Here’s a quick round-up of what’s going down in the rap world on the past week. Nicki Minaj unites with Britney Spears, a collaborative album nearly 20 years in the making featuring Large Professor and an emerging crew from North Carolina make the list.
Nicki Minaj To Open Up For Britney
In 2010, Nicki Minaj single-handedly made female rappers matter again. This year, the New Yorker is showing that she’s more than a rap phenomenon. She’s a bona fide pop sensation.
Minaj has been tapped as the opening act on Britney Spears’ “Femme Fatale” tour, which is slated to kick off June 16 in at the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento. Tickets go on sale April 30 for the 26-city tour, which concludes August 13 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Minaj routinely outshines the rappers and singers she collaborates with, so it’ll be interesting to see how she does during nearly two months on the road with one of the biggest artists in music history.
Large Professor’s Extended “Hustle
It’s nearly two decades in the making, but Main Source and Nas producer Large Professor will finally release an album with Neek The Exotic May 17. The two debuted together in 1992 on “Fakin’ The Funk,” a choice selection from the White Men Can’t Jump soundtrack.
Back then, Large Pro was one of rap’s hottest producers thanks to his work on Main Source’s Breaking Atoms album (of which he was the primary producer and rapper), which he soon followed up with his landmark work on Nas’ Illmatic album.
After “Fakin’ The Funk,” Neek essentially disappeared from the limelight. The comeback single “Still On Hustle” (also the name of the album) features the pair flowing with precision over a mid-tempo piano, scratch and sample-propelled beat.
Large Pro and Neek will be performing New York City April 14 at Santos and April 17 at BB Kings in case you’re in the area. The album from these childhood friends should be some high-quality boom-bap rap.
Kooley High Pushes The “Pedal
North Carolina had Petey Pablo and Little Brother, as well as its extended rhyme family. Next up may be Kooley High. Tab-One, Rapsody, Charlie Smarts, Foolery, The Sinopsis and DJ Ill Digitz released their Eastern Standard Time earlier this year.
After garnering online acclaim, the album was spruced up and recently released commercially. The crew kept it local for the video for “Pedals,” the album’s second single. They shot the clip on the N.C. State campus, in part because that’s where the group members met and decided to form a group.
With such high-powered backers and collaborators as 9th Wonder, Kooley High could soon graduate to mainstream success.
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker
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