Sunday, November 30, 2008


EVENT #1: C.A.S.E. (FKA Case Of The Mondays) will make a first live performace after somewhat of a hiatus to do work-like duties. They will be appearing at the Dinkytowner on Friday, December 5th as part of the Bring The Noise Showcase. Details in the flyer:

EVENT #2: On Saturday, December 5th, Doomtree Recorts throws the 4th Blowout with all your favorite crew members: Cecil Otter, P.O.S., Lazerbeak, Turbo Nemesis, Sims, Mike Mictlan, Dessa, MK Larada and Paper Tiger. For those who caught the first three blowouts, its known for its huge amounts of surprises. Details below:

Consider yourselves warned and go to these shows.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Video: Kanye West: "Heartless" (Live on the "Late Night With Conan O'Brien")

Kanye's relentless promo assault continues with a rendition of "Heartless" last night on Conan. His voice sounds a little rough, no doubt because of all the 808s-related appearances, and it's a little weird to hear a scratchy voice that sounds on the verge of going out run through the Auto-Tune.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fugees Producer And Rapper John Forte Granted Pardon By President Bush

(swiped from MTVNews)

Halfway through a 14-year conviction for drug trafficking, musician is one of 14 people to receive pardons.

Rapper and former Fugees producer John Forté was one of 14 people pardoned by President Bush on Monday, according to Reuters. He had been serving a sentence of 14 years in prison since 2001, after being found guilty of possession of 31 pounds of liquid cocaine with intent to distribute.

The presidential pardons, which were for offenses ranging from distribution of marijuana to unauthorized use of a pesticide, cannot be overruled and can help the recipients find jobs, live in public housing and vote. Bush has received more than 2,000 requests for pardons, which typically come fast and furious near the end of a president's term.

Forté — who studied violin at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire as a youth — co-wrote and produced two songs on the Fugees' Grammy-winning 1996 smash, The Score. Two years later, he released his debut, Poly Sci, on which Fugees member Wyclef Jean has an executive-producer credit.

Forté was arrested in 2000 at Newark International Airport after accepting a briefcase containing $1.4 million worth of cocaine. He released his confessional second album, 2002's I, John, while already serving his sentence at Pennsylvania's Lorreto Federal Penitentiary.

I, John featured an unexpected duet with '70s legend Carly Simon on "Been There, Done That," which came about through Forté's friendship with Simon's son, Ben Taylor. Simon and Taylor have long advocated on Forté's behalf, arguing that the MC did not receive a fair trial and that his sentence was unfair considering it was his first offense and he was a nonviolent offender.
According to TMZ, Simon has been lobbying a number of politicians, including Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch, "religiously" on Forté's behalf. He will leave federal prison next month, TMZ said. A spokesperson for Forté had not returned requests for comment at press time.

Friday, November 21, 2008


(Swiped from Rhymesayers)

P.O.S. returns with Never Better, February 3rd on Rhymesayers. It's the follow-up to 2006's critically acclaimed Audition. Most of P.O.S’ new album was written in a moving car. On it, he raps at full-clip to ride rolling drums and revving distortion. There’s an urgency that he keeps in careful check, and then unleashes for spring-loaded verses that represent his best work. P.O.S built his reputation as an innovator, with an unlikely punk rock past and expressive, honest content. He re-earns the accolades with every release. His records capture his charisma—they’re driving and sincere, the dark moments counterbalanced by some giggling banter with the engineer. On Never Better, the new disc, he conjures get-away cars, racing chariots, the pursuit of sirens, and the occasional rueful nighttime drive.

P.O.S. himself made more than half of the beats on Never Better, and the production bears his unmistakable signature. The album enters a room like bombshell with a black eye—badass, noisy, impossible to ignore. Feedback and relentless drum rolls are only occasionally tempered by sung choruses and clean, chiming guitar lines. Some critics will be eager to categorize the album as a hybrid—some kind of crossover project. But it’s probably not. P.O.S is a rapper with range, he’s a real musician and an unstoppable performer. For him, genres are as they ever were: permeable.

The packaging for P.O.S's new album Never Better is a one of a kind four panel transparent plastic Digipak that holds 16 solid and 6 Transparent inserts. The solid inserts have artwork on the front and lyrics/credits on the back. The Transparent inserts have artwork that when placed over the various solid cards, enhance and change the look of the art underneath, hundreds of combinations are possible. Look for P.O.S. to embark on a headlining tour for the month of February and he will stay on the road through the summer, where he's confirmed for the entire Vans Warped Tour.

P.O.S.'s two plus years on the road in support of Audition proved that no genre can contain him. He's just as comfortable performing in front of punk and rock crowds as he is with his ever growing loyal hip hop fan base. On different tours, he went out with Atmosphere, Minus the Bear, Gym Class Heroes and Underoath plus did 50+ dates on the Vans Warped Tour. Audition made it up to #13 on the CMJ Radio Top 200 and was #1 on the Hip Hop chart for three weeks. The video for his single "Bleeding Hearts Club (MPLS Chapter)" received heavy rotation on MTVu and also on MTV2's Subterranean.

