Subject:

Hip-Hop and Rap

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2013

    The Legend Of Snaggapuss: The Cult Bronx MC Who Rapped In A Cartoon Voice And Was Courted By Dr. Dre

    Snaggapuss ingratiated himself to the early-'90s New York City rap scene through a series of guest verses recited in a tone resembling Hanna-Barbera's pink cartoon lion Snagglepuss. As part of mixtape master Doo-Wop's Bounce Squad, Snagga was prepped to emerge as the break-out solo artist of the bun ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2013

    Rap Songs That Sample Shuggie Otis

    Cult funkateer Shuggie Otis plays the Highline tonight. Despite his talent as a multi-instrumentalist and savvy singer-songwriter, Otis's career never quite went mainstream back in the '70s, but his legacy has been well served thanks to a judiciously reissued back catalogue and a series of rap types ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2013

    Five Great Nas Songs You May Have Missed

    Tonight, hip-hop legend Nas will be sitting down with Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony Decurtis at the 92Y for a discussion on his lengthy, important and influential career. For over 20 years, Nas, with his innovative writing style and signature delivery, has contributed some of the most ce ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2013

    Juelz Santana on His New Album: "It's Time To Follow the Leader Again"

    A decade ago, Juelz Santana burst onto a rap scene that didn't know it needed him, rapping about trapping out of Harlem crack spots and moving weight for the goon demographic (and delusional, escapist hipsters too) but he also made pop friendly, sing-along raps for the MTV and the now defunct 106th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2012

    Jay-Z Coldplay = Play-Z: A Rundown of Other Oddball Mashups

    On New Year's Eve Brooklyn's Barclays Center will be alive with the monster double-bill of Coldplay and Jay-Z. Two titanic musical entities that have spent the past decade being the epicenter of their genres, their alignment for one night is sure to be a colossal way to bring in the new year. But de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2012

    Five Hip-Hop Albums We're Excited For in 2013

    The new year is right around the corner, and while we're sure you're squeezing every last bit of new music you can from the few remaining "Best of 2012" lists, it's important to look toward the future and keep in mind all of the great music still to come. While we've all but given up hope that 2013 ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    December 26, 2012
  • Blogs

    December 24, 2012

    The Five Best Viral Christmas Songs of 2012

    If you evaluate your holiday season by the number of Christmas video clips you find on the Internet, then you would be hard-pressed to not consider winter 2012 among the best ever! From unexpected renditions of timeless classics to original tunes that are sure to become standards, there was no short ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2012

    Harry Fraud's Top Five Procers This Year: "Alchemist, Alchemist, Alchemist, Alchemist, and Alchemist"

    Harry Fraud has quickly risen as New York rap's go-to producer since helming French Montana's anthemic "New York Minute" featuring Jadakiss (and later, Nicki Minaj and ostensibly every rapper in the Tri-State Area) and "Shot Caller." He's also produced tracks for everyone from Action Bronson and Ric ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2012

    Rolling Stone's Top 50 Rap Songs of All Time: Six Alternative Number One Picks

    Rolling Stone recently published a run-down of the top 50 hip-hop songs of all time. After consulting with a panel of 33 journalists, industry figures and artists (including professional rap encyclopedia ?uestlove and the remaining members of the Beastie Boys), the numbers were crunched and Grandmas ... More >>

  • Music

    December 19, 2012
  • Blogs

    December 19, 2012

    What the Not Jay and Ye Members of Roc-A-Fella Records Have Been Up To

    Tonight Gramercy Theater is hosting a Roc-A-Fella Records reunion concert. (Although, ummm, considering the notable absences, it seems maybe unauthorized.) It's been just over eight years since Jay-Z and Dame Dash split, ending one of the most influential and dominant labels in rap. While the long-r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2012

    Five Rare Ghostface Killah Songs You've Never Heard

    Tonight, lauded Wu-Tang MC Ghostface Killah takes the stage at Webster Hall. Ghost has spent almost two decades being one of the most prolific MCs in the game. Unfortunately, many legal restrictions have kept some incredible work of his from seeing an official retail release. So, for the Ghostface ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2012

