Entries tagged with: Pharoahe Monch
by Andrew Sacher
North Carolina rapper Rapsody, who had a major guest verse on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly and also put out her own great album Beauty and the Beast, is the first artist to do an NPR Tiny Desk Concert in 2016. She played backed by a full band (9th Wonder included), and did "Godzilla," "The Man," and "Hard To Choose" (all off Beauty and the Beast). At times she looks like she's having a ton of fun, and at others she's giving no-bullshit impassioned performances. And if you liked the jazz/soul/funk backing of TPAB, you'll love her band too. Watch below.
Rapsody also appears on Murs & 9th Wonder's collaborative album Brighter Daze, that dropped on New Year's Day. You can stream that below too, and download it (name your price) at bandcamp. The brand-new video for "Otha Fish" off the album is below too.
She doesn't have a full tour coming up, but she has a Denver show with Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, and 9th Wonder. That's part of Talib's tour, which also includes nine NYC shows:
One is a "musical celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." on January 17 at SOB's with K'Valentine, Chaz Van Queen, Yummy Bingham, MK Asante and special guests (tickets). He also has a Blue Note residency, happening February 3 & 4 and March 2 & 3, with two shows a night (tickets). And he'll be one of the guests at The Soul Rebels' shows on February 26 & 27 at Brooklyn Bowl (tickets).
Talib & 9th Wonder just dropped a new video for "These Waters" off 2015's Indie 500 (which Rapsody is also featured on). Watch that, with his list of tour dates, below...
photo: Yo La Tengo at Kings Theatre in October (more by PSquared)
The annual Ecstatic Music Festival returns in 2016 from January 29 to March 19, with all performances happening at NYC's Merkin Concret Hall except the opening night at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space with Man Forever & Tigue.
The collaborative series also includes Pharaohe Monch & PitchBlak Brass Band on 2/4, Bang on a Can People's Commissioning Fund Concert on 2/6, Rachel Grimes & Longleash on 2/10, Yo La Tengo & Alvin Lucier on 2/17, Lee Ranaldo & Dither on 3/2, Exceptet, Ensemble Échappé & Goldfeather on 3/13, William Tyler, Quindar & Nick Hallett on 3/17, and M. Lamar, Charlie Looker & Mivos Quartet on 3/19.
photo: Slick Rick at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010 (more by Tim Griffin)
It's been a good day for old school hip hop heads, with that weird Chinese Tupac biopic and the Nas / Juicy J / Pimp C song off the posthumous Pimp C album, but it doesn't stop there. There are some good NYC shows coming up with veterans too:
Slick Rick plays his annual birthday show on January 15 at Brooklyn Bowl. Tickets go on sale Friday (11/20) at 10 AM. He also plays New Year's Eve in Deroit with Whodini, Doug E. Fresh, EPMD and Big Daddy Kane, and has other upcoming shows too.
Duck Down celebrates its 20th anniversary with a show on December 3 at BB King's that has Boot Camp Clik, Buckshot, Smif-N-Wessun, Black Moon, Da Beatminerz and O.G.C.. Tickets for that stacked lineup are on sale now.
Watch some classic videos below...
Hip hop legend Pete Rock, known among other things for his classic 1992 collaboration with CL Smooth, Mecca and the Soul Brother, put out a new instrumental album this week. It's called Petestrumentals 2, and it's the long-awaited sequel to 2001's Petestrumentals. You can stream the whole thing below.
Pete is celebrating the album with a release show at Brooklyn Bowl TONIGHT (6/24), and he's promising a ton of exciting special guest appearances from Smoke DZA, Slum Village, Termanology, Camp Lo, Sean Price, Das EFX, Large Professor and Royal Flush. DJ Natasha Diggs is opening the night, and Pharoahe Monch is hosting. Tickets are available.
Pete's next live appearance is a SummerStage show on July 19 in Queensbridge Park, where he'll be performing alongside a screening of Nas documentary Time Is Illmatic. That goes from 7-9 PM and is totally free.
Petestrumentals 2 album stream below...
photo: Sleater-Kinney in Chicago earlier this month (more by James Richards IV)
You can browse our full NYC show calendar for all of tonight's shows, but here are some highlights...
Sleater-Kinney, Lizzo @ Terminal 5
Sleater-Kinney aren't on some nostalgia reunion -- they're picking up right where they left off with a killer new record and this is tour is as much about that as it is about old favorites. Tonight's the first of two T5 shows. Both are sold out.
This Will Destroy You, Christopher Tignor, So Hideous @ Saint Vitus
Epic post-rockers This Will Destroy You kick off their BrooklynVegan-presented 2-night stand at Saint Vitus tonight. Different openers both tonights, tonight being TWDY collaborator Christopher Tignor and local atmospheric metal band So Hideous. Both nights are sold out.
