Friday, July 31, 2009

Kweli and Tek are back in the studio and back behind the camera for Reflection Eternal's new upcoming album Revolutions Per Minute.

"There was a void there for the type of thing we was doing," Talib Kweli says in regards to the group getting back together after all these ways.

Other topics include production on the album, the difference between fun tracks and serious tracks, musical influences, inspiration for the first album, and being from the Midwest (Cincinnati) and the amazing music that is made as a result of that.

Also, be sure to check out the video for the first single, "Back Again, here.

Enjoy.
-Mike-

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Can't wait for this album.
-Mike-

[more info here]

The G.O.O.D. Music after party late last year was the place to be for the ultimate Hip-Hop collaborations. Dave and Posdonous of De La Soul, Mos, Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, Will i Am, and Nas traded the mic, while Kanye, Big Sean, Kid Cudi, Consequence, and others watched and cheered.

Priceless.
-Mike-

Acclaimed musician/actor/activist Mos Def kicks off his next tour this Saturday in Minneapolis in support of his recent release The Ecstatic.

The Ecstatic Tour will be five weeks long, ending in Hollywood on September 5th. Jay Electronica will open for Mr. Def at every stop. Also, Erykah Badu and Medina Green will be making appearances at select dates.

I'll be catching the Mighty Mos on his August 29th stop in Portland, OR. I'll be sure to post a review after the concert. Also, if you haven't yet picked up The Ecstatic, do yourself a favor and make it your task for the day. You won't be disappointed.

See below for dates, or check here.
-Mike-



8/1 | Minneapolis, MN | First Avenue
GET TICKETS

8/2 | Chicago, IL | House of Blues
GET TICKETS

8/5 | Burlington, VT | Higher Ground
GET TICKETS

8/9 | Washington, DC | 9:30 Club
GET TICKETS

8/12 | Charlotte, NC | Amos’ Southend
GET TICKETS

8/13 | Charleston, SC | Music Farm
GET TICKETS

8/14 | Atlanta, GA | The Tabernacle
GET TICKETS

8/15 | Miami, FL | Performing Arts Center
GET TICKETS
On-Sale: SATURDAY, 12PM EST

Pre-Sale: FRIDAY, 10AM EST
Password: ECSTATIC

8/17 | New Orleans, LA | House of Blues
GET TICKETS

8/18 | Dallas, TX | House of Blues
GET TICKETS

8/19 | Houston, TX | House of Blues
GET TICKETS

8/24 | Edmonton, AB | Edmonton Events Center
GET TICKETS

8/25 | Calgary, AB | Flames Central
GET TICKETS

8/27 | Vancouver, BC | The Vogue Theatre
GET TICKETS

8/29 | Portland, OR | Roseland Theatre
GET TICKETS

More dates to be announced!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This one's for my punk rock pals.

The infamous Jello Biafra (famed frontman of canonical punk rock group Dead Kennedys, as well as a countless bunch of various solo/group efforts, most of which are named after him) has announced his current project, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine.

As always, the group will release their album on Biafra's own Alternative Tentacles Records. Check out their first two tracks on their MySpace page and Jello's official announcement of the band's existence (and a sneak peak at recording) in the video below.

According to the MySpace info:
The band's sound retains some of the the spy-music-on-meth chaos of the DK's [Dead Kennedys] while adding a healthy dose of Detroit style proto-punk mixed with layers of sonic guitar noise, and Weiss' industrial excursions into metal percussion.
The dude is old for sure, but he's still putting out some quality, energetic punk.

Color me stoked.
-Mike-

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine
This Saturday
"Live on the Levee"
Downtown St. Louis
Free Concert
Black Spade: 6pm
Lupe Fiasco: 8pm


Be there.
-Mike-
KarmaloopTV has some excellent interview series' set up for your viewing pleasure. For instance, the Kid Cudi interview posted recently was freaking awesome, right?

Check out Murs and Kid Cudi on the "Their Words" series, as well as a two-part Questo interview (it's a little dated, but it's still pretty cool), and some awesome stuff from Immortal Technique.

