Black Milk

As the buzz of many of hip hop’s young leaders-to-be evolves from loud commotion into hushed whispers, Black Milk has stayed relevant by remaining focused on creating music that endures. He’s achieved recognition from fans, critics, and his peers as one of the best producers around, and when coupling that talent with his sharp lyricism and stylish delivery as an emcee, Black has proven to be one of the most vital hip hop artists of his generation.

This is already clear to those who heard his 2008 album Tronic, which capped a successful and astonishingly prolific year (in which he also released collaborative full-length releases with rappers Bishop Lamont and Fat Ray, as well as producing the acclaimed solo album from Slum Village’s Elzhi). Tronic showcased a growth in production technique that few expected from a beatmaker best-known for chopping samples, as his signature drums were now peppered with live instrumentation and richer arrangements.

2009 looked to be another year of tremendous progress for Black Milk’s career. After touring Europe with his newly-formed band, consisting of drummer Daru Jones and keyboardist/singer AB, he returned home to Detroit ready to launch efforts on his next album. The year took an unexpected turn as his mentor Baatin of Slum Village–who Black credits with launching his professional career–suddenly passed away. Only weeks later, Black’s manager HexMurda fell into a coma and was paralyzed with a rare pontine stroke. The quick succession of these events eerily mirrored the abrupt deaths of Detroit legends J Dilla and Proof in 2006, stunning the close-knit hip hop community in the Motor City. Things only got worse for Black as he dealt with additional deaths within his family over the next few months. 2009 had become the most difficult year of his life.

As the year came to a close, he returned to recording, and announced that his next release would be audaciously titled Album of the Year. Black quickly explained that the title was referring to the course of events from the previous 12 months. Many fans and critics discounted that explanation, expressing either excitement or objection that he was brashly proclaiming that his work would be the year’s best before the year had even started.


Far from a melancholic work, Album of the Year once again sees Black Milk working to break new ground in hip hop production, and to both refine and redefine his sound. While continuing to construct the skeletons of the tracks on his same trusted AKAI MPC-2000 XL that he’s been using for years, he now employs a team of studio musicians and session players to add new layers of fat and muscle to his songs, with most of the players’ parts composed by the artist himself. A broad range of influence shines through in the tracks, with tinges of rock, reggae, and afrobeat joining his trademark hip hop bangers.

Other than the heavy contributions from both members of his live band (vocalist/keyboardist AB and drummer Daru Jones), the album exclusively features players and vocalists from his hometown of Detroit, including vocalist Melanie Rutherford, bassist Tim Shellabarger, and the versatile horn player and string arranger Sam Beaubien (who arranged horns and strings on Mayer Hawthorne’s A Strange Arrangement). The few guest raps are provided by Royce Da 5’9″, Elzhi, and newcomer Danny Brown.

Few artists in hip hop are able to create music that can rise above expectations and defy categorization. Black Milk welcomes the challenge to accomplish what others cannot, and he’s doing it not only with his acclaimed recordings but also with an electrifying live show. Performing with Daru and AB, the tracks are taken to another level on stage. Both Album of the Year and exciting live performances across the globe are sure to elevate Black Milk that much closer to the star status many have predicted.

Quelle Chris

Quelle was first introduced as a member of the legendary Detroit hip hop group Wasted Youth, an extension of the Breakfast Club which also included well known Detroit rappers Elzhi and Ta’Raach. After a stint in the indie rock and electronic scene as a member of two bands, Quelle returned to hip hop along with Detroit hip hop heavyweight House Shoes and released Blue Mondays. He then changed directions releasing two albums with the electro-hop group Awesome in Outer Space and an album with his group Crown Nation called “Slutbag Edition.” “SlutBag Edition,” which Elzhi has called one of “his favorite albums of 2009” and has often been referred to as a detroit classic, led to production collaborations with artists like Guilty Simpson and Fool’s Gold artist Danny Brown. After leading production on Danny Brown’s historic release “the Hybrid” and scoring acclaim from greats like Rah Digga, Just Blaze and A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, Quelle has returned to his roots as an emcee once again to bring balance back to the art from he was born to birth.

His newest project, “Shotgun and Sleek Rifle,” is a return and homage to his roots. With features from House Shoes, Danny Brown, Crown Nation member Denmark Vessey, New York’s Rock Marciano, and the group he started it all with, Wasted Youth. The album is a beautiful blend of soul and grunge, pulling both his deep roots in rock and his unmatched love for hip hop. As a teenager his mother asked Quelle what his ten year goal was; his response was “to fly and destroy planets.” This new album, my friends, promises to be the closest he’s come so far.

