September 11, 2006

Brother Ali on Tour with Rakim and Kid Capri

Starting Tomorrow (September 12th), Brother Ali will join the upcoming tour with the legendary Rakim and Kid Capri in Park City, UT at Suede. Brother Ali will remain on the tour for a confirmed 14 dates, with possibly a few more shows to be added.

Here are the dates:
09/12- Park City, UT @ Suede
09/13- Aspen, CO @ Belly Up
09/14- Denver, CO @ The Roxy
09/16- Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave
09/17- Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
09/18- Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
09/19- Fort Wayne, IN @ Piere's
09/20- Cincinnati, OH @ Annie's
09/22- Detroit, MI @ The Fine Arts Theatre
09/23- Buffalo, NY @ The Town Ballroom
09/27- Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
09/28- Atlanta, GA @ Eleven 50
09/29- Charlotte, NC @ Amos' Southend
09/30- Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

Posted by lars1396 at 6:24 PM

August 10, 2006

Leroy Smokes

Established in the late '90s as a hip-hop/funk jam-band, the Leroy Smokes released two independent albums, each one different in style and band lineup. Despite early difficulties maintaining a consistent membership, Leroy Smokes began to earn a reputation. In addition to their notorious stage presence, the 'Smokes are constantly producing and recording as part of their ongoing studio enterprise, Smokesignyl Productions.

Now, in 2006, the drama-and-change-weary Leroy Smokes feel they might just have the solid musical family they need for the long-run. The upcoming release Love, Hustle, Theater is a much-anticipated piece of work: the culmination of three years of drive and creativity loaded into one musical Midwest Hip-Hop love story. Allow them to re-introduce themselves. This is not just an album. For this group, this is redemption.

Posted by lars1396 at 1:59 PM

June 9, 2005

Upcoming Shows

Some great shows are coming up in the next two weeks:

Tomorrow (Friday) is Carnage and Desdemona at the Red Sea
-Carnage is well known for his freestyling skills and Desdamona for her poetry. She has recently been heading up a series of B-Girl events, and can often be seen at the Blue Nile at poetry nights.

On Saturday The Digable Planets are playing First Ave
-They have reformed after 10 years as I mentioned in my last post.

Next Thursday and Friday are the release parties for Kanser held at Bryant Lake Bowl
-Kanser is a local group that is part of the Interlock Label, which is one of the two largest underground hip-hop labels in the city.

Posted by lars1396 at 1:56 PM

Return of the Digable Planets

The Digable Planets had dissolved due to creative differences after their album Blowout Comb’s lackluster sales. The hip hop trio used jazz to give their music the style that made them a huge success in the early nineties. Their debut album “Reachin'” featured samples from Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins and Curtis Mayfield. The song “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” was a huge success that became a top 20 hit. Although their second album received rave reviews, it did not have a strong single and did not sell well. This was the demise of the group.

Now, ten years after their breakup, the group has reformed and is once again touring. They are also working on a new album. The Digable Planets will be playing this Saturday at First Avenue.

Posted by lars1396 at 1:44 PM

Heiruspecs Downtown

Last night the Heiruspecs did a free show downtown at Peavy Plaza. It was a really nice night out, so some friends and I went down nicollet to take a look. There was a huge crowd of people at the show. We went across the street to Brit's Pub and got a table and some food. Although the English Pub atmosphere wasn't exactly fitting with the hip hop, it was a perfect place to be sitting and listening.

For those unfamiliar with the group, Heiruspecs is a local hip hop crew that plays their own instruments. They have released a few albums and are very popular around the area.

Posted by lars1396 at 1:33 PM

June 8, 2005


Blackalicious is a hip-hop group composed of members Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel. Their lyrics are often very abstract. The content is often based on spirituality and is very uplifting. The two formed the group in California under their label SoulSides Records, which includes members DJ Shadow, Lateef the Truth Seeker, and Lyrics Born. The record company went out of business and eventually reformed as Quannum Records. Blackalicious have released two full albums, 2000’s “Nia” and “Blazing Arrow” in 2002. This fall they plan to release their next album, “The Craft”. The latest disc will focus on what makes an artist and will be exploring different styles of music. Guests on the album will include Floetry, George Clinton, Pigeon John, Lateef and Lyrics Born.

Posted by lars1396 at 2:33 PM

June 6, 2005

Artist Info: Del the Funkee Homosapien

Del the Funkee Homosapien was introduced to rap at a young age because of his famous cousin, Ice Cube. Del's style is much different than the gangster style of his cousin. He often raps using humor and talks about things from personal hygiene to video games. Del released his first CD, “I Wish My Brother George Was Here”, with the assistance of Cube. His second release “No Need for Alarm” used more jazz samples and was produced by Del. His third album was not released because he had difficulties with his label Elektra (bootlegs of this album were available on the internet and it was eventually released for sale on CD). His third release Both Sides of the Brain was released on his own label which he formed with friends from California. Del has collaborated for several albums with his label mates the Hieroglyphics and with Kid Koala and Dan the Automator on the concept album “Deltron: 3030”. Del is most widely known for his appearance on the Gorillaz song “Clint Eastwood”. It is expected that Del will release a new album called “The 11th Hour” this fall.

