Lupe’s stand against gun violence
Grammy Award-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco has spoken out against gun violence after a six-month-old baby was shot and killed in an attack meant for her father who was also wounded. The infant girl has since been named as Jonylah Watkins. Fiasco has just released a tribute single entitled ‘Jonylah Forever’ in memory of the child. Speaking about the horrific incident on Twitter, Lupe said: “this is why I rant! This is why I sound preachy in my songs. I have no choice”. Lupe’s hip-hop tearjerker can be streamed below.
Bishop Nehru releases Nehruvia mixtape
This month’s pick for new emerging artist goes to Bishop Nehru. Hailing from upstate New York, at the ripe old age of 16 he released his impressive Nehruvia mixtape. The project features Bishop dropping his soulful, jazz-inspired flow over instrumentals by MF Doom, DJ Premier and J Dilla which has seen him draw early comparisons to young Joey Bada$$. So with the buzz about Nehruvia beginning to build, and with plans to follow it up with a Strictly Flows EP and a production project, it looks to be a busy year ahead for the baby-faced MC who is influenced by rappers including Tupac, Nas and MF Doom.
Method Man caught with pants down
It turns out that sex scandals are not just for talentless socialites trying desperately to keep hold of their fifteen minutes of fame, now even a veteran rapper is finding himself overexposed. Explicit pictures of Wu-Tang’s Method Man have surfaced on online after Meth recently parted ways with his girlfriend. Although his face has been cropped out of the shots, which were allegedly taken by Method Man himself in the bathroom mirror (creepy!), he has been identified by his tattoos which seem to match perfectly. It has not been confirmed if the pictures are genuine, still it might be a good idea for Meth to leave his camera phone outside the bedroom in future.
Public Enemy announce Dublin show
Iconic rap group Public Enemy come to Dublin venue the Button Factory on Sunday, 21st April. Chuck D, Flava Flav Professor Griff and the rest of the crew take to the stage to deliver their own brand of raw, politically-charged hip-hop. Earlier this year the legendary pioneers of socially-aware hip hop were announced as inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They also released their latest studio album Evil Empire of Everything to celebrate 25 years in the music business. Tickets are €32.50 and are available now from Ticketmaster.
Bilal’s Love Surreal
Neo-soul artist Bilal has just released his third studio album A Love Surreal. With a smooth sound that borrows from jazz and blues, Bilal first gained attention as a featured vocalist for the likes of Common and Talib Kweli. The new project’s title was inspired by the classic John Coltrane album A Love Supreme and is released by his new label eOne. The sound of the new album incorporates elements of hip hop, soul, funk and even uses surrealist artist Salvador Dali as inspiration. Definitely worth further investigation by lovers of alternative soul.