Junk Science spared no expense when it came to their new video, "Fire Drill". Literally. The self-proclaimed recession artists recently shot the home-style video for zero dollars with the help of famed director and friend Andrew Gura. The group first collaborated with Gura on the set of their video "Roads" in 2005, having kept in touch since, they leapt at the opportunity to join forces once again – this time at the group’s Brooklyn apartment. The low key but high-energy video was able to bring them back to their roots, says emcee Baje One, “I think for all of us, it was some real back to basics shit, really stripped down, and personal. No money, no crew, no stress. It was like when we were kids and we used to just make stupid videos for fun. And I really think that joy comes across in the look of the video”.
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“This is recession art. We made this video for zero dollars without ever stepping foot outside of our apartment” says Baje One, emcee for Brooklyn hip hop group JUNK SCIENCE (Embedded Music / Definitive Jux / Nuclear Family).
“It only looks good because it was shot and directed and edited by Andrew Gura who is the motherfucking man who makes videos for Nas and Snoop and other famous people but who also happens to be a down-to-earth cool dude who just loves to do videos.”
“We first met Dr. Gura in 2005 when Scion hired him to make our video for ‘Roads’. At the time we knew nothing about him, and vice versa, but he tried really hard to make something that would be special and personal to us, and in the end he delivered a final product that went way beyond our expectations. He really captured what that song was about, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. So when he called me to say he was coming to town a few months ago, I was like ‘Hey do you wanna shoot something?’ and he was like ‘Totally.’”
“He came over to me and Snaf’s apartment one day in February. We had no money, no concepts, no nothing. But Andrew just started walking around the house, looking at all the weird stuff we had lying around, pointing out how interesting our place was, kind of thinking out loud, and I could tell the gears were turning. I showed him the camera we had, and he was unimpressed. He asked me if I had heard about these new digital stills cameras that shoot HD video. Fucking weird coincidence... my brother Vito had just bought the exact same camera he was asking about.”
“That was kind of the catalyst, the ‘this was meant to be’ moment. He grabbed the camera and we just started shooting stuff. Real off-the-cuff like ‘ok now change into that shirt and let’s do a take of you rapping in the shower’. We shot the video over the course of three short days, and my brother leant a hand on day three, stepping in as the DP.”
“I think for all of us, it was some real back to basics shit, really stripped down, and personal. No money, no crew, no stress. It was like when we were kids and we used to just make stupid videos for fun. And I really think that joy comes across in the look of the video.”
The song “Fire Drill” is out now on a Def Jux iTunes exclusive compilation Time Travel, Vol. 1 and is the second of two early previews of Junk Science’s upcoming album “A Miraculous Kind Of Machine” due out later this year.
HIP-HOP LEGEND GURU TO RELEASE GURU 8.0 LOST & FOUND ON 7 GRAND RECORDS MAY 19, 2009
On May 19, 2009, legendary emcee Guru (GangStarr, Jazzmatazz) and producer Solar will release their latest collaboration Guru 8.0 Lost & Found(7 Grand Records).“Solar and I have produced three classic albums (Version 7.0: The Street Scriptures, Jazzmatazz Vol. 4 and The Timebomb / Back To The Future). It was necessary for us to follow-up with another classic to keep real hip-hop alive. It’s been lost and needs to find its way. Here at 7 Grand, real hip-hop can still be found. We are keeping it very much alive!" exclaims legendary emcee Guru. "Our new album, Guru 8.0 Lost & Found, produced by Solar is like your GPS navigating you towards a higher place."” Solar adds, “8.0 represents that next level of growth; the next evolution of intelligent hip-hop.Lyrically and production-wise, it’s on another level.”
When it comes to taking hip-hop to the next level, Guru and Solar should know! After selling over 3.5 million records, releasing over 13 albums collectively worldwide as the front man for the revered Gangstarr, Guru, become the first artist to fuse hip-hop with live jazz, influencing the creation of Acid-Jazz and Neo-Soul sub-genres. An accomplished producer himself, Solar’s production discography includes the creation of tracks for Grammy Award winning artist and nominees like Damien Marley, Common, Caron Wheeler, David Sanborn, Dionne Farris, Angie Stone, Talib Kweli, Jean Grae, Styles P, Slum Village, Blackalicious, Zion I, Aceyalone, and The legendary B- Real.
