Universal Motown Records Rap Star Chamillionaire to Release Sophomore Album

June 30, 2007 at 3:15 am | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

Universal Motown groundbreaking hip-hop artist, Chamillionaire has marked September 18th as the official release date for his much-buzzed about sophomore effort, Ultimate Victory, the follow-up to his Award winning, platinum-plus debut The Sound Of Revenge.The first single from the new disk, “Hip-Hop Police,” featuring legendary rap star Slick Rick, has already set hip-hop chat rooms a blaze and is the #1 Most Added song at Rhythm Crossover and the #4 Most Added on Urban Radio. Chamillionaire promises the song is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to Ultimate Victory, which he describes as ‘A very conceptual album where I really pushed my creativity.’

Chamillionaire’s rise from Houston underground rap pioneer to award-winning, mainstream music was nominated for two Grammy Awards, garnering nods in the Best Rap Song category and for Best Rap Performance By Duo or Group (which he won) for the hit single “Ridin’,” featuring Krayzie Bone, from his platinum-plus debut album The Sound Of Revenge. The prestigious nods came on the heels of his two trophy-takedown at the First Annual BET Hip-Hop Awards in mid-November, where Chamillionaire walked away with both the Rookie of the Year Award and the coveted Alltell Wireless People’s Champ (Viewers’ Choice) Awards. The Houston rapper began his incredible run as the most honored hip-hop star of the past year by beating out proven superstars 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and T.I. for Best Rap Video for “Ridin’” at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards.

Chamillionaire’s platinum-plus debut disc has become one of the most lauded albums in hip-hop history, with the single and video for “Ridin’” topping almost every chart and single-handedly transforming the digital landscape, as well. Incredibly, Chamillionaire became the biggest selling Ringtone artist in history, surpassing an amazing 4 million in ringtone sales, in addition to his groundbreaking Myspace site closing in on an astounding 8.9 million profile views.

As a special gesture to fans, Chamillionaire will be releasing the new Mixtape Messiah 3 CD and Mixtape Messiah DVD in July ‘07. The magnitude of Chamillionaire’s rise from Mixtape Messiah to multi-platform entertainment entrepreneur can best be gleamed from a mainstream news story that ran earlier this year as to how the rapper’s Robin Hood-like image even penetrated the sacred halls of the White House. Presidential Press Secretary Tony Snow called worldwide attention to the hip-hop artist’s ringtone prowess when he heard a reporter’s cell phone playing the opening chords of “Ridin’” during his daily briefing. When Snow humorously pressed other reporters to see if she did indeed ‘have the ringtone on her phone,’ one ABC scribe replied” ‘Doesn’t everyone?’

Andre ‘3000’ Benjamin Set to Release ‘Class of 3000: Music Volume One’

June 30, 2007 at 3:00 am | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

The music from the critically praised animated series Class of 3000 has jumped from the TV into your home. Executive produced by Andre “3000” Benjamin the soundtrack Class of 3000: Music Volume One will be in stores July 3, 2007.On the heels of kicking off an eagerly awaited second season of Class of 3000, Andre “3000” Benjamin selected 14 of the songs he exclusively wrote and produced for the show. The songs feature the voices of the kids/characters from the innovative series, including the kids’ music teacher’s, Sunny Bridges, who borrows his voice from Andre 3000 himself. All the songs were heard throughout the episodes of the highly rated first season of the Cartoon Network original show. Class of 3000, which was created by executive producers Thomas W. Lynch (Romeo!) and Andre “3000” Benjamin, premiered in November 2006 and quickly won over both critics and the masses alike garnering one of the network’s highest rated original series debut.

Set to the backdrop of Atlanta, Class of 3000 follows international music star Sunny Bridges, voiced by Benjamin, who gave up his flourishing music career to teach a group of gifted musical prodigies at his alma mater, the Westley School for the Performing Arts. New episodes of the series air Thursday at 7 p.m. (ET, PT) on Cartoon Network.

Andre “3000” Benjamin is known world-wide as one-half of the multi-Grammy winning musical group OutKast. His acting career includes roles in the upcoming feature films Semi-Pro, starring Will Ferrell and Battle in Seattle due out later this year co-starring Charlize Theron. He has also starred in the feature films Idlewild, Four Brothers, Be Cool and Hollywood Homicide. Moxie, his Atlanta-based production company, develops original feature films as well as episodic television.

The Zomba Label Group consists of record labels Jive, LaFace, Volcano, Verity, GospoCentric and Fo Yo Soul. These labels represent a varied group of artists including R. Kelly, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Ciara, Chris Brown, Pink, Tool, Britney Spears, OutKast, Kirk Franklin, Three Days Grace, 311, Nick Lachey, T-Pain, Byron Cage, Buddy Guy, Living Things, YoungBloodZ, Anthony Hamilton, Donnie McClurkin, and Backstreet Boys.

Detroit Rapper Hayes Set to Release Freshman LP on Interscope

June 30, 2007 at 2:45 am | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

Moneybags/Interscope artist Hayes is definitely making a name for himself in the streets. His new mixtape entitled 24 Songs of Power is becoming an instant classic as Hayes solidifies himself as a Hip-Hop presence. With in-house production team The Breakfast Club, Hayes paints vivid pictures of his hometown Detroit over stark melodic bangers.Highly anticipated by the industry’s elite, Hayes has the ears of Hip-Hop heads and executives alike. Signed to Interscope in 2005, Hayes’ has collected a unique fan base of Hip-Hop producers and artist, making him quite possibly your “favorite rappers favorite rapper”. With ties to a laundry list of heavyweight-hit makers, Hayes is setting himself up for a homerun his first time at the plate.

