future, Fetty Wap, Jeremih, Meek Mill & more playing Power 105.1 Powerhouse at Barclays"

Outside Lands stream

The 2015 Outside Lands festival is now underway in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. If you're there, make sure to come say hi to us in the Toyota Tent. If you're not, you might be interested to know you can livestream performances on three separate channels starting at 3:30pm PT (6:30pm EST) each day (Aug 7-9) at sfoutsidelands.com/.

The actual fest schedule is HERE, and the streaming schedule is below...

Continue reading "Outside Lands this weekend: stream it live (schedule)"

Dr Dre

As you probably know, N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton hits theaters next week (8/14) and the soundtrack to the movie is Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, which is technically the first Dr. Dre album since 1999's 2001. If you're wondering why he scrapped Detox: "I worked my ass off on it, and I don't think I did a good enough job."

The album features appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, The Game, Jill Scott, BJ the Chicago Kid, Marsha Ambrosius, Xzibit and more. It's out now. Dre says he's donating all the royalties from the album to help start a performing arts center in Compton. Tracklist below.

Noisey also has an exclusive 11-minute HBO First Look of the biopic, which you can watch below.

Ice Cube & special guests will be performing what's billed as Straight Outta Compton Remix at Riot Fest Denver & Chicago. No word yet on exactly what's in store, but we also know that N.W.A. are talking about a reunion tour with Eminem in place of the late Eazy-E. N.W.A. members reunited on stage during the BET Experience in June, but Dr. Dre didn't show up to that one. Watch them playing "Fuck The Police" at that show, below.

Continue reading "Dr. Dre's new album 'Compton' is out now; Ice Cube & friends playing 'Straight Outta Compton' at Riot Fest; NWA may tour"

photo: Kendrick Lamar at Sweetlife Fest 2015 (more by Mimi Hong)
Kendrick Lamar

Following the video for "Alright" off Kendrick Lamar's incredible To Pimp A Butterfly, he's now made a video for "For Free? (Interlude)." It was directed by Joe Weil and the Little Homies. Watch it below.

Kendrick plays Osheaga this weekend.

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar made a video for "For Free? (Interlude)""

by Andrew Sacher


Snow Hill, NC's Rapsody has been leaving her mark on the rap world for a few years now. She's got collaborations with Big K.R.I.T., Blu, Statik Selektah and more; and made her highest-profile collaboration to date by appearing on "Complexion (A Zulu Love)" on Kendrick Lamar's new album To Pimp A Butterfly. Her first (and so far only) full length is 2012's The Idea of Beautiful, and this past spring she put out the expanded deluxe edition of her 2014 EP, Beauty and the Beast.

It's on 9th Wonder's Jamla Records, and features production from him, Eric G., Khrysis, Nottz and Young Guru, with a guest appearance from Problem and sung vocals from Merna. If you dig "Complexion" or other TPAB collaborators like Bilal, or rap in the vein of Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Lauryn Hill, Beauty and the Beast should be right up your alley. It's all intricate, poetic delivery over soul-inspired beats that intentionally ignore current pop-rap trends -- "I don't need your emo beats, all I want is soul and funk," boasts Rapsody on "Don't Need It." Listen below.

She was in NYC earlier this month opening for Talib Kweli at two Brooklyn Bowl shows, and she's returning for her own show in August. That takes place at Santos Party House on 8/12. Tickets are on sale now. No word yet if this show is part of a longer tour.

Continue reading "stream Rapsody's 'Beauty and the Beast', see her in NYC"

by Sadaaf Mamoon

photo: Kendrick Lamar at Sweetlife Fest 2015 (more by Mimi Hong)
Kendrick Lamar

Ever find your life lacking substantial entertainment? Well, if so, it's a good thing our pals at Fox News exist to flip that occasional boredom on its head. They've long been so very adept at analyzing the social correlates of hip hop, and their recent The Five panel reportage re: Kendrick Lamar doesn't disappoint (read: greatly disappoints).

As you may have seen, Kendrick opened the BET Awards this year with a raw, honest performance of "Alright" atop a vandalized police car, rapping "We hate po-po / Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho" with a huge American flag snapping behind him. Of course, Fox had something to say (and to keep your head shaking, they only subtitled certain lyrics to change the song meaning).

"Ugh, I don't like it... Personally, it doesn't excite me, it doesn't turn me on, it doesn't interest me, I'm not feelin' it" was the genius insight we got from Kimberly Guilfoyle. And then, from Geraldo Rivera:

It's not helpful at all. This is why I say hip-hop has done more damage to African-Americans than racism in recent years. This is exactly the wrong message. And then to conflate what happened in the church in Charleston, South Carolina with these tragic incidents involving excessive use of force by cops is to equate that racist killer with these cops - it is so wrong, it is so counterproductive, it gives exactly the wrong the message.

Kendrick appeared on TMZ Live today with an elegant response to Rivera's comments (via HipHopDX):

This is our music. This is us expressing ourselves. Rather [than] going out here and doing the murders myself, I want to express myself in a positive light the same way other artists are doing. Not going out in the streets, go in the booth and talking about the situation and hoping these kids can find some type of influence on it in a positive manner. Coming from these streets and coming from these neighborhoods, we're taking our talents and putting 'em inside the studio.
He also added that Rivera took the "we hate po-po" line out of context and said, "you can't dilute the message." If you haven't seen it yet, you can watch that Fox News clip below.

A photo posted by tatiana. (@tatisoulstice) on

In other Kendrick news, the video for his Bilal collab, "Money Over Love" recently premiered. It's one of the singles off Bilal's fifth studio album, In Another Life, which Bilal has been on tour supporting. He hit NYC last night (7/1), with a show at Highline Ballroom (pictured above). Were you there? How was it?

