2013

Stream Little Dragon’s “Little Dragon Went to South Africa” Mix

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 30, 2013

000900310Little Dragon recently completed a mini tour run and are now back to making new music, with a single set to be released early next year and an album due next spring, according to FADER. To hold over, the adored electro-pop Swedish band recently released a new mix featuring funky sounds from South Africa that inspired their forthcoming music. The near hour long mix is a refreshing burst of traditional tunes, including pinches of afro beat, tribal dance and ’90s house.

Check out the tracklist after the stream, as well as a new song performed at this past Treasure Island Music Festival.

Tracklist
1. Do It Blek Sem – Dj Cleo
2. Kuyafiwa – Dj Cleo
3. Ruthless – Dj Cleo
4. Jezebel – Professor feat. Oskido & Dj Tira
5. Mambotjie – TKZee
6. unknown name – Abafana Bovenvane from their cassette SIBALI. label is USM and the cassette no is ZGAL 2080
7. Africa Natives (silly willy) – Mzee
8. Mono T Jam – Oskido & Master Wakes
9. Akhonto feat. Lelethu – Dj Clock
10. Terminator – Dj Gukwa
11. Ndiya Ndiya feat. Zulu Naja – Dj Cleo
12. Track 7 – Dj Christos from Afrodessia mp3 disc1 …. LOL (sorry this is all i got)
13. Djs Manifesto – Oskido
14. Banane Mavoko – Black Motion feat. Jah Rich

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QjN-d53S_4#t=50

2013

Mariah Carey Updates On Album Collaborations

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 30, 2013

After recovering from a shoulder injury — that caused a hiatus — and inking a new management deal with Jermaine Dupri, Pop princess Mariah Carey is back and promoting her forthcoming anticipated album, The Art Of Letting Go. In this exclusive MTV News clip, the singer gives an update on the status of her album collaborations, which are set to include Hip-Hop buzz talents such as Nas, Mike Will, Hit Boy and more.

2013

Video: MeLo-X, “GOD: Pièce de Résistance” (Short Film)

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 30, 2013

Brooklyn current day renaissance artist MeLo-X gives us a deeper look into his forthcoming album with a new self-produced and directed short film. The rapper/producer explains the origin behind the album’s title, displays his creation process and more. GOD: Pièce de Résistance drops Nov. 5th via iTunes.

2013

Video: Iman Omari Talks Temptations & Nate Dogg w/ Boiler Room

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 28, 2013

Following his DJ set at Mndsgn‘s and Zeroh‘s  Los Angeles crib, Saint Heron artist Iman Omari sat down with Boiler Room for a behind-the-scenes interview, including his thoughts on the Tempations and Nate Dogg. The footage also features clips from the intimate broadcast session and properly introduces all of the set’s featured homies including Ill Camille, MoRuf, Cavalier, Denmark Ves, Quelle Chris and Omari‘s band.

Watch the interview above and then check out the 50-minute set below.

2013

Video: Jhene Aiko, “Bed Peace” Feat. Childish Gambino

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 28, 2013

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Saint Heron Los Angeles songbird Jhene Aiko and rapper/actor/comedian Childish Gambino channel Yoko Ono and the late John Lennon’s iconic 1969 “bed-in” for her latest visual, “Bed Peace“. The video is clean  with a vintage spark as it accompanies the guitar-laden tune. You can find this track featured on her forthcoming EP Sail Out, which drops tomorrow.

2013

Video: OverDoz., “Killer Tofu”

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 28, 2013

Nothing is wrong with grown men drawing a bit of childhood inspiration, especially from slept-on Nickelodeon favorite, Doug. Left Coast Hip-Hop/R&B group OverDoz. looked up to the cartoon’s rock quartet, The Beets, and dedicated their new release to the fictitious band’s hit song “Killer Tofu”. The Los Angeles-based wild boys share another entertaining Calmatic Films-directed visual for the new song, which will appear on forthcoming mixtape BOOM. Big up one of our Saint Heron artists, Iman Omari, who is apart of trio THC group that produced this track.

In other news, OverDoz. never disappointed with their creative vision and this one is just the same.  Additionally, the group has announced national tour dates including a show with Childish Gambino, who makes a cameo in the “Killer Tofu” video, and a run with A$AP Ferg, A$AP Mob and more on the Turnt x Burnt Tour. All of the dates are available here.

