Discussion of hip-hop art and design draws crowd

Cey and BillIt was standing-room only at Rush Arts Gallery in New York City for Cey Adams' and Bill Adler's slideshow and discussion of their book DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop last night (Feb. 26). Hip-hop culture and art fans packed the Russell Simmons-owned gallery to hear Adler and Adams discuss the art featured in their book. [Read my review of the book HERE.]

Adler and Adams provided biographical information on the artists in their book, discussed the impact of street culture to the art world, and shared anecdotes of the artists and their subjects. The gallery audience was rewarded with stories about Mary J. Blige, Mohammed Ali, Chuck D, Spike Lee, Dave Chappelle, Sean Combs, and many other hip-hop luminaries.

Several of the artists whose work is featured in DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop were in attendance, including photographer Janette Beckman, who shared a memory of a photo session with Slick Rick. "The gold and guns were his idea," she laughed. (Beckman has several photographs of the Beastie Boys in their early years at her web site.)

Discussing his work with the Beastie Boys, Adams revealed that they are one of his favorite musical artists with whom to work because they have a clear vision of what they want design-wise or -- as Adams corrected himself -- what they do not want. Adams, who has not yet heard any of the new Beastie Boys album, said he looks forward to hearing what they've come up with.

To view photos from Adams' and Adler's talk, visit our Flickr photostream.

As a postscript to the event, I'd like to give a shout-out to Derek from Manifest, who came to the talk wearing a custom-made "Listen to Paul's Boutique" t-shirt. Check out the t-shirt -- available to purchase -- at his web site devoted to hip-hop culture.

DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop slideshow and discussion

Cey Adams and Bill Adler will be presenting a slideshow and discussion about their book DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop this Thursday (Feb. 26) from 6 to 8 pm at Rush Arts Gallery in New York City. Fans of hip-hop design and music will have the opportunity to hear stories and ask questions about the designs and photos that appear in the book.

DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop features a number of designs created for the Beastie Boys, including an unused Hello Nasty album cover that Adam Horovitz personally asked Ed Renfro to create.

At Adams' and Adler's book signing in Brooklyn last fall, which I attended, they shared stories about Sean Combs, Russell Simmons, Lil Kim, Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, Mary J. Blige and others that would be difficult to hear anywhere else. The two are truly privileged in their associations in the hip-hop scene.

For more information about the event, read the press release below.
One Night Event
Rush Arts Gallery / Chelsea
Thursday, February 26, 2009 from 6-8pm

Join the Authors of Definition: The Art And Design Of Hip Hop, Cey Adams with Bill Adler in an informal conversation, slideshow and book signing.

Compiled by legendary designer Cey Adams, DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop is the first serious survey of the visual work created under the banner of hiphop during the last 35 years. A boon to the eyes as well as the ears, hiphop -- according to DEFinition -- is a culture that has made its mark on everything from fine art to the label on a bottle of Hawaiian Punch, including fashion, automobiles, movies, television, advertising, and sneakers. DEFinition highlights the careers and artwork of such crucial hip-hop elders as Lady Pink, Haze, Run-DMC, Dapper Dan, Buddy Esquire, Spike Lee, and Snoop Dogg, as well as contemporary giants like Kehinde Wiley, Mr. Cartoon, Shepard Fairey, Dalek, Mike Thompson, Jor One, Claw Money, and dozens of others. Featuring more than 200 stunning photographs and illustrations as well as compelling essays by some of hip-hop's most seasoned voices, DEFinition illuminates the culture in a form that speaks to aficionados and newcomers alike.

Cey Adams is a hip-hop graphic artist whose career has taken him from bombing subway trains to designing album covers, stage backdrops, sportswear, and indelible logos. His clients include Def Jam Recordings, Bad Boy Records, Roca Wear, Adidas, Burton Snowboards, Coca-Cola, Moët & Chandon, Comedy Central, HBO, Warner Brothers, and many others. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Bill Adler was the original director of publicity for Def Jam Recordings and Rush Artist Management, where he promoted the careers of hip-hop legends Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, 3rd Bass, and Slick Rick, and many others. Between 2003 and 2007 he was the owner and curator of the Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery, an exhibition space devoted to hip-hop's visual arts.

Beastie Boys' new album is close to completion

BBC News talked with Adam Yauch at the Spirit Awards in Los Angeles. Yauch shared some details about the status of the Beastie Boys' new album.
Beasties promise 'strange' record
By Damian Jones

Beastie Boys bassist Adam MCA Yauch has revealed their forthcoming new album has taken the rap collective in a "bizarre" new direction.

"It's a combination of playing and sampling stuff as we're playing, and also sampling pretty obscure records," he said of their eighth studio LP.

They have tentatively named the record Tadlock's Glasses, after a former tour bus driver, who was once presented with a pair of glasses by Elvis.

The band are set to tour in the summer.

Speaking to BBC Five Live at the Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles, Yauch said the collective are currently putting the finishing touches to their new album.

"We're tweaking some mixes and we're going to master it in the next couple of weeks," he explained.

"There are a lot of songs on the record and there are a lot of short songs and they kind of all run into each other."

The record comes nearly two years after their Grammy Award-winning instrumental LP The Mix-Up.

