Entries tagged with: NAS

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Governors Ball

Governors Ball, which started as a small NYC festival on Governors Island and moved to the larger Randall's Island last year, keeps getting bigger and bigger. This year's fest takes place June 7th, 8th & 9th, and tickets go on sale Friday. Check out the full lineup, in list, video and flyer format - one unannounced headliner included, below...

Continue reading "Governors Ball 2013 lineup (Kanye West, Kings of Leon, Grizzly Bear, xx, Cut Copy, Kendrick, Anco, Beach House & MUCH MORE)"

Sirius

Hard to believe, but our BrooklynVegan "Blog Radio" show has been airing weekly on satellite radio for over 6.5 years. It started on Sirius which then merged with XM and became SiriusXM. The station, which was originally "Left of Center" on Sirius, is now called SiriusXMU (on SiriusXM). You can currently hear the two hour show on the "indie/college" station every Wednesday at noon EST and again at midnight that night (which is technically Thursday morning in Eastern Standard Time).

At some point years ago I brought on like-minded music lover Dominic (Nick) Masi to be my co-host, and to cover when I couldn't make it. Now, though I still may pop in occasionally (my New Year's resolution!), Nick has taken over completely, hosting the show week to week with a selection of music you'll find on BrooklynVegan.com and on his own iPod. Recently Nick also started hosting a show called "Cover Me" (all cover songs) on Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio, and other programs on the network too.

In his spare time, Nick now tour manages members of Odd Future - a job which was an offshoot of his huge passion for hip hop (and traveling around the continent in a van).

What were Nick's favorite records and songs in 2012? We asked him and he gave us a list of his top 10 albums and "top 15 hip hop songs of the year that don't feature 2Chainz, Kanye, Drake, Rick Ross or (fill in the blank with your favorite rapper you've seen on every remix this year)."

You can check out both of Nick's lists, along with videos or streams for each song on his hip hop list (Odd Future songs included), below...

Continue reading "BrooklynVegan SiriusXMU host Nick Masi's Top 10 Albums and Top 15 Hip Hop Songs of 2012"

by Andrew Sacher

Kendrick Lamar

FACT is still one of the best sources for cutting edge electronic music, and I always look forward to their top 50 albums of the year list, which they've just published for 2012. As usual, it doesn't only contain electronic albums.

This year's list has a good deal of indie rap (Haleek Maul, Schoolboy Q, Le1f, Main Attrakionz, Spaceghostpurrp) and it's the only non-metal list I've seen so far with Black Breath's Sentenced to Life (!). And of course, to compliment the dancefloor records, it's got its fair share of electronic-tinged indie pop, forward thinking R&B, and outsider experimental music.

Check out the full list below.

Continue reading "FACT's Top 50 Albums of 2012"

Grammys

Check out the entire list of 2013 Grammy Nominations below...

Continue reading "2013 Grammy Nominations announced (full list)"

by Andrew Sacher

Bruce

More of the big 2012 year-end lists have been rolling in, with NPR and SPIN recently revealing theirs, and now Rolling Stone have unleashed theirs. Similarly to Uncut, the expected albums from older artists are there, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Dr. John, and the number one slot going to Bruuuuuuuuuuuce. It's got huge albums like Mumford and Sons, Taylor Swift, and fun., as well as the token high ranking indie album (Japandroids at #9), the token washed up band who was once classic (Green Day), things you knew you'd see on Rolling Stone's list like Jack White and Alabama Shakes, and... Grimes!

You can read the whole list below...

Continue reading "Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2012"

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

Nas stopped by Conan last night (11/29) to perform "World's An Addiction" off of his recently released album, Life Is Good, and was joined by R&B singer Anthony Hamilton, who sang the hook on the record. You can watch the video of that performance below.

The rapper recently wrapped up a tour with Lauryn Hill this month, and as mentioned he'll play a one-off in NYC on New Year's Eve (12/31) at Radio City Music Hall with Elle Varner. Tickets for that show are still available.

Soon after that, Nas will do another event in NYC at 92Y on January 8, where he'll do a Q&A with author/music critic Anthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone, NY Times, Relix), where he'll be telling his story, touching on "his gifted Queens childhood, the early days with Main Source, his philanthropic work and the insight and inspiration behind his #1 new record, Life Is Good." Tickets for that are on sale now and there's also an option to submit questions for the Q&A, and if yours is used you'll get two free tickets, pending availability.

