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RIP MCA: Beastie Boys founder Adam Yauch (aka MCA), dead at 47

May 5, 2012

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MCA

Growing up white (still am) in the suburbs in the 80′s, there was Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince … and the Beastie Boys. Rap was new to white people and generally hated by white suburban parents. Credit the Beasties–not Eminem– with inaugurating an entire generation into the inner sanctum of hiphop. What was different about the Beasties […]

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Is MC Frontalot the future of hiphop?

March 25, 2012

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3-24-2012 10-55-55 PM mc frontalot stoop sale

We found Frontalot here on Kickstarter. Pretty obvious he’s really talented…and doing what hiphop used to do: tell stories about everyday life. There’s a lot of tired raps out there going over the same tired topics. Nice to see yard sales…er, stoop sales…getting their due.

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The “Rap Sentry”, Tunisia’s Hidden Blade (Firas Louati), Slays this Rhyme

March 12, 2012

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3-11-2012 10-20-13 PM Tunisian Firas Louati-hidden blade

What’s most surprising about Firas Louati–goes by the rap handle Hidden Blade–is that his English rapping is really good.  Like…really good. In this ESL rap world, it’s just a foregone conclusion these guys are going to suck in English. So when they smoke it, it’s just spinetingling. But then he also kills it in Arabic. Read more…

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“Master and King”: the best joint off The Holstar and Teckzilla’s “The Extraordinaires”

February 13, 2012

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2-12-2012 9-41-56 PM holstar and teckzilla

Master and King opens with a riff that sounds like a way slowed down version of Heavy D’s “Now that We Found Love” (see below too). But the melody’s slightly different and very current. It’s an addictive song…the best off  “The Extraordinaires from The Holstar (Zambia) and Teckzilla (Canada, bwo Nigeria).

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Muller Empo raps hard from the English diaspora: Zambia and Botswana

February 12, 2012

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2-11-2012 10-15-15 PM muller empo

Muller Empo is a Botswana underground rapper in Russia. He recently did a track with 2 Zambian MC’s, called Stand Up. What’s most notable here is the strength of English-speaking rappers from countries you didn’t know English is the primary language: Botswana and Zambia.  

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Rap’s deeper than Rap: since Day 1. Today’s NYT.

January 30, 2012

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1-29-2012 10-39-08 PM nytimes article

From today’s NYTimes, Prof. Sujatha Fernandes writes about the ingredients that have made rap huge. Click the pic to read it there, or read it here: The Mixtape of the Revolution By SUJATHA FERNANDES DEF JAM will probably never sign them, but Cheikh Oumar Cyrille Touré, from a small town about 100 miles southeast of […]

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Philly’s Ground Up: How to Make your Mark

January 30, 2012

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1-29-2012 10-24-00 PM ground up clutch

Learn a thing or two from these hustlas from Philly, Ground Up: in just a few years, they’ve recorded with guys like Freeway and toured with names like Rick Ross and Mac Miller.  In short, they know how to brand and promote.  More on them below…

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Why This Kolaveri Di: just BEGGING to be rapped on!

January 15, 2012

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1-15-2012 12-14-11 AM why this kolaveri di India

Why This Kolaveri Di hit 36M views in 3 mos on Youtube. It’s from a Tamil film, 3, to be released this year. Thing is…the song is just begging to be rapped on!  But not like this…

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Indonesian beatmaker

January 14, 2012

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1-13-2012 9-45-28 PM indonesia beatmaker

This is cool. Just shows why hiphop has proliferated to the extent it has. Beats are easy to make and record. But listen to the Indonesian flourishes: the singing and guitar-y instrument.

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Happy New Year! From Danny Wang

January 8, 2012

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1-8-2012 12-09-39 AM danny wang, china usa

This video is…awfulsome. It’s a combination of one of the worst beats you’ve heard with the What-the?! hook that kills you at first. And just when you’re about to get that, “I feel-bad-for-you-you’re-so-bad feeling, Danny raps… and he’s not half bad!  Far from the worst you’ve/we’ve heard. Also…

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