Subject:

Hip-Hop and Rap

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2013

    20 Years and 20 Edits: Ka's The Night's Gambit Is NYC Rap At Its Finest

    One of the most famous scenes in the landmark television show The Wire takes place in the early part of the first season. Three characters--who at this point the first-time viewer is likely to think of as nothing more than drug dealers--sit around a chessboard as one teaches the others how the game ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2013

    The Craziest Musical Gambles That Paid Off

    Every year it's a guarantee someone will grouse about record labels and musicians never taking risks anymore, and never producing anything exciting or unique. While that's probably true to a certain extent, it's not been true in much of 2013. For instance, first there was Kanye West's Yeezus and the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2013

    The Five Greatest Clean Versions of Your Favorite Hip-Hop Songs

    Even though it's patently ridiculous, a clean version of A$AP Rocky's "Fuckin' Problems" exists. It's funny. And, like watching Die Hard on TBS ("Yippee ki-yay, mother trucker!"), listening to rap on the radio can be an interesting lesson on how to creatively scrub the dirty words. Over the years, m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2013

    U-God Explains His Relationship With RZA and the Rest of the Wu-Tang Clan

    U-God is not angry. And he wants everyone to know that. Since voicing his displeasure about the way things were to Meth back in the day in Russell's Simmons rock doc The Show we've all been under the impression he's disgruntled. A fairly recent lawsuit Mr. Lamont Jody Hawkins brought against Mr. Ro ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    July 17, 2013

    2 SHOWZ

    Jay-Z, J.T., and Lil Wayne headline a night of arena concerts

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2013

    Who's Worth Seeing at the 2013 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival? EVERYONE!

    Today marks the start of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Entering its ninth year, it started at a time when the eyes of the hip-hop nation weren't as glued to the culture's birthplace as it once was, allowing the festival each subsequent year to remind the world why New York hip-hop is not only pivot ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 3, 2013

    Talking BET Un:Cut With Some of the Legends of BET Un:Cut

    Tomorrow is America's 237th birthday, but it also has the unfortunate distinction of marking seven years since the demise of one of the finest series of music programming ever broadcast. BET Un:Cut was an hour block of hip-hop videos that aired at 3:00 a.m. ET that specialized in the racier side of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2013

    Joey Bada$$ on Summer Knights, and His Relationship With Jay-Z

    Joey Bada$$ is the face of new New York rap. The 18-year-old Brooklyn native flipped Internet fame into real-life buzz with his debut mixtape 1999 last year and became one of the city's most prodigious rhymers. His tender age belies his mature lyricism and Joey has already received cosigns from the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2013

    How Tipper Gore Helped the Geto Boys Popularize Southern Rap

    The same year the Berlin wall fell and signaled the creeping halt of the cold war, hip-hop group the Geto Boys released their second album with a revamped and newly galvanized lineup. The album, Grip It! On That Other Level, took the urban virtues of rap music and honed it on a diet of ultra violenc ... More >>

  • Music

    June 26, 2013
  • Blogs

    June 24, 2013

    Let's Take a Look at Some of the Great Hip-Hop Being Overshadowed This Year By Ye and Jay

    Now that 2013 is nearly half-over, it's clear the year's two biggest hip-hop stories eclipsing everything else are Kanye West's album/baby/stunts and Jay-Z's sudden commercial announcement about his new album. While they are rightfully big news, some really great stuff--from impressive new-comers, p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2013

    World Star Hip-Hop's Founder Tells Us Which Videos Are Too Vulgar, Even For His Site

    By Nate Jackson Lee "Q" O'Denat, founder of World Star HipHop.com, is an unlikely figure in the canon of modern hip-hop success stories. The reserved, 40 year-old Hollis,Queens native of Haitian descent is probably one of the first and most controversial examples of hip-hop's ability to create mogu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2013

    What Artistic Movements Do These Rappers Exemplify?