Swans, Xylouris White @ Bowery Ballroom
Swans returned five years and three records ago, and nothing's been slowing down this late-career creative burst. The albums are some of their best yet, and the live shows are unstoppable. Tonight's show is understandably sold out.
Seoul, Calvin Love @ Baby's All Right
Montreal's Seoul make featherlight pop that is laid-back but engaging, owing to much to the hushed cool of '80s groups like The Dream Academy and The Blue Nile. Tonight's show is with fellow Canadian Calvin Love.
The Soul Rebels, Pharoahe Monch, Afrika Bambaataa @ Brooklyn Bowl
Eight-piece New Orleans based brass ensemble The Soul Rebels are playing three nights at Brooklyn Bowl and tonight's special guests are conscious rapper Pharoahe Monch and hip hop / electro legend Afrika Bambaataa.
Solids, Cutters, Center, Wather Underground @ Cake Shop
Montreal's Solids make two-piece fuzz rock not unlike their Canadian neighbors Japandroids. Tonight's their second NYC show this week.
Swami John Reis & The Blind Shake, The So So Glos @ Mercury Lounge
The great John Reis (Rocket from the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, etc) has teamed up with hard-hitting garage rock trio The Blind Shake to pay tribute to classic surf rock instrumentals on a new collaborative album, Modern Surf Classics.
Bang On A Can @ Merkin Concert Hall
Part of the Ecstatic Music Festival, tonight Bang on a Can debut new works by premieres of new works by Wilco's Glenn Kotche, Jace Clayton (aka DJ/rupture) & Ben Frost.
Figs Vision, Holy Komodo, Talibam! @ Baby's All Right
Foxygen auxiliary members Nina Joly and Justin Nijssen have their own band, Holy Komodo who make funky, soft rock synthpop. Check out their new EP below.
MK, Kevin Saunderson, Justin Miller, Nadastrom @ Output
'90s house vet MK and Detroit techno originator Kevin Saunderson headline Output's weekly INPUT party in the main room, while Nadastram (who just dropped a new album on Friends of Friends) will be in the Panther Room.
Sweater Beats, Kastle, Vindata @ Verboten
An equally good dance party to the one at Output goes down at the nearby Verboten tonight with Sweater Beats, Kastle and Vindata.
PC Worship, Turn To Crime, Beech Creeps, Happy You @ Shea Stadium
Detroit's Turn to Crime make soulful garage rock that at times has a warm lived-in quality but also has its scratchy paranoid moments as well. Such are the times. Tonight's show is solid all-around.
Shovels and Rope @ Lincoln Center
Johns Island, SC duo Shovels and Rope play this installment of the American Songbook series, which takes place in the gorgeous Appel Room (with its killer view of Columbus Circle).
The Gaslight Anthem, Northcote, The Scandals @ Webster Hall
The Gaslight Anthem's last two albums sound built for the arenas they're probably just about big enough to play, but luckily for now they're still choosing smaller rooms like tonight's Webster Hall show. On Saturday they'll be at the slightly larger Terminal 5. Both sold out.
Everything Ever, Doe, Blithedale Romance, Eli Whitney and The Sound Machine @ Court Tavern
UK trio Doe pull from '90s indie rock and emo influences. With a new compliation out on Old Flame, the band are over for a bunch of NYC-area shows, this being the only in NJ.
Eartheater, Extreme Animals, Haribo, Highlife @ Secret Project Robot
Eartheater is the solo project of Guardian Alien singer Alexandra Drewchin, which gives her the opportunity to make outsider pop.
For all of tonight's shows, and tomorrow's, check out our NYC concert calendar.
For laughs, check out the NYC Comedy calendar too.
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The LOX at Best Buy Theater in 2011 (more by Brook Bobbins)
Cypress Hill are playing their mostly annual NYC Halloween show this year on October 30 at Best Buy Theater, and they've got La Coka Nostra, Immortal Technique and Vinnie Paz joining them for the occasion. Tickets for that show go on sale today (8/8) at noon. Their only other date that we're currently aware of is Made In America LA.
Other NYC hip hop shows were recently announced too, like the previously discussed ones from Black Milk, Wu-Tang w/ Bone Thugs, Diplomats, Lil Kim & more and the recently-expanded AfroPunk Festival. Here's more...
Two days after the legendary Rakim plays Studio 48 (10/2) with Slick Rick, he plays 'The Bbg Presents The Noge 50th Year Benefit Concert' at NYC's Apollo Theater (10/4) with Big Daddy Kane (tickets). Both Rakim and Big Daddy Kane are also billed for the 'Hip Hop Hall Of Fame Jam: Legends of The Fall' happening at Long Island's NYCB Theatre at Westbury (10/4) the same day as the Apollo show, so it's not entirely clear how (or if) that will work out. Also on the Westbury show is Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Biz Markie and Pep & the Soul Explosion Band (tickets).