While Jazzmatazz fans are used to a number of outside collaborations on Guru and Solar’s previous works, Guru’s 8.0 Lost and Found, keeps it all in the 7 Grand family featuring artists from its roster: K. Born, Highpower, and Doo Wop with the exception of UK Soul Singer, Omar, who experiments vocally with the vocoder on “Ride.” The production on Guru 8.0 Lost and Found ranges greatly as Solar put his unique twist on a variety of styles from the classic hip-hop feel “Best Of My Years” to “Fast Lane,” a southern hip-hop inspired track that showcases Solar’s ability to rework southern bounce into his own playful creation. Usually behind the production console, Solar makes his first ever appearance as an emcee on “After Time,” an experience that the native New Yorker (not to be confused with Parisian MC Solaar) calls a “natural evolution.” Stretching sonically even further is “Divine Rule,” a throwback to hip-hop’s early beginnings when emcees used to rhyme over disco breaks. Guru speeds his flow up a notch for this song, proving he can still go toe to toe, flow to flow with anybody in the game.
While 8.0 experiments with everything from straight ahead hip-hop to disco and southern bounce, Guru is quick to point out that 8.0 isn’t another edition of the Jazzmatazz series. “This is not hip-hop jazz,” explains Guru. “This is straight-up hip-hop elevated to a higher plateau, so it shouldn’t be compared to the Jazzmatazz series. The jazzier side is a part of who I am as an entertainer, but doesn’t define who I am as an artist or as a lyricist.”
Together as business partners and co-founders of their own imprint, 7 Grand Records, Guru and Solar are creating a new blueprint for independent labels while elevating the art-form to a higher plateau. Their latest accomplishment, Guru 8.0 Lost and Found, is the Map quest that that lovers of real hip-hop have been searching for to find their way. So if looking for hip-hop’s new coordinates, turn off your radio, pop in Guru 8.0 Lost and Found, and you will find your way indeed.
If anyone was wondering how far reaching our recession is I think I may have found the answer last weekend at Washington Square Park in New York City. Apparently, even the weed dealers are feeling the crunch.
San Francisco, CA – On Friday, May 1st, DSSF proudly presents, “I Shoot People,” a collection of Hip-Hop photography by SF’s own Trevor Traynor. The opening reception will feature special musical performances by Richie Cunning and Melina Jones, two of SF’s fiercest Hip Hop MC’s, while Ren The Vinyl Archeologist will be holding down the turntables throughout the night. “I Shoot People” is a not only Trevor’s first solo show in S.F., but it also marks the debut unveiling of his Hip Hop photography to collectors, his first step outside of his fine arts background. Trevor has been documenting the culture for the past five years; shooting live concerts, portrait shots, album covers, magazine spreads, and more. Notable artists he’s worked with include Afrika Bambatta, Rakim, KRS-One, Nas, N.E.R.D., Mos Def, Q-Tip, De La Soul, M.I.A., Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan and much more. His portfolio is a who’s who of Hip Hop culture, from the underground to the mainstream, from the old school to the new school.
Hip-Hop culture was a big influence on Trevor early on. Trevor elaborates, “When I was a youngling in the late 80’s, I would try to break dance with my cousins in Long Island & sneak sessions on my brother’s turntables. I started emceeing on a Japanese label and opening for acts like Swollen Members and Souls of Mischief while my brother Shel Shock made beats for artist like AG (D.I.T.C), Casual (Hiero), & Dres (Black Sheep). I grew up in the golden years of the 90’s, and now I get to shoot people that inspire me. I am grateful for that.”
In addition to Trevor’s limited edition prints, you can view and purchase his t-shirt line being put out in conjunction with D-Structure as well as a collector’s show catalogue, and many other goodies. Don’t miss this opportunity to catch a glimpse of Trevor’s work for the first time. Not since Martha Cooper’s photography in the 70’s or Ricky Powell’s work in the 80’s, has a photographer in Hip Hop culture demanded such attention.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE GRAMMY SINGER/ACTRESS JILL SCOTT GIVES BIRTH TO BABY BOY
(Wednesday, April 22, 2009 – New York, NY) Grammy Award winning singer/actress Jill Scott along with fiancé Jon Roberts welcomed their first child, a beautiful baby boy, Jett Hamilton Roberts into the world at 4:20pm on April 20, 2009. Jett was 7lbs 8oz. Both Jill and Jett are doing well.