    Stylistically, rap has exploded, and the pieces fall everywhere from the mind-bogglingly complex to the unbelievably simple, from the brazenly dissident to the unapologetically mainstream. Rappers' influences seem to come from everywhere, but the stylistic differences between an Aesop Rock and a 2 C ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2013

    The Time LL Cool J Rapped as a Genetically Modified Shark

    Thursday night, veteran rhymesmith and mic controller LL Cool J leads the charge of hip-hop's all time greats, including Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul, for a night of rap royalty at Roseland Ballroom. While Mr. Cool James has given us over 25 years of undisputed rap classics, he's also been ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    June 19, 2013
  • Blogs

    June 17, 2013

    The 10 Best Concerts in New York This Week, 6/17/13

    For more shows throughout the week, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which is updated daily.

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2013

    Props to the Pops: A Father's Day Hip-Hop Playlist

    As you're probably aware, this Sunday is hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur's birthday. But you might not know it also happens to be Father's Day, the day of the year we set aside to give our Dads thanks for all the great Dad-stuff that they've done for us. While the hip-hop canon has largely dealt with over ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2013

    Questlove Extras: Leftover Quotes and Anecdotes From This Week's Cover Story

    This week's cover story is an in-depth look at one of music's most talented and intelligent, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of the Roots. It's a great longread, if we do say so ourselves. (Check it out). And it could've been much longer. As writer Jenna Sauers discovered, Quest is full of insight and an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 12, 2013

    Questlove is the Hardest-Working Man in Showbiz, and He is Lonely Enough to Prove It

    Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson is a man of many responsibilities. In the past six days, he's DJed five events, performed twice with his band, the Roots, taped four episodes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, opened a restaurant that serves fried chicken he can't eat on his current diet, graded his studen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2013

    The Crash Crew Say the Bronx Gets All the Credit, But Rap Started in Harlem Too

    The story of Sugar Hill Records is regarded as one of the most pivotal legacies in hip-hop history. Headed by Sylvia Robinson, the label was home to "Rappers Delight" and "The Message," both named recently by Rolling Stone as the two greatest hip-hop songs ever recorded. Along with those behemoths, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 5, 2013

    The 10 Best Male Rappers of All Time

    Since the birth of hip-hop, male rappers have been bringing their unique viewpoint to the art of rhyme. Today, we're shining some long overdue light on their important contributions to rap. We're proud to present our list of the 10 finest male rappers, from the smoking-hot hardbodies to the true lyr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 5, 2013

    Let These Rappers Teach in Our Public Schools

    Last month, came news that the Wu Tang Clan's resident Genius, the GZA, is going to soon begin working with Columbia teacher Dr. Christopher Emdin and the website RapGenius to bring a better, hip-hop-based chemistry class to New York public schools. As cool as it is that GZA's taking this seriously ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 31, 2013

    Ralph McDaniels on 20 Years of Hot 97's Summer Jam and That Whole Nicki Minaj Thing

    This Sunday, MetLife stadium will hold the 2013 incarnation of what's become hip-hop's most reliably controversial night, the Hot 97 Summer Jam. The 20th annual Summer Jam, it's seen the genre's biggest stars perform and game-changing moments happen. One man whose seen just about every Summer Jam is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 31, 2013

    French Montana's E-Cigarette Gives You A Peek Into the Soul of French Montana

    I like French Montana a lot. I love that his voice sounds kinda like Bob Dylan. I love that one time his publicist told me the dude actually speaks fluent French. I love that someone decided it was a good idea to make at least one portable electronic hookah featuring French Montana's name and album ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2013

    Cam'ron on Camera: Cam's 5 Most Memorable On-Screen Moments

    Tonight at S.O.B.'s, one of Harlem's favorite sons, Cam'ron, takes the stage to remind us all why, for almost two decades, he's been one of hip-hop's most endearing personalities. But along with all of his quotable verses and unforgettable Cam-isms on record, he's given us some moments in front of t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2013

