ICON is a DJ Tribute Party that celebrates the people, places and times that have influenced Old SOUL Entertainment.
ICON: Biggie, Jay Z & Nas.
Saturday, March 11th at The HIFI.
Old SOUL Entertainment presents
ICON: Biggie, Jay Z & Nas.
Saturday, March 11th at The HIFI.
DJ MetroGnome and DJ Indiana Jones.
10:30PM. $10 Adv. 21 & over.
Click here for the Facebook event page.
About the ICON party
ICON is a DJ Tribute Party that celebrates the people, places and times that have influenced Old SOUL Entertainment. The party takes place at The Jazz Kitchen. We use this night to pay homage to our musical influences.
Mammoth-sized rapper (6 feet 3 inches and close to 300 pounds) the Notorious B.I.G., alternately known as Biggie Smalls but born Christopher Wallace, released just one album during his lifetime: 1994's Ready to Die. Written by Wallace and produced by Sean Combs, it was a remarkable debut, distinguished by Wallace's thick, commanding baritone and his slow, matter-of-fact rhymes about the hustler's life he left behind for rap. Wallace would not attain true iconic status until after his murder, on March 9, 1997. By the time his second album, the sprawling, double-CD Life After Death, hit stores three weeks later, Wallace —like his rival Tupac Shakur before him —had become a rap martyr.
By the time he was 15, Wallace was selling crack in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. He gave up drug dealing for rap, however, and recorded homemade demos in his basement. One of these found its way to Uptown Records A&R chief Sean Combs, who, after leaving Uptown to start his own Bad Boy Entertainment label, signed Biggie Smalls. The Notorious B.I.G. helped Bad Boy on its way to becoming one of the most successful rap and R&B labels of the '90s when Ready to Die, released in September 1994, went to #3 on the R&B album chart and spawned several hits: "Juicy" (#27 pop, #14 R&B, 1994), "Big Poppa" (#6 pop, #4 R&B, 1995), and "One More Chance/Stay With Me" (#2 pop, #1 R&B, 1995) among them. The album itself was also a crossover success, climbing to #15.
In the wake of the album's success, Wallace was frequently called on as a guest artist, and he appeared on Michael Jackson's "This Time Around," from 1995's HIStory Past, Present and Future, Book I, among other recordings. He also started his own Undeas label, to which he signed fellow Bedford-Stuyvesant rap troupe Junior M.A.F.I.A. He executive-produced and guested on Hard Core, the 1996 debut by Junior M.A.F.I.A. vixen Lil' Kim, with whom he had an on-again/off-again affair.
As Wallace's (and Bad Boy's) profile rose, he and Combs became entangled in an ongoing East Coast–West Coast rivalry with Death Row founder Marion "Suge" Knight and his own star rapper, Tupac Shakur. When Shakur was shot and wounded in New York on November 30, 1994, he publicly implicated Wallace and Combs, and later taunted Wallace with the song "Hit 'Em Up," in which he boasted of sleeping with Wallace's wife, singer Faith Evans. On September 13, 1996, Shakur was murdered in Las Vegas, and six months later, Wallace was shot and killed while driving away from the Soul Train Awards party in L.A. No arrest has been made in either case to date, though informants reportedly told police that Shakur had been killed by a member of the L.A. Crips, a gang linked to Bad Boy; meanwhile, the Crips' bitter rivals, the Bloods, were similarly thought to have ties to Death Row.
Released less than a month after Wallace's death, Life After Death debuted at #1 on both the pop and R&B charts, selling 690,000 copies its first week and eventually going 10 times platinum. Two of the album's singles, "Hypnotize" and "Mo Money Mo Problems," topped the singles chart. Later that summer, Combs released his own debut solo album, No Way Out, which featured his tribute to Wallace, "I'll Be Missing You" (#1, 1997). In 1999 Bad Boy released the posthumous Notorious B.I.G. album Born Again (#1). Comprised of remixes and vault material, the album featured guest appearances by Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, and Sean Combs.
Hip-Hop faced its greatest tragedy when both Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. were killed. Biggie was only 24 years old.
This biography originally appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).
About Jay Z
Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), most notably known by his stage name Jay-Z (since July 2013 styled JAY Z), is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and investor. He is one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2012, Forbes estimated Carter's net worth at nearly $500 million. He has sold approximately 50 million albums worldwide, while receiving 17 Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers of all-time, he was ranked number one by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. Two of his albums, Reasonable Doubt (1996) and The Blueprint (2001), are considered landmarks in the genre with both of them being ranked in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Jay-Z co-owns the 40/40 Club, has a minority stake in NBA's Brooklyn Nets and is also co-creator of the clothing line Rocawear. He is the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, and the founder of Roc Nation. He also founded the sports agency Roc Nation Sports and is a certified NBA and MLB sports agent. As an artist, he holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 with 12. Jay-Z also has had four number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, one as lead artist. On December 11, 2009, Jay-Z was ranked as the tenth-most successful artist of the 2000s by Billboard as well as the fifth top solo male artist and fourth top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent. He was also ranked the 88th-greatest artist of all time by Rolling Stone.
Jay-Z married American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles in 2008. They have a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, born January 7, 2012.
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (/nɑːˈsɪər/; born September 14, 1973), better known as Nas /ˈnɑːz/, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and sold over 25 million records worldwide since 1994. He is also an entrepreneur through his own record label; he serves as associate publisher of Mass Appeal magazine and is the owner of a Fila sneaker store. He is currently signed to Mass Appeal Records.
NAS performing at the 2015 Sugar Mountain festival, Melbourne, Australia His musical career began in 1991 when he was featured on Main Source's track "Live at the Barbeque". His debut album Illmatic, released in 1994, received universal acclaim from both critics and the hip hop community; it is frequently ranked as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. He performed Illmatic 's "N.Y. State of Mind" in one take.
Nas' follow-up album, It Was Written, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, stayed on top for four consecutive weeks, went Platinum twice in only two months, and made Nas internationally known. From 2001 to 2005, Nas was involved in a highly publicized feud with rapper Jay Z. In 2006, Nas signed to Def Jam. In 2010, he released a collaboration album with reggae artist Damian Marley, donating all royalties to charities active in Africa. His eleventh studio album, Life Is Good, was released in 2012, and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
Nas is often named as one of the greatest hip hop artists. MTV ranked him at number 5 on their list of The Greatest MCs of All Time. In 2012, The Source ranked him No. 2 on their list of the "Top 50 Lyricists of All Time". In 2013, Nas was ranked fourth on MTV's "Hottest MCs in the Game" list. In 2014, About.com ranked him No. 1 on their list of the "50 Greatest MCs of All Time". He has five number-one albums on the Billboard 200, tying him with Eminem and Kanye West for second place among all-time rappers.
About New York / East Coast Hip-Hop
Hip-hop was born in the South Bronx of the 1970s under oppressive conditions. In response to limited resources, poverty, and gang violence that riddled the New York City borough, black and Latino youth came together in an effort to improve the community, expressing themselves through rapping, breakdancing, graffiti art, and turntablism.
Over 40 years later, hip-hop has become a worldwide phenomenon, reaching every corner of the globe and shaping the identities of a whole generation of young people. Kids today are just as invested in hip-hop culture as they were in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s.
East coast hip hop is also referred to as New York rap due to its origins and development at block parties thrown in New York City during the 1970s. Hip hop is recognized to have originated and evolved first in New York; East Coast hip hop only became a distinct subgenre after artists from other regions of the United States emerged with different styles. In contrast to other styles, East Coast hip hop music has prioritized complex lyrics for attentive listening rather than beats for dancing. The main components of hip hop culture from that time and still today are MC’ing, DJ’ing, break-dancing, and graffiti.
In contrast to the simplistic rhyme pattern and scheme utilized in old school hip hop, East Coast hip hop has been noted for its emphasis on lyrical dexterity. It has also been characterized by multi-syllabic rhymes, complex wordplay, a continuous free-flowing delivery and intricate metaphors. While East Coast hip hop does not have a uniform sound or standard style, it tends to gravitate to aggressive beats and sample collages. The aggressive and hard-hitting beats of the form were emphasized by such acts as EPMD and Public Enemy, while artists such as Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, JayZ, Notorious B.I.G and Slick Rick were noted for their lyrical skill. Lyrical themes throughout the history of East Coast hip hop have ranged from lyrical consciousness by such artists as Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest to mafioso rap themes by rappers such as Raekwon and Kool G Rap.