Ya dig?
Scroll through these; check some of em out.
-Mike-

MURS


?UESTLOVE PART I


?UESTLOVE PART II


IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE PART I


IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE PART II


KID CUDI PART I


KID CUDI PART II (who is the Lonely Stoner?)

Kweli and Rhymefest stepped out for a show at Chicago's "The Shrine" this past Monday. They certainly didn't have a set to compare to Kanye's, but they definitely brought the skills.

Gotta say, "Get By" is probably my favorite Talib Kweli track (in fact, it's the one that really turned me onto his solo stuff to begin with), so I'm loving the fact that it's included here.

Enjoy.
-Mike-

Hey, wanna check out Kanye's ENTIRE hometown performance at the Chicago Theater? I've got your hookup. Talk about a crowd-pleaser. Props to WorldStarHipHop for posting this.

The dude always manages to have some pretty killer set designs. Pretty nice setlist too.

You know, Kanye used to be known as an infamous douche bag, but this shit is actually really cool. Way to go, Yeezy.

Enjoy.
-Mike-

(PS: Looks like the audio is a bit off. Not sure what happened there. Whatever, it's still a killer show.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

DJ Honda's upcoming album hIV features none other than Mos Def. The track, called "Magnetic Arts", features a new beat from DJ Honda under a version of the vocals from Mos Def's "Casa Bey", from his recently-released The Ecstatic.

Very nice.
-Mike-



Check out a nice live clip of "Casa Bey" on the streets of Osaka, Japan here...


And don't forget the original Mos Def/DJ Honda collaboration, "Travellin Man" (also shot in Japan)...
After Brother Ali's highly successful The Undisputed Truth hit the shelves from Rhymesayers, word of the albino rapper's skills spread even quicker than they already had been. His tour with Atmosphere (which came through St. Louis this past May) was nothing short of moving and his Fresh Air tour in support of his upcoming album, titled Us, promises to be no less powerful.

With him this time around will be Evidence from Dilated Peoples (who recently signed to Rhymesayers himself), as well as BK One and Toki Wright. They won't be hitting St. Louis this time around unfortunately, but they will be passing through Chicago and Madison in November. I'm feeling a road trip. Who's down?

Be sure to check out Us when it hits stores this September. In traditional fashion, production rights on the disc go to Ant (of Atmosphere). Features include Chuck D, Freeway, and more.

Cop 'em if they've got 'em.
-Mike-
Evidence of Dilated Peoples recently signed a recording agreement with my favorite hip-hop label, Rhymesayers Entertainment. He sat down with XXL Mag to discuss the deal, current projects, and what ever happened to Alchemist.


XXLMag.com: Can you talk a little about the new deal?

