They say that if it works don’t fix it. Go against the law, might get a bit risky. No offense to ya’ll, but I feel a bit gifted…
Does child’s pose on a rooftop implicate hipster rap? Even if it does, I’m with it.
I got to see Asher Roth perform last night (along with Vado, Ace Hood, and 2 Chainz - a little strange, right?) at the Best of Both Offices website re-launch party at the Gramercy Theatre. While I wasn’t able to get a great photo for you (sorry, guys!), I thought I’d share the official video for Common Knowledge, Roth’s first release from his latest album “Pabst and Jazz.” Love! He put on an awesome show last night, connecting with the entire crowd. He also grew his hair out a BUNCH (yes, please!) I definitely have a newfound respect for him as a performer and look forward to seeing him live again.
Hello, everyone! I’m super glad to have finally gotten a moment to swing by and share this clip with you in honor of Jimmy Castor, of 70’s funk band The Jimmy Castor Bunch, who passed away a few days ago. The video is taken from the end credits of Quincy Jones III’s b-boy documentary “The Freshest Kids” and is set to (one of my favorite tracks of all time) Jimmy Castor’s It’s Just Begun.
Funk music is one of the cornerstones of hip hop. It has been quite amazing to see how the art form continually transforms while staying true to many of its original elements. I am comforted in knowing that Mr. Castor’s musical legacy will be carried on and expressed in entirely new ways.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of breaking and the development of hip hop in general, I urge you to check out The Freshest Kids. Jeff Chang’s Can’t Stop Won’t Stop is also a great read that’s chock-full of information.
Mayer Hawthorne and the County, DJ Questlove - Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos Sound of Your Stay Launch - 12/08 - Exit Art, NYC
Big Sean - Grey Goose and Rising Icons Presents… Big Sean - 12/22 - The Studio at Webster Hall, NYC
Hey, everyone! Happy new year! Here’s a pretty loaded post coming your way…
I am so happy to be back! It feels amazing to be here again and I’ve really missed my blog! I managed to escape my fall semester with minor bruising and a wee bit thicker skin. Next semester will be my last and I will finally be free from the grips of graduate school. It’ll be a Waka Flocka-approved party most definitely!
Although we’ve arrived in the new year, I wanted to share a couple photos I took at the close of 2011. You would like to know what I was up to in December, right?
The uppermost photos feature Mayer Hawthorne and the County, as well as DJ Questlove, at the Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos Sound of Your Stay launch party. True to Hard Rock’s foundation in music, Sound of Your Stay is an amenity program that gives guests access to celebrity curated lists of songs, Fender guitars and Traktor Kontrol DJ equipment in their hotel rooms. Pretty dope.
One highlight of the event: an awesome Mayer Hawthorne performance. As he hails from Detroit, an authentic Motown sound spills forth in his music. It is always a pleasure to hear him sing. And of course, Questlove (of the Roots) got everyone up on their feet during his DJ set.
The photos that follow are of Grey Goose rising icon, and G.O.O.D. Music artist, Big Sean. A friend of mine was right on target when she said that Big Sean is essentially Drake devoid of emotion. Throw in some raunchy lyrics, sex appeal, and there you have him. I’m not quite sure if he will cap out as an icon but I’ll root for him in the meantime.
Anyhow, to close out my hodge-podge return of old and new, I’d like to leave you with a track that repeatedly came to mind while I planned this post. It’s one of Cudi’s oldies, but goodies, about something new. And it’s got a geometry reference buried in. Yes, please!
I hope you rock out and I wish you the very best in this new, new year.
Matt and Kim - Windows Phone Launch Party - 11/08 - The Altman Building, NYC
Considering the exciting set that Matt and Kim delivered a couple weeks ago, these photos are long, long, way long overdue. I’d wanted to see these guys for some time and am so glad that I finally got the opportunity.
If you haven’t finalized your New Year’s Eve plans, consider checking them out that evening at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
She got her booty in the air like an aiiirplaaaane!
How could a song called “Booty in the Air” not be fun? It totally got me through my morning commute and I’m in a happy place. (Not to mention we’ll have a high of 70 degrees today in November! That’s an accomplishment in my town.)
Anyhow, I can’t wait to see these guys next week! I’m so, so proud of them. Give the track a listen and, if you’re so inclined, shake something all around. Enjoy!
Chromeo - Night Falls Tour - 11/05 - Terminal 5, NYC
I had the pleasure of catching the grand finale of Chromeo’s Night Falls Tour last night at Terminal 5. It was amazing. I hadn’t seen Dave 1 and P Thugg perform together and was so impressed with their compatibility and energetic stage presence. It’s obvious that these two have been best friends for over 15 years. I am definitely looking forward to seeing them again!
Other sightings during the show included Mayor Hawthorne (who opened for Chromeo throughout the tour), DJ A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs of Fool’s Gold Records. Check out the photos above and have an awesome Sunday!
