Entries tagged with: Wu-Tang Clan

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Rock the Bells 2013

Happy 10th anniversary to Rock the Bells, who have announced their initial, rotating 2013 lineup featuring hosts Peter Rosenberg & MURS 3:16, as well as names like Bone Thugs N Harmony, Danny Brown, Black Hippy (who just played NYC), Common, E40 & Too Short, Earl Sweatshirt (ditto), Flatbush Zombies, Juicy J (who played a Fader show on Monday and Irving Plaza last night), Rakim, Wu-Tang Clan (who play Summer Jam soon), Tyler the Creator (who just announced an NYC show as part of Odd Future), Eazy E, Ol Dirty Bastard and more. Confused? Yes, I did just say Eazy E and Ol Dirty Bastard, both of which will be "virtual performances" as part of the travelling festival. AllHipHop reports:

Ol Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E's spirits will return to the stage at Rock The Bells this year, AllHipHop has learned.

The pair of Hip-Hop legends will have holograms performing this year at the 10-year anniversary of the rap festival.

Eazy-E will perform virtually with Bone Thugs-In-Harmony and ODB will rock with Wu Tang. Organizers said Eazy never blessed the Rock The Bells stage and ODB only did once.

Also, the "holograms" are approved by Eazy-E's wife Tomica Wright and Ol Dirty's mother, Cherry Jones.

Tupac's Coachella appearance inspired the new virtual performances at Rock The Bells, organizers admitted.

So far only four dates exist for Rock the Bells. They're all listed below. Two of them are on the East Coast and one is in the NYC area at Meadowlands Racetrack in Rutherford, NJ on October 4-5. Tickets go on presale Thursday (10/16) at noon, and regular sale on Saturday.

Initial lineup (at least 15 more artists TBA), dates and some video below.

Continue reading "Rock the Bells 2013 initial lineup (Wu-Tang, Earl Sweatshirt, Juicy J, Tyler the Creator... + hologram ODB & Eazy E)"

Kendrick Lamar at Roseland in February (more by Dylan Johnson)
Kendrick Lamar

We recently posted that the Hot 97 Summer Jam "Festival Village" lineup (aka the side stage in the parking lot), which features Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, A$AP Ferg, Smoke DZA, Bodega Bamz, Troy Ave, and more. And now the main stage lineup, which goes down inside of MetLife Stadium on June 2 has been announced, and that one's looking pretty good too. It's got Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky, who both quickly graduated from the side stage that they played last year (but for obvious reasons), in addition to Miguel, Wu-Tang Clan, Fabolous, Wale, 2 Chainz, Joe Budden, French Montana, and, sigh, Chris Brown. Tickets for the whole festival (main stage and "Festival Village" included) are still available. Hopefully no headliners drop off this year.

This show is one of a few that Kendrick Lamar is doing in the NYC-area this year, including his Downtown Music Festival show at Capitale on May 10 with the rest of the Black Hippy crew (Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock) joining him, plus support from Fat Tony. Tickets for that one are still available. Then he plays NYC festival Governors Ball on June 8.

Miguel was originally on Governors Ball too, but dropped off. He, Kendrick, 2 Chainz and A$AP Rocky will also be festival-mates later this year at Jay-Z's Philly festival, Made In America in August, which also includes Beyonce, Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, Solange, and others. Tickets for that festival are still available.

Meanwhile, A$AP Rocky has many other tour dates too, including NYC-area dates on May 4 and 5 at Barclays Center with Rihanna (both sold out), and on August 2 at PNC Bank Arts Center, August 6 at Jones Beach, and August 8 at Comcast Theatre with Wiz Khalifa, Joey Bada$$, Rockie Fresh, Smoke DZA, and others. Tickets for those shows are still available.

Videos of Kendrick and Rocky on last year's Summer Jam parking lot stage below...

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Miguel, Wu-Tang Clan & more playing Hot 97 Summer Jam (lineup)"

photos by Wei Shi

Ghost BC / The Three O'Clock / Thee Oh Sees fans
Coachella 2013 - Week 2 in Pictures - Day 3
Coachella 2013 - Week 2 in Pictures - Day 3
Coachella 2013 - Week 2 in Pictures - Day 3

After two weekends, Coachella 2013 officially came to a close this past Sunday (4/21) with sets from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Wu-Tang Clan, Grimes, Vampire Weekend, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jessie Ware, Tame Impala, and more. Pictures of those artists, and some of the comparatively smaller but not less exciting artists that we missed at Weekend 1, like Ghost B.C., The Three O'Clock, DIIV, and Thee Oh Sees, are in this post.

