In an article on the “Notti Bop” craze inspired by a teen’s murder, New Yorker writer Jody Rosen avoids making aesthetic judgements.
Freedom Archives, an online database focused on progressive and radical historical movements, has documentation on BLU magazine, which was published between 1998 and 2001. While
When Tame One passed away on November 5, obituaries summarily focused on his reputation as a graffiti writer, his longtime participation in 90s duo the Artifacts, his subsequent wanderings in New York’s rap underground and participation in collectives like the Weathermen. Then there’s “Haagen-Dazs,” a track he and Artifacts partner El Da Sensei recorded with Dutch production team The Boulevard Connection for the latter’s highly-regarded Fondle ‘Em 12-inch EP. With its dusty piano loop and sharp turntable cuts by DJ Kaos, the 1998 song captures the essence of an era. El’s “fact not fiction” diction serves as a setup for Tame One’s unconventional flow. “I’m too bugged out to thug out,” he begins, stop-starting between boasts, homage to cannabis, and “talking to God, I feel odd.” True, Tame One was an unusually rare bird.
In his Complex obituary for Brooklyn rapper Hurricane G, Angel Diaz gives special attention to “Milky,” an Erick Sermon-produced demo that features a closing verse from Redman. “Her unreleased song “Milky” is a late-night mixshow classic first heard on 89.9 WKCR-FM’s The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show,” Diaz writes. “All that’s floating around are dusty cassette dubs on YouTube and it still stands the test of time.” It’s true: the song remains a testament to Hurricane G’s sharp Nuyorican voice and a flow that swayed on and off beat with rope-a-dope grace, all while losing none of its impact.
The Charles Burnett film To Sleep with Anger has recently re-emerged this month via prominent samples in two songs this month. The first, KA’s “We Hurting,” finds producer Animoss referencing a performance of Ma Rainey’s “See See Rider” at the center of the film. “I gone and bought me a pistol just as long as I am tall,” Jimmy Witherspoon sings just before KA begins with the chorus, “We hurting so we hurt back.” Meanwhile, soul-jazz performer Contour’s “Pack Light” opens with the voice of Danny Glover as the devilish Harry: “If he was a friend, he would stop irritating people. But if he stops practicing, he wouldn’t be perfect at what he does someday.”
A recent Hits graphic omitted Youngboy Never Broke Again, the second-highest streaming artist of the year.
Two recent stories on the decline of rap music’s overall market share have generated some concern in industry circles.
An L.A. Times feature gathers opinions on a bleak trend that has claimed the lives of PnB Rock, Pop Smoke, Nipsey Hussle, and many others.
New Jersey rapper Mach-Hommy recently gave a rare interview with Rolling Stone.
Kanye West’s alt-right stunts at Paris Fashion Week have drawn self-righteous condemnation from the fashion world and beyond.
In a story jointly published by the Chicago Reader and The Triibe, coverage of developments at Chicago’s O-Block is scrutinized.
Contrary to reports, L.A, rapper Coolio’s career began in the mid-80s, when he floated through several short-lived electro-rap ensembles.