The Song: The Hieroglyphics crew has long been heralded as one of the most consistent, talented crews in hip-hop, and while the credit in nearly all rap crews goes to the rappers, each crew has its own unsung hero's operating outside of the public eye. For Hiero, that behind-the-scenes operator is producer/DJ DJ Touré, who is now stepping firmly into the limelight with the release of his own album, Touré's Theory: Session One. The album will be released July 17th, as a joint venture between Clear Label Records and Touré's own 101% Music. To celebrate the album announcement, Touré is excited to release the album's lead single, "She Like It," a track that features B-Legit and D-Lo. The song, co-produced by Grammy-winning producer Bobby Ozuna, has a classic West Coast bounce as Touré layers horn and guitar chops, a soulful concoction that manages to serve as a perfect match both for B-Legit's smooth baritone and D-Lo's frenetic, off-kilter flow. Touré made this track with a specific goal in mind: bringing together the old and new guards of Bay Area hip-hop. "My inspiration for this song was to bring different styles and generations of hip-hop together on one track," explains Touré. "B Legit and D Lo had never been on a record together, even though we're all from the Bay and know each other."
The Song: Few rappers, if any, can hold a candle to the influence and staying power of Kool Keith. The veteran emcee's career spans over two decades, beginning with the release of Ultramagnetic MCs' Critical Beatdown in 1988, and includes a string of heralded solo releases. With each of those projects the Bronx-born rapper has solidified himself as one of the most intriguing characters in music and now, his latest album, Love & Danger, will be released on June 5th via Junkadelic Music. Today, Kool Keith is excited to release the album's latest single, "Extra Thoughts," featuring The I.M.O. "Extra Thoughts," produced by DJ Junkaz Lou, is built over a minimalist kick-and-snare production, with accents of psychedelic blips, beeps, and chimes that keep things interesting. It's a perfect fit for Kool Keith, who delivers a laid-back, stream-of-consciousness flow on a topic that few others than Kool Keith would or could attempt. "This song is about the inspiration of thoughts," says Kool Keith, in a purposefully vague tone. "Thoughts come like a million basketballs dropping out of the sky, but its the extra thoughts that count."
In addition to the new single, Kool Keith recently sat down with VICE for an interview with the outlet's newly launched YouTube series, Noisey Rap Show. The show is hosted by Kool A.D. of Das Racist, who caught up with Kool Keith at the Sweetwater Tavern in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to discuss Keith's pioneering of horrorcore and pornocore, the dirtiest track Keith ever wrote, and so much more.
The Song: Late last month, Illmaculate released his latest album, Skrill Talk. On June 2nd, the Portland, Oregon, rapper will celebrate the album's release with a show at Branx, but before then, Illmaculate is joining his Sandpeople crew for a string of European tour dates. Today, to kick off the tour announcement, Illmaculate is releasing the latest single from Skrill Talk, "One More Time," featuring Sandpeople.
The song, produced by Soleternity, is Illmaculate's response to the pressures of an industry driven by release dates and timetables; he wants to do things his way - and with his crew by his side. "My crew, Sandpeople, definitely had to be on the album," remarks Illmaculate, noting that the song's feel is representative of the Sandpeople process for making music. "This song really has its own vibe within the scope of the album, but it works," he says, "just like everyone in the crew had their own approach to the song, while still remaining cohesive."
Later this month, Illmaculate will be hitting the road with the rest of his Sandpeople crew, as they head overseas for a string of European dates. The tour kicks off May 12th in Sweden and makes stops in Germany, Amsterdam, London, and more, before winding down on May 26th in Oslo, Norway. A full list of dates can be found below.
In other news, on June 9th, Illmaculate, who, since 2004, has proven himself as one of the most accomplished battle rappers in the world, will travel to Los Angeles to take part in the KOTD Vendetta competition. In what will be the biggest battle of his career, Illmaculate will be matching up against Arsonal, while Canibus and Dizaster will also be battling at the event. For more info: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibPhqv1krdA
Winter Issue Dec/Jan 2012 2nd Year Anniversary Our latest issue featuring art by Eve Harlowe, Special Music Insert illuminating local artists Planet B. Fashion editorial of West Coast Leather, designs by Emporium Armani, Kairon John Rise of the Phoenix, a Bi-Monthly publication illuminating people of color, from different backgrounds in four (4) areas, including fashion, lifestyle, culture and music. We feel there is a need for our publication f…
We know Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, but his legacy on the charts can soon be touched by, what most male adolescents define as, the modern “teenage dream.”