    11 "Minor League Rappers" We Want To Hear on Hot 97

    Last week Hot 97 Program Director Ebro Darden offered a weak explanation about his stations narrow playlist and why they don't play up-and-coming locals, saying--in so many words--that artists not getting spins on the station simply aren't ready for them. They're too underground. They haven't worked ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2012

    The Maybach Difference: How Wale, Meek Mill, and Rick Ross Overcame Early Failure To Find Success

    With all the limitations facing today's music industry, it's rare that any artist gets a second chance. This is especially true in the ever-changing world of hip-hop where if an artist, especially on a major label, doesn't immediately finding an audience, they're soon shuffled back into the over-sat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2012

    Five Dead Rappers We'd Love To Hear More From

    There are few things in the music business as puzzling as the post-mortem release, many of which are terrible grave-robbing cash-ins and awkward Reanimator-esqe collaborations. Still, with so many hyper-creative and prolifically productive hip-hop artists no longer with us, there are a few whose stu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2012

    "Old-School Three Times Over": Meet Afrika Bambaataa, Cornell Professor

    Afrika Bambaataa has been an unofficial professor of hip-hop for so long, it makes perfect sense that Cornell University would appoint the pioneering Bronx-born DJ and founder of the Universal Zulu Nation to a three-year term as a visiting scholar. "Wherever I go on the planet, I'm always teachin' ... More >>

  • Theater

    October 24, 2012
  • Blogs

    October 23, 2012

    An Oddisee Crash Course: From PG to NYC

    One of the most intriguing new voices in hip-hop, Maryland MC Oddisee has amassed one of the most loyal word-of-mouth grassroots fanbases in indie-rap today. Acclaimed for his work both behind the mic and behind the boards (he's produced for Talib Kweli, Freeway and Homeboy Sandman), what makes Oddi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2012

    A Killer Mike Crash Course

    Tonight, one of Atlanta's favorite sons, Killer Mike, plays with Wu-Tang Clansman GZA at Irving Plaza. In many respects, this has been a banner year for Mike, whose El-P produced album R.A.P. Music has given him the most accolades of his career, as well as his work touring with the Into the Wild tou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2012

    Make Time for These Hip-Hop Shows at CMJ 2012

    By all means, enjoy the whispy waifs warbling their sensitive indie ballads up and down the city during CMJ. But make time for some hip-hop while you do. Here are a few acts worth your time. See Also: - Don't Miss These Bands At CMJ - Handy CMJ Flowchart Panel Selector

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2012
  • Blogs

    October 10, 2012

    Waka Flocka Flame - Irving Plaza - 10/9/2012

    By Drew Millard Better Than: Watching Waka Flocka shop for shoes. Gucci Mane came onstage at Irving Plaza last night. GUCCI MANE CAME ONSTAGE. AT IRVING PLAZA. LAST NIGHT. I don't know another way to stress the importance of seeing Gucci Mane come out onstage at this point other than making th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2012

    Machine Gun Kelly on Lace Up Being His Reasonable Doubt, Refuting Purists and Why Microsoft "Needs Jesus"

    It's the eve of his debut album release and Machine Gun Kelly is in the middle of the requisite new rapper media blitz, which, quite frankly, he hates. Right now though, he's grappling with a bigger problem: Does he order Delicatessen's brioche French toast or cheeseburger mac and cheese? It's befor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 3, 2012

    The RZA You Didn't Know Existed

    Tonight, Wu Tang founder and hip-hop mastermind RZA takes the stage at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. One of the most respected names in the music business, he masterminded the transformation of a Staten Island supergroup into a brand whose logo is as recognizable as any in the past 20 years. Not c ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    October 3, 2012
  • Blogs

