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Books

Bring That Beat Back: A Course in Hip-Hop Sampling 101

In Bring That Beat Back, critic Nate Patrin argues that hip-hop is essentially a forward-looking evolution of black American music with a deep reverence for its predecessors.

Music

Jade Hairpins' Eclectic Indie Pop/Rock Delivers a Stellar Debut with 'Harmony Avenue'

Jade Hairpins' Harmony Avenue exudes the free-spirited exuberance of a side project, jam-packed with ideas and vivid tone colors, and aimed for both the melodic and harmonic sweet tooth.

Music

Archie Shepp, Raw Poetic, and Damu the Fudgemunk Enlighten and Enliven with 'Ocean Bridges'

Ocean Bridges is proof that genre crossovers can sound organic, and that the term "crossover" doesn't have to come loaded with gimmicky connotations. Maybe we're headed for a world in which genres are so fluid that the term is dropped altogether from the cultural lexicon.

Music

Commemorating the Legacy of Steve "Stezo" Williams

Stezo died in his sleep on 29 April at age 51, leaving behind a legacy begging to be properly commemorated. His 1989 album Crazy Noise has been buried in the annals of hip-hop history, an underappreciated dollar-bin find that serves both as a time capsule for hip-hop's late 1980s golden era and a lesson in keeping it real.

Music

RJD2 Discusses His Turntablism Roots

By this point in his career, RJD2's ability to churn out head-boppable hip-hop rooted in true-school ethos seems perpetually ingrained. He discusses his new record, The Fun Ones, and more.

Music

Stephen Malkmus Goes Folk on 'Traditional Techniques'

Stephen Malkmus' Traditional Techniques melds folk-rock flavoring with junk-food surrealism delivered through his characteristic brand of irony.

Music

The Orielles Make Their Charming Indie Danceable on 'Disco Volador'

On Disco Volador, the Orielles offer a thrift shop of sounds and gratify those who like their indie rock danceable.

Music

Squarepusher Proves IDM Is Still Fresh and Full of Possibilities on 'Be Up a Hello'

Squarepusher's Be Up a Hello asserts that what some would consider an outmoded sound palette can still be mined for fresh ideas, that IDM in its golden-age variety has yet to reach its zenith.

Books

Chris Schwartz's Memoir on Founding Ruffhouse Records Gleans but Doesn't Illuminate

Chris Schwartz's memoir on founding Ruffhouse Records attempts to be many things but doesn't fully deliver on any of them, making for a conventionally-structured memoir that often reads as slapdash and dry.

Books

'Go Ahead in the Rain' Artfully Melds the Many Parts of a Tribe Called Quest's Backstory

In Go Ahead in the Rain, Hanif Abdurraqib blends his talents as both culture critic and personal essayist for a meditation on perhaps the most influential hip-hop group from the genre's sample-laden boom-bap era, A Tribe Called Quest.

Books

Eula Biss's Reissued 'Notes from No Man's Land' Resonates

Eula Biss's essay collection remains compelling not only for its elegant prose that melds politics and personal essay but because its subject matter may be even more relevant today.

Music

A Slapdash History of the Hip-hop Megamix

The megamix is a variegated mural, with flashes of color – neon pink, chartreuse, head-gash red – popping off chipped concrete, an amalgamation of flavor so fresh it strains the vision, so vivid it glows.

Music

Boombox = Life

Woofers on blast up the jam block rock: A fragmentary history of ghettoblasting.

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