Jean Grae Presents An Instructional Album For Adults

Jean Grae in Life With Jeannie

Being an adult is very hard for very many people. Jean Grae knows this and has written a handy eleven-track musical commentary on it titled That's Not How You Do That: An Instructional Album For Adults. It opens with the scatted observation, "That's not how you do that/ How about you fuckin' grow up?" and also includes the righteous call to arms "A Handle Means PULL" and "Use Your Fucking Headphones." You should stop whatever fuckery you're indulging in at the moment and go and procure it now.

While you do that, here's Jean answering a bunch of questions based on the contents of her new album. (Warning: Includes talk of kale salad, L train subway stress, and waitstaff interactions.)

See also: Jean Grae Picks Christmas Sweaters For Talib Kweli, Sean Price and Pharoahe Monch

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Bl'ast From the Past: Santa Cruz Punks Return to NYC After 25 Year Absence

Categories: Interviews

[UPDATE: Oops. It turns out Bl'ast won't be back out east after all, as vocalist Clifford Dinsmore has come down with a nasty ear infection. This interview with him, though, is pretty great, so you should read it anyway. Enjoy. And always know no one can cancel the mosh pit in your mind!]

Santa Cruz California's Bl'ast! were certainly one of the more peculiar bumps to pop up on the American Hardcore landscape in the '80s. Formed under the name M.A.D in 1982, the band was initially deemed too influenced by fellow Californians Black Flag to be taken seriously. For further proof, check out Flag vocalist Henry Rollin's scathing mention of them in his well-known tour diary bio, Get in the Van.

But oddly enough, it was when the band signed to Black Flag's label SST in 1985 that they finally found their own footing. Immersed in the labels' weed-fueled aesthetic and matchless roster of bands, Bl'ast! carved out their own disturbing sonic niche within the label which culminated with the release of their final LP in 1989, the falsely maligned Take The Manic Ride, and their break-up soon after.

See also: The Oral History of NYC's Metal/Hardcore Crossover

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Meet Bobby Shmurda: The Rapper That Has You (and Beyoncé) Doing the Shmoney Dance

Categories: Interviews

Bobby Shmurda
Bobby Shmurda
Bobby Shmurda is having the best summer ever. After bubbling in his native Flatbush, the 20-year-old has skyrocketed from relative obscurity to viral star upon the heels of "Shmoney Dance." The track and its swaying, dance accompaniment are the stuff that Vine dreams are made of. It's no wonder the video has generated millions of views and propagated a slew of hilarious parodies, including one set to the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way."

It was only a matter of time before hip-hop took notice. In June, Meek Mill invited Bobby to perform with him at the famed King of Diamonds strip club, while Raekwon brought out the neophyte onstage at the 2014 Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Drake did his version of the dance while hosting the ESPYS, but the pièce de résistance came when both Beyonce and Jay Z gave a nod to "Shmoney Dance" on their On The Run tour at the MetLife Stadium last week.

See also: Christina Aguilera Is a Better Performer Than Beyoncé

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The Comedy Rap Improv of North Coast

Categories: Interviews

Courtesy North Coast
There seems to be a lot of parallels between the worlds of freestyle rapping and improv comedy, so it shouldn't be that surprising that hip-hop improv troupe North Coast is thriving. Recently celebrating five years together, North Coast have spent their summer doing their brand of musical improv across the country, as well as every Saturday night at The Pit, which has just been extended through September. We spoke to two of the group's founding members, James T. Robilotta and Douglas Widick, about bringing freestyle rhymes into the realm of improv and how they've kept their style so fresh.

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Exclusive: French Montana Signs Velous to Coke Boys, Says "I Love His Style"

Categories: Interviews

Velous and French Montana
Velous, French Montana, and manager Gaby Acevedo
Kingston, New York isn't known for much--most New Yorkers probably couldn't pinpoint the small town some 90 miles away if you asked--but French Montana wants to put it on the hip-hop map. The Bronx rapper has just signed Kingston native Velous to his Coke Boys label, joining a roster that already features Chicago drill ascendant Lil Durk, producer Harry Fraud, and Queens rapper Chinx.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time

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RuPaul's Drag Race Superstar Jinkx Monsoon Show Us How to Shake Water Off a Duck's Back

Categories: Interviews

Courtesy of Girlie Action // Credit: Jose Guzman Colon
Jinkx Monsoon
In Season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race, the world was blessed with the knowledge that the quirky and sweet queen named Jinkx Monsoon existed. Monsoon had an old-fashioned heart and vintage style that accompanied a very real musical talent. Since then, Monsoon had to crown a new queen as America's Next Top Drag Superstar, but it's not as if she's not busy seeing her star continue to rise.

