This shit actually goes hard. Produced by Andre 3000.
So I was hoping this would turn out to be a false rumor, but with no official word saying otherwise, it appears that Hip-Hop/Graffitti icon Rammellzee has passed away. Fab 5 Freddy announced the news yesterday on Twitter, and seeing as how those guys go back to the very genesis of this thing of ours, his word is most likely bond.
If you’re not familiar with Rammellzee, you can school yourself here, here and here. There’s also alot of great documentation in Jeff Chang’s book Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.
It’s been over a decade since Lauryn Hill left the Fugees, went solo, and dropped one of the most remembered hip-hop albums ever … The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. And, aside from a few one-off performance dates here and there, you rarely hear much from Miss Hill.
However, it’s 2010, and the rapper/singer says she’s back and ready to record again.
Following a recent performance at the Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, Calif. last week, Hill told the National Public Radio that “it’s just that time.”
But, is it too late? Afterall, Hill is 35, over 10 years older than she was when she left the music scene at the height of her fame, following a five-trophy Grammy night in 1999.
In the NPR story, she finally explained her long absence.
“There were a number of different reasons,” Hill told the NPR. “But partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it.
“In fact, as musicians and artists, it’s important we have an environment — and I guess when I say environment, I really mean the [music] industry, that really nurtures these gifts. Oftentimes, the machine can overlook the need to take care of the people who produce the sounds that have a lot to do with the health and well-being of society, or at least some aspect of society. And it’s important that people be given the time that they need to go through, to grow, so that the consciousness level of the general public is properly affected. Oftentimes, I think people are forced to make decisions prematurely. And then that sound radiates.”
Hill says with her youngest child now two years old and “old enough” for her to be away from the family to get to work, she’s ready to begin recording new music.
“I’m starting to get excited again. Believe it or not, I think what people are attracted to about me, if anything, is my passion. People got exposed to my passion through music and song first … And I think that can be infectious.”
As for what you should expect from Hill’s new music, she says more singing.
“I’m trying to open up my range and really sing more,” she explained. “With The Fugees initially, and even with Miseducation, it was very hip-hop — always a singing over beats. I don’t think people have really heard me sing out. So if I do record again, perhaps it will have an expanded context. Where people can hear a bit more.”
You can catch Lauryn Hill on this year’s Rock The Bells Festival Tour Series.
Join The Roots, Okayplayer, and a ton of afrotastic talent for the official launch of OKAYAFRICA on July 11th in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. We will all celebrate (some with vuvuzelas, hopefully many without) the close of the World Cup 2010 in Africa with a ridiculous line-up: The Roots, Talib Kweli, Sahr Ngaujah (of FELA! On Broadway), Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew, Blitz the Ambassador, Dragonz of Zynth, Zakee, DJs J. Period, Dhundee, OP!, and many more. As the great Stevie Wonder once put it, “we are all from Africa.” This July 11 marks not only the close of the World Cup, with all eyes on South Africa, it also is the birth of OKAYAFRICA, the new channel from okayplayer that highlights all that is new, cool, and happening in Africa, from new artists influenced by Africa to new African artists, from dance crazes from the Niger Delta to Fela parties in Brooklyn, from heavy metal in Kenya to electronica from Mali to hip-hop from Sierra Leone, and much more.
The highly anticipated KAWS exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum took place this past weekend. Blending some of KAWS’ retrospective work with some new pieces. Some of KAWS’ largest pieces to date were also complimented by large scale figures. In addition, perhaps the most unforeseen KAWS creation of the exhibition was a preview of an upcoming MEDICOM TOY figure based on Pinocchio and embodying KAWS’ signature companion.
Wild In The Streets takeover was created to empower skaters the world-over. The event took place on June 20th & 21th, to raise awareness and money for local skaters and their needs. With locations selected by skaters, for skaters, the event raised money for Southbank’s new and improved skate park and featured a plethora of skaters including Braydon Szafranski, Aaron Suski and Kevin “Spanky” Long, alongside European skaters Eniz Fazliov and Ante Aiello, and UK skaters Tom Knox and Chris Ault.
