40% of Wikipedia is under threat from deletionists

Readers recently saved the hemovanadin article from Wikipedia's ongoing extinction event through extraordinary measures, but that's just one of over 2 million stub articles deleted or at risk of deletion by Wikipedia's entrenched bureaucrats. Today's example is Chickenhead, a notable hip-hop song killed by deletionists in 2015. Read the rest

David Axelrod, incredibly influential soul/jazz/rock composer and producer, RIP

David Axelrod, whose 1960s and 1970s production and compositions melding jazz, soul, and rock had an indelible impact on contemporary hip-hop and R&B, has died at age 83. From Billboard:

Born in Los Angeles in 1933, Axelrod produced his first album in 1959 and went on to become a pioneer in combining jazz, rock and R&B in recorded music. He spent several years working for Capitol Records in production and A&R in the 1960s and went on to release more than a dozen of his own albums.

While a contemporary of, and somewhat analogous to, idiosyncratic composer/arrangers like Van Dyke Parks, Axelrod was much more influenced by jazz, as reflected in his orchestrations and his own compositions. He produced David McCallum's Music: A Bit More of Me, the 1967 release featuring "The Edge," a song that famously turned into the predominant sample in Dr. Dre's 2000 hit "The Next Episode." He also collaborated with the Electric Prunes on their bizarre 1968 album Mass in F# Minor, and when the group splintered in the middle of recording, he finished it with session musicians.

So sad to hear about the passing of musician/composer #DavidAxelrod. He was so immersed in creativity and so pure with his arrangements he WAS hip hop. And understood and appreciated hip hop culture (most cats would get guarded about time moving on & easily take the "NO!!!!!!!!" disposition if they aren't informed. David embraced and often reached out to producers and beatmakers for cool collabos) he appreciation for music and his ability to recognize musicianship is what I'll take from him.

Read the rest

Jaelyn the Alien definitely does not want to see your penis

Jaelyn the Alien, aka Baby J, says:

"So this music video was inspired by a numerous amount of recent events that include random people on the internet (meaning instagram,twitter and SNAPCHAT users) sending me pictures/nudes of their penises. Whether that is them jacking off or just the classic penis picture. This video is my response to the people who send me their revealing photographs.

(ItsBabyj1, thanks UPSO!)

Read the rest

Public Enemy action figures by Ed Piskor

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)

Read the rest

Understand the rhyming style of great rappers

If you don't know, now you know.

(Thanks, Gabe Adiv!)

Read the rest

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---.”

Read the rest

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

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

Read the rest

WATCH: These gymnastic Japanese breakdancers will leave you breathless

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

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)

Read the rest

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

“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.

Read the rest

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

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!]

Read the rest

Watch this amazing father/daughter beatbox battle

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

How hip hop can teach you to code

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

More posts