Subject:

Hip-Hop and Rap

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2014

    Why 2008 was hip-hop's worst year

    Everyone seems to agree that 1994 was hip-hop's best year. We don't exactly disagree. But what was hip-hop's worst year? No it's not, as so many stick-in-the-mud hip-hop traditionalists say every year, "this year." In fact, it was, unequivocally, 2008. And here's why.

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2014

    Ms. Lauryn Hill at First Avenue, 6/30/14

    Ms. Lauryn HillFirst Avenue, MinneapolisMonday, June 30, 2014The legendary Ms. Lauryn Hill graced First Avenue last night with a full band in tow and an incredible career-spanning set. Playing for over two hours, she divided her set into sections that covered material from The Miseducation of Lauryn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2014

    Brother Ali has used over 4,700 unique words in his lyrics

    A deep hip-hop vocabulary has always set apart more exploratory artists like Outkast and Wu Tang Clan from the repetitive missives of Soulja Boy, but it was always a theoretical debate. Now, if there weren't already enough ways to pass judgment upon and categorize rappers, data Scientist Matt Danie ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2014

    10 reasons Urban Outfitters is bad for music

    We all know it, but it's time to show it. Urban Outfitters is a creative wasteland, a shortsighted cul-de-sac of trends and trash-culture bent for capital gain -- one large, unthinking slab of cultural masturbation. But, by and large, it's a beast we ourselves feed. Like creepers to a drug deal we l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 13, 2014

    One label controls almost all of hip-hop, and that's a problem for music fans

    It's common knowledge that the popular music industry is dominated by a few huge companies, sometimes referred to as the Big Three: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. It used to be the Big Four, until EMI was subsumed into the other three. Before that, it was the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2014

    Should rap lyrics be used in criminal trials?

    Legions of angry parents were already up in arms when gangster rap arrived on the scene. After the 1985 PMRC Senate hearings helped institute "Parental Advisory" stickers, albums by Ice-T and N.W.A. were among the first to be branded. Since then, rap as a musical form has continued to take its lumps ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2013

    Tech N9ne: I wouldn't take my face paint off for any amount of money

    Tech N9ne is the only rapper on the 2013 Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings list who wears face paint and has performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos six times. After raking in an impressive $7.5 million over the past 12 months, the Kansas City native appears on the list in between Swizz Beatz and 50 Cent ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2013

    Freddie Gibbs at the Cabooze, 8/24/13

    Freddie Gibbs Cabooze, Minneapolis Saturday, August 24, 2013 I got pounds of Keisha / Dope house fulla geekers / Looking for that white bitch, cocaina, have you seen her? Most of the Cabooze, about 75 percent full, is vibing and rapping along with this decidedly radio unfriendly but intensely catc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2013

    Homeboy Sandman: The media provokes negative hip-hop stereotypes

    Stones Throw rapper Homeboy Sandman maintains the spirit and style of golden era New York hip-hop with his refreshing approach. After a string of projects since his first work Nourishment in 2007, he's earned acclaim from critics and fans alike as a musician with powerful lyrics and something real t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2013

    El-P and Killer Mike at Varsity Theater, 7/19/13

    El-P and Killer Mike with Despot and Kool A.D. Varsity Theater, Minneapolis Friday, July 19, 2013 We of the millennial generation grew up in the golden era of the Dynamic Duo. On wax and on the basketball court, players and artists that could have been superstars in their own right formed partnersh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2013

    Toki Wright provides soundtrack for Trayvon Martin rally [Playlist]

    Photos by B Fresh PhotographyLeft: Toki Wright; Right: TK of Tipsy BikeAmong the thousands assembled at Hennepin County Government Center on Monday for the #HoodiesUpMN Trayvon Martin rally was rapper Toki Wright. The local Rhymesayers artist, music producer, DJ and educator decided to bring a sound ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 19, 2013
  • Blogs

    May 31, 2013

    LL Cool J's Kings of the Mic tour at Target Center, 5/30/13

    Kings of the Mic TourWith LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La SoulTarget Center, MinneapolisThursday, May 30, 2013LL Cool J is 45 years old, and wearing it well. As he stalked the stage at Target Center as the final performer of the Kings of the Mic Tour, he seemed keenly aware that his powe ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 29, 2013
  • Blogs

    May 28, 2013

    Soundset 2013: A music and photo timeline

    Ah, Soundset. The sixth installment of the Rhymesayers Entertainment hip-hop festival had a breakout year in terms of attendance -- a reported 28,000 fans came out -- and talent, with a lineup including Snoop Dogg, Mac Miller, Tech N9ne, along with the host artists Atmosphere. Many folks pegged A$AP ... More >>

