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The Last Poets: Thoughts... and Music: The Last Poets

Comment by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, October 1970

AS EDITOR of Blues & Soul, I have always done my personal utmost to concentrate on the musical content of our music and the artists ...

The Last Poets, Merger: The Last Poets/Merger: Acklam Hall, Notting Hill, London

Live Review by Paul Rambali, New Musical Express, January 1978

CHANCES OF seeing The Last Poets I would have thought were only marginally better than those of seeing The Beatles. ...

The Last Poets: Wake Up Limeys, The Last Poets Are Among You

Profile and Interview by Mick Farren, New Musical Express, January 1978

"Wheat's characteristics and nature make it wheat. It differs from barley because of its nature. Wheat perpetuates its own characteristics just as the white race ...

The Sugarhill Gang: Beat The Rap

Interview by Paul Sexton, Record Mirror, January 1980

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA: and the Parliafunk crowd are watching three ex-DJs performing 15 minutes of the hippest tongue twisting in town. "Said a hip-hop, the hibbitt. ...

Kurtis Blow Takes The Rap

Report and Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, January 1980

ASK KURTIS BLOW about 'Another One Bites the Dust' and his reply is quick and to the point. "That's my 'Christmas Rappin''." ...

Kurtis Blow Raps His Way To The Top

Report and Interview by John Morthland, Rolling Stone, March 1981

The sound of the streets hits the heartland ...

The Funky Four + One, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: The Funky Four + One: Rap, Rap, Rap

Report and Interview by Richard Grabel, New Musical Express, May 1981

Young South Bronx unwraps the rapping revolution ...

Kurtis Blow: Rap, Rap, Rapping At Top 10’s Door: Kurtis Blow and Company

Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, June 1981

Twas the night before Christmas and allthrough the house...Hold it, hold it. That’s PLAYED OUT.Don’t give me all that jiveAbout things you wrote before I ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: Grandmaster Flash: Flash is Fast, Flash is Cool

Profile and Interview by Richard Grabel, New Musical Express, September 1981

THE SOUTH BRONX lies just across a thin stretch of the Harlem River from Manhattan, but it could be worlds away. ...

J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz: The Venue, London

Live Review by Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, August 1982

JUDGING BY the queue for tickets, "guests" outnumber the paying customers here tonight by something like three to one. It's often like this at The ...

Pete Wingfield, The Sugarhill Gang: The Sugarhill Gang: Sweet Talking

Interview by Paul Sexton, Record Mirror, August 1982

Rap? No, actually the Sugar hill Gang are pretty good, says Paul Sexton ...

Arthur Baker, Rockers Revenge: Rockers Revenge: The Big Bang Theory

Report and Interview by Ian Penman, New Musical Express, September 1982

Or... how a crate of records fell onto producer Arthur Baker's head and created a new jazz music and the beginning of Rockers Revenge ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: What's The Word?: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: The Message (Sugarhill)

Review by Paolo Hewitt, Melody Maker, October 1982

IN WHICH THE message from the apple-stretching New York would seem to read: don't get caught in a rap rut, move on and expand. Whether ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five: Live in Los Angeles

Live Review by Sylvie Simmons, Sounds, November 1982

FLASH – AAAAH! Saviour of the Universe. Saviour of my sanity, anyway. "The Message" shines out from amongst the New Musik murk they play out ...

Malcolm McLaren: Where The Buffalo Roam

Interview by Deanne Pearson, Face, The, December 1982

• Svengali turned singer Malcolm McLaren has — canny as ever — recorded one of the debut singles of the year, 'Buffalo Gals', after months ...

The Rap Machine Turns You On

Review by Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, December 1982

Various: Rapped Uptight (Sugarhill) ...

Hip Hop: A Guide

Guide by Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, April 1983

IN 1979 A record called 'Rapper's Delight' by the Sugarhill Gang introduced us to rapping. Similar stuff soon followed — Kurtis Blow, Grandmaster Flash and ...

Afrika Bambaataa, Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Larry Levan, The Sugarhill Gang: Hip Hop: The Music Centre

Report by Dave Rimmer, Smash Hits, April 1983

Ever wondered where Wham! and Malcolm McLaren got their ideas from? Or how rapping and scratching actually started? The answers lie in the Bronx — a borough ...

Kurtis Blow: A B-Boy's Progress

Profile by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, The, September 1983

WHEN RAP WAS first struggling out of the youth-center playgrounds and into big-time notoriety, Kurtis Blow was there. ...

Afrika Bambaataa (1984)

Interview by Simon Witter, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1984

The hip-hop and Electro Funk pioneer talks about the Zulu Nation, Shango, Soulsonic Force and more.

File format: mp3; file size: 28.2mb, interview length: 33' 50" sound quality: ***

Rap It Up! Street-corner jive that brought discos alive

Retrospective by David Toop, History of Rock, The, 1984

Unless you were a streetwise native New Yorker, the source of the new underground black music that was appearing on disc in 1979 seemed unfathomable. ...

Grand Mixer D.ST: A Cut-Up Above The Rest

Profile and Interview by Paul Bradshaw, New Musical Express, January 1984

PAUL BRADSHAW ASKS GRAND MIXER D.ST HOW TO BE MIXED-UP AND SUCCESSFUL ...

Whodini (1984)

Interview by Simon Witter, Rock's Backpages Audio, March 1984

The Brooklyn rappers Ecstasy and Jalil on working with Thomas Dolby, touring Europe, and their loathing of the UK music press!

File format: mp3; file size: 37.6mb, interview length: 41' 05" sound quality: ***

Afrika Bambaataa: Bambaataa Of The Bronx

Interview by Mark Cooper, Number One, March 1984

The Grandmaster of hip hop lectures Mark Cooper on the meaning of the Funk ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five: The Venue, London

Live Review by Lynden Barber, Melody Maker, April 1984

THE MOST simple consideration of live performance throws up two basic types; those shows that define musical experience, are the quintessential medium for the music ...

Electro: The Beatbox Bites Back

Essay by David Toop, Face, The, May 1984

1984: Two a.m. at The Funhouse and the giant video screen fills with the image of the Master O.C.'s hands scratching an Enjoy 12 inch. ...

Run DMC: It's Like That, Is It?: Run DMC: Danceteria, New York

Live Review by Richard Grabel, New Musical Express, May 1984

RAP'S STILL going strong, because all of what has to be said has not yet been said. Street kids have got to get over, and ...

Run DMC: Run DMC

Review by Push, Soundcheck, August 1984

WARNING: This is an American release and it may take a lot of effort to find a copy. Justification: all successful searches will be truly ...

Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force: Pink Elephant, Luton

Live Review by Lynden Barber, Melody Maker, October 1984

THE CABBIE, waiting in the foyer, hadn't been too impressed. Now it was different when Demis Roussos and Johnny Mathis played here. Sounded just like ...

The Last Poets: Young Master

Interview by Lynden Barber, Melody Maker, October 1984

Kidnapped heiress Patti Hearst is said to have listened to him incessantly during her captivity and the hip-hop crowd regard him as a guru. His ...

The Last Poets: Last Poets: The First And Lost Poets Of Rap

Retrospective by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, October 1984

Group: The Last Poets. Record: The Last Poets (Celluloid 6101). Personnel: Abiodun Oyewole, Alafia Pudim, Omar Ben Hassen, vocals. Nilaja, percussion. ...

Afrika Bambaataa: Play It Again Bam

Interview by Lynden Barber, Melody Maker, October 1984

Leader of the Zulu Nation. Godfather of hip-hop. Overlord of funk. Black youth guru. Creator of the most influential record of the Eighties. All this ...

Run DMC, Whodini: Run-D.M.C.: King Of Rock (Profile/Island); Whodini: Escape (Jive)

Review by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, February 1985

DMC: DMX + HM = OTT! ...

Double Dee & Steinski: Masters Of Mixed Fortunes

Profile and Interview by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, June 1985

2009 NOTE: hip hop, humour and catholic taste collided in a cloud of mad skills on Double Dee & Steinski's mastermixes. ...

The Fat Boys: Lean On Me

Interview by Chris Roberts, Sounds, June 1985

Chris Roberts gets sandwiched by the Fat Boys, and discovers fat is a faminist issue ...

Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew: Show Stoppers

Interview by Sean O'Hagan, New Musical Express, November 1985

A show? Well, DOUG E. FRESH and The Get Fresh Crew ain't got the energy to do much more than nod off in the company ...

Mantronix: Heaven, London

Live Review by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, 1986

WE WENT to Heaven, and it looked like the Bronx. Wall-to-wall black B-boys, hoods, whistles, and two unprettified lads doing their thing against a tinsel-rain ...

LL Cool J: Hard as Hell

Interview by Paul Sexton, Record Mirror, January 1986

That's LL Cool J, possibly the best rapper ever and main thrust of Def Jam Recordings, possibly the coolest label this decade. They're both here ...

Morgan Khan: Flag Day

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, January 1986

StreetSounds supremo and entrepreneur of the modern dance MORGAN KHAN thinks the Welfare State sucks, that charity begins at home and that the Union Jack ...

The Beastie Boys: Don't Be A Faggot

Interview by Paul Sexton, Record Mirror, February 1986

Why anyone should want to be a small meatball in gravy we don't know, but this is (supposedly) the title of the Beastie Boys' forthcoming ...

The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J and Def Jam: Escape From New York

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, February 1986

New York's superhip Def Jam label has burst upon the Great British Public via a distribution deal with CBS. Frank Owen, tireless beatbox gumshoe, endured ...

LL Cool J: Def Jam: The Rap Brat Pack

Report and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, March 1986

THE GREATEST CREATIVE CONVERGENCE IN 20th Century music has been the American Jewish/Black independent record company. Reel 'em off: Herman Lubinsky and Savoy Records, Hy ...

Mantronix: The Hardcore Life

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, March 1986

Dr Frank Owen returns with the backbeat on MANTRONIX, another pair of boys from the land of hip-hop. Is this finally the end of live ...

Lovebug Starski: Nightmare On Beat St.

Interview by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, June 1986

SIMON WITTER goes to the house on the hill to see what's bugging LOVEBUG STARSKI but he can't get a fix on the man from ...

The Real Roxanne

Interview by uncredited writer, Smash Hits, July 1986

"I LOVE BUGS Bunny — he's my favourite wabbit!" ...

Hip Hop: Nasty Boys

Essay by Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, July 1986

Simon Reynolds ventures down hip hop's mean streets and finds something nasty lurking in the shadows — something that guilt-ridden white liberals might prefer to ...

Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Hashim, Lovebug Starski, The Real Roxanne, Roxanne Shanté: UK Fresh '86: Fresher's Ball

Profile and Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, July 1986

Out of the subway and into the charts, hip hop is stronger than it's ever been, with dazzling new talents like LL Cool J and ...

LL Cool J: Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Beat Box

Interview by Roy Trakin, Creem, August 1986

LL COOL J COMES on like a rap version of Muhammad Ali, taking delight in clever wordplay with a showman's sense of timing and a ...

Schoolly D: Schoolly D (Schoolly D Records)

Review by Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, August 1986

SCHOOLLY D is from Philadelphia and appears to be some kind of hoodlum, with an unhealthy interest in the status trinkets of high life, drugs ...

Run DMC: Serious Rap Attack

Report and Interview by Paul Mathur, Melody Maker, September 1986

With their Raising Hell tour putting the frighteners on many a major American town and their Rapping Metal single, 'Walk This Way' scaring the pants ...

Run DMC: Hit And Run

Interview by Jack Barron, Sounds, September 1986

As the RUN DMC tidal wave breaks over the British coastline and the country reels to its knees, it's maybe time to ponder the principles ...

Just Ice: Sleeping Bag Records #1: Sleeping Around

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, September 1986

In New York City, centre of sexual paranoia, Frank Owen tracks down JUST ICE, Sleeping Bag recording artist and hip hop's numero uno misogynist guy ...

The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Run DMC, Whodini: Run DMC, Whodini, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, September 1986

RUN LIKE HELL ...

Dinosaur L, Arthur Russell, T La Rock: Sleeping Bag Records #2: Sleeping Around

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, September 1986

Last week Frank Owen unearthed the warped machismo of JUST ICE. Now, in the second part of his investigation into SLEEPING BAG RECORDS, he corners ...

Run DMC (1986)

Interview by Kris Needs, Rock's Backpages Audio, October 1986

Rock and rap, hip hop live and hip hop movies, and the struggle to get hip hop into the mainstream – the Queens Kings of Rap'n'Roll speak.

File format: mp3; file size: 31.9mb, interview length: 34' 51" sound quality: **

Kurtis Blow: Kurt's Kingdom

Interview by Sean O'Hagan, New Musical Express, November 1986

WHAT ARE WORDS WORTH? ...

Just Ice: Justice And The Law

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, November 1986

Hard core rapper JUST ICE is out on bail following a murder charge. Frank Owen talks to him and investigates the background to the case ...

Schoolly D: Triumph Of The Ill

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, November 1986

SCHOOLLY D arrived in Britain for his tour with BAD with a fearful reputation. He was reputed to take a Magnum along to interviews, once stalked the streets with ...

Mantronix: Will Hip Hop Eat Itself?

Report and Interview by Sean O'Hagan, New Musical Express, November 1986

Where is it? New York city. How is it? Bloody hot in here. Why is it? Because MATRONIX, pure-steel technologists of studio and vox, have ...

LA Dream Team: California Dreamin'

Profile and Interview by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, December 1986

WHEN AN unknown band like The LA Dream Team put a single out on their own label, and 250,000 people buy it, they've got to ...

Mantronix: Sonic Assassins

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, December 1986

To hip hop or not to hip hop, that is the question. With their new album, Music Madness just in the shops, Frank Owen travelled to NYC, home of MANTRONIX, to ...

The Beastie Boys, Oran "Juice" Jones, LL Cool J, Run DMC, Slayer: Def Jam: License to Thrill

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, December 1986

RICK RUBIN and RUSSELL SIMMONS are the creative mavericks behind the outrageous antics of THE BEASTIE BOYS and RUN DMC and a whole host of ...

Oran "Juice" Jones, Run DMC, Slayer: Def Jam #2: World Domination Enterprises

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, January 1987

In the second part of his investigation into DEF JAM records, the world's hottest label, Frank Owen charts the careers of RICK RUBIN, RUSSELL SIMMONS, ...

Salt 'N' Pepa: Salt-N-Pepa: Femme Fatales

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, January 1987

If you thought rap was misogyny central, listen up. SALT-N-PEPA are bitchin' back on behalf of the gals. Frank Owen gets an earful. ...

The Beastie Boys: Rap Around The Cock

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, January 1987

THE BEASTIE BOYS take a long, slow ride into the sewers of their minds, accompanied by a fascinated hack, one STEVEN WELLS. They do it ...

Salt 'N' Pepa: Salt 'n' Pepa: Cool, Hot & Vicious (Next Plateau)

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, The, January 1987

I DON'T KNOW about you but I've been waiting quite a while for a girl rap group to duplicate the success of platinum playboys like ...

Public Enemy: Hip Hop Wig Out '87: Public Enemy – Def Not Dumb

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, March 1987

In the first of a series of reports from New York, Frank Owen steals the rhythm of the moment as he surveys hip hop's newest ...

Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One, The Skinny Boys: Hip Hop Wig Out '87 #2: The Big Chill — Skinny Boys and Scott La Rock

Interview by Frank Owen, Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, March 1987

IN THE SECOND REPORT FROM NEW YORK ON HIP-HOP'S LATEST ULTRA-NOW TALENTS, SIMON REYNOLDS SURVEYS THE MONSTROUS AND MIND-BLOWING TALENT OF THE SKINNY BOYS WHILE ...

The Beastie Boys: Crude, Rude and No. 1

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, April 1987

CLEVELAND — Mike D. and MCA, two-thirds of the Beastie Boys, are sitting in MCA's hotel room after the group's concert. MCA is picking out ...

Cutmaster DC, King Sun: Hip Hop Wig Out '87 #3: The Harlem Shuffle — King Sun and Cutmaster DC

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, April 1987

IN THE THIRD OF OUR REPORTS ON RAP'S NOW EXPLOSION OF NEW TALENTS, FRANK OWEN JOURNEYS TO HARLEM TO BRING YOU THE NEWS ON HAPPENING ...

The Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill

Review by Iman Lababedi, Creem, May 1987

THE MOST EXCITING white rock album since Never Mind the Bollocks has lousy politics. ...

