Entries tagged with: Mos Def

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Mos Def
photo: Mos Def at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

The Eric Garner protests, like last weekend's Millions March, in NYC continue, and as you've probably seen and heard, many of those lending their voice to the cause are prominent musicians. Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey), offered an audio statement called "Thoughts On The Upheaval From A Global Perspective" via Stop Being Famous, as Billboard points out. Here's some of what he said:

Where are we? We're at a critical time. We're at a watershed moment for humanity. The urgency to 'change this miserable condition on this earth,' as Malcolm X said, is occurring to many of us, reaffirming itself.

It's the opportunity for necessary change, positive change, and it's not necessarily convenient or comfortable as I'm sure it is with any period of growth. I read somewhere that in order for an arrow to fly, the bow has to be drawn back. There's some pressure involved and I think we're all feeling that pressure. Some of us are more aware of it than others. Some of us are trying to drown it out. But we all feel it one way or another, in indelible ways in these times and days.

You can listen to the audio below.

RZA also spoke to Vanity Fair about it, saying:

The value of a man's life has been totally reduced. It has never been even put at the proper value, when it comes to a black man... But we have an old-school mentality of what you can do, as a cop, and how someone already considered a criminal, even when he's not committing a violent crime, or a real crime. Selling a cigarette is not really a crime, standing on the corner is not a real crime, at the end of the day.

But in this case, with Eric Garner, there is not a criminal here. This looks more like the ego and frustration of a man--forget that this guy was a cop. Take the uniform off. If you take the uniform off of those guys, it looks like a neighborhood beat down. It looked like a black guy got jumped by a bunch of white guys. It looks like this gang jumped that guy.

On Sunday (12/14), when Aretha Franklin attended the premiere of Selma (the film based on Martin Luther King and the 1965 civil rights marches of Selma, Alabama) in NYC, she was interviewed about how important she thinks a film like Selma is coming out at this time, and said:
I think that it's gonna bring a higher level of consciousness to everything that's happening, particularly between the movie and the Fergusons and all of the different happenings that we've had lately involving all of the young African American men. There is certainly a correlation between the two, the timing, and i think most importantly the timing. What was happening way back when and what is still happening now.
Lil B just released a song called "I Can't Breathe," which you can listen to below.

The Eric Garner case, other related tragedies, and the growing social movement around it also pushed D'Angelo to get his new album out as soon as he did (it was originally planned for 2015).

Meanwhile, money has been raised for Eric Garner's family via Fundly and Indie GoGo campaigns. Fundraisers, like the one Russell Simons was at, are becoming more common. Two happening in NYC just popped up today:

One is a show billed as "BLACK LIVES MATTER" happening on December 23 at SOB's. No artists announced at the moment, but tickets are on sale now.

The other is a noise show happening December 30 at Palisades with live sets from Nick Klein & Shredded Nerve, Miguel Alvarino, Appetite, Saran Man, Negation, Coil's Drew McDowall, Pure Matrix, POI, Bookworms and Young Male, as well as DJ sets from Analog Soul, Half Life and Pharmakon (aka Margaret Chardiet). That one's $12 at the door.

They may not really need the fundraisers in the end though, as the New York Times reports that New York City comptroller Scott M. Stringer is also "seeking to negotiate a settlement of a $75 million civil rights claim brought my Mr. Garner's family."

Stream the Lil B song and Mos Def speech below...

Continue reading "Mos Def, RZA, Aretha Franklin & more speak about Eric Garner issue; benefit shows for his family happening in NYC"

by PSquared

Begin Again

So, are you planning on heading out to the movies this weekend? Well, if you are like the majority of people out there who will be, then it's to see a bunch of giant Autobots and Decepticons who turn into cars and trucks and blow up shit all over the place. Yes, as you may have heard, Michael Bay's next playful orgy of destruction, Transformers:Age of Extinction, opens tomorrow. I've seen it and while at times fun, it's mindless stupidity can be somewhat tiring after two-and-a-half plus hours (the longest Transformers yet). Imagine the head blowing up scene in David Cronenberg's Scanners with less blood and lots more loud explosions over and over and over.....

While these big action/explosion/comic book/toy films are the box office bonanzas these days, there is still room for smaller films, indie films, more personal films. Just look at what's out now: David Michod (director of one of my favorite films of the last few years Animal Kingdom) gritty, intense and bleak revenge/avenge film The Rover; Jenny Slate proves there is life after saying "fuck" on network TV with the much-talked about indie now film Obvious Child.

There's also Polish filmmaker Pawel Polikowski's stunning and intense IDA; Roman Polanski's latest sexual/psychological drama,the novella-to-Broadway-to-film, Venus in Fur; and comedian/actor/writer Mike Myers' entertaining directorial debut about one of the most legendary characters ever to work in the film and the music industry, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.

