Sunday, September 28, 2008

Video: Doomtree "Game Over"

From the full length crew album on Doomtree Records.

Don't forget to go to this event tonight if you're in Minneapolis:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Video: Ice Cube (Featuring Musiq Soulchild) "Why Me?"

If you haven't gotten Raw Footage yet, you probably should consider this a warning to get it.

Good to have you back Cube!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Video: Preview from "Alligator Boots"

Via WSHH & Pitchfork Media:

As Pitchfork news reported a couple of days ago, Kanye West is working with Rhymefest and Jackhole Productions, the company behind "Crank Yankers" to produce a television show being described as "hip-hop meets the Muppets." And now World Star Hip-Hop has a preview video. I'm trying to imagine what many minutes in a row of this show will feel like, since this one-minute video seems to last forever. (via Videogum)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kanye, Rhymefest Produce Puppet TV Show

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Looks like the video for Kanye West's "Champion" was just the beginning of a beautiful friendship between Kanye and puppets. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Champion" was just the beginning of a new partnership between Kanye, fellow Chicago rapper Rhymefest, and Jackhole Productions, the company behind "Crank Yankers" founded by Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, and Daniel Kellison.

West, Fest, and Jackhole have put together a pilot for a new puppet-centric TV show called "Alligator Boots", which The Hollywood Reporter describes as "hip-hop meets the Muppets." It will feature new music by West and Rhymefest, who, along with Kellison, are the pilot's executive producers. Kanye hosts the pilot, but the show will apparently feature a different guest host for every episode a la "Saturday Night Live" and "The Muppet Show". Comedy Central is considering the show for its 2009 schedule.

One has to wonder if this will have any effect on that Kanye reality-ish show he was working up with "Curb Your Enthuasiasm" producer Larry Charles for HBO, but doesn't puppet Kanye sound a lot more fun that rich, entitled Kanye? I mean, we get enough of that Kanye on the daily.

To that end, note that Kanye recently took to the blog to confirm that, yes, his new LP is indeed titled 808s and Heartbreak, and he's been working on it 16 hours a day. Speaking from experience, Ye, I have to say that working 16 hours a day (interrupted by frequent blogging) ultimately gives you maybe four good hours of labor, maybe. Kanye also notes that "I guarantee this will be 50's favorite album of mine. This will be gangster's album of the year."

Kanye has also snuck quite a few more dates onto his fall tour itinerary since our last report. Those dates follow the jump.


10-17 Mexico City, Mexico - Palacio de Los Deportes
10-18 Monterrey, Mexico - Arena Monterrey
10-22 Sao Paulo, Brazil - Auditorio Ibirapuera
10-24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Marina da Gloria
10-29 Singapore, Singapore - Singapore Indoor Stadium
11-01 Beijing, China - Wukesong Olympic Basketball Gymnasium
11-03 Shanghai, China - Hongkou Soccer Stadium
11-08 Belfast, Northern Ireland - Odyssey Arena
11-09 Dublin, Ireland - RDS Simmonscourt
11-11 London, England - The 02
11-12 London, England - O2 Arena
11-13 Newcastle, England - Metro Radio Arena
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
11-20 Paris, France - Bercy
11-21 Brussels, Belgium - Vorst National
11-23 Oberhausen, Germany - König Pilsener Arena
11-26 Rotterdam, Netherlands - Ahoy

Friday, September 19, 2008

Eminem recording new material, but no release set

(swiped from Reuters)

After several years away from the limelight, rapper Eminem may release a new album this year.

During a recent appearance on his Sirius XM satellite radio station, Shade 45, the MC admitted that he has been producing tracks for his Shady Records artists and himself. Eminem also interviewed MC Masta Ace, who he's long noted as an influence.

"I'm concentrating on my own stuff right now -- just banging out tracks," Eminem said. "The more I keep producing, the better it seems I get. I start knowing stuff, learning the boards like the back of my hands."

An Interscope representative said there is no official release date nor a first single but confirmed that an album may arrive before year's end.

Eminem's last effort, "Encore," was released in 2004.

Hip-hop artist 50 Cent, with whom Eminem has collaborated in the past, spoke to BBC Radio 1 this week and said fans will be "seeing (Eminem) shortly. He's working. I spent the weekend at his house. Even though he tries to relax and stay home, it's impossible for him to stay in."

