If you’d told me a few years ago that The Replacements OR Neutral Milk Hotel would be playing anywhere for any reason, I would have punched you in your damn face for lying so hard. But the new reality in 2014 is that both beloved bands are performing at the fall edition of Boston Calling Music Festival, to be held September 5-7 on City Hall Plaza. The spring edition is happening in May.
In addition, the festival will host The National, whose Aaron Dessner has contributed to the curation of prior incarnations of Boston Calling, as well as Lorde, Nas with The Roots, Childish Gambino, The 1975, Spoon, Girls Talk, Future Islands, Volcano Choir, Sky Ferriera, plus Boston’s own Lake Street Dive. AND MORE.
Learn more at the Boston Calling website. Watch the announcement video here:
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Neutral Milk Hotel Announce East Coast Tour Dates
Boston Calling Lineup To Include Tegan And Sara, Frank Turner, Brand New, & More
The National Announce North American Tour
The Replacements Reunite In Toronto
To have your idol praise a song you wrote about said idol is an accomplishment in itself, but J. Cole has taken it a step further this morning be recruiting the person he admires to appear on a track about letting that person down. It’s an interesting twist and a perfect way to start the new week.
“Let Nas Down” is one of the most discussed tracks off J. Cole’s new album Born Sinner. The track deals with the release of Cole’s debut album and rumors he heard through the grapevine that his childhood idol was no a fan of his radio-friendly single. That moment has haunted Cole, and on the track he describes his remorse for releasing the song. On the new remix, Nas replies and let’s Cole know he’s more proud of him now than ever before. It’s as close to a lyrical passing of the torch as we may ever see, so click below and enjoy the remix as soon as possible. (more…)
Nobody can talk about grassroots success like Canadian hip-hop artist Classified, who has been blazing his own independent trail since 1995. The emcee and producer has toured with the likes of Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, and Busta Rhymes, and has sold over 100,000 albums in Canada alone. Oh, and that awesome song in Madden ’12, “That Ain’t Classy?” Yeah, that was him. We sat down with one of the biggest names in Canadian hip-hop to chat about the Nova Scotian scene, his production styles, and his love/hate relationship with Kanye.
OS: What’s the Nova Scotian hip-hop scene like?
Classified: The scene is very Nova Scotian [laughs]. If you’re down here and you’re involved in the scene, you know what’s going on. You can go to the shows and check it out. But besides me and maybe two other guys, there aren’t many guys getting past just Nova Scotia to even the rest of Canada. We’re very secluded. We don’t get as many shows as they draw in Montreal or Vancouver. But it’s a dope scene. There’s been great artists coming out of here since ’95, when I started. People putting out albums, putting out their viral videos and stuff. It just still seems like a lot of people in the rest of the world haven’t been exposed to it because a lot of the artists aren’t pushing their stuff that hard. But really dope scene, great DJs, breakers, graff writers, emcees. (more…)
The first thing you have to know about TAMPPA is that he loves his hood. Born and raised in Brooklyn, the rapper considers the borough his muse. On Brownsville Grind, a nod to one of Brooklyn’s public housing projects, TAMPPA paints a picture of his hustle. The track is a soulful, brassy, hip-hop hot cooker with an intro by none other than Ludacris. TAMPPA’s got connections”his cousin is Anthony Cruz, a.k.a. the rapper and frequent Nas collaborator, AZ. As you can hear, talent runs in the family. TAMPPA’s tracks are filled with lyrical smart bombs. On Gotta Be More he talks about rising above his situation and chasing the dream, rapping, Like the late, great Michael, I gotta go thrill ˜em. By Fix Your Face he’s arrived. Over rattling textures and a fat bass line he proclaims, We are kings, and ghetto legends. All hail the next great MC of Kings County.
Bonus update. Tamppa has a personal message about his latest collaboration:
It shouldn’t be necessary to explain the importance of lyricism, historically speaking, in hip-hop. Sure, many could argue that, in today’s rap game, complex wordplay and internal rhyme schemes have taken a back seat to hashtaggable punchlines and atmospheric delivery. They’re basically right. But going back to the ’80s and ’90s, to the cultural conventions that helped birth hip-hop, what you said and how you said it was of upmost importance. So what happens in hip-hop when your words aren’t your own?