Great films all but one in particular that is well worth your time and of particular interest to readers here is Begin Again, the new film from director John Carney.

When I first saw Once, Carney's previous film, it was about five months before it was released. I knew Carney from having played in The Frames (with Glen Hansard) but had no idea what to expect having not seen his any of his earlier films. Like most people, I came away entranced. The kind of good film you want to tell everyone you know to see. Happily I can say the same thing about this new film.

As mentioned briefly, the film is about a down on his luck, once-successful maybe now washed up music producer, Dan, played by Mark Ruffalo. Having had success in the '90s with a number of hip hop bands, he has now been fired by his partner (Mos Def credited of course as Yasiin Bey) in an indie label startup. Drinking his sorrows away one night in a club (shot in Arlene's Grocery, fyi) he happens to hear an unknown British singer songwriter Gretta (the always wonderful Keira Knightly, doing her best Norah Jones, Carole King, Feist), coaxed by her friend up to the stage, timid and unsteady to sing a bare acoustic sweet ballad about heartbreak. Heartbreak she knows firsthand, having been dumped, on the brink of stardom, by boyfriend Dave (played by Maroon 5 singer /TV's The Voice star Adam Levine). The film then traces the backstory of how each ended up in there that night forging a connection. Then, over a conversation about the idea of selling out and which artist has never sold out (their answer: Randy Newman), Gretta agrees to let Dan produce a record for her. One that will be recorded at various spots all over NYC, outdoors and on the go, capturing the sounds of the city within the songs.

still from 'Begin Again'
Begin Again

Much of the film is beautifully shot on the Lower East Side / East Village (yes there is still some music and life going on there, take that Brooklyn) and other parts including a super montage set piece where Dan and Gretta walk around the city at night listening to different songs on her IPod. Other scenes which I don't want to give away show the deft directorial touches that only someone who is deeply involved with music could make. The music, which may not have anything as starmaking a song a Once's "Falling Slowly," is still very good -- most of it was written by onetime New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander (remember "You Get What You Give?").

The acting is uniformly great. Mark Ruffalo is an always able actor and sometimes stupendous if you have seen the recent HBO film The Normal Heart. Keira Knightly shows surprisingly lovely tone in her singing. Adam Levine, in his first big acting role, does a fine job with his character and while not a fan of Maroon 5, the man has a sensational god-given voice that most singers would kill for.

Notable mention as well goes to James Corden, who plays Gretta's Brit busking friend. He's a very engaging and funny actor, and also great singer who will be showing far more of his singing talents later this summer in David Frankel's One Chance (the very charming story of Paul Potts, an amateur opera singer, who unlikely went on to win Britain's Got Talent).

"Can A Song Save Your Life" was Begin Again's working title and probably best sums it up. Two struggling people who find each other and, through music,  their own redemption. Does that sound familiar to a film called Once? Certainly it is in much the same vein. You could say it was a more-polished version of Once. Like the previous film, the two characters don't fall into any contrived "Hollywood" relationship. It is filled with yearning and doubt and What Ifs that actually mirror real life. Even with this, it's the kind of film that can easily lend itself to a description such as "cliché." I've seen some others gripe about how, like some criticized Once, music is used to cheat a flimsy story. Ignore that, drop the pretensions, and give in and it's sweet charm will have you. If as I suspect, like myself, that most of you reading this consider music to be a large part of your life I think you will enjoy Begin Again as much as I did.

Once is in Limited Release currently, playing in NYC at the Angelika and Union Square 13. Trailer for Begin Again, plus a few stills as well as shots from the its press conference yesterday at the Crosby St. Hotel, below...

Continue reading "'Begin Again' in theaters now (CeeLo & Mos Def included)"

Marketa Irglova at MNFW 2011 (more by Autumn Andel)
Marketa Irglova

The Swell Season's Marketa Irglova is working on her second solo album, entitled Muna, and she's just announced a one-off NYC show at Le Poisson Rouge on October 10. She'll be joined by a band and playing songs from the upcoming release, as well as stuff from her last solo album, Anar, and some promised "old favorites" (one would imagine that would indicate some stuff from Once). Tickets for the show go on sale Friday.

In semi-related news, more folks than not first heard Marketa from the 2006 film Once which costarred Glen Hansard of The Swell Season. That film's writer/director, John Carney, has a new film out this summer that also mixes music and romance. Begin Again stars Mark Ruffalo as a washed up music biz exec and Keira Knightly as a singer/songwriter he discovers. The films also features CeeLo Green (who plays with Lionel Richie tonight at Jones Beach), Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) and Maroon 5's Adam Levine. The film opens around the country on Friday (6/27) and you can watch the trailer below.

