Masta Ace is making 'A Breukelen Story' all about Marco Polo… • Word Is Bond

Masta Ace & Marco Polo is teaming up to bring you A Breukelen Story, where the concept for the album is about the Canadian’s move to Brooklyn from Toronto – back in the early 2000s.

For their introduction to the album, the duo linked up with Boot Camp Clik’s own Smif-N-Wessun – who comes in on the hook for the song, ‘Brooklyn’. In an interview with Complex, Ace says it’s a tribute in a positive way to his hometown.

“This song is an ode to my birthplace…. Brooklyn… originally named Breukelen after the city in Holland… the video depicts the beauty and essence of my city and Director Parris Stewart captures it perfectly!”

‘Breukelen’ is ‘Brooklyn’ in Dutch. The Dutch settled in the town and gave it the name (similar to the name of the town in Holland) in the 17th century.

This isnt the first time we’ve seen Ace and Polo link up to do music. Ace appeared on Polo’s ‘Nostalgia’ track (in which the video was shot in Brooklyn) from his 2007’s Port Authority album, and in 2011 they did a song called I Refuse (feat. eMC partner Wordsworth) for Russell Peters’ stand up comedy gig on DVD.

The album is set for a November 9th release on Fat Beats, which you can now pre-order. Tracklisting below.

1. Kings
2. Dad’s Talk (Skit)
3. Breukelen “Brooklyn” feat. Smif-N-Wessun
4. Get Shot
5. Still Love Her feat. Pearl Gates
6. Man Law feat. Styles P
7. You & I
8. Gotta Go (Skit)
9. Sunken Place feat. Pav Bundy
10. Corporal Punishment feat. Elzhi
11. Landlord Of The Flies (Skit)
12. Count Em Up feat. Lil Fame
13. American Me
14. The Cutting Room (Skit)
15. God Bodies feat. Trini Boy
16. Wanna Be f. Marlon Craft
17. Three feat. eMC
18. The Fight Song feat. Pharoahe Monch
19. Mom’s Talk (Skit)

 

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There is a Jean-Michel Basquiat musical in the works… • Word Is Bond

A Broadway music focused on the life and works of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century is currently in production by Jon Batiste. Batiste, who’s currently the bandleader & musical director for the Late Show With Stephen Colbert, will be showcasing the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1980s New York – from the time he started writing graffiti to the time he became an inspiring figure post-pop art before his works changed the game in the art world.

According to producers Alan D. Marks & Barbara Marks, the show’s development team will be working closely with the Basquiat Estate, and has secured the rights to his artwork and personal archives.  Set Tony winner John Doyle will be the director of the piece.

“Over the years, many people have approached us about telling our brother’s story on stage, but having discussed this project with the Marks over many months, our interest was piqued once we understood that their approach to telling our brother’s story treats his life, his art and his legacy with respect and passion,” said Basquiat’s sisters Lisane and Jeanine in a statement. “With Jon Batiste and John Doyle leading the creative team, we are thrilled with the possibilities. We cannot wait to begin the developmental process. Broadway is a new world for us, and we looking forward to sharing our brother’s life and art.”

So far, according to OKP, the crew got Motown’s own Eric LaJuan Summers to play the prolific artist.

Basquiat started writing as SAMO with another member in the LES in the late 70s. In the early 80s, his career catapulted to various heights with doing tv appearances and being featured in Blondie’s ‘Rapture‘ video (instead of Grandmaster Flash), doing collaborations with Andy Warhol, having his very first art show with Lee Quinones (The Time Square Show) and then having his work shown internationally in Italy, and plenty more.

His work uses ‘suggestive dichotomies’ like wealth/poverty, intergration/segregation, inner vs outer experience, with social commentary in the pieces to address issues like racism, politics, class struggle, etc.

