So this is what we do down in Dallas, Tejas. It really is a shame that there seems to be such little quality footage of our local hip-hop scene, so I had to pounce on it when I heard my roommate @Gonz2thaL shot some Dallas footage. This video comes from the freestyle battle that capped of the most recent edition of Poor Vida‘s Sunday Sessions at The Green Elephant.
For those not in the know, the Poor Vida crew hosts a pair of monthly hip-hop events, on the first Sunday as well as the third Saturday of the month. The main goal for these shows is to give local performers an outlet for their art, so if you think you may be the next big thing out of Dallas a la Astronautalis or Damaged Good$ this may be your shot. More importantly, you very well may end up in this space, featured by yours truly.
And now to the battle! Six emcees did combat on Sunday night for a pair of tickets to tomorrow’s Summer Jam, featuring Bun B, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Trae, Big Tuck, and more. Do you think that YOU should have been the one rockin’ a free entry to the Summer Jam tomorrow? Well here’s your chance. Hit up Poor Vida for your very own opportunity to get up. Enjoy the battle. Big ups to judges Rob Viktum, Fishr-Pryce, Jackie (who has the excellent Myspace vanity URL “ilovehiphop”) and some guy who I do not know (sorry, dude).
Do you think the right guy won? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
So you know who passed away on November 22? Flint, MI rapper MC Breed died yesterday in his sleep after complications he had been having with his kidneys. On September 5, Breed collapsed while playing pickup basketball and was hospitalized and placed on life support when his kidneys failed. R.I.P. Breed, and remember, there ain’t no future in your frontin’.
So I was watching video again and am I completely stupid that I just now realized the the the video for “Ain’t No Future in Yo’ Frontin'” was shot in Dallas? This makes my initially innocent reference to JFK somehow have more relevance, right?
Need the proof? Around the 1:24 mark, when the lady in the tight black dress is dancing in front of the city, you can clearly make out the dinstinctive keyhole in the Chase Bank Tower. Also, to further the remembrance of those whose service is sadly no longer our privelige, keep a look out around the 2:13 mark, where the gone-but-not-forgotten Good Latimer Tunnel bares it’s tell-tale “1930” marking that can be seen here. I cannot believe that I just noticed this.
If you’ve been involved with the Dallas underground hip-hop scene for a while you probably have heard of Mes the Jive Turkey. After building steam here in D/FW, Mes scored a bit of a nationwide buzz by landing such high profile gigs such as the Vans Warped Tour. Nowadays the Jive Turkey can be found residing in the Los Angeles area, where thankfully he continues to create music. Here’s a brand new track from Mes, fresh for the holidays and produced by Picnic Tyme. It’s called “November Blast,” appropriate for the cold snap we’ve had in Dallas lately. Dig the timely GN’R sample, too. Visit Mes at FresherThan, run by him and his lady friend Mae.
I dare you to find me a single person who has actually sat and listened to A Tribe Called Quest who can say in earnest that the hip-hip trio is not on point. Infectious. That’s the word I’d use to describe Tribe and their most visible member since the trio’s breakup: Q-Tip. Tonight Q-Tip, along with Chicago’s The Cool Kids, will be playing at the Dallas House of Blues and it is sure to be a lively affair. And just announced yesterday for all you late-night birds, Tip will be spinning a DJ set at Suite. Here’s the map. The after-party is 21+ and will go until 2 AM.
Album number two from Info-Red of the Dead Stock Crew and Hypnotic Tunez bumps along with an even more polished version of the witty punchline style that this MC is known for. If you are not familar, Kaleidoscope will surely serve as a thorough introduction to Info-Red’s witty and decisive wordplay. One-liners gallop against some truly solid production work coming from Malex, Rob Viktum, Jezreal the Truth, Darkness, Black Ink Beats, and M Slago. The subject matter keeps things upbeat—we get energetic little rap snacks that, when not making you smile with the smooth punchlines are uplifting with recurring themes of hard work and perseverance. Info’s also careful to point out some of his other obsessions such as sneakers (see: Kixpo). Appearances are plenty, but the album stands heavily on the shoulders of Info and could go on to become an archival release in the grand scheme of the Dallas Hip-Hop scene based on the work he’s done here. We’ll have to see if it stands the test of time. Bavu Blakes stops by for a track, with other appearances from Picnic Tyme, Dawg Wonder, Blaze Won, and the entire Hynotic Tunez crew. Always-on-point DJs Niro and Nemeses provide the turntable work.
Sounds pretty nifty, huh? Well you can catch Info and score your very own copy of Kaleidoscope this Saturday November 8 at the Lounge, that’s down in Deep Ellum at 2810 Elm St. There you’ll also get to see Playdough, Blaze Won, Jabee, Dawg Wonder and Hypnotic Tunez perform—all for free. That is, if you’re old enough to drink. Otherwise bring five bucks.
As human beings we use music in myriad cultural contexts–to celebrate, to encourage, to separate, to uplift. But never more than in the past thirty years have these functions evolved so drastically. The way that the craft is processed by culture has undergone a huge change from the days of the album as the epitome of the art form, through the days of the 45, and on to today, where a single mp3 distributed through a social networking venue such as Myspace can cause intense international interest in an act seemingly overnight.
Music aficionados Pitchfork have attempted to capture the essence of these changes with the publication of the upcoming book The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present, which traces what they deem the most important songs since the days when the pizzazz of David Bowie, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop gave kids an alternative to the sweetened pop that the Beatles popularized the previous decade. Employing the cunning writing style that the web site is known for, Pitchfork provides an enlightening view to modern music and its impact on society as a whole. While most readers are sure to immediately recognize many of the hits (Madonna’s “Holiday,” Weezer’s “Say it Ain’t So,” Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”), the guide leaves room for some of the more undercurrent sensations that had more of an effect on future influential performers than they did during their own era.
What is surely one of the first guides to approach music in this way, Pitchfork seeks to enlighten us as it escorts us down memory lane. Set to hit bookstores on 11/11/08, The Pitchfork 500 may just be the template that future music historians refer to when assessing the value that the power of the singular song has played in the collective conscious of the 21st century and beyond. Pre-order here. Selected highlights after the jump:
Eric Wareheim, of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! fame has created a stunnig video for MGMT’s song “The Youth.” If you like these comedians like I do, this video is a must. Also, worthwhile for anyone with even a passing interest in breakdancing.
Dandy Don Meredith excelled at every level in North Texas football. The legend Dallas Cowboy quarterback will finally get the ultimate recognition from his alma mater SMU, over two decades after he earned similar honors from America’s Team.