Lifted Crew
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Lifted Crew

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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"Album Review: Las Supper ‘Back to the Future’"

Las SupperFrom its onset, Back to the Future, the debut album from Big Daddy Kane’s (yes, that Big Daddy Kane, the B-i-g-D-a-Double d-y-K-a-n-e) new group Las Supper, is a breath of fresh air. The music is reminiscent of a time when the simplicity of love, struggle and triumph was enough to sustain the listener. Lead singer Show Tyme’s voice has the grit of a Stax frontman, and Big Daddy Kane brings an added dimension of regality and street corner commentary to match the edge of Show Tyme’s voice.

Las Supper is a mash up of styles, generations, genres and most importantly, ideas. The band is made up of Lifted Crew, a NYC-based band versed in 60s soul, 70s funk and Golden Era hip-hop that provides a soundtrack that’s easily accessible and capable of transitions from the dance floor (“I Believe in Love Again”), to the red light basement (“My Day without You”), and every room between. Show Tyme’s voice was born for this album, as he cuts through the drums and stays above the melody with the power of Otis Redding or Dennis Edwards, while Kane has toned down his trademark braggadocio for the observations of a seasoned vet who understands the roads he’s traversed with a wisdom not translated by many rappers these days.

The raw energy and passion that comes through the aforementioned “I Believe in Love Again” sets the tone for the album and really sets the stage for what amounts to a very good soul music album; soul in the sense that the lyrics are aimed directly to that part of you that has been neglected by your favorite radio station. The street corner sensibility of Kane and Show Tyme shines on “I Can’t Believe,” which has the feel of Isaac Hayes’ version of “Walk on By;” and “Shackles of the Mind,” on which Kane further showcases that he hasn’t missed a beat from his glory years while dropping jewels many young folks have missed during their rites of passage.

This album is for the lovers: lovers of music, lovers of community, lovers of self and those fighting to stay in love. “Shhh” takes the familiar story of untrusting lover and her spying friends told in a very playful way, while “My Day without You” is the tale of a lover lamenting being away from his woman. The Lifted Crew close out the album with an instrumental piece that showcases their musicality and places their bid as the breakout stars of the album with horns with a rhythm that harkens memories of The JB’s or Booker T and the MG’s.

Back to the Future has a live appeal that was created for smoky basement clubs, with a sweaty singer on lead, precision movements of the band, the synchronized sweetness of the background singers and an icon stepping outside of his cool to live the music he was brought up on. Las Supper is a throwback to a time when the music mattered and has placed themselves square in a much needed renaissance being led by indie artists and labels.

Back to the Future is available at and through the digital retailers (iTunes and Amazon). Stay up to date with Las Supper via Facebook and Twitter @LasSupper.

–Al-Lateef Farmer -

"Big Daddy Kane Vents On ‘I Can’t Believe’ With New Group Las Supper Read more: Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingSt"

Billy Johnson Jr.
March 27, 2013 9:20 AM ET

Few MCs have earned the elite distinction of the legendary Big Daddy Kane, who receives props whether he's spewing fire lyricism on classics like "Raw" or laid-back R&B offerings including "Smooth Operator." Add spoken word to his repertoire.

As a member of the new group Las Supper, a 1970's styled soul group blessed with the Brooklyn rapper's gift of gab, Kane takes a break from his usual raps to provide the poetic introduction on the song "I Can't Believe."

The song describes three unbelievable scenarios that have played out in the inner-city – gang initiation-related murders, unprotected sex with the intent to spread HIV, and dumping a handicapped newborn baby in a trash bin.

Big Daddy Kane doesn't make excuses for the actions, but calls out the community's ills.

"I want to talk to you for a minute about my hood," BDK says in his conversational flow. "Where we seem to do things all wrong."

He complains about focusing on materialism. "We lie, cheat and pretend," he rhymes, "'Cause we so worried about what we could put rims on, as opposed to what we could put furniture in."

Kane attributes part of the problem to a "slave mentality." "Seems like they republished 'Willie Lynch' and in the hood it's become the best seller," he raps.

Then he closes with spin on a popular cliché. "It's like the cost of living is going up, and the chance of living is going down," he says.

Aside from Kane's verse that rides through the first 1 minute and 26 seconds of the 3-in-a-half minute song, the band jams with a thematic track fit for movie score. There are jazzy pianos, string bass, violins, strong vocal leads from Show Tyme and Nicky Cake, and the most ridiculously good, operatic backgrounds from Yahzarah, who has performed with Erykah Badu and The Foreign Exchange.

This is just one gem from the Las Supper album, Back To The Future, released this week.