Never Better Tracklisting
1.Let It Rattle
2.Drumroll (We're All Thirsty)
3.Savion Glover
5.Graves (We Wrote the Book)
7.Get Smokes
8.Been Afraid
9.Low Light Low Life
10.The Basics (Alright)
11.Out of Category
12.Optimist (We Are Not For Them)
14.Never Better
15.The Brave and the Snake

More on P.O.S. @:
Facebook | Myspace

Atmosphere's Second Album Reissued With Bonus DVD

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)
Photo by Dan Monick

The sophomore long-player from slightly troubled Twin City twosome Atmosphere, 2002's God Loves Ugly, has languished in out-of-print purgatory for a good year now. All that changes January 20, when Rhymesayers issues a remastered, repackaged version of the set on CD and LP, coupled with a copy of what was originally the limited edition Sad Clown Bad Dub 4 (The GodLovesUgly Release Parties) DVD.

The visual portion of the proceedings features more than two hours of performances, backstage footage, the videos for "GodLovesUgly", "Summersong", and "Say Shh", plus some memorable guest appearances. The audio portion packs the same 18 tracks as the original issue, but the aforementioned remaster certainly can't hurt in turning up the anguish.

Before things get Ugly yet again, Atmosphere have a smattering of live dates to attend to, every one in a location far balmier than their upper Midwestern home. They're in the process of plotting a big North American tour in the spring too, but those dates have yet to emerge.

God Loves Ugly

01 Onemosphere
02 The Bass and the Movement
03 Give Me
04 F*@ck You Lucy
05 Hair
06 GodLovesUgly
07 A Song About a Friend
08 Flesh
09 Saves the Day
10 Lovelife
11 Breathing
12 Vampires
13 A Girl Named Hope
14 GodLovesUgly Reprise
15 Modern Man's Hustle
16 One of a King
17 Blamegame
18 Shrapnel


11-22 Honolulu, HI - Pipeline Café
12-30 Lorne, Australia - Falls Festival
12-31 Marion Bay, Australia - Falls Festival
01-01 Adelaide, Australia - Rymill Park *
01-03 Busselton, Australia - Southbound Festival
01-04 Sydney, Australia - Moore Park *
01-08 Richmond, Australia - Corner Hotel *
01-09 Auckland, New Zealand - Zen

* with Brother Ali

Clipse Preview LP With Mixtape, Launch Clothing Line

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

So Clipse's third LP, Till the Casket Drops, won't make its way to stores this month as originally planned. It's an unfortunate (if hardly unexpected) fate you're sure to hear plenty about on Road to Till the Casket Drops, an all new Clipse mixtape set to, you know, drop December 1 exclusively through

The new set packs tie-ins galore: not only is it the first glimpse into the next Clipse record proper-- now due in March, supposedly-- but its appearance is intended to coincide with the duo's long in the works Play Cloths clothing line, which launched today (November 21).

Clipse look to be putting together a Play Cloths tour too, but thus far just a couple dates have emerged.

Play Cloths tour:

01-18 Calgary, Alberta - Tequila Nightclub
01-21 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards

The Roots Recovering After Tour Bus Crash

(Swiped from Pitchfork Media)
Photo by Matt Ziegler
"Just wanna be the first celeb to twit... from an ambulance," reads an entry on the Twitter of Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson of Philly's the Roots. From the sound of things, ?uestlove and his bandmates are pretty pleased to be alive and relatively well after their tour bus crashed en route to Paris last night (November 19).
The band emerged from the mess relatively unscathed, and ?uest was in fact able to extensively blog about the accident mere hours after it happened. Thompson writes, "in reality the crash was all of about 7 seconds....but to do a 360 on the highway and end up ramped up (the van that crashed into ours was UNDER our double decker bus) in the a frigging miracle." As he writes elsewhere, "dog we are soooo alive right now."
Though some suffered injuries leading to "cuts and neck braces," everyone on the bus is-- again-- okay, though the fate of the band's upcoming dates appears somewhat in limbo. ?uestlove notes something about the band's participation in Kanye West's Paris gig tonight (November 20) being highly unlikely but as of now no announcement has been made about any further cancellations. "That was divine intervention. we are so grateful for this outcome," he writes. Us too.
Of course, an incident like this might help along the widely circulated rumor going around this week that the band would retire from proper touring and, instead, serve as the house band when Jimmy Fallon takes over for Conan O'Brien on NBC's "Late Night" in 2009.
Though it should be noted once again that this is, indeed, still just a rumor-- the Roots' reps have no comment on the matter at this time-- it's a tidbit that apparently got its start from the mouth of ?uestlove himself. reports that, on a since-removed video, Thompson reportedly noted, "I don't know if I want to be 40, on the road and single no more. And with the kids my group has now getting's harder for the guys to leave more than it was when the kids were 2 and 3." He later added, "I'mma love my new home at [NBC headquarters] 30 Rock. Two visits and I'm already on a first-name basis with the 'SNL' cats." The laser cats have first names?
Should they opt to play through the cuts and scrapes, the Roots' next scheduled appearance is tomorrow night in Lille, France.
The Roots:
11-21 Lille, France - Aeronef
11-23 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
11-24 Stockholm, Sweden - Berns
11-26 Hamburg, Germany - Docks
11-27 Berlin, Germany - Columbiahalle
11-28 Warsaw, Poland - Arena Ursynon
11-29 Skopje, Macedonia - Taksirat 10 Festival
12-01 Nottingham, England - Rock City
12-02 Manchester, England - Academy
12-03 Bristol, England - Academy
12-05 London, England - The Forum
12-06 London, England - The Forum
12-07 Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
12-08 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
12-09 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso

