"It was definitely a landmark for the underground movement of the '90s. Young people who've never touched wax probably don't know what the closing of a store like this means… It just means that we're heading to a place where music won't exist in a physical form anymore." -Rap producer DJ Spinna on the news that Fat Beats, a store on the corner of 6th Ave. and 8th Street in Manhattan that specialized in vinyl records and served a hip-hop community that might best be described as the opposite of this, will close its doors next month after 16 years in operation. (The LA outpost [...]
Rap Radar's B.Dot says T-Pain's new chain looks like "a bedazzled dildo." He's right. It does. Meanwhile, that massive medallion swinging from Kanye's neck during his performance at Sunday's BET awards? It was in the shape of the falcon-headed Egyptian deity Horus, and it cost $300,000. So there you go.
There was a benefit concert at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn last night to raise money to help A Tribe Called Quest MC Phife Dawg, who has diabetes, pay his medical bills. At the end of the show, Phife's old partners Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad joined him onstage to perform a string of songs from 1993's Midnight Marauders album. Here's "Oh My God"-during which Q-Tip mimes the act of giving Phife dialysis-and "Award Tour." Pretty joyous.
I'm not always a big one for instrumental music. My mind starts to wander if someone isn't singing or shouting at me. But this track from rapper/producer/Def Jux Records founder El-P is excellent in a way that would be like if Dan the Automator had gotten Dave Pajo to play on the Dr. Octagon album. And the video, directed by Shan Nelson, is really terrific, too.
Man, when you're on a roll. To accompany his comeback single "Power," which has many people standing up at their computer terminals to shout out loud and type extra hard about how much they love it, Kanye West went and got the renowned New Hampshire-born artist George Condo to paint his portrait for the cover.
Foreign Policy examines the difficulties of exercising hegemonic power in modern society when faced with an insistent opponent of disproportionate strength.
Last week I reported on the secretive heroes of Wikipedia and their detailed academic descriptions of 90s hip hop classics. Over the weekend, the author of the two best entries-Warren G and Nate Dogg's "Regulate" and DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's "Parents Just Don't Understand"-made contact. Earnest Pettie-or Earnestp if you prefer his now-defunct Wikipedia handle-is an editor at Break.com. And now we ask him some questions!
Kanye West seems to really like Hawaii, where he is recording his new album, A Good Ass Job. So much so that he has put his kind of boring 3-bedroom, 4,214-square-foot Hollywood house, built in 2002 at 7882 Fareholm Drive, up for sale for $3,995,000. (It's way overbuilt on the lot, which is only 5,320 square feet.) The decor is what you'd expect: the cool earth-tones and open space of the "Love Lockdown" video, set of by bright-blue pop art, giant-sized children toys and Takashi Murakami stuff. It gets a little Romper-Roomy sometimes, but the fish-tank bathtub is the best idea since Hot Tub [...]