Continue reading "Marketa Irglova working on solo LP, announces show; 'Once' director's new music-themed film out Friday (watch the trailer)"

(via @kvnptrjhnsn)
Snow

Despite the snow dumped on us last night, there haven't been too many weather-related cancellations, show-wise tonight (2/13). Perhaps bands and venues thought if third graders have to go to school we can play a show. Still, there are a few and here are what cancellations and postponements we're found:

Unrelated to the snow, Lee Ranaldo and the Dust dropped off tonight's Union Pool show, but Steve Gunn, Garrett Devoe and Mike Wexler are still playing.

The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black's Valentine's Day Spectacular has been "postponed to March 2. All tickets for the original date will be honored.."

However, the Valentine's Day Eve Ladies Of Soul Tribute with XAVIER and Friends at Joe's Pub is still on. One of those friends is Magnetic Fields maestro Stephin Merritt.

Fort Lean are no longer playing Baby's All Right tonight, but the early and late shows have been combined into "one blizzard of good times" with Sacco, Tropic of Pisces, Genghis Hans, and American Royalty. Doors are at 9:30 PM.

Tonight's AWKWAFINA show at Pianos has been moved to Wednesday February 26 due to "5 foot deep slush puddles on every corner."

UK act Deaf Havana's early show at Mercury Lounge with Born Cages has been canceled, but the late show with Timbre Timbre is still on.

UK band Peggy Sue would like you to know that despite there being "literally more snow than we've ever seen in our lives but our show at @glasslands is ON. I repeat OUR SHOW TONIGHT IS ON."

††† (Crosses) is still on at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Unrelated to the snow -- unless he's better meteorologist than Sam Champion and knows something we don't -- but we' thought we'd mention it anyway: Mos Def has cancelled his 2/27 Highline show (which was already a makeup date).

Anything we missed? Stay warm and dry.

Snow Tha Product
Snow

I fuck with her. I like gangsta bitches. We met at South by Southwest and may do a song together. She's thick, she's pretty, but she's not showing her ass. She wants people to hear her lyrics and not that other mess. If she wanted to take off her clothes, men would just die. But they have to respect her for what she's saying--having a nice body and being pretty is just a plus.
The above quote is about Mexican-American rapper Snow Tha Product by Three Six Mafia's Gangsta Boo who reviewed her for VICE alongside other fellow female rappers Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea, Brooke Candy, Angel Haze, Kilo Kish, Kitty Pryde, and more. Not long ago Snow released the Good NIghts & Bad Mornings 2 mixtape which featured guest spots from Ty Dolla $ihn, Cyhi The Prynce and others and incudes standout single "Cookie Cutter Bitches." You can watch the video for that one below. A full length is set to follow sometime this year.

Snow just announced the 'F#*K Your Plans, Come Kick It Tour' tour which brings her to NYC for a show on March 5 at Santos Party House. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed on the tour flyer below.

In other rap news, Chicago rapper Lil Durk, who has gotten some internet love lately, will make his way to NYC for a show on Thursday (1/30) at BB King's. Local fave Troy Ave is on the bill too, as is Chinx. Tickets are on sale now. Watch Lil Durk's video for "Dis Ain't What U Want" below.

A bunch of great local rappers, Kool A.D., Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Meyhem Lauren and Lakutis, will all team up for a hometown show on February 9 at SOB's. Tickets are on sale.

And Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def), who postponed his December Highline Ballroom show, is now set to play the venue on February 27 (tickets).

Other previously discussed hip hop shows include Kanye, J. Cole, 2 Chainz/Pusha T and more. Browse our 'Hip Hop' category for even more. What else?

Videos below...

Continue reading "Snow Tha Product tour dates & video; upcoming Lil Durk & Mos Def shows, and more hip hop news"

IMAGE

First Brooklyn Bowl announced that Black Star (Talib Kweli & Yasiin Bey) would perform tonight, then that was cancelled and it was announced that Yasiin (fka Mos Def) would play tonight (12/17) at Highline Ballroom. Well, now that show is not happening either. Says Highline's website: "This show has been postponed due to circumstances beyond Yasiin's control. New date TBA. Refunds available point of purchase."

UPDATE: Though Mos Def and Black Star's shows are cancelled, Talib Kweli & Friends are now set to play Brooklyn Bowl tonight (12/17) with a live band and special guest Jean Grae. Tickets for tonight's show are on sale now. Let's hope this one actually happens.