As reflected in JAY Z & Skyzoo‘s works, Basquiat’s work has managed to have influenced hiphop music. As Detroit’s beatsmith Apollo Brown tells XXL in regards to the song, ‘Basquiat On The Draw’ from the 2016 collabo with Sky on The Easy Truth:

“Jean Michel stayed absolutely true to himself. Just like us, he made the type of art he wanted to make, even if it was the less popular choice at the time. Look at the impact of his work now though! There’s always a niche audience for what you create, and always a group of people who understand your vision. We, as hip hop artists prove this everyday.”

The first reading of the forthcoming production is scheduled for June 24th 2019.

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Mello Music Group to celebrate ten years with 'special' re-releases • Word Is Bond

Over the course of 2018-2019, to celebrate their upcoming tenth anniversary, Mello Music Group will be releasing special Audiophile Editions of their classic titles. The Mello Signature Series will be pressed on double LPs, limited to 300 copies of each title, on 180 gram black vinyl, with special gatefold packaging, including liner note stories from Mello about the creation of each title. Available exclusively at Fat Beats.

Limited to 300 copies of each title, on 180 gram black vinyl, with special gatefold packaging, including liner note stories from Mello Music Group about the creation of each title.

So for the first release, they’ll be unleashing Diamond District‘s (Oddisee, X.O., yU) 2009 release of the In The Ruff album, which is scheduled for a 11/9 release, but pre-order is now available.

In 2009 Mello Music Group had released just four records (101, Mental Liberation, New Money, and Black & Read All Over). Diamond District “In The Ruff” was the fifth record and the first to garner national attention. It was the moment we felt like a bonafide record label.

Oddisee had crafted a brilliant group album that was timely in multiple ways: a DMV album riding the appeal of HBO’s The Wire that had just concluded its fifth and final season; giving the album away free first in a time when people still looked at you funny for even having a free song; and touching on the nostalgia for golden era Pete Rock, Marley Marl style sounds and Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul styled groups. The record was an indie hit. “Streets Won’t Let Me Chill”, “Who I Be”, and “I Mean Business” all struck chords as singles, but the album itself was a complete front to back masterpiece helmed by Oddisee who produced, arranged, mixed, mastered, and rapped on the whole thing. yU offered philosopher king’s poetry to the album, while Uptown XO brought the street sensibility to the project. iTunes named it to their best rap of 2009 list. NPR included the vinyl on their best of 2009 along with calling the trio a DC Supergroup. In a time of Blog Supremacy, OkayPlayer, 2DopeBoyz, NahRight, and Potholes In My Blog pegged the record as a best of. For myself, a Little Brother mega-fan, Phonte’s praise rang loudest.

The entire music world felt open after “In The Ruff” laid a concrete foundation for Oddisee and Mello Music. The new audiophile edition of course made sense to do with Fat Beats who put out the original vinyl edition with us. The cover art from J. William Washington, aka Brutha Brub is as iconic today as it was then, highlighting the DMV (Maryland, DC, Virginia) map that shaped the album’s sensibility and sound. After almost a decade of being out of print, we are excited to present the new 180g audiophile edition as part of the Mello Signature Series.

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Black Moon's 'Enta Da Stage' 25th Anniversary Show at SOBs! • Word Is Bond

In the words on DJ Evil Dee (linear notes):

“This album was done on blunted terms. Anyone who is offended by the contents of the album, FUCK YOU. Nuff said.”

In the 90s, Black Moon was basically EVERYTHING hiphop fans wanted to be like.

The idea of having huge crews in your music videos was something unheard of until Black Moon stepped on the scene. Despite the main people involved can be at least 3-5 on average, you wouldn’t have known that especially when you see at least 20-30 heads in one music video. The west coast artists wasn’t doing that in music videos at the time.

Black Moon’s debut album Enta Da Stage will be turning 25 on the 19th of this month. To celebrate their quarter-century-old album, they’re having a celebration over at SOBs in New York, with the help from Move Forward Music & Funk Flex on the decks. Tickets are now available for purchase.

