Last night, Atlanta-based god-hop emcee Sa-Roc dropped homemade visuals for "Queen's Philosophy," a song from her stellar Sol Messiah-produced LP Ether Warz, which has been garnering serious word-of-web traction - including 3,000 Facebook likes on her Bandcamp page - since the album's mid-December release. In fact, it's no longer available for free streaming on Bandcamp. To hear Ether Warz in its entirety, you'll have to grab a late pass and purchase it via her website now.
Here's why you should cop that if you haven't already: Sa-Roc is
arguably, no, easily one of the best lyricists out right now. No modifiers needed - not best Atlanta lyricist, or best female lyricist, or best conscious lyricist. Despite the fact that conscious rap has taken a huge hit over the last decade or so thanks to well-intentioned novice emcees who'd be of better service preaching behind a pulpit, Sa-Roc's method is straight-up microphone madness. With a message steeped in Five Percenter teachings, ancient kemetic wisdom, and metaphysical enlightenment, she can spit with the Gods. Yet she does so without coming off holier than thou. When she sat in on our female MCs roundtable last year, Sa-Roc, panel moderator Ms. Dia, and rest of the artists (Boog Brown, StaHHr, Lyric Jones, Khalilah Ali, Adrift Da Belle) talked about the need for lady emcees to carve out a space where they can be feminine without succumbing to rap's narrowly proscribed gender roles - i.e., the promiscuous ho or the manly dyke.
In the essay, Beats, Rhymes and Rap's Gender Gap, that resulted from that conversation, I used Nicki Minaj as the premise to talk about the need for an alternative to the hypersexualized industry standard. But in a recent essay of her own, titled "Why I'm Mad at Nicki Minaj," Sa-Roc breaks it down further, calling Minaj part of a self-hating racist agenda:
The Rinse has a new lineup in place and is playing its first show together this Thurs., March 29, at the Star Bar. To mark the occasion, the group is unveiling a series of improv recording sessions that have been fitted to themes based on the Major Arcana of the Tarot of the Old Path - Tarot cards. The First card to be pulled from the deck is XVIII: Illusion, and it brings with it a chance narrative, unlocking hidden doors in the music's droning ambiance.
Each song in the series will capture a moment of improvisation as it happens, taking advantage of the recording facilities at Living Room Studio where the group practices - rolling ones and zeros, capturing the off-the-cuff moments.
The Rinse plays the Star Bar on Thurs., March 29 with Social Studies, the Meeks Family, and solo sets by Frankie Broyles and Philip Frobos. Free. 9 p.m. 437 Moreland Ave. 404-681-9018.
Okay, so this idea sort of plays on the idea of a mixtape, or a demo kind of recording - you're dicking around in the studio and this is what you captured, kind of like a diary of what happened on a certain night.
Exactly. Since the band is rehearsing in The Living Room, we have the ability to capture some of the music we play between the songs we are rehearsing, and we figured we could release this for free.
How'd you came up with the idea to base it on the Tarot deck?
I'm no expert on the Tarot, but I'm told when it is used correctly it can mirror a region of the mind which would normally remain hidden. Since this music is improvisational, and we are just responding to sound stimuli around us, I thought the music could be related to the idea of the Tarot. Years ago, when I worked at Sevananda this woman gave me a set of Tarot cards and I've always loved the artwork, all the symbolism is very mysterious, and there a lot of hidden concepts within each one that you may not see the first time. So I thought, "Ok, well here's something I can use them for." Maybe that's why she gave them to me in the first place...
... Like maybe she had some knowledge about the future handed down to her, through the Tarot, about the future of your band and this project?
[Laughs] Maybe so ...
In the meantime, OFF!'s self-titled full-length is due out May 8 via Vice Records, and you can hear a new song here, called “King Kong Brigade” (click that that incredible Raymond Pettibon album cover for the download).
Yes, it sounds like OFF!, and they’ve peppered the classic punk charge with some experimental trim at the ends, which is quite a nice touch indeed.
Tickets for the show will be $29 (adv)/$35 (day of). 7 p.m. (all ages).
It must be odd to have the media constantly looking over your shoulder while you work. But I imagine Decatur Dan is used to it. Since allowing me and CL photog. Dustin Chambers to tag along while he shot the video for Future's "Magic" ft. T.I. at Magic City for last month's CL cover story, his work has been documented yet again. This time on MTV News, which brought its own camera crew to the warehouse set of fellow Atlantan 2 Chainz's "Riot" shoot last week. Already huge in clubs and on radio since it was previously released on his T.R.U. REALigion mixtape, the song will also serve as the first single for 2 Chainz's Def Jam debut, Based on a T.R.U. Story, due to drop Aug. 14, 2012.