Black Star at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Black Star

It was announced over the weekend that Black Star (the duo of Mos Def and Talib Kweli) would be teaming back up for a show at Brooklyn Bowl this Tuesday (12/17). However, not long after being announced, tickets were off sale and then it was announced that the show was cancelled. Brooklyn Bowl tweeted, "Due to circumstances beyond our control, Black Star on Tues, Dec 17 is cancelled. We hope to reschedule & apologize for any inconvenience." And Mos Def posted on his Facebook page, "Attention -- contrary to liars reports there will be no (Blackstar) show at Brooklyn Bowl 12/17. Peace."

Mos Def (aka Yasiin Bey) will instead be playing his own show the same night, Tuesday (12/17) at Highline Ballroom, the "only official" Yasiin Bey show in New York on 12/17. Tickets for that show are available.

IMAGE

As the month-long fast of Ramadan starts this evening (7/8), Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) is protesting -- and raising awareness of -- the force feeding of more than 100 hunger-striking detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay by undergoing the prodedure himself and has released a video of it happening.

Many Muslim and human rights groups have urged President Obama to halt force-feeding of prisoners during Ramadan. The video was made by human rights charity Reprieve and Bafta-award winning director Asif Kapadia. You can watch it (via The Guardian) below -- it is not pleasant viewing.

Continue reading "Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) protests force-feeding of Guantanamo Bay detainees by experiencing the procedure himself (video)"

Wayne Shorter
IMAGE

The 2013 Blue Note Jazz Festival starts today in NYC and runs the entire month of June at various venues around the city. Now in its third year, the fest includes a wide range of music, not just strictly jazz. Tonight's kickoff (6/1) events include The Dizzie Gilespie All-Star Big Band at the festival's namesake club (tickets).

Other events at the fest: Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars on Sunday (6/2) at Brooklyn Bowl (tickets); Saul Williams at Highline Ballroom on June 11 (tickets); WyClef Jean at B.B. King Blues Club on June 19 (tickets); a free show with Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def) at Central Park Summerstage on June 24; and Wayne Shorter's 80th Birthday Celebration at Town Hall on June 28 (tickets).

For full schedule, visit the Blue Note Jazz Festival's website.

Erykah Badu / Yasiin Bey

As discussed, Erykah Badu and Yasiin Bey have joined forces for a fascinating show called "YOU'RE CAUSING QUITE A DISTURBANCE":

A collaboration with four-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and 2012-2013 Brooklyn Phil Artist-in-Residence ERYKAH BADU and 2011-2012 Brooklyn Phil Artist-in-Residence YASIIN BEY (Mos Def) Featuring new arrangements from Badu's 2008 album New Amerykah Part One: 4th World War by Brooklyn composer TED HEARNE (plus original music by Hearne) as well as the legendary arrangements of Yasiin Bey's songs by composer DEREK BERMEL (plus original music by Bermel)
The June 8 show at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House have sold out, but a second show has been added the next night (6/9)Tickets go on sale on May 20.

In related news, Brothers Hypnotic, a film about the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble will screen for free on Friday (5/17) as part of the Rooftop Films series, and will feature a live appearance from the group who have worked with both Badu and Bey.

Badu is also playing Governors Ball, and Yasiin Bey will also play a FREE show on June 24th at Central Park Summerstage.

Erykah Badu at Afropunk 2012 (more by Gretchen Robinette)
Erykah Badu

"Queen of Neo-Soul" Erykah Badu has some scattered live dates scheduled for this year and she'll be making a trip to NYC for a pretty busy weekend here in June. For one, she was added to NYC festival Governors Ball, which goes down on Randall's Island from June 7 - 9. Tickets for that festival are still available.

While she's here, she'll be performing her 2008 album, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War), live at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on June 8 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Brooklyn Philharmonic's 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), who will also be performing a "reprise of selected works" from his 2012 Brooklyn Philharmonic installment, with Lena Horne and the Bed-Stuy Tradition. This show will be taking place right next door to the Barclays Center, a venue Mos Def has some issues with. Mos Def previously performed with Erykah Badu at Afropunk Fest 2012. Tickets for the BAM show are on sale now.

A list of all Erykah Badu dates and the video for "Honey" off of New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) below...

Continue reading "Erykah Badu playing BAM w/ Brooklyn Philharmonic & Mos Def, and Governors Ball (other shows too)"

Mos Def w/ Black Star at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Mos Def

Like many, Mos Def, I mean Yasiin Bey, is none too happy with all this Barclays Center business taking over his hometown. Last week, he slammed the arena in a poem called "On center.stadium.status," which you can read in full below. Now, in an interview with Vulture, he explains the poem and his stance on the venue:

Where'd you write "On.center.stadium.status."?

Yasiin Bey: I wrote that in New Orleans, on the day they were having the opening for Barclays. People were calling me and asking, "Are you gonna be there, are you gonna be there?" And it just kind of came to me, rather quickly. I have been what some people might call an opponent to the stadium. I think the word opponent has many meanings. I was concerned about what the stadium's presence in the community might do. I was concerned.

