Category Archives: Music

Distant Relatives find a home in Brooklyn

By Dashaun Simmons

On a warm afternoon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn fans of both hip hop and reggae came together to celebrate a rare pairing. One half Brooklyn born, Queens raised street rap, the other half Jamaica bred, reggae royalty. On paper the pairing of Nas and Damian Marley seems too big to work. Both have huge fan bases and are very successful on their own. Also we have all seen what can happen when two genres try to do a full project together. (Best of Both Worlds anyone?) So it’s easy to give a side eye to this project. However these guys prove their disbelievers wrong and gave fans of both genres a reason to party together.

The line for entry (which started around 3:00) stretched three city blocks in anticipation. Ticket holding fans mixed in with a number of hopefuls looking for anyone willing to sell an extra ticket, were excited to sing along, dance and…maybe smoke some weed. Let’s be real here, this is at least a half reggae concert, and therefore weed should be expected like wool scarves being worn in the summer (this is Williamsburg still). The weed part of the evening was in a word interesting due to the large amount of Homeland Security officers ejecting random folks found smoking the modern burning bush. Who would have thought Babylon rules would be enforced at a concert with a Marley on the bill. I suppose this is the new New York. Yet, when early on lighters were tossed from the stage into the audience, it’s hard to make sense of the whole thing. Unfortunately random arrests weren’t the only thing this audience had to worry about. The show itself took 3 hours to get started. About two hours were filled with DJ sets by Hot 97 personalities Bobby Konders, Jabba and Peter Rosenburg. The audience ate up the old reggae tunes as well as the hard-hitting rap tracks played by both groups (except the swag rap segment which was met with boos and thumbs down literally).

As the sun began to set and the band took the stage you could feel the energy rise in the venue. Once the music for the opening for the track “As We Enter” started, Damian walked out to huge cheers making way for Nas to join him. The two of them destroyed their set, flowing back and forth as if they’ve been performing together for years. After doing a few songs from the Distant Relatives album, Damian retired to allow Nas time to commune with his fellow New Yorkers. During this set fans were treated to songs like “Represent” and “If I Ruled The World”. Amazingly, Nas remembered all the lyrics to his songs. This is a rare occurrence.

The Distant Relatives album is perfect for a sold out show like this. Songs like “Dispear”, “Nah Mean” and “Strong Will Continue” keep the crowd on their toes pumping their fists and shouting along with immense feeling. For a moment Nas lets his guard down after rapping about his ex wife’s possible infidelity during their marriage. He says he’s been “going through it” and the fans on this night feel him.

Damian’s solo set while longer than Nas’ was equally enjoyable. This was especially evident when he performed his father’s legendary song Exodus. You could feel history being made right before your eyes. The two performers finished off this intense show with a range of emotions from songs like “Count Your Blessings” to the beautiful “Africa Must Wake Up”. The audience fell completely under their spell following Nas and Damian’s every word from raising lighters to fist pumping and none of it felt forced or contrived. There was a true moment being had both on stage and in the audience. By the hugs and handshakes given throughout the crowd at the end of the show, it seemed that more Distant Relatives were found that night in Brooklyn.


Global Hip-Hop

The only Intl Hip Hop showcase at CMJ where acts from many regions around the world perform under one roof! Excellent talent- and US debuts for most of them…

Here’s a link to a mixtape we made specially for the event.

7PM Thursday, October 22nd


At Versaris- Spain

Alfaress- Morocco

Nomadic Massive -Canada

La Melodia- Holland

Phat Phillie- Croatia

Coolooloosh- Israel

DJ Boo on the decks

Hosted by Blitz The Ambassador


Getting IN with Keys N Krates – LIVE!

By JwaStar/Fusicology Contributor

Hot time! Summer in the city and out on their journey through Fort Greene, Brooklyn is three musicians ready to create some extra heat on the stage. Fusicology asked me, JwaStar, to come down to BK and find the infamous Canadian trio, Keys N Krates rocking it out for The Stoop in Fort Greene Park.

I arrived to a slightly sunny disposition that turned partly cloudy yet was still packed with a calm crowd of blankets and beautiful people enjoying the weather and some good music. Far from old fashioned I was able to catch up with these gentlemen to try to figure out exactly what type of mash up of dopeness this was? Hmmmm I think we may find an answer in more ways than naught. Fusicology and JwaStar presents Keys N Krates. Enjoy!