Ghostface Compiles Classics, Rarities for GhostDeini

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Matching standout cuts from his studio albums with an array of rare remixes and a slew of appearances from top-shelf guests, Ghostface Killah's collection GhostDeini the Great is due December 16 from Def Jam. The Wu-Tang MC is joined on the disc by cameos from Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Pusha T of Clipse, Ice Cube, Beanie Sigel, and all of his Wu associates.
Quite a few tracks will be familiar to anyone who's been following Pretty Toney's career trajectory to date, but several-- like opener "Slept on Tony", the Cube-laced remix of "Be Easy", the Pusha T-boosted "Kilo", and motherfucking "Ghostface Christmas"-- are previously unreleased. The set will be available digitally and on CD, with the CD coupled with footage from Ghostface's time on the Hip Hop Live! Tour.
Ghost will join the Wu-Tang Clan on the road over the next few months as part of their 8 Diagrams tour. The Wu are participating in the Rock the Bells charity auction, and The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan premieres on BET tonight at 8 PM EST, and hits DVD November 18 from Paramount. Oh, and don't forget to stock up on Wu boots for the wintertime.
GhostDeini the Great:
01 Slept on Tony
02 Run [Remix ft. Jadakiss, Lil Wayne, Raekwon, and Freeway]
03 Kilo [Remix ft. Raekwon and Pusha T]
04 Be Easy [Remix ft. Ice Cube]
05 Tony Segal (aka Barrel Bros.) [ft. Styles P and Beanie Sigel]
06 It's Over
07 Walk Around
08 9 Milli Bros. [ft. Wu-Tang Clan]
09 Mighty Healthy
10 Apollo Kids
11 All I Got Is You [ft. Mary J Blige]
12 Cher Chez La Ghost
13 Back Like That [Remix ft. Kanye West and Ne-Yo]
14 Street Opera [ft. Sun God]
15 You Know I'm No Good [ft. Amy Winehouse]
16 The Champ [Remix]
17 Ghostface Christmas
The Wu:
11-29 Portland, OR - Roseland Ballroom
11-30 Boise, ID - Knitting Factory
12-01 Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
12-03 San Francisco, CA - The Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center
12-04 West Hollywood, CA - House of Blues
12-05 San Diego, CA - House of Blues
12-06 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
12-07 Tempe, AZ - Marquee
12-08 Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
12-10 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
12-14 Chicago, IL - House of Blues
12-15 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
12-17 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
12-18 Rochester, NY - Main Street Armory
12-19 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
12-20 New Haven, CT - Toad's Place
12-21 Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
12-23 New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
01-01 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
01-02 Providence, RI - Lupo's
01-04 Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
01-07 Norfolk, VA - The NorVa
01-08 Richmond, VA - Toad's Place
01-09 Greensboro, NC - N Club
01-10 Charleston, SC - Music Farm
01-11 Charlotte, NC - Amos' Southend
01-12 Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
01-13 Columbia, SC - LEVEL
01-14 Atlanta, GA - TBA

EPMD Enlist Raekwon, KRS-One for Comeback Album

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

The last EPMD album was 1999's Out of Business, and between its title and the fact that it was released almost a decade ago, it seemed to be the end of the EPMD story, at least on record. But not so: Erick Sermon and Parish Smith have returned with a seventh studio album, and yes, it has "business" in its title.

We Mean Business arrives December 9 via EPMD's own EP Records and includes guest appearances from Raekwon, KRS-One, Method Man, Redman, Mobb Deep's Havoc, Keith Murray, and more.

EPMD have a pair of NYC dates coming up, and they're also taking part in a pair of Zune-sponsored charity art auctions. Folks can bid on artwork inspired by EPMD at both a December 3 We Mean Business listening party at the Zune Space in West Hollywood and the duo's December 8 gig at Santos Party House in NYC, with proceeds going to the Groundswell Community Mural Project.

We Mean Business:
01 Puttin' Work In [ft. Raekwon]
02 What You Talkin' [ft. Havoc of Mobb Deep]
03 Roc-Da-Spot
04 Blow
05 Run It [ft. KRS One]
06 Yo [ft. Redman]
07 Listen Up [ft. Teddy Riley]
08 Bac Stabbers
09 Never Defeat Em [ft. Method Man]
10 Jane
11 Left 4 Dead [ft. Skyzoo]
12 They Tell Me [ft. Keith Murray]
13 Actin' Up [ft. Vic D. and Tre]

11-23 New York, NY - Izod Arena
12-08 New York, NY - Santos Party House

Stream: EPMD: Various Tracks

Wu-Tang, Nas, De La Soul, Tribe Do Charity Auction

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

The traveling hip-hop extravaganza Rock the Bells may be but a reverberation in our ears 'til the next round is announced, but quite a few of the featured players from the annual run have made moves to keep the good vibes rolling long after festival season's up. They're taking part in the Rock the Bells Online Charity Auction, put on by tour organizers Guerilla Union and the folks at Hip Hop Official and running December 1-15.

The wares are made up mostly of memorabilia from the tour, including records, shoes, Sage Francis' defunct Discman/traveling companion DJ No Spin Zone, and some skateboard decks signed by Nas, Mos Def, De La Soul, the Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Redman, Murs, Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and Method Man, and plenty of others.