Evidence: I signed with Rhymesayers for the next few albums hopefully.
XXL: Do you have a fixed number yet?
Evidence: Ideally, it would be three. The options are more on their choice than mine. Hopefully it works out, options get exercised, and we turn this into something bigger. My gut feeling is that I don’t think that Rhymesayers would invest in something that they’d really be interested in a one off from. Everything I’ve seen and the blueprint they’ve laid down with a lot of their artists have been long term investments. I think that’s where they’re actually becoming one of the recession-proof labels, is because of that investment. You have a lot of other labels trying to sign ten, fifteen things and throw ‘em all against the wall and the one that sticks is the one they promote. I don’t see that. I see an equal push happening with every artist, and it’s up to the artist to take it to the next level—and that’s really what I wanna do. What I’ve built up in the last two years as a solo artist I’m very proud of, and I just don’t wanna piggyback the movement. I’m proud to be part of this label, or this family, so to speak, but I wanna show independence within it. I wanna show Slug and [Brother] Ali and everybody that I have my own thing, too, and I want them to be proud of what I bring to the table. Not just, “This dude signed with us so he can get X, Y, Z fans,” you know what I mean?
XXL: Do you think there’s gonna be some collaborations with other guys on the label?
Evidence: If it’s natural. I had Slug on The Weatherman LP and it was dope. Slug had never been on an Alchemist beat so I thought it would be really interesting, and the fans loved it. I would love to do a song with Ali, or Abstract Rude—he’s from the West Coast. There’s a lot of people. I just went to P.O.S.’ show in Amsterdam and I was completely blown back. So, whatever happens naturally. The same way that I want to work with Pete Rock naturally. If it happens, it happens, and if it doesn’t, I’m in the studio everyday with Alchemist.
XXL: You think this will open up some new outlets for you?
Evidence: I think so. It’s really just as willing as I am.
XXL: So you feel they’ll give you the resources that you need to make what you want to have happen, happen?
Evidence: I don’t think they would have taken it on otherwise. Saying I wanna make people proud is lame. So, I’m not gonna say I wanna make Rhymesayers proud, but I’m tryna make me proud. No disrespect, because this is the place I wanted to be and none other, but whether I went here or not, I’m still going on my mission. But the fact that I have this outlet now, maybe I wake up an hour earlier and go to sleep an hour later. It’s just really inspiring to be honest. And, I feel like I’m unique on the label. I don’t feel like there’s anyone who does what I do. So that’s what I can bring to the table, is just being me.
XXL: When can we expect the Cats and Dogs?
Evidence: In the first or second quarter of 2010. Technically, I have nine months from the paperwork being signed to turn it in. Ideally, I would like to go master my album January first and let it hit in March.
XXL: And what about Step Brothers?

Evidence: Don’t know. I know that the plan was Chemical Warfare and Cats and Dogs both have to come out before Step Brothers. He fulfilled his part and now it’s on me. In the meantime, we’re making a really great record and we’re gonna start leaking a lot of stuff. We’re just gonna be getting used to people seeing us together—whether it’s at Rock the Bells, on a blog, a collaboration, or wherever. Because, when Alchemist moved to New York—when he told us what he was gonna do and he did it—it wasn’t like Dilated Peoples and Alchemist really went out on the same path. We kind of stayed over here, and he went that way. But the fact that he’s help to bridge the gap and made it possible for people like Prodigy to even know who I am is crazy. And we’ve continued the underground strong to make sure that people know that Alchemist is a part of this team still and never left his family. Sometimes, you start talking about music, you sound like a mad scientist, because it’s nothing tangible that we can hold. It’s just a lot of great vibes and I appreciate everything.—Adam Fleischer
I can't wait for the new releases. Till then, check out Rhymesayers for updates.
Peace.
-Mike-

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Even though the recent single "Run This Town" with Kanye and Rhianna could have been a little stronger, hearing Jay break down his upcoming album The Blueprint 3 definitely gets me excited for the album drop.

DJ Semtex talks it over with Jay in a 14 minute radio interview over in the UK. Topics of discussion are: influences for the album and its title (being the final chapter of the Blueprint trilogy), rumors revolving around featured artists on the album, Hova's celebrity influences, musical passion, touring, Jay's favorite track from the new album ("Empire State of Mind"), and more.

Check out The Blueprint 3 this September.
-Mike-


JAY-Z | BREAKING DOWN THE BLUEPRINT [AUDIO] from DJ SEMTEX on Vimeo.
NYC Underground hip-hop artist Mr. Mecca recently released a new single from his upcoming mixtape "The Cover Run".

He's got the energy and flow to throw down with the best of em. Hopefully the mixtape follows in a similar style as the single.

Dig it.
-Mike-

<<download it here>>

Saturday, July 25, 2009

He is sorely mistaken.

Let me be straight. I have a bit of a hard time really getting into Asher Roth's stuff. I can respect the fact that he's just being himself and being honest and rapping about the type of stuff that he's into, etc. etc. but I just can't get down with a lot of it.

Now that that's been said, let's get to the present topic of discussion. In a Seattle Times interview Roth compared himself to artists like Talib Kweli, stating "I call myself an intellectual, not really an intellectual, based off, 'yo, I'm smart.' But I ask questions," said Roth. "I would say I'm an observer." [Quoted on Year of the Blacksmith, check out the full article here.]

