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it could be very fresh and clean it could be Frankie

In honor of Philip Glass's 75th birthday (look at the cake!), here are three rather odd albums of or based on his music, all free to play:
Glassworked by U Can Unlearn Guitar ranges from drone to speed metal.
What Capitalism Was Plays Philip Glass on Accordion is as described.
Glassbreaks by dj BC mashes up Glass and Hip Hop. (previously)
posted by moonmilk on Jan 31, 2012 - 22 comments

Knope we can!

Election year politics may be cruel, cynical and disheartening, but nerdy rapper Adam Warrock's new EP reminds us that there is one candidate whose message of positivity never wavers, even while it might be at odds with her name. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 27, 2012 - 18 comments

hip-hop family tree comix

The Hip-Hop Family Tree: A Look Into the Viral Propagation of a Culture (part two, part three) is a "semi-regular, ongoing feature" currently running in the comic Brain Rot by Ed Piskor. (Ed Piskor and Wizzywig Comics previously on MeFi)
posted by flex on Jan 25, 2012 - 16 comments

Doug Wimbish! Doug Wimbish!

Doug Wimbish plays bass.
posted by Trurl on Jan 9, 2012 - 22 comments

Lowkey

Hand On Your Gun is a music video dedicated to suit-wearing arms dealers and champagne-drinking depleted uranium droppers from British-Iraqi rapper Lowkey. A few of his other videos: Obama Nation, Terrorist?, Obama Nation part 2, Soundtrack To The Struggle
posted by finite on Jan 6, 2012 - 11 comments

The flying fingers of AraabMUZIK

If you've browsed some of the many year-end Best Album Lists, you might have seen AraabMUZIK's Electronic Dream rank highly. If his name means nothing to you, check an interview with the then 19 year old Hispanic kid from Rhode Island, who had recently graduated high school and connected with Dipset, or the 20 year old drummer-turned-producer whose performance was copied by Kanye (and other information on his life and times). Or maybe you follow producers, and knew he made the beat for Cam'ron's track I Used To Get It In Ohio, or cuts on the Dipset Trance Party mixes (DatPiff has volume 1, 2, and 3). If you want to know more, you can check a mini AraabMUZIK documentary (6:38 on YouTube), or just watch him work the MPC. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 26, 2011 - 12 comments

Yuletide carols being rapped by emcees...

Christmas is tomorrow and some new Christmas songs have come out in the past week. You can go the nice route: What did you get for Christmas? Did you get everything on your wish list? Or go the naughty route: You're still a slave if you celebrate Christmas.
posted by cashman on Dec 24, 2011 - 12 comments

Last Donut of the Night

SLYT: Jazz trio Stray Phrases covers J Dilla's Donuts.
posted by avocet on Dec 21, 2011 - 11 comments

It’s vital ’cause our survival could depend on a video going viral

In response to ongoing police brutality, particularly aimed at the non-violent Occupy Movement, B. Dolan (w/ Sage Francis, Toki Wright, and Jasiri X) have turned NWA's classic "Fuck The Police" into a call to citizen journalists to stand up and FILM THE POLICE!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 13, 2011 - 59 comments

IM MAKING PANCAKES FRESHER THAN A MAFUCKA

Nerdy white kid covers "Look at Me Now" in his kitchen, kills it.
posted by desjardins on Dec 11, 2011 - 57 comments

Deviation String Quartet

On 13 October, Red Bull Music Academy went to London for Revolutions in Sound, filling each pod of the London Eye with a different musical act. One of them was Benji B with special guests The Deviation String Quartet and MC Judah. Here's a video of an hour of mixing UK garage and hip hop with live strings.
posted by sveskemus on Dec 9, 2011 - 12 comments

"She's a rap artist—and she's pretty fucking dope."

