About halfway through the industry listening session for 2 Chainz' highly anticipated Def Jam debut Based On a T.R.U. Story, it dawned on the Atlanta rapper that with all the bloggers aiming digital cameras and boom mics at him, his private listening party wouldn't be private for long. So he did what any artist would who, after a year and a half of self-made mixtape buzz and star-turning cameos alongside the likes of Kanye West, Drake, and Nicki Minaj, finally hopes to capitalize come next Tuesday's release date.
He stopped the music.
"I really like that song, too, but I don't want it to be out before the album comes out," he said from the sound stage inside a hot shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at Tree Sounds Studios. "I thought we were just going to chill. [Y'all] in here tryna make money."
It speaks to the stellar year the artist formerly known as Tity Boi has had that the studio located on Peachtree Industrial was packed with tastemakers, writers, photogs, DJs, collaborators, and well-wishers including B.o.B and Killer Mike. Atlanta was there to show love, but also to witness the culmination of what's amounted to an inspiring reinvention on 2 Chainz' part — one that's earned him shout-outs from the likes of Forbes along the way.
After a few formalities — including the presentation of his first gold plaque for "No Lie," his current No. 1 hit with Drake — 2 Chainz got down to business. The first song he played from the album was "Yuck," a track full of chonky beats, featuring Lil Wayne.
"My daughter always says "Yuck, daddy," 2 Chainz said, explaining the title. "Plus, it's so nasty."
Thursday was a celebration of charity and art on behalf of the Big Kidz Foundation, the philanthropic vision of Outkast's Antwon "Big Boi" Patton. The awards ceremony bestowed "Champions of the Arts" honors on Tony Award winner Hinton Battle, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the architect of P-Funk himself George Clinton.
In a press briefing earlier in the night Clinton spoke of his love for dubstep or what he claimed to be "that doo-doo." He went on to explain "that doo-doo" as the music old folks and parents just can't stand. After prompting him to give me the doo-doo face, he provided the funk face shown above.
See more photos from the event below the jump....
Nicki Minaj brought her Barbed-out pop/rap blend to Atlanta last night, where she was joined onstage by the A's own 2 Chainz for their hit, "Beez in the Trap."
You’ve seen it all before. Think Tom Green, Andy Milonakis, hell Gallagher. Add a little more melanin and you’ll get Eric Andre, one of comedy’s newest wild men. Andre and his comedic co-pilot, Hannibal Buress, wrecked the Earl with shtick from their Adult Swim late-night talk show satire.
Last night’s show pretty much pulled out all the tricks in the Eric Andre repertoire: foolish prank video clips, gross-out food throwing, semi-nudity and the possibility of surprise guests (or random weirdos) for extra guffaws. Where the pioneering Dave Chappelle once walked away from his Comedy Central series for a perceived lack of standards, Andre is unafraid to have his ass handed to him — literally offering it up for inspection as he tore up the set in a red-banded jock strap. He proceeded to douse the crowd with condiments, beer and God knows what else. It’s all fun and games until you have to scoop mayo out of your cleavage and resist gagging from the lingering odors. The wild gimmickry made it apparent that some of the most original comedy of the night came from local opener, Rob Haze, with a hilarious bit about Fifty Shades of Grey being featured on the PBS kids classic, "Reading Rainbow."
As guests filed into the space that once housed the original Velvet Room, free Coors beverages flowed from both bars. Lyrics from Charlotte competitors, Felony Fame and Eddie Blaze appeared on large screens above the VIP areas. The random words, rife with clichés, like "shinin' like a diamond" were sanitized with long dashes in place of profanity, making them look more like ad copy from clueless marketers than legitimate verbal daggers from hungry MCs.
After a good mix and mingle hour, Ice Cube, the only rapper to go from O.G. to PG and back again, hosted the evening stepping onto the stage with his trademark call, "Yay-ee-yay." Cube introduced the two ATL transplant competitors: Long Island, NY native Jay R Da Star, and beauty pageant contestant/singer/rapper, Lois Lane, from Louisville, Ky.
The battle consisted of three rounds: a verse on life in Atlanta, 16 bars on why they're the "coldest," and a performance of an original song. Neither of them said anything memorable. Their ready for TV good looks made them appear as though they should have been performing together like Drake and Rihanna, instead of battling.
In an interesting bit of irony, Ice Cube's "Do Ya Thang" from his Raw Footage album, contains a line where he says, "I forgot this hoe's name/I'll call her Lois Lane."
Cube wasn't calling anyone names, but those words summarized the nondescript style of the battle portion of the show. The two got some applause, but there was no fire like what I've seen in shows past - including a similar competition held by Red Bull, or even the impromptu cyphers of A3C.
Last night Goodie Mob unveiled its first single "Fight To Win," from forthcoming reunion album We Sell Drugs Too, on Cee Lo's day job, "The Voice."