Veteran New York trio The LOX (Styles P, Sheek Louch, Jadakiss) are on board for this year's Fool's Gold Day Off on Labor Day, and exactly a month later they'll play NYC again at BB King's on October 1. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Sooner at BB King's another NYC rapper, Fabolous, takes over the venue on August 23. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Long-running DJ Statik Selektah releases his new album, What Goes Around, on August 19 via Duck Down. It features tons of killer collaborations from Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Talib Kweli, Ab-Soul, Sheek Louch, Styles P, Snoop Dogg, Dilated Peoples, Royce Da 5'9, Black Thought, Bun B, POS of De La Soul, Sean Price, Pharoahe Monch, Freddie Gibbs and more. Get a taste of it from three tracks, "Alarm Clock" (ft. Ab-Soul, Jon Connor, Logic), "The Imperial" (ft. Action Bronson, Royce Da 5'9, Black Thought), and "Carry On" (ft. Joey Bada$$, Freddie Gibbs), along with the tracklist, below. Statik Selektah celebrates the new LP with a release show the day before it comes out at SOB's (8/18). Tickets for that show are on sale now.
There's a '90s vs Naughts party happening on the Luxury Infinity Yacht which loads in on August 16 at 10:30 PM on Pier 40 (353 West St) and sets sail at midnight. NYC hip hop vets Smif N Wessun and Buckshot will perform a brief live set, and music will otherwise be provided by DJs including Stretch Armstrong, DJ Moma, Young Guru, Meka, DJ Soul and DJ Tara. Tickets are on sale now and you can also RSVP for VIP. Flyer with more info, below.
Those are just a few hip hop shows coming up in NYC. You can also browse our 'Hip Hop' tab for more. What else?
Organized Konfusion member Pharoahe Monch released his fourth solo album, PTSD, this past Tuesday (4/15) and celebrated it on the day of its release in NYC at SOB's. If you missed that show, or just need to see him again, you won't have to wait very long. He's playing a Beat Society show in Brooklyn at Littefield on May 8. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
If you haven't heard PTSD yet, which features guest appearances from Talib Kweli, Black Thought, The Stepkids and more, you can stream it below.
Speaking of, Talib Kweli also has a few hometown shows coming up. He does a two-night stand at Brooklyn Bowl on June 11-12 with a 9-piece band and opening sets by Res & Niko Is. Tickets for those shows are on sale now, and the latter is part of Northside Festival, which means you can also try to get in with your Northside badge. Before those shows, Talib will do a free 2 PM in-store and signing at Rough Trade NYC on May 17. No wristband or ticket required.
All Talib dates are listed, with a stream of Pharoahe Monch's album, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Brooklyn hip hop vets Black Moon have been back in action lately (they played the Duck Down CMJ 2013 showcase), and they'll be joining fellow Brooklyn hip hop vets Smif-n-Wessun (who also played that showcase) for another show on April 16 at BB King's. Tickets for that show are on sale. Smif-N-Wessun are also on the upcoming Mobb Deep show.
The similarly named Black Milk is a bit newer than Black Moon, but stays true to that old school sound, and he'll be joining fellow throwback rappers Roc Marciano and Final Outlaw on April 17 at The Studio at Webster Hall. Tickets are available.
The Studio at Webster Hall hosts another hip hop show on April 24 with Das Racist's Kool A.D. along with Rebelmatic, Prop Anon, Sarcasmo, Sunny Gang and host Ricky Powell. Tickets are on sale.
Juelz Santana (who has collaborated with Fredo, but doesn't appear to be related though Fredo is related to Chief Keef) plays a NYC show on May 18 at Stage 48 with Trial and Era & A.L.I., Status and Don Dada. You can get tickets to that one.
Pharoahe Monch is releasing a new album, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), on April 15 via W.A.R. Media/Duck Down, and he will celebrate with a release show the day it comes out at SOB's (4/15). Tickets for that show are on sale now. Stream "Bad MF" from the new album, below.
Smoke DZA just released a new album this week, titled Dream.Zone.Achieve (stream it on Rdio), and he also celebrates that with a release show at SOB's on May 7. Tickets are on sale. Listen to "Fhvt BVsturd" featuring Joey Bada$$ from the new album, below.
SOB's also hosts Bronx hip hop veteran KRS-One on April 20. Tickets for that one are on sale too.
Also at Highline Ballroom is '90s era Queens trio Salt N Pepa on June 6 (tickets).
Two upcoming shows that aren't exactly in NYC but nearby: Big Sean teams up with his R&B collaborator Jhene Aiko for a Long Island show on April 25 at Tilles Center Concert Hall in Greenvale (tickets), and Tech N9ne & Krizz Kaliko team up with Freddie Gibbs (who just released an album and toured with Madlib) for a NJ show on April 26 at Starland Ballroom (tickets).