About what, exactly?

Yasiin Bey: I saw one thing that was kind of a telling sign. I was on DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush, probably two months ago, and at the intersection I saw these not-quite-so-young men, in standing traffic, trying to sell bootleg Rolling Stones T-shirts. [Laughs] I thought, "This is the trickle-down economic effect of Barclays in the neighborhood?" I didn't think of it as a positive.

In the interview, the emcee also made it clear that he didn't mean any of this as an attack on Jay-Z:
In the world of hip-hop and certain parts of the media, you take a statement and you turn it into Wrestlemania, you make the Himalayas out of molehills. I wasn't interested in that. I respect Jay. I have great respect for him. I'm a fan. I'm not a fan of everything [he does] but I don't think you have to be a fan of everything that someone does to have respect for them. And you know, I'm from the town too. I'm from the same neighborhood, the same projects. My grandmothers, my moms, my uncles -- my first five years in life were at Marcy Projects. If I can't have an opinion, who can? So to quote Jay: "I'm bigging up my borough. I'm big enough to do it."
Grammy Award winners Mumford and Sons just played the Brooklyn arena earlier this month (2/6) and will again tonight (2/12) (sold out). Jay-Z's (also Grammy Award winning) wife Beyonce recently sold out her upcoming show (8/3) at the venue, and added a second one (8/4). Tickets for the 8/4 show go on MasterCard presale Wednesday (2/13) at 10 AM, Live Nation presale Thursday (2/14) at 10 AM, and general on-sale Friday (2/15) at 10 AM.

Mos Def will be next door to Barclays Center in June for his show at BAM with Erykah Badu. Read his poem below...

Continue reading "Mos Def voices issues with Barclays Center (no offense Jay-Z)"

photos by Gretchen Robinette

Fools Gold Anniversary at MHoW
Gretchen Robinette's top 10 of 2012

Gretchen Robinette has contritued her thoughts on favorite photos that she took in 2012, leaving us with shots of Ghostface, Janelle Monae, The Walkmen and more. Check out more shots from the uber-talented Robinette below.

Her set of favorite contributions joins fellow photographers Caroline Harrison, Dominick Mastrangelo, Dana (distortion) Yavin, Amanda Hatfield, David Andrako, Jessica Amaya, Fred Pessaro // BBG, Chris La Putt and Ryan Muir.

More photos are below.

Continue reading "Gretchen Robinette's favorite Live Music Photos of 2012------------(that she took)"

Massive Attack at Terminal 5 in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Massive Attack

Trip hop pioneers Massive Attack have assembled a BBC 6 Mix, where they compiled music that influenced their 1991 debut album, Blue Lines, like Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Gang of Four, Isaac Hayes and more alongside some of their new favorite artists like Burial, Flying Lotus, The Bug vs The Rootsman, Kanye West & Booka Shade, and more (via Daily Swarm). You can download or stream the mix and check out the tracklist below.

Continue reading "Massive Attack compile influences & new favorites on new mix"

Robert Glasper

Jazz/hip hop/soul/etc artist Robert Glasper released the impressive Black Radio LP earlier this year and he'll follow that with an EP of remixes from the album, Black Radio Recovered - The Remix EP, this Tuesday (10/9) via Blue Note Records. The EP features remixes by 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Questlove, and one by Robert Glasper himself, along with Jewels. Starting this week, he's been revealing the remixes at his facebook and twitter as they premiere around the web.

Okayplayer has the 9th Wonder (featuring Phonte) remix of "Afro Blue" (ft. Erykah Badu), Complex has Pete Rock remix of "Black Radio" (ft. Yasiin Bey fka Mos Def), and Afropunk just posted the Georgia Anne Muldrow remix of "The Consequences of Jealousy." You can stream all three of those remixes below and stay tuned for the rest.

Robert Glasper is also on tour now and he'll hit NYC this month for a CMJ show, which happens on October 16 at SOB's. Tickets for that show are on sale now. He'll also return to NYC a couple months later to play Harlem Stage on December 13 and 14. He'll do two shows each night (one at 7:30 and one at 10:00). Tickets for all four of those shows are on sale now.

Speaking of 9th Wonder, he plays a Rapsody party at SOB's TONIGHT (10/3) with Josh Baze, Peter Rose, and host Peter Rosenberg (of Hot 97). Tickets for tonight's show are available.

A list of all dates and those remix streams are below.