They wore gold-plated armor and
gold glowstick teeth. Adam Levine seemed to enjoy it. Either that or he was forced to fake-smile through the whole thing as the camera kept cutting to him for reaction shots. But the real verdict? It sounded triumphant and vainglorious, with a lot of arena rock guitar blasts and wailing motivational lyrics from Cee Lo. But where was the rest of Goodie Mob? Sure, T-Mo, Gipp, and Khujo were on stage (couldn't miss 'em in those gold-plated tin man outfits. just sayin'), and they seemed to each take their turns at the front of the stage. But maybe their mics weren't up loud enough? Or their individual parts just weren't long enough? Whatever the case, they almost came off as background ornaments next to Cee Lo's lead role. It confirmed my worst fear about Goodie Mob's much-anticipated reunion: That Cee Lo's mainstream appeal acquired over the last five years might hurt Goodie Mob more than help it.
But it's too early to tell. Right? And this was just one song. Right? They just had to break off a palatable chunk for Middle America. Right? While Cee Lo's always been the primary figure, the sage surrounded by street prophets, in Goodie Mob - even when the rest of the members weren't necessarily in agreement with that - Goodie Mob was always at its best when all four members found that harmonious blend. Anything less than that would be unholy.
That said, I still CAN'T WAIT for this album.
"Fight to Win" is available now on iTunes.
As former residents of Le Castle Vania's Fuck Yesss parties, Street Lurkin has also warmed up crowds for Kid Sister, A-Trak, and Steve Aoki. They can command casually-dressed crowds with synchronized spirit fingers and severe bass drops. But last Friday night, in their attempts to open for Tommy Lee (yup, that one) and DJ Aero at Gold Room, Street Lurkin got stuck with a sparse and mostly sober Buckhead crowd that seemed slow to hit the dance floor.
Last night Lil B, the most unflappably uncategorizable figure in hip-hop, gave a rambling, near-ninety minute lecture at NYU's Kimmel Center in which the BasedGod shared his thoughts on life, love and the human condition to a packed and ecstatic house. Below, an audio clip of the entire thing for your workday listening pleasure. (FADER also has a transcript, which, wow, that must've taken all damn night to type out.)
The surprising thing about the Berkeley rap misfit's lengthy screed isn't that it's topically all over the place (insects? cuddling? hygiene?), or even that B touches on some relevant and pressing socioeconomic issues (war, commerce, media) in unique and interesting ways. It's that he somehow manages to pull it all together into one enormous, life-affirming message. Those familiar with the rapper's M.O. know that love and positivity are a big part of the dude's deal; that there's evidently such a deep well of substance behind the buzz words is an unexpectedly pleasant realization. (His lyrics haven't exactly, uh, confirmed this thus far.)
I'd post excerpts from the speech but really, none would do the full message justice on its own. Read or listen to the whole thing (there are also several video clips floating around). Trust me. You'll be glad you did.
Since January, while covering a 10-mile radius within city limits, I've strolled into trendy lounges, gay dive bars and what felt like a collegiate's first nightclub - and then texted, from around 10:30 p.m. until, oh, last call. My behavior's provoked many questions: "What are you doing?" "Why aren't you dancing?" "Working? You don't look like you're working. Why aren't you drinking? You look like you don't know how to have fun."
To that guy at Havana Club - funny, I didn't catch your name - consider this (incredibly consolidated) notebook dump as proof that, yes, I was working. In fact, when I first dove into Atlanta's nightlife scene, I approached it like a tourist, complete with an itinerary of events, whether seemingly overhyped or overlooked. But as I've found at places like Opera, Mary's, and Terminal West, nightlife isn't solely determined by its venue and its marketing - but by some bizarre, elusive equation that also factors in the people, the social lubricants of choice and other things I've yet to completely figure out:
Love it or hate it, the Astronaut kid could very well be the Future of Atlanta rap. Here's footage from Dungeon Family descendant Future's album listening session at Stankoni Studios last night, courtesy Cam Kirk:
Future hosted his album, Pluto, listening session at the legendary Stankonia Studios. Future went through his entire album playing records with R. Kelly and Snoop Dogg. As his hit Same Damn Time dropped, Future took the mic and gave the crowd an exclusive performance.
Meanwhile, That Retail Chick Desiree Williams, took snaps of just about every Atlanta industry VIP — and there were many, from DJs to tastemakers, artists to label execs — that showed up. Looks like the home team's on board for the launching of Pluto, on Epic Records, April 17.
3 people apparently love handing over an extra 40% in fees for nothing in return…
Dang. I thought they would name some actual headliners.
Forgot to mention that Iggy did a stellar show @ the Agora in the spring…
Their fees were onerous, to say the least. $16 per ticket for "convenience," and it's…
That poster is for the Iggy Pop show on March 11 1983 @ 688 club…
oh sweet: just who i was waiting to get announced!