Stylistically, Roth may be in a similar sub-genre as Kweli and other artists like Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, Common, or Boots Riley. However, as far as being an "intellectual" rapper, Roth falls short. He's got skills, but he's putting them to waste. He adapted the musical styles of alternative/underground hip-hop and used it to portray the images and relay the messages of mainstream rap -- namely, alcoholism and chauvinism.

Like I said, if that's what Asher Roth is into, then cool, let him do his thing. There's nothing wrong with being good at getting people hyped up at a party. But if he wants to be grouped with Kweli (or any artist of similar caliber for that matter), he better get his priorities straight, get over how much he loves college, beer pong, and pussy, and help spread a new message.

No hate, just opinions and suggestions.

That's all. Feel free to weigh in.
-Mike-

PS: Just to prove respect, check this shit out. I'm pretty sure the first Asher verse was pre-written, but the rest was off the dome. Very nice.

After both working on Rising Down by the Roots, Chrisette Michele and Wale got together again for their recent collaboration, "Fragile".

Chrisette's voice is enchanting as always, and Wale kills it right from the start.

<<download it here>>

Peace.
-Mike-
Kid Cudi releases a new track from his upcoming album Man on the Moon: The End of Day.

The beat has a Midwestern eerie sound with howling instrumentation and reversed cymbals and whatnot. His delivery is creepy too (in a good way), especially on the hook. Not the best thing I've heard from the man, but it's still pretty cool.

I can't wait for this album.
-Mike-

Listen to it here...

***
Via the LupE.N.D. blog...
"Triple J Radio recorded Lupe's concert @ the Palace Theatre in Melbourne, Australia on January 27th 2009 and broadcasted it a few weeks ago. Lance C. managed to record the broadcast and sent it to us...thanks for that! I hope you all enjoy this HQ audio rip! And if you wonder...yup! the guys from 1500 or Nothin' were in the building, too!"
Gotta love a good live recording. Pretty nice tracklisting too. No "Shining Down" though, unfortunately. Ah well.

Sounds like he's got the whole band for this one, unlike when I saw him back in April. Don't miss this one.

<<download it here>>

Enjoy.
-Mike-

This dude is tight.
Good beats.
Good flow.
Good tape.

Download it HERE.
Enjoy.
-Mike-

Ruby Hornet TV sits down for 11 minutes with Talib Kweli at a party being hosted by him in Chicago, IL.

Topics of discussion are musical versatility, getting back to work with Hi-Tek as Reflection Eternal, the possibility of new work from Black Star, ego-stroking on twitter, and more.

Check it out.
-Mike-


RH TV: 11 Minutes W/Talib Kweli from Ruby Hornet on Vimeo.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Check Kid Cudi in a new Karma Loop TV interview after a huge House of Blues show.

Topics of interest are the new album (of course), his relationship with Mr. Yeezy, his patent brown fedora, and English grammar.

Dig it.
-Mike-


I told you about Dead Prez' new mixtape Turn Off The Radio III: Pulse of the People with DJ Green Lantern back in May. Picked it up a couple weeks ago and was very pleased. Green Lantern delivers as always and Stic.Man and M1 killed it on every track.

Anyway, they just put out a video for one of the more chill tracks from the disc called "Summer Time". It's a beautiful video for an equally beautiful summer jam. I'm loving the murals in the background (I see Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, and Malcom X just to name a few).

Okayplayer says we've been "void of good summer time music for some time." I'm inclined to agree.

Listen. Chill. Enjoy.
-Mike-

P.O.S. aka Stefon Alexander recently sat down with Max Tour Stories on Cinemax during the 2009 Soundset Festival in Minneapolis, MN. They put up a two-part video teaser for it, but of course it's Cinemax so if you want to catch the whole deal you'll have to pay for it somewhere. Whatever.

Be sure to check out Rhymesayers Entertainment for more info on P.O.S. and other amazing artists like Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and (as of this past week) Evidence of Dilated Peoples.