This album alone introduced to the world the Boot Camp Clik.

It also did a lot for Buckshot, 5ft, and DJ Evil Dee – who saw their early beginnings in high school. They eventually linked up with Mr. Walt and dropped this album on Nervous Recordings in ’92 (Walt & Dee are brothers who became infamous on the production as Da Beatminerz). First single came from this album was ‘Who Got Da Props?’ All the while, Buckshot was trying to get people to take him seriously as a manager at the age of 18 – under being 5’6. He met Dru Ha at the label and the two formed a management company called ‘Duck Down Management’ – which later became Duck Down Records. For Buckshot, it was a really hard time for him personally.

When they dropped the video for the single in late ’92, what was to follow in the later years was unexpected: the fashion sense of dressing in baggy clothes and the 6″ boots; the idea of having more than 15 people as a part of your crew in your music videos (as stated above), the grittiness in the rhymes – especially the location of the music videos to match, the overlaying of jazz samples and production being dark (thanks to DJ Evil Dee) and – the term ‘backpack rap’. In this video, Buckshot, 5ft, and a few others are the more notables that are wearing them while wildin’ out.

“Booming like a speaker with my 100 dollar sneakers
Baggy black jeans, knapsack, and my beeper…”

They’ve dropped four singles, but two of them have been came hits – Who Got Da Props? and ‘I Got Cha Opin’ (remix). The remix itself was given life with a video (above), new lyrics, and new music – everything that the original didn’t have.

That changed in 2013 when Eminem remade the original, titling it Don‘t Front. It was him paying homage to the crew that showed him love during his early beginnings, which in turn let the world know who he would’ve signed to if he didn’t sign with Dre.

According to AllMusic‘s Vincent Thomas (at the time), this album played a huge role in re-emergence of NY street hiphop, setting the precedence for the west coast dominance to end.

“It set the tone for much of the hip hop to follow. Biggie Smalls suicidal thoughts and Noreaga’s boisterous thuggery both have their roots here. The album marked a turning point in hip hop.”

Even though the album was huge in popularity, the sales unfortunately didnt match, selling a little over 350,000 copies. Despite that fact, it’s still one of the most prominent hiphop albums of today’s time, again – opening up avenues to albums like Nas’s Illmatic, Wu-Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers, Biggie’s Ready To Die, Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, (and so forth) to ‘enta da stage’.

Congratulations to the crew that heavily influenced NY rap in the 90s, and happy 25th!

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Tupac Shakur's Estate Awarded Unreleased Music & Royalties • Word Is Bond

The estate of the late Tupac Shakur has recently settled a five-year-lawsuit with Entertainment One (eOne) – who purchased Death Row Records a few years back.

According to TMZ, the estate has filed documents earlier this week stating that the two sides came to agreement to settle. Sources that knew about the deal made known that there was a six-figure payout made that will go to the estate, and that there’s a bunch of unreleased music from Pac that will be given to them.

The music that will be given to the estate will include more than enough master recordings for at least two albums, and probably enough music for at least three albums.

‘Pac’s mother, Afeni Shakur sued Death Row back in 2013 over royalties owed to the late rapper. At the time, according to her, she was owed seven figures. When she passed away in 2016, her lawyers took over the lawsuit.

As of yet it is unknown when all of this is supposed to take place.

 

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Mac Miller tribute concert taking place on Halloween in Los Angeles • Word Is Bond

An all-star cast will pay tribute to the late Mac Miller at the end of the month at the Greek Theatre. The cast will include those who Miller collaborated with in music, friends, and associates in music.

The “Mac Miller: A Celebration of Life” concert will feature acts like Anderson .Paak, Thundercat, Childish Gambino, Travis Scott, Vince Staples, and more. They will help bring the house down on Halloween night, while assisting with the launch of the Mac Miller Circles Fund (MMCF).

