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Tag: Wu-Tang Clan (11-19 of 19)

Kanye West's remix of Justin Bieber's 'Runaway Love' surfaces online

kanye-bieberImage Credit: Kevin Knight/Retna Ltd; Scott Legato/FilmMagicLess than a month after it was first discussed over Twitter, Kanye West’s remix of Justin Bieber’s “Runaway Love” has leaked online in rough form. As previously reported, the remix also features Wu-Tang Clan rapper Raekwon, who told us it constituted “a historical moment for hip-hop.”

West laid Bieber’s “Runaway Love” vocals over a reworked version of the beat from the Wu-Tang Clan’s immortal “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F— Wit.” That song, incidentally, came out a year before Justin Bieber was born. The remix also features a quick verse from West (“Last name West and my teeth diamonds/She said, ‘What’s your occupation, crazy rhyming?’”), plus two verses from Raekwon. As promised, Rae kept his lyrics PG.

The only version of the remix that’s out there is smothered in “exclusive” DJ tags, and it may or may not be the final version intended for release. A Bieber rep says his label is trying to get it pulled from YouTube right now. In the meantime, have you heard this remix? Did it live up to your expectations? Will hip-hop ever be the same?

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Justin Bieber and Kanye West: Raekwon tells us all about their unlikely collab, plus the 'uncommon brilliance' of Kanye's next album

raekwon-kanye-bieberImage Credit: C Flanigan/FilmMagic; Kevin Knight/Retna Ltd; Scott Legato/FilmMagicThe Justin Bieber-Kanye West team-up that began with a Twitter conversation this week has become a reality. Take it from the Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon, who flew to NYC yesterday at West’s invitation to add a verse to West’s remix of Bieber’s “Runaway Love.” “This is definitely taking place,” Raekwon tells the Music Mix. “It’s a historical moment for hip-hop.”

Raekwon and West have been meaning to work together for years. But the Staten Island rapper was as surprised as anyone to see his name come up in West’s tweets with Bieber last weekend. “Justin being a young cat, he probably wasn’t even really there when I was doing my thing [in the '90s],” he says. “But he recognizes the Wu-Tang legacy.” Indeed, Bieber wasn’t even born until four months after the Wu-Tang Clan’s classic debut dropped.

The Staten Island rapper arrived at the historic Electric Lady Studios yesterday to find West hard at work on assorted projects with a handful of other stars. “He had Mos Def there, just chilling on the side. Akon was there. Charlie Wilson, the legendary soul singer. Everybody was running through this studio. Kanye is running around doing him. We’re having drinks, we’re vibing, great music is being made. It felt good to be there, man.” Bieber, sadly, was not present. “I’ll get a chance to see shorty sooner or later,” Raekwon laughs. “We’ll discuss it over a glass of water or something.” READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber and Kanye West possibly to record together: Good idea?

kanye-bieberImage Credit: Kevin Knight/Retna Ltd; Scott Legato/FilmMagicJustin Bieber. Kanye West. Raekwon the Chef. Those might not be three names you ever expected to read in the same sentence. Thanks to Twitter, they seem to be well on their way to forming one of the strangest supergroups in recent memory.

MTV News has a good run-down of how the teen-pop whiz, the cutting-edge rap genius, and the rugged Wu-Tang Clan vet linked up. It all started when Kanye voiced his appreciation for Bieber’s “Runaway Love” on Twitter this past Sunday. Mr. Biebs was duly psyched about this shout-out, and said as much. “So bugged out me and @JustinBieber are tweeting at the same time,” West then reflected. “Social networking is pretty awesome.” West followed this thought with a boldly random suggestion: “Maybe we can do something together. Me, You and Raekwon.” Bieber’s reply: “me, u, and the chef 2gether on a song = EPIC. haha.”

Celeb lovefests on Twitter are a dime a dozen, but Raekwon told XXL last night that a real plan for the trio to record together was already in motion. “It’s definitely gonna happen,” promised Rae. “Yeezy called me and we gon’ make it pop.” Mere minutes ago, Raekwon elaborated on his own Twitter account: “On my way to the airport to nyc to get up wit my legendary @kanyewest! Yall asked for it now we’re gonna deliver!”

