Lifestyle

Photographer Jamel Shabazz’s Hip-Hop Influence is the Subject of New Documentary (Video)

Throughout the '80s, a Brooklyn man named Jamel Shabazz began messing around with a camera, documenting the style and fashion surrounding him on New York City streets. Fast forward three decades and his name is mentioned whenever the topic of Hip-Hop photographers comes up, and rightly so. He has been... Read more

Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, & Public Enemy Are Real-Life Comic Book Heroes (Video)

Ed Piskor is an award-winning comics creator whose latest project is a genealogical study of Hip-Hop, a six-part series titled The Hip-Hop Family Tree: A Look Into the Viral Propagation of a Culture. Written and illustrated like a classic comic strip, the ongoing endeavor began in 2011 as a weekly... Read more

Today Is Harold Hunter Day. Remember The Skate Icon/”Kids” Star Through This Compilation (Video)

Harold Hunter epitomized 1990s New York City cool. A feature actor in Kids, Hunter is best remembered for his skate style, grit, and sense of humor. He would go on to be a primary figure helping launch the Zoo York brand. In 2006, at the age of 31, the East... Read more

Witness How Hip-Hop is Aiding in the Fight Against Global Warming (Video)

An organization called the Hip-Hop Caucus has spent the last several months undertaking a project with impact, using the power of music to spread messages of awareness revolving around climate change. The People's Climate Music began as a nationwide bus tour, bringing musicians including G.O.O.D. Music artist Malik Yusef and... Read more

Now You Can Take a Virtual Tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Nas & Rakim

Hip-Hop and art have once again merged in an exciting way, thanks to the inventive mind of a graduate student. Regina Flores Mir is the brains behind the Hip-Hop Project, a new program being implemented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that allows visitors to navigate the various collections with... Read more

Legendary Street Artist Banksy Will Donate His Dismaland Art to Aid in Europe’s Refugee Crisis (Video)

For weeks now, the news of the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe has dominated headlines around the world. As millions flee civil war in Syria and other humanitarian crises in the region, European countries have become ground zero for an influx of migrants, some welcoming them with open arms and... Read more

Abuse, Witnessing Murder & Being Broke: Terrence Howard Lays It All On The Table

Actor Terrence Howard plays complex characters. Whether portraying a hero, a villain, or everything in between, the Academy Award-nominated 46 year-old brings a depth to his roles, behind the green eyes and trademark voice. Currently, Howard is enjoying success on "Empire," one of the nation's biggest television shows. The show... Read more

This Baby Just Changed the Game for How Music is Used in Videos

2007 is ancient history in today's digital era, when entire forms of communication and thinking can be made virtually archaic overnight with the development of a new app or hashtag. However, a video uploaded to YouTube all those eight years ago is now finding itself trending again, this time for... Read more

This Group is Using Hip-Hop’s Influence to Fight Against Climate Change (Audio)

Hip-Hop's birthplace - New York City - is preparing to host some important and high-profile events revolving around issues of climate change and environmental awareness. Both Climate Week and the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit are landing in the Big Apple this month and in preparation, one organization is taking... Read more

Hip-Hop Has No Age or Geographic Boundaries. These Portuguese Graffiti Grandmothers Are Proof (Video)

Lata65 is an organization in Lisbon, Portugal highlighting the global prevalence of Hip-Hop culture to a demographic that isn't necessarily associated with it. The street-art focus of the organization is commonplace enough, but the ages of its members make it a uniquely wonderful community. Ranging from ages 59-60, Lata65 (which... Read more

Imagine Sitting Courtside At Every Game. Virtual Reality Is Coming…Soon

17-year-old Palmer Luckey spent some time in his parents garage one year, fiddling around with something that would eventually be sold for $2 billion. Whether intentionally or not, the young tech genius was orchestrating what is promising to be the next major chapter in consumer-tech news: virtual reality or, more... Read more

Before Yo! MTV Raps & Rap City, There Was Graffiti Rock. Its Creator Details the History (Video)

Michael Holman's name remains relatively unknown in mainstream discussions about Hip-Hop culture, but there are plenty who recognize his contributions and achievements, and rightfully so. The man behind the short-lived but historic Hip-Hop television show "Graffiti Rock" is also a longtime artist, writer, filmmaker, and overall Head whose experiences in... Read more

Freddie Gray’s Family Potentially Awarded $6.4 Million By Baltimore, But Justice Can’t Be Bought.

