Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hip-Hop is Dead tour kicks off March 31

After releasing the most controversial album of his career, the prophetically titled #1 pop/ #1 R&B/ #1 rap RIAA gold HIP-HOP IS DEAD, Def Jam Recordings artist Nas is ready to embark on the “Hip-Hop Is Dead” tour of North America. The 26-city tour, one of the biggest ever undertaken by Nas, opens March 31st at University of Pittsburgh, and ends May 3rd in San Francisco. (Please see tour dates below.)

Setting up at radio this month is “Can’t Forget About You,” featuring Def Jam singer Chrisette Michele, a jazz inspired track produced by of the Black Eyed Peas that riffs off a sample from the classic “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole. The single grabbed a 5 million-plus Hot 100 audience out of the box. “Can’t Forget About You” follows up “Hip-Hop Is Dead,” the album’s first single, also produced by and featuring The track, which samples ’60s readymades “Apache” and “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” cut inside the Top 40 on the Hot 100, Pop 100, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Tracks, and Hot Digital Songs charts.

Time Out New York magazine stepped out early when it named HIP-HOP IS DEAD as “the rap record of the year.” Tastemaker critics agree that ‘God’s son’ has redefined the genre he came to dominate over the course of his 8 studio albums.

“Nas is a writer, and he needs our attention,” wrote Pitchfork. “He needs us to read lines, between the lines, put it all together… If you want to know what the best rapper alive really sounds like, listen to this album… HIP-HOP IS DEAD is the album I'll give to people in 20 years when they ask who Nas was.”

In addition to, who also co-produced “Who Killed It?,” HIP-HOP IS DEAD contains a hefty roster of rap and R&B notables. The celebrated 2005 reconciliation between Nas and Jay-Z results in their first historic collaboration, on “Black Republican” (sampling The Godfather’s “Marcia Religiosa”). Fellow Def Jam artist Kanye West co-wrote and co-produced “Let There Be Light” featuring Tre Williams; Kanye also co-wrote and co-produced “Still Dreaming.” Scott Storch co-wrote and produced “Carry On Tradition” and “Play On Playa” featuring Snoop Dogg, with a sample from Marvin Gaye’s “After the Dance.” Elsewhere, West Coast MC The Game and Marsha Ambrosius are featured on “Hustlers,” produced by Dr. Dre.

Nas himself co-produced “Where Are They Now” (running through a litany of bygone MCs over a monster James Brown sample) and the closing “Hope.” Nas’ wife Kelis is featured on “Not Going Back” produced by Stargate. The bulk of HIP-HOP IS DEAD however, is produced (or co-produced) by L.E.S., one of Nas’ longtime beatmasters. In addition to “Black Republican,” L.E.S. handled “Money Over Bullsh*t,” “You Can’t Kill Me,” and “Hope.”

“The new CD ‘Hip-Hop Is Dead’ is partly a lament for what we have lost,” wrote the New York Times. “But here’s the thing about Nas’ old fashioned approach to hip-hop: It still works… Fifteen years on, there’s still nothing like hearing Nas assemble an intricate stanza.”

NAS – “One Man, One Mic, One Night” Tour 2007

Date City Venue
March 31 Pittsburgh, PA University of Pittsburgh

April 2 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
3 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
5 Norfolk, VA The Norva Theatre
6 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues
7 Orlando, FL House of Blues
8 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
10 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
11 Charlotte, NC Neighborhood Theatre
13 Washington, DC Love Nightclub
14 Boston, MA Matthews Arena
15 Providence, RI Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel
16 Montreal, Que. Metropolis
17 Toronto, Ont. Kool Haus
19 Detroit, MI State Theater
20 Chicago, IL Congress Theatre
21 Milwaukee, WI Eagles Ballroom
22 Minneapolis, MN Myth
23 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
25 Denver, CO Fillmore Auditorium
26 Salt Lake City, UT Harry O's
29 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
30 Los Angeles, CA House of Blues

May 1 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
2 San Diego, CA 4th & B
3 San Francisco, CA TBD

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