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

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

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!]

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Nicki Minaj's “Anaconda” becomes protest anthem in India, over Unilever's mercury contamination disaster

The video tackles Unilever's failure to clean up mercury contamination or compensate workers affected by its thermometer factory in Kodaikanal.

Daddy daughter beatboxing


La Guardia Cross, a first-time dad, lays down some fat beats with his 7-month-old baby girl. Read the rest

Today's jam: Embrace the Sun!

This morning's walk delivered a new jam, courtesy of the music in the latest Welcome to Nightvale "Weather" segment: Sifu Hotman's Embrace the Sun. Read the rest

Hilarious, bawdy princess rap battles

Youtube sensation Whitney Avalon has a brilliant new entry to her amazing Rap Battles series: a rude, hilarious battle between Belle and Cinderella, starring Buffy's Sarah Michelle Gellar. Read the rest

Mass surveillance hip-hop from the director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Shahid Buttar -- the rapper who created the amazing NSA vs USA track/video -- is also a constitutional lawyer who serves as executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Read the rest

An Adventure To Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space: hip hop/Beatles mashups

It's a kind of Grey Album 2.0: Beatles songs mashed up with KRS-One, Kool Moe Dee, Salt-n-Pepa, Nas, Rakim, WuTang, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys and many others -- get it before the censorship campaign kicks in! Read the rest

LISTEN: Run DMC meets Danny Elfman (spooky!)

DJ BC sends us his latest mashup -- Run DMC's "I'm the King of Rock" crossed with "This is Hallowe'en Town" -- BOO! (MP3) Read the rest

MC Frontalot's Question Bedtime: nerdcore fairy tales for kids and parents

If you know anything about nerdcore superstar MC Frontalot, then you know he's not just about ice-cold flow and deep rhymes: he's also funny as hell. Now, with Question Bedtime, Frontalot brings us an album for kids, 40 minutes' of hip-hop fairy tales. Read the rest

Beat Street, an oral history of the 1984 hip-hop film

Wondering Sound presents a fantastic oral history of the classic hip-hop movie Beat Street that was based on an article written for the Village Voice. Read the rest

Urbance: angular, science fictional hip-hop-y animation from Canada

Zack sez, "There's an upcoming Canadian TV animation URBANCE, based on a short film by animator Joel Dos Reis Viegas. The neon-colored series combines elements of SF, hip-hop, and just plane rave-flavored action: 'In the big city, gender war rises. Sex is prohibited because of a genetic deadly virus. Ruled by hate and anger, boys and girls grow up apart from each other, forming rivals gangs. Among these lost teenagers, Kenzell and lesya will fight adversity and defy all the rules in order to live their love and restore peace.'

URBANCE (Thanks, Zack!) Read the rest

Public Enemy releases a new song on BitTorrent, along with remixable tracks

The latest release from Chuck D and Public Enemy is the Public Enemy BitTorrent Bundle, where you trade your email address for access to a torrent of "Get Up Stand Up," featuring Brother Ali, as well as "the song's music video, outtakes, and 37 multitracks." Public Enemy wants you to remix the track and upload and share your own mixes, too, and will reward the best remixes with a variety of prizes ranging from an official PE release and studio equipment to an editorial feature on BitTorrent and some PE swag.

Yo! Bum rush the torrent, with a boost from Public Enemy (via Engadget) Read the rest

Grey Album remastered by golden-eared engineer

Sound engineer John Stewart has never fallen out of love with DJ Danger Mouse's genius 2004 Grey Album, a mashup of the Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album (and neither have I). He's got a golden ear, and over the years, the little audio infelicities in his copy have been niggling at him, so he undertook a complete, crisp, and beautiful remaster of the album. You can download the tracked-out album from MediaFire, or listen on SoundCloud.

It’s got plenty of advantages too: Revisiting The Grey Album with an expert ear gave Stewart the ability to pinpoint its audio flaws, and his professional experience gave him the agency to do something about it. Stewart says he first got the idea to remaster The Grey Album on Wednesday, Nov. 21, but it didn’t really click until that Saturday. On Sunday he set out to improve the album’s audio, tinkering with various faders in ProTools until he achieved the desired effect: “I just kind of put the sonics on steroids,” he says. Stewart knocked out the entire project that day and uploaded The Grey Album (Remastered) to SoundCloud and MediaFire on Monday. In the few passing days since releasing the updated version of The Grey Album it’s been covered by sites such as The Source and FACT Magazine, and a swarm of fans have reached out to Stewart to thank him. “A lot of people have thought that it needed to be remastered,” he says. “So it worked out.”

Stewart says he’s seen people from around the world flock to him—he said his website received about 200 hits from Hungary on Tuesday alone—though personal fame wasn’t the goal.

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Free to a good home, a giant, live-in head of Humpty Hump

Here's a freebie you won't see again any time soon: a gigantic head of Digital Underground's Humpty Hump, available free to a good home, and Shock-G himself will deliver it to you, and promises to rent it from you for cash money if the band ever does a reunion tour. It's big enough to live in, which is just what its former owner was doing when he got caught living illegally in a warehouse storage unit and abandoned it. Here's some details from the AV Club's Marah Eakin:

The enormous noggin was made both as a stage prop and as a set piece for the group’s 1993 music video “Return Of The Crazy One.” According to the person who alerted everyone to its existence on Tumblr, whoever last owned the head (not another member of Digital Underground, hopefully) had been evicted from his or her apartment, and was actually living in the head for several weeks before being discovered. And while that might sound uncomfortable, the head is actually big enough to house a full dressing room and an electronic elevator that would lift Humpty out through the giant nose and onto the stage. Also featuring sunglasses that would light up and lips and chin that double as steps, the head originally cost $50,000 to build, and required an 18-wheel truck to transport and a four-man forklift team to move—although it splits into three convenient pieces.

This 12-foot-tall Humpty Hump head needs a home, wonders if you're ticklish (via JWZ! Read the rest

Hip-hop sea-shanty

David Minnick is a genius. That is all.

A remix of the Snoop Dogg/Kid Cudi song "That Tree". The idea for this sort of remix was born when I became aware of the great similarities between the lyrical themes of rap and the lyrical themes of pirate music (Self-aggrandizement, the quest for money and treasure, romantic view of violence, sexism etc..) In spite of this "serious" description, this remix was really just a hilarious idea that I somehow managed to finish. Enjoy!

I Can't Forget the Sea (Snoop Dogg remix) Read the rest

Chuck D's rules for the music business

From Public Enemy frontman and hip-hop legend Chuck D's Twitter feed, a short and useful list of rules for people who want to break in to the music business (hit the link below for the whole series).

Chuck D's Rules for the Music Business (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

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