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"I'm here to get what's mine." - Fox's 'Empire'

​​Empire is a Monster That Is Eating Network Television - Buzzfeed​, Feb. 26, 2015:​
"When it comes to ratings, Fox’s Empire is on a trajectory that’s unprecedented in broadcast television’s recent history, which has mostly been marked by — to appropriate a phrase from Hakeem Lyon (Bryshere Y. Gray) — drip drops, if not just​​ plain old slaughter. As of last week, it is the No. 1 show on network television in the 18 to 49 demographic advertisers seek. And once again, the show built on its ratings this week."​
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Mar 1, 2015 - 38 comments

Lorn's The Maze to Nowhere EPs, experimental, accessible and free

Lorn has never been one to shy away from the darkness in his music. However, where as his previous release, Ask the Dust (Grooveshark) was bleak and mechanical in it's struggle with its demons, The Maze to Nowhere (Bandcamp) is melodic, fuzzy and at times even warm. If you've listened to Lorn's previous releases, 'warm' is generally not a word associated with his tunes. Whereas his previous effort worked with the bleakness of empty space, we find him filling in those cracks on this album with static, fuzz and ambient effects. The resulting product is a much more organic sounding beast, and man, does it sound great.
From the Sputnik Music review of Lorn's first of ? parts in The Maze to Nowhere series of pay-what-you-want EPs on Bandcamp, which now includes Part 2 and Part 3, still with no end in sight. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 28, 2015 - 5 comments

Pass me the torch eh eh

Who is the most important rapper right now? A Grantland Survey.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 25, 2015 - 81 comments

Dr. Dre's Secret (Sequined) History

Dr. Dre's Secret (Sequined) History; or, that show in 1983 that widened Dr. Dre's horizons.
posted by goatdog on Feb 20, 2015 - 11 comments

such is the cost of the Experiment

Why Chance The Rapper Is Forgoing Solo Fame To Make Jazzy Songs With Friends (Chance previously) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 17, 2015 - 7 comments

Boom Bap

Samplestitch maps hip-hop samples (from J. Dilla, 9th Wonder and Kanye West) to keyboard buttons.
posted by box on Feb 16, 2015 - 10 comments

Proof that The Beatles traveled through time, from 1964 to 1994

Over 50 years ago, The Beatles arrived in New York for their first US visit, but what if ....
Having departed Heathrow on the 7th February 1964, John Lennon, in a playful mood, ordered the pilot to divert the plane via the Bermuda Triangle. Newly declassified documents reveal that Pan Am Flight 101 disappeared from US radar screens shortly after midday, local time. At great expense we have obtained – from reliable Russian mafia sources – an MP3 copy of the black box recorder of that ill-fated Boeing 707. This indicates that as far as those aboard the plane knew, after experiencing severe cyclonic turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean, they re-routed towards New York, believing themselves to have narrowly avoided aeronautical disaster. But on arriving at JFK airport, they were stunned to learn that they had arrived in the year 1994.
That's the premise of An Adventure To Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space, a two-hour ill-trippy musical adventure with golden era hip-hop musicians, from P.E. to Spoonie Gee, Tha Liks to Hieroglyphics and Large Professor to Salt n Pepa, courtesy of Tom Caruna, also the artist behind Enter the Magical Mystery Chamber (previously, and still online)
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 9, 2015 - 14 comments

The Noise and How to Bring It

The Quietus interviews Hank Shocklee on hip-hop production team The Bomb Squad and Public Enemy's legendary sound
I've got a big jazz background and listening to a lot of jazz records I got an understanding of how you can be eclectic, in terms of your musical scales. You could create melodies and rhythms that were atonal. It didn't necessarily have any real tone but the tone would be determined by what you layered on top of it. So, for example, because Chuck has this kind of baritone voice, Chuck becomes the melody, and the track becomes the accompaniment. If you take a Billie Holiday record, and a Public Enemy record, in a way they are very similar. This is where it gets crazy. And Flav, well basically Flav is a tenor. I read a Clive Davis interview. And to me, Clive is one of the greatest producers of all time. And he said something that was cool, he said the artist always has to be the star, and sound like a star. And the beautiful thing about the Public Enemy records is, Chuck and Flavor provide the melody, on all the records.