    October 2, 2012

    How To Stop Masturbating To 50 Cent

    Last week, 50 Cent took to Twitter to tackle an issue few rappers have dared address: the sin of masturbation. He even went so far as to offer a handy four-step guide to avoiding the temptation to debase yourself: Step 1: To avoid the urge to masturbate stop going to porn sites. Step 2: Make a con ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2012

    Rappers At Award Shows: A History Of Violence

    This past weekend saw Rick Ross and Young Jeezy's long-simmering beef boiling over into fisticuffs as the rappers and their entourages went at each other at the BET Hip-Hop Honors Awards (and possibly broke a very expensive mirror in the process). That squabble wasn't a one-off though! Here's a prim ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2012

    Jay-Z - Barclays Center - 9/29/2012 (Day 2)

    See Photos From Night One: Hello Brooklyn: Jay-Z's First Night at the Barclays Center Jay-Z Barclays Center 9/29/12 Better Than: Seeing Jay-Z on the third night at Barclays Center. Brooklyn has quickly become New York City's most popular borough, amassing a cult-like following (and real estate e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2012

    Meek Mill - 40/40 Club - 9/26/2012

    Meek Mill 40/40 Club Wednesday, September 26 Better Than: Schlepping up to Inwood for a random Jay-Z sighting. Jay-Z is hip-hop's reigning master of synergy. Just days before he christens the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with a string of sold-out concerts, the rapper hosted the release of basketbal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2012

    Homeboy Sandman On His Black Thought Man-Crush

    Five years ago, you could find an aspiring rapper named Homeboy Sandman bombarding the subway cars of the 7 train with promotional material claiming that rappers Mos Def, Big Pun, and The Roots' Black Thought considered him the next great rapper. It was a promotional ruse, but one that seems to have ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2012

    The Top 3.9 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Week

    The philosopher Jiminy Cricket once famously said, "Just look at the morning paper. Turn to any page. You'll find the whole world worryin' about some future age. But why get so excited? What's gonna be is gonna be. The end of the world's been comin' since 1903. That's, uh, B.C., of course." Dr. Cric ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2012

    The Fall Of Curtis: How September 11, 2007 Changed Everything For 50 Cent

    Let me indulge in a little bit of Jay-Z/Kanye fan fiction in the least 50 Shades of Grey way possible: Def Jam President and retired rapper Jay-Z was fed up. 50 Cent had been sending subliminal barbs Jay's way for eight years, starting with a shot Mr. Carter's way on "How To Rob" when they were b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2012

    The Brown Bag Allstars Remember Their Days Behind Fat Beats' Counter

    When the West Village record store Fat Beats closed its doors in 2010, the New York City hip-hop scene lost an iconic part of its landscape. But for the rapper/DJ/producer collective Brown Bag AllStars, the store's demise smarted harder than most—they worked there. It's a time in their lives t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 5, 2012

    The Top 5.33 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Week

    The "b word" has been a staple of hip-hop for decades, although there's some linguistic shading as far as its use: women that aren't particularly awesome are called "bitches"; really awesome women are "bad bitches"; respected dignitaries like moms are "ladies" and "females"—unless they're the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 4, 2012

    Nicki Minaj Is Probably Not Voting For Mitt Romney

    After a year in which her rep as a legitimate rap artist has been dented by an album that split its time between dense rhymes and enormous, danceable beats, America has suddenly decided to take Nicki Minaj seriously. And all it took was her bigging up rich white dude Mitt Romney on a verse over G.O. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2012

    Radio Hits One: Nine Songs From 2012 That Should Have Been Huge

    The term "flop," in a musical context, usually refers to an unsuccessful album. Though singles constantly perform above or below expectations, a song will rarely get a reputation as a flop unless there's a lot riding on it, such as a pre-release single from a big-name album. In 2011, Beyonce's "Run ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2012

    The Top 3.28 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Week

    Rap has always had a dividing line between the rapper and the guy that yells out things on stage because it's America, damn it. That man used to be the DJ, who'd spin records for the rapper and rap along to his verses to get the crowd hype. As the years went by and quality DJing became more rare, th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2012