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
- Rolling Stone Magazine

"Big Daddy Kane Returns With Supergroup and First Album in More Than A Decade"

Legendary hip-hop veteran Big Daddy Kane returns to the stage on March 11 at the Blue Note jazz club in New York City.

The "I Get the Job Done" emcee will be joined by the funk collective Lifted Crew and soul singer Showtyme. Together they make up the new supergroup Las Supper and Kane and co. are set to perform tracks from their upcoming LP Back to the Future, including "Where Do We Go From Here," "Act a Fool" and "Child in Me" at the Greenwich Village venue. There will be two sets: 8pm and 10:30pm.

While not a completely solo effort, Back to the Future is the first new album from Kane in more than a decade and a half. (The Bed-Stuy rapper's last solo release was 1998's Veteranz' Day.) The new project features vintage Kane rapping over all live instrumentals, which he was inspired to do after seeing Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings live in concert.

“What we tried to do is basically bring back the vintage ’60s and ’70s soul, but combining it with vintage hip-hop, like the stuff that I was doing from the beginning of my career, doing it over nothing but live instruments – live guitar, live trumpet, even on down to the glockenspiel,” Kane told Fuse about the collaboration.

Following his performance at the Blue Note, BDK will perform several more shows throughout May. Head to the Blue Note's website for more info on the show.

Back to the Future will drop on March 26.
- Vibe Magazine

"Las Supper Performs on FOX 5"

Las Supper Performs "I believe In Love Again" on Good Day New York. - Fox/Youtube

"Las Supper- I believe in Love Music Video"

The super group known as Las Supper, which is a rather dope combination of hip hop and soul, returns to the game today with a dope new video for their track “I Believe In Love Again”. The track is a fun, upbeat, infectious number that finds the group of Big Daddy Kane, Show Tyme, and [...]

"Coffee Talk Video: Las Supper Feat. Big Daddy Kane"

Las Supper's album, Back to Future, hits stores this week and caught up with Big Daddy Kane and band members, Joel "MEGA" Gonzalez and Showtime, to discuss how the group got together, what their flavor is and what their new album is all about.

"It's vintage soul. It gives you that feeling of music from the '60s, early '70s, combined with vintage hip hop," said the ESSENCE Festival performer. Lead vocalist Showtime says his goal is to touch the masses. "Bring a good feeling back to music," said the singer. "Bring that essence of what it use to be about: love, respect, honor."
- Essence Magazine

"Call Your Mother and tell her he's back in town"

Last September, at the inaugural concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Jay-Z brought out just one guest, Big Daddy Kane. It was the student offering the spotlight to the teacher: a show of respect, of civic pride (like Jay-Z, Big Daddy Kane is from Brooklyn) and a compliment. It was also an opportunity, one that Big Daddy Kane took advantage of, showing in just a few minutes why he was worthy of the gesture, and the stage.
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He is 44, just one year older than Jay-Z, but their careers have taken vastly different arcs. Aging gracefully in hip-hop has been rare, though it’s now increasingly common, as seen in artists, like Jay-Z, who remain competitive and innovative many years into their careers, or even those like E-40 and DJ Quik, who continue releasing strong material at the margins that help them maintain regional hero status.

But Big Daddy Kane has chosen a different life — he opted out. He hasn’t released a proper album since 1998. He lives in North Carolina. Aging gracefully out of hip-hop is a thing too.

That he’d return at all is a surprise. That he’d do so in the way he has — as part of a hip-hop/soul hybrid big band, Las Supper — is refreshing and unexpectedly winning. On the group’s new album, “Back to the Future” (Las Supper Inc.), he sounds energized and nimble, not that far from his late-’80s heights. The conceit may be a bit staid — old rapper releases old-sounding music — but these songs feel alive.

On Monday night at the Blue Note the band tried out the new material for the first time on a New York stage. Big Daddy Kane was at the center, joined by the singer Showtyme, who sang un-self-consciously in a style indebted to Jackie Wilson. The rest of the band was made up primarily of members of Lifted Crew, a taut soul band.

Welcome to hip-hop’s Daptone era, triggering memories through extreme competence. As Big Daddy Kane comeback strategies go, it’s an unlikely one. He could have chosen the route recently taken by lesser-known artists like Roc Marciano and Ka — a cool, dark, minimalist take on the music they grew up making. Or he could have meticulously revisited the 1980s, though that probably wouldn’t suit him. Besides, the Cool Kids already excavated that era to great effect a few years ago.