Jill Scott appears on the HBO drama series No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency based on the international bestselling novels by Alexander McCall Smith.
USA Today remarks “ A Grammy- winning singer, Scott imbues her character with a natural warmth and charm..”. Music continues to be Jill’s passion with the release of The Real Thing, the follow up to 2004’s Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds Vol. 2, which she won Best Urban/Alternative Performance for “Cross My Mind”. Jill Scott made a huge splash in the music industry when she release the critically acclaimed Who Is Jill Scott?” Words & Sounds Vol. 1, which earned Jill four Grammy nominations, including a Best New Artist nomination. Jill Scott also released the effortlessly cool genre-hopping Collaborations, a compilation of all Jill’s best collaborations, including the Grammy-winning “God Bless The Child” with George Benson and Al Jarreau.
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Press Contact For Jill Scott:
The Chamber Group Chris Chambers / Sherlen Archibald
Sandpeople Embark On Long Story, Short... Tour 04.22.2009 Ten-Member Portland-Based Hip-Hop Powerhouse Ready To Rock The Western U.S.
Portland's Sandpeople are preparing for a three-week, ten-stop tour throughout various west-coast and mountain states to promote their upcoming EP release Long Story, Short... due out May 26th on self-managed record label Sandpeople Music.
The tour will begin in Bellingham, Washington on April 23rd, move across the north into Montana and down through Colorado and Arizona, and then heads west for three stops in California, wrapping up in Sacramento on May, 15th. Sandpeople will only be touring with five of their ten members due to a pending fatherhood among other issues, but all notable group members will be coming out for the tour, but half a roster will most certainly not result in half a show. Group member Ethic says of the upcoming tour, "The Long Story, Short... tour is a welcomed road trip after taking some time off to record. We expect to see plenty of familiar faces that we met on the Child Support Tour with Luckyiam, and likely lose a liver or two in the process. This EP is one of the best projects to come out of our camp, and we're stoked to see it finally ready for release."
Sandpeople formed in 2005 in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., and have since established their base in Portland, Oregon. Since the release of their debut album Points of View that same year, Sandpeople have seen a growth not only in their own numbers, but in their ability to make music. Among the ten artists who comprise the Sandpeople group, one of the most notable members is ILLmaculate, a Portland-grown emcee who has accumulated numerous accolades for his rapping abilities. At the age of 17, he was crowned champion of the 2004 Scribble Jam rap battle competition in Cincinnati, Ohio, and along with partner TheSaurus also won the 2006 and 2007 World Rap Championships hosted by JumpOff.TV. Along with the group's producer Sapient, who has garnered recognition from his work with artists such as Tech N9ne, Inspectah Deck and Aesop Rock, Sandpeople have the firepower to put on a great show and to make great music.
Thurs-April 30 Bozeman, MT - The Zebra Cocktail Lounge Fri-May 1 Boulder, CO - The Root Underground Sat-May 2 Denver, CO - Marquis Theater w/ Mr. Lif Tues-May 5 Phoenix, AZ - The Low Leaf Wed-May 6 Yuma, AZ - Open Aired Thurs-May 7 San Diego/Carlsbad, CA Boar Cross'n Fri-May 8 Los Angeles, CA The Alterknit Lounge (Knitting Factory) Sun-May 10 Bakersfield, CA Fishlips Tues-May 12 San Francisco, CA Etiquette Lounge
MP3: Keelay & Zaire - "We Made It" feat. Mario Dones 04.22.2009
"Give them something with our name and watch how they get mellow to it / Like we have to sample heaven to get better music"
Keelay & Zaire, production masterminds, have brought us another '90s throwback banger off of their current album, Ridin High. "We Made It," featuring flow from Mario Dones, is a celebratory song about hard work paying off and dreams coming to fruition. Kee & Zee blend smooth jazz keyboards, record scratches, fanfare filled synths, and drums to make you feel as if you're crossing the finish line after a marathon, complete with the crowd cheering in your favor. Whether you're a musician trying to break it into the industry or a recent grad landing your first job, crank up "We Made It" for a dose of encouragement and let Mario Dones' words, "Sky's the limit, see my vision breaking," help you endeavor forward.
