I was assigned to the task of doing a hip hop weekly round-up last week. Due to reasons that aren’t of any importance to you, I missed my deadline. So I decided to dish out some hip hop highlights from the past fortnight rather. This list won’t include Da Les’s South African Hip Hop Awards performance or Kanye’s tantrum on Sway’s show. Here’s what I found interesting in hip hop in the past two weeks.
A Tribe Called Quest re-unites During Yeezus Tour
Legendary New York hip hop outfit, A Tribe Called Quest rendered a set at Kanye West’s most talked-about Yeezus tour. Busta Rhymes joined the quartet at the Brooklyn leg of the tour to perform his legendary verse on “Scenario”.
Kanye West releases Bound 2 video and parody follows
Kanye West released visuals of his “Bound 2” track which is one of my favourites off his painful-to-listen-to album, Yeezus. I’m not sure what message Kanye was trying to convey with the video which features his partner, Kim Kardashian. I found the video cheesy, to say the least. A week after the official video, follows a parody video by actors, James Franco and Seth Rogen. Not a fan of parody vidoes, I only had to watch this video because I had to write about it. My only question is: should James Franco get away with lip-syncing the N-word?
Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip announce joint mixtape
Busta Rhymes and A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip announced a release date of their joint mixtape, The Abstract and The Dragon last week after dropping the Lil Wayne-assisted “Thank You”. These two have a two decade-long history of working together but have never released an entire project together. Can December 12 come already?
Pharell 24 hour-long video
Early this week, Pharrell Williams released a 24 hour-long music video for his funky single, “Happy” – a song from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. I personally don’t see myself spending 24 hours watching a music video (lest I miss another deadline) so I didn’t even bother checking it out. But that doesn’t stop you from doing so. check it out here
Tumi – Hello Kitty
Tumi released the visuals for “Hello Kitty”, a song taken off his album, Rob The Church. The song sees Tumi departing from his conventional organic soundscape that we’ve grown to know and appreciate him for while he was still part of Tumi and The Volume. Produced by up and coming Sowetan producer, Al The 3rd and Switzerland’s Fred Hirsch, the song has a more “mainstream” feel and I see it getting high rotation on our rutted radio stations. The lyrical content is still what we’d expect from T – it’s an eloquent commentary piece on women’s heroism in modern society. Like it or not? Entirely up to you, the listener. The video was shot on location in Kenya with a couple of Kenyan mamis (models, I think) and a Range Rover Evoque. One would be forgiven for thinking the video was endorsed by Range Rover because of the way the British machine is flaunted and displayed on the video.
Perfecto – Touched Your Girl
Motif Records signee, Perfecto, last week, released the tongue-in-cheek “Touched Your Girl”. Just like his boss’s song, “Hello Kitty”, Perfecto’s latest tune sees him taking a different route sonically – synth pads and 808s, a departure from the traditional boom-bap sound he deployed on his debut Motif release, Meet Perfecto which was released for free online last year. The song is a comical poke at a dude who hates him for touching his girl. I find the hook quite weak but catchy nonetheless. My feelings about the song? I love it. I’m interested to see if Motif will launch Perfecto to star-status like they did to Reason. Only time will tell.
South African Hip Hop Awards
The second annual South African Hip Hop awards took place on the 20th of November at The Alex Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. LIVE’s Thapelo Moisiua attended and wrote a brief review of the event.
Softest Rapper List
Big Ghost, last week, released his third annual “Softest Rappers in The Game” list. The list features, among others, J. Cole, Big Sean, Soulja Boy and of course, Drake who, in a comical twist of events, appears twice on the list. Read it yourself here.
Ill Skillz launch Notes From The Native Yardz
Cape Town hip hop duo, Ill Skillz dropped their debut album, Off The Radar five years ago and solidified their presence in the SA hip hop industry. Between then and now, the dudes have been busy – they released two free projects; Skillz That Pay Billz: The 24 Hour Project I and II. They also released a couple of videos, toured Europe and played the Cape Town Jazz Festival among other major moves. On Wednesday, the duo performed a selection of songs from their new album, Notes From The Native Yardz, at Zula Bar in front of an excited audience of their fans, friends and colleagues. Look out for a LIVE review of that night soon.
These are obviously not the only events that occurred in hip hop in the past two weeks but I will stop here. More coming next week (hopefully I won’t miss my deadline).