Favorite

ISWHAT?! 

Featuring Hamid Drake and the Albert Ayler Awareness Orchestra. Tuesday, March 6, at the Beachland.

Hip-hop has flourished for nearly 30 years, yet many music snobs continue to discredit the genre, pointing to its use of samples and reliance on machines as a lack of true musicianship. While the validity of those points is endlessly debated, there's plenty of rap groups that do use live instrumentation; Cincinnati's ISWHAT?! has been doing so since 1997. However, vocalist Napoleon Maddox doesn't see a big contrast between man and machine. "It's all about the feelings you get when you hear it," he explains. "It could be lips, sticks, and stones -- or sampled, chopped-up street traffic -- but if it moves you, it moves you."

Besides Maddox and saxophonist- flutist Jack Walker, the group is aided by a revolving cast of musicians, including jazz drummer and Herbie Hancock collaborator Hamid Drake who'll be touring with them in support of their latest disc, The Life We Chose. "I think jazz has had an influence on everyone living, period -- let alone hip-hop artists," says Maddox, discussing the album's unique blend of the two styles. Then again, Maddox doesn't care about swaying the naysayers. "We don't set out to rescue hip-hop. We just want to touch people."

Speaking of Show Preview

Latest in Livewire

More by Eddie Fleisher

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • CIM/CWRU Joint Music Program @ Cleveland Museum of Art

    • First Wednesday of every month. Continues through May 3
  • Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: A CJO Christmas @ Hanna Theatre

    • Fri., Dec. 9
  • John Cleese and the Holy Grail @ Akron Civic Theatre

    • Sat., Dec. 10

© 2016 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation