209 posts tagged with music and rap.
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“A word can be reclaimed, or reconstituted...”

On Carefree Black Boys: Understanding the Appeal of the 'Carefree' Aesthetic to Black Male Musicians From Young Thug to Chance the Rapper [MTV] “Chance has found a slogan to represent what is irrepressible in him: #BlackBoyJoy. Following his appearance at the 2016 VMAs, he started sharing photos of himself at the event, preening, dancing, and posing, with the hashtag. He was a natural spokesman. Others followed suit, posting photos of boys and men frolicking and grinning. The #BlackBoyJoy hashtag preceded Chance’s use of it, and its origins are in the broader, voguish idea of “carefree blackness.” Like the loose digital community that bore it, this carefreeness has an ambient quality, a collection of aesthetics and identities that many laud as a generalized form of activism.”
posted by Fizz on Sep 28, 2016 - 5 comments

I Came From Nothing

Known as much for his flamboyant style as his prolific output, rapper, singer and weirdo Young Thug [prev] has released a new commercial mixtape (can we call commercial mixtapes albums already?). The project title No, My Name Is JEFFERY asserts a new identity, and the music continues to twist the Atlanta trap sound in new and strange directions. "I always had a Michael Jackson mentality…The message is to go back to who I really am. I really am Jeffery. That’s really my swag." Oh, and the cover art is wild.
posted by so fucking future on Aug 26, 2016 - 22 comments

“Hands to the sky”

Frank Ocean Releases Visual Album Endless: Frank Ocean has released a 45-minute long video titled “Endless.” A representative from Apple Music calls it his new “visual album.” The rep also told Pitchfork to “keep an eye out this weekend for more from Frank.” It features new Frank songs and takes place in the same warehouse where Ocean has been hosting a web stream. The new songs feature contributions from Jonny Greenwood, James Blake, and more; two songs were recorded at Abbey Road. The status of Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry and its long-reported accompanying print publication are currently unclear. Find the tracklist below, and watch “Endless” here (iTunes). [via: Pitchfork Media] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Aug 19, 2016 - 33 comments

Telefone, the vision and voice of Noname that is singularly her own

A few months back, Chance the Rapper released Coloring Book mixtape (Soundcloud), "one of the strongest rap albums released this year, an uplifting mix of spiritual and grounded that even an atheist can catch the Spirit to." (Pitchfork) That mixtape features a ton of guests, including Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Future, Justin Bieber ... and Noname. Who? She's a Chicago rapper, formerly known as Noname Gypsy, and with her own mixtape, Telefone (Soundcloud), she "has only further solidified her reputation as a deft and hyper-intelligent young rapper, at first a one woman Digable Planets for the melodic Chicago contemporary, but quickly something wholly unique." (Noisey/Vice)
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 2, 2016 - 11 comments

Hey Blondie! You know what you are?

A condensed history of white rappers
posted by Artw on Jul 15, 2016 - 124 comments

“They’d tell me, 'Music is a hearing thing. It’s not for deaf people'."

Amber Galloway Gallego is an ASL-based music interpreter who has worked with Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Destiny's Child, Paul McCartney, and many more rappers, R&B stars, and rock bands. Her YouTube channel is chock full of music interpretation for deaf audiences. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jun 23, 2016 - 25 comments

'You better bless my realness'

Video for Run The Jewels' “Love Again” featuring Gangsta Boo on Vimeo and YouTube. (NSFW: super-explicit lyrics but SFW visuals unless "....You Work With Entomologists.")
posted by zarq on May 5, 2016 - 5 comments

Always ahead of the curve

What is it to know your time is up when nothing in your body has betrayed you? "Wasn't Born Hustlers: The Aging of Jay-Z", by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib for MTV. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Apr 14, 2016 - 8 comments

