Entries tagged with: Mos Def
Black Star on Colbert
Big night for music on late night TV last night (and lately in general). You may have heard that Portishead played their first TV appearance in 13 years on Jimmy Fallon last night. Black Star, as promised, also played a new song "Fix Up" on The Colbert Report (but not at Irving Plaza, or the rest of their tour for that matter). Mastodon performed "Curl of The Burl" last night on David Letterman. Video of the Mastodon and Black Star (aka Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey) performances, as well as the hip hop group's interview with Stephen Colbert is below.
Speaking of new music by Talib Kweli, his other project Idle Warship has a new album coming. Check out one of the new tracks at Rolling Stone. See them live Saturday in Brooklyn, or at one of the other dates listed below.
Meanwhile, as previously mentioned, former Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Dimitri Minkanakis's band Argonauts (with Dave Witte & John Adubato of Burnt By The Sun, Brett Bamberger of East of The Wall) will play their debut NYC show at ABC No Rio on Saturday (10/8). They'll be joined by Alkahest, Thou, and The Body.
As also mentioned, Jeff the Brotherhood, now bros with Jack White, play Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight (10/6).
Mastodon & Black Star videos from last night as well as some Argonauts live video, below...
Mos Def at House of Blues Chicago w/ Black Star on 9/23 (more by Zach Pollack)
Back on 9/28, just five days after Black Star played two shows in Chicago, Talib Kweli tweeted that "Due to irreconcilable differences with Live Nation, Black Star will not be performing in Atlanta tonight." He then said the show WAS happening, and then again that it wasn't. On 9/30 he said, "Regarding Black Star cancellations, I am just as frustrated as I can imagine many are. If it was my decision it would not go down like this. It is not my decision however, and its frustrating especially since I'm the one who gets to break the bad news and deal with the responses. Either way, some dates are cancelled, some arent and we are trying to book shows on our own to replace the cancelled ones." Then yesterday was his birthday. Then he pointed out that "we debuting new Black Star/Madlib on Colbert Report Oct 5th." October 5th is also the day they were scheduled to play Irving Plaza in NYC, which, as you can see from Ticketmaster, is also cancelled. According to a statement someone issued, "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the remainder of the Black Star tour has been cancelled." Bummer.
Both Talib Kweli and Mos Def, though not as Black Star, are still scheduled to play the Restoration Rocks event on October 8th though.
The artist soon to be formerly known as Mos Def
at Rock The Bells (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Countdown is on. Only 3 months and 10 days left of "Mos Def":
Following a lengthy line of rappers that have hung up their show names, rapper Mos Def says he's definitely giving up his rhyme alias come 2012.... the artist born Dante Smith revealed that he's changing his name to Yasiin. After more than a decade in the business, though, he won't be mad is you slip up and call him "Mos."Anyway, Yasiin is currently on the road with Talib Kweli as Black Star until early October. They play two shows in Chicago Friday night and will hit Irving Plaza in NYC on 10/5. Tickets are still available. All dates are listed below.
"No, no, not at all... 'Mos Def' is a name that I built and cultivated through the years... I feel that I've done quite a bit with that name. It's time to expand and move on."
...He's usually credited as Mos Def during cast listings. But his several identities will soon just be that one.
"I also don't want to have to deal with having any moniker or any separation between the self that I see and what [people refer to me as]," he continued.
At press time, his publicist wasn't able to confirm what Mos' full name will be after it's changed or if he'll simply just be Yasiin. -[EW]
In other Talib Kweli and Mos De.. -ahem- Yasiin news, the pair will also cross paths on 10/8 at the previously mentioned Restoration Rocks! Music Festival on Fulton Street between Marcy & Brooklyn Ave. The FREE show, now with an expanded lineup, kicks off at noon and will close at 5PM, featuring appearances from Idle Warship (with Kweli), Pharoahe Monch, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra with Mos Def. Flyer is below. More Mos Def & Philharmonic appearances listed HERE.
Talib Kweli and Pharoahe Monch will also cross paths at the just-announced Duck Down vs Blacksmith CMJ showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/22 with Pharoahe Monch, Buckshot, Jean Grae, Smif N Wessun, Kidz in the Hall, Promise, and a Statik Selektah "Population Control" All-Star Set. Tickets go on sale at noon on 9/23, or you can use your CMJ badge (if you're one of the first 150 to try and do so). Flyer below.
