Subject:

Hip-Hop and Rap

  • 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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2014

    Do These Much-Loathed Rap Albums Deserve Our Ire?

    Last month marks five years since electronics and media giant Circuit City closed its doors forever. As a music fan, I miss Circuit City quite a bit. Not only were their prices on CDs usually exceedingly low, presumably in efforts to get customers to enter the store and buy televisions or whatever, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 28, 2014

    Voss Brings Us Behind BET's "Freestyle Friday"

    This month, BET announced they're launching the second season of "Ultimate Freestyle Friday." What this means is more freestyle rap battle action will be hitting TV screens coast-to-coast, possibly launching new stars into the rap's collective conscience. But for a show that's been on the air for ov ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2014

    M-TRI and DJ Leecy T Find Bliss in Hip-Hop Wedlock

    The one-MC one-DJ rap outfits have always shared a special bond, but none have shared holy matrimony. That is, until MTRI and DJ Leecy T. They recently released their new videos for "Rush" (with Ukraine artist Dee the Conscious One) and "Expression" (with Slovakia's Golias and DJ Muki), both filmed ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2014

    March 23, 2004: The Most Important Day in Indie Rap History?

    Where were you on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004? If you were a music fan, chances are you were picking up Usher's Confessions album, as it eventually went diamond and birthed "Yeah," a song that seems to get as much airplay today as it did 10 years ago. Or, if your radar picked up underground movements, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2014

    Freddie Gibbs and Madlib Have Already Made the Rap Album Of The Year

    Earlier this week, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib conspired to release the rap album of the year. Titled Pinata (or Cocaine Pinata to give the project its full and un-chain-store-friendly moniker), it's a 17-track listen that's shot through with the steely feel of a future classic. It's also a project tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2014

    Revisiting Beat Street 30 Years Later

    Last week kicked off City College New York's fifth annual Is Hip-Hop History Conference. An annual conference aimed at preserving and promoting hip-hop culture, this year's opening night was a celebration of the classic hip-hop film Beat Street's 30th anniversary. Along with event co-founders Elena ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2014

    Why We Worship J. Dilla

    February might be the cruelest month for hip-hop fans. Despite being the shortest of the year, it reminds us in rapid succession of losing some of the most promising talents whose lives were cut just short of drastically impacting the rap world. Among those lost in this 28 day span are Big Pun (Febr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2014

    Which De La Soul Album Is the Best?

    Last Friday, Long Island rap greats De La Soul shocked and delighted the world in the best of ways by putting their entire Tommy Boy-released discography up for free download for 24 hours. Folks who've never experienced the group's output, or perhaps hadn't heard it in a while, flocked to their webs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2014

    T-Pain Did Not Get the Concept of "Royals"

    For a song that's been turned inside-out by a variety of takes and unique approaches, "Royals" surprisingly hadn't been revamped in a way that had completely shifted its message. That is until Cher-inspired rapper T-Pain got a hold of Lorde's breakout hit and made the anti-consumption, broke kid ant ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2014

    A History of Rappers and Boxing

    Yesterday, headlines were made and stomachs were turned with the news that Trayvon Martin-shooter George Zimmerman would be taking part in a "Celebrity Boxing" event. As if the notion of killing a teenager qualifying one as a "celebrity" wasn't enough, it was announced that Zimmerman's opponent woul ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    February 5, 2014
  • Blogs

    February 4, 2014

    Should Rap Lyrics Be Used in Criminal Trials?

    Legions of angry parents were already up in arms when gangster rap arrived on the scene. After the 1985 PMRC Senate hearings helped institute "Parental Advisory" stickers, albums by Ice-T and N.W.A. were among the first to be branded. Since then, rap as a musical form has continued to take its lumps ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    January 29, 2014

    BY ANY NAME NECESSARY

    2 Chainz comes to Roseland Ballroom

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2014

    The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll: Top 10 Singles By Year, 1979-2013

    Singles were added to the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics' poll for the music of 1979 issue. Before that, only albums were ranked in the poll, which began in 1971, then stopped for three years before returning for good in early 1975 to recap the music of 1974. Here's a rundown of the top ten singl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2014

    The Year's Most Acclaimed Hip-Hop Artists Transcended Backpack Pasts

    "In this season, the man of goodwill will wear his heart up his sleeve, not on it." —W.H. Auden "Wu-Tang forever." —Drake There are only so many ways to conceal your backpack past. You can auto-tune your voice to sound like an answering machine or submerge it in a chopped-a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2014

    The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll: Top 10 Albums By Year, 1971-2013

