Notorious B.I.G.

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The Big Hurt: Factual errors, PR hubris, and butt stuff

By the time you read this, I may already be throwing back Bud Lights with my pal Pitbull in the sporting goods aisle of the Kodiak, Alaska, Walmart.
By DAVID THORPE  |  August 03, 2012
50 Cent to P. Diddy via Twitter: Stand Down

50 Cent to P. Diddy via Twitter: Stand Down

Here's one rap battle we didn't quite see coming. It seems that 50 Cent, who in the past could be found in da club with...
By Alexandra Cavallo  |  July 09, 2010

SXSW 2010: Hare band

By 7 pm on day three of South by Southwest, Bad Rabbits bassist Graham had flashed his naked ass in the crossroads of two thriving, alcohol-drenched Austin arteries.
Boston’s Bad Rabbits get a major buzzcut
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 26, 2010


It is May 1966, in the Prelude Club in Harlem, an Atlantic Records release party.
The Worcester Art Museum shows us ‘Who Shot Rock & Roll’
By GREG COOK  |  March 26, 2010

The Manhattan project

"Was I a coward to abandon the broken down mechanics that crowned Biggie Smalls as the king of Atlantis?" asks Providence-based wordsmith B. Dolan.
B. Dolan breaks north on Fallen House, Sunken City
By CHRIS CONTI  |  February 26, 2010

Review: Fame

Oh, MGM: I realize you're staving off bankruptcy, but is remaking past hits the answer?
A PG-rated, post- High School Musical remake: why, exactly?
By BRETT MICHEL  |  October 02, 2009


Brother Ali | Us

Brother Ali is like a cool roaming uncle who occasionally surfaces with gifts and insights.
Rhymesayers (2009)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 02, 2009

Smack downer

I haven’t come hereto academically justify West Coast credos about assimilating hoes into housewives. Instead I’ve come to mourn the commercialization of misogynistic rap lyrics.
Hip-Hop Misogyny: It Ain’t What It Used To Be
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 24, 2009

He's not a doctor . . .

Around this time four years ago, contemporary hip-hop tastemaker Dawaun Parker faced the same dilemma that most soon-to-be music-school grads negotiate: should he become a performer, a songwriter, or a barista?
. . . but he plays with one in LA. As hip-hop's newest secret weapon — and Dr. Dre's right-hand man — Berklee grad Dawaun Parker is helping resuscitate rap's biggest stars.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 15, 2009

Rakim: Return of the King

As long as the Microsoft linguists who're responsible for updating Word are adding "Barack" and "Obama" to the spell-check dictionary, they should throw in "Rakim."
Harpers Ferry, January 17, 2009
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 27, 2009

Review: Notorious

To its fault and its credit, George Tillman Jr.'s bio-pic offers a life story that fans of late MC extraordinaire Chris Wallace, a/k/a Biggie Smalls, a/k/a the Notorious B.I.G., have known for years.
Romanticized, but well executed
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 13, 2009


2008 Listravaganza Part 2

Everything you wanted to know about the year in music, in tidy lists of 10.
The lighter side of music in 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  January 05, 2009

Fourth-estate follies!

Granted, other years have had flashier media embarrassments (Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass), but that doesn't mean that 2008 lacked for media misdeeds.
Remembering the year in media malfeasance
By ADAM REILLY  |  December 23, 2008

McCain in the membrane

Four tracks into his Monday Monster Jam performance, Brooklyn rap czar Jay-Z stops the music and points to a freeze-frame image of George W. Bush on the titanic screen above the TD Banknorth Garden stage.
The Maverick-iest candidate has hip-hop support from R.A. the Rugged Man
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 30, 2008

The good news

When David Alan Grier promises that he’s “filling TV’s black hole” with his chocolate flavor, you know it’s gonna be good.  
David Alan Grier fills "TV's black hole" with Chocolate News
By SARA FAITH ALTERMAN  |  October 08, 2008

Rebirth of a prince

I recently took the Greyhound to Montreal for a RZA concert.
Digging RZA in 36 steps
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 19, 2008


Beyond therapy

This is the stoner comedy that might make people take adolescence — and getting stoned — seriously again.
The Wackness looks back in languor
By PETER KEOUGH  |  July 09, 2008


Kanye’s music more than lived up to his visual and conceptual audacity.
Kanye West and Rihanna at Tweeter Center, May 15, 2008
By RICHARD BECK  |  May 29, 2008

Free culture: what it is, why it matters

“Copyright law has successfully stopped artists in the past from releasing sample-based works, but I don't think anything could stop me from making it," says Gregg Gillis, a/k/a Girl Talk.
Copyright reform in the digital age
By JOE BERNARDI  |  November 19, 2007

Pop goes to war

Next time you put on the new Spoon single to make that subway ride go by a little faster, consider what musical escapism means to troops in Iraq.
Music and movies are vital coping mechanisms for US servicepeople in Iraq. And often, say four local troops, after they get home.
By MIKE MILIARD  |  July 25, 2007

Deal me in

In fact, let's just talk about one card in particular.
Diverse city
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  July 25, 2007

Keeping it surreal

This article originally appeared in the September 4, 1998 issue of the Boston Phoenix .
The Beastie Boys at the Centrum, August 25, 1998
By MATT ASHARE  |  October 25, 2006

Every day I’m hustlin’

Dude is so on his grind that he even has an 800 number. Common, "Go (Sultan Remix)" (mp3)
Sultan rules Boston’s hip-hop beat, plus Krush in the Hub
By DAVID DAY  |  September 07, 2006

King of nothing

He's known around the world as a crate digger -- an obsessive, irrepressible record fan who will don rubber gloves to find a lost gem. DJ Amir discusses Kings of Diggin' (YouTube)
Boston’s DJ Kon rejects the crown, plus Millions and Bruno
By DAVID DAY  |  July 27, 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

ID Check: The Best Thing Ever

It’s 11:15 pm on Monday night when Alex Billig enters the fancy men’s bathroom at the Top of the Hub lounge.
Men’s-room rockers
By CAMILLE DODERO  |  May 10, 2006



For all the ink that’s been spilled over him around the world, you’d think Mike Skinner would be a little better known in the US, a country where TomKat’s new bundle of joy trumps suicide bombings on the news and new American idols are minted each and ev
An interview with the Streets' Mike Skinner
By CHRIS NELSON  |  April 27, 2006

Dynamic duo

It’s a late Tuesday night in February, and Lansdowne Street looks like a ghost town.
Termanology and Ed Rock step toward the national spotlight
By MATTHEW M. BURKE  |  March 07, 2006
big thumb

Grave diggin’

By the time most rappers drop their fourth album, either everybody’s paying attention or nobody is. In Biggie's case, the truth may lie somewhere in between.
Biggie Smalls’s Final Chapter
By Chris Nelson  |  January 14, 2006

Def and dumb

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