September 6th I had the great pleasure to attend the War and Peace Tour at the Catalyst here in Santa Cruz, Ca. The tour had all-star underground headliners Immortal Technique and Brother Ali speaking their mind about the injustice and corruption brought forth by the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, and the corporate takeover of the media and U.S. government. They brought attention to the hypocrisies in our government’s current reasoning for war with the Syrian government, asked the audience to stop being programmed by the television, and as always, spoke of revolution. These messages were delivered all the while they entertained the pumped up crowd with refined beats, raps, and the essence of true Hip Hop culture. The soft-spoken delivery of Brother Ali made for the perfect balance to the always angry Immortal Technique. After the show they remained loyal to their crowd and stuck around to meet all in attendance and signed whatever anyone had to bring. The tour continues on across the nation until October 4th and I highly recommend you catch one of the dates because it is a show not worth missing.
Kimya Dawson & Aesop Rock come together as The Uncluded to create the collaborative album Hokey Fright.
At first I was a little hesitant, not knowing what to expect from the unusual collaboration. It was like I was listening to nursery rhymes dubbed over by a rap artist.
The fuse of Kimya’s sweet melancholy singing with Aesop Rock’s stern vocals complete 16 tracks on Hokey Fright. They both deliver clever verses over quirky instrumentals which make for a creative mash-up. While Kimya sweetly sings her way through the tracks, Aesop uses word play masterfully. Tracks like “Teleprompters” and “Delicate Cycle” provide lighthearted instrumentals, while the musicians deliver thought-provoking verses. Meanwhile at the opposite pole, “Superheroes” & “WYHUOM” are carefree and playful tracks.
Some may say that Aesop rapping over Kimya’s strumming guitar and folk singing is awkward, but I believe that this is what makes the album unique and refreshing. Embrace the odd combination! They were destined for greatness once the folk singer and rapper joined forces to create a musical experiment that has set a standard unmet by other artists. This is a perfect album to listen to this summer while riding your bike down the block– headphones in, real world out. Give it a listen!
KRS, an acronym for ““Knowledge Reigning Supreme”, has been called the “conscience of Hip Hop” by Rolling Stone magazine and “the spokesperson for Hip Hop” by the street cred publication, Wall Street Journal. With 20 published albums to his credit and his appearances with other artists, KRS-One has literally written the most rhymes in Hip Hop’s history and has been a master teacher for over two decades. Opening for KRS-One will be Ostrich Head; you may remember them from the soundtrack to the video game “Tiger Woods PGA Golf”. An Easter evening of Hip Hop happens at The Golden State Theatre in Monterey March 31st. Showtime is 8 pm.
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