Continue reading "Robert Glasper on tour, gradually leaking remix EP (listen)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Das Racist / Spank Rock / skaters
AfroPunk 2012
AfroPunk 2012
AfroPunk 2012

The first day of Afro-Punk 2012 descended upon Commodore Barry Park on Saturday (8/25), bringing with it a day of live musical performance, skateboarding and dancing crowds as far as the eye could see. In addition to this second set of pictures from the Navy Yard in Brooklyn (below), check out the first set of previously posted pictures from Afro-Punk HERE.

More pics of Afro-Punk day 1, including Erykah Badu, Yasiin Bey, Das Racist, Spank Rock, Cerebral Ballzy, Oxymorrons, The Joe Jordan Experiment and more are below.

Continue reading "Afro-Punk 2012 day 1: a second set of pictures"

photos by Gretchen Robinette

Yasiin Bey & Erykah Badu / Cerebral Ballzy at Afropunk Fest 8/25/2012
AfroPunk 2012
AfroPunk 2012

Yasiin Bey joined headliner Erykah Badu on the first day of the 2012 edition of the Afropunk Festival, going down at Commodore Barry Park near the Navy Yard in Brooklyn on Saturday (8/25). The pair were joined on stage when Bey performed Common's verses from their hit collaboration "Love of My Life" on that Saturday evening. Video from that is below.

But of course Badu wasn't the only artist to bless the stages on Saturday, with the festival loaded with appearances from names like Das Racist, Spankrock, Cerebral Ballzy, Oxymorrons and many, many more during the nine hours of stage time. Pictures from the first day at Afropunk 2012 are below along with video of that Badu/Bey collaboration.

Continue reading "Afropunk Festival 2012 in pictures: day 1 with Erykah Badu, Das Racist. Spankrock, Cerbral Ballzy and more "

by Andrew Sacher

RGE

Jazz pianist/producer Robert Glasper released his fifth studio album, Black Radio, earlier this year on Blue Note Records. Recorded with his new band, Robert Glasper Experiment, it features an impressive array of guests, including Erykah Badu, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Musiq Soulchild, Chrisette Michele, and more.

In addition to a number of originals, the album includes some heavily re-arranged covers including Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," David Bowie's "Letter to Hermoine," Sade's "Cherish the Day," and Afro-Cuban standard "Afro Blue." The album effortlessly brings together jazz, hip hop, soul and R&B, more so than most others that attempt similar feats. Check out some videos from the album and a live video of the Robert Glasper Experiment playing John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" below, along with a spotify stream of Black Radio.

As mentioned, Robert Glasper will be in NYC tonight (6/21) for an in-store at Apple Store West 14th Street. He'll return with the full Robert Glasper Experiment in tow along with some special guests for a free Summerstage show at Marcus Garvey Park on August 7, where Sidi Toure plays one day earlier (8/6).

UPDATE: Robert Glasper Experiment also play a "secret" show in Brooklyn on Friday (6/22) with Alan Hampton which, as a commenter points out, is at Littlefield. Tickets for that show are available.

A list of all dates, videos and album stream below...

Continue reading "Robert Glasper released guest-filled LP, touring (dates & video)"

Ultramagnetic MCs at ATP NJ 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Ultramagnetic MCs

As mentioned in What's going on? last night, Prodigy's upcoming "Queens Day" show at Irving Plaza, which was supposed to happen next week (6/19) has been cancelled. Though he did play a private Rock the Bells kickoff show at Santos Party House last night (6/13) with (according to the flyer) Ghostface Killah, DMX, Jadakiss, and Hit Squad

Q-Tip's "Offline" party (a DJ gig), also scheduled at Irving Plaza, is still set to happen this Friday (6/15) at the Manhattan venue.

Ghostface Killah's other upcoming shows include the free Prospect Park show on 6/23, a Wu-Block party at Highline Ballroom (8/8) (tickets on sale 6/15), and Rock the Bells with Wu-Block. The Highline show is only with Ghostface and Sheek Louch, but for Rock the Bells, the whole crew will be there (Ghostface, Raekwon, Sheek Louch, Jadakiss, and Styles P).

Meanwhile, Raekwon will be in NYC for the previously discussed Best Buy Theater show (7/26) with Tyler, the Creator, and Earl Sweatshirt. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (6/15) at noon.

Ghostface and Raekwon play a free show together, and much sooner, in Toronto as part of NXNE on Sunday (6/17). Action Bronson, who plays a free show in Red Hook Park (6/19), will be at the Toronto fest too. The entire music portion of NXNE kicked off yesterday (6/13) and runs through the weekend.

Killer Mike will be at NXNE too, and his tour with El-P, Despot, and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire kicks off on Tuesday (6/19) in Atlanta. It hits NYC on July 13 at Irving Plaza. Ticketsplayed SOB's with Spaceghostpurrp in celebration of Purrp's new album, Mysterious Phonk. Purrp's also got a couple Shortcuts parties under his belt. Speaking of, one of those (sans Purrp) goes down at Santos TONIGHT (6/14) with Fat Tony and Fat Trel (tickets).