Today (September 8), the family of Freddie Gray reached a settlement with the city of Baltimore, Maryland. The family and legal team will receive $6.4 million, according to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Tomorrow morning (September 9), the Board Of Estimates, a civic panel including Mayor Rawlings-Blake will be the final step,... Read more

A Missy Elliott Biopic? Here’s Why Her Story Bridges Women & Hip-Hop in a Powerful Way

Since Straight Outta Compton's meteoric rise to dominance in discussions of contemporary American film, music, sexual politics, and more, the concept of the Hip-Hop biopic is one that has flooded channels of communication and is seemingly inescapable. News of a Master P biopic and a cinematic exploration of Death Row... Read more

The Purple File? Just Doesn’t Sound Right…Cassettes Are Not Dead (Video)

Springfield, Missouri is home to National Audio Company, a seemingly nondescript business which manufactures, among other things, cassette tapes. In a video package for Bloomberg Business, the company's president shared insight into how, during the digital era, NAC managed to have its best fiscal year since 1969, due in part... Read more

Jadakiss & Styles P Are Delivering Healthy Bars to the Neighborhood…But Not the Musical Kind (Video)

In communities across the country, the issue of nutrition and access to healthy foods is one that has permeated across regional, racial, and economic strata. Far too often, residents of low-income neighborhoods don't have health food stores, supermarkets, or even produce stands from which to purchase foods that aren't processed,... Read more

What’s Beef? Shaq & Kobe Open Up About Tensions, Putting Rumors To Rest (Audio)

From 1996 through 2004, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were heralded Los Angeles Lakers teammates. As such, they won three NBA championships in the purple and gold. However, both dominant personalities, both masters of their craft, a team tug-of-war began, from the locker-room to the media, and the (potential Hall... Read more

Dallas Penn & Rafi Kam Get A Food Desert Instead Of Dessert In A Visit To East New York (Video)

On Gang Starr's "Speak Ya Clout," Group Home's Lil Dap urged his crew to meet him at Broadway Junction. The Brooklyn, New York train intersection in East New York is a commonplace stop for many metropolitan commuters, but hardly a destination for foodies. The off-beat New York City bloggers, culturists,... Read more

Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis: Could Video Games Help Treat Mental Illness? Research Suggests Yes (Audio)

Last week, a report surfaced about games that promote "brain fitness," a market that merges neuro-science with games in hopes to address issues dealing with memory and mental health in ways that are engaging and effective. NPR's "Morning Edition" ran a story about games that, by and large, claim to... Read more

It’s a Doggy Dog World: Pet Stores Across the Country Are Now Required to Sell Rescued Animals

In late 2014, an Arizona judge took a big step in the fight against puppy mills, upholding a law requiring pet stores to sell dogs rescued from shelters. In essence, the new law aims to discourage people from purchasing dogs from inept breeders and inhumanely run kennels. Phoenix is now... Read more

From MPCs to Robots? Technology is Changing How Music is Created

The marriage of music and technology has been around for millennia, but the major strides made in the last few decades alone have brought music tech to more exciting and progressive places than ever before. In a recent development, a program has been developed that is exploring the realm of... Read more

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 Turns 50 Today. Here’s Why It’s Still Fighting for Survival

In the summer of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law federal legislation which aimed to tackle racial discrimination in voting. The Civil Rights Era had brought racial tensions to a head, and Black Americans were fighting alongside Asian and Latino citizens for equal treatment under the law. Described... Read more

Blackface Will No Longer Be Used in One Opera, But There’s Still a Long Way to Go

Blackface, the practice of white performers darkening their skin to portray a person of color, is an ugly vestige of what many would say is a bygone era; in the United States, it was common fare in minstrel-show productions, where whites played the roles of African-Americans by painting their faces... Read more

Orange Is The New Black’s Real-Life Inspiration Is Fighting for Female Inmates on Capitol Hill (Video)

Piper Kerman, a former inmate in the United States federal-prison system, published a book called Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison in 2010. Five years later and she is a pop-culture phenomenon and the inspiration behind Netflix's most popular show to date. However, her story... Read more

President Obama Aims to Address Climate Change with Historic Regulations (Video)

President Obama has taken major steps towards fulfilling his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief in recent months. Repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the armed forces; supporting the legalization of gay marriage across all 50 states, a decision supported by the... Read more