Instead “Back to the Future” ends up being maybe the first nonembarrassing adult-oriented rap album by a late-career rapper. At this show, on songs like “I Believe in Love Again” and “Child in Me,” he and his compatriots were sharp, especially Nicky Cake on guitar and Bryan McNamara on alto sax.

Big Daddy Kane is confident enough to be an entertainer — he wore a tuxedo jacket with a glossy white shirt, tucked in, and an undone bow tie like a man who dressed up for the occasion but normally doesn’t — and to break from the usual scripts. At one point he asked people in the audience to take out their phones, and then — even though it was about 11 p.m. — to call their mothers to tell them they love them. He then ran through the audience, grabbing a few phones and continuing the conversation: “My name is Big Daddy Kane, and I want to tell you I love you also.”

That was before “A Mother’s Love,” which underscored the well-meaning positivity that suffuses this album; part of growing up, it seems, is letting go of old aggressions. That came up early in the night too, when he described Las Supper as “the type of music that make you reflect on your childhood.” Someone in the audience screamed out “Raw” — one of Big Daddy Kane’s bombastic old hits. He snickered. “I’m scared to ask what you was doing,” he said. “I’ma leave that one alone, brother.”

But of course he didn’t. Near the end of the show he did that song, as well as “Smooth Operator,” “Ain’t No Half Steppin’,” and more of his classics. At one point he turned bandleader, calling out instructions and building a beat one instrument at a time. “I ain’t got nowhere to go if y’all ain’t got nowhere to go,” he said, like a man happily at home. - New York Times

"Free Album: Lifted Crew"

"Smooth, jazzy, melodious—hip-hop? Lifted Crew is setting out to educate on their unique mash of genres and styles. The Crew is a collection of mixmasters with a lot to say and various ingenious ways to throw it into our faces. Combining soul, funk, R&B and quick rhymes and wit, the best method of experiencing them is definitely live." - Baeble Music

"Lifted Crew CD Release party at Joe's pub"

"Lifted Crew’s sound is mature and oh-so perfectly balanced in terms of how much grime in the verbal fire spat by emcees Mr. AT and Lex Doe, to how much big band reminiscent back bone in the horn section. It’s a whirlwind of genre-bending music free of ageism, everyone gets a taste of what they like which will lead the most genre entrapped music listener into mad genre exploration." - FrockOn

"Lifted Crew: Review"

“..This is quite possibly the most complete hip hop band since The Roots. And what’s more, they seem dedicated to exploring the bounds of hip hop jazz. Lounge Rap Music is definitely an auspicious maiden voyage.”

“..The objective is to provide a musical respite to the redundant thuggery inundating the airwaves. By providing a broad range of sounds ranging from soothing to celebratory to bombastic, Lifted achieves its goal in an impressive fashion.” - Adam Roussell at

"Lifted Crew Rocks 2011 Fort Greene Festival Sat"

Saturday, June 25th, Brooklyn turned out in numbers for the 2011 Fort Greene Festival hosted by Rosie Perez, Michaela Angela Davis and Toure. This year’s theme, the Art, Soul & Future of Brooklyn united musical performances from a wide range of genres while focusing on the youth.

Lifted Crew created the family BBQ-feel to the Fort Green Festival with their 10 member group, fully equipped with MCs, vocals, keys, strings, horns and the flavor necessary to reassure their previous fans and enthusiastically welcoming new ones. Speaking with Mr. AT, one of the MCs of the group, he said that Lifted Crew has been “performing collectively for only two years.” Even with such a diverse membership and an all-encompassing sound, he describes Lifted Crew’s sound as “lounge rap.” “We have something for everybody, our mission is to make feel good music.” - The Source

"Mos Def Head Lines 2011 Fort Greene Festival"

The biggest event of the year in Fort Greene featured more local music, food and stars than ever before and attracted thousands to Fort Greene Park on Saturday, June 25.

Headlining for the Fort Greene Festival, now in its third year, was hip hop star and actor Mos Def. The festival also brought out Academy Award-nominated actress Rosie Perez and MTV star Toure – both hosts of the daylong event.

Rosie Perez said she thought Mos Def was a good fit for this year’s fest because he is a Brooklynite and fits with the multicultural audience in Brooklyn.

“No one is like Mos Def,” said Perez, who hosted the fest last year and said she would like to host the fest again next year. “Supporting local artists is important.”

In addition to Mos Def, there were performances from at least nine other local artists including electronic band Navegante, local hip hop band Lifted Crew, and the more soulful hip hop music of Res (pronounced Reese), who recently moved to Brooklyn from Philadelphia.

The community celebrated the diversity of the audience, which has become a major part of the annual event.

