Food for Thought

The 11 Best Hip-Hop Releases So Far In 2017 (Audio)

At 2017’s midpoint, the year has been generous in substantial art. Some artists have rallied to make the album an unbreakable sequence of songs. Others are seeking new, casual ways

RESPECT THE DJ: Rob Swift Speaks Out Against Those Who Should Not Be Called “DJ”

Words By DJ Rob Swift I started out as a fan first. I grew up around the art of DJing since I came out my mother’s womb. There hasn’t been

An Argument For Why Black Thought Is The Greatest MC Of All Time (Video)

For almost 25 years, Black Thought has been putting his raspy voiced verses to record. The constant MC for The Roots crew has made a dozen albums, seemingly performed as

Holler If Ya Hear Me: A Look At Tupac’s Most Revolutionary Calls For Change

“Everything I do I do to represent my people. ” – Tupac Shakur, 1994 In his music, Tupac Shakur brilliantly blended the revolutionary messages of Public Enemy with the shock

How Prison Transformed Tupac But Could Not Save Him From Death Row

On Valentines Day 1995, Tupac Amaru Shakur was processed into general population at Clinton Correctional Facility. Approximately eight months later, Pac left the maximum security prison in Dannemora, New York.

Tupac Shakur’s Early Poems Showed The Sensitive Side Of Thug Life (Video)

Celebrated the world over for his prophetic words on the mic, Tupac Shakur was not only a gifted lyricist but also an accomplished poet. Bridging “thug life” with “fine art,”

Kanye West Or Shakespeare: Who Is More Relevant Right Now? (Video)

One made Hamlet, and one made “H•A•M.” William Shakespeare and Kanye West may appear to be very different kinds of artists. However, both creators (one an author and playwright, the

Tupac’s Spoken Words: Why His Interviews Are Even More Compelling Than His Music (Video)

“I want when they see me, they know that every day that I’m breathing, it’s for Us to go farther. Every time I speak, I want the truth to come

Tupac Shakur’s Formative Years: The Young Man Before The Myth (Video)

“I loved my childhood, even though it was bad. I love it. I feel like it’s taught me so much. Nothing can faze me. Nothing in this world can surprise

Bizzy Says He & Krayzie Are The Ones Capable Of Creating New Waves For Bone Thugs (Video)

One year ago, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony released “Coming Home.” The reunion single came just days following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first NBA title crown. In the 52 years between championships across major

Brother Ali Details How Our Pleasures Are Used By Those In Power To Control Us

After a nearly five-year break, Brother Ali will release All The Beauty In This Whole Life this Friday (May 5). The Rhymesayers Entertainment mainstay has crafted an album that confronts so many

The Rumors Were Right. Kendrick Lamar DID Release 2 New Albums.

Merely hours after Kendrick Lamar released his masterful new album, DAMN., a rumor surfaced that set the internet ablaze. It is unclear who the original author was, but the theory

噂が本当だった。ケンドリックは本当にアルバムを二枚リリースしたのだ。

ケンドリック・ラマーが極めて巧みな新アルバム「DAMN.」をリリースしたそのほんの数時間後、ネットではある噂が大炎上した。誰が言い出したかは不明だが、一説にはケンドリックは実は同週末にアルバムを二枚リリースする予定だった、というのだ。詳しい内容・根拠はワイルドに想像力に富んだものである一方、中には驚く程細かい描写もあった。普通だったら「こりゃガセネタだろう」と流したくなるような要素の勢揃い。 その主な要素とは次のとおり。「DAMN.」は聖金曜日 [Good Friday: 復活祭の前の金曜日。キリストの命日] にリリースされたもので、ケンドリックの死を象徴している。(ネット上の)空論家たちは、ケンドリックが次に「NATION.」というタイトルで「自分の復活」と意味で二枚目のアルバムを復活祭にリリースするのではないかと暗示し出した。タイトルを合わせると「DAMNATION」[天罰] となる。ケンドリックの音楽にはスピリチュアルな要素も含まれており、早くも「Section.80」というアルバムの時点ですでに「Kush & Corinthians」[クッシュとコリント人]のような曲があり、ジャケットには聖書が写っている。また、アルバムのリリースに向けて The New York Times とのインタビューの中でケンドリックはこう語る。 「俺たちは人生と呼ばれるあらゆるものごとから、ある一つの大きな要素を排除しがちな、そんな時代にいるんだ。つまり神だよ。今、世界で起きていることとの間に軋轢を生んでしまうから誰も言わないけど。政治や政府、体制について語ろうとするとさ」。 噂を裏付ける詳細も豊富だ。「DAMN.」のジャケット裏は、全曲が最後まで大文字で書かれ、それを強調するかのように「.」で終わり、白い背景へと溢れるようなレイアウトになっている。噂によるとこれらは一つのアナグラム(つづり換え遊び)のつもりである。つづり換えると「Earth led 2 Death [地球は死を招いた]」や「Death 2 the leader [リーダーに死を]」などと、噂のコンセプトを強化するようなフレーズがいくつか成り立つとみられる。更にいうと、「DAMN.」のM字がちょうど悪魔の角とも捉えてもいいようにケンドリックの頭の上に位置しており、今度「NATION.」ではO字を天使の輪に見立てるのではないかという説だった。また「DAMN.」のカバーは赤だから、「NATION.」は青になるだろうと。そしてケンドリック本人も火に油を注ぐように「DAMN.」のリリース直後に、Spotifyのプロフィール写真を変え、赤だった背景が青になっていた。その後、「NATION.」の偽アートワークが出回り始めた。 二日間、世の中は息をひそめて「NATION.」のリリースを待った。期待が外れたと気付くと、噂の火が弱まりかけたが、数日後にアルバムのサイン会でケンドリックが口にしてしまった一言でまたすぐ様に大炎上した。 「俺の音楽、まだあるよ」 この言葉が大騒ぎを起こし、それを正すべくケンドリックは公式声明を発表せざるを得なくなった。「 KenFolk [ケンドリックファンの皆] へ。皆から、自分の音楽への、止まない期待と欲望に、感謝。しかしリリースはないよ。自分の活動は今後の俺たち