The Beastie Boys: Lay it Down, Clowns!

Profile and Interview by Chuck Eddy, Creem, May 1987

"They took the doors off their hinges and moved them around. They flooded two floors with the fire hoses. They plugged up the toilets and ...

Schoolly D: Philadelphia Story

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, May 1987

ON THE EVE OF HIS BRITISH TOUR AND WITH A CRACKING SECOND ALBUM ON THE WAY, SCHOOLLY-D SHOWS FRANK OWEN AROUND HIS HOME TOWN. PICS: JANETTE BECKMAN ...

Schoolly D: The Royal Holloway College, Egham, Surrey

Live Review by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, May 1987

"AN ULTIMATE character," is how David Stubbs has labelled Schoolly-D. Bad, badder, baddest, and baddest most ill. "My name is Schoolly-D and I'm running amok. ...

Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One: DJ Scott La Rock And KRS 1 (aka Boogie Down Productions): Criminal Minded (B-Boy Records)

Review by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, May 1987

BRONX AGE MEN ...

Run DMC: Homeboy's Home Truths

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, May 1987

ON THE EVE OF THEIR BRITISH TOUR, RUN DMC EXPLAIN TO FRANK OWEN THE STRENGTH OF SILENCE, THE POWER OF GOOD EXAMPLE AND THE WAY THE HISTORY ...

The Beastie Boys: Burden of the Beasties

Report and Interview by Jack Barron, Guardian, The, May 1987

WHEN THE Beastie Boys step on stage in Brixton tonight at the start of their British tour everyone – the media, authorities, and fans alike ...

The Beastie Boys: Keep Taking The Tabloids

Report and Interview by Jack Barron, James Brown, Sounds, May 1987

Must they keep flinging this filth at our pop kids? No, not the brilliant BEASTIE BOYS but the British national press attempting to stir up ...

LL Cool J: Bad Man Bites Back

Report and Interview by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, May 1987

Woah, boy. This is LL COOL J, sitting behind the wheel of an automobile, sensing disrespect! Our man in the wraparounds and the probe-stick: DELE ...

Schoolly D: University Of Essex, Colchester

Live Review by Jack Barron, Sounds, May 1987

ANOTHER SATURDAY night. The Cookie Crew have already pushed sensuality into the cause of women MCs, Three Wise Men have re-freshed us with the politics ...

Schoolly D: Schoolly-D: Slap Happy

Interview by Mat Snow, Sounds, May 1987

Reformed gangster and self-made record tycoon, SCHOOLLY-D is in town to promote his new album Saturday Night. MAT SNOW admires his jewellery ...

The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Run DMC, Slayer: Def Jam: Don't Knock The Rock – Rap It

Report by Mark Cooper, Guardian, The, June 1987

Mark Cooper on how Def Jam crossed over punk with rap, white with black, and stayed cool with both sides ...

The Beastie Boys, Run DMC: Run DMC/The Beastie Boys: Brixton Academy, London/Brighton Centre

Live Review by Paul Mathur, Melody Maker, June 1987

PHALLUS & FALLACY ...

LL Cool J: Top Of The World

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, June 1987

WITH BIGGER AND DEFFER, HIS SECOND LP, LL COOL J HAS INFLATED THE BOUNDARIES OF MEGALOMANIA. FRANK OWEN MEETS THE SELF-ACCLAIMED WORLD'S GREATEST RAPPER TO ...

Yo! Bum Rush Foucault!

Special Feature by Simon Reynolds, David Stubbs, Melody Maker, June 1987

B-BOYS, Yo-Boys, listen up good, cos a new sound's rappin' up the neighbourhood! Yo, it's the Maker's very own rappin' post-structuralist, the chin-scratchin' semiotician about to ...

Mantronix: 'Tronik Boom!

Interview by Jack Barron, Sounds, July 1987

More than merely another hip hop outfit, Manhattan's MANTRONIX are breaking new ground with their brand of hardcore confusion. JACK BARRON meets CURTIS "MANTRONIK" KAHLEEL ...

Boogie Down Productions: Rap Attack

Report by Amy Linden, Spin, August 1987

ON RECORD, M.C. Shan is the mortal enemy of Boogie Down Productions' Scott LaRock and KRS One. They've been trading insults and waging a dis ...

Eric B & Rakim: 
Paid In Full

Review by Richard Grabel, New Musical Express, August 1987

THE BOY Rakim has a helluva style on the mike. ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: Various Artists: Genius Of Rap — The Sugar Hill Story

Review by Dave Rimmer, Q, August 1987

"I SAID A HIP, HOP..." starts the rap by The Sugar Hill Gang's Wonder Mike over a riff faithfully copied from (though only much later ...

Boogie Down Productions: Scott La Rock: Wasted in the Zoo

Interview by Frank Owen, New Musical Express, September 1987

Less than a month ago, the Bronx rap supremo SCOTT LA ROCK was tragically shot dead in a street brawl, the very day he'd signed a ...

LL Cool J Takes The Rap, Beats The Rap, Raps It Up, Raps Around The Clock, Encourages Bad Puns

Interview by Jon Young, Creem, October 1987

"YOU AIN'T gettin' no scoop, lookin' at me with your beady eyes!" ...

Eric B & Rakim: Eric B and Rakim: The Rap Payback

Interview by Sean O'Hagan, New Musical Express, October 1987

SEAN O'HAGAN chills out, cuts the ice and pumps it up with rap's sharpest rhythm-monger ERIC — "all the best music has a bad image" ...

Public Enemy: Rebels With a Cause

Interview by Sean O'Hagan, New Musical Express, October 1987

They understand Malcolm X and they dig James Brown. Right now PUBLIC ENEMY are making all the noise and SEAN O'HAGAN is ready to take the rap. ...

Public Enemy: Strength to Strength

Interview by Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, October 1987

PUBLIC ENEMY PLAY BRITAIN IN NOVEMBER AND SIMON REYNOLDS TAKES A LONG HARD LOOK AT THE SURVIVALIST PHILOSOPHY BEHIND SOME OF THE TOUGHEST NOISE OF ...

Eric B & Rakim, LL Cool J, Public Enemy: LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, November 1987

SOFA, SO GOOOOOOD! ...

Coldcut Get Hot

Profile and Interview by Mark Sinker, New Musical Express, November 1987

SONGS HAVE become fragile. The things that held them together – the value of the individual voice, the neat edges of recorded product – are ...

Public Enemy: Shoot-Out In The Fantasy Factory

Interview by Jon Wilde, Melody Maker, November 1987

Public Enemy have been hailed as hip hop's hardest hardliners. Jonh Wilde joined them on tour to discover the sense and nonsense behind their no-holds-barred ...

Eric B & Rakim, Public Enemy: Public Enemy/Eric B And Rakim: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, December 1987

PUBLIC NUISANCE ...

Kid'n Play : Kid'n Play: Rap Without The Crap!

Interview by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, 1988

Lean, mean and squeaky clean, the bullshit-free beats of Kid'n Play have earned them plenty of dubious accolades, from "the yuppies of rap" to "Salt'n'Pepa ...

LL Cool J: Rap – A Storm In A Teacup

Report and Interview by Lloyd Bradley, Q, January 1988

WITH WORLDWIDE sales of his second album, Bigger And Deffer, approaching the three million mark (50,000 in Britain) three times more than the last David ...

Mantronix: In Full Effect (10 Records) ****1/2

Review by Richard Cook, Sounds, March 1988

THE WAY Mantronix put their music together, you'd think this sort of thing was easy. It just falls into place, fluent, fresh, each lick set ...

Salt 'N' Pepa: Salt 'n' Pepa: Look Ma Top Of The World

Profile and Interview by Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, March 1988

SALT 'N' PEPA WILL DO ANYTHING TO HAVE EVERYTHING. WITH THEIR NEW SINGLE, 'PUSH IT', ACCELERATING UP THE AMERICAN CHARTS IT LOOKS AS THOUGH THEIR ...

Ultramagnetic MCs: Ultramagnetic MC's

Interview by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, April 1988

THE EXPLANATORY enthusiasm of New York's most impressive, left-field rap newcomers cuts the crisp late-winter air like a drum solo in a public library. ...

Eric B & Rakim: The Motormouths Speed On!

Interview by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, July 1988

With the American music biz finally embracing hip hop, Eric B & Rakim – contract expired – have been able to cash in their uncompromised ...

Public Enemy: It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (Def Jam) ****1/2

Review by Mat Snow, Sounds, July 1988

RICK RUBIN is white, Jewish and, on Public Enemy's second album here under scrutiny, steel-reinforces his reputation as today's greatest producer of rebel rock. ...

Public Enemy: Rockin' The Joint

Interview by Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, September 1988

The incendiary rappers preach black self-sufficiency at New York's Riker's Island. But are they prisoners of their own racist doctrine? By Michael Azerrad ...

Fab 5 Freddy, Max Roach: Fab 5 Freddy & Max Roach: Hip Hop Bebop

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Spin, October 1988

Max Roach says the new Charlie Parkers are in hip hop. The inventor of modern jazz drumming celebrates the new generation with wild stylist Fab ...

Homeboy Fashion

Report by Frank Owen, Spin, October 1988

WITH A defiant swagger, home-boy style '88 says, "Say it loud, I'm fake and I'm proud." Gucci may be good, but fake Gucci is what's ...

EPMD, Stetsasonic: Stetsasonic, EPMD: International 2, Manchester

Live Review by Jack Barron, New Musical Express, October 1988

SONIC BOOM BOYS ...

Derek B, EPMD, Public Enemy, Run DMC, Stetsasonic: Run DMC, Public Enemy et al: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Jack Barron, New Musical Express, October 1988

LONDON BRIDGE is falling down, Big Ben has struck one minute to midnight and had his hand's burned. And all is not well in this ...

Pop Will Eat Itself, Public Enemy: Pop Will Eat Itself (and Public Enemy): Scrapping With Rap

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, October 1988

AS DEF JAM'S happy rap panto rolls through Europe, Pop Will Eat Itself and Public Enemy are getting on fine. Unfortunately the hordes of Belgian ...

Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Run DMC, Stetsasonic: Rap: Rock Is Dead

Special Feature by Mark Dery, Keyboard, November 1988

THE RAW POWER OF CHEAP TECH CRASHES HEAD-ON INTO INNER-CITY DEFIANCE AND DESPAIR ...

Run DMC: Concert Violence: Who's to Blame?

Report by Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, November 1988

Action needed in the wake of recent deaths at rap and metal shows ...

Salt 'N' Pepa: Sat 'N' Pepa: The Showstoppers

Interview by Ian Gittins, Melody Maker, November 1988

'To Know Us Is To Love Us' claim Salt 'n' Pepa, one of rap's most unlikely success stories, whose A Salt With A Deadly Pepa ...

Tone Loc, Young MC: Lip-Smacking LA: Delicious Vinyl

Report and Interview by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, February 1989

New Yorkers, the creators of hip hop, have never been receptive to outside beats, and in the past only the Philly scene has given them ...

The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Slayer: Rick Rubin: Mental Metal Master

Interview by Paul Elliott, Sounds, March 1989

From rap to metal, LL Cool J to Slayer, producer Rick Rubin has shaped the definitive street beats of the decade. Paul Elliott hears the ...

Massive Attack, Smith & Mighty, Soul II Soul: Smith & Mighty and Soul II Soul: Anyone Who Had A Sound

Profile and Interview by Paolo Hewitt, New Musical Express, March 1989

Here PAOLO HEWITT gets on the Voice Beat with SMITH & MIGHTY and SOUL II SOUL. ...

De La Soul: 3 Feet High And Rising (Tommy Boy/Big Life)

Review by Push, Melody Maker, March 1989

THE DAISY AGE    ...

De La Soul: Three Feet High And Rising (Big Life LP/Cassette/CD)

Review by Sean O'Hagan, New Musical Express, March 1989

ARE YOU ready for Martian hip-hop? Can you handle the new nutty boys of rap, the maddest, baddest bunch on the block? Can you imagine ...

De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising (Tommy Boy)

Review by Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, March 1989

DE LA SOUL HAS already mastered the three Js of postmodernism: juxtapose, juxtapose, juxtapose. Welcome to the first psychedelic hip-hop record. ...

De La Soul: Space Cadets

Interview by Push, Melody Maker, April 1989

PUSH TALKS TO THE BIGGEST RAP SENSATION SINCE PUBLIC ENEMY AND DISCOVERS WHAT LIFE'S LIKE ON PLANET SCREWBALL. ...

The Last Poets: ICA, London

Live Review by Andrew Smith, Melody Maker, April 1989

WORDS FLY LIKE bullets from a scatter gun. They call Jalal Nurridin the "Godfather of Rap", but he's much more than that. ...

De La Soul's Hippie-hop: Psychedelic Rappers Introduce the DA.I.S.Y. Age

Profile and Interview by Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, May 1989

"HELLO, YOU'VE reached Mars. What can I do for you?" Trugoy the Dove is on the telephone in the tidy basement of his parents' house ...

Big Daddy Kane: Raw Like Sushi

Interview by Sean O'Hagan, New Musical Express, May 1989

Christened The Grasshopper Of Rap for his black belt lyrics, Big Daddy Kane is a hero to rap's hard core followers. With hits for Roxanne ...

Neneh Cherry: Ma Cherry Amour

Interview by Jack Barron, New Musical Express, June 1989

NENEH CHERRY is a different style of woman, a popstar determined to be real, not plastic, positive and above all herself. With her single 'Manchild' ...

Neneh Cherry: Raw Like Sushi (Circa)

Review by David Quantick, New Musical Express, June 1989

CHERRY-OH BABY ...

N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Priority/Ruthless)

Review by Push, Melody Maker, July 1989

THE SLEEVE of Straight Outta Compton, the debut LP from N.W.A., depicts one of the members of this Los Angeles rap group pointing a pistol ...

Boogie Down Productions, KRS-One: KRS-1: We Are 1

Interview by Jack Barron, New Musical Express, July 1989

Metaphysics... conspiracy theories...the harmony of the Universe...and YOU thought KRS-1 was just a hot rapper! JACK BARRON gets philosophical with the boss of Boogie Down. ...

The Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique

Review by Charles Shaar Murray, Q, August 1989

PRANKSTERS TO THE last, The Beastie Boys slide into their comeback album so quietly and casually that you double check the volume knob on your ...

N.W.A.: Niggers With Attitude: Street Hassle

Interview by Push, Melody Maker, August 1989

Just when you thought Public Enemy had pushed as far as it could go, just when you thought rap outrage had peaked, along come N.W.A. ...

N.W.A.: Straight Outta Compton (Fourth & Broadway) *****

Review by Roy Wilkinson, Sounds, September 1989

Guns and girls and rap 'n' roll ...

N.W.A.: Niggers With Attitude: Straight Outta Compton (4th And Broadway LP/Cassette/CD)

Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, September 1989

PAINT IT BLACK ...

Digital Underground: Space Oddities

Report and Interview by Push, Melody Maker, September 1989

"LOTS OF PEOPLE have said we're similar to De La Soul simply because we're with the same record company in America and we both have ...

The Beastie Boys: Paid In Full

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Spin, October 1989

The Beastie Boys say their old record company is withholding millions of their dollars. Def Jam's Russell Simmons says he taught the Beastie Boys how to walk and talk. A ...

N.W.A.: NWA: Welcome to L.A.

Report and Interview by Mark Cooper, Sunday Correspondent Magazine, October 1989

"Takin' a life or two/That's what the hell I do." The rap band NWA – Niggers with Attitude – compares Los Angeles street life to ...

EPMD: Corporation of Two

Interview by Simon Witter, New Musical Express, October 1989

Within three weeks of it's release, EPMD's first album had reached the No. 1 spot on America's black chart. With its follow up Unfinished Business ...

Roxanne Shanté: 'I Have Never Seen A Man Talk To An Ugly Woman. Never.'

Interview by Paolo Hewitt, New Musical Express, October 1989

There is nothing that ROXANNE SHANTE won't rap about and no limit to who she disses. Here she talks to PAOLO HEWITT about men, music ...

De La Soul: Brothers From Another Planet

Interview by Sean O'Hagan, New Musical Express, October 1989

HIPPIES!?! Never! No sirree! Ignore the paisley, the peace signs, the flowers, the speccy Lennonisms, DE LA SOUL are truly brothers from another planet, extra ...

Tackhead: Tackattack!