posted by Mothlight on Feb 4, 2015 - 24 comments

"that it ain’t no gun they can make that can kill my soul"

No other lyrics more perfectly captured the spirit bubbling under the surface of hip-hop in the latter half of 2014 than those sung in J. Cole’s cracking, raspy-voiced performance of “Be Free” on The Late Show on December 10. Clad in a “Fuck Money Spread Love” hoodie, and rocking the post-natural, 2014 version of the revolutionary ’fro, Cole used the venerable Ed Sullivan Theater as a pulpit, bringing attention to Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. He provided an anthem for protests taking place just blocks away.
What’s Going On: Kendrick Lamar, D’Angelo, J. Cole, Kanye West, and the New Sound of Protest Music.
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 25, 2015 - 35 comments

reeeee~wind!!

"A good rewind is that rare thing in life: a product of the moment. If the timing is right, a rewind will bring excitement to the dancefloor, a celebration of the music being played, an energy charge for the place and the people." Laurent Fintoni goes deep on the history of pulling the record back across a variety of genres, from reggae and dub, to dubstep and hip-hop.
posted by raihan_ on Jan 23, 2015 - 5 comments

Meta Hip Hop

Meta Hip Hop
posted by cashman on Jan 21, 2015 - 5 comments

Always Strive And Prosper

Steven Rodriguez, aka ASAP Yams, died on Sunday, Jan. 18th. He was 26. [more inside]
posted by gucci mane on Jan 20, 2015 - 20 comments

Viper

Buried deep within a labyrinthine maze of broken links, hastily formatted webpages, Youtube videos with less than 5,000 views, there is transcendent internet magic just waiting for someone stumble onto it and share it with the world. Enter Viper and “You’ll Cowards Don’t Even Smoke Crack,” which the Chicago Reader highlighted last week both for its idiosyncratic sonics and creative approach to grammar. It’s a title that demands attention but it’s also a hell of a trip, a hypnotic anchor oozing with ominous, sluggish menace via Viper’s tar pit bubble of a voice and that glitchy, needle-stuck-on-the-record “beat.”
posted by josher71 on Jan 18, 2015 - 12 comments

Chapstep

Mr B, The Gentlemen Rhymer - who you may know for his chap-hop ditties 'Chap-Hop History', 'Songs For Acid Edward and Hip-Hop Was To Blame After All' has a side project as The Gentlemen Selector with Acid Ragtime and has dropped the first gramophone platter 'Vegetables' [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 3, 2015 - 15 comments

I need to know my place

Just because there’s been more successful white rappers, you cannot disregard where this culture came from and our place in it as white people.
In the wake of Azealia Banks' controversial interview on Hot 97, in which she called out Iggy Azalea and the "smudging out of black music," Macklemore appeared on the same show, Ebro in the Morning on Monday and spoke thoughtfully and at length about white privilege and cultural appropriation in hip hop. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on Dec 30, 2014 - 96 comments

An undeniable 85-song sampler of the year in hip-hop

The best hip-hop tracks of 2014 from the Kernel, the Daily Dot's digital Sunday magazine.
posted by ellieBOA on Dec 29, 2014 - 16 comments

Phenomenally.