  • Music

    May 22, 2013

    A peek behind Soundset 2013

    From Snoop Dogg to Atmosphere, the festival boasts a variety of talent

  • Calendar

    May 15, 2013
  • Blogs

    April 22, 2013

    T.I. at Epic, 4/19/13

    T.I. Epic, Minneapolis Friday, April 19, 2013 Some nights you walk into a club wondering if an MC is still relevant. Then you watch a 32-year-old pro blast through more than two dozen songs in a little more than an hour, flaunting a nimble flow and basking comfortably in the familiarity of his hits ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 10, 2013

    Prof: If I can justify it and be smart enough, I can say anything

    Minneapolis rap troublemaker Prof has pushed all our buttons for over a decade now. A mixture of party-starters, gross-out tales, and personal exploration fills the three volumes of his Kaiser Von Powderhorn mixtape series, his King Gampo album, the Recession Music collaboration with St. Paul Slim, ... More >>

  • Calendar

    April 9, 2013
  • Blogs

    April 2, 2013

    Top 10 Twin Cities hip-hop venues

    It's hard to believe with the reputation it now holds that there was a time when the Twin Cities wasn't booking too many hip-hop acts. Once we were still flyover country to many of the national touring acts, and the local underground scene had yet to rise to prominence and prove the power of homegro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 22, 2013

    Haphduzn: I've kind of got a lot of experience with struggle

    Haphduzn recently dropped his debut album Whittier Alliance, a collaboration with Wide Eyes' producer Dimitry Killstorm, and it sits comfortably in the pantheon of the Rhymesayers artists with whom he recently got off tour. A brutally honest and personal record, the straightforward raps come from a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 6, 2013

    Soundset 2013 lineup: Atmosphere, Snoop Dogg, Mac Miller & more

    "If we keep outdoing ourselves, who am I going to be playing after next year? Kanye?" was what Atmosphere rapper Slug said about last year's impressive Soundset lineup. Well, Soundset 2013 didn't get Mr. West, but it did land the G-funk legend Snoop Dogg. (Although, isn't he going by Snoop Lion thes ... More >>

  • Calendar

    March 6, 2013
  • Blogs

    February 27, 2013

    Murs: My creative work doesn't seem organized to me

    One of the icons of independent hip-hop for over a decade, Murs returns to the Twin Cities this Saturday for a show at the Fine Line with fellow West Coast natives Fashawn, Kosha Dillz and Black Cloud Music. The fearless leader of the Road to Paid Dues Tour, Murs is traveling coast-to-coast to sprea ... More >>

  • Calendar

    February 27, 2013
  • Blogs

    February 26, 2013

    Too $hort: I've actually disappointed people by being polite

    Gimme Noise got a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Bay Area rapper Too $hort this past weekend when he rolled through town with E-40. After a performance at Epic, B Fresh Photography's Rebecca McDonald got to hang backstage with the $hort Dog and ask some questions one-on-one. Watch her exclusive vid ... More >>

  • Music

    February 6, 2013

    Get Cryphy turns five

    The DJ crew that taught local hip-hop heads to love club bangers celebrates half a decade

  • Calendar

    January 30, 2013
  • Blogs

    January 22, 2013

    Jennifer Lawrence and SNL remind us Minnesota radio still lacks hip hop

    Saturday Night Live still thinks the state of hip hop radio in the Twin Cities is laughable. Over the weekend, we returned to the fictional studios of B-108 in Shakopee, "Minnesota's home for blazing hip hop," for another early morning joke at our scene's expense. This time, guest The Hunger Games s ... More >>

  • Calendar

    January 16, 2013
  • Calendar

    December 12, 2012
  • Blogs

    December 7, 2012

    Public Enemy at First Avenue, 12/6/12

    Public Enemy's Hip Hop Gods Tour with X-Clan, Monie Love, Schoolly D, Leaders of the New School, Wise Intelligent, Son of Bazerk and No Self Control, Awesome Dre, Davy DMX and DJ Johnny Juice Thursday. First Avenue, MinneapolisThursday, December 6, 2012 The Hip Hop Gods Tour, the brainchild of Pub ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2012

    Public Enemy's Chuck D: Yeah, I voted in the 2012 election

    Rap music is an omnipresent sound in the country's earbuds today because acts like Public Enemy refused to fold. With two albums released this year, Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp and The Evil Empire of Everything, this has been a vital time for the 25-year-old group and its mercil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2012

