Latest Articles


Meta P. has a simpler plan

Don't let Sean Sbardella's moniker of choice — Metaphysics ("Meta P") — dissuade fellow ol-skool enthusiasts who prefer original-recipe rap to the bombastic, rapid-fire verbiage of latter-day indie backpackers.
Original recipe
By CHRIS CONTI  |  January 28, 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

Kings of Queens

When it comes to legendary hip-hop duos, Southerners salute UGK and OutKast, whereas nostalgic heads anoint EPMD, and eclectic contrarians endorse Organized Konfusion.
Why Mobb Deep are still the fittest
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 25, 2010

Kidz In The Hall | Land Of Make Believe

The Most Improved Player award goes to . . . Kidz in the Hall for finally living up to the hype that caught their sail in 2008.
Duck Down (2010)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 19, 2010

VIDEO: Top 101 songs of the decade

WFNX's top 101 songs of the decade
The top 101 songs of the decade from WFNX 101.7 FM
By WFNX AND PHOENIX STAFF  |  December 18, 2009

Hottest songs of 2009

By PHOEBIE PHOENIX  |  December 18, 2009


The Big Hurt: 10-year glitch

It boggles the mind that as recently as a decade ago, if you wanted to hear "Knockin' da Boots" by H-Town (and you did, believe me), you'd have to perform a primitive prayer ritual: you'd call some creepy guy with a really deep voice and beg him to play
The Big Hurt: A major decade for music — minus the music
By DAVID THORPE  |  December 18, 2009

Crossword: ''Best of the decade part one''

Starting with 2000-2001
Starting with 2000-2001
By MATT JONES  |  December 11, 2009

13 shots to the dome

What to do with LL Cool J?
The 10 hours and 29 minutes of LL Cool J’s career
By RICHARD BECK  |  September 02, 2008

The accidental gangsta

Elemental Zazen wears Sauconies on stage and has “World Peace” tattoo’d on his forearm.
Elemental Zazen has been through some shit
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 19, 2008

In with the in crowd

I knew a girl named Juliette who moved to Queens in her junior year of high school.

LA’s Time Machine lose the zeros

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 28, 2008


When Jacko was king

Richard Nixon may be the only figure whose decline in popularity eclipsed Michael Jackson’s.
The 25th anniversary of Thriller
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  February 26, 2008

Youth in the booth

Sometime since 1976 — just four years after 18 year olds were granted the right to vote but decided they’d rather not — the youth movement has become a joke.
The frat party at the Electoral College may be over . So why are the kids still turning out?
By VANESSA CZARNECKI  |  January 30, 2008

Freestyle fellowships

Although crunk partisans probably won’t care for the comparison, LA rapper Busdriver might be thought of as the indie hip-hop analogue to Lil’ Wayne.
The indie rap of Busdriver and Von Südenfed
By FRANKLIN BRUNO  |  November 06, 2007


Underground Kingz is not quite an instant classic, but it would be hard to deny that UGK have reclaimed their throne.
Underground Kingz | Jive
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  September 18, 2007

War of the words

50 Cent has a long history of initiating beefs before he releases a new album.
50 Cent versus Kanye West
By RICHARD BECK  |  September 12, 2007


Audible Treats

When the word “underground” gets attached to “hip-hop,” we’re apt to imagine white boys spouting SAT verbiage in a feeble imitation of the real thing.
"Underground" hip-hop
By DOMINIQUE HENDELMAN  |  September 12, 2007

The dark side of the rainbow

Does the simple fusion of audio to video count as high-quality entertainment?
The new medium of the YouTube mash-up
By NICK SYLVESTER  |  August 29, 2007

Who's Your Caddy?

In this big-screen vehicle for pop sensation Antwan Andre Patton, nearly every element of the plot rips off the mangy 1980 comedy Caddyshack .
The gamut of taste
By TOM MEEK  |  August 01, 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

Skill ride

All it took was a Godzilla sample and a simple, forceful “Simon says get the fuck up” for Pharoahe Monch to leave his mark on hip-hop history.
Pharoahe Monch’s timely return
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  July 17, 2007

Desert People

At the decks, Clouds was owning the room and the dancing crowd, dropping ridiculously hot dancehall reggae.
Music seen at the White Heart, June 27, 2007
By TODD RICHARD  |  July 03, 2007

The Constantines + Sontiago & Dilly Dilly + Kid Koala

An interstate concert-going misadventure...
Music Seen, at Hampton Beach Casino and SPACE Gallery, April 21, 2007
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  April 25, 2007

Dead, or immortal?

When Chuck D challenges the status quo, a bunch of fortysomethings nod their heads, but Nas can put the young rappers on the defensive.
Nas’s album title challenges a generation
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  January 24, 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

A new year dawns

Boston can seem small at times, but when you start spreading outward (Revere, Quincy, Medford, holla!), you’re dealing with a serious piece of real estate. Pat Fontes, "Dirty Days" (mp3) Jawn P, "Peace of Mind" (mp3 via MySpace) Tension-Span mix (
Looking ahead in Boston’s clubland
By DAVID DAY  |  December 28, 2006


Grading Grey's

It’s midterm time, beautiful intern babies! So here it is — the interns, the grades, and how each of them could stand to up their scores by the end of the semester/season.
  TV midterm for Grey's Anatomy
By ELLEE DEAN  |  December 18, 2006

Larger than life

Although predictions that Jay-Z, in his comeback, would pull in the biggest sales numbers of the year were proved wrong (at 680,000, his Def Jam release Kingdom Come ranks third behind Rascal Flatts and Justin Timberlake in 2006), that’s hardly the story
Two kinds of triumph from Jay-Z and the Game
By MATTHEW GASTEIER  |  December 06, 2006

No success like failure

The wild, idle guessing game over the Roots’ Game Theory and OutKast’s Idlewild is finished.
The Roots and OutKast step into the future
By FRANKLIN SOULTS  |  October 03, 2006

Forward into the past!

Could it be just a coincidence that as I sit here writing this, a grizzled Bob Seger is gearing up for the release of Face the Promise , the Detroit rocker’s first proper studio album in, oh, forever and a day? The Lemonheads, "No Backbone" (mp3)
Oldies and more in the season’s CD releases
By MATT ASHARE  |  September 14, 2006