Mos Def

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So much to do

On FRIDAY (the 9th), stop by the Armory in East Greenwich for a Toys for Tots bash led by TONY JONES & THE CRETIN 3 , THE REVEREND BASTIEN , and more; the all-ages shindig includes a "junk food buffet" with the $10 door donation.
No excuses — get out there!

Nas rocks the bells

Six months ago my teenage cousins told me they'd been listening to Big Pun. And Nas, and Ghostface, and every other artist who inspires regular road rage in male rap fans between the ages of 28 and 35.
The rapper fronts the tour that erased lines between commercial and underground, white and black, alternative and trendy
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 09, 2011

Odd Future blew up out of nowhere. But they didn't do it alone.

By now you've heard about how post-this, uber-that, and pre-apocalyptically radical the Los Angeles collective Odd Future is. Or maybe your little sis came home with ringleader Tyler the Creator's tag tatted on her teenage ta-ta's.
Making the brand
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 06, 2011

Cymarshall Law and the Beatnikz | Freedom Express Line

It's damn near crotch-stiffening to discover a contemporary MC who swings compelling rhymes with an aerobic flow and trademark whistle.
Freedom Entertainment (2010)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 27, 2010

Into the weird

No, it's not your imagination: things are getting smaller. Or at least, it seems that way in the funhouse-mirror world of modern music, where the semi-demise of the major-label factory has colluded with the anti-star obsession of the underground to pro
Welcome to our many small worlds
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 05, 2010

Confidence men (and women)

For a slice of Portland and scattered folks throughout New England and beyond, Spouse are downright seminal indie rockers.
Spouse open up on their fifth full-length
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 07, 2010


Championship vinyl

You have a better chance of hearing Taylor Swift songs banging out of Kanye’s tinted windows than you do of hearing either of their pop asses on the Good Life speakers during Fever.
Flavorheard, Frank White, and Mister Jason are Fever  
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 02, 2010

SXSW 2010 Hip-Hop Superlatives

And the winners are... Most likely underground stalwart/Hollywood actor to perform a Gregorian chant at the final SXSW blast-off: Mos Def Killah Priest, 9th Prince...
By Chris Faraone  |  March 22, 2010

Best in their field

The jazz scene continues to struggle — along with everyone else — through hard times.
An early 2010 harvest
By JON GARELICK  |  January 01, 2010

Local flavor

Local journalist and acclaimed hip-hop scribe Andrew Martin has corralled a flavorful roster of Rhody-based rap talent on the Ocean State Sampler , 10 exclusive tracks available for free download.
Andrew Martin serves up fresh Ocean State Sampler
By CHRIS CONTI  |  January 01, 2010

Allah people in the house

“Muslim hip-hop is not like Christian rock,” says Yusuf, the Merrimack Valley half of the Allah-inspired Boston-Lowell tag team Blak Madeen.
Blak Madeen stay true on Sacred Defense
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 13, 2009


Photos: Mos Def and Talib Kweli

Photos: Mos Def and Talib Kweli, live at House of Blues, September 8, 2009
Mos Def and Talib Kweli, live at House of Blues, September 8, 2009
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  September 11, 2009
Intercepting an IM Chat between Two College Freshmen who were at the Mos Def Show Last Night

Intercepting an IM Chat between Two College Freshmen who were at the Mos Def Show Last Night

BUhiphopfrosh: Dude – you there?Sneakerhead69: Yeah. Kind of. Still blazed from that post-show blunt. Missed orientation this morning. BUhiphopfrosh: LOL. Me too. Fuck that shit....
By Chris Faraone  |  September 09, 2009
Mos Def's The Ecstatic Tour with Talib Kweli at House of Blues

Mos Def's The Ecstatic Tour with Talib Kweli at House of Blues

Eleven years after Rawkus dropped the singular Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star and ripped wide the divide between underground hip-hop and the...
By Shaula Clark  |  September 02, 2009

Covering the bottom end - and the bottom line

The biggest news made by the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals the past two weekends was that they happened at all.
Newport Jazz comes back with a bang
By JON GARELICK  |  August 14, 2009
jazz list

Newport Jazz Festival 2009

By JEAN HANGARTER  |  August 13, 2009


Review: Next Day Air

Wood Harris, so supremely menacing as Avon Barksdale in The Wire , plays Guch, a hood so boneheaded, he robs a bank but forget to take the money.
It's all fun and games until everyone's shoving guns in each other's faces. And then it isn't much fun at all.
By DAVID WILDMAN  |  May 08, 2009

Get sprung

Between the packages that turn up on my Jamaica Plain doorstep and the envelopes that stuff my Phoenix mailbox, I have enough music to start a mixtape spot in Downtown Crossing.
A bumpin' crop of spring hip-hop
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 18, 2009

An abridged history of the Roots' collabs

Tangled up
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 20, 2009

Y'all come back now . . .

I've always liked the idea of there being some weight to the "nines," meaning: if you're a year, and you're going to perch yourself at the very edge of a decade, you'd better be ready to represent.
Diminishing returns in 2009
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  December 30, 2008

Interview: Talib Kweli

If one hip-hop album crystallized the schism between underground authenticity and mainstream monotony, it was Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star (Rawkus).  
Black star
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 21, 2008


Backed the f*** up

I wasn’t the only one held back from “Rock the Bells” by fleets of ugly persons driving Chevy Avalanches.
‘Rock The Bells’ 2008
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 30, 2008

Bigmouth strikes again

The few college students who don’t watch The Daily Show get their news from Immortal Technique.
Immortal Technique goes on the offensive
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 24, 2008

Wu where?

To be among 100-plus heads who rhyme along when the song asks “Remember when we licked the cream out of Suzy Qs?” induces straight-up euphoria.
Wu-Tang Wednesdays at Tommy Doyle’s
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 02, 2008

Shaggy frog

Michel Gondry is not a household name.
Interview: Michel Gondry goes lo-fi
By BRETT MICHEL  |  February 20, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

This isn’t Gondry’s best work — it’s too unstructured, labored when it begs to soar.
A shambling charmer
By BRETT MICHEL  |  February 20, 2008


Primary concerns

The last thing people are looking for when they go to the movies is a reminder of the political crapola they are trying to escape.
2008 releases offer campaign reform
By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 28, 2007

Vowel free

Rcrd Lbl pays both artists and labels like Warp and Modular in exchange for permission to post songs.

Rcrd Lbl's free and legal downloads

By CAITLIN E. CURRAN  |  December 17, 2007

From ’Ye to mixtapes

To get the full taste of where hip-hop is at, you also have to seek out the unofficial releases, the mixtapes, which often have a bigger impact than the official albums.
Hip-hop: 2007 in review
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  December 17, 2007

A call to action

The credits of Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes rolled, and I felt two ways.
Fixing hip-hop must come from within
By JOE KOSNOW  |  May 23, 2007