TIBS UPDATE: Our new interview with Lupe is sticky atop the site. Scroll below for all of today's updates and be sure to watch above!
The other night, Wasulu Jaco, better known as Lupe Fiasco, truly lived up to the latter part of his stage name at Milwaukee's 45th annual Summerfest. Not a fiasco as in a catastraphe, but definitely the bomb. The entire 40K crowd showed tons of hospitality to the Chicago emcee as they chanted Lupe's lyrics word for word throughout the Summerfest kick-off show. Lupe returned the love by donning a crispy Brandon Jennings jersey for the Milwaukee summer masses. After the show, he spoke on Food & Liquor 2, taking constructive criticism in stride, and Chief Keef and Chicago hip hop.
"I'm sure I'll have a conversation with Fest soon in the next few days specifically about that. He's a good dude. He keeps it 100, he keep it real. You need that balance, you need somebody to come in and say what's really real--and not in a rap song. In a very intellectual way. In a very meaningful way, which I think that's what Rhymefest did. As far as his relationship with Keef and the city's relationship with Keef, at the end of the day its been done before, it ain't like we reinventing the wheel or it's always been nonviolent or it's always been violent. It is what it is. Hip-hop is made up of everything. The worst of the worst and the best of the best, we just gotta deal with it and live with it. That's what life is about."
The interview is mixed in with some amazing, slowed-down visuals to distinguish that documentary style mood that Cam is known for. The 'Words & Sounds' from De La shown above? The combination of the live audio of their iconic hip hop hits with a discussion on how the group got started in high school and their insight on De La Soul's current relevance in hip hop today. I particularly like how they feel responsible for reminding this new generation - the 'Internet Age' (my phrase) - to keep learning. And to do that, they feel like they should compete, put music out, just not in a disposable fashion. Co-sign that idea. Shouts to Jeff Baraka for steering the conversation in this direction. Press play and take in some powerful 'Words & Sounds' from the living legends - Dave, Maseo, & Posdnous, De. La. Soul.
It was exciting to bring listeners, and you guys checking this out now, our own perspective on: the state and future of the Chicago hip hop scene, some behind the scenes insight on what goes down in Gowhere Hip Hop, what tips we have for aspiring artists out there to get our attention, and what we look for in hip hop. We talk about the importance of networking and share some fun stories and experiences throughout the history of Gowhere Hip Hop. In fact, people ask me all the time how we got started and so I answer that early on in part 1 above. Plus, since Educated Insanity talks about all of the hip hop culture - be it news, entertainment, and sports - stay tuned all the way through part 2 to hear my (now busted) NBA Finals prediction, hah! So if you have the time today, or are just working at the computer and want a radio/podcast to help pass the time, press play above and hear our thoughts on Chicago hip hop! Special thanks again to JR & Jay for hosting and having us, we look forward to working with them again soon.
Ladies and gents... Gemstones is BACK! We are privileged to bring you the first of an exclusive three part series that brings us up to date with Gemstones - a never before seen reflection on his times with 1st & 15th, the transformation from Gemini to Gemstones, and what lies ahead.
In part one, GY312 starts the sit-down with a discussion on Gem's times with 1st & 15th. He asks what everyone wants to know. Why did 1st & 15th end? Do Lupe and him still talk? Will Lupe and Gem ever work together again? Gemstones gives it to us straight, and drops a lot of in-depth thoughts along the way. Read a sample below and get the answers to all those questions and more in the video above. Plus, stay tuned through the end to see how he deeply analyzes his time with FNF and how those words transition into Part Two: The Rebirth - coming soon! Enjoy!
Any possibilities on 1st & 15th getting back together:
"It's done. 1st & 15th is still a company, but what 1st & 15th was when we first started out? Naw, that's done."
On working with Lupe again:
"I hope we can work together. I pray man. I hope man, because me and Lupe man, our energy was insane together. If you listen to any record we did... 'We On'... had 'We On' came out? That record was so big. That back and forth what 'Ye & Jay is doin' now, listen man.... stop."
