Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Murs is a man of simple tastes-- sex, booze, music, video games-- and he is forthcoming about them. Other than honesty, what do Americans want in a leader, except maybe political experience and some semblance of a plan? The L.A. MC may not have either of those last two qualities, but that hasn't stopped him from announcing his candidacy with the title of his forthcoming major label debut: Murs for President.
The record features guest appearances from Snoog Dogg, Will.I.Am (uh oh!), and Tyler Woods, plus production from 9th Wonder, Scoop DeVille, and Terrance Martin.
Warner Bros. will release Murs for President on September 30. Its first single, "Better Than the Best", is already available digitally. Another single is also in the works: a 12" featuring "Can It Be" on the A-side and "Me and This Jawn" on the B-side.
To tide us over until then, Murs has released his third full-length collaboration with 9th Wonder online for free. The record is called Sweet Lord, and you can download it here. What's more, Murs and the other seven MCs who comprise Living Legends hit us with their latest offering, an EP called The Gathering, this week via their own Legendary Music.
Murs' live itinerary is consumed by the traveling Rock the Bells festival this summer. His next date with the festival is in Miami on August 2.
Murs for President:
02 I'm Innocent
03 Lookin' Fly [ft. Will.I.Am]
04 The Science
05 Can It Be (Half a Million Dollars and 18 Months Later)
07 Road Is My Religion
08 Sooo Comfortable
09 Time Is Now [ft. Snoop Dogg]
10 Think You Know Me
11 Me and This Jawn
12 Love and Appreciate II [ft. Tyler Woods]
13 Apart of Me
14 Break Up (The OJ Song)
01 The Intro
02 Are You Ready?
03 Nina Ross
05 And I Love It
07 It's for Real
08 Marry Me
09 Love the Way
10 Murs Inatra
08-02 Miami, FL - Bicentennial Park (Rock the Bells)
08-03 New York, NY - Jones Beach Amphitheater (Rock the Bells)
08-09 San Bernardino, CA - Glen Helen Pavilion (Rock the Bells)
08-16 San Francisco, CA - Shoreline Amphitheater (Rock the Bells)
08-23 Denver, CO - Fiddler's Green Amphitheater (Rock the Bells)
09-06 George, WA - The Gorge Amphitheater (Rock the Bells)
MP3: Murs and 9th Wonder: Sweet Lord [LP]
Video: Living Legends: She Wants Me [from the The Gathering LP]
Video: Murs: Better Than the Best [single; from the forthcoming Murs for President LP]
On the opening track from his last album, The Inspiration, Young Jeezy commanded us, in so many words, to get money. Thing is, times have changed since then. The economy, maaaan. It's like...so hard to find work now. The other thing is, Jeezy knows this, and he has addressed our concerns with the title of The Inspiration's follow-up, The Recession.
The Recession comes out via CTE/Def Jam on September 2. Its first single, "Put On [ft. Kanye West]", has already hit radio and Forkcast, and the album's cover is available below for your viewing pleasure.
To promote The Recession, Jeezy is unveiling new content weekly on a blog and social networking site called USDA2Day.com. We'd compliment the pun on USA Today, except it's probably "just a coincidence."
Young Jeezy will hit the road on a U.S. tour closer to the release of The Recession. The tour starts in Houston on August 10.
08-10 Houston, TX - Arena Theater
08-12 Dallas, TX - House of Blues
08-13 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
08-17 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
08-18 Chicago, IL - House of Blues
08-22 Norfolk, VA - NorVa
08-23 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
08-26 New York, NY - Blender Theatre at Gramercy
08-29 St. Petersburg, FL - Plush
08-30 Tampa, FL - Jannus Landing
09-02 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Egyptian film director Youssef Chahine has died in Cairo aged 82, four weeks after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
One of Arab cinema's most admired figures, he made his first film in 1950 and tackled authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in his work.
Chahine also had a loyal following in France, and was given the lifetime achievement award at Cannes in 1997.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Chahine "a fervent defender of freedom of expression".
Chahine was flown to Paris for treatment following his haemorrhage, but returned to Cairo 10 days ago.
His last film, This Is Chaos, was released earlier this year. Colleague Khaled Youssef had to finish it off because of the director's ill health.
"He was one of the most important film-makers in the world, not just in the Arab world," Egyptian actor Nur al-Sherif told Agence France Presse.
Chahine's early films like Cairo: Central Station dealt with sexual morality, a daring theme for its time, and during his career he attracted the anger of both religious and political forces in Egypt.
But his career survived the nationalisation of the country's film industry under President Nasser, and his film The Sparrow was critical of Egypt's leadership at the time of the Six Day War in 1967.
Chahine carried on producing work critical of Egypt's leaders, and made a series of films centred on his home city of Alexandria, recounting his childhood, his love of early Hollywood and his ambiguous feelings towards the United States. He had studied in California in the 1940s.
In his later career, censorship was a theme close to his heart, and he also became a prominent opponent of American foreign policy in the Middle East.
In 1994, his film The Emigrant was banned by a court because its plot was based on the story of Joseph, found in the Bible and Koran. The depiction of prophets is banned in most interpretations of Islam.
"Every day human beings suffer a lot from people telling you to shut up, you have no right to talk, you have no right to discuss," Chahine said.
"I think this is extreme violence, and it happened to me."Chahine is survived by his French wife Colette. A funeral ceremony will be held in Cairo on Monday, ahead of his burial in Alexandria.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Hot dog, do I ever hope that overwhelming feeling of déjà vu is just my breakfast not quite settling right. A few more tantalizing details surrounding the forthcoming third LP from Clipse have emerged, which should give us something to chew on until the sucker is almost inevitably pushed back from its slated November release via Columbia.
