Posts Tagged: hip-hop

The Beastie Men

Are the Beastie Boys done?

"We're done. Oh yeah. Adam Yauch started the band. It's not like a thing where we could continue without him."

Never contemplated it?


Does that require a psychological adjustment? The band that you were in your entire life no longer exists.

"It's a huge deal. And so, you know, it's probably just taken me time to sit and think and try to figure out what I do next or who I am now or, you know, all of that stuff. Because since high school, I was in this band. And you know, it's one thing when you're in a band in high school, but [...]


These Hoes Ain't Heard: On the Women Who Remixed "Loyal"

If there’s a genre of song more insidious than the Song For Women, it’s something like the Song For Men About Women. The Song For Men About Women is a song that tells men what is wrong with female behavior, in language that the majority of men, one would hope, would never dream of using in front of the woman whose behavior is being criticized.

In this week’s New York Times, music critic Jon Caramanica takes on The Song For Men About Women, in a piece that admittedly tries to go beyond the Man Explains trope, but ultimately falls victim to it. (Criticism of The Song [...]


Dear Old Nicki

When questioned about the content of her sophomore album, Nicki held firm the entire time, consistently stating that she’s proud of her pop work, but it’s weird to see Nicki even having to explain herself. Why are we debating the merit of her foray into other genres like “Starships” isn’t incredible? Why aren’t we having a discussion about how positive her eccentricities are in an occasionally stagnant culture and why it’s necessary to not give a fuck about artistic restraints as much as Nicki didn’t on that album?

Here is an interesting addition to the Eternal Nicki Minaj Debate: does her pop music undermine her as a serious hip [...]


Plenty of Love Jams

In case you missed it, two years ago, Mishka commissioned the best mix of lovey, mid-90s R&B prom jams — including Janet, Mariah, SWV, and TLC to name a few — called "Mishka is for Lovers" from Skeet Skeet and it still exists for free. If you prefer less sweet songs about love, download Brother Ali's brand new 7-track EP, The Bite Marked Heart, for zero dollars. He's a supremely listenable rapper from Minneapolis who often raps nice things about his family. And, if none of the above words made any sense to you, may I suggest one of these two hour-long mixes from DJ Klooney?: a bunch of [...]


After Scott and I were watching the takes and had realized how impressive Will had become on film, I called two people the next day. The first was Clive Calder, and I told him, "The Fresh Prince is going to be a big movie star and I think we should make a movie with him right away. He's going to be bigger than Eddie Murphy." Clive, who I love to death, laughed and said, "Ann, do you know how to make a movie?" And I said, "No, but two years ago I didn't know how to make music videos either!" Clive thought it was a good idea but he [...]


"Your Favorite Rapper Probably Sucks": Interview with Angel Haze

The rapper Angel Haze grew up in a religious community in Michigan that she’s since described as a "cult," and the first secular music she ever heard was on the radio at age 16 in Virginia. The song was Young Joc's "It's Goin' Down." And yet last week, the 22-year-old was sitting in an expansive conference room at her label's offices in midtown Manhattan, waiting for an intern to deliver two cheese Danishes and a venti hot chocolate with whipped cream and mocha drizzle from a Starbucks down the block. She signed her deal with Universal Music Group last year, and her first album (following six [...]


How to Sound Like a Cool Mom

You know why “Jiggy” is one of the greatest slang words ever coined? Because it not only takes you to a different decade, it takes you to a different dimension. In a jiggy world, the suits are always shiny and silver, the wigs are always a natural neon blue, the economy is indelibly Big Willie Clintonian. Will Smith was no longer the Fresh Prince, but he was no longer a Scientologist. He was a movie star, but had yet to get old and serious. It is capitalist Zen. The Prada bag will always have a lot of stuff in it. Your condo is infinite. You dance around the sarcophagus. [...]


Bad Boy Records: An Oral History

Nothing excites me more than a great "Who's Better?" pop culture argument, where there are two major sides, only one correct answer, and everybody has an opinion. In the early 90s, only one question like this reigned: Bad Boy or Death Row?

We'll never be at a dearth for information about hip-hop's golden era, but every so often someone writes an article with even more information to fuel our debates, and the excitement starts all over again. "Aint Nothing Shine Brighter Than That Bad Boy," an oral history published this week on GQ, mostly focuses on Sean Combs (fka Puffy, Puff Daddy, Puff and Diddy), founder of Bad Boy [...]


Nicki Minaj Murdered You On Your Own Shit: The Guest Verse as Social Justice

On Monday night, Kendrick Lamar delivered what is already a career-defining guest verse on Big Sean’s Hall of Fame leftover, “Control.” Late in the verse, Kendrick raps a list of 11 peers whom he respects, but wants to make irrelevant. It’s earned him a lot of headlines in the past 24 hours. But there's a serious omission: he never mentions Nicki Minaj.

There are a lot of ways you can read into this. Before calling out rappers like Drake and J. Cole, Kendrick lists other MCs he believes are on his level: Jay Z, Nas, Eminem, and Andre 3000. He doesn’t mention both Lil Wayne and Kanye West, [...]


Maker, Money Fight

Maker, the man who creates many of the  tracks you hear in the background of our "How to Be a Girl" videos, dropped a free EP today. Go pick it up!