Twenty five years after their landmark human rights concerts, Amnesty International hosted the Bringing Human Rights Home benefit concert at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Madonna was on hand to introduce Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina onstage for the first time since their unjust incarceration in Russia. Speaking through a translator they brought their gravitas and powerful message to the concert; it was a once in a lifetime experience. Susan Sarandon and The Fray highlighted the continued struggle of human rights around the world, with inspired sets from Debbie Harry of Blondie fame to Teegan and Sara. Live Aid founder, Sir Bob Geldof encouraged us all to do more, following medleys from Cold War Kids and Imagine Dragons.
Lauryn Hill’s performance was the most soul stirring of the night, doing a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Zimbabwe” in tribute to Nelson Mandela. Word backstage was that she’s steadily amassed a slew of new material that will see the light of day hopefully later this year. Lastly Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne covered the Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” while cannons of confetti covered the area, joined on stage by Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and dozens of Amnesty staffers. Do your part. Take action.
Classic, classic, classic. UK soul-stress, Harleighblu has been championed by many in this latest wave of ingenues sporting the stylings of the ‘full-voiced classic soul songstress.’ Just a hair’s breath shy of 21, there is a quality in her voice that belies her age which easily draws similar comparisons to her cited influences of Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Floetry. We aren’t the only ones to have noticed this, the lead track, Enough Now, off of her upcoming debut on Tru Thoughts, Forget Me Not, created such a fervor on Mistajam’s BBC 1XTRA show, that it carried the rare feat of being played back to back, and Mistajam declaring, “The new queen of hip hop soul. Every time I play this one it goes off!”
Hip-hop fans rejoice, two of the greatest MCs of all time, Nas and Lauryn Hill have announced a joint tour of North America running October thru November. The two were onstage together at Hot 97 Summer Jam, where they tore through “Ready Or Not,” “Lost Ones” and “If I Ruled The World.” The tour is called the Life Is Good/Black Rage tour, which references both Nas’ recent album and Hill’s upcoming single. Check the full dates after the jump. …MORE
With triumphs by Nas and Erykah Badu, let downs from Black Star and Lauryn Hill, and missing pieces with Wu-Tang Clan, Rock the Bells 2011 was as exciting, confusing and controversial as the hip-hop generation that it celebrates.
Remember just a few years ago when Ms. Lauryn Hill was an enigma? Now she’s everywhere, rocking out Coachella, doing a full U.S. tour, and dropping in on Jimmy Fallon to perform a revved up version of her classic, “Doo Wop (That Thing).”
Fallon has really been kicking late-night ass on the music guests. I guess having ?uestlove in your corner has a serious advantage. Too bad The Roots didn’t actually join Ms. Hill for this jam. Coulda used some tuba.