Blackalicious Want To Be Explorers Of Soul

Blackalicious 'Blazing Arrow'

Joshunda Sanders of the San Francisco Chronicle checked in with local rappers Blackalicious ahead of the release of ‘Blazing Arrow’ on Tuesday. Xavier Mosley said of he and bandmate’s Tim Parker motivation, “Blackalicious signified the vision of what we wanted to be, explorers of soul.” Read more.

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Gift Of Gab’s New Album ‘Escape 2 Mars’ Out October 27th

Gift of Gab 'Escape 2 Mars'

Blackalicious member Gift of Gab is set to release his new solo album ‘Escape 2 Mars’ on October 27th. Production on the album was mainly by the Bay Area’s DNAEBEATS, with a few tracks also helmed by Hednodic. Del the Funky Homosapien and Brother Ali, another two undeniably iconic MCs, are featured on ‘Dreamin”. Gab also recruited some of the talent from the Quannum Collective he helped pioneer, including Joyo Velarde, Lateef The Truthspeaker, and Honeycut’s vocalist Bart Davenport.

His hopes of keeping things close to home set the stage for the album’s inspiration. “People are gonna think this is about Martians, but it’s not,” Gab explains. “It’s more so about taking care of the planet we’re on. We might have to escape to Mars or somewhere else if we keep taking the planet we live on for granted. I’m not trying to preach to anyone,” he continues. “I just think it’s important for us to raise the level of consciousness and consideration of these things.”

The Mighty Underdogs ‘Want You Back’ Video

The Mighty Underdogs 'Want You Back' music video
The Mighty Underdogs, comprised of Lateef the Truth Speaker of Latyrx, The Gift of Gab of Blackalicious and producer Headnodic, are out with the video to ‘Want You Back’, off their debut full-length album ‘Droppin’ Science Fiction’, out now on Definitive Jux. Watch it via YouTube below.

Chief Xcel On ‘The Craft’ Recording Process

The process of recording Blackalicious’ new album ‘The Craft’ stretched the duo creatively. “With this record everything starts with the drum machine and I sketch out a general idea that I’ll bring the guys, and they’ll pretty much replay what I did verbatim and then take it their own directions,” Chief Xcel tells Time Off magazine. “And then I’ll take that inspiration back and synthesize it back into song format and then give it to Gab to write to. That was pretty much how everything went down on this album.”

Gift Of Gab ‘Rat Race’ Video

Blackalicious member The Gift Of Gab is out with his debut solo video ‘Rat Race’, from the album ‘4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up’. Watch it online below.

DJ X-Cel Explains Choice Of Beats

DJ X-Cel of Blackalicious tells The New Zealand Herald he finds beats from everywhere, rock, classical, jazz, soul. “It’s about how to best depict a vibe, how to throw an emotion or a situation out there and do it in a fun way that hasn’t been done before – that’s what I want my music to be,” he said. “Like I wrote the song ‘Chemical Calisthenics’ [where Gift of Gab goes through the periodic table getting increasingly faster] in one night while waiting for Cut Chemist [from Jurassic 5] to show up to the studio. It was hard out trying to arrange chemical elements, all this new language and making it into something that would be fun.”

Gift Of Gab Finishing Up Solo Album

Fresh from a set of shows in Africa, Gift of Gab took time recently to talk to Aaron Davidson of The California Aggie about his art, his life, and coming back to UC Davis. Asked what’s next for Blackalicious and him personally, Gab says, “Blackalicious will be on the road extensively – we are going back to Europe, we’re gonna be in the States, we’re gonna be in New York. I am finishing up a solo record. It’s me and I am working with a few different producers. So that album is just about finished. I’m really proud of that. Lateef and Xcel are finishing up the Maroons EP. Also, we got a group from Portland, Oregon called the Lifesavas. Their album is finished also. This year is sort of like a Quannum-hitting-you-from-every-angle-year. We are doing a Quannum tour in the fall and I will probably be touring behind my solo record. During this time, we will be working on the next Blackalicious record; the goal is to finish that by November and put that out in, like, April of next year.”

A Hip-Hop Explosion

Sam Reinders of iafrica.com writes, “Van Gogh, The Beatles, Katherine Hepburn, Andy Warhol — and even Michael Jackson. These are artists who have, in their specific spheres, defined a space in time. An era. In the hip-hop arena, in my opinion, Blackalicious are doing just that. They are defining our times. In the hip-hop world they’re the Shumaker of their business. Before I get backs up I do agree that the hip-hop world has other pioneering talents — the likes of Eminem, Dre, Snoop and 50Cent all come to mind — but Blackalicious serves up a different beat. It is soul infused. Deep, funky, gut wrenching soul — combined with evocative lyrics that are delivered by one of the best battle rappers on the scene.” The full article has since been removed from iafrica.com.

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