If au American pop diva Katy Perry keeps up the hard work, she’ll be celebrating with more than just fireworks. Though Michael Jackson is the only artist to ever have five number one Billboard Hot 100 hits from one album, that can all change soon as Katy is well on her way to the same position.
If Katy’s latest Teenage Dream single, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” hits the number one slot, this will be the first time any female accomplished this reign on the charts in 52-year history. Chances for the latest single hitting the top spot are very high. The single, which jumped 27-spots in a week, currently sits at number four.
If “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” joins the top hits gang, it will be amongst Katy’s previous top Teenage Dream singles, “California Gurls” featuring Snoop Dogg, “Teenage Dream,” “Firework” and “E.T.,” featuring Kanye West.
Jackson’s five number ones from the Bad album are “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Bad,” “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Man in the Mirror” and “Dirty Diana.” ---Shabazz
The line for drinks at Ke$ha's Friday night Palladium show was surprising if only for the number of fans of legal drinking age. Ke$ha, whose trademark intransigence would seem to appeal more to the rebellious, brooding high school girl than college student (or college student's mother), has managed to attract a broad range of followers without branching out into non-music enterprises like many of her young pop star contemporaries. Her new album, "Cannibal," employs similar themes and styles to her debut "Animal," begging the question of how long the 24-year-old will be able to sell out shows with simple bad behavior party anthems.Opening with "Cannibal's" "Sleazy," Ke$ha alternated between tracks from her two records, including fan favorites "Dirty Picture," "Blah Blah Blah" and "Tik Tok." And while the singer displayed some of her dancing acumen, most of the gleeful bounding around was reserved for her backup dancers while the star trotted around defiantly, as if rebelling from a stage lined with invisible parents.
The crowd's energy began to dip somewhere around the 45-minute mark of the 80-minute set, but Ke$ha, as advertised, knew how to shoot some life into her party. Selecting a 20-year-old "ripe victim" from the squealing audience, a backup dancer strapped the boy to a chair for song "Grow a Pear." While Ke$ha grinded all over the fan, a dancer in a giant penis costume whipped him with his oversized testicles with all the enthusiasm of a child happily smacking a pinata.
Delivering muscular but not deafening renditions of her party-girl anthems, Ke$ha, admirably, did not try to deliver anything un-Ke$ha-like. There was no introspective editorializing between songs or the performance of anything less than crowd-raising. In all, Ke$ha delivered precisely what her audience came to see: glittery, irreverent fun wrapped up in a patriotic, girls-just-want-to-have fun package – literally. Her t-shirt, a ripped and tattered American flag, goes for $1,600 at Balmain – assuming, as you would, that she wasn't badasss enough to buy the knockoff. SOURCE VARIETY.COM
Beyonce has always been open about the fact that she incorporates elements of pop-culture--not just from America, but the world--in her performances (hence the Fosse inspired "Single Ladies" dance), so it should come as no surprise that her post apocalyptic themed video for "Run The World (Girls)" was also a nod to African dance. Meet her inspirtion, the Tofo dancers from Mozambique:
Check out the new record from North Carolina native, J. Cole. The track, “Return of Simba”was released via J. on his twitter Sunday Night. J. Cole is currently untitled debut album, which before, we thought was titled Cole World, with the lead single “Disgusting,” being chosen. However, it seems like he has changed plans, announcing that the name of the album will be announced when the official release date is solidified. We can expect that his debut album will take some time, considering that he doesn’t want any inconsistencies and is waiting for Jay-Z to appear somewhere on the album. Does that mean we have to wait until the fall for J. Cole’s release?
The Skinny: Do yourself a favor and buy a newspaper today and throw it in your closet. It will have more meaning 25 years from now than a screen grab of some blog aggregator. A slow weekend until Sunday night. Then media scrambled to cover the Bin Laden news. Then some media scrambled away as quickly as possible and back to entertainment programming. At the box office, "Fast Five" blows away the competition.
Racing to the top. Universal's "Fast Five" cruised to first place at the box office, taking in $83.6 million in the U.S. No, that's not a typo! Part of me wants to attribute the huge opening numbers to people going to see the car chase/heist flick as a goof on a weekend when there wasn't much else playing at the multiplex. If you think you had a bad prom, that was nothing compared to Disney's "Prom," which took in only $5 million in its opening weekend. The long-awaited sequel to "Hoodwinked" also flopped. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and New York Times. Here's a summer preview from USA Today.
Hope they can carry a tune after all that. MTV is finally putting on "The Electric Barbarellas," a reality show about an all-female band that was championed by none other than Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone. The involvement of the almost 90 year-old Viacom chief in a show about an all-girl band was first broken by then-Daily Beast writer Peter Lauria, whose coverage of all this irritated Redstone to no end. Let's hope Lauria is having a good chuckle today. Details on the show from Variety.
