SUNDAY | MAY 25th 2014 | 7 PM | 18+
Grand Central + Poplife present
It’s one thing to make enduring records, another still to work with luminaries in multiple fields. Another thing still to treat the rhyme not only as a piece of poetry, but to play with the aesthetics of language in ways that represent the voice as a unique instrument in and of itself. Blackalicious do all of these things, and as evidenced by the reissue of 1993’s Melodica, they have been doing these things for years. Originally released exclusively on cassette, Melodica is being reissued digitally for the first time. It’s a vital document of the group’s progression towards their eventual position as lords of the West Coast Underground, Gift of Gab twisting his words with aplomb, his lyrics more carefree than his later work. Chief Xcel’s beats, meanwhile, tread the same funky, lighthearted waters as many of his left-field contemporaries, but everything on Melodica is coated in a murky scuzz that, somewhat conversely to logic, could place the EP alongside much of today’s weird, lo-fi hip-hop. As an added treat, Melodica contains “Changes,” an unreleased cut produced in part by one DJ Shadow, who joins forces with Blackalicious producer Chief Xcel to offer dusty drum loops and subtle, textured samples that would offer a glimpse into much of Shadow’s later work. In an era where hip-hop devolves into half-baked facsimile with alarming regularity, Melodica serves as a reminder that the true school will always triumph over the bullshit.
In a hip-hop career that has stretched past a decade, Blackalicious has earned respect the old-fashioned way–rising through honesty, commitment, and artistry. Blackalicious is an American hip hop duo from Sacramento, California made up of rapper Gift of Gab (born Tim Parker) and DJ/producer Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley). They are noted for Gift of Gab's often "tongue-twisting", multisyllabic, complex rhymes and Chief Xcel's "classic" beats. The duo have released three full-length albums (1999's Nia, 2002's Blazing Arrow, and 2005's The Craft ). Their fourth LP, Emoni, will be released in July 2014.
NOTORIOUS NASTIE / EXPOSURE KINGS
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