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W.H.A.T. Band Reunion Show
Sunday 09/20
W.H.A.T. Band Reunion Show @ The Howard Theatre
Free
The brain child of Gogo Legend Christian Black “Rapper Dude” also known as “Rah” formerly of Northeast Groovers, in Washington DC., the W.H.A.T. Band, an acronym for Washingtons Hottest And Talented, was formed in 2000 as a new musical venture to bring his iconic Gogo career into its next phase and seal his contribution to Gogo Music and his status as the most resilient and versatile Lead Talker in Gogo History. After a few phases of direction and membership, the artists and musicians that make up the WHAT Band (what fans now call WHAT Band 2.0) who had the fastest and most impactful meteoric rise from 2004-2012 were comprised of himself, Michelle Blackwell (Co-Manager/Vocalist/Rapper/Lead), Calvin Henry “Killa Cal”/Rapper, Stephon Green/ Vocalist, Michael Harris ”Duce 7”/Percussionist, Jermaine Chase “Rocket Rob”/Conga/RotoTom/Timbale Percussionist, Andrew Wilson “Chuckin’ Drew”/Lead Guitar Player, Rico Munson/Bass Guitar, Joel Sturdivant “Smokin’ Joe”/Drummer, David Cleveland/Keyboards and Vincent Watson “V-Man”/Keyboards. This innovative and creative staple in Gogo Music, W.H.A.T. Band, was known for having a sound and a party atmosphere that separated them from everything else going on within the Gogo Industry, from 3 sets per show, R&B/Crank/Bounce and Rock, W.H.A.T. Bands fans, aptly named “Crank Nation” came to expect a different standard of performance, song selections and diversity, and creativity in theme and delivery from their favorite band. With original songs like “Crystal Skate”“Rock and Roll Bounce Beat”, “Reminsice” ,“09 ”, “That’s my car” and “Carry Out Beat”, as well as classic remakes/covers of songs like “Irreplaceable”, “Hard in the Paint”, and “Drop it Low”, W.H.A.T Bands trendsetting aesthetic helped make them the hottest band in the DMV in the mid to late 2000’s. , landing them the WKYS Gogo Award for Best Female in 2007, The 2008 DC Music Gogo Award for Best Lead Talker, and Band of the Year, and the 2009 DC Music Gogo Award for Best Rapper. The members of this band have all decided, after popular demand to bring all the members, some who have gone on to other bands, moved to other states and/or started other projects, to come together for one night only to commemorate their accomplishments and party with their fans like they used to at the Classics, CFE, LaPearl, Safari Steakhouse, The Tradewinds, Legends and Club Elite on Sunday, September 20th Live at the Howard Theater from 10pm-2am.
Big Daddy Kane & Rakim
Thursday 10/08
Big Daddy Kane & Rakim @ The Howard Theatre
$29.50 / $35
Big Daddy Kane On September 10th, 1968, Bed Stuy, Brooklyn gave birth to one of hip hop's most lyrical, diverse, innovative, and trendsetting MCs. He is known by many attributes - Dark Gable, Black Caesar, and King Asiatic Nobody's Equal - but he is known to the world as Big Daddy Kane. This baritone-voiced, stylishly dressed MC was the first one to bring the "playa" element to hip hop, and along with Bobby Brown and Michael Jordan, he put dark skin back on the map. Kane was the first rapper to ever hold not one, but two sold-out shows at the world-famous Apollo Theater for women only. In the words of the late Big Pun, Kane is "not only a playa, he just crush a lot" - a reference to his rapid-fire, metaphoric battle rap style. Kane's influences are Muhammed Ali, Marvin Gaye, and his rap hero Grand Master Caz of the Cold Crush Brothers, but once dancers Scoob Lover and Scrap Lover join him on the stage, you can clearly see the James Brown and the Famous Flames influences as well. With several Gold albums to his credit, Kane has enjoyed a long career, including the releases Long Live The Kane ("Ain't No Half Steppin'" and "Raw"), It's A Big Daddy Thing ("Smooth Operator," "Warm It Up, Kane," and "I Get The Job Done"), and Taste Of Chocolate ("Hard Being The Kane" and "All Of Me," a duet with the late legendary Barry White). As a powerful figure in the rap game, he has also collaborated with many artists, including Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Heavy D, Patti LaBelle, and Quincy Jones. All of these accomplishments combine with a Grammy Award to make Kane a true hip hop legend. Rakim In 1986, Rakim started to work with New York-based producer-DJ Eric B. The duo—known as Eric B & Rakim—is widely regarded as among the most influential and groundbreaking of hip-hop groups, due in no small part to Rakim's technical abilities. The duo’s first single, "Eric B. Is President" was a success and got the duo a contract