Miguel and 2 Chainz also just announced a show, and multiple hip hop shows at new Brooklyn venue The Wick were announced.
Other previously announced upcoming hip hop shows in NYC include Jeremiah Jae TONIGHT (4/2), Grieves, Jurassic 5, Eminem & Rihanna, YG & DJ Mustard, Joey Bada$$, The Underachievers, Danny Brown, A-Trak & Cam'ron and more.
Pharoahe Monch and Smoke DZA streams below...
The crowd @ Music Hall of Williamsburg - 12/18/12
Pharoahe Monch, formerly of Organized Konfusion and a relatively recent Duck Down signing, showed the crowd how it's done. His brief but powerful set touched upon new songs (joined by the inimitable Jean Grae at one point) and classic material like "Simon Says," including a "Fuck The Police" medley somewhere in the middle. Monch is a consummate performer, but his OG Duck Down labelmates who followed him were up to the task as well. Sean Price took the stage next - the most grizzled, most rotund, and perhaps most fascinating member of the Boot Camp Clik. An animated Grinch parody video began his set. From there, Price simply ripped it, helped out at times by his Heltah Skeltah partner Rock. Price barely moves when he raps, gripping the mic in its stand - and he doesn't need jump around, his presence is engaging enough. [Illiot Gould]Indie hip hop label Duck Down Music threw a pretty stacked holiday party at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Javotti Media, which BrooklynVegan proudly co-sponsored. The show went down on December 18 with sets from Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Buckshot, Sean Price, Smif-N-Wessun, Flatbush Zombies, Skyzoo, and Dyme-A-Duzin, (of Phony PPL). A few pictures from that show are in this post.
More pictures below...
As mentioned, Duck Down Music is throwing a holiday party with Javotti Media in Brooklyn on December 18 at Music Hall of Williamsburg, of which BrooklynVegan is proudly one of the sponsors. When we first mentioned the show, the lineup was not announced, but as hinted, Talib Kweli will be headlining it. And the rest of the lineup is pretty great too. In addition to Talib, it's got some other NYC rap legends on there like Pharoahe Monch, plus Buckshot, Sean Price, and Smif-N-Wessun, all three of who are part of the Boot Camp Clik group. It also features some newcomers like Flatbush Zombies (who play SOB's two days later [12/20]), Skyzoo, and Dyme-A-Duzin of Phony PPL. Tickets for the show are still available. The first 50 fans inside will get a free Sean Price/Rocksmith t-shirt. That's the flyer above.
Sean Price and Buckshot recently teamed up for a show at Santos. You can watch a video from that show spliced with some footage of Buckshot and 9th Wonder on Sway's Morning Show with DJ Premier, below.
Miguel at MoMA PS1 in August (more by Leia Jospe)
today in NYC
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Brain Cloud @ Barbes
* Hot Tub @ Littlefield
* Ka'a Davis @ The Stone
* John and Scott @ UCB
* Jay-Z @ Barclays Center
* Miguel @ Bowery Ballroom
* Jarrod Spector @ Joe's Pub
* Dum Dum Girls @ Other Music
* Allen Toussaint @ City Winery
* CC Carena, Sugar Life @ Zebulon
* Stephane Wrembel @ Empire Rooftop
* The Campilongo Quartet @ Living Room
* Floating Action, Bird Dog @ Mercury Lounge
* Paper Route, Alexander Howard @ Mercury Lounge
* Bob Log III, Cheap Time, Ex-Humans @ Glasslands
* Tony Scherr Trio w/ Anton Fier and Rob Jost @ Living Room
* Public Forum Duet: Alec Baldwin and David Brooks @ Joe's Pub
* Ray Manzarek & Robby Krieger (of The Doors) @ Tarrytown Music Hall
If you missed Dum Dum Girls at Europa last night, you have another chance to catch them today, and for free inside Other Music.
The one and only Bob Log III is on tour with Cheap Time and plays a show in Williamsburg at Glasslands tonight. Stop by and have a boob scotch or two.
First Kristen left, and now 'Hot Tub' is coming to an end. Tonight is the FINAL HOT TUB WITH KURT BRAUNOHLER! at Littlefield and the guests are Eugene Mirman, James Adomian, Marcus Monroe, and Nick Turner.
Speaking of, did you catch the season 3 premiere episode of Bob's Burgers after the Simpsons last night? If you didn't know, Eugene Mirman is the voice of Gene Belcher, Kristen Schaal is Louise Belcher, and last night's episode had Kurt on it too.
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NPR is also hosting the stream for the new Tame Impala album, Lonerism (due out 10/9 via Modular). You can also now pre-order the deluxe edition. The band's tour will hit NYC for two shows in November.