While NXNE is going on in Toronto, Brooklyn will be getting its own multi-venue music festival with Northside Festival, which also happens this weekend.

As mentioned, Kool Keith plays a Northside show at Brooklyn Bowl TONIGHT (6/14) with Lushlife. Lushlife recently dropped a remix of "She's a Buddhist, I'm a Cubist" with Angel Deradoorian, Cities Aviv, G-Side, Big Baby Gandhi, Deniro Farrar, and KDz Kenny Dennis. You can stream that below Tickets are still available for the Brooklyn Bowl show and we're also giving away a pair. Contest details are below.

As usual, Questlove will DJ the Brooklyn venue after that show (tickets).

Kool Keith also plays as part of Ultramagnetic MCs at a Northside show at MHOW on Sunday (6/17) with Phony PPL. Tickets for that show are still available. Phony PPL also play SOB's on July 24 with Blackbear. Tickets for that show are on sale.

GZA & Grupo Fantasma @ Bonnaroo 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
GZA

And speaking of hip hop Northside shows at MHOW, GZA (backed by Grupo Fantasmo like he was a Bonnaroo) plays two (early and late) shows at the venue TONIGHT (6/14). Both are sold out, but you can try and get in with your Northside badge.

Aside from Kid Sister at Sugarland on Saturday (6/16), not much more hip hop is happening at Northside, but there are other good hip hop shows tonight and this weekend.

Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) plays the previously discussed show at the Apollo Theater TONIGHT (6/14) as part of Blue Note Jazz Festival. Tickets for that show are still available FOR THE SHOW THAT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 28th.

Blue Note Jazz Fest also gives us a free Central Park Summerstage show on Sunday (6/17) with Groove Theory, Soulive, Riq and Rah with Strings (Black Thought + Rahzel), and DJ Questlove.

EPMD and DJ Scratch play a free show at Herbert Von King Park TONIGHT (6/14). They also team up for a NYC show at BB King's on July 18 with Marley Mari and Big Daddy Kane. (tickets)

Hip hop producer RJD2 DJs a party for the ongoing 'One Step Beyond' series at the American Museum of Natural History on Friday (6/15) with Cosmo Baker, Import/Export, and visuals by Glowing Pictures with special guest Shantell Martin. Tickets for that are available.

You can also catch Tech N9ne and Machine Gun Kelly on the Hostile Takeover Tour which takes over the NYC area on Saturday (6/16) at Starland Ballroom in NJ (tickets) and Sunday (6/17) at HIghline Ballroom (tickets). Be careful during Machine Gun Kelly's set though; TMZ reports that he was just sued $15,000 for slicing open a bouncer's finger. Ouch.

Apple Stores are hosting hip hop in-stores all month.

Once all the Northside craziness ends, you can catch Ab-Soul at his previously discussed NYC show on Thursday, June 21 at SOB's. Tickets for that show are still available.

In other hip hop news, you can stream Black Milk's Live at Third Man Records in its entirety and J-Dilla's posthumous Rebirth of Detroit in its entirety below, along with other song streams and contest details for tonight's Kool Keith show.

Continue reading "this week in Hip Hop (Northside, NXNE, Kool Keith, EPMD, Yasiin Bey, RJD2, Tech N9ne, Black Thought + Rahzel, GZA & more)"

Biggie

Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) is playing the Apollo Theater on June 14 as part of the month-long Blue Note Jazz Festival (which originally announced the Mos Def show as happening on June 29). Tickets are on sale.

Today, 5/21, would have been Biggie Smalls' 40th birthday. In tribute to Biggie and Malcolm X, Yasiin Bey released a new song called "Bey", part of his continuing "Top 40 Underdog series". Hypetrack points out that the song is Bey rapping over the instrumental of Lil Tunechi's single "John (If I Die Tonight)". Listen to that, along with some just-uncovered footage of Christopher Wallace performing with Jay-Z, below...

Continue reading "Biggie would be 40 today; Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) drops "Bey" in tribute, is playing the Apollo"

Blue Note Jazz

The now-annual Blue Note Jazz Festival will sprinkle over 50 shows at venues across the city during its twenty day reign (June 10th - 30th).