We didn't catch James Blake this time like we did the first time, but he brought out RZA (who was there with Wu-Tang Clan) to perform their song, "Take A Fall For Me," which appears on James' new album, Overgrown. You can watch a video of that below.

In case you haven't been keeping up with our coverage, pictures of Weekend 2 Day 1 are HERE and Weekend 2 Day 2 are HERE. For Weekend 1 pictures, check out day 1 (HERE and HERE), day 2 (HERE) and day 3 (HERE).

More pictures from Weekend 2 Day 3 and the James Blake video below...

Continue reading "Coachella Weekend 2 Day 3 in pics (Ghost BC, The Three O'Clock, DIIV, Thee Oh Sees, Nick Cave, Grimes & more)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Wu-Tang Clan / Father John Misty / Grimes / the crowd @ Coachella, 4/14/2013
Coachella 2013, Day 3
Coachella 2013, Day 3
Coachella 2013, Day 3
Coachella 2013, Day 3

As the wind whipped through the final day of Coachella's first weekend, it became clear to those at the front of the stage that the techs getting the stage set up for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' festival-closing headlining set had a choice: take down the video screens that clearly were a part of the Peppers' production, or leave them up, risking them blowing uncontrollably around the stage. So they chose the former, leaving behind grandiose production elements in favor of solid -- but not-quite-revelatory -- musicianship.

It's a sort of metaphor for this year's edition of the festival, which never quite hit the watercooler moment. On the final day of the first weekend (the lineup repeats next week), there were no superstar surprises, no Daft Punk appearance and, during the Chili Peppers' set, not even a new song: just a major band, playing through their major hits, for a major audience.

It's been the story of this Coachella from the start, when the two-weekend blowout nearly sold out before the lineup was even announced, but on the field it became immediately obvious: This festival, at least this year, no longer was about "music fans" but about "Coachella fans" -- that is to say, the tens of thousands of revelers who packed the field had no specific allegiance to a band, a genre or an affiliation. - [Hollywood Reporter]

The first weekend of Coachella wrapped up last night (4/14). with sets from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dead Can Dance, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, and Staten Island hiphop legends the Wu-Tang Clan who performed much of their classic 1993 album, Enter The 36 Chambers, as well as solo hits from the different members. Earlier Sunday also saw Grimes' energetic set, noisemakers JEFF the Brotherhood and Dinosaur Jr,  the mellow gold of Kurt Vile, Australian psych purveyors Tame Impala, crowd-pleasers Vampire Weekend, Gaslight Anthem, and Father John Misty. Pictures of those acts' sets are in this post.

Other acts that played Sunday: Cloud Nothings as a three-piece, Ghost BC (who played too early for our photographer to catch), Jessie Ware (who also made an appearance during Disclosure's set) and San Francisco psych-garage kings Thee Oh Sees, who we also missed but were joined on sleigh bells by fellow Bay Area resident Ty Segall.

Pictures from day 1 are HERE and HERE, pictures from day 2 are HERE. More day 3 Coachella pictures below...

Continue reading "Coachella Day 3 Photos (Wu-Tang Clan, Vampire Weekend, Father John Misty, Grimes, Kurt Vile, James Blake ++ more)"

RZA screams "J'Accuse!!!" at Teichiku Ent. (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
RZA

RZA is taking a bold move of fighting back against a copyright infringement lawsuit, filing a lawsuit of his own against JVC Kenwood Holdings, which includes Teichiku Entertainment:

RZA (born Robert Diggs) is upset that the record label Island Def Jam has withheld more than $50,000 in royalties based on the claims that one of Teichiku's sound recordings was illicitly used on Kanye West's 2010 song, "Dark Fantasy," which RZA produced.

As a result, RZA is going to court to get a declaration that "Dark Fantasy" is not an infringement... According to the latest lawsuit, RZA was notified that "Dark Fantasy" contained an unauthorized sample from "Gincyo Watadori" performed by Meiko Kaji. The defendant demanded compensation.

