There's still just over a month left of 2014, which means the big 30th anniversary of Def Jam Records still has plenty of time to be celebrated and records to be revisited. This celebration has been the most visible thanks to the relationship between Def Jam and retail giant Best Buy, which has been ... More >>
The night before Halloween, commonly referred to as Devil Night's, is know as a night of mischief and tricks. But it was no trick at Best Buy theater when a wholly unsuspecting New York hip-hop audience present to see Cypress Hill caught the most unlikely reunion in rap history take place. It's off ... More >>
How you separate the art from the artist
Ballet Hispanico puts a new spin on Carmen.
Over the decades, South Central Los Angeles has acted as an incubator for hip-hop, where rappers and groups like Ice-T, N.W.A., and Cypress Hill pushed the city to become the genre's focal point. After so many years, L.A. has risen again with emcees like Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q, who have aide ... More >>
For the past few weeks we've been locked in the basement at Yankee Stadium, subsisting on nothing but Bergen Bagels, listening to the best songs about New York City through headphones endorsed by Lou Reed. Our mission: to come up with a list of the 40 best songs ever written about our city, songs th ... More >>
Yesterday, November 11, rap pioneer Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson of the Sugarhill Gang died of cancer at the age of 56. Hank, Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright, and Guy "Master G" O'Brien were the three rappers on rap's first and arguably most identifiable hit, "Rapper's Delight." While not the first c ... More >>
TV on the Radio is back and happy.
America in the 21st century is one of the most economically polarized and heavily armed societies in history. As the top rises, it becomes harder to see the ground through the clouds. Disconnected, nihilistic subcultures have developed in areas abandoned and forgotten by mainstream society. Such ab ... More >>
Jerry Tallmer, one of the Village Voice's founding editors and the creator of the Village Voice Obie Awards, died Sunday morning, just a month short of his 94th birthday. For those who knew him or his achievements, it will take some effort to imagine New York, the Village, and the downtown arts scen ... More >>
While Method Man and Redman have consistently put on an acclaimed live hip-hop show for close to two decades, not everything they've done together has been as successful. This year marks a decade since their short-lived Fox sitcom Method & Red. Let's revisit the series.
Our film critics didn't come away from Christopher Nolan's space epic Interstellar with much praise, but it did get us thinking about other flicks -- epics, comedies, and truly weird classics -- set in or about the great beyond. Below are our 25 favorite space movies since the Big Bang.
Outside the 10th-floor window of Quad Studios in Midtown Manhattan, the neon and LEDs of M&M's World caught the eye as a brand-new Wu-Tang Clan album blasted through a tiny soundproof room packed with a who's-who of music writers, producers, and a chosen few rap fans. "The second song was called 'F ... More >>
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Move over "No Flex Zone." Rap's adversarial anthem du jour is newcomer Dej Loaf 's "Try Me." The menacing track is primed for stalking through the streets while fending off haters and naysayers, and with lyrics like, "Let a nigga try me, try me. I'm a get his whole muthafuckin' family / And I a ... More >>
A weird thing happened in 2013. Chicago-area deathcore quintet Born of Osiris smashed into the Billboard Top 200 charts with their Tomorrow We Die Alive album, coming in above the Lumineers and Lorde, bands distinctly unlike the ultra-heavy and underground metal assault of BOO. Vocalist Ronnie Cani ... More >>
Storied hip-hop label Def Jam Records has spent the month of October celebrating its 30th anniversary. While there's been much cheer for all the label's iconic and groundbreaking releases, one album's received nothing but scorn and ridicule ever since it hit store shelves two decades ago. Often the ... More >>
"Take me back," singer Rivers Cuomo intones in the chorus of Weezer's latest hit single, "Back to the Shack." It's a familiar sentiment from him, going all the way back to the early portion of his career when he sang "I've got to get back" in Pinkerton classic "The Good Life." Is "Back to the Shack ... More >>
There's only one rapper on the entire face of the Earth who has collaborated with both Nas and the Dalai Lama, and his name is Dwagie. A living legend, Dwagie is widely credited with releasing the first all-Chinese rap album, 2002's Lotus From the Tongue. His latest, Refuse to Listen further bridges ... More >>
Progressive Metal, unlike other subgenres of heavy metal, borrows heavily from hard rock, classical rock and early heavy metal influences. Although several of the bands on this list might not technically be considered metal, we group hard rock and metal under the same umbrella for the sake of clarit ... More >>
Sometimes New Yorkers can come off a little self-conscious. We've got the stars, the scenes, and the go-to dreams of practically every American teenager in the world. But when it comes to hip-hop, it seems we really have a difficult time dealing with waning omnipresence and the steadily increasing m ... More >>
[Editor's note: In "Tweets Is Watching," Phillip Mlynar asks artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.] On November 2nd, Ty Dolla $ign will be strutting onto the stage at Irving Plaza to air out his hits as part of the rap-styled warbler's In Too Deep tour. It's a sp ... More >>
Bringing sexy back to the poetry scene.