“A lot of people talk about the difficulty of releasing a first album but I got so many quality joints the only hard part is picking the right ones.” Hayes said at private screening of the latest Episode of HBO’s Entourage on which his music is to be featured.

Whether you are tuning in to HBO’s Entourage watching Turtle and Drama party to Hayes’ “Damn Fool” or downloading mixtapes on DatPiff.com, it’s hard to miss the self proclaimed “bubble man” bubbling his way into the spotlight.

Get the Hayes 24 Songs of Power:
http://www.datpiff.com/Hayes-24-Songs-Of-Power-mid4309.html#

Allison Hinds set to sparkle at Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest

June 29, 2007 at 9:55 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest will be all set to receive royalty later this summer, with the presence of the ‘Queen of Soca’, Allison Hinds, the organisers are pleased to announce.


No stranger to Jamaica, Alison Hinds has long been a fan favourite here, throughout the Caribbean and in the United States and has been thrilling audiences for years with her songs, sexiness and electric performances. She is slated to perform on Friday night July 20th at the Evolution, in the Vibes City Montego Bay, Jamaica.

A staple and a must-see during the annual Carnival celebrations here, Trinidad and in Barbados, Allison immediately establishes a rapport with audiences the minute she hits the stage – man and woman alike. Usually dressed to show off her considerable assets, her performances are not limited to merely singing, as she also gives dance classes and entertaining advice to both sexes about proper protocol in various situations – ranging from a couple alone to two strangers meeting during in a road march, which is eagerly absorbed.
To call Allison an international act is practically telling a lie, since she has been known to describe the ‘Land of Wood and Water’ as being ‘just like home’.

Born in England, Hinds moved to Barbados with her mother at the age of 11. In 1986 she joined Square One and graduated to the role of lead singer after a number of titles, such as ‘The Party Monarch’ and ‘Road March Monarch’ – won during Barbados’ yearly carnivals – the first woman to win these titles, which she did two years consecutively – and as the group moved from hotel band to nightclub band to being bonafide stars. They released an album, Full Bloom, which included the song Faluma, which became a smash hit across the Caribbean and parts of Central America. Alison took time off to have her daughter, then went solo after and never looked back.

She is always in high demand, no matter the time of year – Carnival or not. Anything but bashful when on-stage, Alison Hinds is an expert at getting her audiences involved in her acts and even brings men on-stage to give them ‘wining’ lessons, her instructions being eagerly lapped up as they delivered over the microphone into the crowd. In fact, what Alison Hinds manages to do is seduce them men without making the women jealous – all the men want her, all the women want to be like her.  Roll It Gyal is her latest hit, and there is no doubt that when the Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest train rolls in many a female fan will be following her advice to a tee.

Following closely on the heels of carnival in Jamaica, Johnny Gourzong, Executive Director Summerfest Productions, organizers of the event, says that Allison Hinds will fit perfectly into the line up for Red Stripe Reggae Festival.

“Allison Hinds is one of the greats of soca music, she truly showed that during carnival in Jamaica and in Trinidad. I am happy to have her on the show, as she will add a soca element that I believe the people want to experience,” Mr. Gourzong said.

Carlo Redwood, Group Marketing Manager of Red Stripe, echoed the same sentiments saying that he too was pleased that Allison Hinds has been included.

“Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest boasts a great and diverse line up each year. From reggae to dancehall to hip hop to R&B, the festival has always represented a wonderful mix of different genres of music. Allison Hinds will bring some soca fever to the event, I am happy she has been included,” Mr. Redwood said.

It is with high anticipation that ‘socaphiles’ and others look forward to another thrilling performance from the Queen of Soca when she hits the stage at Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest in July.

WORLD-RENOWNED MUSICIANS CONFIRMED FOR 2ND ANNUAL “THISDAY” FESTIVAL ON JULY 14-15

June 29, 2007 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

As the world celebrates the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade – Nigeria will truly have cause for celebration as top acts join local artists for the second annual THISDAY Festival.  The two-day concert series taking place in Lagos, Nigeria at the new THISDAY Events Center, will be held July 14 and 15.  Confirmed performers include Shakira, John Legend and UB-40 (7/14), Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, and Ne-Yo (7/15), as well as Nigerian acts D’Banj, Sasha and Mode – 9.

The inaugural THISDAY festival last year featured sets by iconic artists such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliot, Ciara, En Vogue and Busta Rhymes.

Ola Joshua, Head of Entertainment at THISDAY Newspapers said “Again this is set to be the one of the most explosive line up of artists on the same stage in Africa and the world and we are very honored at THISDAY and in Nigeria to be hosting all of these talented artists.”

“I’ve heard nothing but good things, and can’t wait to get over there and give back some of the love that I’ve been given from over there,” Ne-Yo stated. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to even get the opportunity to visit, let alone perform.”  Ne-Yo is currently headlining a tour throughout the US with a final stop July 5th in San Antonio, TX.