Meet Wheelchair Sports Camp, a "psuedo-hip-hop trio from Denver fronted by Kalyn Heffernan, a 56-pound wheelchair-bound badass emcee with CRIP LIFE tattooed on her stomach," who sometimes cover "My Vagina Ain't Handicapped." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 8, 2011 - 9 comments

Funk Styles: The Electric Boogaloo

It's not breakdancing. Not really, although it's associated with breakdancing nowadays; breakin' was originally seen as being very east coast, while these dances originated on the west coast. What was this dancing?Well, many of the most famous 70s-80s street moves are actually called funk styles, which were performed, at first, to funk and disco, and later to early electronic and industrial dance music. And the big daddy of them all was a dance called the Electric Boogaloo, and demonstrated by the Electric Boogaloos.Here they are in their zoot-suited glory, showing off their signature moves. [more inside]
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Dec 4, 2011 - 5 comments

The S-T period to the I-D-E to the S!

In 1991, Ice Cube was a force of nature. The idea that he could someday star in Are We There Yet? was inconceivable. Still, commercialism wasn't foreign to him. He shilled St. Ides malt liquor as furiously as he called out the police.
St. Ides, manufactured by Pabst Brewing Company, targeted young black people. They built an advertising strategy around rappers and hired DJ Pooh to produce beats and commercials. Rappers responded with zeal. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Dec 2, 2011 - 83 comments

Ghostface Killah On Living

In the tradition of Marcus Aurelius and Montaigne, Ghostface Killah (a.k.a. Pretty Toney) has set down his thoughts on living. (audio nsfw) (previously)
posted by Trurl on Nov 19, 2011 - 41 comments

Yellow Magic Orchestra on Soul Train, 1980

Let the robot dancing begin! Yellow Magic Orchestra performs the oft-sampled "Firecracker" on Soul Train, 1980. YMO --". . . presently the most popular band in all of Japan"-- also perform "Tighten Up".
posted by February28 on Nov 14, 2011 - 7 comments

Heavy D dead at 44.

Dwight Arrington Myers, also know as Heavy D passed away today. Hip hop is far less fun today after the passing of the overweight lover. He was instrumental in launching Puff Daddy's career as well. Some of his most popular singles include Somebody for Me, Now That We Found Love and Mr. Big Stuff.
posted by Silo004 on Nov 8, 2011 - 75 comments

Boom Bip: from abstract hip-hop to spooky sounds of black magic from the turn of the 19th century

Bryan Hollon, better known by his musical handle Boom Bip, is probably recognized for two drastically different sounds: abstract hip-hop from his early Mush Records days, and his Mercury Prize-nominated Neon Neon collaboration with Gruff Rhys. Add to that a new inspiration: black magic from the turn of the 19th century. What does that sound like? Let Boom Bip walk you through his new album, Zig Zaj. Step behind the deep red velvet curtains for a peek at the history of Boom Bip. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 24, 2011 - 12 comments

Corporate training videos: Where pop music goes to die.

Hot drinks! [SLYTs all the way down] One wonders why a late-80s fast food chain felt the need to have all their training videos sung as middle-of-the-road hip hop and R&B songs. [more inside]
posted by gusandrews on Oct 23, 2011 - 48 comments

Everything is a remix, but you gotta start with something

So you want to try and remix someone else's songs, but all you have are a random collection of instrumentals and acapellas to work with. Fret not! First, you can find inspiration from the folks who share their reworkings at Tea's Björk Remixes, as there aren't many Björk acappelas to start with, but they still find a way. Then check out the Acapella Archives blog, for a lot of indie hip-hop acapellas and more vocal tracks. If you've browsed those archives, you might notice a link to Beastie Remixes, a community for remixers of Beastie Boys. They have an acapellas page which has more than just vocal tracks: there are also copies of show vinyl, with the tracks that the Boys have used to back up their live shows.
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 22, 2011 - 13 comments

Put the needle on the record when the drum beats go like this...

I Was There When Acid House Hit London and This Is How It Felt by Charles Mudede
posted by Artw on Oct 18, 2011 - 23 comments

Jay Smooth expounds the doctrine of gotnosensitivism

Jay Smooth's, Gotnosensitive: What 'Sensitivity' Really Means (previously) [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 15, 2011 - 59 comments

Can't you hear that boom?

