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Books Hip-Hop Music Rap Reviews

“The Motherlode” – A Beautiful, Undefinable History of Women in Hip-Hop

“Men write history, but women live it.”

Chloe Angyal

It’s true that history is written by the victors, but it’s also been predominately written by men. That is especially true in hip-hop. As the culture closes in on its fiftieth birthday, the contributions of women, whether behind the mic or behind the scenes, have been largely overlooked, marginalized, or outright ignored.

The Motherlode (Abrams, 2021) by Clover Hope could help begin to change that. A cogent and forceful entry in the ongoing need to give the ladies their due, it is a book that is undefinable, or at least not easily categorized, that also happens to be the definitive history of women in hip-hop.

Categories
Writing

My Best Writing of 2020

Everyone knows 2020 was not a typical year. In fact, it was probably the weirdest and most stressful twelve months most of us have ever experienced.

Some of the items I wrote this year were in direct response to what was happening in the world – both in macro and the micro sense – while others could’ve been published any other time.

The biggest change to my writing routine was my output – or lack thereof.

Categories
Hip-Hop Lists Rap

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

Lil Dicky, Quavo, and Ski Mask The Slump God over Rakim? I quit.

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?”

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap Wu-Tang Clan

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, look no further than the fact that the makeup, philosophy and history of the Wu-Tang Clan has its own manual and even its own bible.

Categories
Writing

My Very Best Writing of 2019

Is it really going to be 2020?

Categories
Books Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

“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 and changed the game forever with “Eric B. Is President,” the first single from Eric B. & Rakim. The latter half of that duo was still in high school when he introduced a “new era of rhyme style” with complex internal rhymes full of multisyllabic words and a relaxed, composed delivery that was more conversational than shouting.

It was a new day in hip-hop.

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap Reviews

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

Image result for griff scorcese dream team

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.

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The Pierznik Monthly

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.

Categories
Hip-Hop Music Nostalgia Rap Wu-Tang Clan

The Return of the Purple Tape: Raekwon’s Classic Sequel Turns Ten

“Got me behind the pot again”

The odds were stacked against him.

Categories
Books Hip-Hop Reviews

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.