Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lil Wayne wants to be james brown

For someone who made ubiquity his art form, Lil Wayne has done a stupendous job of disappearing this year. Sure, he was on tour and at the Grammys, but the stream of mixtapes and freestyles on which he built his reputation slowed to a drip. While he was taking a breather, others — in particular, Gucci Mane, and Lil Wayne’s protégé Drake — took his template and ran with it.
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Lil Wayne (in glasses) at a New York City court in December. On Feb. 9 he will be sentenced in connection with a 2007 arrest for gun possession.

On Feb. 9 Lil Wayne will appear in State Supreme Court in Manhattan to be sentenced in connection with a 2007 charge for gun possession. He is expected to begin serving his sentence that same day: an enforced absence instead of the voluntary break he has been taking.

But as the days count down, Lil Wayne is re-emerging. On Tuesday his extended crew Young Money released its debut album, “We Are Young Money” (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown). And this month his rock album, “Rebirth” (Cash Money/Universal Motown), leaked to the Internet after accidentally shipped some 500 copies to customers who had preordered it. Just like that, Lil Wayne is omnipresent again.

In a character-softening appearance last week on “The Mo’Nique Show” on BET, Mo’Nique asked him what he looks for in the artists he signs. “First of all, work ethic,” he replied. It was a reminder that behind Lil Wayne’s seeming effortlessness is a huge machine of carefully calibrated moving parts, and that this deluge of new material is no accident.

Lil Wayne has been piecing together Young Money for a couple of years. The crew features Drake, the former child actor from Toronto who stands on his own as a rap star; Nicki Minaj, the most invigorating female rapper currently working; and a host of lesser characters, from thugs (Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda) to semi-hipsters (Tyga) to kids (Lil Chuckee, Lil Twist).

Collecting a competent crew has been all but impossible in hip-hop in recent years; since 50 Cent spawned G-Unit, no one has been famous enough to try. And though “We Are Young Money” is spotty, especially on the part of Lil Wayne, there are strong indications that he’s a keen observer of talent. (And not just of rappers: this album is a showcase for the up-and-coming producers Kane Beatz and Chase N. Cashe.)

So far, “We Are Young Money” has produced two hits: “Every Girl in the World,” which was dominant this summer, and “Bedrock,” a current smash. It’s no coincidence that both feature Drake, as assured as any rapper when it comes to the topic of seduction.

The album’s unexpected star is Nicki Minaj, who raps with a comically nasal chirp that half the time sounds like the accent of a privileged, gum-snapping teenager from Long Island. (She is from Queens, after all.) More than anyone here, even Lil Wayne, she fights against the strictures of the beat, her flow pattern varying from stutter to fusillade, spitting out bizarre, color-theme rhymes (“Roger That,” “Finale”) and oddball metaphors (“About to get a mani-ped/I’m the big bad wolf, and your granny dead”).

On many songs Lil Wayne is present primarily in the form of an Auto-Tuned hook, leaving room for his squad but also implicitly removing himself from direct competition. It’s a benevolent form of arrogance.

Neither the crew album nor the experimental passion project has a proud commercial legacy in hip-hop. But for “Rebirth,” at least, Lil Wayne’s label had sizable expectations. According to Billboard, around one million copies were printed, one-third of which were distributed to retailers. (Lil Wayne’s last album, “Tha Carter III,” has been certified triple platinum, meaning three million copies were shipped.) After months of delays, “Rebirth” had been scheduled for release on Feb. 1, seemingly pegged to Lil Wayne’s impending incarceration.

That release has now been canceled, but what an odd note to depart on it would have been. By Lil Wayne standards, “Rebirth,” clunky and confusing, approaches catastrophe. By the standards of rappers reaching outside their comfort zones, it’s admirable but not effective, lacking the tonal consistency and emotional ambition of its most obvious predecessor, Kanye West’s “808s & Heartbreak.” By the standards of contemporary radio rock, it’s passable, possibly even good.

At minimum, it shows a sense of adventure. Mostly, Lil Wayne hews close to power ballads and classic rock, a predictable entry point for a guy who sent out tie-dye promotional T-shirts for “Tha Carter III.” Those kinds of songs here (“Prom Queen,” “Paradise”) are among the most ponderous. Lil Wayne’s lyrics on “Paradise” — “Sometimes we try to find a road to the riches, need roadside assistance/Blisters on my knees, from begging for forgiveness” — could just as easily come out of the mouth of Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.

