Hip Hop

‘Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop’ At Annenberg Space For Photography

By Alyson Camus | July 18, 2019

illustrating the change in culture

At Least Twenty Rappers Have Died Of A Violent Death In 2018

By Alyson Camus | November 28, 2018

most of them were shot

China Has Just Banned ‘Tasteless, Vulgar And Obscene’ Hip Hop From TV

By Alyson Camus | January 24, 2018

‘programs should not feature dispirited culture (decadent culture)’

Nielsen’s 2017 Year-End Music Report: R&B/Hip-Hop Is The Most Dominant Genre, Rock Is Definitively Dead

By Alyson Camus | January 4, 2018

the current future of music is hip hop

The "F" Word

By Iman Lababedi | June 5, 2014

am not quite sure why the gay community is so up in arms over it. In hip hop it is usually used to suggest weakness, like “pussy” which, I guess, who cares really. It is a million miles from saying, “you weak, you can’t take a bullet up the nostril you faggot” and saying “hey faggot, Imma kill you for having a boyfriend”.

A Mullen At Yankee Stadium: "RAP is not my genre but that is about to change"

By Margaret Mullen | July 24, 2013

… HOT, HOT, HOT… foreplay …

Kanye West's "Yeezus" Improves With Age

By Iman Lababedi | July 17, 2013

The difference between Jay-Z and Kanye, is Jay-Z wants power and Kanye wants freedom

Jay-Z And Charles Dickens Linked

By Iman Lababedi | July 10, 2013

Being raised in a single parent household in Marcy’s Projects haunts Jay-Z the way being a child laborer in London haunted Charles Dickens

Lil Wayne's Fourteen Year Old Daughter Writes A Novel

By Mahalia Dark | July 10, 2013

While, admittedly, how far is a fourteen year old gonna go? Perhaps a little further than this.

Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail" Reviewed (Plus Stream It Here)

By Iman Lababedi | July 4, 2013

So that makes three tracks that may end major… two more than Blueprint 2 and three more than Watch The Throne … Stream It Here…

Eminem Reveals He Almost Died From Drug Addiction In Documentary, 'How To Make Money Selling Drugs'

By Alyson Camus | July 3, 2013

‘I don’t know at what point exactly it started to be a problem. I just remember liking it more and more’,

Yeezus H. Christ This Is Good

By Dan Bachman | June 17, 2013

It’s an unnervingly simple, aggressive, it’s his leanest and most direct effort

Governor's Ball, Sunday, June 9th, 2013: All Kanye West, All The Time

By Iman Lababedi | June 10, 2013

“If you are with with someone you love tonight, hold on to em real tight” Kanye sings, sending us home from three days of music and mud, torrential rains, and overcrowding, with love on our mind.

Young Money's Latest Signing Chanel West Coast Visits rock nyc

By Iman Lababedi | May 24, 2013

The hard thing to keep in sight is that she is a self-made woman. In press releases and MTV shows, there are two realities sort of colliding but speaking to her, she’s just a kid who has worked very very hard to put herself in a position to succeed

Hot 97 Summer Jam 2013… Whatever

By Iman Lababedi | May 6, 2013

Weezy sure ain’t putting up any of his talent and while the promise of the biggest star in Hip Hop might have you guessing, I think even Jay-Z won’t be enough, maybe Jay-Z and Kweezy but there ain’t no Drake and there ain’t no Rick Ross in Hut 97’s future now is there?

Hip Hop DJ Mister Cee Brings Another Proof He Is Gay,… A Call For All Gay Rappers To Come Out!

By Alyson Camus | May 6, 2013

He is clearly gay! And he is an important part of the hip hop community, so isn’t it about time that gay rappers come out? This week NBA center Jason Collins was the first male US athlete to come out as gay, shouldn’t rappers do the same

Pusha T AT BB Kings, Friday, April 26th, 2013, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | April 29, 2013

Personal best was the great “Blocka” with all the reggae influences gone and song emerging as a singalong, but a scary one. Pusha T holds the stage very well, maybe better than Fab later in the evening, he is all attitude and intimidation.

Fabolous At BB King's, Friday April 26th, 2013, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | April 28, 2013

There’s a cool caginess about Fabolous, he doesn’t let you see him sweat and his performance has an edge of implied arrogance just because the effort seems so minimal. His connection to the band and to the audience is devoid of anything approaching a big gesture

Pusha T's "Number On The Boards", Jay-Z's "Open Letter" Reviewed (Stream Here)

By Iman Lababedi | April 15, 2013

a perfect rap pop hook on a great production, certainly one of Pusha’s great moments, behind the Kanye masterpiece and the Tyler featuring track. Even Jay-Z is real good here, a small but a powerfil verse that blows away “Open Letter” There is something very unbecoming about a man as powerful and rich as Hova non-stop fucking whining.

