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20 November, 2013 5:42 pm

When hip-hop took a turn for the worse, this critic remembers looking far into the future, and seeing, well, nothing. Nas declared “Hip-Hop Is Dead” at a point when it was making more money than ever, however he was referring the death of its original, unpolluted form. That original form was replaced by its more [cont.]

14 November, 2013 2:30 pm

Detroit’s Boldy James has been a relative unknown on the scene, but has popped up in various places over the last year or so, such as on the ill-fated Dilla release, Rebirth Of Detroit, and his Grand Quarters EP via Decon. But he makes his official debut on My First Chemistry Set – an album [cont.]

11 November, 2013 6:47 pm

Editor’s Note: This review applies to the standard edition of the album. “You ain’t even impressed no more; you’re used to it,” said Eminem on 2002′s “Business” from The Eminem Show. While Em’s first two albums trail-blazed the music industry, with 2000′s The Marshall Mathers LP arguably being his greatest work, its follow-up literally pulled [cont.]

8 November, 2013 3:14 pm

On 2003′s Weatherproof EP, Cage lamented on “Haterama”, “Even Bobbito said ‘Fuck it I quit’.” At the time, the indy hip-hop scene was in full swing, despite Stretch & Bobbito’s retirement from a scene they largely helped create. The movement would still flourish healthily for another five years, built upon the sales of 12″ vinyl [cont.]

3 November, 2013 9:05 am

Earlier this year, Planet Asia teamed up with Killer Ben and Tri-State to form the Durag Dynasty, for a collaborative album produced entirely by Alchemist called 360 Waves. The end result was a fun, solid LP, but one that only paved the way for Al’s stellar collaboration with Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Albert Einstein (which [cont.]

27 October, 2013 7:32 am

RJD2 has had a long and storied career as one of the defining artists of the indie hip-hop movement, largely responsible – alongside El-P – for shaping the sound of Definitive Jux Records, and many of the label’s affiliated artists. Largely an instrumentalist, RJ took the world by storm with his earliest releases, Dead Ringer [cont.]

22 October, 2013 8:52 pm

Detroit’s Danny Brown originally wanted to call his sophomore album O.D.B. – an acronym that would stand for “Old Danny Brown” – and obviously pay homage to the late great Russell Jones. Like Dirt Dog before him, both Danny’s rhyme style and outward appearance suggest that he’s a little bit off, hence the comparison. While [cont.]

16 October, 2013 8:35 pm

During the late 90′s / early 2000′s indie hip-hop boom, one of the crews that most impressed us the most was NYC crew Natural Elements. After serving up two classic singles for each Tommy Boy Black Label and Stretch Armstrong’s DOLO imprint, they pretty much disappeared forever. Although the crew was made up of eight [cont.]

15 October, 2013 6:32 pm

After the runaway cult success of Dr. Octagon, an out-of-nowhere 1995 record that teamed Kool Keith with DJ Q-Bert and producer Dan The Automator, the relationship between the crew went sour. While everyone’s got a different take on what really went down, Automator never looked back, and moved forward with a similar kind of project [cont.]

10 October, 2013 7:23 pm

“This is educated thug music…” said Jay-Z years ago on “N.Y.M.P.”, from Vol. 3: The Life & Times Of S. Carter. This was years before he was lounging in beach chairs with Beyonce and Blue, still building his empire, giving us countless visual tales of his drug-running, pre-rap lifestyle. Despite our upbringing on Public Enemy [cont.]

10 October, 2013 7:22 pm

Three 6 Mafia have managed some amazing feats in their time, as the duo of Juicy J and DJ Paul, not only have created some anthemic hits like “Tear The Club Up”, “Sippin’ On Syrup”, and “Stay Fly”, but also have 1) beat Martin Scorcese to his first Oscar (that’s Oscar, not Grammy) and 2) [cont.]

7 October, 2013 5:25 pm

It’s been said, famously, that there’s no 401k in hip-hop. That might not be completely true for the Jay-Z’s of the world, but certainly for the J-Zone’s. It’s been almost a decade since Zone’s last proper solo album, A Job Ain’t Nuthin But Work, and his latest album, Peter Pan Syndrome, suggests that it’s been [cont.]

1 October, 2013 2:20 pm

Looking back at the past year or so, it’s kind of strange that Drake had a beef with Common, considering that Drake’s sound is actually closer to Common’s than it is to his Young Money label mates. Wayne is a tried-and-true misogynist with a heavy southern sound, while Nicki is an almost cartoon-like, crossover caricature [cont.]

20 September, 2013 3:22 pm

In 2012, it was hard to avoid 2 Chainz. Dude was everywhere, riding off the success of his T.R.U. Religion mixtape from the year before. He managed to ride that success by churning out a number of club smashes from his Def Jam debut, Based On A T.R.U. Story. To be honest, this critic hated [cont.]

18 September, 2013 2:59 pm

We’ve quickly seen the rise of New York City’s A$AP Mob, a crew led by A$AP Rocky, who’s scored a few high profile guest driven hits with “Fuckin’ Problem” (feat. Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar) and “Wild For The Night” (feat. Skrillex). With another nine members bearing the prefix A$AP before their rap moniker [cont.]

18 September, 2013 8:48 am

It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since the last Goodie Mob album, and fourteen years since the last Goodie Mob album featuring Cee-Lo Green. In truth, while that album, World Party received a lukewarm response, Cee-Lo would go on to create a successful solo career, while Goodie Mob would release it’s overlooked follow-up, [cont.]

11 September, 2013 6:30 am

Let’s face it, gospel rap has pretty much always sucked. We’ve seen numerous attempts at this type of thing in the past, from the entire catalog of Kirk Franklin albums to KRS-One’s strange turn with Spiritual Minded, a few years back. We won’t even bring up niche acts like Gospel Gangstaz that have never penetrated [cont.]

4 September, 2013 6:55 pm

Things come along, present themselves, and then in certain cases, resonate directly with the culture. The climate is right, the window of opportunity is open, the right person seizes it, and the perfect storm takes place. Case in point might be something like Star Wars in the 80′s or Arrested Development in the Bush era, [cont.]

30 August, 2013 1:21 am

In a year that is being recognized as the rise of the “new legends”, which includes many of his peers, the time has come for Big Sean himself to stake his claim among them. Two years after the release of his debut album, to say expectations have increased would be an understatement. Sean’s showing on [cont.]

27 August, 2013 7:56 pm

Flint, Michigan’s Jon Connor has been lyrically destroying instrumentals on the mixtape and blog scenes for the past few years, and has built up a steady buzz because of it. In 2011, Connor delivered his first official album, Salvation, which displayed his talent as an emcee, but fell short on the production side. With Unconscious [cont.]

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