“There’s different cultures, everyone comes together to have a good time," said Ajonja Moore of Clinton Hill. "It’s pretty cool,”

Read more: Brooklyn Downtown Star - Mos Def headlines 2011 Ft Greene Festival
- Brooklyn Downtown Star

"Lifted Crew EP Release Party at Joe's Pub"

There was an undeniable excitement at the historic Joe’s Pub as the who’s who of music appreciators filed into the vintage New York tinged performance space, small stage set with nine mics, and a VIP bag of goodies on all the upper deck tables. My eyes darted from one leather jacket clad fedora rocking dude to another, scanning the room and taking it all in before the band took the stage. The anticipation was thick and the calm chatter amongst those on the important guest list just held a tinge of the kind of excitement one might denote in a kid seeing their favorite band live for the first time, restrained glee is the best way to describe it. As the minutes ticked by at a glacial pace, the room swelled with more bodies and more restrained glee until finally we got the moment that punctured the cloud.

Lifted Crew started off in a jazzy dramatic fashion, an ode to ninety percent of the member’s classically trained roots, most hailing from either Berkelee College of Music (the band’s academic origins) or Julliard; the parts were undeniably tight, the layered composition complex, and the sounds — just plain good. With a slow intro by the keys (Henry Halal), horns (La Mega: Trumpet and Luke Penella: alto saxophone), strings (Nicky Cake: Guitar/Vocals and Ben Geis: Bass) and drums (Joey Bagadeez) the vocalists emerged (E-Flux, Yvette Rovira, Nicky Cake), took place behind their respective mics and Lifted Crew proceeded to take the audience on a funky, soulful, raucous, hip-hop infused ride of epic dancing proportions. The crew led us into a crescendo of full on eclectic fusion and killed it from the drop of In the City all the way into the encore, which was dished out generously and ended on the penultimate note of a sickening banger of a sax solo from Luke Penella.

Lifted Crew’s sound is mature and oh-so perfectly balanced in terms of how much grime in the verbal fire spat by emcees Mr. AT and Lex Doe, to how much big band reminiscent back bone in the horn section. It’s a whirlwind of genre-bending music free of ageism, everyone gets a taste of what they like which will lead the most genre entrapped music listener into mad genre exploration.

There’s jazz of the smooth persuasion that harkens to some dark elegant club, mixed with the youthful vibrancy of hip-hop as modern poetry, a little gospel, a little rock ‘n’ roll, a little Motown and traces of others. Lifted Crew is essentially a smorgasbord of highly skilled musicianship, every member absolutely dominates their role on the stage but does so in a way that each members’ sound weaves together in equal thickness. Everyone steps into the spotlight, rocks out, then steps right back into the sonic collective and owns their position.

The shining diva, Yvette Rovira, is a skilled practitioner of that balancing act. While she wields sick amounts of star power with her intoxicating stage presence and monstrous vocal range, on tracks like Time’s A Wastin’ and This is Hip Hop she pulls back and punctuates with dominating hooks, the accessories to the big band sound. Then came Danger, a song on which her range and vocal capabilities are put on chill-inducing display, literally, chill inducing.

In the current sea of radio hip-hop thuggery Lifted Crew offers a lyrical prototype that’s not too rough, doesn’t take itself too seriously and clearly knows how to play with words. Mr. AT sprinkles the poetics with bits of Spanish in Danger leading into a forewarning approach to the danger most rap songs tend to celebrate. Lyrically, Lex and AT go back and forth between uplifting rhymes, and dark foreboding rhymes splitting the mood down the middle. The bright stuff comes a la Lex as in The Light, “like light saber bright enough to blind/light the night sky with vibrant rhymes,” while AT brings down the brightness, even in the hook-y anthem Hold That. While Yvette belts out that hook I haven’t been able to get out of my head since the show, “hold that shit down,” AT prefaces it saying, “I’m stumblin’ and mumblin’ yeah what you got a problem? You turn and leave as I’m crackin’ jokes all about your momma/fuck it it’s on that’s the life I’m livin’/mess around and get laid yeah another rapper hit with a stray round.” Lex and AT are yin and yang emcees offering equilibrium with words. In the end it’s really all about the movement.

