Here’s a teaser for Ice T’s forthcoming film, The Art of Rap. Taking us to the streets where it all began, Ice T shows how the rap game first started and how things have changed since then. In the early days of hip hop, rap music was raw and emotional, it was about your struggles and what you were going through at the time. “Rap music saved my life,” he says, acknowledging that if it hadn’t been for rap he would be in a very different place today. The film features emcees like Treach, Grandmaster Caz, Immortal Technilove, Kool Keith and more and is scheduled for release early Fall 2011.
Back in November of 2010, the Japanese artist duo known as HITOTZUKI traveled to Melbourne, Australia to create a series of works at both the Backwoods Gallery and Melbourne Central. The work was based on the group’s sun and moon philosophy which celebrates idealistic spirit. The following video documents the processes involved in both pieces as shot by Louis Mitchell.
The Dons voice stay pristine like I’m still 17
In 2009, the Wu’s Raekwon made it clear why his longevity and skill is admired by so many, and even to this day, he’s able can compete with the genre’s best, especially on the mic. Because that year, he dropped a little album called Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, which has nearly his gold sales — a major feat, being that he released it independently — and was touted as one of the standout LPs of the year.
Well, next week, the legendary rapper is hoping for a repeat, when he drops his upcoming fifth studio album, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang, which Rae calls another classic.
“This one is fire too. It’s another classic [following OBFCL 2]. I didn’t stop, I managed to keep moving forward, saying ‘You know what? I’m really gonna show n****s how I shoot this rifle this time,’ ” Raekwon explained to BallerStatus.com, during a recent sit down in Los Angeles. “Before I had a nice .45. Now I have a f***in’ AK, the new 2012 sh**. The all you do is tap the button sh** and the sh** go ‘burrrapp.’ You know what I mean? That’s where I’m at, mentally, right now.
“I’m more of a workhorse now. All I wanted do is show people that is what they slept on … me being able to do again, that I could do it. Now, my sh** is to do it again,” he continued.
Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang is a conceptual album Rae cooked up, offering a metaphorical beef between the Wu and the Shaolin side of the crew, which he calls the “stronger, more disciplined”.
According to the rapper, the concept follows the same story line of the 1981 kung fu film of the same title, where rival martial arts in the same city, the Shaolin and Wudangquan, battle it out.
A little beef? Nah, he says, it’s just the “strong fighting the motherf***in’ ego.”
“The album right there is a serious concept album. When I say serious, I mean like just look at the title. It’s a beef going on. It’s a subliminal beef with two schools, but they both from the same spot,” the Chef explains, before clarifying that it doesn’t mean his membership with the Wu has been revoked. “All I did is let my paintbrush fly the way I felt as being a Wu-Tang member. Because I’m not against Wu-Tang, I can never be. I am Wu-Tang n****. You see that ‘W’, you gone always see me,” the Chef clarifies. “At the end of the day, the Shaolin side, to me, is the disciplined side, the stronger side. So now, it’s the strong fighting the motherf***in’ ego.
“When you look at the movie, which I request ya’ll to do before you get into the album, you gonna see like ‘Yo, these n****s from the same spot, but these n****s a little loose. They start letting other motherf***ers getting into they mind, f***in’ they whole camp up, while the Shaolin dude gotta come in and save sh**.’ It’s mixing two styles together. But, you got somebody from the outside in, that feel like ‘Yo, we don’t wanna see that happen. We don’t want them to be that successful. We wanna be successful — we wanna learn that sh**.’ That’s what this album is about man.”
The upcoming album will feature 17 tracks, plus two bonus tracks when purchased through iTunes, with a mix of featured artists — including Busta Rhymes, Estelle, Jim Jones, Nas, Lloyd Banks, Rick Ross, and Black Thought, as well as his Wu brothers Ghostface, Inspectah Deck, and Method Man.
Despite the long list of guests, Raekwon made it very clear to us that he handpicked each guest and made them jump into his world to record their parts, not the other way around.
“It’s got quality, quality MCs on it. Quality MCs, period, that just came up for air and jumped into MY WORLD,” said Rae. “I didn’t jump in they world. Anytime I do a record with someone, that’s what I tend to do: is jump into they world. Now these cats came and jumped in my world. They came in and filled in the blanks, and we made the right decisions on picking the right heads”
Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang is set to drop March 8.
With his long anticipated LP, Lasers, due out in just 8 days, Lupe Fiasco brought his live act to NYC for a few sold out shows this past weekend. His Saturday night show at Blue Note (w/ The Robert Glasper Experiment) featured unannounced special guests Mos Def and Kanye West. I wasn’t there, but I’d have to assume one of the highlights of the night was this 30 minute cypher with Lu, Mos and Yeezy. Our fam over at All The Way Live were there to capture this high quality audio from the show. The trio spit old verses, new verses, and freestyles.
Honor Fraser announces a new solo presentation of new paintings and a sculpture by KAWS. Taking influences from popular culture, KAWS associates round canvases of a smaller scale with popular culture and collectible lapel buttons, making the works more personal and approachable, and yet acknowledging their collectible qualities. The palette for this series has returned to mainly dark grays and blacks, dramatized by bright colors. The works will be exhibited at The Armory Show in New York, kicking off March 3 and running through March 6, 2011.
Banksy continues his Southern California streak as the artist’s famous work makes an appearance overnight in Oceanside, California. Placed dead smack on the side of a taco shop wall, the piece came as a surprise to most, including the shop owner, who contemplated painting the piece over before he noticed the attention its received.
