With their critically-acclaimed new album Imani, Vol. 1 still generating massive attention (just last month, it was the #1 Hip Hop album on CMJ, Sacramento's BLACKALICIOUS is wrapping up 2015 with the announcement of the next leg of their tour for the western half of the US. Kicking off fresh after the new year on January 7th at Denver's Ophelia's and continuing on to January 21st at Bellingham's Wild Buffalo House of Music, the legendary hip hop duo prove that even after a ten-year album hiatus, they're still fresh, vital and as relevant as ever.
Recently, the band was tapped by sports authority THE BLEACHER REPORT to rework their classic "Alphabet Aerobics", transforming all the lyrics into sports-oriented jargon and christening it "Sports Alphabet". The song and video was released earlier this month can be seen here and will be used throughout 2016 in The Bleacher Report's advertising campaign on television, internet and radio. AdWeek wrote, "As in the iconic original, Gift of Gab's rapping gains intensity and speed as he burns through lyrics tied to letters of the alphabet. The original's dizzying cascade of cultural references and nonsense rhymes, however, have been replaced by sports-themed lyrics, with fabulously fun, vivacious visuals driving the message home." The original track coincidentally had experienced a resurgence last year when actor Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black) rapped it effortlessly on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (that video which can be seen here has already racked up over 50million views on YouTube).
BLACKALICIOUS / BLEACHER REPORT
Named for the the Swahili word for "faith", Imani Vol. 1 has been unanimously praised by the media including Rolling Stone, NPR, Paste, Entertainment Weekly, XXL, Noisey, Pitchfork, Chicago Tribune, Relix, New York Times, Sound Opinions, NME, among many others. The audacious album is only the beginning as Imani, Vol. 1 is the first volume of a trilogy and features appearances from Lifesavas, Lateef, Japanese-American rapper Lyrics Born, funk band Monophonics, polyphonic Afro-Pop singer Zap Mama, and Fantastic Negrito. Bosko (Big Boi, Kanye West), Myron of retro soul duo Myron & E, Imani Coppola, and Amde Hamilton also appear on the record.
"We wanted to keep the focus closer to us," Gab says. "Volume 2 may be a bit more guest-heavy, but this one, we want people to get Blackalicious." Past albums have featured the likes of Zack de la Rocha and ?uestlove, among others.
Imani Vol. 1 was released in September 2015 on OGM Recordings/Mahogany Sun/Quannum Projects. Blackalicious is Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel.
January 7 - Ophelia's (Denver, CO)
January 8 - Belly Up Aspen (Aspen, CO)
January 9 - Hodi's Half Note (Fort Collins, CO)
January 12 - Urban Lounge (Salt Lake City, UT)
January 15 - Pink GarterTheatre (Jackson, WY)
January 16 - Zebra Cocktail Lounge (Bozeman, MT)
January 19 - Top Hat (Missoula, MT)
January 21 - Wild Buffalo House of Music (Bellingham, WA)