    The Ultimate List of Free Summer Concerts in NYC, 2013

    Get ready to plug this in your bookmarks, iCals, sticky notes, and religious shrines, because the ultimate guide to free summer concerts in New York City is here! Seriously, scroll down and don't be stingy - share with your friends. Concerts aren't fun without friends. Just ask the lucky gal above e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2013

    French Montana's Excuse My French Is Finally Here, Though It Almost Didn't Happen

    Moroccan-born, Bronx-raised rapper French Montana is at a photo shoot in Tompkins Square Park's basketball court. He's shooting the shit in fluent French with the photographer. A gaggle of scruffy teen skaters recognize him and look over as he saunters slowly—always slowly—about. See al ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2013

    Statik Selektah on the Troll Power of Putting Mac Miller and Sean Price on the Same Song

    Editor's note: In "Tweets Is Watching," Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline. Statik Selaktah promises his upcoming album, Extended Play, will "remind you of the hip-hop you grew up on, but it's like the new fresh version of that." To hi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2013

    Ghostface's Twelve Reasons to Die and Hip-Hop's Other Audio Films

    One of rap's most overused cliches is the phrase "my life is like a movie." Significantly much harder to come across are the artists who liken their entire albums to the medium of film. Most recently, Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge teamed up for Twelve Reasons to Die, an album made to sound like ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2013

    Jay-Z's Great Gatsby Soundtrack is a Failure

    When the first trailer for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby was released a year ago, it was set to the music of Jay-Z and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," from the sometimes duo's incredibly self-important Watch the Throne album. On the surface it made sense. Jay-Z -- who retired as a rapper in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2013

    Havoc of Mobb Deep: "Donald Trump is Like a Biggie to Me!"

    Editor's note: In "Tweets Is Watching," Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline. Havoc dropped his new 13 album earlier this week, a project he calls "an ode to hip-hop." He'll soon be hitting the tour circuit in the name of promotional dut ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2013

    Dear Mama: A Mother's Day Hip-Hop Playlist

    This Sunday is Mother's Day. (Yes, we're sure. Yes, there's still time to get her something.) And what better way to thank the person who brought you into this world than with the gift of music? Few genres have dedicated as many songs to the importance of mothers and mother-figures as hip-hop, but i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 8, 2013

    French Montana's Excuse My French Listening Party - HiLo - 5/7/13

    Better Than: Keeping track of when Excuse My French is finally coming out. French Montana has three glittering chains around his neck (one of which is a jewel-studded Pillsbury Doughboy), a pinkie ring so large and sparkly I consider whether it's been wholly carved out of a giant diamond, and fresh ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    May 8, 2013

    GHOST STORIES

    Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge at Gramercy theatr

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2013

    He's Old, Missing Teeth, and Has a Funny Haircut: He's Danny Brown, Rap's Biggest Deal

    Apart from the overcrowding and cost of living, subway ads are one of the most depressing things about New York City. But now, next to the usual ads offering escape in vacation destinations and self-realization in a pair of shoes, you'll find a glimmer of hope in a Uniqlo ad featuring 32-year-old De ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2013

    Nas, 2 Chainz, Fabolous, Miguel More - Capitale - 4/30/13

    Better Than: Farmville "Why am I here?" That's the refrain that kept running through my head as I walked into Capitale on the Bowery last night, where Nas, 2 Chainz, Miguel, Elle Varner and a whole host of hip-hop and R&B artists emerged to celebrate the launch of Gig-IT, a new performance-based Fa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2013

    The Complete Guide to Understanding Lil B

    How does one explain God? How does one explain faith? How does one explain Limp Bizkit's cover of George Michael's "Faith?" The answer, of course, is you cannot explain that which is ineffable, and also Fred Durst is playing at a club in Long Island tonight. Either way, the equally ineffable Lil B i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2013

