“True Believer” is a comparatively restrained, slow clipping. track, and the new video matches the subdued-but-intense atmosphere. Splendor & Misery, the 2016 concept album by the avant-rap group featuring Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs, was just nominated for a Hugo Award in the category Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

Fascinating. 

Kendrick at the Grammys

With this performance, he raised what it means to perform at the Grammy  to a completely new level. Wow.

http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=trOW14MDE6gCowO43SPHW0Wdr_Ehb2Xy&pbid=dcc84e41db014454b08662a766057e2b

He also won all of the rap categories. Album of the year, however, went to (the also very talented and wonderful) Taylor Swift. Oh, well. I might just be old, but I was interested in 1989 for as many plays as I needed to get into To Pimp A Butterfly.

No More Parties in LA

New Kanye West track feat. Kendrick Lamar. Damn, this sounds so timeless. 

I wanted to say that this finally puts Kanye-the-music-genius over the Kanye-the-awkward-celebrity again, but people are already debating whether Kendrik is taking shots at Kim Kardashian, or whether or not Nori is wearing real fur. Then again, this is basically another step towards reality star celebrity battle rap.

The longer I listen to it, the more I’m reminded of the 30 Rock skit about Tracy Jordan losing his contact to his roots and how it affects his stand-up routine. Still sounds really slick, even if it is lobster rap.

https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/168988860/stream?client_id=N2eHz8D7GtXSl6fTtcGHdSJiS74xqOUI?plead=please-dont-download-this-or-our-lawyers-wont-let-us-host-audio

i
by Kendrick Lamar
Prod. by Rahki
Mixed By Ali

Kendrick Lamar’s new release “i” is going to be a smash hit. It’s funky and fun on the surface. the hook is infectious, the mood reaffirming.  Lamar can do even better, and I think his darker material is more interesting. He Lamar can flow like few others, and I love how versatile his voices (both vocally and narratively) are.

Angel Haze Fixed “Same Love”

Angel Haze freestyled over the beat and Mary Lambert sung hook of Macklemore’s ‘Same Love’ – and turned it into the queer song it should’ve been all along.

This is brilliant. Some of the lyrical highlights, via buzzfeed:

At age 13 my mother knew I wasn’t straight 
she didn’t understand but she had so much to say
she sat me on the couch looked me straight in my face
and said you’ll burn in hell or probably die of AIDS
it’s funny now but at 13 it was pain
to be almost sure of who you are and have it ripped away
and i’m sorry if it’s too real for some of you to fathom
but hate for who you love is not exactly what you’d imagine
and i guess it was disastrous
cause everything that happened afterwards was just madness
locked away for two years to keep me on the inside
because she’d rather see a part of me die than me thrive
and it’s tougher when it’s something you can’t deny
and ignorance teaches us it’s something that you decide
you’re driven by your choice is an optical illusion
here’s to understanding that it’s not always confusion

Later referencing Andrea Gibson’s “Andrew”

No i’m not gay
No i’m not straight
And i sure as hell am not bisexual dammit
I am whoever I am when I am it
Loving whoever you are when the stars shine
And whoever you’ll be when the sun rise

Macklemore’s version was alright for it’s initial purpose: Ally support for a Washington State same-sex marriage bill. Damn right, I support it. But apart from that – eh. Macklemore’s actual lyrics aren’t great and at times problamatic. That a white cis-het dude’s ally song turned into THE GAY RAP ANTHEM in mass perception isn’t surprising, but annoying. 

Check out Angel Haze’s soundcloud profile for other amazing freestyles to hit dude tracks (New Slaves! Kendrick’s Backseat!)

[via many wonderful women on facebook]

Rap music is so diverse in its themes, its style, its content but when it becomes a vehicle to be talked about in mainstream news, the rap that gets in national news is always the rap music that perpetuates misogyny that is most obscene in its lyrics and then this comes to stand for what rap is. Really its for me the perfect paradigm of colonialism, that is to say, we think of rap music as a little third-world country, that young white consumers are able to go to and take out of it whatever they want. We would have to acknowledge that what young white consumers, primarily male, oftentimes suburban, most got energized by in rap music was misogyny, obscenity, pugilistic eroticism and therefore that form of rap began to make the largest sums of money.

bell hooks  

The quote seems to be taken from a transcript of a 1997 Media Education Foundation event titled “cultural criticism and transformation” with bell hooks. Here’s a pdf of the transcript. The part the quote comes form starts on page 18 and is titled “Rap: Authentic Expression or Market Transcript.”

Favorite Songs of the Yeah: Speech Debelle – Sun Dog

London-based rapper and songwriter Speech Debelle came to my attention through the cover story on her in Germany’s feminist pop culture magazine Missy. Her story intrigued me, and thanks to Spotify (finally available in Germany!) I checked out her 2012 record Freedom of Speech. By the time Sun Dog came on, I was in love. (by IndieHipHop1)

Favorite Songs of the Year: Watsky- Wounded Healer (Deer Tick Sample)

The Roots, Jasiri X, Speech Debelle, Watsky: I think I listened to more ~ hip-hop this year than in the last 5 combined. I discovered Watsky through his verse as Shakespeare in the hilarious Shakespeare vs. Dr. Seuss Epic Rap Battle of History  (also a must see: The Obama vs. Romney epic rap battle. The only battle romney won.) I really like Watsky’s flow and wit, the mixtape this track is on is highly recommended (by gwatsky)