Last fall, when the music industry’s systemic problems finally came home to roost in the form of catastrophic album sales and weak, uneven albums, Nas’s Hip-Hop is Dead was a small glimmer of sunshine. Unlike Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come, the album didn’t trumpet its values through heavy-handed advertising campaigns and glossy singles. It was dense and complex, full of conflicting emotions left open to interpretation. And in the end, the audience responded positively, proving that hip-hop culture isn’t a junkyard for pop culture (as some contend), but an art form capable of insights as profound as any other.
Next month, Nas is taking his revival act on the road. It’s called the “One Man, One Mic, One Night” tour, and kicks off in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 31. Tour dates are below.
Nas’ upcoming tour is the latest project to solidify his recent success. In January, he commissioned a trio of imaginative all-star remixes for his track “Where Are They Now.”
The 80s remix features MC Shan, Raheem from the Furious Five, Doctor Ice, Mixmaster Ice and Kangol Kid from UTFO, Kool Moe Dee, Sha Rock from Funky Four +1 More, Tito from the Fearless Four, Grandmaster Caz, Lin Que, Dana Dane, Pebblee Poo & Just Ice. (For an amazing primer on these artists, check out the blog Wake Your Daughter Up.)
The 90s remix includes Redhead Kingpin, Rob Base, Original Spinderella, Father MC, Monie Love, Mike Gee from the Jungle Brothers, EST from Three Times Dope, Dres from Black Sheep, Das EFX, DoItAll from Lords of the Underground, Chip-Fu from Fu-Schnickens & Positive K.
The West Coast remix stars Breeze, Kam, King Tee, Candyman, Threat, Ice-T, Sir Mix-A-Lot, the Conscious Daughters & DJ Bobcat.
Then, he teamed with Kanye West, Rakim and KRS-One for “Classic.” The single, with versions produced by Rick Rubin and DJ Premier, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the ever-popular Nike brand Air Force One, benefits the Force4Change Fund, a Nike program that helps youth leadership programs.
A word of warning about the tour: Historically speaking, Nas is not a great live performer. (And no, that’s not an oxymoron for rappers). Much like Rakim, the lyricist to whom he’s often compared, Nas has a reputation for rhyming (and lip-synching) over his own tracks and forgetting the words. Dude needs a Teleprompter! Seriously, though, I hope he proves me wrong this time around.
Check out the dates:
- 3/31: University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
- 4/02: House of Blues, Cleveland, OH
- 4/03: Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD
- 4/05: Norva Theatre, Norfolk, VA
- 4/06: House of Blues, Myrtle Beach, SC
- 4/07: House of Blues, Orlando, FL
- 4/08: Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- 4/10: Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
- 4/11: Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC
- 4/13: Love Nightclub, Washington, DC
- 4/14: Matthews Arena, Boston, MA
- 4/15: Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, RI
- 4/16: Metropolis, Montreal, QC
- 4/17: Kool Haus, Toronto, ON
- 4/19: State Theater, Detroit, MI
- 4/20: Congress Theatre, Chicago, IL
- 4/21: Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
- 4/22: Myth, Minneapolis, MN
- 4/23: The Pageant, St. Louis, MO
- 4/25: Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO
- 4/26: Harry O’s, Salt Lake City, UT
- 4/29: House of Blues, Las Vegas, NV
- 4/30: House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA
- 5/01: House of Blues, Anaheim, CA
- 5/02: 4th & B, San Diego, CA