After starring in a giant hit youtube video singing Nicki Minaj's Super Bass, 8 year old Sophia Grace Brownlee (and her somewhat less talented sidekick) came on Ellen Degeneres's show yesterday to perform, and meet/upstage their idol. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 13, 2011 - 65 comments

Aggressively ironic and ostentatiously sloppy

An Indian-American rapper and his crew are making serious waves in the hip hop world. A profile of Himanshu Suri (Heems) and his group - Das Racist.
posted by vidur on Oct 9, 2011 - 44 comments

How to Make Hip Hop Hits

boyinaband rocks Reason and shows us How to Make Hip Hop Hits.
posted by swift on Oct 7, 2011 - 16 comments

Give the drummer some...pipe down, give the plumber some

"The Phonte mixtape to end all Phonte mixtapes. 70 tracks, 78 minutes, covering the past 10 years of my career all mixed and selected by DJ Flash." Phonte is a singer, rapper, one third(ish) of the rap group Little Brother, and the collaboration Foreign Exchange.
posted by cashman on Sep 24, 2011 - 4 comments

Fela Soul

Amerigo Gazaway combined the music of Fela Kuti and De La Soul to create Fela Soul. All the tracks along with liner notes and album commentary are available free for download here. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 16, 2011 - 30 comments

"If Facebook provided the medium that made the (Tunisian) revolution possible, underground rap frequently provided the message."

Inside Tunisia's Hip-Hop Revolution: a look back at the Tunisian Revolution, and the role played by El Général and other rappers. 5 song YT playlist | Tunisia Is Our Country | Vive la Tunisie || previously: hip-hop songs of North African solidarity
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 1, 2011 - 3 comments

Two Hip-Hop albums for free, from West Coast 2002 to International 2011

So you come across the free IamOmni album, and you'll probably think one of two things: hey, it's a new direction from underground L.A. MC, Omni; or wow, it's an album produced by UK musician Tricky. Both are true! Omni tells his story of connecting with Tricky in a few minutes, and Rap Reviews ties Omni and Tricky together through other routes, going back to the 2002 album, Sunch Punch, by Gershwin B.L.X. (Bassline Xcursionists). Lo and behold, that album is also free on Bandcamp.
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 26, 2011 - 11 comments

Kreayfish

Fishy Fishy, Shrimpy Shrimpy, Taco Ensenada
Basic fish aint that delish so I don't even bother
[more inside]
posted by finite on Aug 26, 2011 - 31 comments

da mystery of music criticism

Jay-Z and Kanye West collaboration Watch the Throne, as reviewed by Ghostface Killah. Words: they are not minced.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 13, 2011 - 60 comments

African electronica comes into its own

Want to know what's going on in African electronic / dance music? The BAZZERK blog will help bring you up to speed. Chock full of fun, fresh stuff. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 3, 2011 - 6 comments

We're All Born Superstars

In Defense of Pop Music -- New York Magazine takes a look at the rise of pop and dance music and the death of rock in the charts.
posted by empath on Jul 16, 2011 - 110 comments

Prince Paul’s 10 Favorite Sample Flips

Prince Paul’s 10 Favorite Sample Flips [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Jul 13, 2011 - 21 comments

"Warren G, what are you doing here?!"

"Warren G, what are you doing here?!"... "What does it look like I'm doing?!" ... Legendary recording artist, Warren G, offers a little help to a man struggling to satisfy his woman. "Are you my waiter?" ... "Nah, I'm the Regulator." (MLYT) (via)
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 13, 2011 - 15 comments

DOOMSTARKS

"FINALLY, we get some evidence that the Ghost x DOOM project actually exists." [more inside]
posted by functionequalsform on Jul 11, 2011 - 17 comments

Guy Picciotto = Rap Superstar

Music fans have known for a long time that Ian MacKaye's post-hardcore group Fugazi and the members of Shaolin-based hip-hop collective The Wu-tang Clan were really just two sides of the same awesome-sauce coin. So enter the mash-ups of -- wait for it -- WUGAZI! [more inside]
posted by bardic on Jul 6, 2011 - 27 comments

