The idea of touching the epic "Drop the World" by Lil' Wayne and Eminem would probably be considered ill-advised by most. Rhyming alongside two of the game's greatest emcees on what might well be the highlight of their careers so far could make even established artists appear better suited for the Apollo Amateur Night.
Nevertheless, Fly Gypsy's Kom and Alexei decided to give it a go. Kom added an aggressive 28-bar verse, Alexei contributed some rock-infused distortion guitar. "I was fully aware of the criticism that could come from this one, so I went hard, and I think my verse would quiet even the worst critic," says the group's emcee Kom. "I re-wrote it three times before I felt I could hold my own next to Em and Lil' Wayne, both of whom I have much respect for."
While the focus of the song is most certainly on the three emcees, the group's producer Alexei gave the synth-heavy track an added rock flavor, channeling Nirvana with aggressive guitar riffs. "To me, the song is the 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' of the current generation, so I wanted to give it that extra drive that you can only get with live guitars," says Alexei. "This is not a remix. We saw the vision of Lil' Wayne and Eminem, as well as the song's producers, and we built on it. We think that both Wayne and Em would like what we had done."
Washington, D.C.-based hip-hop duo Fly Gypsy are quickly becoming the hottest new name in hip-hop. Since its launch in July 2009, the duo have released a successful and critically acclaimed mixtape, shot a video in Jamaica with famed director Ras Kassa (acclaimed for his work with Sean Paul, Beenie Man, and Damian Marley), and was featured on over 200 websites and blogs, including the influential HipHopDX, Okayplayer, 2dopeboyz, and DJBooth. Their single "2 Step" reached No. 1 position on college radio hip-hop charts and their freestyle on DJBooth is currently No. 1 of 135 others. Music critics have praised the Washington, D.C.-based duo for their ability to attract commercial appeal without compromising their musicianship or message, comparing the duo to the Fugees, Jay-Z, and Kanye West. Okayplayer called the duo's latest release "a timeless example of the beauty in music" and Rap Reviews called the duo "a group that could change what music is and what it should be." Fly Gypsy is currently opening for Wale in several markets and preparing for a United Kingdom tour and a SXSW showcase in spring 2010. The group's latest release, Change for a Dollar, is available now in all digital outlets and on Amazon, and the Vodka & Rum Mixtape is available now for free download on the group’s website, flygypsy.com. The group's remix project FG*XL:remixtape will be released in March 2010.
Real hip-hop has an ace in the hole and his name is Ace Ha. I was introduced to the producer extraordinaire (pictured above w/ girlfriend Brooke Allison) over half a decade ago through a mutual friend, Black Jesus, who many of you might remember from the BET Uncut classic “What That Thang Smell Like,” and ever since we’ve exchanged our views on hip-hop and working out (he's actually the reason I have my abs. Thanks again, man!). Ace Ha is always busy, which is why this Artist Of The Week feature has been so long in the making, but the good news is it was totally worth the wait. An incredibly engaging and intelligent individual, Ace Ha pulled no punches regarding his controversial view on what ruined mainstream hip-hop, which artists he feels could eat some of the old school greats, and why he feels ditching the bulk of his production equipment has actually made him a better producer. He's living proof that the people behind the boards can have just as much to say as those on the mic.
check that out and LOL at the comments, accusing the video of being...racist of all things... wow.
OKAY...If you're not even sure what the heck a SXSW is.. its okay, i'm a teacher, so I teach...
SXSW is one of the largest music festivals in the United States, with more than 1,400 performers playing in more than 80 venues around Austin over four days, in March. Though it is an industry-based event, SXSW Music links locally with events such as the annual Austin Music Awards show. SXSW is the highest revenue-producing special event for the Austin economy, with an estimated economic impact of at least $110 million in 2008. 
In 1994, SXSW added film and interactive conferences. SXSW Film has become one of the world's premiere film festivals, focusing on new directing talent. Similarly, SXSW Interactive has attracted a strong following among web creators and entrepreneurs. SXSW Interactive's focus on emerging technology has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. Twitter launched at SXSW Interactive in 2007.