Bonus: OverDoz., “Lauren London

2013

Video: Janelle Monáe Performs on ‘SNL’

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 28, 2013

This past weekend, the audience of Saturday Night Live witnessed greatness as they were blessed with Janelle Monáe as the episode’s musical guest. Introduced by actor, Edward Norton, the high-energy performer effortlessly blazed through the performance of her hit single, “Dance Apocalyptic”. With her amazing footwork and dance moves, she was later accompanied by her glorious band and background singers returning to the stage for a live rendition of “Electric Lady”.

You can find both tunes her new album, The Electric Lady, available via iTunes and the special 2-CD deluxe edition at Target.

Bonus: Janelle Monáe, “Prime Time” Feat. Miguel

2013

Get Into It: SonnyMoon

by Elise Peterson | published: Oct 25, 2013

Dusty roads, warm vintage film, and lynchings? No, this isn’t  the backdrop to an old western, but rather the latest collaborative effort of experimental genius duo SonnyMoon and directors Adi Putra and Carlos Landa for the “Every Summer Night” video off their self-titled EP. The unexpected should always be expected from this eccentric pair Anna Wise and Dane Orr. Visually, Putra and Landa take the road less traveled in the desolate desert town equipped with authentic towny folk.

As the song begins to strum in, a shot of a young boy running against the desolate desert backdrops. There’s an intensely uncomfortable energy that builds surrounding the visual introduction of each of the town’s residents. The young boy mouths “She’s back!”; cue leading lady, Anna. Tensions rise as do the ambient, eerie acoustics, and the looming danger revealed on Wise’s face. You’re pulled in. This isn’t a music video, but better described as a short film. Heart palpitations pulsate with the increasing tempo. Blindfolded, Wise cries out,

“Every summer night, mingle with the pretty young things, on your off time, who will never work a day in their lives…must be nice.”

The video comes to a fatal end when Wise meets her demise at the threads of the noose. Her vocals linger like an apparition as the video comes to a close with her body swinging in the sunset. Perfectly dramatic ending to an equally emotive track.

More SonnyMoon Here

2013

Video: Subway, “This Lil’ Game We Play” Feat. 702

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 25, 2013

Here’s a blast from our 90s’ past! Remember Chicago-based group, Subway? The group was composed of Eric McNeal, Keith Thomas, Trerail Puckett and Roy Jones and was signed by Michael Bivins of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe. In 95′ the boys debuted their featured hit “This Lil’ Game We Play” featuring labelmates 702 and reached #15 on the Billboard charts. The song was produced and written by Gerald Levert and Edwin Nicholas.

2013

Backpacking Back To Hip Hop

by Elise Peterson | published: Oct 22, 2013

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Photo Kadeem Johnson

There is a shift occurring in hip-hop right now, and it’s reminiscent of the genre’s golden age.

Hip-hop circa the late ‘80s and early ‘90s was sitting pretty and there was plenty room for creativity. Musicians brought fresh sounds and original styles to the scene, in turn, consistently creating pivotal moments in pop culture.

During this period, the Native Tongues – a collective which consisted of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Leaders of the New School, Queen Latifah, Black Sheep, and Monie Love – placed a heavy emphasis on dope beats and lyricism while establishing a sense of unity within the culture. Everyone had their individual crews, but ultimately, they all kicked it with one weaving a kindred thread through hip-hop. It was understood that the only way any one would succeed was for everyone to work together. Cue the Queen, “U.N.I.T.Y”.

Fast-forward to the early 2000s. An influx of monotonous hit singles and dance tracks made us feel like no one cared about content and just wanted to cash in quick. I’m talking about groups like D4L and Dem Franchize Boyz who were putting out songs with corny jingles and the dances to match. The Beast Coast movement followed up as clear response to the ringtone era of rap.

Today you have the new school of rappers who were kids during the ringtone era who feel personably responsible for restoring hip-hop to its pure form. We have young artists like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Mac Miller who are all delivering creative content through the mainstream. But there’s also a not-so-underground sound echoing through New York City.

The Beast Coast movement makes sense right now. Their name is a play on East Coast (the coast where hip-hop finds its origins via New York) and the slang word “beast” which is another way for saying you kill shit, you do what you do, and you do it well. The collective is made up of Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers, and Phony Ppl.

