Tag Archives: hip hop

Mos Def Performs Billie Jean in Chicago

mos%20def%2001

Recorded at the House of Blues here in Chicago a few days back.  It’s Mos Def, and his homage to the gloved one:  a fresh interpretation of “Billie Jean”.  Somehow, it works.  Invention isn’t dead, after all. Jive on!

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Another Beautiful Struggle

the-beautiful-struggle-198x300“We took comfort in the rebel music that was pumped into the city from up North. Hip-Hop was the rumble of our generation, unveiling all our wants, fears, and disaffections. But as the fabled year of ’88 came upon us, we saw something more in the music, a deeper thing that interrogated our random lives and made us self-aware. We needed 1988, like the mariners of old needed the North Star. I needed a text for understanding my present crack-addled world; Bill needed some conception of a future.”

— from The Beautiful Stuggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ autobiographical ode to black manhood (and the struggle to reach it and to cultivate it) is the premise for The Beautiful Struggle (Random House, 2008), a title hip-hop heads might recognize from a 2004 Talib Kweli album.  The album popularized a phrase from a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech, in which he stated:

“We must move past indecision to action. Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response.”

In the Beautiful Struggle, Coates’ father is larger than life, both Black Panther & Vietnam vet, publisher and cultural historian, trying to raise up seven children in an era when crack created a desert tooled for the destuction of a whole generation.  A book that is both a love note to hip hop, a battle cry, and a tale of rising up, A Beautiful Struggle is beautiful to be sure.


Into Africa: 1 to check out… Les Nubians at Green Dolphin Street

The world-renowned French-Cameroonian sisters will be in Chicago this Thursday, ready to share their fusion of traditional African rhythms, jazz, and future-sonic soul.  Not to be missed.lesnubians

Start Time:
Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 9:00pm
   
Location:
Green Dolphin Street
Street:
2200 N Ashland Ave
City/Town:
Chicago, IL

http://www.lesnubians.com

$25 Adv. $30 DOS
(Brown Paper Tickets)
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/69712

Hosted by WHPK’s Mario

In collaboration with:
HotHouse | hothouse.net
Swank Society | swanksociety.com
Arte y Vida Chicago | arteyvidachicago.com
Ratio Nation | rationation.com


Maybe the oldest rap music you’ll ever hear…

Cadillac Jack by Andre Williams

Andre Williams rapping about the Southside of Chicago with doo-wop backing by the Dells back in 1968.  Produced by Charles Stepney. Local Chicago Chess Records magic. Dig it.


Laura’s Song from Donwill (of Tanya Morgan)

icedteaFrom the forthcoming album, “John Cusack in High Fidelity Music” (that cult-classic film shot in Chicago, starring Chicago Native Cusack).  Production by Astronote.  Grab a glass of Iced Tea and sit yourself down on the porch for this one…


The Equalizer is Here…

shala2Chicago-based Shala’s music is afro-punk/hip-hop/electro/freshness (and you can experience it tonight)…

For the uninitiated, here’s a link to a sampling:

get-yur Shala.-here

Equalizer presents Shala. at Darkroom

also featuring:
Nikki Lynette
mathpanda
Doc Wattson
and resident
DJ LA*Jesus

Friday, February 27, 2009 at 9:00pm – 2:00am

Location: Darkroom

Street: 2210 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL

Below is Shala. with his former group, Qualo, on CNN in 2007

talking about the anti-rap billboard campaign. Deep.  Real deep.


New (Hip-Hop) America at the MCA

chang-and-bamuthi-mca

Coming this Saturday, a conversation about how hip-hop is influencing media and culture on every level, and whether that’s always a good thing…

New America: Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Jeff Chang in conversation

Saturday, February 28, 2009, 2 pm

MCA Theater
$10, $8 members, $6 students
$6 with performance ticket for the break/s – the break/s ticket-holders must reserve tickets in advance for the talk.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph, leading poet and performer, and renowned writer Jeff Chang, come together for a public conversation about their own creative trajectories and the power of hip-hop to reshape the American and global cultural landscape at this historic moment in US politics. Drawing from their own experiences working for change through youth and community organizing, media justice, culture, the arts, and hip-hop activism, they discuss how a new understanding of American culture is both possible and necessary. Stephanie Shonekan, Black World Studies Director at Columbia College, facilitates this dialogue.

The MCA is presenting Bamuthi’s multimedia performance the break/s: a mixtape for the stage from March 26-28, 2009. This highly personal multimedia excursion across planet hip-hop draws inspiration from Bamuthi’s artistic coming-of-age at the time of hip-hop globalization, and from Chang’s seminal book Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611-2643

Box Office Telephone: 312.397.4010


Hip Hop’s Gospel Roots

primeridianTwo genres that Chicago artists have left their indelible mark on,

Gospel & Hip-Hop, were highlighted in this Sunday’s Chicago Sun-Times, with a feature profile of Simeon Viltz from The Primeridian:

From Sunday’s Sun-Times:

February 22, 2009

Like heavenly clouds, snippets of hip-hop rise from gospel music.

“Simeon Viltz, who goes by Simeon, is half of the popular Chicago hip-hop duo the Primeridian. His partner Race (a k a Darshon Gibbs) is formerly with the Late Show, a group from the Common camp. Their soulful music addresses contemporary ideals through a historical lens while providing positive inspiration.

Simeon, 34, also plays keyboard, vibes and trumpet. He has studied the blend of jubilee gospel and hip-hop.

“Rhythmically, a lot of the pioneers of rap were the pastors,” said Simeon, 34, also a teacher at the Digital Youth Network (for laptop/media usage) in Hyde Park. “There was a certain drawl and cadence they had in their sermon. With the words in their sermons they were basically rapping. Then the pianist or the organist or the drummer would be in synch. That’s what I heard early on.”




The Break/s: a mixtape for the stage

bamuthithe break/s: a mixtape for the stage

Marc Bamuthi Joseph

March 26th thru March 28th at the Museum of Contemporary Art

I am really looking forward to this.

NOTE: If you haven’t read Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation by Jeff Chang…..do.

from the MCA website:

“Poet and performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph conveys the history of the hip-hop generation through his own personal coming-of-age story using verse, dance, and film in this dramatic multimedia performance, a “mixtape for the stage.” Joseph collaborates with award-winning author Jeff Chang, whose book Can’t Stop Won’t Stop captures the creation of the hip-hop culture as a local, political, and artistic movement. To embrace the power of improvisation, the sound score and visual projections are mixed in the moment by a DJ and a beatboxer.

Tickets $25, MCA members $20
Buy Tickets Online
or call the MCA Box Office, 312.397.4010


krylon-blackalso coming (sooner):
New America: Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Jeff Chang in conversation
Saturday, February 28, 2009, 2 pm
MCA Theater
$10, $8 members, $6 students
$6 with performance ticket for the break/s – the break/s ticket-holders must reserve tickets in advance for the talk.

from the MCA Site: 

“Marc Bamuthi Joseph, leading poet and performer, and renowned writer Jeff Chang, come together for a public conversation about their own creative trajectories and the power of hip-hop to reshape the American and global cultural landscape at this historic moment in US politics. Drawing from their own experiences working for change through youth and community organizing, media justice, culture, the arts, and hip-hop activism, they discuss how a new understanding of American culture is both possible and necessary. Stephanie Shonekan, Black World Studies Director at Columbia College, facilitates this dialogue.”

Illustration above,  Austin Auandee