Speaking of the Tribe, the proceeds from the auction go to the American Diabetes Association, so chosen in honor of Tribe MC and famed funky diabetic Phife Dawg.

Monday, November 17, 2008

50 Cent Album Now Due in 2009, With Bonus DVDs

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Apparently, having your own tired-looking reality show on MTV does not keep your record's release from being delayed, at least if you're 50 Cent. Now, instead of coming out on December 9 as planned, 50's perhaps presciently titled fourth album, Before I Self Destruct, will see release early next year via Shady/Aftermath/Interscope.

Both Dr. Dre and Eminem contribute production and guest verses to Before I Self Destruct, and the record's Scott Storch-produced first single, "Get Up", actually sounds decent. If nothing else, the Curtis follow-up is starting out on the right foot. Also, history would lead us to believe that the disc should contain one all-out banger, a la "In Da Club" or "I Get Money" (we'd also include "Hate It or Love It", but the original track was from the Game's debut album).

But Before I Self Destruct isn't just a 50 Cent album. It's also a movie written by 50 Cent, directed by 50 Cent, and starring 50 Cent. It's a movie about a basketball player who sacrifices his dream of playing in the NBA to a life of crime in order to take care of his academically gifted younger brother and avenge the death of their mother. Perhaps learning from the tepid overall response to Get Rich or Die Tryin' the movie, 50 is including a DVD of the film with every copy of the album.

Early deluxe editions of Before I Self Destruct will also include a second DVD, a documentary called Two Turntables and a Microphone: The Life and Death of Jam Master Jay. In addition to 50 Cent, the movie about the late Run DMC DJ (and 50 Cent mentor) features appearances from Jay-Z, Russell Simmons, and Rev Run of Run-DMC.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Video: Kanye West, De La Soul, Nas,, Mos Def, and Damon Albarn: Freestyles (Live in London)


After Kanye West's London double-header-- and the UK leg of the Rock the Bells tour-- the live hip-hop still wasn't quite finished. Those in attendance at at West's G.O.O.D. Music after party got to witness a star-studded freestyle cypher, captured at high quality in this 13-minute video by DJ Semtex. De La Soul start things off, over the Honeydrippers' "Impeach the President" break, followed by Mos Def. Ex- (or not?) Blur frontman Damon Albarn-- also of the Good, the Bad, and the Queen, the recent Monkey opera, and of course, animated hip-hop project Gorillaz-- even croons a few bars before takes over. West holds the mic as the DJ drops God's Son's "Made You Look". Then it's Nas' show. (via Nah Right)

Kanye West Arrested Again, Reveals 808s Tracklist

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)
Let's get this out of the way first: According to TMZ (via MTV), Kanye West was apparently arrested-- and subsequently released and cleared-- for a fight with a photographer in Newcastle, England last night. Yes, Kanye sparred with the paparazzi again. Sigh. Let's move on...
With only a week and change to go before its November 24 release, West's new album 808s & Heartbreak finally has a tracklist, via the store on his website. And given how much of its music has leaked already, the tracklist isn't much of a surprise. As we know, 808s' only guests are Young Jeezy (on "Amazing") and Lil Wayne (on "Tell Everybody That You Know"), and there's a hell of a lot of Auto-Tune.
808's & Heartbreaks:
01 Welcome to Heartbreak
02 Heartless
03 Love Lockdown
04 Robocop
05 Anyway
06 Streetlights
07 Say You Will
08 Real Bad News
09 Amazing [ft. Young Jeezy]
10 Tell Everybody That You Know [ft. Lil Wayne]
11 Coldest Winter
Kanye West tour dates:
11-14 Sheffield, England - Sheffield Arena *
11-15 Birmingham, England - NEC Birmingham *
11-16 Glasgow, Scotland - SECC *
11-17 Manchester, England - M.E.N. Arena *
11-19 Oberhausen, Germany - Konig Pilsener Arena *
11-20 Paris, France - Bercy
11-21 Brussels, Belgium - Vorst National *
11-26 Rotterdam, Netherlands - Ahoy *
11-28 Hamburg, Germany - Colorline Arena
12-01 Auckland, New Zealand - Vector Arena
12-02 Wellington, New Zealand - TSB Bank Arena
12-05 Melbourne, Australia - Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park
12-06 Sydney, Australia - Acer Arena
12-07 Brisbane, Australia - Brisbane Entertainment Centre
* with Santogold

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ludacris In 'Talks' To Tour With T.I. And Young Jeezy, Says Theater Of The Mind Is A 'Classic'