Interview by John Robb, Sounds, October 1989

Crazed noise guerillas Tackhead are going for mainstream success with their new LP, Friendly As A Hand Grenade. John Robb grabs at the pieces of ...

N.W.A.: Shot By Both Sides

Interview by Push, Melody Maker, November 1989

IN THEIR SHORT CAREER THE RAPPERS HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI, CONDEMNED BY THE CONGRESS FOR RACIAL EOUALITY, BANNED BY TV AND RADIO AND ...

Hip House

Report by Frank Owen, Spin, December 1989

Once divided by a well-guarded aesthetic border, the hip hop and house scenes are now mixing. And hip house is the new style. ...

Young MC: Rhymin' Reason

Interview by Julian Henry, Music Week, December 1989

"IT TOOK me about 35 minutes to write the words to 'Wild Thing' and about an hour to write 'Funky Cold Medina'. It was easy." ...

Public Enemy: Fear of A Black Planet

Review by Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, 1990

OVER THE past three years, Public Enemy have made the single most concerted attempt to take rap's inchoate fury and sonic insurgency, and commandeer it ...

Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.

Report and Interview by David Toop, Face, The, January 1990

A LITTLE suburban parking spot in Carson, Los Angeles, and balmy tranquility hangs in the air like Valium fallout. There are harsh alien sounds, though: ...

Boogie Down Productions, The Jungle Brothers, KRS-One, LL Cool J, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Tone Loc, Young MC: U.S. Rap: Listen Up!

Report and Interview by Mark Cooper, Q, January 1990

RAIN IS STREAMING down in sheets on the Long Island suburb of Hempstead but, inside Public Enemy's headquarters, the group's leader Chuck D is just ...

Coldcut, The Fall: Coldcut: Ring The Noise

Interview by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, January 1990

• And they said it wouldn't last! In the pop marriage of the'80s, COLDCUT producers Jonathan Moore and Matt Black invited Mark E Smith to ...

2 Live Crew: Pump Up The Bass

Interview by Frank Owen, Spin, February 1990

Rapping about bass and booty, Miami rap is party music with a foul mouth. And 2 Live Crew are the nasty rulers of the Miami ...

Ice-T, Donald D, Everlast, Spinmasters: Top Rank, Brighton

Live Review by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, February 1990

IS CHIPPING Sodbury in the house? How about Hastings? Is the Crawley posse chilling out tonight? Everybody make some goddam N-O-l-S-E... ER, please? ...

The Jungle Brothers: Jungle Brothers: Done by the Forces of Nature (Warner Bros.) ***1/2

Review by Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, February 1990

THE JUNGLE Brothers are part of the Native Tongues, a triumvirate of innovative rap groups (including De la Soul and A Tribe Called Quest) united ...

Roxanne Shanté: Bad Sister ****

Review by Chuck Eddy, Rolling Stone, February 1990

RECORDED BETWEEN laundry loads in 1985 when she was fourteen years old, Roxanne Shanté's first single, 'Roxanne's Revenge', was a spontaneous storm of sassy rap ...

Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.: The Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.: To Live And Die In L.A.

Report and Interview by Paolo Hewitt, New Musical Express, March 1990

The Devoux brothers have learned the rules of survival the hard way. In LA there are now 92,000 gang members, and mercy is not in ...

Professor Griff: 100 Per Cent Prof.

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1990

Accused of anti-Semitism, dissing the President, condoning Idi Amin and generally being a bit of a foam-flecked Rottweiler, Public Enemy's Minister Of Information PROFESSOR GRIFF ...

Ice Cube, N.W.A.: NWA: Hanging Tough

Interview by Frank Owen, Spin, April 1990

Hounded by the FBI and acclaimed as the new, new Sex Pistols, NWA's rise has been rapid and sensational. But now that chief spokesman and ...

Professor Griff, Public Enemy: Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet ; Professor Griff and the Last Asiatic Disciples: Pawns in the Game

Review by Ira Robbins, Request, April 1990

IN THE 1960s, youthful poets, inspired by radical politics and Woody Guthrie, took up acoustic guitars to deliver topical commentary in a folk music setting. ...

A Tribe Called Quest: People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm ***

Review by Chuck Eddy, Rolling Stone, April 1990

INASMUCH AS THE arch and arty New York hip-hop foursome A Tribe Called Quest exudes any enthusiasm at all on its debut album, that enthusiasm ...

Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet (Def Jam/Columbia)

Review by Tim Riley, Boston Phoenix, The, April 1990

Their Own Worst Enemy? Fear of a Black Planet; seductive music, muddled message ...

Public Enemy: Fear Of A Black Planet

Review by Lloyd Bradley, Q, May 1990

PUBLIC ENEMY ARE one of the last, relevantly active crews from the second wave of hip hop that included Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Mantronix and ...

Ice Cube: AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted (Profile US import CD)

Review by Push, Melody Maker, June 1990

GANG BUSTER ...

N.W.A.: Some Muthas Do 'Ave 'Em

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, June 1990

Rubbing white America's nose in its own racism or blagging big bucks by glorifying gangsterism, NWA are not the FBI-pigs' favourite people. STEVEN 'Wild West' ...

2 Live Crew: Nasty or Nice?

Comment by Tim Riley, Boston Phoenix, The, July 1990

2 Live Crew: Just what they wanna be ...

2 Live Crew: Fear Of A Black Penis

Report and Interview by Frank Owen, Spin, September 1990

A media moral panic about their alleged obscenity has catapulted Miami rappers 2 Live Crew to national notoriety. FRANK OWEN reports from Florida. ...

Public Enemy: Confrontation

Report and Interview by Mark Dery, Keyboard, September 1990

"Elvis was a hero to most But he never meant shit to me you seeStraight up racist that sucker wasSimple and plain ...

Ice Cube

Interview by Robert Gordon, Creem, 1991

Robert Gordon takes on Ice Cube over racism, sexism, homophobia and society ...

N.W.A.: Poison The Hood: Niggaz with Attitude

Retrospective by John Mendelsohn, unpublished, for Playboy, 1991

ON A SPRING EVENING in 1991, the late Eazy-E accepted the invitation of Dr. Dre, his fellow member of the notorious "gangsta" rap group NWA, ...

Public Enemy: Fightin' The Hype

Interview by Nick Hasted, Deadline, 1991

A WEEK AGO the Brixton Academy, jammed to its shadowy rafters, waited to listen to Public Enemy. ...

Monie Love: Down to Earth (Warner Bros.)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, January 1991

LET'S JUST cut to the chase on this one: Down to Earth is okay. Not great, not bad — just a firm okay. With all ...

A Tribe Called Quest: Storm Warnings

Interview by Andrew Smith, Melody Maker, February 1991

Besides achieving Top 20 success with their new single, 'Can I Kick It?, A Tribe Called Quest have also been heavily involved with the re-recording ...

Coldcut, De La Soul, Digital Underground: Digital Underground, Coldcut and De La Soul Jam The Beat

Interview by Mark Dery, Keyboard, March 1991

DIGITAL UNDERGROUND, De La Soul, and Coldcut make musique concrete for boomboxes. These three bands, all on the Tommy Boy label, have achieved, perhaps unwittingly, ...

Mantronix: The Incredible Sound Machine

Review by Lloyd Bradley, Q, April 1991

FIVE YEARS AGO, hip hop duo Mantronix were among the best there was: techno-boff Mantronik's search for that perfect beat involved the unlikeliest noises fed ...

Bell Biv DeVoe, Public Enemy, Son Of Bazerk, Young Black Teenagers: Hank Shocklee: Rebel With A Cause

Interview by Jeff Lorez, Blues & Soul, April 1991

"Yo Jeff, man, I'm sorry, what can I say? I wanted this interview to happen as much as you did, but Hank's just too busy ...

Ice Cube, Laquan, Yo Yo: Ice Cube, Yo Yo, Laquan: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Jeff Lorez, Blues & Soul, April 1991

I'VE ALWAYS thought that the Brixton Academy, out of the larger venues, beats the likes of The Hammersmith Odeon and Dominion hands down when it ...

MC Hammer: Trousers Of The Holy: All You Ever Wanted To Know About MC Hammer But Didn't Have The Time To Ask

Report and Interview by Stuart Maconie, New Musical Express, May 1991

His voluminous trews tell only part of the story. MC HAMMER may well be as huge as the cut of his keks saleswise, but at ...

De La Soul: De La Soul Is Dead (Big Life BLR LP8)

Review by Jeff Lorez, Blues & Soul, May 1991

'Intro'; 'Oldies Of O's'; 'Talkin' Bout Hey Love'; 'Pease Porridge'; 'Skit 1'; 'Johnny's Dead AKA Vincent Mason (Live From The BK Lounge)'; 'A Roller Skating ...

De La Soul: Malice In Wonderland

Interview by Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, May 1991

With their new album, De La Soul Is Dead, the founders of the hippy hop movement have turned their back on peace, love and positivity. ...

Ice-T: O.G. Original Gangster (Sire)

Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, May 1991

FOR ALL the descriptions of graphic violence, sexism and general anti-establishment stances, Ice-T is a committed moralist at heart. Not for nothing did he portray ...

Anthrax, Public Enemy: Anthrax and Chuck D: Noise From The Black Stuff

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, June 1991

Five years after Run DMC's groundbreaking rap reworking of Aerosmith's 'Walk This Way', rock is finally repaying the compliment with ANTHRAX'S astonishing take on Public ...

Massive Attack Prepare To Storm The US!

Profile and Interview by Kris Needs, Rockpool, August 1991

The following feature appeared in New York industry magazine-tipsheet Rockpool on the eve of Massive Attack's introduction to the US market, their Blue Lines debut, ...

Ice-T

Interview by Andy Gill, Q, September 1991

IN WHAT MUST HAVE been a classic, once-in-a-lifetime meeting of the Ts, Ice-T once taught Mr T to rap. You remember Mr T: burly black ...

A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, PM Dawn: De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, PM Dawn: Wembley Hall, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, October 1991

DIRE STRAITS fans are huddled in masses in the near vicinity, oblivious to the fact that the real revolution is being televised in this makeshift ...

Beats International: Play That Funky Music, White Boy

Report by Mat Snow, Q, November 1991

SOME POP MUSICIANS know stardom has arrived when the crowds at the in-store signing have to be kept back by a police cordon. For others, ...

New Kids On The Block: A Secret History of New Kids On The Block

Special Feature by Chuck Eddy, Throat Culture, 1992

"Rap is a toilet, not a design for a toilet, or a better toilet...It is the first toilet. It is a toilet for sitting on, ...

The Beastie Boys (1992)

Interview by Kris Needs, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1992

The boys talk about their new album Check Your Head, their love of hardcore and metal, living in Los Angeles and a whole lot more.

File format: mp3; file size: 26.3mb, interview length: 28' 43" sound quality: **

Walking With Panthers: Hip Hop and the Legacy of Black Power

Essay by Simon Witter, Sky, 1992

Rap chic, radical chic, Hollywood chic. In 1992 everyone wants a belated piece of the Black Panther Party’s guerilla chic. Simon Witter cuts through the ...

Tone Loc: Cool Hand Loc

Review by Mat Snow, Q, January 1992

Is Tone Loc too funky or what? ...

Anthrax, Public Enemy: Read My Apocalypse: Public Enemy/Anthrax: The Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, January 1992

IF POWER is a turn-on and intelligence is an aphrodisiac, then Public Enemy are surely one of the sexiest groups on the planet. ...

Public Enemy, Sun Ra: Loving The Alien In Advance Of The Landing

Essay by Mark Sinker, Wire, February 1992

"IN THE MEANTIME," he said, speaking relentlessly but mesmerically softly, as gurus will, "I finally went to Chicago. I determined not to be a musician ...

Massive Attack: Herb Crawlers

Interview by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, February 1992

When MASSIVE ATTACK released their debut LP last year, it was hailed as a masterful collage of rap, soul and reggae with a cinematic feel. ...

PM Dawn: The Reality Gap

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, February 1992

They've been nominated for a Brits award as Best International Newcomers, and their new single, 'Reality Used To Be A friend Of Mine', is a ...

Salt 'N' Pepa

Interview by Phil Sutcliffe, Q, May 1992

Salt is a member of New York rap act Salt 'N' Pepa, makers of hits such as 'Push It' and 'Let's Talk About Sex'. Of ...

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy: The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy: Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury (4th & Broadway/All formats)

Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, May 1992

GREATEST AMERICAN HEROES – In-Disposable! Rono and Michael take their message to the streets ...

House Of Pain: House of Pain: House of Pain (Tommy Boy)

Review by Carol Cooper, Village Voice, The, July 1992

SPUN OFF from the inspired lunacy of Cypress Hill rapper B-Real's 'Gee, Officer Krupke' whine, the semi-Celtic cartoon called House of Pain is a concept ...

Rap and Rebellion

Comment by Mark Kemp, Option, July 1992

"We have been more unified in the last four days than we have been in the last 30 years...To the brothers and sisters out there: ...

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy: Axe of Faith

Interview by Everett True, Melody Maker, September 1992

THE DISPOSABLE HEROES OF HIPHOPRISY don't piss about like most groups who claim to be 'political'. The Disposables just get on down and do something ...

Public Enemy, U2: Public Enemy and U2: The Chuck and Bono Show

Interview by Max Bell, Vox, December 1992

When U2's tour brought Public Enemy to the Deep South, where segregation is still an issue, Chuck D did his best to pour napalm on ...

Arrested Development: Astoria, London

Live Review by Jeff Lorez, Blues & Soul, December 1992

THERE ARE THOSE amongst the hardcore rap community who think Arrested Development's down home, rural southern porch-sitting image is a stereotyped one that will prove ...

Check Yo’self At The Door: Cryptoheterosexuality And The Black Music Underground

Essay by Carol Cooper, Vibe, 1993

I) Time Considered as a Helix of Semilegal Nightclubs ...

The Beastie Boys, Henry Rollins: The Beastie Boys, Rollins Band: Roseland Ballroom New York NY

Live Review by Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, January 1993

THIS PAIRING wasn't as odd as it seemed, because the Beastie Boys have created ― or at least mobilized ― a new kind of fan. ...

Ice Cube: Corporate Raider

Interview by Mark Cooper, Q, March 1993

Yikes! Ice Cube is America's most controversial (dead heat with Ice-T) and successful rapper, recently blasting good ole Garth Brooks off the top of the ...

Stereo MCs

Report and Interview by Amy Linden, Creem, March 1993

THE STEREO MC's are all settled into their surprisingly comfy touring vehicle, headed up the highways (or whatever the British term is). On the road ...

Ice-T: 'Bring Me The Head of Charlton Heston'

Interview by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, March 1993

America's most wanted... public enemy one... ICE-T's reputation is just about as real as he wants it to get right now. Ever since the 'Cop ...

Monie Love: The Nice Ness

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, Creem, April 1993

BEFORE SHE had even secured a record deal, Simone Johnson, aka Monie Love, was already one of the most in-demand rappers on the burgeoning Afrocentric ...

LL Cool J: LL Cool J: 14 Shots To The Dome (Def Jam)

Review by Push, Melody Maker, April 1993

THE CAREER of LL Cool J, which began almost 10 years ago with the first Def Jam release, has been a helter skelter of ups ...

Ice-T: Home Invasion (Virgin/Rhyme Syndicate)

Review by Andy Gill, Q, May 1993

ICE-T'S FIFTH album – his first post-riot record and, more importantly, his first following the 'Cop Killer' brouhaha and his subsequent departure from Sire – ...

Ice-T and Andrew Dice Clay: Ice and Dice

Interview by Mark Petracca, Creem, June 1993

No, not just another Friday the 13th film. Just a state of mind. ...

Naughty By Nature: Hammersmith Palais, London

Live Review by Ted Kessler, New Musical Express, June 1993

ALL THE WHITE LIBERALS in the house go: "Uh oh!" ...

The Pharcyde: Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde (East West)

Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, August 1993

"DADDY, WHAT does 'crossover' mean?" ...

KRS-One: Return Of The Boom Bap (Jive)

Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, September 1993

HIP-HOP pioneers have always found it difficult to get respect in any true sense years down the line. ...

Stereo MCs: If Bob Marley Came To Nottingham

Report and Interview by Mark Cooper, Q, December 1993

"ARE YOU there, Milwaukee?" enquires a ghostly but undoubtedly English voice. It is around seven o'clock in the evening at the Marcus Amphitheatre in Milwaukee ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Muttley Crude: Snoop Doggy Dogg: Doggystyle (East West)

Review by Paul Moody, New Musical Express, December 1993

CULTURE ALIENATION, boredom and despair: such are the imperatives of Snoop Doggy Dogg's world. ...