Tyler The Creator's "Wolf" Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | April 2, 2013

The latest in a line that goes back at least to Marvin Gaye and maybe more like Chuck Berry and Louis Armstrong, black boys damaged by the USa and breeding in into eccentric far reaching art.

Must See: Fabolous And Pusha T April 2013

By Iman Lababedi | March 19, 2013

They haze little crossover appeal, while absolutely having the essence of the genre down to an art form their g men rhymin’ and rhythm the real deal but it is narrower in scope, he doesn’t break white. Certainly, Pusha “never could take the intimicacy” T seems to not quite know how to deal with his skills while Fab is happy with his

Lil Wayne In Coma, Has Had Last Rites? Tweeting He's Okay???

By Iman Lababedi | March 15, 2013

We don’t need another hip hop star gone and Weezy obviously needs help, either to fix the seizures or get off the codeine or both. This is a risky bloody business and the end results should be self-evident.

Tyler The Creator Recorded With Miley Cyrus As The Cycle From Pariah To Mainstream Speeds Up

By Iman Lababedi | January 31, 2013

If you’ve listened to “Bastard” and “Yomkers” you might be wondering what Tyler’s next solo will be like? Will it be a hip hop star heavy extravaganza and that will be the end of Tyler as we know him?

True Confession: Why I Spent $500 On A Three Day VIP Gov's Ball Tix!

By Iman Lababedi | January 30, 2013

After promising to never go to another festival in my life, not even Governor’s Ball on Randall’s Island while you are at least not stuck for the night in a sleeping bag, I bought a three day VIP pass for the June 7th to 9th long weekend.

Paid Dues In San Bernandino Is A Reminder How Complicated Hip Hop Is In 2013

By Iman Lababedi | January 24, 2013

Black Hippy are headlining this years Paid Dues gig in March and the list of names is confusing : Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Dom Kennedy, Tech N9ne, De La Soul, Immortal Technique, Hopsin, Joey Badass, Grouch & Eligh. Tech N9ne and De La SOUL? Surely not.

Lupe Fiasco Thrown Off Stage At Obama Inaugural Party

By Iman Lababedi | January 22, 2013

I can’t imagine any one else, Jay-Z folks?, coming close to this political statement and artistic mayhem. It doesn’t matter how good or bad it was, and a half hour Lupe rap sounds like hell on earth to me, just the sheer thrill of open political dissent in the closet area of an Inaugural is thrilling.

Coldplay And Jay-Z AT Barclay Center, New Year's Ever, 2012, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | January 1, 2013

Coldplay are the Blue Man Group of rock and roll, they keep on forcing us to participate when we just wanna consume em. Jigga thinks he is Frank SInatra when he is actually Al Martino. Chris will do anything for us, Jigga wants us to do anything for him. And both artists are past their prime.

In Praise Of Kanye West!!

By Iman Lababedi | December 26, 2012

West was important rock and roll, a sound that made sense in 2012 and broke through the morass of nostalgia and into the 21st century with an inspired take on his career. All bass and rapping, without an ounce of respect for the hallowed halls or the needs of the performers around him, or an audience of millions upon millions

"The One: The Life And Music Of James Brown" By RJ Smith Reviewed

By Mahalia Dark | December 18, 2012

From the 50s to the 90s he drove a power funk rhythm right through Jim Crow to Black Power and out the end and released some of the greatest dance music of all time. “Please Please Please”, “Sex Machine”, “Cold Sweat”, he ran roughshod over some of the greatest musicians of all time, and planted himself at the center of American pop to this day. Hip Hop owes Brown everything.

Nicki Minaj's The Re-Up Sinks Without A Trace, So It Is Hot 97's Fault?

By Mahalia Dark | December 7, 2012

Now that her third remixed rematched attempt to resell Pink Friday, The Reup, has gone the way with all flesh, and despite it including six new wraps, the overextended NM is looking in her rear mirror

Game Born Again

By Mahalia Dark | December 4, 2012

“I love God… But at the same time, I love going to strip clubs. Sometimes I smoke marijuana. And I still love drinking alcohol and chilling. I don’t want to be judged for that…”

"Trash Wang" At Gramercy Theater, Saturday, November 17th, 2012, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | November 19, 2012

Children of The Night, DJ Taco, Trash Talk and Mellowhype: West Coasts best brings it all night lone

Jay-Z's "Live In Brooklyn" Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | October 19, 2012

One thing is for sure, Jigga was in great voice. Nerves might have made him less eloquent, but it didn’t effect his ability to rap, and through 8 career spanning tracks, he flips and spits with eloquence and precision

Jay-Z At Opening Night Barclay Center, Friday, September 28th, 2012 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | September 29, 2012

The FILM I saw of Jay-Z performing “99 Problems” with Pearl jam was better than anything I heard last night. Despite a mid-section blast from “”99 Problems” to “Big Pimpin'” the set was too deep, too fanboy oriented. I enjoyed it, when I am not hatin’ on Hova, I am his fanboy. But he never got up to speed.