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Mainstream rap video sets can be strange in general. There's usually a certain protocol the production crew follows based on the shoot schedule, but then there's also a social hierarchy that mostly goes unspoken. Video models tend to take priority, then major label artists making guest appearances, along with DJs in support of the artist, and finally the starring artist's own entourage. It's kind of the flip of real life, if you think about it. Everybody else is behind-the-scenes, whether big-name or no-name, invited or uninvited. When I bumped into a longtime hip-hop publicist on the set of "Magic" back in January, she leaned over at one point in the shoot and told me, "I just realized I don't like video shoots." It was understandable being that we were at a strip club. Though there were no strippers on stage there were two nude chicks painted in head-to-toe dayglo gyrating next to Future while he rapped for the camera. But it actually wasn't the awkwardness of watching wanton sexuality and vice simulated take-after-take that weirded her out, it was the spectators. "The egos are even more loaded here than they are in the club," she said.
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While there are some pretty great and funny interviews here (Zoroaster, Killer Mike, and the Max on the street bit kind of steals the show), there are some that aren't quite as much fun to watch, Washed Out being the least interesting of the batch. But that has less to do with Mr. Ernest Greene than it does with Downtown Julie Brown’s on-screen presence and technique.
The bottom line is Newmerica took 72 hours to produce nine videos on less than four-days notice. That’s something to brag about on the résumé!
Four hundred thirty-one. Number of days Edgewood rapper and Duct Tape label affiliate Trouble's been out of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Hence the name of his new mixtape, 431 Days, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut mixtape, December 17, so named for the day he was released from the pen in 2010.
Based on those titles alone, it would be fair to assume that Trouble relishes freedom. It's a safe assumption, especially on such standouts as the appropriately titled "Free" and "All I'm Worried About." But it doesn't mean he's above paying lyrical homage to the lifestyle that got him locked down inside that imposing big house, located at the dead end of Boulevard, in the first place. From the sounds of 431 Days, Trouble's still knee-deep, sometimes even wallowing in it. Figuratively-speaking, of course. He's certainly more interested in conveying his pain than gaining entry to Atlanta's bottle-poppin', celebrity trap-star set. He saves little room for pop radio fodder, even when acquiescing to an R&B hook, courtesy Verse Simmonds, on the down-ass-chick anthem "Would You?" And on the FKi-produced track custom-built for him to ball out — "Hustle & Ambition" ft. Gucci Mane — he talks about his preference for women who value good credit over Gucci shoes. This isn't fantasy rap; it's theme music for soldiers still surviving the nightmare with a heavy heart and a sober outlook. Trouble is so obsessed with staying true — to his people, his environment, his word — it's hard to imagine how he's made it past 431 Days. The fact that he has may prove he's driven by something beyond the trappings of rap fame.
Indeed, his come-up is best summed up with a question posed by mixtape host Bigga Rankin: "This last 431 days, my nigga, you've been blessed with a burden. You got the whole mob depending on you, my nigga. How does that weigh on your soul, man? How does that weigh on your soul?"
Download at livemixtapes.com. Tracklist and videos below the jump:
Aside from a stint with local improv group Motherfuckng Tourettes in the early 2000s, Bowman jumped around between groups, mostly as a jazz drummer playing in various ensembles with dozens of musicians.
In the words of a friend and frequent musical collaborator who wishes to remain unnamed, "Things I can say and will remember about John Bowman: Awkward hugs that somehow meant more than a standard greeting, some of the most wack-ed out drum beats that would make Elvin Jones cock his head to the side out of confusion, an incredible passion to know more... more... and more, and of course... respect."
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 30 at the Chapel of Cannon Cleveland Funeral Directors. The family will receive friends Thurs., March 29 from 6-8 p.m. at the Funeral Home. 770-914-1414.
"Venus" by Motherfucking Tourettes, from String Theory's The Theory of Everything: An Atlanta Compilation (2004).
Culture Shock Presents: 13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests. $15. 8 p.m. Sat., March 31. Atlanta Symphony Hall at Woodruff Art Center, 1280 Peachtree Street. 404-733-4900. www.high.org. Save stubs after the show to view the museum's "Picasso to Warhol" exhibit; Kai Alce spins.
*Christ, Lord sorry
"Punk" style like this seems like it is the polar opposite of punk. Bradford Cox…
They're kind of starting to look like a joke of themselves. Song's good though.
All 80s movies want you...
Their show with Chris, Lord about 3 years at the Unicorn was the best.
I am a connoisseur of this real soul music like the comment above I'm glad…