Stephen Colbert connects hip hop song verses to Tolkien via Gilbert and Sullivan

Get a glimpse into Stephen Colbert's brilliant brain as he connects Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino's "Favorite Song" to Lord of the Rings' "Song of Eärendil" via Gilbert and Sullivan's distinct rhythm. What a big ol' Tolkien nerd, he is! Read the rest

Watch this terrific video for a concept album of 15 one-minute songs

Tierra Whack created an album where each song's video can be published as an Instagram post. Watch Whack World in its entirety here. Read the rest

Watch Trump "endorse" Eminem back in 2004

In 2004, MTV aired the "Shady National Convention" to promote Eminem's satellite radio venture. The rapper's onetime pal Donald, acting as the “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Cash,” introduced the real Slim Shady:

“When the Shady party called and told me there’s going to be a convention, I said it’s gotta be a really big one and it’s gotta be right here in New York because this is the best city anywhere in the world, am I right? Of course, I’m right. I’m always right. I’m Donald Trump, I’m always right...

“I know a winner when I see one, and Donald Trump is telling you right now Slim Shady is a winner... He’s got brains, he’s got guts and he’s got Donald Trump’s vote!”

Boy how things have changed. Below, the clip from Tuesday night's BET Hip Hop Awards:

(People) Read the rest

Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah launching cryptocurrency

Dennis Coles, aka Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan, has co-founded a cryptocurrency company called Cream Capital. The name comes from the Wu-Tang Clan's 1993 jam C.R.E.A.M. ("Cash Rules Everything Around Me.") Apparently, the company now holds the trademark on the phrase "Crypto Rules Everything Around Me." Cream Capital is planning an initial coin offering on November 11 to raise $30 million. Apparently those tokens can be traded for Ether on the Etherium blockchain.

"Ghostface Killah is a longtime business partner of ours," Cream Capital co-founder/CEO Brett Wesbrook told Pigeons & Planes. "I personally connected with him during a Reddit AMA on /r/hiphopheads last year when he was seeking tech-inclined people to work with in future technology focused projects. Dennis is a very forward thinking person and has a keen interest in emerging technologies. It's hard to ignore blockchain tech today even when you're a busy, touring hip hop artist.

"He doesn't have any technical background with cryptocurrencies. However, remember that Wu-Tang is for the children. He is very focused on what the youth and millennials are interested in. He is a very solid businessman and has surrounded himself with bright individuals with a hunger for bring new, groundbreaking technologies to market...

"His work capacity will be laying out a framework for which cryptocurrencies are more familiar to everyday people." Read the rest

Forty years of hip hop masterfully cut up into one song

And if you don't know, now you know. (The Hood Internet)

Featuring:

2 Pac, 50 Cent, A Tribe Called Quest, Afrika Bambaataa, Audio Two, AZ, Beastie Boys, BG, Big Pun, Biz Markie, Black Rob, Black Sheep, Blackstreet, Bobby Shmurda, Boogie Down Productions, Busta Rhymes, Cali Swag District, Cam'ron, Chamillionaire, Chance The Rapper, Clipse, Common, Craig Mack, Cypress Hill, David Banner, De La Soul, Dead Prez, Digable Planets, Digital Underground, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, DJ Kool, DJ Quik & Kurrupt, DMX, Doug E Fresh, Dr. Dre, Drake, Eazy-E, Eminem, Eric B. & Rakim, Funky 4+1, Gang Starr, Geto Boys, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, GZA, House of Pain, Ice Cube, J-Kwon, Jadakiss, Jay Electronica, Jay-Z, JJ Fad, Juvenile, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, KRS-One, Lauryn Hill, Lil Jon & The Eastside Boys, Lil Kim, Lil Troy, Lil Wayne, LL Cool J, Ludacris, Madvillain, MC Shan, Meek Mill, MF DOOM, Missy Elliott, Mobb Deep, Montell Jordan, MOP, Nas, Naughty By Nature, Nelly, Nicki Minaj, Notorious BIG, NWA, Ol Dirty Bastard, Outakst, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Petey Pablo, Pharaohe Monch, Public Enemy, Puff Daddy, Quad City DJs, Rich Boy, Rick Ross, Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock, Run-DMC, Salt N Pepa, Scarface, Schoolly D, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Skee-Lo, Slick Rick, Snoop Dogg, Soulja Boy, Sugarhill Gang, T La Rock, T-Wayne, T.I., Terror Squad, The Fat Boys, The Fatback Band, The Fugees, The Game, The Pack, The Pharcyde, The Roots, Three 6 Mafia, Tone Loc, Tyga, UGK, Usher, UTFO, Warren G, Whodini, Wreckx-N-Effect, Wu-Tang Clan, Ying Yang Twins, Young Gunz

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Notorious B.I.G. sculpture is actually a giant paper coil

Felix Semper paid tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. in the only way he knew how: by sculpting a slinky-esque coil of flexible paper into a remakably lifelike work of art. Read the rest

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.

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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!)

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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)

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Understand the rhyming style of great rappers

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

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)

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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.

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