Archive for November 30, 2011

TiRon & Ayomari interview from The Smoking Section…

(Catch TiRon & Ayomari when they hit Denver on 12/15 for the Solution Showcase #1)

It was a star-studded event in Los Angeles’s premiere venue, The Music Box, where the sold-out crowd gathered to watch their beloved hometown hero, Kendrick Lamar. Big names like A$AP Rocky, Krondon, and Busta Rhymes were in the house as either entourage or performers and even the mythical Dr. Dre had a section of the balcony for himself to enjoy the festivities without being hounded by the peons. Featured on the bill, Left-Coast duo TiRon & Ayomari caught everyone by surprise as they preached about relationships and love’s many complexities, while eloquently doing live renditions of their highly acclaimed project, A Sucker for Pumps.

After the show, the two rappers sat down with The Crew’s own Raj to enlighten their audience as to how they were brave enough to dedicate an album to love, where they want the project to take them, and of course to serve as alarm clocks to wake up everyone else who’s been comfortably snoozing on them.


Graphic By Talia

TSS: What would say inspired you guys to make A Sucker for Pumps?

TiRon: Really, we had done all these relationship songs like “Ms. Right” and “Sydney” and so many relationship-esque records that were kind of different anyways, so we thought “what if we did like a whole album on it?” Because there’s been a trend in Hip-Hop. There’s been a lot of bullshit like ‘I’ll buy you the moon and the stars and all this other stuff’ and then there was ‘fuck bitches, get money.’” Anger isn’t necessarily that cut and dry and love ain’t that cut and dry. Basically we wanted to make an album with all of that gray in between.

(Check out the rest of the interview here)

Conceited Ego Episode 2 – DJ Low Key…

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Shouts to John Chapman IV for featuring me on his new lifestyle/fashion video blog, Conceited Ego…In this episode, he focuses on creating versatile outfits (not quite my usual “fancy t-shirt and hoody” steez)…Check it out for more on how to make the most of your gear and to see what I’d look like if I had a stylist…LOL…

Download Tanya Morgan’s You & What Army? EP for free + liner notes from Von Pea

Drop what you’re doing and head over to TanyaMorgan.bandcamp.com to download Tanya Morgan’s new EP, You & What Army?. It’s free (with an option to cop a dope, limited edition tee), ridiculously good (I’m biased, so check for yourself) and drops just in time for you to listen and be thankful that dudes like this are making music. If that wasn’t enough goodness, your favorite DJ contributed cuts on “We Rollin” and an Aeon beats listening session at my house over the Summer led to “Rock The Bells”.  Once you download and enjoy the songs, check out these great liner notes, courtesy of Von Pea from over at VonPea.com to make it an even better listening experience:

Disclaimer: this is long.

ha.

You & What Army. The latest attempt at proving we’re supposed to be making music. Not so much to you, but to myself. I wont speak for Don, but we’ve absolutely had talks about proving ourselves right as opposed to proving anyone wrong. As I sit here watching this hip hop video show and wondering why there’s no actual hip hop in this current video that’s playing (not in a “this aint real hip hop!” way, the song is literally not a hip hop song at all. its not a rap beat, and there’s no rapping), I cant help but feel like we all look like Disco Stu from The Simpsons. Its as if we’re holding onto something that doesn’t exist…but it does.

Most of the guys we all consider great are still doing it. Most of us relatively new guys still care about being skilled and saying something…or at least evoking good emotions through music.

All we need is you. For more than one listen.

In the past, Tanya Morgan has been about the act. Every album was like a play for us. The concepts and themes and characters were all about creativity. Making actual cassettes to go with the concept of Moonlighting, city planning-accurate maps to go with Brooklynati, or how Don Cusack was supposed to come in a DVD case and PGHI in a mini 3 ring binder. All that is fun, but It all started to feel like a cute lil high school play to me. To keep that metaphor, I feel like we have to turn this play into a good ass movie in theaters everywhere. Or at least get it on IFC. This EP is meant to serve as a reintroduction. We have always aimed to bring fun and our perspective on life, as well as what we go through as artists. I personally feel like there’s a lot left to say and do that we haven’t even scratched the surface on.

Intro
If you have Brooklynati you know that it starts with “On Our Way” and formally ends with “Just Arrived”. Ilyas Jr. also asks “are we there yet?” throughout the album. I had another one of those “it would be dope if!….naaah” ideas and as usual Don says “lets try that!”. Just in case its not clear to everyone that hears it: that is in fact Ilyas, the former 3rd member of TM, leaving the group…ON the album intro.

So I get to talking with Il about this intro and how it could be done in a way that metaphorically answers all questions. He was with the idea and further went on to explain how he was going to do an intro from his perspective on his next LP…what happens/where he goes when he gets out of the car. Whats cool about that is we did the same “skit from 2 perspectives on 2 different albums” thing on the Sunlighting mixtape and Moonlighting. He’s always TM regardless. We all are. Our friends Filthy and Aeon said it was sad. Evoked emotion FTW.

Do It Tanya
For people with short attention spans that don’t really want to give us a fair listen anyway, they might just turn the album off after thislikethemarkassbustasthattheyare. I call this the Tommy Boy jam because while it reminds me of “Me Myself & I” (De La, not Beyonce), its really inspired by “Doowutchalike” and “Kiss You Back” by Digital Underground. I think the latter is amazing to this day…both songs sound more like ‘hanging out over music’ than actual songs and that’s what we were aiming for with this one. I’ll explain why it comes back on at the end of the album later.

