The Grammys took place last night and the winners list is here, though it must be said, the Grammys have repeatedly shown themselves to be culturally irrelevant in the winners of the awards. Adele’s OK album winning over Beyoncé’s for album of the year continues the problem that a black artist has in winning one of the night’s major awards. Frank Ocean just refused to enter his work and explained why yesterday.

So the awards are establishment-lead trash but the live performances are what keeps people coming back. There were 16 performances last night and here are the most notable ones:


Chance The Rapper, Kirk Franklin & Tamela Mann

Chance The Rapper’s performance was a highly-charged medley from Coloring Book complete with choir, Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann. Chance won Best New Artist and this is how he accepted.


A Tribe Called Quest, Anderson .Paak, Consequence & Busta Rhymes

A Tribe Called Quest performed ‘We The People’ (with some bits from ‘Award Tour’ and ‘Can I Kick It?) with Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes and Consequence. Busta called Trump President Agent Orange, they brought American Muslims on-stage and Q-Tip called the crowd to ‘Resist!’.


Beyoncé

A heavily-pregnant-with twins Beyoncé delivered the most visually-arresting performance of the night with some slow Lemonade cuts.


Bruno Mars’ Prince Tribute with The Time

Bruno Mars’ did a tribute to Prince with Morris Day and The Time (a band that Prince played with and formed in school) – ‘Jungle Love’ was played too but isn’t in the video. Mars did ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ is a Purple Rain-era velvet suit and it turns out he can slay on guitar:


Adele’s underwhelming George Michael Tribute

The big winner of the night – Adele performed a tribute to George Michael that was she restarted as she was off-key. Performing ‘Fast Love’ she slowed the song down to a craic-less coma level cover that could have been so much more. She also performed ‘Hello’ at the start and acknowledged that Beyoncé should have won the album of the year trophy (the Grammys do not have a strong history of giving big awards to black artists).


The Weeknd performed with Daft Punk

DP dressed as Glam Darth Vaders. They are very good at standing around behind equipment (it’s unclear if they did anything).


Metallica and Lady Gaga – Why?

Gaga couldn’t have fallen from the top further with this shit show pairing. Hetfield’s mic doesn’t work for most of it, Gaga trips. Why?

Posted on February 13th, 2017

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Just in time for Christmas, the Loose Joints Podcast is back with a look at the best of 2016. The podcast features Nialler9 and Sally Cinnamon talking to a guest about the music they love: old and new.

On this episode, singer and TV presenter May Kay joins us to talk about what floated our boats this year. We also talk about Fight Like Apes, MayKay’s band who just played their last ever show last week along with her experiences at presenting Other Voices.

Subscribe in iTunes.

Also available in Stitcher, PocketCasts and TuneIn.

Download: Loose Joints Podcast #5: Best of 2016 – MayKay (120MB, 2hours 5mins)

Tracklisting

  1. Anderson .Paak – Am I Wrong?
  2. Kaytranada – Lite Spots
  3. Chance The Rapper – Ultralight Beam
  4. Frank Ocean / Andre 3000 – Solo (Reprise)
  5. All Tvvins – Resurrect Me
  6. A Tribe Called Quest – We The People
  7. Glass Animals – Life Itself
  8. Saint Sister – Blood Mountain
  9. Andrew Bird – Roma Fade
  10. Empress Of – Woman is a Word
  11. Beck – Wow
  12. PG Goes Dance – Kontrol
  13. Midland – Final Credits
  14. Rusangano Family – Soul Food

#4: Aisling Rogerson
#3: Emmet Kirwan.
#2: Oisin Davis.
#1: Aidan Kelly.

Special thanks to Sean Corcoran for facilitating recording.

Posted on December 23rd, 2016

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An old band comes together for a final statement after years of fighting and estrangement of its two most vocal members. It’s an age-old story that happened to A Tribe Called Quest in the 18 years since they released their fifth album The Love Movement.

As bitterly captured in the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life, Q-Tip and Phife Dawg stopped speaking to each other. Despite occasional reunion shows, there was a rift, that took until a performance on The Tonight Show in 2015 to heal.