"After the success of the inaugural Blue Note Jazz Festival, we decided to make this a yearly event as a way to continue expanding audiences, cultivate young talent and promote this wonderful music throughout New York City," Blue Note President Steven Bensusan said. "This year's performances go beyond jazz to include everything from flamenco, soul, and Latin to tap, blues and R&B, all with the common thread of improvisation. But the heart of the festival is and will always remain the type of jazz that we present night after night at the Blue Note club."
Highline Ballroom, B.B. King's, Central Park Summerstage, The Apollo, Henry Street Playhouse, Brooklyn Bowl and Sullivan Hall are all on board to host parts of the festival, which will feature everyone from Béla Fleck to Stephanie Mills, Bootsy Collins to Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and many, many other notables. Full list of shows, below...

Continue reading "Blue Note Jazz Festival announces 2012 lineup"

Yasiin Bey on stage with Black Star (more by Zach Pollach)
Black Star

Yasiin says:

I hope everyone will have a great 2012! Alot of things to look forward too. Especially when BlackStar will be getting out their album/Mixtape out and a new G.O.O.D music compilation album coming out spring. Let it be a Yasiin Bey year!
One of the world's most influential muslims Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) will start the Yasiin Bey year by helping pay tribute to the late Gil-Scott Heron as part of the Indelible Festival which goes down at Highline Ballroom in NYC on 1/6...
INDELIBLE FESTIVAL is dedicated to Gil Scott-Heron and Gordon Parks, with a tribute to Living Legend Jimmy Scott.

Indelible is dedicated to those who inspire and influence young people and, by their example, make a difference in the world. Jill Newman Productions created the Indelible Series two years ago, presented by the New York Public Library.

The great jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott will also be performing at the show, alongside ?uestlove, Bilal, Robert Glasper, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Tickets are still available.

Reminder: ?uestlove ALSO DJs SOBs tonight (1/3).

Bey recently introduced the cast of Fela! the musical in San Francisco. Video of that is below.

Continue reading "Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Questlove & more playing Gil-Scott Heron, Gordon Parks & Jimmy Scott party @ Highline"

My Morning Jacket at Lollapalooza in August (more by Grant MacAllister)
My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket are currently on a tour that will conclude in NYC at Madison Square Garden on December 14 with Band of Horses. Tickets are still on sale and we're also giving away a pair. Details on how to enter to win are below.

My Morning Jacket will also be special guests at the 50th Anniversary of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Carnegie Hall on January 7 along with Mos Def, GIVERS, Tao Seeger, Allen Toussaint, Blind Boys of Alabama, Del McCoury Band, and Trombone Shorty. Tickets go on sale Friday (12/2) at 11 AM.

MMJ were just nominated for a Grammy for "Best Alternative Music Album" and performed too songs off that album on Jimmy Kimmel last night. Check out videos of their performance below.

All dates, contest details and videos below...

Continue reading "win tix see My Morning Jacket @ MSG, see them play Carnegie Hall w/ Preservation Hall Jazz Band, watch them on Kimmel..."

Black Star @ Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Talib

After cancelling shows including one at Irving Plaza in NYC, Mos Def & Talib Kweli aka Black Star will give it another try at Best Buy Theater on Saturday, December 3rd at both 8pm and 11:45pm. Tickets for both shows go on sale today (10/21) at noon.

Meanwhile spend the day with Talib Kweli this Saturday (10/22). Talib and Res are Idle Warship and will make an exclusive CMJ-week appearance at the free BrooklynVegan day party at Public Assembly on Saturday. Talib will then play a collaborative set with Pharoahe Monch, Jean Grae & Buckshot w/ Band at Music Hall of Williamsburg Saturday night as part of the Duck Down VS Blacksmith CMJ Showcase. Tickets are still on sale.

A Dessner smiles on Philadelphia (more by David Andrako)
The National

Much like at Restoration Rocks over the weekend (which Talib Kweli wasn't too happy about), the artist-soon-to-be-formerly-known-as-Mos Def will team with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra for a show TONIGHT (10/12) at the World Financial Center at 7PM. As previously mentioned, the event is FREE. Check out some videos from Restoration Rocks below.

In related news, The National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner will participate in an upcoming performance at World Financial Center Winter Garden on 10/22, the world premiere of Bryce's St. Carolyn by the Sea

Under the direction of conductor George Manahan, the American Composers Orchestra will give the world premiere of "St. Carolyn by the Sea," ...who will be joined on electric guitar by his brother and bandmate Aaron Dessner. Showcasing some of the brightest young talent in the new-music firmament, the evening will also feature a world premieres by composers Paul Yeon Lee and Ryan Gallagher as well as New York premieres of music by Ruby Fulton, Andrew Norman, and Suzanne Farrin.
Hopefully you can make it to the FREE show, but if not check out the audio stream at Q2 Music, "the online contemporary classical stream of WQXR".

Continue reading "Mos Def played w/ BK Philharmonic @ Restoration Rocks (video), does again tonight @ WFC (where Dessners play soon)"

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