Posts Tagged ‘The Roots

23
Jan
10

Hope For Haiti Now – Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge & Rihanna Perform “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” & More Coverage

Bono, Jay-Z & Rihanna

When the sky falls, and the Earth quakes.. We gon’ put this back together, we won’t break

I watched almost the entire Hope For Haiti Now telethon event last night, and I’m so thankful I did. If I said it was extremely moving, that would be an understatement. I found myself breathless and teary-eyed as artists, musicians, actors, directors and more put aside differences and united to answer phones and accept donations on behalf of  the various organizations helping the relief effort in Haiti. The broadcast also featured personal stories about Haitians that survived the horrible natural disaster in addition to newscaster Anderson Cooper & others detailing the monumental effort to treat the thousands of injured and emotionally-distraught.

Musical performances included Jay-Z, Bono & The Edge of U2, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, my wifey Christina Aguilera, my other wifey Alicia Keys, The Roots, Justin Timberlake & Matt Morris, John Legend, Beyonce, Coldplay, Shakira, Mary J Blige, Sting, Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow, Dave Matthews, Neil Young, Emeline Michel and of course, Haiti’s son Wyclef.

MTV has a sweet rundown of all the performances here and check out some photos here compliments of Concrete Loop. Click the links below to donate and grab your copy of the Hope for Haiti Now album on iTunes with the various performances in great quality MP3’s.

If anyone has the full telecast of the event, can you please link it in the comments section? Thanks in advance.

Shout to Ian for the video of Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge & Lil’ Mama Rihanna below (am I the only one who thinks Rih Rih looks out of place on stage with legends? Oh well.). I hope you find it in your heart to donate to help those suffering from this devastating tragedy, and (try to) enjoy the music!

Download on iTunes: Jay-Z, Bono, The Edge & Lil’ Mama Rihanna – Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)

Hope For Haiti Now

Donate: Hope For Haiti Now

08
Jan
10

DJ Heat – Late Night With The Roots (Mixtape)

Late Night With The Roots (Mixtape)

Questo & Black keep their vision to the sky, the rest have their eyes on the road. Fitting.

I’ve been a long-time, outspoken fan and critic of the Legendary Roots Crew. When they became the house band for Fallon’s new gig after Def Jam put so much time into marketing their CDs (#sarcasm), I was ecstatic that they’re hard work was finally recognized on a larger scale. Plus, after raiding the OkayPlayer store yesterday during its 50% discount sale, it’s only right I post this.

The generous DJ Heat recently compiled all of The Roots’ live renditions to date with guests of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Performances include Q-Tip, Public Enemy, Mos Def, Luda, Ghost, Rae, and, well you can read the tracklist for yourself. It showcases the Philly band’s single “How I Got Over” in its pure form, plus that Clipse set is damn near phenomenal.

Download link and track list below. Shout to 2DB and Heather for the heads up. Artwork by Shake. Oh, and props to the only whiteboy in the group, bassist Owen Biddle, for holding it down for us soulful yet melanin-deficit brothas, Enjoy!

DownloadDJ Heat – Late Night With The Roots (Mixtape)

Track List:

1. The Roots – How I Got Over (Live)
2. Ludacris – I Do It For Hip Hop / Last Of A Dying Breed (Live)
3. Mos Def – Casa Bey (Live)
4. Beastie Boys – So Whatcha Want (Live)
5. Black Star – History (Live)
6. Snoop Dogg – I Wanna Rock (Live)
7. Ghostface – Baby f. Raheem DeVauaghn (Live)
8. Wale – Pretty Girls (Live)
9. Raekwon – Catalina (Live)
10. 50 Cent – Baby By Me / Do You Think About Me (Live)
11. Clipse – Popular Demand f. Black Thought (Live)
12. Clipse – Grindin’ f. Black Thought (Live)
13. Q-Tip – Barely In Love (Live)
14. Goodie Mob – Soul Food (Live)
15. Public Enemy – Bring the Noise (Live)

30
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2008)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

Aight, congrats for makin’ it this far

We’ve arrived at the final Top 10 list before we venture into this year’s choices. I’ve planned something real special for the ’09 lists, so visit again soon to find out .

