TDE FAM Appreciation Week Wrap-Up from last week. I was a little irked that there was no Black Hippy track released, however he gave away tickets to Rock The Bells on Twitter, that was love. #PUREGOLD
Murs and Fashawn seems like such a natural fit, it’s almost contrived. However, the story of their mutual appreciation of each other as artists makes a lot of sense. For Fashawn, growing up in central California, he was obviously enthralled with the Living Legends crew and of course one of its more formidable members, Murs. As far as Murs is concerned, I believe teaming up with Fashawn is a great power play, he has an extremely strong network in the industry but could use a younger artist to cop some quick shine from the whippersnappers, this union should be reciprocally beneficial. Needless to say, I’m pumped about this seemingly intuitive fit. The duo have made the album This Generation, due for release September 25th 2012 through Duck Down Music Inc. The album is produced in its entirety by Beatnick and K-Salaam and has been described by Murs as “an amalgamation of all the different styles and eras”. The duo will tour with Rock The Bells this year, check out that Paid Dues stage for more on the line up.
Saturday’s convergence of hipsters, really made me wonder what the hell is happening to music. After the ethereal experience that was Rock the Bells, my faith that had been steadily declining, was restored to its near original state. Needless to say I was pumped for FYF, I wasn’t really into any of the bands playing but I was hoping I would find some that I might like. However, upon my arrival I realized that I was about to experience something deplorable. The chain link fences, that encased everyone in the venue like some terrible American Apparel prison, were littered with chained up road bikes. The air smelled like cigarettes and drunken pre-teens dressed in expensive clothes. It became very apparent fairly quickly what kind of concert this was going to be. FYF boiled down to a bunch of yuppy pseudo fashionista wannabes who pride themselves on being “ahead of the fashion curve” all meeting up in one place to listen to the bands no one else has heard of (quite frankly because none of them were any good) and to hate on/talk shit on the other hipsters who were there for the same reason. The crowd was eclectic (meaning there was a wide variety of hipsters), the venue was thrown together and disorganized, the bands were utterly forgettable, and don’t even get me started on the food (who the fuck sells udon and vegan food?). Overall I wasted $30 and a couple hours of my life that I will never get back.
We just did a massive Lollapallooza write up and Yvettita has given her take on this past weekend’s Rock The Bells festivities in SoCal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about how they spend their time, here’s a quick rundown on my thoughts from Rock The Bells 2010.
While peaking at this year’s Rock the Bells lineup, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the fact that a good 70% of the artists are performing their “opuses” in full. Snoop will be performing Doggystyle, Wu-Tang is going to do Enter the 36 Chambers, Rakim, Paid in Full and so on. I wonder what catalyzed this trend. For some of these artists, sticking to a specific cluster of their careers makes sense (i.e. I don’t really need to hear Snoop’s True Blood tribute but hearing Doggystyle is sure to be classic). However, a group like A Tribe Called Quest and to an extent, Wu-Tang, could easily perform a medley of their careers, no disrespect to …36 Chambers or Midnight Marauders, and it would still be ill. Nevertheless, I saw GZA perform Liquid Swords start-t0-finish and it certainly lived up to his watershed’s hype.
There aren’t too many acts that I’m not personally eager to check out. For the locals, RTB will be going down in Los Angeles, CA, Saturday August 21, 2010 @ the NOS Events Center. Tickets are available at Ticketfly.com. Peep the rest of the venue lineup after the jump. Well, if you don’t live in Frisco, NYC or D.C., don’t bother. By the way, the inclusion of Lauryn Hill on this tour is genius, and it’s making my ears salivate.
MPFREE: Nas & Damian Marley – As We Are (jus a snippet)
Damian Marley and Nasir Jones. Quite the tandem, eh? We’re going to go peep them at Rock The Bells, you should roll with! For the L.A. cats : Los Angeles, CA – Saturday August 8th @ San Manuel Amphitheatre
Wow! Between Lil Wayne’s declaration “I just wanna fuck every girl in the world…”, DMX’s “Fuck You Bitch” and now the Knux’s “Fuck You” 2009 is shaping up to be a year soaked with a lack of subtle expression. Nevertheless, these New Orleans Via LA real-life brothers, rap as well as play their own instruments. Their album Remind Me In 3 Days was a sleeper hit and now they’re getting ready to drop another one. Snag “Fuck You” here.