Salt-N-Pepa: Too Live Cruet

Interview by Gavin Martin, New Musical Express, December 1993

From girls to women, SALT-N-PEPA have moved on from their Svengali-led days to create their own agenda of single motherhood, sex and answering back to ...

Onyx, Run DMC: Run DMC/Onyx/Boss: Palladium, NYC

Live Review by Ian Christe, Your Flesh, Summer 1993

PASS TWO METAL detectors and a sixteen-point patdown, then descend three stories of padded stairs into a vast ancient theatre outfitted with video gear. ...

Puff Daddy: Sean 'Puffy' Combs

Interview by Frank Broughton, i-D, 1994

"IT'S ALL GOOD."Puffy’s conversation is peppered with this little nugget of current street-talk. ...

Ice Cube: Lethal Injection (Island)

Review by Andy Gill, Q, January 1994

CUBE'S LATEST missive from the front line of black resentment opens with a homicidal racist gag, Dr Ice Cube getting his patient Mr White to ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Ruff Justice

Interview by Paul Lester, Melody Maker, February 1994

SNOOP DOGGY DOGG is America's most controversial performer, taking the street-tuff credentials of previous gangsta rappers to new extremes of 4 Realness. His album, Doggystyle, ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: The Equinox, London

Live Review by Chris Roberts, Melody Maker, February 1994

SNOOP IS in the house, and so are we, finally. The pre-match build-up is a work of art, a triumph of modern mythology and marketing. ...

The Fugees: Emigration Terrorists

Profile and Interview by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, February 1994

Fact: like it or lump it in with the nastier things in life, hip-hop is still growing like the tumour from hell. Fittingly, as the ...

Cypress Hill: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Ben Thompson, MOJO, April 1994

THERE'S A KID slumped at the top of the Brixton academy stairs, his head poised vomitatiously over a large plastic bin. All you can see ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: A Pussycat?

Interview by Robert Sandall, Q, April 1994

Who's a busy homeboy then? His CV already bulges with a prison sentence, a US Number 1 LP and a still-fresh murder charge. Now, gangster ...

The Chemical Brothers, Death In Vegas: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Paul Moody, New Musical Express, April 1994

"E'S, COKE, anything you want..." Yeah, you gotta admit it: Brixton knows how to party. No sooner have you navigated your way around the slurring ...

A Guy Called Gerald, Goldie: Jungle!: The Last Dance Underground

Report by Kodwo Eshun, i-D, May 1994

Jungle is a fierce and frenzied soundtrack to inner city Britain in '94. Based around raw, ragga-influenced white labels, raves and pirate radio stations, it's ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Now Is Not The Time To Talk To Snoop Doggy Dogg.

Interview by Angus Batey, unpublished, May 1994

Originally written for the NME, this article was not published ...

Dr. Dre, The Lady of Rage, Snoop Doggy Dogg: Paw Coarse Men Of The Apocalypse: Doctor Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Gavin Martin, New Musical Express, May 1994

A HOT South London night. The air is a heady mix of sweat, liquor, perfume… and bomb-ass skunk. Inside the Academy, a veritable ceremony is ...

Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg: Snoop Doggy Dog and Dr Dre: Every Dogg Has His Dre

Report and Interview by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, May 1994

They called him an "evil bastard", said he shouldn't be allowed in the country, that there would be riots outside his hotel and gigs. But ...

The Beastie Boys: We Clamorous Beasties

Interview by Ted Kessler, New Musical Express, May 1994

The Beastie Boys, icons to the sunstruck, tattooed youth of California have set up every American boy's dream empire — clothes, fanzine, record label and ...

The Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against The Machine, Cypress Hill, Beastie Boys: Los Angeles Velodrome, CA

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, May 1994

SHIRT UP AND DANCE ...

Wu-Tang Clan

Report and Interview by Angus Batey, Hip-Hop Connection, September 1994

THURSDAY 1st September, Backstage stairwell, The Forum, Kentish Town, London. ...

Coolio: Con Voyage: Coolio: Camden Underworld, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, September 1994

SOME PEOPLE with hidden agendas berate Arrested Development and Public Enemy endlessly for touring with rock bands. ...

Ice Cube / Gravediggaz: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Neil Kulkarni, Melody Maker, September 1994

TRY AND tie down hip-hop with yer baggage and it always finds a way to bust loose. Never mind asking "Has Rap Gone Too Far", ...

Ice Cube, Public Enemy: Ice Cube & Public Enemy: Patinoire De Malley, Lausanne

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, September 1994

Yodel, Bum Rush The Show ...

Coolio: The Big Payback

Profile and Interview by Carol Cooper, Rolling Stone, September 1994

COOLIO gets a phat return on his dues with 'FANTASTIC VOYAGE' ...

Massive Attack: Protection (Circa)

Review by Gavin Martin, Vox, October 1994

Direct Hit ...

Arrested Development: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Andrew Mueller, Melody Maker, October 1994

IT TAKES A while, but I finally work out what it is they remind me of. ...

Pete Rock & CL Smooth: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth: Smooth Like A Rock

Interview by Michael A. Gonzales, Vibe, November 1994

Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth are blowing up in the biz, but they still got each other's back. ...

Body Count, Ice-T: Ice-T: Seine In The Membrane

Interview by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, November 1994

It's not all being grim and Malcolm X when you're ICE-T. You also get to go on the road with your mates, play metal and ...

The Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique (Capitol)

Review by Paul Moody, New Musical Express, November 1994

JUST CHILLIN', like Bob Dylan. Paul's Boutique, five years on from its release way back in August '89, is still an electrifying blast of cool. ...

Warren G: Regulate…G Funk Era

Review by Carol Cooper, Newsday, 1995

IN THE early to mid ‘80s, two of the most successful rap records concerned vigilantism. The Rake’s 'Street Justice' and Kool Moe Dee’s 'Wild Wild ...

Method Man, Redman: Redman: Dare Iz A Darkside/Method Man: Tical (Def Jam/Island)

Review by Neil Kulkarni, Melody Maker, January 1995

REDMAN'S Whut? Thee Album came out around the first Cypress Hill's and for those that investigated it was even more blunted to the bone, streaked ...

Coolio: Natural Born Chiller

Interview by Angus Batey, Vox, March 1995

Ice-T, Ice Cube, LL Cool J... The West Coast of America is famous for its frozen rappers. Now cometh the latest million-selling iceman: Coolio ...

A Guy Called Gerald: Wicked Guy!

Profile and Interview by Simon Reynolds, Melody Maker, March 1995

A GUY CALLED GERALD is at the forefront of junglist innovation and future-shock technological experimentation. A guy called SIMON REYNOLDS joins him in virtual space. ...

Tupac Shakur: A Load Of Bollock: 2Pac: Me Against The World (Interscope)

Review by Andrew Mueller, Melody Maker, April 1995

Ner-ner, ner-ner slammm!!! And another one! Is 2Pac (sorry, make that 1Pac) just the shot in the balls rap so sorely needs, or a monorchid ...

Method Man: Method in the Madness

Report and Interview by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, April 1995

Welcome to Florida, land of Disney, Dayton Beach and glorious Orlando. And paranoia, machine-gun toting security guards and camcorders shoved up strangers' crutches. METHOD MAN, ...

Russell Simmons: The Emperor Of Rap

Interview by Ben Thompson, MOJO, July 1995

SO WHY DO THEY CALL RUSSELL Simmons 'Rush'? The Def Jam emperor loses little time in answering this question. ...

Fun-Da-Mental: Bummer Holiday

Report by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, July 1995

The last time FUN-DA-MENTAL took a journalist to Pakistan, the writer came home a jibbering wreck and the band split. A return trip anyone? Bribes/blackmail/strict ...

Naughty By Nature: Naughty But Nice

Interview by Angus Batey, Vox, August 1995

Born in the ghetto, Naughty By Nature intend to stay there, despite the band's success ...

Goldie: Timeless

Review by David Toop, MOJO, September 1995

WITH A FEW notable exceptions, Jungle has thus far been a music for singles and endless drum 'n' bass compilations. As the genre's first high ...

Cypress Hill, Ice Cube: Cypress Hill: Do Believe The Hype

Interview by Neil Kulkarni, Melody Maker, September 1995

CYPRESS HILL's self-titled debut album changed the face of hip hop. Their second, Black Sunday, was the rap crossover LP of the early Nineties. But ...

KRS-One: KRS–1: 1 From The Heart

Interview by Sonia Poulton, Muzik, November 1995

KRS-1 the grand daddy of hip hop takes to the soap box for a speech on record labels, street cred and 'The Goddess Theory'. Listen ...

PM Dawn: P.M. Dawn: Diff'rent Strokes

Interview by Michael A. Gonzales, Vibe, November 1995

Lost in space? No. P.M. Dawn return with a pretty (yet slammin') third album — and a rebel whisper that says there's nothing wrong with ...

Cypress Hill: III – Temple Of Boom

Review by David Toop, MOJO, December 1995

HIP HOP innovations are so swiftly assimilated and processed into cliché that their initial impact can become lost in foggy video memories of oversized hats, ...

Public Enemy’s Back Pages

Retrospective by Ian Fortnam, Vox, 1996

WITH INDIEDOM firmly in the grip of the inane and the insipid, the doleful delinquents of 1986 were in dire and desperate need of a ...

Eazy-E, N.W.A.: E Bygone!: Eazy-E: Eternal E (Virgin)

Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, January 1996

THE BIBLE says that, in the last days, men will actively seek death and death will flee from them. So, as sad and ultimately preventable ...

Geto Boys: Southern Discomfort

Interview by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, May 1996

Deep in the heart of the redneck Bible Belt, squillion-selling rap supergroup GETO BOYS are living up to their paranoid bad-boy reputation. Bushwick Bill has ...

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Eazy-E: Ruthless Records: It Ain't Eazy

Report and Interview by R.J. Smith, Vibe, June 1996

What would you do if you inherited an infamous rap label with a catalogue of old hits and a fading reputation? Sell it for a ...

The Fugees: Forum, Kentish Town, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, June 1996

THE 'GEE-FUNK ERA ...

Nas: Ticket To Scribe

Interview by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, June 1996

Having adopted the moniker of one Pablo Escobar, NAS ESCOBAR set about creating vivid lyrical depictions of life in his native New York tenement slums. ...

De La Soul

Profile and Interview by Sheryl Garratt, Sunday Times, July 1996

IN 1989, DE LA Soul's debut album Three Feet High And Rising was hailed by New York's Village Voice as "the Sergeant Pepper of hip ...

Outkast: OutKast In The Promised Land

Interview by Miles Marshall Lewis, Source, The, August 1996

FINAL EXAMS AT Morehouse College were a bitch. Nearly four in the morning on a starry autumn night years ago, I found myself making a ...

A Tribe Called Quest: Beats, Rhymes and Life (Jive)

Review by Will Hermes, Spin, September 1996

LESS INTROVERTED THAN De La Soul and less weird than the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest were always the populists of the Native Tongues ...

Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G., TLC, Whitney Houston: Clive Davis: Big Poppa

Interview by Michael A. Gonzales, Vibe, September 1996

The VIBE Q: CLIVE DAVIS, ARISTA RECORDS' LEGENDARY PRESIDENT AND CEO, IS TRULY RUNNING THINGS. THINK NOT? ASK WHITNEY HOUSTON, PUFFY COMBS, TLC, THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G., OR L.A. AND ...

Jermaine Dupri: Song Of The South

Interview by Michael A. Gonzales, Vibe, September 1996

Whether shooting pool or making hit records, hotshot producer Jermaine Dupri has one goal: to be the best. By Michael A. Gonzales ...

Neneh Cherry

Interview by Sheryl Garratt, Face, The, September 1996

WHEN NENEH CHERRY was a toddler, she met Miles Davis. She remembers his gravelly growl of a voice, and recalls him opening his trumpet case ...

The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur: Tupac Shakur: War Of The Words

Report by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, September 1996

TUPAC SHAKUR's death has once again highlighted the feud between the East Coast and West Coast rap communities. ANGUS BATEY takes a look at hip-hop's ...

The Fugees, Lauryn Hill: Fugees: Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles

Live Review by Cliff Jones, MOJO, October 1996

COOL ALWAYS HAS CONTEXT. Tonight that context is the growing awareness that hip hop and black American music in general have embraced a new set ...

Coolio, Junior M.A.F.I.A., The Notorious B.I.G.: Notorious B.I.G.: B.I.G. Trouble

Report by Sonia Poulton, Muzik, October 1996

When the US hip hop elite hits the road, you expect sparks, right? When you put together names from the East and West Coast on ...

Tupac Shakur 1971-1996

Obituary by Sonia Poulton, Muzik, November 1996

At the age of 25, TUPAC SHAKUR was gunned down and died six days later in a Las Vegas hospital. His death was inevitable, but ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg, Tupac Shakur: The Future Hound of Gundom: Snoop Doggy Dogg: Tha Doggfather/Makaveli: The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory

Review by David Bennun, Melody Maker, November 1996

Snoop's poised defiance and masterful Gangsta cool, posthumous crap from 2Pac ...

Dr. Dre: The Dre Today: Dr. Dre Presents: The Aftermath (Interscope/MCA)

Review by Neil Kulkarni, Melody Maker, November 1996

Don't be fooled by his past, DR DRE is a one-man Motown, a pop perfectionist for the 21st Century ...

Mobb Deep: Hell Raisers

Interview by Sonia Poulton, Muzik, December 1996

The death of Tupac has left the hip hop bad boy vacancy wide open. MOBB DEEP'S Havoc and Prodigy have already more than filled his ...

Tupac Shakur: All Eyes On Him

Obituary by R.J. Smith, Spin, December 1996

Tupac Shakur was more then just another million-selling gangsta rapper. He polarized the races like few pop stars, in death as in life. ...

Puff Daddy: Sean 'Puffy' Combs: Multi-Million Dollar Man

Profile and Interview by Sonia Poulton, Muzik, January 1997

At 26, SEAN 'PUFFY' COMBS is reputed to be worth some $170 million. But that's not all the East Coast hip hop mogul has a ...

The Fugees: Runaway Success

Report and Interview by Sonia Poulton, Muzik, January 1997

From healthy US hip hop act to global superstars in under twelve months, you could say 1996 has been a remarkable year for the FUGEES. ...

Erykah Badu: Baduizm (Kedar Entertainment/Universal)

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Rolling Stone, February 1997

PERHAPS THE first thing you notice about Erykah Badu is her uncanny vocal similarity to Billie Holiday – from the very beginning of Baduizm, Badu's ...

The Notorious B.I.G. (1972-97)

Obituary by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, March 1997

NOTORIOUS BIG, born Christopher Wallace, had risen from poverty to become one of the most influential figures in the hip-hop world in an incredibly short ...

The Notorious B.I.G.: Life After Death (Arista)

Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, April 1997

THE UNFORTUNATE and tragic death of Christopher Wallace in the early hours of March 9, 1997 will leave a bitter aftertaste in the mouths of ...

DJ Kool Herc, Grand Wizard Theodore: DJ Kool Herc and Grand Wizard Theodore

Interview by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, May 1997

DJS KOOL HERC and Grand Wizard Theodore, who recently played in London as support to the Chemical Brothers, may not be up there with yer ...

The Notorious B.I.G.: Murder Ballads: The Notorious B.I.G.: Life After Death (Bad Boy)

Review by Anthony DeCurtis, Rolling Stone, May 1997

IN A FRIGHTENING WAY, the current hip-hop scene recalls the end of Goodfellas: The major players are turning up dead, heading off to prison or ...

Wu-Tang Clan: Clan-destined: Wu-Tang Clan: The Rocket, London

Live Review by Neil Kulkarni, Melody Maker, May 1997

OK, YA WANNA KNOW what the new LP sounds like, right? Oh, man, oh Jesus, it's the bomb, baby. It's incredible. It's the LP that's ...

Ghostface Killah, Method Man, RZA, Wu-Tang Clan: Wu-Tang Clan: Martial Lore

Special Feature by Neil Kulkarni, Melody Maker, May 1997

Public Enemy's fall from grace left hip hop without a heroic focus. Enter WU-TANG CLAN, a crew from Staten Island whose ever-changing line-up has produced ...

