Event | Movits! Swing Jazz meets Hip Hop at Stonefly, Saturday, January 30th

Photo Credit: Fredrik Larsson (hayvosh.net)

I continue to say this: Sweden’s music scene is crazy.  From the country that gave us Abba, this country is producing some amazing artists within last 4 years in all genres. Artist such Lykke Li, Miike Snow, Kissey Asplund, Red Astaire, El Perro del Mar, Peter Bjorn & John, Mando Diao, Mapei, and Adam Tensta are helping put Sweden on the map for music. I always wanted to visit Sweden to see what kind of water they are drinking to produce some of the stuff I hear.  Another group from Sweden that is making a mark here in the states is Movits!

Movits! is a hip hop group that blends the sound of swing jazz and hip hop with Swedish lyrics.  They created a huge buzz here since their performance on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report.  Lucky for Milwaukee this Saturday, you will get a taste of their sound this Saturday at Stonefly.  Milwaukee’s Fresh Cut Collective and 88Nine’s Tarik (that’s me) will also be performing.  A show not to be missed.


The Weekly Top 5 Countdown…All Aboard, Train Songs!

The Weekly Top 5 choo-choo-chooing into the station today with five fresh cuts all about trains. From Cow-Punk to Reggae to stone cold Funk. We got some junk for you, so you don’t have to scrap; pound for pound, track after track this Top 5 does not lack. Ckeckitout!


Bob Marley “Zion Train”


Rank And File “The Conductor Wears Black”


The JB’s “All Aboard the Soul Funky Train”


Johnny Burnette Trio “The Train Kept A Rollin'”


Allen Toussaint “Last Train”

A look into the Lab Partners

For some time now the folks at Mindpool Productions have been featruing some of the coolest artists in Milwaukee and the WORLD as a part of their SOUND PASS web series.

This past episode featured Milwaukee’s newest super group THE LAB PARTNERS.

This episode “shines a light” (pun intended) on the cool process of how LMNTYlst and Phantom Channel make the music they make.

Check out some of the past episodes featuring Pezzettino, Evert Thomas, and many more… HERE!

Is Milwaukee Afraid of Hip Hop?

Update: Check out Shepherd Express response to this question.

Also check out The Onion’s response to this question.  This has been an amazing and honest discussion, and I thank everyone of their different point of views.

Read the Examiner’s response to this question as well.

A very interesting question.

Yes I know that there is an amazing local hip hop scene here, and people do go out to shows, but let’s look at the bigger picture.  Last night on air, I talked about the Mos Def and MF Doom show in Chicago, and how I was upset that it seems Milwaukee rarely brings any national hip hop artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli (which seems only to come to Summerfest), Zion I, Wale, etc.  Don’t get me wrong Kid Cudi was here. It is rare.  Even artists such as Erykah Badu will probably never grace a stage here (I hope I’m wrong).  If Mos Def played at the Riverside, not only it will sell out, you get people travelling to Milwaukee from all over Wisconsin instead of Milwaukeeans travelling to Chicago.

Maybe I’m spoiled. I have lived in over 10 cities including Minneapolis, which is now a major player in producing Hip Hop and bringing in amazing shows. These shows are mostly all packed.  Some people in Milwaukee tell me that booking hip hop will bring in a ‘certain’ element and they don’t want that image.  Which I say to that, untrue (I wanted to write something else).  Hip Hop sales and shows are usually dominate by the suburbs, middle class, and college students, and that is a fact across the country. Take a look at Minneapolis, which the minority population is smaller than Milwaukee  and has embraced Hip Hop.  You can see Hip Hop at almost every venue in Minneapolis including First Avenue.  Even Madison brings some great shows.  Again I hear the excuse that Madison is a college town. Again, a lame excuse.  I lived in Atlanta, and about the same distance away as Madison is Athens, a major college town.  Last time I checked Atlanta get a substantial more hip hop shows than Athens.  Plus what are Marquette, UWM, Alverno, MOSE, MIAD, MATC?  Chopped liver?.  Does these students at these schools have different tastes than other colleges in the country? I doubt it.

