J.Period makes moves. Heralded as hip hop's 'Mixtape Assassin' for his flawless production and distinctive style of reworking classic material into mixtape format (peep game), the BK representative's latest tape Wake Up! Radio pays homage to the collaborative work between R&B sensation John Legend and Illidelph's finest the Roots' Grammy award-winning Wake Up! (the album nabbed three gramaphones back in February, to be exact). “When this project began, I was excited to explore the legacy of soul music behind the WAKE UP! album,” explains J.Period, “but I had no idea of the level of access and creative freedom I would be granted by John Legend & The Roots to tell that story. The result is not only something that traces musical history lines from artists like Marvin Gaye to contemporaries like John Legend—but something that adds to that history: brand new collaborative tracks as if Marvin & John recorded together. It’s simply unprecedented on a mixtape. And I am particularly proud of the fact that all of it speaks to the true power of music to carry a message, and have a positive impact on society, and on people’s lives.” I was fortunate enough to have J pass me a vinyl copy of the single "In The Ghetto (Wake Up!),'' a soulful revamping of the Eric B and Rakim original which features the God emcee himself, Black Thought, and Mr. Legend. Fusegreen was responsible for the slick artwork which stylishly portrays housing projects across the country. Speaking of Black Thought; I also caught Mr. Trotter and J perform a dope-as-fuck version of their live mixtape series at Brooklyn Bowl earlier this month. The pair were beyond fluent, as if J was an original Roots member, mixing the band's material (both new and old) along with other hip hop classics for the legendary emcee to verbally bless, as he pieced together the latest in his naturally on-point vernacular. It was an absolute treat and we should all be on the lookout for the next Roots' album, Undun, set to drop later this year. You can hear J team up with veteran boardsman Pete Rock and Da Beatminerz this Monday, August 1st for another live mixtape. Smif n Wessun (Tek and Steele) will be spitting live verses from their new release and Pete Rock-produced "Monumental.'' Should be super tight. J.Period has also been named the official deejay for Q-tip's upcoming European tour, after rocking the show behind Tip at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival a few weeks back. Some guy named Kanye West swung through as a surprise guest. It was bananas. J is ALSO in the midst of a collab with FLUD that will pair the intricate designs of the successful watch company with customized jump drives containing previously unreleased music and mixes by J. It will all take place through Karmaloop and I got a sneak peak of the design and let me just say that these little gems will be gone in minutes. J.Period continues to move the culture forward. RESPECT.
|myself, iwannabeher and cookie|
|somethin' else, indeed|
and gumbo were marvelous as always, my favorite meal AND Bloody Mary came from Somethin' Else Cafe in the form of a soft shell crab-stuffed omlette. Best. Breakfast. Ever.
Spotify will undoubtedly change the way people share music. Grooveshark, Pandora, and even iTunes should be a little, if not EXTREMELY frightened of the Swedish-born program which is free and can be organized and searched by artist, album, record label, genre or play list. The financial partnerships have been made with the majors (i.e. Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal) as well as a number of indies (although some have been shafted already). Yes, there are most likely a slew of lawsuits waiting to emerge, but overall streaming, sharing and searching for music on the internet has been taken to a whole new level via Spotify. And it's free. The same goes for my new addiction: Turntable.fm. It is here where I often stand as ThelifeWeLeadBuddy (whatup Chip?! Told you I was reppin' hard up here) in a chat room amongst other avatars who can deejay their uploaded music (five deejays in rotation at a time) and cuss and discuss the selections of others with every ounce of pretentiousness you'd expect from an elitist in real life. There are different rooms for different genres or you can create your own room. A universal point system is in place and is based upon other avatars 'laming' or 'liking' (awesome-ing) the tracks that you drop. Cooler avatars such as a giant, gold chain-rocking gorilla or the Daft Punk robot itself (reserved for super users) may be obtained as your points increase. If you have a Facebook account you can head there now and join the future; and perhaps the most profound function of turntable.fm is the ability to grab the tracks played by another deejay and place them in your own library. Or you can Spotify them. Or buy them from iTunes if you have the heart and the funds. Either way, the kids who created the site have pieced together a nice little monster that may just pull you in...for hours at a time. Just a fair warning.
In other music news, longtime friend and fellow ATX native Gary Clark, Jr. will release his first EP on the Warner Brothers imprint, entitled Bright Lights on August 9th.. The title track was produced by Rob Cavallo, while the other songs were produced by the Texas phenom himself. Look for a full length record in early 2012.
Aaron Perez may be the most talented percussionist I've ever stood in the same room with. His role in the psychedelic fervor of ATX personal favorites Bridge Farmers has been noted. He also maintains the timing in Texas Americana giants the East Cameron Folkcore, whose Sound and Fury tribute to the late Jon Pettis is a must-own. His latest project, Boyfrndz, sounds like Hum or Sunny Day Real Estate, except imagine them being juiced up on poly-rhythmic steroids, a la Hella or Sleeping People. The band moves together well and the live show is incredible, as Perez's arms look surreal with each blasting change and hasty swing. On tour in support of their debut EP which was produced by Mr. Ikey Owens (The Mars Volta, Long Beach Dub Allstars), the Texas fourpiece have received substantial playtime over here at headquarters. Speaking of getting in the game; Jesse Moore, the founding member and lead guitarist/vocalist of East Cameron, is also on the road in support of his brand new acoustic EP entitled Tall Tales and Modern Lies. The record was recorded in a single day, yet plays with the depth and magnitude of a full length record. As the title suggests, Moore paints pictures with his dynamic voice (from gruff growls to falsetto pleas) and shares the kind of embellishments that contain just enough truth to have you instantly fall in love, as his stories are our own. Fellow EC bandmate and git/trumpet player Blake Bernstein joins him on the road to increase the volume and warmth.
All the hype about WU LYF is warranted. Do yourself a favor and spend an hour with the kiddos from Manchester. Start here. They do their own videos, too. They're finally coming stateside as well--go tell it on the mountain.
I thoroughly enjoyed the violent thrash of Providence, Rhode Island's Tinsel Teeth at Death By Audio in Williamsburg earlier this month, too. The vocalist already had a black-eye before their set--I had also seen a photo online of her screaming topless, covered in blood and wearing a sizable strap-on. They didn't disappoint, tightly knotting Melvins-y doom into a Drive Like Jehu noose. My lady got blood on her white denim as little-Miss-sexpot terrorized the pit, gagging herself with the mic in between pelvic thrusts and a viral, sweaty crawl that left her face draped across the concrete floor, barely-covered ass in the air, screeching guttural fodder to the banging heads that circled. TOTALLY worth the $7. \m/
It looks like Danile Dumile is back. DOOM is my favorite emcee EVER (definitely one of GOATs) and recently performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival with the Robert Glasper Experiment. The Ghostface collaboration may also finally be released. You can pre-order the first single off the project now, titled DOOMSTARK, from Stones Throw and receive a limited edition DOOM Serato record. I just did.
And finally, if you haven't heard Action Bronson spit or watched one of his cooking videos on Youtube then you're just flat out uninformed when it comes to that on-the-cusp-of-hip-hop-greatness. Bronsolino is hilarious and polished and he can cook! Ghostface sound-alike or not, the tubby ginger raps tough for Flushing, Queens and he is most definitely on his shit. Standing in his own dookie as Spitta might say! Cop Dr. Lecter and get with the program. It's tasty.
You can catch me droppin' wax on Roosevelt Island next Saturday, too. SummerLoveTunes. 'Til next time, kiddos.