    Cruise through this index of the Voice's top ten albums from 1971 through 2013, according to its annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll, started by Robert Christgau. The poll has run every year since '71, except for a three-year hiatus after that first year. The prominence of legacy artists on the inaugu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2014

    Songs OutKast Should Play at Their Reunions to Please True Fans

    It's official: Outkast is back. Live, at least. Fans would no doubt love to hear the duo is back in the lab working on something new, but knowing that they're headlining Coachella in April and then Governors Ball in June is good enough. Dre and Big Boi can, of course, patch together a set of big hit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2014

    The Audible Doctor Discusses 50 Cent's Jenga Skills

    Editor's note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline. As part of the Brown Bag Allstars, The Audible Doctor has held down an esteemed position in the New York City rap underground for a while now. 2014 is shaping up ... More >>

  • Music

    January 8, 2014
  • Blogs

    January 7, 2014

    Five Rappers Who Will Be Big in 2014

    Hip-hop turned 40 last year. One constant throughout its history? There's always a new act just around the corner, ready to completely flip the game with a new style. So who's on deck in 2014? Here are five MCs we are confident will be much discussed over the next twelve months. See also: Five NY ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2014

    Hip-Hop Classics Turning 20 in 2014

    There's a reason "bring it back to '94" had become such a heartfelt calling card for hip-hop traditionalists. While it's always been a primarily singles-driven genre, you would be hard pressed to find a single year with more endlessly influential, important and well aging rap classics than 1994. A l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2014

    Will These Delayed Rap Albums Finally Come Out in 2014?

    The year was 2009 AD. After countless years of delays and speculation, Wu-Tang Clansman Chef Raekwon unleashed upon an unprepared world Only Buily 4 Cuban Linx II. Originally slated for a 2005 release, the exceptionally big gap between its announcement and its hitting store shelves was quickly forgi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2013

    The 2013 NYC Rap Report: 8 Artists Give Their Take On The Year

    With 2013 drawing to a close, we checked in with eight New York rap artists who contributed notable releases to the schedule and pressed them for their own take on how they felt the year in hip-hop went. Read on to hear what Homeboy Sandman, YC The Cynic, CJ Fly, Steel Tipped Dove, the Doppelgangaz, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2013

    Meet Knowledge the Pirate, The First Gangster To Rap Over Neptunes Beats

    Knowledge the Pirate counts himself as a member of the rapper Roc Marciano's inner circle. Alongside KA, who we recently nominated as recording the best New York City rap album of the year, Knowledge appeared on Marci's acclaimed Reloaded project and was also around during the recording of that proj ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2013

    9 Fantastic Old-School Hip-Hop Christmas Songs

    Looking to freshen up your faithful ol' holiday playlist with a little hip-hop? Well nix thoughts of falling back on that foul-mouthed Christmas On Death Row album -- rappers were penning joyful and funked-up holiday ditties long before Snoop and Dre and Suge decided to congregate around the metapho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2013

    What Would an Action Bronson Cologne Smell Like?

    If New York City Subway advertisements are anything to go by, the absolute most important gift to bestow upon a loved one this December is the opportunity to smell like Nicki Minaj, whose new perfume Minajesty is now out and available for purchase. But why should the chance to rock somebody's nose l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2013

    Chase N. Cashe: "Troy Ave Has the Best Rap Album of 2013"

    Chase N. Cashe may be the most popular guy in hip-hop. In a few short years, the New Orleans rapper/producer has ingratiated himself with seemingly everyone; being memorably name-checked by Drake on "9 am in Dallas," winning Grammy Awards, clocking production credits with the likes of Beyonce and Li ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2013

    Four New York Rappers Before They Were Famous

    Nothing ever truly disappears from the internet--or so we're told. It's a rule that applies for a bunch of currently-feted New York rappers whose prior songs, images and MC monikers can still be found online in the nooks of outlets like SoundClick and YouTube. Here's a trek through the ages of the e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2013

    The 10 Best New York City Rap Albums of 2013

    The mainstream end of New York City's 2013 rap output might have seen uptown upstarts A$AP Rocky and French Montana putting numbers on the board, but the city's most fertile and invigorating offerings came from less glitzy-reaching enclaves. Consider this round-up a salute to the rap albums that bes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2013

    How Two White New Yorkers Created the Ultimate Portrait of Houston Rap

    If this weather's got you interested in curling up on the couch with a warm blanket and a good book, you're in luck. Sinecure Books has just put out a great one: photographer Peter Beste's Houston Rap, a years-in-the-making picture book detailing the locals and locales that have defined that city's ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    December 4, 2013
  • Blogs

    December 3, 2013

    Exclusive Premiere: M-Phazes and Sean Price's "Dump in the Gut"

