This Wednesday, the incomparable Sharon Jones is playing Late Night With Conan O’Brien. The soul funk diva has been touring relentlessly with her Dap-Kings since last year’s much-praised 100 Days, 100 Nights, but we too rarely have the chance to watch her perform on TV. Don’t miss her performance!
It‘s tempting to think of Organized Konfusion as true rap underdogs. Mention the Queens duo to someone who‘s not a hip-hop head or to some of these younger fans (hmmmpfff) and I’d say, oh 7 times out of 10, the response you’ll get is “who?” Unlike many of their peers, you probably won’t hear one of their singles at some frat party or on some hip bar jukebox, or on Hot 97‘s “Old School Hour” [do they even do that anymore?], or even on one of those myriad VH1 docs devoted the history of hip-hop.
This is not to say that they were particularly obscure. All three of their releases came out on imprints with major label backing. The last two, 1994‘s Stress: The Extinction Agenda and 1997’s The Equinox even enjoyed moderate chart success. Still they probably have more name recognition these days as solo artists. Pharaohe Monch vaulted to indie hip-hop superstardom in 1999 with the ubiquitous single “Simon Says (Get The F*ck Up)” which could be heard everywhere from clubs to college parties to the movie “adaptation” of Charlie’s Angels. He also appeared on the equally ubiquitous smash “Oh No” with Mos Def and Nate Dogg, a one-off single that became the best selling rap 12″ of all time. His first album Internal Affairs boasted guest appearances by a number of high profile emcees, and came within spitting distance of the top 40. Prince Po‘s 2004 solo debut The Slickness featured contributions from Dangermouse, Cee-Lo, MF Doom, Raekwon, and Madlib among others.
Of course their solo careers have had an underdog quality as well. Pharoahe Monch and Rawkus Records, the label that released Internal Affairs, ran into a heap of legal trouble due to the uncleared Godzilla sample that powered “Simon Says’” monstrous beat, resulting in the album being pulled from shelves and taken out of circulation where it remains. He wouldn’t release another album for 8 years. Prince Po’s solo recordings remain woefully underappreciated despite scads of acclaim.
Philly rapper R-Swift is more than your typical “conscience” hip-hop artist. Raised on the streets of Brooklyn and Philadelphia, Swift began developing his skills as a rapper at the young age of 11 and rapped about the things he saw in his daily environment – namely sex, drugs, violence, and the constant rush for fame. Swift himself was headed down this path when he discovered the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Men’s Choral and took a different turn in life. After becoming a Christian in 1998 at the age of 17, Swift changed his tone and began spreading different message.
Soapbox is his hard-hitting sophomore album, out June 24th on Grammy nominated urban Christian label Cross Movement Records, and it finds the rapper wasting no time in calling today’s rap scene out for its gratuitous use of the aforementioned sex, drugs, money, and violence. Joined by fellow Christian artists Iz Real, J.R., Mac the doulous, Lecrae, Phien-X Zekaryah, Monty G, Young Josh, and Ackdavis, and backed by a gospel choir, Swift now spreads the messages of positivity and hope he’s found, topics he also shares with at risk youth at Youth Study Center in Philadelphia. In lead single “Good Mourning” Swift celebrates the gratitude he feels for each day since giving his life to God. “Lifetime” addresses the dangers of the thug life and the pursuit of wealth.
Get ready to dance till you drop! Starting this Thursday, June 12, Shitdisco is going to be kicking off their Tits and Bombs DJ Tour at R Bar, and coincidentally, Dim Mak will be releasing a new version of their album Kingdom of Fear to go along with it.
Doors open at 10 PM for what is sure to be a jam packed night of entertainment featuring Alex English and “guests” alongside Shitdisco–imagine the possibilities! With songs like “72 Virgins” and “I Know Kung Fu,” it may very well be impossible to stop dancing.
Keep your eyes and ears open for the new release, which is set to drop pretty soon. In the meantime, head on over to R Bar and check out Shitdisco for FREE (as long as you are on the guestlist, which you can sign up for at http://newyork.going.com/discopants (also easy and free).
Brooklyn electro pop trio Au Revoir Simone took to their website to post some news!
The girls have recently performed on the weekly music radio show eTown. This really special show will be broadcast on more than 200 stations across the United States, and will also be available as a free podcast starting June 10th.
In other good news, Annie, Heather and Erika are currently working on the follow-up of last year’s The Bird Of Music. “We’ve been hard at work here in Brooklyn writing new songs for our next record. After being on the road, it’s really nice to get together and write music. We enjoyed a picnic in the park last week and got to practice some of the new songs in the open air. We’re looking forward to sharing them with you when we come out of the studio later this year.”