Not dancing was a near impossibility, they grooved in that persistent way that makes your foot tap uncontrollably and work it’s way up your leg ‘til you can’t sit still. The funky bass lines offered up by Ben Geis were very much to blame in terms of any inability to stop dancing. I’d like to note the groove he laid down in This is Hip-Hop, a bass-y presence is certainly a must for any hip-hop anthem, and on this one Ben’s bass line owned that title. As an anthem, the song toyed with the very definition of hip-hop with the gospel crooner and rock/jazz guitar player Nicky Cake on the hook, ‘this is hip-hop baby.’ As sung by Nicky, the hook becomes a redefinition of the nearly forty-year-old genre. If this is hip-hop, genre bending and replacing a hype man with musicianship, I think I’ll take it. - FrockOn

"Lifted Crew Announce New Dates, EP"

Good news all around from our inaugural Best of Show recipients. The Lifted Crew have announced a slew of east coast dates supporting (and playing as the band for) Slick Rick. The tour is following the release of The Undeniable EP, a batch of show staples guaranteed to get you grooving.

Their live set is obviously the thing to catch (ASAP people), but if you can't make it to their month-long residency or any of the other dates below, you can always buy the new tunes. For a full preview of the EP, head over to Spinner where it's currently the booze fueling a listening party (this week only!).

The Undeniable EP is out now. -joe puglisi

Tour Dates for Lifted Crew

11/12 - BB King's Blues Club - New York, NY#
11/13 - Showcase Live - Foxborough, MA *#
11/14 - Asylum - Portland, ME*#
11/18 - Greenhouse - New York, NY
(kicking off monthly residency as headliner)

* supporting Slick Rick
# playing as Slick Rick's backing band - Baeble Music

"Best of Show: Lifted Crew at Santos Party House"

Best Of Show highlights acts that exceed expectation in the live music setting.

As a sporadic attendee of the infamous Sin Sin East Village rap battles, I've come to really enjoy a bit of unknowns spewing wordplay with my usual diet of mixed lo-fi, buzz bands, and larger-than-life "indie-rock" personalities. But tapping in to the low rumble of New York's hip-hop scene (when you blog about The National and are really into some nonsense called "chillwave" at some DIY venue in Brooklyn) is like trying to blind purchase cakes made in the back-room of a bodega (read: often pretty terrible and generic, who does that?). So usually I stick to my usual diet of trusted store brand (Big Boi and Kanye). On Friday night, I buried my inhibitions and hit up Santos Party House to see a hip-hop/funk band I'd been hearing about, and they pretty much baked the sweetest cake I've ever seen (tasted?).

Screw the food analogy, this show was war, and the enemy was a bored and lifeless crowd. Guess who won? The Lifted Crew blew up Santos Party House with a grenade launcher of funk and soul. The nine piece band (including backup singers and a horn section) really filled the room with rhythm. Several other acts peppered the evening (including popular songwriter Just Blaze and even Kid Cudi) but it seemed like Lifted was the only crew to hype up the crowd to the rafters (without hype men, mind you). The Lifted Crew bring it back to the days where a band had to prove its worth in front of a crowd before it got anywhere.

They've got some recordings floating around, but predictably, a band of their electric nature needs to be experienced in the flesh before it can be truly appreciated. Chemistry on the stage plays a big part in the Lifted live set, and their music has a strong emphasis on kinetic energy. All in all, it felt like a reminder for the New York music scene; we all might love staring at our shoes, but a truly great show should have those feet moving. That is where The Lifted Crew comes in.

- Joe Puglisi, - Baeble Music


Lifted Crew:
Back to the Future (2013) (Las Supper)
Blast Off EP (2011)
Live at Joe's Pub (2011)
The Undeniable EP (2010)

History (2009)
Live (2008)
Lounge Rap (2006)



Lifted Crew is a music collective that has rocked New York City with its blend of dance, funk, hip-hop and R&B since 2008. This 10-piece powerhouse consists of two MC's, three vocalists, hard hitting horns, and an explosive rhythm section. Lifted Crew's live, innovative sound is the product of their diverse musical and cultural backgrounds, creating songs that bridge the gap between music lovers, hip-hop heads, and the every day listener alike.

Lifted Crew regularly performs live with hip hop legends Slick Rick and Big Daddy Kane as their touring bands and opening act. The band has also recently shared the stage with Naughty By Nature, The Flaming Lips, Just Blaze, Kid Cudi, Eddie Vedder, Cyril Neville, Brand Nubian and Trombone Shorty among others at festivals and venues throughout the greater US. The horn section has also recently collaborated with Beyoncé, Shaggy, Ryan Leslie, India Arie, and Reflection Eternal.

Lifted Crew is currently part of a new project featuring hip hop legend Big Daddy Kane, R&B singer Showtyme and members of Lifted Crew as the group Las Supper. They recorded and released a record under the name Las Supper titled Back To The Future on March 26th 2013, which is available in Itunes.

Whether you like to dance, or are in need of a good escape, the Lifted Crew sound is one to rock to, be inspired by, and evolve with.