Throwback

This 1977 NYC Party Mix Shows How The Earliest Hip-Hop Parties Sounded (Audio)

Thanks to the series "The Get Down," many are newly fascinated with 1970s New York City and the genesis of Hip-Hop. DJ'ing, rapping, graffiti, and breakin' came together harmoniously in an overall form of expression that reflected the complexities of city-dwelling at a specific time in fashion, music, visual art,... Read more

Method Man, O.D.B., & RZA Proved That In ’97, Wu-Tang Could Freestyle Forever (Audio)

In June of 1997, Wu-Tang Clan kicked the summer off at the top of the Hip-Hop class. Whereas 1993's Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) just missed the Top 40 (to eventually reach platinum), its follow-up Wu-Tang Forever would debut at #1. A double album, the Loud/RCA Records release of the... Read more

This Unreleased ’95 Red & Meth Freestyle Shows How High They Truly Fly (Audio)

In the summer of 1995, Def Jam Records dropped The Show soundtrack. The Top 5 charting work featuring music by Tupac, The Notorious B.I.G., and A Tribe Called Quest introduced a duo that was still years away from fully forming. On the song "How High," Def Squad's Redman and Wu-Tang... Read more

Big Daddy Kane Says He Intentionally Released “Two Trash Albums” After “It’s A Big Daddy Thing”

For fans of late 80s and early 90s Hip-Hop, there were few, if any MCs who commanded more respect than Big Daddy Kane. His first two albums, Long Live The Kane and It's A Big Daddy Thing, stand among the greatest of all time, in any era. However, many of... Read more

This 1998 Ma$e & Guru Freestyle Brings 2 Different Sides Of Hip-Hop Together (Audio)

Six months from each other Ma$e and Gang Starr moved the Hip-Hop needle in 1997-1998. To some, that needle went in two directions. Released on October 28, 1997, Ma$e's Grammy-nominated, quadruple-platinum debut Harlem World certified the newest Bad Boy Records superstar. On March 31, 1991, Gang Starr released its first... Read more

Ever See This 1990 Freestyle Session Between Kool G Rap & Biz Markie? (Video)

Back in 1988, Marley Marl's Juice Crew served the world with one of Hip-Hop's all-time great posse cuts. Featuring Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace, Craig G and Kool G Rap, "The Symphony" was a lesson in lyrical dexterity that endures today. More than recording together, members of the crew often... Read more

20 Years Ago, Muhammad Ali Lit a Torch That Continues to Shine Brightly (Video)

In 1996, Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the Summer Olympics, but it wasn't just a once-in-every-four-years occurrence. Also known as the Centennial Olympic Games, it was historic for many reasons, including its being the first time the Olympics divided Summer and Winter games into different years. Kicking off on July 19, the... Read more

Juice’s Director Reveals The Original Ending Hollywood Did Not Want

Earlier this month, The Roots' Black Thought hosted a special event, celebrating the 1992 movie Juice. The afternoon consisted of a screening of the film, a panel discussion moderated by Black Thought, featuring director and co-writer Ernest Dickerson, co-writer Gerard Brown, and actors Khalil Kain (Raheem) and Jermaine Hopkins (Steel),... Read more

Swizz Beatz Reveals DMX Did Not Want To Do “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” (Video)

"Stop. Drop. Shut 'em down, open up shop." As Heads know, those words open "Ruff Ryders' Anthem," one of the biggest Hip-Hop anthems of all-time. However, the song almost didn't happen. As part of the new BET series Inside The Label, Swizz Beatz detailed the making of the song for... Read more

Jay Z’s 2000 Westwood Freestyle Portrays An MC In Stride For The Throne (Audio)

Right around the year 2000, Jay Z found himself in London, promoting his first #1 album, Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life. As the album was approaching 3 million units sold (it sits at more than 5 mill scanned in 2016), Shawn Carter hit Tim Westwood's radio show. In a new position,... Read more

A Founding X-Ecutioner Moves The Crowd With Dance Hits That Can’t Be Faded (Mix)

Mista Sinista (f/k/a Joe Sinista) made a name for himself working as an elite scratch-master alongside Common, the Beatnuts, and dead prez. Since 1989, the DJ/turntablist (and onetime MC) was part of X-Ecutioners, alongside the late Roc Raida, Rob Swift, and DJ Total Eclipse. There, the group would become mix... Read more

Vinyl Archeologists Will Dig This 1995 Demo Of Cut Chemist Turntablism (Audio)

In late 1998, Los Angeles, California's Jurassic 5 burst on the scene with a self-titled EP. First released on the Pan imprint, the 37-minute project would eventually be re-released through Interscope Records, as part of the major label's commitment to Underground Hip-Hop, which also included Eminem and Planet Asia. That... Read more

