De La Soul
In 1987, a trio known as De La Soul formed from Long Island, NY roots and changed the landscape of hip-hop as we knew it. Now, for over 20 years they have rocked us with their De La songs full of inscrutable samplings, whimsically irreverent lyrics, social commentary, light rhythm and laid back rhymes. They have gained respect within and outside the hip hop community with their contributions to rap, as well as jazz, funk, soul and alternative genres. Not only are their musical innovations acclaimed and respected worldwide, but they paved a path for many alternative rap groups to come after them. De La Soul formed while the trio – Kelvin Mercer (Posdnous, Plug One, Plug Wonder Why, Mercenary), David Jude Jolicoeur (Trugoy the Dove, Plug Two, Dave), and Vincent Mason (P.A. Pasemaster Mase,Plug Three, Maseo) – attended high school in the late 1980's. As a group their stage names reflected the same whimsy they brought to their rhymes. Through backward spelling of Mercer's nickname as a high school DJ "Sound-Sop" became Posdnous and Trugoy was derived from Jolicoeur's favorite food –yogurt. Mason noted in an early interview that Pasemaster was the DJ and Mase wasn't simply a nickname, but an acronym for "Making A Soul Effort". The group soon caught the attention of producer Paul "Prince Paul" Huston (of local rap group Stetsasonic) with a demo tape of the song "Plug Tunin'". He played the tape colleagues on New York's rap scene, and soon De La Soul signed with Tommy Boy. 3 Feet High and Rising De La Soul and Prince Paul produced the group's debut album, a mock-game show soundtrack titled 3 Feet High and Rising (released spring 1989). The release was an undeniable smash hit and was quickly hailed as the future of hip hop. The album sounded like nothing else in hip-hop and presented a clear alternative to the hardcore rap that was dominating hip hop at the time. 3 Feet High and Rising was a package of clever rhymes laced with cleverly inventive eccentricities and quirks. Where most of their contemporaries drew directly from old-school rap, funk, or powerful barrage of groups like Public Enemy, De La Soul were gentler, taking in not only funk and soul, but also pop, jazz, reggae, and psychedelia. The album featured a collage of samples that were taken not from the usual James Brown rhythm tracks but from TV shows and obscure recordings, many from De La Soul's parents' collections. "Transmitting Live from Mars" set a sample from a French lesson record atop a sample from the 1968 Turtles hit "You Showed Me." The hit single "Me Myself and I" which was set to a sample of Funkadelic's 1979 "(not just) Knee Deep" reached Number 34 on Pop charts and reached Number 1 in R&B, further cementing the group's popularity. The members of De La Soul were hailed by critics and audiences as ingenious revolutionaries, but also uncomfortably labeled as a neo-hippie band because the record proclaimed the dawning of "the D.A.I.S.Y. age" (Da Inner Sound, Y'all). Lyrically, much of 3 Feet High and Rising praised peace and harmony — a message that was fading from the rap scene. However, the hippie label agitated the group, as they always envisioned their career as a constantly changing style. Nevertheless, The Three Feet High and Rising album reached number 24 on the pop charts, number one on R&B, and went gold. At the end of the year, 3 Feet High and Rising topped many best-of-the-year lists. They quickly became prominent members of a loose alliance of New York-based alternative rappers dubbed the Native Tongues Posse which also included A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Queen Latifah, the Jungle Brothers, and Monie Love. For a while, it looked as if De La Soul and the Native Tongues posse would eclipse hardcore hip-hop in terms of popularity. De La Soul is Dead De La Soul's second album, De La Soul Is Dead (1991) was an obvious reaction to the perception that its debut, however innovative, was "soft." It featured a wealth of material that criticized the new violently careless direction of hip hop while still exuding the same clever humor featured on the group's debut album. The album cover features a broken daisy flower pot symbolizing the death of the "D.A.I.S.Y. Age" and the imagery that went along with it. The album spawned several singles with more serious tones like "My Brother's a Basehead" commentary on drug abuse, the dark tale of "Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa" about young girl who could no longer take the incestuous sexual abuse from her father, and the lead single "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)," a story about the varied people who used De La's recent fame to try and launch their own careers. De La collaborated with the Black Sheep on "Fanatic of the B Word," Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest on "A Roller Skating Jam Named "Saturdays"", and Prince Paul even makes an appearance on the mic in "Pass the Plugs" with a verse of his own. The album also more prominently featured Vincent Mason as a rapper, providing verses of his own on "Bitties in the BK Lounge," "Afro Connections at a Hi-5," and "Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)." De La Soul is Dead eventually became a cult classic and was recognized as being underrated and underappreciated by an increasingly fickle public. "Source" magazine listed the album as one of their top 100 Hip Hop albums of all time, stating that "its true genius is rarely understood". There are several major differences between the CD version of this album and the other formats, as the tracks "Johnny's Dead AKA Vincent Mason," "My Brother's a Basehead," "Kicked Out the House," and "Who Do U Worship?" are only available on the CD. The limited edition double vinyl promotional copies of the album distributed to the media before the official release did not feature these. Buhloone Mindstate De La Soul came back strong in late 1993, however, with Buhloone Mindstate (Number 40 pop, Number Nine R&B), hailed as a return to the group's quirky, groundbreaking form. While harder and funkier than either of its predecessors, this album still didn't fall into the traps of gangsta rap. The single "Breakadawn" broke the R&B Top 40. 