Words, pic & video all by Ms. Edwards
While it’s quite obvious that live bands dramatically enhance the experience of any performance, their usage is relatively sparse in Hip-Hop. Black Milk’s Album of The Year ranks as a personal favorite from 2010. Its rich, soulful instrumentals were ideal compliments to Black’s very personal and introspective lyrics. Already known for his production work, Black opted to don a musical director cap by implementing and leading a live band in playing his MPC-crafted beats. He not only utilized these musicians – phenomenal drummer Daru Jones, skilled keyboardist AB and Malik Hunter on bass – in the recording process, but also incorporated the band as a mainstay of his live show during the Album Of The Year tour.
Beginning in September of 2010 and concluding in February of this year, Black and the band crossed North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand with each show bringing more energy than the last. Once they reached the quaint, but historic New York venue of SOB’s in February, the level of performance was tuned and reverberated heavy enough to rock a stadium. And for this second installment of the newly minted series The Backbeat, we spoke with Black to get the break down on his approach when using a live band, both in studio and on stage.
Special thanks to Bill Sharp, Hex Murda, Lauren M. Marsh and Mr. Mass™.