New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (“Jazz Fest”) has announced its massive 2017 lineup, that rivals any 2017 festival lineup in terms of both diversity and star power. Headliners for Jazz Fest’s 2017 lineup will include Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5, Lorde, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Kings of Leon, Usher & The Roots, Lorde and more.
Taking place at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course from April 28th – 30th and May 4th – 7th, if the festival’s big headliners weren’t enough to bring you to the Big Easy, also performing at Jazz Fest this year will be Nas, Pitbull, the Alabama Shakes, Wilco, Earth, Wind & Fire, Patti LaBelle, Buddy Guy, Darius Rucker, Widespread Panic, Elle King, Leon Bridges and many more.
Tickets for Jazz Fest are on sale now at their official website, as well as its daily lineup. In a city like NOLA and with an epic lineup, it will be hard for music fans everywhere to find a reason not to attend Jazz Fest this year, so get your tickets before they are all gone.
Less than a month removed from 2016, we have compiled our list of our favorite concert tours from the past year, before we drop our list of our “Most Anticipated Tours of 2017”. And from huge grossing tours like Beyonce’s Formation Tour, Drake & Future’s record breaking Summer Sixteen Tour and of course Kanye’s Saint Pablo Tour, to some of the more (but equally entertaining) B-side tours, 2016 was a great year for live music.
Hit the jump and check out our list of our 10 Favorite Concert Tours of 2016!
Minutes ago, rapper and notorious tokers Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa packed the Hollywood Casino Bowl Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL. Dubbed “The High Road” Tour, not only did Wiz and Snoop bring two of the biggest weed advocates in music to Chicago (2nd and 3rd to maybe Willie Nelson), but they brought some great supporting acts, including the lovely and talented Jhene Aiko, Kevin Gates, Casey Veggies and DJ Drama. Top to bottom, the crowd was in for a memorable night from the very beginning.
With DJ Drama keeping the crowd live between sets, up first for the night was ‘Backflip’ rapper, Casey Veggies. Originally known for his affiliation with the Tyler The Creator-led collective, Odd Future, Casey has been all about his solo career for quite sometime now, and has been recently enjoying the success of his 2015 debut album, Live & Grow. With features from Dej Loaf, Tyler The Creator, YG, BJ The Chicago Kid and more, Veggies put out an impressive debut last year and tonight he performed a number of his records from his 2015 LP.
Following Veggies opening performance, the beautiful Jhene Aiko took stage for her Chicago fans. Your favorite rapper’s favorite guest singer, Jhene Aiko has laid down some memorable vocals for everyone from Childish Gambino and Big Sean to Drake, Omarion and many more. Most recently Aiko teamed up with Sean to form their duo, Twenty88, which came with an 8-track EP that released earlier this year. Don’t be under the impression though that Aiko only works best complementing the best rappers in the game, as her solo records are perhaps her best work. Tonight Aiko performed some of her best records, including ‘The Worst’ and ‘To Love & Die’, as well as other tracks from her debut EP, Sail Out, and her 2014 debut album, Souled Out. Aiko provides a nice change of pace from the rappers that takeover the tour’s lineup, but still provides a sound that rap fans across the board can enjoy.
Next up was ‘Really Really’ and ‘2 Phones’ rapper Kevin Gates, who brought performances from his 2015 debut, ISLAH’. Gates brought street rap straight from Louisana to Chicago tonight, and it was more than well received. With Snoop and Wiz’s headlining performance just minutes away, the crowd was ready to turn up the tempo and Gates got the amphitheatre off their seats.
And before fans had the opportunity to catch their breath after Gates turned up performance, it was time for Snoop Dogg to great his Windy City fans. Opening the solo portion of his set, Snoop Dogg started things on the highest note possible by blessing fans with performances of his classic records, including ‘Gin & Juice’ and ‘Nuthin’ But a G Thang’. And before you knew it, was time for Wiz to join Snoop on stage. If you’d expect two weed advocates like Snoop and Wiz to put on a slow paced and mellow performance together, you’d be greatly mistaken as the two performed together with especially high energy (no pun intended). While Snoop and Wiz both have casual and laid back personalities on-stage and off, their performance tonight was far from mellow, and gave fans everything they wanted and more.
Check out our photos from tonight’s stop on Merry Jane’s “The High Road” Tour below.
If Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg have two things in common, it’s their love for rap and their love for weed. So it was only right that the two go on tour this summer, and (pun intended) name it “The High Road” tour with Merry Jane as the sponsor. And if Wiz and Snoop weren’t reason enough to get excited for this one, they will have some great company on the road as the lovely Jhene Aiko and the always entertaining Kevin Gates and Casey Veggies will join them as very special guests.
The tour is set to kick off July 20th in West Palm Beach and will make stops throughout North America, including Toronto, Chicago, New York and many more, until the tour concludes in early September. Pre-sale starts today with the code MERRYJANE, so get your tickets here while you still can.
Check out the tour dates for “The High Road” tour below.
With the release of his first album in nearly 16 years only hours away from our consumption it only seems right that we review his last body of work, 2001. Dr. Dre is a musical staple and his first two albums have more than shown why. From the moment that his sophomore album opens with its cinematically themed introduction, you are introduced to the idea that a lot has changed since the last time he released his own collection of songs. The first song ‘The Watcher’, is a basically compiled list of all the changes that Dre has witnessed and experienced. It’s not a speculation to say that you know you are listening to a song by the doc when you hear one. The intense, hard-hitting nature of his production is what defined an entire genre and his skill still is no doubt still with him. Dre made sure there was no room for slacking in terms of production. The instrumentals could honestly compose an album all their own. Even though I’m sure many of you actually have, forgotten about Dre, the project fills any void of space left from his hiatus.
Dre. said himself that he wanted to use this album as an opportunity to show his fans that he’s still got it; time was not a detractor but rather a meditation. The energy contained within this project is so potent that it can hardly be put into words. Its beats are as charged up as its subject matter. Dre is claiming his stake, which he shouldn’t have even had to do after his involvement with N.W.A. But in time, his fans started to question his legitimacy and fueled his fire which manifested itself as 2001. Resentment plus anger proves to be a lethal combination.
And he’s not alone. With a feature list that looks about as long as a Lollapalooza lineup, the dynamic is constantly changing. From a trademark lyric-driven verse from Eminem on ‘What’s The Difference’ to a pitchy hook from Snoop Dogg on ‘Still D.R.E.’ your enjoyment is guaranteed. This is also one of the projects only detractors, he is able to craft beats that he sounds good over every time, but his collaborators struggle at times. Some of the features could have been easily dropped or moved to songs that were left off of the final album. It can get exhausting to constantly have to think about who’s voice you are hearing or listening to artists cover different topics, or topics differently within the same song.
Dre fills his verses with the words of a soldier ready to fight. Each bar is spoken with the confidence of a haymaker punch and the conviction of a man who is not ready to give up. It ends up as a collection of music suited to amp you up and bump at an extremely high level of sound, with no thought given to decibels or frequency. There is a line where misogynistic words can become far too much. This album gets close enough to poke that line with a short twig. The songs are all undeniable listenable but listening to all the ways women are objectified in this LP can go from entertaining to draining quick. Luckily, topics to switch relatively quickly from song to song and the production is some of the best this genre has ever seen. The music was created at the highest level that music has ever been created and it shows.
There is a reason that damn near every song on this project is still considered relevant in some sense. The beats aren’t simple, but their complexities are cleverly separated enough to enjoy each intricacy all their own. Dre was one of hip-hop’s earliest innovators when it came to beat construction. From combing soul with deep-bass and heavy percussion he has inspired countless artists in the new generation. The album’s classic status is merited by its beat selection alone but it’s lyrics leave things to be desired. Remembering that Dre had been out of the music game for about nine years, as far as writing his own material goes at least, it is understandable why his content sounds like it is stuck in the early 90’s. Covering the ground-driven topics of early gangster-rap, drugs, gang-banging, violence and sex are the go-to topics. By the end of the album, you may have heard depictions of the same gangster lifestyle ten different ways but you are not bored. Again, I do not say it lightly when I say that this album’s production is top tier, bar and trend-setting stuff. If reading this review has been your re-introduction to the doctor of hip-hop, make sure, whatever you do, you don’t forget about Dre again.
Can someone tell me why an artist like Kanye West is hated by the majority of America for not having false modesty (or cocky as some people would rather word it) but Snoop Dogg gets a pass for being the biggest sexist and homophobic person in rap? Not only is Snoop Dogg not generally hated by the public but you never hear of Snoop Dogg losing sponsorships or facing other consequences for the things he does and says.
