Archive for November, 2008

Rhymesay-what?! Atmosphere, Brother Ali & Murs at the Corner Hotel in Jan!

Sunday, November 16th, 2008 | News | No Comments
Rhymesay-what?! Atmosphere, Brother Ali & Murs at the Corner Hotel in Jan!

Well, it’s shaping up to be a stellar summer for hip hop lovers, with Snoop & Co. having just graced us with their presence, a fella called Kanye hitting it soon with his pal NAS, and festivals left right and centre that feature notable members of the hip hop alumni being announced every week now. For me, however, one gig stands apart as something special to look forward to…. Over the Christmas and New Year’s period, underground legends Atmosphere are appearing at a number of festivals with their Rhymesayers cohort and resident albino, Brother Ali. Also touring around this time is another close friend and label mate of theirs in Murs. Now, they must’ve got together and said to each other, “Surely we can’t tour Australia and not cross paths at some point….. how’s about a party?” And so, on the 8th of January, there’s gonna be a Rhymesayers party that you don’t want to miss. Joining forces on stage at the Corner Hotel in Richmond, Melbourne; these three acts are sure to provide an underground hip hop education that will convert even the staunchest opponents. Known for putting a lot of passion and energy into their performances individually, as a collective they will blow the roof off!

Real leaders in the underground scene for many years now, Atmosphere are a group that have never followed trends or made music for the wrong reasons; and it is this stance that has earned them such a strong following. Their following isn’t all based on their music, however, with many a female hip hop fan swooning over Slug, the main man on the mic. Whether this is his charming good looks, or his often intensely personal and introspective rhyme style, I don’t know. What I do know is that he is an incredibly talented emcee with an uncanny ability to grab the listener’s attention with his storyteller-rhymes, nearly always rapping about  his own experiences such as alcohol problems, tour life and depression, and his difficult and destructive relationships with women. Their latest album, ‘When life give you lemons you paint that shit gold’, is a bit of a departure from their normal approach with a lot of live instrumentation used by Ant, but this is a good thing Very Good review, and  in all likelihood they’ll be touring with a band too.

Having just released his first album on a major label (Murs for President out on Warner Bros. Records), Murs will be bringing a whole bounty of new tracks, as well as the classics from his huge catalogue of  pre-major label albums. Never one to take things too seriously, politics included, the new album refers to his desire to become Hip Hop President, and rescue Hip Hop from its current state; what better way to do that than on a major label, right? Don’t get it twisted, in no way has Murs sold out on this album, he’s still up to his usual mischief, and utilises the production of 9th Wonder (formerly of Little Brother) once again. Having collaborated on two albums with Slug (Felt Vol1: A Tribute to Christina Ricci, and Felt Vol2: A tribute to Lisa Bonet) the boys will no doubt be spending a lot of time together on stage.


Murs - Can It Be [Half A Million Dollars And 18 Months Later]

Not to be left out, Brother Ali will be hitting the stage hard performing songs from his 2007 release, The Undisputed Truth (entirely produced by Ant of Atmosphere) as well as from the underground classic that shot him into the limelight, ‘Shadows on the Sun’. Being a devout Muslim and legally blind albino, Brother Ali is certainly one of the more unusual figures to succeed in the hip hop world; but don’t let his appearance fool you now, he can tear it up on the mic just as hard as anyone.

Tickets are selling fast so get onto this quick; at only $48 you won’t find a better bargain this summer. Hell, I’d pay that just to see Atmosphere! Get online at www.cornerhotel.com for tickets now!

In the meantime, check out more about the artists below:
www.myspace.com/murs
www.myspace.com/brotherali
www.myspace.com/atmosphere

…Cracked

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Wayne Brady – Making Shit Up

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 | News | No Comments
Wayne Brady - Making Shit Up

And he’s coming to Melbourne for 3 nights performances at the Crown Casino. Originally entering the world stage on the UK version of improvisational show ‘Whose line is it anyway’, this opportunity shot Wayne Brady into the immediate limelight that he obviously deserves resulting in an Emmy Award for outstanding individual performance in a Variety, Musical or Comedy series. Often pigeon holed at the beginning of his career as the latest ‘nice guy’ comedian due to his charismatic appeal, family friendly playfulness, and the wild response his comedy received from around the world, Wayne soon found ways to deconstruct these stereotypes by appearing and starring in a range of film, television, theatre, and alike from exciting the kids of America on ‘Sesame street’, to his hilarious ‘adults only’ performances with buddy comedians like Dave Chappelle.

