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It’s hard to look at Troy Ave and not see the old school New York hip hop from him rocking the Adidas to the trademark jeep. A year filled with so many people claiming king and battling, Troy Ave has kept his head down and continued to work. In addition to the series of promotional videos with many of hip hop’s acclaimed journalists, Troy Ave leaked the track listing for his album. Two years later, Diggy Simmons is two weeks away from releasing Unexpected Arrival and he has been living up to the name. Atlantic Records recently hosted a listening session at Tribeca Cinemas in Downtown New York City. 1991’s New Jack City, a formulaic story of drug kingpin (Wesley Snipes) and the undercover cop trying to take him down (Ice-T), may feel like digging into a time-capsule of music, fashion and social ills, but it also paints a subtle picture of the musical tug of war circa 1990 between counter-culture Rap and its commercial cousin New Jack Swing.
Snipes’ Nino Brown is no Scarface, and the characters make a point of referencing it several times in the film to prove it. His foil is Ice-T’s Scotty, here in his acting debut, plays a surprisingly small role, helping Chris Rock’s character kick his cocaine habit, and in general sneering a lot.
What makes the film work is the subtle integration of music and fashion to flesh out the sense of place and the feeling of their world. With the aide of hindsight, the casting of an idealistic Ice-T against a crew of cynical drug dealers mirrors the struggle between Rap and the popular genre of New Jack Swing in the development of hip hop. On the other side, once Snipes and his gang become entirely commercially focused, they rake in the dough, don jazzy new low-top fades with immaculate shaved hair designs and bright suits, and host big dance parties featuring New Jack Swing pioneer Teddy Riley, as well as Flava Flav and Fab 5 Freddy (also one of the film’s producers). Hip hop is the main ingredientSince 2007, The Find has been dedicated to promoting the diffusion of hip hop with jazz, funk, soul, and related styles.
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New York City is made up of five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. NYC is rightfully known for its nightlife, whether that means an open bar, an evening of DJs spinning mixes on turntables or a wild scene set around a functioning hot tub in the center of a dance floor. Party people Ladyfag and Seva Granik present this occasional barn burner, featuring loud music and a gay crowd. The Bed-Stuy bar with surprisingly good music and queer clientele plays host to this monthly party, which pays tribute to the tweezed, waxed and plucked celebrity disasters of the previous decade. This popular weekly party takes place in the basement of West Village mainstay The Monster. Enjoy live jazz, handcrafted cocktails and a bevy of beauties who (literally) shake their tail feathers.
DJ Jonathan Toubin and friends man the decks, playing a mix of rare and vintage rock and soul. Expect adult entertainment at this long-running vaudeville-style shindig, where dance acts are punctuated with comedy performances (or is that the other way around?). This long-running monthly celebrates good times with disco, funk, hip-hop and the like, so gear up for a night of dancing.
The South Williamsburg lounge hosts this weekly reggae party, helmed by DJ Gringo and his collection of dancehall, lovers rock and other genres more suitable to the Caribbean, but no less welcome in the five boroughs.

Dance lovers get their fix every Wednesday night at this Meatpacking club from DJs Louie Vega and Kevin Hedge. Legendary Harlem jazz club Minton's hosts a series of themed evenings any audiophile ought to enjoy. Celebrate the midweek in deep Bushwick with some great music and dancing at the Happy Fun Hideaway. For decades, unknown performers have taken to this famed NYC stage in hopes of becoming a star.
This androgynously named dance party is open to all who enjoy moving to an exceptionally fun beat. Just Blaze and DJ Soul helm this weekly shindig, bringing all things hip-hop to the East Village.
This weekly party at the Williamsburg dance club features guests like Bonobo (Ninja Tune), Museum of Love (DFA) and Claude VonStroke (Dirtybird). The Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum, which will be the city’s first institution focused on the popular music genre, is headed for midtown and Harlem.
It will feature memorabilia items such as jackets, turntables and posters donated by artists like Run-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Outkast, Young Jeezy, Common, Eminem, Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataam, according to the museum’s organizer.
The museum’s midtown location, which will be located near Times Square, will boast similar amenities in its 50,000-square-foot space — in addition to 90-minute tours and an interactive exhibit for fans. About $50 million has already been raised, and an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign has been launched to collect $500,000 more, he added. Organizers hope to break ground in the summer of 2015 and open the museum to the public in 2017.
The “Four Fathers” of hip hop — Afrika Bambaataa, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Grandmaster Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz Brown — had pushed for the city’s first hip hop museum to be based in the Bronx, the birth place of hip hop. Three days before the official release of New York City, Troy Ave has revealed the tracks and features from Tony Yayo, aside from the guests on the title track.
Due to his parentage, there were many who felt Diggy Simmons would not be cut out for the rap game. Unexpected Arrival was played for insiders of the hip hop industry and the executives of Atlantic Records. So while Spike Lee and the like were making richly textured social commentary, Mario Van Peebles’s directorial debut instead delivers a straight-up genre film bordering on Blaxploitation, becoming the highest grossing independent film for the year of its release. Set during the crack epidemic in New York City, mid-80s, we see the rise to power of a ruthless young crack dealer Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) and his highly disciplined gang, while undercover cops Scotty (Ice-T) and Peretti (Judd Nelson) try to infiltrate the group with the help of former crack-head Pookie (Chris Rock). Snipes isn’t a tragic figure corrupted by power, instead he’s a highly intelligent young businessman with no compunction about abusing the poor and disenfranchised to make himself a quick buck, meanwhile talking a big game about social injustice and economic inequality to excuse himself.
Later he infiltrates Snipes’ gang, but the two don’t get enough scenes together to quite sell it.
All of the characters know that despite their big talk and their lavish spending, the gang believes in nothing except money. With a techno throwdown featuring some of the biggest names in dance music, this is not your grandfather’s polka party. Jo Boobs, Harvest Moon, Gal Friday and others keep the entertainment classy, though not safe for work. One recent playlist included "Black Velvet" by Alannah Myles and "Crush on You" by Lil Kim. Sundays at Le Bain (one of the aforementioned drinking dens), Nouveau York holds sway from 9pm to 2am.