Maya Angelou's posthumous hip hop project Caged Bird Songs, has a new music video for Harlem Hopscotch.
posted by ChuraChura on Dec 28, 2014 - 2 comments

Founding Fathers of Hip Hop

The Founding Fathers [1hr25min] "unsung DJ's who contributed to the foundational principals of the music known today as Hip Hop. This documentary transports you to a journey back to the early underground disco days of the streets and parks throughout New York City." Narrated by Chuck D, with plenty of primary interviews and slammin' beats.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton on Dec 27, 2014 - 3 comments

Kreezus - Local Business Comedy

If Kanye West decided to make a Christmas album where he believed he is Santa Claus, it would be this
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 23, 2014 - 11 comments

Warren G and Nate Dogg, 'Regulate': Oral History

Two decades ago, Warren Griffin III and Nathaniel "Nate Dogg" Hale stormed the pop charts with "Regulate," a back-and-forth tale about an attempted car-jacking that goes down on a clear black night in L.A.'s Long Beach. Recorded in Warren G's apartment, the smooth, Michael McDonald-sampling quiet storm peaked at Number Two on the Billboard singles chart and became one of the defining songs of the 1990s. Rolling Stone talked to Warren G and his collaborators about the song that put West Coast hip-hop on a whole new level.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Dec 22, 2014 - 20 comments

Bonobo, inspired by beautiful hip-hop, London scenes, and a tumble dryer

From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 27, 2014 - 12 comments

Eminem at 42

“im bored of the old men threatening young women as entertainment trend and much more interested in the young women getting $ trend. zzzz”
posted by josher71 on Nov 26, 2014 - 57 comments

A Chat with Dionne Osborne, the Vocal Coach Who Changed Drake's Style

What I found in those recordings was that he has the most comfortable voice. It wasn't showy, and it had a very nice tone: it sounded so conversational. He wasn't singing at you, but singing to you. A lot of singers overdo it, try to bombast you, but Drake doesn't. And the average person can sing Drake's songs, and that's part of what they love.
posted by ellieBOA on Nov 20, 2014 - 18 comments

Hip Hop When The World Was Young

In the early 1990s, photographer and cinematographer Lisa Leone was a fixture on the New York hip hop scene. She recently uncovered a trove of old behind-the-scenes photos of iconic rappers and breakdancers, which have been collected into the book Here I Am, and are currently on exhibit at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. The New York Times' Lens blog has an excellent selection of the shots.
posted by Diablevert on Nov 18, 2014 - 4 comments

The 3-6 Chambers

Final Fantasy 3 (or is it 6?) was released 20 years ago. As it was coming out, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was blowing up the NYC music scene. In their honour, enjoy Final Fantasy - The 3-6 Chambers! [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Nov 13, 2014 - 29 comments

These are the times of the parables

A Parable.
"Hey do want to hear an album of spoken word poetry raps?"
*everyone looks uncomfortable*
"It's by a white girl from...England? With uh, garage beats?"
*everyone gets on to a spaceship and flies into the sun"
"Her name is Kate Tempest (previously). There's stories, about dating and generally being disaffected and drinking too much? And she utterly kills it live. Her old band was decent but, this is, like next level."
*no-one is left on earth but Common. He is wearing sunglasses as the sun flares.* *He nods his head.*
Common: "This is dope."
Mike Skinner (he's there too): "Well rude innit. Let's get a kebab mate."
F I N
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 7, 2014 - 13 comments

Rick Was Here, a short film on the NYU dorm room where Def Jam started

30 years ago, Rick Rubin was a college student, living in NYU's Weinstein Residence Hall, room #712. It was there that Def Jam Records was formed, shifting the focus of hip-hop from the MCs to promote the DJs, too. Rubin and his label quickly outgrew the dorm, and he hasn't been back since. Recently he returned, and the adventure was captured and put into context by Rolling Stone Film's mini-documentary, Rick Was Here. New footage rolls alongside old, with some animations to bring a few audio-only stories to life. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 20, 2014 - 13 comments

Mister Rogers tried to sue us!

The Making of Ice Cube's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, an excerpt from Brian Coleman's upcoming Check the Technique 2: More Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies (SLMedium)
posted by box on Oct 14, 2014 - 11 comments

My Africa Is...