All Black Star tour dates and flyers below.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by BBG
Lauryn / Erykah
Last year Rock the Bells, the touring hip-hop bonanza, picked up on the voguish festival concept in which an artist performs an old record from beginning to end. It went well, and this year's edition bought in twice as hard. On Saturday on Governors Island, amid other, more ordinary sets, 11 albums were performed in their entirety.Rock The Bells 2011 took Governors Island by storm on 9/3, and according to reports, ran smoothly and generally on time. There was a barrage of classic LPs (Nas's Illmatic, Mobb Deep's The Infamous, Lauryn Hill's Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu's Baduizm, Black Moon's Enta Da Stage, GZA's Liquid Swords, Cypress Hill's Black Sunday, and others), and performances from some of independent hip hop's great up-and-comers. Though it was clearly elders day, younger crews like Slaughterhouse, Big K.R.I.T., Fashawn, Blu & Exile, Freddie Gibbs, Roc Marciano and others also had the ability to shine on the Paid Dues stage (DOOM, an elder statesman via his days in KMD, was scheduled to play the Paid Dues stage but cancelled his appearance).
What a gorging! What an obligation! It seemed to weigh on the crowd. It meant that listeners weren't in the here and now, where they might be fratty or selfish or mean spirited. They were deep in the been and gone. They weren't just listening to hits, or to sustained works of art, but to their own pasts. The exercise cooled them out. Saturday's audience was truly racially mixed, with a heavy representation of the 30-to-45 age bracket, grown-up New Yorkers at their casual and courteous best. Many of them high, but still. -[New York Times]
In true hip hop fashion, guests abounded. Nas capped the day off with a performance of Illmatic, and he didn't hide the men/women behind the curtain of his first LP; MC Serch, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor (of Main Source), Akinyele, Fatal, AZ and many others who either blessed the LP or were instrumental in his come-up all made appearances (yes, they performed the Main Source classic "Live at the BBQ" featuring Nas's first recorded appearance). Pras of The Fugees joined Lauryn Hill for "Ready of Not", Big Noyd joined Mobb Deep for "Give Up the Goods (Just Step)" and other tracks, and Black Moon brought a full band.
More pictures from the whole day, below...
members of Brooklyn Philharmonic at the Seaport in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
The 2011-2012 season for The Brooklyn Philharmonic has been announced and you can browse the full schedule below or at that site, but we'll highlight a bit.
Mos Def is presenting works at the Season Preview Concert I on October 8 and the Season Preview Concert II on October 12. Mos Def's work will then also be presented as part of the Bed-Stuy Series on June 9, 2012. All three of events are free.
Works by Sufjan Stevens will be presented at The Downtown Brooklyn Series on March 23 and 24. Tickets for that series are $20. Tickets for the public can be acquired by calling the Brooklyn Phil Box Office at 646-397-2765.
Throughout the season works will also be presented from a range of artists including Beethoven, Bernstein, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Duke Ellington, Brahms, Scott Joplin, Tchaikovsky, and others.
Brooklyn Philharmonic are celebrating Alan Pierson's debut conducting the orchestra in partnership with Mark Morris Dance Group on Thursday (7/28 aka TONIGHT) at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park. Admission is free and doors are at 8 PM.
Sufjan also has upcoming Prospect Park shows.
Full 2011-2012 Brooklyn Phil schedule below...
Mos Def performing with Gorlliaz (more by Bao Nguyen)
Mos Def will headline the free ($3 suggested donation) Fort Greene Festival in Brooklyn on June 25th. Hosted by Rosie Perez and Toure, other artists on the bill are Res, Sophia Urista, Game Rebellion, PaperDoll, Navegante, and Lifted Crew. "The full day program, from 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm, is a mixture of musical performances, food, and shopping. The official entrance to the festival will be at the corner of DeKalb Avenue and Washington Park in the Fort Greene section of Central Brooklyn. The official after-party for the festival will take place at Sanders Studios." Flyer and more info below.
Mos Def will link back up with his Black Star compatriot Talib Kweli to play all of their LP at Rock The Bells 2011 alongside full album sets by Mobb Deep, Souls of Mischief, Erykah Badu, and others. Tickets are still on sale for the show on Governors Island.
Mos Def the ACTOR is keeping busy too, as he recently signed on for an appearance on Showtime's "Dexter."