Check out the free part here. Also, catch P.O.S. at this year's Warped Tour, which rolls through St. Louis 08/03/09.
-Mike-

PART I


PART II

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The all-star production duo N.A.S.A. has released yet another interesting video from their recent album Spirit of Apollo.

This one is for "Whachadoin" featuring M.I.A., Santigold, Spank Rock, and Nick Zinner. If you're not familiar with the album, I suggest you pick up a copy. Each song is feature-heavy, meshing acts from all genres, ranging from ODB to Tom Waits, M.I.A. to David Byrne.

Check it out for sure.

-Mike-

N.A.S.A - "Whachadoin?" Video

Hit up the MadeMonarchs for more details.
-Mike-

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

But you've got to get a good smile in now and again, right?
-Mike-




"Shining Down" by Lupe Fiasco ft. Matthew Santos is the first single from Lupe's upcoming album Lasers.

As always, be sure to listen closely to the lyrics. Mr. Fiasco has proven time and time again to be a modern day hip-hop poet not to be taken lightly. Also, don't miss his apparent auto-tune diss a la Jay-Z's "DOA". I think the vocoder is finally out.

<<download link>>

Catch Lupe for free in St. Louis on August 1st at the annual "Live on the Levee" show, preceded by St. Louis' own Black Spade.

Don't miss it.

(Scroll down for lyrics.)

-Mike-



"Shining Down" Lyrics
Lupe Fiasco
Lasers

Look Up in the Sky.
Look Up in the Sky.
Look Up in the Sky
Thought I was down.
Thought I was gone.
Thought I wasn't around.
I left you alone.
Look Up in the Sky.
Just look Up in the Sky.
See that I'm everywhere
Everywhere
Shining Down on You.

Verse 1:
Well, well
Is that our little author?
Coming back, humming his hymns a little altered
Your attention, Put back on the flow like the department of water
Taken off of the door like little Walter
Chess? Yes. Baby I'm Jerry Lawler
Rebel with a cause; Outlaw with the lawyer
Judge jury like a loop, Rap name Lupe, but my daddy named me Warrior
This is his memorial.

Hook:
Thought I was down.
Thought I was gone.
Thought I wasn't around.
I left you alone.
Look Up in the Sky.
Just look Up in the Sky.
See that I'm everywhere
Everywhere
Shining Down on You.

Verse 2:
No, I ain't the nigga trying to get a liquor line
When I be scriptin lines, Won't this petition sign
It says I'm sick of dimes, Sick of this prison time
I really love my people. I'm sick of pimping mine.
Now if we autotune that shit,
We can hear the songs from that opera room fat bitch
Tell em' it's not to pursue it, just shoe it like a blacksmith
We're trapped, and movin round in circles like it's chap stick
And that's the semi-circle way of thinking that we're chapped with
We'll rap is arounded ya head like the bandana's fabulous used to wrap his hats with
Rather being feds instead of National Geographic's
Well I'm not having it, naw.

Hook:
Thought I was down.
Thought I was gone.
Thought I wasn't around.
I left you alone.
Look Up in the Sky.
Just look Up in the Sky.
See that I'm everywhere
Everywhere
Shining Down on You.

Verse 3:
So, I say hello and this is for the third time
To everybody out there who ain't never heard mine
And if you haven't you know you ain't never heard line
Lu don't MOO. No COW WORDS [cowards(cow-herds)], you only heard LIONS [lines]
Not a facade cherisher, I'd rather have the scars
I don't idolize America, I'm dancing with the stars
Uh huh. All of them? Yeah, they are, too.
You look up and you see us Shining Down on you.

Hook:
Thought I was down.
Thought I was gone.
Thought I wasn't around.
I left you alone.
Look Up in the Sky.
Just look Up in the Sky.
See that I'm everywhere
Everywhere
Shining Down on You.

Shining Down on You
Shining Down on You
Shining Down on You
Yessir.

This video dropped yesterday.

What a power trio on a killer track. Cudi, Yeezy, and Common Sense? Beautiful.

