Launch.com reports Blackalicious was forced to cancel several shows when Gift Of Gab underwent emergency eye surgery on Tuesday (February 25) to stop some internal bleeding. Blackalicious manager Robert Bennett explained the surgery to news outlets, saying, “To stop the bleeding internally they’re doing laser surgery. Monday (March 3) they’re going to drain the eye to put in new fluids.”
Errol Nazareth of the Toronto Eye spoke with Talib Kweli and asked him what he thinks about the lack of political voices in hip hop. “Artists are writing those songs. It’s the media and the corporations who are suppressing these songs and messages.” He cited The Roots and Blackalicious and says “major corporations haven’t represented hip-hop positively.”
Zac Crain of the Dallas Observer spoke with Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5 who spoke out against the commercial hip hop that is pervasive on the airwaves when his group, Dilated Peoples, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Blackalicious have a much tougher time. “Oh, yeah. I mean, there’s no doubt about it. It’s not even a debate, I don’t think, I mean, unless you got something I don’t know about,” Nu Mark said. “That’s what’s on the radio, and that’s what people are buying. People wanna hear MCs talk sh** about women and degrade ’em. Especially women. It’s been proven that they buy most of the records. I don’t know. I can’t explain it. If I was a woman, I wouldn’t wanna be called a bitch or a slut or a ho or whatever. This music is quirky like that. But all you gotta do is do what comes from your heart.”
DaveyD.com reports recently the Not In Our Name project took out a full page ad in the New York Times opposing War on Iraq. Among the signees were fellow Hip Hop artists Mos Def, Ozomatli and Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples. During the Public Enemy show in New York, Blackalicious announced on stage that they would be out at the Central Park Rally later today in New York. Check out more on the Not In Our Name project here.
Public Enemy will begin a twenty-one-date fall tour with Dilated Peoples and Blackalicious on September 14th in Richmond, Virginia. Meanwhile, PE’s Chuck D addressed his song ‘Son of a Bush’ to RollingStone.com saying, “It addresses the almost forgotten governor term that launched him into cheating the presidential election in the first place..”
Bobby Wilms of In Music We Trust interviewed Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and asked about his personal struggle a few years back, which was the basis of thought on ‘Blazing Arrow’. “You are constantly finding yourself,” he said. “It’s not like one situation happens and all of a sudden, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve found…’ You know what I mean? It’s constant, you know what I’m sayin’, it’s forever. Things are constantly happening, you know. Every day gets that clearer. It’s not just one event. A lot of people are like, ‘Oh you’ve had a struggle, and you’ve become this.’ It’s constant growth. That’s just where I happen to be personally at that time– You see, your headspace can be at one place, one time, and then you can grow and you can become wiser, and you can have a new perspective on it. With me I just always speak from the heart. But a lot of people blow things up.” The full story at inmusicwetrust.com has since been removed.
David Wollock of the Dallas Observer spoke with X from Blackalicious about the group’s latest album, ‘Blazing Arrow’ in which he described the group’s far cry from radio-friendly verses while still staying away from the underground faction that spends most of it’s time blasting mainstream rap. “A lot of times within rap,” offers X, “we spend too much time talking about what rap should be, instead of making it what it should be. With this record we didn’t really focus on the state of rap as we did the state of the world.” Read more.