“I was an only child when I met Ak,” rapper Mr. Lif says of fellow Boston emcee and Perceptionists collaborator Akrobatik. “He’s my brother.” Lif and Ak’s 20-year friendship is based on mutual admiration, creativity, and a shared love of the NFL’s New England Patriots. “We link on sports and video games and hip-hop shit,” Ak says. “It’s just guys being guys, really. But the music, there was something special there.”
Throughout the 1960s, Berry Gordy's Motown Records virtually controlled pop music. But as a new decade was dawning, the soul impresario sought to modernize his "Hit Factory." In August 1970, he read an article in Variety about an innovative music device called the Electronium. Invented by composer, pianist and engineer Raymond Scott, the Electronium, a kind of computerized synthesizer, was capable not just of playing music but of creating it.
"I think this year I realized that I have a lot more to think about than drinking PBRs and sitting in the van all day," Mac DeMarco muses. "I guess I'm growing up a little bit." DeMarco's third full length album, the just released This Old Dog, is perhaps his most personal project yet, diving deeper into his innermost thoughts like a diary set to acoustic guitar and synthesizers.
As a little girl, Edrina Martinez wanted to be an astronaut. She also wanted to be Gwen Stefani. She tied a ribbon around her acoustic guitar with some tape and sang along to Tragic Kingdom from her couch.
Dominick Wickliffe, better known as KXNG Crooked (formerly Crooked I), is proud to be part of Long Beach’s illustrious rap history.
In the age of Instagram, Twitter and inspirational quotes — it is easy to forget that negativity is actually a pretty natural emotion. Positivity cannot exist without it, just like love cannot exist without hate.
James Dewitt Yancey, AKA Jay Dee, AKA J Dilla would have turned 41 today. One of the most influential producers of modern hip-hop and soul, he was a musical genius, inspiring artists in all genres of music with his ability to make the most perfect beats.
Known mostly for its country and rock music, Nashville is seldom recognized for hip-hop. But Nashville is "music city," not "country music city" or "rock music city" and the cross-pollination of many genres creates a thriving creative scene that extends into the rap world.
We look back at how A$AP Yams lived his life through quotes from the late manager, A&R and executive producer.
On Sunday January 18, 2015, the hip-hop community lost yet another young genius. Steven Rodriguez, better known as A$AP Yams, died suddenly at the age of 26.
You know that friend that’s always giving you love advice? The kind of advice you don’t really want to hear, but deep down, you know you need it? That friend that tells you when you’re letting a fuckboy walk all over you? Adrian Younge’s album The Electronique Void is like that friend, in music form. It’s a space-age tutorial on how to feel and understand love.
Waajeed is no one-trick pony. He’ll tell you that himself. The visual artist, DJ, photographer, producer, painter, and illustrator is incredibly prolific, taking his talents beyond the purely creative to also manage his record label, Dirt Tech Reck. A few months ago, I was able to sit down with the Detroit multi-hyphenate to discuss his crossover approach to his craft.
Exquisite Corpse, an exhibition examining female form, self identity, feminism and stereotypes, recently wrapped a run at GOLD + BETON gallery in Cologne, Germany. Though its curator, Sarah Faraday, says it was a coincidence of timing that the show occurred so soon after the terrible sexual assaults and violence towards women on New Year's Eve in that city, the circumstances nevertheless proved that it's more important than ever to examine the issues being raised in the show.
"I gotta get this out of me. 'Cause that’s the only way I’ll be able to overcome what I’m going through.”
"You’re in that place where you don’t know if you’re sleeping or awake”
Wrestlers love hip-hop music and hip-hop artists love wrestling. Just days ago, Snoop Dogg, Kid Ink and legendary producer Rick Rubin all appeared on Monday Night Raw. And this weekend, LL Cool J will be part of the festivities for Wrestlemania 31 in San Francisco.
Executive producing an album takes a lot of patience, experience, and true comprehension of the human psyche—and as the buffer between the business and creative sides of the album-making process, it can be a tough balance to maintain. The relationship between artist and executive producer is one of the most essential aspects of bringing an album to life. Fans will listen to an album, but rarely understanding the sleepless nights, disagreements, and hard work that go into it.
This Sunday, March 29, the WWE will be holding its biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania 31 at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Hip-hop will be heavily represented at this year's Wrestlemania with the scheduled appearance of rap icon LL Cool J and former XXL Freshman Kid Ink.
“This is me basically peeling back all the layers and just giving you everything as a whole,” Royce da 5’9″ says. “This is pretty much me completing the cypher. This is me completing all of my thoughts, being able to finally be the artist that I want to be..."
Jimetta Rose always knew she wanted to be a singer. As a young girl, she sang in her church choir. She learned how to be a good singer, but she wanted something more
When you combine the superpowers of your favorite comic book heroes with the abilities of your favorite hip-hop artists — the results can be truly incredible. Like superheroes, rappers and MCs use their gifts to save the world, one soul at a time. Music is a power. We continued our chat with Soul Brother #1 — Pete Rock — about his love for comic books, his relationship with the comics industry and hip-hop.
With rare sneakers selling on ebay for as much as $90,000 and a show this fall at the Brooklyn Museum dedicated to sneaker culture, the scene around buying, selling and collecting kicks seems to be more popular and more mainstream than ever. And yet not everyone feels so welcome in the culture.
On the 16th anniversary of his untimely death, HotNewHipHop looks back at some of Big L's hardest and funniest punchlines.
On her debut mini-album Only Child, Brit Manor explores issues such as femininity, depression, loneliness, death, reincarnation and loss. In reflecting upon such heavy topics, the singer-songwriter learned how to tap into her inner power and look for the silver lining in even the darkest of clouds.
Curren$y is always working. The Jet Life leader dropped five projects in 2013—New Jet City, Live In Concert (with Wiz Khalifa), Red Eye (with Jet Life), Bales (with Young Roddy) and The Stage (with Smoke DZA and Harry Fraud)—all of which were well worth a listen. Not many artists find a balance between quantity and quality, but thanks to Curren$y’s smart lyrics and dope ear for production, he is one of the few who has, and it’s an absolutely beautiful thing.