Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ghostface Reveals The Wizard of Poetry Tracklist, Fall Tour Dates

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

This month, two new albums will feature two very different versions of Ghostface Killah. Ghost is all over Raekwon's bleak and violent Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, which came out yesterday. But come September 29, he'll release his R&B-themed The Wizard of Poetry. As Ghost himself told me last week (in a Pitchfork interview that'll run soon), The Wizard of Poetry is his "mature" album. This is still Ghostface, though, and as this totally NSFW preview for "Stapleton Sex" makes clear, he's not exactly in Bill Cosby mode here.

We've already shown you the album's incredible Oz-themed cover art, and now we've got the album's tracklist, which you can check out below. Worth noting: The only other rapper on the entire album is Fabolous. (That's unless you count Kanye West's turn on the "Back Like That" remix, which already appeared on Ghost's More Fish and is included on Wizard as a bonus track). There are a lot of guests here, but they're mostly slick R&B singers. Still, "Stapleton Sex".

After the album drops, Ghost will spend October touring U.S. clubs. Ghostface has one of the most searingly intense live shows in rap, so take note. Those dates are below.

The Wizard of Poetry:

01 Not Your Average Girl [ft. Shareefa]
02 Do Over [ft. Raheem "Radio" DeVaughn]
03 Baby [ft. Raheem "Radio" DeVaughn]
04 Lonely [ft. Jack Knight]
05 Stapleton Sex
06 Stay
07 Paragraphs of Love [ft. Vaughn Anthony and Estelle]
08 Guest House [ft. Fabolous and Shareefa]
09 Let's Stop Playin' [ft. John Legend]
10 Forever
11 I'll Be That [ft. Adrienne Bailon]
12 Goner [ft. Lloyd]
13 She's A Killah [ft. Ron Browz] *
14 Back Like That [ft. Ne-Yo and Kanye West] *

* bonus tracks

Ghostface Killah:

10-02 Albany, NY - Northern Lights
10-03 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
10-04 Carrboro, NY - Cat's Cradle
10-05 Charleston, SC - Music Farm
10-07 Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
10-09 Oxford, MS - Lyric
10-10 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
10-11 Austin, TX - Emo's
10-13 Tucson, AZ - The Rock
10-14 Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
10-15 San Diego, CA - Canes
10-16 Los Angeles, CA Key Club
10-17 Santa Barbara, CA - Velvet Jones
10-19 Reno, NV - Club Underground
10-20 San Francisco, CA - Slim's
10-21 Arcata, CA - Arcata Theatre
10-22 Portland, OR - Berbati’s Pan
10-23 Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
10-24 Seattle, WA - Showbox
10-25 Bellingham, WA - Nightlight
10-28 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10-29 Aspen, CO - Belly Up
10-30 Denver, CO - Bluebird
10-31 Boulder, CO - Fox

Video: Raekwon: "Walk Wit Me"

After years of speculation about whether the thing even existed, Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II finally hit stores yesterday. Rae celebrated the occasion by taking to his Twitter and posting a link to a video for a song that's not even on the album.

It's not entirely clear why Rae spent what looks like a decent amount of money (by 2009 standards, anyway) shooting a video for "Walk Wit Me", an iTunes-only Cuban Linx II bonus cut. (At this point, though, Cuban Linx II is outselling Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 at iTunes, so Rae is doing something right.)

It's not too easy to follow the video's narrative, but it seems to center around Rae and his accomplices killing off a series of drug-trade rivals in Hawaii. Mostly, though, it seems like a great excuse for a series of badass images of Rae scowling hard against an electric blue sky. I love the shot at 2:11, when Rae hides behind a newspaper, waiting for a mark in an elevator.

Check it out below:

Friday, September 04, 2009

DOWNLOAD: Orikal "Organized Grind Vol. 1"

Get it here. I'm also featured on it.

EDITORIAL: Maia’s Descent Is No Laughing Matter By D.L. Chandler

D.L Chandler is also Mash Comp of Dumhi and you can follow him on Twitter

Like many young men in the 1990s, I found actress Maia Campbell to be one of the more attractive young black starlets on television. Early on, I discovered that she hailed from the Greater Washington Metropolitan area just as I did and that factoid endeared me to her as well. Of late Maia Campbell has fallen out of the public eye, and has been unfairly ridiculed by her poor life choices fueled by her bout with Schizophrenia. The daughter of late bestselling author Bebe Moore Campbell, Maia found fame on the LL Cool J vehicle In The House. For 3 seasons, the show enjoyed some mild success and Maia Campbell was a prominent fixture of the sitcom. Once the show ended, Maia worked bit parts in television and small movies, but nothing more.

