British rapper Lowkey marks Gaza 1 year war with No.1 spot in charts
LONDON, UK, 4th January 2010 – Mesopotamia Music rapper Lowkey has stormed to Number 1 in the Amazon hip-hop download chart with the highly anticipated charity single “Long Live Palestine Part 2”. The song features verses from international artists, including DAM, The Narcicyst, Eslam Jawad, Hich Kas, Reveal, Hasan Salaam and Shadia Mansour.
The underground rapper behind 2009’s protest anthem “Long Live Palestine Part 1” has defied critics who called him “too political” by toppling well known artists Jay Z, 50 Cent and the Black Eyed Peas. The achievement is most profound as Lowkey did not have the promotion from a lucrative record label, nor the support of any major radio DJ’s.
Lowkey, who is a patron of UK based Palestine Solidarity Campaign, says: “Through the universal language of hip-hop, this song aims to unite people from across the globe to express their solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for freedom, equality and self determination.”
“The support for this single amongst the general public has been overwhelming and is testament to the fact that Gaza is not forgotten even though it no longer makes mainstream headline news.”
Lowkey releases this tribute single alongside the 1 year anniversary of the Israeli massacre in Gaza, labelled ‘Operation Cast Lead’, which killed 1,400 Palestinians and maimed hundreds more. Profits from the sale of this single will be equally shared between Interpal and Islamic Relief, two leading charities undertaking much needed relief and development work in Gaza.
Anti-war veteran and former UK Cabinet Minister Rt. Hon. Tony Benn has been forthright in his support for the single. "The song speaks to people about the struggle of the Palestinians and their fight for freedom. By buying it you, your friends and your colleagues can show support for the Palestinian people in their hour of need. The single is supported by Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Viva Palestina. I hope we can count on yours too." www.lowkeytop40.co.uk
PLACES TO DOWNLOAD LONG LIVE PALESTINE PARTS 1 & 2 FROM:
On midnight January 1, Victory Or Death, the highly limited fine art piece conceptualized and starring the RZA of multi-platinum hiphop group Wu-Tang Clan, was made available to the public. The piece is a Wu-styled interpretation of Emanuel Leutze’s iconic painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware, with RZA replacing Washington, and the GZA and the late Old Dirty Bastard as his right-hand men. Each painting contains a number of hidden elements that new owners are already scrambling to discover.
Victory Or Death comes in two collections. Prints in the Legacy Series measure 40” x 30”, and all carry RZA’s signature and handprints, applied in acrylic paint. All are numbered and signed in order of generation, and each come with a RZA image disc and authenticity placard. 300 prints exist in the Legacy Series. The 60 pieces in the Monument Series come with all the features of the Legacy, but the pieces contain a total of 50 hidden elements to the Legacy’s 36. Moreover, the Monument clocks in at two times the size – a whopping 80 x 60.
Village Voice (New York) proclaimed Victory Or Death “the greatest painting of 2010”. Of Victory, Pitchfork Media asked, “Is there anything RZA can’t do? (Rhetorical.)” the signup page at www.whenartimitateslife.com features a snapshot of RZA posing alongside the piece, as well as a new promotional flash video. Victory Or Death is the flagship release from When Art Imitates Life (WAIL), the brainchild of Sway of MTV, Tech of the World Famous Wake Up Show, and Los Angeles creativity house Scene Four. Upcoming fine art projects from WAIL are said to include Bay Area gatekeepers Hieroglyphics, legendary DJ QBert and Shavo of System Of A Down.
Swollen Members’ have announced more Canadian tour dates in support of their new studio album, "Armed To The Teeth”. The group will be touring the West Coast in January before kicking off a full US tour in February 2010.
Swollen Members' new album was recently named one of the best hip-hop records of 2009 by iTunes. The digital retailer released their choices for 2009’s best records and selected the Canadian hip-hop group’s new album, alongside albums from Ghostface Killah, Slaughterhouse, KRS-One, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and Twista. "Armed To The Teeth" features collaborations with some of the best artists in the game including Tech N9ne, Everlast and Slaine from La Coka Nostra, Glasses Malone, and Talib Kweli.
CATCH SWOLLEN MEMBERS LIVE: Jan 15 - Penticton, BC @ Element Nite Club Jan 16 - Salmon Arm, BC @ Club 351 Jan 22 - Terrace, BC @ Gators Jan 23 - Prince Rupert, BC @ The Underground Jan 28 - Langley, BC @ Vanilla Room Jan 29 - Chilliwack, BC @ Industry Niteclub Jan 30 - Courtenay, BC @ Avalanche Bar and Grill Jan 31 - Victoria, BC @ Element (Legends) Feb 15 - Whistler, BC @ Whistler Village
RJD2 Gears Up For U.S. Tour & Fourth LP Release With Launch of iPhone Remix App
This week marks the release of DJ/producer superstar RJD2’s iPhone remix app, finally giving fans and tinkerers alike the chance to experience a bit of what it sounded like in RJ’s studio as he worked on upcoming LP The Colossus (due in stores on 1/19 via RJ’s own label, RJ’s Electrical Connections). The application, called Touch Mix, was created by Future Audio Workshop, the makers of the well-received deadmau5 remix app. RJD2 announced the news on his website Monday as part of his “Monday Madness” series, telling fans, “you can make your own mixes on the fly with 5 cuts, and also get a sneak preview of another track from The Colossus.” There are more details about how the Touch Mix app works on their site.
