Posts tagged "Hip-Hop"
Field Recording Politics

Field Recording Politics

As we move further away from the 1960s, the idea that music has a role to play in radical politics becomes increasingly irrelevant. Long gone are the days when people believed that rock music, or hip-hop, had any effect on the powers that be. More»

The Wu-Tang Clan’s Failed Experiment

The Wu-Tang Clan’s Failed Experiment

Last year, the world was treated to an unexpected announcement from one of the most famous acts in hip hop. The Wu-Tang Clan revealed that it had secretly recorded a massive 31-track album that supposedly brought the band back to its roots and the raw, rugged, ominous sounds that made its debut, Enter the 36 Chambers, an instant classic upon its release in 1993. More»

Savvy White Ally

Savvy White Ally

With the first video from his forth-coming album ISSKOOTSIK (Before Here Was Here), spoken-word artist, attorney and activist, Gyasi Ross recovers a revolutionary American moment that occurred on the banks of the Puyallup River in the rural area surrounding Seattle in 1964. More»

Kurdish Spring Soundtrack

Kurdish Spring Soundtrack

The Arab Spring seems like a century ago. Starting in late 2010, there was every reason to believe that it would make the Middle East synonymous with social democracy. With the exception of its most fearful critics, no one could have predicted that it would dissolve into the bloodbath currently engulfing Syria and its neighbors. More»

Anti-Communist Jazz

Anti-Communist Jazz

It’s taken as a truism that “foreigners” love America. They just don’t particularly like the US. That is, American cultural exports are often popular the world over, even in places where the United States isn’t popular. Acutely aware of this disjuncture, Washington has often sought to use cultural diplomacy to close this gap, pitching its movies and music in order to win over its critics. More»

Zimmerman Boxing

Zimmerman Boxing

The announcement of a celebrity boxing match between George Zimmerman, and rap-star DMX, has generated quite a lot of anger. The Nation‘s Mychal Denzel Smith does not mince words about how disgusted it makes him feel. More»

Hip-Hop in Chechen

Hip-Hop in Chechen

Pussy Riot was just the tip of the iceberg. That is, for those who took the band’s notoriety as being an introduction to Russian pop. For most Western fans, however, that was it. The country’s rich music scene would otherwise remain invisible. Particularly those confined to the Federation’s margins, and its Diasporic representatives, who record their work for the migrant communities, to little notice, in their host countries. More»

Mediterranean Protest Music

Mediterranean Protest Music

Besides their release this year in beautifully packaged vinyl editions, and use of Mediterranean field recordings, Mutamassik’s album Rekkez, and Savage Republic’s Varvakios LP, don’t seem to have a lot in common. However, both come from an aesthetic of fatalistic, yet rebellious, sonic energy, fuelled by an urgency to burst into a future weighed down by ancient history. More»

When the Walls Were Beautiful

When the Walls Were Beautiful

As I fumble through my tote bag, a cat scurries past my feet. I find what I’m looking for: a can of flat black Krylon spray paint. The top is already off. As a graffiti writer in NYC, I’ve learned to be prepared. I lift the nozzle and point at my target – an old rusted sign nailed into a stone wall of a building. It reads: “Arabs, don’t even THINK about looking at a Jewish woman.” More»

Hard Core, Soft Lining

Hard Core, Soft Lining

“Epic Salutations,” the seductive opening track on Murs’ new album Love and Rockets, Vol. 1: The Transformation ends with what sounds like a mission statement: “Hard core rap about nothing at all.” But the reality of this fine hip-hop record is far more complex. More»

Rhymes with Orphan

Rhymes with Orphan

He might as well have been a hip hop star. Not just any, but the kind once revered for dispensing with ‘conscious‘ knowledge,  like Public Enemy. Who would have ever consigned such a fate to a 94 year-old French Holocaust survivor, the title of whose best-selling book graces this mural, together with an image of the author. More»

Straight Outta Tunis

Straight Outta Tunis

You’d be forgiven for believing that Pavarotti is Italy’s only musician. Sadly, the late opera singer is the only artist to achieve household name status outside the country since the 1970s. Press any further, and even amongst the cognoscenti, their knowledge will be limited to film composers such as Ennio Morricone. Or, on a good day, Italo Disco. Once popular punk bands, like Raw Power? Few will recognize them. More»