“Let’s take it back to the concrete streets,/ Original beats with real, live MCs./ Playground tactics, no rabbit-in-a-hat tricks/ Just that classic rap shit from Jurassic.”
The first time I heard “Concrete Schoolyard,” it was on a tape that my brother made for me something like a decade ago. Even now, that song fills me with memories of toasty New York sidewalks and suffocating subway platforms. See, Jurassic 5 was always about taking it back to carefree times when Hip-Hop culture was infatuated with artistry rather than gangster swagger. When J5 was coming up in the context of LA’s The Good Life cafe alongside acts like the Pharcyde and Freestyle Fellowship, they were reacting to the surge in violent subject matter catalyzed by N.W.A. Then, their eponymous EP first dropped in 1997, and it became a white flag of peace in the wake of the murders of 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. Therefore, when their undeniable talents as a group left them on the brink of mainstream success, their efforts to update their sound produced questionable results.
Before Jurassic 5 split up two years ago, Chali 2na always stood out from the other three emcees, both live and on record, due to his stature, natural charisma, baritone vocals, and staccato flow. Having kept a low profile in the last couple years, 2na proved that his apparent skills weren’t simply a matter of juxtaposition when he took the stage at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica two nights ago. It was really dope to witness an emcee of his pedigree just having fun jamming with a live band (one that featured key members from LA’s own House of Vibe All-Stars), and it carried over to the fifty or so people packed into the back of the venue. 2na previewed the solo set that he will be performing this summer on the Rock the Bells tour, which is dominated by songs from his forthcoming album, Fish Outta Water. Both the set and the album ostensibly showcase sides of the “Verbal Herman Munster,” creatively, musically and lyrically, that were suppressed during his stint with J5 and Ozomatli.
Following his performance, 2na was cool enough to talk with us about his new album, his experiences with J Dilla, and the Jurassic 5 break-up. Peep the interview below. Chali 2na will be performing on the Rock the Bells tour throughout the summer, and Fish Outta Water drops on July 7th. Go out and support artists holding it down in the underground.
BONUS: Hit the jump to peep the “Climax” video that 2na was talking about in part 1
We also have the tour dates for Rock the Bells:
NOTE: the tour stops in the Bay Area on my birthday….if you wanted to thank the Lion crew for our thorough gullyness…..
Chicago – Saturday June 27th First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Detroit- Sunday June 28th DTE Energy Music Theatre
Toronto- Sunday July 5th Molson Amphitheatre
Washington DC – Sunday July 12th Merriweather Post Pavilion
Boston- Saturday July 18th Comcast Center
New York -Sunday July 19th Jones Beach Amphitheatre
Vancouver- Saturday August 1st Deer Lake Park
Denver- Thursday August 6th Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Los Angeles – Saturday August 8th San Manuel Amphitheatre
San Francisco- Sunday August 9th Shoreline Amphitheatre
Considering that Busta’s Twitter hasn’t even said anything yet, is it possible that Zebra Is Food found out that Busta Rhymes is joining Rock The Bells before even he? It’s true quote me on that Busta Rhymes has been added to the prolific hip-hop tour. But not just him, GZA and the Knux as well. I’ve personally seen Busta Rhymes, GZA and the Knux live and I’ll admit, live hip-hop can be rough but all these dudes are pure FIRE live. And if you don’t know, Zebra had the first word on Rock The Bells when it was first roared, see here.
NOTE: I wanted to show the Knux some youtube love but all their vids have embedding disabled. tsk tsk. Sayonara free promotion through the web’s illest blog.
A further testament to Zebra-hustle, here is a shot of myself with Chang Weisberg (RTB’s brain) talking about the best way to rock a bell. And, below is me with with mighty Murs (pictured with thin mints). Once again, big wholesale bags of props to Lester Lawenko for his pristine photos. If you have anything in your life which is so precious as to need immortal status, holler!
