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Blitz the Ambassador: ‘Dear Africa, it’s just me, your son.’ FREE DOWNLOAD
03/31/2011, 2:52 pm
Filed under: nocategory

Diasporighteousness: BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR Brings the Pan-African Noise with “Native Sun”

First single, ‘Dear Africa’ ft Les Nubians – Available for Free Download NOW on ONERPM.COM

http://bit.ly/dearafrica
A blindingly bright clarity drives Blitz the Ambassador. With a spot-on sense of flow, he name-checks Basquiat and Lumumba, evokes lovelorn sighs on Accra buses, émigré alienation, history’s shadows. All set to swirls of brass, distorted guitars, and the crackle and pop of old amplifiers.  With a lightning-fast mind, the political boldness of Chuck D, and the sixth groove sense of Fela Kuti, the Ghanaian-born, New York-based MC, composer, and producer unleashes psychedelic Afrobeat colors and triple-time rhymes on Native Sun (Embassy MVMT; May 3, 2011). The album was sparked in Accra yet forged in the African diaspora. 

First single, ‘Dear Africa’(produced by Optiks & Blitz the Ambassador) opens with Blitz narrating a letter to ‘Momma Africa’:  ‘Dear Africa, it’s just me, your son.’  Featuring sleek Francophone sirens Les Nubians on the chorus (their ‘Nu Revolution’ is out April 19th), the song is at once an ode to her beauty and history, honest first-hand narrative, roll call of her capital cities and a call for change.  Laced with slinky sax, blaring horn lines, west African guitar licks and booming 808s, the song packs a prolific call to the world in under five minutes.

“It’s easy to throw a bunch of elements together, but you have to find points where they intersect,” Blitz explains. “You have to create something so that you can’t tell where the hip hop begins and where the Afrobeat ends, and where highlife stops and future beats start. You have to create a world of equal parts.”
Native Sun the album is a journey backwards, back through hip hop, the Caribbean soundsystem culture that preceded it, back to its African roots, with the final kora,” notes Blitz. “The film looks forward, to what could be. Both are about the longing for home we feel in the diaspora, and about letting go of old notions and embracing new ideas. The sound in itself speaks to that.”
Available for FREE DOWNLOAD Now.
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Spring Tour Dates

4/1/2011 Ferme du Buisson Marne la Vallée, France
4/2/2011 106 ROUEN, France
4/6/2011 LE CARGO CAEN, France
4/7/2011 LA SIRENE LA ROCHELLE, France
4/8/2011 GAROROCK FEST MARMANDE, France
4/9/2011 Le Transbordeur / ORIGINAL FEST LYON, France
4/10/2011 Cabaret Aléatoire MARSEILLE, France
4/13/2011 LUNE des PIRATES AMIENS, France
4/14/2011 LE TAMANOIR GENEVILLER, France
4/15/2011 LE HANGAR IVRY, France
4/16/2011 SUPREMASSY FEST MASSY, France
4/19/2011 L’ATELIER CLUSES, France
4/20/2011 Bahnhof Ehrenfeld Cologne, Germany
4/21/2011 TBC Mannheim, Germany
4/22/2011 EXIL ZURICH, Switzerland
4/23/2011 PRINTEMPS FEST 22 EST D’AURON / BOURGES, France
4/28/2011 La Pena Oakland
4/29/2011 Stanford University Stanford
4/30/2011 Kimmel Center Philadelphia
5/4/2011 SOBS New York
5/5/2011 Washington
5/11/2011 Beachland Ballroom (w. Les Nubians) Cleveland
5/12/2011 Dakota Jazz Club (w. Les Nubians) Minneapolis
5/13/2011 Dakota Jazz Club (w. Les Nubians) Minneapolis
5/14/2011 The Shrine (w. Les Nubians) Chicago


SXSW 2011: Bass in Yo Face! (& a SUPERMOON!)
03/24/2011, 9:04 pm
Filed under: nocategory


Lots went down in Austin, Texas for SXSW.  And while the marketing & parties were a bit out of control and cheapened the overall experience (and I definitely fell for it at first…waste of time, RSVPs!}; as expressed in this spoof: “SXSW has changed.  But that doesn’t change what I can do with my time here.  I’m going to just talk to people.”