Photography: Percy Dean
Shinya Kimura’s passion for motorcycles is translated through his dedication not only to the craft of building or assembling a bike, but to the total immersion of his entire being to the experience. For him, it’s not solely about appearances, it’s about enjoying the ride in every single sense. From beginning to end, we are witnesses to a genius at work and director Henrik Hansen is the lucky man responsible for providing us with this in-depth look at one of Kimura’s labors of love as we see it forcefully come to life.
The prize posession of every kid growing up in the ’80s was hands down their Star Wars toy collection. So what would it be like if Kenner’s AT-AT Walker would suddenly become animated? Not only that but it would come to life as man’s best friend? Take a look at the video above and find out.
Rapper/Actor Common was the headlining performer at this year’s Fort Greene Festival in Brooklyn on Saturday (June 26), giving fans a dose of all his biggest hits.
The Chicago rapper, who currently lives in the Fort Greene neighborhood, closed the festival with a crowd pleasing performance of some of his biggest hits such as ‘Testify”, “I Used to Love Her”, “Love of My Life(Ode To Hip Hop)”, and “Go!”
During his performance, he also paid tribute to the work of other hip-hop artists by reciting verses from classic songs from the likes of rappers such as Biggie Smalls, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and the Wu-Tang Clan.
Sadat X of the group Brand Nubian assisted Common on stage to rap his part of the group’s classic record, “Slow Down.”
At one point during the show, a young boy was invited onstage to do a brief trumpet solo, while a female fan was brought on stage later where Common sang verses from one of his songs to the young lady.
Common ended his performance by launching a 10-minute freestyle, before thanking the fans and walking off stage.
Common participated in the event in support of the Ajile L. Turner Scholarship Fund, which was created in honor of Common’s cousin and former Fort Green Festival organizer who was killed last September in a bicycle accident.
Proceeds from the festival were donated to the Ajile L. Turner Scholarship Foundation through Common’s own foundation Common Ground.
Speaking about his cousin Ajile Common stated, “It was the summer after seventh grade. I was in Cincinnati at my cousin Ajile’s house. Usually we’d have been out back playing ball, but we were in his room working on something we had been talking about doing for a while: write a rap.
“Mine went: ‘Well let me tell you ’bout a trip a time ago / I was going there to run a cold-blooded show / When I was there I saw some people jamming too. / There called themselves the Bond Hill Crew…’ I remember feeling liberated as I wrote these lines — like I was accomplishing something that I had dreamed of, but didn’t think I could do. As simple as it was, writing it was like a birth to me.”
NYC: Tonight Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg will be hosting a special event called, An Evening With… The night will feature David Banner and 9th Wonder, there will be an interview by Peter, a Q&A session from the fans, and then the duo will preview music off of their upcoming album, Death of A Pop Star. This event will be open to the public and approximately 50 fans will be let in on a first come first served basis. The event will be taking place at 92Y Tribeca, doors at 7 event at 8. Death of A Pop Star should be out later this summer.
With the start of their late night gig with Jimmy Fallon last year, The Roots’ tour schedule slowed down a little bit compared to what we’ve been use to. But as we told you back then, The Legendary have no plans of retiring from the touring game any time soon. Today we’ve got the tour dates to see the best live band in hip-hop music performed between tonight and July 11th. The Roots will be headed out from Winnipeg, to Milwaukee, to The Netherlands and more – and wrapping up in Brooklyn July 11th for the Okayafrica Launch event at Prospect Park! Follow me after the jump for the dates. There are plenty more dates to come after this.
Monday 6/28/10 Winnipeg, MB Roots perform at Winnipeg Jazz Festival
Tuesday 6/29/10 Toronto, ON Roots perform at Toronto Jazz Festival
Wednesday 6/30/10 Montreal, QUE Roots perform at Festival International de Jazz
Thursday 7/1/10 Milwaukee, WI Roots perform at Milwaukee Summerfest
Sunday 7/4/10 Philadelphia, PA Roots perform on Parkway 4th of July w/ Chuck Brown and Chrisette Michele (Rehearsal @ TLA earlier)
Saturday 7/10/10 Rotterdam, Netherlands Roots perform at North Sea Jazz Festival
Sunday 7/11/10 Brooklyn NY Roots perform @ Prospect Park for Celebrate Brooklyn Date