In other, less positive news, TMZ reports that "the government just got the green light to garnish a million bucks from [Nas'] earnings [on his tour with Lauryn Hill] to repay a massive tax debt." They continue, "The Georgia Department of Revenue has filed new legal docs in their effort to collect $1,083,435 from the rapper for taxes it claims Nas owes for the years 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010," and finally state, "A rep for Nas tells us the matter has recently been settled -- but the GDR insists the case is still open and they're trying to collect."

In other other news, younger rapper Stalley, who plays an educational fundraiser in NYC on December 6, recently spoke about how Nas' Illmatic was influential on him in a 45-second 'On the Record' video for Rhapsody. You can watch that video and the 'Conan' video below.

Continue reading "Nas played 'Conan', speaking at 92Y, needs to pay his taxes"

Pandora
Pandora

This letter, signed by a ton of artists and pictured above, is set to appear in an ad in Billboard:

We are big fans of Pandora. That's why we helped give the company a discount on rates for the past decade.

Pandora is now enjoying phenomenal success as a Wall Street company. Skyrocketing growth in revenues and users. We celebrate that. At the same time, the music community is just now beginning to gain its footing in the new digital world.

Pandora's principal asset is the music.

Why is the company asking Congress once again to step in and gut the royalties that thousands of musicians rely upon? That's not fair, and that's not how partners work together.
Congress has many pressing issues to consider, but this is not one of them. Let's work this out as partners and continue to bring fans the great musical experience they rightly expect.

Pink Floyd, Down, Primus, Dead Kennedys (with our without Jello?), Nas, Alabama, Sheryl Crow and many more big major label names signed this (or someone signed it on their behalf). Check out the full list below, and head to fairpayforartists.com for more information on their point of view..

The issue is that Pandora is supporting the Internet Radio Fairness Act which they say will "help end the long-standing discrimination against internet radio". Artists are mad because that possibly means less money for them, but Pandora and other Internet radio providers argue they can't stay in business the way things are now.

Continue reading "A bunch of artists wrote an open letter to Pandora who support the Internet Radio Fairness Act"

"That's y!" says Snoop Dogg...
Snoop Dogg
cats

Did Snoop Dogg talk much politics at his Wellmont Theater show last week? That picture above, no not the cats, is his Tweeted list of reasons for voting for Obama, and for not voting Romney.

Kanye West has much less to say, for now. All his amazing tweets have been deleted except for one new one that says "BE BACK SOON". UPDATE: Now there are also three tweets about Steve Jobs.

Speaking of Chicago hip hop, Lupe Fiasco and the NY Times have some more to say on the subject (Chief Keef, etc).

Bummed to hear that Big Boi, who recently played Chicago's North Coast Music Fest, replaced Little Dragon with Kelly Rowland on the final version of the song he performed live with Little Dragon in Austin.

The Weeknd, who has three NYC shows coming up, got all emo and wrote a letter to fans promising no dissapointment.

Creed frontman Scott Stapp says T.I. saved his life.

Missy Elliot may actually release an album this year.

YouTube is streaming Obama's bff (see above)Jay-Z's eighth Barclays Center show Saturday night.

Speaking of, Jay-Z is in a new marriage equality ad.

Speaking of, congrats to Kaki King and Jessica King! And to Sam Champion and Rubem Robierb!

NPR is streaming Tori Amos from Le Poisson Rouge tonight. Meanwhile, PopMatters reflects on Tori's relationship to the feminist movement.

Speaking of LPR, Micachu whose Williamsburg Park show tonight is cancelled, is playing there Monday.

Menomena just played Austin and are touring their way towards NYC. Check out their new video for "Plumage" below.

We're giving away two tickets to see Flying Lotus at Terminal 5 via the BrooklynVegan Facebook Page. Meanwhile. meet FlyLo at the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair this weekend.

We're also giving away tickets to Jens Lekman and Taken By Trees' Terminal 5 show (tickets are also still on sale).

more below...

