Entries tagged with: Wu-Tang Clan
Rakim at Rock the Bells 2010 (more by Brook Bobbins)
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.
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)
Warning, the following post will attempt to use every single alias for Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, also known as The RZA
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.
RZA is 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.
photos by David Andrako
Ghost & Rae at Yonge-Dundas Square - 6/17/12
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...
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 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.
Ultramagnetic MCs at ATP NJ 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
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).
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)
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.
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.
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.
Ghost and Rae at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
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...
Inspektah Deck with Method Man at Best Buy (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
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).
Ghostface at Rock The Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
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.
GZA at Rock the Bells 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
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...
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.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).
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."
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 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...
photos by Tim Griffin
Talib Kweli @ Mohawk Friday night
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...
Havoc of Mobb Deep @ the kick-off in LA (more by Graeme Flegenheimer)
In addition to initially announced Rock The Bells lineup (Nas playing Illmatic? Mobb Deep on The Infamous detail? wow), the festival has made some interesting additions like Erykah Badu performing all of Baduism (on select dates), Common performing all of Be (on select dates), Killah Priest performing all of Heavy Mental, Slaughterhouse, and DOOM. More lineup details are below.
The NYC show on 9/3 at Governor's Island gets the Erykah Badu appearance, and tickets are on presale, password is "ILLMATIC". General sale begins Saturday, 6/11, at 10:00 AM.
In other Hip Hop festival news, Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest's lineup has expanded too adding MOP (!), Torae, Random Axe (Sean Price + Black Milk + Guilty Simpson), eLZhi, Marley Marl, Roli Rho (5th Platoon), Grand Wizzard Theodore and Twilite Tone. Tickets are on sale for all Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival events, including an after-party at Southpaw on July 16th which proclaims to have "special guests invited including the entire BHF '11 lineup".
Full Rock The Bells details, alongside some videos, below...
photos by Graeme Flegenheimer
Cypress Hill @ House of Blues - Sunset Strip - 5/24/2011
The line-up for the ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES--presented by Boost Mobile in association with GUERILLA UNION and powered by BlackBerry--will feature an array of seminal and up-and-coming hip-hop artists on three stages. Headliners include Ms. Lauryn Hill, Nas,Erykah Baduand Cypress Hill. See the current line-up below and look for more performers to be announced soon.The Guerilla Union pre-sale for the ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES will go from June 3 at 10am PST - 10pm PST. The general on-sale starts on June 4.
This year's festival will head to four major North American markets. Kicking off in the Los Angeles-area on August 20 at the San Manuel Amphitheater, ROCK THE BELLS will then head to San Francisco on August 27 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. The festival moves to the east coast for a show in New York on September 3 at Governor's Island (co-promoted with Bowery Presents, Highline, Mad Dog Presents) before wrapping in [a TBA venue in] Boston on September 10.
ROCK THE BELLS featured a number of headliners performing their most influential albums in their entirety for the first time in the history of hip-hop entertainment last summer. The tradition continues this year with Ms. Lauryn Hill performing her landmark, multi-platinum selling, multi-GRAMMY winning album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill and Nas performing his breakthrough debut album Illmatic with special guests AZ, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. Nas says about performing Illmatic this summer, "For years people have been asking me to do Illmatic in so many ways, from stage plays to movies to books, but the time wasn't right. Where music is going now, the time is right. This will be my biggest production and it only makes sense to do it on the best rap tour which also happens to be a brand I've built and am a partner in. Can't wait to kill it with my comrades AZ, Premo & Pete Rock!"
Full album sets can also be expected from: Cypress Hill performing their 1993 multi-platinum album Black Sunday, featuring modern rock radio mainstay "Insane In The Membrane"; Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star performing their 1998 self-titled debut album; Raekwon & Ghostface teaming up for critically acclaimed, platinum selling Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and more.
"I am excited that this year's Rock The Bells will continue its rich history and tradition by presenting the best and most ambitious festival programming in Hip Hop," says festival co-founder and Guerilla Union head Chang Weisberg. "The bar has been set high and this year's line-up will certainly stake its claim. With ten of the biggest records in the history of the genre and the freshest new talent bubbling from the underground, this summer's Rock The Bells is another dream come true."
