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futurepluto

Album Review: Future, “Pluto”

I thought we’d relegated auto-tune to the dungeon of yesteryear’s kitsch, but apparently that ear-curdling vocal effect still carries enough cultural currency to form the backbone of a major label hip-hop debut. The album in question is Pluto, and the man behind it is Georgia-based MC Future. A curious mix of hype and discomfort trails Pluto, much like comets behind the demoted planetoid of the album’s namesake. While enthusiasm for […]


tupac

Coachella’s Hip-Hop Highlights (or, the ghost of Tupac)

As attested by the ocean of pasty, sunburnt bodies gathered yearly in the Coachella Valley, the Coachella Music and Arts Festival at best tends to represent a casual sampling of hip-hop’s current trendsetters. While the drugs, young bodies and stifling heat are still healthy inducements to attend, a dedicated hip-hop head might find the musical offerings wanting. If the hip-hop side of things is all you’re interested in, then fear […]


djkhaled

Cheat Sheet: DJ Khaled

Who: The “Contacts” list on DJ Khaled’s cell phone must read like an alphabetized Top 40 countdown. DJ Khaled—a corpulent, Palestinian-born DJ, producer, actor, and record executive—has managed to work with just about every major hip-hop artist of the past ten years, both launching and rejuvenating multiple careers. Far from a simple Rolodex man, DJ Khaled has more than earned the company he keeps. Born Khaled Bin Abdul Khaled, DJ […]


death-grips

Death Grips and the Perils of Hip-Hop Hybridization

The genre of hip-hop comes ready-made with its own hyphenate, a fact that should serve as a warning to enterprising genre splicers, but has instead provided a tacit challenge to such groups as Limp Bizkit, WZRD and, most recently, the Sacramento trio Death Grips. While the latter group provides the most interesting example of genre cross-pollination, the question of who offers the greatest auditory discomfort is still, unfortunately, a matter […]


skinnerstreets

Cheat Sheet: The Streets

Cheat Sheet is a regular feature of MIMO designed to give you the low-down on some of today’s hottest and most influential artists in hip-hop. In this edition, we give you the facts about The Streets. Who: While still far from a major force in the hip-hop world, the United Kingdom has at least made strides toward closing the credibility gap, most of the credit for which can be laid […]


californiarepublic

Album Review: The Game, “California Republic Mixtape”

The Game’s California Republic mixtape opens with a kiddy-pool-shallow piece of self-aggrandizement that sets the stage almost too well for the tracks to come. Within the space of three lines, “God Speed” has dropped references to Louis Vuitton, clubbing, Maserati coups, and the act of “stuntin’”. Not only are these touchstones about as tired as they come (when was the last time someone claimed they were “stuntin’”?), but they serve […]


kanye2

Kanye West’s Arab Spring, Or: Terminal Hype Velocity

Will Kanye West’s need to prove himself ever reach a terminal point? I’m not talking about a point at which West will look back on his works, say, “Good enough,” and throw in the towel (I doubt anything short of an untimely demise would elicit that reaction), but I’m curious if there will ever come a point at which West’s need to paint himself as an ever taller tale will […]


The Best of the Odd Future

The Best of the Odd Future

It might be harder to reconcile yourself to the existence of Tyler, the Creator—frontman of the L.A. hip-hop collective Odd Future—if the man didn’t live up to his name. The Odd Future (“Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All” if you want to get technical about it) seems like it produces more media on a daily basis than Time Warner produces in a year. In its scant two years of […]


Runaway Screening

Weekly Mixtape: The Week’s Best Tracks (Edition 4.6.12)

Here’s this week’s edition of Weekly Mixtape, highlighting some of the best hip-hop tracks of the week. You’re welcome. Nicki Minaj ft. 2 Chainz, “Beez in the Trap” Sure, Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded turned out to be an inconsistent specimen, but let us not judge the whole by the weaknesses of its lesser parts. “Beez in the Trap” features a trickling, reverb-laden beat on top of which Nicki Minaj avows the […]


Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, “The OF Tape Vol. 2”: Album Review

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, “The OF Tape Vol. 2”: Album Review

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All —the L.A.-based hip-hop collective that released The OF Tape Vol. 2 this past week—is like the Jackson Pollock of hip-hop in that no one can rule definitively on whether they’re brilliant or an embarrassing con. Since exploding onto the national hip-hop scene last year, Odd Future has followed the dictates of ringleader Tyler, The Creator into an expanding array of multimedia projects. From their […]


romanreloaded

Album Review: Nicki Minaj, “Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded”

Not to say that Nicki Minaj’s talent as a rapper is worth dismissing, but if she attains the level of genius, it’s in the field of branding, rather than lyricism. Pink Friday…Roman Reloaded (Minaj’s sophomore LP) comes on the heels of a marketing campaign so beautifully orchestrated and assiduously executed that the album itself is almost an afterthought. In the past few months, Minaj has pursued her full-court press with a […]


Studies in Grandiosity, Courtesy of Hit-Boy

Studies in Grandiosity, Courtesy of Hit-Boy

Southern California producer Hit-Boy is only five years into his career, but in that short time he has made himself into one of the most well regarded hit-makers in the hip-hop world. After being discovered on MySpace (remember that thing?) in 2007 by Polow da Don, Hit-Boy embarked on a meteoric rise that culminated with his signing to Kanye West’s [http://kanyewest.com] G.O.O.D. Music collective. Hit-Boy (yes, the hyphen is necessary) […]


Weekly Mixtape: The Week’s Best Tracks

Weekly Mixtape: The Week’s Best Tracks

Welcome to Weekly Mixtape, where we handpick the week’s best tracks for your auditory enjoyment. No need to thank us, it’s cool. Meek Mill, “Lean Wit It” This one isn’t exactly hot off of the presses, but Meek Mill has dressed his latest bit of swagger in an impressive negligee of grayscale filters and dirt bikes, so it’s at least worth a second look. Like everything Meek Mill has ever […]


Wiz Khalifa, “Taylor Allderdice”: Album review

Wiz Khalifa, “Taylor Allderdice”: Album review

Wiz Khalifa’s largely self-constructed reputation as a party hound has persisted through three studio albums and at least as many mixtapes without so much as a chink marring its heavily hot-boxed armor. While Taylor Allerdice doesn’t exactly torpedo this notion, it at least begins calling it into question, which makes the mixtape one of Khalifa’s most interesting releases to date. If you’ll recall, we last left Khalifa in 2011 when the Pittsburgh-based […]


delthefunky

Cheat Sheet: Del the Funky Homosapien

Keeping tabs on all the great hip-hop artists out there can take some time. To help you out, Cheat Sheet is a regular feature in which we give you the quick facts on some of today’s hottest and most influential artists. This week’s Cheat Sheet is on Del the Funky Homosapien. Who: To say Del the Funky Homosapien is the weird cousin of West Coast hip-hop is both literally and […]


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