Leading R&B drummer Earl Palmer dies at 84

(swiped from Reuters)

Leading R&B drummer Earl Palmer, best known for his New Orleans recording sessions with the likes of Fats Domino and Little Richard, died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles at age 84, his family said.

Palmer, who died after a lengthy illness, played on hundreds of hits during a career that ran from the 1940s through the 1970s and earned him an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

His drumming on such hits as Fats Domino's "The Fat Man," Richard's "Tutti Frutti and Smiley Lewis's "I Hear You Knockin'" featured the strong back beat that was his signature and helped transform the lope of rhythm and blues into the full-tilt thrust of rock 'n' roll.

"That song required a strong after-beat throughout the whole piece," Palmer wrote of his work on "The Fat Man" in his 1999 autobiography, "Backbeat -- The Earl Palmer Story."

"With Dixieland you had a strong after-beat only after you got to the shout last chorus," he said. "It was sort of a new approach to rhythm music."

Palmer also played drums on Domino's "I'm Walkin,'" the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin,'" Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," and Sam Cooke's "Twistin' the Night Away."

His handiwork behind the drums was featured as well on a number of popular television themes, including "The Odd Couple," "77 Sunset Strip" and "The Brady Bunch."

In addition to his collaboration with R&B and blues artists in New Orleans, Palmer was a highly sought-after session player for recording stars ranging from Frank Sinatra and Sarah Vaughan to Elvis Costello, Ray Charles, Dizzie Gillespie and Count Basie.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Video: Hand Over Fist 9/23/2008

Mike Mictlan + Lazerbeak = Hand Over Fist.

Coming out 9/23/2008 on Doomtree Records.

Get yours NOW.

Andre 3000's Solo "Concept" Album Due Soon?

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

He didn't exactly say much about it, but André 3000 of Outkast talked to Rolling Stone's Rock & Roll Daily about his forthcoming solo album-- which we mentioned was in the works some time ago-- and it sounds like it's coming together nicely.

"It should be dropping by the end of this year or early next year," André said of the disc, which is still without a title or anything else one might consider substantive. "I've pretty much been working with myself," he then explained, adding, "I've never really been that big on collaboration." Wonder how Big Boi/the Dungeon Family/Organized Noize feel about that one.

And then, of course, there's news that the record will, perhaps inevitably, surround a theme of André's choosing. "I have a concept, and all the soundscapes are already in my head, so I just have to figure out how to get there." Less talk, more rock: that's how, partner.

You can see André this weekend in Battle in Seattle, Stuart Townsend's film about the 1999 World Trade Organization conference protests, which opens in select cities on Friday. As for Big Boi, his solo debut Sir Luscious Left Foot ... Son of Chico Dusty is due from LaFace/Zomba sometime this fall.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

R.I.P. Motown Producer/Songwriter Norman Whitfield

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Norman Whitfield, songwriter, producer, and a chief architect of Motown Records' sound in the mid-to-late 1960s and early 70s, passed away in Los Angeles yesterday (September 16), according to various reports.

He had recently emerged from a coma after struggling with complications from diabetes. The Associated Press reports that he was 67.

Whitfield is best known for his hand in writing and producing several of Motown's biggest hits, including Gladys Knight & the Pips' (and, later, Marvin Gaye's) "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone", and Edwin Starr's "War", all penned with frequent songwriting partner Barrett Strong. In addition to writing and producing material for the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, and other Motown acts, Whitfield is credited with helping to usher the label's sound from its smoother early days into the headier psychedelic era, influenced by the likes of Sly Stone and James Brown.

Whitfield continued to work in the music industry after leaving Motown in 1973, and later struck chart gold with Rose Royce's "Car Wash", which he wrote and produced. He returned to the producer's chair at Motown in the 1980s.

"It's a very sad day," Whitfield's onetime Motown colleague Janie Bradford-- who spoke to Whitfield shortly before his death-- told the Detroit Free Press. "It sounded like he was fighting with everything he had to get it together. Just fighting back."

Marvin Gaye: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (live)

The Temptations: "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" (live)

Edwin Starr: "War" (live)

Rose Royce: "Car Wash"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Video: Big Quarters - Barter System

Shouts to Brandon Allday and Medium Zach.

Go to the Big Quarters link on my page.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kanye West Arrested At Los Angeles Airport After Scuffle With Paparazzi

Rapper, bodyguard both charged with felony vandalism; bodyguard also charged with battery.