And talk we did.

Gathering of the tribe:  vibes, listening, expressing, learning, sharing, curiosity, celebration, love, connecting {met so many DJs across the country bringing this music to their audiences – whether it was for tropical bass, and/or cumbia sounds,  happy + intense soca dancehall, chicha, tribal guarechero, disco hippy billybass {did i or did i not make that up?}, to moombahton to whateva you wanna call it…}.  It’s a gathering of all these crazy beat kids with backgrounds weaving contexts inside and out.  We ask ourselves, ‘what is this exactly?’, some even articulate (and co-opt?) it better than others…but everyone can FEEL it.

Shout out to all the new faces I met, even if we digitally interact, I got to really *feel* where this is going.  Of note:  Poirier and Boogat (and Guillaume), King Louie + Mad GodsVenus X + Crew form Ghetto Gothic, Krypto, Daniel from Majorlook Worldwide, Sonora + Peligrosa crew, Raquel, Miss Jess Jubilee, Porfirio & Marissa from BMI, Javier and Richie, Andrew & Paola from Remezcla, Shook Night, Quam, Jamal, Legit, CES, Brenmar, Sarah & Disco Tits…on and on and on…many many many many many more.  And to all the family I saw as well…reunion!

…it’s in the sharing that comes the unity.  To keep creating and thriving in art as the paradigms shift and to do so all over the world.

…in conrazón-land, this is what went down:

{{{{{{{{{{{…besides it being the same week as the SUPER MOON!}}}}}}}}

Los Rakas (in the Austin Post) rocked at:
{CNN Grill}
{Vibe House}
{Virgin Live House}
{FRANK w/ Peligrosa}
{oh…on the street, grindin’}

“Los Rakas just had a moment. Got the party crackin!” – @BosstonAustin

Los Rakas prepare for their set at The Vibe House w/ DJ Nima Fadavi.
Foto by Nina Parks {click foto for website}.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Zuzuka Poderosa {check her out in the Austin Post} rocked at:

{718 Loft}
{FRANK w/ Peligrosa}
{STYLE X fashion show}
{PRAGUE w/ Megaton Moombahton}

“Zuzuka, like a sequined firecracker, unleashed carioca bass all over our faces” – Remezcla

Zuzuka Poderosa at FRANK for Peligrosa (foto by Remezcla)



Manos Arriba: Los Rakas & Zuzuka Poderosa at SXSW
03/13/2011, 4:58 pm
Filed under: nocategory

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR in Austin-conrazonlandia.  No lie, I found a ride on craigslist rideshare the night before from LA to Austin {hi friends!}; all odds were against me and there was nothing in my pocket.  Madness with Bomba Estereo ensued with them rocking The FADER FORT (too bad there’s not 1 Latin act on their roster this year; cue the ::Shame On You:: music).  Then I defended Tina Weymouth of Tom Tom Club from bigot cops.  But most importantly, I met so many new friends.  The year before I was with Nacional Records stapling posters around town, organizing a kick ass volunteer network and getting a sense of the town.  Both years were such huge learning experiences and last year was a major turning point.  So it’s only natural that I’m: EXCITED TO GO BACK.

So this is where I’ll be during the madness that is SXSW – with Los Rakas & Zuzuka Poderosa.  If you see me in a white RAKA NATI hat or sashaying down 6th Street with a crazy Brazilian chic named LA PODEROSA:  say hi!  …And DO NOT miss these showcases:

@CONRAZON
@LOSRAKAS
@ZUZUKAPODEROSA

#GLOMO {global music}
#SouthAmericaXSW {sur america}

LOS RAKAS @ SXSW 2011

‘Los Rakas are building a serious reputation for themselves by mixing the rhythms of reggae and Caribbean dancehall with ferocious, bilingual, emcee-devouring microphone skills.’ – MTV  

“One thing is sure: At this rate of growth, Los Rakas are on their way to doing big things.” – NPR

“Oakland-based Raka Dun and Raka Rich represent some of the best in Spanish-language rap coming out of the US, with a classic flow married to beats that draw from dancehall, future bass and good ol’-fashioned boom-bap.” – AOL SPINNER