(swiped from MTVNews)
'It's a movement, man,' Atlanta-based MC says of new record.
"I feel like this album is a collectors' item," Ludacris said about his November 24 release. "Not only do I feel it's classic — it's a collectors' item. It's a movement, man. Moral to the story is, this album, I'll provide you with the audio — the rest is up to the theater of your mind."
Luda is also planning a tour, and he wants to bring some guys from his Southern hometown along for the ride.
"I haven't confirmed anything yet," he explained. "It's little talks here and there. But I'll put it out there: I would love to do a tour where it's me, T.I. and [Young] Jeezy. Me, Tip and Jeezy would be outrageous. But nothing is confirmed yet."
'Cris is thinking big like some of his peers. On Monday night, it was announced that Lil Wayne, T-Pain, Keyshia Cole and Gym Class Heroes are going on the road together, so why wouldn't the Kings of Atlanta team up?
"That's great," 'Cris said of different hip-hop dignitaries teaming up for a big concert series. "I think that sh-- is phenomenal."
Luda's Theater of the Mind has no shortage of what he calls "co-stars" — co-stars, because he promises that every song is cinematic.
"It's co-star heavy for me. I've always liked working with other artists, whether it's been me on their song or me inviting people on other songs," he said. "I worked with artists on this album because I loved the competition level — it puts people on their A-game. I wanted to compete against them. It's competition at its finest. It's kinda like when you play basketball and you're friends with people on the other team — you shake hands with people afterward, but it's war."
Luda's sparring partners include both Jay-Z and Nas on "I Do It for Hip Hop" and T.I. on "Wish You Would." Common and legendary Hollywood filmmaker Spike Lee partner up on "Do the Right Thang," while others such as Rick Ross, the Game, Plies and Lil Wayne make cameos on other tracks.

Outkast To Deliver Two Solo Albums And Another Group Effort in 2009

(swiped from MTVNews)

'Y'all gonna get three records from the 'Kast next year,' Big Boi says.

ATLANTA — Big Boi is getting his second solo album, Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty, back on the good foot. The street-embedded member of Outkast says that despite a delay, his record is still coming.

"The South got something to say, and we gonna keep on talking," he told us recently in Atlanta. The roll-out plan for his LP seems to coincide once again with that of his partner, Andre 3000, and the 'Kast have been putting their heads together in preparations.

"Me and 'Dre were on the conference call [recently]," Big explained. "He's working on his album; my album is done. We're gonna wait until the top of the year — January or February — to put it out. Then 'Dre is gonna come hit y'all, and [then] we're gonna do the Outkast album. So y'all gonna get three records from the 'Kast next year."

Besides being holed up in the studio working on these records, Daddy Fat Sacks has also been spending time on the set — he's due to appear on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" next Tuesday, November 25. He plays a rapper — Gots Money — who gets greedy. Instead of just relying on the loot he gets as an artist, he decides to get involved with an animal-smuggling ring — when the cops catch him, he turns sides and works undercover for the authorities.

Now, we have heard about the 'Kast pulling a trifecta of albums before, and it hasn't materialized — but it might actually happen this time. Andre 3000 told MTV News' Mixtape Monday in September he had finally started work on his album.

"To be honest, I work best when people doubt me," 'Dre explained. "Our whole Outkast career has been built on people doubting us. [Hip-hop fans] up North hated on us from the get-go. We wouldn't be Outkast if people didn't understand what people would call weird. You know, none of that would've happened. Actually, if you see me, tell me I'm wack. That's the best thing you can do for me. You know, if you want a greater album, say that. Say that!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Video: 88-Keys "True Feelings"

Introducing the video for "True Feelings" off 88-Keys' "Adam’s Case Files" mixtape. "Adam’s Case Files" is the precursor to 88's first solo album release, The Death Of Adam, in stores TODAY!

Buy The Death Of Adam - Amazon | iTunes

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kanye, Killers, Ludacris Releases Pushed Up a Day

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Haven't you heard? Monday's the new Tuesday, and Tuesday's the new Saturday, or something. According to, Island Def Jam has pushed up both the physical and digital release dates of three sure-to-be-successful LPs-- Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak, The Killers' Day & Age, and Ludacris' Theater of the Mind-- to Monday, November 24, one day before their previously planned Tuesday, November 25 street dates.

The reason for the break with tradition? Why, it's all "an attempt to capitalize on the Thanksgiving shopping weekend," which apparently will last all week. Triple kegger at the record store, ya'll. (Or, if you're heading to Best Buy on Sunday, November 23, to pick up Chinese Democracy, it's a quadruple kegger.)

Lupe Fiasco Announces Three-Disc "Final" Album

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)
Photo by Natalie Kardos

Lupe Fiasco has announced his third album, and true to form for the MC, the whole thing sounds unnecessarily complicated. [Via the LupE.N.D. Blog]

Here's how it breaks down. As Lupe told us in an interview interview last year, the follow-up to The Cool will be titled LupE.N.D., and it will be his last album. But at a show at Chicago's Congress Theatre on Halloween, Lupe offered some more information: The last three letters of the title stand for Everywhere, Nowhere, and Down Here, which are the individual names given to the three discs of LupE.N.D. That's right, Lupe is planning to "retire" (seeing is believing-- or rather, in this case, never seeing again is believing) with a triple-CD release.

As a point of reference, Wikipedia claims MF Grimm's 2006 record American Hunger was "the first three-disc album in hip-hop history." If you're asking yourself, "MF Who?," or "American What?" right now: Exactly.

Call me skeptical, but retiring after you release one decent-ish album, one incredibly abstract and convoluted concept album [Hey! I think both of those albums are pretty great!-- Ed.], and a sure-to-be-bloated triple-disc monstrosity is not the way to cement your place in rap history.

In addition to all this, the LupE.N.D. Blog also reports that Lupe recorded a live CD/DVD at that Halloween show. It doesn't seem to be attached to LupE.N.D., which means it had better come out before that, so as not to disturb the integrity of the MC's retirement.

Attempts to ask Lupe, "Why? Just...why?" in person can be made at any of his remaining tour dates.