My Africa Is Lagos: WeCyclers. The Floating School. Avante Garde Fashion Photography. Dakar: Le Journal Rappe. Malika Surf Camp. Sunu Street Project. Diaspora: Sonic Diaspora. Os Kuduristas. Technologie Democracy. (via)
posted by ChuraChura on Oct 12, 2014 - 4 comments

The Gordon Gekko of Hip-Hop

"Aint Nothing Shine Brighter Than That Bad Boy": The Inside Story of Hip-Hop's Most Notorious Label
posted by supermassive on Sep 14, 2014 - 4 comments

I don't know what I am doing with Face Book!! Love, Grandmaster Flash

Love, Grampa and GrandmaSTER FLASH: Grandmothers accidentally tagging Grandmaster Flash on Facebook.
posted by not_on_display on Sep 11, 2014 - 45 comments

"our healthy but preposterous need to make lists"

The Perfect Beat is an article by The New Yorker's music critic Sasha Frere Jones where he lays out the reasoning behind his "Perfect Recordings" project, essentially a list of 200 songs that fit his personal criteria for perfection. The lists are available as Twitter timelines (volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5), Spotify playlists (volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5) or as one 200 song Rdio playlist. Frere-Jones answered some questions about the project and spoke about a few individual songs in The Guardian.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 8, 2014 - 46 comments

¡SUÉNALO!

This a little story 'bout this one time, we got booked to play a show, right? It was down in the Keys, we wuz makin' our way - and we ran into the Tiki Bar
“Funk cruises through the Caribbean picking up Afro sounds from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Reggae meets rock in a head-on collision. Jazz and electro hook up for a sidewalk makeout session. Hip-hop seems to hum from the very pavement, and R&B drifts in on the night wind. Suenalo reaches to far-flung corners and retrieves all these, takes them and mashing them together, marrying them—disparate players melded into a somehow harmonious blend.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 2, 2014 - 5 comments

How dope was the Arsenio Hall Show? This dope.

Massive East Coast All-Star Freestyle on Arsenio - 1994 (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by honestcoyote on Aug 11, 2014 - 19 comments

No Wawa in the Hood

No Wawa in the Hood by Donuts n' Puddin', a new online variety show. A short, catchy song about the superiority of Wawa over corner stores and 7-11.
posted by Drinky Die on Aug 8, 2014 - 37 comments

Feminism, stereotypes, and Nicki Minaj's album cover (NSFW)

Nicki Minaj (autoplaying video) is a singer, rapper, songwriter and actress who is known for her outlandish outfits, makeup, and wigs, and gutsy, lyrically skilled rapping. She creates personas or "masks" in her music and videos to communicate her message. Recently, she released an album cover online to promote her new release, Anaconda, and to create buzz. Boy did it. (All links NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 29, 2014 - 325 comments

Oops, you got your music in my katamari!

Team Teamwork has released Katamari Da-Emcee, a mashup album of the wonderful soundtrack from the 2004 Playstation 2 cult hit Katamari Damacy with various hip-hop songs from artists including Kanye West, 50 Cent, and Big Freedia, the New Orleanian queen of bounce music. [more inside]
posted by Corinth on Jul 11, 2014 - 36 comments

Butter Ya'self - Gettin' hot and heavy in the oven like a casserole

Butter Ya'Self (Vimeo; YouTube) is "basically ... the story of Drake and Lil’ Wayne [as told with an anthropomorphic banana, hot dog bun, and stick of butter]. ButterKrust is 100% based on Wayne – Nana Splits isn’t based on anyone real but his relationship to ButterKrust is based on Drake’s relationship to Lil’ Wayne. The most important thing I wanted to express in this video is the relationship between them, how tight they are and how much Nana Splits looks up to ButterKrust." That's the story from Julian Petschek, who is studying at The California Institute of the Arts. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 5, 2014 - 2 comments

The Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention.