with the fledgling Island Records sub-label 4th & B'way. The duo’s next single, the smash “I Know You Got Soul,” sparked early debate on the legality of unauthorized, uncredited sampling when James Brown sued to prevent the duo's use of a fragment of his music. It also established Brown's back catalog as a hip musical mining ground for a new generation of hip-hop programmers. Their first full album, Paid In Full, was released in 1987. causing a stir in the hip-hop music world due to its novel sound, approach, and subject matter. Rakim pioneered a practice previously unknown to hip-hop called internal rhyming. Already an important aspect of traditional poetry, where rhymes could be found throughout the bar of a lyric which added to the rhythmic complexity of the song: "I keep the mic at Fahrenheit, freeze MCs, make 'em colder/The listeners system is kicking like solar/As I memorize, advertise like a poet/Keep it goin', when I'm flowin' smooth enough, you know it's rough." Instead of two rhyming syllables within two lines at the end of the lines, as we would find in the older hip-hop style displayed above, we have 18 rhyming syllables in just four lines. Rakim also introduced a lyrical technique known as cliffhanging and popularized the use of metaphors with multiple meanings. His songs were the first to really impart hip-hop music lyrics with a serious poetic device sensibility. Eric B & Rakim went on to produce three more successful albums, all now considered hip hop standards. Prior to Rakim, hip-hop music lyricism was usually rather simple from a structural standpoint and the ideas it expressed were easy and direct. Many hip-hop artists (both underground and mainstream) acknowledge a huge debt to Rakim's innovative style. He is given credit for popularizing the heavy use of internal rhymes in hip-hop—rhymes that are not necessary to the overall rhyme scheme of the verse, but occur between the endpoints of lines and stanzas, serving to increase the alliteration, assonance, and emphasis of the rhyme. He is also credited for the jazzy, heavily stylistic, seemingly effortless delivery of his lyrical content.
Lalah Hathaway
Monday 09/28
Lalah Hathaway @ The Howard Theatre
$52.50 / $60
An instrument embodied, timbre unmatched with words that call our most internal emotion… Lalah Hathaway’s presence is never mistaken nor forgotten. Skilled to the highest order, Hathaway’s voice possesses both power and vulnerability with a quiet resonance that fills spaces of grandeur and the hearts of many. “Lalah Hathaway is, quite simply put, the truth.” (Diriye Osman, Huffington Post) Born into musical legacy, the offspring of musicians Donny Hathaway and Eulaulah Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway’s career was never a choice: “I was always a musician” Hathaway clarifies, “there was never a moment of maybe I’ll be…” Preparations for the release of Hathaway’s debut self-titled album were firmly in motion during her final semester at Berklee College of Music, where the Chicago-native nurtured her multi-instrumental and songwriting talents. Since inception, Hathaway’s musical journey has remained devoted to education and musicianship. “I never wanted to be known as just a singer. I always wanted to be a well-rounded musician, with my voice as my primary instrument.” Proof of Hathaway’s musical prowess is evident in her work, operating as performer, musician, writer and producer. Revered by some of the greatest musicians of the last century, a myriad of collaborations and international performances signpost Hathaway’s 25-year success. A true bridge between masters of the Jazz and Soul traditions and new generations of Popular Music innovators, Lalah Hathaway has performed with greats such as Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, Prince, Mary J. Blige, Metropole Orkest, Esperanza Spalding, David Foster, Snoop Dogg, Natalie Cole, Robert Glasper Experiment, Terri Lyne Carrington, Marcus Miller, Dianne Reeves, Dizzy Gillespie, David Sanborn, Rachelle Ferrell, Take 6, The Winans, Me'Shell NdegeOcello, Kirk Whalum, Donald Lawrence, Snarky Puppy, Christian McBride and many more. Enamoured with colour, space and the evolution of music, Hathaway’s six studio albums chronicle an emotive journey through R&B, Jazz, and Soul. The inflections of Blues, Funk, Gospel, Classical, Country, Rock and Folk cited in her work, are a reflection of this virtuoso’s versatility. With the 2014 Grammy win for Best R&B Performance fresh in mind, Hathaway describes how her career continues to rejuvenate with new beginnings and possibilities. “Throughout my career there have been points where new recognition or opportunity has emerged that inspires me in new ways.” Underscored by singing three notes at one time (a chord), the Grammy-winning performance of Hathaway’s 1991 single “Something,” recreated with Jazz collective Snarky Puppy, affirms Hathaway’s timeless relevance and documents the vast breadth of her vocal capabilities. Lalah Hathaway is, in every sense, a live performer. 