Keith Nelson Jr.

Articles by Keith Nelson Jr.

4 Albums That Define Neo-Soul

albums that made neo-soul

Neo-soul is a music genre built on freedom and protection. Neo-soul is a style where Black artists are free to make music only bound by the vastness of their influences. That sort of freedom to create is often stifled by mainstream audiences that typically rewards conventional sounding music. Neo-soul gave those artists protection by building […]

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From Blogs to Billboard: 4 Stars That Blossomed From Hip-Hop’s Blog Era

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The last American-born creative renaissance occurred over the internet in glorified message boards thanks in part to the U.S. government’s narrow-mindedness. On January 16, 2007, DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon were arrested after the Morrow County Sheriff’s Joint Vice Task Force and the Clayton County Police raided their offices, confiscating 81,000 mixtape CDs in […]

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25 Years Ago, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Released E. 1999 Eternal, A Classic That’s Forever Human

e eternal 1999 feature

Harmony is powerful. Choir singing has been linked to boosting the immune systems of those with cancer and scientists have argued that the human brain is more receptive to harmony. It’s also why a rap group from a forgotten town in the Midwest was able to make cop killing, welfare checks, and unspeakable illegal activity […]

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At 20 Years Old, Jurassic 5’s Quality Control Is Still a Hip-Hop Purism Crusade

jurassic 5 quality control 20th anniversary

Everything you need to know about Jurassic 5 can be found in their name. The Los Angeles-bred collective consists of four MCs (Akil, Chali 2NA, Soup, and Marc 7) and two DJs (Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist) and were more emblematic of an almost pre-historic time in hip-hop than they were representative of the present. Quality […]

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Why Drake’s Debut Album Was the Least-Drake Album Ever

drank thank me later 10th anniversary

If you’re successful for long enough, you become less of a person and more of an idea. The name Warren Buffett is synonymous with wealth. Michael Jordan is synonymous with greatness. In 2020, after a decade of releasing albums, soundtracking memories, and breaking enough records, Drake the idea is one of variability. He’s earned Billboard […]

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Bob Marley’s Uprising Gave the George Floyd Protests a Soundtrack 40 Years Ago

bob marley uprising 40th anniversary

George Floyd’s killing in the custody of the Minneapolis police happened 40 years after Bob Marley & The Wailers forecasted the civil upheaval that would follow Floyd’s death on the 1980 album Uprising. Clashes with classism, the “us vs. them” division between the people and the those in power, and the quest for liberation are […]

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Common’s “Be” Was My Blueprint To Being A Black Man 15 Years Ago

The essence of life is to be. Your existence is essentially an interconnected network of different states of being. You can be poor in the bank, suicidal on the inside, and a beacon of hope for others on the outside. To be is to choose even if the choice isn’t always yours. Children are raised […]

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The Marshall Mathers LP Was America’s ‘Black Mirror’ 20 Years Ago

“I feel like, and I’ve felt like this for a long time – I’ve always been chasing The Marshall Mathers LP”-Eminem on Marshall From Detroit in 2013. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) May 23, 2000 wouldn’t matter as much without January 21, 1999. By that date in the last January of the 20th […]

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Ice Cube’s Amerikkka’s Most Wanted Turns 30 As A Film In An Album’s Body

IMDB has it wrong. Ice Cube’s first film was released on May 16, 1990. At 20-years-old, the most volatile lyricist from America’s most dangerous music group, N.W.A., branched out on his own for the first time with Amerikkka’s Most Wanted, a visceral depiction of life as a Black man in America. Ice Cube – Amerikkka’s […]

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Gorillaz’s “Demon Days” Still Sounds Like Dancing In An Apocalypse 15 Years Later

What does an apocalypse sound like? By 2005, it sounded like a United States President announcing “mission accomplished” for a war far from over. It sounded like the cries of global warming being a bigger threat to humanity than what that same President went to war over. It also sounded like a dystopian dance party […]

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