Nearly every artist on the roster of acclaimed hip-hop label Quannum Projects has signed on for an April North American tour, Billboard.com has learned.
Nearly every artist on the roster of acclaimed hip-hop label Quannum Projects has signed on for an April North American tour, Billboard.com has learned. The trek will feature DJ Shadow, Blackalicious' Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab performing together and solo, Lifesavas, Joyo Velarde and Latryx's Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truth Speaker.
Quannum general manager Isaac Bess tells Billboard.com the label has a host of releases on tap for 2004, beginning with the first solo album from Gift of Gab. Due Feb. 28, "Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up" was produced by Seattle-based Jake One and Vitamin D and sports a guest spot by Vursatyl of Lifesavas. A commercial single for "The Writz" backed with "Just Because" can be ordered through Quannum's official Web site.
Chief Xcel's project with Lateef, dubbed Maroons, will release an EP in March, followed by a full-length later in the year. Xcel and Gab have also begun work on the next Blackalicious album, the follow-up to 2002's Shortlist Prize-nominated "Blazing Arrow." In addition, Xcel spearheaded a mix of Fela Kuti material for the French label Barclay, which Quannum will release sometime in 2004.
On the heels of his first album in six years, 2002's "The Private Press," DJ Shadow is working on a third compilation of rare soul and R&B tracks, in the vein of such prior releases as "Schoolhouse Funk" and "Mickey and the Soul Generation." No release date has yet been pegged down for the collection.
Further Quannum projects include remix albums for both Lifesavas and Lyrics Born, with confirmed participation from Morcheeba, Jay-Dee, Ugly Duckling and Dilated Peoples' Evidence. Lyrics Born's collaborator/fiancee Joyo Velarde is two-thirds finished with her solo debut, executive produced by Lyrics Born.