About THISDAY

THISDAY Festival is an outgrowth of THISDAY, the flagship newspaper of Leaders & Company Ltd., which quickly established itself as Nigeria’s premier newspaper of record after launching in 1995.  The first newspaper in Nigeria to introduce full-color printing, THISDAY has a daily readership of four million people.  With some 700 staff members in 38 offices across Nigeria, it also maintains a bureau in Washington, DC from which it provides news on Africa to a variety of global news organizations and agencies across all platforms, including radio, cable to satellite television, and the World Wide Web.

ESSO Nominated for 2 Underground Music Awards! Voting Begins NOW!!!

June 29, 2007 at 7:15 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

2006 was an amazing year for ESSO and One of Ours Entertainment, and it continues to get better in 2007 as ESSO has been nominated for 2 Underground Music Awards: Best Mixtape (for ESSOcentric Volume I: History in the Making) and the “Underground’s #1 Contender ” award.

Voting Begins today (June 28th) on HipHopPalace.com, and we can only win with your support. You can vote once a day, so please remember to vote daily for ESSO in both categories.

LINKS TO VOTE:

UNDERGROUND’S #1 CONTENDER AWARD:
http://www.hiphoppalace.com/pages.cfm?ID=636

BEST MIXTAPE AWARD:
http://www.hiphoppalace.com/pages.cfm?ID=633

Here’s a little bit of what went down in the last 12 months…

ESSO’s 2006 Accomplishments

Won “Faces in the Crowd” Showcase presented by All is One Ent/SRC Records

Won “Don’t Quit Ya Day Job” Tournament of Champions on The Cipha Sounds Effect/SHADE45/Sirius Satellite Radio (competition included Mims)

Appeared on MTV‘s “Sucker Free Straight from the Streets” with Cipha Sounds

Named “Unsigned Hype” by The Source Magazine

Launched “The Life and Grind of ESSO” online journal on AllHipHop.com

ESSOcentric Volume I: History in the Making rated “HOOD” by Scratch Magazine & 3.5/4 Tapes by RapMullet.com

ABOUT THE UMA’s:

The Underground Music Awards were created to acknowledge and honor the achievements and contributions of unsigned and independent artists within the urban music scene. Past winners include Remy Ma, Papoose, Saigon, DJ KaySlay, Serius Jones, and many more


ESSO

E2: ESSObama – The Champagne Campaign
Hosted by Cipha Sounds & Sickamore
March 12, 2007

ESSOcentric Volume I: History in the Making
Co-Starring Sickamore (OUT RIGHT NOW)

Watch ESSO on MTV’s Sucker Free with Cipha Sounds:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=1523956214

Could we have another Uptown Hip Hop Legend in the making?
-Omar Mazariego – SCRATCH MAGAZINE

ESSO differentiates himself from other similar aged MCs through his ability to craft cohesive songs.
-Conan Milne – THE SOURCE MAGAZINE

When you get a CD like this you know that there is hope for music.
-Big Chew – RAPMULLET.COM

3.5/4 Tapes on RAPMULLET.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ESSO VISIT:

http://www.essomusic.com
http://www.myspace.com/esso
http://www.youtube.com/essotv

SCREAMFEST PRESS RELEASE: T.I. & CIARA HIT STAGE THIS SUMMER W/ YUNG JOC, T-PAIN & LLOYD FOR SCREAMFEST 07

June 29, 2007 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    

SCREAMFEST ’07 SETS THE SUMMER OFF RIGHT AS
GRAMMY AWARD WINNING ARTISTS T.I. & CIARA

HIT THE STAGE ALONG WITH YUNG JOC, T-PAIN & LLOYDAtlanta, GA –Nothing sets the summer off right better than that favorite barbeque, family reunion, outdoor music festival or concert. This summer, the SCREAM TOUR will be that one concert that thousands of screaming fans will be running to the box office to get, logging online to take advantage of, camping out and jamming the phone lines to purchase and beating down the blogs to talk about.

This year’s SCREAM TOUR, aptly titled “SCREAMFEST ’07, is the sixth installment in the critically acclaimed SCREAM TOUR concert series that has, in the past, featured everyone from Ne-Yo to Bow Wow, Chris Brown and Omarion. The SCREAM TOUR has built a reputation for bringing together the best of the best in the worlds of rap and R&B to rock the house “LIVE” for one unforgettable night for thousands of urban youth across the country. Throughout its history, the SCREAM TOUR concert series has entertained over one million fans. SCREAMFEST ’07 will continue to build on the incredible legacy that has made the SCREAM TOUR a household name among youth. Fans will definitely get high-powered performances filled with intense audience interaction, all within a festival setting delivered by their favorite top-charting artists.

The highly anticipated concert stars one of the hottest rappers of our time, two-time Grammy award winning artist-T.I. and its first female headliner ever and one of the most successful R&B stars of this era-Grammy Award winning, multi-platinum selling entertainer-Ciara. Both Ciara and T.I. continue to capitalize on their multi-platinum selling, award-winning successes. From music to movies, they both have emerged as two of the music industry’s premiere power players. T.I., the multi-talented rapper and actor, will be headlining SCREAMFEST ’07 in promotion of his fifth Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records album, T.I. vs T.I.P, slated for release on July 3rd. The highly anticipated album includes his current hit single, “Big Things Poppin’ ” and his new release, “You Know What It Is” featuring Wyclef Jean.

SCREAMFEST ’07 will surpass all expectations. This year I plan on setting the bar extremely high,” said T.I.  “Nothing like what you’re used to.  The tour is evolving and becoming more mature.  We are going to go hard.  I guarantee it will be the tour of the summer and you can bet the house on that.”