Continue reading "ALSO: why Snoop Dogg isn't voting for Romney, Menomena, Yellow Ostrich, Kanye's Twitter, Nas, Amy Winehouse, more"

Nas at Rock The Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Nas

Life is good indeed. Nas will ring in the New Year in style, joined by Elle Varner when he takes to the stages of Radio City Music Hall on December 31 for a one-off show at the venue. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday (9/14) at noon... which, coincidentally, is Nas's 39th birthday.

Nas recently played Rock The Bells and is scheduled to take on Virgin Mobile Freefest outside of DC in early October.

Hopefully this show goes better for the Queensbridge MC than the New Year's show he was supposed to appear at in Angola.

The Virgin Mobile FreeFest returns to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD on October 6 with a lineup that includes Jack White, Skrillex, M83, Nas, ZZ Top, Santigold, Alabama Shakes, Ben Folds Five, The Dismemberment Plan, Allen Stone, Trampled by Turtles, Portugal. The Man, Das Racist, Future Islands and Justin Jones. There is also a "Dance Forest" that will feature Above & Beyond, Porter & Zedd (Back to Back), Thomas Gold, Nervo, Alvin Risk and Penguin Prison, with others to be announced.

As the name of the show implies tickets to the FreeFest are free and will be available via ticketfly.com on Friday, August 24 at noon. A presale on August 23 will be announced via their Twitter. There are also some not-free "freemium" packages to buy that include early admission to the festival grounds, a donation to charity and other incentives. Details on that are here.

Speaking of The Dismemberment Plan, the indie rock vets began playing shows again in 2011 and at their Baltimore show on Friday (8/10), they played multiple new songs! Hopefully this means we'll be getting a new D-Plan album (it'd be the first since 2001's Change). Check out videos of the new songs played at the Baltimore show below.

Continue reading "Virgin Mobile FreeFest lineup announced - includes M83, Nas, ZZ Top, Jack White, Skrillex, Das Racist, Future Islands, Dismemberment Plan (who recently played new songs live)"

Nas Cover

The MLB Fan Cave is pleased to welcome internationally acclaimed rapper and MC Nas as the next artist in the 2012 MLBFanCave.com Concert series. Nas, one of the most influential voices in hip hop, will hold an exclusive album release party for his new album "Life is good" and will play a live set on Wednesday, July 18, beginning at 6:30pm.

The performance is open to the public and fans are encouraged to come down to the MLB Fan Cave (corner of 4th and Broadway) for the chance to see Nas's performance. Please note that this is first come, first serve and space is limited.

Head down to the MLB Fan Cave to check out Nasir perform from his new LP Life is Good, which is streaming in full below (via Hip Hop Formula).

UPDATE: Nas will also appear TONIGHT (7/17) at Rucker Park, flyer below.

For the curious, those unaware of the significance of the album cover -- that's it above -- can look towards Nas's public divorce from Kelis for the answers:

Nas revealed when his marriage was falling apart, Kelis moved out, taking everything except her green wedding dress.

Kelis' green wedding dress seemed to be haunting him all these years since his divorce, so he decided to elegantly drape the one item that was giving him the "blues" over his knees for the cover of his new album. -[GlobalGrind]


Kelis recently responded to the album cover in a video interview. View that and the album art below.

Continue reading "Nas readies 'Life is Good' (stream it), playing NYC this week UPDATE"

by Andrew Sacher

Nicki Minaj

Nicki MInaj, who was scheduled to headline Hot 97 Summer Jam at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ last night (6/3), cancelled her performance due to a diss made by Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg, while he was introducing Kendrick Lamar's set at the pre-show. Rosenberg said, "I know there are some chicks in here waiting to sing along with 'Starships' later. I'm not talking to y'all right now. Fuck that bullshit. I'm here to talk about real hip hop shit." Video footage of that is below.

Not long after that diss, Lil Wayne took to twitter, saying "Young Money ain't doing summer jam." Nicki then followed with "Wow. U niggaz just fucked up history. But the President has spoken. ‪#YMCMB‬" and "I go above and beyond for my fans. But won't ever go against wayne's word. What he says, goes." Young Money rapper Tyga went through with his performance, but Nicki refused to take the stage.

Needless to say, Nicki was given immediate backlash. Funkmaster Flex dissed her, saying "we ain't fucking with commercial rappers no more" (video below) and a PIX11 news report has footage of fans who came from Georgia lashing out too (video below). Maybe Rosenberg should have thought twice before dissing the headliner of his own radio station's show, but he made the comment at the pre-show, which hosted less commercial rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, ASAP Rocky, Azealia Banks, and Big KRIT, where a comment like that isn't so out of line. Plus, was that diss really grounds for canceling an entire performance, especially one that thousands of fans probably dropped a good chunk of their paycheck on?

