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Amy Linden

Amy Linden

Amy Linden has toiled selflessly as a music and culture critic for over 20 years. She has written for numerous newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, People, Vibe, and XXL. Among her achievements: contributing essays to major publications: The Rolling Stone Book of Women In Rock, Rip It Up: The Black Experience in Rock N' Roll and the acclaimed Rock She Wrote; she also co-hosted VH1’s groundbreaking 4 On The Floor. She was a senior writer and contributor at XXL. Amy is a long time Brooklyn resident, a mother and doesn't get paid enough.

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184 articles

List of articles in the library

By date | By artist | Most recently added

Gang of Four

Interview by Amy Linden, Damage, August 1980

I ALWAYS assumed that once "we the fans" began promoting and putting on shows, the bullshit would stop. I also held to the dream that ...

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 ...

AC/DC: Blow Up Your Video (Atlantic)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, June 1988

FOR THOSE of you who haven't been paying much attention, let me let you in on a little secret: It's okay to like Heavy Metal ...

Merle Haggard: Chill Factor (Epic)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, June 1988

NEW TRADITION, old tradition, any old way you choose it. Merle Haggard is a country music category unto himself. Any guy that lists his prison ...

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: Up Your Alley (Blackheart/CBS)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, July 1988

HOW DO I love Joan Jett? Lemme count the ways, 1, 2, 3, 4! ...

Adele Bertei: Little Lives (Chrysalis)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, September 1988

IF THE image you have of Adele Bertei is that of a downtown scenester, banging out post-punk tunes with the Contortions, or starring in those ...

The Sugarcubes: Iceland's "Little People" Make a Big Noise

Interview by Amy Linden, Musician, October 1988

THE SUGARCUBES are not only a new band, and a very good band, but they are probably (no, let us make that definitely) the only ...

Boys, The (U.S.), New Kids On The Block: The Boys: Message From The Boys (Motown); New Kids On The Block: Hanging Tough (Columbia)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, June 1989

IN THE beginning there was the Jackson 5. They were cute, they were blessed with the best producers and material, they oozed personality. They were ...

Aretha Franklin: Through The Storm (Arista)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, August 1989

ARETHA'S THE Queen of Soul; you know it, I know it, it's so obvious that it should be a Jeopardy question. Hell, even she knows ...

Chuckii Booker: Chuckii (Atlantic)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, October 1989

I DON'T KNOW what "new jack" is, or what the latest polyrhythm is, but I do know that when someone like Chuckii Booker comes along ...

Patti LaBelle, Regina Belle: Regina Belle: Stay With Me (Columbia)/Patti LaBelle: Be Yourself (MCA)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, February 1990

THE DIVA is that most special of musical creations; her care and feeding are extremely important. ...

Lisa Stansfield: Affection (Arista) ****

Review by Amy Linden, Rolling Stone, 3 May 1990

ENGLAND HAS been spewing out the latest in hip soul stylists, but the "style" part hasn't been cutting the mustard. Mostly the records have been ...

Howard Hewett: Howard Hewett (Brian)

Review by Amy Linden, Musician, July 1990

HOWARD HEWETT was the lead singer in the dance/pop trio Shalamar, whose femme fatale, Jody Watley, has since become the much bigger star. It would ...

Concrete Blonde's Ambition

Interview by Amy Linden, Spin, September 1990

Concrete Blonde leave a little blood on the tracks, says AMY LINDEN. ...

Cameo: Real Men... Wear Black (PolyGram) ***

Review by Amy Linden, Rolling Stone, 6 September 1990

THERE WAS a time when Larry Blackmon's yowl was a definite signal to be on the lookout for the funk. Cameo's leader and main vocalist ...

Was (Not Was): Are You Okay? (Chrysalis)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, November 1990

WHILE THE last Was LP was a tribute, if you will, to '70s soul, this time the beats are more current. Purists will cry sellout, ...

The Replacements: Replacements R.I.P.

Interview by Amy Linden, Spin, December 1990

IS IT THE END OF THE ROAD FOR AMERICA'S UNSUNG ROCK HEROES? AMY LINDEN TALKS TO THE BAND IN MINNEAPOLIS DURING A WALKING TOUR OF ...

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 ...

Rosanne Cash: Interiors (Columbia)

Review by Amy Linden, Spin, January 1991

ROSANNE CASH wasn't kidding when she called this one Interiors. With the exception of 'This World' (which is about child abuse, among other things, and ...

Al B. Sure!: Private Times... and the Whole 9! (Warner Bros.) **½

Review by Amy Linden, Rolling Stone, 24 January 1991

FRAMING PRIVATE Times... and the Whole 9!, the latest from Al B. Sure!, is a remake of 'Hotel California'. Yes, that 'Hotel California' — and ...