The Prelude to Drive EP is now available to download for FREE at the freshly launched www.MyxMusicLabel.com .
Keelay & Zaire are a bi-coastal team that operates with only one concrete rule; creating music with unlimited range. Complementing each other's styles with precision, Kee & Zee work as a sole production machine that spawns gritty classic hip-hop, soulful R&B, and any other medium that requires an exclusive sound from the team. With Keelay out west in San Francisco, and Zaire in the east, holding it down in Virginia, the two have almost unlimited resources from which to draw talent and inspiration. In their debut LP Ridin High, the pair's versatility takes center stage, backed up by a talented cast of emcees and singers including Phonte of Little Brother, Supastition, Blu, Cali Agents, Darien Brockington, Tash of Tha Liks, Saafir, Fortilive, The Park, Emilio Rojas, Surreal ,Slo-Mo, Mario Dones, The A.V.E., J.Fish, Jony Fraze, Whooligan, and Tiffany Paige. Keelay & Zaire's Ridin High is available everywhere nowvia MYX Music Label.
About MYX Music:
MYX Music Label began in 2007 by industry veteran Karim Panni of the Boom Bap Project (Rhymesayers Entertainment). MYX Music Label is under the umbrella of MYX TV, which is the only music and lifestyle channel dedicated to the Asian American community. Distributed nationally, MYX TV showcases the hottest major label and independent content as well as dynamic original programming that fuses fashion, comedy, and culture. MYX Music Label integrates the newest technology while developing innovative digital distribution and promotion strategies to service their artists. The MYX Music Label was created for the sole purpose of using the MYX TV visual network platform to promote the finest independent hip-hop and urban music. MYX Music Label's ambitious release schedule for 2009 includes groundbreaking works from production duo Keelay & Zaire, Jern Eye, Fortilive (producer Illmind's hip-hop crew) and exclusive music from the best Asian MC's, DJ's and producers in the compilation 20 C Energizers. Also, adding to their versatility as a label, MYX Music Label DVD releases include The Nutshack, Built From Skratch, Str8 Laced and Slanted Comedy, which features today's top Asian American comedians. For more information on MYX Music Label, please visit http://www.myxmusiclabel.com .
For anyone who knows the Hip-Hop scene in Connecticut, even just a little bit, the name Eclipse resonates. Over the past handful of years he’s been regarded as one of the best, if not THE best, freestyle emcee in the state. Many believe he ranks among best in the country. As a member of the group Nervous System he’s seen a modicum of success both in-state and even in New York City, but a modicum is not enough, which is why earlier this month he made a major life decision and moved to California.
For this week’s edition of the Fairfield County Weekly I discussed this move with Eclipse, along with his Nervous System partners in rhyme, Polarity Plus and SolStorm. I also spoke with WKSS Kiss 95.7FM’s Prolifik about the situation and got his thoughts on what he feels is the true definition of success for a CT emcee. To really get the full vibe of it all, however, one needs to go back to that dark, crowded bar in Bridgeport and the night of Eclipse’s going away party, which happens to be exactly where this article starts.
On Scratch's new album Loss 4 Wordz (May 26th, Gold Dust), the longtime Roots collaborator enlists the help of a wide variety of musicians including Kanye West, Musiq Soulchild, MOP, and many others. But perhaps the most unique collaboration is with Damon Albarn, the musical chameleon behind Blur, Gorillaz, the Honest Jons label, and various other genre benders. Having collaborated with Gorillaz in the past (he even has his own animated character) Scratch works naturally w/ Albarn, laying the foundation for a moody and reflective rumination on lost love. Underground hero Talib Kweli adds a topical verse to tie it all together. "Too Late" is the b-side of the single "Let's Go" (featuring Peedi Crakk), which available digitally today.