Having gone on to host his own talk show, appear in a string of films and television shows, as well as recently starring in his own Las Vegas show ‘Making it up’, Wayne has now decided to turn his attention back to his first love, Music, and has released his debut album ‘A long time coming’ on September 16. The Album which is made up of 12 R&B tracks includes original compositions by Wayne, as well as his own renditions of tracks by The Beatles, Sam Cooke, and Stevie Wonder, and features production from The Heavyweights, best known for their work with Destiny’s Child.

Jack of all trades?

Singing?

Dancing?

Film?

Television?

Theatre?

How can this be?

He’s Wayne Brady Biatch

You can check out more of Wayne Brady at:

www.waynebrady.com

and see him live at Crown Casino in Melbourne

…bs

No-one Ever Really Dies on Tour

Monday, November 10th, 2008 | News | No Comments
No-one Ever Really Dies on Tour

When he isn’t pimping out his other beats to the likes of Jay-Z, JT or Gwen; or ‘droppin’ it like it’s hot’ for Snoop, you might be lucky enough to find Pharrell making his own crazy genre-mashing N*E*R*D magic with his boys. That is if he isn’t being voted best dressed by Esquire magazine, designing skateboards, running his own clothing label or shoe company. This man who seems to know how to make money and do business in the modern era, where promoting yourself is an art form in itself, still knows how find time to have some fun by playing around with beats and mixing up musical styles as they take his fancy.

N*E*R*D was formed in 2001 as an almost bastard child of The Neptunes as a way to explore their less mainstream, more challenging sounds. The group consists of Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shae Haley, a trio who explore into some odd and intriguing realms of music to produce sounds that skate between the lines of familiar catchiness and experimental awkwardness, to make something in the middle. Juxtapositions that may in time outline and define popular production techniques of the future.

The music is can be described as funk-rock, with various other influences, including hip hop, R&B, soul, alternative rock, and blues. Pharrell is quoted as explaining the meaning of the band name as follows: “N*E*R*D stands for No-one Ever Really Dies. The Neptunes are who we are and N*E*R*D is what we do. It’s our life. N*E*R*D is just a basic belief, man. People’s energies are made of their souls. When you die, that energy may disperse but it isn’t destroyed.”

This revolutionary and innovative crew are coming down under for their first major concert tour of Australia & New Zealand, following the release of their third album Seeing Sounds, which came out in June of this year. So if their sneaky tunes rub you up the right way and tickle your musical fancy, then check them out on the upcoming tour.

According to the concert promo site “”N.E.R.D is the offspring of the Neptune’s, a fly-or-die, thrash-around, do-as-you-will, set-your-soul-on-fire alter ego that subscribes to no rules, adheres to no agenda. N.E.R.D are back in a big way and coming to a city near you. Don’t miss your chance to see this explosive live act up close and personal”

Tour Dates & Venues:

Thu 26th Feb – Vector Arena, Auckland
On sale Mon 10th Nov Tickets

Wed 04th March – Hordern Pavillion, Sydney
On sale Mon 10th Nov
Tickets

Thurs 05th March – Hisense Arena, Melbourne
On sale Fri 14th Nov
Tickets

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N*E*R*D – Everybody Nose

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New Album ‘Seeing Sounds’ Out Now includes single ‘Everyone Nose’.

As usual, you can search for more info on the net by viewing:

Official NERD Site

Myspace for NERD

“I’m right here, and I ain’t goin’ nowhere
You can turn tables and you can throw chairs
I’m right here, and I ain’t goin’ nowhere
You can knock doors and tear up, ya’have to air so…”
(Spaz – N.E.R.D)

It’s almost over now…Yossarian

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Obama knows his hip hop

Monday, November 10th, 2008 | News | 3 Comments
Obama knows his hip hop

I didn’t want to name this article in such a way that I am making an unreasonable assumption, or simply exaggerating a point to make sensational news, so I went with what is self evident from his presidential  campaign… Barack Obama knows his hip hop. There is no need to sensationalise my opinion in this instance, because the way in which I perceive that Barack Obama has utilised hip hop in his election is not only simple and obvious, but transparent as you can see from the way he openly discusses his thoughts in the below video. To this day, I have not heard anyone other then a few of my favourite artists articulate how I feel about hip hops place in the world better then the way that Obama has done in this video.