We’ll update you as soon as any more solid info emerges. ‘Til then, is this a collaboration you’d like to hear? Are there any people out there who consider themselves fans of both Justin Bieber and Raekwon?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Wu-Tang Clan, Slick Rick, and more to perform full albums on Rock the Bells tour

WuTang-Slick-RickImage Credit: Scott Harrison/Retna Ltd; Isaac Brekken/Getty ImagesThe ongoing trend of artists re-creating their most beloved albums in concert shows no signs of abating. The latest example is the lineup for this year’s 4-date Rock the Bells touring festival. The Wu-Tang Clan will headline with a start-to-finish performance of their 1993 debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). They’ll be joined by Slick Rick, performing 1988′s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick; Rakim, performing his and Eric B’s 1987 Paid in Full; and KRS-One, performing Boogie Down Productions’ 1987 Criminal Minded.

That list right there is a handy summary of why a certain era of NY hip-hop has been referred to as a golden age. Each of those albums is a classic. Seeing not one but four such records performed as it originally appeared on wax? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. It even might make up for the fact that Lauryn Hill’s rumored involvement in this year’s Rock the Bells seems to have been a tall tale.

Head over to Rock the Bells’ site to check out the concert dates and full list of performers. Are you interested in seeing any of these shows? Which album would you be most psyched to see performed in its entirety?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Raekwon and Ghostface Killah bring 'Wu-Massacre' to NYC's Nokia Theater

Wu-Massacre, the album that Method Man, Raekwon, and Ghostface Killah are dropping March 30, whittles down the Wu-Tang Clan to three of its finest. Last night, that line-up was pared further to just Raekwon and Ghostface, for what was billed as an early Wu-Massacre release celebration at the Nokia Theater in NYC’s Times Square. There was some sense in making the trio a duo. Rae and Ghost, in particular, have often felt like a group within a group on the Clan’s releases. These guys go together like peanut butter and jelly, or pasta and tomato sauce — speaking of which, they collaborate often enough to have come up with the acronym R.A.G.U. (for “Rae and Ghost United”) to identify their joint efforts.

The concert began with a string of unimpeachable cuts from 1995′s classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… — technically Raekwon’s solo debut, but one to which Ghostface contributed heavily, earning prominent billing on the album’s cover. Their undiminished chemistry was evident in the show-opening string of “Criminology,” “Incarcerated Scarfaces,” “Ice Cream,” and “Verbal Intercourse.” Both rappers are essentially storytellers, Ghostface narrating crime sagas with a jumpy urgency, Raekwon doing the same in gravelly and matter-of-fact tones. Together they strode the stage like giants, joining in on one another’s lyrics at key points for emphasis.

READ FULL STORY

Aziz Ansari screams at rappers: RAAAAAAAANDY is hilariously 'AAAAAAAANGRY'

You know who else wishes Kanye West would release some new music already? Aziz Ansari. Or, rather, the Parks & Recreation comedian’s foul-mouthed alter ego RAAAAAAAANDY. (That’s eight A’s, and don’t you forget it.) The deluded character made his public debut in last summer’s Funny People, as well as three web-only promo clips that were way funnier than the movie itself. Now Ansari — err, RAAAAAAAANDY — is putting together a mixtape in collaboration with, randomly, TV on the Radio‘s Dave Sitek. On “AAAAAAAANGRY,” a track that Ansari just posted for free download on his Tumblr, RAAAAAAAANDY claims that Kanye and other rappers including Jay-Z, Eminem, Drake, Dr. Dre, Kid Cudi, and more are all late in delivering promised guest verses for the mixtape.

Got all that backstory? Actually, you don’t need to. Just head over to Aziz’s site to enjoy hearing RAAAAAAAANDY yell furiously at all the rappers who have allegedly left him in the lurch. (Beware, lots and lots of NSFW language.) For example: “Kanye! What is taking you so long?! You know how you like to sample soul songs and speed them up? Why don’t you speed up the process of you getting your verses back to us?” And: “Jay-Z! You’re supposed to drop a verse. Where’s your s—, bro? Did Coldplay have to wait this long?” Also: “This is for the whole Wu-Tang Clan, especially RZA and GZA. Where y’all at, man? You know how many times I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and refurnished my bathroom since we sent you those beats? I’ve went through floor mats, fool!” Genius.

