Plus, upcoming events at the Atlantic City Free Public Library, the Album of the Week (Fat Boys) and Drew Toonz
Kanye’s Revel Trifecta
By Jeff Schwachter
What happened during Kanye West’s pre-NYE three-night stint at Revel? What didn't happen is more like it. On the first night, Friday, Dec. 28, the rap star took to the Ovation Hall stage in an all-white outfit, performing a 75-minute set, during which he wore a pair of masks that made international headlines. The next morning, Rolling Stone offered: “[Kanye] rocked a couple of bizarre full-head masks – a diamond-encrusted one on his remix of Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ and … some kind of yeti costume (or a werewolf George Washington).” During Saturday night’s show, West spoke to the crowd on several subjects, including his sanity (“They’ll try to tell you Kanye’s so crazy, so deranged. … I ain’t crazy, I’m just not satisfied,” he said), the upcoming Grammy Awards (“Don’t expect to see me at the Grammys this year”) even though his latest album received six nominations), his cancelled tour with Lady Gaga, his women’s fashion line and receiving death threats on Twitter. What made Twitter and the rest of the social-media world explode was West’s announcement during his Sunday night and final show that his girlfriend Kim Kardashian was pregnant with the couple’s first child. Kardashian was in the 5,000-plus crowd, along with Kris Jenner and Jay-Z. As soon as West told the crowd that he and Kardashian are expecting a baby Kimye, the crowd went nuts — and the Internet soon followed suit. West told his fans to congratulate his “baby mom” and that the pregnancy was the “most amazing thing.” Revel hosted West five times in 2012, including two shows over the July 4 holiday, his only solo U.S. appearances since 2011, according to MTV.
Family Fun Every Sunday at A.C. Library
By Ray Schweibert
“Fun Day Sunday” is one of several new programs the Atlantic City Free Public Library will be offering through the end of February. The programs start 2pm every Sunday and include historical and cultural themes like constructing Native American prayer sticks, Mardi Gras masks, Chinese New Year dimensional paper snakes, and more. The programs are free and open to the public (ages 8 through adult), and no experience in art is necessary. Since supplies are limited, interested attendees must register in advance by stopping by the main library’s Youth Services Department (1 N. Tennessee Ave., second floor) or calling 345-2269, ext. 3050. The schedule is as follows: Jan. 6, Soyal Festival of Purification and Renewal: Pahos Prayer Sticks (participants will create their own New Year’s prayer sticks, made to bless people, their homes, animals and plants, and to reflect on the past and look ahead to the coming year); Jan. 13, Simply Snowman Mosaic (participants will have a hands-on experience creating a beautiful mosaic canvas of a winter scene); Jan. 20, To the Mountaintop: A Mixed Media Sculpture (using words and images from Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, participants will create a collective mountain sculpture commemorating Dr. King’s work); Jan. 27, Celebrate National Puzzle Day (participants will design and make their own puzzles and take them home); Feb. 3, Mardi Gras Masks (using ordinary materials found around the house, participants will design and create their own Mardi Gras masks); Feb. 10, Chinese New Year Celebration: Paper Cutting (participants will learn about Chinese paper-cutting traditions and will create their own dimensional snakes); Feb. 17, Peace, Love and Hope Collages on Wood (participants will create a collage on wood with imagery of peace, love and hope); Feb. 24, African Shields (participants will learn about African tribal designs and make colorful masks to take home using simple materials). Visit acfpl.org for more.
‘Pizza Box Set’
In early 1980s rap music, you had RUN DMC and the Fat Boys. The two New York crews experienced huge success in the MTV era and although Run DMC is oftentimes more revered for its influence, the Fat Boys (Kool Rock Ski, the late Buff Love the Human Beatbox and Prince Markie Dee) and the group’s comedy-filled music played a big part in the evolution of rap. Out of print for nearly 30 years, the Fat Boys’ self-titled debut (containing classics such as “Jailhouse Rap,” “Stick ’Em,” “Don’t You Dog Me” and “Can You Feel It?”) was remastered in 2012 and a limited-edition Record Store Day box set was released the day after Thanksgiving. The cardboard pizza box set includes the entire album (on a 12” picture disc depicting a pepperoni pizza), a glossy booklet with liner notes and rare photos, plus a digital download of bonus tracks and interviews. Pick one up at your local record store; likely they don’t deliver. — Jeff Schwachter
Kanye West will return to Atlantic City this winter.
“I think she’s incredible,” Solange Knowles (aka Beyoncé’s singing sister) says. “How can you not be a big fan?”
Plus, Winter Prose and Poetry Getaway at Seaview, the Album of the Week and Drew Toonz
Plus other outstanding releases of the year, including several extraordinary re-issues from the Fat Boys, Velvet Underground and the soundtrack to the documentary 'Searching for Sugar Man.'
"It’s cool to get up with Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, you know, Doug E. Fresh, who leads the pack with the most shows each year, and everybody’s catching up. So it’s more than just a show, it’s kind of like checking who weathered the storm, who has stood the test of time, and it’s about a second coming coming back around because [hip-hop] music of today is not what it was yesterday."