Celebrate 25 Years Of Pete Rock & CL Smooth With A Souled Out Mix (Audio)

While the mid-90s often get lots of credit for the numerous Hip-Hop classic albums that were released during that period, 1991 was a pivotal year in which many artist debuts laid the foundation for what was to come. Among some of the acts that released their first albums were Tupac,... Read more

This Notorious B.I.G. & Lord Finesse Cypher Will BLOW YOUR MIND (Video)

The Notorious B.I.G. (a/k/a Biggie Smalls) is revered as one of Hip-Hop's greatest MCs. The Brooklyn, New Yorker beautifully inserted wit, wordplay, and lots of self-confidence into his most memorable rhymes. Somebody who started out just a couple years before Biggie was Bronx, New Yorker Lord Finesse. The MC/DJ/producer who... Read more

Ever See The Time Muhammad Ali Saved A Man’s Life? (Video)

Although Muhammad Ali was extremely gifted in the boxing ring, what made him "The Greatest" was also what he did outside of the sport. Beyond his well-documented civil rights stands, Ali was a humanitarian and someone who cared deeply about others. Perhaps no instance exemplified this better than what Ali... Read more

The Magical Day When Prince & Muhammad Ali Met (Video)

Though 2016 is not yet halfway over, it already has been one in which several tremendous pop culture icons have been lost. David Bowie, Phife Dawg, Prince and Muhammad Ali are just some of those greats. However, while their physical forms are no longer among us, their bodies of work... Read more

Ever See This Cypher Featuring Big L & AG? (Video)

In the late 90s, one of the first Internet Hip-Hop shows came courtesy of 88hiphop.com. The site was far ahead of its time, as it launched when the overwhelming majority of consumers still had dial up modems. For those with the access and the patience to endure endless buffering, however,... Read more

N.W.A. & Close Affiliates Detail The Making Of efil4zaggiN 25 Years Later

Over the last 12 months, much has been discussed about N.W.A.'s groundbreaking album Straight Outta Compton. The classic LP was given new life when the N.W.A. biopic of the same name was released. Although the film covered the entire lifespan of the group, its central focus was on the time leading... Read more

Here’s An Oral History Of The Making Of The Fat Boys’ “All You Can Eat”

More than 30 years after its release, Krush Groove remains an all-time favorite Hip-Hop film for many. The movie, which was loosely based on the rise of Def Jam Recordings, starred Blair Underwood, Sheila E., Run-D.M.C., Kurtis Blow and more, and featured appearances by several acts, including Beastie Boys, LL... Read more

Maxwell Ascended 20 Years Ago & We Haven’t Wondered About Soul Music Since (Video)

A lot of people owe their lives to Maxwell, quite literally. When the super Soul singer unleashed his Urban Hang Suite 20 years ago this month (April 2), it was a potent arrow from Cupid's quiver for lovers of music and lovers, generally. The album quickly became the soundtrack for... Read more

Many Have Never Seen Mos Def’s First Music Video. Here It Is.

The mighty Mos Def (n/k/a Yasiin Bey) has a Hip-Hop career that spans well over 20 years. The Brooklyn, New York MC burst on the scene care of major appearances alongside De La Soul, Da Bush Babees, and DJ Honda—but he had his own thing brewing, even before Rawkus Records... Read more

Sha Rock Was the First Female MC on National TV. Here’s Her 1981 Performance (Video)

On Valentine's Day in 1981, when Hip-Hop was by and large a completely unrecognized cultural form, national television aired the first appearance by a female rapper. 35 years later, during Woman's History Month, footage of that historic performance has re-surfaced, and it is a remarkable trip down the proverbial Memory... Read more

Obama is Overturning Life Sentences to Combat the War on Drugs.

President Obama has been proactive in addressing some of the major concerns of Americans, many of which were issues he campaigned on before his inauguration into the White House. One of those issues was that of incarceration, namely the exceedingly high rates of imprisonment of Americans, the overwhelming majority of... Read more

Mr. Serv-On Says He, Master P & 1990s No Limit Soldiers Will Tour Together

Between 1996 and 2002, No Limit Records released a number of platinum, gold, and chart-topping albums. Master P's label, featuring a number of home-grown talents (TRU, Mr. Serv-On, Mia X, Skull Duggery) would sprout to include Snoop Dogg, Mystikal, and Young Bleed. Launched in 1991, the label would be instrumental... Read more

When A$AP Rock Freestyles…Anything Goes. Witness an MC Who is Truly Fearless (Video)

A$AP Rocky is fearless. As sales of his just released AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP album will soon show, he is currently one of the most successful rappers in the game. That said, he is unafraid to freestyle, "off the top," say ANYTHING and have fun. Rocky joined the Sway in the Morning show,... Read more

