ALL: Spotlight

Here Come the Big Steppers

Memorably deployed by Kendrick Lamar, the phrase “big stepper” usually means what it suggests. But it has also led to some surprising interpretations.

A Company Flow Fan’s DJ Bag in 1997

As I spent the weekend revisiting Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus, I began to wonder…what other records did I spin as an amateur DJ in 1997?

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib vs U2

The Record Store Day pressing of Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Piñata ’84 has vinyl label art inspired by a design Island Records used in 1983 and 1984.

On Quasimoto’s The Unseen

Twenty years ago today, Madlib released this landmark album under the guise of Quasimoto. This San Francisco Bay Guardian essay was published during the time of its initial release.

Rap Songs for Home

As the coronavirus epidemic continues to roil the globe, home has taken on a new urgency. This playlist assembled around a word is fraught with meaning.

Rap Art in the Coronavirus Era

As the world adapts to life under a global pandemic, the album art of several recent rap releases is having a noticeable impact.

First Wave Hip-House: 1988-1990

Born in the 1980s, hip-house was a shotgun marriage between two hot springs of black innovation. Its reputation lies somewhere between unalloyed club bliss and pop kitsch.