Lupe Fiasco:

11-10 Santa Barbara, CA - University of California, Santa Barbara
11-12 Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia
11-15 Storrs, CT - Jorgenson Theatre
11-17 Elmira, NY - Emerson Hall
11-22 Geneseo, NY - SUNY Geneseo Kuhl Gym
12-05 College Park, MD - University of Maryland Ritchie Coliseum
01-16 Auckland, New Zealand - Mt. Smart Stadium (Big Day Out)
01-18 Gold Coast, Australia - Parklands (Big Day Out)
01-23 Sydney, Australia - Showgrounds (Big Day Out)
01-26 Melbourne, Australia - Flemington Racecourse (Big Day Out)
01-30 Adelaide, Australia - Showgrounds (Big Day Out)
02-01 Perth, Australia - Claremont Showground (Big Day Out)

Dizzee Rascal Obama Chat Sparks Debate Over Racism

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Shortly after Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential election, Dizzee Rascal checked in via satellite for a chat with television presenter Jeremy Paxman on the BBC program "Newsnight". The topic, not so surprisingly, was race, one the BBC's U.S. press counterparts were addressing in earnest at the time as well, given the milestone nature of Obama's victory.

It could have been another enlightening conversation on a subject on the minds of many, but as noted in a recent report in The Guardian, plenty of folks are none too happy about the way the Paxman chat played out.

Paxman has drawn criticism for being "patronising," "crass," and, as a separate Guardian TV & Radio Blog post puts it, "condescending." In particular, his decision to ask Dizzee Rascal "Do you feel yourself to be British?" has raised eyebrows, as some feel the same question would never have been asked of a white musician. Further complicating that point is a statement in the Guardian story from a BBC spokesperson, which suggests Paxman's question followed a comment about "Britishness" from former House of Lords leader Baroness Amos, who was also part of the chat. That comment appears in the interview transcript The Guardian has published, but not in the video of the program that's making the rounds (see below).

Dizzee's seen his share of flak as well, from other rappers and citizens who feel he misrepresented black and/or hip-hop culture, and from some 50 viewers who, The Guardian notes, wrote in to the BBC to question the rapper's "suitability as a guest on [a] special...watched by 1.4 million people." Judge for yourself in the video below, but frankly I find it hard to slight Dizzee for basically being himself, even if he was sometimes tangled up by the semantics and some of Paxman's dodgier questions (How exactly is one meant to respond to "Do you believe in political parties in Britain?" anyway?). Have a look:

Dizzee's UK label XL has no comment on the matter, and notes that Dizzee himself is not available for comment. He may well be off gearing up for a short UK jaunt that kicks off this weekend, or prepping for the arena-sized audiences he'll face when he opens for the Prodigy in April of next year.

Dizzee Rascal:

11-15 Glasgow, Scotland - ABC
11-17 Norwich, England - UEA
11-18 Southampton, England - Guildhall
11-19 Leeds, England - Academy
11-20 Lincoln, England - The Engine Shed
11-22 London, England - Forum
04-05 Cardiff, Wales - International Arena *
04-06 Newcastle, England - Arena *
04-07 Glasgow, Scotland - SECC Hall *
04-09 Birmingham, England - NIA *
04-10 Manchester, England - MEN Arena *
04-11 Nottingham, England - Arena *
04-13 Sheffield, England - Arena *
04-14 Brighton, England - Brighton Centre *
04-17 London, England - Wembley Arena *

* with the Prodigy

Thom Yorke, Jay-Z,, Common, Q-Tip, Nas, Young Jeezy, and more: Various Obama Tributes

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

We told you about the songs that came out supporting President-elect Barack Obama and, to an admittedly lesser extent, Sen. John McCain in the months before last Tuesday's election (man, was that really only a week ago?). In the days immediately ahead of the vote, other musicians continued to send in their ballots, including Usher, who put out a pro-Obama video just a couple of days before the polls closed. While I hope people can focus on Obama potentially becoming "the first recent successful president"-- as left-leaning media critic Bob Somerby recently put it-- rather than making him bear the weight of his racial identity in a way white presidents don't, I have to say my favorite musical tribute so far has come in the form of 14 versions of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" posted by WFMU.

Since Obama's Nov. 4 victory, plenty of musicians have celebrated the win their own way. Here are some of the more noteworthy tracks, good and bad, red-eyed and blue:

Brother Ali: "Mr. President, You're the Man"
After the closely contested elections of the past decade, surprise was bound to be among the complicated mix of emotions reigning Tuesday night, poll numbers be damned. "He won, man," Brother Ali begins on Marvin Gaye-sampling celebratory song "Mr. President, You're the Man". Handclaps, funky guitars, and Gaye's soulful falsetto counter Ali's giddily forceful delivery: "I got to pinch myself/ I can't believe it." (via 2dopeboyz)

Common: "Changes"
Chicago's own Common was one of the first rappers to mention Obama, on Finding Forever's "The People". A laid-back bass groove and light, Sunday-afternoon horns back wide-eyed rhymes on Common's Obama tribute, "Changes". Slinky keyboards and some vaguely trippy breakdowns make it easy on the ears, even if you never needed to hear Common whistle. Before an excerpt from one of Obama's most famous speeches comes the voice of a child: "Change is inevitable... Change was Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Shakespeare, Assata Shakur, Barack Obama-- and you can't forget Common."

