Live: Action Bronson Causes Christmas In August At Music Hall Of Williamsburg

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Action Bronson w/Flatbush Zombies, Meyhem Lauren, Tanya Morgan
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Thursday, August 23

Better than: Hip-hop actually dying back when Nas called it in 2006.

What was Action Bronson going to do?

Last night, around midnight, the Flatbush Zombies, accompanied by A$AP Rocky, left the Music Hall of Williasmburg stage after whipping the crowd into an orgiastic frenzy of adrenaline. Crowd surfers numbered in the double digits; mosh pits sprang up like sudden whirlpools in a tempest. The energy was so high that the Zombies decided to film an impromptu video. How could Flushing behemoth Action Bronson hope raise the bar?

Well, after Halloween comes Christmas and Bronson played Rap Santa. He threw what looked to be about half a pound of high-grade marijuana, split up into dime bags, into the crowd. He also gave out shoes and steaks. You are not misreading that sentence. Steaks—two, from the rapper's favorite restaurant, Peter Luger's, and wrapped up nicely to go—were tossed into the crowd. As you can imagine, the crowd was pleased by these shows of generosity. They nearly lost their collective goddamn minds for good, some in the grand pursuit of weed and others just reacting to the sheer spectacle, a Robin Hood-slash-Henry VII figure committing a crime for the good of the people.

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Download Tanya Morgan's Breezy, Brazil-Inspired "Whatever That's Mine"

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After 2009's landmark Brooklynati (immortalized on YIMBY's Best Local Music of 2009 Mixtape and a slew of excellent solo releases, Tanya Morgan, New York's greatest living heirs to De La Soul is Dead, have finally returned. Their nine-track EP ARMY Edition (out November 22) comes in a "a transitional period" for the group: Founding member Ilyas has left the fold and TM is moving forward, navigating the new hip-hop model as an unsigned duo (their next stop is an album with Bronx rapper/producer 6th Sense).

"Brooklynati was the album we were trying to make this whole time, so for me I felt like, 'OK, now what?' says Von Pea. "At the top of this year, everything was different. It's like, graduating college and moving to a new city. You have to make this new beginning on your own. The best news is we now have an answer to the 'OK now what?' and the first answer is this EP." First single, the breezy "Whatever That's Mine," pushes ever-forward with a boinging bassline and Brazilian-tinged sample-work reminiscent of Dilla's Pharcyde compositions, while the pair tirelessly back-and-forth about staying on path, no matter what.

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New York Rappers Talk Their Worst Summer Jobs

Image via Darrell Bell
Hip-hop is the world's most brazenly capitalist genre of music. If Jay-Z's not talking about playing Monopoly with real cash, then Kanye West's tweeting about the cherub-motifed Persian rugs and golden goblets he's just scored at Fishs Eddy. But while certain rotund rap types would have you believe they were running extensive criminal enterprises before they decided to pursue a career in rhymed verse, the truth is more mundane. Most rappers suffer the rite of working demoralizing dead-end jobs while attempting to jump-start their careers and clock up music industry cash, whether it's the Wu-Tang Clan's Method Man greeting tourists at the Statue of Liberty, Biggie bagging groceries at a Met Foods supermarket, or Kanye's mush-mouthed rapping friend Consequence ringing up monochromatic sweater vests at GAP. So when Fat Joe--who just so happens to have released a new album last week--opened his heart to us about sweating it out as a security guard one summer at a sneaker store, we decided to round up a whole batch of New York City's hardest-working rappers--including Prince Paul, El-P, Joell Ortiz, and Tanya Morgan's Von Pea and Donwill--and ask them to talk about their old temp-job blues. Their wretched stories are below.

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