As I mentioned before Milwaukee has a very talented Hip Hop scene, but it seems segregated to me. Which I think that plays a role in this problem.  The local seen not only needs to be supportive of each other (you don’t have to like the music), but work together by doing shows together, and collaborating on music.  There are some artists that are doing it, but there needs to be more.

So what is it about Hip Hop in Milwaukee?  Is it fear?  Milwaukee just doesn’t like hip hop? Is it a race thing?  I want to start a discussion and hopefully start to change this, so maybe we can bring artists like Mos Def to Milwaukee.  I believe once Hip Hop is a major part of the Milwaukee arts scene other music will follow such as Electronica, Dancehall, etc. and the city will just be a better place for it.

The following are emails from listeners on their perspective on this issue:

Hey Tarik, I overheard the tail end of your comment about Mos Def playing in Chicago and not Milwaukee.  Of course I would love to see him here in my hometown, but I understand why it’s not happening.  At first glance, some might see him as a sell-out with the acting gig and the clothing line, but Dante is a vital force in the socially conscious hip hop arena (and a true artist expressing creativity in dynamic ways).  He’s not set out to play ever major U.S. city.  People who like his music will buy it (or get it by donating to Radio MKE like I did! 🙂  and true fans will travel the 90 miles south to Chi-town to see him concert.  I’m grateful that he’s playing this close to home.

I was saddened when I played the Ecstatic CD in the car for my 12 year old little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters and after a few songs she requested that we turn the radio on instead.  Mos Def is mos definitely not mainstream among our urban youth, but I have faith they will catch on.  I’ve used a track off the Black on Both Sides album to present a visual art project while in college.  I’ve used KRS-One songs in my 5th grade classrooms to spark discussion about social injustices and to motivate students.

I’ll make the 90 mile trek to Chicago and I won’t view it as an inconvenience; it will only make the show more special.


Believe it or not, it has a lot to do with the crowds that come out. Sure, I would like to believe that Mos Def would have a sold out show at the Riverside or the Pabst. However, given the state of Milwaukee’s Hip-hop scene & how it’s becoming increasingly “stale”, the Milwaukee Hip-hop Heads aren’t backing the good shows when they do come.

Elzhi performed at Stonefly for ONLY 25 PEOPLE almost a year ago…only in Milwaukee, my dude. I will also point the finger at the CLEARly garbage CHANNELs that do nothing but blast the constant absurd, bass-heavy, one hit wonder (why) but wouldn’t play a Mos Def (much less, DOOM) cut unless the 12-19 age range flood their phones with the request.
All in all, I’m more than happy to pack up the car with “true heads” & make a road trip to see MOSDOOM. (So long as their manager gets the dates correct…*chuckle*)


What are your thoughts? I would love to know.

Eric B and Rakim are Gettin’ Over

This week on the 7 o’clock sample we are looking back to the music of Eric B and Rakim.  In 1987 the fellas released one of the most influential Hip Hop albums ever… PAID IN FULL.  This album features some of the best Hip Hop tracks ever recorded, including…

That funky lil bass line come from a rather unknown disco cut by Fonda Rae…

Event | Hip Hop For Haiti at Stonefly, Thursday, January 28th

What going on in Haiti over the last few weeks is really a tragedy, but the concern and the overwhelming financial and moral support for the island nation is amazing.  It is especially nice to see the Milwaukee artist community to get involved.

Tomorrow at Stonefly (735 E. Center St.), There will be Haiti Benefit show featuring some of Milwaukee’s talented Hip Hop community on Thursday, January 28th.  100% of the proceeds from the show will go to Yele, Wyclef Jean’s non-profit organization. Artists such as KHB, Prophetic, Rusty P’s, The Cranberry Show, Streets & Young Deuces and other will be performing.  If you can’t make it, you can still help the cause by donating to Yele or The Red Cross, or my personal favorite charity Architecture for Humanity.

See you there.

Video | Broken Bells, “The High Road”

One of the most anticipated albums of 2010, comes from two artists from different worlds, but with similar creative goals. Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins joined forces to create Broken Bells. They recently released the single “The High Road”, which you can hear on 88Nine RadioMilwaukee. Today they dropped the video for the single. Enjoy.

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