One of my favorite new groups on the scene is London Grammar and here’s they’ve just released this video of their Kavinsky cover for “Nightcall.” Great stuff, though if we’re talking LG covers, I have to mention their epic take on Chris Isaak too:
If you aren’t familiar with one of the best cultural critics we have in hip-hop, this gives a good introduction for what Jay Smooth does on and offline. Let this play and learn something. I guarantee you’ll be inclined to check out more of his stuff, and you can do so right here.
The homey Mistah F.A.B. stopped by SNSS this week and as is tradition with F.A.B., he blessed the mic with a crazy freestyle off the top of his head. He completely killed it, with all sorts of Seattle references for us: his cousin Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch and his 3 touchdowns in the Seahawks vs. 49ers game earlier that night, Richard Sherman vs. Skip Bayless, Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton, Tha Bizness, Macklemore, and more.
Props to F.A.B. for being one of the few MC’s brave enough to spit…and murder…a legit freestyle live on air with us. Some of your favorite MC’s have declined to rhyme live with us, and even those that do rarely do it off the top. No writtens here, just improvisational skill at it’s finest.
Similar to my favorite “freestyle” video of all time, Shad went in on the “Grammy Family” beat for about 7 minutes and absolutely murdered it. So many bars, so much knowledge. Best writer in the game, imo. Peep the lyrics here.
I’ve been in New York this week for some ESPN day job stuff and didn’t really get a chance to do anything music related, as I’ve been so busy working and hanging with some great co-workers. That changed on Friday when I took the day off to explore the city a bit and visited my people at UMG and WMG. After a long day, I headed back to my hotel and noticed Twitter was a buzz with Kanye’s amazing rollout of his “New Slaves” video projected on to 66 walls across the world, including one in Brooklyn. At first, I thought it was the only NYC showing, but after checking their schedule, I noticed the last showing of the night was a few blocks from my hotel but was supposed to start 5 minutes ago.
Having worked in the industry for 13 years, I’m fully aware of hip-hop time, so 5 minutes ago really meant it was going to start in about 15. Tossed on some clothes and jogged down to the 5th Ave Prada store (right across from Trump Tower) and sure enough, there was a crowd of about 50-75 people waiting for the showing. Within minutes, a large black truck pulled up and crew dressed all in black hustled to pull off the tarp covering the cargo bay and unveiled the projector and speakers (seriously looked like something a Batman villain would do in Gotham City). After a quick set up, they showed the piece, which is, of course, just as dope in its style and content as it is in its guerrilla marketing rollout. Yeezy is back and spitting that real.
After playing it, the crew said they would run it back in about 15 minutes. They left and came back like clockwork, but after setting it up, waited a good 10 minutes before showing it a 2nd time.
Turns out, Kanye himself was on the way to watch this showing as he is in NYC for Saturday Night Live later tonight. He stood behind us with a phone up, as if he was filming like everyone else. Right after it ended, he hopped in his Maybach and drove off. And then he made us pancakes (…Chappelle Show reference).
Shout to everyone in the crowd that night. Real cool atmosphere as all us Yeezy fans were excited to see his new work and be a part of the rollout. Shout to Global Grind and XXL for picking up my video and tweets, and any other sites that have posted it.
Seattle people: If you’re interested in checking out a free show from Nacho Picasso, Capital Cities, and CRKNKN this Saturday, Hyundai is putting on this Re:Mix Lab event at Showbox Sodo and you can RSVP right here. Along with the performances, there will be “state-of-the-art gaming systems, revolutionary technology, and cutting-edge sound systems,” plus, “Hyundai will reveal three custom built vehicles representing the ultimate in style, design, performance and innovation.”
If you’re looking for something to do Saturday night, check it out!
Some great footage recapping Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ two shows in Seattle, courtesy of Ryan and Jon Jon. Watching Mack’s ascent has been amazing and something that the entire region should be proud of. He’s doing it.
While in Seattle for the 2012 Capitol Hill Block Party, Malaysian-born singer Yuna visited SNSS for an interview and live performance. We discussed her transition from Asia, the role MySpace, Indie Pop, and FADER played in her success, meeting and working with Pharrell, her creative process, her growing collection of cover records, life on tour, her self-titled US debut album, her next project, and more. Additionally, she performed two acoustic songs live in studio: “Live Your Life” (5:40) and “Decorate” (16:08).
Yuna is a true talent. Catch up if you’ve been sleeping and keep an eye out for her to make some big waves in the near future.
Shout out to the Cornerstone, Detooz Films, and Le Fresh Perspective homies for helping make this happen.
Honestly, the verse was ill, but Mack rocking that jacket on BET is all you need in life. And for all my label homies that hit me up about Mack pretty much every week, check the rhyme starting at 1:42. That should answer your questions…