I am not going to play reporter here and try to guess what happened beyond that point. What I do know is that in the last three years, nude photos of an obviously inebriated Campbell and a very recent video of the actress has appeared on the Internet. The gossip blogs, Twitter, message boards and news outlets (such as The Examiner) have all had their say to the inner workings of Ms. Campbell’s fall. We don’t know what’s leading her down this path nor do we know if she’s ever had adequate help – at least as far as what’s been released publicly. However, what is quite telling is how much of my Twitter feed was filled with hurtful jokes about her condition. The blogs and their comment fields were also filled with the same insensitive and lame commentary found in the linked Examiner piece above.

I immediately felt sorrow for Maia Campbell after viewing the video and wanted nothing more than to protect her. It triggered an almost instinctive brotherly reaction. It was if I saw my little sister on that screen and just wanted to snatch that camera away from her antagonist and whisk her away. There wasn’t anything humorous about this scenario. There wasn’t a reason to make this a Twitter topic of the day. It didn’t have to become this ugly display of humanity – anonymous keyboard cowards levying all types of hurtful, insensitive words towards Maia. I’ve just read that there’s a prayer campaign for Maia Campbell and that’s great. I’m not a religious person but this is obviously a step in the right direction so I support it fully.

Many of us know a Maia Campbell, a young person lost to their own devices and lacking the help, love and care needed to rise above whatever demons ails them. Are we to look at Maia Campbell with pity or are we to act when we see this pattern in our respective cities and towns? What did you truly feel when you saw Maia in that state? What would you do if you saw it? Are you witnessing something of this nature now? Are you out there helping to prevent more lost souls? Are you content with reading the insensitive comments and hashtags on Twitter? I know I’m not. I know that any time I can help a person – young or old – I’m going to give whatever time I can spare. I don’t see how we can look at this as a laughing matter. Moreover, for those of you that I know who choose to see humor in such a sad situation, you’ve lost a huge chunk of my respect.

Monday, August 31, 2009

MUSIC: Raekwon "10 Bricks" (featuring Ghostface Killah & Cappadonna)

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

While expectations for Jay-Z's The Blueprint 3 have steadily dwindled, expecations for Raekwon's forthcoming Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II has shifted in the opposite direction. Following the leak of "House of Flying Daggers" we get another J Dilla production, "10 Bricks", a hard-grinding get-money knocker with verses by Ghostface Killah and Cappadonna that plays like an uncut dose of lay-low street magic. Like "Daggers", everyone here seems to be well within their comfort zone, hitting the track Wu-Tang attack-style, armed to the teeth with hard-nosed revenge vignettes and bruising spit. Most of the real burners we've heard off this thing have played it pretty close to the chest in this respect: the features are almost exclusively Shaolin-affiliated, with the content and delivery brimming with grimy panache. But on more and more of these Cuban Linx II cuts, Raekwon himself ends up walking away with top honors; he doesn't always nab the big one-liner, but his presence on these songs is irrefutably huge.

"Meanwhile, back on the block we see two trucks/ Then the windows roll down, we see these two fucks/ As soon as they jump out, see these tools bust," Cappadonna sneers over Dilla's vintage snares, gaunt orchestral flourishes, and a whiny guitar loop that imitates a tortured Chinese harp suite. Cap's in rare form, bookended by Rae's trademark blow blow-by-blow (almost impenetrably slung) and a ferociously-amped Ghost. What's great about "10 Bricks" is how fearless and energized these bars are, transforming otherwise lightweight-jabs ("Knock the ash off the blunt for front-niggas who cunt") into something potently formidable. This music is confident, not cocky: Ghost's admission of having "a team of niggas movin' my furs" should be obtusely funny, not tangibly intimidating. How does that work? Underestimate Cuban Linx II at your own peril.

The Top 50 Music Videos of the 2000s

Go check out the hotness.

Friday, August 28, 2009

VIDEO: The Foreign Exchange feat. Muhsinah "House of Cards"

The Foreign Exchange feat. Muhsinah - "House Of Cards" from The Foreign Exchange on Vimeo.

From the album "Leave It All Behind" out now.

AWESOME: Ghostface Killah Unveils Absurd Wizard of Poetry Cover

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

The leaks we've heard from Ghostface Killah's forthcoming R&B-themed album The Wizard of Poetry haven't exactly been encouraging; first single "Baby" straight-up sucks. But I have to say, I'm considerably more amped to hear the finished product now that I know it's going to take place in some futuristic utopian Oz.

The Wizard of Poetry comes out September 29 on Def Jam. Buy the vinyl so you can stare at that cover all day.