What happened next, according to RZA's court papers, was that West's label Island Def Jam refused to pay royalties, claiming "that it is entitled to indemnification from plaintiff against defendant's copyright infringement claim."

So RZA is going to court against the accuser in an attempt to show the sampling allegation has no merit. -[Hollywood Reporter]

Follow that? RZA seeks to "commence declaratory relief actions to squash some of these claims and, perhaps, recover our costs of defending" with the lawsuit, which is one of several in the works.

Yay! More lawsuits!

Weird Al and Bonarroo phone bank (including Mike Birbiglia and Eugene Mirman...
bonnaroo

With help from Eugene Mirman, Chris Gethard, Mike Birbiglia, Portugal. The Man and more, Weird Al just began announcing the 2013 Bonnaroo line-up on the Bonnaroo YouTube page which happens June 13 - 16 in Manchester, TN. Weird Al just announced Pretty Lights, Wilco, A$AP Rocky, and The xx, and over the next hour, more artists will be announced. We'll update this post as more announcements come.

Other artists playing include Passion Pit, Kendrick Lamar, David Byrne and St. Vincent, Jim James, Big K.R.I.T., Billy Idol, Grizzly Bear, Japandroids, Foals, Wild Nothing, Deap Vally, Killer Mike, Lord Huron, Divine Fits, Nas, Beach House, The Gaslight Anthem, Local Natives, Dirty Projectors, Baroness, The National, The Vaccines, Holy Ghost, Death Grips, R. Kelly, Alt-J, Purity Ring, Cat Power, Wu-Tang Clan, Bjork, Tame Impala, Animal Collective, The Tallest Man on Earth, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Paul McCartney, Earl Sweatshirt, Four Tet, Father John Misty, Swans, A-Trak, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Cults, AraabMuzik, DIIV, Charli XCX, Matthew E. White, Frank Turner, JEFF the Brotherhood, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Calexico, Two Gallants, and more.

Tickets for the festival go on sale Saturday (2/23) at noon EST.

There's also now a video of Daniel Tosh announcing the initial lineup, which you can watch, along with the current list of announced names, below...

Continue reading "Bonnaroo 2013 lineup announcement underway"

Jurassic 5
Jurassic 5

We briefly mentioned in our post of bands reuniting at Coachella 2013, LA hip hop collective Jurassic 5 are reuniting after breaking up in 2007 (one year after the release of their fourth album, Feedback). There's no insight yet as to whether or not this reunion will go beyond the Coachella slot but fingers crossed! They play on the Fridays (April 12 and 19).

Another big one on the lineup is Wu-Tang Clan, who play the Sundays of the festival (April 14 and 21). This one's not exactly a "reunion," like Jurassic 5 is, but it's worth noting that while Wu-Tang Clan members play shows a lot, it's not every day that they all join forces on stage.

Other rappers at the festival include Aesop Rock and Earl Sweatshirt on the Fridays, and El-P, Pusha T, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, 2 Chainz, and Theophilus London on the Saturdays. R&B singer Janelle Monae also plays on the Saturdays.

A classic Jurassic 5 video below...

Continue reading "Hip Hop at Coachella 2013 (not much)"

Coachella

Click it for the bigger poster.

Rakim at Rock the Bells 2010 (more by Brook Bobbins)
Rakim

The "invincible microphone fiend" Rakim will team with Wu-Tang staple Raekwon just in time for the holidays, blessing Studio 48 on December 20th. UPDATE (12/11): The show a has been postponed till February 8. Tickets are on sale.

Still no hard date for Rakim's forthcoming LP with Pharrell Williams, thoughh it will reportedly see the light in 2013.

Stage 48 is also where fellow Wu-Tang-er GZA is playing on January 12th. Tickets are still available for that too.