Reinvigorated once more, Phife, Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White started making music again in Tip’s New Jersey home studio. During recording, Phife Dawg passed away. The rest of the group decided to finish it in his honour, as most of his parts were done.

So A Tribe Called Quest’s final album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service is a result by any stretch, serving as a tribute, a full-stop, the end of a circle. What’s surprising about the album is how connected it is to Tribe’s best work.

When a band reforms, they often lose their youthful energy and spark but it never left Tribe. Here’s a rap group who sound as fresh and individual as they did the first time round – nostalgia doesn’t come into it. Q-Tip sounds 23 years of age, not double that. Jarobi raps more than he ever has since their debut People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. Phife reaffirms his legacy as an MC.

Arriving the same week as Trump was elected to the US Presidency, We Got It From Here. is timely too with references to his upsetting rhetoric. Lead single ‘We The People’ addresses that head on the chorus “all you Black folks, you must go / All you Mexicans, you must go.” There’s a song called ‘The Donald’ and the opening track is about how black people can expect to go nowhere as we dream of Mars.

As is Tribe’s custom though, there’s a sense of playfulness and unity throughout. Old friends and cousins Busta Rhymes and Consequence add extra energy, Elton John’s ‘Benny And The Jets’ sample works wonders on ‘Solid Wall Of Sound’, man of the moment Anderson .Paak does his crooning R&B thing, Andre 3000 reminds us why we need more of him rapping on ‘Kids’ and Jack White, Kanye and Kendrick Lamar also pop in.

Musically, it’s as if a stockpile of Tribe songs were just waiting for the group to get it together. ‘Dis Generation’ has fire, ‘Melatonin’ recalls Tip’s solo album Kamaal The Abstract, ‘Enough’ is a smooth song with a callback sample to ‘Bonita Applebum’ and ‘Black Spasmodic’ has that essential album posse swing.

They all contribute, none of them swarm the cuts with their presence. The jazz samples, the interplay, the beat drops, the synergy between Phife and Tip is magically still there from the moment those keys come in the first song. Real masters of ceremonies have had years of practice and it’s heartening to hear they never lost the gift of craft, despite time and distance. They leave a heightened legacy and hope for the future.

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Music

We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service’s tracklist:

1. The Space Program
2. We The People….
3. Whateva Will Be
4. Solid Wall of Sound (feat. Busta Rhymes)
5. Dis Generation (feat. Busta Rhymes)
6. Kids… (feat. Andre 3000)
7. Melatonin
8. Enough!!

1. Mobius (feat. Consequence & Busta Rhymes)
2. Black Spasmodic
3. The Killing Season (feat. Kanye West & Talib Kweli)
4. Lost Somebody
5. Movin’ Backwards (feat. Anderson .Paak)
6. Conrad Tokyo (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
7. Ego
8. The Donald

Posted on November 18th, 2016

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A Tribe Called Quest released their final album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service on Friday.

It’s a fine album, a fitting tribute to Phife Dawg and an album that holds its head up proud in the discography.

On Saturday night, the remaining trio appeared on Saturday Night Live to perform ‘We The People’ and ‘The Space Program’ where they were joined by old friends Consequence and Busta Rhymes. Watch ‘We The People’ above. A not great version of the latter is here.

Here’s Dave Chappelle’s monologue in his comeback to TV hosting the show:

He also sang Radiohead’s Creep at 5 in the morning at the afterparty.

The show was also opened by Kate Mckinnon in character as Hillary Clinton singing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’

Posted on November 14th, 2016

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Q-Tip posted a note on Facebook earlier explaining that a final A Tribe Called Quest album will be released on November 11th.

The band performed together on The Tonight Show last year and encouraged by their experience, they went back into the studio to work on a new album.

Sadly, Phife Dawg passed away this year but Q-Tip says “he left us with the blueprint.” And no, “this isn’t filled with old Phife bars…This is that pure, unstepped on pure!”