Ralph Tresvant: Ralph Tresvant (MCA)

Review by Amy Linden, Rolling Stone, 7 February 1991

RALPH TRESVANT is a pretty package, but once you rip off the ornamentation, all you're left with is a box filled with Styrofoam peanuts and ...

Phranc: Phranc Talk

Interview by Amy Linden, Hits, 20 May 1991

Time for a cup of joe and a doughnut with Phranc ...

Queen Latifah: Nature of a Sister (Tommy Boy)

Review by Amy Linden, The Boston Phoenix, 6 September 1991

Queen of love: Is Nature of a Sister Latifah's ticket to pop success? ...

Kris Krosses Over

Interview by Amy Linden, Hits, 25 May 1992

They're young, they're cute and they're selling more records than the law should allow. It's Kris Kross, straight outta Atlanta... and puberty. Thirteen-year-olds Chris Smith ...

T Bone Burnett

Interview by Amy Linden, Creem, October 1992

ALTHOUGH THE understated and pointedly emotional The Criminal Under My Hat (Columbia) is Texas-raised/L.A.-based producer/musician T-Bone Burnett's first release since 1988, he ain't exactly in ...

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 ...

Young Disciples: Road to Freedom (Mercury)

Review by Amy Linden, Creem, March 1993

GET MORE than three Brits together in the same club and the next thing you know you've got yourself a whole goddamn movement, with accompanying ...

Womack and Womack: House of Zekkariyas: Womack and Womack Transformation to the House of Zekkariyas (Warner Brothers 4-450-75)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 28 March 1993

THE SINGING group House of Zekkariyas (formerly known as Womack and Womack) has a soul pedigree that runs river deep. Linda Womack is the daughter ...

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 ...

Snow

Interview by Amy Linden, Creem, April 1993

SNOW, HIS mixer Prince, their manager, their publicist, and myself are seated around a table trying to figure out what it is we have ordered ...

Apache Indian: No Reservations (Mango 1625399324)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 25 April 1993

A 25-YEAR-old disk jockey and first-generation Briton from the Punjab Province of India, Steve Kapul has been inspired by the music of the West Indies. ...

Dr. Dre: Ain't nothing but a gender thang?

Interview by Amy Linden, Request, May 1993

Dr. Dre and writer Amy Linden go one-on-one on sexism and The Chronic. Nobody wins. ...

LL Cool J: L.L. Cool J: 14 Shots to the Dome (Def Jam/Columbia 53325; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 9 May 1993

Making a Pitch To Rap's Hard Core ...

Dr. Dre, Snoop (Doggy) Dogg: Dr. Dre: The Chronic (Death Row/Interscope Records 257128; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 20 June 1993

AS HOMAGES to male bonding go, it would be hard to beat 'Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang', the hit single from The Chronic, the latest ...

Run-DMC: Run DMC: The Grand Old Men of Rap Strike Back

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 20 June 1993

THE RAPPER Run (Joseph Simmons) snakes his way down the corridors leading to the green room at MTV's mid-Manhattan studio. Everywhere he turns, there's an ...

Crush

Interview by Amy Linden, Creem, July 1993

"IT'S constricting," is how guitarist John Carruthers and drummer Paul Ferguson admit to feeling anytime their U.K./U.S. band, Crush, is tagged "alternative". ...

SWV returning home as VIPs

Interview by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 15 July 1993

SWV STANDS for "Sisters With Voices." No, they aren't sisters, but they have voices that you cannot get away from, no matter how hard you ...

Bell Biv DeVoe: Hootie Mack (MCA 10682; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 18 July 1993

When Rap Meets Rhythm-and-Blues ...

H-Town, Jade, LL Cool J, Naughty By Nature, Shai, Silk, SWV: L.L. Cool J, Naughty by Nature, H-Town, Jade, SWV, Silk, Shai: Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 20 July 1993

Hormones in Harmony at Garden Summerfest sizzles with sex as rappers drop trousers & leave pants in their wake ...

Tony! Toni! Toné!: Sons of Soul (Mercury 3145514933-2; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 5 September 1993

Basking in Soul's Past Glory ...

The CBS Orchestra, Bernie Worrell: Funk master Worrell gets "a steady gig"

Report and Interview by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 6 September 1993

Brilliant Bernie joins Letterman show's band ...

Will Downing: Love's the Place to Be (Mercury 3145180862; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 26 September 1993

WILL DOWNING'S voice is an elegant, languid caress. But the 28-year-old singer, who has three previous albums, has never enjoyed the success of Luther Vandross ...

Jody Watley: Intimacy (MCA)

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, November 1993

I DON'T WANT a gangsta bitch. Granted, no one's offering, but I don't want one. I don't think bitches ain't nuthin' but hoes and tricks, ...