Photography: Drew Schultz
Here is the full video of MTV’s coverage on one of the hottest musical collectives on the rise. This following an electrifying performance on Jimmy Fallon and an intriguing music video that recently got the co-sign from Kanye West as video of the year. Mind you we’re only two months into 2011, but with that said, check out a more personal side to the music group that’s been buzzing as of late.
DJ Scratch does what he does during intermission at an EPMD show in Paris.
Detox seems to be inching in closer and closer than ever before, as Dr. Dre hits everyone with the second music video off the mythical album, for the Eminem-assisted single, “I Need A Doctor.”
In the beginning of the Allen Hughes-directed clip, Dre sits on a beach in February 2001, reflecting on the biggest moments in his life, from his days with Eazy-E to Snoop, all the way up to his early days with Eminem, and even his wedding day. Then, after a few deep breaths, he hopes into his Ferrari and speeds off throughout a windy mountain road, before becoming the victim of a serious accident.
Years later, his loyal protégé Eminem is seen standing by his side while Dre remains on life support, as he pours his heart out in his verse as to why Dre means so much to him. When he does finally awakes from his coma, Dre gets right back into shape, and promises to return with vengeance to drop his final album before saying goodbye.
The video closes with a shot of him visiting the late Eazy-E’s grave.
Detox is due out this year.
After a lengthy hiatus, due in part to health issues from a cancer-stricken Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boys have been out of action. However, things look like they are back on track, and the veteran hip-hop trio are back, recently offering a recently say for the long-delayed Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2.
Pt. 1 was originally set to drop in September 2009, but when Yauch (rap moniker: MCA) was diagnosed with cancer, things were put on hold and eventually indefinitely.
After undergoing treatment, Yauch said he was ready to get back to work, and work began on Pt. 2 of the Hot Sauce Committee series, with Pt. 1 being thrown in the vaults.
The forthcoming album will feature guest appearances from Santigold and Nas, who appears on the lead single, “Too Many Rappers”. That track leaked during the summer of 2009, but is expected to be get a new mix and master for the final record.
Hot Sauce Committee will be the Beastie’s first new album since 2004’s To the 5 Boroughs — an album where the trio went back to the basics, making the offering the closest they have come to their old-school selves on 1986’s classic Licensed to Ill.
Before To the 5 Boroughs, their last new album came in 1998, in the form of Hello Nasty.
Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 is due out April 19.
Here’s the full tracklist:
1. Tadlock’s Glasses
2. B-Boys in the Cut
3. Make Some Noise
4. Nonstop Disco Powerpack’
6. Too Many Rappers (featuring NAS)
7. Say It’
8. The Bill Harper Collection
9. Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win (featuring Santigold)
10. Long Burn The Fire
11. Funky Donkey
12. Lee Majors Come Again
13. Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament
14. Pop Your Balloon
15. Crazy Ass Sh**
16. Here’s a Little Something for Ya
NY emcee YC The Cynic is droppin’ his new project, Fall FWD, in less than a week. Before the date hits, YC gives us another jawn to bump. Listen to YC, Soul Khan, Von Pea, and Sene give you “More & More” over some J57 production. Fall FWD drops March 1st, and everything I’ve heard on it has been dope.
I hope y’all checked out Kraz aka Eric Krasno‘s dope mixtape yesterday, The Funky President. Dude’s remix game is on point – very good listen right there. However, nothing compares to the live experience. If you’re in NYC between March 1st and 5th or 8th and 12th you can check out Kraz and his crew Soulive for their 10 day residency at Brooklyn Bowl, Bowlive. Soulive will have special guests like Lettuce, Maceo Parker, Ivan Neville, Robert Randolph, John Scofield, Matisyahu, Pharoahe Monch, Nigel Hall and many more. The show is $15/night or get a 10-day pass for $125.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary last year, several of the best videos from the yearly Bicycle Film Festival from over the past decade are incorporated into this compilation video. Originally conceived by Brendt Barbur following a bike accident with a bus, the festival now spans over 25 cities worldwide with attendances in excess of 225,000 people. In addition to the showing of videos itself, complimentary events such as shows, parties, dinners and rides make this a true lifestyle event. For more information about submissions which close on April 1, head over to BicycleFilmFestival.com.
In anticipation of their upcoming spot on MTV RapFix, Odd Future is the focus of a short trailer. Following the crew along their recent mini-tour, the group who has captured a massive amount of spotlight in recent times sees an extension of their personalities beyond the stage. An article seen here also discusses the group’s current and future position within hip-hop music. Odd Future on MTV RapFix will take place at 4 p.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 24.
If his most recent tags have been any indication, Bansky isn’t done with the city of Los Angeles just yet. His latest work comes in the form of Kite, a social commentary on the harsh illegal immigration laws in California. The piece depicts a family running hand in hand across a yellow diamond, similar to the illegal immigration caution signs seen along the freeways bordering Mexico. Another piece, This Looks A Bit Like An Elephant, cleverly uses an abandoned oil tanker as wall space, turning what many considered a piece of junk into valuable artwork.
If the NBA All-Star Game this weekend wasn’t enough excitement for you, then we’re certain that this mini-movie of the event will be. The video follows both teams as they arrive in Los Angeles to prepare for the game amidst a media fury of red carpets and photographers. After a locker room pep talk from their coaches, Team East and Team West head out to face off on the court and the rest is history.