    R.A. the Rugged Man: The Music Industry is "Crooked Fake Phonies Marketing hemselves to the world

    R.A. The Rugged Man releases his Legends Never Die album this week. It's a project the thuggish ruggish rap chap promises will showcase his ability to "annihilate any rapper on this Earth." We don't doubt the Rugged man. In other, chirpier news, here's R.A. explaining away his Twitter timeline chatt ... More >>

  • Music

    April 24, 2013
  • Blogs

    April 24, 2013

    Young Guru Ushers in the Era of the Engineer, Prefers De La to Tribe

    You know Young Guru as the super-engineer knob-twiddler behind hits from Jay-Z, Rick Ross and Drake, but last week he steeped out from behind the boards to deliver a lecture at N.Y.U.'s Clive Davis School of Recorded Music as part of his Era of the Engineer tour. In tandem with Grammy U, the session ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 18, 2013

    Rabbi Darkside on Bringing Prospect Avenue Around the World

    Few underground hip-hop artists in New York have had the staying power of Rabbi Darkside. From an era where everyone had a vinyl single, through rap battling at the start of the mid-2000s rising next wave of battle leagues, to being a coach on "MTV's Made" and one of the centerpieces of the Hip-Hop ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2013

    Talking Louis C.K., South Park and Popcorn With Talib Kweli

    Editor's note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline. Talib Kweli is gearing up to release his fifth solo album, Prisoner of Consciousness, on May 7th. The project features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Curren ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2013

    Five Other Failed Rap/Country Experiments

    The hubbub this week regarding Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's controversial duet "Accidental Racist" has, among other things, given a sign that the world might still not be ready yet for a full blown country and hip-hop crossover. While rap has been above an attempted crossover, no matter how poorly c ... More >>

  • Music

    April 10, 2013

    The Making of Mykki Blanco

    Michael Quattlebaum Jr. takes rap beyond pronouns

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2013

    Dissecting the Politically-Charged Subtext of Nicki Minaj's "High School" Video

    Last week, Nicki Minaj released the highly-anticipated music video for "High School" from her album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up . The video is completely over-the-top. It's also factually inaccurate, since Nicki Minaj went to LaGuardia High School and LaGuardia High School is not the spr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 5, 2013

    BOYCOTT! Like Rick Ross, These Product-Endorsing Artists Have Said Vile Things

    Yesterday activists protested Reebok's flagship store to put pressure on the company to cut its ties with rapper Rick Ross, who recently ... well you already know this story. Whether or not the more than 71,000 signatures collected to get Ross fired will work remains to be seen, but Big Corporations ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2013

    Props to Hip-Hop's iLLspokinn on NYC's Fastest-Growing Rap Tribute

    Friday night, the Props to Hip-Hop classic rap tribute showcase plays its biggest show yet at B.B. King. For the past two years, TruStatement Entertainment's Props to Hip-Hop concert series has created an audience for a live hip-hop homage. With a full band playing the beats and some of the city' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2013

    The Five Best NYC Rap Albums That Never Happened

    This week, while we've taken a loving look back at the finest album-length offerings that the home of hip-hop has contributed to the genre, we're also reminded of the empty spaces in our record collections where masterpieces should sit. It's heartbreaking enough that rap in an album form didn't catc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2013

    The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time: The Complete List

    Any list of the Greatest New York Rap Albums of All Time is, essentially, a list of simply the Greatest Rap Albums of All Time. The genre was invented here, after all, and over the years -- from early days to Golden Age and onward-- the city's hip-hop history has been an embarrassment of riches. Fas ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2013

    Lil Wayne: Human After All

    Friends. Romans. Martians. I stand before you not to bury Lil Wayne and I Am Not A Human Being II, nor do I intend to praise it. Instead, I implore you to marvel at this album's sheer existence, because yet again, Lil Wayne has managed to accomplish something only great artists can: he's made someth ... More >>

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