    A Bite With The Band: Angel Haze On New York, Learning About Hip-Hop, And Fiending For Chipotle

    It's harder than it looks to sit down and break burritos with Angel Haze. The plan, originally, was simple: Invite the New York-based (but not native) rapper, whose recent signing to Universal Republic and imminent appearance on Hot97's Who's Next stage have supercharged her white-hot status in th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2012

    Meet The A$AP Mob: Talking To Ant, Ferg, J. Scott, Nast, Twelvy, And Yams

    No city in the world can assemble a musical motley crew of disorderly young gents like New York, although simply forming a quartet isn't enough. Wu Tang Clan, Boot Camp Clik, The Diplomats—we're talking wolf pack numbers. The A$AP Mob's A$AP Rocky has been getting worldwide attention this ye ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2012

    Trey Songz Opens A Much-Read Book To Chapter V

    Much of R&B has been devoted to negotiating the relationship between men and women, and Trey Songz has always been traditional in that regard. His new album, Chapter V is organized neatly into three sections. The first and longest section is a hedonistic celebration of the player lifestyle (note the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2012

    Live: Beanie Sigel Bids A Fanatic Crowd Farewell At S.O.B.'s

    Beanie Sigel S.O.B.'s Thursday, August 16 Better than: The Beanie Sigel show I attempted to see in 2006, purportedly with a "live funk band," that was canceled due to something referred to as "a dental emergency." Nobody who came to Beanie Sigel's show last night at S.O.B.'s seemed to be expectin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 16, 2012

    So Nas Might Have Used A Ghostwriter. So What?

    Earlier this week, one tweet and one blog post alleging that Nas had used ghostwriters—specifically, Jay Electronica and stic of Dead Prez—on his 2007 album Untitled. The tweet, by Jay-Z biographer dream hampton, came first; after that, former Hot 97 art director Frank William Miller Jr. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2012

    The Top 3.66 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Week

    Hip-hop is at its best when artists collaborate, challenging one another to create their best work, and this week's best hip-hop tracks are highlighted by a collection of odd couples. DJ Khaled, of incessant yelling and inexplicably giving Ace Hood work, managed to put Nas, Scarface and DJ Premier o ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    August 15, 2012
  • Blogs

    August 14, 2012

    Let's Imagine What DJ Khaled's Kiss The Ring Will Sound Like

    Despite every living rapper seemingly being just a phone call away, Miami radio personality/record executive/professional shouter DJ Khaled has never once put out a good album. He's been 0-for-5 (yes, DJ Khaled has released five albums), and Kiss the Ring, his sixth record, is on the horizon. Khal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2012

    Seven Must-Dos For The Modern Young Weed Rapper

    Wiz Khalifa is in love with weed. The Pittsburgh-raised rapper has established himself as a hip-hop superstar by making songs that are largely hooked around getting high. While it's not all that a unique pastime—the likes of Snoop Dogg and Cypress Hill ushered in the first great rush of weed r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 2, 2012

    Rick Ross Falls Back To Earth On God Forgives, I Don't

    Rick Ross is a smart man. He's smarter than me, and probably smarter than you. He went from one of the most laughable men in rap music to one of the most powerful and respected, and he did it simply by betting on himself—or by betting on an imagined version of himself. More specifically, Rick ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2012

    The Top 3.75 Hip-Hop Songs Of The Week

    Welcome to Sound of the City's scouring of the many hip-hop songs that drop every week in hopes of finding a couple of songs that stand out. This week we managed to get our hands on three and three-quarters of them—not bad at all.

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2012

    2 Chainz Brings His T.R.U. Story To The 40/40 Club

    Last night at the 40/40 Club, during the listening session for 2 Chainz's debut Based On A T.R.U. Story (Def Jam), it became apparent that the Atlanta MC grew up watching What's Happening?—he kept insisting that he could feel someone recording his album in the crowd a la Rerun's run-in with th ... More >>

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