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Frank Owen

Frank Owen

Frank Owen was born in Manchester, England and in the mid 1980s began his career at Melody Maker where he specialized in hip-hop and house music. In 1987, he moved to New York and became the Music Editor at Spin magazine. In the mid 1990s, he started writing for the Village Voice where he penned a string of controversial cover stories about the seedy underbelly of New York nightlife, which became the basis for his first book Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture a.k.a Clubland Confidential (2003). Four years later he published No Speed Limit: The Highs and Lows of Meth which he wrote high on speed.  

For the last decade, Frank Owen has been an investigative reporter for Playboy magazine specializing in drug and murder stories. He has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsday, Vibe, Elle, Miami New Times, Maxim, and many other outlets.  

He currently lives in Miami Beach with his wife Lera and their two children, Spike the dog and Max the cat.

Frank Owen online

List of articles in the library by artist

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. ...

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 ...

Adeva: This Is A Warning

Profile and Interview by Frank Owen, Spin, October 1989

New Jersey has become a hothouse of hot house music. Adeva takes you there. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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

Interview by Frank Owen, NME, 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Cameo: Word Up (Club)

Review by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, October 1986

SWEET TALKING GUY ...

Candi, Daryl Pandy: Chicago House: Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, Part 2

Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, August 1986

At the centre of the House stands the figure of the deejay. But the Chicago Sound is not all cross-fading, mixing and sampling, as Frank ...

Cherrelle, Alexander O'Neal: Cherrelle and Alexander O'Neal: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, March 1986

IN THE LATEST edition of Monitor, Chris Stubbs suggests that soul music's fading calling card is now sex music. And it's certainly true that the ...

Chip E., Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson: Chicago House: Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, Part 1

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

In the first of two instalments, Atlantic-hopping Frank Owen introduces DJ International, home of CHICAGO HOUSE music, the finest club beat of the moment ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Faith No More: Artists Of The Year

Interview by Frank Owen, Spin, December 1990

WHETHER HE'S advising Sassy readers to take drugs, kill babies, and steal everything, or wearing a shirt with multiple images of Jesus Christ jacking off ...

Fela Kuti: Brixton Academy, London

Live Review by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, November 1986

COSTUME DRAMAS ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

Larry Levan: Paradise Lost

Retrospective by Frank Owen, Vibe, November 1993

For over a decade, Larry Levan ruled the dance-music world from his roost in the DJ booth at New York's legendary Paradise Garage. Last November, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Arthur Russell: Echo Beach

Profile and Interview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, April 1987

YOU MAY KNOW ARTHUR RUSSELL FOR HIS WORLD OF ECHO ALBUM. THEN AGAIN, YOU MAY REMEMBER DINOSAUR L OR THE NECESSARIES OR... WELL. FRANK OWEN TAKES US ON A TRIP ...

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. ...

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: 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 ...

Womack and Womack: Soul Wars: Womack And Womack: The Dominion, London

Live Review by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, September 1985

TEXTURING INTIMACIES with the grain of their extraordinary, conflicting voices, Womack And Womack have almost singlehandedly rescued the dramas and gestures of love from the ...

Wu-Tang Clan is Sumthing ta Fuck Wit

Report by Frank Owen, Village Voice, 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 ...

List of genre pieces

Death of a Disco Dancer

Report by Frank Owen, Village Voice, February 1999

New details about Tunnel drug overdose allegation ...

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 ...

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 ...

Pop Journalism: Write of Wrong?

Overview by Frank Owen, Melody Maker, May 1986

Is it pop we're disillusioned with, or pop journalism? Is Paul Morley the curse or the saviour of the scribbling classes? Frank Owen takes a ...

The Greening of Planet Pop

Report by Frank Owen, Spin, January 1990

Ecology is the greatest thing on a lot of rock stars' minds these days. But what about all the plastic wrap on their albums? ...

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