This long-running evening celebrates the illusory arts with entertainers who specialize in sleight of hand, mentalism, juggling and the like. The duo offers a selection of Latin- and jazz-influenced beats, and they help anchor the City's house-music scene.
The inclusive LGBTQ bar features a young and eclectic crowd that's representative of the lively mix of this Brooklyn neighborhood. In 1964, a young man named Jimi Hendrix won first prize for his skills with an electric guitar. Expect special guests and other well-known promoters to help bring the noise, including Va$htie, DJ Huggy Bear and DJ Sliink. Even if those names mean absolutely nothing to you, know that dancing will occur, and that you should participate. Representing his city properly, Troy Ave is preparing to turn in his debut album, New York City: The Album. The song has received a massive amount of radio-play and has been well-received by critics.
No one had anything negative to say about the album, but they revealed the album was more geared toward his teen audience, as opposed to the overall hip hop market. Peebles’ approach is far from subtle, especially when dealing with such a complex problem like drug abuse in urban American, but his fervour and earnestness is so well intentioned that its possible to forgive its clumsiness. The charismatic young star Wesley Snipes really dominates, generating an intense and imposing screen presence as a truly magnificent bastard, while supporting roles from Allen Payne (who of course starred alongside Chris Rock in CB4, discussed last week), Bill Nunn and Mario van Peebles flesh out a fine cast which struggles with some pretty standard material.
When later in the film he uses a 4-year-old girl as a body-shield and executes one of his closest friends, it’s purely business.
Not quite hip hop, but borrowing elements of it, a vocals-based approach fusing drum machines with synthetic instruments and RnB and dance rhythms, the genre is a near constant fixture in the film’s soundtrack (here overseen by Michel Colombier, a name long familiar to soundtrack buffs).
His whose own politics in his rap career match that of his character, who has fought hard to climb out of a gang background. Its not an entirely fair or true assessment of the motives behind New Jack Swing (except perhaps from the point of view of hip hop purists), nor do I believe it was considered by anyone involved in the film’s production, but it’s a useful analogy to explain how the two disparate styles might have appealed to different ideals in the urban community in the wake of the Reagan era, and how genuine musical movements were co-opted by commercial music interests.
Get your groove on to a raw and pumping bass, and hear some of the hippest electronic beats drop at the weekly rave.
The weekly celebration of spacey sounds and laid-back dance vibes features frequent guest DJs and a well-heeled crowd of appreciative party people. Which is not to say the filming is incompetent, as many of the action scenes are very well done (particularly the sequence where Ice T’s cops raid a heavily populated crack den). It almost functions as a Greek chorus, providing literal context to scenes, as in a scene where a New Jack Soul Quartet shiver and sing around a flaming barrel while we see a montage of Nino’s gang violently clearing out a housing tenement. If you want to be obvious about it (and I do), the undercover cop character is literally underground. Past DJs have included MSTRKRFT, Justice, Simian Mobile Disco, Vitalic, A-Trak, Bloody Beetroots, Rusko, Neon Indian and more.
The mixtape soon landed Diggy Simmons a meeting with Atlantic Records who gave him the greenlight to record a new album.

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