Tricky: Rock City, Nottingham

Live Review by Tom Cox, Uncut, June 1997

THE END of the millennium is nigh! Most men will perish and the rest will get extremely stressed out and have to take lots of ...

Wu-Tang Clan: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, June 1997

ALL TOO FAMILIAL ...

Tupac Shakur: Hour Of The Gun: The Wasted Life And Brutal Death Of Tupac Shakur

Profile by Stephen Dalton, Uncut, July 1997

EVEN BY THE BRUTAL STANDARDS OF thug life, his was a particularly merciless encounter. It took less than two minutes for Mike Tyson to pummel ...

Wu-Tang Clan: Wu-Tang Forever

Review by Stephen Dalton, Uncut, July 1997

THEY LIVE in a house, a very big house, in the country. But considering that much of their energy, vision and ground-breaking ferocity derives from ...

Puff Daddy: Smalls Wonder: Puff Daddy & The Family: No Way Out (Bad Boy Records)

Review by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, July 1997

IN LIFE, only death is certain. For the religious, the prospect of paradise beyond the great divide provides an energising, vital motivation. For the cynics, ...

Ultramagnetic MCs: Critical Beatdown (Roadrunner/Next Plateau)

Review by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, September 1997

KOOL KEITH is Liam Howlett's favourite rapper. And this relic from an age before 'Diesel Power' and Dr. Octagon shows why. ...

Roni Size and Reprazent: Pet Projects Win Prizes

Interview by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, October 1997

RONI SIZE and REPRAZENT's Mercury Prize-winning brand of soulful drum'n'bass has made them the most successful junglist crossover act yet... NME finds out why. Breakbeats ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: In My Lifetime Volume 1 (Northwestside)

Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, October 1997

THE FIRST WORDS you hear are spoken by Jay-Z himself, assuming a parodic Italian-American accent, imagining himself as a dying Al Pacino in Carlito's Way, ...

Missy Elliott: Supa Dupa Fly

Review by Chris Roberts, Melody Maker, October 1997

MISSY "Misdemeanour" Elliott has been an invisible but insistent pivot of the pop world. ...

Tupac Shakur: Eyewitness: The First Shooting of Tupac Shakur

Retrospective by Johnny Black, Q, November 1997

Halfway through his New York trial for rape and amidst growing tension between East and West Coast rappers, Tupac Shakur attended a recording session. He ...

Rakim

Profile and Interview by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, November 1997

THERE'S A shadow across Rakim's face, but his brown eyes are shining. The man who is for many the greatest rapper ever to have picked ...

Busta Rhymes: Bump'N'Grundies!

Report and Interview by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, December 1997

Pants! Lewdness! Spinal Tap-esque shenanigans! Yes indeedy, it's rap megastar BUSTA RHYMES giving it his inimitable 'Woo hah!' on a Stateside hip-hop extravaganza. On the ...

De La Soul: Bar Cuba, Macclesfield

Live Review by Rob Chapman, MOJO, 1998

As part of a British mini-tour ahead of an album set for September, America’s most innovative hip hop outfit came to a small, friendly club ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: Vol.2…Hard Knock Life (Roc- A-Fella/Def Jam)

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, 1998

ALTHOUGH RAPPER Jay-Z may be new to mainstream America, he has been a rising star in the hip hop community for years. ...

Gang Starr: The Greatness of Gang Starr

Report and Interview by Amy Linden, unpublished, 1998

IN 1997 EMI Records was in the process of folding, and among the groups who were up for grabs was Gang Starr, a veteran NYC ...

Hip-Hop: Puppets On A String?

Essay by James Maycock, Guardian, The, January 1998

How & Why Black Rappers Exploit Racial Stereotypes (With references to historical precedents through 20th century) ...

Roni Size and Reprazent: Collective Consciousness

Report and Interview by David Stubbs, Vox, January 1998

Dust off your bus pass and get down with RONI SIZE and REPRAZENT. There's Bristol beats aplenty, Genghis Khan gets a look in, and skipping ...

KRS-One Launches 'Hip-Hop Appreciation Week'

Report by Frank Tortorici, Addicted To Noise, February 1998

Rapper brings rap and music community together to raise awareness. ...

Tricky: Angels With Dirty Faces

Review by Ian MacDonald, Uncut, June 1998

HEROES DON'T last long these days. Partly because the scene is shallow and restless; partly because cynicism is always muttering, "Why do we need heroes ...

Rakim: Ladbroke Grove Subterania, London

Live Review by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, June 1998

HE CALLS himself "God". ...

Wild Style: Hip Hop Don't Stop

Retrospective by Neil Kulkarni, Uncut, July 1998

Re-released this month after 15 years, WILD STYLE isregarded as the seminal rap movie. Director Charlie Ahearn puts needle to the groove with Neil Kulkarni ...

Public Enemy: He Got Game

Review by David Stubbs, Uncut, July 1998

Slam funkers: sixth release from rap collective once called "the greatest rock'n'roll band on the planet". ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Snoop Dogg: Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told (No Limit)

Review by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, August 1998

IT'S ONE OF THE most depressing stories in pop music. ...

A Tribe Called Quest

Report and Interview by Angus Batey, New Musical Express, September 1998

SO, JUST WHAT do you do when love breaks down? When the fabric that holds the fundamentals of your life together finally unravels? You probably ...

UNKLE: Psyence Fiction (Mo'Wax)

Review by Stuart Maconie, Q, September 1998

Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft, one of Metallica, a Beastie Boy: all on the same record. Whoo! ...

A Tribe Called Quest: After The Love Is Gone: A Tribe Called Quest

Interview by Miles Marshall Lewis, Source, The, October 1998

DRESSED IN A black T-shirt with THE LOVE MOVEMENT emblazoned in silver on the back, baggy jeans, and a blue denim fisherman's cap pulled down ...

RZA, Wu-Tang Clan: RZA: The Digital Revolution

Interview by Stevie Chick, Melody Maker, November 1998

One minute RZA's producing the Wu-Tang Clan, the next he's writing as his alter ego Bobby Digital, then he's off to star in the movies. ...

The Beastie Boys: There's Something about the Beastie Boys

Retrospective by Barney Hoskyns, Request, December 1998

I CAN STILL REMEMBER the morning, way back in the sweaty London summer of 1983, when three skinny New York wiseasses burst into the New ...

DJ Kool Herc: Adventures on the Wheels of Steel: DJ Kool Herc and the Birth of Hip Hop

Book Excerpt by Frank Broughton, Bill Brewster, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, 1999

Take a BreakFace your partner, holding hands. Tap one foot behind the other and bring your feet together again. Repeat with your other foot. (Your ...

Coolio

Interview by Phil Sutcliffe, Q, 1999

Coolio stands centre-stage holding a rubber johnny aloft. "How many o’you been fuckin’?" he hollers. "Huh?" Two thousand of what one can only describe as ...

De La Soul, The Fugees, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Puff Daddy, Run DMC, The Sugarhill Gang, Tupac Shakur: Hip Hop Don't Stop

Overview by David Bennun, Hot Air, 1999

A LITTLE over two minutes into The Fugees' 1996 hit 'Ready Or Not', the voice of Lauryn Hill is thrown into relief by a brief ...

Eric B & Rakim, Marley Marl: Marley Marl

Interview by Alex Ogg, unpublished, 1999

Marley Marl talks about his inadvertent "invention" of the drum sample and his involvement in the first Eric B and Rakim record. This was originally ...

Nas: I Am… (Columbia)

Review by Dan Gennoe, Q, 1999

1999: the year rap's most potent force joined the rank and file ...

Jay Z: The Life And Times Of Jay-Z: An Interview

Interview by Dan Gennoe, Flipside, 1999

REMIND SHAWN CARTER, aka Jay-Z, that his last long player, Vol.2...Hard Knock Life, which spawned the Annie-sampling single of the same name, sold 5 million ...

Method Man, RZA: RZA: RZA As Bobby Digital In Stereo (Gee St/V2) ****; Method Man Tical 2000: Judgement Day (Def Jam) ****

Review by Mark Cooper, Q, January 1999

Yo! Apocalypse: It's a mad, bad, Wu-Tang world ...

DMX: Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (Def Jam )

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, The, January 1999

It's like, we all got two sides to us, and it depends on what side of the bed you wake up on. That will depend ...

The Roots: Apocalypse Now: The Roots

Report and Interview by Miles Marshall Lewis, Spin, March 1999

THE ROOTS' new album, Things Fall Apart, bears all the signs of the Big Statement. There are five separate covers, each featuring a disturbing historical ...

The Roots: Things Fall Apart

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, The, March 1999

USED TO BE, a hiphop love song was something like Rakim's 'Mahogany' or Shallah Raekwon's 'Ice Cream'- tunes celebrating shorties from around the way; hardrocks ...

Lauryn Hill: Soulless Diva: Lauryn Hill

Comment by Everett True, Stranger, The, April 1999

I'M NOT DENYING she has looks, and talent, and a silky-smooth voice which can seduce even the most cynical listener. ...

Eminem: Subterania, London

Live Review by Neil Kulkarni, Melody Maker, April 1999

20 Minute Party People ...

Ol' Dirty Bastard, Wu-Tang Clan: Ol' Dirty Bastard: America's Most Wanted

Report by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, April 1999

Ol' Dirty Bastard's rap sheet pisses on Mark Morrison's. But are the cops really out to get him? Are gangstas gunning for him? Or is ...

Eminem: The Slim Shady LP (Aftermath/Interscope)

Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, April 1999

MMM, LET'S TALK about sweeties! M&M's are the grey squirrels of the confectionery world, driving the indigenous British Smartie to the verge of extinction. A ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, The Sugarhill Gang: Good Boys Of Rap

Review by Tom Cox, Guardian, The, April 1999

Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five And Melle Mel: 'Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel' (Sequel)The Sugarhill Gang: Rapper's Delights (Sequel)Various Artists: Sugarhill Club Classics ...

Missy Elliott: Missy In Action: The Divine Ms. Elliott

Interview by Ben Thompson, Daily Telegraph, May 1999

MISSY "MISDEMEANOR" Elliott is an infamously snappy dresser, so when she emerges from a discreet recess in her LA hotel room wearing nothing more elaborate ...

Eminem

Interview by Paul Elliott, Q, June 1999

Dr Dre-sponsored whiteboy rapper behaves like a git and sells millions of US albums ...

Chuck D

Interview by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, July 1999

Once he was undisputed heavyweight champion of the rap universe, booming apocalyptic conspiracy theories from some of the most earth-shattering hip-hop albums of the last ...

Puff Daddy's New CD, Forever, Means A Chance For Promotion

Interview by Jim Sullivan, Boston Globe, The, August 1999

THE SWITCH is flipped and the thin figure dressed in white, wearing a cap and dark glasses, sporting thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry and ...

Puff Daddy: Forever (Bad Boy)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, The, September 1999

The first thing I asked him to do was get me a tape from the studio. He came back with it in five minutes. The ...

Kid Rock: At Last! Could Kid Rock Be The Saviour Of Rock? Oops. Sorry.

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, October 1999

"HEY, SCATLAND! R U ready for some medal!? How many of you guyz are gonna getta 'shag' tonite!?" ...

Ol' Dirty Bastard: Nigga Please (Elektra)

Review by R.J. Smith, Spin, November 1999

THE TRUE opener of this dazzling, daffy album gets buried near the end. Nigga Please should have begun with his mocking yet eerily touching cover ...

Mos Def: Black On Both Sides (Rawkus)

Review by Stevie Chick, New Musical Express, November 1999

DESPITE HIP-HOP being commercially and creatively stronger than ever, the political content of rap is at an all-time low. ...

Eminem: The Magic Cuss: Eminem: Academy, Manchster

Live Review by Johnny Cigarettes, New Musical Express, November 1999

"YOU ALL KNOW Dr Dre is one of the greatest MOTHERF—IN' producers in hip-hop, right?" asks the DJ warming up the crowd before the first ...

Eminem: Naughty By Nature

Interview by Paul Elliott, Q, December 1999

Life is sweet for multi-platinum rap star Eminem, the doting dad who plays a murderous rapist from the white-trash dung hill. The world is his ...

A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip: Q-Tip: Amplified (Arista)/A Tribe Called Quest: The Anthology (Jive)

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, The, December 1999

THE GREATEST AESTHETIC lesson to learn from past masters like David Bowie and Madonna is the value of reinvention. ...

Craig David

Interview by Dan Gennoe, Front, 2000

With The Artful Dodger and a cry of "Re-e-wind, the crowd say bo selecta!" Craig David boinked his way up the Christmas charts. Only God, ...

Lil' Kim: The Notorious K.I.M.

Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, 2000

MS. KIMBERLY "Lil' Kim" Jones, here's your most telling lyric: "You can never be me. You can only resemble." ...

Canibus, LL Cool J, Wyclef Jean: LL Cool J, Canibus and Wyclef Jean: The '4,3,2,1' Beef

Interview by Angus Batey, Hip-Hop Connection, 2000

WHEN CANIBUS recorded a verse for LL Cool J's '4,3,2,1' in 1997, he can hardly have realised what was about to unfold. ...

Lucy Pearl

Profile and Interview by Angus Batey, Hip-Hop Connection, 2000

"I ALWAYS like the idea of people getting together, like The Power Station, the Travelling Wilburys, groups like that," says Raphael Saadiq in all earnestness. ...

Outkast: OutKast: Stankonia (Arista)

Review by Amy Linden, XXL, 2000

ECLECTICISM IS NOT usually associated with hip hop. Most artists, especially those who sell, want to maintain their base, yet in an effort to keep ...

The Beastie Boys: Beastie Boys: The Sounds Of Science

Review by David Stubbs, Uncut, January 2000

Extensive compilation of their greatest hits, finest moments and rarities ...

Goodie Mob: World Party (Laface/Orista)

Review by Simon Reynolds, Spin, January 2000

WHEN A BAND with something to say wants to communicate to the largest number of people, it generally resorts to what's known as "sweetening the ...

Jay Z, Rakim: Jay-Z: Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter (Roc-A-Fella)/Rakim: The Master (Universal)

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, The, January 2000

THIS ISN'T A generation-gap piece, really. I ain't even 30. But a lot of folks ain't authentically feeling Rakim Allah; they just takin' the "experts' ...

Q-Tip: Quality Control: Q-Tip: Amplified (Arista) ****

Review by Ian Gittins, Q, February 2000

No slacking then from implausibly busy NY rapper. ...

Wu-Tang Clan: Wuclear Fission: A Nutcase and a Point Guard Rise Above Wu-Tang’s Solo Overkill

Overview by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, The, February 2000

THE STUPIDEST, greatest, lovingest, most problematic-yet-simple moment in pop last year was a guy not content to be called Ol' Dirty Bastard letting it all ...

The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur: 2Pac & Outlawz: Still I Rise; Notorious B.I.G.: Born Again

Review by Gavin Martin, Uncut, March 2000

NO REST for the wicked – more posthumous releases from the slain linchpins of East and West Coast gangsta rap. ...

Cypress Hill: Astoria, London ****

Live Review by Keith Cameron, Guardian, The, March 2000

THE ONGOING debate about the decriminalisation of cannabis seems redundant when a substantial proportion of the 1,800 people shoehorned into the Astoria have voted with ...

Asian Dub Foundation: Community Music

Review by David Stubbs, Uncut, April 2000

Storming new set of eclectic agit-pop from best live band in Britain ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: Something For The Weekend, Sir?

Interview by Paul Elliott, Q, April 2000

"How about freedom?" wonders rap nabob Jay-Z, on bail pending trial for a near-fatal stabbing and facing a possible 22-year jail term. Some distraction from ...

Kelis: The Harlem Hurricane Blows Up A Storm

Interview by Chris Roberts, Uncut, April 2000

IT'S SCARILY early on a Monday morning and she says she's as out of it as I am ("I love the night, it just seems ...

Kelis: The 'I Hate You So Much Right Now' Woman: Kelis

Report and Interview by Ben Thompson, Daily Telegraph, April 2000

STRIDING PURPOSEFULLY down one of the seamiest streets in Soho, 20-year-old Kelis (pronounced kuh-leece) Rogers is a day-glo Amazon. ...

DMX, Jay Z, Juvenile, The Lox: Jay-Z, DMX, Juvenile and The Lox Albums

Review by Simon Reynolds, Uncut, May 2000

Huge over there, ignored over here – the state of the rap art, US-style: Jay-Z: Volume 3...Life And Times Of S Carter; ...