Ciara is headlining SCREAMFEST ’07 in continued promotion of her platinum-selling sophomore release, Ciara: The Evolution, which features the top-charting singles, “Promise” and “Like A Boy” and her new single “Can’t Leave ‘Em Alone” featuring 50 Cent.

“This is my second time being a part of the SCREAM and I must say that it feels bigger and better this year,” said Ciara.  “I am very excited about the lineup. It’s the hottest names in music and I can guarantee that fans will be excited as well. Expect a lot of energy on this tour and expect to hear hit after hit after hit!”

The concert will also feature Grammy nominated and platinum selling rapper Yung Joc, who drops his second album Hustlenomics on August 28, along with hit-maker T-Pain, who recently released his sophomore album Epiphany, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. Rounding out the featured acts is R&B sensation and heartthrob Lloyd, who’s set to perform his hit single, “Get It Shawty.” The tour producers have also confirmed that there will be other special guest performers in cities along the way.

Once again, this year’s tour will be supported by media giant Black Entertainment Television (BET). This is BET’s fifth year as a presenting sponsor of the SCREAM TOUR.  In addition to presenting the country’s premiere musical superstars from rap to R&B, the SCREAM TOUR concert series has also built a reputation for building powerfully strategic corporate alliances to partner with the tour. This year will be no different. In addition to BET’s partnership with SCREAMFEST ’07, several high-profile corporations, ranging from communications leaders to broadcast giant’s, are preparing to align themselves with this year’s tour. All corporate sponsors and content partners will be announced next week. SCREAMFEST ’07, presented by BET and SCREAM Star Entertainment, is being produced and marketed by Michael Mauldin and Mauldin Brand Agency for SCREAM Star Entertainment.SCREAMFEST ’07 DATES ARE AS FOLLOWS:
August 3rd            New Orleans, LA            New Orleans Arena
August 4th            Houston, TX                  Toyota Center
August 6th            Dallas, TX                     Nokia Theatre  
August 9th            Cleveland, OH               Wolstein Center at CSU 
August 10th          Chicago, IL                   Allstate Arena
August 11th          St. Louis, MO                Scottrade Arena
August 12th          Kansas City, MO            Kemper Arena
August 16th          Detroit, MI                    Joe Louis Arena
August 17th          Indianapolis, IN             Indiana State Fairgrounds
August 18th          Washington, DC            Verizon Center
August 19th          Hampton, VA                Hampton Coliseum
August 21st           Mansfield, MA               Tweeter Center
August 22nd          New York, NY               Madison Square Garden
August 23rd          Philadelphia, PA            Wachovia Spectrum
August 24th          Baltimore, MD               1st Mariner Arena
August 25th          Greensboro, NC             Greensboro Coliseum
August 26th          Atlanta, GA                   Philips Arena
August 29th          Denver, CO                   Coors Amphitheatre
August 31st          San Jose, CA                 HP Pavilion
September 1st     Los Angeles, CA             Gibson Amphitheatre
September 2nd    Los Angeles, CA             Gibson Amphitheatre
CITIES GOING ON SALE THIS WEEKEND
Friday, June 29th – Cleveland, OH
Friday, June 29th – Detroit, MI
Saturday, June 30th – Houston, TX

About SCREAM Star Entertainment
SCREAM Star Entertainment is a multi-dimensional, artist development, entertainment brand driven by content and focused on the youth ages 13-25. It is dedicated to maximizing its relationship with the elusive teen market through its current programs, platforms & plans; including: SCREAM TOUR CONCERT SERIES, SCREAM STAR RECORDS, R U THE NEXT SCREAM STAR?, SCREAM STAR RADIO, SCREAM STAR MAGAZINE AND THE SCREAM STAR FOUNDATION.

About BET
BET Networks is the leading provider of media and entertainment for African Americans and consumers of Black culture on a global basis.  The primary BET cable network reaches more than 85 million households, and can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.  BET Networks is the preeminent entertainment brand serving African Americans and consumers of Black culture on a global basis.

 

El-P: The Outsider

June 29, 2007 at 3:36 pm | Posted in Interviews | Leave a comment

Written by Rafael Martinez  

Unbeknownst, to the club going, finger snapping, ay bay bay hollering hip-hop fans, El-P is the architect of one of the biggest independent movements in hip-hop. El-P helped launch Rawkus Records in the minds and hearts of backpackers as part of the legendary trio Company Flow. When his relationship with Rawkus soured, rather than sign with a major, El-P stuck to his indie roots and formed his own label Definitive Jux. In the past seven years indie artist like Cannibal Ox, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif , RJD2 and Cage have found a creative safe haven in Def Jux. While successfully running the label El-P has continued to develop his solo-career as emcee and producer, recently dropping his sophomore project I’ll Sleep When Your Dead. As reluctant as he maybe to take the title, El-P is a hip-hop mogul on the indie grind.

  Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

RAF: I know your touring in support of the album, how has life on the road been treating you?

 

El-P: It’s been good man, I’m a little exhausted, but I’m managing.

 

RAF: So everyone seems to have different ways of describing your music and production. It’s been called spacey, futuristic, Bomb Squad-esque, how do you see your music?

El-P: Well I really don’t man. I’m just a kid who grew up in Brooklyn, who fucking loved hip-hop all his life. I just don’t do it. Same way I don’t like to review other peoples’ records.

