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The Big Hurt: The week in trouble

This week in big rap no-nos: Fat Joe faces the possibility of two years in the slammer after pleading guilty to evading more than $700 grand in taxes.
By DAVID THORPE  |  January 08, 2013

Banger style: Hip-hop ringers of 2012

In recapping 2012, I embraced the chance to parade some recent unsung hip-hop ringers.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 18, 2012

Crate digging with Hub rap archaeologist Pacey Foster

Hip-Hop History
Pacey Foster used to fly home from college in Indiana, hustle to his Newton bedroom, and reach straight for the radio dial.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 15, 2012

You must think first... before you movie

RZA and Roth: Behind The Man with the Iron Fists
It's a snowy night in late 2006, and Hostel director Eli Roth is stranded at Logan Airport with RZA. The two are bound for Los Angeles, on their way home from hanging with Quentin Tarantino in Iceland.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 01, 2012

Kitty Pryde takes her chances

Flak catcher
Can one artist ruin a genre?
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  August 15, 2012

Serengeti | C.A.R.

Anticon (2012)
The wondrous character rapper Serengeti is a study in the disparity between the real life a rapper lives and that of his escapist fantasy.
By DAN WEISS  |  July 24, 2012

Azealia Banks | 1991

The only downside of Azealia Banks's mildly slept-on debut EP is that her wildfire YouTube classic "212" was anything but subtle (recall: "I guess that cunt gettin' eaten"), whereas the remaining 13 minutes of music here require more time to sink in than the average Grizzly Bear fan would assume.
By DAN WEISS  |  July 10, 2012

The Big Hurt: This month in rap ( . . . in 1992)

Twenty years ago, Marky Mark sucked, NOSE EARRINGS(?) ruled, and some blood was found in Dance Floor’s trachea
I'm overdue for a hip-hop news roundup, but it's all so lame.
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 14, 2012

Photos: Homeboy Sandman at SXSW 2012

Austin TX | March 15, 2012
Homeboy Sandman performs live at Elysium at SXSW 2012 on March 15, 2012.
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  March 16, 2012

Photos: EPMD + DJ Scratch at SXSW 2012

Austin TX | March 15, 2012
EPMD and DJ Scratch perform live at Malaia Upstairs at SXSW 2012 on March 15, 2012.
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  March 16, 2012

J the S | The Last Days

Same Plate/Greater Good
J the S has been promising The Last Days since he went by Jake the Snake.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 07, 2012
Off the record: Habits

Schoolboy Q | Habits & Contradictions

Top Dawg Entertainment (2012)
Without much that can be considered "structure" in terms of the verse-chorus-verse standard, Q confidently wobbles through an album's worth of jaded bangers.
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  January 31, 2012

Juan Deuce and Falside get down to work as The Mechanics

Impossible to ignore
The stars have aligned and the Rap Gods must be smiling down at Juan Deuce and Falside.
By CHRIS CONTI  |  January 31, 2012

He will not be moved

As a drug dealer, rapper, and clothing designer, Antonio Ennis was stabbed, jailed, and flamed by the media. Now he faces his nastiest adversary yet — big banks.
A few months ago, Boston hip-hop vet Marco Antonio Ennis stepped into a home studio in Dorchester to cut a verse for an old friend's teenage son.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 03, 2012

The year 'new battling' took over Boston

Plan of attack
There's one thing that most people know about battle rapping: 8 Mile .
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 20, 2011

Click Animosity and the opposite of the frat rap game

Audacity of dope
In the epic hip-hop mockumentary CB4, Chris Rock's suburban MC wannabe character steals the name and image of a jailed thug rapper named Gusto.  
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 03, 2012

Jedi Mind Tricks | Violence Begets Violence

Enemy Soil (2011)
It's a daily struggle to avoid murdering Drake fans who bump that trash on the train in front of me, cliché Auto-Tune hooks leaking from their Skull Candy and polluting my perimeter.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 09, 2011

ESH & Dox and Meta P get busy

Rhody rhyme time
Don't sleep — the Rhode Island hip-hop scene is flourishing, arguably more than ever.
By CHRIS CONTI  |  November 02, 2011

Boston Rap Class of 2011's Video Directors

Behind the lens
We matched 10 of Boston's young badass video directors — some trained, some straight guerilla — with each member of our 10 Rap Class of 2011 and asked them to produce an original video.
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  September 29, 2011

Evidence | Cats & Dogs

Rhymesayers (2011)
As competent as Evidence has always been with mic skills, he's no lyrical miracle.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 20, 2011

Das Racist | Relax

Greedhead (2011)
They still have jokes for days, but lyrical dexterity has taken precedence on their debut LP.
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  September 20, 2011

The Narcicyst rises as hip-hop's preeminent post-9/11 auteur

Less than a year ago, the Narcicyst was on his way to a speaking engagement at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC, when customs hawks stopped him in his tracks.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 07, 2011

Nas rocks the bells

The rapper fronts the tour that erased lines between commercial and underground, white and black, alternative and trendy
Six months ago my teenage cousins told me they'd been listening to Big Pun. And Nas, and Ghostface, and every other artist who inspires regular road rage in male rap fans between the ages of 28 and 35.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 09, 2011

Main Attrakionz | 808s and Dark Grapes II

Mishka (2011)
Following a steady stream of low-budget tracks, mixtapes, and videos posted on their Tumblr this year, the Bay-area stoner rap duo of Squadda B and MondreM.A.N. (a/k/a Main Attrakionz) have raised the stakes by offering up something that resembles a traditional release.
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  September 07, 2011

Open Mike Eagle | Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes

Hellfyre Club (2011)
"Smart" rappers are out of vogue — but many of them aren't nearly as un-fun as is claimed by the hordes who flock to Waka Flocka Flame mixtapes.
By DAN WEISS  |  August 30, 2011

Zumo Kollie expands his reach on The Last Showing

Renaissance man on the move
Providence-based wordsmith Zumo Kollie made his mark on the Rhody rap community with his 2009 debut, The Idiot Savant .
By CHRIS CONTI  |  August 25, 2011

The tireless street hustle of Grey Sky Appeal

Allston rap city
Allston alt-rap crew Grey Sky Appeal more or less avoid the local scene altogether, opting instead to play shows where people give a shit, and sometimes even enjoy themselves.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 17, 2011

The fundamentals of Lady Essence

Right here, Right Now
It's my job to listen to contemporary music, but I'll admit that it's completely baffling to me that Nicki Minaj is now the "highest-grossing female hip-hop artist of all time." Is she even hip-hop? Is she human?
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 17, 2011

Jay-Z + Kanye West | Watch the Throne

Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella/Roc Nation (2011)
Kanye West has recently espoused the virtues of an album of raps suitable for home listening, as opposed to say club, or car listening.
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  August 17, 2011
this just in mac miller

Urban Fest gets ugly

Gimme Shelter Dept.
It didn't take long for the largely suburban horde to erupt into a frenzy at the free outdoor concert, which was dubbed, somewhat ironically, the Boston Urban Music Fest (BUMF).
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 10, 2011

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