    Big Boi at Epic, 11/9/12

    Big Boiwith Get CryphyEpic, MinneapolisNovember 9, 2012"One more?" the DJ asked. He stood there awkwardly at the corner of the stage, not sure what to do with himself. "Big Boi, one more?"For an uncomfortably long couple minutes Friday night, it looked like Big Boi's DJ hadn't gotten the memo about ... More >>

  • Calendar

    November 7, 2012
  • Blogs

    November 5, 2012

    Raekwon at First Avenue 11/4/12

    Raekwon First Avenue, Minneapolis Sunday, November 4, 2012 For the closing of the afterparty of the first annual Twin Cities Sneaker.Art Exchange (TCS.AX) Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon the Chef was the main draw. Still, First Avenue only had maybe 75 people in it Sunday night and Raekwon was clearly ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 26, 2012

    Kevin Beacham on Get Out to Vote and when politics meet hip-hop

    This Sunday is the Keith Ellison-sponsored Get Out to Vote concert at First Avenue. The incumbent Representative of Minnesota's Fifth-Congressional District has put together quite the bill, including performances from Brother Ali, Slug, Dessa as well as a DJ set from noted hip-hop historian and Rede ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2012

    Picked to Click 2012: #10. Audio Perm

    #10. Audio Perm: 32 points"We haven't done one photo shoot where every member has been in it," says Audio Perm rapper 80H20 with a laugh. That's because the AP crew, which has risen to prominence putting in work and a fresh approach to the Twin Cities rap sound, is more than 10 members deep. Each Au ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2012

    Picked to Click 2012: #1. The Chalice

    #1. The Chalice: 83 points "Our ladies' nights are really dope," asserts the Chalice's queen-bee rapper, Lizzo. "We get together and drink. That's how it started -- with red wine. If it were liquor, it wouldn't get done. Making tracks, turning tracks into a song, and turning tracks into a banger is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2012

    Five of our favorite DMX moments

    If you're taking part in the Zombie Pub Crawl this weekend, get read to stop, drop, shut 'em down, and open up shop as DMX is rolling into town to get at you, dog! X is gon' give it to ya at 9 p.m. Saturday at Midway Stadium, AKA Zombie Island. Unless you're slippin', you know the combination of zom ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2012

    Raekwon tops Twin Cities Sneaker.Art Exchange in November

    The Wu loves coming to the Twin Cities. This year alone has featured three visits from Ghostface (including Soundset with Raekwon the Chef), a RZA show, and a GZA performance just a couple weeks ago. Now, Raekwon is coming back in early November as the featured guest at the first annual Twin Cities ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 26, 2012
  • Blogs

    September 21, 2012

    GZA at First Avenue, 9/20/12

    GZA with Bear Hands, Sweet Valley and Killer Mike First Avenue, MinneapolisThursday, September 20, 2012Without a word to the cheering, three-quarters full audience, dressed simply in baggy jeans and a grey, Pringle of Scotland sweater, Wu-Tang Clan heavyweight GZA (neƩ Gary Grice) stepped onstage a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 18, 2012

    Hip Hop Harambee at Nomad World Pub, 9/15/12

    Hip Hop Harambee With Talib Kweli, Sims, Big Zach, and moreNomad World Pub, MinneapolisSaturday, September 15, 2012Saturday's Hip Hop Harambee, an all day hip-hop block party held in the parking lot of the Nomad World Pub, was by all measures a success. You couldn't have asked for a better day to ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2012

    Five Brother Ali classics you've probably never heard

    See Also:Cover Story: Brother Ali in His Own WordsBrother Ali: The day I met Cornel West This week, hometown hero and indie rap superstar Brother Ali unleashes his new album Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. Declaring that it's not only a new album, but a new chapter in his career, we decid ... More >>

  • Music

    September 5, 2012

    Carnage the Executioner comes into his own

    The best rapper from Minnesota you've never heard

  • Calendar

    August 29, 2012
  • Calendar

    August 22, 2012
  • Blogs

    August 21, 2012

    Talib Kweli to headline Hip-Hop Harambee Block Party

    See Also: Talib Kweli talks about his new tour, album, and role models in hip-hop The name of the festival might be a bit unfamiliar, but for local hip-hop fans the stellar lineup certainly won't be. The Hip-Hop Harambee Block Party is set to take place on Saturday, September 15 in the Nomad World ... More >>

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