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Music, The Jay-Z state of mind

The Jay-Z state of mind

You have to get in a space where you can't even all the way listen to your friends, because they love you so much that they have places they want you to be." So says Jay-Z, on the subject of…
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Music, All Shook Down Obama and Hip-hop: Better than "Beef"?

Obama and Hip-hop: Better than "Beef"?

For a long time, hip hop debates have tended toward the tawdry and tabloidesque--i.e., Is Kanye Gay?; Is Alicia Keys creepin' with Swizz Beats?; Joe Budden vs. Saigon, T.I. vs. Mysonne, Charli Baltimore vs. Lil' Kim, Lil Kim vs.…
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Music, Reviewed Kanye West

Kanye West

Despite what some critics have written about Kanye West's fourth album, 808s & Heartbreak doesn't sound especially shocking. Sure, the record incorporates "tribal"-style drum machines and Auto-Tuned vocals, but bassy, accessible singles like "Robocop" and "Love Lockdown" make nonissues of…
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Music, All Shook Down Last Night: KMEL Block Party at Oracle Arena

Last Night: KMEL Block Party at Oracle Arena

(T-Pain) KMEL Block Party Oracle Arena, Oakland August 7, 2008 Review by Tamara Palmer Better than: Bloc Party, the British indie rock band. Watch: KMEL’s official recap and backstage interviews. It was national stars and not local talent that…
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Music, New Coke

New Coke

Cocaine/Crack rock is ... A) A national scourge, resulting in a generational holocaust following its boom in the early- to mid-'80s, leaving an entire generation of urban youth permanently maimed and/or scarred. B) A hip-hop treasure. A wellspring of creativity,…
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