talib kweli and strong arm steady – rap city freestyle April 7, 2008Posted by KG in hip-hop, media, music, television.
Tags: blacksmith, krondon, mitchy slick, phil da agony, planet asia, rap city, strong arm steady, talib kweli
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88 keys interview March 6, 2008Posted by KG in arts/culture, comedy, hip-hop, interviews, music.
Tags: 88 keys, black on both sides, black star, blackstar, mos def, rawkus, shawn j period, talib kweli, the death of adam, thieves in the night
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DX: How’d you link with Mos and Talib?
88-Keys: I linked up with Mos through my good friend, Shawn J Period. I used to go to a lot of sessions with The Artifacts, and at the time, Shawn J Period was working with them, and Duro, who’s now “Super-engineer Duro,” who’s recording mixing the album and Platinum Island Studios in New York City. So I would go there and hang out just to get the vibe and see professionals at work, and see what the goings-on was. So Mos would eventually start coming by. It’s funny, because I’d say “What up” to Mos, and he’d say “What’s up,” but he never used to acknowledge me other than the initial meeting. I saw him every now and then, and he would just be in the room, I’d be in the room…we’d stare each other down for like half a second and keep it moving or whatever. So I’m looking at this guy, like, “Oh man, this guy is trying to play me, and he’s a nobody just like me.” So eventually, at the “Stakes Is High” video shoot, Mos was there, and I was trying to get up in the video. Again, I have to repeat, I was a nobody, so ain’t get no love shown this way. I gave Mos a beat tape, back when the actual tape cassettes (were in), with my 30 second beat snippets. He called me a day or two later, and he’s like, “Your shit is dope, your shit is dope.” And the next time I saw him in the studio, it’s pounds all around the room. [Laughs]
DX: Did you record that track in the studio with them?
88-Keys: That’s a funny story. Kweli picked the beat from me, and he was saying he had an idea for the song, that him and Mos were recording an album together, and that he wanted a song for the album. I’m like, “Cool, let’s do it.” … I’m like, “I’ma hit up Mos, to see what’s good.” Come to find out, Mos didn’t like the beat at all, but he was doing it as a favor for Kweli. I was living with my parents at the time, I had my equipment in the basement in Long Island. These dudes took a cab all the way from Brooklyn—this was foreshadowing of baller status, I should have peeped it back then—but they took a cab all the way from Brooklyn, Kweli had a son who was like one year old at the time, almost in the middle of the night, on some seven o’clock shit. One of my sisters babysat Kweli’s son, and we went to the basement. Kweli already had his verse written, and I had a four-track recorder with a little BS microphone, so I recorded the joint, and after Kweli laid his verse, he explained to Mos what the song was about, and his inspiration for the song was a book called The Bluest Eye. Mos did a complete 180—I don’t even know if he liked the beat at that time still, but he liked Kweli’s rap and how the whole joint came together—so not only did Mos write his verse, but he wrote a 44-bar verse that he was pretty adamant about not shortening it. Me and Kweli are looking at him like, “He’s buggin’. That’s not a 16, Rawkus ain’t havin’ that.” Mos was like, “I don’t care. All this is staying.”
a reason to look forward to april February 22, 2008Posted by KG in hip-hop, music, news.
Tags: ?uestlove, ahmir thompson, black thought, common, def jam, entertainment weekly, lupe fiasco, q-tip, questlove, rising down, saigon, styles p, talib kweli, the roots, wale
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On April 29, the Roots will unveil Rising Down — the latest step in the six-member Philadelphia hip-hop band’s 15-year evolution on record. The darkly funky, politically charged project is now almost done after more than a year of recording, though it is currently missing contributions from planned guest artists Common, Lupe Fiasco, and Q-Tip.
Earlier this week, EW stopped by the Manhattan studio where rapper Tariq ”Black Thought” Trotter, 35, and drummer/producer Ahmir ”?uestlove” Thompson, 37, are working on some final touches, and scored an early listen to the still unsequenced 12-track set.
