Bilal is back with the first release off his upcoming album A Love Surreal (February 12). Bilal is describing this album as an “audio art gallery” mixing of jazz, soul and funk, all of which are apparent on this upbeat number about reigniting love in a meandering relationship. The album itself is inspired by the surrealist visual art of Salvador Dali, meaning this album could be very good or a possible train wreck. We’ll find out for sure in a few months, but so far so good. The single can be purchased HERE.
Posts Tagged ‘Bilal’
Tags: 2012, 2013, A Love Surreal, Bilal, long term relationship, love, new music, relationships, Salvador Dali, single
Tags: audiovisual presentation, Audrey Hepburn, Bilal, Chrisette Michele, Dunson, entertainment, Konne Rok, mixtape, music, preview, Sammy Davis Jr., still picture, video
“Would you take Billie Holiday to the Holiday Inn? Listen, you could’ve done better…”
The lovely Chrisette Michele delivers her most overt homage to the inspiration of her upcoming mixtape with this Audrey Hepburn-inspired clip for “Can the Cool Be Loved.” Michele’s lyrics detail her quirky and “cool” (ie. cool in its classic jazz meaning) ways and wonder about if those attributes can find her love. Michele describes the “still picture prison” theme below:
A fun lil Audiovisual Presentation Konee Rok and I drummed up. The concept is “Prisoner of a Still Picture” Dunson and I are stuck in the iconic photography of Audrey and the great Sir Davis. We pose in these lyrics, the question, “Can The Cool Be Loved?” From our Art to Yours… Enjoy.
Michele’s Audrey Hepburn mixtape drops on December 8.
Tags: Airtight's Revenge, Bilal, new music, remix
“I guess I’d rather go away than suffer this reality…”
In support of his show Friday in Los Angeles at the El Rey Theatre, Bilal has released a remix for “Robots” featuring Chicago rapper ADAD. The show is a part of Bilal’s ”Little One” summer tour that runs through September 16. The distorted, hollow effect of Bilal’s voice works good with this track’s funky production. The effect helps and hurts ADAD; it accentuates his flow, but takes away from the clarity of his lyrics. You can check out the rest of the “Little One” tour dates below.
BILAL X ADAD ”ROBOTS” (TENSEI REMIX)
Tags: 140, Amir Khan, Big K.R.I.T., Bilal, Damian Marley, Devon Alexander, J. Cole, Janelle Monae, junior welterweight, Kanye West, Manny Pacquiao, Marcos Maidana, Nas, Sergio Martinez, Showtime, Timothy Bradley, Victor Ortiz
Thanksgiving has rolled around. For the remaineder of the week, most Americans will stuff their faces with slaughtered fowls, and blow paychecks on shopping sales. The actual idea of “giving thanks” has been lost on many in this commercial age. For a few minutes, I take a look back on some of the things that have made me thankful to be a music and boxing journalist over the past year.
10. The 140 Pound Division
Ricky Hatton’s demise at junior welterweight signaled the emergence of several young, hungry, and talented fighters. Right now, there are three title holders looking to claim division supremacy in Amir Khan, Devon Alexander, and Timothy Bradley. Below them are dangerous contenders like Marcos Maidana, Victor Ortiz, and Andriy Kotelnik. Next month, Khan and Maidana do battle for Khan’s WBA title. In January, Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley unify their belts. For the remainder of 2011, boxing fans can expect several more clashes to determine who the man is at 140 pounds.
After a near decade album drought due to label issues, Bilal came back in September like he never left with Airtight’s Revenge. Showing that wisdom and maturity has come during that nine-year gap, Bilal’s latest is not just a love album. It’s a musical tome on spirituality, economic hardship, and other social issues. It’s arguably the best work of his career.
8. Sergio Martinez
I always enjoy seeing someone who’s put in the work see the fruits of their labor. At 35 years old, Martinez has become a star courtesy of his 2010 dismantlings of Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams. Not only has this man secured the Knockout of the Year, but also the Fighter of the Year. And at an age when most fighters see retirement looming, Sergio Martinez may just be getting started.
7. J. Cole
Nas recently referred to Cole as one his “sons” in Hip-Hop. As an artist whose debut is still pending, J. Cole couldn’t receive a higher compliment. Cole has been keeping his name afloat with various guest spots, and the recent album-quality mixtape Friday Night Lights. Instead of sitting around and waiting for that Roc Nation push, Cole is taking a cue from his mentor Jay-Z and creating his own lane. If Friday Night Lights is what he can deliver with a mixtape, just imagine what the album will sound like.
Without question, Showtime has been the network this year to think outside of the box in regard to its boxing programming. Instead of cluttering their roster with overpriced exhibition fights, Showtime execs put together the ground-breaking Super Six Boxing Classic last year. Despite the tournament being hampered by the pitfalls of modern boxing (questionable injuries, complaints on purse splits), Showtime has proven to be flexible and savvy in salvaging the round-robin tournament.
