MP3: Icebird (rjd2 And Aaron Livingston) Announce New Album
Courtesy of Audible Treats.
Collaborative Album Scheduled For October 11 Release; First Single Is "Going And Going. And Going"
(August 2, 2011 - Brooklyn, NY) rjd2 and Aaron Livingston have formed the duo Icebird, and together, the prolific producer and talented singer are excited to announce their debut album, The Abandoned Lullaby, which will be released October 11th on rjd2's own label, RJ's Electrical Connections.
For rjd2, Icebird is the next step in a 10-year career that has seen him grow from heralded crate digger to celebrated instrumentalist and songwriter, composing the theme music for Mad Men and TNT's Inside The NBA, while releasing albums like The Third Hand and Colossus. With The Abandoned Lullaby, rj is expanding his repertoire, by stepping back. "I went into The Abandoned Lullaby knowing my role exactly," explains rj. "Both the engineering and producing – I was able to focus on both here totally, more than almost anything I've done before."
And it's because of Livingston that rj feels so comfortable in this new role. Livingston brings his own history to the table, taking part in the Black Lily jam sessions that birthed the careers of Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild and being featured on The Roots' fan-favorite "Guns Are Drawn." The two first collaborated on "Crumbs Off The Table" from rj's Colossus album, and the resulting track had the two itching to work together again. "It was so exciting to see what Aaron would do with the songs," says rjd2. "He really is super clever as a writer."
Much of that cleverness is on display with "Going And Going. And Going," the album's lead single. rj's upbeat, snare- and guitar-heavy beat paves the way for Livingston's gritty, soulful vocals. "Language is always a code, and I wanted to use that idea to expand the range of what I can sing and say," explains Livingston, whose unique style shines through with lines like, "Forget your problems mama/ I'm the Dalai Lama up in here."
Sonically, "Going And Going. And Going" only touches on the musical diversity of The Abandoned Lullaby, which pulls from the duo's interest in creating art that mirrors life. "Stories about fabricated heroic shit don't interest me as much as something like a half-written lullaby," remarks rj. "I have an interest in art that portrays real world issues, that portrays the dichotomies of a 'balanced' human experience." The Abandoned Lullaby displays that balance throughout, making it easier for the duo to explore new artistic freedoms. "This is the first time I've had someone else at the controls for an entire project," explains Livingston. "It gave me room to really explore my voice – and what I can say with it."
Dame Dash's new label DD172/BluRoc in conjunction with Adidas proudly presents The Hip Hop & Love Tour, visiting 51 American cities between September 27 and November 26. Headlining is Cali indie pioneer Murs, prepping for his first DD172/BluRoc release Love & Rockets Vol.1, The Transformation, a collaboration album with Jay-Z/Mos Def producer Ski Beatz, also appearing on the tour with his band The Senseis. Also billed is West African-born rapper Tabi Bonney, who duets with Murs on the free download "Hip Hop & Love", available for streaming at hiphopandlovetour.com and free download here. Rapper Da$h of The Heirs appears fresh off the release of his new mixtape Chron Burgundy. Vocalist and Wiz Khalifa/Nicole Wray collaborator McKenzie Eddy is also slated for the tour, as well as producer/multi-instrumentalist Sean O'Connell, best known for his work with Curren$y on Muscle Car Chronicles. The Hip Hop & Love Tour brings the DD172/BluRoc roster under one bill and is the newest manifestation of Dame Dash's vision for creativity and expression in this new era, a journey whose other milestones include Creative Control TV and his Manhattan-based art gallery and creativity space DD172.
Waffle House Wants No Part of Hip-Hop's "After the Club" Business
Press release courtesy Block Starz Music.
Debut Single From Rapper J.R. Bricks Upsets Southern Restaurant Chain, Sparks Controversy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Less than a week after the digital release of "Waffle House", the debut single from newly-signed Hip-Hop recording artist J.R. Bricks, legal counsel for WH Capital, LLC and Waffle House, Inc., owner and licensee of the Waffle House® trademarks respectively, issued a cease and desist letter to the artist's label, Block Starz Music LLC, www.blockstarzmusic.com, claiming improper and unauthorized usage.
In response, Block Starz Music has changed the song's title to "After the Club". This has sparked cries of racism by some in the online Hip-Hop community who see the southern restaurant chain's move as an effort to distance itself from its, predominately black and Latino, early morning weekend customers.
"I don't think Waffle House's actions were motivated by racial discrimination," says J.R. Bricks (born Earl Harrison, Jr.), a Havana, Florida native and United States Air Force veteran now based in Atlanta, GA. "But I do believe it is based on cultural discrimination. I don't believe they want to see their company associated with the Hip-Hop lifestyle. The song portrays what we do in the South after we tear it down at the club. I don't speak on violence in the record. I just speak on having a good time."
Released online July 20th, the single formerly known as "Waffle House" was an instant hit on the web, generating rave reviews from influential deejays and major label A&R and impressive sales on iTunes.
"Reaction to the record jumped off a lot quicker than I expected," concedes J.R. Bricks, who had originally planned to shoot the song's official music video on location at an area Waffle House. "I was surprised by the cease and desist, but I think my label made the right moves to diffuse the situation."
The son of military parents, J.R. Bricks moved to Wiesbaden, Germany at age 10 and began his music career while in middle school and high school there. The rapper said Block Starz executives offered to change the song's title to "Waffelhaus (After the Club)" as a homage to his adopted second home, but this was also rejected by representatives at Waffle House, which produces and sells its own restaurant-themed music, over concerns the song's popularity would likely cause its "consumers to be confused."