Keeping it thorough, and because in our cockiness at reporting a lot of this ish before anyone else, we never posted the official lineup:
big shouts to Lester Lawenko for his dope photos
Hip-hop fans are a touchy bunch, often clutching their culture with a paranoid protectiveness that may come from a heartbroken and cynical widower trying to hide from shallow, wealth-hungry suitors. Consequently, there is a plethora of reasons for hip-hop kids to loathe the Sunset Strip, and all of its excessively ravenous horny excess. Similarly, a small coastal town may loathe the smell of a rotting sea-serpent carcass which washes up on their shores. However, let’s say this town is financially strapped for cash, although the wretched scent is beyond nauseating, the draw of the mythical creature is going to attract exposure, tourism, and good old dollars and sense, keeping the little town healthy.
Tuesday evening, the Sunset Strip’s Key Club couldn’t have been a more beneficial locale for the beloved genre. What has been probably the most fruitful on-going Hip Hop tour ever, Rock The Bells, announced their summer lineup with a party of mythological microphone proportions.
Freestyle legend Supernatural listed off the tour’s lineup through an amazingly smooth, spontaneous rhyme. Supernat’s thorough announcement was delivered so speedily that one almost had to figure out RTB’s lineup by identifying the many RTB artists who were present: KRS-One, Murs, Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), Crooked-I, Evidence, Psycho Realm, Chali2Na (Jurassic 5), Damien Marley, Alchemist, as well as a rapper who’s tireless trek across the country was the third most lucrative hip-hop tour behind Jay-Z and Kanye West; you have ten guesses to figure out who, and I promise you don’t get it right…St. Louis’ Tech N9ne. “It’s all crazy man” N9ne says calmly . “I remember doing shows for seven people, then 100, then 700 and now…it’s just a great feeling. It’s validation.” Others on the Rock The Bells bill but who were not present include: RZA, Big Boi (from Outkast), Talib Kweli and a reunion with Irish-and-proud rappers House Of Pain.
Rappers and producers are roaming around and mingling casually. Murs, perhaps the most esoteric of the bunch, enthusiastically poses for photos while proudly carrying a case of Girl-Scout cookies. Conversely, a stern Raekwon is inevitably bombarded with questions about his long-awaited–or, to abandon a euphemism– his legendarily delayed follow up to the canonized Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Despite being asked what he’s undoubtedly already been asked a time or two (billion) already, he remains cool. “yeah, I been working real hard” says the frosty-cool Raekwon. “It’s gonna be fire, hot shit, no doubt.” Nursing a beer by the bar, Long Beach rapper Crooked-I discusses logistics for potential scenarios for his group, Slaughterhouse’s stage show. He and bandmates, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da’ 5’9 and Joe Budden, dress as butchers while performing. “We’re thinking of dressing Ortiz up as a pig, to be slaughtered” Crooked-I indecisively muses. “but it’s just an idea, what do you think?” Meanwhile, the living legendary KRS-One hands out didactic pamphlets, hoping to gain disciples for his Church of Hip-Hop.
Later in the evening, most of the artists in attendance graced the stage for brief yet, prodigious performances. Highlights included Murs’ hometown-championing “L.A.” as well as a joint-effort between Damien Marley and the up-until-now completely unexpected… (this is where the potentially vilified Sunset Strip becomes agreeable) Nas.
The mastermind behind Rock the Bells, Chang Weisberg, sums up the tour, “with CDs selling as badly as they are, this concert needs to be more than just a rap concert” says Weisberg, who when you speak to him, it appears that his enthusiasm for the prolific festival seems to have embedded a lump in his throat “the one thing which has remained the same is the good old fashion hip-hop show and that’s what we want to bring each year.”
So right now Zebreezy correspondent Paul Glanting aka PeD is at the Rock the Bells conference at the Key Club in Hollywood. They will be announcing the Rock the Bells lineup as well as having live performances by unknown artists. Guerilla reporting is gully, and all I know so far is that Krs-One, Tech-9ne, Raekwon, Damien Marley and a few more (too stoned to recall) are on the “set list.” Follow this ish live the right way on TWITTER. CLICK ICON and enjoy live reporting the 21st century way..