Banks & Buck: Pop & Politics Pt. 1

Over fifteen years ago, rap deity Dr. Dre helped birth N.W.A., one of the most radically active groups of all time. The Compton-based collective was armed with “street knowledge” and so are their descendents Young Buck and Lloyd of 50 Cent’s G-Unit. N.W.A. and G-Unit’s intellect manifests itself in different ways, but don’t assume these […]

Papoose: Focused Lyrically

It’s commonly understood that first impressions are of the utmost importance. This old adage can easily be applied to new MCs hoping to make names for themselves in this fickle rap climate. Coming with simple punchlines and on-beat freestyles are a thing of the past, especially after hearing ‘Alphabetical Slaughter” by Brooklyn resident Papoose. Running […]

AZ: Classic Material

AZ is vintage. Not Urban Outfitter-manufactured vintage, but genuine, back of the thrift store vintage. From his classic verse on Nas’s “Life’s a B***h” to his pairing with the QB vet on the Grammy-nominated “The Essence,” the Brooklyn-bred emcee has always embodied the sound of an influential era. Mid-90s New York, to be exact. But […]

Talib Kweli: Beautiful Hustle

From the most hedonistically concerned club hopper, to the most obsessively analytical college kid, and everyone else in between, Brooklyn’s Talib Kweli is respected and admired. “Get By,” from 2002’s Quality is Kweli’s biggest hit, and it proved to be a sign of things to come for Kweli. Many who have followed his career felt […]

Grafh : The Big Payoff

Back in 2002, the mixtape scene was rapidly launching little-known New York City rappers into the forefront of the hip-hop game. Names such as 50 Cent and Joe Budden were dominating the streets with various freestyles while making bootlegs by the likes of Kay Slay and DJ Clue must-haves. One MC whose name appeared alongside […]

Charlie 2Na: Jurassic One

In the Land of Milk and Honey, where everything isn’t always so sunny, it seems like it gets more difficult for musicians – especially Hip-Hop – to find the keys to longevity. Jurassic 5, however, one of West Coast hip-hop’s pioneers, has figured out how to allow six individual voices to stand out and stand […]

The Beatnuts: Back

The Beatnuts are one of the most criminally slept on crews, ever. “Off the Books” and “Watch Out Now” are gems for the history books. But while MTV might play an instrumental while their cornball hosts talk, you won’t see a Beatnuts heater getting airplay. Like a lot of artists, JuJu and Psycho Les have […]

Kwame: Nobody’s Laughing

Hip-Hop hurts. I’m not talking about swinging bows and throwing fists. Hip-Hop, the industry, can cut deep, and some scars don’t heal. While most fifteen year olds might not know who Kwame was, they undoubtedly know the opening bars to Biggie’s “Unbelievable” that affirmed Kwame’s decline, and nearly blackballed him from ever being taken seriously […]

DMC: Still Got Game

“I’m the King of Rock, there is none higher! Sucka mc’s should call me Sire!” These words are embedded in our psyche as representatives of one of the best groups to ever be birthed in the genre of Hip-Hop. As one third of the trio who basically grew up in hip-hop and brought it from […]

Rasco: Unassisted

One of the fiercest MC’s to ever grip the microphone is the Soul Father Rasco. The beautiful mind who is often quoted for his line, “My mind shines harder than your chain” has been grinding away for a decade, and been making records for over half. One of the leaders in the Bay Area movement, […]

Messy Marv: Back 2 Tha Bay

It’s crazy how an area that is so imitated can be so overlooked in the grand scheme of things. That is the case for the San Francisco Bay Area’s Hip-Hop scene. Whether it’s the slang that has been borrowed by the masses or the independent game that made virtual unknowns millionaires, the Bay is all […]

T.I.: Royal Rumble

Finally, a battle that goes back to the roots of the battle – a title. T.I. called himself, “The King of the South,” and all across the southern states, MC’s took offense. Most notably, Houston’s Lil’ Flip stood up. In the last six months, T.I. returned from a bid, to reclaim his throne. In doing […]

Krondon: Don’t Compare

Those that say the West Coast’s Hip-Hop is slippin’ just aren’t looking hard enough. Take The Strong Arm Steady Gang as a case study. The team of Xzibit, Mitchy Slick, Krondon and Phil Da Agony (and others) are running rampant on the streets out Left. They’ve managed to carve a niche as a unit and […]