Will Planned Parenthood Lose Its Federal Funding Today? The Senate is Expected to Decide

Later this evening (August 3), the United States Senate is expected to vote on an issue that has long since been a bastion of heated debate. Planned Parenthood, the non-profit organization focused on reproductive health for both men and women, has recently come under fire after a series of unflattering... Read more

New Driverless Cars Will Allow For Ghostridin’ The Whips…Someday (Audio)

The proliferation of technology into all aspects of life is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination. Companies investing in "smart home" technologies are making it easier for people to turn off their ovens remotely or to turn on their central air while on their commute home.... Read more

Dave Chappelle Is Funny But He Makes a Serious Point About Comedy in These Troubling Times

Dave Chappelle's humor, like many comedians, is often built around the formula of pain-plus-time-equals-funny. In his heralded series, "Chapelle's Show," the Dayton, Ohio native poked fun at a number of taboo topics. These included White Supremacy, drug addiction, and immigration reform. In the midst of a return to the public... Read more

A Week Before it Turns 20, the Movie ‘Kids’ is Being Remembered as a Classic

Rolling Stone called it "the most controversial film of the Nineties." With mid-'90s New York City as its setting, the Larry Clark-directed film Kids struck a chord with an entire generation, candidly portraying the sexual lives of a handful of teenagers. Released nationwide on July 28, 1995, the NC-17 drama... Read more

Boots from the Coup Says Raising the Minimum Wage is Not Enough…We Need Revolution

Over recent months, there has been an ongoing struggle to raise the minimum wage in an effort to address the rise in the cost of living for millions of Americans. The concept is pretty straightforward - raise the minimum wage, and people can afford to live, pay rent, raise a... Read more

Today Is International Boombox Day. Celebrate With the Volume WAY PAST TEN (Video)

Today (7/20), is International Boombox Day. Whether the day of recognition is an official holiday or not, it seems as good a time as any to celebrate one of the most iconic devices in Hip-Hop history. Whether it was adorning the shoulder of LL Cool J, used as a metaphor... Read more

Cuba’s Hip-Hop History Resonates In The New Culture Exchange (Video)

Earlier today, it was announced that the United States and the island nation of Cuba have formally restored ties, marking the first time in 54 years that such diplomacy has existed between the two countries. In literal terms, it means that Havana now has an officially active U.S. embassy, while... Read more

Is Chris Tucker Back? Watch The Trailer To His First Stand-Up Special (Video)

In late March, it was revealed that comedian/actor Chris Tucker was preparing the first stand-up comedy special of his career. Two days (July 10) until it premieres on Netflix, fans can catch the trailer for Chris Tucker Live. Just one minute long, fans will sample several bits, and see that... Read more

We’re All In The Same Gang…When Wearing Kendrick Lamar Sneakers

Compton, California star Kendrick Lamar has spoken frequently in lyrics about gang tensions. Whether the MC Eiht-assisted "m.A.A.d city" or the recent single, "i," the TDE/Aftermath MC aims to unify Crips, Bloods, and multiple neighborhoods in the interest of life, love, and survival. Lamar's Reebok collaboration, the Ventilators, are an... Read more

What Do Cole & Kendrick’s Hair Have to Do With Progress? Talib Kweli Explains In A New Essay

With a long history of being socially and politically critical, not only in his lyrics but also outside of the studio, Brooklyn, New York MC Talib Kweli has shared his strong beliefs on a vast array of topics including racism, police brutality, and the prison industrial complex. In addition, he... Read more

Wild Styles: Jean-Michel Basquiat & Jacob Lawrence Make History in The New York Times

The worlds of fine art and Hip-Hop have collided ever since Fab 5 Freddy served as the cultural liaison between the two in the '80s. More recent forays like Wu-Tang Clan's decision to sell the only copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (which, by the way, is adorned... Read more

Now That Gay Marriage Is Legal in Every State, Will Hip-Hop End Its Homophobia?

