UpNorthTrips Presents

Jay Electronica, Smoke DZA, GRIP & Statik Selektah – POSTPONED – New Date TBA


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Doors: 7:00pm / Show: 9:00pm

Per New York City’s new guidance, beginning August 13 Sony Hall will be requiring all guests, staff & musicians to have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine to enter.

Proof of vaccination may include your physical CDC card, photo of your CDC card, NYC Covid Safe App, or the NYS Excelsior Pass. Children under 12 – who cannot be vaccinated – must wear masks.

In addition to the vaccination policy, New York City continues to encourage masks for all indoor gatherings, except while you are actively eating and drinking.

General Admission – Standing Room
• $30 Advance / $35 Day of Show
• Limited Seating Available First Come, First Served

VIP Reserved Seating
• $75
• Includes Guaranteed Seating in Designated Section

• Full Dinner Menu Available
• All Ages

Elpadaro F. Electronica Allah (born September 19, 1976), known professionally as Jay Electronica is an American rapper and record producer from New Orleans. Electronica first gained significant attention after the release of the musical composition Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), which was made available on a MySpace page in 2007. In late 2009 he released two singles, both produced by Just Blaze, “Exhibit A (Transformations)” and “Exhibit C”, the latter of which won a Sucker Free Summit Award for Instant Classic. In November 2010, it was announced Jay Electronica had signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation record label.

In the Magnolia Projects of New Orleans, infamous for having some of the highest crime rates in the country before being flooded during Hurricane Katrina, Electronica began rapping after hearing his uncle rhyme. By the age of 19 Jay Electronica left New Orleans to pursue his musical career. Living a mostly nomadic lifestyle, he found refuge in cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, and briefly in Atlanta. From club to club, and stage to stage, Electronica had gotten booed off and denied because of his Southern accent and slang. “In my earlier years from when I first left home, I was embarrassed from being from the South,” Electronica stated. “Not in general, but as a rapper because all of the negative things that people in the States put on the South.” Electronica’s career really took off in Detroit when he linked up with Detroit native Johnnie Last. In Detroit, Electronica met producer/engineer Mike “Chav” Chavarria, now a regular collaborator, who introduced him to both J. Dilla and Mr. Porter.[5][6] It is here that he recorded his Style Wars-era music with several J. Dilla beats, meeting the producer subsequently to ask for permission to use the recordings as a demo.

Jay Electronica first gained significant attention through Act I: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), made available on a MySpace page in 2007. It is fifteen continuous minutes of music, without drums, built from Jon Brion’s soundtrack to the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There are five segments or movements marked by changes in music and mood, raps by Electronica, and occasional snippets of sampled dialogue including scenes from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The first segment is a spoken word piece by Just Blaze and Erykah Badu describing Electronica over piano music. The nature of the piece of music, along with the nature of its appearance, led to a slow build-up of interest in Electronica as an enigmatic figure. Songs circulating online as the Style Wars EP gained wider circulation, and other songs, such as the dream-inspired “Dimethyltryptamine”, appeared.

In January 2008, Giles Peterson’s 90-minute Gilles Peterson Worldwide podcast was devoted to the rapper. Hiphopdx.com in 2008 called him “arguably…the most talked about new emcee last year … at times…more like a myth or urban legend than an actual rapper” and URB ran a cover story on the artist under the banner “Jay Electronica: A Spotless Mind :: An MC’s mystery revealed”, which referred to his wanderings as his being “like some sort of hip-hop Jack Kerouac”. On March 6, 2015, Jay Electronica released “Road to Perdition” featuring Jay-Z. The song uses an audio sample from Ronald Reagan’s “A Time For Choosing” 1964 speech.

On July 3, 2016, after much anticipation, Jay Electronica hinted that he would be dropping new music (The Turn) by writing on his Twitter, “To all those who have been patient with me and supported me over the years, thank you. And get #Tidal#AreYouWatchingClosely?”. He released “The Curse of the Mayweather” in February 2016.

On June 6, 2017, Jay Electronica released “Letter to Falon” produced by himself and The Bullitts. In his narrative for Tidal, he credits Kevin Durant with the inspiration for the song that follows the subject along a tumultuous journey through trials and tribulations. Jay uses autotune on the hook which portrays a distorted and eerie recollection of past conquests. On February 7, 2020, Jay Electronica announced on Twitter that his debut studio album A Written Testimony was completed and would be released on March 18, 2020. The album has been in works since December 26, 2019, and has a feature from Jay-Z.