Iggy Pop: American Caesar (Virgin 39002; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 14 November 1993

Iggy Pop Is Still Doing It His Way ...

Terri & Monica: Terri and Monica: Systa (Epic Records 53436; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 21 November 1993

THE PHENOMENAL crossover success of the singer Mary J. Blige has, not surprisingly, produced a truckload of street-savvy, no-nonsense female rhythm-and-blues singers. Taking their cue ...

Toni Braxton

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, Essence, December 1993

She's putting the blues back into R&B and singing up a quiet storm ...

Toni Braxton: Her Throaty Alto Gently Echoes An Earlier Era

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 5 December 1993

THE FIRST clue that Toni Braxton's career was about to take off came in 1992 when she was the featured singer on the soundtrack for ...

Dead Can Dance: Into the Labyrinth (4AD 45384-2; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 12 December 1993

OVER THE course of 12 years and six albums, the Anglo-Irish duo Dead Can Dance has created music that gives new meaning to the word ...

Jodeci: Diary of a Mad Band (Uptown Records UPTC 10915; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 9 January 1994

The Hip-Hop's Great, but There's Just One Problem ...

Afghan Whigs: Gentlemen (Elektra Records 9-61501-2; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 6 February 1994

IT'S IRONIC that Greg Dulli, leader of the Afghan Whigs, has gained a reputation as alternative rock's newest sex symbol. The Cincinnati-based group's first major-label ...

Ten City: That Was Then, This Is Now (Columbia CT57183; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 15 May 1994

BYRON STINGILY, singer for the trio Ten City, is a disciple of Sylvester, one of disco's biggest male stars. Like Sylvester, who died in 1988, ...

The Beastie Boys: Ill Communication (Grand Royal/Capitol C27243-828599; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 5 June 1994

The Beastie Boys Strut Their Stuff ...

Marxman, MC Solaar: Marxman: 33 Revolutions per Minute (Talking Loud/A&M; 514 538-2); MC Solaar: Prose Combat (Cohiba 697 124 013)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 26 June 1994

Exportable Euro-Rappers ...

Dan Penn: A Career Made of Being Where He Doesn't Belong

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 31 July 1994

DAN PENN is propped against a graffiti-covered wall in Harlem. The photographer motions to him and Mr. Penn responds by pushing his sunglasses down and ...

Deee-Lite: Dew Drops in the Garden (Elektra) ****

Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 31 July 1994

New growth in Deee-Lite's Garden Downtown trio gets back in the groove with third album ...

Boyz II Men: II (Motown) ****

Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 4 September 1994

Boyz II Men: A Smooth Transition. II shows Philly quartet isn't just a passing fancy. ...

Bootsy Collins: Tramps, New York NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 1 October 1994

Despite Sore Throat, Bootsy Puts His Best Funk Forward ...

Bobby Womack: Resurrection (Continuum Records 19401; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 9 October 1994

BOBBY WOMACK, one of soul's unsung heroes, hasn't put out an album since the mid-80's. The man who played with the legendary Sam Cooke and ...

Bobby Womack: Resurrection (Continuum Records 19401; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 9 October 1994

BOBBY WOMACK, one of soul's unsung heroes, hasn't put out an album since the mid-80's. The man who played with the legendary Sam Cooke and ...

Luther Vandross: Songs (Epic, $15.98)

Review by Amy Linden, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 October 1994

Some Schmaltz From Vandross ...

Bootsy Collins: Q&A With Bootsy Collins

Interview by Amy Linden, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 October 1994

THE PREMIER funk bassist of this or any other time, place or galaxy, William (Bootsy) Collins, is back on the road and representing the P-Funk ...

Carleen Anderson, Des'ree, Dionne Farris, Shara Nelson: New albums from Des'ree, Shara Nelson, Carleen Anderson and Dionne Farris

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 8 January 1995

Rhythm-and-Blues Has a New Breed ...

Oasis: Definitely Maybe (Epic; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 15 January 1995

THE BRITISH band Oasis is the latest in what often seems like an endless string of next big things. It arrives in America with three ...

Mary J. Blige, TLC: TLC: Crazysexycool (LaFace/Arista): Mary J. Blige: My Life (Uptown/MCA)

Review by Amy Linden, Request, February 1995

WRITER F. SCOTT Fitzgerald once said there are no second acts in American Life, but had he been in the pop-music business, he might have ...

Naughty by Nature: Poverty's Paradise (Tommy Boy; CD and cassette)

Review by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 16 July 1995

PERHAPS THE biggest crime a hip-hop act can commit is to go pop, to soften its sound to achieve mass appeal. Over the course of ...

Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, Montell Jordan, TLC: Boyz II Men, TLC, Mary J. Blige, Montell Jordan: Budweiser Superfest, Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 31 July 1995

Budfest: State of the Art Black pop is in fine shape, even if Garden sound isn't ...

Omar: For Pleasure (RCA)

Review by Amy Linden, Request, August 1995

AMERICA MAY have invented it, but over the past few years the most intriguing R&B has come out of England. From the Young Disciples, Loose ...

Terence Trent D'Arby: Not Just a Comeback. A Reinvention.

Interview by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 13 August 1995

TERENCE TRENT D'Arby is explaining, for what may be the umpteenth time, why he lopped off his dreadlocks in favor of a close-cropped peroxide coif. ...

PM Dawn: Is P.M. Dawn's Prince Be the Brian Wilson of Hip-Hop? God only knows

Interview by Amy Linden, Rolling Stone, 19 October 1995

PRINCE BE sits behind the console of a studio in midtown Manhattan. "I am actually aching to stop working," he says with a sigh, leaning ...

Al Green: Still Spreading The Good Word

Interview by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 31 October 1995

THE REVEREND Al Green is explaining why, after 18 years of singing sacred music, his gospel fans will understand why he has re-entered the world ...

Mariah Carey: Daydream (Columbia)

Review by Amy Linden, Request, December 1995

BY THE time this review appears, Daydream will be dominating the charts and Mariah Carey will be making mad money. So it won't matter to ...

R. Kelly: R. Kelly (Jive Records, $14.98) ★★★

Review by Amy Linden, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 December 1995

R. Kelly's Latest Subtle, But Still Sexy ...

The Tony Rich Project: Tony Rich: Atlanta

Interview by Amy Linden, Request, March 1996

ARMED WITH MUSCULAR BALLADS AND A LILTING, MODULATED EMOTIONALITY, HE IS THE LATEST SENSITIVE LOVE MAN. ...

Babyface, D'Angelo, Marvin Gaye, Maxwell, Omar, The Tony Rich Project: Young Crooners Learn The Subtle Art of Seduction

Report by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 7 April 1996

A QUIET revolution is at hand in urban music. Gone is the boasting about the girl you seduced last night and can't remember today. These ...

Jodeci, LL Cool J, Maxwell, Omar, The Tony Rich Project: Romeos of Record

Comment by Amy Linden, New York Times Special Features Syndication, 9 April 1996

Today's black singers conquer charts and hearts by crooning instead of crowing. ...

The Replacements, Paul Westerberg: Paul Westerberg: Former Angry Young Man Now a Bit Amused

Interview by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 6 May 1996

Paul Westerberg wears the crown of pop punk king very reluctantly ...

Merle Haggard: Tramps, New York NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 13 May 1996

The bus stops here, at long last, and Merle shows he's still one of our great country men ...

The Fugees: With Help From Roberta Flack, The Fugees Are Redefining Rap

Interview by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 26 May 1996

IT'S SEVERAL HOURS BEFORE the start of the recent Fugees show here at the Irvine Auditorium on the University of Pennsylvania campus, and the rap ...

Rosanne Cash: Turn the Page

Interview by Amy Linden, Replay (Sam Goody), June 1996

With a new album and a book of short fiction, Rosanne Cash reinvents herself again. ...

Nas: Rap: Nas-ter Has Success 'Written' All Over Him

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 25 July 1996

Speaking the Queensbridge English, recording artist is the city's No. 1 son ...

Ike Turner: It Didn't Work Out Fine — Ike Turner: Tramps, New York NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 26 August 1996

Ike Turner still can light fires with his guitar, but new Ikettes lack the spark to keep it going ...

A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul: De La Soul: Stakes Is High (Tommy Boy); A Tribe Called Quest: Beats, Rhyme and Life (Jive)

Review by Amy Linden, Fi, September 1996

TWO ALBUMS. Two groups. Two release dates. But for all intents and purposes De La Soul's Stakes Is High and A Tribe Called Quest's Beats, ...

Patti Austin, Groove Theory, Brian McKnight, The Tony Rich Project, Take 6, The Time: The Time, the Tony Rich Project, Take 6, Patti Austin, Brian McKnight, Groove Theory: Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 2 September 1996

The Vibe Wasn't Exactly Magic Quick taste of new Quincy Jones/Magic Johnson production doesn't provide enough flavor ...

New Edition: Home Again (MCA)

Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 10 September 1996

AWOL SINCE 1988, New Edition is back with a vengeance. With all members on board (yes, that includes bad boy Bobby Brown, as well as ...

George Clinton, Punk-Funk All Stars: George Clinton, the Reigning Hippie of Funk

Profile by Amy Linden, The New York Times, 27 October 1996

WHEN JERRY Garcia died last year and the Grateful Dead disbanded shortly thereafter, the question arose as to who would inherit the band's legacy of ...

Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham: Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham: St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 9 December 1996

First Penn & Oldham wrote great songs, now they play 'em ...

Blackstreet, New Edition, Keith Sweat: New Edition, Keith Sweat, BLACKstreet: Madison Square Garden, New York NY

Live Review by Amy Linden, New York Daily News, 13 January 1997

New Edition Recaptures Old Feeling ...

Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige: Eryka Badu: Baduizm (Universal); Mary J. Blige: Share My World (MCA)

Review by Amy Linden, Fi, September 1997

The Main Event: Badu vs. Blige ...

Aretha Franklin

Essay by Amy Linden, The Source, 1998

THE SUBJECT is female singers, and we’re gonna make it easy on ya. ...

Grace Jones: Private Life - The Compass Point Sessions (Island)

Review by Amy Linden, Fi, 1998

OF ALL THE words that are over and misused, diva is surely at the top of the heap. Once an adjective related to describing the ...

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. ...

Queen Latifah: From Here to Royalty

Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, 1998

Y'all know Lah: She's our number one sister, our Queen for life. Ladies first and all. But y'all cats be wonderin'. Wantin' to know if ...

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 ...

Busta Rhymes: Woo Busta!! Professor Rhymes holds forth

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, 1998

"BEHOLD. BEHOLD. BEHOLD." Busta Rhymes is quietly repeating the word under his breath He’s in LA, in the thick of sessions for his third solo ...

Assassin, Doc Gynéco, IAM, MC Solaar, Ministère Amer, NTM, Passi: MC Solaar, IAM, Passi et al: Paris

Report and Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, March 1998

Once considered a racial utopia for Black American expatriates in the '60s, Paris has become a different beast. Today, in a city often wracked by ...

Maxwell, The Tony Rich Project: Maxwell: Embrya (Columbia); The Tony Rich Project: Birdseye (LaFace/Arista)

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, August 1998

AT THE END of the day, chances are that 92 percent of all pop songs are about getting laid. Granted, that's a random number, but ...

Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia)

Review by Amy Linden, The Source, September 1998

WHAT DOES it say about hip-hop when one of the better hip-hop records of the year contains little actual rapping? Thoughtful, passionate, purposeful and unmistakably ...

Gerald Levert, L.S.G., O'Jays: Gerald Levert: Daddy, I Wanna Sing

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, October 1998

SECOND-GENERATION LEVERT SINGER AND LSG GURU GERALD HAS SONGS FOR DAYS — ASK HIS POPS, EDDIE ...

Dru Hill: Enter The Dru

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, December 1998

THERE ARE TWO WAYS to consider Dru Hill. One is that the Baltimore quartet is methadone for those experiencing a serious Jodeci jones. Not the ...

Missy Elliott: Da Real World (Elektra)

Review by Amy Linden, The Source, 1999

THERE ARE cultural watershed moments. Blips in the radar screen that make you anticipate what lies ahead and forget what came before. One of those ...

Busta Rhymes: Apocalypse Now?

Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, January 1999

EIGHT YEARS AGO, BUSTA RHYMES ROARED INTO OUR HEARTS WITH THE MANIC ENERGY OF A HIP-HOP ACTION HERO. NOW HE'S A MULTI-PLATINUM ARTIST AND A ...

Mya: Oh, Mya

Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, February 1999

When Mya Harrison makes moves, people move over. Amy Linden steps aside. ...

Blackstreet: Finally (Interscope)

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, March 1999

EVEN WITH 16 years worth of hits on his résumé, it's hard to sum up just what the "Teddy Riley sound" is. ...

Blackstreet, Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew, Teddy Riley, Keith Sweat: Teddy Riley: The Life of Riley

Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, April 1999

WITH SMASHES like Bobby Brown's 'My Prerogative' (1988) and Johnny Kemp's 'Just Got Paid' (1988), Teddy Riley invented New Jack Swing and forever changed the ...

Dallas Austin, TLC: TLC: Spice Who?

Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, April 1999

THE EXPRESSION "eagerly anticipated" may be one of the most played out in the lexicon of show business. Not because fans don't fiend for new ...

Eric Benet: Loveséxy

Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, May 1999

In an R&B world where diamonds and champagne are king, singer/songwriter Eric Benét is a genius prince who dreams of the big takeover. ...

Naughty By Nature: Eye of the Storm

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, May 1999

They rocked baldies and chains before it was cool, and hold three of the game's hottest anthems. Now, eight years after 'O.P.P.', Naughty By Nature ...

Heavy D. & the Boyz: Heavy D: There's Something About Heavy

Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, July 1999

WHEN HEAVY D was just a kid, when he was Dwight Myers, the youngest of six children in a Jamaican immigrant family, he used to ...