In a ringing endorsement for civil equality, the Supreme Court yesterday (June 26) ruled that gay marriage is a national right and that individual states no longer have the ability to ban gay men and lesbian women from matrimony. With that decision came sweeping support from many, but there are... Read more

Crazy Prophylactics: Q-Tip Referenced Them. 25 Years Later, They’re Here…

It was recently announced that a new line of condoms will change color when exposed to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). What makes the story particularly interesting is the fact that the concept for the condoms was developed by a group of teenaged boys. Named the S.T.EYE, the condoms are designed... Read more

Cereal Killa: Your Favorite Childhood Cereals Are Changing…

Whether you're KRS-One or just an average Joe, things are about to change when you  "wake up every morning to your Lucky Charms cereal." Health consciousness has become a major concern for Americans as years of sedentary lifestyles and processed foods begin to manifest themselves into side effects like obesity,... Read more

The Getback: Gmail Now Allows Users To Un-Send Emails

Years ago, Google played one of its signature April Fool's jokes on its users, boasting that there was an "undo-send" button for emails. That joke has now become a reality. According to The New York Times, Google's Gmail platform now allows the "undo." Following nearly five years of experimentation in... Read more

D’Angelo and Bobby Seale Look Backwards to Move Forwards in Race Relations (Video)

The city of Oakland, California, has served as the geographical genesis for much of African-American political history. As the home of the Black Panther Party, its decades-long presence in the consciousness of many Black Americans is inextricably linked to its contemporary socio-political climate. The city once again leaped into headlines... Read more

Study Analyzes Who Gets More Rap Lyric Shout-Outs: Jordan, Kobe, LeBron Or Curry?

With the 2015 NBA Finals now complete, basketball fans are already eagerly awaiting the beginning of the next season, but until then, here is something to enjoy. While Oakland, California, prepares for tomorrow's Golden State Warriors victory parade, the folks at Genius decided to look into which baller has been... Read more

Mo Money, Mo Problems: A Woman Will Adorn New Currency, But Only Slightly (Audio)

2020 will mark the centennial anniversary of women's suffrage, and while the idea of possibly having a female president during the landmark year seems to be growing more and more plausible by the day, there are other, more certain endeavors being undertaken to acknowledge the milestone. On today's Morning Edition... Read more

Want To See How Hip-Hop Started? Two New Shows Document Its Beginnings (Video)

It's New York City in the late '60s and early '70s, and there is an underbelly of criminal and gang activity plaguing the Big Apple's neighborhoods, a combination of socioeconomic and political environments that, years later, will help birth what is today the world's most influential culture. This particularly dangerous... Read more

Twitter Is Making Moves. And Even Snoop Is Down For The Next Episode

Last week, Snoop Dogg jokingly tweeted "First Order of Business! Get that Moolah! #SnoopforCEO." He was referring to the recent news of a change in leadership at Twitter, where former CEO Dick Costolo stepped down amid a slump in the social media network's expansion as of late. Yes, the online... Read more

Keeping It Real: How A Facebook Policy Is Changing The Name Of The Game

In recent months, viral campaigns have addressed Facebook's crackdown on users posting on the site under false names, most of which are monikers or stage names. Facebook's policies can have a far-reaching effect, particularly for those who use social media as not only a means of communication, but also self-expression. According... Read more

Is It the Shoes?? It’s GOTTA Be the Shoes…The Smart Clothes Era Is Here (Video)

Back in the late 80s, Mars Blackmon famously asked Michael Jordan if it was his shoes that allowed him to do the things he did on the court. Now, nearly 30 years later, the days of "smart" sneaks just might be here. From street wear to haute couture, Hip-Hop has... Read more

Do Remember: The Whassup Ad Campaign Was the Hip-Hop Nation’s Greeting to the World

The Sunday (May 17) series finale of "Mad Men" has many thinking about the powers of advertising and messaging. In the early days of its existence, Hip-Hop often was used as a punchline in commercials. Actors would be shown lampooning Rap, beatboxing and other aspects of the culture. In the... Read more

Jim Kelly Was So Much More Than The World’s First Black Martial Arts Star…

Known for roles in films like Black Belt Jones, Enter The Dragon, and Three The Hard Way, Jim Kelly was a familiar face to lovers of 1970s low-budget films. At drive-in's and grind-houses, these works may be today remembered as Blaxploitation works—statements on race and culture, big on stereotypes and... Read more

Fifteen Years Later, Love & Basketball Still Endures (Lifestyle)

Fifteen years ago this month, Gina Prince-Bythewood made her directorial debut with Love & Basketball. Starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, the film became a quintessential love story for an entire generation of fans unused to seeing faces of color in this context on the silver screen. The Shadow League... Read more