 

RAF: Aight (laughs), all your albums you paint this bleak picture of the world highly authoritative and sterile. Where do you see the world in a hundred years?

 

El-P: I couldn’t even imagine that – hopefully some sort of state of rebuilding, because I think we are headed for some sort of crash. But I couldn’t even imagine the world a hundred years from now. I am still trying to deal with New York City right now.

 

RAF: I wanted to get your thoughts on the Don Imus and Oprah controversy. I think while everyone is making this outcry, asking hip-hop to create a positive message, yet I know if hip-hop brings a political or empowering message I guarantee they would want hip-hop to return to the bitches and ho’s talk.

 

El-P: Well you know I agree, but I think the people who are rejecting the bitches and ho’s thing are not the corporate people (laughs). The corporate people love the bitches and ho’s thing. The people who are actually getting offended are actually and legitimately offended by the shit. On that note I am sure this will not make the article I do kinda feel like that whole thing let’s put more curse words on the reversal list and the bleep out list is kinda of like putting a band aide on an open jugular. It doesn’t really seem to be getting to the root of the problem. Its just kinda of funny to me everyone was supporting this shit until the second someone gets offended. I don’t get it. It has been offensive to so many people for so long. Why now all of sudden?

 Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

RAF: Let me ask you about your production process and when you sketch the new album are there certain images or feelings and emotions you couldn’t translate into music?

 

El-P: Well you know it’s getting easier for me. The more I learn about music, the longer I have been in this business, the longer I have been a producer – the translation becomes easier from what is in my head to my hands. Which is why I kinda feel this is my best record because that translation has become quicker, easier and a lot more accurate. For me I am never satisfied, I never think I am good enough, I never think the music is on point enough and I never think I am at the point where I want to be musically. But it’s not because I’m beating myself up or hypercritical. It’s because the more I see, the more I learn and get involved in music, I love it. I have been putting records out since 93, so I am just now starting to really understand what the fuck it is I am trying to do.

 

RAF: In the same vein are there certain things you feel shouldn’t put a record?

 

El-P: Well you know usually when I run into those situations – I force myself to put it on a record (laughs). Because those scenarios that are too honest or that your scared to put on a record that reveal something about yourself more than you want to, usually, that’s exactly what you need to be putting on a record. It seems like people are much more willing to put bullshit and lies on a record. That is exactly what I don’t want to put on a record. The stuff that is easier to put on a record, the stuff that won’t expose me and not make me feel uncomfortable that is the shit that needs to be left on the editing floor.

 

RAF: Going forward has it ever crossed your mind to complete flip the script and change the signature El-P sound? Similarly to DJ Shadow’s last album The Outsider where he concentrated on hyphy music.

 

El-P: I kinda follow my own heart – I don’t involve the fans, in the creative process. The fact is I do a lot of other projects outside of my record. This is only my second solo record. I’ve done jazz albums, film scores, producing rock records, doing rock remixes. So I don’t really feel I need to make some overt statement about my capabilities as a producer or flip anything. All I feel I need to do is follow my own shit. What the fans get when they follow me is they get a direction they get a confession from where I was at last time. 

 

RAF: So the new album you have some rock collaborations Trent Reznor, Mars Volta and TV on the Radio, considering a lot of the rock/rap collabos have been so fucking awful, do you feel like its picking up a loaded gun?

 

El-P: I wasn’t afraid to do it, I was cautious about the way that I did it. Because of how tragically fucking bad it usually is when people do it. The thing is I am actually cool with these people. There is actually some sort of relationship there. Its not some bullshit – there is a real respect between everybody on the record. So I just kinda figured out a way to do it. For me I had to bring them into my world and not make it about the collaboration. I brought these people on because I heard parts on the record that I thought would be cool to have them on. Not because I wanted to create a record and they were willing to do a song with me and I made a song around that. I all ready had all of these songs and I just treated it like a sample. I looked at it like the art of sampling. Name me one classic hip-hop record from the 80’s to the 90’s that didn’t sample directly from a rock record? Shit, I’ll give you money. Basically to me it’s an extension of the whole breakdown and reconstruction of a genre, that’s what hip-hop producers do. For me if I found what Mars Volta sung on some record, I would have sampled that shit. A lot of people do the overstated collaboration, the collaboration should never be more important than the song, the idea.

 

RAF: Yeah I agree your approach as sampling is probably the best. I don’t think I have seen a rock/rap collaboration that was truly organic, where there was no tension.

 

El-P: I don’t think your right, I understand why you would say that but I treat it as sampling but they where genuine collaborations. I weaved into my music – I took the stuff apart I played with it. But there is a lot of common ground man – it’s not that big of a deal. Especially when you listen to Trent Reznor, to me he is not the biggest leap production wise. It is a leap to a degree. But most of that leap is in the minds of the people who define the genres from a critical stand point. When you listen to this dude’s (Trent Reznor) drums, that’s why a lot of hip-hop cats like Nine Inch Nails because of the bass and the drums – the shit is just savage. With Mars Volta – their structure, the effects they use the way go about there shit isn’t so impossibly different from some of the approaches I have taken. Most of the leaps and hurdles that have to be overcome when you do something like this is a) the way people perceive it and b) just making the shit sound good. It requires some thought and I knew I could pull it off.

 

RAF: So how do you feel your first solo album Fantastic Damage and I’ll Sleep When Your Dead relate to each other?