Last night we caught up with iconic model, actress, and activist Jenny McCarthy at the 5th Annual 'Rescue Our Angels' silent auction at Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago. Jenny is a strong promoter of autism awareness, as president of GenerationRescue.org, where you can contribute to help families with children with autism spectrum disorders. She has some nice words to say about how she got involved and how you can get involved by donating at GenerationRescue.org.
Our interview takes a more light-hearted turn as B96's Julian On Da Radio asks about her dating life, which she says has been "hilarious" and "horrendous" this past year. Now it looks like it's taking a turn towards awesome as McCarthy confirmed she is dating Bears All-Pro Linebacker, Brian Urlacher. Looks like we'll be seeing the Chicago native more often around the hometown, at least when her busy schedule allows her to be here when she's not filming new TV shows like Love In The Wild and Surprise with Jenny McCarthy on NBC, and, that's not all - her own Jenny McCarthy Show debuting on VH1 later this year. Julian also gets the quick low-down on the shows, amidst more of their fun back and forth, stemming from McCarthy immediately realizing she talked with Julian on the radio just a couple days prior, hah!
So without further adieu, check out our fun new interview with Jenny McCarthy above. Plus, be sure to get more information and donate if you can to children with autism that need our support - it all can be done at GenerationRescue.org.
Last week, Khaled M. returned to Chicago and paid a visit to Gowhere Hip Hop Headquarters to catch up with us, preview some new projects, and of course, share what he's been up to for our newest interview for you all to see above! He sits down with Jen DeLeon and shares with us some chilling experiences while he was overseas in Libya, where his father was born, and amongst the many who have been fighting for freedom while even facing certain death. Khaled's story will be amongst the many shared in a dope new, MTV Diary-esque series called 'Sing Freedom' and you can catch him in a powerful preview below.
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Also in the interview, Khaled fills us in on what to expect on his upcoming EP, which includes collaborations with a new singer on our radar Tarik Adams, whom he was recording with in Chicago and we met at the HQ as well. He's got some dope tunes in his own right so no doubt, these two are going to come up with something fresh. Finally, Khaled also has some good words on waking up and simply appreciating life and his blessings. We also have some fun in this one as you can see from Khaled and Jen's discussion and some of the b-roll of all of us in the office. As we expected, Khaled has a lot of big looks coming on top of being featured on the likes of CNN and RollingStone. We got the early preview and we'll be the first to keep you in the loop when Khaled releases some new music, but for now, get to know his story even more in our new interview above!
We at Gowhere Hip Hop are about growing together as one. A chief goal of our company is to promote talented up and coming artists to our wide, national and international audience. And as that is inclusive of artists and talent from anywhere, we see that just in our hometown of Chicago, there are countless amounts of people of different styles, cultures, and perspectives that deserve to be heard. As we continue to grow with GWHH, and as a Chicago music scene overall, we wanted to also take a step back and reflect about how the scene has changed immensely in just the past few years - and communicate that to you all, whether you can experience this first hand in the Chi or looking from the outside in. With this in mind, we linked up earlier this month with Briahna Gatlin & Swank PR at Gowhere Hip Hop Headquarters for a client/media junket. Swank PR represents a variety of artists, VIPs, industry professionals, and tastemakers in Chicago, and just in their clientele alone, they are a big presence in the city. While not everyone in the scene is directly speaking above, the people that were in the office that day and featured in the video above provide a vast perspective and sound representation of much of the city. So in addition to growing our own relationships with one another and connecting people for the first time, we also decided to spread some awareness, reflection, and knowledge on the Chicago music scene with this video.
Watch and hear from Chicago artists, industry professionals, tastemakers, and our own members of #TeamGowhere about how the Chicago music scene has changed, the unity that has developed, and how the momentum is only going to keep building as we all continue to unite and grow. In just the last few years, a Chicago music scene that has long been segregated and known for its 'hater' reputation has made great strides in shedding that stigma and becoming more unified. There is a powerful movement bubbling here and we're in the midst of an exciting journey of Chicago's evolving music scene becoming the next powerhouse city of the music industry!
