Browsing All Posts filed under »History of Hip Hop«

Waka Flocka Fact Check: Why Lyricism (still) Pays in Hip-Hop

March 3, 2010 by


LYRICS LYRICS LYRICS. Lyrics are a huge topic in hip-hop. Not only are they responsible for much of the criticism that hip-hop receives, but lyricists have really come to define the entire genre. And now, the issue of lyricism and its role in hip-hop has become a hot topic of debate. If you haven’t yet […]

The Sound of That Funky Drummer: DJ Funktual explains samples

February 28, 2010 by


Ever since the Sugar Hill Gang released Rapper’s Delight in 1979, the first popular single to feature sampling (they sampled Good Times by Chic), artists have been dusting off that vinyl to snag hooks, beats, drops, and whatever else can give their sound some of that old school flavor. It should come as no surprise […]

Hulu Twofer: Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme & New Flavors

January 31, 2010 by


Because two is always better than one, hulu released two more rap documentaries, Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme and New Flavors. While Freestyle’s content seems obvious from the name, New Flavors is about the rise and impact of Southern Rap—and here I thought all Southern Rap did was give us grills. ‘Freestyle: The Art of […]

White Like Me: Loving Hip-Hop from the Outside

December 29, 2009 by


It’s the holiday season, and like so many of my 20-something counterparts, I’ve spent the past week at my childhood home, surrounded by family, old friends, good food, better drink,…. and absolutely nothing even remotely related to hip-hop culture. I grew up in the mountains of Western MD, where the dominate musical culture is caught […]

Lord Knows: Tupac makes Vatican Playlist

December 7, 2009 by


On December 2, the Vatican posted a playlist on its MySpace page which included Pac’s posthumously-released song “Changes”, claiming that he, along with the other artists featured, “share[d] the aim to reach the heart of good minded people.” This is, of course, surprising for the obvious reasons: that Tupac had a long-standing connection to violence, both lyrically and […]

Welcome to the Beat

November 3, 2009 by


Axiom (n.): 1. a self-evident truth that requires no proof. 2. a universally accepted principle or rule. 3. a proposition that is assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follows from it.   Break Beat (n.; v.): “The best part of a great record.” – Grandmaster Flash “While playing hits from […]