Hey, Look! I Found the Worst Rap List of All Time!

“Every time I stepped into madness of the crowds, I longed for the wisdom of the loneliness.“ — Mehmet Murat Ildan “Why don’t you write about rap anymore?”

From the Vault: The Wu-Tang Paradox

This originally appeared on I Hate JJ Redick on February 3, 2012 “What RZA put together let no man tear asunder.” I would argue the Wu-Tang Clan the most influential hip-hop collective outside of possibly Run-DMC. It’s more than just music, chess, and karate flicks. It’s a way of life and almost a religion. For proof, lookContinue reading “From the Vault: The Wu-Tang Paradox”

“On Writing” for the Hip-Hop Culture: Rakim’s “Sweat the Technique” Reviewed

In most cases, progress and evolution happen slowly, over a period of time marked by small, incremental changes. Occasionally, however, a seismic shift occurs and a culture transforms overnight. That is what happened in 1986 when a young man with a voice that sounded like it was from outer space came in the door andContinue reading ““On Writing” for the Hip-Hop Culture: Rakim’s “Sweat the Technique” Reviewed”

Gorilla Monsoon Rap – “Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint” Reviewed

There are times when being a musical artist creates a no-win situation. Fickle fans want you to grow, but keep making the same sort of music. They don’t want you to repeat yourself, but quickly become unhappy if the new stuff is too different from what they expected.

The Pierznik Monthly Newsletter Volume 58 (August/September 2019)

The latest iteration of my newsletter includes thoughts on the first day of school – for both kids and adults – family vacations, the juxtaposition of grandparents and grandchildren, writing about hip-hop again, and of course, the latest books I encountered.

A Fun, Glib, and Honest Trip Down Rap Memory Lane – “Ruffhouse” Reviewed

Growing up in the Philly area, there is a constant underlying feeling of inferiority, like a little brother, in regards to New York City, particularly within the realm of hip-hop.

So Much More Than Rap: The Life and Legacy of Nipsey Hussle

Grieve not that I die young. Is it not well to pass away ere life hath lost its brightness? – Lady Flora Hastings He was different. It wasn’t just the $100 Crenshaw mixtape or the Marathon Clothing store or the work he did to quell gang violence and promote his beloved neighborhood’s art and culture.  It wasContinue reading “So Much More Than Rap: The Life and Legacy of Nipsey Hussle”

Ranking Jay-Z’s Albums

Jay-Z is the most successful emcee in history. With 14 number one albums on the Billboard chart (11 in a row as a solo artist), 21 Grammys, over 100 million records sold, and countless other side deals, he has repeatedly gone beyond the normal bounds of what a rapper could do.