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Thursday, 12/15 -> The Solution Showcase #1 w/TiRon & Ayomari, Turner Jackson feat. DJ Dozen, The Girlgrabbers, DJ Low Key, Sounds Supreme & more at the Meadowlark…

THURSDAY, 12/15 -> I’m super excited to announce the launch of The Solution Showcase, a new monthly party/show/event/whatever-you-wanna-call-it that we’re throwing at the Meadowlark (2701 Larimer St).  In the same way that me and Sounds Supreme started The Solution to be the kind of party we’d wanna go to, The Solution Showcase is gonna combine the vibe of The Solution with a live show element; showcasing an up and coming out of town act, a dope Denver artist and a Denver-based producer or production crew each month, plus assorted other goodness.

To get things started right, we’re bringing out critically acclaimed and super dope Los Angeles-based rappers TiRon and Ayomari, whose recently released album, A Sucker For Pumps (available to stream free here), is one of the best projects I’ve heard all year (up there with Section .80, Watch The Throne, Charity Starts At Home, To Live For, To Die For & such).  And I’m not alone, Dream Hampton, co-author of Jay-Z’s book Decoded called it a classic and her favorite album of the year, hugely popular blog the Smoking Section gave it 4 1/2 of 5 stars and the album has landed them on numerous bills in LA alongside Dr. Dre’s favorite new rapper, Kendrick Lamar.  You may have also gotten familiar with TiRon and Ayomari via T&A:The Prelude to ASFP (the mixtape I did for them earlier this year, download it here), Ketchup (my other mixtape collab with TiRon and 2Dopeboyz’s favorite mixtape of 2009, download it here), MSTRD, the PB & J Solution or collabs with the likes of Blu, Pac Div, Miguel, Asher Roth, Oddisee and so on.

TiRon and Ayomari will be joined by Denver’s own Turner Jackson, whose last album, My Heart Needs Space (available for free download here), is one of the best local projects I heard all year and showed ridiculous growth from the young MC.  His frequent collaborator and youngest DJ in charge, DJ Dozen, will hold him down on the turntables for the night.  The Girlgrabbers (aka Q-Knox, GypDaHip & Brik-A-Brak) will be showcasing their one of a kind musical magic as our featured producers for the night (check out some of their prolific catalogue here).  In classic Solution fashion, me & Sounds Supreme will round out the lineup as the night’s DJs, rocking all the best in hip hop and more.  We’ll be posting music and videos from everybody on the bill to get y’all familiar over the next month or so, so don’t worry if you’re not up on the whole lineup, just trust that the DJs you like aren’t gonna steer you wrong (a big part of this night is gonna be about discovering great new music and we think you’re gonna love it).  Also, we’ve got a few surprises to announce that’ll make the night even better, so stay tuned to @DenverSolution for those last few details and a chance to win free tickets.  21+ /// $5 Pre-sales available at Family Affair downtown after Thanksgiving /// $8 at the door.

P.S. The Meadowlark is a pretty small venue and this show could very well sell out, so don’t sleep!!!!!

P.P.S. This is just the start of a bunch of big Solution news…We’re about to make up for lost time in a major way, watch!!!

Sunday, 11/27 -> Be Happy: A Celebration of Mary J Blige at Connected w/DJ Low Key…

SUNDAY, 11/27 -> I remember going on a long field trip in the 4th grade and this girl I had a crush on was playing something amazing called What’s The 411 on the back of the bus.  I’m sure her being a fly 5th grader didn’t hurt, but I’d like to think my young ears had exceptional taste way back then and realized Mary J Blige was a truly great artist (I had just come off a year of listening to SWV and TLC’s debuts, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Homebase and Kriss Kross – Totally Krossed Out, so you tell me).

Fast forward to 2011 and Mary’s about to drop her tenth album, still the queen of everything soul and hip hop and we’re celebrating her legacy at Connected w/DJ Low Key at the Hai Bar (32nd & Lowell in the Highlands).  We’ll be rocking all the best Mary songs, b-sides, guest features, rarities and most importantly, the remixes that were her calling card in the 90s and of course, featuring food and drinks on happy hour from 8:30-11:30pm.  No cover, facebook.com/ConnectedByMusic and ConnectedMusic.Tumblr.com for more on the night.

Every Sunday from 8:30-11:30pm -> Connected w/DJ Low Key…Soul music, sushi, sake and more goodness…

Every Sunday Night from 8:30 – 11:30 catch me spinning the best in soul, R&B and other music that makes you feel good at Connected w/DJ Low Key at the Hai Bar (downstairs at Sushi Hai, 32nd & Lowell in the Highlands). The night also features a happy hour that has $2 nigiri, $4 rolls & $5 appetizers + $3 small sake, $5 large sake, $3 beers, $6 wines & more. There’s no better way to wrap up your weekend, trust. No cover /// 21+ /// SushiHai.com for more on the food/drinks/venue.

Sorry for the lack of updates lately…Blame Tumblr, it’s been stealing my attention…

I haven’t been updating the site like I should lately and I’m sorry…The deadly combination of a tumblr addiction, extra busy schedule and ton of events in the process of coming together, but not to a point where I wanna post about them yet has made djlowkey.com feel a little stagnant lately…

Don’t worry though, I’ve been steady posting over at djlowkey.tumblr.com and will be adding a ton of content to this site before the month is over.  So in the meantime, head over to my tumblr, (hopefully) follow my page and stay tuned for more mixtapes, dope events (we’re going HUGE for the Solution’s 5 year anniversary in February) & more good stuff here shortly…