Public Enemy action figures by Ed Piskor

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Boing Boing comic artist Ed Piskor, creator of the stupendous Hip Hop Family Tree, designed this set of Public Enemy Action Figures! They're sculpted by Tomohiro Yasui and stand around 4" tall. They're articulated at the neck, shoulders, hips, elbows, and knees.

Pre-order them from Presspop Toy for $60/set: PUBLIC ENEMY Action Figure Set (via Dangerous Minds)

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Understand the rhyming style of great rappers

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If you don't know, now you know.

(Thanks, Gabe Adiv!)

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Oral history of Aerosmith and Run-DMC's "Walk This Way"

In 1986, Aerosmith and Run-DMC collaborated on a remake of the former's 1970s song "Walk This Way." Masterminded by producer Rick Rubin, then 22, the resulting jam was a gamechanger for both hip hop and rock. Over at the Washington Post, Geoff Edgers put together a fascinating oral history of the instant classic:

Steven Tyler: I loved rap. I used to go looking for drugs on Ninth Avenue and I would go over to midtown or downtown and there would be guys on the corner selling cassettes of their music. I’d give them a buck, two bucks, and that was the beginning of me noticing what was going on in New York at the time....

DMC: Rick gives us this yellow notebook pad. He tells us, “Go down to D’s basement, put the needle on the record.” We go down to my basement and put on the record and then you hear “Backstroke lover always hidin’ ’neath the covers” and immediately me and Joe get on the phone and say: “Hell no, this ain’t going to happen. This is hillbilly gibberish, country-bumpkin bulls---.”

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Pioneering hip-hop artist Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest has died

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Malik Taylor, aka Phife Dawg, of pioneering hip-hop trio A Tribe Called Quest has died at age 45 from complications arising from diabetes.

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WATCH: These gymnastic Japanese breakdancers will leave you breathless

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World of Dance just held their World Finals in Los Angeles, and the breakout team in the Youth competition brought insane levels of energy and breakdancing precision to win their division. Read the rest

Watch NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" recreated inside Grand Theft Auto

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AnimalRobot takes NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" into Grand Theft Auto V with GTAV's Rockstar Editor and Adobe Premiere. "Damn, that shit was dope." (YouTube)

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Byron Crawford's history of Dr. Dre is the best thing I've read on Medium

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“Straight Outta Compton.” A terrific read before listening to the original album or seeing the film.

Physiology of "Bone Breaking" street dancing

My friends at Youth Radio interviewed a sports medicine physician, who used to dance with Cirque du Soleil, about the anatomy of "bone breaking," the incredible form of turf dancing where the performers rhythmically contort, pop, and flex their bodies in crazy ways.

Below, Youth Radio's earlier video about turf dancing.

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Watch Ice Cube respond to Rap Genius interpretations of "Straight Outta Compton”

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In honor of his new film, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, Ice Cube revisits the titular song by reacting to the lyric interpretations of Rap Genius.

[YouTube, thanks Joe Sabia!]

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Watch this amazing father/daughter beatbox battle

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Nicole Paris dominates, but clearly the beatbox talent is genetic. Read the rest

How hip hop can teach you to code

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The artist may change, but the template remains the same

Kosha Dillz Passover Playlist

Passover is coming! To get you into the mood for matzoh, America's latest cool Jew—rapper Kosha Dillz—(SoundCloud) has a Passover playlist to rock your noggin.

This is not a musical rendition of the ten commandments or the seven plagues, but it covers the old testament with old school rap from Blood of Abraham, HAIM, Ari Lesser, of course The Beastie Boys; and the most Jewish rapper of them all, Matisyahu.

Here is Kosha Dillz Passover Playlist, annotated and compiled for last spring's Village Voice.

Also, my mother would like to remind you that Passover 2015 begins the evening of Friday, April 3. Read the rest

Hip-hop, trans people, and a glimpse of a hopeful future

Last week, influential hip-hop deejay Mister Cee resigned from New York radio station Hot 97--for fewer than 24 hours. Andrea James writes how it reflects changing attitudes toward trans people in hip-hop.

Kris Kross's Chris Kelly aka Mac Daddy, RIP

Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly of Kris Kross has died. He was 34. Kris Kross's big hit, of course, was "Jump" from their 1992 album "All Krossed Out." And yes, they were the kids who wore their pants backwards. (Billboard) Read the rest

Wild Style: a special edition of The Hip Hop Family Tree

Cult classic Wild Style saw the earliest marriage of Hip Hop's key elements in film. Here it is with a special edition of The Hip Hop Family Tree.

When hip hop, science, and education collide

This is a sentence I never expected to read and it makes me insanely excited: "GZA had just finished an extraordinary round of meetings with physicists at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, culling ideas for a coming solo album about the cosmos." Oh. Hell. Yes. Meanwhile, GZA is also working with a Columbia professor on an educational program that uses rhyme-writing and some of the cultural trappings of freestyle rap to teach science in New York City public schools. Oh, and it turns out that GZA is pronounced "Jiz-ah", and is derived from "genius". Read the rest

Afrika Bambaataa and Global Bass

Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock" (1982).

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