Rob Swift Shows Why “The Breaks” Is The Most Authentic TV Show About Hip-Hop

On April 10, The Breaks completed the airing of its first season as a series. What began as a 2016 film for television extended for eight 2017 episodes. With actor, artist

20 Years Later Here Are So Many Things About Biggie Smalls You Didn’t Know

Twenty years ago today (March 9, 1997), Hip-Hop lost a true king when Biggie Smalls died. The MC also known as The Notorious B.I.G. had risen to form in less

Raekwon Discusses His New Album, Working With OutKast, His Wu-Tang Classics & More

For nearly 25 years, Raekwon has been an elite source of inventive Rap music. The Staten Island MC made his debut on the classic Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by

Rare Video Reveals That B.D.P.’s Criminal Minded Was An Answer To Non-Believers

Thirty years ago this week (March 3, 1987), the direction and style of Hip-Hop forever changed thanks to Boogie Down Productions’ debut album, Criminal Minded. With only “South Bronx” in

The Turntable Hip-Hop Made Famous Has Scratched The Culture That Built It

The Technics 1200s turntable is one of the tools of the Hip-Hop trade. Introduced in October of 1972, the SL-1200 has grown step-by-step with the musical culture credited with a

Skillz’s 2016 Rap Up Reminds Us Of The Year’s Highs, Lows & Reasons To Stay Woke (Audio)

2016 is coming to a close. Years from now, how will we, the people, remember such an expansive year in Hip-Hop music, news, and culture? This year, some of the

The 20 Best Freestyles Of 2016. Thought You KNEW (Video)

In Hip-Hop, there are few things more exciting than when an MC delivers a vicious verse that’s never been heard before, on the spot. It is the equivalent 0f a monster

2016: The Year Chance Stood With The People & Showed He’s So Much More Than A Rapper

In just under two weeks, we will be saying goodbye to 2016, a year during which the world faced turmoil at breakneck speed. From President Obama’s announcement of a federal

Stillmatic Turns 15. Here’s A Look At Nas’ Return To His NY State Of Mind (Video)

Fifteen years ago today (December 18), Nas released his fifth album, Stillmatic. At a time before popular Rap stars were making albums into series and franchises, Nasir Jones flashed back

2016’s Boldest & Most Important Political Statements In Hip-Hop & Beyond

2016 has been a rough year. From seemingly endless celebrity deaths to a political campaign unlike any other to racial tensions dominating headlines, these last 12 months have been riddled

Here Are The Best Hip-Hop Performances & Videos Of 2016

2016 has been a unique year. With it, Hip-Hop had a lot to say, visually. Poets new and old, independent and well-heeled, used their art to promote awareness, suggest change,

Pete Rock Discusses His Smoke DZA Collabo Album & Who Would Be In His Dream Band (Video)

Last Friday (December 2), Smoke DZA & Pete Rock released their first collaborative album, Don’t Smoke Rock. The Babygrande Records LP features Rick Ross, Royce 5’9″, Jadakiss, Mac Miller, Styles

Learn 10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Dre, Tupac, & Eazy From The Definitive Book On L.A. Gangsta Rap

Perhaps even more than Hip-Hop’s inception, or its commercial rise, the history of N.W.A. and the diaspora of West Coast Gangsta Rap is the culture’s most intriguing story. There are

A New Book Details The Rich Hip-Hop History Of NYC’s Latin Quarter Club

In No Half Steppin’: An Oral and Pictorial History of New York City Club the Latin Quarter and the Birth of Hip-Hop’s Golden Era, legendary musician, archivist, and activist Claude

Sir Jinx Speaks About Keeping The Production On Ice Cube’s Death Certificate True To The Game

Present day Hip-Hop relies heavily on serial albums. From The Blueprint to Detox, there is momentum in many great artists’ catalogs that keeps the listener engaged while threading a concept. Twenty

Ghostface Killah’s Ironman Showcased A Rap Superhero & The Man Behind The Mask (Video)

Twenty years ago tomorrow (October 29, 1996), Ghostface Killah released a seminal solo debut album in the form of Ironman. To that point, four Wu-Tang Clansmen (GZA, Method Man, O.D.B.,

