As one of the most celebrated auteurs of his generation of hip-hop artists, Black Milk has conditioned fans and critics to expect the unexpected with each release. Few producers have earned the notoriety and respect he has as a musician, and when that is coupled with commanding talent as an emcee, it’s no surprise that his solo releases are met with exalted anticipation. The new full-length album No Poison No Paradise continues Black’s trend of releasing material that maintains his signature sound while pushing it into new territory.

With more than a decade of industry experience and a rich catalog of recordings, Black Milk has transitioned from one of hip-hop’s young rising stars to a veteran with a uniquely well-rounded pedigree. After scoring his first production credit for Slum Village as a teenager in 2002, he eventually worked closely with the group and co-produced much of their two following albums. While producing prolifically for much of the Detroit underground, including J Dilla, Phat Kat, and Proof, he also started to record solo material showcasing already-polished skills on the mic. His self-released full-length release Sound of the City in 2005 led to his first record deal, and he began to gain international attention for the soul-sample driven style on his proper solo debut Popular Demand, released in March 2007.

With the release of his next album Tronic in October 2008, he began to receive acclaim that extended beyond the hip-hop niche from which he emerged. While his sample-heavy style was still on display in his prolific outside production work, Tronic flexed a more musical approach with layered live instrumentation, vintage synthesizers, and sprawling extended outros, further establishing him as a skilled producer rather than just a beatmaker. The growth in musicality was not just reflected in his studio recordings, as he began touring with a live band and proved to be just as capable of wowing crowds at European jazz festivals as he was at packed hip-hop clubs.

2010′s Album of the Year followed down the same path with diverse influences, more instrumentation, and an even more progressive sound. Black also continued to get better and more thematically versatile as an emcee. After more than 100 shows worldwide in support of the release, Black became one of the most revered and acclaimed live acts in hip-hop, even releasing a live album on Jack White’s label Third Man Records. Black also released a collaborative single with White in 2011, as well as an eponymous full-length, self-titled album with his group Random Axe (Black Milk, Sean Price and Guilty Simpson) and an EP with rising star Danny Brown titled Black and Brown.

With his latest release No Poison No Paradise, Black Milk continues the trend of keeping one foot dipped in classical boom-bap and the other stomping with a fierce originality and willingness to expand his listeners’ sonic palate. Some tracks showcase the raw sample-driven styles that helped make him one of Detroit’s hottest young talents nearly a decade ago. Others flex some of the sophistication and musicality that have become his hallmarks as an artist. Whichever direction he decides to take it, all of the trademark characteristics of Black’s music are fully apparent throughout the album: hard drums, melodic synths, nimble flows.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of No Poison No Paradise is the evolution of Black Milk’s lyrical style. While he’s never been shy to get personal on the mic, Black introduces a refined story-telling ability, mostly told through the dreams of a character named Sonny Jr. The album’s songs are steeped in autobiographical themes and construct rich and visceral imagery of everything from the experience of growing up in a rough working-class neighborhood to the struggles of maintaining one’s inspiration and success as an artist. Even with his lyrical progression, Black’s rap styles are unquestionably sharper and more varied than ever.

No Poison No Paradise is another accomplished full-length solo release for Black Milk and a return to form for one of hip-hop’s most versatile talents. Among the album’s featured guest appearances are Grammy-Award winners Black Thought (The Roots), Robert Glasper, and Dwele.The album is due out October 15, 2013.

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.

$12.00 - $14.00

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**Tickets purchased at the door on day of show will have $1 facility fee applied **

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No Poison, No Paradise Tour with Black Milk + Quelle Chris + DJ Sober

Friday, September 27 · 8:30 PM at Echoplex