You wouldn’t want to miss it!

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2008

1. Q-Tip – The Renaissance

2. Nas – Untitled

3. Black Milk – Tronic

4. Jake One – White Van Music

5. Elzhi – The Preface

6. T.I. – Paper Trail

7. J-Live – Then What Happened?

8. The Roots – Rising Down

9. Lil’ Wayne – Tha Carter III

10. Young Jeezy – The Recession

Honorable Mentions: EMC – The Show, GZA – Pro Tools, Little Vic – Each Dawn I Die, Murs – Murs For President, Scarface – Emeritus

..Now that we’re back up to speed, let’s close the decade out right. Patience is a virtue.. Keep it locked!

29
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2006-7)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

*Sinatra voice* When I was 21 (2007), it was a very good year..

Click the covers or names to boost my Amazon affiliate cred buy your own copies of albums that will be remembered. Forever. Enjoy!

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2006

1. Ghostface Killah – Fishscale

2. J Dilla (Jay Dee) – Donuts

3. T.I. – King

4. Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury

5. Nas – Hip Hop Is Dead

6. Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor

7. Cam’ron – Killa Season

8. The Roots – Game Theory

9. Jay-Z – Kingdom Come

10. Rhymefest – Blue Collar

Honorable Mentions: The Coup – Pick A Bigger Weapon, Cunninlynguists – A Piece of Strange

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2007

1. Kanye West – Graduation

2. Talib Kweli – EarDrum

3. Blu & Exile – Below the Heavens

4. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool

5. Jay-Z – American Gangster

6. Little Brother – Getback

7. Black Milk – Popular Demand

8. Redman – Red Gone Wild (Thee Album)

9. Brother Ali – The Undisputed Truth  

10. UGK – Underground Kingz

Honorable Mentions: 50 Cent – Curtis, Common – Finding Forever, Pharaohe Monch – Desire, Hell Razah – Renaissance Child

Only 1 more year left, then we’ll close it out with a treat ’09. Stay tuned..

28
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2004-5)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

Let’s keep it movin’, shall we?

Click the covers or names to bolster my Amazon affiliate account buy your copy at Amazon. Enjoy!

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2004

1. Kanye West – College Dropout

2. Madvillain (MF Doom & Madlib) – Madvillainy

3. The Roots – The Tipping Point

4. Murs & 9th Wonder – 3:16: The Ninth Edition

5. Masta Ace – A Long, Hot Summer

6. De La Soul – The Grind Date

7. Foreign Exchange (Nicolay & Phonte) – Connected

8. T.I. – Urban Legend

9. Cam’ron – Purple Haze

10. Nas – Street’s Disciple

Honorable Mentions: Royce Da 5’9” – Death Is Certain, Twista – Kamikaze

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2005

1. Lil’ Wayne – Tha Carter II

2. Common – BE

3. Kanye West – Late Registration

4. The Game – The Documentary

5. Sean Price – Monkey Barz

6. Young Jeezy – Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101

7. Juelz Santana – What The Game’s Been Missing!

8. Notorious B.I.G. – Duets

9. Danger Doom – The Mouse & The Mask

10. Quasimoto – The Further Adventures of Lord Quas

Honorable MentionsBeanie Sigel – The B. Coming, Black Market Militia – Black Market MilitiaEdan – Beauty and the Beat

We’re half-way through the decade, stick with me ’til the end! Next up, ’06-7..

26
Dec
09

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade (2002-3)

100 Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade

You can’t stop me, babe

Let’s continue with my picks for the Best Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade, 10 from each ’02 and ’03.

Click the covers or names to buy your copies at Amazon, Enjoy!

