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 >>
We've all seen it. Whether in real life or observing a work of fiction, a character is positioned to unexplainably begin rapping. A beat will kick in and/or a mic will be thrust in their hand and, for some reason, eight of their first nine words are "My name is...and I'm here to say."
In hip-hop's 40 year history, few have been as vilified and demonized as the record executive. With the culture of the four elements seemingly always at odds with "the industry," one executive is finally taking to wax to strike back. This week sees Anyextee, the CEO of Amalgam Digital, put out Exec ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
If nothing else, 2013 was a landmark year in commemorating other landmark years. Nostalgia's been booming business for a bit now, and taking the time looking back at these milestones has allowed the internet to succeed where the ever-depleting resources for music education have failed. However, we t ... More >>
Since October of 1955, when Norman Mailer and co. founded The Village Voice as a weekly paper for bros of the leftist pinko persuasion, we've done our dutiful best to preserve every word ever printed in our pages, tucking them away in our vast archival editorial library (pictured above). This summer ... 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 >>
Saturday night, B.B. Kings will be rocked by one of the most important hip-hop groups ever when the Furious Five take the stage to perform their iconic and infinitely important hits and classic routines. While plenty of hip-hop retrospectives in the past year have revisited and celebrated "The Messa ... More >>
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 >>
The Zulu Nation celebrates its 38th anniversary
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 >>
Large Professor cuts an outside figure in the New York hip-hop scene these days. As a producer who also happens to rap in an endearingly economical manner, he's integral to any overview of hip-hop's storied golden era--he tutored under Paul C, contributed production input to Eric B & Rakim so ... More >>
New York City's punk-funk godfathers still make music to move you by
Also-beloved friend-of-SOTC Ben Westhoff's new book, Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop, will be available on May 1st from Chicago Review Press. This excerpt focuses on Southern pioneers Geto Boys and particularly beloved rapper Scarfa ... More >>
The Wu-Tang Clan is hip-hop's most enduring family. Thanks to seemingly unbreakable bonds both artistic and familial, the now eight-strong crew of rappers is still together, despite frequent -- and usually shoddily sourced -- media claims that they're about to implode due to rampant bickering ... More >>
"I don't think the true Sugar Hill Records story has ever been told because there's so much skull-duggery attached to it," says Keith Le Blanc, the one-time in-house drummer for Sugar Hill Records. The pioneering New York label, which brought hip-hop to the world's ears in 1979 with the Sugar ... More >>
Well, a children's audio book. Well, she was featured on a couple of songs in a two-CD audio book that was done to go along with The Portal in the Park by Cricket Casey.
An old-school hip-hop legend gets right with God
Photo via Self-Titled Liquid Liquid Santos Party House November 19 Last night's Liquid Liquid show was scheduled to happen twice—"The band and DJs will ebb and flow together whenever LL damn well feels like it, apparently," was the not-so-reassuring dual set-time explanation. But at the end of t ... More >>
Major-label hip-hop records in burying-best-tracks shocker!
Classic New York noise comp has a powerful effect without affectation
The exuberant wild style of Busy Bee still resonates three decades later