Dead Milkmen: "Bitchin' Camaro (Obama Intro)" part 2)
Much-loved banana peel smokers Dead Milkmen seized Obama's victory not as something to stop and memorialize but as an inspirational call to action going forward. Over the punkish 1985 original's familiar walking bass line, singer and guitarist Joe Genaro exhorts: "If the black guy with the Arab name can become president, there's nothing you motherfuckers can't do." Then they tear through a mosh-worthy version of the song at Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest. (via BrooklynVegan)

Jay-Z [ft. Tony Williams]: "We Made History"
Self-referentially lighter-ready stadium anthem that again makes me think of Chicago. This time not so much the city as the Peter Cetera power ballads. Jay-Z manages to support the bombast with some fairly strong verses that bring the political down to a personal level. Kanye West produced and you can find it at his blog.

Nas: "Election Night"
"What's a black president thinking on Election Night?" asked Nas on "Black President", from his most recent, untitled album. He and DJ Green Lantern revisit that question on an Election Night track entitled, ahem, "Election Night". The lyrics are strikingly up-to-date, like in that latest "South Park" episode, even mentioning Obama's late grandmother. The military-style drums and zipping electronics make for a decent backdrop, too, but as both such a campaign-specific song and something of a sequel, it's unlikely this one's going to have much shelf value.

Punchline: "What a Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong cover)
Pittsburgh band Punchline's Obama-inspired punk-pop cover of "What a Wonderful World" is every bit as heinous as that description might imply (in other words, they're not that Hawaiian dude). And what's with the psychedelic spoken-word section? I guess it's the thought that counts, though, and it's a good time to remember that songwriters Bob Thiele and George David Weiss wrote the original for Louis Armstrong with an eye toward transcending racial and political division. (via Punknews)

Q-Tip: "Shaka"
Q-Tip's impressive return album, The Renaissance, came out on Election Day, and its song "Shaka" featured an unusual guest star (at least for an officially sanctioned release): Obama himself. Q-Tip's slippery flow darts amid the jazzy, discordant guitars, sounding a serious note of his own. Also check out DJ Scratch's recent remix of The Renaissance's "Gettin' Up", featuring previous Q-Tip collaborator Busta Rhymes.

Thom Yorke: "Tchk Harrowdown Jump Rmx"
This one really doesn't have anything to do with Obama's victory, except Yorke dedicated its Nov. 5 release, in part, to "the dawn of a new era in politics in the USA." "It's a New Day", the Black-Eyed Pea member behind the much-viewed "Yes I Can" video, stays heavy-handed on the optimistic, rock-based "It's a New Day". "Gotta manifest that dream," he says, in front of video footage from Obama's victory, shots of driving, and plenty of images of people celebrating. (via XXL)

Ya Boy: "I've Got the Power"
Aside from an Obama speech snippet at the beginning and a somewhat-stale "I'm the rap Obama" line in the chorus, San Francisco rapper Ya Boy's organ-surging "I've Got the Power" is relatively perfunctory I'm rich/great/etc. boasting, without the necessary wit. Mostly posting this for the vintage Snap! sample. You know what I'm talking about. (via Nah Right)

Young Jeezy [ft. Nas]: "My President" (Live on "Last Call With Carson Daly")
Looks like those e-mails to Jesus paid off for Young Jeezy. He and Nas appeared on Carson Daly's show the night before the election, but their performance hit the blogs big-time on Nov. 5. Those celebratory synths and Jeezy's largely apolitical non sequiturs sound just about right in this new political climate (this whole Depression thing makes a blue Lambo sound even better, too, particularly now that the city has towed my wife's decades-old Civic). Plus, Nas's verse is far more aware of its flashy surroundings than I gave him credit for in our previous campaign songs feature: "She ain't a politician/ Honey's a pole-itician." Heheh, Beavis. (via Nah Right)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Video: T-Pain "Karaoke" (Featuring Kanye West, Akon and DJ Khaled)

Video: Kanye West "Heartless"

Of all the Kanye leaks this is still my favorite. The autotune actually sounds like it belongs on this song. Here is the animated video for Kanye's "Heartless" off 808s and Heartbreak, in stores 11/25.

Video: Gnarls Barkley "Mystery Man"

Trip out to this Walter Robot directed video for the unreleased Gnarls joint "Mystery Man." The song appears on the Who's Gonna Save My Soul EP (11/11 via Atlantic) which also includes four versions of the title track, and a live recording of "Neighbors." Up until the release date you can head to and download MP3s of those versions of the title track (as well as the video). After 11/11, no dice.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Video: Illuminous 3 Teaser Promo

Their debut album, "Room" is out on December 9th!

Visit their site here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I'm so proud. I'm proud of Obama and his family, same goes for Biden and his family, and most importantly, I'm proud of America.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Video: Prof "Rocketman"

Project Gampo out in stores and online retailers NOW. Get yours.

Seth MacFarlane is 1 wealthy 'Family' guy

(swiped from Yahoo!/AP)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Talk about inflation. Seth MacFarlane is Hollywood's hundred-million dollar man — and he's not even bionic.

MacFarlane, 35, is creator and executive producer of "Family Guy," Fox's top-rated prime-time 'toon (yes, even more popular than "The Simpsons"), one of the all-time best-selling TV-on-DVD titles, and a show that spearheaded the digital-download video phenomenon.