Enjoy.

-Mike-

Monday, July 13, 2009


You like St. Louis rapper Black Spade? Then check out his group Hawthorne Headhunters.

With the new self-titled EP having just been released on iTunes and vinyl (haven't gotten ahold of it yet. Holding out to find a vinyl copy), it seems only fitting to post some info on the Hawthorne Headhunters' Mixtape to make sure everybody who cares gets a listen (and you should all certainly care). According to the group, it's "the crossroads of funk, soul, jazz and hip hop from players already years deep into the game.”

18 tracks, riddled with instant classics from the individual solo artists who make up the group (Black Spade aka Stoney Rock, Proh Mic, and I Ced aka Ced No), contributions from related and featured artists, and five brand new ones from the group itself. Mixed by St. Louis' own DJ Needles aka Nodzilla.

Also, if you like the tape, be sure to seek out the official self-titled EP out now on iTunes and vinyl at select locations. Support this group.

Cop it. Hear it. Love it.
-Mike-

>>DOWNLOAD IT HERE<<

Tracklisting:
01. Proh Mic - Cosmic Beauty (Intro)
02. Black Spade - Hater (feat. Coultrain & Jada Avenue)
03. Jada Avenue - Heartbeat (prod. Ced No)
04. JimiJames - Still In Your Heart (prod. Proh Mic)
05. Stopha Vasquez - Damn (prod. Ced No)
06. Proh Mic - Bang Smooth
07. Black Spade - Loose Bars
08. I, CED - Love…Meaning (Bossa Nova Remix) (feat. Coultrain)
09. I, CED - Voice Demo (Interlude)
10. Proh Mic - Smile (feat. G. Soulo & Tiffany Wilson)
11. Black Spade - Nigga Ray Leonard
12. Black Spade - Across 110th Street
13. TeLuv - Falling Sky (prod. Ced No)
14. Hawthorne Headhunters - Oddyssey Lover (Instrumental)
15. Hawthorne Headhunters - Never Give Up (feat. Coultrain)
16. Hawthorne Headhunters - Get Up!
17. Hawthorne Headhunters - Shining Star (Instrumental)
18. Hawthorne Headhunters - Solar Madness (feat. Stopha Vasquez & Jada Avenue)

Thursday, July 9, 2009


The talented Mr. Def has earned the cover article in the most recent issue of Filter Magazine. Throughout the course of the interview, Mos covers such issues as his latest album, The Ecstatic, his unwavering politics and faith, his possibly-forthcoming documentary on obscure 70's punk outfit Death, and the hopefully-still-forthcoming Black Star project slated for 2010.

Check out the article in full here [in pdf format] from Nah Right (check out the rest of the site here).

Enjoy.
-Mike-

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Slug
Talkin bout touring...


Slug
Talkin bout performing...


Slug
Talkin bout albums...


Brother Ali
Talkin bout Rhymesayers and the Midwest...


Check out whatever else they've got up here.
-Mike-

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Roots payed homage to the late Michael Jackson recently with a few covers of some of his more famous tracks live at a gig before Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as well as on the show later that evening.

This one's my favorite.

"Billie Jean" jazz cover with none other than ?uestlove on vocals. Check Erykah Badu on background vocals.

Priceless.
-Mike-

Listen (or Download) here:


Download here:
http://www.zshare.net/download/619781806bb3e195/
Kid Cudi's forthcoming album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day (previously titled Man on the Moon: The Guardians, but changed due to a lack of features on the album) is due out early August this summer.

As a friendly little teaser for his fans, the Kid named Cudi has posted a finely produced, space-themed (appropriately) trailer for the disc.

Check the dude out.
He's just chillin on the moon.
Watch out now.
-Mike-

Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon: the END of DAY from kwest on Vimeo.

I think you're gonna like this one.
-Mike-

Kanye West
"Street Lights"
808s and Heartbreak

Kanye West - Street Lights [OFFICIAL VIDEO] from Burnocchio Story. on Vimeo.

 

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