Radical Face - 10/25 - The Studio at Webster Hall, NYC
On Tuesday evening, I took a trip down to The (very quaint) Studio at Webster Hall to see indie-pop/rock artist Ben Cooper, better known as Radical Face, make his (sold out!) New York City debut. I wasn’t all too familiar with his work so I didn’t know quite what to expect. I should have, however, anticipated a well executed, charmingly humble set because that’s exactly what he delivered.
Ben opened with “Wrapped in Piano Strings,” from his 2007 concept album Ghost. He sang “I saw your father in the hall. His ghost is living in the walls. I heard him crying while you slept. I heard him breaking things after you left” and warned us about the downright depressing nature of his songs. His soothing Iron & Wine, Sufjan-like sound and facetious sense of humor allowed me to get past the content and connect with the music as a whole.
Here’s a clip of Ben, accompanied by local choir Cloud Family Singers, closing the show with his popular track “Welcome Home.” Enjoy and check him out!
Carmelo Powers Through the Hudson - 10/20 - Hudson River Park, Pier 54, NYC
Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks created quite the spectacle last night (in a great way!) during the official launch of his new Air Jordan Melo 8 shoe. The event took place at Hudson River Park on Pier 54 and it was rumored that a New York bred, hip-hop heavyweight would perform. Having attended several River Flicks events on the pier, I knew that it was an outdoor space and was initially worried about the weather. (It’s getting cold here in New York!) Curiosity got the best of me, though, and I had to give it a shot.
Luckily, the Hyundai Veloster Re:Generation Premier was all but four blocks from the Melo 8 launch and I arrived just in time to see Nas take the stage. (Perhaps his mention in Re:Generation was a bit of foreshadowing?) Pleasantly surprised, the crowd lost its collective, shivering mind and rocked along with Nas through a pretty short medley of hits. (Think “Braaaaaaavehearts, all I need is one mic! Thanks, it’s been real!”)
Immediately at the end of the set, the crowd began to disperse. That’s when the rumbling started. We turned our attention to the water and there was a holographic image of Carmelo wreaking beautiful havoc in the Hudson River. Check it out below. Epic. And all for a shoe.
Re:Generation Preview - In Association with the Grammy’s and Hyundai Veloster - 10/20 - Re:Mix Lab, NYC
There’s no sound that we can’t make. There’s no beat that we can’t create. There’s no artist that we can’t record. Now what?
Last night, I attended a Re:Mix Lab at CMJ preview for Re:Generation, a feature-length documentary directed by Amir Bar-Lev that explores the history of music from the perspective of five modern DJs. The film, presented by Hyundai Veloster in association with the Grammy’s, features DJ Premier (one half of legendary hip-hop group Gangstarr), Pretty Lights (Yes please!), Skrillex, The Crystal Method, and Mark Ronson as they work with artists in varying genres to create a new sound. Premier, who was present at Re:Mix Lab, learned more about the methodology of classical music and conducted a piece with the Berklee Symphony orchestra. (Spoiler alert: He gifted us with a preview of the track and Nas is a featured artist. Pretty dope.)
During the Q&A portion of the event, hosted by West Coast Editor of Vibe magazine Jamal Munnerlyn, Premier shared that while he’d sampled classical music in his previous work, the education he received during the making of the film gave him both a newfound respect for those who play traditional instruments, and a desire to continue learning and improving his art. Just as the film addresses the history of music, it provides commentary about its future as well.
Re:Generation also features Mos Def, Erykah Badu, Nas (spoiled that already!), Leanne Rimes, members of the Doors, Martha Reeves, members of the Dap Kings and Trombone Shorty. Check out the trailer below and let me know if it blows your mind as it did mine. Enjoy!
I visited Chicago for the first time last week and had an amazing trip. I enjoyed every bit of the Windy City: its river and bridges, architecture, rich culture, CLEANLINESS. (I love my hometown but we must all admit that it isn’t the most tidy.) Each night, the buildings downtown were lit in pink in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That was pretty touching.
In sum, Chicago is just beautiful. These photos are my feeble attempt to capture that.
Dear readers, I know. I’ve been gone for far too long. Here’s an update: I’m a student. It’s a bummer. I’m this close to earning my master’s degree in psychology so I’ve had to focus a bit (alright, a lot) on my schoolwork and thesis. Fun!
I have really missed my blog. Really, really.
So here I am. And here’s my public declaration to make time for the things that feed my energy and keep me going. See how it’s out there now?
I’ve got plans to attend the Creator’s Project this weekend, the Fool’s Gold 4 Year Anniversary party is set for next week (man, I love those guys), and CMJ is fast approaching! Stay tuned!
Before I go, I have to leave you with a dope beat to step, right? “Do You Like It?” is Harlem rapper Chaz Van Queen’s newest single and it features Kool A.D. of Das Racist. Yes please! The track is so chill and the video is like summer and freedom. Positive vibes abound!