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Calendar, Night&Day It Was All a Dream

It Was All a Dream

Most mysteries, written at the speed of sound, suffer in lazy, cheap, and bad writing, which has its charms, mostly in the fun of spotting all the examples of lazy, cheap, and bad writing. The Plot Against Hip Hop suffers…
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Music, Breezy at the Top: Trackademicks might be the next king of Bay Area hip-hop

Breezy at the Top: Trackademicks might be the next king of Bay Area hip-hop

For the first time since the great hyphy explosion of the mid-2000s, Bay Area rap can claim a new figurehead — a centripetal artist with an energizing signature sound. That artist is Trackademicks, a producer, rapper, and leader of the…
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Music, Hear This Dom: Show Preview

Dom: Show Preview

Dom has a mystique that is driven by dualism. In an April interview with Pitchfork, the musician whose mononym doubles as the name of the Worcester, Mass.-based group revealed fascinating tidbits that may or may not be true: Dom won't…
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Music, BeatBox Trey Songz: Show Preview

Trey Songz: Show Preview

Trey Songz has etched out a career as the go-to-guy for rappers wanting to add a soulful chorus to their latest songs. Despite three successful solo albums, including 2009's gold-certified Ready, the Virginia-born singer is most readily identified by the…
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Music, Reviewed Lily Allen

Lily Allen

With her crackling samples and toothy snark, Lily Allen arrived in the middle of this decade as the antidote to Britney's self-aggrandizement. She was the Gawker.com to Spears' People. Now, with the saucy 2000s winding down, its signature decadence and…
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Music,

The Worst Lyrics of 2008

And now it's time for the "I love you like a fat kid loves cake" memorial Worst Lyrics of 2008, March Madness–style tournament, this year a terrifying mélange of appalling oral-sex requests, bargain-bin philosophies, grammatical atrocities, and cringe-inducing pillow talk.…
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Music, Lil Wayne’s crappy performance record

Lil Wayne’s crappy performance record

Lil Wayne is scheduled to bring his "I Am Music" tour to the Bay Area this week, but be warned before you drop nearly fifty bucks on a ticket. While New Orleans native Dwayne Carter Jr. has in many ways…
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Music, BeatBox Border Beats

Border Beats

Monterrey, Mexico's Toy Selectah crafts riveting cumbia remixes of hip-hop that do a lot more than just slap on a Latin beat and hope for the best. He tweaks the chords and sentence structures on familiar songs (like Lil Wayne's…
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Music, BeatBox Lavelle’s Yer UNKLE

Lavelle’s Yer UNKLE

As founder of the legendary Mo' Wax label, Londoner James Lavelle was dictating musical style across the globe in his early 20s, exposing hip-hop and abstract beats in a fashion-forward package (the dude wore Bathing Ape years before Lil Wayne).…
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Music, Let's Get Killed The Cataracs have the fans, lack the lyrics

The Cataracs have the fans, lack the lyrics

Last Wednesday evening might have looked like your typical foggy summer night outside, but inside the Rickshaw Stop things heated up into a muggy spring break atmosphere. Loud packs of girls with cocktails tipping in their hands teetered into bathroom…
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Calendar, Night&Day Tiny Monsters

Tiny Monsters

As the art duo Hella More Funner, Adam Gray and Sam Fuchs make abstract pieces that reveal themselves at a distance, but it’s impossible not to get your nose right up in them. No, the brushstrokes aren't the story. It's…
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Music,

A brief history of vocal fakery from Zapp to "Lollipop"

When the vocoder was first invented in the 1930s, it was intended as a telecommunications encoder for speech encryption and transmission. Okay, so the history is dry, but the signal is wet, and the pitch-shifting, compressed sound has been drizzled…
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Music, Reviewed Why?

Why?

The press release for Alopecia claims that Why? ringleader Yoni Wolf was inspired "as much by MF Doom and Lil' Wayne as J. Newsom and Big Dylan." I don't hear any of that, although the disc recalls the beat weirdness…
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News, Feature My Tunes: Lyrics Born

My Tunes: Lyrics Born

For Tom Shimura, aka Lyrics Born, his top personal musical highlight of 2007 was finishing his second solo album, Everywhere at Once (which hits stores next March). "Emotionally, it was such a ride. I'm glad it's done," says the alternative-rap…
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Music, Reviewed Little Brother

Little Brother

"I came back from New York, nigga lost his deal/Felt sick to the stomach, almost lost his meal," raps Phonte on Getback's first track, "Sirens." He's referring to his duo Little Brother's exit from Atlantic after sales from its major…
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Music, The Call of Katrina

The Call of Katrina

Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall more than 21 months ago and decimated New Orleans, that city's music community has been almost solely focused on chronicling the psychological and physical fallout of the storm. Rapper Lil Wayne released his acerbic polemic…
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