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 >>
For more shows throughout the weekend, check out our New York Concert Calendar, which we update daily.
Celebrate the Seegers
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 >>
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 >>
You enter the room and they're already there. Some of the names you recognize: Randa the Rhyma (45 wins), Gig@ntic (48 wins), and Novice Raps (53 wins). You've checked the boards obsessively, but you've only ever been here before anonymously, as a guest. This is your first appearance in competition. ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
Better Than: Watching two full days of rock docs. At the 12th annual EMP Pop Conference at Tisch School of the Arts on Friday afternoon, Princeton professor Alexandra Vazquez was presenting on Superstorm Sandy, remaining structures of colonialism, and Cuban-American salsa singer La Lupe, also k ... More >>
Here are the best concerts to check out around the city this weekend, in no particular order.
Rebel Diaz and friends host the first South by South Bronx
Step to the rhythm of Kurtis Blow at Crotona Park
Kool Herc's Birthday/Sutra; Normalized Dance Night/Niagara Bar Thursday, April 26 Better than: Reading about how NYC's nightlife is dead. Last month, in the spirit of March Madness, SOTC created a tournament with the aim of crowning the quintessential New York musician. Popularly dubbed the Godfat ... More >>
Sound of the City's monthlong tournament to determine the quintessential New York City musician (since 1955, the year of the Village Voice's founding) is taking over our site all March. The full schedule and results (as of March 23) below; you can also follow along with our bracket.
Sound of the City's search for the quintessential New York City musician enters Round Two this week. Today, all the remaining contenders in the Uptown division battle it out in the Round of 32. Keep up with all the action here. As if predestined by the Moirai, Bette Midler and the Diplomats will ... More >>
The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness--in which we determine the quintessential New York musician--launches this morning with a series of polls. Up for debate this time: Hip-hop pioneer Kool Herc and the brassy yet divine Bette Midler. Check out the arguments in favor ... More >>
Stevie B, Corina, Safire, and more return to the Bronx
Jimmy Castor was a smart aleck; a wise guy; a clean shit-talker with so much joie de vivre you had to laugh even when his truth-telling smacked you upside the head. So when he died this past Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 71 near his home outside of Las Vegas, far away from the streets of Harlem he o ... More >>
Yes, tonight at Housing Works longtime Voice pal Will Hermes assembles hip-hop Godfather DJ Kool Herc, Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye, Laurie Anderson, Salsa legend Larry Harlow, and former Voice music editor Robert Christgau to discuss the city's music scene(s), as they unfolded from 1973 t ... More >>
Weren't the '70s the best?
Grand Wizzard Theodore, Illstyle and Peace Productions, Hip-Hop Kung Fu, and more Simpson Street, Casita Maria Saturday, August 6 Better than: Cowboys & Aliens. "Some of you might say I'm preaching to the choir," Jorge "Popmaster Fabel" Pabon, a former Zulu Nation member and our master of ... More >>
Kool Herc plays the genesis figure in hip-hop's fable; the first party the Jamaican-born, Bronx-raised DJ threw in the recreation room of his building at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in 1973 is credited with formalizing the genre. From behind two turntables Herc spun the short, percussive sections of ... More >>
Over the weekend DJ Premier, as authoritative a voice as you could ask for in a situation like this, raised the alarm re: Clive Campbell, a/k/a DJ Kool Herc, the guy with as good as claim to the Godfather of Hip-Hop title as anyone. Though details are scarce at the moment, evidently Herc's be ... More >>
Nas, imploring everyone to Tweet #heineken. Pics by Puja, more below.Nas/Cee Lo/Pete Rock/Diplo/J Cole Some Random Warehouse Saturday, November 13 Better Than: The same show sponsored by almost anyone else. "How can you not have a good time when this is free?" shouted hip-hop artist Bua as ... More >>
A plague of souvlaki and tube socks.The folks at Terroir aren't the only ones who have noticed that summer street fairs tend to suck. The Center for an Urban Future has just released "New Visions for New York Street Fairs," a report designed to "kick off a discussion about how these staples o ... More >>
Why the blockbuster collusion of Distant Relatives feels so . . . distant
Hip-hop's first prominent Latino DJ offers a grisly but triumphant memoir
"I faked my own death and everybody believed me: even my mum cried when she read about it in the paper." In 2000, Australian artist Ben Frost faked his own death, sending out newspaper funeral notices that doubled as invites to his solo exhibition. Some, of course, saw this in poor taste--but wha ... More >>
Disney mixed with s/m? More, please.
Starting today, intrepid Voice intern Michael Downes will offer a daily, highly biased digest of that evening's best NYC shows -- and the whole weekend's slate on Friday, which today is, mercifully, if you were not aware. Enjoy. FRIDAY Zaire-born Marie Daulne fronts Zap Mama at Joe's Pub. Foun ... More >>
Busta Rhymes and Ron Browz B.B. King Blues Club March 10 Star power does funny things to your eyes. Take last night's Busta Rhymes/Ron Browz show at B.B. King, for instance. I mistook Kool Herc for Grey's Anatomy's Dr. Richard Webber--an honest mistake considering that the four elements of hip-ho ... More >>
Photo by ra41 via flickr BIRTHPLACE OF HIP HOP — The city's housing department beat the wolves from the door of a Bronx building, saying no to a developer whom tenants feared would kick them out and flip their building—credited as being the birthplace of hip-hop—for a handsome profit. Kool H ... More >>
Kool Herc is fighting to save the rec room where he first wrecked it. Photo by Flowizm via Flickr Maybe there is hope for political hip hop after all. Last week DJ Kool Herc—known as the godfather of hip hop for using breakbeats and toasting in the streets of the Bronx in the bad old 1970s—led ... More >>
The exuberant wild style of Busy Bee still resonates three decades later
Promoters, DJs, and dancers alike prepare for some much needed cabaret lawlessness
Grandmaster Flash and the Smithsonian's new hip-hop collection
Helping his people remember why they love themselves
Veterans look back at hip-hop's big-bang birth in the Bronx