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Hip Hop Music

Drake Nothing Was the Same

Drake “Nothing Was The Same”–Album Review

OVO Sound/Young Money Cash Money/Republic (2013)

Wearing your heart on your sleeve and rapping about your feelings – be it about women, haters, family – is all but the norm in hip-hop. On the surface, that’s the perception driven by gossip-mongering websites and blog headlines, Facebook status updates, tweets and memes. The downside of this perception is a depreciation of music’s intrinsic value. Hip-hop core fans these days conveniently forget that the late great Tupac Shakur […]

Elvis Costello Wise Up Ghost

Elvis Costello and The Roots “Wise Up Ghost And Other Songs”–Album Review

Blue Note (2013)

Aging British pub-rocker Elvis Costello and hip-hop’s greatest band The Roots are, depending on how you look at it, either a progressive or an odd pairing. However, the two are certainly at a stage in their respective careers where experimentation is expected, if not necessarily welcomed or desired by longtime fans. For Wise Up Ghost And Other Songs, their new collaborative album, the recipe is simple subtraction and addition: the […]

Hip Hop: The New World Order

Muhammida El Muhajir Speaks on ‘Hip Hop: The New World Order’ Documentary

The MIMO Interview

Hip-hop culture was birthed some 40 years ago in the Bronx as economically disadvantaged youth developed breakdancing, emceeing, deejaying and graffiti to express themselves. The culture has spread worldwide since, but how it’s perceived and practiced in various cities around the world is an elusive concept either to qualify or to quantify.  Enter Muhammida El Muhajir, a Brooklyn-based filmmaker with a science background. She attended Sundance Film Festival for inspiration […]

2 Chainz B.O.A.T.S. II Metime

2 Chainz “B.O.A.T.S. II: #METIME” –Album Review

Def Jam Records (2013)

On one hand, 2 Chainz is the butt of jokes about how low hip-hop has sunk, while on the other, he is an example of a carefree, wildly entertaining rhymer not unlike the early rap pioneers Sugarhill Gang. Fame came late for the Atlanta native, as he rose to prominence just a few years ago, well into his 30s, following a failed stint on Ludacris’ DTP imprint on Def Jam […]

King Chip 44108

King Chip Maps Ohio With ‘44108’–Mixtape Review

self-released (2013)

Google “44108” and the results will include links to King Chip’s new mixtape and a map of Cleveland, Ohio, which the rapper formerly known as Chip the Ripper proudly represents. As has largely been the case with the Midwest over the years, Ohio is a perennial underdog – it isn’t the west, the east coast or the south. Rappers from the Buckeye State, however, have released some of the better […]

Big Sean Hall of Fame

Big Sean’s Far From “Hall of Fame” With New LP –Album Review

G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings (2013)

Big Sean is an unlikely success story.  Before “My Last” became a hit and signature slang such as “swerve” stormed the mainstream, Sean Anderson was just another nameless rapper trying to get in where he could fit in. Not exactly an imposing specimen, but equipped with a Detroit ego and pride instilled by players, artists and hustlers before him, Sean impressed Kanye West in a fateful impromptu performance outside a […]


Eminem To Release “Marshall Mathers LP 2” On Nov. 5

Remember those #NewRules from Jay Z’s alliance with Samsung to release Magna Carta Holy Grail via an exclusive Galaxy 4 app? They may have been the biggest strategic partnership to date. It is all but guaranteed, however, to become ancient marketing history when Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP 2 is released Nov. 5, with Beats by Dre integral to the marketing campaign from the get-go. The commercial announcing MMLP2 – the […]

Terrace Martin 3ChordFold

The MIMO Interview: Terrace Martin Channels Quincy Jones For 3ChordFold

Sporting a blue Dodgers cap and a home Dodger jersey (Ryu #99), Terrace Martin steps outside the sauna atmosphere of the brightly lit Woodworks Records studio off Manchester Boulevard in the heart of Inglewood to catch a breath. He’s slightly inebriated from an alcoholic beverage or two, and talks a mile a minute. This is how he is most of the time, words rolling off his tongue like notes from […]

Earl Sweatshirt Doris

Earl Sweatshirt’s “Doris” Is Weird Rap–Album Review

Tan Cressida/Columbia/Sony (2013)

Thebe Kgositsile, better known as rapper Earl Sweatshirt, has been anointed by music journalists as the next coming. Unfortunately, other than using words like “progressive” and similar verbiage to describe his music, there is no consensus on what this “coming” entails. The 19-year-old actually rose to fame in absentia; when his L.A-based Odd Future collective started gaining national buzz, he wasn’t around. A self-released mixtape floated around online but Sweatshirt […]

Trinidad James 10 pc mild

Trinidad James Serves Up Delicious “10 PC Mild” –Mixtape Review

Gold Gang/Def Jam Recordings (2013)

Just because a rapper isn’t conscious or progressive in his rhymes, that does not make him any less fun or stop fans from downloading and enjoying the music. Trinidad James, a Trinidad-born, Atlanta-raised rapper who signed a $2 million deal with Def Jam Recordings in 2012 after releasing just one mixtape, Don’t Be S.A.F.E (Sensitive As F**k Everyday), knows this extremely well. It didn’t hurt that the tape included the […]

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar Turbocharges Hip-Hop With One Verse (Editorial)

In case you hadn’t heard, Kendrick Lamar has proclaimed himself rap music’s monarch while providing a hit list of peers he seeks to either subjugate or eliminate. It all happened when the TDE/Aftermath/Interscope rapper let his thoughts loose over a Big Sean track called “Control” released earlier this week. Needless to say, Kendrick simply obliterated Big Sean and Jay Electronica, who had the unfortunate distinction of also appearing on the […]

Stalley Honest Cowboy

Stalley “Honest Cowboy” (Mixtape Review)

Maybach Music Group (2013)

The Photoshop effects on the Honest Cowboy mixtape cover photo make rapper Stalley look like either a coal miner, a cowboy from the late 19th century, or both. More than likely, this was done purposefully to reassure fans that the rugged, blue-collar aesthetic hasn’t changed since Stalley joined Maybach Music Group. Surely, the rapper still resembles a skinny Rick Ross, with the two men sporting beards and heavy tattoos. However, […]

Rick Ross

Rick Ross and 1500 Or Nothin Band Announce AXS Concert

Maybach Music Group founder Rick Ross is taking his concert experience up a notch. At a one-off Aug. 14 show at Club Nokia at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, Ross will be backed by 1500 or Nothin, an 8-piece L.A.-based band known for producing and touring with The Game, Lupe Fiasco, T.I., Faith Evans, Snoop Dogg and Nas. The concert will be broadcast live at 12 a.m. EST on Mark […]

Death Grips

Death Grips Feel Fans’ Wrath After Lollapalooza No-Show

After noise-rap band Death Grips were a no-show at two scheduled performances at Lollapalooza over the weekend – possibly because of a suicidal fan – club-goers in attendance trashed the band’s equipment onstage, including a drum set, according to numerous reports. The band have been mum about their reasons for backing out of their slot Saturday at the Chicago festival and the after-party the previous night. It isn’t immediately known […]


Ten Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Albums For The Rest of 2013

It has been a busy summer for hip-hop releases, what with Kanye West’s Yeezus and Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail releasing within two weeks of each other, while the new crop of ‘it’-rappers, including J. Cole, Mac Miller and Wale, put out their sophomore albums in between. There are literally dozens of buzzing indie artists and upstarts who put out quality work–we would be remiss not to mention Queens […]

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