(swiped from MTVNews)

Kanye West and his road manager and bodyguard, who has been identified as Don Crowley, were arrested Thursday morning (September 11) by Los Angeles International Airport police near the American Airlines terminal, a spokesperson for the airport's public relations office confirmed to MTV News.

Both were charged with felony vandalism, and the spokesperson confirmed that the incident involved paparazzi. Both men remain in police custody at press time.

According to the spokesperson, West and Crowley were waiting for a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii, when they were met by a photographer and videographer, who were taking their photos. An altercation ensued, and the cameras of both paparazzi were damaged. TMZ claims the photographer started calling out for help. reported Thursday that West was arrested after allegedly grabbing a camera — which police said was valued at more than $10,000 — that belonged to a member of the paparazzi and throwing it to the ground, smashing it. According to TMZ, the photographer approached the rapper and began taking pictures of him. West confronted him, grabbed his camera and hurled the camera to the ground.
Another paparazzo began videotaping the incident, according to TMZ, which prompted the rapper's bodyguard to grab that camera. A struggle followed, and the bodyguard allegedly threw that camera against the ground, damaging it. When West and his bodyguard tried to leave the scene to make their plane, police stopped them both. When police asked the second paparazzo if he'd caught the incident on tape, he told them he had. West allegedly lunged for the tape, instructing the cameraman to "gimme that f---ing tape." But police restrained West and took him into custody.

Police said several witnesses were still being interviewed by airport police and that West and his bodyguard were transferred to the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division for booking.

At press time, representatives for West had not yet commented on the incident.

MTV News will have more on this developing story shortly.


Update from Pitchfork Media:

Guess those "Flashing Lights" don't always agree with Kanye West. According to TMZ, the rapper and his assistant were arrested in Los Angeles today after a bit of a dust-up with a photographer and a cameraman. Kanye was in the American Airlines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport when the photographer started snapping away. Allegedly, West "confronted the photographer and smashed his camera to the ground."

The ever-present TMZ were also on hand and began videotaping the scene, which caused Kanye's assistant to give TMZ's camera much the same treatment Kanye laid on the still photographer's. Kanye then "rushed" the TMZ cameraman, yelling, "Gimme that fucking tape!" TMZ says they have the tape, which they'll be posting shortly. UPDATE: Here it is.

TMZ claims that Kanye and his assistant will be charged with felony vandalism. UPDATE: TMZ reports that they are being held on $20,000 bail.

None of this activity seems to have affected Kanye's blog, however. Note that there have already been ten new posts today.


10-22 Sao Paulo, Brazil - Auditorio Ibirapuera
10-24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Marina da Gloria
11-08 Belfast, Northern Ireland - Odyssey Arena
11-09 Dublin, Ireland - RDS Simmonscourt
11-12 London, England - O2 Arena
11-13 Newcastle, England - Metro Radio Arena
11-15 Birmingham, England - NEC Birmingham
11-16 Glasgow, Scotland - SECC
11-17 Manchester, England - M.E.N. Arena
11-20 Paris, France - Bercy

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Kanye Album Gets Title and Release Date, Maybe

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)
Photo by
Joseph Mohan

Is the new Kanye West album coming out December 16? And is it called 808's & Heartbreak? Release info for what is ostensibly the fourth full length LP from the rapper/producer/love locker-downer appeared on the retail sites of both Target and Amazon recently [via Stereogum]. It would seem that this is the very same disc hinted at in our story last week, and it just might include the single "Love Lockdown", which Mr. West premiered at the VMAs over the weekend.

Bear in mind, nothing about this album is confirmed at this point. Kanye's publicist did not return emails asking for more information, and Amazon lists Pendulum as the label releasing 808's & Heartbreak, which is pretty fishy.

In Kanye news that is indeed bona fide, West managed to sneak a pair of Brazilian dates onto his tour itinerary since our last report, which would explain the recent influx of South American women on his infamous blog. (Not, um, that we'd ever look at such a thing for any purpose beyond newsgathering. Ahem.) Also, Nah Right reports that Kanye showed up on stage at NYC's Knitting Factory last night, performing a brief set of old and new songs [via Idolator].