A new podcast, and now this…

Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys’s 5-year old son Egypt has produced his first rap beat. It’s been used on track five of Kendrick Lamar’s new album untitled unmastered, which is out now after being teased earlier this week by Top Dawg Entertainment label head Anthony Tiffith. The record exec also told fans to thank LeBron James for encouraging the drop. Two of the album’s tracks were first performed on episodes of The Colbert Report and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Tracklist and lyrics.
posted by Going To Maine on Mar 4, 2016 - 13 comments

Ya Momma So Black

Ya Momma So Black... [more inside]
posted by cashman on Feb 28, 2016 - 11 comments

A Movie in the Jacuzzi

This is What Hip-Hop Sounded Like, Back in [1989-2015] An interactive visualization of the top songs on Billboard's 'Hot Rap Songs' chart, 1989-2015.
posted by box on Jan 27, 2016 - 11 comments

First Listen: Saul Williams - MartyrLoserKing

Spoken word artist Saul Williams comes forth with a new album, MartyrLoserKing, available for first listen via NPR, produced by Justin Warfield. Williams first made his name on the slam poetry circuit and has been recording rap (hard to call them hip-hop) albums for several years. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jan 20, 2016 - 13 comments

"We all deserve to be happy, healthy, and respected."

Sometimes, music is the best medicine.” Frank Waln is a 26-year-old Hip-Hop artist; a Sicangu Lakota person who grew up on the Rosebud Reservation, taught himself to play piano as a child, and mixes his own music in his basement studio. [more inside]
posted by one teak forest on Jan 17, 2016 - 3 comments

Grandmaster Caz to Drake

The Best Rapper Alive, Every Year Since 1979 [more inside]
posted by alby on Jan 11, 2016 - 117 comments

At one point in time we thought this song was empowering

Of course, no post-breakup wallow cycle is complete without revisiting Lauryn Hill’s debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. So one Tuesday evening, I got my glass of wine, dimmed the lights, and got ready for my almost daily routine of crying my eyes out until my tear ducts were depleted enough to be functional around well-adjusted humans for 8 hours the next working day.

That same Tuesday is when I promptly discovered that this album is terrible...As I am sure that a few of you are still vehemently denying reality, I will submit to you some incontrovertible track-by-track truth bombs.
-- "The Miseducation Is Overrated", a truth bomb by Shamira Ibrahim
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 1, 2015 - 65 comments

The Secret History of the Mongols, updated in musical form and annotated

The Secret History of the Mongols is the oldest surviving Mongolian-language literary work, and is regarded as the single most significant native Mongolian account of Genghis Khan. Linguistically, it provides the richest source of pre-classical Mongolian and Middle Mongolian, and while you can read it in various translations, it can be quite a slog. That's why Mongolian rappers Gee of/with Click Click Boom team up with Jonon to present a musical version of Mongolian History, in Mongolian. Luckily, there are English subtitles to this video, but there's still a gap between knowing the words and knowing what they mean. With that, you can find a collections of links as annotations below. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 23, 2015 - 11 comments

Nostalgic beats from Ayman Rostom, aka Dr. Zygote and The Maghreban

Ayman Rostom had a penchant for nostalgic productions in his music, which isn't surprising given how he studied his brother's tapes of Yo! MTV Raps back in the day, which lead to his career as Dr. Zygote and his own Boot Records label (Bandcamp). More recently, he's taken the handle The Maghreban and embraced stripped-down house-type beats that he releases on his Zoot Records label, though in his new video for Now Easy, the focus is on his love of oldschool drum'n'bass. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 19, 2015 - 4 comments

you cannot cancel your geography

From activist Palestinian OGs, to Black Hebrew hitmakers from remote desert outposts, to goofy trap about food, rap in Israel and Palestine is a melting pot of voices and perspectives. Mike Skinner of the Streets for Noisey Magazine investigates Hip Hop In The Holy Land. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 13, 2015 - 3 comments

Meow the Jewels - It's real, and for a good cause

El-P has recruited an all-star cast of producers* to help him deliver the album in its full feline glory. But first, we needed cats... Run the Jewels don't take themselves too seriously, because Meow the Jewels (playlist, NSFW lyrics) is really happening. You can download the remix album for free, or buy it in various formats, with all proceeds of the album will go to charities that benefit victims of police violence. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 28, 2015 - 23 comments

“You don't lick your boom boom down...”

