Subject:

Hip-Hop and Rap

  • 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 >>

  • 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
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