Best Albums of 2002

1. GZA / Genius – Legend of the Liquid Sword

2. Eminem – The Eminem Show

3. Scarface – The Fix

4. Clipse – Lord Willin’

5. Atmosphere – God Loves Ugly

6. Styles P – A Gangster and a Gentleman

7. Nas – God’s Son

8. The Roots – Phrenology

9. Jay-Z – The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse

10. Talib Kweli – Quality

Honorable Mentions: Blackalicious – Blazing Arrow, DJ Shadow – The Private Press, Nas – The Lost Tapes

Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2003

1. 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’

2. OutKast – A Love Below / Speakerboxxx

3. Jay-Z – The Black Album

4. Jaylib (J Dilla & Madlib) – Champion Sound

5. Little Brother – The Listening

6. The Diplomats – Diplomatic Immunity

7. Gangstarr – The Ownerz

8. T.I. – Trap Muzik

9. Viktor Vaughn – Vaudeville Villain

10. Joe Budden – Joe Budden

Honorable MentionsBrother Ali – Shadows on the Sun, Madlib – Shades of Blue

Next Up: Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2004-5, keep it locked..

21
Dec
09

Ritchcraft – Say It Ain’t So EP

Say It Ain't So

I posted one of Ritchcraft’s remixes and promised there would be an EP when he finished his weekly series. Well, the time has come to unleash it!

The Nova Scotia, Canada producer’s heavy work culminates in Say It Ain’t So, a 12-track EP with remixed verses from Jay-Z, Nas, The Roots, AZ, Saigon, plus original cuts from Halifax reps Kayo, CooLEra and even the man Ritchcraft himself.

My personal favorites are “Whose World Is This,” a reinterpretation of Nasir’s “The World Is Yours” with its groovin’ bassline & sweet vocal flip and AZ’s “The Come Up” as the verses flow over a break-beat and orchestral strings.

You can download the full EP at the Bandcamp link below, and feel free to hit me or Ritch up and let us know what you think. Enjoy!

Download: Ritchcraft – Say It Ain’t So

Track List:

1. Intro (Say It Ain’t So) 00:01
2. No, No, No Intro 01:01
3. Saigon ft. Jay-Z – Come On Baby (Ritchcraft Remix) 03:47
4. AZ – The Come Up (Ritchcraft Remix) 03:31
5. (Bonus) Kayo – Leave Me Alone (Prod. Ritchcraft) 04:09
6. The Roots – Star (Ritchcraft Remix) 04:10
7. Nas – Whos World Is This (Ritchcraft Remix) 03:32
8. (Bonus) Coolera ft. Kayo – Smilin Faces (Prod. Ritchcraft) 03:30
9. Large Pro – Maica Living (Ritchcraft Remix) 03:16
10. AZ – Doe Or Die (Ritchcraft Remix) 04:12
11. Outro (I Guess It’s So) 00:02 info
12. Ritchcraft – Never Told Me Outro (Feat. Focus) 03:31

18
Sep
09

Upcoming Events

NJ Fest

My bad y’all. I’ve been slippin’ on my upcoming event updates for the Tri-State, but I’m back. There’s some fly shows coming up, come out and support some good music!

BDK

Today: Big Daddy KaneB.B. Kings Blues Club – Manhattan

JMT

Jedi Mind TricksThe Trocadero – Philly

Lupe

Tomorrow: Lupe FiascoHighline Ballroom – Manhattan

IT

Immortal TechniqueThe Trocadero – Philly

Fabolous

Sunday: NJ International Music Festival featuring Fabolous, Buju Banton, Rick Ross, Beenie Man, & More – Newark Bears Stadium – Newark, NJ

The Roots 

Monday 9/21: The RootsHighline Ballroom – Manhattan

08
Aug
09

How I Got Over (Live)

The Roots on Fallon

The homie Dallas Penn inquired a lil’ while back if I had the audio of The Roots’ performance of their new single “How I Got Over” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I finally found a good quality recording, figured I’d upload it for y’all to enjoy.

