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Music, Hear This Pete Rock: Show Preview

Pete Rock: Show Preview

Representing Brooklyn and the outer Bronx, DJ Premier and Pete Rock sit at the foundation of quintessential New York hip-hop. Masters of digging for dusty grooves, both came up in the early 1990s as producers for duos that rode funk-jazz…
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Music, All Shook Down

DJ Premier's Moving Statement on Guru's Death, Letter

In the wake of hip-hop icon Guru's death earlier this week, supporters have come out in full force, paying tribute to the legacy the rapper has left behind. We've seen Twitter shout outs, listened to Gang Starr singles on the…
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Music, All Shook Down

R.I.P. Gang Starr's Guru

Legendary hip-hop emcee Guru passed away on April 19 at age 43 after a reportedly long battle with cancer that forced him to be hospitalized earlier this year. The news was posted to, a fan site dedicated to Guru's…
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Music, All Shook Down Weekend Pick #2: DJ Premier

Weekend Pick #2: DJ Premier

When people talk about "classic" or "Golden Age" hip-hop, nine times out of ten, they're actually talking about DJ Premier . The Texas native, best known as the production half of Gangstarr, boasts an impressive resume , including tracks…
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Music, Misc. Reviews

Misc. Reviews

In Beat Kings: The History of Hip Hop, Wu-Tang Clan's Mathematics has assembled a revealing documentary from the point of view of the genre's architects. The DVD is an entertaining crash course in the nitty-gritty of hip hop's evolution beyond…
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Music, Reviewed DJ Cam

DJ Cam

French hip hop producer Laurent "DJ Cam" Daumail hasn't issued a proper full-length album since his excellent 2003 excursion into future soul, Soulshine. He has tried to satisfy fans with an odds-and-sods compilation (Liquid Hip-Hop), a mix CD (My Playlist),…
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Music, Reviewed Ol' Dirty Bastard

Ol' Dirty Bastard

The great thing about the Wu-Tang Clan's ODB wasn't that he smoked crack, fathered a dozen children, or had an arrest record thicker than a Russian novel. Listening to the Wu-Tang's finest was like riding the world's most dangerous roller…
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Music, BeatBox


In the late '90s, Japan's DJ Krush caught the hipster zeitgeist with his crackling Japanese-garden trip hop. Spare breakbeats cradled lush atmospherics (1996's Meiso), A-list hip hop collaborations ('97's Milight), and extended trumpet solos ('98's collaboration with Toshinori Kondo, Ki-Oku),…
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Music, Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi

Now that everybody can (and does) have his 15 minutes of fame, it's about time we completely overhauled Mr. Warhol's prediction, especially when it comes to hip hop: In the future, let's hope that no genre of music has more…
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Music, Reviewed Murs


While producer 9th Wonder and rapper Murs have taken different paths throughout their careers, they've both emerged near the top of the underground rubble. The latter slung his everyman, confessional lyrics for years in the Bay Area basement before signing…
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Music, Reviewed Cee-Lo


Cee-Lo's inclusion of a few guest collaborators -- most notably Blues Traveler's John Popper -- on his 2002 solo debut, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, was adventurous. But while the album was critically praised, its wide stylistic range confused…
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Music, Reviewed Triosk Meets Jan Jelinek

Triosk Meets Jan Jelinek

Ken Burns' documentary Jazz, which ended with the 1960s, may have left out a thing or two. 1989: DJ Premier folds jazz into the hip hop lexicon with Gang Starr's debut. 1994: Mo' Wax announces a new birth of cool…
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Music, Reviewed Little Brother

Little Brother

In the early '90s, the rising cost of funk and soul samples chased producers right into the arms of digital instrumentation. Thus the "golden age" of Pete Rock's and DJ Premier's horn-laden sample tapestries ultimately yielded to the Neptunes' vacuum-sealed…
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