2015 will bring the release of Lalah Hathaway LIVE, Hathaway’s first ever live album. Supported by her international fans and peers, Lalah Hathaway LIVE is a result of a successful internet-based crowd-funding campaign. “I wanted to make an album for the fans and with the fans. My fans constantly relay to me how the music they love on my records is taken to a whole new level when they experience it live.” Evident in her online presence and strong interaction with social media, Hathaway’s engaging, comedic personality is embraced by her fans, both new and longstanding. “The listeners are a huge part of my live performance and I want their presence to be captured and acknowledged on this album.” Whether live, recorded, televised or online, Lalah Hathaway’s incomparable skill, talent, musicianship and presence are recognised by artists and fans the world over. Like her father before her, Lalah Hathaway stands as music quality personified, optimum in every way.
Dave Davies
Tuesday 10/20
Dave Davies @ The Howard Theatre
$39.40 / $45
Dave Davies founded the Kinks in the early 1960s and forever changed music after he sliced up the speaker cone of a little green amp and created a revolutionary, distorted guitar tone and frenetic solo on song You Really Got Me. Musicologist Joe Harrington described the Kinks' influence: "'You Really Got Me', 'All Day and All of the Night' . . . were predecessors of the whole three-chord genre ... the Kinks did a lot to help turn rock 'n' roll into rock." In 1998, writer Bill Crowley wrote,"As lead guitarist and founder of The Kinks, Dave Davies is one of the most unpredictable and original forces in rock, without whom guitar-rock styles including heavy metal and punk would have been inconceivable. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Dave's massive guitar sounds have inspired bands from Van Halen to Green Day." Dave's new album I Will Be Me is a return to his groundbreaking guitar sound and innovative songwriting. His classically English voice shows off a new deepness but still hits his famous high notes in this collection. Hard rocking track "Living in the Past", takes a look at obsession with retro but, ever the Mod, Dave suprises with the lyric, "no matter what they do or say, the future's here to stay!" He takes a look back with Little Green Amp, a playful, punk homage to days when his jagged, blues driven sound wave ripped ahead of the British Invasion through stereos the world over. Cote du Rhone (I WILL BE ME), an uncensored look at ugliness in the world today, is as angry and biting as ever with an innovative heavy yet slide guitar tone. Soothing lyrics and sounds of Jonathan Lea's sitar playing on Healing Boy - show Dave's sensitive side. In a recent radio interview he said,"rock music is a positive force for good." This hopeful and optimistic vision manifests and bridges themes personal, social and universal in I Will Be Me. Since the early days, Dave has worked on a slew of critically acclaimed records, ranging from solo hit song Death of a Clown, to experimental Kinks records like Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur and classic song Lola in the 70s. In the 80s Dave released experimentally prescient solo work like the eponymous album titled "Dave Davies" or "AFL1-3603" named after himself and/or the barcode symbol face cover art. His mainstream success continued in the 80s on hit Kinks albums Low Budget and State of Confusion. In the 90s he released more solo work such as Bug and the compilation Unfinished Business. His songs have been featured in films by John Carpenter and on t.v. shows like the Sopranos which used his tune Living on a Thin Line. His tell-all autobiographical book Kink was well received in the late 90s as well. In recent years, Dave has collaborated creatively with his sons. In 2010 he worked with son Russell Davies to create the hauntingly, beautiful rock electronica album, the Aschere Project. Mystical Journey, directed by son Martin Davies, narrates Dave's longtime interest in the paranormal, Eastern philosophies and spirituality (the film inspired Julien Temple's BBC documentary Kinkdom Kome). No matter how diverse the ambition, Dave Davies puts his heart and soul in all of his projects.