Blackalicious's Gift of Gab Readies Solo LP

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

The Cali rapper Gift of Gab has put in well more than a decade of work with the backpack-rap institution Blackalicious, but up until now he's only released one solo album, 2004's awesomely titled 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up. On October 27, he'll finally drop the follow-up LP Escape to Mars via Cornerstone Recording Arts Society.

That's the album cover above, and for some reason it looks almost exactly like the cover of the forthcoming album from metal supergroup Shrinebuilder if Dr. Manhattan teleported it to Mars. Seriously.

Anyway, Escape 2 Mars will feature a collaboration with fellow underground rap heavyweights Brother Ali and Del the Funky Homosapien. Gab's Quannum compatriot Lateef the Truth Speaker will also stop by. You can download one track, the vaguely Latin-inflected workout "El Gifto Magnifico", right here, and the tracklist is below.

Escape 2 Mars:

02 El Gifto Magnifico
03 Lightyears
04 Dreamin' [ft. Del the Funky Homosapien & Brother Ali]
05 In Las Vegas
06 Escape 2 Mars
07 Electric Waterfalls
08 Richman, Poorman
09 Someofthepeople
10 Spotlight
11 Rhyme Travel
12 Dreamin' (Aqua Sawtooth Remix) *

* Vinyl-only bonus track

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kraftwerk Announce Massive Eight-Disc Box Set, Reissue Series

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Kraftwerk, the German legends that pretty much invented electronic pop music as we know it, are due to reissue eight of their albums in a massive box set called 12345678: The Catalogue. Five of the albums will also be reissued as individual titles.

The box is due October 6 in the U.S. from EMI. That's the cover art above. It'll feature the following discs: 1974's Autobahn, 1975's Radio-Activity, 1977's stone classic Trans-Europe Express, 1978's The Man Machine, 1981's Computer World, 1986's Techno Pop, the 1991 remix comp The Mix, and 2003's Tour De France. (The band's first three albums are not included.)

We can argue about those last three LPs all day, but the first five are total pantheon material, huge influences on everyone from David Bowie to Afrika Bambaataa to Daft Punk to basically anybody that ever made dance music in the past four decades. Kraftwerk have remastered these albums themselves, so they should sound great.

Licensing issues prevent EMI from reissuing Computer World, Techno Pop, or The Mix in the U.S. as individual titles. So if you want those, you'll have to spring for the full box. The other five albums will be available on CD, vinyl, or digital download. The box set will be available on CD only.

Gargantuan Miles Davis Box Set Due

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

During his tenure at Columbia Records, Miles Davis recorded an awe-inspiring 52 albums. Pretty soon, you'll be able to own all of them in one gigantic box that will probably be heavy enough to kill someone.

On November 10, Columbia/Legacy will release The Complete Columbia Album Collection. The box will include (seriously) 70 CDs and one DVD, and somehow it's that one DVD that makes the whole thing look like overkill.

The DVD is Live in Europe '67, which will be on DVD for the first time ever with this set. The set will also include a previously unreleased live recording of Davis's performance at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.

According to Legacy, the CDs will all come in "Japanese-styled mini LP jackets", which sounds cool. The CDs will include bonus tracks that have been tacked on to Davis reissues over the years. There will also be a 250-page book.

The whole massive brick of a thing will be available exclusively from Amazon, and it'll run you $369.98, which is kind of a bargain. That's about five bucks a disc!

Dizzee Rascal Reveals Bonkers New LP

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Grime veteran Dizzee Rascal has a British hit right now with the unbelievably goofy Armand Van Helden collab "Bonkers", so it's no surprise that his new album is right around the corner. Tongue N' Cheek, the new LP, will come out September 21 in the UK via Dizzee's own Dirtee Stank label. The cover, which looks like Dizzee dreaming cartoon clouds of cotton candy, is above. Dizzee just revealed the tracklist on his MySpace, and it's below.

None of this colorful silliness is exactly what we've come to expect from the guy who made some of the fiercest, most desperate music of the past decade. There is, after all, a reason why Def Jux released his last album in the U.S. But Dizzee's given us three great albums already, so if he wants to cut loose a bit, who are we to quibble?

Dizzee will spend the rest of the year on tour around the UK. The new single "Holiday" will be out August 24 in the man's homeland.

Tongue N' Cheek:

01 Bonkers
02 Road Rage
03 Dance Wiv Me
04 Freaky Freaky
05 Can't Tek Me No More
06 Chillin Wiv Da Man Dem
07 Dirtee Cash
08 Money Money Money
09 Leisure
10 Holiday
11 Bad Behaviour

VIDEO: Busdriver "Me Time (With the Pulmonary Palimpsets)