Snoop Lion? Snoopzilla? It’s been a weird era for one of the West-Coast’s finest after striking out with innovation and rebirths over and over again. Reincarnation was strangely an off-putting attempt at reggae and dancehall, and 7 Days of Funk stood as a solid attempt that suffered from being too disjointed and shallow to really resonate with fans. After a few confusing years of rebranding and name changes for one of hip-hop’s biggest living legends, Snoop Dogg returns with the old name, a new feel, and a familiar friend with the entirely Pharrell produced album, BUSH.
The album is as playful and airy as the title suggests, a title that, as legend has it, Pharrell Williams pitched while suffering from multiple contact-highs from being in the studio with Snoop. Nonetheless, BUSH is not a lazy and hazy stoner album or a psychedelic swell of music—instead, it is an uptempo journey into Pharrell’s brilliant resurrection of funk with his signature cues and crisp, synthetic production. Snoop himself finds pockets where he can flow with beautiful melody often times backed by album regular Charlie Wilson and also rarer guests like Stevie Wonder or Gwen Stefani.
The album opens with the eclectic, foreign fusion that is California Roll. Snoop dances through the chords and a backing harmonica courtesy of Stevie himself, with dropping 808s and a feisty clav not too far away. Pharrell cuts through the song with a beautiful, familiar pitch, singing “Baby you can be a movie star/Get yourself a medical card, yeah” with a perfect delivery that simply melts every single time. Snoop ditches a gangsta bravado to become a more charming, poised and romantic version of himself being as smooth as ever. A similar pace is maintained on the groovy “R U A Freak”, where Snoop finds an almost identical pocket at a faster tempo, with swelling synths and groove guitars that seem borrowed from the last Daft Punk album. (Disclaimer: hilariously silly lines like “She’s DTF cause she’s down-to-feel” and “Are you a freak, or what?/I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut” will definitely have you shaking your head.)
The first half of the record is dipped in familiarity for Pharrell, with a newness that isn’t too far removed from his past works. Bass-lines through a lot of it sound akin to those used with JT on Justified while songs like “Awake” sound influenced from “Fly Or Die” era N.E.R.D. beats. As the album jives on, though, tracks like “So Many Pros” and “Peaches N Cream” find Pharrell charting into newer, fresher territories. “So Many Pros” finds Snoop singing with more swagger and more of a stiff lip, while “Peaches N Cream” sees a more party-vibe with singing and some throwback bars that’ll have you two-stepping in no time at all.
“Run Away” with Gwen Stefani is a memorable back-and-forth between the two frequent Pharrell collaborators, with a throwback vibe and that signature Neptunes breathing-percussion used so frequently in the 2000s. The chorus here is chanted at usual Gwen-volumes before cascading into a sweeter melody as the two sing in unison. There’s a lot of singing and melody from Snoop on this album, but it doesn’t sound unnatural or forced. Snoop sounds in pocket and silky smooth as ever, and even though the singing isn’t always in key or on beat, it’s all makes more sense when you envision the cloud of smoke he’s probably singing through. “Im Ya Dogg” finds Snoop gliding through melody with some help again from Uncle Charlie, as he leaves the rapping to Rick Ross and Kendrick Lamar on the album’s outro. The MMG Boss brings a familiar vibe of excess and extravagance, while Kendrick punches in with a stop-and-start flow that’s equally frantic and romantic.
What else did we expect? It seems as though Snoop has finally found the alley-oop to propel him back on the right side of innovation and pop-relevance from Skateboard P himself. After all, these are the guys that brought us such treasures like “Beautiful”, “That Girl” and of course, “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, and while this record doesn’t have power-singles or very memorable rap moments, it’s an album with a consistent groove that just has an intangible sweetness to it. Sure, BUSH has imperfections that can be nitpicked and doesn’t have the most gripping vocal contributions from the album’s main artist, but the bottom line is the album is produced instrumentally and vocally to perfection, making it not only a memorable listen, but a listen that just feels gooooood.
While the tracklist was originally left blank on iTunes, today the blanks have been filled and we have the track names and features for Kendrick Lamar’s highly anticipated To Pimp a Butterfly LP. The 16-track album is set to include features from Thundercat, George Clinton, Snoop Dogg, James Fauntleroy and more! It may not have the strength of features that Kendrick’s freshman LP had, but either way, we couldn’t be more excited. Check out the full tracklist below.
Well played Iggy. After being called a c*nt and being compared to the Wayans Brother’s characters from the movie ‘White Chicks’ by legendary rapper Snoop Dogg, Iggy decided to keep her Halloween costume topical as she dressed up like one of the characters to make light of the situation.