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BTW Mad Decent should sign Brik Mason

Video: Major Lazer,

Video: Major Lazer, “Hold the Line (Frikstailers Cumbia RMX)”

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Sunday, December 20, 2009


At Cargo, London, 2009
Background information
Birth name Nneka Egbuna
Also known as Nneka
Born December 24, 1981 (1981-12-24) (age 27)
Origin Warri, Nigeria
Genres Soul, Hip hop, R&B, Afrobeat, Reggae
Occupations Singer, Songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 2004-present
Labels Yo Mama's Recording Co./Sony Music Entertainment

Nneka Egbuna (born 24 December 1981) is a Nigerian-German hip hop/soul singer and songwriter. She sings in English and her traditional language of Igbo.

* 1 Biography
* 2 Music career
* 3 Musical style
* 4 Discography
o 4.1 Albums
o 4.2 EPs
o 4.3 Singles
* 5 References
* 6 External links

[edit] Biography

Nneka is the daughter of an Igbo Nigerian father and a German mother[1]. Nneka is an Igbo name taken from the language of the Igbo people who live in the Eastern part of Nigeria and means “Mother is supreme, mother is the best”. The singer was born and grew up in Warri, in the Delta region of Nigeria. Here she went to primary school of the Delta Steel Company and later to secondary school at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Nneka relished the experience of singing from an early age in her school and in the church choir. After relocating to Hamburg, Germany, at the age of 18, she pursued a career in singing alongside a degree in Anthropology[2]. She divides her time between Nigeria and the German city of Hamburg[3].
[edit] Music career

Since 2003 Nneka has been working closely with the hip hop beatmaker DJ Farhot, a producer living in Hamburg. As a young singer she first gained public attention in 2004 while performing as an opening act for dancehall reggae star Sean Paul at Hamburg Stadtpark.

After releasing her debut EP 'The Uncomfortable Truth' with the music label Yo Mama's Recording Company, she performed on her first tour with Patrice Bart-Williams in April 2005, playing shows in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

She finished recording her first album in the autumn of 2005. Entitled 'Victim of Truth', it was released not only in Germany but also in England, France, Netherlands, Nigeria and Japan. Garnering rave reviews from the media, the UK's Sunday Times later declared it “the year’s most criminally overlooked album”, comparing it favourably to 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'[4].

Following the release of the album, Nneka enjoyed a sustained and successful period of touring, performing at festivals such as Chiemsee Reggae Summer, Haarlem (BevrijdingsPop), Den Haag (Park Pop) and Saint-Brieuc (Art Rock Festival) as well as in respected venues like La Maroquinerie and New Morning in Paris, Tivoli in Utrecht, Paradiso in Amsterdam and Cargo and ULU in London. She has also supported artists such as Femi Kuti, Bilal, Seeed, and Gnarls Barkley.

In February 2008 she released her second album, 'No Longer at Ease'. The title of the album is taken from a novel of the same name by Chinua Achebe and reflects lyrical the content of the record. Most of the songs are political, talking about the plight of the Niger Delta and the corruption in Nneka’s homeland. “No Longer at Ease” combines the political and the personal in “a winning mix of soul, hip-hop an reggae”[5]. The lead single from it, 'Heartbeat', became her first song to break into the German Top 50[6]. In September 2009, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number twenty.[7]

The following months saw tours in France, Italy and Portugal, while she also supported Lenny Kravitz on his French tour in April 2009.

Nneka has been nominated in three categories for the 2009 Channel O Music Video Awards[8], and won an award for Best African Act at the 2009 MOBO Awards.

In November of 2009, Nneka staged her first concert tour of the United States where she performed shows in New York City, Vienna (Washington DC), Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Furthermore she was a special guest on The Roots Jam session. Her first US release Concrete Jungle is set for February 2, 2010.
[edit] Musical style

Even though Nneka sings more than raps, she names hip hop as her primary musical root and most important source of inspiration, while citing artists such as Fela Kuti and Bob Marley as well as contemporary rappers Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep and Lauryn Hill as key influences in her own pursuit of musical recognition[2].

Her lyrics reflect much of her history and life in Nigeria as well as her time spent in Western Europe. Her songs stress the issues of capitalism, poverty and war and are often loaded with moral and biblical messages and references, with some music commentators comparing her to Erykah Badu, Neneh Cherry[9] and Floetry[10].