 

El-P: This record was written from the prospective of someone who’s been alive and shuffling around New York City for five years in the midst of all this bullshit. It really was about struggle. One man, one physiological prospective. Trying to wake up everyday and function like everything is still cool but everything isn’t necessarily cool. I think that’s the reality of New York right now. Shit man we are trauma victims a lot has gone on since then that has really sucked some of the soul, energy and life out of all of us. Whether or not we are admitting it, people are fucked up right now. I was fucked up personally, I’ve been through a lot of shit and this is what this record is about. It’s not about being afraid of the future or anything like that, its literally me trying to survive and walk through this city and still maintain sanity and life. A lot of my friends didn’t do that and didn’t survive. As far as future albums I don’t have a grand vision I just try to take snapshots and make it the most genuine shit possible.

 

RAF: I know you from Brooklyn, I was born and raised there myself and live a few blocks away from the Atlantic Yards project. This is gonna change the borough completely. Where do you stand on this?

 

El-P: I am pretty worried about it to be honest. I am not looking forward to it. The neighborhood I live in is going to be greatly affected by it. I am not going to front. All my life I have lived in Brooklyn and it’s always been a refuge, some sanity – in comparison. It didn’t get the Walt Disney makeover like Manhattan did.

 

RAF: It’s been about 7 years give or take since your record label Definitive Jux started. Back then did you see the label where it’s at now, are you happy with its direction?

 

El-P: I am constantly busting my ass, as we all are to ensure that it is a better label at all times. As always I think it is a work in progress. But yes I think we got a really good thing going and it’s mostly because of the amazing people who work there and because of the artists we work with. It’s been a fun ride – I still feel it’s got a lot of places to go. As long as it continues to make sense I will fuck wit it. I am sure one day eventually I will walk away from this whole business, you know and just do music. But in the meantime I have the opportunity to help cats help create a career for themselves. It’s definitely something I enjoy. From day one we constantly try to make our shit the tightest shit, the most transparent, the best independent label on the planet. I don’t know if we can claim that but we are up there.

 

RAF: It seems to me with Def Jux people have generally two reactions they either love or they don’t fuck with it. Does this bother you?

 

El-P: Well I think there are people out there who make up their minds on shit based on stuff besides the music. There are perceptions that have come, based on magazines that there is some sort of unifying theme or factor to all the music that is put out on Def Jux. Anybody can like our music or not like our music, but to say you don’t like any music on the label, even the music that has not even come out yet (laughs). But I kinda feel that’s the mood and vibe of fandom right now – people just draw hard lines. When I grew up people listened to rock ‘n’ roll or hip-hop, but a lot of motherfuckers listened to both. Now its I listen to this type of hip-hop or this type of hip-hop (laughs), its pretty ridiculous, I think anyone over the age of like 29 looks that at that whole attitude as silly.

Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s Eighth Annual “Art For Life” Adds Forest Whitaker, Kerry Washington, Rev Run and Family and Many More Plus Designer Yellow Wardrobe for Auction

June 29, 2007 at 3:25 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation are pleased to announce Oscar®-winner Forest Whitaker, Tracy V. Maitland of Advent Capital Management, LLC and David G. Rosenberg of Unifund as honorees, and actress Kerry Washington as an Event Chair at this year’s ART FOR LIFE East Hampton 2007. Washington will join Damon Dash and Rachel Roy who were announced earlier as Event Chairs; Ivanka Trump and Antonio “L.A.” Reid are the Honorary Chairs. In addition Rush Philanthropic co-founder, iconic Hip-Hop artist and star of MTV’s “Run’s House”, Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, along with his wife Justine and children, Vanessa, Angela, JoJo, Russy (Russell) and Diggy (Daniel) will also be in attendance at this year’s event.

ART FOR LIFE East Hampton, which takes place on Saturday, July 28th 2007 at the Simmons’ East Hampton estate, is Rush Philanthropic’s primary annual fundraising effort to help thousands of underserved New York City children. Previously announced honorees include BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc.) and Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Close to 900 leaders from the entertainment, arts, business, and philanthropic communities attend the event each year, which is highlighted by live and silent auctions. The event is one of the hottest tickets of the summer and sells out annually; last year’s gala raised almost $1.4 million to provide disadvantaged New York City youth with invaluable arts experiences.

“Giving every child the opportunity to develop into the most they can be is one of the greatest gifts you can give,” emphasized Kimora Lee Simmons. “Art For Life is an event that enables Rush Philanthropic to do its work, granting funds to much needed and very worthwhile programs for children who may have little else in their lives to look forward to. I am so proud to be a part of this event and a part of the great work Rush Philanthropic does every day.”

For the first time, this year’s theme “Not So Mellow Yellow,” will introduce the fabulous “Yellow Wardrobe” for the luxury auction. Clothing designer Rachel Roy, jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz and shoe designer Guiseppe Zanotti, among other top fashion designers to the stars, have all signed on, each donating a special yellow item for the auction’s “Yellow Wardrobe”.

“As a designer creativity is important to me, and Rush Philanthropic embraces and supports the artistic inclinations of young minds. I am so happy to be able to lend support to this group by donating a dress. The Stacey Twist dress is a reflection of how a confident woman
dresses in the summer – colorful and effortlessly elegant,” shares designer Rachel Roy.

Iconic artist Francesco Clemente, is the 2007 ART FOR Life “Featured Artist”. Born in Naples, Italy, the self-taught expressionist and surrealist painter, who has worked on collaborative projects with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, will create an original piece of art, to be auctioned off at the event. A limited edition of the work will be produced and $30,000 Platinum Easel table patrons will each receive a signed and numbered print.

