The Soul Rebels Celebrate Their Hip-Hop Roots at the Joy

The Soul Rebels are the needle that has successfully risen to the top of New Orleans’ massive brass band haystack with a simple formula: New York hip-hop collaboration. Over the past few years, they’ve performed with the likes of Nas, Prodigy, GZA and DMX. These legends came up spitting over boom-bap 808s and chopped samples, and they've found a home on the band’s snare-based grooves and horn harmonies.

Nas Loved Jazz and Harry Connick Jr. Needed a Shave at Jazz Fest Friday

First Friday felt more like Locals Thursday at Jazz Fest yesterday. The festival didn’t overcrowd the lineup with big name talent, and the crowd was correspondingly comfortable. You could get close to most shows without being a jerk, but if you preferred to be a relaxing distance away, you weren’t lonely. The biggest audience of the day congregated at the Gentilly Stage for Trey Anastasio, but Harry Connick Jr. at Acura and Nas with The Soul Rebels at Congo Square had solid crowds as well.

The Soul Rebels Trace Their Hip-Hop Roots

For years, much of the New Orleans music community treated hip-hop as the bad cop to the brass bands’ good cop—one suspect; one real music. One sold a ton of records, while the other was treated as true New Orleans music. But the dirty little not-so-secret is that both were street musics, and they influenced each other. Brass band members were listening to hip-hop as much as rappers, particularly bounce artists, were listening to brass bands.

Jazz Fest in Photos: Anders, George Benson & More

Yesterday, we talked at length about the first Friday of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival including Dr. John's set at (and based on the conversation on the My Spilt Milk Facebook page, it sounds like many of you saw the same show I did). Photographer David Fary was at the Fair Grounds for My Spilt Milk, and his Dr. John shot now tops the wrap-up story. Here are some of his highlights from Friday.

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