Subject:

Hip-Hop and Rap

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2014

    A Guide to Redman's New 5 Classic Albums Set

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2014

    The Real Story About Why Non-Phixion Broke Up, and Why They Reunited

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2014

    Cozz: "I've Been Given a Platform for a Reason"

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2014

    The 60 Best Songs Ever Written About New York City

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2014

    RIP Big Bank Hank of the Sugarhill Gang

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2014

    Was Chief Keef Too Gangster for Interscope?

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2014

    Revisiting Method Man and Redman's Failed Fox Sitcom, Method & Red

    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.

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2014

    The Wu-Tang Clan Doesn't Care How MF'ers Feel Anymore

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2014

    Dej Loaf on Being Rap's Defiant, New Female Voice: " I Don't Think It's Hard at All"

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2014

    The Story Behind Def Jam's Worst Selling, and Most Misunderstood, Album Ever

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2014

    Meet the Only Rapper on Earth Who's Collaborated With Nas and the Dalai Lama

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2014

    A History of Rappers Who Tried (and Failed) to Bring New York Back

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2014

    Ty Dolla $ign Has Mad Bowling Tips

    [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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2014

    Meet Logic, the Punctual, Seinfeld-Loving Rapper Who Turned Down a Deal With Nas

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2014

    A Complete Guide to Hip-Hop at CMJ 2014

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2014

    The 5 Most Underrated Def Jam Albums

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 15, 2014

    Homeboy Sandman's Rise Took a Lot of Work

    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 >>

  • Voice Choices

    October 15, 2014

    JAM BANDS

    Def Jam turns the big 3-0

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2014

    Breaking Down Rap's Greatest Albums, Track by Track

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2014

    What Happens When Hip-Hop Semi-Stars Burn Out?

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2014

    XXL: In Loving Memory

    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 >>

  • Voice Choices

    September 24, 2014
  • Blogs

    September 19, 2014

    The Source 360 at BAM: A Guide

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2014

    Doom and Bishop Nehru Team Up for the Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Album

    Five years ago, I boarded a plane from JFK to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on the instruction that at some point between takeoff and landing the hip-hop artist MF Doom would text me from a secret cell-phone number and give me directions about how to meet him for an interview. The texts arriv ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    September 10, 2014

    KNOW YOUR ENEMY

    See the legendary group back in Brooklyn

  • Voice Choices

    September 10, 2014
  • Blogs

    September 3, 2014

    Top 5 Aerosmith Samples of All Time

    Wednesday, September 3rd, Aerosmith play the Prudential Center. While much has been written about their extensive catalog and presence in the media, their influence on early hip-hop has been somewhat understated. The drum breaks from tracks like "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion" were some of the e ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    August 27, 2014
  • 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 >>

  • Voice Choices

    August 20, 2014
  • 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 >>

  • Film

    June 25, 2014
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