1993's Buhloone Mindstate saw the group evolve a new sound and cemented their position as mainstays of the alternative hip hop movement. There were several moments on the album which proved the band had matured. "I Be Blowin'" was a departure as the track was an instrumental featuring saxophone playing by the legendary Maceo Parker. The introspective "I Am I Be" showed De La at their most self referential to date with subject matter about Pos' daughter, Ayana Monet, as well as his grandmother. "Long Island Wildin'" was a collaboration with Japanese hip-hop artists Kan Takagi (Major Force) and trio Scha Dara Parr (SDP). The album's first single, "Breakadawn," used a sample of Michael Jackson's "I Can't Help It" and Smokey Robinson's "Quiet Storm". De La Soul collaborated for the first time with Gang Starr's Guru on "Patti Dooke." Female MC Shortie No Mas, a cousin of Posdnuos, was prominent on many tracks on the album, showcased particularly "In The Woods." The album ended with a fun old school Biz Markie collaboration called "Stone Age." Missing from vocal duties is Mase, whose voice can only be heard on "Area" in a break near the end of the track. Also rarely featured is his scratching which was heard often on previous albums, with only "In the Woods" showcasing his talent in that area. Many publications, such as Rolling Stone, have listed this album as one of the best hip-hop albums of all time. Stakes Is High The summer of 1996 yielded a more conventional effort by De La Soul with the release of the album Stakes Is High. The project generated three singles — "The Bizness" (Number 53 R&B), "Stakes Is High" (Number 70 R&B), and "Itsoweezee (Hot)" (Number 60 R&B).This was the group's first album not produced with Prince Paul, with overall production credits given solely to the trio. The album's second single, "Itsoweezee (HOT)," with only Dave on vocals, did well due to its creative music video. The album spawned a third single "4 More," featuring Zhane which peaked at #52 in the UK. The album also served as a launching pad for the future star rapper and actor Mos Def, who appeared on the track "Big Brother Beat." The album featured collaborations with Common, Truth Enola, and the Jazzyfatnastees. Art Official Intelligence Years later, De La Soul announced that they would release a triple album series entitled "Art Official Intelligence" (or AOI). The first installment, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, was released in 2000. This album was greeted warmly by record buyers, debuting in the Top Ten and reaching number 9 on the pop charts and number 3 for R&B Guest artists include Chaka Khan, the Beastie Boys, Busta Rhymes, and Redman. The next year, the group followed up with a second installment of the series, AOI: Bionix, but the third part has yet to surface. AOI: Bionix, even featured a video hit with "Baby Phat," but Tommy Boy and the trio decided to end their relationship soon after putting a hold on the end of the series. Fans are still anxiously anticipation the final installment of Art Official Intelligence. The Grind Date In 2004, De La Soul released a new full album: The Grind Date on Sanctuary/BMG Records (run by Beyoncé's father, Mathew Knowles). The album's lead single was "Shopping Bags (She Got from You)." Although it was not the third AOI album fans had been expecting, the album was released to some critical acclaim and was well-received by most fans. The album features guests MF Doom, Ghostface Killah, Butta Verses and Flavor Flav, with production from 9th Wonder, Jake One, Madlib and more. Impossible: Mission The following year, De La Soul returned with a self-released mixtape, Impossible Mission: TV Series, Pt. 1, on which Posdnuos announced the mission statement in a track called "Freedom Train:" "No longer backed by record companies but back by popular demand." Are You In? In 2006, De La Soul collaborated with Nike, to produce two versions of the Nike Dunk under their skateboarding division, Nike SB. The sneakers were an instant hit, and sold out at most retail stores that stocked them In 2009, De La Soul and Nike continued their relationship with the release of "Are You In?": Nike+ Original Run, which was the group's first original material since The Impossible: Mission TV Series – Pt. 1. The album features Raheem DeVaughn as well as production from the Chicago based duo Flosstradamus. The recording is a single-track recording at 44 minutes, 17 seconds and was made available, exclusively, through iTunes. It is part of a continuing series of releases through the "Nike+ Sport Music" section of the online store. Group member Posdnuos said to ClashMusic.com of Are You In?, "It had to feel like a De La album that wasn't just a poster for Nike – we wanted people to feel it