According to a Billboard.biz report [via BrooklynVegan], the new album is called Till the Casket Drops, and it will reportedly feature all-too-infrequent rap producer Rick Rubin behind the boards for an as-yet-untitled tune. Rick fucking Rubin! Early prediction: that song will be both loud and good.
Additionally, longtime collaborator Pharrell Williams, Justice League, Sean C and LV, DJ Khalil, and Dame Grease all contribute tracks to the set.
It's but a few weeks away, and things are looking good for the release of Clipse Presents: Re-Up Gang. That LP, from the group featuring both Pusha T and Malice of Clipse and their old friends Ab-Liva and Sandman, is due August 5 from Koch. Er, lord willin', anyhow. Clipse and Re-Up Gang will take the stage at New York's Highline Ballroom August 12.
Video: Re-Up Gang: Fast Life [from the Clipse Presents: Re-Up Gang LP]
Thursday, July 24, 2008
We don't want to call MF DOOM an unreliable guy. We like to imagine that instead of recording music he is sneaking around doing important stuff like hunting down Osama bin Laden or building seal habitats. Either way, the fact remains: The rumored follow-up to Madvillainy, DOOM's 2004 collaboration with Madlib, remains unfinished.
While we wait for the album, Madlib has stepped in to make up for his Madvillain partner's absence with the release of a record called Madvillainy 2: The Madlib Remix. Madvillainy 2 shares no song titles with Madvillainy, but that just makes it easier to treat this reworking as a new entity.
The digital version of Madvillainy 2 is available exclusively from Stones Throw's online store right now, but still forthcoming is a souped-up edition of the record called Madvillainy 2: The Box. The Box includes the Madvillainy 2 CD, a 7" featuring "One Beer (Drunk Version)", a cassette featuring The Madvillainy Demo Tape which leaked online prior to Madvillainy's release, a Madvillain t-shirt, and a comic book continuation of the "All Caps" video. All of this comes in a box "wrapped in silver like a mask," according to Stones Throw's description.
Stones Throw is manufacturing copies of Madvillainy 2: The Box based on pre-orders, so anyone who wants one should order by August 15 to receive a copy after the guaranteed ship date of September 15. The cost of The Box is steep-- $124.99 plus shipping-- but such is price of so many goodies.
And you know that's not all Madlib's up to. On September 30, he'll unveil his contribution to BBE's series Beat Generation. Titled WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip, the compilation includes tracks from Guilty Simpson, J.Rocc, Murs, Madlib himself, and his thing with Oh No, the Professionals. WLIB AM is anchored by a bunch of offerings from Madlib's Beat Konducta guise, and will bear the stamps of both BBE and Rapster Records.
Speaking of Beat Konducta, Madlib plans to re-adopt the moniker for a fifth volume of instrumental head-nodders called Dil Cosby Suite. That disc may surface as soon as next month. Also in the pipeline: a record called Miles Away from Madlib's Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble.
As for DOOM, if we cross our fingers extra hard, maybe we'll see his ages-in-the-making Ghostface collaboration Swift & Changeable before the year is out?
Madvillainy 2: The Madlib Remix:
01 Pow! (Intro)
02 No Brain
04 Light of the Past
05 Boulder Holder
06 Borrowed Time
07 Space Ho's Coast to Coast
08 Invazion (Interlude)
10 Fire in the Hole
11 Heat Niner
12 Monkey Suit
13 Fluid (Instrumental)
14 Can't Reform Em
15 Redd Spot (Interlude)
16 Running Around With Another
17 Butter King Jewels
19 Roller Coaster Riders (Instrumental)
21 Confucius Spot (Interlude)
22 Never Go Pop
23 Savage Beast (Instrumental)
24 Cold One
25 Cold One (Reprise)
WLIB AM: King of the Wigflip:
01 Beat Konducta: "The New Resident"
02 Guilty Simpson: "Blow the Horns on 'Em"
03 Georgia Anne Muldrow: "The Plan Pt. 1"
04 Beat Konducta: "Tension"
05 Defari: "Gamble on Ya Boy"
06 MED: "The Ox (805) [ft. Poke]"
07 Beat Konducta: "All Virtue"
08 J.Rocc: "Blinfold Test #10 (He Don't Play)"
09 Prince Po: "The Thang-Thang"
10 Madlib: "Heat"
11 Beat Konducta: "Smoke Break"
12 Beat Konducta: "The Plan (Reprise)"
13 Karriem Riggins: "Life"
14 Beat Konducta: "Parklight"
15 Frezna: "Yo Yo Affair Pt. 1 & 2"
16 The Professionals: "I Want It Back"
17 Beat Konducta: "Disco Dance"
18 Liberation: "What It Do"
19 Roc 'C': "Take That Money [ft. Oh No]"
20 Frank N Dank: "Drinks Up!"
21 Stacy Epps: "The Way That I Live"
22 Murs: Ratrace"
23 Guilty Simpson: "Go!"
24 Beat Konducta: "Stop"
The phones [pictured below] are called "Beats by Dr. Dre" and will be sold exclusively via Apple, Best Buy, and online starting July 25.
Video: Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg: Nuthin' But a G Thang [from The Chronic LP]
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Santogold and Diplo, together on a mixtape? It's enough to make your Day Glo all on its own. She, still rising the release of her self-titled LP, and he, making the beats that make the bodies rock, have teamed up for Top Ranking, a 35-track mixtape out now from Diplo's label Mad Decent.