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon Perform the History of Rap Part 6 [YouTube] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Sep 10, 2015 - 63 comments

Motherfucking warrior that likes to eat cake

That's right, celebrate that "Muffintop" [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 1, 2015 - 23 comments

"... a kind of purgatory-themed amusement park"

"ICP's intense work ethic and preparation have been essential to their ascension from a second-tier Detroit rap group into the leaders of their own subculture—a feat accomplished by virtually no other group in popular American music, save for maybe the Grateful Dead." Tears of a clown [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Apr 30, 2015 - 55 comments

"Cowabunga dudes!!"

'F*cking Young' by Tyler, The Creator [YouTube] [Contains NSFW Lyrics] Rapper Tyler, The Creator, a member of LA hip-hop collective Odd Future alongside Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt, has unveiled a video from his newly-released album Cherry Bomb. Full stream available via Spotify.
posted by Fizz on Apr 14, 2015 - 5 comments

Until I pulled out my Parakeet

Sometimes you just want a quick story before bed. (SLYT, NSFW)
posted by cashman on Mar 17, 2015 - 6 comments

Hot lava, hot lava

Azealia Banks offers an interactive experience for her song Wallace. Open in Chrome.
posted by cashman on Mar 13, 2015 - 8 comments

I wonder if he lives in a valley?

The new host of Q has been announced! It's Shad / Shadrach Kabango. Some coverage at the Globe and the Mothership. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Mar 10, 2015 - 27 comments

"A bone that you can’t swallow and you can’t spit out."

"[B]ecause he stays within the religious world, Lipa Schmeltzer is more of a threat to the Hasidic way of life than those who up and leave the faith." Author Batya Ungar-Sargon on Lipa Schmeltzer, [YouTube, also embedded in article] the Hasidic pop star (and now Columbia University student) facing a conservative backlash from rabbinical authorities in his home community, even as his popularity in the Orthodox world soars. [more inside]
posted by spitbull on Feb 18, 2015 - 28 comments


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

Plain White Rapper

White men were rapping LONG before Eminem came on the scene!
posted by Quasimike on Dec 31, 2014 - 42 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

"Abandon. Cultural immunity. I had a self."

"Rap music wasn’t just the black CNN: it was the black Psychic Friends Network. In fact, the history of rap music could be viewed as a litany of complaints about the police that seems to have predicted this current state of unrest."
A pair of articles: one tracing the evolution of rap's relationship with police, from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and Public Enemy, to Lil' Wayne and Run The Jewels (previously) and a more personal look at how RUN-DMC and Parliament allowed a writer to embrace his African-American heritage. [more inside]
posted by raihan_ on Dec 11, 2014 - 19 comments

Never Get Comfortable

“Just two months ago, Detroit native Dej Loaf was a janitor at a Chrysler plant in the suburbs. She often tackled dirty bathrooms, floors and overflowing trash cans. Now she's slaying tracks as one of the rap game's rising stars.” Interview with a local newspaper, plus YouTube link to one of her videos.
posted by saintjoe on Dec 4, 2014 - 17 comments

He was not originally a rapper by trade

Big Bank Hank, one-third of the Sugarhill Gang, the unlikely ambassadors who took hip-hop out of Bronx parks and onto the pop charts, died on Tuesday in Englewood, N.J. He was 58. [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Nov 12, 2014 - 37 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."
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 7, 2014 - 13 comments

Translation: I love mom

AutoRap is an app that will take words spoken into it and automatically tune them into one of several pre-set rap beats. Here, a young girl makes an adorable rap about her mother.
posted by codacorolla on Oct 23, 2014 - 5 comments

"It just doesn't seem quite fair."

