Friday, June 8 2012
This week we look at racial profiling through the lens of controversial writer John Derbyshire. We also talk about racism within hip-hop and find ourselves stimulated by the riot porn of the new Jay-Z and Kanye West video. Flash Points ends on a more positive note: the rise of the walking dead.
Thursday, March 29 2012
Could a “hot 16” change black fatherhood for generations to come? If that is the thought, than we’ve forgotten what hip-hop does best: It reflects and narrates.
Thursday, February 9 2012
Rappers have always wrestled with the question of how to succeed in a society where the odds are stacked against them. The biggest difference now is that their middle class listeners have the same worries.
Tuesday, January 26 2010
Slipped Discs continues with hip-hop royalty, a genre-busting classical quartet, the future of soul music, an Americana demigod and many more. All records that missed our top 60 list last year.
Friday, December 18 2009
PopMatters kicks off our annual two-week-long best music of the year feature with the 50 best singles of 2009, highlighted by a trio of American indie rock headliners.
Tuesday, August 7 2012
In light of Jay-Z being named executive producer of the NBA2K video game franchise last week, we look at just how far Mr. Carter has taken the boundaries of hip-hop and success -- and how or if the culture will survive once he decides to leave it for good.
Thursday, September 22 2011
The value of a release as large as Watch the Throne is that it goes beyond the gargantuan personalities involved or even the monster show dates designed to promote it. Part of the value is the discussion it generates.
Tuesday, January 4 2011
He's got 99 problems but a book ain't one. Jay-Z's nonlinear memoir illuminates rap as personal narrative, lyric poetry, and transformative medium.
Tuesday, September 29 2009
We can debate this greatest rapper business from now until the end of time. Let's just say Jay-Z is the greatest hip-hop icon ever, and call it a day.
Thursday, September 20 2012
Made in America’s line up just kept pushing the ante and winning every time. Each artist brought such talent to the stage that it was hard to miss any moments.
Wednesday, March 2 2011
Artistically, Jay-Z's Hits Collection could be tons stronger, and anyone curious about the rapper who buys this without skimming his non-radio friendly cuts will be missing out on his best work.
Tuesday, September 8 2009
A frustrating attempt at experimentation with flashes of brilliance, mediocrity, and wackness, The Blueprint 3 falls short of breaking Jay-Z's curse of following up a great album with something lackluster.
Friday, November 9 2007
American Gangster may never be seen as Jay-Z's defining moment, but it marks his comeback far more effectively than Kingdom Come ever even tried to.
Wednesday, November 22 2006
Jay-Z has pulled off the world's best example of "shooting oneself in the foot": making a really really good record about how that particular record is the best ever.
Tuesday, January 11 2011
Kanye West and Jay-Z premiered “H.A.M.”, the first single off their forthcoming joint album Watch the Thrones, around midnight today on Facebook. The full LP…
Wednesday, May 19 2010
When Jay-Z and Eminem announced last week on ESPN that they'll be doing a double concert at Yankee Stadium and Comerica Park this fall, I…
Tuesday, November 17 2009
R&B superstar Rihanna formally launched her new album, Rated R, last night in London. The album drops last week and she played her first live…
Monday, November 2 2009
"Empire State of Mind" is destined to be played in promos for Knicks games. "Let's hear it for New York!" Alicia sings in the cheesy…
Tuesday, September 1 2009
Jay-Z The Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation) Releasing: 11 September (US) / 14 September (UK) Full album stream Despite his announcing a retirement from rap and…
Friday, June 29 2012
Few would have imagined that one of the most powerful and acclaimed protest songs of the year, “Reagan,” would be about the Iran-Contra scandal of…
Tuesday, August 9 2011
JAY-Z AND KANYE WEST "Watch the Throne" Roc-a-Fella Records (3 1/2 stars) The kingdom is in peril. Confidence has been shaken: "Tears on the mausoleum…
Monday, August 23 2010
LOS ANGELES — All hail returning royalty. For the third time in the last four years, Jay-Z has been anointed hip-hop's "Cash King" by Forbes;…
Wednesday, April 21 2010
LOS ANGELES — The big question heading into last year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival was whether the event would survive the recession. This…
Friday, January 22 2010
Less than 24 hours after an earthquake devastated Haiti on Jan. 12, George Clooney was on the phone with MTV Networks president Judy McGrath trying…