Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival: Jay Electronica feat. Jay Z, Mac Miller, J. Cole, Talib Kweli (Photos & Review)

Hip-hop's man from the mountains, made of lightning and chicken bones, proved to be exceedingly mortal in the best possible way Saturday in Brooklyn. At first, it was hard to tell: Jay Electronica marched out on stage with a group of young men dressed in classic tuxes with red bowties, looking like...

Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival: Raekwon feat. AZ, Lil Fame, Masta Killa, Troy Ave, Papoose (Photos & Review)

In a show full of rappers claiming to be "real hardcore lyricists" and sometimes failing that claim, Raekwon was the perfect antidote and anchor. Rae's dense, visual, word-chunk style of rhyme was the crowning jewel of an afternoon of bars after bars after bars. He came to the stage with a clear...

Listening to Eric B & Rakim’s Paid In Full On Its 27th Birthday

For rap as an art form, the emergence of Rakim is comparable to the first color film, or the invention of electricity, or the Atom bomb. Even though his seminal record of influence, Paid In Full with the trusty though not amazing Eric B, came out in 1986, Rakim's rapping sounds about 10 years...

J. Cole’s Born Sinner: One Year Later

2013 was a high for hip-hop. Almost every major artist released an album; the masters (Jay Z, Eminem, Kanye West, Lil Wayne), the leaders of the new school (Drake, J.Cole, Big Sean, Mac Miller, Wale, A$AP Rocky) and the rising stars (Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Chance The Rapper, A$AP Ferg,...

Album Review: Ab-Soul – These Days

Ab-Soul is a rapper who recognizes his strengths. In a world with an entrenched competitive nature and an ever-changing roster of characters and styles, MCs often fall by the wayside because they're either unable to find their niche in the market or they simply aren't able to flourish in any...

Concert Review: Hot 107.9′s Birthday Bash 19

The bottom of the map may have had the hottest party of the Summer. Atlanta's Birthday Bash 19 was definitely an occasion that was not to be missed. The city was out, the sun was blazing and so were the live performances. The Bash's guests featured the charts finest artists from the East, West and...

Governors Ball: Chance The Rapper (Photos & Review)

The young man who’s quickly become the most promising hip-hop act in his age bracket found himself leaning over another precocious ledge at Governors Ball. He’s beginning to leap, with the confidence and humanity of his ever-morphing delivery, into a true presence in the music world. Somehow...

Governors Ball: Run The Jewels (Photos & Review)

Run The Jewels hits hard. In other news: the Governors Ball sky is blue, and bears shit in the woods. Bears also smile, as it turns out, and rap their asses off. Husky El-P and his Grizzly-sized partner, Killer Mike strode onto the festival stage wearing all black and two fang-bearing smirks....

Governors Ball: Ratking (Photos & Review)

For both the familiar and the initiated, Ratking was full of surprises. One surprise was the crowd: it was huge. The scrappy NY trio has sure gained a following and a spotlight in the recent months, but even they surely were surprised by the sardine-level crowd for them underneath Governors Ball's...

Concert Review: Hudson Mohawke Is Full of Surprises

[caption id="attachment_76487" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo by Martin Blondet[/caption] Manhattan's Webster Hall swelled with anticipation last Wednesday as Hudson Mohawke stealthily approached the DJ booth, soaked in fog and purple lighting, accompanied by thin layer of watery synths....