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boyfriend

Weekly Mixtape: The Week’s Best Tracks (Edition 5.25.12)

Here’s this week’s edition of Weekly Mixtape—the week’s best hip-hop tracks, personally selected for you. Enjoy!   Justin Bieber ft. Mac Miller, 2 Chainz and Asher Roth, “Boyfriend” [remix] Say what you want about the source material, but this remix of Das Biebs’s signature track actually kind of rules. With the beat stripped to a minimalist guitar figure and Justin’s lyrics relegated to a tastefully deployed hook, “Boyfriend” serves as […]


cancer4cure

El-P, “Cancer 4 Cure”–Album Review

Fat Possum Records (2012)

El-P has yet to content himself with resting on his odd laurels, of which the recent past has granted him significant new additions. Reviews of Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music, for which El-P contributed the entirety of the production, have been effusive to the point of fawning, making El an unlikely addition to modern hip-hop’s cabal of hit makers. Cancer 4 Cure, emerging close on the heels of Killer Mike’s opus, […]


lilkimomarajwiki

Cheat Sheet: Lil Kim

In this edition of “Cheat Sheet,” we’re featuring rapper Lil Kim. Enjoy!   Who: They both hail from New York and both have résumés on which urban violence makes a prominent appearance, but the crucial point of separation between Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim rests in the former’s defter skill as a marketer. Much of Minaj’s combative posturing and effusive sexuality is cast directly from the Lil Kim mold, but […]


2Chainz

Hip-Hop Summer Album Preview: Part 3

We’ve been taking a forward look at some of the most anticipated hip-hop releases for this summer. Check installments one and two for the albums due for release in June and July. Today we’ll take a look at the best of what’s coming out in August.   August (date TBA): Ghostface Killah, Supreme Clientele Presents…Blue and Cream: The Wally Era This LP has yet to solidify a release date, which […]


Nas

Hip-Hop Summer Album Preview: Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of my Summer Album Preview, you can catch up by clicking here. Today we’ll take a look at what’s coming out in July, with one more installation for August coming soon.   July 2: 50 Cent, Untitled Chalk it up to his multiple extra-curricular ventures (acting, feuding, making video games), but one of America’s most popular rappers has spent the past three years doing almost […]


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Meek Mill, “Dreamchasers 2”

Maybach Music Group (2012)

Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers 2 mixtape opens with a particularly unhinged audio clip from one of the past decades’ most unhinged personalities—Mike Tyson. While Mill certainly has a penchant for self-aggrandizement, his boasts are (thankfully) set forth with more wit and self-awareness than Tyson’s uncomfortable promises to “eat your children.” Excepting their varying facility with the English language, Tyson and Mill actually have some points of commonality. Both used their humble […]


krit

Hip-Hop Summer Album Preview: Part 1

The summer just got better. Why? Because now you have these killer hip-hop releases to look forward to. Today we’ll take a look at June, with further installations for July and August to come.   June 5: Big K.R.I.T., Live From the Underground Not only has Big K.R.I.T. proven that the historical exclusivity of nuance and Southern Rap is a matter of preference rather than necessity, but he’s managed to […]


el-p

Cheat Sheet: El-P (El-Producto, Lazerface)

Our regular feature “Cheat Sheet” gives you the quick info on some of hip-hop’s top artists. Today we’re featuring producer El-P. Who: Like many of pop music’s square pegs, MC and producer El-P tends to gravitate toward others of his own type. Son of the well-known jazz pianist Harry Meline, the pasty, diminutive Jaime Meline (nee “El-Producto,” “El-P,” “Lazerface”) has carved a singular path through hip-hop’s various back alleys and […]


killermike

Killer Mike, “R.A.P. Music”

William Street Records (2012)

To pigeonhole Killer Mike as a political rapper is to give the Atlanta MC too little credit. Or, conversely, you could say that that assignation gives political rappers way too much credit. Credulous political convictions and access to a PA system have resulted in multitudinous sonic embarrassments and it’s not hard to see why: Hip-hop’s essential theme is survival, while democracy’s is fairness. Killer Mike gets away with airing his […]


kanye

Weekly Mixtape: The Week’s Best Tracks (Edition 5.4.12)

Welcome to Weekly Mixtape, where we handpick the week’s best tracks for your auditory enjoyment. No need to thank us, it’s cool. Kanye West ft. Bon Iver, “Lost In the World” I might as well just start calling this thing “The Kanye West Report”. This single, perhaps the last from West’s brilliant My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, features Justin Vernon of Bon Iver lending a vocal hook to a K-West […]


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Obie Trice, “Bottoms Up” – Album Review

Black Market Entertainment (2012)

Of hip-hop’s millennial crop of self-styled gangsters, Obie Trice made one of the group’s strongest claims to legitimacy. The Detroit-based MC signed to Eminem’s Shady Records in 2000, eventually releasing two albums on that imprint, both of which competed for attention with the pyrotechnic disasters of Trice’s personal life. After the 2005 shooting of label-mate Proof and a subsequent attack on Trice himself (dude still has a bullet lodged in […]


snoop

A Guide to Snoop Dogg’s More “Interesting” Licensing Deals

Snoop Dogg’s Wikipedia page lists a whopping 32 products, events and services to which the perennial L.A. gangster has lent his name. Compare this to 50 Cent, whose branding activities have mostly confined themselves to acting and Vitaminwater. Snoop, however, gets away with it. He might be the only rapper who can pull off appearances on WWE, The Price is Right and It’s A Very Muppet Christmas Movie while still […]


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Snoop Dogg “Stoner’s EP” – Album Review

Gangsta Gangsta Online Distribution (2012)

For a rapper who made his debut on an album named The Chronic, putting out a release titled Stoner’s EP might seem redundant, even twenty hot-boxed years after the fact. Sure, Stoner’s EP threatens to bring the game’s most cannabis-enamored MC into the realm of self-parody, but the manner in which Snoop Dogg sidesteps this fate is worthy of plaudits in and of itself. All indicators point to Stoner’s EP […]


azaz

Azealia v. Azalea

The proliferation of “beefs” as marketing devices has damaged the cultural currency of what used to be very interesting lyrical fistfights. While Kanye West and 50-Cent’s “beef” of 2009 smacks of energetic PR wizardry, the more recent squabble between MCs Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks features enough violence in its rhetoric to suggest a genuine article. In case you’ve missed the hype machine’s recent churnings, Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks […]


jayzmoney

Forbes’s 5 Richest Hip-Hop Moguls: Or, Rappers and the Money that Loves Them

Thanks to Forbes Magazine, that steely bastion of in-depth economic news and fiduciary genital measurement, we can now resolve the age-old debate over who, in fact, is the ballin’-est player in the game. This past week, Forbes published a list of the five richest hip-hop stars in the world. To the surprise of almost no one, those who made the list tended to have a significant behind-the-scenes presence, in addition […]


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