"This reminds me of the incident with Jay-Z and Frederic Rouzaud," says J.R. Bricks, who is also nominated for "Best Southern Rapper” and "Buzz Factor" awards at the prestigious 2011 Underground Music Awards taking place on August 21st at world famous B.B. Kings in NYC. "Frederic, the owner of Cristal, said he wasn't happy with rappers associating themselves with his brand. Even the Tommy Hilfiger situation... it caused the whole Hip-Hop world to stop buying their product. These companies think Hip-Hop will put their product in a negative light [because] the Hip-Hop genre is very influential. If anything, we are giving these large corporations free promo."
PR: Animal Farm Joins w/ DJ Rob Swift on "Culture Shock"
Courtesy of Erik Abel.
New York, NY- August 2011: As the buzzworthy hip-hop group Animal Farm continues to gather momentum, they have decided to release the title track and leading song from their new album Culture Shock for FREE. After delivering acclaimed singles featuring legends Talib Kweli and Abstract Rude, the Portland based hip-hop group has teamed up with the incomparable X-Ecutioners DJ Rob Swift. In order to commemorate Rob Swift's recent selection as one of America's 100 Best DJs through DJ Times Magazine, Animal Farm and Swift areoffering "Culture Shock" for Free to only the first 100 people to download the track through Soundcloud. As always, Rob Swift displays flawless scratching over a banging Gen.Erik beat, laced with hard rhymes by Animal Farm's Serge Severe, Gen.Erik, Fury, and Hanif Wondir. Listeners may also recognize the KRS-One "Animal Farm" vocal sample, taken from Animal Farm's "Peace" featuring the Teacher himself, off their first album The Unknown. Check out the radio friendly "Culture Shock" here.
Animal Farm's latest album Culture Shock is currently ranked #5 on the CMJ College Radio Hip-Hop Charts. DJs can contact Jess Weber at Co-Sign Collective (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive the full album.
PR: Lyrical Roulette Showcase Thursday @ Southpaw in Brooklyn
Courtesy of PR Dean Multimedia.
"LYRICAL ROULETTE" SHOWCASE THIS THURSDAY @ SOUTHPAW IN BROOKLYN, SPECIAL PERFORMANCE BY: SHA STIMULI, AUG. 4TH!
"LYRICAL ROULETTE" SHOWCASE THIS THURSDAY @ SOUTHPAW IN BROOKLYN 8PM $10, SPECIAL PERFORMANCE BY: SHA STIMULI & DJ VICTORIOUS. ALL INFO ON THE FLYER COME OUT AND ENJOY HIP HOP! MUSIC BY: DJ J-RONIN "WHAT U REALLY SPITTIN ABOUT"!!! ARTIST HOLLA AT ME FOR MORE INFO ON HOW TO PERFORM.
"LYRICAL ROULETTE" SHOWCASE THIS THURSDAY @ SOUTHPAW IN BROOKLYN *** PR DEAN & HARDTIMES RECORDS PRESENTS: RAP-P MIXTAPE "QUEENSBRIDGE BEST KEPT SECRET" DROPS TOMORROW! OFFICIAL QB RAP. ***
Devo Spice Update - 8/3/2011: New Sketch Comedy Album!
Your friendly neighborhood comedy rapper here with some big news about our new sketch comedy album.
--== NEW CIRQUE DU SO WHAT CD ==-- --== EVERYTHING ELSE ==--
--== NEW CIRQUE DU SO WHAT CD ==-- Everything else is minor. This is what I want to talk about. My sketch comedy group Cirque du So What, made up of me, the great Luke Ski, Shoebox of Worm Quartet, and Chris Mezzolesta of Power Salad will have a new CD out very shortly. The album is called Stupid Cowboy Thing, Volume 1: GRANDMOTHER! The first single hit The FuMP on Friday. You can download that sketch, "Staying Fat," for free here: http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1449
The album is currently available for pre-order and I'll be taking pre-orders up until I have the physical CDs in my hands, which I expect to happen in about a week. Until then, if you pre order you will get:
1. The entire album delivered to you instantly, digitally. 2. An exclusive digital bonus album containing additional sketches, outtakes, and live recordings.
Stupid Cowboy Thing, Volume 1: GRANDMOTHER! features an hour of hilarious sketches, phony commercials, and bizarre music. The Guess The Context series continues unashamedly, and of course there are appearances by The Tile Guy. There's also a really inappropriate song that you will find yourself singing at all the wrong times because it will get stuck in your head and will surface and the most inopportune times.
Watch for Stupid Cowboy Thing, Volume 2: Additional Squid in 2012.
--== EVERYTHING ELSE ==-- In other news, the July edition of The Insider is posted. In it I talk about Nerdapalooza, my first dead-tree review of Gnome Sane, the new Cirque du So What CD, and more.
Spice Rack subscribers also get an early mix of my They Might Be Giants cover for the Mink Car cover project, which, due to the nature of my existence lately, turned into a collaboration with TV's Kyle.
And for the month of August the free songs at DevoSpice.com are I Hate Mondays and The Geeks Come Out At Night, chosen mostly at random, because they haven't been featured in a while. You can download the songs for free here: http://www.devospice.com/listen.php
And don't forget I'll be attending Worldcon in Reno, NV later this month along with Dr. Demento and Rob Balder. (Note: Throwing Toasters had to cancel. Rob is filling in.) Details here: http://www.devospice.com/tourdates.php?id=258