It's a monster of a thing, sporting a ton of exclusive material from Santi White alongside tracks and remixes alike from Three 6 Mafia, Switch, Desmond Dekker, the Clash, and so so many others. (It's kind of like the Piracy Funds Terrorism mix Diplo made with M.I.A. back in 2004.) Perhaps you heard the slightly cheeky (but nevertheless banging) "Guns of Brooklyn" over in Forkcast the other day? The CD is available now from Turntable Lab, with an arrival scheduled at the Mad Decent webstore (and "everywhere else") soon.
Both Santogold and Diplo have a mess of tour dates coming up, including one they'll share over the weekend in New York.
Top Ranking mixtape:
01 "Dub Selection Intro"
02 Three 6 Mafia: "Late Night" (Unstoppable Mix)
03 Santogold: "Shuv It" (Disco D Blend) [exclusive]
04 Santogold: "I'm a Lady" (Diplo Mix ft. Amanda Blank) [exclusive]
05 Sir Mix-A-Lot: "Posse on Broadway"
06 Santogold: "Lights Out" (Diplo's Panda Bear Mix) [exclusive]
07 Aretha Franklin: "Save Me"
08 Devo: "Be Stiff"
09 B-52's: "Mesopotamia"
10 Gerri and the Holograms: "Gerri and the Holograms"
11 Santogold: "Anne" (Switch Mix) [exclusive]
12 Santogold: "L.E.S. Artistes" (XXXchange Mix ft. Movado)
13 Cutty Ranks: "Dutty Six Pack" [exclusive]
14 Santogold: "Find a Way" (Graeme and Switch Mix ft. Kid Cudi) / Lunar Camel [exclusive]
15 Richie Spice x Ratatat: "Marijuana"
16 Desmond Dekker: "007 (Shanty Town)"
17 Santogold: "Guns of Brooklyn" [exclusive]
18 Dixie Cups: "Iko Iko"
19 Tony Matterhorn: "Big Belly Guns" [exclusive]
20 Santogold: "Get It Up" (Radioclit mix ft. MIA & Gorilla Zoe) [exclusive]
21 "Mark Ronson in Studio"
22 Trouble Andrew: "Run - Hide"
23 Sister Nancy: "Pigeon Rock"
24 Nora Dean: "Barbwire"
25 Shinehead: "Know How Fe Chat"
26 The Clash: "Ghetto Defendant"
27 Warrior Queen: "Check It"
28 Santogold x Benga: "Unstoppable / Night Dub" [exclusive]
29 Shawty Lo x Skream: "Dey Know / Stagger"
30 Santogold: "Creator" (Mumdance Mix ft. Jammer, Badness, Chronik Rage, Slikman & Tempz) [exclusive]
31 Xray: "Turbulence Dubplate" (Starstruck Diplo Mix) [exclusive]
32 Barrington Levy: "Send a Moses"
33 Prince Jazzbo: "Ital Corner"
34 Santogold: "Icarus" [exclusive]
35 Santogold x Diplo: "Right Brigade" (hidden track) [exclusive]
07-18 Barcelona, Spain - Summercase
07-19 Madrid, Spain - Summercase
07-20 New York, NY - Central Park SummerStage ^
07-23 Chicago, IL - United Center *
07-25 Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Center *
07-26 Boston, MA - Rock the Bells
07-27 New York, NY - Rock the Bells
07-29 Montreal, Quebec - Bell Center *
07-30 Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Center *
08-01 Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08-02 Hartford, CT - XL Center *
08-03 Washington, DC - Verizon Center *
08-04 Boston, MA - TD Banknorth Garden *
08-09 Osaka, Japan - Summer Sonic Festival
08-10 Tokyo, Japan - Summer Sonic Festival
08-14 Hasselt, Belgium - Pukkelpop
08-15 Biddinghuizen, Netherlands - Lowlands
08-19 Edinburgh, Scotland - Fringe Fest
08-23 Reading, England - Reading Festival
08-24 Leeds, England - Leeds Festival
08-29 Cornwall, England - Surfstock
08-30 Stradbally, Ireland - Electric Pinic
08-31 Argyll, Scotland - Connect Fest
09-03 London, England - Koko
09-05 Isle of Wight, England - Bestival
09-06 Manchester, England - Becks Fusion Festival
^ with Diplo
* with Coldplay
07-18 Baltimore, MD - The Paradox *
07-19 Baltimore, MD - Whartscape Festival
07-20 New York, NY - Central Park SummerStage ^
07-20 New York, NY - Santos' Party House
08-07 Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
08-08 Berlin, Germany - Berlin Festival
08-09 Andalusia, Spain - Creamfields
08-12 Umea, Sweden - Rex
08-13 Gothenburg, Sweden - Nefertiti
08-15 Hasselt, Belgium - Pukkelpop
08-29 Tel Aviv, Israel - Barzilay Club
08-30 Bristol, England - Motion
08-31 Dublin, Ireland - Electric Picnic
* with Blaqstarr
^ with Santogod
Friday, July 18, 2008
After months of build-up-- controversial name followed by controversial lack of name and cover art followed by controversy-courting video-- Nas' new untitled studio album is now in stores via Def Jam/Jones Experience.
The New York rapper's imprint isn't the only Jones Experience he has planned, though. This weekend, Nas will launch "The Jones Experience" tour in support of the album. The tour consists of smaller club shows in between Nas' appearances on the traveling Rock the Bells festival. Opening for Nas on the tour will be Talib Kweli, Jay Electronica, and DJ Green Lantern.
Before kicking off "The Jones Experience", Nas has a free show sponsored by MySpace tonight, July 18, in West Hollywood, California.