The album was completed with help from Busta Rhymes and Consequence and comes out in two weeks. Billboard also reports that Tribe will feature on Saturday Night Live on November 12th.

Posted on October 28th, 2016

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2016 takes another one.  A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg has passed away at the age of 45. Cause of death is unconfirmed but Malik Taylor aka Phife Dawg had Type 1 diabetes and ill health over the last number of years that included to a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008.

Malik Taylor was part of the seminal ’90s rap group A Tribe Called Quest along with Q-Tip, Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The New York group  released five albums from 1990 to 1998, most notably the 1991’s Low End Theory and 1993’s Midnight Marauders.

Q-Tip and Phife Dawg’s relationship became turbulent and the group broke up and reunited a few times over the years. Much of that turbulence was documented in the 2011 film Beats, Rhymes & Life.

Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders remain two of my favourite rap albums.

Phife was one of my favourite rappers too. His hyperactive high-pitched flow was a perfect foil to Q-Tip’s smoother laidback delivery. Their juxtaposition made A Tribe Called Quest so important, so magnetic. I was introduced to Tribe through the Beastie Boys album Ill Communication, which Q-Tip featured on. The interplay between the two meant that they were/are my go-to pure rap group. Rest in peace Phife Dawg.

Phife Dawg Spotify playlist

Posted on March 23rd, 2016

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Check out the Irish Independent’s Insider Magazine today for this week’s Spotify playlist – Thursday’s is a Longitude special.


Listen to the Spotify playlist


A Tribe Called Quest – ‘Check The Rhime’

The sound of lazy summer days in the sunshine, Q-Tip and Phife Dogg go laidback to a simple beat. On point Phife.

Patrice Rushen – ‘Forget Me Nots’

Everyone knows this, not because of the original sadly but because Will Smith used the guts of the melody and arrangement for the theme tune from Men In Black.

Blackbyrds – ‘Rock Creek Park’

“Doing it in the park / doing it after dark / oh yeah.” Whatever the Washington funk band were doing in the park in 1975 it sounds fun.

Beach Boys – ‘Good Vibrations’

Brian Wilson and the boys take us to the Californian beach for excitations (Um bop bop).

Donovan – ‘Sunshine Superman’

“Superman or Green Lantern ain’t got a-nothin’ on me.” Sixties psychedelic pop from the man who now lives in Mallow.

The Pharcyde – ‘Runnin’

This J Dilla-produced track by the LA nineties rap group is a true headnodder.

Little Eva – ‘The Locomotion’

“Everybody is doin’ a brand new dance now,” sang Eva in 1962. It’s still likely to incite a dance party 54 years later.

Lulu And The Luvvers – ‘Shout!’

Two years later, pop singer Lulu repeated a similar trick by covering The Isley Brothers hit for a British audience.

Daft Punk – ‘Fresh’

Forget Get Lucky, this track from their 97 debut screams summer with the actual sound of waves lapping the shore and a video of the Da Funk dog on the beach.

David Holmes – ‘My Mate Paul’

A standout from the Belfast’s man’s second album, which presaged his soundtrack work by mixing audio recorded on the streets of New York.

Posted on July 14th, 2014

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tip

The ‘We Fight We Love’ Q-Tip remix is another hot rework after the recent ‘Renaissance Rap’ remix.

Q-Tip – We Fight We Love remix (zShare)

Tip rocked the house at The Button Factory a few weeks ago. If you’re digging this or Q-Tip and Tribe in general, definitely get the Q-Tip approved free download mixtape J.Period Presents… The Best of Q-Tip, a mammoth 49-track retrospective done right with new rhymes and versions of loadsa Abstract-related classics. The mixtape also features the same woman’s voice from the Midnight Marauders intros. Limited time only so get it.

Check out ‘Excursions’ as retold by De La Soul and ‘Buggin’ Out’ redone by Consequence and Kid Cudi.

Q-Tip – Excursions with De La Soul

Q-Tip – Buggin’ Out feat. Consequence and Kid Cudi

Photo from Voss.

Posted on March 26th, 2009

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