    Flush from the success of co-producing Eminem's "Bad Guy" from the rapper's platinum-selling The Marshall Mathers LP 2, the Australian-based producer M-Phazes has furrowed back into the New York City rap turf to team up with Sean Price for a new EP project titled Land of the Crooks. You can stream t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 27, 2013

    Chinx Drugz on Stack Bundles' Legacy and I'll Take It From Here

    Chinx Drugz is running on empty right now. The rapper's been up for hours after an all-night recording session at Diddy's Daddy's House Recording Studio in Midtown, which at one point included French Montana, Travis Scott, Harry Fraud and strangely, a hookah-puffing Macklemore. See also: Jim Jones ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2013

    The Top Five Black Album Remixes

    This month, Jay Z's "retirement" album The Black Album turned 10 years old. While it's historic for being a lavish (third) retirement album, arguably its greatest impact was ushering in the era of the underground remix album. Bridging the gap between the initial mash-up craze of 2003 that gave us th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2013

    The Puzzling History of Rap Album Sequels

    It looks like Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is on track to becoming the year's biggest rap release. While we're just now hitting the fifth year mark of Eminem's "comeback," this new album's success and praise has largely been attributed to Em's efforts to rekindle the fire that made the origina ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2013

    P on the Boards: The ASAP Mob's Young Beatmaking Visionary

    There's no shortage of young hip-hop producers attempting to carve out a niche and get their beats into the hands of the next big rapper. But very few have the straightforward enthusiasm of the ASAP Mob's own P on the Boards. See also: Meet The A$AP Mob: Talking To Ant, Ferg, J. Scott, Nast, Twelv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2013

    Five Early Kanye West Clips You Probably Haven't Seen

    Kanye West plays Barclays Center Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It's crazy to think that, as recently as a decade ago, there was a time when he wasn't absolutely everywhere. And yet, even in those days, he was still lurking, just a bit beneath the surface. So here are five early Kanye clips you proba ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2013

    Necro Presents: The Unauthorized Biography of Kool G Rap

    This week Necro and Kool G Rap have unleashed their hardcore manifesto Once Upon A Crime on the world under the guise of The Godfathers. The project fuses gore-master general Necro's brutal beats and no-holds-barred rhymes with veteran New York City gangsta rapper Kool G Rap's still-furious flows. I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2013

    Premiere: Vulkan the Krusader's V For Vendetta-Inspired "Wild Horses"

    The name of Vulkan the Krusader first came onto our radar when his vocals popped up on a track on Steel Tipped Dove's epic double volume project & A Whole Bunch Of Crazy Motherfuckers earlier this year. Titled "Last Prayer," the song introduced a rap voice that seemed to drop introspective gems with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2013

    Troy Ave Promises New York City Is a Classic Album (or Your Money Back)

    It's Sunday, the eve of his new album -- the album that will quite possibly change Troy Ave's life from regional street rapper to coveted major label sensation -- but all he can focus on right now is whether New Utrecht High School's football team will make it into the playoffs. The 20-something Bro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2013

    The History of Horrorcore

    While hip-hop is a worldwide multi-billion dollar industry at this point, a big part of what's kept rap music so fresh and vibrant for almost 40 years now is the constant innovations coming from its various regional sub-genres. While tracing the lineage of rap styles has been made easier with the ad ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2013

    Poetic of Gravediggaz: Rap's Unsung Genius

    It seems ever since Odd Future started to blow up in 2010, every person who feels the need to share their opinion on rap music has all of a sudden felt it pertinent to mention that they've "been down," "loved," and/or "grew up" on '90s horrorcore perfectionists Gravediggaz. Irritating as such namedr ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    October 30, 2013

    MONSTER MASHUP

    Skip trick-or-treating for a show featuring three of rap's best

  • Voice Choices

    October 30, 2013

    DANCE YOURSELF CLEAN

    Steve Aoki and crew take over Pier 94

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2013

    James Rosemond, Hip-Hop Manager Tied to Tupac Shooting, Gets Life Sentence for Drug Trafficking

    James Rosemond, the hip-hop manager who went by "Jimmy Henchman," is probably best known for his alleged involvement in the 1994 shooting that left Tupac Shakur robbed and bleeding in New York's Quad Studios. In his song Against All Odds, Shakur blamed Rosemond. In a controversial 2008 L.A. Times ar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2013

    Which Female Country Star is Your Favorite Rapper?

    Earlier this month Phonte dropped much knowledge about which rappers correspond to which classic television shows. To wit: Jay is The Wire; Nas is Breaking Bad; Kanye is Lost; East Bound and Down is Action Bronson, etc. etc. It's a fun game, and anyone who thinks too much about hip-hop has definitel ... More >>

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