07-18 West Hollywood, CA - The Roxy (MySpace show)
07-19 Chicago, IL - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre (Rock the Bells)
07-20 Toronto, Ontario - Arrow Hall (Rock the Bells)
07-22 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis *
07-24 Burlington, VT - Higher Ground *
07-25 New Haven, CT - Toad's Place *
07-26 Boston, MA - Comcast Center (Rock the Bells)
07-27 Washington, DC - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Rock the Bells)
07-29 Charlotte, NC - Amos' Southend *
07-30 Charleston, SC - Music Farm *
07-31 Atlanta, GA - Center Stage *
08-01 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues *
08-02 Miami, FL - Bicentennial Park (Rock the Bells)
08-03 New York, NY - Jones Beach Amphitheatre (Rock the Bells)
08-08 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues *
08-09 Los Angeles, CA - Glen Helen Pavilion (Rock the Bells)
08-10 San Diego, CA - House of Blues *
08-14 Reno, NV - New Oasis *
08-15 Chico, CA - Senator Theatre *
08-16 San Francisco, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre (Rock the Bells)
08-22 Park City, UT - Harry O's *
08-23 Denver, CO - Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre (Rock the Bells)
08-24 Austin, TX - Emo's *
08-25 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live *
08-26 Dallas, TX - House of Blues *
08-28 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues *
08-29 Detroit, MI - Chene Park *
08-30 Champaign, IL - Canopy Club *
09-03 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant *
09-04 Milwaukee, WI - The Rave *
09-05 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *
09-06 Quincy, WA - The Gorge Amphitheatre (Rock the Bells)
* with Talib Kweli, Jay Electronica, DJ Green Lantern
Video: Nas: Sly Fox [from the untitled LP]
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
(Swiped from MTVNews)
You'd think after the initial headaches and gripes about eBay-gouging when Apple's fanboy-dubbed "Jesus Phone" debuted last year, people would be a bit more chill this time around. But across the country, in the hours before the first 3G iPhones went on sale Friday (July 11), there were lines around the block and, according to most reports, not nearly enough phones to go around.
In Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News reported that some die-hards began lining up as early as 6 p.m. on Thursday, and as the 8 a.m. launch time approached, there were whoops of joy among the 100 or so fanatics at one Apple store. In Tokyo, the lines began forming even earlier and snaked around entire city blocks, and in Manhattan's flagship Apple store, hundreds were lined up, many of whom were already owners of the first generation of the phone but were eager to trade up.
(One MTV News producer braved the iPhone lines and lived to tell his tale in the Newsroom blog.)
The newest version of the phone is cheaper ($199- $299) than the original iPhone and runs on a faster network (but the mandatory two-year contract is more expensive), plus it has a built-in GPS system and the ability to download cheap or free applications from the new Apps Store. Among them: an iPhone version of Pandora that helps you to create on-the-go radio stations or tap in to your old ones; myMetronome, in case you need a metronome on the road; a weekly RingtoneFeeder; a dedicated feed of Weezer information; Midomi, which helps you identify songs playing on the radio by holding the phone up to a speaker or singing a few bars; Tour Volume, which searches for concerts in your area; the LaLaLa Lyrics Search engine; a guitar tuner called Guitar Toolkit; a plug-in that turns your phone into a wireless remote for iTunes and Apple TV; and Kompoz, a social-networking app that allows musicians around the world to collaborate on new tunes.
(For a look at some more iPhone extras, check out our Multiplayer blog's take on new games for the cell.)
While a spokesperson for Apple would not return calls for comment, Gene Muster, a technology analyst for investment firm Piper Jaffray, estimated that Apple will sell nearly 13 million iPhones this year and 45 million next year.
But for a company whose trademark is slick design and ease of use, the launch of the new iPhone in 21 countries was a bumpy ride. Shortly after the first phones were unwrapped, users began complaining that there were widespread problems activating them in the Apple and AT&T stores. Unlike the original iPhone launch, the plan for the 3G phone was to activate the device in the store in order to get customers to sign a contract with AT&T, which is helping to subsidize the cheaper price of the new phone.
CNET reported that while the long lines that plagued the original iPhone launch didn't recur for the most part, this time around it was the interminable wait to get the phones activated that was the frustrating factor for many users, some of whom waited 45 minutes or more to get their phones turned on, only to face overloaded servers and network outages. Later in the day, Apple decided to ditch the in-store activation and let users hook up the phones at home in order to ease store crowding.
The software glitch even snared owners of the previous iPhone model, according to The Associated Press, requiring them to reactivate their phones through iTunes on Friday.
Even though anyone who wanted an iPhone last time around could easily purchase one if they waited until the initial frenzy was over, that didn't stop some people from believing the hype all over again this time around. According to one CNET blog, a woman waiting outside the Salt Lake City Apple store bought a place in line for $200, while some New Yorkers were able to stroll up just half an hour before the doors opened to secure a good spot in the line.
Apple did not release figures on how many iPhones were distributed to each store, but an employee at one AT&T store in New York said they'd received around 100, which very quickly sold out, and that she understood most of the other stores in Manhattan had received a similar amount. Of the four out of eight stores who answered their phones when MTV News called on Friday afternoon, all said they were sold out but were expecting another shipment as early as Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.
But according to CNET, that didn't stop some iPhone-ophiles from freaking out on Friday and getting into a brawl at one AT&T store when a group of people tried to jump the line during what some in the Twitter-verse dubbed the "iPocalypse."
(Swiped from MTVNews)
Jay-Z has at least one super-producer onboard for his next LP, and according to said super-producer, that's all Hova needs.
"He wants me to do the whole thing this time around," Timbaland said Monday during a visit to the MTV News office. "I'mma make it a classic too. You better believe it. It'll be a monster! I always say this: You get a first single from me, I'mma get you up to gold. And it's hard to get you up to gold in this day [and age]."
Tim insisted that an LP featuring him and Jay would sell more than the 500,000 copies needed for a gold record, as they're both international platinum artists.
