Articles tagged “hip hop”

10 Albums That Wouldn’t Be the Same Without Questlove

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On the cusp of the new millennium, at Electric Lady Studios, three of the brightest lights in modern R&B made their masterpieces simultaneously. D’Angelo conjured Voodoo in Studio A. In Studio B, Common concocted Like Water for Chocolate. Erykah Badu polished up Mama’s Gun in Studio C. The common thread between these three artists? They […]

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The Cultural Impact of the Technics SL-1200 Turntable, Then and Now

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“You say … you say … you say, you say, you say, you say, you say one for the trouble …” These words, lurching forward and then pausing and rewinding, hesitant at first, as if aware that a new world awaits on the other side when this pause is resolved, form the opening seconds of […]

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Why You Should Listen to D’Angelo’s Voodoo Through Your Headphones

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There are several ways to define the headphone experience. Our first installment in this Discogs series of albums that sound great on headphones, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, is the pinnacle of a classic approach — let’s call it “stoner whoa” — where the studio is used to achieve an altered state […]

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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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You Should Know Bob James, the Most Sampled Jazz Artist of All Time

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Keyboardist Bob James has been sampled in hip-hop classics from Run-DMC’s “Beats to the Rhyme” to Eric B. and Rakim’s “Follow the Leader.” An agogô-bell breakbeat from one of his recordings has propelled tracks by N.W.A. and A$AP Rocky. No jazz artist has been sampled more than him. The term “godfather of hip-hop” has even […]

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4 Artists to Add to Your Queer Hip-Hop Playlist

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Since its inception in the 1970s, hip-hop has consistently displayed a certain level of homophobia. Whether looking at the lyrics of the seminal tune “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (in which two F-bombs are dropped) or tracks by Eminem such as “Criminal” (“A homosex, hermaph, or a trans-a-vest / Pants or […]

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DJ Rich Medina Spins the Story Behind His Personal Record Collection

We all love buying records, but there’s something special about scoring from a private collection. Now, imagine if that private collection belonged to a legendary DJ. Fantasy became reality when we partnered with Philadelphia shop Brewerytown Beats and its owner, Max Ochester, as he set out to acquire part of the collection of DJ Rich […]
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5 Songs to Honor the Life of The Roots’ Malik B.

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The music world lost another great this week. The news broke on the death of Malik B., renowned MC and former member of The Roots, on Wednesday, July 29. “We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit. May he be remembered for his devotion […]

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Zapp Taught Funk How to Talk, Then a Tragedy Silenced Them

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If Stevie Wonder never croaked the alphabet through a plastic tube on a childrens’ show, a funk pioneer’s career arguably wouldn’t have happened. One day in 1973, Wonder stopped by Sesame Street to perform a tune he wrote for the show — and when Roger Troutman watched, his ears pricked up. “A-B-C / 1-2-3 / […]

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

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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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