Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
Yesterday at approximately 1:30pm I was having a conversation with my community organizer/poet friend Emmanuel Ortiz about the Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070) that recently was signed into law in the state of Arizona. The bill says that “all immigrants must carry documentation verifying their immigration status. It also stipulates that police officers have the authority to ask to see the information from any individual that is deemed “suspicious” or when there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person may not be legally in the country.” This new bill signed into law in a nutshell legalizes racial profiling. If you “look like an immigrant” you can get hauled off to jail.
Emmanuel says, “somebody needs to redo By The Time I Get To Arizona” by Public Enemy. Arizona is that same state the didn’t want to recognize Martin Luther King Day when Chuck D originally wrote the song. For years I wanted to write a “By The Time I Get To Minnesota” version but never got around to it. I started doing more research on the new bill and was outraged. By 2:30 I contacted BK-One to locate the instrumental that he used elements of in Brother Ali’s old set. BK was on the road and said that I would have to piece it together from the original Mandrill and Jackson 5 songs. Not having any luck finding quality versions of either I went in a did some Frankenstein cut and paste work to the original PE version.
By 4PM I was done piecing together the beat. By 7pm I rewrote the song with updated information. I wanted to follow Chuck D’s exact cadence so I had to go back in line by line. By 8pm I was listening to a rough vocal. By 10:00pm I was in the studio with Reggie Reg. The process included going in and listening to Chuck, trying to match his scheme, and recording my version. Wash, rinse, repeat. By midnight the vocals were recorded. By 3am we added all the bells and whistles and here is the finished product.
All day I’ve been saying “hell…I’m going to get in trouble for this one.” But you know what? The truth needs to be told. Biting your tongue only makes you hungry and your mouth hurt. Hope you enjoy it. Pass it along.In Solidarity,
Toki Wright Rhymesayers/Soultools www.tokiwright.com
Franz was a little late to the party, but still did his thing over Snoop Dogg's infectious instrumental. He also informed me that we should be expecting a new mixtape in around a month. Word up, Franz!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Since Trama's UnaTrama mixtape release party is tomorrow at Fifth Element, he decided to share a throwback treat with us. This is a video for one of the singles of his first album, Menage-A-Tram. It was uploaded back in June of 2006, but until today has been viewed only 25 times. As Tram so eloquently states, "When we shot this video Youtube and Myspace weren't really poppin... everyone was just trying to get their video on BET UNCUT." So here it is for you now.
Just Wulf: "Who Am I"
Danami is a new emcee who hails from Detroit. I haven't posted any of his solo material, but he's been on Midwest Broadcast before. I promoted one of his concerts with Toki Wright and Sims back in February, and he was just featured on Mally's new single. Honestly though, it's about time he gets some shine on his own. Below is Danami's dope single "Pressue," as well as his latest mixtape. Check it out.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Off of Kanser's Two For One album featuring Alicia Steele. Directed by Chris Cloud.
Abstract Pack: "Attraction"
I'm a bit late on this (like two months late) but I haven't seen it on any other blogs. This is the video that played while Brother Ail was performing "The Preacher" during his Fresh Air Tour. Shot by Minneapolis' own SIX-TON Productions.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Mally: "Better Days ft. Danami"
Maria Isa: "Lowrider Mami's (Caddy, Lincoln, Chevys)"
Trama: "I'm A Big Fuckin' Deal"
On top of that, on May 5 Trama will be releasing his final album, Viet-Tram. Why these are his final projects ever have yet to be determined, but Tram states he will be happy to answer those questions if you visit him at Fifth Element on April 27.
Two weeks ago I posted the preview of this music video. Trey Lane just hit me with the finished version. It's a polished, well executed on video, and proves these things can be accomplished on an indie budget. Nicely done. Trey Lane will be performing at Fifth Element in Minneapolis on Friday.
Monday, April 19, 2010
B.o.B.: "Past My Shades ft. Lupe Fiasco"
P.O.S. gave a brief interview at the Zia Records pop-up store on Record Store Day while at Coachella. City Pages blog Gimme Noise posted some reviews of his show, where he debuted his full band to a large-scale audience. Their first official concerts together, though, were in a series of 3 warm-up shows in the Twin Cities. Empty's Tapes was able to get some audio of them performing "Never Better," which I posted below.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Off Krane's previous album, This Will Work For Now. Head over to Kristoff Krane's Bandcamp site to check out other new songs he's working on. He will be releasing two new projects this Spring, the Hunting For Father LP and the Picking Flowers Next To Roadkill LP.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
From April 9 to April 11, the University of Minnesota will be hosting “From Vices to Verses” a conference featuring workshops, performances, discussions and educational events centered on how hip hop pedagogy, activism and culture can educate, empower and transform communities.
On Saturday, April 10, noted Twin Cities performers Toki Wright, Maria Isa, PosNoSys, Ill Chemistry, the Tru Ruts crew and others will take over the Cabooze for a special concert.
Organized by Voices Merging at the U of MN, along with University and community partners, the conference will focus on three central themes:
· April 9: “I Used to Love H.E.R.: Bring Back the Love,” exploring hip hop feminism and women’s roles—past, present and future—in the culture. Keynote speaker: hip hop activist and former Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente.
· April 10: “Remixing Borders, Transcending Boundaries,” focusing on using hip hop as a tool to create unity and move beyond generational, national and cultural boundaries. Keynote speaker: hip hop activist and author Bakari Kitwana.
· April 11: “Us,” focusing on hip hop’s power to heal and transform individuals and communities through organizing, activism and youth engagement. Keynote speaker: educator and multidisciplinary artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph.
Other presenters include filmmaker Rachel Ramist, Chaka Mkali of the Hope Community Center, Sage Morgan Hubbard of Northwestern University, Ruth Nicole Brown of the University of Illinois, poet and activist Tish Jones, rapper/poet/writer Kyle “Guante” Myhre, photographer B-Fresh and many more.
Dessa performed with P.O.S. at Madison's High Noon Saloon a few weeks back. You would have heard about it firsthand from me, but a very close friend of mine was in town for one night only, so I unfortunately had to miss the concert that night. Thankfully some footage popped up.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Muja Messiah: "Bobby's Angels"Peter Parker Presents: Grind Season Go Getters, Vol. 1 (Mixtape)
Off Trey Lane's All Things Considered, which is out now. Trey Lane is also having an in-store performance at Fifth Element on April 23 in support of the album. The digital flyer can be viewed below.
Mike Dreams: "How To Make It In America" (Prod. DJ Shynin)
Sometimes a video helps you fully realize the artistic vision in a song, or completely reshape your understanding of what a song is all about. This is what Felt's new(ish) video for "Glory Burning" did for me. Nice work.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Greg Grease was the latest Twin Cities producer to get down with Illuminous 3 for their "Illuminous Free" series. Get to know the man! And make sure to check out his Tribute to the Lakes EP if you haven't yet.
Illuminous 3: "The Madness" (Prod. Greg Grease)
The entire Doomtree crew performed in Cali at the Paid Dues festival yesterday. While this video was meant to be a promo for that event, I have been out of town for a week with little to no technology to stay updated on things. I must say, though, it's still pretty cool.