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Ice Cube's 'Death Certificate' Soundtracked the Rodney King Era

It was during the period between the Rodney King beating and subsequent court verdict that Ice Cube cut Death Certificate, a chilling glimpse into the anger and frustration South Central Los Angelinos were feeling.

Music

A Time to Be So Small: An Interview with EmptyMansion's Sam Fogarino

After dealing with the critical praise and downfall of Interpol, Sam Fogarino hooked up with one of the key players in Secret Machines and, under the name of EmptyMansions, made something quite special, different, and even a bit unexpected ...

Music

Lil Wayne: I Am Not a Human Being II

Once again Lil Wayne fails to recapture the energy and spirit that elevated him to the highest peaks of hip-hop superstardom.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Young Money / Cash Money

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Young Money, Cash Money, Republic

Music

The City Is Mine: An Interview with Cadence Weapon

With his encyclopedic genre knowledge honed by time as a critic himself, Rollie Pemberton (a.k.a. Cadence Weapon) aims to put Canada on the hip-hop map via Hope in Dirt City, his innovative indie debut.

Dean Van Nguyen
Music

The Alchemist: Russian Roulette

The Alchemist's latest run for solo recognition, Russian Roulette draws sounds and sound bites from various Russian-themed sources, with a particular affinity for how the old Soviet Union was portrayed in American pop culture.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Decon/ALC/E1

Music

Georgia Anne Muldrow: Seeds

There is indeed a touch of the Betty Davis about Georgia Anne Muldrow, but labelling her as a straight retro revivalist would be a falsehood.

Music

Big K.R.I.T.: Live from the Underground

On his first official album, there’s no sense that Big K.R.I.T. has changed his established ethos or pandered to label demands.

Music

Lee Fields & The Expressions: Faithful Man

Soul Man Lee Fields continues to show his allegiance to classic R&B.

Music

Pusha T: Fear of God II: Let Us Pray

Fear of God II: Let Us Pray rarely highlights the strenghts Pusha T established as one-half of Virginian rap duo Clipse.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

G.O.O.D., Decon, Re-Up

Music

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart: The Body (Single)

With shoulders slumped and eyes down, it’s the kind of vocal delivery that convincingly captures all the angst of a universe-crumbling teen breakup.

Dean Van Nguyen
SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Play It Again Sam / Slumberland

Music

The R&B Renaissance

A clutch of new artists are bringing the rhythm, the blues, and, perhaps most importantly, the soul back to R&B. And they're doing it without rehashing sounds of bygones eras.

Dean Van Nguyen
Music

Back to Living: Curtis Mayfield and the Making of 'New World Order'

Curtis Mayfield penned many of the songs that would become anthems for the civil rights movement. Later in life, however, he would face different challenges, as documented on his heroic 1996 album New World Order.

Dean Van Nguyen

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