In related news, Raekwon and another Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah recently reminisced on the eight year anniversary of ODB's death (on 11/13) to TMZ. Raekwon's statement was somber:

"Today I just want to have a day of prayer to let my brother know I am thinking about him. This still hits me real hard. I will mourn over him today and think about how much he taught me."
While Ghostface's was more reflective and uplifting:
"I never dwell on the day we lost him, I just celebrate the times I had with him. I pray and thank God on this day because he is my angel ... I spent the day just sitting quietly and praying. Dirt wouldnt want us mourning so I don't."
RIP Ol Dirty.

by Fred Pessaro // BBG

RZA / Method Man @ Best Buy Theater, 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
RZA

Warning, the following post will attempt to use every single alias for Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, also known as The RZA

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Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah (#1) is ready to prove that he has Iron Fists as a filmmaker, but also doesn't want you to forget that he is still wields the Iron Mic. Bob Digi (#2) will play Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 3 as part of the burgeoning Iron Fists tour, a set of US dates that so far involve shows in Chicago, Baltimore and Texas. All dates featuring The Abbott (#3) are still trickling in as we speak, but you can get your tickets to MHoW when they go on sale Thursday (9/20) at noon. Full tour schedule for Prince Rakeem (#4) is still on the way.

The RZARectah (#5) is also welcoming the soundtrack for The Man with the Iron Fists (in theaters Nov. 2) that he directed/produced/starred in, and you can stream a track from that movie below alongside a list of all known Bobby Steel (#6) tour dates.

Continue reading "RZA readies Iron Fists tour, playing Music Hall of Williamsburg (dates)"

RZA is The Man with The Iron Fists
The Man with the Iron Fists

Quentin Tarantino presents The Man With the Iron Fists, an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director and leading man, RZA -- alongside a stellar international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu -- tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero in nineteenth-century China who must unite to destroy the clan traitor who would destroy them all.
RZA's movie The Man with the Iron Fists opens on November 2 and features a soundtrack with contributions from The Black Keys, Kanye West, Raekwon, RZA, Wu-Tang Clan, Flatbush Zombies (who just played Afro-Punk), Freddie Gibbs, Ghostface Killah, Kool G Rap, and many, many more. Stream the new RZA track "Blowin' In The Wind" at soundcloud, and dig on the eye-popping "red band" trailer for the film, the movie poster and soundtrack tracklisting below.

Continue reading "RZA directed, co-wrote & stars in 'The Man with the Iron Fists'; he's on the soundtrack too w/ Kanye, Black Keys ++ more"

photos by David Andrako

Ghost & Rae at Yonge-Dundas Square - 6/17/12
Ghostface and Raekwon

Opening things up with a blazing, pace-setting flourish, Raekwon and Ghostface let loose with a tight four-pack of Wu classics, including "Incarcerated Scarfaces," "Glaciers of Ice" and the timeless "Ice Cream." Feeling right at home in front of their adoring legions, the two seasoned vets paced around the stage like the hip-hop royalty they most certainly are, taking rap fans on a trip through countless and no doubt formative musical memories, with the Iron Man playing it cool for the most part behind a much more animated and engaging Raekwon. The Chef, for his part, took time out from the duo's own rundown of hits to show love to T.Dot compatriot and collaborator JD Era, running through their shared cuts before allowing the local MC to spotlight his own recent radio hit "Mount Olympus" to the joy of many of hometown faithful. [Exclaim]
Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface & Raekwon teamed up for a free show in Toronto as part of NXNE last weekend in Yonge-Dundas Square. They were supported by a stacked lineup of Killer Mike, Action Bronson, Tre Mission, Tasha the Amazon, and Austin Renfore.

The show happened two days before Action Bronson played a free show in Brooklyn.

You can catch Ghostface in NYC on Saturday (6/23) for a free Prospect Park Show, and again in August for a Wu-Block Party at Highline (8/8) and at Rock the Bells. The latter of those is with Raekwon, who will play his own show in NYC sooner at Best Buy Theater on July 26 with Tyler, the Creator & Earl Sweatshirt (tickets).

More pictures from the Toronto show, part of our growing collection of NXNE 2012 pics, are below...

Continue reading "Ghostface played NXNE w/ Raekwon Killer Mike, Action Bronson & more (pics), plays Prospect Park Saturday (free)"

photos by Ryan Barkan

"in case y'all were wondering: the gza fucking killed the music hall of williamsburg tonight." - William Ruben Helms

GZA at Music Hall of Williamsburg - 6/14/12
GZA

GZA came to Music Hall of Williamsburg for two shows on Thursday (6/14) as part of Northside Festival, both of which were full performances of his classic album Liquid Swords, played with backing band Grupo Fantasma.