NFL latest to push iPad access. The NFL Network, the league's cable channel that could be pretty dull if the labor dispute isn't solved by this summer, is talking with distributors about offering the network on iPads and other tablet devices. NFL Network is the latest programmer to want to put itself on iPads. The challenge is reworking deals with distributors so they don't risk losing subscribers. In other words, the cable guys have to be the gatekeeper to iPad access. More from the Wall Street Journal.
RIZ is a rapper from Harlem, NY, who was born in South Carolina but now resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He has recorded songs with the likes of Trey Songz, Yo Gotti, Red Cafe, Killer Mike, Lloyd Banks, Bun B, Prodigy (Mobb Deep) and more. His previous work includes the R.A.C.K.S mixtape hosted by DJ DRAMA, the Death before Dishonor mixtape hosted by Sha Money XL, the Position of Power mixtape hosted by DJ Whoo Kid and The Re-Up hosted by DJ Envy. His current project, “BlindSided”, has exclusive production from Atlanta based producer Juve (Young Buck, Dem Franchise Boyz, Jermaine Dupri). He has also worked with well known industry producers Kane Beatz, JR Rotem, and Isaac Opus. DISCOGRAPHY * Position of Power, hosted by DJ Whoo Kid * Death before Dishonor, hosted by Sha Money XL * The Re-Up, hosted by DJ Envy * R.A.C.K.S, hosted by DJ Drama Future * BlindSided, tbd 2011
Nelly is struggling to comprehend one particular title bestowed upon him in his 10-year career: the underdog.
Despite selling more than 20 million albums in the U.S., having nearly a dozen top 10 singles, being ranked as the third top overall artist of the 2000-2009 decade by Billboard magazine behind Eminem and Usher and snagging a mantle's worth of Grammys, American Music Awards, Video Music Awards and BET Awards, he still feels looked upon as the underdog, and that perplexes him.
“I think it's because you’ve had so much success," he reasons, while noshing on fried shrimp in a private dining room at a West Hollywood hotel. "When you’ve had so much, people are tired of rooting for you to win."
It doesn't take long for the frustration to appear on his face.
"It boggles me. I’m still looked at as the underdog. I mean, how is it, a ... sells 30 million records and be looked at as the underdog? For some reason, I get it," he chuckles as he shakes his head. "It’s a mystery to me. I feel like no matter what I do, it’s going to be something.”
He knows part of that is due to the performance of his last album, 2008's “Brass Knuckles,” which delivered first-week sales that paled in comparison to the storied blockbuster success of his previous albums. That slide resulted in his latest release, “5.0,” being pegged as a "comeback."
The disc, which debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 for the week of Nov. 24 after selling a relatively few 63,000 copies, rides on the strength of his platinum single “Just a Dream.”
The St. Louis native doesn’t mince words on how he feels -- including taking to Twitter recently to blast his label, Universal Motown, for not promoting the album enough and providing retailers with only a certain number of copies.
“It’s hard being compared to yourself. I ain’t never met a person that can beat themselves. For some strange reason, people hold me to myself. It’s just like, ‘Yeah, "Brass Knuckles" didn’t do Nelly numbers,’ but it damn near sold 800,000. If you look at 800,000, today’s top artists are selling that,” he says. “I sold 800,000 on my worst record. Some people wait on you to not succeed the way you did before to call it a failure, a brick, a flop, to call it what you want to call it. There’s nothing I can do with that.” [For the record: A representative for Universal Motown clarified that while the label shipped nearly 800,000 units of "Brass Knuckles," the rapper only sold 230,000 copies.]
Since his debut 10 years ago with “Country Grammar,” the rapper born Cornell Haynes Jr. has cemented his pop crossover status with radio- -- and club- -- friendly hooks propelled by his Midwestern twang and sing-songy flow. He's the first hip-hop artist to debut at nos. 1 and 2 in the same week after putting out "Sweat" and "Suit" on the same day in 2004, and his single "Over and Over" with Tim McGraw made him the first rapper with a hit on the country chart.
No stranger to success, he almost walked away from it all after the death of his sister, Jackie, in 2005 following a battle with leukemia.
“After you lose someone that close to you it makes you reevaluate things. You look at yourself in a different perspective, and music was one thing,” he said. “It made me want to stay home and spend more time with my family, my mom, my kids [he adopted Jackie's two children after she died]. There was so much she wanted to do. Trips she wanted to do, places she wanted to see. I don’t know if I could’ve lived through [what she did] and ever smile again.” CONTINUE READING..