An extremely important point of debate in the build up to many of America’s recent election campaigns, and especially in this most recent time has been the youth vote. Without turning this piece into an essay, in short, young people traditionally do not vote in large numbers and so it follows that many candidates and parties have tried (with varying degrees of failure) to capture the youth vote that has been going unused.

So if you want to engage an audience of youth, it seems that you would need to have a communication channel that they respect and identify with, and what in America do you think that the emerging dominant voice in this age group might be? hmmmmmmmmm… which is what i’m simply saying… Obama knows his hop hop, and more importantly he understands the power that it has to influence and even mentor an amazing community of youth and adults alike throughout the USA and the world.

Put into context in my situation, having no television over the duration of his campaign, I heard only occasional pieces of information in support of his growing popularity and increasing chances (according to poles on news shows and papers that I would read from time to time).  It was only through Hip Hop that I was exposed to Obama intentionally for more then a brief moment, and not once, but several times in pieces that I was came accross in my every day life as an everyday member of the hip hop community.

This article is admittedly based on my personal opinion, however researching this online I found out there were so many people who share in this opinion, even Dizzee Rascal is feeling it.

For a long time now I have held the opinion that if someone really had a message that they felt should be heard, or a desire to influence their community, the two options were to be a politician or a musician. I am hopeful that this new president will remind the world of the amazing  impact that politics and music can create when in harmony, with the use of hip hop. I’m also hopeful that he establishes subsidies for international artists with a positive message who wish to tour the states, ’cause that’d be awesome please bro.

You an check out more of Obama on:

Television, news, papers, radio, internet, talking to your mates, at the white house.

…bs

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Q-Tip – The Renaissance

Thursday, November 6th, 2008 | News, Reviews | 1 Comment
Q-Tip - The Renaissance

Can he kick it again?

Yes he can… after 9 long years, Q-Tip a.k.a. the brother Abstract, has hit back with another solo album entitled ‘The Renaissance’. Q-Tip continues to reinvent himself as well as the benchmark for lyricists throughout the world and has taken his place on the world stage as one of the fathers of modern Hip Hop. Giving so much to the Hip Hop scene through various solo projects, groups including A Tribe Called Quest and more recently The Standard with friend and collaborator Common, & a string of hit features from the late eighties, the mere mention of Q-Tip’s name is enough to interest this fan in this new release, but if that’s not enough, he’s brought along some awesome collaborations on the album including D’Angelo, Norah Jones, & Raphael Saddiq to name a few. Speaking to www.okayplayer.com this week Q-Tip explained the 9 year pause between solo albums… “I think I can speak for myself, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and D’Angelo when I say that we make music when the spirit is with us. We are a lot who are very observant as well as introspective. We paint intense, colorful pictures, so it takes time.” If it was anyone else comparing  themselves to these amazing, iconic, soulful artists I would just laugh at their arrogance, but it’s not anyone else, it’s Q-Tip, and no-one belongs on your lips in this context more then he does.

Q-Tip Gettin Up

Having re-united A Tribe Called Quest this year for the incredible ‘Rock The Bells’ tour, Q-Tip has dispelled the rumours that they are set to reform permanently on this album with his track ‘A Tribe Called Quest is no more’. Heart breaking although it may be, at least we can continue to bump fresh music as he continues to create his own style of jazz infused, introspective, old school hip hop. This pioneer has paved the way for hip hop to be enjoyed by all walks of life, meshing with so many artists of as many genres in his partnerships over the years, and ‘The Renaissance’ seems to offer the same diversity and creativity as always, opening up the doors even further for hip hop as it fast becomes a dominant force in the music industry.

Q-Tip - Let’s Ride (from his debut solo album Amplifier)

You can check out more of Q-Tip at:

www.q-tip.com

www.myspace.com/qtip

…bs

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