Platinum sponsor Land Rover is pulling out all the stops on one of the hottest, top of the line items in ART FOR LIFE auction history. Land Rover’s 20th Anniversary Range Rover, valued at $125,000 and one of only 40 vehicles of its kind built for North America will be offered in the Live Auction. This limited edition Range Rover features a 400HP Supercharged Engine, Brembo high-performance brakes, a custom exterior of white pearl paint, two-tone ivory/ebony leather and suede seats, custom engraved name plates, a custom matching instrument panel clock and an entertainment center that boasts a rear-seat 6-DVD changer. World-renowned Simon de Pury of Phillips de Pury & Company is sure to add excitement as the gala’s Auctioneer.

The ART FOR LIFE weekend will be preceded by two main events. Platinum Sponsor Land Rover, along with Russell Simmons and Rush Philanthropic will host a pre-party for VIP, celebrity and platinum level patrons on Tuesday, July 10th at Land Rover’s New York City show room. Attendees will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails sponsored by Silver Sponsor Ciroc Vodka and get to preview the 20th Anniversary Range Rover. Rush Arts Gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea arts district will also host a VIP Art Auction Preview on Wednesday, July 20th. The Gallery will showcase 30-50 contemporary pieces that will be available for auction during the ART FOR LIFE event.

Funds raised through ART FOR LIFE will provide support for many projects throughout the year dedicated to reaching out to New York City youth through the arts. Each year three youth groups are selected as the event’s featured beneficiaries. This year’s groups are Friends of Island Academy, The POINT and Working Playground. These are just three of the over 50 programs to which Rush Philanthropic provides grants throughout the year. Proceeds from ART FOR LIFE will also support Rush Philanthropic’s own signature education programs; as well as provide support for Rush Arts Gallery exhibitions featuring the works of emerging artists of color; and help launch Rush East New York, an arts oasis the foundation will open in Brooklyn this fall.

Since its inception, Rush has provided grants to dozens of non-profit organizations, including Donors Choose, Impact Repertory Theatre, Urban Word NYC, Free Arts for Abused Children, Art Start, Studio in a School, Arts Connection, P.E.N.C.I.L., Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band, Brotherhood/Sister Sol, The Ghetto Film School, and the Northside Center for Child Development, and has served countless visual artists through the exhibitions and activities of Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center.

Tickets to ART FOR LIFE start at $1,500 per person. For ticket/table purchases, please contact Haven LLC at 212.810.4490 or email ArtForLife@havenllc.com. For further information about Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, please contact Marc Eastwood, Development Associate at 917.229.7207, or via email at artforlife@rushphilanthropic.org.

ABOUT RUSH PHILANTHROPIC ARTS FOUNDATION

Founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color. While its primary emphasis is the arts, Rush Philanthropic is committed to the general well being of young people by considering a wide range of concerns. A 501(C) 3 organization, Rush Philanthropic fulfills its mission through three core programs: grants, exhibitions and mentoring. The Rush Community Grants Program annually provides direct funding to over 50 nonprofit organizations that offer education programming in all disciplines of the arts to New York City youth. Rush also runs two arts exhibition and education facilities: Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center in Manhattan’s Chelsea arts district and the Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. Our Rush Kids Visual Arts Mentorship Programs use arts education to create a spark that fires the imagination and creativity of the urban youth we serve. The Rush Impact Mentorship Initiative allows the foundation’s leadership to reach out to young people by taking them behind the scenes at Rush Communications’ headquarters for in-depth Q&A sessions with Russell Simmons and executives in music, fashion, and creative-related professions.

The organization is currently in a fundraising campaign for Rush East New York, an 11,000 square-foot arts education and resource center in the East New York section of Brooklyn. The building was a gift from United Homes. Rush Philanthropic believes in the vital importance of lifelong exposure to the arts, nurtured in early childhood, and anchored in sustained, creative experiences throughout one’s life.

Ben Geib

June 28, 2007 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Interviews | Leave a comment

Written by Kim Reed

Okay guys first let me introduce Ben, talk about funny! This guy knows funny. His standup certainly isn’t for kids but nonetheless he is hilarious. I got the opportunity to interview him and just laugh. I tell you no lie, he is grateful for it all cause he can do it all! I’m telling you guys, Ben Glieb is an all around comedian. Check him out on Myspace.com and right here in this interview…

 

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The Source: Hi Ben, it’s Kim from The Source, how’s it going?

 

Ben: I’m good, how are you?

 

The Source: Am good, first let me take the time to thank you for doing this opportunity.

 

Ben: You’re welcome!

 

The Source: What’s going on, what’s new?

 

Ben: Am here in Atlanta kicking it in my hotel room, on the internet, waiting on my show tonight.

 

The Source: How is the show looking tonight?

 

Ben: It’s looking real good. We got all kinds of people rollin out to come check out my stand up, fans of the show and fans of my act.

 

The Source: I would love to experience that, hopefully I will one day.

 

Ben: Where do you live L.A.?

 

The Source: No, I live in New York.

 

Ben: I may be doing some colleges out there.

 

The Source: I will defiantly look out for that. You started off doing hidden camera?