"Chicago is one city. We shall work as one people for our common good and our common goals."
- Harold Washington
#Motivation. There is more to be done. Let's go, Chicago!
There are few producers in hip hop that one may utter is better than DJ Premier. Like seriously. One half of legendary group Gangstarr, Premo has gracefully managed to stay relevant and create fresh grooves in a young man's game for decades. Last month, before DJ Premier's show at The Shrine, I had the pleasure (yes, I bum-rushed his set lol) to interview arguably hip hop's greatest producer of all-time. Of course the show was packed and there were fans from all eras paying homage to the scratching legend.
DJ Premier speaks on his new project with Bumpy Knuckles 'Kolexxion', why Kanye West is a boss, and the dualities in hip hop between "new school," and true school.
Here's an excerpt of my conversation with Premo about 'Ye:
"Kanye's has taken things to a whole "nother level. And he's a challenger. That's what I am. I took challenges and risks of being different. Kanye has decided to be different and some people hate on him, some people call him weird. I'm weird. When you're weird, that means you're not like everybody else. That's why Ye has grown from a nobody to every model chick wants to get with him...everything because he has made his path of showing that he can be a leader in the game. Not everybody is built to be a boss. I wasn't built to be one either, but I am a boss now. And I carry myself as one. Bosses deal with bosses on a whole different level and Ye is a boss."
- DJ Premier
Sidenote: I didn't really bum-rush, Preem. I mean, I guess I kinda did. There was slight haste involved lol. I just hate doing interviews after shows. Entertainers are usually drunk and high at that point or occupied with said groupies. Who would want to interrupt that? The fact that some drunken interviews are sometimes cool is an entirely different post. Much propers to DJ Premier for kicking knowledge. Go cop his new LP with Bumpy!
Last week, I witnessed perhaps the top concert to date to hit the Chi in 2012. Talib Kweli, accompanied by his live band, headlined a packed house at The Shrine as he spit verses new and old, classics and covers, and even an incredible a capella that we give you a taste of above - just before launching into our latest exclusive interview!
And ladies and gents, this interview is an instant classic. After the show, Talib Kweli sat down with our own Jeff Baraka, while we were also joined by the special surprise guest Kweli brought on stage during his encore - none other than true Chicago playa emcee, GLC. What you see above is a raw, reflective conversation between the three, where first, Kweli realized and articulated on the spot, the similarities between his hometown of Brooklyn and our hometown of Chicago. He had these powerful words to say about the City of Wind:
On Brooklyn & Chicago similarities:
"Well to be honest with you, I didn't even really notice that there was such a similarity between Brooklyn and Chicago until you said it. With me, Chicago is.. a hub. It's a mecca. It's like a shining light in the middle of the country. It's a place where a lot of people came who didn't have access to the coasts. And came, and was able to make their dreams come true."
But that's not all. Of course, we needed some words on a Black Star album and Kweli kills any and all rumors, while leaving the door open to the possibility we all want.
On a new Black Star album:
"We had been puttin' out Black Star songs on the website blackstarhub. We been workin' on music. We don't have an album together yet."
Finally, Kweli describes the 'Super MC' and in the process talks about the art, skills, and business of hip hop. Baraka then brings in GLC as he and Kweli share laughs about an awesome story of a tour stop back in '03 overseas where GLC was NOT having any bootleggers. Hah! On the music tip, GLC also reveals an artist who embraces 'The Ism' lately and one that we can expect a collab with in the future (Hint: From Pittsburgh, first name rhymes with Biz). Lookin'. Forward. To that!
Shoutout to everyone involved for makin' this one memorable night. To Talib Kweli & GLC for the excellent show, the time afterwards, and all the Gowhere love. To the good people at The Shrine for hosting yet another high-energy concert (Groove Series with Jean Grae up next this Thursday!). To the #TeamGowhere fam below for creating one of our most raw and entertaining interviews to date. It's simply a must-see! Watch and enjoy above.