10-22 Sao Paulo, Brazil - Auditorio Ibirapuera
10-24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Marina da Gloria
11-08 Belfast, Northern Ireland - Odyssey Arena
11-09 Dublin, Ireland - RDS Simmonscourt
11-12 London, England - O2 Arena
11-13 Newcastle, England - Metro Radio Arena
11-15 Birmingham, England - NEC Birmingham
11-16 Glasgow, Scotland - SECC
11-17 Manchester, England - M.E.N. Arena
11-20 Paris, France - Bercy

Common Renames New Album After Single

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

All of a sudden, the reason for Common's silence since announcing the existence of his new album, previously known as Invincible Summer, becomes clear: The Chicago MC was inventing the future. At least that's the conclusion we've drawn from seeing a trailer for the Hype Williams-directed video for the album's first single, "Universal Mind Control". In the clip, Common inhabits a virtual reality that includes an Iron Giant-like companion [pictured], and the song pops more than the first few times we heard it. Time to get excited again.

The excitement looks to come to a head in early November, the album's newly scheduled release target. Perhaps because it will no longer be summer by that point, Common has changed the name of the record to Universal Mind Control.

Common is currently controlling minds on tour with N.E.R.D. His next stop is tonight (September 10) in Dallas.


09-10 Dallas, TX - House of Blues *
09-11 Austin, TX - Stubb's BBQ
09-13 Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
09-14 Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern *
09-15 Anaheim, CA - Grove of Anaheim *
09-17 Vancouver, British Columbia - Malkin Bowl *
09-18 Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo *
09-19 Eugene, OR - Cuthbert Amphitheater *
09-20 Berkeley, CA - Berkeley Community Theatre *
09-21 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues *
09-23 Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium *
09-25 Milwaukee, WI - The Rave/Eagles Club *
09-26 Chicago, IL - TBA (Common Ground Foundation event)
09-27 Chicago, IL - House of Blues (Common Ground Foundation benefit) #
09-28 Detroit, MI - The Fillmore *
09-29 Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus *
10-01 Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre *
10-02 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory *
10-04 New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom *
10-05 New York, NY - Columbia University (New York Times Great Children's Read)
10-08 Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle *
10-09 Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live *
10-10 Miami Beach, FL - The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater *
10-23 Gainesville, FL - Common Grounds
10-24 Columbia, MO - Jesse Auditorium

* with N.E.R.D.
# with Talib Kweli, Pharrell, the Roots,, Bilal, Marsha of Floetry

Monday, September 08, 2008

Michael Eric Dyson to Edit Book on Nas' Illmatic

(swiped from Pitchfork Media)

I hope I'm not the first person to tell you that Nas' 1994 debut Illmatic is one of the greatest hip-hop LPs of any era, a must-own record, a landmark in lyrical rap music, and very possibly the single greatest disc to come out of New York's fertile mid-90s renaissance.

But if anybody can have the final word in the long string of praise and analysis the disc has received in the near decade-and-a-half since its release, I'd certainly want it to be scholar and activist Michael Eric Dyson, author of excellent works on Marvin Gaye and Tupac Shakur, among many others.

According to [via Nah Right], Dyson's Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas' Illmatic is due January 9, 2009 from Basic Civitas Books. The tome, named after a line in the Illmatic track "N.Y. State of Mind", will feature writing from Dyson as well as scholars Sohail Daulatzai, Adilifu Nama, Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., James Peterson, Marc Lamont Hill, Mark Anthony Neal, Kyra Gaunt, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Imani Perry, and more.

There's a great video here of Dyson speaking about his goals for the book-- and rapping the hell out of the "N.Y. State of Mind"-- after a recent Nas show. Speaking about Nas, Dyson praises "the intellectual ferocity and the political relevance of a young man who's speaking truth to power in these postmodern, postindustrial urban spaces. Where truth is being squeezed out, this brother is rising up with a rebellion and a kind of serious, serious political power that is necessary." Dyson also mentions that his chapter in the book will concern "One Love", the Q-Tip-produced which narrates a letter from Nas to his incarcerated friends.

Nas is currently out on the road promoting his latest album.

09-09 Sparks, NV - New Oasis
09-11 Chicago, CA - Senator Theatre
09-12 Atlantic City, NJ - House of Blues
09-17 Richmond, VA - Toad's Place
10-10 Rochester, NY - Gordon Field House (Rochester Institute of Technology)

Video: Nas: One Love [from the Illmatic LP]