Smoke DZA continues to build a respected and trustworthy discography, brick by brick. The Harlem native’s career dates back to the top of the millennium, garnering appeal since the very beginning. However, the prolific rapper and RFC Music Group founder has reached a stride in the late 2010s that shows even more streetwise lessons and clever lyricism. On October 18, he teamed up with Benny The Butcher for “Statue Of Limitations,” a six-song EP exclusively produced by Hip-Hop legend Pete Rock. The Cinematic Music Group/RFC release marks the start of an exciting time in DZA’s creativity. “I haven’t gotten writer’s block in so many years, because I live so much. Experiencing what I get to experience daily, it’s easier to create. I’m inspired,” he says. He kept the momentum going and quickly dropped “Prestige Worldwide,” a seven song ep with friend and frequent collaborator Curren$y. Eventually culminating in his seventh studio album “Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed” which released February 28th.

He is also influential. “I have grown comfortable with being somewhat of a gatekeeper when it comes to being an indie artist from New York,” DZA notes. “It involves constantly reinventing, reestablishing, and cementing myself of the culture of what’s going on, every year.” As a product of the early 2000s, DZA branded not only himself, but also scaled Smokers Club and Cinematic. Griselda’s Westside Gunn and Conway The Machine, along with Black Soprano Family’s Benny, are examples of artists who took notice of the groundwork. For them, DZA has been a ground floor collaborator. At the top of 2019, Smoke, Benny, and Wes were all recording projects in Los Angeles. Regularly bonding over meals and televised wrestling events, Smoke and Benny embarked on a collaborative EP. Pete Rock curated the sounds for six songs that involve Gunn, Styles P, and Conway. A title playing on words and its matching artwork offer a rugged reminder that things can still get gritty in a New York minute. Video single “7:30” featuring Westside Gunn drives the point home. This project is the Kushed God’s latest with Pete Rock, following late 2016’s Don’t Smoke Rock. That LP garnered acclaim, including some personal praise from Nas.

Following Statue, Smoke DZA will release Curren$y collaborative EP, Prestige Worldwide, on Black Friday (November 29), before Real Estate, his proper follow-up to 2018’s Not For Sale. “I view my art as real estate. I compare it to owning land or flipping a house. I think Real Estate is one of my best bodies of work that hasn’t seen any air, yet,” he admits. “But once it does, I think people will appreciate it.” Ownership is significant for DZA. The artist embraced a DIY vision in the years before it was popular. He turned away large offers to retain his masters, a decision that Smoke believes will feed his family, including a wife and children. From a city where well-heeled newcomers continue to displace generations of Black, Brown, and working-class families, Smoke DZA knows his value and refuses to compromise. “If you don’t own or have some type of leverage, you’re no good out here. They’ll move you away.” Real Estate

He’s been called Atlanta’s Next Great Storyteller, and the name couldn’t be more fitting. GRIP has consistently carved a niche for himself within Hip-Hop, starting with his breakout project Porch in 2017, where the East Atlanta native first planted the seed of being known for unclassifiable game-changing music. In 2019, GRIP released Snubnose, a project that changed it all, as his knack for creating concept projects was taken to the next level. His music reached the ears of none other than Eminem, who added the upstart to his Shady Records roster. 

His upcoming release I Died For This!? presents an evolved sound, while maintaining GRIP’s love of conceptual themes. 

I Died For This!? is an idyllic introduction to those just learning about GRIP and a reminder for existing fans that the musician doesn’t fit a cookie cutter sound and that’s just the way he likes it.


Saturday, May 21, 2022

Show | 10:00pm



Plenty of space for your next party or private event. Book your event with us today!
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Per New York City’s guidance, Sony Hall is requiring all guests, staff & musicians ages 12+ to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter. Children ages 5 to 11 must have received at least one dose.

Proof of vaccination may include your physical CDC card, photo of your CDC card, NYC Covid Safe App, or the NYS Excelsior Pass.

In addition to the vaccination policy, New York City continues to encourage masks for all indoor gatherings, except while you are actively eating and drinking.