Wu-Tang’s aim is to use the album as a springboard for the reconsideration of music as art, hoping the approach will help restore it to a place alongside great visual works–and create a shift in the music business, not to mention earn some cash, in the process. The one-of-a-kind launch will be a separate endeavor from the group’s 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, which is set for a standard commercial release this summer.
According to RZA and the album’s main producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, a Morocco-based part of Wu-Tang’s extended family, the plan is to first take Once Upon A Time In Shaolin on a “tour” through museums, galleries, festivals and the like. Just like a high-profile exhibit at a major institution, there will be a cost to attend, likely in the $30-$50 range.
Visitors will go through heavy security to ensure that recording devices aren’t smuggled in; as an extra precaution, they’ll likely have to listen to the 128-minute album’s 31 songs on headphones provided by the venue. As Cilvaringz puts it: “One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept.”
Though no exhibition dates have been finalized, Cilvaringz says Wu-Tang has been in discussions with a bevy of possible locations, including the Tate Modern (a representative from the institution did not respond to a request for comment). Other venues, including art galleries and listening tents at music festivals, could eventually round out the tour.
1. Big Sean - Play No Games Feat. Chris Brown & Ty Dolla 2. Future - Fuck Up Some Commas 3. Beardus - Ballin’ Out 4. Drake - 10 Bands
5. Mr Carmack - Rappers
6. Meek Mill – D-Boy ft. Big Sean & ASAP Ferg
7. Graves x Oshi - Sell Soul
8. Big Sean – Deep Feat. Lil Wayne
9. Wale ft. Jeremih - The Body (KRNE Remix)
10. Sam Smith - Lay Me Down (POMO Remix)
11. Drake - Energy
12. Tupac- Ambitionz Az a Ridah
13. Araabmuzik - For The Hell Of It (Professor Moses Remix)
14. Big Sean - Blessings Feat. Drake & Kanye West
15. Big Sean Ft. Drake – Blessings (Riot Ten HYPE OR DIE Trap Remix)
Calvin Brodus aka Snoop Dog aka Snoop Lion, rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. His debut album Doggystyle, became 4× platinum. He also collaborated on Dr. Dre’s solo debut The Chronic. [Via It’s Bigger Than Hip Hop]
*Earnings are calculated from June 2013 to June 2014 and based on data from Pollstar, the RIAA and Nielsen SoundScan, and from interviews with numerous managers, lawyers, music executives and some of the artists themselves.
It’s finally time to stop letting folks from outside of our community tell us how to feel about Lauryn Hill
By Talib Kweli Greene
Yasiin Bey and I make beautiful music together. We are yin and yang, our styles complement each other very nicely. While it’s always a treat for us to perform together as Black Star, the style and pace of our solo performances are different. Yasiin and I have very different philosophies when it comes to stage performing. While I like to do songs back-to-back at a non-stop pace, make sure I do my hits and have my DJ hype up the crowd and do my ad libs, Yasiin prefers to take his time and does not like too much talking from his DJ.
Yasiin once explained to me that when people pay to see him, they are paying to see what he feels like expressing. So it doesn’t matter whether he does his “hits” or not. That was a great lesson for me.
“My songs are personal music, they’re not communal. I wouldn’t want people singing along with me. It would sound funny. I’m not playing campfire meetings. I don’t remember anyone singing along with Elvis, Carl Perkins or Little Richard.” ~Bob Dylan
Many fans will disagree with Yasiin’s stance here. They are missing the point. The artist is a human being, not a product. Sure, the artist makes products that are for sale, but the artist is not forever in your debt because you may have purchased a product from them at some point.
When you buy an album from me, I receive money and you get music. It’s a fair and even exchange that begins and ends once I receive my money and you receive your product. If I don’t value myself as an artist — especially working in a market that has decided that recorded music is not worth spending money on — then who will?
Artists make art for themselves. Art is an honest expression. Artists who pander to their fans by trying to make music “for” their fans make empty, transparent art. The true fan does not want you to make music for them, they want you to make music for you, because that’s the whole reason they fell in love with you in the first place.
I wrote my first rap when I was 12 years old. I had no fans. I didn’t write it for the fans, I wrote it because I had something I desperately needed to express. When Black Star came out, Yasiin and I did not have a huge fan base. We did that album for us. It is that honest personal, expression that fans crave.