 

Ben: Yeah man, I started off in college, doing my own TV show called “The Gleib Show” that was hidden camera and news pieces and sketches. I also started doing standup when I graduated college, shortly after that, real quick, I met success in the L.A. standup scene and then I sold my show “The Gleib Show” to National Lampoon Network for like colleges across the country. I did my thing there, the show was hidden camera

.

The Source: That’s great. So how did the “Wedding Crashers” piece come along?

 

Ben: It was actually some good luck of mine. A good friend of mine who was on “Punked”, Owen Benjamin went to audition for it. He went in and so happens the casting director asked if he could recommend anybody else for the show and next thing you know…

 

The Source: That was a good lookout for you and an even better friend!

 

Ben: Yeah pretty crazy question to ask for someone who wanted the job himself. It was a huge looking out.

 

The Source: What was the best standup u did and where?

 

Ben: I like to perform on TV, I like to do the “Late Show”, that was great; you get to perform for a million people at once. It’s better than 200 people in Iowa, but as far as gigs… I don’t know. I like performing a lot, I like performing for ethnic crowds. I love performing at Latino nights, they go nuts. Performing in L.A., there were a couple nights I performed on the comedy two’s show at the improvs and I been on line up’s like in one night Dave Chappelle, Dane Cook, Sarah Silverman all in one line up.

 

The Source: Those are all really great comedians, being in that atmosphere what was it like for you?

 

Ben: It’s incredible; you grow up watching these people. It’ s pretty crazy watching these comics and all of a sudden you’re a colleague of theirs and you’re doing the exact same job and I follow these people. They say it’s hard to follow great people, and I followed all these people. I followed Chappelle, I followed Dane Cook, and it’s all the same time an incredible honor but it also legitimizes you like crazy. You work your ass off at the little workout rooms and open mic. Build to a certain point where you’re playing the big clubs and you stop and realize how far you’ve come. A lot of the times I’ll end up in the line up with all these stars whom I looked up to and that’s when you can’t help but take pause and look around and be like damn this is how far I’ve come already and I barely getting started and it gives you like this crazy fuel to keep going.

 

The Source: Do you have any major inspirations that led you to this point in your life, to allow you to pursue your goals and dreams? Who are the top three people that you can honestly say they’re the reason I’m going to do this.

 

Ben: Top three people have to be George Carlin, just a genius prolific comic. He comes out with an hour every year. Brilliant passionate shit! Eddie Murphy, I love Eddie Murphy, delirious and raw and all these amazing movies. Like I don’t just want to do stand up I want to act and write, direct, and produce and stand up. I’m already doing all that stuff. I had a movie last year with Charlie Murphy called “Bar stars”, and Eddie Murphy showed how to be so funny, brilliant less comedy but so charming and likable on camera. Then you get a big film career from it and become one of the top names in comedy. Third is probably Johnny Carson, because I always liked talk shows too.

 

Being able to put people to bed with just great talk show, where you get to introduce people to their favorite stars and chat with them. I think maybe I want to end my career in 30 or 40 years from now hosting a late night talk show. Johnny did it with such charm and humor.

 

The Source: Since you want to pursue acting, produce and direct, would you star in your own movies? Will you use big names?

 

Ben: The answer is simple I would like to do both. (Laughs) I’ve already written and directed my own “The Glieb Show” for Lampoon and we sold that to Fox last year. Lauren Michaels was producing it. I got a few scripts in the works for movies I want to direct and act in. I wrote them, but until I get those scripts polished and get a lil more “cash’e” in the industry, I’m very happy to just get parts in films with people I admire, you know? Being in the movie with Charlie Murphy was very legitimizing for me. He’s hilarious for real.

 

I was up for the lead role in a dramatic film where I was gonna playing this crazy, homeless guy who witnessed all this tragedy in his life. I got called in for that. Some people seen me on Wedding Crashers and you wouldn’t think from doing hidden camera comedy you’d be seen at that but, as much as the industry can be bullshit, there are some quality people out there who can recognize talent and can maybe spot something that you believe you can bring to the table. I didn’t get that movie but I got the call back and they were considering me.

 

I never even thought much about dramatic acting. Basically I just want to maybe seize those opportunities and just keep bringing my comedy and my performances to larger and larger audiences. For me it’s about getting people a chance to relax and take a load off, smile, and kick back. This world is so stressful these days. If I could make people think a little bit great but, if I can just make them laugh, that’s my #1 goal. That’s all I really care to do is just give them a chance to kick back and take their minds off their problems for a minute.

 

The Source: I’m pretty sure you met many people in the industry, who were the most inspiring to meet?

 

Ben: That’s a good question. Chappelle. He’s an icon in comedy. At the time his show was on the air and he was probably the #1 comedian in the country. I went up to him at the laugh factory and I thought he wouldn’t care to spend ten seconds with me and he was so humble I told him I loved his special and that I love the jokes he told about how he was with his kid and he was looking at his kid and said  ‘you came from my balls man” I told chapelle that cracked me up and he was so touched by my compliment  you could see that it meant a lot  to him that I really appreciated what he did.

 

He looked at me and was like awe man really thanks you so much for saying that. That was a great lesson to learn for me. I also met Elton John and that was cool. He was about to go on stage to receive the lifetime achievement award. That’s a pretty self centered moment you’re getting an award for what he’s done, and I asked him if I could take a picture with him backstage. He was the nicest guy. He was like yeah of course let’s find a good backdrop and make sure you like the picture. I was like man this guy got his priorities right… I will take time out enjoy my fans.

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