”RISING DOWN” (possible alternate title: ”Humdrum”) Guest rappers Mos Def and Styles P join Trotter in unleashing a slew of dystopian imagery over heavy, atmospheric synths. ”It’s not an intro, but more an introduction to the topical theme of the album,” Trotter says. ”Mos kicks it off from one perspective. My verse is about global warming and how the world is all haywire. And Styles P is rapping about prescription-drug campaigns, the stuff they advertise on TV, all the crazy side effects. We’re all dealing with different aspects of the state of the world.”
”BLACK’S RECONSTRUCTION” Trotter raps for 75 bars straight on this lyrical exercise, spitting effortless game (”Smooth like the dude Sean Connery was playing”) over a dirty drumbeat and foghorn-like tuba moans. ”It was a first take,” notes Trotter. (Show-off!) ”That’s a song in the tradition of ‘Web’ and ‘Thought @ Work’. It’s become something that die-hard fans check for, that extended freestyle, minimal chorus, hard-hitting lyrical joint.”
in hip-hop album news… January 30, 2008Posted by KG in hip-hop, music, style, tech.
Tags: common, erykah badu, jay electronica, lupe fiasco, mos def, new amerykah, q-tip, return of the ankh, rising down, talib kweli, the roots, wale
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In a shift from their previous two releases, The Roots’ Rising Down is STACKED with guest appearances. In addition to crew regulars Dice Raw, Truck North, P.O.R.N. and yes, Malik B, confirmed guests include: Mos Def, Common, Kweli, Peedi Peedi, Styles P, Wale, Patrick Stump, Mercedes Martinez, Chrisette Michelle. Also rumored to appear are Q-Tip, Lupe Fiasco, and Jay Electronica.
“I have three albums coming out this year, the first one will be released on February 26 (her birthday) and it’s gonna be called New Amerykah,” Badu says, adding that the next, Return Of The Ankh is scheduled for a July release.
“The other one’s gonna be called New Amerykah II and it’s gonna be a totally digital experience.”
Removing an ebony puff of her larger-than-life afro from her face, Badu explains the meaning of “totally digital experience”.
“You’ll purchase (instead of a CD) a USB stick, each will come with a specific code that you punch in. That way you’ll get to upload a new song every month for the next 10 months.”
Her digital ideas, however, don’t stop there!
“I’ll also be starting a magazine called Freaq, it’s gonna be dedicated to arts, politics, beauty, fashion, photography and technology,” shares the 36-year-old, adding that she also manages her own Myspace page.
“I feel so inspired. My religion is Art, I do the creator’s work best in that medium,” she says.
“You don’t see the head-wrap no more, no ankh? That’s because I am that. I don’t have to have nothing on me. It just takes the things that I have buried inside of me to become who I am. I’m just happy in my day”
talib kweli – momma can you hear me January 30, 2008Posted by KG in hip-hop, music.
Tags: common, hi-tek, kanye west, momma can you hear me, mos def, okayplayer, rawkus, reflection eternal, talib kweli
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kweli, kanye, mos, & common
unreleased…from the eardrum sessions…produced by kanye west:
& don’t hold your breath for this one, but good news nonetheless on the reflection eternal front:
Lastly, Talib Kweli confirmed that he’s closing out the year with a reunion with Hi-Tek. “People asked for it, so we got back together, and we’re working on that.” Albeit sparse on details, Kweli promised the project to be released before the close of 2008, and revealed that recording was underway.
kg’s most anticipated hip-hop albums of 2008 December 28, 2007Posted by KG in hip-hop, misc, music, top ten lists.
Tags: 88 keys, andre 3000, atmosphere, black thought, common, danger mouse, dr. dre, ghostface, gnarls barkley, hi-tek, karriem riggins, lil wayne, madlib, mf doom, mos def, nas, q-tip, talib kweli, the roots
in no particular order & assuming that they actually come out…
mos def – the ecstatic
erykah badu – badu iz um?
the roots – rising down
88 keys – death of adam
atmosphere – tba
ghostface & mf doom – swift & changeable
supreme team (madlib & karriem riggins) – tba
black thought & danger mouse – dangerous thoughts
lil wayne – tha carter III
nas – the n
q-tip – live at the renaissance
common – tba
andre 3000 – tba
gnarls barkley – tba
talib kweli & hi-tek – reflection eternal 2
mf doom & madlib – madvillain 2
dr. dre – detox
update for new entries: murs & 9th wonder – sweet lord
idle warship – party robot