For those that don’t know or are based outside of the New York area, the annual CMJ Music Marathon and Film festival invaded the city. With over 10,000 acts performing multiple shows over the course of four days, CMJ always guarantees a lot to take in. After 20 years, the festival has taken on an entirely new life of its own, and is now looked at as the perfect launching pad for both new and upcoming artists looking to break into the industry in a major way.
All music genres are represented at CMJ, and a number of the events mix up the types of artists and genres so that more of the general audience, potential fans, and music buyers, can get a taste of all of the different musical flavors. Since its inception, CMJ has had artists like Eminem, Q-Tip, Yelawolf, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, and more take on different roles as performers and speakers throughout the festival’s four-day run.
At one of many CMJ showcases taking place at S.O.B.’s, a number of up-and-coming artists rocked short sets for a full house. The night was dubbed “The Collab,” and was being promoted through the Leaders of the New Cool and Hustlepalooza. Artists like Get Busy Committee, Nakim, Sir Michael Rocks, Iggy Azalea, Kris Kasanova, Mr. MF eXquire, Tuki Carter, Troy Ave., Skeme, and Action Bronson were all on the bill and all equally did their thing on stage. The power-packed night closed with a surprise performance from Mos Def, who was playing spectator in a more private section of the venue for a majority of the night.
Among the topics discussed with most of the artists was the importance of CMJ for launching new artists' careers, what everyone is working on music-wise, and some general thoughts about their peers and the music industry. Check out what the artists AllHipHop.com got to speak had to say that night:
The Harlem native whose recent ode to Young Jeezy, “We Need Jeezy,” has been making quite the impact online, spoke on CMJ's incorporation in other cities and what it means to him to be performing there. He also schooled those that don’t know Nakim on what they need to know about him.
Get Busy Committee
The Hip-Hop group consisting of rappers Ryu and Apathy and producer Scoop Deville has been making a considerable amount of noise over the past two years. While all members of the group rap on their tracks, Scoop, who has produced for the likes of Snoop Dogg, Murs, Game, and Fat Joe, handles all production duties. They recently released their new mixtape, Opening Ceremony, to help promote the new album of the same name dropping in early 2012. See what else they had to say below:
Not only is Tuki Carter a top-notch lyricist and performer, he is also one of the most renowned tattoo artists in Hip-Hop. Over the years, Tuki has inked up Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose, and more. Among the many projects he's a part of, his new mixtape, Atlantafornication, is set to drop sometime before the end of the year.
The Inglewood, Californnia rapper, whose biggest inspiration is music itself, stopped to talk about his relationship with the other artists performing that night, the differences between New York and California, and what fans can expect from him going forward. His mixtape, The Statement, is available now for download, and the follow-up, The Statement 2, is currently in the works.
Showing up for a surprise appearance during his boy Skeme’s set, Columbia Records’ Hip-Pop artist T. Mills spent a few minutes with AllHipHop.com talking about how the type of music he makes fits into the bigger Hip-Hop landscape, and more.
“Mr. Harry Powder” has had no problem making a name for himself as of late. The Brooklyn bred rapper is a high energy and gritty lyricist with his eyes set on the prize. His “real talk” approach to his music has helped Troy become a new staple in the re-emergence of New York Rap. Check out the video below for an interesting story about that night’s performance, his relationship with Mobb Deep member Prodigy, as well as details on what fans can expect next from his music and beyond.
Always one to give some of the most humorous interviews, on this night, Action Bronson didn't disappoint. The showcase headliner spoke on not really knowing what CMJ was, but said he was glad to perform at so many different shows. His Well Done album with Statik Selektah is being released on November 22, and he's also hooked up with Asher Roth recently. Find out more below:
Despite hour-long lines and wall-to-wall crowds, the CMJ experience is worth the yearlong wait between festivals. A number of companies, firms, and sponsors threw their own events, such as Converse’s "True Till Def," which featured Action Bronson, AraabMUZIK, Mr. MF eXquire, and a number of thrash metal bands. There was also the "Duck Down vs. BlackSmith" showcase that featured acts from both rosters like Talib Kweli, Kidz In the Hall, Smif-N-Wessun, Buckshot, Statik Selektah, and many more. CMJ seems to be endless, and finding “the place to be” on a particular night can turn into a small problem. But, the fact of the matter is that during CMJ, everywhere is the place to be.
For more information, check out CMJ.com