Spaceghostpurrp, who played his own show two days earlier in celebration of his new album, Mysterious Phonk, showed up as a surprise guest during GZA's early show and it was then that he was announced as the opener for the late show. Brownout (aka Grupo Fantasma's "psychedelic funk alter-ego") opened the early show.

More pictures and some videos from MHOW are below.

Continue reading "GZA performed 'Liquid Swords' at MHOW w/ surprise guest Spaceghostpurrp (pics & videos)"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ghost and Rae at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Ghost and Rae

Wu-Block -- the new project of Wu-Tang members Ghostface Killah and Raekwon and D-Block/The LOX members Sheek Louch, Jadakiss, and Styles P -- are set to release an album this year. It will be performed live at Rock the Bells, whose lineup recently expanded to also include DMX, Eve, Mix Master Mike, Pusha T, Future, and still more TBA. As mentioned, the fest comes to the NYC area on September 1-2 at PNC Bank Arts Center. Tickets are still available. The updated flier is below.

Ghostface and Sheek Louch will be heading out on the Wu-Block Tour with Saigon surrounding Rock the Bells. That tour hasn't been announced in full yet but we know that it includes a show in NYC at Highline Ballroom on August 8. Tickets for the Highline show go on sale Friday (6/15) at noon.

You can catch Ghostface in NYC even sooner at his free Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park on June 23 with Camp Lo, Astro, and more.

Speaking of Raekwon, he just announced a Best Buy Theater show (7/26) with Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt.

A list of all currently known Wu-Block tour dates, some videos, and the updated Rock the Bells flier below...

Continue reading "Wu-Block (Ghost, Rae & The LOX), Pusha T, Eve & more added to Rock the Bells; Wu-Block touring w/ Saigon (dates)"

Inspektah Deck with Method Man at Best Buy (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Wu-Tang Clan

Summertime and old-school/golden age hip hop go hand in hand. As such there are a plaethora of upcoming shows that will showcase all of your favorite MCs.

Tonight (6/6), SOB's will host Wu-Tang member Inspektah Deck with Queens' king of nonsensical rhymes N.O.R.E.. Tickets are still available. Deck recently shared "American Way" from his upcoming "mix album" Cynthia's Son which is streamable below. Deck is also onboard as part of Czarface with Boston duo 7L & Esoteric. The trio's collaboration will reportedly feature appearances from Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Roc Marciano, Action Bronson, Large Professor and DJ Premier.

SOB's will also host upcoming shows with Elzhi (ex-Slum Village) on July 19th (tickets), as well as Beanie Siegel on July 25th (tickets), the latter of which will appear at the Apple Store in the near future.

Slick Rick seemingly has a new NYC show on the calendar at all times, and his latest will team him with the great Biz Markie. Look for the duo to hit Gramercy Theater on July 28. Tickets are on sale. Meanwhile, a few of Biz's Juice Crew affiliates (namely Marley Marl and Big Daddy Kane) will link up with EPMD, Chubb Rock, and DJ Scratch for a show at BB King's on July 18th. Tickets are still available.

More shows: Prodigy of Mobb Deep and The Beatnuts will celebrate Queens Day at Irving Plaza on June 19; the shows in Betsy Head Park this weekend (Boot Camp Clik takes over 6/7); Lyricist Lounge with Ghostface on June 23; and GZA's performance of Liquid Swords during the Northside Festival (6/14).

Continue reading "Inspektah Deck, Noreaga, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane and more hip hop shows on the horizon"

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

Lyricist Lounge will celebrate 20 years of events and releases with a free Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park on June 23rd. Ghostface Killah (who celebrated his birthday yesterday, May 9th!) will join the kings of "Luchini" Camp Lo, Astro, and more for this FREE event that kicks off at 7:30. Ghostdeini currently has no other US dates planned, but will go on the road for a string of Australian dates at the beginning of June. Details are below. Check out the full Celebrate Brooklyn schedule HERE.