Pharoahe Monch posted the "trailer for DAMAGE off the forthcoming multimedia deployment PTSD presented by Pharoahe Monch & W.A.R Media. Damage is the 3rd installment of Pharoahe Monch's personification of the bullet. (1. Stray Bullet 2. When the Gun Draws)". Watch below.
Bat for Lashes made a video for the song "All Your Gold" off of her upcoming album, The Haunted Man (due out 10/23 via Capitol). Check it out below.
Eminem at Manhattan Center - 8/9/12 (via Indigo Clarke)
New Brooklyn venue The Well opened last month with a Cam'ron, Flatbush Zombies, Asaad & Reese show (7/14) and the venue's second show will be tonight (8/10), after Os Mutantes cancelled their 7/28 show at the venue. Tonight's show is with Slaughterhouse, Freeway, LAD & Willie the Kid, J the S, Da Circle, and special guest Pharaohe Monch. Tickets for tonight's show are still available and we've also got a pair to give away! Details on how to enter are below.
Rumors are flying that there will be a few guests showing up at tonight's show. One of those possible guests is Beanie Sigel and there is talk that Slaughterhouse's boss at Shady Records (aka Eminem) might show up too. If that sounds like a stretch, it should be noted that Eminem performed in NYC last night (8/9) as part of Casio's G-Shock 30th anniversary at Manhattan Center, which Slaughterhouse was also at. XXL Mag was at the show and they write:
With a live band setting the mood and clips from some of his iconic music videos playing on the big screen behind him, Em had the crowd in the palm of his hand and he proceeded to give them what they wanted.UPDATE: Due to a neighborhood flood watch, this show has been rescheduled to happen on September 8. Tickets purchased for tonight's show will be honored, as will the winner of the pair of we are giving away in this post.
The masterful Detroit rhyme slinger ripped into classics such as "My name Is," "The Real Slim Shady," "Cleaning Out My Closet" and "Love the Way You Lie," dedicating the "Lie" to the ladies in the audience.
Videos of Eminem at last night's show are below. Also below is a video of Slaughterhouse discussing tonight's show at The Well and the contest details.
Pharoahe Monch at FFF Fest 2010 (more by BBG)
Pharoahe Monch was listed on the CBGB Festival lineup, but never ended up playing. However, if you had been looking forward to seeing him, you'll still have a chance to catch him in NYC this month. SOAR is presenting a new 'Spotlight Series," which they're kicking off with sets from Pharoahe Monch, More Than Me, Olamide, J Ross Parrelli and Aye James + China Black at Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday (7/15). The mission of these series is to "witness a musical legend + raise awareness for the victims of war-torn regions in West Liberia." Tickets for the Brooklyn Bowl show are on sale now.
It's the only announced date for Monch at the moment. You can check out the flier for the Brooklyn Bowl show and a video below.
The Jungle Brothers at SOB's last night via MuphoricSounds
As expected, The Jungle Brothers DID bring out members of the Native Tongues (and others) last night at SOB's (2/7), but that did not include many of the "invited guests". The reunion and associated guest appearances were limited to Leaders of The New School (Charlie Brown & Dinco D, but sans the crucial Busta Rhymes), Jarobi (of a Tribe Called Quest), members of the UMC's and Black Sheep, Sadat X, Force MDs and possibly some others. Bum out, but it was sort of expected.
No word on whether members of A Tribe Called Quest will be in attendance at Harlem Stage in March either, but they will be the subject of a three day event:
On the heels of a major Producers Guild Award for the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest -Harlem Stage, in conjunction with Revive Music, will celebrate the impact, importance and influence of the pioneering crew with A Tribe Called Quest: Innovation and Legacies - A Movement in Four Parts March 1-3 at Harlem Stage. This four part series features live performances, dance events and a free humanities event headlined by a panel of hip-hop scholars, journalists and artists.More details on each event below.
"A Tribe Called Quest is one of the most important groups in the history of hip-hop, with a legacy that continues to impact generations of artists, musicians and audiences." says Simone Eccleston, Harlem Stage's Assistant Director of Programming, who curated the tribute. "With their signature sound, they created timeless gems, and this series seeks to celebrate their cultural significance, their musicianship and their roles as composers and producers. It is our goal to provide audiences with a multidimensional experience that highlights ATCQ's music, the historical context, and their influence on artists that have come after them."
In the span of three years, starting in 1990, A Tribe Called Quest - made up of rappers Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Jarobi White, and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad - released three albums - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders - widely acknowledged by hip-hop fans to be some of the best recordings ever. The crew became part of a larger community of artists making redemptive, transcendent music: groups like the Black Sheep, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, and Leaders of the New School; solo performers Monie Love and Queen Latifah; and others who formed the collective Native Tongues. They made songs together and often referred to each other in recordings.