Adrian Younge Never Stops Creating. Glimpse Into His Linear Labs (Album Stream)

PRhyme member Adrian Younge is always busy, but never stagnant. The Los Angeles, California-based producer/musician is currently wrapping up the Another Life album with Bilal, he's planning a sequel to Twelve Reasons To Die with Ghostface Killah, and he's reportedly concocting more rawness with his band-mates DJ Premier and Royce Da 5'9".... Read more

Do Remember: When Charles Hamilton Passed The Mic To An Unknown Kendrick Lamar (Video)

Miss Lauryn Hill once eloquently rhymed, "Seasons change, mad things re-arrange." In life, love, and Hip-Hop, is this not a rugged truism? As the world shifts, there are some interesting cycles. This week in the culture, Kendrick Lamar took center-stage, giving Heads a name for his sophomore major label album,... Read more

Jim-E-O and Emilio Rojas Rap About the Paper Chase Without Glorification (Audio)

New Haven-bred MC Jim-E-O teams with Emilio Rojas on the remix to "Sky All Grey." The song talks about the constant grind for money without glorifying it. Jim-E-O vows that the Rap game will be how he legitimately earns his way, while Rojas raps about the days of praying he... Read more

Cookin’ Soul Adds Some BOOM BAP to Kool G. Rap, Large Professor & Big Noyd’s Naturally Born (Audio)

Nearly two years ago, Kool G. Rap, Large Professor and Big Noyd released "Naturally Born" as part of Coalmine Records' Unearthed compilation. The track, which was produced by Ayatollah, featured a soulful sample and strong verses from each of the veteran wordsmiths. Now, Cookin' Soul, the production duo known for... Read more

Did You Know Big Daddy Kane Produced Nearly All of His 1st Album? Kane Speaks (Audio)

Here's another incredibly dope interview from the archives of Shawn Setaro, former Editor-In-Chief of Rap Genius and current curator of TheCipherShow.com. Early last year, he had a super in-depth interview with Big Daddy Kane--so deep, in fact, that Kane openly said no one had ever asked him some of the... Read more

Lil Herb, Common & Chance the Rapper Reflect on the Struggle in Their Hometown Chicago (Video)

Lil Herb teams with fellow Chicago natives Common and Chance the Rapper on the remix to Fight or Flight. The soulful track is highly conducive to head-nodding but the themes of their verses are mournful, not joyful. As Common did throughout his entire Nobody's Smiling album, the trio focuses on... Read more

B.o.B. Makes a Song Reminiscent of 2Pac, KRS, Public Enemy & Other Hip-Hop Revolutionaries (Audio)

B.o.B. has released one of the most powerful songs of his career. Hip-Hop has stood up in droves in light of what is happening in Ferguson, MO, right now. And, the messages have come from many different perspectives. B.o.B. has taken the opportunity for a call to action among African-Americans... Read more

M.O.P., DJ Premier Scratches & A Classic ’80s Pop Loop Equals Amazing (Audio)

M.O.P. and First Family have been around for 25 years. However, Billy Danze and Lil Fame (who now only goes by Fame) started making some serious noise when they crossed paths with DJ Premier in the early 1990s. With the Brownsville, Brooklyn duo's rugged microphone assaults, a Premo scratch-chorus only... Read more

What Do You Get When You Mix SZA & Jill Scott? Divinity (Audio)

Here's the 2nd release of the week from TDE's SZA. It's another moody track and it's infused with the vocals of the one and only Jill Scott. The result? Divinity. Check it out. Related: SZA - Moodring (Audio)... Read more

You Will Not Look at Puppets the Same After Seeing Jazmine Sullivan’s Visuals for Dumb (Video)

After returning with "Dumb," another power anthem for women who have been wronged, Jazmine Sullivan follows up with the video. The visuals employ puppets in all sorts of compromising positions, providing comic relief but also reinforcing the message that there are a lot of dummies out there...literally. Check it out.... Read more

Timeless Truth Breathe New Life Into New York Hip-Hop With Old School Samples (Audio)

Coming from Flushing, Queens, Oprime39 and Solace are two up and coming New York artists that, when together, morph into the Hip-Hop duo Timeless Truth. Timeless is the simplest way to describe their sound, and their latest cut, "Trife," is no exception. Production from Fafu flood the streets with cooing... Read more

Heaven Can’t Wait For Common On Kingdom (Audio)

Soothing church house vocals give Common the keys to the "Kingdom" for his latest single. Produced by fellow Chicagoan and frequent collaborator, No I.D., the angelic piece is blessed by Common's new perspective in death as he stands in front of the pearly gates as "Chicago's prodigal son." The track's... Read more

Kendrick Lamar Resurfaces for a Performance of Babylon with SZA (Video)