Nicki's set was reportedly supposed to include a number of guest appearances including veterans Nas and Lauryn Hill (who played HIghline Ballroom the night before). Nas and Lauryn took Nicki's place and delivered a performance of their own at the festival, which you can watch video of below. With all the positive reactions to her Highline show and the Summer Jam performance, Lauryn Hill seems to have had one hell of a weekend in NYC.

Azealia Banks at Bowery Ballroom (via)
Azealia Banks Bowery

In related news, Azealia Banks played Bowery Ballroom at night after her set at the Summer Jam pre-show. Though doors were at 7PM, she didn't take the stage until 1 AM. (Though that set time was pretty well known in advance.) If you were at the show, was her set worth the wait? From the looks of the YouTube videos, the crowd was into it. Those Bowery performance videos are below.

Videos below...

Continue reading "Nicki Minaj canceled Summer Jam because of a diss; Nas and Lauryn Hill played instead +++ Azealia Banks played Bowery Ballroom after pre-show (videos)"

"If you a real hip-hop head RT!! #RocktheBells2012" - Nas

Rock the Bells

Turing hip-hop festival Rock the Bells announces:

Boost Mobile in association with Guerilla Union have announced the return of the ROCK THE BELLS 2012 FESTIVAL SERIES powered by BlackBerry. The world-class platform will feature an array of seminal and flourishing artists over an expanded two-day period in four major North American markets, including headliners Kid Cudi, J Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Atmosphere and more, with special guests Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

The only touring hip-hop festival will kick off in San Bernardino, CA on August 19 and 20 at the NOS Events Center. The festival will then make its way to Mountain View, CA on August 25 and 26 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre and will wrap on the east coast in Newark, NJ on September 1 and 2 at PNC Arts Center.

ROCK THE BELLS and non-profit organization Hip Hop and Hope for Haiti have joined forces to shine light on the disaster-stricken country and to provide continued relief efforts; that of which have progressively decelerated.

I'm pretty sure PNC Bank Arts Center isn't in Newark, and actually even farther from NYC (where the festival used to happen), but whatever.

In addition to what is listed above, Hit Squad is also playing. Full lineups TBA soon (possibly at the launch party happening in California tonight)

UPDATE: Full LINEUP ANNOUNCED.

The list of dates with on-sale dates is below...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells 2012 dates, venues & some artists announced"

by BBG

Nas at Rock The Bells (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Nas

Cue sad trombone...

The next time you buy a Nas album, you're really just handing your money over to the government -- because the rapper's delinquent tax filings have caused Uncle Sam to begin garnishing his wages... Nas is in tax debt up to his eyeballs ... if his eyeballs were $6,000,000 tall.

So the government has finally tired of waiting for Nas to pay up, so they filed documents in the state of Georgia to have his wages garnished -- via the music publishing organizations BMI and ASCAP -- until the debt is paid off. -[TMZ]

In related news, I was happy to see that those NJ-based promoters being held captive in Africa due to a Nas no-show in Angola, were let go back to the US (after being held for close to 50 days).

Nas did show up for SXSW this year though, and spoke to a VEVO interviewer in the process. Watch that talk below...

Continue reading "Nas's wages garnished by the IRS"

Jay-Z w/ orchesta, Alicia Keys & Nas @ Carnegie Hall - 2/6
Jayz

Fans of disposable income -- earning it, spending it, rapping about it, listening to someone rap about it -- had much to cheer about during this concert, the highest-profile hip-hop show ever at Carnegie Hall.

And there was also the matter of the income disposal, or in this case, donation: this concert was the first of a pair (the second is Tuesday night) benefitting the United Way of New York City and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, the charity founded by Jay-Z and whose president and chief executive is his mother, Gloria Carter. Most tickets cost several hundred dollars; on the resale market, some were listed for more than $1,000. [NY Times]

Jay was backed by an orchestra "conducted by Jeri Lynne Johnson (of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra), and also the Illadelphonics, an ensemble featuring Questlove of the Roots and the singer Bilal among others." Alicia Keys & Nas both both special guests. Beyonce was in the audience, but didn't perform.