Tickets for A Tribe Called Quest: Innovation and Legacies - A Movement in Four Parts, range from free to $25 and are available by phone at (212) 281-9240, ext 19 or 20, and online at www.harlemstage.org. Free programs require RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other hip hop news, head on over to Public Assembly TONIGHT (2/8) for a FREE show as part of the Red Bull Academy. Kicking off with a conversation with Buckshot (of Black Moon), Dru Ha (of Duck Down), and Skyzoo, the evening will also feature live performances from Smif-N-Wessun, Buckshot and Skyzoo as well. The show kicks off at 7PM and you can RSVP at Yamez@redbullmusicacademy.com (might not be necessary).
Check out a preview of tonight's discussion, as well as a new video for "Still Standing" by Pharaohe Monch and a preview of Sean Price's Mic Tyson (both are on Duck Down), with more Harlem Stage info, below...
Black Star @ Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
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.
words & photos by BBG
Hopefully, there weren't masses that headed to DUMBO on Saturday (10/15) expecting a few Mozz-a-repa stands, a sausage & pepper cart, and a dealer selling his collection of "tobacco" pipes while looking for the live music. The Creators Project had much more to offer. It celebrated the different facets of creativity within art, music, and theater while showcasing live music alongside interactive sculpture to create a wholly different "festival" environment.
The musical portion was limited to two live stages and a third "DJ" stage which also housed a few exhibits. One live stage was located under an archway beneath the Manhattan Bridge. The other was in the "Tobacco Warehouse", a brick structure that has also hosted the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. The shows were free, though you needed to RSVP (and even then you needed a confirmation that you were accepted).
I kicked off my afternoon at the Tobacco Warehouse stage with Teen Daze whose laptop knob-twiddling didn't make for much of a live event. After a few songs I moved on to my first band of the day, Brooklyn's Chairlift. Caroline Polachek is the clear focus of the band's sound, with her vocals pushed to the front and the electronic-pop complementing her lilting voice. Their sunny and simple compositions were sugar-y, well executed and a good way to ease into the day, but not particularly memorable. The next performance would bring about an abrupt change.
No one outcrazys John Maus. After the crew cleared the stage of seemingly every piece of gear, the very unassuming Maus came on to plug his Roland SP-404 sampler into the DI and his microphone into an echo pedal. With the hit of his sampler, Maus kicked off his set by bouncing left and right and jumping around. Veins bulged in his neck and face as he began to scream, sing, whimper and all but cry into his microphone during his vocal parts. Even if I had no interest in his recorded material (which I do, and tons of it), I would, as I'm sure any passerby would, still find the maniacal John Maus live (almost freak) show absolutely enthralling. Catch him again this week at 285 Kent.
After 3+ songs from Clams Casino on the laptop which was about as exciting as it sounds (dramatic key-stroke!), A$AP Rocky opened his set by explaining that people are saying he is the "biggest thing to hip hop since the Wu-Tang Clan". I'd like to meet these people. Regardless of how over/correctly hyped A$AP is, he and his crew (which included an appearance from Spaceghostpurrp) were particularly high energy - stage-diving, inciting mosh-pits, and hopping around on stage. The crowd didn't move with the same enthusiasm though. Despite calls for more participation, the crew didn't ignite similar energy in the crowd.
After a visit to see Four Tet (another knob-twiddling set), I cruised over to see Bradford Cox do a one-man Atlas Sound. I prefer Atlas Sound in full band mode to Bradford solo, but his set was fresh change to the mostly electronic vibe of the day. Cox's voice coupled with the Bridge backdrop and the Manhattan skyline was particularly impressive.
It had been around 14 years since I saw Company Flow on tour with Organized Konfusion, the former celebrating their seminal Funcrusher Plus and the latter promoting what may be their final effort, The Equinox. That summer in 1997, Co-Flow sounded so alien to everything else in the era; primitive, noisy beats made with crude synths and harsh scratches were complemented by abstract and double-time rhymes. Lead by a white redhead-ed MC (a rarity in the era), Company Flow was truly unique in their time.
Company Flow were massive to me in that certain, early-backpacker Rawkus era, the blast-off point for El-P's noisy and dystopian blueprint at Definitive Jux. So it pains me to say that the primitive Company Flow sound hasn't aged so well live; El-P still has a good stage presence as always, but unfortunately the rawness of the tracks just now come across as simplistic in comparison to his sleeker production. It was good to see the crew though, and with Pharoahe Monch in tow, much like that night in DC in 1997.
After Co-Flow, I caught a bit of Florence & The Machine before calling it an evening meaning I also missed the abbreviated Justice DJ set. Though cops shut down Jusice early and a vocal minority of DUMBO residents complained about the takeover of their neighborhood streets, the complaints were minor leagues compared to the impressive spectacle that descended on art galleries, parks, storefronts, and even an archway underneath the Manhattan Bridge.
