Kanye West in Atlanta

First off: above is about as raw as it gets.

Andre 3000, Kanye West, and Big Boi… in an Atlanta Waffle House. Yup, it happened late tonight and caused quite the surreal scene. Just Twitter search “Waffle House”.

Before the late night meal, Kanye headlined Hot 107’s Birthday Bash concert and below are some cool clips from the show. The mid-show freestyle, a little nod to Drake, and even the money photo of Kanye’s attire under the low ceiling stage. All tight.

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#TBT Letterman Hip Hop Performances

Last night, I got home late after playin‘ basketball, then watched some basketball (thanks, Inside the NBA), then realized it’s David Letterman‘s last show!

I know there’s a great portion of the country that’s been swept up in Letterman’s much-deserved farewell tour over the last 6 weeks. I don’t fall into that category, not that I’m not a fan of Dave. I enjoy his show whenever I catch a cool celebrity or musician on there but after watching his finale show last night, I realized: Wow, he’s been such a staple for late night television, has paved the way and created new templates, and has had the biggest stars in show biz, music, and entertainment next to him on the desk at one point or another. It’s simply astounding.

After Dave signed off the air, I went down the #ThanksDave wormhole to see some cool, in the moment tributes from the likes of Seth Rogen (the coolest letter by Dave here), Jessica Alba (so cute), Big Boi, and Ben Schwartz to name a few… then landed on Complex’s Top 25 Hip Hop Performances on Letterman listicle.

My nostalgic side appreciated the next 45 minutes or so as I combed through their list and YouTube to relive or watch for the first time some of my favorites. I figured you may enjoy some of my picks, with their list having even more throwback gems. It’s only right it’s #TBT too so without further ado…

Kanye West “All Falls Down” f/ Syleena Johnson, Miri Ben Ari, and (oh yeah) John Legend (Feb. 2004)

Teased in the lead photo above, it’s College Dropout Kanye West performing one of his all-time best songs “All Falls Down” with the utmost, precise delivery and bringing the song to a new level and audience on the heels of his debut album release. If the performance wasn’t a sign to come (and oh yeah, that’s JOHN LEGEND on the piano), then Kanye posing it out at the end is definitely a sign of things to come. Ha!

One of the best things about all of these videos is Letterman’s boisterous reactions to the performances as he goes to greet the artists. Never not fun.

Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, and Domo Genesis “Rusty” (April 2013)

The most current of the performances here and the one Complex led off with that reeled me in too. I had a moment of… was this the performance where Tyler took a selfie with Letterman? (Yup!) Still fantastic.

Lupe Fiasco “Daydreamin” f/ Jill Scott (Nov. 2006)

I remember this one vividly because in 2006 I was a college freshman still trying to make new friends at the University of Minnesota and one of my lead topics of conversation was: have you heard of this rapper Lupe Fiasco?!

Lupe on Letterman?! This felt big-time for me as a fan so you know I was tellin’ new friends and old friends back home alike to tune in or watch the video below. Plus, it was one of the first few experiences seeing a Lupe performance and it’s his presence, energy, and overall coolness like that below that contributed to me becoming the big fan I am of Lupe’s still today. Jill Scott at the end too, whoo!

OutKast “Roses” (May, 2004)

I don’t remember watching this one live and it was before the blogs so I didn’t post it either. During my run last night, I watched this “Roses” performance for the first time live and loved how they re-created the classic 50’s style music video. All the way down to “Caroline”, Fonzworth Bentley and the acted-out brawl at the end. Best part wasn’t even by Dre or Big Boi, it was Dave: “Is everyone alright over there?”

Kanye West “Love Lockdown” (Nov. 2008)

The 808s days brought Kanye back to Letterman where he performed “Love Lockdown”. I didn’t like the song too much at the time, but always loved the live performances of it. Kanye outdid himself on Letterman by really being one of the only artists to transform the stage into his own, which he’s since done on SNL, tour, wherever to go outside the box. For this one: 2 stories of tribal drummers.

Kid Cudi “Pursuit of Happiness” f/ RATATAT (Sept., 2009)

Kid Cudi’s all-out Letterman debut came just prior to the release of his first album, Man on the Moon: End of Day. A la Lupe above, this was also a big moment for me as I pushed Kid Cudi to casual fans who hadn’t yet heard of him or only knew “Day N Nite”. Reliving this one, I have an even greater appreciation for this string section, that especially shined at the end.