Next month, Showtime will bring their experience with the Super Six to a streamlined bantamweight tournament. And in early 2011, Showtime will bring attention to yet another overlooked division with a cruiserweight tournament. Boxing struggling? Not on Showtimes’s watch.
5. Nas and Damian Marley
When Nas and Damian Marley first announced Distant Relatives, many were highly skeptical. Sure, “Road to Zion” was good. But an entire album?! Nah, couldn’t work. What the pair delivered was an album that’ll enrich both of their musical legacies. Marley handled the beats. And Nas, who had no reggae background, was able to still maintain his lyrical chops in an entirely foreign environment. For most of the year, the pair has toured to critical acclaim with 2 hour plus sets that combines their solo material. Look out for Nas to return on the solo tip in early or mid 2011.
4. Big K.R.I.T.
The next generation of the southern emcee has arrived. The Mississippi native surprised many by seemingly coming out of nowhere with his K.R.I.T. Wuz Here mixtape. With flows that hint at older influences like Pimp C, K.R.I.T. still carved his own unique identity by detailing his life and struggles to make it in the industry. To boot, he handled all the production on the project. Now that he’s with Def Jam, expect bigger and bigger from K.R.I.T. in 2011.
3. Manny Pacquiao
He hasn’t been able to secure the fight we really want, but Manny Pacquiao has been a great ambassador for boxing. For his last two fights, he’s competed at Dallas Stadium in front of over 40,000 people. In addition, his latest pay-per-view numbers have exceeded 1 million buys, tying his total tally with Mike Tyson. While his pound for pound rival Floyd Mayweather wallows in legal issues and head-shaking comments, Pacquiao has done the majority of his talking in the ring. In 2011, we’ll see if Pacquiao spreads his opponent list beyond his Top Rank stablemates.
2. Janelle Monae
It’s in vogue these days for artists to try to make their albums an amalgamation of multiple music genres. Most are admirable, but ultimately flawed projects due to the artist’s limited understanding outside of their “home” genre. That’s not the case with Janelle Monae’s The ArchAndroid, which seamlessly blended pop, R&B, soul, Hip-Hop, and big band orchestral arrangements. Sadly, the album and Monae are still flying under the national radar. But she’s continuing to make phenomenal music that’ll hopefully begin to catch on .
1. Kanye West
Yes, he’s still occasionally obnoxious. He’s prone to putting his foot in his mouth if he talks any longer than five minutes. His victimhood complaints about the Taylor Swift incident are downright nauseating at this point. With that said, no one has worked harder this year musically than Kanye West. His G.O.O.D. Friday series had a simple but fool-proof strategy; deliver album quality songs weekly leading up to the actual LP release. Most artists can keep that up for a month, but Kanye took it further. G.O.O.D. Fridays started in August, and will continue throughout the end of the year. The guests have included some of the industry’s biggest names in Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Ye’s G.O.O.D. Music camp.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was very good as well, and shows West experimenting with melody and rhythms not normally associated with a Hip-Hop artist. Look for Ye’s G.O.O.D. Music team to take center stage in 2011.
Tags: Airtight's Revenge, araabMuzik, Bilal, Buckwild, Cam'Ron, Celph Titled, Dipset, Duke Da God, Jadakiss, Jim Jones, R.A. Da Rugged Man, Sheek Louch
The French always had a a way with art. Bilal teams up with French director Mikael Colombu for a highly symbolic video for the song “Robots.” The Election Day timing is impeccable, as the clip displays a surreal world overrun with political intrigue, corruption, and despair. In this type of world, do you take a stand, or are you simply a robot to be controlled by others?
CELPH TITLED X BUCKWILD X R.A. DA RUGGED MAN “MAD AMMO”
Congrats to Celph Titled and Buckwild for debuting #10 on iTunes with their throwback offering Nineteen Ninety Now. The entire project is composed of beats Buckwild had made back in the 90′s, so to say it captures the sound of the era would be an understatment. The guys splice their latest single, “Mad Ammo,” with a “I Love the 90′s” discussion, which is a clever reworking of VH1′s “I Love the 80′s” series. Take note of R.A. the the Rugged Man’s flow on this one.
araabMUZIK VISUAL TREATMENT PART 3
araabMUZIK is going to play an instrumental role in whether the Dipset reunion is a success or failure. We’ll get a glimpse of if he’s up for the task courtesy of his work on Duke Da God’s November 23 album The D.I.P. Agenda, which features Cam’Ron, Jadakiss, Lil Flip, Sheek Louch, Hell Rell and J.R. Writer. Duke Da God cites it as his best work and music all Dipset fans will enjoy.