Monday, December 7, 2009

Number 2 club in the world according to DJ MAG

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Top 100 Clubs 2009 - No 2 - Fabric

2: Fabric

Words: djmag

If you could study the art of club programming like any other science, then there would be no better masterclass than Fabric. Never once sacrificing even the smallest shred of musical integrity, their line-ups are a perfect alchemy with just about every single boundary-breaker from almost every genre imaginable represented.
Whether it be Martyn or 2562's Detroit-gleaned dubstep, Johnny D's darkly seductive techno, Alex Metric's cut-up machine madness or the deviant disco pop of The Black Ghosts, if a new sound rises then Fabric is the first major club to stick their neck out and give it that vital platform.
But that's precisely because it's music rather than money that has always driven the unstoppable force that this converted meat-packing factory has become.
"It's an institution built on acquired taste and honest passion rather than commercial business," believes erstwhile resident and Fabric music director Craig Richards. "Nearly 10 years on there's still no real plan apart from to continue as we are. Most people behind it have worked from the beginning and their energy never diminishes. There's no ethos, no spreadsheets, no corporate bullshit and very little branding."
"You would think that after all these years the people running it would take the night off but they're all there every week in the thick of it 'til 8am," confirms Claude Von Stroke. "They really do live and breathe it and that's what makes the difference. And not only that, they take a lot of risks with their bookings."

But all this would mean nothing if it weren't for three ingredients. The overawing industrial setting, the main room's warm engulfing soundsystem and a crowd that have come to trust Fabric implicitly as a forum for the sounds of tomorrow.
Ever surrendered to one of Richie Hawtin or Ricardo Villalobos's epic techno vortexes here? Ever been caught up in the thrashing crowd-surfing mayhem that has whipped up at live shows from Pendulum or Digitalism? Or maybe you've been in the thick of it when Skream has road-tested tracks like his recent 'La Roux' remix? If so, then you'll surely agree - when it goes off, there is still no club in the UK quite like it.
"As a DJ you can basically do what the fuck you want, which is pretty rare," explains one of Fabric's current favourites Toddla T. "Part of the reason is the soundsystem. Records sound so good that people can get their heads round the weirdest sonics on it. Last week, I closed the main room and got away with playing loads of old Manchester acid house, some funky and my usual heavy Sheffield sound."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

mr. 59

59. Dirty South
Style: House
Best known for: 'Better Day' or 'Let It Go'.
Gig of 2009: Ultra Music Festival, Miami.
Tune of 2009: The Temper Trap 'Sweet Disposition (Axwell & Dirty South Remix)' (White)
Breakthrough DJ/Producer of 2009: Avicii
The track that changed your life: Shakedown 'At Night (Kid Crème Mix)'
What makes a good DJ great: Reading the crowd and always trying to be as fresh as possible.
Most underrated DJ: I don't know, I don't really get time to watch other DJs play.
Biggest challenge this year: Being away from home for so long.
Top tech toy: My MacBook laptop. It does everything!

"Amazing gigs, lots of production," says Dragan Roganović, aka Dirty South, in surmising 2009. The Macedonian-born, Australia-dwelling DJ and producer has certainly been keeping the right company, producing tracks with his muckers Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso, while stopping off on his three-month European tour early this year. Both, he hopes, will also feature on his debut album, which, once he's finished building his studio, he hopes to get cracking on before the end of the year.

Arguably the biggest house music talent to emerge from the Australian electronic music scene, his remix CV from this year alone reads impressively, having (ahem) touched up the likes of The Pussycat Dolls, Snoop Dogg and U2, alongside John Dahlbäck and countrymen Pnau. He also gave a rub to Axwell, Ingrosso, Angello and Laidback Luke's sprawling summer anthem 'Leave The World Behind'. And that's without mentioning his star turns with Erick Morillo and the Swedish House Mafia at Pacha Ibiza this season.

Currently doing the rounds too is his (and Axwell's) mix of Australian band The Temper Trap's 'Sweet Disposition'. Though unavailable right now, he reckons it won't be long before the band release it, thanks to the massive buzz surrounding the mix online.

Surely good advice.

btw, mad decent should sign Brik mason

Gucci Mane f. Lil Wayne

Gucci Mane f. Lil Wayne & Cam’ron, “Stupid Wild” MP3

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