Miller passed away last month from a drug overdose. He has struggled with substance abuse in the past, and even spoke about it in his music. For example, in his song Self Care’ from his newest album, Swimming, Miller referenced his DUI and arrest back in May, ‘That Mercedes drove me crazy, I was speedin’ / Somebody save me from myself, yeah / Tell them they can take that bullsh– elsewhere / Self care, we gonna be good / Hell yeah, they lettin’ me go.’ In the music video for the same song, he carved the words ‘Memento mori’ into a lid of a coffin – which in latin means ‘remember you have to die’.

Miller was set to go on a 26-day tour towards the end of this month in San Francisco, but that got cancelled following his unexpected death.

Tickets for the tribute concert started selling today via MMCF.



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Pharoahe Monch: New Album, Organized Konfusion, & more… • Word Is Bond

We were late on this, but better late than never, right?

It’s been a little over four years since we’ve had a full length album from Pharoahe Monch. We’ve seen him go overseas back in March, then dropped a verse over the summer on a Wu remix track called ‘Pearl Harbor’ (s/o AFH) – so the great thing is he’s staying busy. Fans have been wondering when he’s going to drop another album, and thanks to the interview he did with Take It Personal Radio, we have information on what the album will sound like.

“It’s pretty insane. I’m looking at the collective of records, and I’m thinking it’s one of my best projects ever,” Monch says to DJ Philaflava and Kevlar, with DJ 360 taking full control on the music-side of things with his tribute. “It’s the hardest project ever.”

“It’s the darkest project ever, and it’s the hardest,” Monch continues. “The bars are somewhere in between Extinction Agenda (Stress) and Internal Affairs.”

According to Monch, this album is something he’s been wanting to work on for eight years. He’s letting Lee Stone take full control of production duties – which goes back to his IA days. Nottz has production on the album already. Details include that there will be songs on there that doesn’t have choruses and it’s bar-heavy.

But there’s something about this album that most fans will find somewhat shocking – it will be heavy rock-influenced. Monch grew up being a major fan of rock & roll music.

“I’m a huge (Led) Zepplin fan, but I would say that the record will feel a little more like (Black) Sabbath,” Monch says.

Aside from news about another album, the question came up about whether or not he and Prince Po will get back in the studio and make another album as Organized Konfusion. The last time they’ve linked up as OK was for Marco Polo’s 2013 joint, ‘3-0-Clock‘.

“I just sent him (Po) a beat that he loves… that’s where we’re at with it right now,” Monch says. “It just gotta be super organic. As long as it’s that, I don’t care what the vibe is…” 

Check out the soundcloud below. The interview starts a little after the 1:16:00 mark. The interview details everything – everything that a fan wants to know. This is a no-holds- barred interview, as well as an astounding tribute mix put together by 360.



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Little Brother reunited at Art Of Cool festival over the weekend… • Word Is Bond

For their first time in almost 10 years, Little Brother got back together for one night at the Art Of Cool‘s 5th festival event in Durham, North Carolina.

According to the city’s twitter page, they managed to make the reunion happen a few hours before the show. Initially, 9th Wonder was the only member out of the trio that was on the bill (95 Live w/DJ Spinderella), but no one expected Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte to appear as special guests.

The group hasn’t released anything since Leftback in 2010 (sans 9th), and (as a trio), Getback since 2007 – which the world saw Pooh and Phonte part ways from their longtime producer.

Phonte has been the only person that spoke on the possibility of an LB reunion in the past. Speaking with Andreas Hale back in March, he wasn’t for it at first, but when the passing of Phife Dawg happened – and witnessing The Revolution reunite for a show in Minneapolis ( w/o Prince [RIP]), he then reconsidered it while reflecting on the idea in a separate interview during The Combat Jack Show.

“There’s one thing to say that I have the option to not do this,” said Phonte. “I can either take it or leave it,” he said. “It’s another thing when that option no longer exists. So, it definitely made me think a lot about wanting, if nothing else, to just put a period at the end of the sentence, to end it properly.”