Fort Greene Fest details below...
Havoc of Mobb Deep @ the kick-off in LA (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
In addition to initially announced Rock The Bells lineup (Nas playing Illmatic? Mobb Deep on The Infamous detail? wow), the festival has made some interesting additions like Erykah Badu performing all of Baduism (on select dates), Common performing all of Be (on select dates), Killah Priest performing all of Heavy Mental, Slaughterhouse, and DOOM. More lineup details are below.
The NYC show on 9/3 at Governor's Island gets the Erykah Badu appearance, and tickets are on presale, password is "ILLMATIC". General sale begins Saturday, 6/11, at 10:00 AM.
In other Hip Hop festival news, Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest's lineup has expanded too adding MOP (!), Torae, Random Axe (Sean Price + Black Milk + Guilty Simpson), eLZhi, Marley Marl, Roli Rho (5th Platoon), Grand Wizzard Theodore and Twilite Tone. Tickets are on sale for all Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival events, including an after-party at Southpaw on July 16th which proclaims to have "special guests invited including the entire BHF '11 lineup".
Full Rock The Bells details, alongside some videos, below...
photos by Graeme Flegenheimer
Cypress Hill @ House of Blues - Sunset Strip - 5/24/2011
The line-up for the ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES--presented by Boost Mobile in association with GUERILLA UNION and powered by BlackBerry--will feature an array of seminal and up-and-coming hip-hop artists on three stages. Headliners include Ms. Lauryn Hill, Nas,Erykah Baduand Cypress Hill. See the current line-up below and look for more performers to be announced soon.The Guerilla Union pre-sale for the ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES will go from June 3 at 10am PST - 10pm PST. The general on-sale starts on June 4.
This year's festival will head to four major North American markets. Kicking off in the Los Angeles-area on August 20 at the San Manuel Amphitheater, ROCK THE BELLS will then head to San Francisco on August 27 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. The festival moves to the east coast for a show in New York on September 3 at Governor's Island (co-promoted with Bowery Presents, Highline, Mad Dog Presents) before wrapping in [a TBA venue in] Boston on September 10.
ROCK THE BELLS featured a number of headliners performing their most influential albums in their entirety for the first time in the history of hip-hop entertainment last summer. The tradition continues this year with Ms. Lauryn Hill performing her landmark, multi-platinum selling, multi-GRAMMY winning album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill and Nas performing his breakthrough debut album Illmatic with special guests AZ, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. Nas says about performing Illmatic this summer, "For years people have been asking me to do Illmatic in so many ways, from stage plays to movies to books, but the time wasn't right. Where music is going now, the time is right. This will be my biggest production and it only makes sense to do it on the best rap tour which also happens to be a brand I've built and am a partner in. Can't wait to kill it with my comrades AZ, Premo & Pete Rock!"
Full album sets can also be expected from: Cypress Hill performing their 1993 multi-platinum album Black Sunday, featuring modern rock radio mainstay "Insane In The Membrane"; Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star performing their 1998 self-titled debut album; Raekwon & Ghostface teaming up for critically acclaimed, platinum selling Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and more.
"I am excited that this year's Rock The Bells will continue its rich history and tradition by presenting the best and most ambitious festival programming in Hip Hop," says festival co-founder and Guerilla Union head Chang Weisberg. "The bar has been set high and this year's line-up will certainly stake its claim. With ten of the biggest records in the history of the genre and the freshest new talent bubbling from the underground, this summer's Rock The Bells is another dream come true."
ROCK THE BELLS will feature three main stages this year. The two returning stages are the ROCK THE BELLS STAGE and the PAID DUES STAGE, which will feature independent hip-hop acts that performed at the Paid Dues Festival this past April in San Bernardino and new artists-on-the-rise. Paid Dues Festival creator Murs says, "I am excited that I once again have the privilege of hosting the Paid Dues Stage. We will have the honor of showcasing some of the best talent in independent hip hop as part of the worlds largest and longest running hip hop festival... the Paid Dues stage is gonna be the one to watch this year."
The 36 CHAMBERS STAGE is a new addition to the festival and will primarily feature members of the Wu-Tang Clan as well as artists selected by stage curator and Wu-Tang Clan mainstay RZA. A fourth stage that will also be added to most markets is the GRINDTIME NOW STAGE, which will feature battle-style performances.