Last night's show was the first of two. It happens again tonight (2/7). Yesterday the shows weren't sold out, but now it says "Limited Availability" for tonight's show at Carnegie Hall's site.

Some video clips and a pictures of the set list from last night (2/6), below...

Continue reading "Jay-Z played Carnegie Hall (does again tonight) -- setlist/video"

by Andrew Sacher

Pusha T
Pusha T

Pusha T is playing in NYC TONIGHT (12/22) at Gramercy Theatre with NinjaSonik, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Gilbere Forte, Emilio Rojas, and Jasmine Solano. Tickets are still available.

Earlier this week, Pusha dropped a freestyle over Common's "Sweet" off of his new LP, The Dreamer/The Believer, which came out on Tuesday. The Smoking Section reports that the track is a diss at Drake (who is touring in 2012 with Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky). Stream it below.

Common played Highline Ballroom on Monday (12/19). Nas joined him at the show. You can stream the whole show below, and also check out a video of Nas joining in on "Ghetto Dreams" below.

Pusha T collaborator Wale also plays a show in NYC TONIGHT (12/22). HIs is at Webster Hall and tickets are still available. More dates, including one at Irving Plaza, are listed below.

Speaking of Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire and Emilio Rojas, they both just played S.O.B.'s with Kendrick Lamar on Monday (12/19). Talib Kweli saw the show, and tweeted, "The ASAP crew did a 20 min walk thru during the set. Classic Harlem lol." Check out a video from the show below.

Maybe Talib should give Diplo a heads up about Kendrick. Diplo recently tweeted "Kendrick lamar sounds like somebody that played for the supersonics in the 90s. Didn't know he was a rapper. What's his best tune?" (Hey Diplo, check out "The Spiteful Chant").

In other news, Kendrick told XXLMag that he and J. Cole are planning a joint album. "We're still trying to formulate it and sit down in a neutral zone, where either one of us is moving and doing shows, interviews and press all the time," he said. Kendrick told HipHopDx that he's lined up Just Blaze and Pete Rock for his next LP.

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire will play NYC again when he opens for Action Bronson at Highline Ballroom on December 27. Tickets are still available. eXquire and Bronson both made Heems' list of favorite albums released in 2011.

Speaking of Talib Kweli, his group Idle Warship played Southpaw on 12/9. Some videos from that show are below. They'll do it again on January 4 at S.O.B.'s. Tickets are still available.

Dates, videos and stream below...

Continue reading "Pusha T & Wale play shows tonight (and other dates); Kendrick Lamar & Common & guests played recently (videos)"

by Andrew Sacher

The Dreamer/The Believer

Common will release his first album for Warner Brothers, The Dreamer/The Believer on December 20. The album was produced entirely by No I.D., who handled the production on the majority of Common's first three albums. The album features guest spots by Nas, John Legend, Makeba Riddick, and an original poem by Maya Angelou. It's no surprise that the album differs sonically from the boom bap of Common and No I.D.'s previous collaborations, but save for a few autotuned vocal hooks, they ignore most of the current hip hop trends, and like the like-minded and recently released new Roots album, undun, The Dreamer/The Believer immediately sounds like an album that won't be losing its impact any time soon.

Check out videos of the Nas-featuring "Ghetto Dreams," "Sweet," and "Blue Sky" below, along with streams of "The Believer" ft. John Legend and "Celebrate. You can pre-order the album at Common's website, which also offers a bundle package with his memoir One Day It'll All Make Sense, which he released this past September via Atria Books.

Common has a few upcoming dates surrounding the release of the album including one on December 19 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

Speaking of Common and Nas collaborations, in an interview with Hard Knock TV this past October, Common said that the two rappers are working on a collaborative LP called Nas (Dot) Com. The video of that interview is below.

All dates, videos, and streams below...

Continue reading "Common releasing 'The Dreamer/The Believer', schedules shows (dates, videos, streams & a bit of Nas)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by BBG

Lauryn / Erykah
Lauryn Hill
Erykah Badu

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.

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]

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).

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...

