Another edition of Janeen's Art & Instrumentals is upon us! Tomorrow we're sponsoring the live art event, where Janeen will make a painting on the spot, inspired by the moods of instrumentals blaring in the space. We can say first hand how cool of an experience it is to witness live art, on the spot, in about 15 minutes. Lookin' forward to seeing more work of hers and how her signature style continues to progress.
You can get a glimpse of Janeen's work and what to expect from the event tomorrow in the slideshow above. The photos (taken by Dartise) were from May's installment and in addition to the art, you'll see the live music and everything from popcorn to sherberts to cookies & milk! What other events treat you with such great food and art? The flyer below has all the details on when/where to get there; plus, portions of the event will go to a great cause All About Pink: A Breast Cancer Foundation.
Hope to see you there, where you'll also catch a Chicago emcee that you should be familiar with already if you check these pages on the regular: Real T@lk. If not, head over to 5ABIOmatic's extensive "Hip Hop Taste Of Chicago", part 2 of the 3-part series that will feature all the dope up and coming Chicago rhymers and where they hail.
We're proud to premiere the latest episode in Real T@lk's "Memoirs of a Modern Day Griot" called "The Opening Act", documenting the Chicago emcee's successful opening set for Big Boi last month at Park West. Our own Who Dough was in attendance and had this to say at the time:
"Real T@lk is that breath of fresh air - with a calculated flow, the smooth pipes of Sohje, a band dressed flyer than they have to be, and dancers who remind you its okay to dance at a rap show. This is more than just rap - this is art. And with an inspiring performance of "Count It Up" off The Talented Tenth 8.0, Real T@lk set the bar higher than most opener's could imagine."
And if that doesn't further entice you, then take my word for it as well. Real T@lk has been an artist we've been supporting since the beginning and his growth, skill, and presentation is at an all-time high seen in the video above. Sit-down with this documentary as Real T@lk narrates a day in the life from soundcheck to the bright lights of the performance. This includes a very intriguing behind the scenes conversation with Killer Mike & Big Boi prior to the show in their trailer, plus the problems that come up that you can't predict prior to showtime. Then of course, we get a look at the ensemble and energy of Real T@lk's performance of "Count It Up" from The Talented Tenth 8.0. To sum it up in a word: fresh.
Below are more words on the episode from Real T@lk himself and, to find out even further about him, episode 1 "The Listening Party", where you'll see us involved as well. Shoutout to Eric Seals & Sani Cole for the job well-done filming and editing. Artists, here's the bar for day-in-the-life, documentary-style episodes.
Episode 2: "The Opening Act" (Take a look into the day Real T@lk opened for Big Boi + Killer Mike on 5/1/13 at Park West in Chicago, IL for The Shoes For Running World Tour)
Griot = a West African historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet and/or musician. The griot is a repository of oral tradition. Real T@lk identifies as an African-American and most African-Americans are descendants of slaves in America that were taken from West Africa he identifies as a Modern-Day Griot...changing the world one rhyme at a time. These are his memoirs.
Big Boi, Killer Mike, & Real T@lk at Park West 5/1 [Recap]
When I think of rappers, I generally don't picture them in bow ties or suits, nor would I expect one to be accompanied by a full live band with dancers who reflect a kind of style and class seemingly lost in a game saturated with mediocre djs and scantily dressed go go dancers. But Real T@lk is that breath of fresh air - with a calculated flow, the smooth pipes of Sohje, a band dressed flyer than they have to be, and dancers who remind you its okay to dance at a rap show. This is more than just rap - this is art. And with an inspiring performance of "Count It Up" off The Talented Tenth 8.0, Real T@lk set the bar higher than most opener's could imagine.
