Subject:

Hip-Hop and Rap

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2014

    Finding the Poetry in Hip-Hop

    By the time I began studying English and creative writing at NYU, I had already started to identify myself as a poet. I lived and breathed poetry; it was the only way I could compute and make sense of my surroundings. Simultaneously, I was also an EDM head, before electronic music had become so wild ... More >>

  • Music

    August 20, 2014
  • Blogs

    August 20, 2014

    Drake Vs. Lil Wayne - Forest Hills Stadium - 8/19/14

    Better than: Watching a bro-comedy film. Is Step-Brothers now to hip-hop what Scarface or kung-fu movies used to be? With Kanye quoting the film in interviews and Eminem doing the same in concerts, it's difficult to not compare the loving push-and-shove between Drake and his mentor Lil Wayne to tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2014

    Funk Legend Steve Arrington On Being Sampled By A Tribe Called Quest, N.W.A. and Jay Z

    Steve Arrington has attainted a position of righteous funk royalty. Having risen to prominence with the band Slave in the late-'70s, he then flew the roost to form the humbly-monikered Steve Arrington's Hall of Fame before storming through the '80s as a solo funkateer. Along the way, Arrington's swa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2014

    Statik Selektah Has Invented a New Drink Called The M Train

    "I tried to make an album as if N.W.A. met A Tribe Called Quest, so jazzy but still gangsta," says the producer Statik Selektah of his new #WhatGoesAround project. Featuring hometown rhymers like Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Talib Kweli and Pharoahe Monch, the album drops on August 19th. Ahead of th ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    August 13, 2014

    TEACHER’S PET

    Will the student surpass in this rap battle?

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2014

    Fantastic Five: The Legacy Of The Wild Style Breakbeats

    When the movie Wild Style was released in 1981, it helped spread the culture of hip-hop across the world. But while Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy's flick has become a cornerstone of hip-hop history, the story of the breaks that were used in the movie has been shrouded in mystery. Instead of callin ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    August 6, 2014
  • Blogs

    August 1, 2014

    Legendary Cyphers Bring Hip-Hop Back to Union Square Park

    "Hip-hop was set out in the dark/ They used to do it out in the park" begins MC Shan's classic rap track "The Bridge." But while the almost 30-year-old track refers to rap's park days in the past tense, hip-hop in the park is more alive than ever thanks to Legendary Cyphers. Started in August, 201 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2014

    1984: A Great Year for Hip-Hop

    We've just passed the half-way point of 2014 and, and if you've followed the hip-hop newswire with even a passing curiosity, you're probably already up to your medulla oblongata in "20th Anniversary" retrospectives. That's not to say 1994 wasn't an incredible year, but the high praise it's been gett ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    July 30, 2014
  • Blogs

    July 28, 2014

    Rap and Basketball: A History

    On Sunday, Wale, Fabolous, and Big Sean performed at the Barclays Center as part of the celebrity basketball challenge. With the three performing in a venue that a rap artist help build, it's a reminder of the long and storied history rap and basketball have had together -- hip-hop and hoops have pr ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    July 23, 2014
  • Voice Choices

    July 23, 2014

    OVER THE HILL

    Lauryn can still serenade us

  • Blogs

    July 18, 2014

    Meet Bobby Shmurda: The Rapper That Has You (and Beyoncé) Doing the Shmoney Dance

    Bobby Shmurda is having the best summer ever. After bubbling in his native Flatbush, the 20-year-old has skyrocketed from relative obscurity to viral star upon the heels of "Shmoney Dance." The track and its swaying, dance accompaniment are the stuff that Vine dreams are made of. It's no wonder the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 18, 2014

    A Brief History of "Weird Al" and Rhyme

    This week sees the release of Mandatory Fun, the 14th studio album from the high priest of parody "Weird Al" Yankovic. Yankovic's uncanny ability to mimic and mock the stylings of his targets are always impressive, especially his endeavors into the world of hip-hop. While "Amish Paradise" and "White ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2014

    Is Def Jam's Icon Series That Iconic?

    This year marks 30 years since the first Def Jam single was released. Originally formed in NYU's Weinstein dorms after Russell Simmons was introduced to Rick Rubin by Vincent Gallo, Def Jam quickly became a brand early hip-hoppers could trust. Whether you fall in the camp who considers T La Rock's " ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    July 16, 2014
  • Blogs

    July 15, 2014

    Scenes From Battle Rap's First Ever Pay-Per-View Event

    The world of battle rap hit a new milestone Saturday night as Total Slaughter,  the first traditional terrestrial pay-per-view in battle rap history, was held at Hammerstein Ballroom. Promoted by Eminem's Shady Records, the event was the biggest platform rap battling has had to date, headlined by ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2014

