Giant Step Resident: All Points West with Jay Z, Q Tip, The Pharcyde & more

libertyBy Mawuse Ziegbe


The 2009 All Points West Music and Arts Festival in New Jersey’s Liberty State Park was kinda like an open-air high school lunchroom where shaggy rockers, glittery rappers, and freewheeling artsy kids all held court in their respective corners. Spotty showers soaked the first day of the weekend-long festival which left dedicated (a.k.a. fool-headed) fans tramping through glutinous mud to the sounds of Vampire Weekend, The Knux and Peanut Butter Wolf. The Pharcyde rocked loopy hits like “Runnin’” and “Passin’ Me By.” The original line-up was in full effect – including a formerly dreadlocked Tre sporting an appropriately Jersey Corleone hat – and showed love to J. Dilla by playing Slum Village jams like “Raise It Up.” Q-Tip deployed his trademark energy, grooving through Tribe’s hits and busting out a quirky yet charming cover of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.”

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A Birthday Celebration for Michael Jackson with Q-Tip, Mark Ronson and DJ Spinna

On Saturday, August 29 – what would have been Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday – Q-Tip presents “Long Live the King! A Birthday Celebration for Michael Jackson” at the NOKIA Theatre Times Square. Q-Tip will be joined in the DJ booth by special invited guests producer/artist Mark Ronson and the legendary DJ Spinna.

“Michael Jackson was a huge influence on my music and was an inspiration to me and so many others. I want to bring people together to celebrate the man, his music and his legacy that will undoubtedly live on forever!” states Q-Tip.

The event will honor the King of Pop and celebrate his influence on generations of artists and fans across the globe. Attendees will dance the night away to never-before-heard remixes of Michael Jackson’s hits, as well as rare video footage from the Motown and Sony vaults.

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Giant Step Resident 48: Summertime

6By Mawuse Ziegbe

Monday morning I woke up in a rumpled tank top with my cell phone plastered onto the side of my face, an ache in my thighs, and vodka sloshing through my veins. This level of abject foolishness means only one thing: summertime! It’s July but for a lot of New Yorkers making do with a pittance of sunshine, summer has just only begun. But even through a completely soaked June, some of us kept our dispositions on the sunny tip like singer Miz Metro. She premiered her bubbly video “Trashion” – a montage of her flouncing about the LES – at her recent SOB’s mixtape release party. While her fussy outfits and re-purposed Metro Card accessories evoke a street artist/trustafarian trying to “find herself,” her music is actually warm and effortless. Toasty soul from zany white chicks is usually pretty fun.

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