This live version is much more upbeat and soulful than the studio one. There’s something about ?uestlove and the fellas rocking out live that captures the essence of what a performance should be – energetic, intense and chaotic yet cohesive.

Check out the download link below. You can scoop the studio version here and pre-order the album at Amazon to support the band. Enjoy!

The Roots – How I Got Over (Live)

07
Aug
09

12 Albums You Should Look Forward To More Than Thank Me Later

Ouch!

Unless you’re sleeping under a Dwayne Johnson [II], you’ve caught wind that Toronto, Canada’s golden boy Weak Knees Drake is buzzin’ more than his Martian-like mentor before going, well, anywhere.

With the extravagant amount of jock-riding coverage dedicated to Wheelchair Jimmy, one might be under the impression that his album was the only upcoming release that mattered. Fret not, hip-hoppers, there’s plenty of illness to look forward in the remainder of ’09 to if Auto-crooning makes your ears bleed.

Here’s a list of 12 upcoming albums beyond what Young Money fan-boys and Stan-girls would want you to think. You’ll Thank Me Later.

(In alphabetical order)

Big Boi

Big Boi – Sir Luscious Left Foot

Scheduled Release Date: Sometime in the 4th Quarter

The world flipped upside-down when OutKast released Speakerboxxx/A Love Below in ’03 as two completely unique individual projects by Big Boi and Andre 3000 packaged together, eventually going platinum (though that’s open to debate). Late in ’08, the ATLiens promised a solo LP each plus a ‘Kast disc – high aspirations for two cats we haven’t heard much from in years. Sir Luscious Left Foot will be the first of the three projects, yet it doesn’t have a definitive release scheduled. Critics have mixed feelings about the leaked tracks – “Ringtone” is a Autotune-infected flop while “Royal Flush” featuring 3 Stacks & Raekwon and the snippet of smokers anthem “For Your Sorrows” are wet dreams for purists. I’d still rather listen to Big Boi on an off day than be subjected to the torture of “Best I Ever Had” repeatedly on a certain New York radio station.

Sneak Peak: For Your Sorrows (Snippet)

Bobby Ray

Bobby Ray (B.o.B.) – The Adventures of Bobby Ray

Scheduled Release Date: Sometime in the 4th Quarter

Name change aside, Decatur’s Bobby Ray is at the top of the freshman class essentially due to his versatility. Not only is dude capable of spitting relentlessly unconventional rhymes, he plays multiple instruments and isn’t afraid to go way outside the box, drawing comparisons to fellow ATLien Andre 3000. Boasting a solid mixtape effort in B.o.B. vs Bobby Ray that was as much neo-soul and rock as it was hip-hop plus entertaining on-stage theatrics, Bobby will draw the attention of OG heads and hipsters alike to his debut The Adventures of Bobby Ray. The only question that remains is when we’ll actually hear it.

Sneak Peak: Put Me On

Us

Brother Ali – Us

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

If you don’t know about Minneapolis’ Brother Ali, you’re truly missing out one of the industry’s most naturally-gifted MCs. Rhymesayers Entertainment signee Ali has been hard at work for almost a decade telling personal stories of discrimination, coming-of-age difficulties, societal setbacks and spirituality, making it clear that staying true to yourself is the only real definition of real. His The Truth Is Here EP was better than most rappers’ full-length efforts this year plus he pleasantly surprised fans last week by announcing the details his fourth disc US. Teaming up with soul-hop producer Ant (of Atmosphere fame) and enlisting Chuck D, Freeway and Joell Ortiz for guest spots, Ali is setting us up for a disc that could be ranked among the year’s elite projects. Close-minded listeners need not apply.