Friday, March 18th

Venue 222 (222 East 6th Street) – Vibe Magazine Showcase *official showcase
{RSVP}

10:00 PM – Los Rakas
EPMD, DJ Quik, Collie Buddz, Chino XL
 

Saturday, March 19th

FRANK (407 Colorado Street – Corner of 4th) – Peligrosa presented by XLR8R magazine
{INFORMATION}

1130 – Los Manes Del Futuro

Los Rakas represent pan-American flows. Two cousins who grew up in Panama before spending their teens in Oakland, California, Raka Dun and Raka Rico put a distinctive “Panabay” twist on hip-hop and reggae, bridging the streetwise sounds of the places they’ve called home. Drawing on Panamanian plena’s faithful approach to reggae classics and the Bay Area’s independent and idiosyncratic hip-hop scene, Los Rakas merge familiar dancehall melodies with a lyricism all their own. Los Rakas make music born of migration and tradition, critique and celebration, joy and pain. They make New World music. American music. Panamanian Jamaican Californian music. Music for b-boys and rude boys, dancers and romancers, mainlanders and islanders and isthmus folk alike.

Last year was a flagship year for the group, winning the 2010 Latin Alternative Music Conference’s Jack Daniel’s ‘Discovery Artist’ prize in New York City (an award that goes to the most promising group at the conference and the first time awarded to an urban group), with endorsements from Gibson Guitar and SHURE; culminating with their breakout performance at The Bowery Ballroom with a 6 piece band. They have also rocked alongside artists like Outkast, Cypress Hill (at 2010’s Guerilla Union’s Smoke Out Festival in San Bernadino, CA), Ice Cube, The Roots Mos Def, Talib Kweli, E40, Pharaoh Monch, Fat Joe, Brother Ali, The Grouch, Collie Buddz (who the group is on tour with in 2011) and others.

Tastemakers like the FADER, XLR8R, Okayplayer to more traditional outlets like The New York Times, NPR & National Geographic have hailed the group.  Their hit summer single, ‘Abrazame’ ft Favi (Uproot Andy Hold Yuh) {a latin take on the Gyptian ‘Hold Yuh’ smash} as well as recent single, ‘Kalle’ and ‘Hip Hop’ is currently in rotation at 106 KMEL (San Francisco) and La Mega 97.9 (New York) and spreading fast all over the web.  The future is bright for this young duo.

VIDEOS:

Kalle’ Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLbknc86SIQ
‘Abrazame’ ft Favi {Uproot Andy Hold Yuh) Video: http://tinyurl.com/4joodn9
‘Soy Raka’ Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQQj-bJ4ams
‘Mi Barrio’ Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj3p66JnUPA

===========================================================================

ZUZUKA PODEROSA @ SXSW 2011


“Not only is she bringing her own brand of the hot Brazilian underground sound to the rest of the world, but from her international vantage point she operates like a provocatively rhyming hurricane, sucking up global riddims from ghettotech to dancehall and flinging them back out at gale-force speeds.” –
MTV 


Thursday, March 17th

Loft 718 (718 N Congress) – The ‘Hook-Up’ SXSW Showcase presented by Brizm Nation
Hosted by: Stanley “Fantasy” Roy (ATX) – Projects by: Lil Lil (Lillian Gerson) (NYC)
{INFORMATION}  

12 PM Dream Boat Crusaderz (NYC)// Disco Tits (ATX)
1 PM Traffique (ATX)// Mos Jeff (ATX)
2 PM ELVIS (ATX) // Stanley Roy (Fantasy)
3 PM No Mas Bodas (ATX) // Lady Business (NoLA)
4 PM Zuzuka Poderosa (NYC) // Katey Red (NoLA)/ Disco Tits
5 PM Hunx and His Punx (Oakland) // Dirty Finger (Conrad Carlson) (NYC)
6 PM Kingdom (Shyvonne) (NYC) // Fndomntl (ATX)

Friday, March 18th
FRANK (407 Colorado Street – Corner of 4th & Colorado) – Peligrosa SXSW Showcase presented by XLR8R magazine
{INFORMATION}

1030 – Mistress Thunda

Saturday, March 19th
Prague (422 Congress) – MEGATON MOOMBAHTON SXSW Showcase
{RSVP RSVP RSVP RSVP}

