Indy Hip Hop World

"A setback is just a setup for a comeback." --from Bebe Moore Campbell's "72 Hour Hold"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

REVIEW: "Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme"

So it's 2008 and "Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme" was released in 2000 and I am just now getting around to watching it - my loss, eh? And it would have taken longer for me to see it, but here's what happened:

I had just finished watching "Michael Clayton" and I went to my Netflix queue to rearrange some things - like to move "The Savages" up, rearrange, "There Will Be Blood" as well as add "First Sunday" and "Norbit" (I have to see for myself if they are, indeed, as bad as some say they are) and I need a little comedy in my life.

So ... I've been seeing a button labeled 'play' next to a few of my selections. But one of my selections is "In Cold Blood" which is #60 on my queue and I am/was not in such a hurry to see that. But I did want to sample this "watch movies instantly" feature.

Well, my first glitch was that that feature is not supported in Mozilla's Firefox browser - shameful. However, over on the Internet Explorer browser, after a download of something and an upgrade of something else, the movie worked like a charm.

I thought that the quality of the movie might be mediocre, but no, no ... it's good looking.

So I was intending to just take a peek at "Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme" and then dip out, but since my selection was hip hop related, it grabbed my attention. I was lovin it especially since right in the beginning there is a vintage freestyle segment with my boys Black Thought and ?uestlove! Love that.

It's a nice doc; makes me wish I had seen it sooner, but it's still in my queue, so I can watch it anytime and that is cool. The uncool part is that I could not rewind - and when brothas were spitting rhymes at warp speed, I needed to trackback for a double take.

Some of the legends that make an appearance include:
  • Mos Def
  • Talib Kweli
  • The Last Poets
  • Divine Styler
  • Boots (from The Coup)
  • Supernatural
  • Craig G
I could go on ... and maybe I will on another post. Meanwhile, you can check out the doc on YouTube. They even break it up into several parts for your viewing pleasure - though the quality is not as good as the Netflix version.

You gotta get your freebies the best way you can hip hoppers. kfox.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Check out this Interview

Daniel Gray-Kontar is reppin Cleveland ... though now he is on the west coast, he's really doin the global thing.

He's on the radar of Gilles Peterson of the BBC. Yeah, Peterson's podcast cops a conversation w/Rep Life. Rep Life's got a new project, so you need to show him some love hip hoppers; you now have plenty to listen to.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rock the Bells dates and line-up announced

The line-up for this year's Rock the Bells International Festival is a wow-ser! Love, love, love it.

  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Nas
  • Mos Def
  • De La Soul
  • Rakim
  • The Pharcyde
Also depending on what show you attend, you might get a performance from Spank Rock, Method Man and Redman, Dead Prez, Murs and others. This is a hyper-crazy line-up.

So, you want to know the dates, eh? Because you may be so inclined to sell some of your most personal wares for tix to this joint. The tour doesn't kick off until July - thus giving you a good amount of time to line up your chedda!

Sat 7/19 - Chicago, IL
Sun 7/20 - Toronto, ON
Sat 7/26 - Boston, MA
Sun 7/27 - New York, NY
Sat 8/2 - Miami, FL
Sun 8/3 - Philadelphia, PA
Sat 8/9 - Los Angeles, CA
Sat 8/16 - San Francisco, CA
Sat 8/23 - Denver, CO
Sat 8/30 - Vancouver, BC

I'm leaning toward the Chicago or Miami dates ... where are you gonna be hip hoppers? kfox

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's Festival Time

Okay folks it's time to break the bank because you will want to attend more than one outdoor festival, but let's face it, at the price of gas unless you begin walking now, it's not a reality.

And since my broke ass is on a 'fixed' salary for summer, if The Roots are not on the bill, I will not even consider making a roadie (The Roots are touring though, like always, more on that in about a week).

But for those of you who are rollin in it, here's what's on tap:

Indo, CA
Friday, April 25, 2008 until Sunday, April 27, 2008
Little Brother, Murs, M.I.A., Aesop Rock, Little Brother, Prince and lots more

Soundset '08 Festival
Minneapolis, MN
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Atmosphere, Little Brother, Brother Ali, Blueprint, Dilated Peoples, P.O.S.,
Psalm One and lots more

Paid Dues Festival
New York, Ft. Lauderdale, Denver and San Francisco
dates vary: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 until Saturday, June 14, 2008
Rakim, De La Soul, Little Brother, Murs, GZA, Sage Francis, Blackalicious

Festival Pier - ROOTS PICNIC
Philadelphia, PA
The Roots, Gnarls Barkley, Sharon Jones+the Dap Kings, Diplo and more

Manchester, TN (near Nashville)
Thursday, June 12, 2008 until Sunday, June 15, 2008
Kayne West, Chris Rock, M.I.A, Stephen Marley, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, The Coup, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and many, many more

Rock the Bells Festival
dates and artists TBA
Release party and headliners announced on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 in Claremont, CA

... and now ya know! Stay classy hip hoppers, kfox!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Adding insult to injury

So I'm off to Vegas for a couple of days - all work and very little play. Attending and presenting at a conference "Conducting Research for Non-Profit Media" - ooooh, juicy topic, eh? Whatever, point is, I get to get away, talk media and test new technology. Oh, and I plan to see Wayne Brady perform while I'm there. I hear that his "Making %@ It Up" show is hilarious. Though he is no replacement for what I am missing while I am away.

Which brings me to my main point ... what appears to be a cruel joke that is being played on me. The Roots are scheduled to perform at Carnegie Mellon University. I got all geeked only to discover that I would be nearly two thousand miles away when the action arrives in The 'Burgh. Not so great for me. But to add insult to injury, I just learned that my boy, ?uestlove - Roots drummer and dj extraordinarie, is performing a set at a local club - yeah, it's true and I am soo sad about it.

I have not seen The Roots perform Live in, what, almost a year ... ? Sinful. So I've been combin through their other tour dates to see when I can be down, but it's not looking so good. I'm considering the D.C. dates, but I know the tix will be outrageously priced. The next good lookin date is the Festival Pier on June 7. We'll see.

So hip hoppers, if you are down and checkin out my guys, can I live vicariously through you or what?

**NOTE: image borrowed from The Roots blog

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Message is in the Movies

One of my fav hip hoppers is showing up more and more on the big screen. That would be Common. "Finding Forever" is a pretty good project, but in addition to droppin knowledge, Common is expanding his creative base.

Check out this interview on

I like the foray into acting for Common. He does what he does and he does it nicely - at least lyrically. But you know, people have to grow and challenge themselves. And what I really don't want to see is a rapper rappin at 65 years of age; no, they should not be doing that as a way of life, but acting ... yes, that is a respectable thing to be doing at 65,

Do you feel me hip hoppers? kfox

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Monday, April 07, 2008

What's Hot in Indie Hip Hop - CMJ style

So I've been trying to freshen up my hip hop playlist. I'm just a bit behind, but every so often I peek in on the CMJ list to see how they are shaking things up.

This week they've got Akrobatik on top, followed by Del tha Funky Homosapien, then Cadence Weapon. I've heard that the Del project is a hot one. Who's missing out here?

There's alot of interesting artists on the CMJ Hip Hop Top 20. But mostly I was checkin out the labels:
Oh, and there's a new Guru - you can't go wrong w/Guru!

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