De La Soul

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A Tribe Called Quest

Review: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

First of all, Michael Rapaport's feature-length doc on A Tribe Called Quest should have been called People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm .
The most boring movie imaginable
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 22, 2011

Rollin' with Oates

"The secret of a handclap is to only move one hand," John Oates said Friday, addressing a group of Berklee students. "If everyone is moving their hands, they'll never do it together."
The man behind the mustache
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  April 22, 2011

Who's Cam Groves?

Back in the day, Preposterously Dank, the hip-hop label/collective created by Spose and featuring Cam Groves, Dr. Astronaut, and Educated Advocates, would have hit the popular consciousness with a collective album first.
Something Cool this way comes
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 25, 2011

Reveling in Spose's Medium for the masses

Spose will soon release a new album on a major label, Universal Republic. Happy Medium is not it. The answer to the question "Why?" is the subject of another story (conveniently found  here ).
C'mon get Happy
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 14, 2011

[live review] Gorillaz and N.E.R.D at the Agganis Arena

Gorillaz got it right last night. With my only prior conception of their live show being a couple of reports from early summer festival stops...
By Michael C. Walsh  |  October 07, 2010

Hip-hop's royal gains

It's a typically dope thing about hip-hop that one of its foremost architects — an old- and true-school icon who nurtured acts like De La Soul, cut the genre's standard bearer for concept albums, and, for better or worse, produced boom-bap's first comi
Prince Paul's got perspective
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 16, 2010


Disco stew

I’ve never been to a disco band’s practice space, but I figured it would involve lots of velvet, mirrors, and other visions borrowed from the foggy-lens films they used to show at roller rinks. Was that naive of me?
Mystery Roar are more than just four-on-the-floor
By MATT PARISH  |  April 23, 2010

Gorillaz | Plastic Beach

Although this is their first album without an indie-chic producer, the fake band with fake cartoon characters known as Gorillaz stay the course as a very real post-Blur conduit for Damon Albarn's quasi-apocalyptic, '80s-daydreaming, neon-pop habit.
Virgin (2010)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  March 19, 2010

Short-form Portland

I can hear the snarky comments already: "What?!? Rustic Overtones put out an album this year and Pfeifle hasn't fallen all over himself naming it #1? The sky is green!" But this isn't 1999. It's 2009. And it isn't all that strange for a phenomenal albu
The 10 best LPs and EPs of 2009
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 18, 2009

Freudian trip

Hip-hop is faker than Vince McMahon's business plan and tan combined. Pussy-whipped MCs who sling Whoppers rhyme about bagging blow and smacking ho's; even cats who actually do poison their communities exaggerate their hood credentials.
Esoteric drops reality rap on Saving Seamus Ryan
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 09, 2009

Fantastic damage

Unlike hip-hop acts that deny bucking convention for the sake of eccentricity, Anti-Pop Consortium were as clear on day zero as they will certainly be at Great Scott next Thursday about their maverick intentions.
Anti-Pop Consortium’s unfinished business
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 02, 2009

De La Soul

Upon the 20th anniversary of their classic album, 3 Feet High and Rising, the witty and hugely influential hip-hop group DE LA SOUL swing into...
By Lisa Spinelli  |  August 20, 2009

Doom | Born Like This

It's been more than three years since the infamous masked rap anti-hero Doom dropped an album — a long time for any musician, and an eternity in the mercurial, often fickle world of hip-hop.
Lex  (2009)
By ANDREW GRAHAM  |  April 24, 2009

Hope for the Nation

Pick up the latest issue of XXL magazine and flip to the "Show and Prove" section and you'll spot Providence hip-hop artist Jon Hope — and rightly so.
Jon Hope's Mass Appeal
By CHRIS CONTI  |  February 25, 2009

Just the 11 of us

De La Soul believe that three is the magic number. My college girlfriend thought it was 55, not counting guys she only blew.
The Macrotones find strength in numbers
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 06, 2009