We're splitting this into multiple parts, so stay tuned for the rest. Meanwhile, more pictures of everything I saw, below...
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.
Wild Flag at Williamsburg Waterfront (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
The first round of CMJ 2011 artists have been announced. The initial list includes Neon Indian (Webster Hall with Purity Ring), CSS (Webster Hall with EMA and MEN), Zola Jesus (KF and LPR), Wild Flag (Bowery Ballroom with Eleanor Friedberger and Hospitality), Metronomy (MHOW), Portugal. The Man (T5 with Givers and Alberta Cross), Viva Brother, Wombats, The Good Natured), Kvelertak, Handsome Furs, Memoryhouse, Pharoahe Monch, and more.
The Viva Brother show is on October 19 at Bowery Ballroom with 1,2,3 and Kitten. Tickets are on sale now (or you can try to get in with your CMJ badge). All dates below.
The Wombats show is on October 19 at Webster Hall with The Postelles and The Good Natured. Tickets are on sale now (or you can try to get in with your CMJ badge). All dates below.
photos by Brook Bobbins
Talib Kweli / EPMD
The energy and atmosphere was so Hip-Hop in every way! The crowd roared as the legends of the game hit the stage. A top memorable moment of the event was the LOX reunion. Styles P, Jadakiss, and Sheek Louch all hit the stage and performed classic material. They all did solo verses as well. The crowd went crazy when Styles P did his verse off Rick Ross' " B.M.F." Overall it was a great night for Hip-Hop. If you were there you would have felt that love, that energy and most important, you would understand that Hip-Hop is not dead. -[MsDramatv.com]
Yo MTV Raps of 1990s exploded onto the stage at Best Buy Theater on June 30th, as Hot 97 hosted a lineup of hip hop greats from the era and beyond. Headlined by Talib Kweli, the show featured appearances from EPMD, The Lox, Large Professor, M.O.P., Keith Murray, Nice n Smooth, Brand Nubian, and many many others. Pictures from the show, which include shots of DJ Premier, Pharoahe Monch, JuJu of The Beatnuts, Lil' Ceasar, and many others, continue below...
Pharoahe Monch at Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2010 (more by BBG)
In addition to the free show at Weeksville Heritage Center, Pharoahe Monch has a few other NYC shows in July. He plays B.B. King's on July 12 with Heltah Skeltah, OGC, and Black Rob. Tickets are still on sale.
Pharoahe Monch also appears as a guest with the Miguel Atwood-Ferguson ensemble at Harlem Stage on July 9 in Annunciation Park (entrance Amsterdam Ave. and W. 134th Street). Jazz vocalist Jose James and Zap Mama will also be guests at the FREE show that Taylor McFerrin opens. J. Period is the evening's DJ. This one runs from 5-9 PM, with 4 PM gates. "In addition to the live music, concert guests enjoy food and hand-made products from local vendors, and an American Airlines raffle. Blankets only, no lawn chairs allowed."
If you haven't heard of multi instrumentalist/dj/arranger/composer/music director/producer/educator Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, you probably at least know some of his collaborators like Stevie Wonder, Outkast, Rihanna, Flying Lotus, Aloe Blacc and countless others. His ensemble performs original music, covers of unreleased J Dilla tracks, and will pay tribute to Gil Scott-Heron at the Harlem show.
A similar show happened in LA in 2010 with Flying Lotus as part of the ensemble and with special guest Aloe Blacc and Bilal. You can listen to that entire peformance, and watch some video from it, below....
Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn (1698 Bergen Street) is hosting a 'Garden Party every Saturday in July. The free shows will open at 4pm, except the first one on July 2nd which opens at 2pm. Pharoahe Monch (who plays a few shows in July) and Baolji play that Emancipation Day Celebration.
Theophilus London (whose last NYC show was at Music Hall of Williamsburg during the Northside Festival) plays the Garden Party on July 23 with Phony PPL (who also opened for Theophilus at Brooklyn Museum). The free show is two days after Theophilus plays a not-free show at Bowery Ballroom on July 21. Tickets for the Bowery show are still on sale.
Theophilus' debut LP Timez Are Weird These Days comes out July 19 on Warner Brothers and features contributions from Holly Miranda and Sara Quin.
Full Garden Party lineup below...
Sean Price at Southpaw (more by BBG)
"I like no female rappers. Not like I don't like them personally; they don't hold my interest. Except MC Lyte," he told Vlad TV. "I haven't bought a female rap album since MC Lyte, Lyte as a Rock. That album? I haven't bought one since, straight up. I like none of 'em."I guess we won't expect to see any female MCs as special guests when Sean Price's not-supergroup Random Axe (with Black Milk & Guilty Simpson) supports Smif N Wessun with Maino TONIGHT at Highline Ballroom (6/21). DJ Envy will be on the wheels of steel in between/before the show with Angela Yee hosting. Tickets are still available.
