Def Jam

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Frank Ocean | Channel Orange

Since the ’80s, when R&B began to lean more heavily on the candid bling-and-booty-centric tropes championed by its plain-speaking hip-hop cousins, the music’s subtlety, nuance, and imagination have faded.
Def Jam (2012)
By ANDREW GRAHAM  |  July 27, 2012

Photos: B. Dolan at the Western Front

B. Dolan perform live at the Western Front on February 11, 2011.
B. Dolan | Western Front | February 11, 2011
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  February 18, 2011

B. Dolan goes where few MCs have gone before

B. Dolan is like Joaquin Phoenix with no safety net and a whole lot more back hair. Unlike Phoenix in last year's faux meta-mockumentary I'm Not Here , the Providence native doesn't shock people for no good reason.
The Bombzo Way
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 11, 2011

Ghostface Killah | Apollo Kids

Back in October, Ghostface Killah released a statement proclaiming Apollo Kids to be a "warm-up to the big thing that's gonna happen next."
Def Jam (2010)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  January 07, 2011

Big Boi | Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

Saying Big Boi has flow is a gross understatement. The man has never encountered a beat too challenging for him to ride until the wheels fall off.
Def Jam Recordings (2010)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  July 16, 2010

Rihanna | Rated R

Look, it’s not as if there were a song where she says, “Chris Brown, you chicken-shit motherfucker, your ass is gonna pay.”
Def Jam (2009)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 04, 2009


Come clean

Jeru the Damaja vocalized underground agony before RZA declared that R&B stands for "rap and bullshit," before Dead Prez blasted "monotonous material," and way before Immortal Technique announced that he would soil a Def Jam development deal.
Jeru the Damaja doesn't hate pop after all
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 22, 2009

Beef stakes

In quality, record sales, and image, hip-hop has taken a savage beating in the past half-decade.
Joe Budden, live at the Middle East Downstairs, March 5, 2009
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 09, 2009

An abridged history of the Roots' collabs

Tangled up
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 20, 2009

Joe the rapper

"One thing I've learned is that if you write about reality, you'll never run out of material."
Joe Budden, Freeway, and the enduring authority of street rap
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 11, 2008

Def and dumb

  Fight for NY is punch-drunk
By  |  October 24, 2005