Posts Tagged: rap

STRIPPERDADDY

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My thoughts hovered above the scene pondering the reasons why and time felt like the waves of a puddle lapping against cracked asphalt. ...more

Staying Syncretic: A Conversation with Kool A.D.

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Kool A.D. discusses his debut novel, OK, the war on drugs, systemic destruction of left-leaning movements by the government, and the inability to escape American capitalism. ...more
S'morez - The Recipe | Rumpus Music

Meet the Internet’s Strangest Rap Enigma

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S’morez is a young rapper from New Jersey with an all but exclusively online presence, and in June last year he put out one of the strangest mixtapes of 2016, The Recipe. ...more

Album of the Week: Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.

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With rumors and speculation about another new record dropping on the second Coachella weekend flying, Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album DAMN. (out via TDE/ Interscope) has already established itself as an instant classic.

Lamar, who prefers to identify as musician and a writer rather than a rapper, called his album “Very urgent.” DAMN.

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Song of the Day: “Louder Than A Bomb”

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“Rhythm is the rebel,” Chuck D raps on “Louder Than A Bomb,” one of many outstanding tracks from Public Enemy’s touchstone 1988 record, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Of all the controversial and heartfelt statements made on this widely acclaimed and influential album, this is perhaps the most telling, as DJ Terminator X’s raw backbeat—a sound now associated immediately with hip-hop music—and dissonant horn samples signal right away to the listener that the genre’s longtime association with party music was evolving rapidly into a musical protest against systemic racism, poverty, state surveillance, and the militarization of police. 

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A Music Drama (Actually) about Music

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Netflix’s The Get Down is receiving quite a bit of attention for being the unicorn of music drama: for once, a show about a moment in musical history is actually about the music! Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the show is receiving accolades for following hip-hop’s rise in the Bronx with respect and care:

A coming-of-age drama anchored in the late ’70s Bronx hip-hop and disco scenes, The Get Down has a deep respect for the innovations it’s portraying—and the pioneers responsible for those breakthroughs.

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Dinosaurs, Aliens, and Rappers

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In its infinite wisdom, VICE has produced a show for the company’s TV channel, VICELAND, where Action Bronson and his friends smoke themselves into oblivion while they try to grapple with the immensity of history and the cosmos as communicated by cheeseball history documentaries.

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Living Performance Art

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The Internet’s been freaking out about Kanye West’s latest bid to be the center of all things surreal about our culture: his video for the track “Famous” features breathing sculptures of celebrities who may or may not have given permission for their likenesses to be represented naked, as if asleep, and in bed together.

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Cosmically Illegal

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At the Kenyon Review blog, Brian Michael Murphy celebrates the sheer density of reference and intricate structuring of rap lyrics revealed by a computer program, The Raplyzer, and its Rhyme Factor Scale. Murphy dissects the lyric genius of Wu-Tang’s Inspectah Deck and others:

I remember the feeling from when I was 16, the sense that they were doing cosmically illegal things with language, crunching it down into a density that tested physic’s laws, with lines impossibly packed, like collapsed stars, greedily bending light toward their hidden centers.

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Zane Lowe Interviews Chance the Rapper

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Following the release of his latest mixtape Coloring BookChance the Rapper spoke with Zane Lowe in a lengthy interview about the work, the recording process, and the artist’s growing collaborative relationship with Kanye West. Listen to the full conversation via okayplayer and stream the mixtape here.

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This Week in Posivibes: untitled unmastered

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Kendrick Lamar has released a new albumuntitled unmastered. The album was a surprise, although the artist performed some of its songs last year on The Colbert Report and this past January on The Tonight Show. The album is available via iTunes (along with just about every other online music retailer).

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“Borders” and Brand Controversy

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MIA’s video for “Borders” is controversial in many ways: it’s full of refugee imagery, MIA rapping in the middle of boats packed with bodies. But its biggest backlash comes from what seems like its least controversial gesture—in some shots, MIA is wearing a shirt with a doctored logo, changing “Fly Emirates” to read “Fly Pirates.” One would think that critiquing big money and corporations through clever logo manipulation is old news, but MIA has received letters threatening legal action and describing the event as if the logo were a sensitive teenager with hurt feelings.