The Colossus may not hit stores until January 19th, but fans can pre-order several exclusive deluxe packages right now on RJ’s website. RJ also ran a Twitter contest to give fans a chance to win tickets to any show on his upcoming tour, which just ended this week. The Grand Prize winner, who gets “The Colossus Deluxe Package” and a private DJ lesson from RJ along with his/her pair of tickets, will be announced on release date. RJ’s tour kicks off this Saturday in Washington DC.
The legendary Guru is the frontman and founder of both GangStarr and the worldwide acclaimed Jazzmatazz. Guru was the first artist to truly blend Hip-Hop with Live Jazz beginning in 1993, and seeing the vast influences his Jazzmatazz concept has had on the industry, it is clear that Guru's musical contributions have been way ahead of their time.
As one of the best kept secrets in Hip-Hop and music history, as an innovator and royal luminary of Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop/Jazz, Guru worked with such great artists as Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes, Donald Byrd, Ramsey Lewis, Roy Ayers, Chaka Kahn, Branford Marsalis, David Sanborn, Bob James, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Common, Angie Stone, Jamiroquai, Macy Gray and Damien Marley to name a few.
After the release of Guru's "Jazzmatazz Vol. 1" in 1993 there were very many attempts to duplicate the Jazzmatazz Hip-Hop/Jazz concept and even the entire Neo-Soul genre was heavily influenced by Jazzmatazz. The first 3 Jazzmatazz albums were released in 1993, 1995 and 2000. Not only did the early Jazzmatazz music challenge the boundaries of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul, R&B, etc., the live aspect was something that none of these genres had ever seen. On a deeper level, the Jazzmatazz show was the first time anyone had seen a vocalist with a live band and DJ which has now become an industry standard stretching all the way to Rock N Roll. Jazzmatazz was the first Hip-Hop act to be asked to play at the world's most prestigious music festivals and brought with it a whole new audience as well as a new youthful appreciation for Jazz and live music which continues to this day. Since its inception there has been no credible comparison to the originality and broad appeal of a Guru's Jazzmatazz concert. This is one of the most captivating musical experiences ever world over!
The release of "Jazzmatazz Vol. 4: The Hip Hop-Jazz Messenger" sparked the rejuvenation of the Jazzmatazz series due to the brilliant production and masterful arrangements brought forth by his producer and partner Solar. This album is now the # 1 Hip-Hop/Jazz release of the decade. Released on their successful new label, 7 Grand Records, distributed worldwide. Though sophisticated musically and conceptually, the album connected with many underground Hip-Hop acts as well due to the fresh new sound that Solar put together. For the new live show, Solar has created a sonic landscape that takes the audience on a musical journey through all of my classic material from early Jazzmatazz to the present and even includes masterful live renditions of GangStarr hits.
Thus, Guru's Jazzmatazz featuring Solar and the 7 Grand Players is the best live Hip-Hop/Jazz act on the planet and appeals to all audiences from pure Hip-Hop/Jazz to hardcore Hip-Hop, to Alternative, to more conservative Jazz, to R&B, Soul, Retro, etc.
Guru and Solar have performed for sold-out crowds ranging from 1,500 to 50,000 people around the globe. There is something for everyone to enjoy here. Look out for more classic Hip-Hop/Jazz coming from the icon Guru and his partner Solar!
Just a handful of years ago I remember interviewing the likes of 50 Cent, T.I., Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris and Robin Thicke for online outlets, but nowadays the big names are doing less and less press and the few that are doing press seem to be doing only a select few publications and even skipping some interviews. It’s a little odd to me that in an age where the internet has become so responsible for creating buzz and, in many cases, stars, that major label acts aren’t putting in a little more work to maintain their status. The plethora of independent artists out there aren’t complaining, though, as the major label artists’ sloth has led to a fantastic opportunity the smart indie acts are already taking advantage of.
The homie DJ Ragz came through in the clutch for me by putting together this very thorough sampler-mix of the latest volume in my "Mood Muzik" series. "Piano-rama" will be out on January 26th via Tasteful Licks Records in both digital and physical (USB Flash Drive) formats- which is pretty dope if u ask me :) In the meantime, download & enjoy Ragz' mix as well as the fly promo poster designed by Panacea visual artist, Stephen Knox. The poster pays tribute to the person who inspired the album's concept- Ryuichi Sakamoto, and his classic 1984 album, "Illustrated Musical Enclyclopedia". Special shouts as well to Reyn and company over at PIMB for the help in pushing this project which took me 7 years to complete!