The lineup was announced last night at a show at House of Blues in LA. Mobb Deep, Souls of Mischief and Cypress Hill all played and pictures to prove it are in this post. More of them below.
The full lineup is also below...
Tickets are also still on sale for the show Mos Def is playing at Highline Ballroom on March 25th too, but Mos added two more NYC shows, and they're back at the more intimate Blue Note on March 9th (early and late).
Mos Def back stage with Odd Future (more by Brook Bobbins)
National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) is a biennial symposium dedicated to an exploration of "emerging themes, trends and issues in black literature." The event is hosted by The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Bestselling author Walter Mosley has hailed the Conference as "the most significant gathering of black writers in the country." -[Wiki]Mos Def will throw his support behind the National Black Writers Conference (much like he has Odd Future lately). He plays a benefit at Highline Ballroom on March 26th with Gary Bartz and more TBA. Tickets are now on sale.
"Mos Def performed along side Robert Glasper on keys and DJ Preservation on turntables, MPC, and live samples. The show was only announced only 4 days prior to the concert, but still managed to sell out quickly. During the set, Mos hopped on the keys for a sec to perform the unreleased The Kids Look Fresh, then made his way over to the drum kit, where he remained most of the evening, drumming while rapping and singing. His loose set featured some laid back, alternative renditions of his classics as well as many jams heavily influenced by J Dilla."Live recordings from that set are also posted at ATWL. A video from one of the shows, and other videos, below...
photos and video by Brook Bobbins, words by BBG
Before Tyler, The Creator lost his shoe and played Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Odd Future headlined at Santos on 2/15 to a sold out crowd of bouncy fans. The packed house saw the LA crew take their Gravediggaz/early Def Jux/Fondle 'Em sound to the stage, the show floor, on top of monitors, and behind wigs as they kicked out joints like "Yonkers" and "Sandwitches".
Check out the full set of pictures (below) from Santos of the band on-stage and off
right next to a set of the crew backstage at Jimmy Fallon (?uestlove and Mos Def alert).
In addition, below you'll find some videos
including an incredible one of Odd Future watching their Fallon performance played back to them for the first time
UPDATE: Powers from above have asked us to remove any pictures and videos taken inside Fallon's place. Sorry!. The rest is still below though...
Mos Def on stage w/ Gorillaz @ MSG (more by Bao Nguyen)
Blue Note added some last minute shows happening in just a couple of days. Mos Def plays on February 8th at 9:00PM and 11:30PM, and his friend Talib Kweli plays as part of Idle Warship with Res on February 9th at 9:00PM and 11:30PM. Tickets are on sale for each show - just click the links. Tickets are also still on sale for the show Idle Warship is playing at Music Hall of Williamsburg on February 10th with Dead Prez.
Waka Flocka Flame, who is on the April 30th lineup of this year's Bamboozle Festival, can also be found at House of Blues Atlantic City on February 25th (tickets) and B.B. King Blues Club and Grill in NYC on 3/23 (on sale Tuesday at 3PM).
photos by Bao Nguyen
"If anyone tells you the Gorillaz show at MSG on Friday was anything less than incredible, they're lying to you. Some bands you wish to see in their earlier stages, but now is the time to see Gorillaz. They have never been better, and there's no guarantee they can top this. This is their prime time, and the brilliance of their collaborative musical geniuses was amplified in concert. Not only did we see Damon Albarn in flesh - a personal idol - but he was accompanied by the incredible artists that were featured on Plastic Beach: Mos Def, Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, De La Soul, Little Dragon, members of The Clash, etc. Co-creator of Gorillaz, visual man Jamie Hewlett also peeped out from backstage to say hello - to whom Damon planted a big ol' kiss. The entire show was almost too epic to be true... You know when all your favorite superheroes get together and form a league? That is what this was. And this 'league' leader, frontman Damon Albarn, was clearly having the time of his life. He was constantly dancing, jumping around, running around the stage, hugging people - never keeping still unless he was playing the piano. Reminded us of his good old Blur days, sigh. They played almost all of their latest album and included old time favorites like "Clint Eastwood" and "Feel Good Inc."" [morningafterpills]After launching their tour in Boston, Gorillaz and N.E.R.D. played the giant NYC room that is Madison Square Garden on Friday night (10/8). As the quote above points out, there were many special guests in the house, some of whom are on the whole tour and some who just stopped by for the New York show (like Jay-Z though he was just there to watch).