Writer dream hampton is deeply ingrained within the New York City hip-hop community. She’s hobnobbed with emcees, producers, and musicians for most of her professional writing career. And not for nothing, but she’s pretty good friends with Jay-Z. Hampton is so close with the second richest man in hip-hop that she co-wrote his quasi-autobiography Decoded in 2010. She’s also written with Q-Tip and filmed Notorious B.I.G. for a project she worked on during her days as a student at NYU. It is safe to say that she is a voice of authority in the hip-hop community. So imagine the fuss she caused when she tweeted a rather incendiary assertion.
In response to a message regarding Jay-Z’s perceived image concerns and rapper Nas‘ 2008 album Untitled, hampton wrote, “I think Jay writes what he believes. Nas’ “Nigger” album was largely written by [stic.man] of dead prez and Jay Electronica.”
Life Is Good, his tenth studio album is full of examples of why Nas is regarded as one of the greatest emcees of all time. His unrivaled knack for storytelling paints pictures in the way that only he can, making the Queensborough native an essential and integral piece of hip-hop’s fabric. Honest portrayals of his own life force fans to examine their own outlooks, and fills in holes left by the two decades of tabloid snippets he’s endured as a rap superstar.
A bitter divorce from Kelis in 2009 and an ongoing tax problem with the IRS left fans fearing he had fallen off for good. Luckily, Nas has rebounded in a big way with his latest release; and managed to clear up some controversy in the meantime. Even the album’s cover tackles his most trying momentshead on; as he appears in a white suit with his ex-wife’s wedding dress strewn across his lap.
Debuting at No. 1, Life Is Good sold 149,000 copies in its first week, which surpassed its initial projections. Fans and critics have applauded the 58-minute album as one of his best; and acknowledge the raw, revealing lyricism that permeates the project have been sorely missed during his four-year hiatus.
Right away, it’s obvious that Nas is going there. And he does. The tales you hear is the truth on me/Who wasn’t the most faithful husband/Reveal my life, you’ll forgive me/You will love me, hate me, judge me, relate to me.”
Singles like Daughters and Bye Baby tug at the heartstrings with introspective lyrics on fatherhood, love, and heartbreak. With equal conviction, tracks like No Introduction and The Don (produced by the late Heavy D) remind us that even at 40, Nas ain’t no punk.
He seems to have found his sweet spot when it comes to production on this album. Aside from a few cameos by the likes of Swizz Beatz and Rick Ross, the sound is much more classic, controlled, and appropriate for the heavy lines contained by smooth beats from veterans like No I.D., Saleem Reed, and Large Professor. While there aren’t too many collaborations on this album, he did make room for the track “Cherry Wine”, which features fallen favorite Amy Winehouse .
In his twenty-year career, Nas has managed to stay relevant and real, no easy fete in the world of hip-hop. He has delivered an album as powerful as his groundbreaking, 1994 debut, Illmatic; and as impactful as his 2008 offering, Untitled.
Now that he has reclaimed his rightful spot on top of the rap charts, there’s no telling what’s next for Nas.
One week after his groundbreaking admission that he is gay, Frank Ocean is making headlines for a different reason. HDD predicts he’ll move more than 125,000 copies of his Def Jam debut in its first week out based on digital album sales alone. Thealbum, Channel Orange hits stores (sans Target) today.
Jermaine Dupri posted an open letter on his website last week, When I saw the # that Frank Ocean is suppose to hit next week, I got extremely Happy, I said I need to get in my car and and listen to this album, by the time I got to Sweet Life I was even more happy, finally!! a RnB album that’s hip, without having the same 5 rappers on every song¦ I actually hope he hits 200k, for the sake of RnB, it’s in the worst position it’s ever been since I started making music, The Record company’s don’t believe in it, Radio won’t play it if it don’t have a rapper, and a majority of the artist that are labeled RnB, are confused and lost, so I repeat, I hope Ocean sells more than the 125k that he’s on pace for, maybe these executives u’ll wake the fuck up, or at least try to copy what he’s doing, like they always do, by the way, the end of Pyramids jammin like a mufucka.