P was quick to clarify, explaining that he holds a soft spot for Digga. "Let me take that back. Rah Digga. She get busy too. But other than that, none of 'em. I'm not buying none of they albums. All of 'em. That's just me. I be fooled. You have a nice single. If the single is good, I'll buy the album. I got a fooled a few times. Who did I get fooled by? I was so pissed. Boss. Remember Boss? I was so pissed, b. I fell for a few, but I like no female rappers. None." -[Hip Hop DX]
Can't make it tomoight? Tomorrow (Wedneday, 6/22) Random Axe to play a ANOTHER NYC show, this time a headlining date at Southpaw with labelmates Black Moon and SkyZoo. Tickets are still available. The pair of shows are in addition to the crew's upcoming appearances at Rock The Bells and Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest. Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest's lineup recently expanded with the additions of Shad, Homeboy Sandman, Nitty Scott MC, Eternia, and Twilite Tone.
Random Axe is celebrating the release of their new and self-titled LP out NOW via Duck Down Records while Smif N Wessun will release their new collaborative LP with Pete Rock, Monumental, via the label on 6/28. Stream the entire Random Axe LP at Complex, and check out two recent Random Axe videos, "Random Call" and "The Hex", below.
And while we're on the subject of Duck Down Records, Black Moon, and Smif N Wessun, look for the two crews to join fellow Duck Down affiliates Heltah Skeltah, OGC, Pharoahe Monch, and Black Rob for a "Hip Hop Legends" night at BB King's on July 12th (Black Rob & OGC... hip hop legends?). Tickets are still available.
A bunch of videos and song streams are below.
Pharoahe Monch @ Fun Fun Fun Fest (more by BBG)
Pharoahe Monch's latest tongue-twisting LP W.A.R. is out now via Duck Down Records and Monch has a pair of dates scheduled in the coming weeks. He'll head to Santiago, Chile to play a date on May 15th with Heltah Skeltah and Das Efx, and will play Brooklyn Bowl on May 10th with Jean Grae, Boogie Blind, J Period, and DP One. Tickets are on sale.
Pharoahe Monch recently joined Buckshot for a performance at the Comedy Awards of "Jon Cryer Will Fuck You Up" featuring the Two & A Half Men star. Check out video from that comedic performance as well as a recent interview below.
Pharoahe Monch @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010 (more by BBG)
Pharoahe Monch's new LP W.A.R. is out today (3/22), and to help promote that...
Pharoahe Monch (Live Streamed Performance + Instore Signing)On Thursday, 3/24, Pharoahe appears at FYE in the Bronx to sign autrographs, and then he performs at SOB's later that night. Tickets are still on sale. Flyers below...
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Be one of the first 150 people to purchase Pharoahe Monch's new album, W.A.R., starting on Tuesday 3/22 at 12:01am at the Union Square Best Buy and receive a wristband that guarantees admittance to this event. Arrive early, time & space are limited.
Watch the live broadcast of the performance on www.liveatbestbuy.com!
Lupe Fiasco has sold-out his previously discussed record release party at Webster Hall on March 8th, but the Chi-city MC has added another, and for free. Lupe Fiasco will appear at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 2/27 as part of a free, RSVP-only event at the venue. RSVP is currently open. Lupe's new LP Lasers hits store shelves on March 8th. Stream the new track "All Black Everything" at his site.
If you didn't get tickets for Webster Hall, that means you are free and clear to check out Raekwon at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 3/8 (tickets). The show is a record release party for the Wu-Tang great, as Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang will drop the same day as Lasers (March 8). Raekwon recently dropped a new video for title track and a new song, "Molasses" featuring Ghostface and Rick Ross. Download "Molasses" above or stream it below alongside the new video.
Pharoahe Monch has a new disc on the way, W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), and he'll celebrate that with a March 24th show at SOBs. Ticket info is forthcoming. W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) is due via Duck Down on 3/22 and features "Clap" available for download above and streaming below.
Still not many Diplomats reunion tour dates popping up, but in addition to the NYC & Philly shows previously mentioned, there's now also Chicago, and a March 25th show at Northern Lights in Clifton Park which is on sale. The list of dates is below.
Big Boi and People Under the Stairs are on the lineup of the just-announced Governors Ball Music Festival.
And last but not least, Southpaw has a couple of interesting hip hop shows in the coming weeks including the imperial Rah Digga with Eternia on Thursday (2/24, tickets) and the one and only Big Daddy Kane with Brand Nubian as part of a benefit on March 25th (tickets).
All streams and some video is below.