    In Defense of the Beastie Boys' To the 5 Boroughs

    The passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch two years ago was a devastating loss for music, but within the outpouring of mourning in the wake of his death was the reminder how much the Beastie Boys' music connected with several generations of listeners. Even prior to Yauch's passing, the Beasties' catalog had a ... More >>

  • Music

    June 25, 2014
  • Film

    June 25, 2014
  • Blogs

    June 23, 2014

    The New Tupac Musical Is a Dreadful Affair

    Somewhere, whether in the afterlife or in the midst of planning his much fabled return to public life, Tupac Shakur is groaning emphatically and shaking his head. Full disclosure: we all know he's dead--gunned down in Las Vegas amid a torrent of gunfire in 1996, to be briefly reconfigured as a holog ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2014

    "Several Crates" of Afrika Bambaataa's Record Collection Are Going on Sale Next Week

    Last summer, the good folks at Boo-Hooray and Gavin Brown's Enterprise held an open archiving of Afrika Bambaataa's 40,000 deep record collection prior to its delivery to Cornell University's vast Hip Hop Collection (CHHC), the largest archive of hip-hop materials in the world, spanning over four de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 18, 2014

    Hip-Hop Did Not Begin How You Think It Did

    To hear most people tell it, the history of rap goes like this: MCs were originally rapping primarily to showcase their DJs. That is, until Sugar Hill Gang put out "Rapper's Delight" in 1979. It was the second rap record of all time, and an enormous hit, proving there was a market for rapping on wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2014

    Princess Superstar: From "Bad Babysitter" to Good Teacher

    Hip-hop is a youth culture, but Saturdays in June at Brooklyn's Rough Trade are seeing hip-hop culture inform the youth. Indie hip-hop favorite Princess Superstar is spending her Saturday afternoons this month teaching a hip-hop class for children ages 1-8 titled Princess Superstar's Playskool: Hip ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2014

    The Start and Stop of Juelz Santana

    A decade ago the city limits of Harlem seemed to expand worldwide as the Dipset movement became a universally celebrated entity in hip-hop. From critics to customers, mainstream audiences to underground heads, traditionalists to avant garde indie kids, Dipset seemed to have something to offer everyb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2014

    Things Outkast Is Cooler Than: The Complete List

    Outkast have made something of an art form out of cleverly describing their own level of "cool." Though the Atlanta duo is far from the first rap group to do so, Big Boi and Andre 3000 have certainly made a game out of it, employing all manner of wordplay in their explanations of the matter. "Cooler ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2014

    Non Phixion: Diggin' in the Vault With the Underground Rap Heroes

    Twelve years ago, Non Phixion released the underground rap manifesto The Future Is Now. Consisting of the emcees Ill Bill, Goretex, and Sabac Red, plus the turntable talents of DJ Eclipse, the quartet resonated like a squad of rugged rap anti-heroes who weaved talk of conspiracy theories and governm ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 2, 2014

    Hot 97 Summer Jam Photo Recap

    The Roots brought out the Lox. 50 Cent reunited G-Unit. Nas brought out Meek Mill and French Montana. MetLife Stadium didn't empty during Trey Songz set. Summer Jam is always packed full of surprises, and 2014's was no exception. And the biggest by far was just how dominant Nicki Minaj was. She put ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2014

    10 Reasons 1994 Was the Best Year for Music

    Was 1994 the best year for pop music in history? Quite possibly. Sure, some of it was terrible, but overall it was amazing: Nordic black metal, Britpop, pop punk, trip hop, and the best R&B of the '90s. (Boyz II Men were peaking). Hip-hop's Golden Age was winding down, but a new, arguably more co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2014

    Dama Nilz: From Jimmy Fallon to Applebee's to Warped Tour

    Arguably the hardest working woman in New York hip-hop, Dama Nilz's struggle is as heartbreaking as it is inspiring. Nilz has been a fixture of the underground rap scene despite life throwing her curveballs in-between her home-runs. Last winter she performed on "Jimmy Fallon," that spring she hit ha ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    May 21, 2014
  • Blogs

    May 16, 2014

    Understanding New Japan Wrestling via Hip-Hop

    This Saturday, May 17th, the Hammerstein Ballroom will play host to an exciting historic night in professional wrestling. New Japan Pro Wrestling, the second biggest wrestling company on the planet, will be facing off against respected American wrestling promotion Ring of Honor for a rare cross-prom ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2014

    10 Hip-Hop Facts You Likely Didn't Know

    There are hip-hop interview archives, and then there's TheBeeShine. Launched by Jersey native Bryan Scheiner in summer 2010, it's since blossomed into one of the largest collection of hip-hop video interviews on the planet. Boasting over 1,600 interviews, Scheiner's disarming style has allowed for o ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    May 14, 2014
  • Blogs