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Obama Answers the Big Question

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Kendrick or Drake? YouTube vlogger Adande Thorne asked President Obama the big question, and Obama went with Kendrick Lamar. “Got to go with Kendrick,” President Obama responded, as reported Consequence of Sound. The President continued to say, “I think Drake is an outstanding entertainer, but Kendrickhis lyrics, his last album was outstanding.

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What Hip-Hop Owes David Bowie

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The Internet has been (rightfully) full of David Bowie tributes in the last week, including a series of pieces about the icon’s influence on hip-hop music.

Noisey traced Bowie’s public admiration for hip-hop, beginning with the 1993 clip of Bowie asking MTV why the network wasn’t featuring black artists that went viral following his death, and leading up to him citing Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly as one of the major influences on the making of Blackstar.

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This Week In Posivibes: Killer Mike at FSU

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While it isn’t unusual to find Killer Mike speaking about race and politics (see his past lecture at MIT on Pitchfork), Render appeared at Florida State University last week to lecture again on racism and civil rights. “Step out of your comfort zone and engage another human being as a fair and honest equal,” he said, “and based on that engagement, help that individual grow.”

Considering that racism protests have overwhelmed campuses nationwide, we’re hoping Render’s words affect change and generate positive insight.

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Ben Carson Wants the Rap Vote

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Ben Carson has engaged the logic of the 90s in his latest attempt to drum up support: when in doubt of how to reach your audience, write an awkward hip hop song about it! Stereogum has conjectured that the use of Aspiring Mogul as the segment’s rapper seems to suggest Carson (or his people) actually want listeners to believe they could be hearing the candidate rapping in the spot, which is potentially hilarious.

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This Week in Posivibes: Little Simz

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When Kendrick Lamar says you “might be the illest doing it now,” people take note, not that Little Simz necessarily needs the help—her debut A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons is full of tracks that get you instantly hooked and wanting to know what Simz has to say.

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Kendrick Lamar at the Kennedy Center

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Kendrick Lamar is collaborating with a symphony orchestra for the first time in preparation for his October 20th performance at The Kennedy Center, according to the Washington Post. The performance will feature songs off of the rapper’s sophomore record, To Pimp a Butterfly, and will be a one-off show—meaning tickets will go quick.

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El-P and Ninja Collaboration “Coming Soon”

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A post on Instagram from El-P (@thereallyrealelp) of Run The Jewels with Die Antwoord’s Ninja says only “Coming soon…” which Ninja (@zef_alien) also shared with the caption “EL-P vs NINJA.” Some believe this alludes to a coming collaboration between these two artists, but it’s unclear how or when this mysterious collab will manifest, considering both Run The Jewels and Die Antwoord are on tour from now until late October.

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This Week in Posivibes: Mykki Blanco

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If you haven’t benefited from the challenging force that is Mykki Blanco, that’s a problem that should be corrected. Blanco spoke out last week about the division being created by the #AllLivesMatter trend, identifying out the key point behind all the yelling, as she is wont to do, namely that a reactionary social media trend shouldn’t send groups who experience oppression into a fight against each other.

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This Week in Posivibes: Chance the Rapper

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We wrote about Chance the Rapper’s collaboration with Donnie Trumpet on the album Surf a few weeks back, and since then it’s been receiving some serious posivibes from the music community. Pitchfork included the album in its “Best New Music” category, Stereogum described how Surf pushes the sonic consistency of a rap album to a new level, A.V.

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Surf Out in Time for Your Next BBQ

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In case you missed it, Chance the Rapper and his band The Social Experiment collaborated with Donnie Trumpet to release their joint LP Surf last week and, well, it’s pretty great. And it’s free. The album could be the “most anxiously awaited record of the year” according to okayplayer, and we can see why: from track to track, instrumental oceanscapes give way to the best kind of fantasy beach party vibes, and guest appearances from Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monáe, Big Sean, and Jeremih add their formidable voices without overtaking the album’s overall sound.

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