There’s no new update on what this surprise will mean going forward for them.



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Lauryn Hill responds to Robert Glasper's 'stolen' comments • Word Is Bond

Lauryn Hill responds to Robert Glasper’s comments that she stole music from ‘The Miseducation…’, a claim that were made on Houston’s 97.9 The Box a few weeks back with a statement. She wanted to respond right after her debut solo album’s 20th anniversary date passed.

In the statement, she addresses a number of things, such what it was like for her to work with new musicians, Robert Glasper, old rumors, and her live performances.

“-The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees who’s report and working relationship was clear. In an effort to create the same level of comfort, I may not have established the necessary boundaries and may have been more inviting than I should have been. In hindsight, I would have handled it differently for the removal of any confusion …  I may have been inclusive, but these are my songs.”

She goes on to address Glasper..

“-I’m confused as to why such a principled musician, who thought I ‘stole’ from his friends, would show up to work for me anyway. If that was hypocrisy or opportunism instead of genuine interest, it would further explain why an artist would feel the need to put his or her guard up.”

“Who are you to say I didn’t do enough? Most people are probably just hearing your name for the first time because you dropped MINE in an interview, controversially. Taking nothing away from your talent, but this is a fact.”

A couple of weeks back Glasper appeared on Houston’s 97.9 The Box and spoke on a concert he was going to be a part of with another artist. Towards the end of the interview (around the 30 min. mark), Glasper spoke about his career taking a turn in 2005 (when he got signed to a label) and he had denied his service to a number of artists – one of them happened to be Hill.

The interview continues to go on with Glasper talking about his experiences in dealing with her. He goes on explaining how some of his friends got their music stolen from her.

A great number of people who were following this story on twitter didn’t know this happened –  which caught so many people off guard.

Glasper’s reference was in regards to a 1998 federal lawsuit against Hill, her management, and the label by the band called New Ark, who says she “failed to properly credit them for their work.” After a nearly 3-year battle, they’ve settled out of court, with New Ark walking away with $5M.

In celebrating her album’s 20 year mark, she performed on a number of dates that were scheduled. Back in July, she cancelled a number of shows right after fans in Toronto were disappointed with her 45-minute set after arriving to perform late, according to Exclaim.

Tour dates are still ongoing.



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DJ Muggs Announces New Album, releases single with MF DOOM & Freddie Gibbs • Word Is Bond

DJ Muggs has just announced a new album called ‘Assassination Day’, which is scheduled to be released August 3rd through his Soul Assassins imprint. The album itself will feature a “chapter” concept with a number of emcees.

For example, MF DOOM has a two-song “chapter” with one of the collaborative tracks featuring Freddie Gibbs (as the first single, which you could hear below). This “chapter” of the MUGGSxDOOM concept will be released next Friday, June 29th. You can already pre-order the vinyl now.

According to Madlib’s website, Assassination Day “is a thematic album with a vigilante concept where hip-hop takes corruption head-on, figuratively killing off powerful evildoers in positions of power as the story unfolds.”

Soul Assassins Records will be releasing a limited vinyl of 1000 pressings (already being sold on the website) of the two-song project between Muggs & DOOM. A portion of that (300 copies) will be distributed with colored vinyl packages and will include an exclusive Kool G Rap’s remix of “Corona” and also two unreleased instrumentals by Muggs.

In addition to this, there will be 300 handmade copies that will be sold on Rappcats, packaged in five unique screen-printed jackets. The other 300 will be sold in Europe via HHV. The last 100 will be sold at a pop-up event at Rappcats HQ in Los Angeles (Highland Park) next Saturday, June 30th. The event is free, and it’s from noon-6PM, so be sure to arrive early!

Listen to the song ‘Deathwish’ below. Also, check out the preview to the animated video, which will be out Tuesday.



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