In anticipation of their upcoming release ShadowBoxing (October 2, Live Up Records), Zion I joins forces with Brooklyn mixtape master J.Period (remixer/DJ for Q-Tip, The Roots, K’NAAN) to present Bomb First, a pre-emptive strike on the stagnating state of commercial hip hop. Featuring new music from Zion I, Kendrick Lamar, Azelia Banks, Action Bronson, Curren$y and more, Bomb First finds Zion I once again at the forefront of progressive rap—this time foreshadowing the emergence of a new generation of artists dedicated to the preservation of the art. On Bomb First, Zion I & J.Period shine a light on rap that is inspiring them in 2012. The result is a fun, diverse and soulful listening experience designed to inspire a new crop of fans, and re-ignite the spark in die-hard fans still hungry for quality rap.
Zion I x J.Period's "Bomb First" will be available for FREE download on Tuesday, September 25th at: www.zionicrew.com .
Video: Freeway's Photoshoot For Diamond In The Ruff
Courtesy Audible Treats.
On November 13th, legendary Philadelphia MC Freeway will release Diamond In The Ruff, his first album since 2010's critically acclaimed collaborative effort with Jake One, The Stimulus Package, through Babygrande Records.
"Entertainment journalist Q The Question and Redhands (Ballerstatus.com, etc) is back with Episode 3 of "The No Holding Back" Ep. 3 pt. 1, does Industry plants exist? Doe rappers front as if they have been grinding indie so long but had major label backing the whole time?"
Video: Dee-1 "Failure Ain't An Option" f/ MURS, Tabi Bonney
Courtesy Audible Treats.
After releasing several singles in anticipation of his Mannie Fresh-hosted mixtape #TheFocusTape, set to be released on October 9th, and his upcoming 50-date tour with Macklemore, New Orleans rapper Dee-1 is releasing the debut video from the project, "Failure Ain't An Option." The video, which features Los Angeles Living Legend MURS and Washington, D.C. wordsmith Tabi Bonney, premiered on Complex yesterday.
Video: Nardwuar vs. Big Sean Premieres on i am OTHER
Nardwuar brings Big Sean to Pharrell Williams’ i am OTHER channel in a new interview Nardwuar vs. Big Sean filmed at Twisted Productions' all ages gig at the Vogue Theatre. You can check out Nardwuar and Big Sean chat up the Detroit music scene in the brand NEW interview that just aired.
MC/Actor/Writer Malik Work is one of New York City's lyrical giants. Work built his reputation on co-founding the seminal live hip-hop crew, The Real Live Show, with a decade of residencies and performances at venues all over the U.S. and Europe. The group’s sophisticated musicianship—and the literate rhymes of Malik, a.k.a. Dionysos, and his co-MC, Stimulus—garnered The Real Live Show critical acclaim. The Village Voice enthused: “If ever a group lived up to their name, it's The Real Live Show. With a distinguished palette of players backing them, New York City purebred MCs Stimulus and Dionysos paint a pitch-perfect portrait of hip-hop's spirit.” The Real Live Show also has the distinction of being the first hip-hop band ever to play the Greenwich Village’s esteemed Blue Note Club.
Having established such a notable hip-hop heritage, Work is now stepping forward with two revelatory solo projects. He’s releasing a mixtape, titled Work In Progress, featuring the cleverly absurd single “Let Me See Some I.D.” And he’s issuing the first ever interactive beatless rhymes project, Work With The Voice.
The MC’s debut single “Let Me See Some I.D.” is birthed from the same aesthetic as the venerated The Real Live Show oeuvre, but it has a sleek and progressive production approach that makes it competitively modern. Work’s erudite and barbed wit permeates the loosely autobiographical track, referencing his time working the door at the revered Nublu club, one of the hippest haunts in the Lower East Side with regulars such as Kudu, Brazilian Girls, Wax Poetic, Forro in the Dark, and Love Trio. Being the gatekeeper for one of the coolest clubs in NYC inspired Work to pen some playfully irreverent lyrics. “I’m checking people’s certifications to see if they’re cool enough to party with me,” he chuckles, explaining the clever jocular jabs of the lyrical content. The track will be released as a remix by famed label owner/groove culture visionary/DJ/producer Nickodemus. Nickodemus organized the pioneering and beloved outdoor event Turntables On The Hudson. He remains a fixture in the dance music scene with his acclaimed label Wonderwheel Recordings. He’s also highly respected for his work remixing such a diverse array of artists as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Bebel Gilberto, Thievery Corporation, Astor Piazzolla, among many others. The mixtape will be rounded out by live favorites that until now haven’t had definitive studio versions.
The interactive beatless rhymes project, Work With The Voice, involves Work making his articulate and insightful MC work available online sans beats. With this inventive move, Work is welcoming a dialogue with producers of all different stripes. He is also making a statement about hip-hop texts as standalone prose. “I’m a writer and I’m excited to engage my audience in this way. Over years, I’ve learned from performing live that people barely hear what you’re talking about. When I’ve performed a cappella, people have responded to the message,” Malik emphasizes. “I’m opening myself up to an amazing opportunity, and I’m psyched to see what files in.”
Work’s learned flow stems from his deep appreciation for all written masterworks, and his firm belief that hip-hop lyrics fit into the literature continuum. Currently he teaches a workshop called "Rap and Spoken Word as Performed Literature." This intensive connected the work of classic writers such as Dr. Seuss and William Shakespeare with the lyrics of contemporary hip-hop artists like Biggie Smalls. These seemingly disparate threads of hip-hop, classic literature, and theater, tie in with Work’s well-rounded artistry. He’s written 3 plays, acted in an off-Broadway one-man show, and appeared in numerous movies. Work will be playing himself in an upcoming film tentatively titled, An American In Hollywood. The movie is set at Nublu and features Work as a character in the movie with a music performance role. Also, his song, “New York City,” will be a theme track in the film.
Malik Work has been consistently ahead of his time. Way before the reality TV explosion, Work and his The Real Live Show co-MC, Stimulus, filmed their weekly residency documenting the duo sharpening their craft as a “hip-hop reality series.” Today, Work continues that progressive spirit with his new mixtape, Work In Progress, and his groundbreaking Work With The Voice interactive beatless rhymes project. In addition to maintaining a busy The Real Live Show schedule, Work is also expanding his profile with new and exciting collaborations, such as fronting the Parisian-born jazz-hop band Nedjma and developing his hip-hop cabaret concept group, The Upstagers.