Michael Jordan, 23 years old, interview with Letterman (May, 1986)

I know, I know, not a performance. But in my YouTubing, I found this classic that I didn’t know existed because I wasn’t even born yet. Shortly after MJ’s 63 point game in the Boston Garden, after the Bulls were eliminated in the 1986 Playoffs, and at the genesis of Jordan’s takeover as a global icon and endorser. MJ even genuinely calls his Jordan I ugly (I think). Hah! Just a crazy throwback in the midst of all these crazy throwbacks.

Lupe Fiasco “Superstar” f/ Matthew Santos (Jan, 2008)

Lupe on Letterman again incited some of the same feelings above, this time with Matthew Santos getting the look alongside Lupe on “Superstar”. “American Terrorist” was one of my favorite tracks on Food & Liquor so to see Santos on the big stage for Lupe’s biggest hit at the time (and 1 of his 3 biggest to date) was a big deal too. Unfortunately, the Letterman greetings are cut off, but not before Lupe got in “No New World Order” at the very end.

Keri Hilson f/ Kanye West “Knock You Down” (May, 2009)

This one I was surprised to see. For one, I forgot just how big the “Knock You Down” single was (Keri Hilson was always a guilty pleasure artist of mine, too). And secondly, Kanye West making the guest appearance (and getting a little handsy at the end.) I just dug that Kanye co-signed Keri on another level with his appearance here and the performance overall was a great one. Also great: Dave’s greeting to Kanye.

Eminem & Jay Z “Renegade” (June, 2010)

Gotta end on this. I remember it being a truly big hip hop moment. It was the talk of the blogs, the talk of friends, the talk of everyone as Eminem and Jay Z performed for the first time together before their mini-Stadium tour soon after in 2010. It was cool that they performed “Renegade” since it’s long been the conclusion that Eminem killed Jay Z on his own song (true, true) and it’s really one of Eminem’s best overall efforts in his career. Oh, and it was cool that they were performing on the freaking rooftop! That made it feel even larger to me. I could keep going, but again, Complex has even more classic performances, shouts to them.

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However, I couldn’t let this get away without a few highlights from the finale. My favorite was the star-studded Top 10 Things I’ve Always Wanted to say to Dave. Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Bill Murray win it for me, but they’re all so, so good.

This is how Letterman signed off… a glorious photo montage that drives home what I said at the top about how I realized just how extraordinary a run he had. You’ll enjoy a lot of these photos, no matter who you are.

And finally, I’ll end on this… ICYMI, Norm MacDonald’s standup last Friday night was equal parts hilarious and heartwarming. He genuinely breaks down and tells Dave he loves him at the very end and I couldn’t help but feel his emotions through the moment as well. Great, great stuff. Norm easily in my top 5 of favorite comedians.

Alas, hope you enjoyed the last half hour or so with all of these videos, and many more throughout the years thanks to David Letterman. #ThanksDave!

2Pac x OutKast collab would have happened?

This isn’t click-bait. There’s some substance to it, via this unearthed letter from ‘Pac indicating that a collab album was in the, seemingly verbal stages, with not only OutKast but also Scarface, E-40, Smiff & Wessun, and of course The Outlawz.

It’s technically unconfirmed (*the letter’s authenticity), but was seen today via the good people at DJ Booth. Plus, I have read many a works from the Tupac handwritten collection and it looks much like his writing. Besides, don’t you just want to believe 2Pac was up for working with OutKast anyway?

(LOL @ 2Pac’s 🙂 emoji.)

EDIT: Looks like Big Boi would have been open to the collab as well.

More speculation: Could the letter have surfaced at the newly opened Tupac exhibit at The Grammy Museum? Any L.A. readers out there, let us know: @gowherehiphop.

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Andre 3000 felt like “sell-out”

I felt like people would be like, ‘Y’all are doing all these festivals, y’all are just doing it for money.’ And I felt like a sell-out, honestly. So I was like, if I’m in on the joke, I’ll feel cool about it.

Interesting quotes from Andre 3000 in a new interview with Pitchfork, where he most notably admitted he felt like a sell-out in going back on tour with Big Boi in the 2014 Festival Season. The end of the quote above is in reference to the highly entertaining fashion statements he varied with each show, now on display during this week’s Art Basel in Miami.

Another interesting quote:

We hadn’t performed in 10 years. It was old songs. I’m like, How am I gonna present these songs? I don’t have nothing new to say. So I was like, maybe I can start saying new stuff while doing these old songs. It became a theme where I was more excited about this than the actual show. This is fun, running out in these.

Read the full interview here.