8:50PM Brenmar
9:30PM – Starks & Nacey
10:20PM – Dre Skull
11:00PM – Toy Selectah
11:45PM – Zuzuka Poderosa
12:15AM – DJ Sabo
12:45AM – Nadastrom  

Zuzuka Poderosa is the new queen warrior of her own special brand of baile funk. Funk carioca, which originates from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and borrowed heavily from Miami bass, is just the starting place of her sound.   Born in Vitoria, Brazil, Zuzuka grew up in Rio, with her formative years spent in the West Indies.  She later moved to Brooklyn, NYC to study jazz vocal improvisation and work at her poetry. For the past few years, she’s been building up the underground baile funk scene in New York as a DJ, host and bartender.  Currently working on her debut EP, she collaborates with producers from all over the world who mix the past with the future in sur americal-cosmic new ways.  She raps and sings in Portuguese, Spanish and English, musing provocatively and sarcastically over boomy electric kick drums or Latin percussions (or both at the same time!)  She makes Carioca Bass music. ‘Interracial Music Babies’ all her own.  Her sound is fierce and fun, conjuring images of hot summer dance parties on gritty Brooklyn rooftops or up in the hills overlooking the sea.


You Just Might Need A Passport Just To Rock Wit It: ‘Native Sun’
03/01/2011, 6:06 pm
Filed under: nocategory

Blitz the Ambassador is Back With Anticipated New Album ‘Native Sun‘ Out Worldwide on May 3rd, 2011

Blitz the Ambassador will follow up his critically-acclaimed debut album, ‘Stereotype’ and follow-up live album ‘Stereolive,’ with the 12-song Native Sun’ – a deeper, more roots-oriented record with the first single, ‘Best I Can’ and Les Nubians on the track ‘Dear Africa.’

The Ghanaian-born, Brooklyn-based MC/Composer recently returned from Ghana where he shot a compelling and beautifully shot short film also titled ‘Native Sun.’ The new album provides a vivid soundtrack to the story of a young boy’s daunting pilgrimage from the countryside to the capital city of Accra to find his father, who he only knows from a photo given to him by his deceased mother.

Blitz told Public Radio International {PRI) Afropop Worldwide recently:

“We have to create other things that will make our music noticed. It’s very difficult to get anyone to buy music today, so it’s more about creating worlds, so if you create a world that other people are willing to exist in, and they’re willing to support it, and willing to spread the word about it, so we are making a short film that’s gonna add another element to the album, and I’m really excited about it.”

Watch the ‘Native Sun’ film teaser: http://vimeo.com/channels/blitz

‘Stereotype’ hit top ten on iTunes where it remained for a month following its independent release on Blitz’s record label, Embassy MVMT.  Blitz says about his debut effort, “I wanted to pay homage to make people understand that like anything, hip-hop has its lineage. It starts somewhere and it’s gonna go somewhere.”

The album lead Blitz and his seasoned band, The Embassy Ensemble to tour across the United States, including sharing the stage with Public Enemy at NYC’s Summerstage and The Roots & Talib Kweli at Celebrate Brooklyn! as well as all over Europe hitting festivals like Belgium’s Afro-Latino Festival with Sean Paul and France’s TransMusicales Festival with Bomba Estereo, M.I.A. and Janelle Monae.  Summer 2011 will have Blitz and The Embassy Ensemble all over Europe for more festival runs, in support of ‘Native Sun.’

Watch the dynamic and show-stopping performance in front of 5,000 of the first single, Best I Can performed in Rennes, France at the prestigious TransMusicales Festival.

Quotes about Blitz:

Every once in a while, I find myself back in the audience, wide-eyed and helpless to explain what my senses are telling me. That’s what happened when Blitz the Ambassador visited Soundcheck.”NPR

“The djembé-playing artist rocked the stage. He lived up to his name as an ambassador, introducing the audience to his intoxicating, world-wise hop-hop.” – Huffington Post

“Step outside of an American-centric perspective, and it’s a fact that on the global stage, African hip-hoppers are winning the race to the top. Blitz the Ambassador is one of the most exciting artists to emerge from this ascending group.”Washington Post