Is Sampling Tom Petty Like Plagiarizing from Moby-Dick? [SLYT] Mini-documentary on 'sampling' circa 1989.
posted by Fizz on Oct 18, 2014 - 24 comments

In Defense of Ms. Hill

Artists make art for themselves. Art is an honest expression. Artists who pander to their fans by trying to make music “for” their fans make empty, transparent art. The true fan does not want you to make music for them, they want you to make music for you, because that’s the whole reason they fell in love with you in the first place.
Hip hop artist Talib Kweli pens a response to an article criticizing R&B legend Lauryn Hill for being tardy to shows, arguably treating fans with contempt, and a lack of meaningful artistic output since 2002. Others have argued that Lauryn Hill's ouevre should be viewed with a critical eye and raised concerns about potentially homophobic and transphobic lyrics in her recent work.

Ms. Hill previously.
posted by Pfardentrott on Sep 29, 2014 - 104 comments

Nicky Da B, Dead At 24.

NOLA bounce artist and rapper Nicky Da B is dead. Nicki was best known for his colorful, aggressively infectious music and videos, including Hot Potato Style (previously), Express Yourself with Diplo (previously), and his collaboration with photographer Clayton Cubitt Go Loko (NSFW, strobe and flashes warning)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 3, 2014 - 29 comments

"I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper."

André 3000 Is Moving On in Film, Music and Life [New York Times]
posted by Fizz on Aug 28, 2014 - 37 comments


The butt-shakingly over the top video for Nicki Minaj's Anaconda (Previously) was released recently and while there's been discussion if it re-claims the twerk or refuses the male gaze, video artist Jeff Osborne has put the song into its 90s "Baby's Got Back" pop culture context with appearances by Jessica Rabbit, Beavis And Butthead, and more. (all videos quite NSFW) [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 21, 2014 - 129 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

"Gotta keep the chickens fed,"

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire's Music Biz Misadventures
posted by valkane on Jun 23, 2014 - 7 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

in the 7 kingdoms ain't nobody righteous

Catch the Throne (soundcloud) is a Game of Thrones-inspired mixtape featuring Big Boi, Common, Wale, and others. [more inside]
posted by OverlappingElvis on Mar 7, 2014 - 29 comments

Raags To Riches

But if Urdu is the refined language of power and privilege, Punjabi is the powerful words of the streets. And the streets are where lyrics overwhelmingly situate rap. Pakistani rap positions Punjabi as Ebonics is positioned in the U.S.
posted by reenum on Feb 25, 2014 - 12 comments

Mentally, physically, and spiritually

Director Steve McQueen interviews Kanye West
posted by Artw on Jan 20, 2014 - 17 comments

What's the nastiest shade you've ever thrown? "Existing in the world."

You may have heard the music of House of Ladosha, but that's just the beginning. This family of artists applies their fashion school and NYC nightlife roots to everything from printing t-shirts and performing spoken word to mocking Mapplethorpe.

When Dosha Devastation  and Cunty Crawford LaDosha aren't performing as a hip hop duo, they like to do each other's hair and ki.

Juliana Huxtable is a Tumblr queen, DJ, model, legal assistant by day, cyborg, priestess, and witch.
[more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jan 16, 2014 - 14 comments

Straitjackets, trailer parks, country music, golf carts

It is a fact universally acknowledged that White People Crazy. (SLYT)
posted by escape from the potato planet on Jan 15, 2014 - 25 comments


Reykjavíkurdætur (SLYT)
posted by CitoyenK on Dec 26, 2013 - 22 comments

"I've known Tip for about 26 years..."

On November 21, Busta Rhymes announced that he and Q-Tip would be releasing a joint mixtape. On November 25, the two released Thank You, a single from the tape featuring Kanye West and Li'l Wayne. In a December 6 interview with RapFix Live, Rhymes explained that the tape would consist of old material that has been reworked or gone unreleased, mixtape-specific material, and songs that will be on future releases from the artists. This tape would be about their legacy, as embodied in the artwork. The day has arrived, and you can now download The Abstract and the Dragon.
posted by Going To Maine on Dec 12, 2013 - 16 comments

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