Continue reading "pics from Rock the Bells 2011 @ Governors Island (Nas, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Raekwon, Ghostface, Mobb Deep, more)"

Raekwon at Best Buy Theater (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Raekwon

Raekwon will headline Prospect Park Bandshell on Saturday (7/9 @ 7:30pm) featuring an impressive lineup of Smif-n-Wessun, Joell Ortiz, Large Professor & Neek The Exotic, and more. There is a suggested $3 donation to get in to the (free) Lyricist Lounge-sponsored Celebrate Brooklyn show.

While on the subject of Smif N Wessun, the crew joined Pete Rock in a protest earlier this week at City Hall regarding the incident following the Monumental release party at Tammany Hall. General Steele of Smif N Wessun also sat down with Planet Ill to discuss the madness:

As an artist with a socially conscious solo catalog, why was this the wrong show for the police to show out at?

General Steele: Oh yeah. Well they didn't know that; they didn't do their homework. And what I found out was after this event, after the melee they caused, they started going to clubs. I forget what the particular names of the clubs were, uh... UG Lounge, in L.E.S. [(CultureFix is one of them)] Why they would go there is beyond me, maybe they're the hub for criminals or something, but they went there asking about us. Inquiring about "what is these guys, who are they connected with? What is their real thing, what can we dig up on these guys?"

And to think about that is crazy to me.

This is our fifth album. This is our career. We just came from Norway. Before that we was in Czechoslovakia, before that we was in Poland. We do this for a living. Rap is not the side gig.

Investigations continue.

In other news, Raekwon and Nas recently teamed up for the track "Rich And Black" from Rae's new album Shaolin vs. Wu-tang. That song now has a video and related behind the scenes footage courtesy of LRG Films. Watch it all below.

Nas more recently teamed with Common for "Ghetto Dreams" from Com's forthcoming Warner Brothers release The Dreamer, The Believer. The just-released track can be streamed below and bought on iTunes.

AS announced, Nas and Damian Marley play Central Park Summerstage on 8/11. The show is still happening and tickets are still on sale, though the pair's show at Merriweather Post Pavilion (outside of DC) with The Roots, Chuck Brown and others has been cancelled. Chuck Brown however is also coming to NYC for some shows including one on the same stage Raekwon is playing this weekend in Prospect Park.

And last but certainly not least, Raekwon's partner in crime Ghostface Killah has a bit of legal trouble on his hands all of a sudden over his classic 2000 LP Supreme Clientele.

Hollywood composer Jack Urbont is suing Sony Music Entertainment and Ghostface Killah for illegally sampling his "Iron Man Theme," originally created for the 1960s television show, The Marvel Super Heroes.

Urbont is a veteran actor and producer on Broadway as well as the creator of theme music for Guiding Light, One Life to Live, General Hospital, as well as music for That 70's Show, Oprah, 20/20 and The View. He earned an Emmy for Lorne Greene's New Wilderness and won BMI's TV/Film Pioneer award in 1986.

... According to the complaint: "Defendant Ghostface is also known for the nickname, 'Tony Starks,' which is a take-off of the name 'Tony Stark,' Iron Man's real name and true identity. In this way, Defendants' use of Urbont's 'Iron Man Theme' gives them a substantial commercial advantage by linking Ghostface to Iron Man without paying for it." -[Hollywood Reporter]

While you ponder this lawsuit, Boing Boing has a fascinating piece on how Paul's Boutique would lose $19.8M in sales if it followed today's copyright law.

Videos & song streams below.

Continue reading "Smif-n-Wessun speak on the cop incident, playing Brooklyn w/ Raekwon (who's working w/ Nas who's working w/ Common)"

by BBG

Havoc of Mobb Deep @ the kick-off in LA (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
Havoc

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.

LA and San Francisco are on sale now, and the only other date, Boston, still doesn't even have a venue announced yet.

DOOM of course is not to be confused with the crust band who just played MDF and Chaos in Tejas.

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...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells expands lineup, NYC tix on presale now"

photos by Graeme Flegenheimer

Cypress Hill @ House of Blues - Sunset Strip - 5/24/2011
Rock the Bells

RTB

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.

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 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.

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...

