hip-hop

Janelle Monae f. Big Boi - Tightrope

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This is EPIC.

Janelle Monae's EP was solid, but it didn't have anything on it that I liked as much as Letting Go, which was on the Purple Ribbon All-Stars compilation. This song, though, is fantastic. And the video is amazing, too.

Joell Ortiz - Project Boy

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Now that's rapping. DJ Premier on the beat.

Royce 5'9" on Flow v. Subject Matter

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Above: Royce the five nine talks about "flow" vs. "subject matter" in the craft of emceeing. He thinks flow is more important, and I'm inclined to agree.

Flow is the part of hip-hop that I find the most non-fans don't get. They can tell you why the positive message of a Jurassic 5 song is great ("it's like poetry!"), but they don't understand this core principle of emceeing.

Flow is all the parts of what a rapper does that aren't the content of the lyrics. It is the style, the aesthetic experience. It's why I think Missy Elliott (whose lyrics generally amount to: "I'm having fun! You should too!") is every bit as great an emcee as the much denser, more "contentful" Talib Kweli. The former is a part of the music, sometimes following, sometimes soloing. The latter often seems like he's having a fight with tbe song.

I think that it goes back to the idea that hip-hop is poetry set to music. It isn't. It's music made with words. A rapper doesn't use (much) melody, but that doesn't make him a poet any more than it makes him a novelist or a writer of technical manuals. At the core of hip-hop is the aesthetics of the rapper's voice. Lyrical content counts, too, but not as much as style, tone, timbre, rhythm. The rapper is making music every bit as much as the producer who made the beat is - his instrument is his voice.

Big Boi f. Too Short & George Clinton - For Your Sorrows

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Fo Yo Sorrows VIDEO Big Boi Ft. Too Short and George Clinton from SNORT THIS TV on Vimeo.

Big Boi can still spit for serious. Hopefully this means that Sir Lucious Left Foot joint is coming soon.

Why are 75% of our youth reading magazines? / 'Cause they used to fantasy / and it's what they use to dream / call it fiction addiction / 'cause the truth's a heavy thing

Blu - Amnesia

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Past TSOYA guest Blu with an excellent new track. I am told the footage comes from Ascenseur pour l'echafaud (Elevator to the Gallows), a film by Louis Malle.

Nate Dogg - I Got Love

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I hadn't thought about Nate Dogg's album "Music and Me" in quite some time until a twitter message reminded me of it. I used to play this song, and this one with Pharoahe Monch HEAVILY. Two epic jams. The whole album is pretty solid, one of my favorite underrated hip-hop records.

Guru is in a coma after a cardiac arrest.

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I'm sick of shitty news. Let's enjoy some Gang Starr and think good thoughts.

Wale f. UCB - Pretty Girls

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This song is a serious jam. Seems a little old to be doing on TV, but maybe it's picking up some steam - I thought it was a hit when I first heard it, but it doesn't seem to have made too much noise.

Sal Santana on "Keyboard City" and more: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Sal Santana

Salvador Santana is a keyboard player and singer-songwriter. His father is guitar legend Carlos Santana. He's just released a new LP, Keyboard City. He talks with The Sound of Young America about his Bay Area roots (he's an alumnus of School of the Arts in San Francisco), working on "Supernatural" as a teenager, touring with Ozomatli and recording with his mentor, Money Mark.

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