Hip-hop and Seinfeld nostalgia rarely intersect but Logic is not your typical rapper. The 24-year-old Gaithersburg, Maryland, native is in town on a promo blitz for his debut album, Under Pressure, and asks to meet me for breakfast at Tom's Restaurant, the Morningside Heights spot known as Monk's Di ... More >>
It's the most wonderful time of the year as CMJ has once again descended over the good people of New York City. The College Music Journalism festival is bringing over 1,000 acts across all genres to the city, which makes planning a five-day foray into the fires of college radio a touch daunting. Tho ... More >>
Not all cameos are equally coveted: a good cameo creates an undeniable rush (I know that person!) that widens the eyes and forces the viewer to blurt out the musician's name when he or she appears on the big screen, like Anthony Kiedis in Point Break. An even better cameo is when the musician is cle ... More >>
This Thursday, Def Jam celebrates its 30th anniversary with a star-studded live show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. It was a short three decades ago at New York University's Weinstein Dorms where Vincent Gallo introduced Russell Simmons to Rick Rubin and launched what would become hip-hop's longest ... More >>
Homeboy Sandman has been the most visible face of New York underground hip-hop for seven years. What started as a balancing act between pursuing the music he loves and going for his law degree has given way to his becoming the galvanizing focal point of a scene, signing to revered indie rap label St ... More >>
"You know, let's face it. When you think of classical music, it's not really an African-American face that comes to mind," said Melissa White, a violinist and founding member of the Harlem Quartet.
Def Jam turns the big 3-0
Preview the city’s innovative poets.
Ever wanted to hear your favorite rap artists break down their masterpieces track-by-track? You're about to get your wish as this week sees the release of Brian Coleman's book Check the Technique 2. Boasting over 20 track-by-track breakdowns of some of the greatest rap albums of all time, it looks t ... More >>
It's not every day a couple of boy band-ers join forces to start a man band, but New Kids on the Block's Jordan Knight and the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter are a couple of above average boys from the bands. After rising to international stardom as teens in their respective groups and in their respec ... More >>
A return to the bawdy Shakespeare of old
There's an elephant in the room sporting some excellent hair gel, so let's acknowledge it and move on before we dive into Maroon 5's performance on Saturday Night Live. People lo-ho-hoooooove to hate these guys, the falsetto-favoring, Voice-judging, badly tattooed frontman in particular. Adam Levine ... More >>
Saturday night our favorite Christian hair metal act Stryper play B.B. King's. Say what you will about the Orange County collective, but you have to admire them for sticking to the script for three decades -- or is that scripture? Putting out new music as recently as last year, they show no signs o ... More >>
Fact: Any band who uses Times New Roman on their album cover isn't going to make it in the music industry. (Feel free to prove us wrong, though). Smart typography selection is as important to a band's image as having a memorable logo. In 1937, industrial designer and typographer Gerry Powell, desig ... More >>
With hip-hop being identified for over 40 years as a youth culture, it begs the question: do rappers grow up? Do they grow old? Does being an MC have an age limit, or is making a career rocking the mic entail no limits? Director Paul Iannacchino Jr. explores this question through his debut documenta ... More >>
A new season of NYC dance
Newsstands nationwide got a little less cool on Monday when news emerged that magazine XXL will be no more. The New York Post broke the story that Harris Publications, who've carried the hip-hop magazine for the entirety of its 17-year existence, sold all of XXL to Townsquare Media, the Greenwich, C ... More >>
This year, rap publication The Source celebrates its 25th birthday. Considered by many to be "the hip-hop Bible," the publication has been a cornerstone of the hip-hop culture, impacting everything from breaking new artists, to making "5 Mics," the coveted highest honors the magazine awards an album ... More >>
Many of New York's great jazz musicians are aging into poverty, strained by a lifetime of working in clubs that deny them any benefits, healthcare, or pensions. That was the testimony before a City Council joint committee yesterday from the members of Justice for Jazz Artists , a campaign created to ... More >>