Flatbush Zombies tapped into a Wu-Tang Clan/Gravediggas-esque style with their blend of darker themes laid down on gritty production that often sounds like movie scores thanks to their in-house producer Erick Arc Elliott; the Underachievers proclaim their roles as Indigo Children, speaking extensively on the bearing gold souls; and Pro Era frontman Joey Bada$$ told us he was resurrecting boom-bap fromdatombs, and he wasn’t bluffing. His 1999 mixtape was one of the doper projects to come out of 2012 and got hip-hop fans excited about its golden era again.

And they all have a call for action: Open Your Third Eye.

Whether you believe in this unseen intuitive eye or not, it’s interesting that a group of young black hip-hop artists coming out of New York City are constantly talking about everyday life, taking psychedelics and spiritual enlightenment for their listeners.

And they’re doing it on ‘90s-inspired soundscapes while bringing back that group aesthetic, and sometimes actually over beats from producers such as Lord Finesse, MF DOOM and J Dilla.

But there’s a certain level of responsibility that comes with being labeled a backpacker or  “conscious rapper.” The minute you start to appear as though you’re crossing over into the mainstream your core cult following of fans will abandon or shun you and you will have gained a much larger fan base of listeners who probably could care less about you once they think your fire burned out.

Nas is no backpacker, but he was a hip-hop purists’ ideal; a rapper’s rapper. “Illmatic” changed the approach of rap music, but only went gold. “It Was Written” disproved rumors of a sophomore jinx but wasn’t doing the numbers Nas wanted it to. So he went a more commercial route for sales and put out “I Am” and “Nastradamas” linking with the likes of Puff Daddy to Genuine and other mainstream successes. The albums were barely up to par, though they both have some sacred songs on them. Nas’ core fans, those who were following him since his meteoric rise, wrote him off making it possible for Jay to takeover. Lucky for Nas “Stillmatic” saved his career and street cred.

Drake is a great example of a “backpack rapper” who went mainstream. In fact, he said it himself on the Kanye West produced “Show Me a Good Time” off his label debut Thank Me Later.

“Tell me can we kick it like Ali Shaheed and Phife Dawg

People really hate it when a backpack rapper get rich and start living that life, dawg.”

It’s true. I appreciated Drake much more when he was rapping on Dilla beats. In fact, when I first began exploring Drake’s music, ATCQ was also in heavy rotation on my playlist. They actually meshed well together. In the following lines on “Show Me a Good Time” Drake goes on to say, “Feels like when you get into that paper, hip-hop hates ya, They would do it just like I do if they could it’s in our nature”, and he’s right. Most artists that come out preaching about staying true to the art often abandon their theories when opportunity to get more paper comes knocking. Then there’s Wale. Since his crossover into the mainstream (more particularly the Maybach Music move) he’s widened his appeal but compromised the sound and subject matter that ignited his buzz initially. Remember when he snagged that Gorillaz “Dirty Harry” beat and rapped about his anti-radio views? Then the day came you couldn’t listen to hip-hop  radio without hearing “Bad” or the remix a couple dozen times.

When I met Wale at Rock the Bells in ’08 he seemed genuinely surprised that he had fans at the hip-hop festival where he was overshadowed by the likes of Nas, ATCQ, Wu-Tang Clan, Mos Def and other veterans.

In defense of Drake and Wale, young hip-hop artists are trying to eat and they don’t get into The Game to be dope, broke rappers. More power to them.

Balance is a better source of power than “selling out” completely. To hold onto what you believe to be true – that sound and subject matter that led you to make music in the first place – while also finding a way to make it more marketable, that is the real win.

As of right now, the Beast Coast collective is balancing both sides of the scale.

This revisiting of hip-hop’s golden era is important for the culture. It makes the ringtone era of rap music seem like the hell we needed to go through to get back to the exalted soulful music we are getting today.

Where to now?

Three Beast Coast Videos You Need to Watch:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no0AKCKVd20

The Underachievers “The Proclamation”

 

Flatbush Zombies “MRAZ”

 

Joey Bada$$ “Fromdatomb$”

 

 

Three Golden Era Hip-Hop Videos You Need to Watch:

 

A Tribe Called Quest “Electric Relaxation”

 

Wu-Tang Clan “Protect Ya Neck”

 

Leaders of the New School “Sobb Story”

2013

Jessie Ware Debuts New Song “True Believers”

by SHABAZZ | published: Oct 21, 2013

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