Check out the "Money Over Love" video, and that Fox News segment, below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar responded to that dumb Fox News segment, released a video for Bilal collab "Money Over Love""

photo: Kendrick Lamar at Sweetlife Fest 2015 (more by Mimi Hong)
Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar put out the video for another track off his brilliant new album, To Pimp A Butterfly, "Alright." It's a black-and-white video directed by Colin Tilley and the Little Homies. You can watch it below.

Kendrick has been playing festivals lately, and has more coming up. All are listed here. TPAB collaborator Bilal will be in NYC this week.

Continue reading "watch Kendrick Lamar's new video for "Alright""

photo by Kawai Matthews

Philly neo-soul singer Bilal is releasing the followup to 2013's A Love Surreal next week (6/30) with In Another Life via eOne/Purpose Music Group. The record was produced by the great Adrian Younge (who also has a new album with Ghostface Killah on the way), and it features Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T. and Kimbra. You can listen to the Kendrick and K.R.I.T. collabs and a third album track below, and stream the whole LP via Pandora.

Bilal is also touring in support of the album. He kicks off in his hometown on release day, and the next night he'll be in NYC for a show on July 1 at Highline Ballroom. Adrian Younge will be on hand to DJ that show. Tickets are on sale now.

All dates are listed, with the song streams, below...

Continue reading "Bilal streaming LP ft. Kendrick Lamar & Big K.R.I.T., touring"

Kendrick & Chance with Earth Wind & Fire (photo via Max)
Kendrick Chance

Earth, Wind & Fire bassist Verdine White had never met Kendrick Lamar until he saw Lamar and Chance the Rapper at the side of the stage during their late-night set and the band invited them out to freestyle.

"I knew who he was, but it wasn't planned," White said afterwards. "We stayed up there -- what -- 90 minutes? We were only supposed to be up there 70 minutes. You know, you just go. You don't think about it, you just keep going. He's in the band right now." [USA Today]

As the review quoted above points out, there was some generation-crossing collaboration going on at Bonnaroo yesterday (6/12) when veteran R&B/soul/funk band Earth Wind & Fire brought out rappers Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper during their set. You can check out a couple videos (via Pitchfork / Fake Shore Drive) below.

There was other generation crossing when Tears for Fears covered Radiohead's "Creep" (not for their first time) at the festival. We don't have a video of that at the moment, but we hear things got pretty emotional:

Bonnaroo continues today (6/13) with the Superjam, D'Angelo, Slayer, My Morning Jacket, Belle & Sebastian, Jamie xx, The War on Drugs, and more. If you're not there, you can stream the festival live, right HERE. Check out a recap of Thursday too.

Videos of Earth Wind, Fire, Kendrick & Chance below...

Continue reading "Earth Wind & Fire brought out Kendrick Lamar & Chance the Rapper at Bonnaroo; Tears for Fears covered "Creep" (again)"

Kendrick Lamar at Summer Jam 2015 (photo by @astroboyaki)
Summer Jam

While things didn't go down smoothly outside of Hot 97 Summer Jam yesterday (6/7), everything was fine inside the NYC-area hip hop festival, including Kendrick Lamar's headlining set. It marked the live debuts of "King Kunta," "The Blacker the Berry" and "Hood Politics" off his new album To Pimp A Butterfly. He also brought out Schoolboy Q for "Collard Greens" and "Studio," SZA (like at Sweetlife), this time for "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe," and Ab-Soul and viral celeb Welvan Da Great (who inspired Kendrick's character in Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" video) for "Alright." Watch videos and check out the full setlist, below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar played Summer Jam, brought out Schoolboy Q, SZA, Ab-Soul & Welven Da Great (videos, setlist)"

photos by Mimi Hong

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar

"Billy Idol is going to be on this stage," Mikaiah [of The Bots] told the crowd during their set. Adding, "Maybe he'll say hi to me backstage." And while it never actually played out that way, the brothers did see a whole lot of Tove Lo at her set a few hours later. "Her boobs were the highlight of the day for me," Mikaiah told Billboard. "She flashed the crowd three or four songs in!" [Billboard]
The Sweetlife Festival went down at Columbia, MD's Merriweather Post Pavillion this past weekend (May 30-31). Day 1 was headlined by Kendrick Lamar, who recently collaborated with festival founders Sweetgreen for the "Beets Don't Kale My Vibe" salad. Kendrick brought up Sweetgreen CEO Jonathan Neman for "m.A.A.d city" after asking a fan to come on stage and rap with him, but said the only qualification is you have to know every word to "m.A.A.d city." Jonathan... did not know the words and Kendrick very quickly kicked him off the stage. Instead he brought up another fan named Ayanna who did in fact know every word and was quite the enthusiastic performer too. Video of that is below.

Kendrick also brought out SZA during his set (video of them playing "Poetic Justice" below), and she also played her own set that day too. Her wardrobe at the fest was pretty revealing, but she kept it PG 13-rated, unlike pop singer Tove Lo, who seems to be making it a tradition of flashing her fans during concerts. Video of her doing so at Sweetlife (which you shouldn't watch at work) is below. As you can see above, The Bots were stoked.

Also on day 1 was Sinkane, and pictures of him, SZA and Kendrick are in this post. The Pixies played that day too. We missed them, but we did just catch them in NYC and NJ. Billy Idol and Lucius played that day too, and pictures of their sets are here.

More Sweetlife day 1 pictures and videos below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar kicked Sweetlife Fest founder off stage; Tove Lo flashed the crowd (SZA almost did) -- pics"