Kendrick Lamar has been quiet lately. The TDE MC who largely owned 2013 has been holed up in the lab preparing to control 2014...He recently resurfaced, however, in support of his TDE label mate, SZA. Check out the video of their performance of Babylon from her album. Related: SZA Makes... Read more

Alex Trebek Recites Cypress Hill & The Beastie Boys. He Will Keep the Day Job…(Video)

Earlier in the year, a clip of Jeopardy's Alex Trebek reciting lyrics from Biggie, Dr. Dre, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy provided a minute and change of comic relief. Apparently, the show's producers have a dark sense of humor because they've once again given him a Rap category, forcing... Read more

Here’s a Super Ill Concept Mixtape of Ghostface Killah’s Best Storytelling Songs (Mixtape)

Trackstar the DJ (in conjunction with UpNorthTrips and TheSmokingSection) has put together a "concept mixtape" showcasing the storytelling ability of Ghostface Killah. The project, Ghost Stories: Ghostface Killah's Storytelling Raps, features some of Ghost's most choice narration. The beats are on point too...This is a great concept. We hope to... Read more

Tony Yayo is Back with a Vengeance…and He Brought Joell Ortiz & Uncle Murda. This is New York Life (Audio)

Tony Yayo goes in with Joell Ortiz and Uncle Murda over a track that is hard as nails. This is New York Life. Related: Young Buck & Game Hit The Studio For The First Time In Almost 10 Years (Video)... Read more

Here’s a Playlist Celebrating the Life & Legacy of the 1 and Only Nate Dogg (Audio)

As we celebrate the life and legacy of Nate Dogg on the 3rd anniversary of his passing, here's a playlist of some of the many jewels he dropped on the Hip-Hop nation. Press play, sit back and vibe out to the sounds of Hip-Hop's greatest hook man. Related: RIP Nate... Read more

Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Isaiah Rashad & SZA Discuss OXYMORON (Video)

There have been several videos promoting the release of Schoolboy Q's OXYMORON, but this is one of the best. As they did when Kendrick Lamar released good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Google Play has put together a short film about Q and OXYMORON. He speaks candidly about battling addiction, the process... Read more

Feel Like Fighting After That Wack Super Bowl? M.O.P. & Mobb Deep Got You Covered (Audio)

The Super Bowl was wack. What way to take out some unreleased aggression than a new collabo from M.O.P. and Mobb Deep? Check out Street Certified. Props on the spot: 2DBZ Related: DJ Kay Slay Unifies Members Of Wu-Tang Clan, LOX, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga & M.O.P. To Honor The ’90s... Read more

Jean Grae is Self-Releasing a New Album Tonight. Here’s the First Single (Audio)

Just months after dropping Gotham Down: cycle 1: Love In Infinity (Lo-Fi) via her Bandcamp, Jean Grae is releasing another album tonight (January 14). Grae's Jeanie album, as its called, includes "The Mask." Here, you hear the ultra-talented daughter of Jazz vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin dabble into some singing. In... Read more

Mac Miller Continues His Soulful Sonic Journey on Eggs Aisle (Audio)

2013 was a transitional year for Mac Miller. He went from crafting more light-hearted music in the past to releasing an album that was deep, introspective and very soulful, with Watching Movies with the Sound Off. Tonight, he is releasing a new album called Live From Space, and he's shown... Read more

Pusha T Talks About What it Would Take for a Clipse Reunion Album and His Album Being the Best of the Year with Zane Lowe (Audio)

Pusha T says he “turns down features all the time,” and maintains that he’s got “album of the year” to Zane Lowe. The Clipse lyricist sits down at BBC Radio for a discussion about 2013, his My Name Is My Name solo debut, and why he refuses to phone-in features,... Read more

Vic Mensa Was Already a Microphone Beast in 2010. Here’s Proof…Children of the Sun (Audio)

Vic Mensa, along with Chance the Rapper, is one of the breakout Hip-Hop stars of 2013. Some may know him from Kids These Days and he's only flourished now that he's gone solo. Even when he was with the band, he dabbled in some solo material and he's released a... Read more

Redman and Method Man Rock Paris (Full Concert Video)

You may have caught this concert before. If so, it's still great holiday viewing and, if not, get ready to be entertained by 2 Hip-Hop heavyweights leaving it all on the stage. The dynamic duo of Redman and Method Man made their way to Paris last year and rocked out... Read more

Young Buck & Game Hit The Studio For The First Time In Almost 10 Years

Wow. In a year that's seen Snoop Dogg and Suge Knight photographed together, Jay Z and Dame Dash caught in a flick together, it now goes to the G-Unit camp, or former camp, together in the studio. In the falling out of Game from G-Unit in 2005, Buck was one... Read more