Sneak Peak: Us produced by Ant

Clipse

Clipse – Till The Casket Drops

Scheduled Release Date: October 20th

Malice & Pusha T are no strangers to struggle. From hustling white girl growing up in Virginia, grinding their way up the food chain and fighting various record labels before releasing a tepid sophomore album back in ’06, the Thornton Brothers are long overdue to begin anew. Some would complain that the duo has always been a critics’ favorite but has failed to register widespread recognition due to lack of support from their previous labels. Till The Casket Drops will be backed by Columbia and the brothers’ own Re-Up Gang Records, showcasing a top-notch production cast including The Neptunes, Rick Rubin, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and DJ Khalil. Let’s hope the lackluster “Eyes On Me” featuring Keri Hilson doesn’t make the cut and lead single “I’m Good” with Pharrell generates the type of hype that Clipse deserves. Yughck!

Sneak Peak: I’m Good ft. Pharrell

BP3

Jay-ZBlueprint 3

Scheduled Release Date: September 11th

There’s not much I need to say about why the best rapper alive Shawn Carter’s third and final Blueprint installment should be highly-anticipated, it speaks for itself. Regardless of your opinion, “Death of Autotune (D.O.A.)” was the most hyped song out of New York in the past few years. Hov’s live performance of the album’s intro taking shots at various personas piqued interest and a semi-decent radio single “Run This Town” with Rihanna and Kanye West will hold us over until we get more leakage. With ‘Yeezy & No-ID primarily handling production duties and limited guest appearances (only Nas, Kid Cudi & Mr. Hudson plus the aforementioned), it will be interesting to hear the direction Hov takes sans Auto-tune and independent, as BP3 will be newly-established imprint Roc Nation’s first release. I pray “History” makes the cut, but seeing the track list, I doubt it. Either way, Hov is a living legend that your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper looks up to. How could you not be excited?

Sneak Peak: Run This Town ft. Rihanna & Kanye West

Melanie Fiona

Melanie Fiona – The Bridge

Scheduled Release Date: August 18th but Amazon says September 22nd. Also, I think it came out overseas already.. Confusing? Yea, I know.

Regardless of what genre you place songstress Melanie Fiona in, there’s no doubt girl can sang better than her light-skinded, caterpillar-eye browed T-Dot brethren. The 26-year old possesses star qualities –  she’s already toured alongside Kanye West in Europe and her single “Give It To Me Right” has been in heavy rotation, at least in the Tri-State, which is an extremely difficult market to please. Expect Fiona to showcase her multiple-octave vocal ability plus a spellbinding knowledge of R&B, soul, reggae and hip-hop on The Bridge well beyond her years. Don’t believe me? Check out her mixtape with Roots drummer ?uestlove for a small taste of what’s to come.

Sneak Peak: Ay Yo

Kamaal

Q-Tip – Kamaal The Abstract

Scheduled Release Date: September 15th

Tribe frontman Q-Tip led a team of talented musicians back in 2001 for Kamaal The Abstract, a cornucopia of jazz-hop grooves and organic pop tunes that has yet to see the light of day.. Until now. A lucky few have already heard a rough copy before the Abstract’s suffered from industry rule #4080, so all heads should be excited that Battery Records is publishing the final version later this summer. For the impatient, any bootlegger seasoned internet technician should be able to get their hands on it. I still say cop this when it drops next month.

Sneak Peak: Abstractions featuring Kenny Garrett a.k.a. Truth (Link coming soon, Word Press buggin’ right now)

7th Seal

Rakim – The 7th Seal

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

Arguably the best MC of all time, Rakim Allah’s third solo effort competes with Detox with respect to giving hip-hop fans blue balls, year in and year out. A decade after The Master, Rakim will craft The 7th Seal utilizing his spirituality (“G” is the 7th letter, stands for God, 7 continents, etc.) and veteran microphone mastery. Lead single “Holy Are You” dropped last month, giving hope to those of us who’ve been waiting since Kanye dropped out of college and Fitty was calling out wankstas rather than being a video prankster that the R would reclaim his throne from a bunch of fradulent characters (I’m looking at YOU Weezy. Best rapper alive? You must be joking.).

