Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn
124 Market Place
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
The most prolific and productive record-maker in the Wu-Tang Clan pantheon, Def Jam core artist Ghostface Killah has completed his 16th career album – and his 6th solo album for Def Jam – APOLLO KIDS, set to arrive in stores on December 21st. In addition to guest appearances by Wu-Tang Clansmen Raekwon, GZA, Method Man, and Cappadonna, APOLLO KIDS also boasts star turns by Redman, Busta Rhymes, Sheek Louch, The Game, Jim Jones, and many more.
APOLLO KIDS is – amazingly – Ghost's third original studio project in just over one year. It follows up his previous solo album, The Wizard Of Poetry (released September 2009), in which he attracted an A-list of duet partners including fellow Def Jam artists Kanye West & Ne-Yo (on the closing track, "Back Like That"), John Legend, Raheem 'Radio' DeVaughn, Fabolous & Shareefa, Lloyd, Vaughn Anthony & Estelle, and others.
Prior to The Wizard's release, Ghost spent July-August 2009 on the road with Method Man and Redman, keeping the Wu-Tang Clan spirit alive and well on the month-long, 21-city Foot Print in Hip-Hop Tour. The tour was attended by Ghost's legions of fans, who have been tuning in to The World According to Pretty Toney long enough to know that "he doesn't so much deliver rhymes as narrate graphically detailed scenes, rife with violence, passion and a little humor," as USA Today once wrote.
More recently, Wu Massacre (March 2010), a collaboration with Method Man and Raekwon, was as close to a W-TC reunion on record as history has seen in the three years since the group's last album, 8 Diagrams. Wu Massacre was a collectors' dream, with three separate album covers – one for Ghost, one for Meth, one for Raekwon – created by famed DC and Marvel graphic master Chris Bachalo. 300 randomly distributed copies of Wu Massacre contained Bachalo's original un-inked pencil sketch of one of the three explosive color covers. Those ultra-rare inserts now rank among the Maltese Falcons of hip-hop limited editions.
Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn
The story begins in 1998 as budding hip-hop producer Adrian Younge finds himself confined by the limitations of the MPC. He begins teaching himself how to play various instruments so he can fully realize his vision. First it was keyboards, then drums, sax, guitar, and bass. Fascinated with the sounds of Italian soundtracks by the likes of Ennio Morricone, Younge begins work on the soundtrack to the fictional film Venice Dawn, recording the album intermittently over the course of the next year. What developed was a sound equal parts Morricone and Air. Self-released, the entire album was composed, arranged, and played by Younge. Only a thousand CDs were pressed, replete with faux soundtrack album art designed by Younge himself. Sold mostly in the L.A. area, the CD became collectable among those in the know.
Fast forward to 2008, and Younge finds himself at the center of the Black Dynamite zeitgeist. Instrumental in the film's development, Younge not only edited the film, but composed the original score as well. Hailed as a modern blaxploitation masterpiece, the Black Dynamite score solidified Younge's position as a force to be reckoned with on the new worldwide soul and funk scene.
Taking some time off after the success of Black Dynamite, Younge began revisiting some of his earlier work from Venice Dawn and envisioned a new sound that would take the blaxploitation of Black Dynamite and mesh it with the more left-field sounds of Venice Dawn, eventually deciding to bring everything full circle by releasing the material under the Venice Dawn moniker. This new LP, titled Something About April, will be released this fall on Wax Poetics Records, with the first single, "It's Me," coming in August.
In correlation with the release of the new LP, Wax Poetics Records is reissuing a digital-only EP version of the original Venice Dawn album for free. Its rerelease eleven years later connects the dots between Black Dynamite, Younge's early work, and his newest album, Something About April.