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Tag: Hip-Hop/Rap (61-70 of 935)

Essence Festival wrap-up: Here's what you missed

Didn’t make it down to New Orleans for the 20th annual Essence Festival? (Essence, like EW, is a Time Inc. publication.) The bad news: You missed out on a Prince concert that may never make it online—at least, not in an officially sanctioned sort of way. The good news: You can catch a few highlights of the fest in the videos below.

We’ll begin backstage with first night headliner Nas:

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Kanye performs in weird mask, gets booed for 20-minute 'rant'

Kanye West really, really likes to interrupt his live performances to deliver impromptu lectures—usually on the nature of his own genius and the world’s attempts to hold him back. His audiences, on the other hand, don’t seem so hot on them.

Just three weeks after getting booed at Bonnaroo, the same thing happened again at London’s Wireless fest. While the Bonnaroo incident was largely due to residual animosity over his disastrous appearance at the festival six years ago, the crowd at Wireless turned against West during an on-stage tirade about the difficulties he’s had establishing himself as a serious player in the world of high fashion, among other things. It lasted a reported 20 minutes. READ FULL STORY

'Weird Al' Yankovic: The Stories Behind The Songs

For 35 years, “Weird Al” Yankovic has been music’s most reliable satirist, sending up the biggest pop hits and the most iconic artists for the sake of belly laughs. He’s about to release a brand new album called Mandatory Fun on July 15, so to prepare for a fresh batch of tunes we caught up with Yankovic to get the stories behind hits both big and small.  READ FULL STORY

Video: Get hooked on Tunde Olaniran's 'Critical'

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While many of his contemporaries work to cultivate an air of mystery through secret identities and un-Google-able stage names, Tunde Olaniran is generating a more intriguingly ambiguous vibe with a fraction of the effort. A native of Flint, Michigan, better known as Detroit’s less quaint sibling, Olaniran works in the gaps between hip-hop, R&B, dance music, and punk, weaving together aggressive beats, noisy electronics, and an intuitive knack for melody into a seamless, surprisingly pop-friendly whole. His recent five-song EP Yung Archetype sounds like Yeezus as a soul record, or if The-Dream made a record with TV on the Radio.

Last week Olaniran released a video for the brooding, spacious Yung Archetype track “Critical,” which he wrote for a family member who was diagnosed with cancer. It’s an emotionally intense four-and-a-half-minute ride, but I’ve had it on heavy rotation nonetheless. Hit the jump to get hooked. READ FULL STORY

Beck: On the scene at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom

A few months back, I had the distinct pleasure of receiving a phone call from Beck. The connection wasn’t great, though I chalked that up to the fact that he was calling me from a parallel universe—one that was not wholly unlike the one I exist in, but both slightly more contemplative and way more funky.

We discussed the artists, albums, and songs that have informed his life, and more than once he brought up British death metal band Carcass (whose Surgical Steel was one of my favorite albums of 2013). He seemed mostly charmed by their insane-sounding song titles (“Cadaveric Incubator of Endoparasites” was a favorite), but based on Beck’s show at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday night, he also digs Carcass because, when given the chance, he likes to shred. READ FULL STORY

Rapper-turned-popster Kitty unveils new video for 'Marijuana'

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The Florida-born, NYC-based musician Kitty used to go by the name Kitty Pryde, and she used to be a rapper. Her 2012 song “Okay Cupid” was a pretty massive viral hit (its official video has nearly a million and a half views on YouTube) that brought her a decent amount of acclaim amidst an epic amount of hate from people who saw a young female rapper who didn’t seem interested in rapping about things that grouchy hip-hop fans are necessarily into as a sign of the impending apocalypse (or something).

Kitty still raps, but she’s broadened her overall approach and started moving toward straight-up pop, which considering the sing-songy flow she’s been showing off since “Okay Cupid” isn’t too drastic a leap. Last month she released an EP called Impatiens, which she quickly followed up with a new track, “Marijuana,” that now has a video. It’s her most successful stab at a pop song yet, with a bubbly, laid-back beat that fits the title well, plus a vocal part that ups the melodic quotient while still retaining just enough hip-hop inflection to make the track snap. The end result is a special kind of summer jam that forgoes the celebratory grooves that typify the genre in favor of an effortless chill that can act as mental air conditioning during ridiculously hot and humid days, which should come in handy very soon.

Check it out after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Busta Rhymes and Eminem drop 'Calm Down'

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Earlier today, Busta Rhymes dropped a new single, “Calm Down,” which finds the head-banging hip-hop iconoclast facing off against fellow veteran MC Eminem over the span of nearly six minutes atop a clangorous beat by Scoop DeVille that’s based around a sample of Bob & Earl’s “Harlem Shuffle,” better known as the horn part from House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” As you might expect from two of the most verbose rappers in the game, the song is a relentlessly dense torrent of lyric-spitting that reaffirms some of the classic battle-rap values that have fallen out of fashion in recent years while avoiding getting bogged down in any “get off my lawn” old-man attitude.

Busa Bus talked to EW today in an exclusive interview about “Calm Down.” Below, hear the track and read what he has to say about the song and about the first time he heard Eminem rap.

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Astrolith and Cakes Da Killa get trippy with "Give It To Me" -- Exclusive

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Earlier this week, Brooklyn producer Astrolith dropped his Muscle Memories EP, a collection of five tracks that offer a compellingly skewed take on a wide range of styles spanning techno, jazz funk, and the kind of throbbing, old-school electro music you normally find on old VHS horror movies. For the lead single, “Give It To Me,” he teams up with infamous NYC party starter Cakes Da Killa (whose “Goodies” was one of the most criminally underappreciated jams of last year) to make a heavy-duty slab of weirdo future rap that deserves to go on heavy rotation all summer. Directors Mark Lovato and Gella Zefira have provided a video that matches the song’s eccentric sci-fi flavor, and we’re happy to have the exclusive premiere after the jump.

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Hear rapper Crown's new indie-flavored single 'Roam' -- Exclusive

Crown is a Brooklyn rapper with an old-school flow and a modern sonic sensibility that reaches well outside the range of the average throwback rapper. He’s backed by a band called the M.O.B. (short for “Message of the Blues”) that makes a big, dense sound that’s both rootsy and Roots-y.

They have a new album called All Rise coming out later this year. It’ll feature the song “Roam,” where he drops Biggie-inspired verses over a piano- and strings-driven beat with an indie-pop hook that makes for a breezy summertime listen. “The vibe of the song had me reflecting on the past and how far I’ve come,” he says. “No matter where I’ve been and where I’m going, you’ve always got to keep the positive thoughts pushing you forward.”

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Cloud rap pioneers Main Attrakionz return with 'Alphabet City' -- Exclusive

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Of all the microgenres that pop music has produced over the past few years, “cloud rap” is the one with the most evocative name, not to mention the most descriptive: It’s hip-hop that floats on hazy, vaporous beats with laid-back flows to match. It’s no surprise that some of the best stuff in the style comes from California, with its plentiful medical marijuana dispensaries.

Oakland duo Main Attrakionz is one of the leading cloud-rap groups, and their 808s & Dark Grapes II is one of the classics of the genre. Lately they’ve been collaborating with Sacramento rapper-producer Tynethys, and last fall they released a full-length eponymous mixtape together. The trio is back again with a new track, “Alphabet City,” which combines spaciness with swagger.

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