"Rock The Bells" (Slaughterhouse) At PNC Bank Arts Center, Sunday, September 2nd, 2012, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | September 4, 2012

All the cool people were rockin’ in the free world with Jigga and Pearl Jam, and the losers were here, with a glazed look on our faces, getting rained on and watching Curren$y’s uninspired set.

Odd Future's Deplorable Misogynistic Performance At Leeds Festival

By Iman Lababedi | August 31, 2012

Sexism isn’t dead, men beat and kill wives and daughters and mothers, girlfriends. We kill each other as well, of course, but there is a terrible bullying brutality in our actions towards women. And Odd Future can get away with art for arts sake rapping, even if it’s stupid, but not this. This sucks and I am thoroughly ashamed of them.

Hip Hop 2012 For Dummies

By Iman Lababedi | August 29, 2012

When was the last time you heard of Freddie Gibb, let alone Public Enemy? PE’s latest album, though a masterpiece of sorts that improves with listening, was roundly ignored in a baffling act of cultural ignorance. Modern hip hop is a mess where people are so desperate they rave about Rick Ross. It is a machine, but some of the parts are faulty.

Lil Wayne Hates New York: Why? We Didn't Stick Him In Jail…

By Iman Lababedi | August 29, 2012

Lil Wayne has released two lousy albums in a row, IV and Rebirth, neither competed with his past work either musically or commercially and how that has anything to do with New York State.

"The Scream Tour Next Generation: Part 2" At Best Buy Theater, Saturday, August 5th, 2012, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | August 27, 2012

Scream Tour Presents presents their third traveling R&B and rap show for tween and teen black girls, and the teen and tweens greatly appreciate the unthreatening peers and dancers give it their all to backing tapes for three hours.

Frank Ocean At Terminal 5, Thursday, July 26th, 2012

By Iman Lababedi | July 28, 2012

Vocally, Frank is great, his range is really wide and his top end glorious, the songs are either great or not great and too much of it drags, but on stage that is much less a problem. The introspect eccentric rock star image is friendlier on stage, and he gave a good performance

My Favorite Hip Hop Albums

By Iman Lababedi | July 24, 2012

Nobody has the flow Biggie had, nobody has Biggie’s voice (Rick Ross? Don’t make me laugh), nobody could tell a story, use humor, on his very next (and final) album, he would reinvent the sample, and by the suicide that ends this album, Biggie put a stake in the heart of rap and rebuilt it in his own image. Nobody else has come close. Particularly the humor.

Meet Biggie Small's Daughter!!!

By Iman Lababedi | March 19, 2012

The thought of Smalls children having great lives pleases me no end. It is like the end of Wuthering Heights, where the two children become closer despite Heathcliff’s efforts.

Kid Cudi Drops Kanye, Gets A Hit Any Way

By Iman Lababedi | March 12, 2012

Not many people drop Kanye West. Maybe nobody. But Kid Cudi, as deeply weird a rocker as an Axl or an Elvis, or a Kanye himself for that matter. His dad died of cancer when Cudi was 11 years old and his dark, nighmarish sound appears to be a constant reflection of that definining moment.

"Glory (B.I.C.)" Reviewed (The Song Is Here As Well)

By Iman Lababedi | January 12, 2012

Perhaps if what Jay-Z wants to do is express his feelings about about being a parent, he should do so by writing the best song he can.

Youssou N' Dour Running For President In Senegal

By Alyson Camus | January 5, 2012

‘For a long time, men and women have demonstrated their optimism, dreaming of a new Senegal. They have in various ways called for my candidacy in the February Presidential race. I listened. I heard.’

Tyler The Creator Arrested

By Alyson Camus | December 24, 2011

I can only imagine the chaos over there, with all the fans probably defending him. It was even reported that officers used bean-bag guns on the crowd, and helicopters arrived on the scene to contain the riot. And I know how fast the LAPD can go overboard.

Kanye West Will Throw You Out, Unless You Raise Your Hand

By Helen Bach | December 22, 2011

I see them come from that direction so like, all four of them gotta go. Unless one person raise their hand and say ‘I’m the one that did it’, all that whole section gotta go.

New York Knicks 2011: Vivrant Things At The Orange Nation

By Iman Lababedi | December 14, 2011

Anything but “Empire” or “Go New York” -I can survie not getting Lamont, but I can’t survive another season of that dross. new York Knick fans deserve better

Fit Wit Fitty

By Helen Bach | December 11, 2011

Mr Cent certainly appears prison yard buff- what type of regime he will mentor should be interesting, but bet theres no trip to the “Candy Shop”

Tyler, The Creator At L.A.'s Odd Future Shop: Our Intreped Reporter Alyson Camus Risks Life And Limb For This Exclusive

By Iman Lababedi | November 26, 2011

I could not take many pictures about The Odd Future shop, I could not get in, there was such a long line and the security guard was very nasty! And there was a ‘no fucking photo’ sign at the entrance!