“It's important to practice good hygiene
At least if you wanna run with my team
I'm bout to get into some shit that I've seen
This fool's breath, I mean so bad it'll melt your ice cream”
- Del the Funkee Homosapien “If You Must”

“I create like a heathen
The first cycles of this virus I can send through a modem
Infiltration hits your station
No microsoft or enhanced dos will impede
Society thinks their safe when
Bingo! harddrive crashes from the rendering
Alot of hackers tryed virus's before
Vaporize your text like so much white out
I want it where a file replication is a chore
Lights out shut down the entire whitehouse
I dont want just a bug that could be corrected
Im erecting immaculate design
Break the nation down section by section
Even to the greatest minds its impossible to find”
- Del the Funkee Homosapien “Virus”

Posted by lars1396 at 2:17 PM

June 2, 2005

Upcoming Shows

Hip Hop Show Night (some shows going on tonight):

The Dax Pierson Benefit
Featuring: Atmosphere / Brother Ali & Bk-One / Eyedea & Friends / Building Better Bombs / Mel Gibson & The Pants / DJ Nikoless / Dee Jay Bird

This show is a benefit for Dax Pierson from the band subtle, being held at the 7th Street Entry (next to First Ave) tonight. It is a pretty huge show and I would imagine it will sell out, if it isn't already. Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and Eyedea are the three biggest groups in the Rhymesayers Crew (and debatably all of MN).

Unknown Prophets
Featuring: Hecatomb / Carnage / DEC / Livewire

This show is over at the Triple Rock, which I spoke about previously. The Unknown Prophets are a Minnesota classic and always have great shows. Carnage is well known for his freestyling ability.

Tale of Two Cities Presents
Featuring: Shades of Darkness / Orikal / Living Stereo (NES) / B-McC of Elipsis / W.A.R of The Horsemen

This one is downtown at The Annex (the basement of the Lone Tree). The groups are some younger guys working their way up in the MN scene. Definately, a cool venue and a good place to hang out.

Posted by lars1396 at 1:45 PM

May 26, 2005


Hieroglyphics is a hip hop crew from California that has been active since the nineties. The group consists of Del the Funkee Homosapien, Domino, Pep Love, Casual, Tajai, Opio, and A-Plus. The crew had been friends since high school and formed a group when Del got a record deal with the help of his cousin Ice Cube. The group released their first album in 1998, which was entitled “Third Eye Vision”. They became a huge success in California and eventually became well known around the country. Nearly every member of the crew has released their own albums. After leaving their previous labels the crew formed Hieroglyphics Imperium Records, which has signed additional artists since its formation. The crew has recently been on tour for their new album “Full Circle” and is releasing a dvd of the tour.

“Capture the cultured pearls, jewels, and gems
It's a treasure hunt to stimulate your medulla stem
The furthest reaches are within your clutches
Concrete covered countries to the most birded regions
Virgin territories, those exposed to man made woes
They know them Hieros” – Hieroglyphics “Soweto”

Posted by lars1396 at 3:13 PM

May 24, 2005

Local Group: Atmosphere

Atmosphere is currently the largest underground hip-hop group in Minnesota. The group, which originally performed as Urban Atmosphere, was formed from the Rhymesayers Collective. At the earliest shows, Sean Daley (aka Slug) deejayed while Derek Turner (Spawn) emceed. This changed as Slug was encouraged to emcee and Anthony Davis (Ant) joined the group as the producer. Atmosphere was featured on various releases of the "Headshots" tape series before releasing their first album in 1998 entitled "Overcast!". The first album had six major contributors, however today Atmosphere consists of just two: Slug emceeing and Ant producing.

Since their first release, Atmosphere has released three more official albums, four limited release "Sad Clown Bad Dub" tour cds, and a live tour dvd in the "Sad Clown" series. Their newest cd, "Seven's Travels" is being distributed by Epitaph Records (a larger distrobution company than Rhymesayers) and it debuted at number 87 on the Billboard Charts. The group is planning to release a new cd this summer.

Posted by lars1396 at 3:10 PM

Rhymesayers Entertainment

Rhymesayers Entertainment is a local Minneapolis label that has distributed records across the globe. The Rhyme Sayers Collective was formed by Brent Sayers (aka Saddiq), Sean Daley (aka Slug), and Derek Turner (aka Spawn). The trio came together as a live performance group called Headshots with interests in rapping, deejaying and graffiti writing. The crew, which grew over the years, became known for participating in local emcee battles. These battles drew on the artists' creative ability and skills with fast paced wordplay. During the 90's the group released seven Headshots cassettes that featured both recorded and live performances. The Rhymesayers Collective eventually turned into a record label under the supervision of Brent Sayers, the company's CEO. Known today as Rhymesayers Entertainment, the company owns a record store in Uptown called the Fifth Element and hosts a variety of artists from Minnesota and beyond on it's record label.

Posted by lars1396 at 3:04 PM