Killer Mike (Photo by Who Dough)
The surprises continued though, as Killer Mike took the stage. Despite the name, Killer Mike ain't no killer - he's a lover. It quickly became evident how Killer Mike loves hip hop, his fans, and his family - at one point taking a moment to say how much he respects his wife, knowing how difficult it must be for her with him on the road - that's love. His love for hip hop - never more evident than in his bare bones approach to the night. It was just him and his dj on the dark stage, a couple of times abandoning the beat to go a cappella on "Untitled" and "Reagan." Its a sign of passion behind his words - because sometimes the message shouldn't be clouded behind a headnotic beat. The crowd has most definitely feelin' it too - chanting "FUCK RONALD REAGAN" during "Reagan," and "I AIN'T NEVA SCARED" as he covered Bone Crusher's classic. And before his time was up, Mike Bigga actually jumped off stage and into the crowd for a transcending performance of "God In The Building."
Big Boi (Photo by Who Dough)
As Big Boi took the stage, I wasn't sure how he was gonna top Real T@lk and Killer Mike, but Big Boi is a crowd pleaser - and Outkast fans were definitely catered to. The majority of Big Boi's time on stage was actually focused on Outkast anthems ("So Fresh, So Clean," "The Way You Move," Player's Ball," "Ms. Jackson") with the help of Killer Mike in Dre's absence. The rest of the set touched on their colabs ("Thom Pettie" and "Kryptonite") as well as highlighting the bangers off Sir Lucious Left Foot and Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. Although Big Boi's performance lacked the style of Real T@lk's set, and the intimacy of Killer Mike's, it was certainly a good time - just ask one of the dozens of girls invited to be on stage for the last couple songs.
Big Boi Live w/ Killer Mike & Real T@lk @ Park West
Big Boi, Killer Mike, Real T@lk
Wed, 2013-05-01 08:00
Straight out the A - Big Boi's "Shoes for Running Tour" comes to Chicago's Park West Theater Wednesday, May 1. With support from Killer Mike, and (one of our favorite's) Chicago's own Real T@lk, you can look forward to one hell of a show.
I'm going to start off by saying that The Talented Tenth 8.0 is one of my favorite projects of the year.
Real T@lk, a Chicago emcee and poet, is one of the most intelligent lyricists in the game, and proves such throughout a seemingly daunting 21-track mixtape. While it may seem like a lot to digest quantity-wise, there is in fact such a variety of concepts, storytelling, and overall sounds to keep you entertained throughout.
It all begins with your first audio and visual experience. One look at the cover, and you'll see a clear inspiration from W.E.B. Dubois - an inspiration that's carried out in track 1 - one of the more powerful intros I've heard on any project. How could that be? It's simple. Real T@lk cleverly explains who he is and what he's about in, essentially an a capella, that's accompanied by a soothing piano melody. It's a clear nod to his natural spoken word and poetry talents and it's hard not to catch a clever line, even if you're just casually paying attention. Real T@lk has a way of grabbing that attention with his delivery and punctuation.
Where Real T@lk stands out amongst a lot of upcoming rappers is through his wit, lyricism, and storytelling. The latter characteristic, when executed well, is in fact one of my passionate driving forces of why I love hip hop. I love when artists are able to communicate a perspective, whether it be first, second, or third, on a story that I become riveted to follow.
Real T@lk's storytelling is especially on display in "The Lady In The Green Dress" (be weary of the metaphors here), "Showtime!" (Real T@lk's trip on the El Train), "The Heist" (my favorite track if I had to pick one, and one that everyone can relate to), "Jealousy" (a story on some baby mama drama) and "Lonely People" (sampling the classic by some band named The Beatles).
If you're looking to get hyped while also appreciating a good message, then take a listen to the single "Black Dynamite!". This was the conclusion and an instant hit at The Talented Tenth 8.0 listening party we presented with New Era last week (more on this in a future post).
Lastly, The Talented Tenth 8.0 is not just an all-star solo display from Real T@lk. Producers like Authentik Made & Chris Mathien, combined with rap features from Lili K, Dave Coresh, J. Ivy, and Gemstones (who has the other top project of the month) are all top-quality and make for good collabs to keep your ears perked throughout the 21-track opus. The latter third doesn't miss a beat especially, and you certainly won't be remiss if you take the time out today to download and open your ears from the top. Real Talk!
01. "The Talented Tenth Intro" (prod. L)
02. "8.0 Intro" (prod. DayTheFresh)
03. "Showtime!" (prod. NOVA)
04. "Count It Up" f/ Sohje' (prod. Best Kept Secret)