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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Hip-Hop Rap

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 was all of that – and so much more. 

Ermias Asghedom, known to the rest of us as Nipsey Hussle, was shot and killed at the age of thirty-three in his hometown of Los Angeles. In the days since his shocking death, the phrase that has come up over and over again about the man is, “he was so much more than just rap.”

Categories
Hip-Hop Rankings Rap

Ranking Jay-Z’s Albums

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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.