"Jay should never chill," he said about the rapper's decision to return to music full time. "We had a long talk, and I really talked to him. Jay-Z does it for the love. That's different. When somebody does it for the love, you don't stop. He has everything, but he's still current. A million people are buying his album regardless.
"We wanna go to the world," he added. "The world is 'Big Pimpin'.' 'Big Pimpin' ' is an international hit, so we wanna do 10 of those. Meaning, some of the songs gonna sound like M.I.A. would rap on some of the beats. You gonna be like, 'Whoa!' But it's Jay on 'em. That means it reaches everywhere. I'mma have songs with bagpipes. The music is gonna be so worldwide, he'll be able to tour the rest of his life, maybe, off just this one album. The Jay-Z album is gonna be phenomenal. You know why? We don't care. We're doing great music just to do it. We doing it for our fans who love us to say we ain't quit. I'm doing it 'cause that's my homeboy."
Timbaland and Jay don't have a start date for the production of the LP, but Timbo would like to lock in several months with Hov to craft the project. The Virginia producer recently completed an album with another iconic performer, Chris Cornell. Those two spent six months making music, and Timbaland did all the beats for that one as well.
"It's the best work I've done so far," he said. "I could be like, 'Wow. I really took it there.' "
That's obviously speaking volumes for someone who's made so many classics throughout his career, including Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds.
"It beats Justin's album," Tim smiled. "Justin even said that. He listened to it and said, 'You did it again.' " As for when Timbo and Timberlake will hook up again to chef up more magic, that is still up in the air.
"Justin is more into movies right now," Tim said. "He ain't thinking about another album coming out right now until ... I don't know."
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Fool's Gold-- the hip-hop/dance boutique label owned and operated by DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs-- and Downtown Music-- home of Gnarls Barkley, Art Brut, Justice, Santogold, Mos Def, Spank Rock, and others-- are hardly strangers. After all, Downtown recently snapped up Chicago rapper Kid Sister, who released her first singles through Fool's Gold. But now the two are tighter than ever, as they've announced a joint venture that will see Fool's Gold "housed within the Downtown infrastructure," according to a press release.
Looking at the Fool's Gold release schedule, the new deal means a ton of jams coming your way throughout the summer. Treasure Fingers' "Cross the Dancefloor" single and Kid Cudi's A Kid Named Cudi mixtape are due this month, while Four Color Zach & Pretty Titty's Sing Sing Breaks mix and Sammy Bananas' Braids & Fades EP will emerge in August. There's a Fool's Gold Remixed compilation on the way for September, while Jokers of the Scene's Acid Bagg EP, Nacho Lovers' "Go On" / "Acid Life" single, Bag Raiders' Big Fun EP, and Trackademicks' "Enjoy What You Do" single can be expected before the summer's up.
Meanwile, the label is prepping EPs from Crookers, Congorock, and LA Riots, as well as Malente's I Like It long-player. There's even a free "Mad Fools" party July 20, which features members of both the Fool's Gold and Mad Decent rosters-- Diplo, Santogold, A-Trak, Kid Cudi, Blaqstarr and others-- joining up for a gig at Central Park Summerstage in New York.One Downtown/Fool's Gold release a little further off in the distance is that Kid Sister LP we mentioned above. Though it was initially intended for a June/July release, she's working on it right now. Now called Dream Date (rather than Koko B. Ware), it's due September 23. A recent MySpace blog post finds Kid Sister apologizing profusely as she mentions that a few of her forthcoming tour dates-including her appearance at the Hard Summer festival in L.A. this weekend-- are now off so she can focus on finishing up the disc. She claims to have already worked up ""EIGHT count 'em EIGHT new heaters and lotsa surprises hiding behind every corner! Aww sooky sooky nah! WOOO!", presumably a nod to the disc's tasteful, low-key vibe. A bit bummed by the cancellations, Kid Sis adds, "let's not get all crazy-like and leave flaming bags of doggie booboo on my doorstep or TP my bike." Seriously, if you must MySpace, friend this person.
Kid Sis will pick back up in August for a mess of festival appearances both in North America and Europe.
She came back with a quickness:
07-19 Los Angeles, CA - Hard Festival
07-20 Toronto, Ontario - Molson Amphiteatre Rock the Bells Festival
08-03 Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
08-07 Gothenburg, Sweden - Way Out West Festival
08-08 Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
08-16 Hasselt, Belgium - Pukkelpop Festival
08-23 Denver, CO - Rock the Bells Festival
08-30 Vancouver, British Columbia - Rock the Bells Festival
Video: Kid Sister (ft. Kanye West): Pro Nails [from the Pro Nails single]
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sure, the Bible has history, conflict, and characters galore, but David Banner has staked his claim on topping it with the title of his new album. The Greatest Story Ever Told is Banner's latest full-length, and it comes out tomorrow (July 15) on SRC/Universal.
Guests on the record include UGK, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Akon, Chris Brown, Jim Jones, Chamillionaire, Yung Joc, and omnipresent turd Jazze Pha. Most of the production comes from Banner himself, but Akon, Cool & Dre, and Get Cool 3000 also contribute beats.
Early personal highlights from The Greatest Story include Banner gleefully yelling, "Suck a dick!" to "all you motherfuckin' sorry-ass, broke-ass haters" on "G.S.E.T. Intro" and the late Pimp C claiming, "My nuts got a MySpace page" on the next track, "Suicide Doors". On the visual side of things, the Barry Bonds cameo in the video for single "Get Like Me" is another pleasant surprise (it's also got to be the most work the tainted slugger has had in a while).
Speaking of videos, Banner recently put out a trio in which he announces his "candidacy" for the following non-elected offices: Secretary of Education, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Secretary of "Happy Endings" Health and Human Services. Please click all of those links, and let's all figure out how we can get DB into the next Cabinet.
