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King Selector PMA

So i checked out KRCW's world music event last night at the Hollywood Bowl featuring Femi Kuti, Mos Def presents Biggie: A Big Band/Hip Hop Experience; Daara J; Garth Trinidad, host

For those of you not in LA the Hollywood Bowl is the summer home of the LA Philharmonic and on wednesdays and sundays they usually have Jazz nights and world music nights and the bowl organization usually puts funk, soul, r&b, and hip-hop acts on and bill them as world music.

it's one of those spots where adults can picnic (the wine and cheese crowd) and experience "music under the stars"


I didn't expect to hear Mos Def the emcee at this event.

I did expect to hear some great musicians play some good tunes and that's basically what you got.

If Mos Def fans were expecting the ultramagnetic bboy with a mic in hand spitting hard lyrics then they were sorely dissapointed.

For the emcee fans mos didn't deliver and you'd probably think dood fell off of being an emcee.

As the stage spun around to reveal the band it was made up of a vibraphonist, percussionist, piano/rhodes player, drummer, bass, guitar, and a horn section of trumpet two saxes and trombone/conch chell player(more on this below) and a DJ (i think it was the guy from the Arsonists)

The band opened up with a rendition of Stakes is High by De La on a stage with Mos (with an all white robe) on top of a large bed where the band was underneath and neon signs that read Oysters, Freedom, Peace

Mos mumbled most of the lines and wasn't very energetic in trying to get the crowd to say "Vibration"

Mos Definitely not the Mos Def from 1996's Stakes is High cameos.

i didn't really care...i'm a jazz musician so i was paying close attention to the band and the DJ

next up was On the Run by the Jimmy Castor Bunch

being in my mid 30's and growing up in LA the only expereince i have of hearing a live band play my favorite b-boy breaks is Breakestra...so hearing a live band play this tune got me pretty hype becasue there are few bands that are actually good enough to play at this caliber (where are all these bands?)

i had a feeling the rest of the night was going to be Mos Def the music conductor and the band was definitely the highlight.

i don't know the names of the next couple songs but one tune was dedicated to Miles Davis, with the trumpet player wearing similar dark sunglasses ala Miles, pieces of Boogeyman Song, a song dedicated to Gil Scott Heron (i lovf New Yor City?)

the higlights of the night was when the soloist were able to shine over the Instrumental of Bumpy's Lament aka Bag Lady and the smae tune Dre sampled. Mos gives a shout out to Dre and then the long instrumental kicked off with crowd enthusiam (mostly the ladys could be heard saying "That's my song!")

and then came the Conch player

the guy playing trombone picked up the soloing with first a small shell...then a medium shell, and then a big shell.

like a true horn player this guy was hitting pitches and beautiful tones that i had never heard before...

then came the emotional part of the show

Mos sat at the edge of the stage to recite a poem of LA in which he paints a picture of a city of riches with so much pain underneath marked by the killings of innonect people by the police and death of Biggie

Mos i believe needed some time to warm up to this point. He started out real shy and reserved and finally opened up towards the end to reveal he is more than a rapper and actor.

i give him a lot of props for standing in front of 20,000 people and pushing music back in the direction where it needs to be. Where THE BAND is the show and the focus is not emcee...where the DJ actually plays along with the band as an instrument as opposed to just skratching ahhhh and fresshhhh during the hooks...

the second to last tune was the climax of the show. Mos got behind a rhodes to play a couple chords with only the piano player and
dedicating this performance to the mothers of slain hip-hop soldiers, Pac, Biggie, and Jam Master Jay

while rhyming and playing the tune grew to a cresendo with Mos chanting and asking who killed pac, biggie, and jay?

Mos called out Suge asking him


lumps swelled up in my chest and throat because for the past several weeks i've been bumping Dead Prez's hip-hop wondering what the hell the outcome of the the Wallace's lawsuit against the city.

Mos climbs from behind the Rhodes and asks the band to
kick off Umi Says. Beautiful Night Music

The show ends with him getting back on the bed, taking off his kicks, and wishing us all Oysters, Peace, and Freedom in a bboy stance and the band revolving on the platter back into the bowl's foyer.

oh yeah Femi Kuti is wild


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sir jorge

this seems awesome, i like the idea

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