Tag: Estelle

Live Footage: The Midnight Hour and Black Thought Perform “Noir” at The Lodge Room

A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge, a Los Angeles-based composer, arranger and producer teamed up with a 10 member ensemble, The Midnight Hour, which features vocalists Loren Oden and Angela Munoz and guitarist Jack Waterson to compose and record the score to the acclaimed Netflix series Luke Cage. Last year, the ensemble released their self-titled debut which further established their sound: jazz and orchestral-inspired hip-hop that recalls David Axelrod, Quincy Jones and Jazzmatazz-era Gang Starr. 

The act has been and will continue to be rather busy:  Linear Labs has already released Jack Waterson’s psych rock solo album Adrian Younge Presents Jack Waterson and albums from the act’s Oden and Munoz, as well as the act’s highly-anticipated sophomore album are slated to be released over the coming months.

The Midnight Hour will be embarking on an extensive fall tour across North America with  collaborative opening sets from Oden, Munoz and Waterson. The tour includes a stop tomorrow night at Brooklyn Bowl — and if you want to check out the rest of the tour dates, as well as ticket information, check out the following link:

http://www.artdontsleep.com/2019/07/20/tmhustour19/

In the meantime, Linear Labs and The Midnight Hour released live footage of the band performing “Noir” with The Roots’ Black Thought. The track originally appeared as part of Amazon Music’s Produced By series that Younge curated, produced and recorded to collectively celebrate the spectrum of Black Music — with the series appropriately being released during Black History Month. Interestingly, the live footage was filmed this past month at Los Angeles’ Lodge Room that featured collaborations with Estelle, Gallant, Georgia Anne Muldrow and a long list of others. 

Of course, the live footage will give you a great sense of what you should expect of the Brooklyn Bowl shows and onward. But just as important, it’s a reminder of a few things — if you’ve forgotten about them: 

Black Thought is fucking dope. 
All dope emcees should record an album with a live jazz or orchestral ensemble. 
When I rule the world, I’ll make sure that’s a law. 
As far as the track, it’s a gorgeous and crafted take on hip-hop that’s sophisticated and cinematic while still being gritty street shit that raises the proceedings to a transcendent, Curtis Mayfield/Issac Hayes soundtrack-level artistry. In an age where a lot of hip-hop is mass produced product, we need to be reminded that it can be a transcendent and powerful art form. 

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Born in Zambia, raised in Botswana and currently based in Sydney, Australia, the 23 year old poet, visual artist, emcee, singer/songwriter and pop artist Sampa the Great, who publicly has cited Mos Def, Nina Simone, Lauryn Hill, Nneka, and others, as influences. And since the release of The Great Mixtape and collaborations with fellow Australians, pop artist Wallace on the skittering and jazzy single “Beauty” and internationally acclaimed Australian emcee Remi on the neo-soul and conscious hip-hop influenced “For Good,” the Sydney, Australia-based artist has quickly built up a growing internationally recognized profile as she’s opened for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote, Ibeyi, Little Simz and Fat Freddy’s Drop, as well as played sets at Golden Plains, Sugar Mountain, Laneway, WOMAD and Vivid LIVE. However, 2017 may arguably be the Sampa the Great’s breakout year as her Rakhi-produced HERoes Act 2 was released yesterday through Red Bull Sound Select, and features the Sydney, Australia-based artist collaborating with Estelle. And while further cementing her reputation for a ridiculously dexterous flow that draws from spoken word performances, old school, hip-hop lyricism, with complex inner rhyme and multisyllabic rhyme schemes, old school soul and the blues and jazz, her latest single “The Plug” features Estelle and Sampa doing their thing with a swaggering, self-assuredness over a Timbaland-like production featuring futuristic bleeps and bloops, industrial clang and clatter, glitchy and shuffling beats and swirling electronics.

HERoes Act 2 is the second part of a two part narrative series of songs and genre-defying collaborative projects with Act being a spoken-world video, 2 track exploration into self-discovery and inner strength within a world that’s gone mad with uncertainty, racism and fear. “The Plug,” like the two other songs on the EP continue in a similar vein while continuing her reputation for crafting material based around her own personal experiences as an outsider, her desire and need to create, and the recognition that as individuals and as a society, that we need to value the strength and abilities of the individual; but in terms of this particular song, the song leans towards recognizing and championing the god-given talents of the individual, while brushing away haters and nay-sayers, with your desire to make a name for yourself at what you can do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growing up listening to an eclectic variety of music including Patti Labelle, Jill Scott, Bob James, Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo, Bjork and The Black Crowes among others, up-and-coming, Edmonton, AB-born, Toronto, ON-based soul artist Tanika Charles quickly developed a reputation locally as an emerging solo artist, whose puts a modern spin on the classic Motown soul sound — frequently meshing it with swaggering, hip-hop-like beats and deeply, confessional and honest lyrics, reminiscent of Mary J. Blige, Kelis and others. And as a result, within Canada’s soul scene, Charles has largely been considered her country’s next big thing; in fact, interestingly enough, over the past couple of years Charles transformed from being an emerging solo artist to being a commanding performer and bandleader, as well as one of the scene’s staples. Adding to a growing national profile, Charles has collaborated with Estelle, Lauryn Hill and Macy Gray, and has made regular appearances on CTV, Global and CBC Radio.

Produced by Slakah the Beatchild, best known for collaborating with Drake, Charles’ latest single “Soul Run” is the first single off her self-titled, full-length album, slated for an April 7, 2017 release through Italian soul label, Record Kicks, and the single will further cement the Edmonton-born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter’s burgeoning reputation for crafting confessional lyrics based around her own personal experiences with “Soul Run” based around Charles’ experience of feeling trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship in rural Canada — until she decided to “borrow” her then fiancée’s car and left for Toronto to start her music career, never looking back. Considering the personal nature of the song, Charles as the song’s narrator expresses regret over her own foolishness that wound up with her being hopelessly trapped in an abusive and fucked up relationship and desperate desire to get away and start over. You can almost picture Charles, jumping into the car with whatever possessions she could manage and hitting the road without an idea of where she was going or what would happen — and yet feeling true freedom to do whatever she wanted.