Angie Stone: Precious and Pure

Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, October 1999

WHILE the sumptuous and soulful Black Diamond (Arista) may be Angie Stone's solo debut, it's not the first time the singer/songwriter/producer has rocked the mike. ...

Brian McKnight: The Professional

Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, November 1999

Writer. Singer. Producer. Arranger. Player. Brian McKnight is a musician's musician. So Amy Linden has to wonder, why does this highly trained master at his ...

Mariah Carey: Rainbow (Columbia)

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, December 1999

YES! YES! YES! Mariah Carey is still a skilled singer. The fans will always adore her. Her seat among the pop music hierarchy is secure. ...

Dr. Dre: Dr Dre: 2001 (Interscope/Aftermath)

Review by Amy Linden, People, Fall 1999

DR DRE’S THE CHRONIC (1992) not only put West Coast rap firmly on the map, the album became one of the biggest-selling hip hop records ...

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 ...

Baaba Maal: Dropping in on Baaba Mal

Interview by Amy Linden, Code, January 2000

FOR YEARS THE music press has insisted that African pop is poised to become the next big thing. That American audiences will embrace the various ...

20 Classic Love Songs: Nuthin' But Love

Guide by Michael A. Gonzales, Amy Linden, Vibe, February 2000

Turn the lights down low, put the champagne on ice, and load your CD player with these modern romance classics ...

Run-DMC: House Divided

Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, April 2000

The thrill is gone for the crew from Hollis, Queens. With DMC's voice failing and run eager to battle rap against the new school, will ...

Tina Turner: Tina Tuner: Twenty Four Seven (Virgin)

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, April 2000

SOME PEOPLE you just can't fathom criticizing, one of them being Tina Tuner. Miss Tina has always been larger than life, an iconic figure of ...

Dalvin Degrate: Met.A.Mor.Phic

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, May 2000

EXACTLY WHAT WAS Dalvin DeGrate's function in Jodeci? ...

Lil' Kim Is The Baddest Girl Alive

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, May 2000

NEW YORK CITY'S Central Park South is a mixture of dyed-in-the-wool, Waspy Manhattan mega bucks and the glitz of the nouveau notorious. Side by side ...

Jennifer Brown, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Neneh Cherry, Robyn, Stephen Simmonds, Titiyo: Swedish R&B: Home Brew

Report and Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, May 2000

In the urban global village, SWEDEN is holding its own — pumping out some of today's most popular chart-topping teen R&B tunes and boasting its ...

Duran Duran: Pop Trash

Review by Amy Linden, People, 10 July 2000

THEY'RE OLD ENOUGH to have fathered some of the boys in the bands now laying claim to the charts they once ruled, but Duran Duran ...

Kelly Price: Mirror Mirror (Def Soul)

Review by Amy Linden, People, 10 July 2000

WHETHER IT'S Diana Ross and the Supremes or the hip-hop soul of Mary J. Blige, it is safe to say that a very high percentage ...

Lucy Pearl: Lucy Pearl

Review by Amy Linden, People, 10 July 2000

SUPERGROUPS ARE almost unheard of in R&B, so when former members of big-name acts combine forces, it's news. ...

LL Cool J: The LL Cool J Interview

Interview by Amy Linden, sonicnet.com, Summer 2000

You were the guy who coined the phrase, "Don't call it a comeback." But it seems that every record has the air of a ...

Eve: Meeting Eve

Profile and Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, February 2001

IT’S A DREARY late fall day in New York and Eve is having a fashion emergency. The first lady of Ruff Ryders is back from ...

NSYNC: Britney can move, Christina can blow and *NSYNC got some street cred with 'Gone' — is blue-eyed soul the rebirth of cool?

Comment by Amy Linden, Honey, March 2001

IT WAS A seminal moment — as if life had just been discovered on Mars. The world's biggest boy band was on BET's 106 & ...

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

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, July 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 ...

Mary J. Blige: Mary J Blige: No More Drama

Review by Amy Linden, People, 10 November 2001

A SOUL SINGER reaching down deep into her gut and wailing about heartache is nothing new. ...

Q-Tip: Growing Pains

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, March 2002

Phife's worst nightmare has come true: Q-Tip would rather harmonize than spit. One of hip-hop's most respected MCs has flipped the script. But will the ...

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

Review by Amy Linden, XXL, May 2002

HE ISN'T a gospel singer, but there's no denying that there's a whole lot of chu'ch in Cee-Lo. Yet since the singer/rapper and founding member ...

Kelly Price

Interview by Amy Linden, Heart & Soul, June 2002

Peering out from under frosted bangs with mucho come-hither-let-me-slither attitude, Kelly Price preens for the camera, pursing her high-gloss lips. Her glamour-puss prancing is greeted ...