Continue reading "Rock the Bells 2011 dates & lineups announced, Mobb Deep & Souls of Mischief & Cypress Hills played the kickoff (pics)"

Clipse photos by Brook Bobbins

Nas & Damian Marley at Williamsburg Waterfront (more by Samantha Marble)
Nas & Damian Marley

Distant Relatives Nas & Damian Marley will team up for a summer show in NYC this year just like last. They'll hit Central Park Summerstage on August 11th. Tickets go on web presale at 10AM on Thursday (5/19) with regular sale hitting Friday. One difference from from last year though, they're calling this one their "grand finale," so don't sleep if you've been wanting to catch the pair together. THAT SAID, they were also just announced on the lineup of ACL which is happening a month later.

Wiz Khalifa also has a Summerstage show coming up.

In other hip hop news, Q-Tip will DJ The Fort Greene Festival kick off party on May 28th at Sanders Studio (525 Waverly Avenue in Brooklyn), a benefit to raise money for the forthcoming annual event. Tickets are $10 or $15 at the door.

As previously mentioned, Q-Tip will perform at the annual Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival on July 16th where he'll be joined by new additions Homeboy Sandman, Eternia, Shad, Nitty Scott and Kid Glyde. Get your tickets.

Rock the Bells is going to announce some news from a "launch party" at House of Blues in LA on May 24th.

Talib Kweli will link back up with his side project Idle Warship to play BB Kings on June 10th. Tickets are on sale. And don't forget Kweli will also play a free show in Red Hook Park on 6/21.

Edan plays Southpaw on May 25th.

Clipse @ Terminal 5 in April
Clipse

Clipse made a NYC appearance at Terminal 5 on April 30th. They opened for A-Trak, and pictures from their set are in this post. More of them below.

Ghostface & Raekwon supported Mobb Deep at recent show at Best Buy Theater. Pictures from that show are HERE. Some upcoming UK Wu-Tang dates are below.

The previously announced "Salute to Hip Hop" show that was supposed to take place at Best Buy Theater in Times Square in April has been rescheduled. You can now catch The Lox, EPMD, and Brand Nubian at the NYC venue on June 30th. Tickets are on sale.

The previously announced Curren$y show happening at Irving Plaza in June is still happening, but now so are many more tour dates around it including the Pitchfork Festival. They are listed below.

And finally, Beastie Boys have no tour dates in support of their Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 yet, but you can catch Ad-Rock hosting/DJing as part of a day long Children's Museum of Art benefit. Tickets for both events at Webster Hall on 5/22 are on sale. Meanwhle check out "The Greatest Beastie Boys Lyrical References To New York, In Order."

A recent video by Nas & Damian Marley for "Nah Mean," those Clipse pics, and tour dates, below.

Continue reading "Nas & Damien Marley shows, BK Hip Hop Fest, Curren$y, Rock the Bells, Q-Tip, Clipse pics, Ad-Rock & other hip hop news"

ACL

The 10th Anniversary ACL Festival line-up is on the books. Stevie Wonder, Arcade Fire, Kanye West, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Nas & Damian "Jr Gong" Marley and Cee Lo top the bill of the over 130 bands. Bright Eyes, Social Distortion, Empire of the Sun, Santigold, Pretty Lights, TV On The Radio, Skrillex, Big Boi and Randy Newman are also on tap to rock September 16-18.
3-Day passes are sold out. 1-Day passes go on sale at 10am. Full lineup below...

Continue reading "Austin City Limits 2011 festival lineup is here, tickets on sale"

Lollapalooza last year (more by Josh Darr)
Lollaplaooza

Lollapalooza celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with some huge names on its just-announced lineup. See it in full below.

The festival has obviously changed over the years. What started out as a farewell tour for Jane's Addiction with a 'touring festival' lineup that included the Rollins Band, Nine Inch Nails, Butthole Surfers, and Souxsie & The Banshees, has turned into a one-weekend Chicago festival that Lady Gaga co-headlined last year. As leaked a while ago, Foo Fighters, Muse and Eminem all play this year, as will Coldplay, Cee Lo Green, and My Morning Jacket along with the reunited Cars and the continuing-to-be-reunited Big Audio Dynamite and Death From Above 1979, and a bunch of other bands which may or may not be worth the ticket price depending on how you feel about the headliners and generally seeing bands in big, hot, outdoor crowded parks (Lollapalooza happens in Chicago's Grant Park from August 5th - 7th).

Full 2011 Lineup and a couple of videos (one from 1991, one from 2010), below...

Continue reading "Lollapalooza 2011 lineup announced"