was a great album on its own terms. We always think things through and put quality into anything we do – we never look to just take the cheque and run." Other Notable Career Moves In 1993, De La Soul performed together with alternative rock band Teenage Fanclub for the soundtrack of Judgment Night, on a track called "Fallin'". In 1994, 500 copies of a promotional EP called Clear Lake Audiotorium were released on clear vinyl and CD. The 6 track EP contained edited versions of tracks off of Buhloone Mindstate but also featured the tracks "Sh.Fe.MC's" (Shocking Female MC's) which was a collaboration with A Tribe Called Quest, and "Stix & Stonz" which featured old-school hip hop artists Grandmaster Caz, Tito of Fearless Four, Whipper Whip, LA Sunshine and Superstar. The EP was widely bootlegged afterwards. In 2000, the songs "Area" and "Keepin' the Faith" were featured in the movie Boiler Room. In 2002, the song "Oodles of O's" was featured on the soundtrack for Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4. In 2002, De La Soul was featured in the film Brown Sugar. In 2005, De La Soul collaborated with Gorillaz on the hit single "Feel Good Inc.", which won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Collaboration after being nominated for a total of three Grammys. De La Soul also appeared on the LA Symphony single "Universal" and Posdnuos collaborated with the Portuguese MC Boss AC on a track called "Yo (Não Brinques Com Esta Merda)" (which translates to "Don't Play with This Shit"). In 2008, the group joined A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, The Pharcyde and others on the annual Rock The Bells tour. De La Soul were honorees at the 5th Annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors on October 6, 2008.
Whiskey Blanket is a group immensely talented artists bound by a passion for making music. Since the year 2000, they have fully dedicated their lives to creating an innovative sound that has proven accessible to an enormously wide variety of listeners. Incorporating jazz, classical, and latin influences, their original brand of music stays rooted in the traditions of hip-hop while embracing the more melodic nature of other genres. Consisting of 3 members, Steakhouse (producer, emcee, turntablist, recording and mixing engineer), Funny Biz (emcee, beatboxist, cellist), and Sloppy Joe (emcee, violinist), the group released their debut album, "It's Warmer Down Here" in the summer of 2004. Selling thousands of copies worldwide, it immediately established a loyal following anxious to hear more. Their rapidly spreading sophomore LP, "Credible Forces", was released in the summer of 2007 and continues to sell steadily through internet and retail stores. Whiskey Blanket has headlined multiple sold out shows at the legendary Fox Theater in Boulder Colorado, in addition to performing all around the U.S. with such artists as Coolio, Masta Ace, Living Legends, The Pharcyde, Dj Abilities, Pigeon John, Flava Flav, Old Dirty Bastard, DJ Mike Relm, Cunning Linguists, One Be Lo, and many, many others. Despite a rigorous touring schedule, the band members devote countless hours in the studio to perfecting their production and song writing abilities. Young, passionate, and completely dedicated to the evolution of their skills, Whiskey Blanket is undoubtedly pioneering the unique hip-hop sound that the world is waiting to hear. They are currently working on a third studio installment that will feature some of the most well known names in the world of independent hip-hop. With their seamless integration of lyricism, instrumentation, and turntablism, Whiskey Blanket is destined to make an impact on the world of music for years to come.
EVITAN is a new group featuring Native Tongue HIp Hop Icons Dres of Black Sheep and Jarobi of A Tribe Called Quest.
Turner Jackson, a Colorado born, New York City bred MC is ready to lead. Nat Turner, a slave that led a rebellion rooted in the exploitative conditions of the southern slave system, is the inspiration behind Jackson’s moniker. Coming from a proclaimed “new school mentality,” Jackson’s aim is simple self expression. Hailing from several cities in the east coast, Turner’s main influences are Wale, Styles P, Kanye West, and others that have ushered in a new era of lyricism. A strong connection to speech and debate gave way to a deeper yearning to convey a message through the spoken word. Calling on the spirit of his namesake, Jackson believes, that like Nat Turner, the ultimate goal is to facilitate freedom with a higher purpose. Creating music largely in the Hip Hop genre, Turner says his major writing inspirations include Fall Out Boy, John Mayer, Lily Allen, and Taylor Swift, proving his versatility in musical thought. “Music is about sharing thoughts and sending energy to another person. I am responsible for the message in my music, whether it’s that of destruction or positive impact.”
Raw Russ is the musical project of graphic artist Berk Visual. Originally a drummer RAW RUSS has been studying turntablism since the mid-90s and has shared the stage with Break Science, KRSone, Redman, Methodman, Hieroglyphics, Pnuma Trio, Two Fresh, Lazer Sword Opiou, Eliot Lipp, Prefuse 73, MIMOSA, Tokimonsta, Orchard Lounge and many more. Raw Russ is a more focused attack on hard beats and dance music. It spans Bass music and hiphop with hints of mainstream dance floor bangers.
at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
2637 Welton Street
Denver, United States