Broadcast dues

Saturday night at Good Life, veteran hip-hop scenester Ricky Powell blessed a roomful of wide-eyes with his world-famous slide show, in which he flashed and joked about his pics of celebs ranging from Jam Master Jay to John Lee Hooker.
Wally Sparks cracks local rap with Heir 2 tha $treetz
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 16, 2008


Roots Manuva | Slime and Reason

The richest fruit of British rap’s gestation period is the growing catalogue of Roots Manuva.  
Big Dada/Ninja Tune (2008)
By ANDREW GRAHAM  |  October 15, 2008

Here we go, yo

No Rock the Bells tour would be official without a godlike headliner at the helm.
Rock the Bells: Q-Tip reunites A Tribe Called Quest one last time
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 21, 2008

Staying alive

More than KRS-One, more than Jay-Z, and more than Talib Kweli, Little Brother have become the embodiment of everything hip-hop purists think the genre should be.
Little Brother fight for independence
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  November 27, 2007

Hip-hop history

“The thing that’s most gratifying to me is that the artists themselves like it and respect it, ’cause I’m trying to tell their story,” says Brian Coleman.
Boston author to drop another canonical tome
By DAVID DAY  |  March 13, 2007

Bootleg beats

The music that Gregg Gillis creates under the name Girl Talk almost necessitates a new classification. Girl Talk, "Hold Up" (mp3)
Gregg Gillis’s Girl Talk mash-ups
By CAITLIN E. CURRAN  |  January 09, 2007


Guest lists

What small, private lists like this remind us is that big, honking institutional lists are largely fictions, mirages of a consensus that no longer exists, if it ever really did in the first place.
 What 30 of the Phoenix 's music critics liked this year
By PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  January 02, 2007


Although Gorillaz musical mastermind Damon Albarn is busy recording with the Good, the Bad and the Queen, all’s not quiet on the Gorillaz front, at least not on the commercial front.
Don't waste your dollars
By WILL SPITZ  |  November 13, 2006

Tear the club up

"What Samir and I bring to the table is that we were both coming from a real street hip-hop sentiment," says LaCrate, "and that’s where club in its origin came from. As much as it may have been comprised of rave breaks, there was nothing rave – I always
How Baltimore and Aaron LaCrate are going to save club music
By MIKE MCKAY  |  August 22, 2006

How to waste a DJ

“This is real nostalgic for me,” Lovebug yelled on the mic. “Twenty-three years ago I was at this exact same club, performing my number one single ‘You Gotta Believe’.”
Prince Paul and Lovebug Starski fall on deaf ears at Axis
By MAC CARROLL  |  July 21, 2006

Gorillaz in the midst

Remember the great electronica gold rush of ’97, the year Madonna’s Maverick label won a massive bidding war over long-ignored rave mystic Liam Howlett, a/k/a Prodigy, and we all grooved to the electropunk clash of “Smack My Bitch Up”?
Damon Albarn joins Beck in the pan-cultural playground
By MATT ASHARE  |  May 17, 2006

Flashbacks, May 12, 2006

These selections, culled from our back files, were compiled by Chris Brook and Ian Sands.
The Boston Phoenix has been covering the trends and events that shape our times since 1966.
By EDITORIAL  |  May 11, 2006

Gorillaz at the Apollo

There were puppets, singing and dancing middle schoolers, a gospel choir, a 14-piece string section from Juilliard, a who’s who of guests, including Neneh Cherry, De La Soul, Ike Turner, and a lollipop-sucking Shaun Ryder. But no Jamie Hewlett animations
Animated sans animation
By WILL SPITZ  |  April 10, 2006

Steely man

For a rock band who wrote songs about prostitutes, Eastern gurus, pedophilia, heroin, niece lust, Charlie Parker, and a post-apocalyptic world, Steely Dan have always had something akin to the last laugh.
Donald Fagen takes a solo shot
By KEN MICALLEF  |  March 09, 2006

Rhythm for days

Jay Dee didn’t make music, he made movements. If it knocked in the late ’90s, he probably had a hand in it.
The legacy of the late great J. Dilla
By JAMIN WARREN  |  February 21, 2006