Finally, Banner has a pair of live shows coming up in New York City and Chicago.
The Greatest Story Ever Told:
01 So Long
02 G.S.E.T. Intro
03 Suicide Doors [ft. UGK and Kandi]
04 9mm [ft. Akon, Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg]
05 T.I. Speaks (Interlude)
06 Get Like Me [ft. Chris Brown and Yung Joc]
07 Shawty Say [ft. Lil Wayne]
08 A Girl
09 Syrup Sipping (Banner Beat Break)
10 Hold On [ft. Marcus.]
11 Cadillac on 22's Part 2
12 Uncle Swac (Interlude)
13 I Get By [ft. Carl Thomas]
14 Freedom (Interlude)
15 B.A.N. (The Love Song)
16 Fuck You Hoes [ft. Jim Jones]
17 Marz (Banner Beat Break)
18 Ball With Me [ft. Chamillionaire]
20 Fly [ft. Jazze Pha]
07-17 New York, NY - Knitting Factory
07-24 Chicago, IL - House of Blues
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Country and rap have a lot in common: Both genres are dominated by outsized personalities often talking about getting/having/losing material possessions, and outlaws tend to thrive in both arenas. Thus, a Johnny Cash remix album featuring Snoop Dogg is neither random nor ridiculous (okay, maybe a little). It's a beautiful union between two worlds that are perfect for each other.
Snoop Dogg's take on "I Walk the Line" features production from QDT, a collaboration between Snoop, Teddy Riley, and DJ Quik. Johnny Cash Remixed also features Pete Rock's version of "Folsom Prison Blues", the Heavy tackling "Doin' My Time", and Alabama 3 (creators of the theme from "The Sopranos") doing "Leave that Junk Alone", among others. All of the source songs on Johnny Cash Remixed are from the Man in Black's Sun Records catalog.
Compadre/Music World will release Johnny Cash Remixed physically and digitally on October 14. A vinyl release to select independent record stores will precede that on September 23.
Finally, there is a documentary short film in production by Phear Creative on the making of the compilation, including footage of Snoop Dogg at the Cash Recording Cabin in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The new iPhone is expected to attract hordes of buyers when it goes on sale on Friday in more than 20 countries, helping Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) handily beat its target to sell 10 million of them by the end of 2008.
The much-anticipated smartphone has faster Web links than the first iPhone, supports third-party software like games, and is being heavily subsidized by many phone carriers, with some even giving it away to attract new subscribers.
Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said Apple may sell more than a million new iPhones in the first weekend, partly because it is selling in so many more countries than the first one, which was only available in six.
Some 270,000 people bought the first iPhone in the few days after its launch in late June 2007, after many U.S. customers had lined up for days outside its stores. AT&T (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the sole U.S. carrier, will shoulder much of the cost for the latest phone to halve the price.
"They're going to bring users in droves to this product," Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore said. He sees Apple burying its own 10 million sales target by selling about 10.5 million of the new high-speed iPhones this year, having already sold more than 6 million of the first one to date.
Whitmore said price and distribution were two key reasons why the new device, which plays music and supports corporate e-mails, would outsell its predecessor.
While some analysts expect the new phone to sell best in the United States and Western Europe, consumer excitement in new markets such as Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand appeared to foretell strong demand in other markets too.
"The key is less likely to be demand and more likely to be supply," said Atlantic Equities' Cordwell.
In Hong Kong, Hutchison Telecommunications (2332.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) was flooded with 60,000 online applications over the weekend from consumers hoping to buy the 500 phones on sale there.
In New Zealand, which will be the first country to sell the phone due to its time zone, people started lining up outside a Vodafone (VOD.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) store on Tuesday, according to a local paper.
02, the UK arm of Telefonica (TEF.MC: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said its website was overwhelmed with early orders on Monday after being hit with 13,000 orders per second during the peak, according to a spokesman who said it had sold out in a few hours.
The carrier, which is giving the phone away to customers who commit to specific data service packages, said it has stock left to sell in stores Friday and expects more deliveries.
Carphone Warehouse Plc (CPW.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a UK phone retailer, said interest for the latest iPhone is 10 times higher than for the first device. Neither company gave specific sales figures.
T-Mobile, owned by Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said it has received orders for several thousand iPhones in Germany alone, where the cheapest iPhone will sell for 1 euro. It also plans to offer it in the Netherlands and Austria starting on Friday.
PENT UP DEMAND
Investors will be particularly interested in demand in Japan, where consumers have a strong penchant for advanced mobile devices. Some see the plan by Japan's number-three mobile service provider, Softbank (9984.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), to sell the iPhone as a big threat to market leader NTT DoCoMo (9437.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as Apple fans were already lining up in Tokyo two days before launch.
But many analysts are skeptical the device will be popular among mainstream customers as it does not support television services or electronic payment features widely used in Japan.
However, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities analyst Shinji Moriyuki said Softbank stores were getting 50 to 100 inquiries a day per store about iPhones, compared with up to 30 a day before the launch of DoCoMo's popular 906i device series.
Research firm Enterbrain said 6.7 percent of 1,200 people it surveyed in Japan wanted to buy an iPhone immediately, while 35.7 percent were interested but undecided.
Even in mainland China, where Apple has announced no carrier deals or official plans to sell the phone, retailers were gearing up to sell gray-market iPhones.
Many carriers are making buyers of subsidized iPhones commit to contracts they cannot break without a penalty, to discourage them from unlocking the phone to work on other networks.
But a merchant on the third floor of the Cybermart mall on Shanghai's posh Huaihai Road said hacking would still happen.