The great thing about making art for yourself is that if you do it well, millions of people will relate to it and embrace it. They will support you and make it possible for you to have a career and feed your family, all with your art. These are your fans, and their passion, dedication and contribution to your life are to be cherished and respected.
However fans are not your boss, and listening to them when it comes to creative decisions is a slippery slope. I am not obligated to make the same album over and over again just because fans demand it. I am allowed to try new things, succeed at them or fail at them. I am allowed to not make music anymore ever, if that’s what I choose to do. I am allowed to give a shitty show or not even show up if I feel like it. Hopefully that will never happen, but if it does, it will never take away from the quality of the work I’ve already put out into the world.
Years ago I was in the audience at the BET Awards waiting to see Lauryn Hill reunite with the Fugees. Rumor had it that Lauryn was trying to perform a poem instead of her hits and the BET brass wouldn’t allow it. If this was true, it meant that BET loved what Lauryn Hill had given us in the past—enough to use her name and image to draw in viewers, without paying her—but had no respect for what she wanted to express on this day. This moment was the inspiration for my song “Ms. Hill.”
Lauryn Hill gave us two Fugees albums, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill and MTV Unplugged 2.0. How arrogant would I be to say she owed me anything? What kind of self absorbed, entitled nonsense is that?
When I was going to NYU, rooming with John Forte, we were hanging out with Ms. Hill, who was attending Columbia University. She used to come visit me at Nkiru Books in Brooklyn, the store I used to work at that Yasiin and I eventually purchased with our show money. We would hit up the African Street Festival at Boys and Girls High School and then go see professors like Dr. Frances Cress Welsing speak.
Before the Fugees blew up, this 19 year old, beautiful Black woman rocking dreadlocks was studying at an Ivy League college and already had two movies and a soap opera under her belt (King of the Hill, Sister Act 2, As The World Turns). This was an impressive young lady. When the Fugees did hit it big, they changed the musical landscape forever. The Score raised the bar for hip-hop and gave the people of Haiti something to be proud of. It sold 30 million copies and ended up on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Albums of All Time, due in no small part to Lauryn Hill’s incredible singing and rapping.
They sang about love, unity and they took pride in creating music that addressed the ills of their community in meaningful ways. The Fugees live show blended all of the elements of Black music and made for an experience that was unique in the world of hip-hop. They inspired millions.
1. Miles Davis - In a Silent Way [Professor Moses Edit] 2. Nas - One Love 3. B. Lewis - Laxed Out 4. Erykah Badu - Window Seat 5. Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day 6. Jay Electronica - Exhibit C (Prod. Just Blaze) 7. Mos Def - The Panties 8. The Alchemist - Make My Own 9. Big L - Street Struck 10. Nas - Stay 11. J Dilla - Baby 12. Talib Kweli & Hi Tek - Memories Live 13. Mr Carmack - CHOW FUN x LAURYN HILL 14. Kanye West - 30 Hours 15. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime 16. Mos Def & DJ Honda - “Travellin man” 17. Slum Village - Fall In Love 18. Pete Rock - Mind Frame 19. Hi-Tech - Book Of Life 20. Common - Cold Blooded 21. Illmind - Nightmare On Illstreet 22. Robert Glasper feat Yasiin Bey - Black Radio 23. Outkast - Wheelz of Steel 24. Mobb Deep - Cradle To The Grave 25. The Weeknd - The Hills (SubtomiK & Alo Lee Cover) 26. TroyBoi feat. Diplo & Nina Sky - Afterhours 27. Miles Davis - In a Silent Way [Professor Moses Edit]
1.Everything Was The Same Feat Stacy Barthe 2.Sacrifices Prod By Mark Henry 3.Playa Prod By Sonaro 4.The Get Back Prod By The Superiors 5.Foreigners Feat Meek Mill Mike Davis Prod By CT Beats 6.The Hope Feat Jadakiss Prod By Araab Muzik 7.You Know Feat Young Jeezy Prod By Vinylz Boi-1da 8.Cuffin Season Prod By Sonaro 9.Thim Slick Feat Jeremih Prod By StreetFam Turtle LC 10.Lay Down Feat Ryan Leslie Prod By ILLmind Ryan Leslie 11.Situationships Feat Mack WIlds Tiara Thomas Prod By Sonaro 12.Young OG Prod By Mark Henry Bonus