Blackalicious are out with the video to their new single ‘Powers’, from the Sacramento, California hip hop duo’s third full-length album ‘The Craft’, released on ANTI-. Watch it via MTV below.
Blackalicious are out with the video to their new single ‘Your Move’, from the just-released album ‘The Craft’, released on Warner Music. Watch the Elad Offer directed video via MTV below.
Blackalicious took their act to Alaska performing at the Egan Center in Anchorage. Tiehesha Taylor of the Anchorage Daily News was on hand for the show. She writes, “Xcel keeps the music flowing with great beats and mixes that you nod your head to as you drive. Gift of Gab’s tongue-tying rhymes and rhythmic flow leave you with your mouth hangin’ open… The crowd participation, the dancing, the background vocals all made for a night to remember. Two songs into the show, the crowd began yelling “freestyle!” to Gift of Gab. The words he spoke just pulled at you inside. The line that I loved the best was ‘Drinking MCs like cans of Shasta!’ There was so much truth to it. Many MCs just don’t know about true music anymore.”
James Ferris of the Pittsburgh City Paper chatted with Blackalicious members Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab. Explaining why they went with MCA, Gab said, “The reason we went with MCA is, number one, their roster — the groups that they have, like Common and the Roots. We could see they knew somewhat how to market a group more … like us. Also, they were able to give us all of our creative control. … [T]hey were the only label willing to come to us like that.”
BeThere.tv has a clip of Blackalicious from their performance at New York’s Columbia University earlier this year. They talked in the group’s tour bus with Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab also. BeThere.tv has since shut down.
MuchMusic recently spoke with Gift of Gab of Blackalicious about the grouip’s mission of making music with a purpose. “Music is here to do a lot of things. Music is here to lift you up and motivate you,” he said. “I’ve always been into artists that have a message that is uplifting like when I listen to people like Bob Marley or Curtis Mayfield, it’s almost like going to church. Whatever I’m going through in my life, I can put that on and that’s like medicine for the soul. I believe that that’s what part of our job as musicians is.”
Beat magazine of Australia spoke with Chief Xcel of Blackalicious who commented on how quickly they began work on ‘Blazing Arrow’, their follow up to ‘Nia’. “The very first song we wrote for the album was actually the title-track, ‘Blazing Arrow’. And, we actually started working on that probably about three weeks after we left the studio after finishing ‘Nia’,” he explained. “That’s the thing with Gab and I: we’re always writing. I’m always producing, he’s always writing lyrics. There’s always work in progress, and Blackalicious is always a work in progress.”
DeMarco Williams of INsite magazine spoke with Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab from Blackalicious, getting their take on what cycle they feel hip hop is currently in. Xcel said, “I kinda feel like we’re on that upswing; this is just me speaking instinctually. We’re at that period right before [De La Soul’s] Three Feet High & Rising dropped. People are just waiting to see what happens.” Gab added, “Yeah, with all the people he mentioned, there’s a renaissance happening right now. It’s just taking effect, but it’s already started.”
Oliver Wang of LA Weekly reviewed the latest albums from indie underground acts Blackalicious and J-Live, giving both ‘Blazing Arrow’ and ‘All of the Above’ high marks. Wang said, “Like ‘All of the Above’, ‘Blazing Arrow’ takes a misstep in being too cameo-laden (nearly half of the songs feature guest performers), and some of the R&B/rap crossover tracks feel formulaic, especially the schlocky ‘Purest Love.’ But the album is such a fully realized vision. This is what the independents — current or former — were supposed to have been making all this time. It’s never too tardy to get the party started.”
Hua Hsu of the Boston Phoenix spoke with Blackalicious rapper Gift of Gab, who insists despite the influx of guests on the group’s latest album, ‘Blazing Arrow’ maintains the same organic mood of the duo. “It’s just us, man,” Gab enthuses. “Lyrically, it’s who I am, the thoughts that I have, how I see life and how I envision life can be. I just be me, you know what I mean? I just write what I feel. It’s almost like therapy sometimes, a way to get it out.” The full story at bostonphoenix.com has since been removed.