ROCK THE BELLS will feature three main stages this year. The two returning stages are the ROCK THE BELLS STAGE and the PAID DUES STAGE, which will feature independent hip-hop acts that performed at the Paid Dues Festival this past April in San Bernardino and new artists-on-the-rise. Paid Dues Festival creator Murs says, "I am excited that I once again have the privilege of hosting the Paid Dues Stage. We will have the honor of showcasing some of the best talent in independent hip hop as part of the worlds largest and longest running hip hop festival... the Paid Dues stage is gonna be the one to watch this year."
The 36 CHAMBERS STAGE is a new addition to the festival and will primarily feature members of the Wu-Tang Clan as well as artists selected by stage curator and Wu-Tang Clan mainstay RZA. A fourth stage that will also be added to most markets is the GRINDTIME NOW STAGE, which will feature battle-style performances.
The lineup was announced last night at a show at House of Blues in LA. Mobb Deep, Souls of Mischief and Cypress Hill all played and pictures to prove it are in this post. More of them below.
The full lineup is also below...
"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
In the Stretch & Bobbito world, mainstream was a four-letter word.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...
...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]
DOWNLOAD: Raekwon - "Shaolin Vs Wu-Tang" (MP3)
Raekwon at Best Buy Theater (more by Brook Bobbins)
HipHopDX: Can you elaborate for me a little bit on how [Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang] is different from your last official solo LP [Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II]?Well, maybe that explains why RZA wasn't in attendance at Best Buy Theater on 12/29. When Raekwon celebrates the release of his new LP Shaolin VS Wu-Tang at Music Hall of Williamsburg on the day of its release, March 8th, RZA probably won't be throwing confetti. Tickets go on sale Friday (1/28) at noon for the show that will feature DJ sets from Cipha Sounds & Rosenberg from Hot 97. The show is Raekwon's lone tour date thus far.
Raekwon: [Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt. II] was me going back into my Godfather status... But this album is more constructed to be like a real, real Wu album. When you think of Wu's early music, how we had the karate skits and the music was coinciding and sounding choppy like that karate format, this album is carved out in the same significance. I had to make sure that I upgraded too, because we dealing with a whole new sound [in Hip Hop], a whole new generation of listeners. And [so] for me, it's still gotta feel new but still feel old, youknowhatImean...
HipHopDX [You & RZA] ...obviously dealt with any disagreements that arose with 8 Diagrams, so with the sound of Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang being back on that 36 Chambers tip, why not go to the architect of that sound for some new sonic designs?
Raekwon: Well the architect, he didn't really wanna co-sign this because he felt like the whole energy of this album being made came to... you know, challenge him as being one of the Grandmasters. I respect where he coming from. I mean, one thing everybody gotta realize is the Clan, it's a lot of us, man. And every now and then we have difficulties in communicating wit' one another.
Check out the title track for Raekwon's Shaolin Vs Wu-Tang which is available for download above and streaming below, along side some video.
photos by Brook Bobbins
"tonight in nyc they played "Duel of The Iron Mic", "97 Mentality", "No Said Date", "Do You Really (Thang, Thang)", "Grid Iron Rap", "One Blood Under W", "Dat's Gangsta", "7th Chamber" and "Protect Ya Neck"
Cappadonna, Streetlife and Boy Jones were there, and Masta Killa sort of took on the role that RZA usually does as the MC of the show at some points.
Math was doing some crazy shit in a Jam Master Jay tribute at one point using more than just his hands." [Sparrow Daene]
The Wu-Tang Clan, sans RZA, brought their tour to Best Buy (formerly Nokia) Theater in Times Square on Wednesday night, 12/29. They'll be celebrating New Years Eve in Pittsburgh. More pictures from the NYC show below...
photos by Graeme Flegenheimer
Like Lauryn Hill before them, the Wu-Tang Clan preceeded the NYC-area portion of their tour with a stop at Higher Ground in Vermont. Unlike Lauryn's though, their show was met with positive reviews... including by someone who alledgedly works at the venue via a comment on the Seven Days blog...