This year alone, she has already released The Inevitable Album, a mix of both old-school camp and modern indie rock, and reprised her starring role in The Vaudevillians in NYC just this past month. Jinkx and the talented actor and singer who brings her to life, Jerick Hoffer, were also the subject of a YouTube documentary titled Drag Becomes Him that will be turned into a feature-length doc for release later this summer.

We spoke with Hoffer about his many new projects and are pleased to offer a free download of Monsoon's single "The Bacon Shake" right after the jump.

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What's the Difference Between G.G. Allin's Hated and One Direction's This Is Us?

Categories: Interviews

Tonight at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg a crowd will gather to watch a man drink piss and wipe his own shit on his face. That's right, the theater is showing Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, the documentary about poop-smelling sour-faced asshole misogynist G.G. Allin and his punk band that terrorized New York City and masochistic audiences around the U.S. in the '80s and early '90s. You could say the film served as a prequel of sorts for director Todd Phillips' Hangover trilogy, and if you wanted to say that to his face you could tonight, as Phillips will be on hand at Nitehawk for a Q&A after the film, which is being presented in a partnership with Noisey and will feature, in perhaps the greatest branding opp of all times, Absolut cocktails.

See also: Beliebers on One Direction: "They're Nothing"

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Meet the Most Important Punk Artist in New York

Categories: Interviews

Courtesy Alex Heir
You've seen his art. The skulls, the decapitated cops, the homoerotic hardcore flyers. If you've ever thought of flirting with New York City's heavier underground--both with shows and with punk--you know the image.

His name is Alex Heir. He's the mastermind behind the clothing line Death/Traitors. When he's not designing shirts and exceptionally goth votive candles, he's playing in Survival, silk-screening band flyers, experimenting with unusual visual mediums. The man does not sleep.

We sat down with Heir at his Brooklyn apartment.

See also: Punk's Not Dead at a New Bushwick Flea Market Housed in Shipping Containers

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You Know What Dude? It's Robert Kelly Live From the Village Underground.

I'm from Boston and it's kind of a Boston thing.
Being viciously straightforward, devastatingly hilarious and cursing whenever possible is what we all know and love comedian Robert Kelly for. Oh, and for his excessive use of the word "dude" too. On Tuesday, June 17, he's taping his first special at the Village Underground and while it's sold out, not to worry because you can always get your "Bobby fix" through his wildly popular "You Know What Dude" podcast on The RiotCast Network. Before his big event goes down this Tuesday, we talked to this insanely funny guy to find out what else he's got going on and as it would turn out, we opened a Pandora's Box.

See also: Hannibal Buress: "Bombing Can Be Good"

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Taylor McFerrin on Working With His Dad (Yep...Bobby)

Categories: Interviews

Taylor McFerrin in deep concentration

"The album took me way longer to finish than I anticipated so just the feeling of letting go of the music has been personally rewarding," says the Brooklyn-based Taylor McFerrin about Early Riser, his debut long-player for Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder stable. "Now I feel like a fool for not putting it out earlier."

During Early Riser's near-six-year gestation period, McFerrin has been steadily etching out a position for himself as a beat-based renaissance man: His talents include composing and producing, playing the piano and deejaying, and this blend of abilities turns the 12-track project into an urbane and nuanced listen, with savvy guest vocal spots balanced by lush periods of spacey instrumentation. (Taylor is also the son of Bobby McFerrin, who graces Early Riser with guest vocals.)

Ahead of a celebratory post-album release show at Lot 45 on Tuesday, June 17, as part of the Red Bull Sound Select series, here's Taylor talking through early versions of the recording, working with his father, and the time he proposed to his then-girlfriend while performing on stage with Early Riser guest triller Emily King.

See also: Once a Princess: Nitty Scott, MC, Emerges from Disney Fantasy to Gritty Reality

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