In other classic hip hop news, Prodigy of Mobb Deep will team up with The Beatnuts, Heems of Das Racist, DJ Rob Swift, Big Baby Gandhi and more as part of an event called "Queens Day" on 6/19 at Irving Plaza. Tickets are still available. Prodigy recently completed recording of his new album HNIC3, which is due for release on July 3rd. Stream the recent track "Gangsta Love" featuring Esther below.

All Ghostface Killah dates, some video, and that Prodigy stream is below. Pay close attention to the tail end of that "Luchini" video and you'll see Butterfly of Digable Planets (aka Ishmael Butler) drop a verse from Camp Lo's "Swing". Butler's new project Shabazz Palaces play Williamsburg Park this summer.

Continue reading "Ghostface & Camp Lo celebrate 20 years of Lyricist Lounge; Prodigy & The Beatnuts celebrate Queens day"

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

GZA, who is about to play two shows with Bad Brains next week, including one in Brooklyn at MHOW on 4/18 (sold out), has announced that he'll be performing his classuc solo LP, Liquid Swords, in its entirety at Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 14 as part of Northside Festival. He'll be backed by by Austin's Grupo Fantasma like he was at SXSW (videos HERE). Grupo Fantasma's "psychedelic funk alter-ego" Brownout opens the show. Tickets are on AmEx presale now and go on sale to the general public on Friday (4/13) at noon.

GZA released Liquid Swords in 1995 as his second solo LP and first to come out after Wu Tang's Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). He's toured the album in the past and recently performed it again at Rock the Bells 2011. The videos for "Cold World" and "Shadowboxin" off Liquid Swords are below.

GZA and RZA (who produced Liquid Swords) have been planning a sequel to Liquid Swords which continues to be postponed, but GZA plans to release a different new album, titled Dark Matter, this year.

In other hip hop news, Schoolboy Q is in NYC to play SOB's tonight (4/11).

All dates and videos below...

Continue reading "GZA playing 'Liquid Swords' in Brooklyn backed by Grupo Fantasma (like he was at SXSW)"

Omar

The Guardian reports:

"The actor who played drug vigilante Omar Little in TV series The Wire is to take on the role of Ol' Dirty Bastard in a film. Plans are moving ahead for Dirty White Boy, a movie based on the late and notorious rapper, starring the Baltimore crime drama's Michael K Williams.

Dirty White Boy focuses not just on ODB, born Russell Jones, but also on Jarred Weisfeld, the titular white boy, who met the musician when he was a 22-year-old VH1 production assistant. Weisfeld gradually became ODB's manager, Entertainment Weekly reports, engineering the rapper's comeback. His plan was cut short by Ol' Dirty Bastard's fatal drug overdose in November 2004."

In other news, Michael K Williams' ex-Boardwalk Empire co-star Aleksa Palladino played SXSW with her band Exitmusic who are currently on tour with A Place to Bury Strangers and Joy Formidable, though they are replaced by Violens at the NYC show (Violens meanwhile play Cameo Saturday).

ODB's ex-Wu-Tang Clan cohort GZA opens for Bad Brains in Brooklyn in April, and just played SXSW backed by Grupo Fantasma/Brownout and with Raekwon. Videos, ODB tributes included, below...

Continue reading "Omar from the Wire to play Ol' Dirty Bastard in movie; GZA & Raekwon paid tribute @ SXSW"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

"The WU TANG show at best buy theatre was jenkin like fuck 2nite..only thing was missing was @Raekwon @GhostfaceKillah the clan did it up doe" - LYVE1OH

Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan recently played a few NYC-area dates including Best Buy Theater on Sunday (12/18). No Raekwon & Ghostface unfortunately, but Method Man, RZA, Masta Killa and others from the crew were in the house. Here are some pictures and videos from that show

In related news, Wu-Tang Clan revealed via facebook that Method Man is working on his "last album produced by the RZA." As HipHopDX points out, it's not clear whether they mean that it's going to be Method Man's last album or the last album that RZA produces for him.

More pictures and videos from the NYC show, and a recently-posted Ghostface vs Narduwar video, below...