More pictures, some videos and the full show setlist, below...
"Don't worry, we didn't think it could get crazier either, but it did! Our brother Mos Def will be headlining the AP Fest on June 27th, playing alongside 24-7 Spyz, J*DaVeY, The Cool Kids, Martin Luther and many more at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NY.The June 26th line-up is just as crazy, feat. Bad Brains, P.O.S., Ninjasonik, God Forbid, Cipher, Game Rebellion and more."
DOOM? (NOW Toronto)
Hoping to curb the melodrama, Toronto promoters REMG offered Mos fans who didn't enter the Kool Haus refunds and sent patrons a message that they'd be checking Dumile's identification to ensure that the real DOOM would take the stage. How fucked up does all of this sound? Wait, it gets slightly more awesome...Tonight's DOOM / Mos Def show scheduled to take place at Nokia Theatre in NYC was cancelled (maybe DOOM just knew it was going to snow).
...DOOM was scheduled to go on at 10 p.m. after an excellent selection of classic and new hip-hop joints by DJ duo, the Mixtape Massacre. Somewhere around ten, a camo-decked organizer informed the crowd that DOOM was at the airport and on his way to the Kool Haus after clearing customs and that he'd be onstage in 45 minutes. The crowd booed and shuffled off into different corners of the room.
An hour passed, another "It's actually DOOM and he's on his way" announcement was made, while an inordinate number of young thugs passed out or seized up on the ground, high on drugs, drink, and at least some restlessness. As the stage was peppered with beer cans and debris from an increasingly hostile, all-ages crowd, the DJs cleared the way, while Raekwon's Only Built for Cuban Linx... Part II blasted through the sound system. This might have been fine if the ignorant soundman wasn't playing it through a partially plugged-in iPod, creating some kind screeching, noise experiment of a record that further infuriated fans, particularly after he realized his mistake and jarringly plugged it in properly. Jesus Christ.
Some time around 12:15 a.m., a fake DOOM barged onstage to the sound of Madvillain's "Accordion," laughing through what was presumably a joke. Middle fingers and boos soon turned to cheers as another DOOM -- the real DOOM? -- followed behind and completed the song. After bantering with the suddenly forgiving crowd and playing older chestnuts and newer songs, DOOM seemed to have the show in control. Then a half hour in, a curious tech issue occurred, DJ Superstar Dave Dar left the stage, DOOM soon followed and everything ground to a halt -- except for many members of the audience who left the show. [Exclaim]
"The MOS DEF / DOOM show scheduled for this Friday, February 26, 2010 has been cancelled. Refunds are available at point of purchase. We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused."That's the official cancellation notice of the Nokia Theatre DOOM show which was already cancelled once, and which may or may not have been DOOM anyway.
"Then, Doom's crew pulls up 15 people deep. Everybody comes out of the car except for Doom" - Harry Knuckles
The three-date Mos Def/DOOM tour, coming to NYC's Nokia Theatre Times Square on Friday, February 26th, has already been rescheduled. With its new dates, the first show happened February 13th at Chicago's Congress Theater. Now it's being speculated that DOOM, as in the past, sent a stand-in to perform his super-short lip-synced headlining set. The venue and promoters have responded to the claim that it was a fake DOOM.
There are rumors floating around that this past Saturday's DOOM show was performed by a person who was not DOOM. The promoters of the show: React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater understand the rumors and are NOT ignoring the issue.What that means for the show this Friday is anybody's guess. Tickets are still on sale if you want to find out in person.
At the current time, React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater DO NOT have any proof that the person who performed was not Daniel Dumile, a.k.a. Doom. The show was legally contracted and paid for in full. The show was officially listed on Doom's website. React, Cold Grums and Silver Wrapper are all independent promoters who pour their lives into our shows.
Circumstances beyond the promoter's and venue's control prevented the artists from arriving on time, and the promoters elected to keep the venue open late so that the show could go on.
React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater are conducting an investigation with the Talent Agency, Management and Legal representatives for Doom. Because the show was legally contracted and paid for in full, any breach of contract could result in serious legal action. Doom's representatives are also preparing a statement.
Regardless of any of opinions, compelling proof of the matter is needed to take legal action on it. Until the investigation reaches conclusion, and proof is in hand, the promoters will not issue any refunds. At the current time, it is a rumor. This issue is being treated with the utmost respect and consideration.