So it's no wonder the studio recently served up a $100 million production deal to keep their "Family" man happy. MacFarlane also is at the helm of the Fox 'toon "American Dad!" and is working on a "Family Guy" spin-off series, "Cleveland."

"In all honesty, my representative said I could get that much money and I didn't stop him," MacFarlane said. "Can I spend a hundred-million dollars? No. I'll spread it around a much as I can."

Spreading the wealth? Clearly, MacFarlane is an Obama man. He did some campaigning for the Democratic presidential candidate, and even took a shot at the Republican competition on "Family Guy."

In a recent episode, baby Stewie is transported to World War II Germany, clunks a Nazi on the head, steals his uniform, and puts it on. "Hey, there's something on here," Stewie says, feeling something on the jacket's lapel.

Cut to a close-up of a "McCain-Palin" button.

The gag got huge laughs at a rare public prescreening of the episode for a sold-out crowd at The Paley Center for Media. MacFarlane then sat down with The Associated Press to talk about money, politics and the future of "Family Guy."

AP: So, how does $100 million change your life?
MacFarlane: Nothing I can do can really live up to that amount of money on a daily basis, so my view of it ... (is that) I gave them all of my 20s, which are irretrievable. (I put my) heart and soul into that show, and, in turn, they give me $100 million. I think that's fair. One of those is replaceable, the other isn't.

AP: Word is the first thing you bought was a house.
MacFarlane: It's airy, open. It's not huge, not palatial. As a graduate of art school, I'm very conscious of the use of space, more than anything else.

AP: Given how much you work, does it really matter where you live?
MacFarlane: Yeah, I guess that's true. It really doesn't matter where you live because I'm never there. When I am there, I want it to have the environment of a retreat.

AP: Let's talk about what pays the mortgage: "Family Guy." What's new for the seventh season?
MacFarlane: In one episode, Stewie kidnaps the cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." They (the original cast members) all came back, reunited to do their voices for us. Brian tries to legalize pot in Quahog (Rhode Island, where the show is set). Peter tells the story of his ancestry. Down the line, we have our "Family Guy" abortion episode, believe it or not. Hats off to Fox for letting us take some risks, as always. There can be a lot of trouble, but at the end of the day, they do generally step up for risky, sensitive, topical stuff.

AP: More than one of your writers has said that seven seasons in, you're running out of pop-culture things to reference.
MacFarlane: At this point, we hope the characters have gotten to the point that we don't have to lean on that quite as much. There's always new media and new pieces of pop culture emerging that you can make fun of, and so we'll continue to draw from that. But I don't think it's as much of a crutch as it was 10 years ago.

AP: But after the success of "Blue Harvest" (the show's "Star Wars" spoof), you're going back to the "Star Wars" well.
MacFarlane: It was so popular that we thought it might be fun to write the "Empire (Strikes Back)" episode; it would be fun to do. As we got into the "Empire" episode, we found that it's almost twice as much work, but we'll get through it, somehow, and it'll be great. It's like redoing the movie.

AP: Cleveland (a "Family Guy" neighbor) is getting his own series. What does it say about the state of television that Entertainment Weekly picks him — an animated character — as the cover boy for a story on African-American characters in prime-time?
MacFarlane: This is a guy who's played like a real three-dimensional guy — not just as a cardboard, stereotyped black guy. I actually would stack that show up against other shows about black characters in recent years because I think a lot of them are — they dumb them down for some reason. They talk down to their audience. We're just treating this like "Family Guy," like any other show.

AP: "American Dad!" has always been the stepchild of "Family Guy" in terms of viewers and critics.
MacFarlane: It's had a struggle. "American Dad!" has had a struggle. But now it's regularly beating "The Simpsons."

AP: Say, 20 years from now, what are you hoping people will think about Seth MacFarlane and "Family Guy"?
MacFarlane: I don't know. It also depends on what way television standards go. If the FCC continues to put the crunch on everything and things become more conservative, "Family Guy" may be viewed like "All in the Family," which would be like the greatest thing in the world for me. It's just about the greatest show there was. ... Twenty years from now, if they say the show is still funny, that's enough for me."

Sunday, November 02, 2008

DRS Recordings (aka DeathRayScientific)

DRS Recordings (aka DeathRayScientific) was originally based in Texas and transplanted over to Minnesota, where they have been hosting various shows at the Dinkytowner called Switch, dedicated to MC Battling, as well as being a showcase for the local scene acts of today within Minneapolis/St. Paul. DRS consists of the following members: Esbe, djo, Savage Henry, Leonard Rhombus, geofferywatsonMC, DisputeOne, Spy, Shelltoe (who served as a regional Scribble Jam winner), A.Po, and Wide Eyes, among several others. They recently just held a Halloween Release Party at the Dinkytowner this past friday for their first effort as a crew. And needless to say, it really holds up.

I was amazingly surprised at each of the efforts on this rathter sprawled out 18+ track disc, but it was engineered awesomely and very well presented from the artwork to the music in it. It's abstract, but not as abstract as Anticon, at the same time it provides a very nice feel and rich tapestry across each track, and this is because of each individual act present on this disc and how differently they ride production from Esbe, Enlightened Minds, Sean Anonymous, Filthy McNasty and various others.

If you have a chance, you can visit their website or their myspace to check out the tunes as well as each of the individual artists. Supposedly the whole release party was taped, and I did a rendition of ODB's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya." Will it end up in there? We'll see....