Onyx

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, June 2002

IMMORTALIZED IN Woody Allen movies and Seinfeld, Manhattan's Upper West Side is old school New York. Graced with wide avenues and imposing buildings — the ...

D'Angelo, Raphael Saadiq: Soul Searching

Comment by Amy Linden, The Source, June 2002

I BLAME D'ANGELO. ...

Wyclef Jean: Only Human

Interview by Amy Linden, The Source, July 2002

Wyclef Jean is one of America's favorite crossover rappers. But will he be able to keep it clean when he takes it back to the ...

Truth Hurts: Truthfully Speaking

Review by Amy Linden, The Source, August 2002

STEVIE WONDER once declared that love's in need of love today. It's a beautiful notion, but one that eludes much of the current R&B. Case ...

Biz Markie, Will Smith: The Illest: Fix your face. It's the Biz Mark, Biz Mark.

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, November 2002

His old school hip-hop classics still make you feel good like Billy Bob Thornton. Just ask little-ass Mario, who owes his whole career to this ...

Patti LaBelle: Hip hop junkies: Patti LaBelle

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, December 2002

Your Highness. Bow down to mama soul or get the boot. ...

Kelis: Tasty

Review by Amy Linden, Vibe, 2003

SHE'S THE NEPTUNES' fave session chick, critics dug her 2000 debut Kaleidoscope and the fashion world (and Nas) thinks she's the shit. ...

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 ...

The Roots: Forward To The Roots

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, January 2003

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 ...

Queen Latifah: Queen of Hearts

Interview by Amy Linden, Heart & Soul, January 2003

As rap's first lady, small-screen trailblazer and emerging Hollywood star, Queen Latifah, anyone would admit, has opened doors where there were none. But here, in ...

Gang Starr: The Ownerz

Review by Amy Linden, XXL, May 2003

ONCE A ROCK critic noted that while '60s icons the Velvet Underground sold few records everyone who bought one went on to form their own ...

Joe Budden: Joe Budden

Review by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 23 July 2003

ABOUT A YEAR ago, a hard-working street team slapped up promotional snipes that asked: "Who is Joe Budden?" According to a highly subjective survey (conducted ...

Beyoncé: Pop the Question, Jigga – Miss Fat Booty Gets Some, Gives Some Up Without Shame

Comment by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 27 August 2003

UNLIKE THE B.Lo affair (so ubiquitous it practically has its own action figures), whatever is going on between Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z is under the ...

Rah Digga: Da unbreakable

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, November 2003

She's the rare female MC who's known for her jaw-dropping lyrics — not the thing between her legs. That's why we love Digga, Digga … ...

Nelly Furtado: Folklore (DreamWorks)

Review by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 24 December 2003

SOME CRITIC I was reading recently (Jayson Blair alert: The following is not this writer's original thought!) observed that the fiddle had emerged as the ...

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, ...

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 ...

Usher: Confessions

Review by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 19 April 2004

USHER RAYMOND is a star. The faithful have thought as much for years, but recently the masses affirmed it when 1.1 million of them trooped ...

Method Man: Tough Love

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, May 2004

Ten Years Ago, Method Man was unquestionably one of the rap game's top MCs. In 2004, he's knows more for his movies and TV appearances ...

Lenny Kravitz: Express yourself

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, July 2004

Hip-hop's favorite rock guitarist shows us his soul. ...

Aerosmith, Run-DMC: Hip-hop junkies: Steven Tyler

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, August 2004

Down by law: Mr. 'Walk This Way' tells why rap and rock are meant for each other ...

Dr. Dre, Lil' Kim, The Roots, Scott Storch: Scott Storch: Big Chips

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, December 2004

He's rich, bitch. Boyfriend of Lil' Kim. Producer of 'Lean Back'. Beyoncé hitmaker. Dr. Dre Coconspirator. And, oh yeah, he's white. Ladies and gents, Scott ...

Gwen Stefani: Love. Angel. Music. Baby (Interscope)

Review by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 13 December 2004

LIKE THAT OF her spiritual mommies Madonna and Debbie Harry, Gwen Stefani's appeal knows few boundaries. ...

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 for ...

Gwen Stefani: On Fire

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, January 2005

Rock's number-one White chick tells us what she's learned from rap royalty. ...

Ludacris: You Don't Know Me

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, January 2005

To hell with the bitches and so-called fame, Ludacris just isn't as crazy as his rappin' name. Beef with Bill O'Reilly, T.I. and Chingy be ...

Cake Man Raven: Doe Fiend

Profile by Amy Linden, XXL, March 2005

Caking up ain't hard to do, it's just messy. ...

Tommy Lee: Drop It Like It's Hot

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, March 2005

Rock 'n' roll's bad boy talks about going from sex tapes to mixtapes. ...