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Vampire Weekend are 'Giving Up the Gun' with Joe Jonas, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lil Jon, and RZA: Watch their wacky video here

I’m just going to put this out there, and admittedly it is only my personal opinion: Playing tennis with Vampire Weekend looks about a zillion times more fun than going bowling with Justin Bieber. Take a gander at Vampire Weekend’s new “Giving Up the Gun” video below and you might see what I mean.

The clip centers on a tennis match in which a young woman faces off against, in turn, Joe Jonas; Jake Gyllenhaal, who swigs from a flask and rips off his pants; Lil Jon, who sports a Panama hat and speaks in subtitled French; and several other folks who are not famous. The match is judged by the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, who is dressed like a character from The Matrix and can apparently teleport. By the end of the revels, actual fireballs are being volleyed across the net.

This is about the craziest celebrity line-up I’ve seen in a music video since Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It” — which, as Pitchfork notes, also co-starred Jake Gyllenhaal. That guy picks his roles well. Watch “Giving Up the Gun” below and let us know what you think.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Raekwon on 'Wu-Massacre,' the future of the Wu-Tang Clan, his label dreams, and more: The Music Mix Q&A

Last fall’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Part II was a milestone for Raekwon. The long-promised sequel to the Wu-Tang Clan member’s 1995 classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx drew stronger reviews than he’d seen in many years and hit the Billboard 200′s top five the week of its release. Considering the six-year pause that preceded Cuban Linx II, you might expect Rae to be resting on his laurels right about now.

Hardly. He returns March 30 with Wu-Massacre (pictured), a full-length collaboration with his Wu brothers Method Man and Ghostface Killah; after that, it’s back to work on Rae’s next solo album, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang. To take a breather from recording might risk losing momentum, which he’s simply unwilling to do. “Right now, I’m tired as hell,” Raekwon admits, sitting at a conference table at EMI Records’ NYC office with a red-and-blue New York Giants hoodie pulled low over his forehead. “But it’s a job.”

On top of all that, Raekwon is also trying to establish himself as an music-biz mogul. Cuban Linx II was the first product of his Ice H2O label, released in partnership with EMI. Next up is Capone-N-Noreaga’s The War Report II, another sequel to a beloved ’90s New York rap album. Rae is interested in diversifying to other genres, too: “If I could come with another Avril Lavigne or Lady Gaga…” he thinks out loud. “We’re just ready to keep it moving. No more five years away Rae s—. I’m trying to make Ice H2O the next Def Jam. In my eyes, I’m the Berry Gordy.”

Read on for Raekwon’s thoughts on Cuban Linx Part II, Wu-Massacre, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang, and the possibility of another album from all eight members of the Wu-Tang Clan left after Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s 2004 passing — plus Rae’s reaction after seeing for the first time the crazy/awesome “RZA crosses the Potomac” painting that lit up the Internet last month.

READ FULL STORY

El Michels Affair puts a soulful spin on the Wu-Tang Clan

Hip-hop has been re-contextualizing and riffing off of older musical styles for decades now, so I always appreciate artists who come at that conversation from the opposite direction. Take El Michels Affair, a relatively new NYC band whose upcoming album Enter the 37th Chamber consists of a dozen or so classic cuts from the Wu-Tang Clan and its members, reinterpreted as instrumental soul numbers. If that sounds like it could be a cheap gimmick, trust me, it’s not. Saxophonist Leon Michels put together El Michels Affair a few years ago with other session musicians who, like him, had played with such distinguished acts as Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Antibalas. Within a few years, they’d ended up backing the Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon in concert. So the ensemble approaches the Wu-Tang material with genuine appreciation and artistry, bringing out some of the original influences that RZA’s brilliant production drew on in the first place.

Enter the 37th Chamber won’t be out til April 21, but for now you can stream El Michels Affair’s delightful version of "C.R.E.A.M." below or download it as a free MP3. If you like that one, just wait til you hear what these guys did with "Da Mystery of Chessboxin’" and "Incarcerated Scarfaces." Anybody else feeling this ensemble’s sound?

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