Sneak Peak: Holy Are You

OB4CL2

Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2

Scheduled Release Date: September 8th

Once again, this is a prime example of a long-delayed album. Sharp-tongued Wu-Tang Clan representative will finally drop the sequel to mid-90’s classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx to a generation of anxious admirers. If the leaked material is any indication, we may be witnessing history. “New Wu,” “Criminology ’09” and the J Dilla-produced “House of Flying Daggers” are all rawer than George Jung’s product not to mention Rae’s mixtape Blood On The Chef’s Apron is better than most rappers’ albums. Combine legendary producers RZA, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, and Marley Marl with the Chef’s mafioso rhymes alongside Wu-Tang clansmen plus Slick Rick, Busta Rhymes, Beanie Sigel, Jadakiss and Styles P, and we may be witnessing history, people. That’s today’s mathematics, knowledge God!

Sneak Peak: House of Flying Daggers ft. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface & Method Man

The Roots

The Roots – How I Got Over

Scheduled Release Date: October 15th

Sneak Peak: How I Got Over

The hardest working band in hip-hop, if not all genres, is finding time between Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and their residency at Highline Ballroom to record their ninth studio album. Black Thought describes the LP as “more positive” than Rising Down and Game Theory, paralleling America’s shifting political atmosphere. Though it’s difficult to replicate The Roots’ energetic live shows in the studio, lead single “How I Got Over” is still a soulful ode to overcoming life’s toughest obstacles. Implementing original instrumentation courtesy of ?uestlove, Captain Kirk Franklin, Kamal Gray and the rest plus featuring talented lyricists like Pharaohe Monch, Phonte and Blu, How I Got Over should be an intriguing listen. I’m particularly excited to hear the crew cover eclectic composer Frank Zappa’s instrumental jam “Peaches en Regalia.” Just don’t count on Def Jam to promote this disc, as they have more important things to worry about.

Slaughterhouse

Slaughterhouse – Slaughterhouse

Scheduled Release Date: August 11th

At this point, including this is merely a formality as most of you have probably heard it already, multiple times if you’re anything like me. Billed as a supergroup, Slaughterhouse may be the closest thing we have to a modern-day A Tribe Called Quest or De La Soul – as my homie Rizoh points out, there is absolutely no weakest link in the group. Royce Da 5’9, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz & Crooked I all bring something to the table while simultaneously avoiding stepping on each others toes. There is debate about who is the least impressive, but those types of arguments are futile when you’re dealing with such high quality hip-hop. This will easily be in most critics Top 5 of 2009, if not numero uno. For those that want to support, you can pre-order a copy of Slaughterhouse on iTunes now. Prepare yourself for audio massacre.

Sneak Peak: Microphone produced by Alchemist

Wale

Wale – Attention Deficit

Scheduled Release Date: September 22nd

Although the most promising freshman of XXL’s class of ’08 has yet to drop an official album, Wale has consistently put out fresh material with The Mixtape About Nothing and Back to the Feature while holding down various guest appearances and headlining his Attention Deficit tour. The Capital City verbalist and proud sneaker fiend’s debut will comment on the music industry’s haphazard approach while infusing cunning witticisms over funky rhythms & go-go style beats from Mark Ronson, David Sitek and Glitch Mob – picture Camp Lo meets Chuck Brown. I’ll forgive for recruiting Gucci Mane for his latest single, since it’s not half bad. I’m also not ashamed to admit I still bump “Chillin’,” which most of you know is uncharacteristic as I’m an outspoken Lady Gaga hater. Hopefully Attention Deficit is the dose of Ritalin that cures rap’s unfocused, ADD-plagued modus operandi.

Sneak Peak: Pretty Girls ft. Gucci Mane





Corleone, Hold the Throne

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