"Hey there - just please let it be known - that we at Higher Ground had such a difficult time dealing with this - Lauryn's crew brought in their entire own PA and had their own engineers - which was totally unnecessary as we have a proper high end PA in-house that they could have used - but Lauryn chose not to. Other venues she plays will suffer the same fate unfortunately. It was too loud because they brought their own subwoofers - in addition to ours that are more than adequate to run any show - just ask the Wu-Tang Clan who had a great performance last night on all of our house gear. It was distorted because Higher Ground engineers - who weren't allowed to run the sound - and know the room better than any traveling engineer - were forced to allow Ms. Hill's crew to make the room sound as she requested. Therefore as a result there were some refunds given back and plenty of earplugs handed out, as well as a plethora of complaints, not only from concert attendees but neighbors as well...."Wu-Tang Clan's tour is now underway. As previously mentioned, it hits Starland Ballroom in NJ tonight (12/23) and Best Buy Theater in NYC on 12/29 (tickets). An updated set of dates and more pictures from the Vermont show (setlist coming soon), below...
Ghostface at Rock The Bells 2010 (more by Brook Bobbins)
Have you ever approached your employer asking for pre-tax deductions for purchases at Flight Club? Have you ever bought two pairs of the same shoe so you could rock one and put the other in your gigantic closet filled with shoeboxes? Do you own the exclusive ultra-rare Jay-Z/Eminem tour only Air Force 1s limited to 50 and limited to 5 in size 10? If so, you'll probably be at Sneaker Pimps NYC on 12/4 at St John Center Studios (570 Washington), where sneaker fiends can buy/sell/trade kicks. But if you aren't a sneaker nerd and just like hip hop (present), then you'll probably just swing by the venue to catch a cavalcade of artists like Ghostface Killah, Redman, Sheek Louch with The Lox, Curren$y (who played an Adidas-sponsored event at Highline Ballroom last night), Diggy Simmons, 9th Wonder, and many others. Tickets are on sale.
Ghostface Killah's new album, The Apollo Kids (named after the burner from Supreme Clientele I'm guessing) is due December 14th via Def Jam. He's currently streaming a new song "Together Baby" at the label, and says it will be the first of three new albums coming soon. No release dates for the other two yet, but he says they'll be called Blue & Cream and Supreme Clientele Part II. He last played NYC during CMJ. His next shows are tonight, Friday and Saturday in California (Friday and Saturday are both with Kosha DIllz who also lists December 23rd at Highline Ballroom on his schedule).
And don't forget Ghost, Rae, and the whole Wu will be touring in December and be at Starland Ballroom and Best Buy Theater on 12/23 (tickets) and 12/29 (tickets) respectively.
Raekwon just played Purchase Fall Fest with Death, and we have some more pics from that coming soon. Sneaker Pimps flyer below...
Wu-Tang Clan @ Rock the Bells over the summer (more by Brook Bobbins)
Wu-Tang Clan are touring in December. That includes two NYC-area shows around Christmas and New Years. They hit Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on December 23rd (one day after Big Boi plays Terminal 5), and Best Buy Theater in NYC on December 29th. Tickets for both of those shows go on sale Friday at noon.
Their California dates are at the beginning of December. Between NJ and NYC they hit Toad's Place in CT on 12/26 which is one day before Raekwon opens a show at Terminal 5. They end the month with a New Years Eve show at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale, PA (population 4028) (it's close to Pittsburgh) (Cloud Cult plays there this Tuesday night).
Wu-Tang last played as a group on the summer's Rock the Bells tour, but both GZA and Ghostface played shows in NYC during CMJ. Raekwon showed up to assist Ghostface at BB King's on 10/22. One of the GZA shows was a surprise appearance at Brooklyn Bowl with Kanye "penis on the Internet" West and many others.
Some videos from CMJ and all dates below...
photos by Brook Bobbins
Okay, so everyone advertised did perform. But it sure was a nail-biter. Lauryn Hill, the eccentric erstwhile Fugee who has mostly stayed out of sight since her lone solo album, 1998's still-scintillating R&B masterpiece "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," was clearly the lineup's chief curiosity. When it comes to her behavior over the past decade there's been no rumor too bizarre to believe. Sunday's rumor was a doozy, and it was true -- she really was three hours late to the stage because she was getting a manicure-pedicure. Suddenly, the attempt by her former band mate Wyclef Jean to become president of Haiti doesn't seem quite so self-centered.I was wondering if Snoop's afternoon appearance in Prospect Park was really a good idea. There were significantly less complaints from the Rock the Bells show that happened one day earlier on Governors Island in NYC. Lauryn was only 30 minutes late.
