Articles tagged “hip hop”

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

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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Why Missy Elliott Will Always Be the Queen of Hip-Hop

missy elliott

I have been a hip-hop head as long as I can remember. OK, that is a lie. It goes back to when I was about 10 years old. My cousin had brought a piece of cardboard and a pair of fingerless gloves to Thanksgiving. After we ate our meal, we went out to my grandmother’s […]

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10 Classic Albums from Grand Royal, the Beastie Boys’ Record Label

grand royal record label beastie boys

With all this talk of Beastie Boys in the context of the Spike Jonze-directed 2020 documentary, Beastie Boys Story, there isn’t a better time to revisit one of the most underrated facets of the band’s legacy. Launching with their seminal third album, Check Your Head, Grand Royal would become a full-fledged boutique label by late […]

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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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We’re Not Over The Roots’ How I Got Over Even After 10 Years

the roots how i got over 10th anniversary

Of all the albums to turn 10 years old this in 2020, The Roots’ How I Got Over might be the heaviest. The legendary Philly band’s moody homage to triumph over tragedy is a light at the end of the tunnel, but as featured MC Phonte said in his verse on “Now or Never,” there’s […]

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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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Mariah Carey’s Debut Album Gave Us a Vision of the Future 30 Years Later

mariah carey debut 30th anniversary

In 1985, 17-year-old Ben Margulies found himself living in New York City and playing in a band called King Holiday. Things seemed to be going great; the group’s first show at the infamous CBGB got them signed to a development deal with Elektra Records. However, nothing ever came from the arrangement. Though King Holiday seemed […]

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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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