Live: 2 Chainz, Asher Roth, Ace Hood, Vado, And Gunplay Pass Through The Gramercy Theatre

2 Chainz, Asher Roth, Ace Hood, Vado, and Gunplay
Gramercy Theatre
Tuesday, February 21

Better than: Clicking through the 50 best hip-hop jumpsuits.

Is a show still a success if the audience has a great time, but never quite figures what's being promoted? Last night at the Gramercy Theatre, a website called Best of Both Offices brought a handful of rappers from along the east coast to help them re-launch their website and announce a new partnership with Complex Media. Yet the next morning I'm still not exactly sure what that website is. The company refers to itself as a "fully equipped lifestyle and artist development brand designed to creatively develop, market, promote and establish brand new upstart or prominent artists or brands into the marketplace," but that doesn't help much, and Complex claims that it has "successfully marketed, developed and digitally promoted artists including... Jay-Z," which I have trouble believing.

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Q&A: Asher Roth On Drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon, Playing Beer Pong, And His Celebrity Fantasy Beer Pong League

As far as beer-based mixtape titles go, Asher Roth's new Pabst And Jazz is 2011's front-runner. According to Asher, who's just signed to Def Jam, the music was "created over a beer and kicking it" during a three day period earlier in the year. So with Asher hitting the Brooklyn Bowl on December 21st to celebrate its release, we got him to reminisce over the hipsters' favorite fizzy water, assert his widely-rumored beer pong skills, and offer expert punditry on who'd win a beer pong showdown between the Throne's two members.

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Spotted At CMJ: Asher Roth, Nick Catchdubs, Fat Tony, And King Krule On Their Survival Strategies

Asher Roth.

With more than a thousand bands in the city for CMJ, there's a strong chance you'll happen to run into a musician on the streets, hanging out after a show, or taking advantage of an open bar at a blog party. We checked in with artists during the festival to see how they handled the chaos of it all.

The artist: Asher Roth
Where he's from: NY via Philly

Where are you going next?

I don't know. I'm probably going to wander for a little bit and see what's up. I have no set plans. It would be nice to see Trash Talk but I think that's out of the question. If not, I'll probably go to sleep. It's almost 4 a.m., you know?

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Top Five Train-Wreck Rappers

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The Berkley-based rapper Lil B plays the Highline Ballroom on Thursday; for curious New York gawkers, it's a chance to see the world's foremost proponent of a new movement you could kindly term train-wreck rappers -- those artists whose every youthful indiscretion, ill-advised comment, physical altercation, allegation over their sexual orientation, and casual nod toward controversy is projected around the world via the wonders of the Internet. It's like reality-TV rap, where the fun comes in waiting and watching for the derailment, and talking about the idea of the artist is more fun than actually listening to their songs. So in honor of the kid who makes Antoine Dodson seem like the third coming of Rakim, here are five of the current movement's biggest stars.

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The 10 Best Posse Cuts of 2010 (So Far)

Posse cuts are like friendlier versions of the WWE's Royal Rumble -- a platform designed to showcase all of the stars in the game, both up-and-coming and certified. Think back to the Main Source's 1991 "Live At The Barbecue," featuring Akinyele, Joe Fatal, and the debut of a rapper named Nas, or Big Pun's "Banned From TV" remix, featuring the murderer's row of N.O.R.E., Nature, Cam'ron, Jadakiss, and Styles P. More recently, there's been 2008's "Swagger Like Us"--T.I., Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and M.I.A.--or last year's "Forever," featuring Drake, Kanye West, Eminem, and Lil Wayne.

This year in particular, the posse cut seems to be in vogue. Kanye West has been the most visible artist to use the posse cut approach recently, stacking the majority of his G.O.O.D. Friday freebies with numerous MCs and singers. West also recently announced "All Of The Lights", the third single from his upcoming album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, will feature 11 artists (including Elton John!). But it's not just West calling all MCs to the booth. For whatever reason, great rappers have been teaming up a lot lately, and the result has been a hip-hop fan's wet dream. Every week, there's either some new remix or original song with numerous MCs trying to lay down the verse fans will talk about long after the song is playing. Here are ten of 2010's best posse cuts so far, complete with a verdict on who won each one:

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Please Welcome the #FreeScooter Hashtag, Perhaps the Most Ridiculous Element in a Campaign to Free Justin Bieber's Manager From Nassau County Jail

Now, leaving aside the semantics of the "Free ____" meme, let's just review here for a second. Back in November, word of a scheduled appearance by the young Island Def Jam signee and Usher protégé Justin Bieber at Long Island's Roosevelt Field Mall resulted in a stampede that shattered the arm of one chaperone and drew blood from several others. First the cops threatened to arrest Bieber; then they settled for arresting Island Def Jam Senior Vice President James Roppo for the legally baffling crime of failing to announce on his Twitter account that the signing had been cancelled. Next up to face those same charges? Scott "Scooter" Braun, Bieber's manager, who allegedly waited nearly two hours to warn fans off via Twitter and is now facing up to a year on charges of reckless endangerment. Hence: #FreeScooter, currently tearing up the accounts of Twittering teenagers all across this country.

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Asher Roth Has A New Mixtape Called Seared Foie Gras With Quince And Cranberry

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Continuing on that oh-fuck-it Vampire Weekend class-baiting route, I see, and why not. Everyone's favorite white rapper is back at it, folks: The first three tracks are "Muddy Swim Trunks," "Toni Braxton," and "Pubic Garden," which triangulates things well enough. Download it here.

By Popular Demand, Asher Roth Weighs in On Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

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Aw, shaddap.

Video Finally Surfaces From the Converse Band of Ballers Tournament

HOT 97 belatedly posts footage from Converse's Band of Ballers tournament. The details will be familiar to you by now. But should you be a scout for an opposing team, the video evidence that Asher Roth is terrible at basketball--and that Jones rides a mean skateboard--may come in handy. Also, it turns out HOT 97 will absolutely refuse to film anyone who isn't a rapper and/or video chick. Sorry Matt & Kim, Diplo, and basically everyone else who was there that day. Your legacy will live on in pictures.

Hot 97 & Converse Band Of Ballers Tournament [Rap Radar]

Live from the Converse Band of Ballers: Mad Decent Loses, Fool's Gold Wins, and Jim Jones Takes Home A Golden (Spraypainted) Trophy

all photos by Puja Patel
The Brooklyn Crew's aggressive (and we suspect, inebriated) group of fans

Converse Band of Ballers
Wednesday, August 12

Yesterday's Converse Band of Ballers was as much of a shit-talking contest as it was a three-on-three tournament. The invite-only event went down at the Church gym in SoHo to a crowd of no more than 200 team friends and affiliates, contest winners, and an overwhelming number of Converse staff members. The All-Star team coaches were Jim Jones (The Jones Family), Asher Roth (The Roth Boys), Diplo (Mad Decent), A-Trak (Fool's Gold), Matt and Kim (The Brooklyn Crew) and Pac Div (... Pac Div). DJ Cipha Sounds was behind the turntables; Hot 97's Miss Info and Peter Rosenberg were on the lighthearted banter. With the exception of Mad Decent's rebellious POPO bros, who both wore neon-print shorts, the teams were, of course, decked head-to-toe in Converse gear--by the number of video cameras on the court, we're sure the game will become an ad campaign for the sponsors. As for the winners, they would go home with bragging rights, a new pair of sneakers and a golden (definitely spray-painted gold) trophy.

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