New York’s golden era had hip-hop luminaries digging in the crates at the legendary Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention. Record dealer John Carraro reflects on introducing old music to the likes of Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Large Professor, Buckwild, Diamond D, Prince Be, Mr. Walt, and DJ Clark Kent, among others.
posted by chunking express on Jun 1, 2014 - 11 comments

Free, streaming Detroit (style) hip-hop from DJ House Shoes and friends

While the name Michael “House Shoes” Buchanan remains unknown to most, he's been involved with the Detroit hip-hop community since '94, producing some beats for an (unreleased) EP by Elzhi in 1998, plus a few other projects in the 1990s, but he really started making noise in the 2000s, finally releasing his own album, Let It Go, in 2012, which he then offered as a free download in 2013. All the while, he's continued to act as "Detroit's Hip-Hop Ambassador to the World," promoting other up-and-coming acts through various channels, including his on-going series, "The Gift," in which he promotes new artists. [NOTE: NSFW lyrics throughout the music] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 1, 2014 - 4 comments

Rap Shirts for White People

"DISCLAIMER: Rap Shirts for White People can be worn by people of all colors, but in some cases, it may not be appropriate to wear them at all. Use your best judgment." [NSFTwerk]
posted by Rykey on May 31, 2014 - 102 comments

Breaking, locking & Popping

From the VIBE hip hop dance competition (University of Southern California, Irvine / Segerstrom Hall - January 18, 2014): 2nd place, The Company [more inside]
posted by growabrain on May 24, 2014 - 36 comments

The Largest Vocabulary in Hip Hop

Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare’s vocabulary: across his entire corpus, he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever (average people have a vocab of 5,000 words). I decided to compare this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop. I used each artist’s first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay-Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake.

posted by cthuljew on May 3, 2014 - 79 comments

Whether @peace or angry at god, it's all hip hop

Home Brew: Good God. @peace-disfunktional.
posted by aychedee on Apr 25, 2014 - 1 comment

Point, counter point, point, even more point

Six ways to stop your child from being brainswashed by mainstream rap. Why the 6 ways...got it all wrong. Why hipsters need to stop writing about hip hop culture. Hipsters can't ruin hip hop.
posted by josher71 on Apr 25, 2014 - 85 comments

Blue sky above, black death below, instrumental music between

Blue Sky Black Death are a duo of hip-hop/electronic producers from Seattle who took their group name from an old skydiving term for the yin/yang balance of a beautiful blue sky above and the possibility of death below. They have worked with a number of rappers (Cam'ron and P.A.P.I. (Nore), Hell Razah, Jean Grae, and Nacho Picasso [NSFW lyrics]), but they show that their music can stand on its own, "wringing strangely affecting emotional grandeur from the rudiments of sound ... [relying] less on glitch or drone and more on starry-eyed orchestral vastness," as heard in (the extended version of) Noir, and so much more of their discography that is on Bandcamp and their YouTube account.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 22, 2014 - 3 comments

"I'm on my feet like Tough Actin'® Tinactin®."

How many rappers have name-checked Tough Actin' Tinactin brand anti-fungal skin products? More than you would think.
posted by not_on_display on Apr 17, 2014 - 25 comments

If I saw this as a kid I probably would have joined the gymnastics team

Lousiana State University sophomore Lloimincia Hall becomes an Internet sensation after her perfect 10 performances in the floor exercise, combining gymnastics technical proficiency with hot dance moves.
posted by divabat on Apr 15, 2014 - 73 comments

Mustard On The Beat

Who is DJ Mustard? And why is he "The Sound of 2014."? [more inside]
posted by R.F.Simpson on Apr 15, 2014 - 17 comments

You Create Your World

Murder Dog Magazine has served as the voice of underground hip hop for over twenty years, printing unfiltered interviews with up-and-coming artists from regional scenes on their way to national prominence. The magazine's founder and editor, the Sri Lankan immigrant Black Dog Bone, shares the improbable story of how a boy from the jungle championed the voice of inner city youth in the U.S.
posted by chrchr on Apr 14, 2014 - 1 comment

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