Macy Gray, Mos Def: Macy Gray/Mos Def: Roseland Ballroom, New York City

Live Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Spin, May 2000

IF THERE WAS ever any doubt, the huge plaque onstage honoring the gold status of Mos Def's Black on Both Sides made it clear: The ...

Wu-Tang Clan is Sumthing ta Fuck Wit

Report by Frank Owen, Village Voice, The, May 2000

The world-famous Staten Island hip-hop collective has a government informer working within its ranks; at the same time, the group is being investigated by the ...

Cypress Hill: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, June 2000

CYPRESS HILL'S 1993 breakthrough Black Sunday straddled every hip-hop fault line. Racially, Italian-American rapper B-Real joined Latinos DJ Muggs and Sen-Dog in a traditionally black-American ...

Tupac Shakur: Jailhouse Rap: An Exclusive Conversation With Suge Knight

Interview by Roy Trakin, Hits, July 2000

MULE CREEK State Prison is the fourth jail rap entrepreneur Marion "Suge" Knight has been locked up in since he was given a nine-year sentence ...

Jurassic 5: Quality Control (Interscope)

Review by Eric Weisbard, Village Voice, The, July 2000

"IN THE sixties we believed in a myth – that music had the power to change people's lives," Stanley Booth writes in the afterword to ...

Foxy Brown: Ill Na Na (Def Jam) ***

Review by Lucy O'Brien, Q, August 2000

First Lady of glam gangsta rap's 1996 album. ...

Tupac Shakur

Retrospective by Stephen Dalton, Uncut, August 2000

TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR seemed to consider himself immortal, and there are certainly many who still refuse to believe the 25-year-old rapper died after a Las ...

Wu-Tang Clan Take L.A. On New Album

Interview by Marc Weingarten, Rolling Stone, August 2000

In the studio with the Wu-Tang Clan ...

Eminem: America's Most Wanted

Special Feature by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, August 2000

Y2K has been something of an annus horribilis for Eminem (discounting the ten million album sales, that is). Faced with a lawsuit from his mum, ...

De La Soul: Art Official Intelligence (Mosaic Thump)

Review by Nick Hasted, Uncut, September 2000

NO ONE who saw the packed, mostly young, black crowd reveling in the house party atmosphere of De La Soul's last UK gig in 1997 ...

The Last Poets: Progenitors of Rap

Retrospective and Interview by David Dalton, Gadfly, September 2000

Perhaps it was the Vietnam War dragging on, nightly television footage of bombed villages, body bags and helicopters dropping flaming glue on Vietnamese farmers or ...

Wyclef Jean: The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (Columbia)

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, The, September 2000

EVER HAVE A bright idea, a 1000-watt bulb so blazin that it inevitably slides into the collective consciousness of pop culture? Even if the brainstorm ...

Dilated Peoples: 'Hip-Hop Culture Has Suffered. We Want To Reverse That'

Interview by Neil Kulkarni, Melody Maker, October 2000

IT'S NOT JUST PUNK AND METAL THAT ARE KICKING OFF STATESIDE — SO IS HIP-HOP AS DILATED PEOPLES TELL US ...

Wookie: Garage Convert

Profile and Interview by Sheryl Garratt, Observer, The, October 2000

'RINSE IT OUT for us, mate!' The bag being handed over in the foyer of this small but bustling recording studio is not full of ...

The Incredible Bongo Band: Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band

Interview by Angus Batey, MOJO, November 2000

THE AVUNCULAR 56-year-old American sat in a suite in London's Dorchester Hotel doesn't immediately strike you as a rock'n'roll type, but Michael Viner has quite ...

Eminem, Outkast, Wu-Tang Clan: The Way They Are: Eminem and Friends

Review by Cleothus Hardcastle, Rock's Backpages, December 2000

HIP HOP, you don’t stop. Whatever it is that this hybrid of street poetics and processed beats represents for modern culture, it ain’t going away. ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Snoop Dogg: The Workaholik

Interview by Erik Himmelsbach, Revolver, Winter 2000

Snoop finds time for big business, Doggystyle ...

Kool G Rap

Profile and Interview by Angus Batey, Hip-Hop Connection, 2001

FROM THE drivers' seat of his black GMC jeep, Kool G Rap stares intently at the police car. Despite the air conditioning being turned up ...

Missy Elliott: Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott

Book Excerpt by Dave Laing, Phil Hardy, 'The Faber Companion to 20th C. Popular Music', 2001

b. Melissa Elliott, 1 July 1972, Portsmouth, Virginia, USA ...

Nikki Giovanni: Whaddya Mean You've Never Heard Of… Nikki Giovanni?

Retrospective by James Maycock, MOJO, 2001

IN THE CRAZY, HEADY DAYS of the Black Power era, Nikki Giovanni was one of the few female voices to offset the rampant machismo of ...

Wu-Tang Clan: Can't Go to Sleep

Interview by Miles Marshall Lewis, LA Weekly, January 2001

WHAT THE HELL is going on with hiphop right about now? Rap's most popular, most talented MC â€" at one point in the running to ...

Outkast: OutKast

Profile and Interview by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, January 2001

They claim to be outsiders, but psychedelic southern playas Big Boi and Dre are already two million LPs ahead of the rap competition. ...

Eminem: Love, Hate And The Only Important Pop Star Left

Live Review by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, February 2001

Eminem: Evening News Arena, Manchester ...

Eminem: The London Arena, Docklands

Live Review by Chris Roberts, Uncut, April 2001

FOR A FEW days there, between Internet babies and new genetic codes, Eminem's UK tour made him the leading media talking-point. ...

Outkast's André Benjamin (2001)

Interview by Gavin Martin, Rock's Backpages Audio, April 2001

The flamboyant Mr Benjamin on Stankonia, the influence of Brit dance music, meeting Big Boi, early influences and much more.

File format: mp3; file size: 31.8mb, interview length: 34' 43" sound quality: * (phoner)

Black Eyed Peas: Mean Fiddler, London WC2

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, April 2001

NOW THAT hip-hop is a global lingua franca, anyone with the slimmest of credentials can lay claim to authenticity. ...

Missy Elliott: Rhymes & Misdemeanours: Missy Elliott Gets Her Freak On

Interview by Amy Linden, Rock's Backpages, April 2001

THE EXPRESSION "It takes a village to raise a child" has quickly morphed from sage African proverb to the "Have A Nice Day" of social ...

Outkast: Partners in Rhyme: OutKast

Profile and Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, May 2001

One of them is a blonde-wigged, teetotal vegetarian who reads Pushkin. The other breeds pitbulls in his spare time. Together they have been called the ...

Tupac Shakur: 2Pac: Until The End Of Time; Various Artists: Death Row Records — Greatest Hits

Review by Stephen Dalton, Uncut, June 2001

Flawed flashbacks to a turbulent chapter in hip hop history ...

Outkast: Pretty In Pink: OutKast: Hammerstein Ballroom, New York *****

Live Review by Dorian Lynskey, Q, July 2001

The future of hip hop looks rosy ...

Lil' Kim: Hello Nasty: Lil' Kim: Kentish Town Forum, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, July 2001

THERE'S SUCH A thing as hip-hop time. It doesn't generally apply to gigs, more to long-suffering journalists kept waiting for hours on end for an ...

The Roots: Down to The Roots

Report and Interview by Geoffrey Himes, Chicago Tribune, July 2001

TO UNDERSTAND WHY the Roots are the world's best live-on-stage hip-hop act, you have to look past the front line of rappers and check out ...

Cannibal Ox: The Cold Vein

Review by Simon Reynolds, Uncut, August 2001

Hot from the States: hip hop meets electronica ...

Saul Williams

Interview by Angus Batey, Dazed & Confused, August 2001

SAUL WILLIAMS runs his hand through his dreadlocked mane and grins. Fighting off a heavy cold a few hours before his first UK headline show, ...

N*E*R*D: The Search Is Over: N*E*R*D

Report and Interview by Ben Thompson, Daily Telegraph, August 2001

THEIR NAMES MIGHT not be familiar, but you'll know Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo by the sounds they make. As multi-million selling production team the ...

Tricky: Blowback (Anti)**

Review by David Stubbs, Uncut, August 2001

Trip hop supremo Adrian Thawes returns, restored to health, and helped by guests Cyndi Lauper and Red Hot Chili Peppers ...

Missy Elliott: Missy in Action: Missy Elliott

Profile and Interview by Ted Kessler, Observer Music Monthly, August 2001

As a child, Missy Elliott sent daily letters and tapes to her heroes Michael and Janet Jackson, asking them to save her from abuse and ...

Pop Quiz: What does the new Top Ten list mean?

Comment by Nick Hornby, New Yorker, The, August 2001

IN 1973, FOR AN ESSAY published in The New York Review of Books, Gore Vidal read his way through the Times best-seller list in an ...

So Solid Crew: Ghetto Blasters: So Solid Crew

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer Music Monthly, November 2001

SHOTS RANG OUT and a man collapsed in a heap near the dance floor. Another lay slumped, bleeding profusely, in a doorway near the toilet. ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: The Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella)

Review by Simon Reynolds, Uncut, December 2001

Sixth album from Brooklyn rap don ...

Sylvia Robinson, The Sugarhill Gang: Sugar Hill Records: Here's To You, Mrs Robinson

Retrospective by Angus Batey, Mojo Collections, Winter 2001

She took Motown as her blueprint and signed the first all-female rap group. But, as Angus Batey discovers, Sylvia Robinson and the Sugarhill mob spent ...

The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Michael Franti, Spearhead: A Q&A With Michael Franti

Interview by Stevie Chick, unpublished, Spring 2001

MICHAEL FRANTI has been one of the most consistently insightful, incisive, and intelligent voices in politicised pop music for almost 15 years now. ...

Eminem: Trailer Made: Eminem B-Side Buyer's Guide

Guide by Dorian Lynskey, Mojo Collections, Summer 2001

Eminem was just another basement hip hop hopeful, then he had an exceedingly profitable trip to the loo. Dorian Lynskey plots a wax history. ...

Busta Rhymes

Interview by Angus Batey, Hip-Hop Connection, 2002

BUSTA RHYMES has a heavy cold and a brutal schedule, and he's already running three hours late. ...

CeeLo Green: Cee Lo Green: Cee Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections

Review by Dan Gennoe, Q, 2002

Goodie Mob star scores another homerun for the Atlanta hip hop massive ...

The Roots: Forward To The Roots

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, 2002

FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS the city of Philadelphia has sponsored the Philadelphia College Festival. Held directly across the steps of the Art Museum (home ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: The True Life Adventures Of Flash

Sleevenotes by Frank Broughton, Bill Brewster, Nuphonic Records, 2002

Chapter 1FLASH ISN’T THE type of guy to start talking about "How it feels...", but that’s just what you want to ask him. How does ...

So Solid Crew: They Don't Know (Independiente/Relentless)****

Review by Simon Reynolds, Uncut, January 2002

Distinctive debut from UKG crew with colourful personal lives ...

OutKast: Southern Gents: OutKast: Big Boi And Dre Present... OutKast (LaFace/Arista) ****

Review by Dorian Lynskey, Q, February 2002

Yee-haw! Technicolour hip hop rises again ...

Outkast: OutKast: Kicking up a Stank (Arista) *****

Review by David Stubbs, Uncut, March 2002

Best of dirty South rappers' first three albums interspersed with new material ...

The Streets (2002)

Interview by Gavin Martin, Rock's Backpages Audio, March 2002

Mike Skinner talks about finding his voice, making Original Pirate Material, writing, politics, getting high and about life itself.

File format: mp3; file size: 44.2mb; Interview length: 48' 13"; sound quality: ****

The Streets: UK Rap: The word on The Streets

Interview by Gavin Martin, Independent, The, March 2002

WHEN MIKE SKINNER, aka The Streets, the 22-year-old lyrical king of British rap, discovers I live within the sound of Bow Bells, he's immediately curious. ...

Ol' Dirty Bastard, Wu-Tang Clan: Ol' Dirty Bastard: Portrait Of The Artist In Jail

Report and Interview by William Shaw, Guardian, The, March 2002

He was the clown prince of hip-hop, famously appearing onstage with the Wu-Tang Clan while on the run from the police. Now Ol' Dirty Bastard ...

Q-Tip: Abstract Poetics

Interview by Miles Marshall Lewis, Source, The, April 2002

THINGS ARE ABOUT to change. Trust. The rap industry may soon find itself caught out there as many hiphop fans seek sounds more suited for ...

Blak Twang: The Rotton Club

Review by Ian Watson, Yahoo! Music, May 2002

AFTER GENRE-DEFINING albums by Roots Manuva and Skinnyman, up steps Tony Olabode, aka Tony Rotton (after Johnny Rotten apparently), aka Blak Twang for a slice ...

Eminem: The Eminem Show

Review by Ian Watson, Yahoo! Music, May 2002

CAN IT BE mere coincidence that the fourth Eminem album hits the streets in the same week that the third series of Big Brother begins ...

The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur: Gangsta Scrap: Nick Broomfield’s Biggie And Tupac

Film/DVD/TV Review by Nick Hasted, Uncut, May 2002

Suge Knight: the new Al Capone? Exposing the truth behind the Rap Wars ...

Busta Rhymes: Hammersmith Apollo, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, May 2002

BUSTA RHYMES is massive. Not necessarily in a physical sense — though he cuts an imposing figure — but in a metaphysical kinda way. ...

Biggie and Tupac: directed by Nick Broomfield

Review by Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages, June 2002

WHATEVER your take on Broomfield and his bumbling public school fecklessness, there's no denying the bloke makes riveting documentaries. Following up the chilling Kurt and ...

Foxy Brown: Stratford Rex, London

Live Review by Dele Fadele, New Musical Express, June 2002

ON A BILL heavy with London-based garage crews, motormouth MCs and well-dressed ruffnecks striking thug poses, Foxy Brown is the main attraction. ...

Eminem: The Eminem Show (Aftermath)

Review by Peter Murphy, Hot Press, June 2002

WELCOME TO artimitateslife.com, a multi-streamed gush of live webcam feed where we get to see Mr Marshall Mathers as Truman trapped in some Gollywood remake ...

Nelly: Nellyville

Review by Marc Weingarten, slate.com, June 2002

Nelly's Confusion: Is the rapper a preacher or a party animal? Don't ask him. ...

The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur: Biggie & Tupac: Fear Of A Black Messiah

Report and Interview by Angus Batey, MOJO, July 2002

Nick Broomfield's new film may well have solved the murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. Angus Batey went to seek out the facts. ...

Lauryn Hill: MTV Unplugged 2.0

Review by Miles Marshall Lewis, Village Voice, The, July 2002

I can faithfully, honestly say that hiphop is dead. – Q-Tip Hiphop being counterculture, underground culture, that's sorta dead. It's all mainstream. It's just ...

MC Romeo, So Solid Crew: MC Romeo: Alpha Romeo

Profile and Interview by Ben Thompson, Daily Telegraph, August 2002

IN THE TOP floor of the London bus that is taking me to interview fast-talking UK garage heartthrob MC Romeo, an effervescent group of black ...

Wyclef Jean (2002)

Interview by Gavin Martin, Rock's Backpages Audio, August 2002

From the Fugees to Tom Jones, Haiti's very own Wyclef Jean talks hip hop, crack vs. music, martial arts and Cab Calloway

File format: mp3 File size: 26.4mb Interview length: 28' 50" Sound quality: ****

Public Enemy: 'Fight The Power'

Retrospective by Johnny Black, Blender, September 2002

Vital statistics on Public Enemy's 'Fight The Power' ...

So Solid Crew: Crew's Control

Profile by Pete Paphides, Guardian, The, October 2002

They raced from zero to inner-city heroes in one summer, then stalled in scandal. But don't write off So Solid – there's a serious business ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: 'Hard Knock Life'

Profile by Johnny Black, Blender, November 2002

Vital Statistics on Jay-Z's hit ...

Tom Jones, Wyclef Jean: Tom Jones and Wyclef Jean

Report and Interview by Angus Batey, Touch, November 2002

SO YOU'RE sitting there, in the London Metropole hotel, chatting to Wyclef Jean about his new LP, Maqsquerade. ...

Busta Rhymes: A Drink With Busta Rhymes

Interview by Dan Gennoe, Esquire, 2003

ESQUIRE: What's your poison? ...

