Entries tagged with: Random Axe

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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)"

by Andrew Sacher

DOWNLOAD: Blu - "Amnesia" (MP3)

Blu
Blu

Jazzy West Coast rapper Blu plays Public Assembly on September 23 with Ari Why & The Invisible College and Voli. Blu released the Amnesia EP earlier this year, which included the track of the same name. You can download that track above and watch the video below. He is set to release his major label debut LP, NoYork! at some point this year, though no official date has been set yet. The album features production by frequent collaborator Exile, Flying Lotus, Samiyam, Madlib, and Daedelus and guest vocals by J*Davey, Edan, and others. Blu & Exile also play Rock the Bells in NYC this weekend with Fashawn.

Sean Price will also play the Brooklyn venue on September 30 with Natural Elements, Maffew Ragazino, Rasheed Chappell, Johnny 3 Rounds, Stark the Dutch, Zeps, and Ugly Brains. The flier for this show is below. Sean Price will also be at Rock the Bells this weekend as part of the supergroup Random Axe with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson.

Video and show flier below...

Continue reading "Blu & Sean Price playing Rock the Bells & Public Assembly (dates, MP3 & video)"

photos by Brook Bobbins

Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest
Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest

Ali-Shaheed Mohammed will return to the tables this weekend at Dekalb Market after spinning at Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest last weekend, along with (former?) bandmate Q-Tip and tons of suprise guests (like Busta Rhymes & Kanye West). You saw the videos. Here are the pics. More of them below...

Continue reading "Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest pics"

by BBG

Q-Tip at Rock The Bells (more by Eric Townsend)
Q-Tip

This week is devoted to hip hop and specifically Brooklyn hip hop, with the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival ongoing and a "Salute To The DJ" event slated for TONIGHT at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Juice Crew mastermind Marley Marl will be on hand the headline the event, bringing along Grand Wizzard Theodore, Mista Sinista, Chairman Mao, Roli Rho (5th Platoon), Twilite Tone, and Getlive, all hosted by Duck Down representative Torae. Tickets are still available. We also have a pair you can win. Details and set times below.

Friday (7/15) will mean the Bodega Recognition Awards at Sheraton Brooklyn, which will "recognize and celebrate positive contributions to Hip Hop Music and Culture", but Saturday is the big celebration. Over two stages and during two events, BHHF will see performances from Lords of The Underground, Q-Tip, K-Salaam, MOP, Shad, Diamond District, Random Axe, and many more from noon until 9PM. That's split into the Family Day celebration (12 - 3) and the subsequent show at Brooklyn Bridge Park (6- 9). Full festival details are below, and tickets to the Main Stage performances are still available.

Shad's appearance is one of a few scheduled for the coming weeks, as he'll skip around the US and Canada in the coming months. Full tour schedule is below.

Though it isnt part of the BHHF, Company Flow is decidedly hip hop AND from Brooklyn. The crew plays with The Juggaknots at a sold-out Santos on Saturday.

All Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival details, Shad tour dates, and some videos below.

Continue reading "Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest is underway, Shad is on tour (dates)"

by BBG

Sean Price at Southpaw (more by BBG)
Sean Price

"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."

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]

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.

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.

Reminder: Duck Down signee and collaborator Talib Kweli will play a free show at Red Hook Park TONIGHT, a day before he hits The Colbert Report.

A bunch of videos and song streams are below.

Continue reading "Random Axe released LP on Duck Down (stream it), playing shows w/ Smif N Wessun & Black Moon & more"

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)"

by BBG

Black Milk at SXSW (more by Samantha Marble)
Black Milk

BrooklynVegan is proud to announce the release party for one of 2010's most highly anticipated underground hip hop albums, Black Milk's Album of The Year. Brooklyn's Southpaw will be the venue and September 14th is the date (also the album's release date). The show will feature appearances from the man himself along with Sean Price, Elzhi of Slum Village, and Guilty Simpson among other special guests still to be announced. Tickets are on sale.

UPDATE: DJ Spinna, who is also spinning the Michael Jackson birthday party in Prospect Park this Sunday, has been added to the Southpaw show.

Individually, Sean Price, Black Milk, and Guilty Simpson is an incredible lineup, but in addition, the threesome combine to form Random Axe. Ramdom Axe have completed an LP that, according to a recent interview, will see a release in "October/November". Keep on the look out for that one.

Elzhi is 1/2 of the current Slum Village, who recently released their new album Villa Manifesto via E1 Music, the first since the passing of Slum Village founding member Baatin and ex-SV member J.Dilla. Elzhi released his (almost entirely) Black Milk-produced solo album The Preface in 2008.

The rest of Random Axe has been busy with their own projects, as well. Sean Price released the Kimbo Price mixtape in the tail end of last year, and is prepping to release Mic Tyson on Duck Down. Guilty Simpson's new LP, um, OJ Simpson hit stores in middle May via Stones Throw. The LP features production by Madlib on all tracks.

Some video, including the recently released Black Milk clip "Deadly Medley" is below...

Continue reading "Black Milk will celebrate 'Album of the Year' at Southpaw (w/ Sean Price, Guilty Simpson, Elzhi & more) "