A somewhat mixed year for US hip-hop, the past 12 months saw many of the genre’s major Stateside stars – Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Nas – stay relatively quiet, while the inevitable smattering of disappointments (Rick Ross’s two rather flat albums; a remarkably dull LP from Kendrick affiliate Schoolboy Q) were offset by a stack of solid releases from the usual dependable veterans (Pharaohe Monch, Common and Cormega
The past 12 months felt somewhat low key for US hip-hop. In sharp contrast with 2012, which yielded a sizeable stack of truly excellent records and, in Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, one bonafide classic, 2013 seemed just, well, a bit quiet.
The US hip-hop duo of Atlanta rapper Killer Mike and New York producer/emcee El-P—collectively known as Run The Jewels—are in London this week. The pairing’s first collaborative album, also called ‘Run The Jewels’, was released in June this year initially as a digital download on hip-hop/electronic label Fool’s Gold Records and later on limited edition marble green double vinyl, garnering universal acclaim from fans and critics.
This week, ‘Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’, the debut album by New York hip-hop group the Wu-Tang Clan, turned 20 years old. Surfacing at a pivotal moment for the genre, the album marked a step-change in the sound of east coast rap for much of the next decade.
The days when DJs risked neck and shoulder injuries hauling stacks of vinyl to and from clubs may be long gone—with laptops loaded with mp3s and vinyl emulation software such as Serato having replaced the record bag—but a strong affection for those 12-inch black discs still exists among a sizeable number of the DJ and music collecting fraternity.
Seventy-five years ago this evening, American actor, director and writer Orson Welles, with the help of his Mercury Theatre On The Air team of producer John Houseman and scriptwriter Howard Koch, retold ‘The War Of The Worlds’ – H.G. Wells’ 1898 Sci-Fi novel about mankind’s annihilation by aliens – in the form of a series of supposedly live breaking news broadcasts.
A beautiful Shetland pony moonwalks across a pretty rural landscape as Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ pumps out in the background. It is Three’s new clip
Pioneering German electronic group Kraftwerk will perform eight albums from their back catalogue chronologically over successive nights at the Tate Modern in London in February, in a groundbreaking residency featuring audio and 3D visuals.
US hip-hop’s hottest property Kendrick Lamar touches down for a series of shows in the U.K. this week.
While it may not (yet) be regarded as one of hip-hop’s landmark years in the same way 1988 or 1994 now are, there is a sense as 2012 draws to a close that it’s been one of the genre’s strongest seasons for some time.
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