Malcolm McLaren: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Bronx: On The Unlikely Origins Of The UK Hip Hop Movement

Retrospective by Greg Wilson, electrofunkroots.co.uk, 2003

THEY SAY THAT lightening doesn't strike twice, but where there's a rule there's always the exception. Case-in-point concerns that maverick maestro of musical mayhem, Mr ...

Jay Z: The Jay-Z Interview

Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, 2003

NOTE: The Black Album was not only Jay-Z's eighth studio album, reportedly it was also meant to be his swansong: a collection of jams meant ...

Russell Simmons's Rap

Interview by Miles Marshall Lewis, Nation, The, January 2003

RUSSELL SIMMONS, known for decades as Rush to his friends, is of average height and build for a man his age (45), with a clean-shaven ...

The Roots: Hip Hop Erudition And Wit

Profile and Interview by Angus Batey, MOJO, January 2003

"I'M ALIVE NOW!" BARKS AHMIR ?uestlove Thompson, drummer and de facto leader of Philadelphia hip hop band The Roots, and music press consumer of impeccable ...

Eminem: The Most Hotly Anticipated Movie Of The Year!

Report by Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express, January 2003

…but is it any good? NME gives you the ultimate lowdown on Eminem's forthcoming blockbuster 8 Mile ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: Get Carter

Interview by Ted Kessler, Guardian, The, January 2003

America's favourite hip-hop artist Jay-Z is hanging up his mic. After all, what's left to talk about when you've achieved everything? Ted Kessler raps things ...

50 Cent: Ghosts vs. Boasts

Comment by Miles Marshall Lewis, LA Weekly, March 2003

Jaded Hiphop-Purist Insight #1: You cannot spit in the wind without being hit by 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. ...

Common: Against The Grain: Common

Interview by Miles Marshall Lewis, Source, The, March 2003

EIGHT DAYS BEFORE Jimi Hendrix's sixtieth birthday, Common sits comfortably in the guitar god's apartment sipping Poland Spring. ...

Eminem: What's SO F***ing Great About Eminem?

Essay by Andy Gill, Word, The, March 2003

The worst character traits imaginable assembled into violent, cautionary cartoons have produced the charismatic star of the moment, now further immortalised in an acclaimed movie. ...

Ms Dynamite, The Streets: Letter from London: The Streets and Ms Dynamite

Report and Interview by Phil Sutcliffe, Los Angeles Times, March 2003

WHEN THE BEATLES flew over from England in the '60s, it seemed the whole of young America gathered at the airport to scream a welcome. ...

Rick Rubin: Metal Guru

Interview by Chris Campion, Dazed & Confused, April 2003

The influence of the crush grooves produced by Def Jam and American Recordings founder, Rick Rubin, are stronger than ever. ...

Run DMC: The Best of Run DMC

Review by Gavin Martin, Daily Mirror, April 2003

Run DMC inspired a generation to turn hip-hop into a multi-billion dollar industry, says GAVIN MARTIN ...

The Fugees: 'Killing Me Softly'

Retrospective by Johnny Black, Blender, May 2003

Vital statistics 

on The Fugees' 'Killing Me Softly' ...

Eminem: Cleaning Up

Profile by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, June 2003

In the hood: Eminem is pulling out all the stops for his European tour ...

Eminem: Milton Keynes Bowl

Live Review by Andy Gill, Independent, The, June 2003

HE'S THE LEADING pop icon of his generation, the undisputed Elvis of his era, and for many of the 65,000 fans who attend his concert, ...

LL Cool J: Beacon Theatre, New York

Live Review by Mac Randall, New York Daily News, June 2003

At Beacon, everybody loves Cool James ...

Dizzee Rascal: Bringing It All Back Home

Profile and Interview by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, August 2003

THE FIRST TIME you hear Boy in da Corner, it's a jolt. The debut album of 18-year-old Dizzee Rascal has just been nominated for the ...

Outkast: Southern Swelter

Interview by JoE Silva, Remix, August 2003

WE ARE ROLLING in a ridiculously immaculate Land Rover beneath a calm Atlanta skyline just after sunset. ...

50 Cent: Wembley Arena

Live Review by Stephen Dalton, Times, The, September 2003

JUST HOURS after winning an impressive trio of MOBO awards at the Royal Albert Hall, gangsta rap superstar 50 Cent played his biggest UK show ...

Wiley

Interview by David Hemingway, unpublished, September 2003

A transcript of an interview that subsequently became an XLR8R feature ...

Bubba Sparxx, Kentucky Headhunters: Bubba Sparxxx: Deliverance (Interscope); Kentucky Headhunters: Soul (Audium/Koch)

Review by Kandia Crazy Horse, Village Voice, The, September 2003

SO THE GRAPEVINE has Hollyweird pondering a film based on late-1970s TV Dixiana The Dukes of Hazzard. The Grandfather Clause prevents me from voting for ...

Grand Wizard Theodore: Yes Yes Y'all and it don't stop, to the beat y'all and it don't stop

Comment by Mark Pringle, Rock's Backpages, October 2003

RBP's very own Mark Pringle got invited to curate the inaugural exhibition – Yes Yes Y'all: hip hop from scratch – at the Hospital in ...

Justin Timberlake, N*E*R*D: Justin Timberlake joins N.E.R.D.: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Josh Rinkoff, Rock's Backpages, November 2003

WHITE, BLACK, Jewish, Muslim. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker. They are all here tonight. Where I hear you ask? Babylon? Brent Cross? No. Tonight I ...

Missy Elliott: This is Not a Test

Review by Ben Thompson, Observer, The, November 2003

WAY BACK IN 1997, when Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott launched her debut album Supa Dupa Fly with the touching dedication "To my mom... I would not ...

Black Eyed Peas: Give Peas Peas A Chance

Interview by Gavin Martin, Daily Mirror, December 2003

HOW THEIR ANTI-WAR SONG AND A FAMOUS FRIEND HELPED BLACK EYED PEAS HIT THE JACKPOT. BY GAVIN MARTIN ...

Dizzee Rascal: Boy In Da Corner

Review by Ben Thompson, Observer, The, 2004

PRECOCIOUS BOW roughneck Dylan Mills knocked up his first single (scabrous teen pregnancy shocker 'I Luv You') in downtime from his school music class at ...

Snoop Doggy Dogg: Gangsters: Snoop Dogg and Michael Imperioli

Report and Interview by Amy Linden, Complex, 2004

"What is it about the gangster mythology...that grabs those of us, especially men outside 'the life'? What is about guys like (the late) John Gotti, ...

Outkast: OutKast: Speakboxxx/The Love Below (Arista)

Review by Barney Hoskyns, Uncut, 2004

THE YIN AND YANG of epicene dandy André 3000 and straight-up, pit-bull-ownin’ Big Boi may yet prove OutKast’s undoing. If so, the duo at least ...

The Beastie Boys

Interview by Amy Linden, Complex, 2004

IT'S A RAINY MARCH morning in NYC; the Beastie Boys are in the hiz-ouse or rather the photo studio and the topic on the table ...

Missy Elliott, Timbaland: Missy Elliott: This Is Not A Test! (Elektra) ***/Timbaland & Magoo: Under Construction Part II (Unique Corp) ***

Review by Angus Batey, MOJO, January 2004

Virginia's avant-garde hip hop twosome are still on the right track on their respective new LPs, but have they started to run out of steam? ...

Kelis: Ice Queen Kelis Blows Her Cool

Interview by Gavin Martin, Daily Mirror, January 2004

KELIS IS BACK WITH A SAUCY ALBUM AND A BAD ATTITUDE ...

Aim, Rae & Christian: Grand Central: Label of Love

Profile by David Hemingway, Record Collector, February 2004

THE UK'S PREMIER soul label, Grand Central, has released music by a hip-hop artiste who cites the Smiths as his greatest influence, a future-funk musician ...

N*E*R*D: Fly or Die (Virgin)****

Review by Ben Thompson, Observer Music Monthly, March 2004

IF ITS ILLUSTRIOUS predecessor – 2001's visionary soft-porn psychedelic soul masterpiece In Search of... – was anything to go by, the release of a new ...

The Streets: Dead Cert: The Streets

Interview by Ben Thompson, Observer, The, April 2004

'I LOVE THE NAME "The Streets",' muses 24 year-old Mike Skinner - at once the mercurial creative-director, canny CEO and flaky spokesmodel of that thriving ...

N*E*R*D: Dweebs In Pepperland: N*E*R*D: Fly Or Die (Virgin)

Review by Dorian Lynskey, Word, The, May 2004

As producers, the Neptunes rule the world. But as N*E*R*D they're losing their way — by Dorian Lynskey ...

Kanye West: The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam) ****

Review by Angus Batey, MOJO, May 2004

Super-producer takes up the mike for his "solo" debut. ...

N*E*R*D: Fly Or Die (Virgin) ****

Review by Angus Batey, MOJO, May 2004

The Neptunes party like it's 1973 ...

The Beastie Boys: The Beasties and their Boroughs

Report and Interview by Phil Sutcliffe, Los Angeles Times, May 2004

"HEY, BUCKINGHAM PALACE!" says Mike Diamond in high, pinched New York tones as Beastie Boys' mini-bus swings past the ugly royal pile. "Hence all the ...

The Streets: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, May 2004

THE DEBUT ALBUM by Mike Skinner, a.k.a. The Streets, (Original Pirate Material) was a touching, thoughtful ode to all the aspects of modern Britain its ...

Kanye West: Forum, London

Live Review by Dorian Lynskey, Guardian, The, May 2004

A PROTEGE OF Jay-Z and Damon Dash, Kanye West is not one to hide his light under a bushel. ...

The Streets: Irving Plaza, New York City

Live Review by Devon Powers, PopMatters, June 2004

LISTENING TO The Streets, one gets a clear indication that Mike Skinner is a punk. He's the kind of guy who'd borrow your car and ...

Martina Topley-Bird

Interview by Dan Gennoe, GQ, July 2004

MARTINA TOPLEY-BIRD'S debut album, Quixotic, has been a long time coming. So long in fact, that it's become the stuff of myth, with rumours of ...

Gil Scott-Heron: Chasing The Heron

Report and Interview by James Maycock, Times, The, July 2004

"I'M ADDICTED to creating," mutters a grizzled, slightly stoned Gil Scott-Heron. "I use other things from time to time." It's late afternoon on Friday 3rd ...

50 Cent

Interview by Ian Watson, Sunday Herald, August 2004

WHAT DID YOU do last night? Nice meal? Drink with friends? Sweat your own body weight in a packed nightclub? Well, guess what? 50 Cent ...

Dizzee Rascal

Profile and Interview by Lulu Le Vay, X-Ray, August 2004

TUESDAY JULY 29th 2003. It has only been three weeks since teen ghetto rapper turned breakneck industry sensation Dizzee Rascal was pulled off his scooter ...

The Roots: The Tipping Point (MCA) ***

Review by Stevie Chick, MOJO, August 2004

Philadelphia freedom: A sixth album of adventurous, organic hip hop from the city of brotherly love. By Stevie Chick ...

Estelle: "The only way I'm going on the cover of FHM is in a body bag"

Interview by Dave Simpson, Guardian, The, September 2004

Estelle, the loudest new voice in hip-hop, talks to Dave Simpson ...

Dizzee Rascal: Lovable Rogue: Dizzee Rascal: Showtime (XL) *****

Review by Ben Thompson, MOJO, October 2004

Deft and ultimately devastating follow up to 2003's Mercury Prize-winning debut. ...

Jay Z, R Kelly: R. Kelly & Jay-Z: Unfinished Business

Review by Dan Gennoe, Yahoo! Music, October 2004

R. KELLY AND JAY-Z. Whichever way you cut it, it's an odd pairing. ...

Dizzee Rascal, So Solid Crew, Wiley: London Calling

Report and Interview by Lloyd Bradley, MOJO, November 2004

Dizzee Rascal is the first artist to score two five-star MOJO reviews with successive albums. Yet Britain's freshest music star is only the most visible ...

Kanye West

Interview by Amy Linden, Complex, Summer 2004

WHEN KANYE WEST'S much anticipated debut The College Dropout hit stores in early February, its blend of inventive production – via a by-now trademark predilection ...

Missy Elliott: The Cookbook (Atlantic/Goldmind)

Review by Dan Gennoe, Yahoo! Music, 2005

IN HER nine year career, Missy Elliott's barely put a foot wrong. And she's not about to start with album number six. ...

Lady Sovereign, M.I.A.: M.I.A. and Lady Sovereign: A Far Cry From North-West London

Profile and Interview by Ben Thompson, Sunday Telegraph, January 2005

Two of this year's most eagerly anticipated records come from young women with some striking similarities. Ben Thompson talks to M.I.A. and Lady Sovereign. ...

M.I.A.

Profile and Interview by Ken Scrudato, Flaunt, February 2005

NEARLY TWENTY years before 9/11/01 – before New Yorkers and other Americans decided to believe that great tragedy had begun and ended with them – ...

Black Eyed Peas: Hammersmith Apollo, London

Live Review by David Sinclair, Times, The, February 2005

CAN IT ONLY be 18 months since the Black Eyed Peas were jostling each other for space on the tiny stage of the 400-capacity Jazz ...

Lil' Kim: Big Verdict: Lil' Kim Is Seriously Fucked

Comment by Amy Linden, Village Voice, The, March 2005

ON MARCH 3, in the midst of her highly publicized trial in Manhattan Federal court, a clearly beleaguered Lil' Kim issued a statement through the ...

Nas: Hip-Hop Violence: Pop Goes The Weasel

Report by Caroline Sullivan, Guardian, The, March 2005

FOR THE RECORD: guns don't go bang but pop, a noise a lot like a jumbo bottle of champagne being opened. As this was a ...

Estelle: Urban Ambassador

Profile and Interview by Sheryl Garratt, Metro, April 2005

IT'S BEEN A long time coming, but finally things are moving for the feisty Fulham-born singer and rapper Estelle. Fast. So fast, in fact, that ...

Faith Evans: Time To Try Again

Interview by Angus Batey, Times, The, April 2005

Two UK No 1s have not made the former Mrs BIG a household name in this country. Faith Evan's new album might just do it ...

Dizzee Rascal: Electric Ballroom, London

Live Review by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, May 2005

DIZZEE RASCAL saunters on stage sporting the infectious grin of a boy who feels that every day is Christmas. Though he starts with 'Sittin' Here', ...

LL Cool J, Faith Evans: Grant Park, Chicago

Live Review by Mark Pringle, Rock's Backpages, July 2005

NOW WE KNOW why the Ladies Love Cool James: it’s not for his remarkably buff 40-something body (though they do love that); not even for ...

Kanye West: Street Smarts: Kanye West: Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella) ****

Review by Simon Reynolds, Uncut, August 2005

Second enthralling album from hip hop's new multi-faceted main man ...

Kanye West: Natural Born Show-off: Kanye West

Report and Interview by Dorian Lynskey, Guardian, The, August 2005

PRESS PLAYBACKS tend to be uncomfortable affairs. A record label, eager to unveil its latest prestige release but terrified of a stray copy leaking on ...

Goldie Lookin' Chain: Safe As Fuck (Atlantic)

Review by Dan Gennoe, dotmusic.co.uk, September 2005

THE PROBLEM WITH jokes is that they're only really funny the first time round. Nowhere is this truer than in music. ...

Lil' Kim: The Naked Truth (Atlantic)

Review by Dan Gennoe, dotmusic.co.uk, September 2005

IF TIMING IS everything, Lil' Kim's couldn't be much worse. ...

Ms Dynamite: Judgement Days

Review by Ian Watson, Yahoo! Music, October 2005

WHEN MS DYNAMITE'S debut album was dismissed by some critics in 2002 as "tiresome finger-wagging", it seemed the erstwhile Niomi McLean-Daley was getting a rough ...

Outkast: OutKast: Idlewild

Review by Dan Gennoe, Q, 2006

ANYONE FEARING that the Day-Glo brilliance of 2003's triple Grammy winner, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, might have marked the height of the Atlanta duo's R&B powers ...

Rhymefest

Report and Interview by Angus Batey, Hip-Hop Connection, 2006

ONE OF the most unexpected meetings in English Parliamentary history took place in late October, when Rhymefest sat down with Conservative Party leader David Cameron. ...

The Streets: The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living (679) ****

Review by David Stubbs, Uncut, May 2006

MIKE SKINNER'S EXISTENCE has been transformed by success and fortune. It's a fortune accrued by observing, in startlingly prosaic detail, a life of Wetherspoons and ...