"I'm So Dallas," a track from hip-hop duo A.Dd+'s debut album When Pigs Fly, sets forth their Big D credentials with snippets of some of the city's biggest rap anthems. They don't come any more Dallas than the creator of the track — and A.Dd+'s official DJ — DJ Sober. The co-founder of the game-changing and genre-defying crew The Party, Sober can be found holding down the turntables everywhere in Dallas from Cowboys, Mavericks and FC Dallas games to Erykah Badu's birthday party and Dirk Nowitzky's wedding. In 2011, Sober was named Dallas' Best DJ by the Dallas Observer; and in 2012, he was voted Dallas' Best DJ at the Dallas Observer Music Awards, an award voted on by the public. Between A.Dd+'s rising profile on the national hip-hop scene and Sober's expanding rep as a party DJ and graphic designer (he hand designs his flyers and event posters, and runs a T-shirt company called Decade Clothing) expect to see him soon in a city near you, too.

Like many DJs, Sober took time to develop his talents in his basement and at house parties before stepping out into clubs. "I practiced for years and honed the craft before I ever deejayed out," he says. "It was never, 'I want to be a DJ' career-wise or to get attention. I just liked vinyl and collecting records and being around it." While working a job overseeing Dallas area promotions for Red Bull in the mid 2000s, he began organizing special events and deejaying more frequently on the side. In 2006, he combined his mixing and marketing expertise to develop The Party with fellow DJs Select and Nature. The Party bridged the Big D's musical and cultural gaps while bringing acts from Smif N Wessun to Justice to Blaq Starr to the city. "We kind of took over Dallas pretty quickly," Sober says. "Before, there were just exclusively hip-hop or house events, dance-related stuff. Nobody was really playing multiple genres or doing anything different. We started introducing new music like Baltimore club and different things that people weren't messing with here."

The members of The Party went their separate ways in 2009, but Sober is more active than ever in Texas' nightlife scene. His weekly Big Bang! party at Dallas' Beauty Bar, is consistently jam-packed and has attracted some of the nation's best DJs including Eli Escobar, Kon, House Shoes and Blade Runners. He also holds his monthly Top Notch event with DJs Dayta and El Roy Boogie every last Saturday of the month in Houston and runs a traveling event, Dope on Plastic, in which he only spins vinyl.

Over the last several years, Sober has opened for bands such as the Flaming Lips and Cut Copy, deejayed alongside ?uestlove and Pete Rock and backed up Devin the Dude on stage. Through his association with New York City's Scratch Academy, he has also taught youth deejaying clinics, including one memorable one alongside hip-hop pioneer Grand Wizzard Theodore at Steve Harvey's house. The most interesting of his many gigs might be his one at Cowboys Stadium, the world's largest domed stadium. "It gets pretty jumping in there," Sober says. "I'm a DJ, so I'm gonna rock the party. Even if the other team wins, their fans are gonna stay and celebrate. When New Orleans won, I played a New Orleans bounce set, and it was insane. There were Saints fans holding umbrellas and wearing crazy outfits. It turned into a dance party."

In 2010, Sober connected with Slim Gravy and Paris Pershun of A.Dd+ through producer PICNICTYME and became A.Dd+'s official DJ. He also provided the cuts on "I'm So Dallas," a DJ track made from snippets of classic Dallas rap anthems, on their debut LP When Pigs Fly. Having a consummate DJ like Sober in their corner has helped A.Dd+ elevate their stage show. With A.Dd+, he says, "it felt so natural once we got in the studio. We had a bunch of ideas we were bouncing ideas off of each other, and it was exactly how I thought it should be." In 2012, they toured the nation twice as openers for Black Milk and Talib Kweli, respectively.

With an amazing few years behind him, Sober already has plans to kick down the door to 2013 with the introduction of Booty Fade, a duo consisting of him and PICNICTYME. Look out for their debut, self-titled EP out this March.

The Jules Winnfield

This experimental collective of musicians encapsulate the sounds of 1950’s Hard-bop Jazz and
integrate it with components of hip-hop and stoner riffs.

The Jules Winnfield suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, manifesting new musical philosophies and pathways in which to travel.

$10 Adv :: $12 Door

Tickets Available at the Door

Tickets at the door.

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Upcoming Events
Fulton 55

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Black Milk with Quelle Chris, DJ Sober, The Jules Winnfield

Wednesday, September 25 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM at Fulton 55

Tickets Available at the Door