Andre 3000 talks Hendrix, OutKast, Raury

Andre 3000 interviews abound in this post – two of them to be exact as he first sat down with Life + Times for a great, revealing transcribed conversation that primarily centered around Hendrix (and his well-received performance), but also touching on an OutKast/solo album and recent comparisons to him with up and comer Raury (which I can totally see too). Scroll below for a few quotables and his sit-down with David Letterman last night.

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On whether the engrossing himself with all things Hendrix has inspired his artistry in a way that could lead to another OutKast or solo album:

“I can’t say that there was a huge revelation from playing Hendrix in the movie. I think it just was a great experience that I went through. It was challenging considering that I don’t really consider myself an actor in that way. I consider myself more of an opportunist who got to play Jimi Hendrix and put my all into it. But I can’t say I walked away with any life-changing thing. As far as an Outkast album, we don’t have any plans to do one. After this tour though, I’ve been thinking about recording this album that I always wanted to record. We’re both working on solo albums. Big Boi is damn near through with his next album. I think after we finish this last show on October 31st in New Orleans. I’d love to get in the studio and see if I can conjure up something.”

On Raury comparisons:

“There’s a fair comparison with Raury. I think Raury is stepping out and pushing it though. That’s fair considering he’s not a straight and narrow kind of artist and going for his own thing. I just saw him the other day when he opened up for us in Atlanta and I think he’s a dreaming artist with good ideas and I hope he’ll grow and we give him his room to grow. The biggest thing I would tell him is fuck listening to everybody and just go for it. I hate when people try to compare artists because we are all totally different individuals and we all grow.”

Outkast Closes out Lollapalooza Day 2

Outkast shows no mercy for their crowd following and this is good. They did not come to Lolla to just play the crowd pleasers, they were ready to thank the fans that go way back!

photo courtesy of CBS News Chicago
photo courtesy of CBS News Chicago

As a devoted fan since the beginning, ’93, Outkast has forever been one of those nostalgic acts.  However, their come back tour has been tainted with terrible reviews of their first concert back together the first weekend of Coachella earlier this year. Hearing this was still not going to stop me.

photo courtesy of CBS News Chicago
photo courtesy of CBS News Chicago
They opened with the ultimate crowd pleaser, “B.O.B.” and eventually really got into their groove 20 minutes in.  They hit all the good stuff and Big Boi’s lyrics were as Krispy as krispy can get. Andre of course, sports his iconic wigs.  The crowd went and got drink refills or left to see Calvin Harris when the ATL duo played their throwback records from their ’94 album southernplayaisticadillacmuzik including Players Ball and took us out of this world with hits from ATLiens. And of course, they had to play Skew It On the Bar-B. The ATLiens slowed it down with Sorry Miss Jackson and then ended their set with The Whole World.

Were they the best show at Lolla so far? No, that was Eminem.
Are they back and are everything I ever expected and more? Yes.

In the end, I think it is easy for others to say that Outkast’s set wasn’t as hyped as it could have been, but they were not going reunite to only play crowd pleasers. The duo has aged well and definitely were playing for the fans that have been with them from the start… not the teenagers that have seemed to taken over Lolla.

Full Setlist
1. B.O.B.
2. Gasoline Dreams
3. ATLiens
4. Skew It on the Bar-B
5. Rosa Parks
6. Da Art of Storytellin’, Part 1
7. Aquemini
(with Sleepy Brown)
8. SpottieOttieDopaliscious
9. Ms. Jackson
10. Kryptonite (I’m on It)
(Purple Ribbon All-Stars cover)
11. GhettoMusick
12. The Way You Move
13. She Lives in My Lap
14. Prototype
15. Hey Ya!
16. Hootie Hoo
17. Crumblin’ Erb
18. Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik
19. Player’s Ball
20. Elevators (Me & You)
21. Roses
22. So Fresh, So Clean
(with Sleepy Brown)
23. Int’l Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)
(Underground Kingz cover)
24. The Whole World

(Title image courtesy of Getty Images)

OutKast announces Atlanta homecoming

No need to fret any longer ATLiens. After seeing OutKast tabbed to headline countless festivals not in Atlanta this summer, the duo announced today that they will be heading home… and it looks like it’ll be the appropriate grand homecoming.

The venue: Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park on Sept. 27. Wow. Quite the venue, indeed. According to Billboard, Outkast will curate the show, with addition performers to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Says André 3000:

Coming from Atlanta gave us the freedom to be whatever we ever wanted to be because no one was paying attention. Now that everyone is, we want to say thank you.

Visit the dedicated website at outkastatlast.com for more tidbits leading up to the concert, and of course, tickets when they go on sale on June 18 at 10am ET.

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