The clock is winding down for the RZA directed flick The Man with the Iron Fists. The Wu-Tang Clan‘s master producer embraced his obsession with kung-fu, which led to the Quentin Tarantino approved upcoming film that RZA also stars in. For the soundtrack dropping October 23, RZA called on hip-hop vets for the first album that will be released through his new label, Soul Temple Records. All Hip Hop reports acts like Ghostface Killah,Talib Kweli, Method Man, Pusha T and Kanye West have songs on the 16-track soundtrack. And for a touch of soul Corrine Bailey Rae and Res lend their vocals to the male squad. Read more…
Wu-Tang Clan‘s beat master and resident martial arts aficionado, it was only a matter of time before RZA got a ninja flick of his own. And alas, here we have it! RZA makes his directorial this fall with The Man with the Iron Fists, and if this eye-popping first trailer is any indication, it should be all his kung fu dreams fully realized.
Co-written with Eli Roth and presented by king of the shlock Quentin Tarantino, the film finds RZA and his fellow co-stars (Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu) tangled-up in some sort of bloody adventure in feudal China. This is RZA’s first go behind the camera, but having starred also in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes and with Denzel Washington in American Gangster, he is an old pro when it comes to being on-screen. By the looks of the trailer, he really goes for it with this one, bringing all the blood and high kicks and fancy knives you could dream of.
And better yet is the soundtrack, which is rumored to feature new tracks by Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan, The Black Keys, Wiz Khalifa, and RZA himself — the sort of all-star line-up that could get even a hemophobe excited! Wu-Tang have been sampling kung fu films on their albums for years now, and RZA helped arrange the soundtrack for Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The bar has been set high.
Summer is fast approaching and we’re ready to bring on the BBQs, rooftop parties and most of all the concerts. What’s summer without indulging in live performances of the artists you love? Two of the biggest hip-hop concerts this summer, Summer Jam and Rock the Bells, have some acts lined up that are going to be bananas! Not that you’d go wrong attending either, but because they’re as different as night and day, we’ve broken down why one of these concerts rules as the must-see concert of the summer.
1. The headliners tell you everything you need to know about a show.
One of the biggest names in hip-hop, Nicki Minaj, is headlining Summer Jam along with Rick Ross, Waka Flocka and Young Jeezy. As far as mainstream rap, Summer Jam has it covered. With Nicki you’ll get a bit of hip-pop, Waka will make everyone dance and Rick Ross and Jeezy offer the trap anthems to make even the most suburban girl get hype.
Where do we even begin with the headliners for Rock the Bells? Its very big name acts run the gamut of the likes of Nas, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Missy Elliott & Timbaland and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. It doesn’t get more versatile than Nas, one of hip-hop’s legends, and the fairly newbie Wiz Khalifa rocking the stage at the same festival. And Missy Elliott & Timbaland…together! That’s some epic 90s skeez right there. We’re singing, “Supa dupa fly, supa dupa fly” just thinking about it.
2. Whose lineup has the most artists hot in the streets right now? Read more…
Finally liberated at midnight on iTunes last night, I didn’t even bother to give the album that’s projected to sell 400-500K copies a listen. Like any “grower” project, Watch The Throne deserves more attention than a few hours on a Sunday night before bed, and is one whose layers need to be peeled away over time. Unfortunately, the worldwide web and the social media news cycle don’t really allow for that kind of preciousness, so whether anyone is taking an interest in the sea of quick-trigger opinions or not, we’re all lured into engaging in text message/blog post/140-character word-vomit assessments.
All for starting a dialogue on the topic of music, sitting here trying to write a comprehensive critique for this still-warm and super-dense album is challenging, especially since there has been so much hype swirling around it for months. “H.A.M.” dropped too early, release dates got pushed back, exclusive listening sessions were embargoed (but still tweeted about and sprung audio leaks), and Hov learned from his wife’s troubles, never allowing his baby with Kanye to be born premature. Digital files now in hand before friday’s physical release date, is the album all that we wanted it to be?
It’s doubtful that you’d realize how many times “stars” are referenced on Watch The Throne if you didn’t hear it for the first time whilst gazing at digital galaxies and constellations above your head in a super dark room. Words like “moon” and “sky,” too, actually. Last night, at New York City’s Museum of Natural History, Jay-Z, Kanye and the generous folks at Def Jam hosted three separate listening sessions inside Hayden Planetarium, allowing inquisitive listeners to hear the album almost in its entirety (skipping just one track) while they sat reclined, looking up at the impressive show above.
While it was definitely a unique experience for all in attendence, the pizazz of the intergalactic spectacle on the theater’s ceiling screen was a distraction from the music that drew VIPs like Beyonc?, Pusha T, DJ Khaled, Ryan Leslie and Busta Rhymes to show up in the first place. And sonically speaking, unbalanced levels also made focusing on both emcees’ verses a challenge. In the first session, for example, the bass would be so loud that our seats were vibrating and Hov’s lines were rendered virtually inaudible. But let’s dial it back. From what we heard of it, overall, the album sounded solid. The production is definitely on-point, and Jay isn’t paired with Linkin Park or R. Kelly this time around; although it’s too early to tell off these first listens, it seems Kanye’s verbals may, in fact, actually best Jay’s. And ‘Ye will be the first to admit that he’s selfishly “getting high on [his] own supply.” Of beats, that is.