Big Sean is Finally Famous - (Photo: uknowbigsean.com)
Music Tonight: Hip Hop up-and-comer Big Sean brings the tour behind his debut album, Finally Famous, to Covington's Madison Theater for an all-ages, 8 p.m. concert with guests Shawn Chrystopher and Cyhi the Prynce. Admission is $25. As legend has it, the Detroit MC got his big break in old-school fashion — when Kanye West was doing an interview on a local radio station, Sean showed up and talked the star into letting him rap as a "showcase." Reluctant at first, West reportedly started getting into the young MC's wordplay and within two years he signed Big Sean to his G.O.O.D. Music label/management company. During those two years, Sean garnered attention from the industry outside of Kanye with several mixtapes. Sean's Finally Famous album finally came out in June of this year, showing off a heady guest list that includes West, Lupe Fiasco, Pharrell Williams, Chris Brown, Chiddy Bang and Wiz Khalifa. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart. Big Sean has said he's working on his next album during his current tour; he says the plan is to release it next year during the summer. Below, check out Sean's single "Dance (A$$)" and a (largely NSFW) sampling of the innumerable videos of booty-shakin' choreography across the web inspired by the track. I'm grabbing my hotpants and heading to Bogart's right now.
Momentous Happenings in Music History for November 1 On this day in 1979, Bob Dylan began a residency at Fox Warfield Theater in San Francisco that served as the first shows of a tour supporting his "born again" religious album, Slow Train Coming.
Dylan had "found God" and, instead of the more cryptic biblical references of earlier works, he became very overt about his newfound spirituality in the lyrics of the album. On that opening night in SF, Dylan was reportedly boo-ed for his new direction (something he, of course, was no stranger to). The rest of the tour was reportedly a mix of hecklers, true believers and fans who didn't mind the religious nature of the new songs. Dylan apparently lectured the hecklers — most of whom were more upset that he refused to perform any of his "secular" (read: successful) material — from the stage. Though he may have been reciting nursery rhymes. Who can tell, really.
Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a Nov. 1 birthday include: Singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett (1957); Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen (1963); MC with Texas Rap pioneers Geto Boys, Willie D (1966); late Stereolab member Mary Hanson (1966); Pop star/cult fave Sophie B. Hawkins (1967); bassist for BritPop superstars Blur, Alex James (1968); drummer for Ska/Punk champs Reel Big Fish, Andrew Gonzales (1972); and Red Hot Chili Peppers' singer Anthony Keidis (1962).
Though I haven't listened to a full new Chili Peppers album since 1999's Californication, there was a period in the late ’80s/early ’90s when the Chilis were my favorite band on the planet. As a young fan of Punk Rock and Hip Hop, they instantly grabbed my attention with their insane early works, like 1985's Freaky Styley and the hyper-kinetic self-titled debut from the year before. Either I outgrew them or they outgrew me. I had enjoyed much of the band's breakthrough Blood Sugar Sex Magik and even the mess that was One Hot Minute (featuring Dave Navarro on guitar) didn't give me a hint that I would soon feel absolutely nothing when listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. By the time I'd finished listening to Californication, I knew I was through with them. They seemed to me like a watered down version of everything that made them great and I felt as if the massive success of Sex Magik had made the band more a collection of smart businessmen than vital, creative musicians.
I still love to read/watch interviews with the band. Their passion for music is still evident and I love when musicians talk about music as if its some huge magical force in the universe that must be harnessed and channeled with care (it's a sickness I share). In the past year or so, I finally went back to listen to those early Chili Peppers albums, like Uplift Mofo Party Plan, Mother's Milk and the aforementioned Freaky Styley (thank you, Spotify!). And I was somewhat surprised at the joy those listening sessions provided me. I still love the Chili Peppers; I'm just not "in love" with them anymore.
Here's a trio of oldies but goodies, for fans who might not even know the band had albums before "Under the Bridge."