Gangsta rap, where have you gone? About 20 years ago at this time, we were in the middle of an unprecedented run of gangsta rap greatness, with Death Row, Bad Boy, Ruthless, Rap-A-Lot and others all functioning at high levels. And while the songs and albums from this era continue to get sh ... More >>
Remember back in the day when you got home from school all psyched to watch some sweet, violent cartoons only to find that the dreaded After School Special? Buzz kill. It was even more of a bummer when our musical heroes took it upon themselves in the '80s and '90s to urge us all to lay off the reef ... More >>
EOTO started as a String Cheese Incident side project between Michael Travis and Jason Hann, a studio musician who also played with Dr. Dre and was a member of Isaac Hayes's band. Out of the practicality of the living situations of both musicians, EOTO began as more of an electronic project that ini ... More >>
The progression of music will always be weighed down by periods of stagnation. Although new rap acts are presented into the mainstream every year, the actual newness of the music is generally overstated. The prime exception to this rule is the so-called "golden ages," pockets of time where innovatio ... More >>
Music is life -- or at least it is for us. When we're not writing about it, we're thinking about it, talking about it or listening to it. These are the things that were in heavy rotation for us this week. What are you listening to? What should we be listening to? C'mon, now. Sharing is caring. Don't ... More >>
By Jermaine Charles All performers, no matter who they are or how talented they may be, had a time before they were famous when they were still coming into their own. For some, that time can be awkward or even cringe-inducing to reflect on, while for others, the progression seems more natural. Take ... More >>
The following rappers have all been, at one point, among the best in the game. They were each considered to be the cream of the crop, but even the finest cream goes bad eventually. Sadly, these MCs are all arguably well past their prime, and although we love them and it pains us to say it, they need ... More >>
Features have a long history in hip-hop -- one that is now frequently used in other musical forms, as well. It can serve many purposes: A well-placed feature can present you to a whole new pocket of possible fans. It can also take advantage of another rapper's current popularity, or it can give the ... More >>
West Coast rap is sometimes disparaged by hip-hop purists for it's perceived lack of lyricism and substance, but what it lacks in lyrical acrobatics and "message," it more than makes up for in personality. Whether the aesthetic is raw and violent or chill and relaxed, the sentiment comes through equ ... More >>
We've finally arrived: The The best of the worst. The creme de la crap. The unholy of unholies. If you thought 50-11 were bad, you ain't seen nothin' yet. These are the lyrics that can turn a good album sour, and make a bad album laughable. Included are quotes from Eminem, Lil B, J. Cole, 2 Chainz, ... More >>
We've almost reached the end of our countdown of rap's most dreadful lyrics. Think you can stomach ten more? Good. Purely by coincidence, today's selections feature some of hip-hop's most memorable scientific and mathematical gaffes. And we're not talking anything complicated, here; we mean basic ma ... More >>
Many hip-hop fans, those who love rap -- hell, even some rappers -- have an aversion to gangsta rap for its objectionable content. Common named the rise of gangsta rap as one of the many steps in hip-hop's downfall in "I Used to Love H.E.R.," a sentiment that, of course, began a contentious relation ... More >>
In this very special edition of Heavy Rotation, you not only get a through-the-keyhole view of our musical proclivities, but you also get a few words from us on our top pick of the week. Keep reading to find out what Mark Sanders considers musical comfort food, why Kelsey Whipple can't think of Spac ... More >>
See Also: Tupac hologram at Coachella: Here's how it was done Okay, so now we have it straight from the doctor's mouth: Contrary to an item in the Wall Street Journal last week citing "a person familiar with the discussions" claiming that representatives of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were intending to ... More >>
Tupac at Coachella. While there were plenty of memorable performances and an equal number of WTF moments at the first weekend of this year's Coachella, there's only one from last night that we guarantee everyone is talking about this morning, and It happened early this morning around 12:30 or so our ... More >>
By now you've seen Tupac's performance with Snoop Dogg last night at Coachella. The legendary rapper was brought back to life by Dr. Dre's production company in collaboration with Digital Domain, James Cameron's digital production company, and AV Concepts, a company based in Tempe, Arizona, using a ... More >>
Wednesday, November 2, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399; Thursday, November 3, Ogden Theatre, 1-888-929-7849.
As you know, MTV turned thirty this week, and man, oh man, what a three decades it's been. No matter who you are, or what side of the music spectrum you represent, the influence of Music Television on popular culture cannot be denied. This is true especially in the development of the hip-hop ... More >>
Love's lost album from 1973, Black Beauty, is finally going to see the light of day when its released in June. The album was their first with a new lineup after Arthur Lee left the band, but the record label went bankrupt before it was ever released. It's certainly not the first time this has ... More >>
David Lang / Red Bull PhotofilesBoonie Mayfield (top) and Xperiment BeatsThe term "producer" has very different connotations in the worlds of rock and hip-hop. Although they're both instrumental in shaping the sound, they serve very different functions. Generally speaking, in rock, a produc ... More >>
It's no secret that the Internet is a safe-harbor for niche markets and small groups, but that doesn't mean some of them can't be extremely helpful in a pinch. Sample-spotting is one that has been incredibly helpful to us on numerous occasions. More and more hip-hop is moving into the digi ... More >>
50 Cent suing Taco Bell Last month a letter from Taco Bell addressed to 50 Cent went out to various media outlets asking 50 to change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent, to help promote their menu and “Why Pay More” ad campaign. But ironically, the letter never went directly to 50, real na ... More >>
Locals Only DJ Low Key is doing big things in Denver right now. The last year was a big one for the Basementalism Radio Show alum and 2008 is looking to be just as big. He ended 2007 having his mixtape Median’s Relief in the Making (hosted by 9th Wonder) on several critical year-end lists and he ... More >>
Locals Only: DJ Bedz Joins XM Radio DJ Bedz has been handling business with Denver on his chest for quite awhile now. From spinning the weekend mixes on KS107.5, to reppin’ as the official Denver Nuggets DJ, to mixtaping the heck out of the Mile High City and even appearing on BET’s Rap City ... More >>
This may be Jay-Z’s last year at Def Jam Right now Jay-Z is celebrating a pretty good year as CEO/President of Def Jam. His label garnered 26 Grammy nominations last week, his artists Rihanna and Ne-Yo are blowing up worldwide and his own project, American Gangster, is topping year-end lists. But ... More >>
Plant Music Records
Friday, July 21, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.
The Big Bang (Aftermath/Interscope Records)
Hustle & Flow is short on action, long on scenes of recording.
The Massacre (Shady/Aftermath/G-Unit)
Truth sets the record straight about her hefty lawsuit, her split with Dr. Dre, and what's next.
Four discs trace the development of the original gangstas.
By aiming for the lowest common denominator, Up in Smoke went over like gangbusters.
Pharoahe Monch thinks better hip-hop doesn't have to be a drag.
(Dogg House/TVT Records)
Backbeat contributors offer up their favorite recordings of 1999.
Eminem plays the race cardin reverse.
Reviews of 23 recent superstar recordings--just in time for your holiday purchasing pleasure.
Is gangsta rap getting more profound? Well...no.
How artists in a dishonest business are trying to keep your trust.