The music event has grown from 700 registrants in 1987 to nearly 12,000 registrants. SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive events attract approximately 11,000 registrants to Austin every March.
Anyway, I'll be quite busy this week in Texas, as I'm doing half of interactive week, and half of music, so if you're anywhere near Austin, you need to be there! This is what my schedule looks like right now....
March 15, 2010 (Live Performance) @ Flamingo Cantina, Austin, TX, 12AM (no SXSW wristbands needed!)
I'm packing now, so I'll catch you guys on the flip side.. hope to see you in Texas or at a venue near you!
and speaking of venues, I'm looking to fill out some dates for a Spring and Summer tour, so let me know if your local college or club would be willing to have a little Random out there when the weather gets warm!
Seems our recent Kickstarter campaign has garnered us some major attention on the world's largest social media news blog- Mashable.com. BIG shouts to the homie Jeremy Caverly, aka "JC", who helped us initiate the movement to press up wax for "12 Step Program" in the first place. We can't wait to bring this album out and again, the fan support has been beyond humbling... CHECK THE ARTICLE!
Philadelphia's Lushlife has always thrived on pushing listeners' buttons when it comes to their perceptions of what hip-hop can be. Whether it's building a boom-bap rap track out of hyper chopped samples of lo-fi indie songwriter Ariel Pink, incorporating instruments like mandolin and live horns into his stage show, or soliciting remixes from psychedelic pop artists, it's clear that Lushlife has an all-encompassing view of hip-hop that he wants to impress on the world. With his latest leak, the emcee/producer repurposes a track from Georgia glo-fi outfit Washed Out, transporting the track's beach side vibe to the street corner, & improbably conjuring images of Nas rapping over the 80's synth heavy "Wild Style" soundtrack.
Don't miss Lushlife's performance at this year's SXSW, performing as a part of Favorite Gentlemen's eclectic showcase. Details & RVSP info below. The Cassette City album and Leisure Class / Stick Up Kids remix project are out now on Rapster.
Jedi Mind Tricks MC Vinne Paz has pulled together yet another Army of the Pharaohs album after a nearly three year hiatus. The collective now features Vinnie Paz & Jus Allah (Jedi Mind Tricks), Planetary & Crypt The Warchild (Outerspace), Apathy, Reef The Lost Cauze, Esoteric, Doap Nixon, King Magnetic, Des Devious, Block McCloud, Celph Titled, Demoz, King Syze, and more on an album titled Jedi Mind Tricks Presents… Army of the Pharaohs: The Unholy Terror.
Jedi Mind Tricks will hit the road later this month for a 21-date tour across North America.
03/24/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in New Haven, CT Toad’s Place United States 03/25/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Providence, RI Jerky’s United States 03/26/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Northampton, MA Pearl St. United States 03/27/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place United States 03/28/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Cleveland, OH Grog Shop United States 03/30/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Newport, KY Southgate House United States 03/31/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Ann Arbor Blind Pig United States 04/01/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Madison, WI The Annex United States 04/02/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Chicago, IL Subterranean United States 04/03/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in St. Louis, MO Firebird United States 04/06/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Omaha, NE The Waiting Room Lounge United States 04/07/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Columbia, MO Mojo’s United States 04/08/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Louisville, KY Uncle Pleasantss United States 04/09/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Pittsburgh, PA Diesel United States 04/10/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in West Chester, PA The Note United States 04/11/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Virginia Beach, VA The Jewish Mother United States 04/13/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Richmond, VA Canal Club United States 04/14/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Greensboro, NC Greene Street Club United States 04/15/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Atlanta, GA Masquerade – Hell Room United States 04/16/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle United States 04/17/10 Jedi Mind Tricks in Washington, D.C. 9:30 Club United States
The homie Random & myself will be rockin' Austin, Texas next week during South by Southwest 2010. Our project, "Forever Famciom", is practically done and we are gearing up for its' (tentative) Spring release. SxSW is known for attracting a great mix of hip-hop heads as well as gamers, so we may even perform a couple tracks off the project for those lucky enough to be in attendance! Either way, catch me holding Mega Ran down on the LIVE music tip next week at the following venues...