As her 4:30 start time approached, the elaborate stage plot was ready to go. And then . . . nothing. A 10-minute wait became a half-hour, which became a full hour. Scattered heckles became heavy boos as the stage was broken down at 5:30... Her toenails apparently dry, Lauryn Hill [finally performed later], but she probably shouldn't have bothered. The performance was a messy rush through highlights from "Miseducation," but they were hardly recognizable due to her hoarse voice, speedy delivery and clunky, overstuffed arrangements. Hill wasn't lacking for energy, just focus. The feedback on her microphone was ear-splitting; special guest Nas came out for a 45-second cameo, and his microphone wasn't working for half of it. After 20 minutes she departed to an equal mix of cheers and boos, seemingly oblivious as to why anyone might be upset.
...As headliner Snoop Dogg's stage props were assembled -- that would be a large video screen and a park bench covered in 40s in brown paper bags -- and the clock began ticking toward the venue's 11 p.m. curfew, the chatter started again. As a general rule of thumb, chatter at hip-hop shows is not a good thing. Where's Snoop? He was in New York performing at a Michael Jackson tribute show earlier in the day and at 10:45 p.m. was nowhere to be seen. Boos, again.
He did finally emerge, wearing what seemed to be your grandmother's old kitchen tablecloth and performed a truncated version of his iconic gangsta rap album "Doggystyle."... He mostly stayed true to character, never smiling -- maybe he was too focused reading his lyrics off teleprompters -- but his listless performance gave off the vibe that he'd rather be somewhere else. Like, New York. Snoop drawled over the atomic G-funk of "What's My Name?" as the house lights went on -- the venue's not-so-subtle way of saying, "It's time for you to go now." It's hard to think Snoop minded too much. -[Washington Post]
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Raekwon shows potential groupies his current relationship status
What kind of oldies concert draws a huge audience in its 20s? Rock the Bells, the daylong hip-hop festival that came to Governors Island on Saturday. This year's Rock the Bells borrowed an idea from the indie-rock festival All Tomorrow's Parties, booking groups to perform watershed albums in their entirety.A second set from the NYC edition of Rock The Bells (first is HERE), continue below...
Two headliners, Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang Clan, largely complied with the assignment. Snoop Dogg brought along most of the guests from his 1993 album, "Doggystyle," made back when he was Snoop Doggy Dogg. The others - A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Rakim and Slick Rick - went "veering off," as Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest put it, to play additional hits (which no one minded) or to plug more recent projects.
And then there was the wild card: Lauryn Hill, the singer and rapper formerly of the Fugees, appearing half an hour late. She hasn't released a studio album since "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1998, and she has recorded and toured only sporadically since then while raising five children. "I miss you," she told the crowd repeatedly. Partway through the set she pulled guests out of the V.I.P. section and onstage: Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, John Legend. They missed her too.
-[New York Times]
photos by Eric Townsend, words by BBG
"Can't NOBODY FUCK WITH A TRIBE CALLED QUEST LIVE! ROCK THE BELLS NYC WAS MAGIC!" -Carringtonworld
"#np tribe called quest-steve biko(stir it up)....what yall know about #RocktheBells 2010 live from nyc huh? -"NotoriousDIZZ"
"Some of my rap top 10 will be live on stage: slick rick, lauryn hill, wu tang, rakim, krs one, tribe called quest. nYc represent, represent" -LeRoyLive
A Tribe Called Quest on Governors Island Saturday
Linden boulevard represent, representBoth A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, and the songs "Steve Biko" AND "Eric B Is President" were showcased at Saturday's Rock The Bells event at Randall's Island as the crews showcased their classic LPs Midnight Marauders and Paid In Full respectively. The two Hip Hop legends were part of a much larger whopper of a show that also showcased Wu-Tang Clan's Enter The 36 Chambers, Snopp Dogg's Doggy Style, Slick Rick's The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, KRS-One performing Criminal-Minded, as well as performances from Lauryn Hill, Jedi Mind Tricks, Brother Ali, Wiz Khalifa, and many many others. On the paparazzi tip, celebs were out in full force to check out the show as well as Jay-Z, Chris Rock, John Legend (who performs at Bowery Ballroom tonight), newlywed couple Alicia Keys/Swizz Beatz, Mary J Blige, and many many others were all spotted at the shindig (some snaps are below).
Tribe called quest represent, represent
When the mic is in my hand, I'm never hesitant
My favourite jam back in the day was "Eric B. is President"
-[A Tribe Called Quest - "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)"]
More pictures (and video) from the show are HERE and below (, and one more set still on the way)...