Black Sheep Discuss How A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing Separated Them From the Pack

Twenty-five years ago, a duo whose sound was decidedly different from what was popular at the time stepped to Hip-Hop with A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Black Sheep’s debut LP

Joe Budden Discusses Why His Music & Personal Life Are At Their Best In 2016

If you’re not constantly challenged, you’re probably not doing it right. Joe Budden entered 2016 with a proven career—decorated with a cult music following, reality television history, a podcast, and

BROOKZILL!’s Debut LP is Inventive & Familiar At the Same Time (Audio)

BROOKZILL!: a hybrid musical project, part Brazilian street samba/part Brooklyn, New York “old school” – defined by travel and transcendence, mapping out connections to discover that the heartbeat of both

Skyzoo & Joell Ortiz Look At Some Of The Costs Of A Couple Of Dollars (Video)

Tomorrow (September 30), Apollo Brown and Skyzoo will release their first collaborative album, The Easy Truth. As the Detroit, Michigan producer explained to Ambrosia For Heads this week, the easy

The Making Of ATCQ’s The Low End Theory, Told By People Who Were There

Twenty five years ago today, A Tribe Called Quest released The Low End Theory. The Queens, New York collective had seemingly achieved what so many of their peers aspired to:

9th Wonder Makes A Powerful Case For Tolerance Between Generations In Hip-Hop

In recent weeks, there have been several incidents, primarily on social media, that suggest a generational divide within Hip-Hop. Three of the biggest breakout stars of the last year ran

Why Tupac Is The Most Influential MC Of All-Time 20 Years After His Death

Twenty years ago (September 13, 1996) Tupac Amaru Shakur died in the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. The last year of his life had been his most successful, his

20 Years Later, OutKast’s ATLiens Is A Masterpiece Of Space & Time

True to its extraterrestrial theme, OutKast’s 1996 sophomore album ATLiens was of another world. Like the “Paid In Full” vocal sample proclaimed, André 3000 and Big Boi added “new color,

De La Soul Describe Their Million Dollar Album With Priceless Jewels

In two days (August 26), De La Soul will release its eighth album, and the Anonymous Nobody. Released through the trio’s own AOI (Art Official Intelligence) imprint, the album follows

DMX Says He Won Every Battle With Jay Z. Who Won The War? (Video)

In 1999, Jay Z and DMX embarked (and majorly cashed in) on the Hard Knock Life Tour. Although Jay Z’s album gave the tour its name, the lineup was a

Price Is Right: Why Sean Price Should Be Every MC’s Hope Story

One year ago today, I remember where I was when I got the text message. Sean Price had died. I was sitting at a red light in the city of

Large Professor Broke More Than Atoms 25 Years Ago. He Broke New Ground.

By the early 1990s, Wild Pitch Records proved to be one of the most exciting labels in Hip-Hop. It was their logo at the center of the record that made

Digable Planets Reflect On Their Travels Through Time & Space And They’re Still Light Years Ahead

In 1994, a trio of young, unparalleled Hip-Hop creators won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat).” Up

Jamila Woods on Messages From “Heavn” & The Creative Spirit of Chicago’s Artists

Some of the greatest artists in modern music started with careful build-ups. From Nas to Kendrick Lamar, these artists were tapped to play feature roles on others’ songs. In time,

Snoop & The Game Meet With The LAPD To Build Trust Between Police & The Community

On Friday (July 8), mere hours after five police officers were murdered in Dallas, Texas, and the same week two Black men were killed by police officers in separate incidents,

DJ Premier Gives The Inside Story On The Making Of Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt 20 Years Later

Twenty years ago, Jay Z had a hustler’s ambition of releasing an album and then walking away. His lifestyle already afforded the finer things in life, so he was not making

11 Must-Listen To Albums, EPs & Mixtapes So Far In 2016

Approaching this year’s midpoint, there has been some incredible music that will be appreciated long beyond 2016. Like the art itself, the year that is has represented some tectonic shifts in how

Ice-T Explains Why Battling Unknown MCs Is A Bad Idea & More

Ice-T has been releasing records for nearly 35 years. Whether early independent 12″ singles of platinum albums with Sire/Warner Bros. Records, the New Jersey-born, California-raised artist has enjoyed a massive

King Harris II Colors His Own West Coast Reality Into An Ice-T Classic (Audio Premiere)

Oxnard, California (by way of Long Beach) MC King Harris II is gearing up for the release of his Nightmare On Wolff Street album tomorrow, on “Friday the 13th” no

Masta Ace Premieres “Young Black Intelligent” & Champions The Art Of Storytelling (Audio)

This week (May 13), Masta Ace will release his fifth solo album, The Falling Season. Although the LP follows the conceptual storyline of 2012’s DOOM-supported MA_DOOM: Son Of Yvonne, it

New Jack City’s Creator Reveals The Story’s Original Ending & It’s Wildly Different

In the mid-1980s, Thomas Lee Wright, a creative executive at Paramount Studios left the company to pursue a career as a screenwriter. One of his first endeavors was to write