A hip-hop tour with substance
Amy Winehouse mentioned rehab first, then she and Britney actually went there, and now musical rehab is coming to Tahoe.
Late-Nite Productions presents the Rehab 2008 U.S. Tour at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon. The headliners are hip-hop heavyweights tha Alkaholiks, appearing along with Starski, Animal Farm, DJ Wicked and L-Toka.
The Southern California-based Alkaholiks came together in the early ’90s, after DJ E-Swift (born Eric Brooks) and Tash (born Rico Smith) – both raised in Cincinnati – had worked together in Disturbers of the Peace. The two settled permanently in Los Angeles and met J-Ro (born James Robinson), who had worked in Total Control with King Tee and Suavee D but was looking to move on.
Under the name of tha Alkaholiks, the trio worked with King Tee on his single “I Got It Bad Y’All,” and signed to Loud/RCA for the 1993 single “Likwit/Only When I’m Drunk.” The Alkaholiks debuted with “21 & Over,” later that year, and collaborated with Q-Tip on their second, “Coast II Coast,” even while maintaining a West Coast party vibe throughout. Their third album, “Likwidation,” arrived in August 1997, and the group changed its name to tha Liks for 2001’s “X.O. Experience.” “Firewater” followed in 2006 – along with the announcement that it would be their last.
The split was amicable, with each member concentrating on solo projects, and Tash told Dubcnn that the Liks are on good terms and might yet record a new album, even with J-Ro living in Sweden. Nevertheless, tha Alkaholiks are about to embark on their first tour in more than three years.
Starski and such
Bay Area rapper-producer Starski first made it big on regional radio in late 2005 with “Car Shinin,” featuring Mistah FAB. Over 2006 and 2007, he pumped out 10 mix tapes on his Pimp Hop Records imprint and has contributed on dozens of other compilations.
“Creatively, I think as a producer first, so I only collaborate with artists that inspire me, and that not only make sense on a particular track, but also bring elements to the table that I can’t,” Starski said in a press release. “Plus, I’m in my element when I’m performing live, rockin’ a crowd. I’ve seen too many rappers who can’t put on a full show because they’re bogged down by not having enough material of their own. I personally can’t wait to hit the road with this record and show the world the product of endless late nights in the studio.”
Tha Alkaholiks and Starski launched their North American tour March 20, giving him a chance to do just that.
Starski slated a March 18 release date for his debut album, “Tomorrow Ain’t Promised.” Along with Pimp Hop production partner, Hutch Hefner, he has created a signature sound combining hyphy, old school East Coast, Dirty South, Miami bass – and even new wave and pop-punk influences.
“Although very relevant to the ‘New Bay’ sound, Starski transcends regional boundaries, no doubt destined for universal appeal,” DJ Classic, of the Shadyville DJs and South Bay radio station KDON, said in a press release.
“Tomorrow Ain’t Promised” contains 15 songs, including special guest appearances by rappers Keak da Sneak, Clyde Carson, Big Rich, Sonny Forecast and Novakane; R&B singers Magnolia Chop and Thelonious Jordan; plus collaborations with Spike Slawson from Swingin’ Utters and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, as well as guitarist Ted Aguilar from thrash metal legends Death Angel.
The Rehab 2008 U.S. Tour
Who: tha Alkaholiks with Starski and Animal Farm, DJ Wicked, L-Toka
Where: Whiskey Dicks Saloon, 2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
When: 9 p.m. Sunday