"As soon as we get it from Hong Kong and bring it over and unlock it, you should be able to buy it here by the end of July at the latest," said the vendor, whose surname was Zhang. "The Chinese are very quick at unlocking iPhones."
Apple still gets paid for hacked phones. Whitmore estimated iPhone gross profit margins at more than 50 percent, versus his estimate for iPod margins in the low 30 percent range.
"To the extent it cannibalizes iPod, it's better economically for Apple," he said.
(Additional reporting by Sophie Taylor in Shanghai, Sachi Izumi in Tokyo, Nicola Leske in Frankfurt, Edwin Chan and Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong, Georgina Prodhan and Kate Holton in London; Editing by Braden Reddall)
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
To most people, Halo is a popular first-person shooter video game. To closet nerd and million-record-selling rapper Lil Wayne, Halo is a fine name for a line of champagnes.
According to Vibe.com (via Rock and Roll Daily), Wayne will launch his own champagne line, called Halo, this fall. Halo will come in four varieties: Halo Brut, Halo Brut Vintage, Halo Rose, and Halo Pinnacle.
Vibe.com describes each variety thusly: "Halo Brut offers a golden blush with a lemon cream and roasted hazelnut flavor with a citrus-y finish, while Halo Brut Vintage presents a sparkling amalgamation of almonds and lemon blossoms with a creamy consistency. The third champagne, Halo Rose, is blended with the delightful aromas of crushed raspberries, mint, and pomegranate that will remind wine aficionados of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. Halo Pinnacle is a Chardonnay laden with the texture of pure fruit, and the taste of lime-tree flowers and roasted hazelnuts is very noticeable."
Basically, Weezy's sparkling wine will be reminiscent of nuts, cream, and citrus fruits, much like other beverages of the sort. Lil Wayne's statement on the new business venture, quoted by Vibe.com, was succinct: "Champagne is for celebrating. I'm ready to put my foot in a new door. There are so many different business opportunities; I want to take advantage of it all."
[Note: Technically, the name "champagne" refers only to sparkling wine made with grapes from the Champagne region of France. Everything else is just sparkling wine. We don't know if Weezy's beverage is honest to goodness champagne or not, but given this guy's high standards, it probably is.-- Ed.]
While starting your own champagne brand is a pretty definite sign of success, being mentioned in a speech by a presidential hopeful is an arguably bigger one. Thanks to a speech Barack Obama gave yesterday (July 8), Wayne can claim both.
During a speech at a town hall meeting in Powder Springs, Georgia, Obama encouraged African American children to finish high school, saying, "You are probably not that good a rapper. Maybe you are the next Lil' Wayne, but probably not, in which case you need to stay in school," according to an ABC News blog entry (via The Daily Swarm).
We didn't realize Obama could be so harsh, but we're into it.
Finally, as previously reported, Lil Wayne will appear in the basketball flick Hurricane Seasons alongside Forest Whitaker and Bow Wow this Christmas. He's also touring this summer and fall in support of Tha Carter III.
07-11 Shreveport, LA - Hirsch Memorial Coliseum
07-12 Grand Prairie, TX - Nokia Theatre (K104 Summer Jam)
07-20 Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre (KUBE 93 Summer Jam)
08-10 Baltimore, MD - Pimlico Race Course (Virgin Mobile Festival)
10-24-26 New Orleans, LA - Voodoo Experience
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff reunite... from MickBoogie on Vimeo
Please tell me a reunion tour will happen. Either that or a new album with nothing but Jazzy Jeff doing the beats.
PLEASE WILL, MAKE IT HAPPEN. I'd donate my left arm to hear Brand New Funk live in the flesh.
Legendary collective Rock Steady Crew (RSC) will celebrate 31 years of preserving Hip-Hop culture during its annual anniversary celebration.
The four-day event will kick off with the celebrity benefit basketball challenge and Against The Grain Concrete B-boy/B-girl battle on July 24 at The Cage in New York City.
The day will also feature a popping/locking and B-boy dance workshop presented by RSC members Mr. Wiggles, Fabel, Suga Pop, Crazy Legs, Servin' Ervin, Bonita and Ynot at the Red Bull building.
"For some reason, Hip-Hop has that natural ability to bring people together and bridge the gaps that divide us, because of our common interest,” RSC Founder Crazy Legs told AllHipHop.com in a statement. When people come to the RSC anniversary, it becomes more than the anniversary. It’s a pilgrimage to the Mecca of Hip-Hop. It’s a way to get in touch with why they got in to Hip-Hop, and to meet some of the people that help to pioneer this culture.”
The week will honor legendary DJ Red Alert, who will celebrate 25 years on the radio as special guest DJ during the UK B-Boy Championships US qualifier, which takes place on July 25.
The Spy Awards and 5-on-5 crew battles will highlight the third day of celebration as B-boys and B-girls compete for a grand prize during round-by-round eliminations on July 26.
The day holds an additional meaning for RSC supporters and members, as it marks the official Rock Steady Crew Day in New York City.
The Rock Steady Crew will conclude it’s celebration with a free all-day outdoor concert and food drive on July 27.
The event will be held in conjunction with the third annual Lincoln Park Music Festival. Artists scheduled to perform include the Beatnuts, Buckshot, Craig G and Marley Marl, Sadat X, Soul Sonic Force, Positive K, Grand Master Caz, DJ Premier featuring NYG’z and Blaq Poet, Termanology and DJ Statik Selektah, A-OK, Akrobatik, Skyzoo and others.
A food drive will be held in honor of Wayne 'Frosty Freeze' Frost, who died after a long illness on April 8.
Prior to his death, Frosty Freeze gained mainstream exposure with an appearance with his Rock Steady brethren in the 1983 film Flashdance.
