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.”
N.A.S.A. are out with the video to their new single ‘The People Tree’, featuring David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab and Z-Trip, off the Los Angeles duo’s album ‘The Spirit Of Apollo’, out February 17th via Anti-. Watch it via YouTube below.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.