Tom Silverman: No Expense Spared

Interview by Larry Jaffee, MediaPack, May 2006

Tom Silverman, the pioneer rap music label owner of New York-based Tommy Boy Records, is unusual among his label head peers. He's willing to spend ...

Kanye West: Late Orchestration (Mercury/Def Jam) ***

Review by Stephen Dalton, Uncut, July 2006

Superstar rapper reinvents his sound at intimate London show ...

Peaches: Filth and Fury

Profile and Interview by Caroline Sullivan, Guardian, The, July 2006

For Peaches, the famously X-rated rapper, the personal has just got political. Caroline Sullivan hears about her beef with Bush ...

Timbaland: "I'm up here. Everyone else is down there."

Profile and Interview by Angus Batey, Guardian, The, August 2006

TIM "TIMBALAND" Mosley, the most in-demand music producer in the world, is tired. But the task of staying awake is made easier because, right now, ...

Ice Cube: Respectability? It Can Wait

Interview by Caroline Sullivan, Guardian, The, August 2006

He went from gangsta notoriety to Hollywood stardom. Now Ice Cube has returned to the studio – to show today's rappers where they've gone wrong. ...

Fergie Admits Drugs Shame!

Profile and Interview by Caroline Sullivan, Guardian, The, September 2006

THE THREE GIRLS on the south London station platform couldn't have been more than 13, and as they waited for the train, they were singing, ...

The Roots: They're A (Funky) American Band

Profile by Jason Gross, Creative Loafing, October 2006

"WHAT KIND OF music do they play?" a Def Jam receptionist innocently asked, when queried about the Roots. Although self-classified as a rap group, the ...

Ghostface Killah: Coronet, London ***

Live Review by Angus Batey, Guardian, The, October 2006

"IF YOU listen to my lyrics, you'll know I'm a soul baby," confesses Dennis Coles midway through a typically eccentric set. "And you've got to ...

Nas: Why The Grammys Have Ditched Rap

Comment by Edward Helmore, Guardian, The, December 2006

RAP MUSIC, and the commotion, fur and bling that often accompanies its biggest stars, will be noticeably absent from the Grammy awards in Los Angeles ...

Dr. Dre, N.W.A.: Jerry Heller

Interview by Angus Batey, Hip-Hop Connection, January 2007

JERRY HELLER may just have the most undeservedly bad rep in the history of hip hop. ...

Infinite Livez

Interview by Neil Kulkarni, Plan B, April 2007

WHAT ARE you playing at? "Not what you think" whispers Infinite Livez, Big Dada's most wayward emissary and co–creator (alongside Swedish electrojazz–duo Stade) of a ...

Dizzee Rascal: Word Champion

Interview by Ben Thompson, Observer, The, April 2007

Dizzee Rascal is not proud of everything in his past, he tells Ben Thompson in a remarkably frank interview. But he's more than happy with ...

Dizzee Rascal: 'I Was Just Being Cheeky'

Interview by Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times, June 2007

TOP OF the world, that's how Dizzee Rascal feels. Early sales of his new album Maths and English indicate a top-10 hit. "It's a couple ...

Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: 1977 New York gets the VH1 treatment and, oh my, wasn't it fun back then!

Retrospective by Will Hermes, Village Voice, The, July 2007

OH YES, it was wicked cool: getting jacked at machete-point on the subway after a night of clubbing, and at bayonet-point outside of high school. ...

Facing Off: Blackface, Minstrels and Hip Hop

Comment by Miles Marshall Lewis, Dazed & Confused, September 2007

In the year that Russell Simmons, Kurtis Blow and Eric B called for a clean-up of attitudes and language in hip hop, Miles Marshall Lewis, ...

Kanye West: Graduation (Def Jam/Mercury) ****

Review by Dorian Lynskey, Guardian, The, September 2007

WHATEVER YOU THINK of Kanye West — genius, prat, prattish genius — chances are he has thought it first. ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: Change the Game

Interview by Michael A. Gonzales, Stop Smiling, Winter 2007

FROM CINEMATIC outlaws Vito Corleone (The Godfather) and Priest (Super Fly) to real life dons like John Gotti and Nicky Barnes, the mythology of gangsterism ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: American Gangster (Roc-A-Fella) ****

Review by Dorian Lynskey, Q, January 2008

Four years and two albums into his "retirement", hip hop's chief tycoon relocates his mojo. ...

50 Cent: Always The Lion In The Room

Interview by Ben Thompson, Financial Times, February 2008

ON MEETING the rapper and business mogul 50 Cent, the first thing you notice is that he's a lot smaller than he looks onstage. In ...

The Roots: It's Like A Jungle Sometimes...

Report and Interview by Angus Batey, Guardian, The, April 2008

They are a hip-hop purist's dream, constantly touring and constantly praised. But behind the scenes, the Roots have a fight on their hands. Angus Batey ...

Tricky: Return Of The Bristol Rover

Interview by Ben Thompson, Daily Telegraph, June 2008

After exploding on to the trip-hop scene with Massive Attack and as a solo artist, Tricky decamped to America to go through what some see ...

Kanye West: Sensitive Soul

Report by John Doran, Quietus, The, June 2008

Quietus Editor John Doran gets drunk, falls over, destroys phone, makes noise like "broken panther" and has Proustian recall of two run ins with rap ...

Tricky

Interview by Stephen Dalton, Venue , July 2008

HOME, THE saying goes, is a place you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to return to. The most restless, prolific, exotic, ...

Russell Simmons: The Hustler

Interview by Angus Batey, Guardian, The, September 2008

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons helped Run DMC, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys make it big. But is his greatest talent self-promotion? Angus Batey meets ...

DJ Kool Herc: D.J. Kool Herc: The Holy House of Hip-hop

Report and Interview by Michael A. Gonzales, New York Magazine, September 2008

On August 11, 1973, D.J. Kool Herc didn't know he was revolutionizing pop music – he was just trying to keep people dancing. The rec ...

The Streets: Everything Is Borrowed **

Review by David Quantick, Q, October 2008

The last one honked. This is possibly even worse. ...

50 Cent: From The Firing Line To The Firing Range

Interview by Angus Batey, Guardian, The, October 2008

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is in a strangely revealing mood as he discusses working with De Niro and Pacino, how getting shot harmed his record ...

Kanye West: 808s & Heartbreak

Review by Dan Gennoe, dotmusic.co.uk, November 2008

AROUND THE RELEASE of last album, 2007's Graduation, something changed with Kanye West. The most infectious and commercially astute voice in hip hop added to ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: Grandmaster Flash (2009)

Interview by Andrew Purcell, Rock's Backpages Audio, 2009

Flash talks about his latest album The Bridge, but then takes us back to the Bronx in the mid-'70s, his technical innovations, experiences with Sugar Hill records, and his addiction and the lost years.

File format: mp3; file size: 61.8mb, interview length: 1h 07' 31" sound quality: ****

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: Grandmaster Flash: All Hands On Deck

Profile and Interview by Andrew Purcell, Guardian, The, February 2009

They thought he was mad, they spat him off stage, he hit the drugs... But Grandmaster Flash gave 'DJ' a whole new meaning. Andrew Purcell ...

Rakim

Interview by Angus Batey, Hip-Hop Connection, April 2009

I GUESS you could say he's been away. But he's never strayed far. ...

The Demise of Vibe and the Future of Criticism

Comment by Mark Anthony Neal, PopMatters, July 2009

THERE'S NO SMALL irony to the fact that the announcement of the folding of Vibe magazine occurred the day after the death of Michael Jackson. ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: The Blueprint 3

Review by Stephen Dalton, Times, The, September 2009

IN 2001, SHAWN "Jay-Z" Carter released The Blueprint, a critical and commercial smash which set a standard the Brooklyn-born rap mogul has struggled to match ...

Kanye West

Profile by Stephen Dalton, National, The, September 2009

WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA branded rapper Kanye West a "jackass" for his one-man stage invasion at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York last Sunday, ...

Dizzee Rascal: Roundhouse, London ****

Live Review by Caroline Sullivan, Guardian, The, October 2009

"DIZZEE RASCAL for prime minister, yeah?" As if to emphasise that he is more than just an east London grime MC these days, Rascal ended ...

Def Jam at 25: The Yankees of Hip-Hop Labels, Reconsidered

Comment by Amy Linden, Village Voice, The, October 2009

WHAT IS IT about hip-hop that, inevitably, almost any conversation revolves around dates – around how far back in the day you can claim to ...

Dizzee Rascal: Dizzee Heights or The Year Of The Rascal

Interview by Ian Gittins, Wonderland, November 2009

"I wake up, every day is a daydream/Everything in my life ain't what it seems..."– 'Bonkers', Dizzee Rascal ...

So Solid Crew: 'What We're Doing Is Bigger Than Music'

Interview by Angus Batey, Guardian, The, January 2010

After a dramatic rise and a messy, destructive fall, So Solid are back. This time they intend to keep the tunes – and the money ...

Aidonia, Movado: This Month In... Dancehall: Why Only Jamaicans Should Use Autotune 


Overview by Neil Kulkarni, Quietus, The, March 2010

Neil Kulkarni delivers a swingeing blow to the whingers. Imagine a glitter and blood encrusted Doc Marten stamping on the face of autotune for all ...

Eminem: Recovery (Aftermath Entertainment)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, June 2010

On his seventh album Eminem is more genuinely impassioned than he's sounded in years. ...

Kelis

Interview by Ian Gittins, Wonderland, September 2010

THE SINGER ON BALANCING MUSIC, MOTHERHOOD, CLUBBING AND COOKING ...

The Last Poets: After The Party: Music and the Black Panthers

Retrospective and Interview by Dorian Lynskey, Guardian, The, September 2010

ONE DAY LAST DECEMBER, Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets attended a gathering in Chicago to commemorate local Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, ...

Tricky: Koko, London ***

Live Review by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, October 2010

Still tripping on the ghosts of the past ...

CeeLo Green: Cee Lo Green: The Fearless Cee Lo Green

Interview by Amy Linden, Village Voice, The, November 2010

Will The Lady Killer and 'Fuck You' finally turn him into a solo superstar? ...

Wyclef Jean: "Fans are calling me the new Dylan"

Interview by Dorian Lynskey, Guardian, The, December 2010

WHAT SCUPPERED Wyclef Jean's bid to be president of Haiti? Well, it wasn't modesty. On the eve of the election result, the rapper talks death ...

Plan B: 'Strickland Banks may be soul, but it's still real life': Plan B

Report and Interview by Ian Gittins, Guardian, The, December 2010

THE INTERNATIONAL lingua franca of Christmas TV is fromage and France's leading commercial channel, TF1, is no exception. Having arrived in Paris on a lunchtime ...

N*E*R*D, Pharrell Williams: Pharrell Williams: Neptune Rising

Report and Interview by Ian Gittins, Man About Town, Winter 2010

PHARRELL Vs THE FASHIONISTAS ...

Drake: Hammersmith Apollo, London

Live Review by Ian Gittins, Guardian, The, January 2011

DRAKE was one of 2010's more singular success stories. ...

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All: Odd Future: Youth and Young Manhood

Guide by John Calvert, Quietus, The, March 2011

After Tyler The Creator signed to XL recently, John Calvert decided to sift through hundreds and hundreds of tracks to bring you the best — ...

Eminem: Slim Shady's Rap-Sheet Of Relapse And Recovery

Profile by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, April 2011

Eminem soared from drug-filled poverty to adulation and notoriety, and then collapsed into gilded, narcotic, seclusion. But, after his latest comeback, his biographer Nick Hasted ...

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All: Tyler The Creator In The UK: Forget Hip-Hop, We're The New Sex Pistols!

Interview by Paul Lester, Guardian, The, May 2011

Tyler the Creator touches down to talk goblins, chillwave and the trouble with saying stupid stuff ...

Tyler, The Creator: Goblin (XL)

Review by John Doran, Quietus, The, May 2011

OUR FRIEND and writer for The Stool Pigeon and this organ Kev Kharas recently went to interview Tyler The Creator. The mewling twit (Mr Creator ...

Hip-Hop and Festivals: An Awkward Relationship

Comment by Ben Myers, Guardian, The, June 2011

When they get it right, rappers can rival stadium rock acts. But a mere gust of wind can expose how few MCs can hack festivals ...

A Tribe Called Quest: 20 Years On: A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory Revisited

Retrospective by Angus Batey, Quietus, The, October 2011

20 years after it was released and a month before the UK premiere of the Tribe Called Quest documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life, Angus Batey ...

Outkast: An Album of the Year 2000: OutKast: Stankonia

Retrospective by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, October 2011

WHAT INITIALLY seems like a throwaway title of nonsensical playfulness is actually a very astute summary of the first truly great rap record of the ...

Drake: Take Care (Cash Money Records)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2011

Drake is here for the long run — and he's already outrunning most. ...

Tinie Tempah, O2 Arena, London ***

Live Review by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, November 2011

I HEARD PEOPLE close to Tinie Tempah talk passionately about how his appeal and personal qualities were part of a Britain that went beyond race, ...

The Notorious B.I.G.: Notorious B.I.G.: Forever

Retrospective by Michael A. Gonzales, XXL, March 2012

It's been 15 years since the greatest rapper of all time, THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G., was taken from hip-hop, but his legacy continues to loom large. ...

Nicki Minaj: Pink Friday – Roman Reloaded

Review by Kate Allen, idolmag.co.uk, April 2012

TENACIOUS, AMUSING AND, ABOVE ALL, "the best" – make no mistake, with Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Nicki Minaj is here to reaffirm her rap territory ...

Cypress Hill, D'Angelo, Snoop Doggy Dogg, The Notorious B.I.G., Tricky: Blunted On Reality: A Journalist Recalls Smoking With Snoop Dogg, Biggie, Cypress Hill & More

Memoir by Michael A. Gonzales, Complex, April 2012

"Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians, and entertainers, Their satanic music is driven by marijuana."— Harry J. Anslinger, America's First Drug Czar ...

Frank Ocean: The Future's Bright: Frank Ocean's Channel Orange Track-by-Track

Review by John Calvert, Quietus, The, July 2012

John Calvert heads along to a London studio for a first listen to the forthcoming album (much anticipated round these parts) from Frank Ocean ...

Frank Ocean Comes Out: A Brave Move In The Exaggeratedly Heterosexual World Of Hip Hop

Comment by Dorian Lynskey, New Statesman, July 2012

What it means to be the first out gay star in urban music. ...

Nicki Minaj: Hammersmith Apollo, London

Live Review by Kate Allen, Fly, The, August 2012

THREE HOURS before Nicki Minaj is due onstage, there are miles of fans queuing outside the Apollo. Many have camped out overnight, sleeping in bin ...

Kendrick Lamar: Hammersmith Apollo, London

Live Review by Dorian Lynskey, Guardian, The, January 2013

ON A snowy night in London, Compton seems as distant as Mars. Twenty-five years ago the Los Angeles suburb was the epicentre of a hip-hop ...

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five: Grandmaster Flash: Dogstar, Brixton, London

Live Review by Stephen Dalton, Times, The, January 2013

IT FEELS oddly incongruous to witness one of the legendary founding fathers of a billion-dollar musical genre playing to 300 people in a modest pub-style ...

Public Enemy at Rikers Island

Retrospective and Interview by Amy Linden, Red Bull Academy Magazine, April 2013

IT'S DIFFICULT for a generation raised on Carrie and the girls, luxury condos and cabs that have no problem taking you to Brooklyn to wrap ...

Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Stryder, Tinie Tempah: "This is What London Is": The Growth of Grime

Book Excerpt by Lloyd Bradley, Serpent's Tail Books, August 2013

"WHEN I INITIALLY started producing, I started grabbing reggae influences, hip-hop influences, mixing it with my own London flava, then you got the MCs on ...

Drake: Nothing Was The Same

Review by Kate Allen, Planet Notion, September 2013

IN A post Kanye-West-interview-with-Zane-Lowe world, Drake is looking like an average Joe. He's a heavyweight big-name, big-bucks star, yet he registers nowhere on the insanity ...

Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj: Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne: The Blueprint Group

Profile and Interview by Kate Allen, IDOL, September 2013

"The Blueprint Group makes brands out of rappers and turns their dreams of success into a reality." ...

M.I.A.: Matangi (Interscope)

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, November 2013

IF MAYA ARULPRAGASAM has a persecution complex, she's earned it. ...

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