Of the title he explained: "We had a bus driver years ago who used to drive Elvis' back up singers.

"His name was Tadlock and Elvis gave him a pair of glasses which he was very proud of. So for some reason that title - Tadlock's Glasses - has just been bouncing around."

Although no firm release date has been set for the record, Yauch said the Beastie Boys would return to the UK for a series of tour dates in support of the album later this year.

Adam Yauch attends Spirit Awards and art opening

A fan wrote us to say she spotted Adam Yauch at the opening reception of Bill McMullen's exhibition "Hype, Hustle, Ripoff" at the Constant Gallery in Los Angeles yesterday (Feb. 21). McMullen has designed material (logos, album art, posters) for the Beastie Boys and Oscilloscope Pictures. McMullen's exhibition will show at the gallery through March 28.

Yauch was in Los Angeles to attend the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards, which were held yesterday as well. Oscilloscope Pictures' film Wendy and Lucy was nominated in the Best Feature category (The Wrestler took the award).

Mix Master Mike interview and performance in Las Vegas



At the end of January, Mix Master Mike performed at a private party during the SnowSports Industries America Trade Show in Las Vegas. The party, which was sponsored by Skullcandy (an audio products maker), included performances by Snoop Dogg, Rahzel, and Super Natural. Both Mix Master Mike and Snoop Dogg have been enlisted by Skullcandy to develop their own headphones design. Mix Master Mike's design will be specifically for professional DJs and is expected to be available for retail in Fall 2009.

Rhymin' & stylin'


Ricky Powell is making one of his classic photos of the Beastie Boys available (again) on a limited edition t-shirt at Japanese clothing company KIKS TYO. Powell's photo, which captures a moment from the Beastie Boys' 1987 performance on Soul Train, can be ordered on a white or black tee at KIKS TYO's web site. Only a limited number of shirts are being made, and they're not cheap. If you want one, you need to pre-order through the web site by February 15.

Related posts:

A minute with Adam Yauch

[VIDEO REMOVED]
Source: MSG.com

Adam Yauch is unwinding from all his hard work on the Beastie Boys' new album by taking in some basketball. He was spotted at the Knicks-Cavaliers game at Madison Square Garden earlier this week, as well as the Knicks-Trail Blazers game a few weeks ago. At the latter game, Yauch found a minute to talk with Jill Martin [see above video].

Beastie Boys relaunch web site with Paul's Boutique theme



Beastie Boys have concluded their work on the remastered version of Paul's Boutique and launched a new web site design at Paulsboutique.beastieboys.com. At the new site, you can listen to the remastered songs and order various packages of the album with mp3 downloads, vinyl, a crazy-big poster, and a t-shirt. (Where's the commemorative plate?) Most exciting, you can download the band commentary for Paul's Boutique immediately.

If you're a web geek, you might be interested to know that the audio at the site is coming from Top Spin, Ian Rogers' new audio venture. You can watch a video of the Beastie Boys with Money Mark that Rogers recorded yesterday and read Rogers' thoughts on Paul's Boutique at Topspinmedia.com.

New pics

For those of you who like to create Beastie Boys-themed wallpapers and other arty stuff, visit the Beastie Boys publicist's website at Nastylittleman.com for two new publicity pics of the band, offered as high- and low-res downloads.


Photo: Nathanial Hörnblowér


Photo: Ricky Powell

Beastie Boys confirmed for Bonnaroo Music Festival



NYC-based band TV on the Radio confirmed the official line-up for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on its Myspace blog in advance of the official announcement. Beastie Boys are among the artists performing at the festival in Manchester, Tennessee, on June 11-14.

The full line-up is below:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Phish (2 Shows), Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, Wilco, Al Green, Snoop Dogg, Elvis Costello (solo), Erykah Badu, Paul Oakenfold, Ben Harper and Relentless7, The Mars Volta, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gov’t Mule, Andrew Bird, Merle Haggard, MGMT, moe., The Decemberists, Girl Talk, Bon Iver, Béla Fleck & Toumani Diabate, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Galactic, The Del McCoury Band, of Montreal, Allen Toussaint, Coheed and Cambria, Booker T & the DBTs, David Grisman Quintet, Lucinda Williams, Animal Collective, Gomez, Neko Case, Down, Jenny Lewis, Santogold, Robert Earl Keen, Citizen Cope, Femi Kuti and the Positive Force, The Ting Tings, Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Kaki King, Grizzly Bear, King Sunny Adé, Okkervil River, St. Vincent, Zac Brown Band, Raphael Saadiq, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Crystal Castles, Tift Merritt, Brett Dennen, Mike Farris and the Roseland Rhythm Revue, Toubab Krewe, People Under the Stairs, Alejandro Escovedo, Vieux Farka Touré, Elvis Perkins In Dearland, Cherryholmes, Yeasayer, Todd Snider, Chairlift, Portugal. The Man., The SteelDrivers, Midnite, The Knux, The Low Anthem, Delta Spirit, A.A. Bondy, The Lovell Sisters, Alberta Cross

Tickets for the festival are available HERE (on sale on February 7).

Update: The official Bonnaroo site now has the line-up posted.