(click for audio)

Intro & Background: KeysNKrates Part 1

Inspiration & Influences: KeysNKrates Part 2

Experiences and Point of Views: KeysNKrates Part 3

Jwastar, Jr Flo (deejay), Adam Tune (drums), Matisse (keys)

Check out Keys N Krates this Wednesday, August 12th, at Santos Party House‘s newest party, Gravity.

Maxwell’s Instrumental EP

I’m a huge fan of Maxwell and came across Melo-X’s new instrumental EP. Stamped of approval by Maxwell himself, check out the link for it below.

Maxwell twitters: MELO-X’s ‘THE INSTRUMENTAL EP’ inspired by the 1st installment of the BLACKsummers’night TRILOGY. 1st release ‘the HIGHEST’ 4rom OKAYPLAYER! MELO-X what can i say… in the immortal words of CHRIS DAVE.. killin killin… killin..

Miz Metro @ SOBs

I received an invite from Fiona Bloom last week about Miz Metro doing her album release party, Unlimited, at SOBs. As Miz Metro performed at SXSW and made it to one of Myspace’s top featured artist, I was definitely curious about her.

The show was filled with acts by Nero, Fresh Daily, Outasight and more plus fun giveaways in between. I do love free stuff but unfortunately did not win anything this time. Miz Metro’s performance was backed by a live band whose sound reminds me somewhere in the mix of fun, jazzy and pop. For some reason I have visions of burlesque dancers as I listened to her sing. She is an artist to watch out for in the coming months.


Fresh Daily

The Band

Miz Metro

Check out Fiona’s blog for more information on great artists and recaps on shows: The Bloom Blog

Roots Picnic 2009

Having attended the first annual Roots Picnic last year, I knew this year’s line up wouldn’t disappoint. Tickets were sold out on the day of with 6,500+ in attendance.  The picnic held at the hometown of The Roots, went from noon to 11pm with food and drinks served all day and shows going on in the main stage and tent area. From acts of old school legends to contemporary, it was a concert for everyone.

The Set List

The crowd at 3pm.

Antibalas, a Brooklyn based Afro-beat group, who are much respected by Questlove after he witnessed their FELA! musical last year.

Black Keys, a pretty rocking band comprised only of two guys. Dan Auerbach, vocalist/guitarist of Black Keys blew his amplifier out in the between sets and the crowd called for a drum solo drummer/producer, Patrick Carney, but he didn’t. Perhaps next time.

Santigold did her thing with a live band, flanked by two sidekicks and brought on Spank Rock as a special guest.

Girls going wild for Asher Roth.

Public Enemy, backed up by The Roots band and Antibalas horns, came out and blew everyone away. Their songs never get old and the crowd never gets less hyped and Flavor Flav who’s practically 50yrs old is still jumping around like there’s no tomorrow.

Brooklyn based, Tv On The Radio, performed last right before The Roots. Starting off with Young Liars, they performed crowd favorites like Wolf Like Me, Staring at the Sun and more.

The Roots closed out the show with a bang, including a 10-minute rendition of You Got Me. They are no doubt one of the greatest bands of our time, consistently pushing the boundaries of music with improvisation and appreciation of different genres.


Asya is in town. =]

Tuesday night, our night kicked off at a bomb ass Japanese restaurant, Oh! Taisho, on St. Mark’s Place. We got our CMJ badges, grubbed, caught up on news and headed over to Brooklyn Bodega’s event with Fresh Daily, Che Grand, Homeboy Sandman, Platinum Pied Pipers with Coultrain, DJ Parler on deck and special guests. That joint was a freakin reunion event. Unfortunately we missed a few performances but got to see Tanya Morgan and Platinum Pied Pipers.. my favorites! They put on a great show and shout out to Craig Hackeysack for getting me a drink and always giving me shit to keep me on my toes.

Following suit, we hopped in a cab to SOBs for the next event where Wale, Daniel Merriweather and Rhymefest were set to perform. Again, we were late. It seemed to be the theme of the night. The showcase was over capacity and was jumpin when Wale came on. Crowd was hyped and sound was good. If you weren’t there… u missed out.

A million more events to go this week but most importantly, come check us out at our 5th Anniversary party at Studio B this Friday. It’s free with RSVP and did I mention Dwele is dj-ing AND open bar?

RSVP Link: