Archive for the ‘News’ Category
The Bravest Man in the Universe is what long-time crooner/bad ass Bobby Womack is boldly calling his anticipated, upcoming album. In reality, that’s a title that probably has less to do with his surly personality and more to do with a 68-year-old often forgotten about soul man returning to the spotlight with album that was mostly produced and conceived by mercurial British pop icon Damon Albarn. Womack is a singing legend in his own right (note his 2009 introduction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) and when you put his rough and tumble brogue on a track mixed with the oddball tinkering of Albarn, anything can happen sonically.
Coming across similar to Tom Wait’s 2006 release, Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards released unexpectedly on contemporary record imprint, ANTI-, The Bravest Man in the Universe drops on London’s XL Recordings and sounds like a marriage of today’s brainy production and yesterday’s soul. One wouldn’t immediately expect Womack to even be on the consistently hip label’s radar. At times the music has hints of triteness, but during other moments this is even better than Gil Scott Heron’s I’m New Here which was also released on XL.
As of today, NPR has a free stream of the record, which I highly recommend people delve into while the link still lasts.
If the record is anything like the eerily unforgettable “Please Forgive My Heart,” than Womack’s return is undoubtedly a sonic gift from the past with a recognizable gaze toward the future.
I recently read a statement released by Vybz Kartel saying that he was no longer going to be doing the “gun talk” thing in his music. I thought that was a cool move and all, but I was a little skeptical to be honest with you. Then I found this bombshell, and all I can say is, “wow. you had me fooled, Vybz.”
Many of you have heard or seen the recent accusations made by my former associates in the past few weeks. I don’t know why all of these individuals, think the most appropriate action to take after a philosophical difference occurs is to go to the press and attack me.
I can only say that I am reminded of Bob Marley’s admonishments when he said man is so unjust, you don’t know who to trust…your best friend can turn out to be your worst enemy…I shall say no more, other than who the cap fit, mek them wear it. I am issuing this statement because I think these accusations are due to a breach of confidentiality as certain individuals got wind of my upcoming projects and initiatives and they know they can’t stop me without resorting to underhanded tactics.
See Jamaica, Vybz Kartel has been carrying a secret for a very long time and I think it is time that I reveal it before persons try to derail the projects that I have put together by continuing to make false reports about me in their attempt to have me muzzled.two years ago, I had an epiphany whilst on stage. I saw thousands of people screaming for Kartel, jumping up and down, listening to ever word that I uttered on stage, it was like the people were eating out of the palm of my hands. At that moment, something strange came over me, as I heard the people screaming for more, I suddenly realized that my calling was to be more than a Deejay.
With so many inspiring revolutions of various sizes happening over North Africa and the Middle East right now, all of us music lovers shouldn’t be afraid to breathe a collective “Amen” that people are in the streets demanding change on the other side of the world. Lot’s of us get caught up in music bloggity blogs like it’s real life. It’s not. It’s online mental therapy — which is well-needed at times — but the folks in Egypt and Tunisia and Jordan and Yemen and Syria are dealing with real shit that most music blogs can’t touch. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try though.
Here’s a new mix that I stumbled upon yesterday from an important blog based out of another North African country that is mysteriously being left out of the global conversation about uprising and regime change in that region: Libya. The blog is called Enough and they essentially want Muammar al-Gaddafi’s 40+ year reign of ignorance over that country to end. You think Mubarak and his 29 years was bad? Shiiiiit. Gaddafi’s been in power for 41 years and counting. And he ain’t budging. Or so he thinks.
Check out a powerful new comp that just dropped called the Khalas Mixtape Vol 1. compiling songs from emcees based in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria that call for regime change now in every single one of those countries! It’s all in Arabic. But support it anyway and pass it along to your friends via the interwebs. These artists have something to say that a language barrier does.not.stop. Listen, and you’ll understand. That’s real.
Download the Khalas Mixtape Vol 1. here. I highly recommend doubling back and hitting Enough’s site for informed writing (in English) about what’s happening in that region right now.
For whatever reason, Gil Scott-Heron’s solid album, I’m New Here, was overlooked by a bevy of fans and critics when it was released earlier this year. The 61-year-old poet, author, and musician released it to some fan fare, but given most people’s attention spans for new music, it was promptly forgotten about shortly after it debuted. Interestingly enough, Jamie xx of the indie band The xx, recently decided to give I’m New Here some remix treatment and reworked every song on the album. You can check out his refix of the original album’s lead single, “NY is Killing Me,” below.
Jamie xx is turning the entire thing into a new album entitled We’re New Here and it drops Feb 21, 2011. Read more about it if you like. So much for free remix projects. This one is gonna cost ya, but the music is most likely worth every penny. And hopefully, Gil’s getting some of the money.
(via Drowned in Sound)
The world lost another legend yesterday. Reggae crooner and original rudeboy lover Gregory Issacs died after a year-long battle with lung and liver cancer at the age of 59 in his London home on October 25th. One of the greatest of all time, Gregory will be sorely missed by reggae fans across the world, myself included.
In response to all of this fuckery, my guy Brainstorm of Dyme Def has come out with a mini diss track toward the Seattle Police Department. If you didn’t already know, Seattle police officer Ian Walsh recently cold-cocked a 17 year old girl in the face over a jaywalking citation and it made national news. So today, Brainstorm dropped a track called “Lose My Mind (Fuck Ian Walsh)” that, among other things, wishes for all the cops on the Seattle PD to catch an STD.
The whole song doesn’t lambaste the boys in blue, but he definitely dings ‘em in some hilarious ways. Check out the track here, which I’m posting as a Usershare file now in the interest of time. Hopefully we’ll have a direct-play feature up soon.
Rapper and story-teller Keith Elam, otherwise known as MC Keithy E, Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal), and Baldhead Slick died from multiple myeloma, a kind of bone marrow cancer, yesterday. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.
As a fan and music lover, Guru’s passing also weighs heavy on my heart. I have been following Guru, as a solo artist and as part of Gangstarr with DJ Premier, since 1993. I was first introduced to his music through skateboard videos, back when I had little knowledge of hip hop or music in general. I was just a 13-year-old little punk back then, but I was a fan from the get go. I have remained a diehard fan ever since. For me, he’s always been one of the MCs that I would place in the “best MCs of all time” pantheon.
Guru’s lyrics have inspired me and helped me through some seriously trying times (see Moment of Truth). His narratives, parables, and metaphors have drawn lines across the dots in my brain that would have otherwise remained disconnected. Those lines have been permanently ingrained in my mind and they form some of the paths that my thought processes follow today. Guru’s rhymes are a part of my memory and to a certain degree they have informed the way I think, as cheesy as that might sound.
Aside from being inspirational and thought provoking, he was also a stand out party rockin, battle rappin, jazz groovin and, yes, ladykillin MC . He was deadly with the braggadocio, but always intelligent with it. Filthy, but never crass – he was a real class act. A lyricist and a true master of the ceremony, Guru was an all around microphone master.
Guru is gone and with him a part of hip hop has also died. If you love Guru and Gangstarr, or if you’re just a fan of hip hop, you better pour one out, put one in the air, say a prayer, or do whatever you do to pay your respects, because we lost one of the greatest ever on April 19th 2010. THANK YOU GURU!
I know there’s a lot of information coming out about Guru’s life and the events surrounding his recent death, and a lot of it is pure gossip and speculation. So, if you’re like me and you wanna read a little something from a trustworthy source, I’d suggest this nytimes obituary for now. It’s informative and respectful and it avoids all that Solar beef bullshit that I don’t even want to get into…
Check out Toast’s previous post for the Gangstarr Mega Mix, and peep some of my favorite Guru/Gangstarr videos after the jump.
Myspace Music launched it’s website in the UK this past week, and the Vatican put up its very own playlist on there for all the pious Catholics of the UK to jam out to. Weirdly enough, they put Tupac on their playlist. Who knew that the Vatican was feeling Tupac? Too bad it’s that damn Changes song. I was hoping it was Hit em Up. Read more about the Vatican’s Myspace playlist, which also includes the likes of Mozart and Shirley Bassey, here.