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. It is what leads to the dreaded […]
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.
“Got me behind the pot again” The odds were stacked against him.
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.
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 was […]
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.
For more than a quarter-century, ever since he first stole the show on Main Source’s “Live at the BBQ” all the way back in 1991, Nas has been crafting incredible rhymes and blessing microphones. He has a stack of classic verses, to the point that some of them don’t even appear on his own LPs. Though […]
Below is a list I created in November, 2013, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). It was published on Medium and then republished by Hip Hop Golden Age. In honor of today – November 9, 2018 – being the 25th anniversary of the release of that album, I chose to […]
I can remember the exact moment when I realized that mainstream hip-hop had passed me by. It was when I heard Drake’s So Far Gone.
“[Eminem] seems to revel in the ways that he can break and reshape the laws of the language.” – Adam Bradley, Book of Rhymes Eminem is one of the all-time greats, a surefire future hall of famer. He’s one of the most commercially successful musicians ever, the second highest-selling singles artist of all time with over 220 […]