    May 13, 2014

    How Not to Run an Indie Rap Label

    Ten years ago, Matt Diamond started Coalmine Records. The Brooklyn-based independent rap label's first release was "The Raw," a 12-inch single featuring the Wu-Tang Clan's Inspectah Deck, horrorcore-styled rapper Bekay, and one-time savior of New York hip-hop Saigon. Since then the Coalmine vault ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 8, 2014

    XXL's Editor-in-Chief Defends This Year's Freshman Class

    This week, XXL Magazine released their annual Freshman List to much fanfare and the usual fighting. The magazine's biggest issue of the year, since 2008 the Freshman List has become an easy-to-follow guide to which new artists are making noise in the rap game, as well as an increasingly more accurat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2014

    The 2014 XXL Freshmen: A Statistical Analysis

    The line-up for XXL magazine's 2014 freshman issue was revealed on Monday evening, with the "dirty dozen" of rappers on the cover including Chance The Rapper, Kevin Gates, Isaiah Rashad, Ty Dolla $ign and Rich Homie Quan. Troy Ave is New York City's sole inclusion. As with years gone by, comments s ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    May 7, 2014
  • Blogs

    May 2, 2014

    Hot 97 Summer Jam & Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival: Which is Right For You?

    "Hip-hop was set out in the dark/ They used to do it out in the park" begins MC Shan's classic 1986 single "The Bridge." Yes, it was a mere 30 years ago that the biggest hip-hop events of the year would go down in New York public parks and block parties. Fast forward a few decades and the neighborho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2014

    Creature of Rebelmatic: The Patriarch of NYC's Hip-Hop Underground

    Opening for Kool AD this Thursday night at Webster Hall is hip-hop-infused punk outfit Rebelmatic, a group fronted by MC and DIY-innovator Creature, a face familiar to anyone who's ever even walked near a hip-hop event in New York City in the past two decades. From his '90s output with his group Tri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2014

    Time Is Illmatic: New Doc Goes Behind the Scenes of Hip-Hop's Greatest Album

    Nas entered the Beacon Theater in a suit. It was a nice suit, a cool grey number with a blue tie, well-tailored. He looked sharp. But Nas in a suit is not the same as Jay-Z in a suit. Jay-Z in a suit looks like a man who has worked hard all his life so that he can rock a Tom Ford custom that costs m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2014

    Here's the Story on the Wu-Tang Affiliate Who Appears to Have Cut His Penis Off

    As we reported yesterday, rapper Christ Bearer apparently severed his penis and jumped off of his Studio City apartment balcony, in what appears to be a suicide attempt. But despite his affiliation with Wu-Tang Clan, most people -- Wu fans included -- know very little about him. Here's his story: ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    Exclusive Premiere: Shabaam Sahdeeq and DJ Spinna's "Do You"

    Back in the late-'90s, the Brooklyn-based Shabaam Sahdeeq and DJ Spinna formed something of an impromptu duo: Tracks like the Rawkus-released "5 Star Generals" showcased Shabaam's studied flow allied to Spinna's signature space-funk production. It's a winning chemistry that's back in effect with "Do ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    Kosha Dillz Presents: A Passover Playlist for The Ten Plagues

    Passover is in full effect. So what better way to celebrate the occasion than by lining up a broadly-rap-themed playlist devoted to the occasion? Enter Kosha Dillz, the top notch rapper and Gangsta Boo's favorite dining partner who not only took to the task with glee but decided to curate a cheery m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2014

    Ludacris: An Appreciation

    This is a statement that your brain will reflexively disagree with but also one that it will eventually accept as truth: Ludacris is one of rap's greatest and most unstoppable guest-verse performers of all time, and, despite his millions of album sales and shelf full of awards, he remains somehow un ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2014

    Ratking Redefine NYC Hip-Hop on New Album So It Goes

    It's 6:30 pm on a Tuesday and it's hectic on West 14th Street outside Babycastles Gallery, where the three members of the up and coming hip-hop group Ratking are trying to figure out how to get all of their friends into their album release show. Upstairs, the two floors of the gallery are already fi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2014

    Challenge: Enter a Rap Battle

    Have you ever freestyle rapped? Please, right now, take the time to try it. Go to YouTube, find an instrumental, and just try to rhyme in rhythm off the top of your head about whatever you want. Seriously, try it. I'll wait here. See also: I Won an Evangelical Christian Rap Battle

  • Blogs

    April 3, 2014

    The New Wu-Tang Clan Album Should Not Happen

    Of late, Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA has been acting with a single-minded purpose: making a new Wu-Tang album happen, against all odds. He's already titled it A Better Tomorrow and dropped a couple singles to promote the album; even as projected release dates have come and gone, he's admitted he's strug ... More >>

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