“This is the best album I’ve ever done. I’ve been away for so long that I took my time to really perfect it,” Duke Da God explained. “It’s my graduation album. This is all brand new music so it’s like a new Dipset album. If you like Dipset you are gonna love this album.”
This third installment of araabMUZIK’s Visual Treatment series may be a taste of what to expect.
Tags: 1982, Airtight's Revenge, Bilal, Gloria Jones, Statik Selektah, Tainted Love, Termanology
1982 “PEOPLE ARE RUNNING”
I got my hands on Statik Selektah and Termanology’s 1982 album a few days ago. The project is quality and well-worth the pickup. The duo have caught the animated video bug and have created a clip for their surrealistic concept song “People Are Running.” The video has the appropriate Halloween theme, and is directed by Nastee of 4wordproductions.
BILAL “TAINTED LOVE”
This song should sound familiar. “Tainted Love” has been remade numerous times since its first incarnation as a Gloria Jones single in 1964. It fell under the radar then and even when Jones remade it herself in 1976. But in 1981, the UK Synthpop duo Soft Cell cashed on their remake, reaching #1 on the UK charts. Since then, “Tainted Love” has been remade or sampled nearly 30 times by artists ranging from Rihanna to Marilyn Manson. The song’s original version was even featured as a radio station offering in the highly successful video game Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Bilal, with backing from composer/arranger Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, gives an improvisational take on the now well-known northern soul b-side. This collaboration is their second, preceded by “Is This Love.”
Bilal’s latest album, Airtight’s Revenge, is available now.
GLORIA JONES 1964 ORIGINAL
New Videos: Gotham GreenXQuickie MartXPlanet Asia Get Eddie Kendricks Soulful, Waka’s Intro & Bilal’s New BeginningPosted: October 8, 2010 in Music News
Tags: Airtight's Revenge, Bilal, Flockaveli, Gotham Green, Haze Diaries Vol. 3, Planet Asia, Quickie Mart, Waka Flocka Flame
Gotham Green and Quickie Mart feat. Planet Asia “Game Change”
I’m a big fan of the late, former Temptations singer Eddie Kendricks. So anytime a Hip-Hopper samples him, I’m almost certain to like it. Gotham Green and Quickie Mart deliver that satisfaction on their latest single off the Haze Diaries Vol. 3. Planet Asia also comes through for a guest verse. Extra kudos to Quickie Mart for the sample flip and adding some different arrangements from what others (including Alicia Keys) have done with it.
WAKA FLOCKA BUSTIN’ SHOTS
I haven’t finalized my opinion yet on Waka Flocka Flame’s debut album Flockaveli, which dropped this past Tuesday (October 5). But there are a few points I’m sure of. One, it’s not the classic he assured me it was when I met him at the BET Hip Hop Awards (what a surprise…). And two, it’s damn good workout music. Form your own opinion on its worth based in this video for the song that kicks off the album, “Bustin’ At ‘Em.”
If you haven’t picked up Bilal’s new album Airtight’s Revenge, please hit up iTunes now and add another good LP to your collection. Bilal is back and this album is rightfully making some positive noise with critics and fans. Need more info on his direction? Check out the Beats, Boxing & Mayhem interview.
Tags: Airtight's Revenge, Bilal, Erykah Badu
Erykah Badu knows talent when she hears it. A formidable artist in her own right, Ms. Badu had nothing but loving words for fellow singer Bilal, who droped his long-awaited sophomore album Airtight’s Revenge today (September 14) on Plug Research. Badu reveals how Common introduced her to Bilal’s music, and how she thought he was a female due to his falsetto. According to the Fat Belly Mama, Bilal has one of the greatest voices in music today.
“I’ve never heard another voice in that way,” she remarked. “And soon the whole world will know about it…The voice is just so moving to me.”
Tags: Airtight's Revenge, Bilal, Erykah Badu
Like the rest of the Hip-Hop world, Freddie Foxxx aka Bumpy Knuckles has been reflecting on the legacy of Tupac Shakur, who was murdered 14 years ago this week in Las Vegas.
Foxxx had a close relationship with Tupac in the early 90s, and now views his departed friend as the versatile artist ever to emerge from the genre.
“Tupac was probably the most diverse emcee I know as far as his talent and ability,” he explained. “He was driven by passion for Hip-Hop and expressing his views through the music. A lot of cats don’t know how to do that…They get stuck at the ‘murder, kill’ part but don’t tell you the reason they’re saying it that way.”
Even years later, Foxxx still travels with the letters he and Tupac exchanged while he was serving time for sexual abuse. For him, they serve as inspiration and remembrance of a talented friend who was taken away too soon.
Check out the full clip below, which includes a 1993 freestyle session between Foxxx and Tupac.
Had he lived, Tupac would have celebrated his 39th birthday this year.