"Frosty Freeze was one of the last B-boys who embodied the very DNA of the original style, character and moves that existed when this dance began in the early '70s," Crazy Legs said.
For more details on the Rock Steady Crew 31st anniversary, visit www.rocksteadycrew.com
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Larry Harmon, who turned the character Bozo the Clown into a show business staple that delighted children for more than a half-century, died Thursday of congestive heart failure. He was 83.
His publicist, Jerry Digney, told The Associated Press he died at his home.
Although not the original Bozo, Harmon portrayed the popular clown in countless appearances and, as an entrepreneur, he licensed the character to others, particularly dozens of television stations around the country. The stations in turn hired actors to be their local Bozos.
"You might say, in a way, I was cloning BTC (Bozo the Clown) before anybody else out there got around to cloning DNA," Harmon told the AP in a 1996 interview.
"Bozo is a combination of the wonderful wisdom of the adult and the childlike ways in all of us," Harmon said.
Pinto Colvig, who also provided the voice for Walt Disney's Goofy, was the first Bozo the Clown, a character created by writer-producer Alan W. Livingston for a series of children's records in 1946. Livingston said he came up with the name Bozo after polling several people at Capitol Records.
Harmon would later meet his alter ego while answering a casting call to make personal appearances as a clown to promote the records.
He got that job and eventually bought the rights to Bozo. Along the way, he embellished Bozo's distinctive look: the orange-tufted hair, the bulbous nose, the outlandish red, white and blue costume.
"I felt if I could plant my size 83AAA shoes on this planet, (people) would never be able to forget those footprints," he said.
Susan Harmon, his wife of 29 years, indicated Harmon was the perfect fit for Bozo.
"He was the most optimistic man I ever met. He always saw a bright side; he always had something good to say about everybody. He was the love of my life," she said Thursday.
The business — combining animation, licensing of the character, and personal appearances — made millions, as Harmon trained more than 200 Bozos over the years to represent him in local markets.
"I'm looking for that sparkle in the eyes, that emotion, feeling, directness, warmth. That is so important," he said of his criteria for becoming a Bozo.
The Chicago version of Bozo ran on WGN-TV in Chicago for 40 years and was seen in many other cities after cable television transformed WGN into a superstation.
Bozo — portrayed in Chicago for many years by Bob Bell — was so popular that the waiting list for tickets to a TV show eventually stretched to a decade, prompting the station to stop taking reservations for 10 years. On the day in 1990 when WGN started taking reservations again, it took just five hours to book the show for five more years. The phone company reported more than 27 million phone call attempts had been made.
By the time the show bowed out in Chicago, in 2001, it was the last locally produced version. Harmon said at the time that he hoped to develop a new cable or network show, as well as a Bozo feature film.
He became caught up in a minor controversy in 2004 when the International Clown Hall of Fame in Milwaukee took down a plaque honoring him as Bozo and formally endorsed Colvig as the first. Harmon denied ever misrepresenting Bozo's history.
He said he was claiming credit only for what he added to the character — "What I sound like, what I look like, what I walk like" — and what he did to popularize Bozo.
"Isn't it a shame the credit that was given to me for the work I have done, they arbitrarily take it down, like I didn't do anything for the last 52 years," he told the AP at the time.
Harmon protected Bozo's reputation with a vengeance, while embracing those who poked good-natured fun at the clown.
As Bozo's influence spread through popular culture, his very name became a synonym for clownish behavior.
"It takes a lot of effort and energy to keep a character that old fresh so kids today still know about him and want to buy the products," Karen Raugust, executive editor of The Licensing Letter, a New York-based trade publication, said in 1996.
A normal character runs its course in three to five years, Raugust said. "Harmon's is a classic character. It's been around 50 years."
On New Year's Day 1996, Harmon dressed up as Bozo for the first time in 10 years, appearing in the Rose Parade in Pasadena.
The crowd reaction, he recalled, "was deafening."
"They kept yelling, `Bozo, Bozo, love you, love you.' I shed more crocodile tears for five miles in four hours than I realized I had," he said. "I still get goose bumps."
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Harmon became interested in theater while studying at the University of Southern California.
"Bozo is a star, an entertainer, bigger than life," Harmon once said. "People see him as Mr. Bozo, somebody you can relate to, touch and laugh with."
Besides his wife, Harmon is survived by his son, Jeff Harmon, and daughters Lori Harmon, Marci Breth-Carabet and Leslie Breth.
In October, Kanye West revealed that he was working on a collection of jewelry with Graduation cover artist Takashi Murakami. Our first thoughts upon hearing the news included "Silly Kanye, you sure love expensive shit," and "Way to expand the brand." Apparently Kanye's thoughts were more of the "Damn, I gotta work on matching shoes" variety.
According to an NME.com report citing WWD.com (Women's Wear Daily's website, which also broke the jewelry news), Kanye revealed at a recent Louis Vuitton show in Paris that he is working on a line of men's shoes with the fashion design company famous for its luggage. Fitting for a guy who has called himself "The Louis Vuitton Don".
But Kanye didn't stop with shoes. According to the NME.com report, he is planning to unveil a collection of women's wear this fall. It won't be long before that expensive shit he posts on his blog is all of his own design.
07-04 New Orleans, LA - Essence Festival
07-25 Stratford-upon-Avon, England - Global Gathering
08-01 Cincinnati, OH - U.S. Bank Arena
08-03 Chicago, IL - Grant Park (Lollapalooza)
08-05 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
08-06 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
08-07 Mashantucket, CT - MGM Grand at Foxwoods
08-10 Baltimore, MD - Pimlico Race Course (Virgin Festival)
Video: Kanye West: Flashing Lights [from the Graduation LP]