React, Cold Grums, Silver Wrapper and the Congress Theater will release a statement clarifying the results in the near future. [Chicago Now]
Promoter Harry Knuckles from Cold Grums, who was aware of DOOM's spotty record beforehand, describes the situation from his point of view, below. Mos Def (who may or may not have been drinking a Rolling Rock at Under 100) (via) did manage to put in what looks like a solid performance (including a masked cover of DOOM's "Accordian"). And on top of that, DOOM has added more European dates to his schedule for this March. The statement, videos and tour dates are below...
The DOOM/Mos Def show that was to happen this Saturday (1/30) at Nokia Theatre Times Square has been rescheduled with the pair's two other dates. While abrupt, at least NYC got more notice than Toronto, whose show was tonight. As the Chicago venue writes, "a scheduling conflict resulting from miscommunication between artists' management would make it impossible for Mos Def to make any of his three MOSDOOM dates which include Toronto, New York and Chicago."
The new date for their NYC show at Nokia Theatre is Friday, February 26th. Tickets are on sale - tickets for the old date can be refunded or used for the new show.
This isn't the first time an MF DOOM show has been canceled (or just blown off entirely), though the official story seems to point the blame elsewhere. This is also not the first time (in the past month) that Mos Def rescheduled a NYC show, though he managed to make the impromptu Tribe Called Quest reunion at Knitting Factory on 1/20.
DOOM's Gazzillion Ear 12" came out earlier this month through Lex Records and featured remixes by Thom Yorke and Dave Sitek. A preview video for that and all tour dates (including DOOM in London this March) are 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:
Raekwon @ Irving Plaza (SANCHO PANZAA)
Backed only by DJ Symphony on turntables and Raekwon's brother Don P on vocals, the set could have used the energy of the other rappers who invade the album. Raekwon's set ran to 90 minutes, but it felt here and gone. It included the appearance of a huge cake in the shape of a purple cassette -- the original "Cuban Linx" album, from 1995, is commonly called the Purple Tape -- and an assortment of friends and business associates, either texting or appearing to smoke weed onstage. Two notable things happened, neither musical.That review come from Raekwon's show at Irving Plaza on Wednesday (12/16)
The songs came fast, one after another, without stagecraft or pacing. The set went back to early tracks by his old collective, the Wu-Tang Clan, touched on "Cuban Linx" Part 1 and settled in for stretches of the new album, including the scabrous, seedy "Gihad" and the imagistic, violent "Surgical Gloves."
There weren't as many Wu-Tang Clan cameos as might have been expected, aside from Cappadonna, who rapped verses on "Ice Cream." But halfway through, another member of the extended Wu family appeared: Cherry Jones, the mother of the Wu-Tang rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard, who died in 2004. She and Raekwon hugged, without speaking, for nearly a minute. Raekwon praised Dirty and his mother and then performed "Ason Jones," a tribute to Dirty on the new CD, with some emotional difficulty, his movements creaky, as if he needed oil. (He stopped the song at one point, shaking his head in sorrow, swearing and then collecting himself.)
Near the end -- after the duo Capone-N-Noreaga briefly hijacked the set -- Busta Rhymes, a longtime Raekwon booster, came onstage to congratulate his friend. Busta Rhymes likes to talk. Ten minutes later he was still there, praising Raekwon's rhymes and metaphors. Raekwon slumped against the opposite wall, looking humble, grateful and worn out. [NY Times]
Speaking of Highline Ballroom, Clipse has been added an opener for for the previously-mentioned Jadakiss and Melanie Fiona show happening at the venue on Tuesday (12/22) ("Concert starts @ 10PM"). Tickets are on sale.
Also Tuesday (12/22), is a show at Southpaw in Brooklyn:
Masta Ace & Edo. G "A&E" Album Release PartyTickets are on sale.