Dumbfoundead

Are We There Yet is a new music video from Dumbfoundead [previously, wikipedia]
posted by finite on Jul 5, 2011 - 4 comments

Get Based! Instrumental cloud rap with Clams Casino

The name Clams Casino has been floating around for a while, whose production was likened to a castle floating in the clouds by the BasedGod himself, Lil B [prev]. But recently, 24 year old Mike Volpe has shot up from relative obscurity to being dubbed a "visionary beatmaker" in Rolling Stone. You can hear the start of the north Jersey bedroom producer's ethereal sound in his 2006 remix of Mobb Deep's "Get Twisted", which has carried forward into tracks for Squadda Bambino, Lil B, Havoc (of Mobb Deep), and Soulja Boy. Clams Casino has since released a free mixtape of his instrumental production (streaming) to glowing reviews. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 28, 2011 - 12 comments

not just to reveal their racist and corrupt nature but to purposefully sabotage their efforts to terrorize communities

"Hackers of the world are uniting and taking direct action against our common oppressors - the government, corporations, police, and militaries of the world" says LulzSec (previously) in their latest release, Chinga La Migra. "We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement. We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 (previously) and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona."

#antisec is a new track from nerdcore rapper ytcracker (previously)
posted by finite on Jun 23, 2011 - 47 comments

Make Some Noise

A profile of Nadav Samin, aka Siah : the best 90s underground rapper you've never heard of, by Bethlehem Shoals. [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Jun 20, 2011 - 7 comments

Kreayshawn

Gucci Gucci, Louis Louis, Fendi Fendi, Prada
Basic bitches wear that shit so I don't even bother
[more inside]
posted by finite on May 31, 2011 - 139 comments

"You will not be able to stay home, brother..."

Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011). [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on May 27, 2011 - 218 comments

WHO NEEDS CRITICAL THEORY

How to make an Art-- a tutorial [with Addendum] by HennesyYoungman...via the amazing Victory Light blog [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 24, 2011 - 12 comments

...Charlie Murphy?

DID I MENTION I LIKE TO DANCE. LEMME SMANG IT. SEX SYRUP. (some language nsfw; Voice Q&A with Flynt Flossy)
posted by Sticherbeast on May 18, 2011 - 34 comments

All things come to those who wait

From the pop of "Nursey, Nursey" to the pomp of "Epitaph: Angel", the ambitious double album White-Faced Lady by seminal British psych/prog band Fairfield Parlour (formerly Kaleidoscope) had all the makings of a 1971 hit record. By the time of its actual release, in 1991, the moment had long since passed. The cause of the twenty-year delay is explained in this interview with ex-frontman Peter Daltrey (spoiler: it was the labels). [more inside]
posted by Modlizki on May 10, 2011 - 12 comments

Elmatic: Detroit State of Mind

Seventeen years ago, Queensbridge prodigy Nas put out arguably the greatest hip hop album of all time. Today, Detroit lyricist Elzhi releases a loving and skillful tribute to the album with re-recorded live beats: Elmatic. [more inside]
posted by the mad poster! on May 10, 2011 - 41 comments

Death Grips: Zombie holocaust in seconds

It started two months ago to the day, when a stuttering/strobing video of angry man obscenely rapping over a spasmodic drumbeat was posted on YouTube from an unknown group who called themselves Death Grips, with the promise of an album and a mixtape within the year. The next day, a new track went up, not furious like the day before, but the rapper sounded a bit hoarse now. More tracks were uploaded every few days, and on April 26th the mixtape was on YouTube, soundcloud, and available to download from their website and other places. Still, little is known about the group, beyond that it's probably a trio and Zach Hill is involved. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 8, 2011 - 16 comments

It's gonna get so much better / Everybody's gonna get their turn / Count the matches that's left in the matchbook / One of these is gonna burn

Metermaids are Brooklyn MCs Swell and Sentence. [more inside]
posted by eyeballkid on May 8, 2011 - 9 comments

PRETTYGOODACTUALLY

BADBADNOTGOOD play instrumental jazz versions of OFWGKTA beats.
posted by sveskemus on May 5, 2011 - 10 comments

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