The New Parish, Oakland, CA
April 24, 2014 / DOORS: 8:00 PM
This show is 21 and over
The New Parish
579 18th Street
Oakland, CA 94612
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Jean Grae (born Tsidi Ibrahim, November 26, 1976), formerly known as What? What?, is an American hip-hop artist. She rose to prominence in the underground hip-hop scene in New York City and has since built an international fanbase.
In 1995, she was discovered by, George Rithm Martinez, when he recruited her for a 5 song demo under the name of his group, Ground Zero. Their demo was critically acclaimed and earned the duo Unsigned Hype honors in the The Source Magazine in March of 1996. She later joined a hip hop music group called Natural Resource, along with rapper Ocean and DJ James “AGGIE” Barrett.
Natural Resource dissolved in 1998, after which Ibrahim changed her stage name from What? What? to Jean Grae, a reference to the X-Men character Jean Grey. Under her new moniker, she released her first LP—Attack of the Attacking Things—in 2002, and followed it in 2004 with This Week.
Throughout her career she has also recorded tracks with numerous major hip hop artists, Atmosphere, The Roots, Talib Kweli, The Herbaliser, Da Beatminerz, Phonte, Mr. Len, Masta Ace, Vordul Mega, C-Rayz Walz, Mos Def,Styles P, Pharoahe Monch and Immortal Technique among them.
Grae has recorded an unreleased album with celebrated North Carolina producer 9th Wonder, of Little Brother fame, entitled Jeanius. This unfinished record was leaked on the internet, and subsequently work was stopped on this album. However, at the release party for 9th Wonder’s Dream Merchant Volume 2 album she stated that Jeanius was still going to be released. This album was eventually released first through Zune Live Marketplace two weeks before its disc release on July 8, 2008. Her rapping on the album was described by Robert Christgau as “remarkable for its rapidity, clarity and idiomatic cadence. The writing has a good-humored polysyllabic literacy.” Elsewhere, it’s been reported that her proposed fourth album, provisionally titled Phoenix has gone into production. It has been reported by several camp insiders that 9th Wonder will handle the lion’s share of the production duties with unknown UK producer Passion hifi, English producer DJ SonicBass and NY resident Clinikal providing a beat each.
Previously signed to Babygrande Records, she signed a deal in 2005 with Talib Kweli’s Blacksmith Records. On April 28, 2008, Jean Grae posted a blog entry on her MySpace page saying goodbye to her fans. She later cited disenchantment with the music industry and desire to start a family as the reasons behind the “retirement” and said that she was working on new material and still wanted to continue in music: “You know what? I need that Grammy. I think I might be able to stop after that”. In July 2008, Talib Kweli posted a blog entry explaining Grae’s album, mentioning that she was not retiring. The blog ends encouraging fans to purchase the album, referring to Grae as “one of the last true MCs left.” Grae returned to doing live performances later that year.
On June 23, 2011, after an almost four-year hiatus, Grae released a free mixtape entitled Cookies or Comas, which features guest appearances from Styles P, Talib Kweli and Pharoahe Monch, it also includes the highly praised tracks “Assassins” from Monch’s W.A.R. album and “Uh Oh” From Talib Kweli’s Gutter Rainbows.
Trumpeter Maurice “Mobetta” Brown recruits an all-star lineup (including Talib Kweli, Consequence and Prodigy) for his new project, and first up is Jean Grae,… Watch
Jean sure likes sporting the bloody face look nowadays. Macabre vibes and subliminal messages are scattered throughout this video, something for fans of… Watch
Bun B, Jean Grae, and Pharoahe Monch discuss battle rap and Red Bull EmSee
Right before Red Bull EmSee battle rap royale in Boston a few weeks ago (no joke, we were at the Royale in Boston), our host Bun B and judges Jean Grae and… Read
Show Recap and Gallery: Talib Kweli
Talib Kweli and his dapper four piece band crashed the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on Wednesday, in the middle of the west coast leg of his Gutter… Read