Shake the Dust Review

Shake the Dust

shake-the-dust

In the past forty years, no music form has had a bigger impact on American culture than hip hop. But what we don’t often think of, is how hip hop has impacted people across the globe. Director Adam Sjöberg turns his attention to this global aspect, specifically how it empowers youth in the third world. Hip hop since the beginning has taken four forms: rapping, turntablism (or DJing), graffiti art, and b-boying (or breakdancing). Through some incredible footage and surprising access, Sjöberg focuses on breakdancing in Yemen, Uganda, Colombia, and Cambodia, showcasing how hip hop can be an incredible lifeline for children looking for expression and purpose in even the most difficult circumstances.
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Shake the Dust Review

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Book Review

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

Jeff Chang

cant-stop

Hip hop culture is often depicted as violent, greedy, and misogynistic, but by understanding its roots and the perspective of those delivering the material; you’ll find a very different story. Jeff Chang, a writer for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and Vibe, paints an extensive history from the late 60’s to the start of the new millennium on what were the circumstances that birthed hip hop, and how did it evolve and flourish. Chang does well at focusing on the catalyst events that drove the attitudes, lyrics, and perspectives of hip hop’s pioneers. From street wars in Jamaica, to the crippling effects of Reaganomics of African Americansf the ‘80s, to the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict, Chang gives some textured histories of  some of the most vital moments in hip hop history.
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Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Book Review

Bonnaroo 2012 Recap– Rap, Roots, Vets, and Fem Rock

Four Day Bonnaroo 2012 Recap

Bonnaroo is not for the faint of heart. The four-day music and arts festival has taken place every year for the past eleven and is an absolute commitment to go. The festival crams over 80,000 festival goers into a plot of farmland, making it the 7th largest city in Tennessee when the festival is underway. Bonnaroo forgoes the single-day tickets that are popular with other festivals but rather has a huge majority of its attendees camp on site all four days, with tons of dirt, sweat, and absolute weirdness taking place under the unforgiving Tennessee sun. Some of the best shows go till 4 AM on any given night making a crowd a bunch of tired, dirty, and mostly intoxicated zombies wandering around from stage to stage. Bonnaroo is an all-or-nothing commitment.
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Bonnaroo 2012 Recap– Rap, Roots, Vets, and Fem Rock

El-P Review: El-P’s Newest LP

El-P
Cancer 4 Cure

el-p lp's newest album cancer 4 cure album cover industrial jazz rock

If there is one known constant in the world of music, it is the high quality of music put out by the Mississippi record label Fat Possum. They helped jump start a blues revival in the early 90’s and have been pumping out our some of music’s best modern artists ever since. One of Fat Possum’s newest releases is the third full LP released by Brooklyn based hip hop artist El-P. The album is Cancer 4 Cure, and after hearing it yesterday, and I am seriously questioning why I’ve never listened to his solo albums before … apparently because I’m an idiot, that’s why.
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El-P Review: El-P’s Newest LP

The Roots Review: Undun

The Roots

Undun

The Roots Undun Cover Art

A legendary live hip hop group and the best house band in late night television history, The Roots have built up quite the reputation over their illustrious over two decade career.  After spending their first 22 years building their reputation on dynamic live performances, they signed a deal to be the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a surprising move for a band that has been mostly countercultural, but one that works quite well for them. They can finally settle in one place to raise families, get a more than adequate income, and play with a bounty of music legends when they stop on through to perform.
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The Roots Review: Undun

Top Ten Thursday: 2010 Albums in Retrospect

As we gear up for the conclusion of another memorable year in music and our upcoming 2011 Best-of lists, we thought it would be fun to turn back the clock to a year ago, and look at the greatest albums of 2010. However, as hindsight is crystal clear, we have adjusted our rankings based on how we feel now, so some albums that may not have made our list last year that grew on us may show up here and vice-versa.

1. Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Cover Art

The polarizing rapper’s magnum opus; a sort of wonderful ride through the psyche of the conflicted artist. MBDTF challenges the idea of what a hip-hop record is with songs like “Runaway” and “Lost In The World”, and also has its fair share of big-time hits with songs like “Power” and “All Of The Lights”.
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Top Ten Thursday: 2010 Albums in Retrospect

Jay-Z and Kanye Show Review: A Heavyweight Bout

Kanye West & Jay-Z

Watch The Throne Tour

Palace at Auburn Hills

Detroit, MI

11/26/2011

Kanye West, the Boxer
Who Gon' Stop Me haah?

Two days after Thanksgiving, Austin and I strapped on our gold watches and chains and headed up to Motown to see the two biggest acts (egos) in hip hop today, Kanye West and Jay-Z, join together to put on one massive show. As the marquee would suggest, the show was quite simply two and a half hours of unadulterated Jay and Ye, meaning no opening act, no guests, and an almost non-existent backing band, though there was plenty of flash and flair in the duo’s stage show.
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Jay-Z and Kanye Show Review: A Heavyweight Bout