Continue reading "Wu-Tang Clan played NYC sans Ghostface & Raekwon (pics & video), Nardwuar talked to Ghostface (video)"

photos by Tim Griffin

Talib Kweli @ Mohawk Friday night
Talib Kweli

As previously mentioned, Black Star will return for a pair of dates at Best Buy Theater, and on the same night. Saturday December 3rd will see Yasiin and Talib Kweli perform their only LP in its entirety at an 8:00 show and an 11:30 show. Tickets are on sale for both. Talib Kweli joined Res and band to form Idle Warship, at the BrooklynVegan Day Party on Saturday (10/22) before heading to the Duck Down vs Blacksmith showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg next door. Pictures from the BV party are on the way, but we have a set of pictures in this post from the show Talib Kweli played at the Mohawk one night earlier (yes he was in Texas playing a show after midnight the night before he headlined our show at 5pm in Brooklyn!).

In related news, Wu-Tang Clan (billed as with Method Man, RZA, GZA, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck, and Masta Killa) will also head to Best Buy Theater in the coming months, hitting the venue on December 18th as part of a string of live dates that will also include Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on 12/15 and Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY on 12/17. Tickets are on sale for all dates.

Inspektah Deck will also HEADLINE his own show at 285 Kent on 11/4, joining Ava Luna, DJ Dog Dick, and a DJ set from WFMU'S Marty McSorley. Tickets are on sale. The show is meant to wave goodbye to Babycastles, a collective of independent gaming designers that built an arcade inside Silent Barn.

In other "hip hop at Best Buy Theater" news, Jadakiss, Lloyd Banks, Juelz Santana, Fabolous, Meek Mills, French Montana, and Red Cafe will team for a Funkmaster Flex Presents event at the venue on 11/24. Tickets are on sale.

J Cole plays there tonight (10/25).

Talib Kweli's show Friday night at the Mohawk in Austin, TX was with G-Eazy and Franchize. More pictures from that 10/21 performance, and Wu Tang dates, below...

Continue reading "Wu-Tang Clan tour dates, Talib Kweli live pics & stuff"

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)"

GZA

"Krumholtz, repped by CAA and the Collective, is developing Igotchaback, a half-hour single-camera comedy for FX based loosely on the lives of legendary rap artist and Wu Tang Clan founding member GZA and his publicist Heathcliff Berru. The project, which Krumholtz is executive producing with an eye to star, centers on an up-and-coming music industry manager tasked with representing an aging rap star mired knee-deep in existential crisis." [Deadline]
GZA "is also working on his next album for Babygrande Records to be released with a graphic novel in the fall". And in related news,
"Fishbone, who are the subjects of the documentary "Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone" which is screening at SXSW Film Fest will be performing at the Austin Music Hall on March 17 with (oh snap!) Wu-Tang Clan. Holla!" [Austin 360]
Raekwon's new album is out March 8th which is the same day he plays a show in Brooklyn.

photos by Brook Bobbins

Stretch & Bobbito
Stretch & Bobbito

In the Stretch & Bobbito world, mainstream was a four-letter word.

...For the eight years it ran, from 1 to 5 in the early hours of Friday morning, "The Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show" gave early exposure to artists like Jay-Z, Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan, who eventually went on to mainstream stardom. But for every one who made it, there were several who remained in the underground, happily or otherwise.

Of the many guests on Thursday night [at Le Poisson Rouge, Feb 10th]-- including Raekwon and Masta Killa of the Wu-Tang Clan -- the underground stalwarts were the fiercest, and often the most visibly moved. There was the fantastically gravelly Rock, of Heltah Skeltah, who performed a bit of "Laflaur Leflah Eshkoshka," and Artifacts, who were the night's first guests, and whose "Wrong Side of da Tracks" was still sturdy, more than 15 years after it was released.

After solo sets, Masta Ace and Buckshot collaborated for an impromptu reunion of two-thirds of the Crooklyn Dodgers, the one-off group assembled for the soundtrack of the 1994 Spike Lee film, "Crooklyn." Nice & Smooth closed the night, and almost stole it, with vintage hits, a tribute to Guru of Gang Starr, who died last year, and boundless energy.-[NYTimes]

In addition to the above-mentioned artists, the Stretch & Bob reunion featured appearances from DJ Premier, The Beatnuts, Natural Elements and many many others (and is that Spike from Top Chef in one of the pics?). More pictures from the indie hip-hop star-studded event below...

Continue reading "Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito reunited w/ many special guests in the house (pics from Le Poisson Rouge)"