**SPECIAL SURPRISE GUEST!!** / Sadat X / Jean Grae / Doitall (Lords of the Underground) / Torae w/ DJ E. Holla / Sha Stimuli
doors 8PM DOORS / 9PM SHOW 21+ with ID
$12 advance / $15 day of show
A video from Raekwon's show (including the CNN appearance) below...
snow by schatz
tonight in NYC
* Ronnie Spector @ BB King's
* Mos Def @ Highline Ballroom
* Currituck County @ The Stone
* Blip Festival alumni show @ Pianos
* Soft Black, Wide Eyed Beauty @ Death By Audio
* Uninhabitable Mansions, Pocket Knife @ The Cameo
* Matisyahu, Kevin Devine @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Lucy Wainwright Roche w/ Family & Friends @ City Winery
* The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (DJ) @ Insound Design Store
* The Willowz, Fan-Tan, Kill Kill Kill, Plumsucker @ Mercury Lounge
* Anamanaguchi, Starpause, IAYD, Magic Hammer, 8BK @ Public Assembly
* Theo Angell, Jozef Van Wissem, Grasshopper, Ghost Moth @ Silent Barn
* Bryan & The Haggards, Bobby Radcliff Trio, Elliot Sharpe 3, Jahn Xavier @CakeShop
* This Frontier Needs Heroes, Justice of the Unicorn, Class Actress, Cat Martino @ Union Pool
"DUE TO WEATHER THE MOS DEF SHOW HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JANUARY 17. ALL TICKETS WILL BE HONORED OR REFUNDS ARE AVAILABLE AT POINT OF PURCHASE*"
Flyer for the Cookie Contest @ Union Pool below...
The Rural Alberta Advantage's video for "Drain The Blood" below...
Animal Collective @ ATP NY (more by Ryan Muir)
So how the hell did Merriweather Post Pavilion-- an album closer in spirit to the sub-aquatic psychedelia of 2005's Feels and Panda Bear's 2007 solo Person Pitch than its predecessor-- wind up in the Billboard Top 20 and outsell both the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand's most recent albums in North America? That mystery is ultimately the most wonderful thing about the album. Unlike so many indie-rock crossover artists before them, Animal Collective did not breach the mainstream by cleaning up their act, or adopting classic-rock conventions, or scoring a strategic soundtrack or iPod-commercial placement. And, above all, they did little to formalize their defining mercurial quality. [Pitchfork]Pitchfork posted their Top 50 Albums of 2009.
Animal Collective is DJing the Museum of Natural History in January.
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
Dan Auerbach, Jim Jones, Mos Def, Patrick Carney, and Damon Dash
Just in time for the holidays and to remind the hip hop listmakers that The Ecstatic was/is the truth, the two-time Grammy nominated Mos Def has scheduled a show on 12/20 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets, though not cheap, are on sale.
Mos Def was also recently announced as a contributor to the new Gorillaz record, along with a host of notables
The third Gorillaz album will feature one newly announced GPS voice, two iconic frontmen of the '60s and '70s, and more, lending to a contributing line-up as eclectic as the one heard on 2005's Demon Days.Mos Def is also part of another notable crew, Blakroc, a project featuring The Black Keys as a backing band for a crew of killer MCs!
The GPS voice, Snoop Dogg, plus Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground and Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, will be heard alongside Mos Def, Bobby Womack, The Horrors and the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra in Plastic Beach, out 2010.
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have wanted to make a hip-hop album since they were teenagers....The self-titled, Damon Dash-presented BlakRoc LP is out now and also features Q-Tip, ODB, RZA, Raekwon, and Jim Jones among others.
"All the blues music I liked was super simple and stripped down. All the hip-hop I liked was super simple and stripped down," says Auerbach. "We always heard that connection."
The Black Keys' first demo reflected their hip-hop tastes. It featured drum loops and samples, which their first record label later told them to scrap. Years later, following recent praise for their minimalist, bluesy jams, The Black Keys have finally recorded a hip-hop album. Their collaborative ensemble is called BlakRoc.
"What makes this special is the guys' sensibility of hip-hop," [Pharoahe Monch] says. "The drum loop-like timing and patterns make a groove that is easy to rhyme to and to write over."-[NPR]
Raekwon is on tour now and also has a NYC show coming up.
The Capo Jim Jones and Mos Def, along with the Black Keys, (BlakRoc) played Letterman last night (12/8) - the same night that Jawbox was burnin' Fallon to the ground. It was also rumored that the group might play a secret show at new venue Under 100 (in the basement of Damon Dash's building) later that night, but though Mos Def was there hanging out (again), he and the group didn't actually play (pictures from that event coming later).
Dig on the live Blakroc video from Letterman, the official video for the same song, as well as more videos from Mos, below...