Lil' Kim: Big Verdict: Lil' Kim Is Seriously Fucked

Comment by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 18 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 ...

John Mayer: My Buddy

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, April 2005

Rap's current favorite rocker has got Kanye's back. ...

Coldplay: Chris Martin: Justify My Thug

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, September 2005

Coldplay's front man is addicted to the game ...

Keyshia Cole, Leela James, Jaguar Wright: Old R&B New Again Again

Review by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 12 October 2005

Three young divas make soul waters safe for middle-aged Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is Jaguar Wright: Divorcing Neo to Marry Soul Leela James: A Change Is Gonna ...

Maroon 5: Adam Levine: Lyrics to Go

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, November 2005

Maroon 5's face card has a mean hook game ...

Pitbull: English. Spanish. Reggaeton. Crunk.

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, August 2006

He's got a lot more to talk about than culo. And major issues other than money. Straight outta Miami's Little Havana, Cubano rapper Pitbull wants ...

Teena Marie

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, September 2006

THERE'S NEVER been a funkier white girl than Teena Marie. With hits like 'Lovergirl', 'Square Biz' and 'Fire and Desire' – a duet with former ...

Kelis: You Can Call Me Crazy

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, Summer 2006

Kelis is too raunchy! No, she's alternative. Then again, she's also a wife and stepmother.
 Listen, this colorful peacock has too much wingspan to be ...

Amy Winehouse: Joe's Pub, NYC

Live Review by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 16 January 2007

WITH HYPE justified by her soon come (and already #1 in the UK) sophomore CD Back To Black), and a Ghostface remix of the slurred, ...

Amy Winehouse: Amy meets Amy

Interview by Amy Linden, unpublished, March 2007

This interview was conducted March 2007, the day Amy's Back to Black dropped. As part of the overall story we talked about her relationship to ...

Amy Winehouse

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL Hip Hop Soul, June 2007

UNDER LOS ANGELES' sparkly surface there lies a noir beauty, and nowhere is that gritty glamour more present than at the legendary Chateau Marmont. Nestled ...

Amy Winehouse: Hip-Hop Junkies: Amy Winehouse

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, June 2007

23-YEAR-OLD UK soul/jazz chanteuse Amy Winehouse has taken music by storm with her American debut Back To Black. Already huge overseas, Amy first got US ...

Ne-Yo: Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, June 2007

Ne-Yo couldn't step to the left if he wanted to. He's actually stepping forward on to superstardom — and there are rumors and X-rated photo ...

The Dap-Kings: Boss Players

Interview by Amy Linden, Vibe, October 2007

THE DAP-KINGS — PURVEYORS OF THE FUNK BEHIND AMY WINEHOUSE, LILY ALLEN, AND SHARON JONES — BRING THE OLD SOUND BACK WITH NEW STYLE, AND ...

Bruce Springsteen: Magic

Review by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 3 October 2007

THE E STREET BAND last convened around Bruce Springsteen on 2001's The Rising; since then, the Boss (who looks finer as he gets older) has ...

Idris Elba: Start the Show

Interview by Amy Linden, XXL, December 2007

From the U.K. to the U.S., Stringer Bell is feeling hip-hop ...

Amy Winehouse: The Slow Blackout of Amy Winehouse

Comment by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 15 January 2008

How a troubled r&b mega-talent's breakout hit turned against her ...

Estelle: Shine

Review by Amy Linden, The San Francisco Examiner, 7 May 2008

British singer/rapper Estelle makes sassy debut ...

Def Jam at 25: The Yankees of Hip-Hop Labels, Reconsidered

Comment by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 27 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 ...

CeeLo Green: Cee Lo Green: The Fearless Cee Lo Green

Interview by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 10 November 2010

Will The Lady Killer and 'Fuck You' finally turn him into a solo superstar? ...

Mavis Staples Is for the Children

Report and Interview by Amy Linden, The Village Voice, 12 January 2011

MAVIS STAPLES digs her some younger men, but she'd rather lead them to the studio than the bedroom. "I think it really makes for a ...

Chris Lighty, 1968-2012

Obituary by Amy Linden, XXL, September 2012

THE DEATH OF a young person evokes its own peculiar grief. And when that death is a suicide – grief mushrooms into something more painful ...

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 ...

Amy Winehouse Never Twerked

Comment by Amy Linden, Ebony, 26 September 2013

Born 30 years ago this month, Winehouse seemed more intuitively connected to black soul than other white pop stars in her wake ...

Dead Kennedys: Highway to Hell: My Life on the Road with the Dead Kennedys

Memoir by Amy Linden, Cuepoint, 3 February 2015

IN 1981, I MOVED back to New York City after spending four years in San Francisco. I was 22, and a childhood friend and I ...

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