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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
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Joyride

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
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25 Hip-Hop acts to see at SXSW 2010

As usual, I've got you covered.
The best boom-bap on tap in Austin
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 12, 2010
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2009: The year in jazz

Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite things from among the people, CDs, and concerts I wrote about in 2009.
In and out
By JON GARELICK  |  December 25, 2009
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Mixed media

Film noir has been a running theme in composer/pianist Ran Blake's work since the beginning of his career — his very first album, The Newest Sound Around (RCA, 1962), with singer Jeanne Lee, began with David Raskin's theme to Otto Preminger's Laura .
Ran Blake's Pawnbroker, Sofia Koutsovitis's pan-American roots
By JON GARELICK  |  November 20, 2009
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Interview: Warren G

Humble and nonchalant as ever, Warren G is cooler than Miles Davis smoking an Alaskan cucumber.
Smooth hustler
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 30, 2009


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More than guitar

"I like using songs to change the environment — to get the listener's ear to be a little skewed."
Julian Lage's talent isn't just in his fingers
By JON GARELICK  |  September 11, 2009
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Magical mystery tour

Last Friday, I hopped over a guardrail, skirted the manicured lawn of a Providence golf course, scampered into trees, and clutched a rope (conveniently tied to a nearby tree) as I gingerly stepped down a slippery dirt slope toward Michael Bizon's secre
Michael Bizon's 'Cypheromantic' at 5 Traverse
By GREG COOK  |  August 28, 2009
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Buzz band?

"The rise to the top is the best part," says Natalie Portman's Shaved Head multi-instrumentalist/vocalist David Price. "That's what Tupac said in the Biggie movie."
The glistening pleasures of Natalie Portman's Shaved Head
By MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG  |  April 17, 2009
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Clik tracks

Hide your naughty daughters and aspiring MC sons: Brooklyn’s Duck Down is that kingly retrofitted, incomparably propped hip-hop label that all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to fuck with.
Buckshot and Black Moon get live
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 17, 2009


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Slideshow: Shepard Fairey, ''Supply and Demand''

Obey Giant Art
At the ICA, February 6 through August 16, 2009
By SHEPARD FAIREY  |  February 10, 2009
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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
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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
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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

Norman Mailer’s ‘White Negro’ gets the treatment

Long before suburban kids began digging Dr. Dre and Tupac, an earlier generation of young white people venerated the jazz and swing music of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s.
Action speaks!
By IAN DONNIS  |  October 15, 2008


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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
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That’ll learn ya

In eighth grade, I decided that school and hip-hop should exist separately.
Kabir schools other MCs, little kids
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 26, 2008

Fight song

Your total inability to recognize deserving candidates has me . . . amused?
Letters to the Boston editor, July 25, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  July 23, 2008
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The Big Hurt: Winners and losers

Jay-Z's headlining slot at the Glastonbury Festival June 28 has been the stuff of much controversy, with various artists weighing in on his suitability to the event.
A hip-hop scorecard
By DAVID THORPE  |  July 07, 2008
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A night in Guantánamo

I’d volunteered to spend the night in the replica cell (which is modeled on the ones at Gitmo) because we’ve all heard stories about unlivable conditions at Gitmo but can’t come close to imagining what it must be like.
Staying in a replica cell, with no waterboarding included
By JEFF INGLIS  |  June 11, 2008


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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
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Prodigy

By the time this goes to press, Prodigy will be roughly 10 books and 2000 push-ups deep into the three-and-change prison term he picked up last year for illegal gun possession.

H.N.I.C. Pt 2 | AAC


By MARTÍN CABALLERO  |  April 22, 2008
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Publish and Perish?

Professor Tal Ben-Shahar is a resident rock-star lecturer on Harvard’s campus.
Blogging Harvard courses could revolutionize open education — if its contributors aren’t expelled first
By SHARON STEEL  |  February 28, 2008
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Learning to fly

“I look at the picture,” Coppin tells me, “and what I think of is how Africa has been picked clean by European colonialism.”
Kerry Stuart Coppin’s images of Africa and beyond
By GREG COOK  |  October 09, 2007
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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


Deal me in

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

As with so many other figures in pop music, death has been good to hip-hop producer and MC J Dilla.
A posthumous look at a hip-hop great
By RICHARD BECK  |  April 09, 2007
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Self-inflicted wounds

People have been lamenting the media’s coverage of anti–Iraq War activism for about as long as people have been opposing the Iraq War.
Memo to the anti-war movement: don’t blame the media
By ADAM REILLY  |  March 30, 2007

Dark days for history

Once again, it’s February. The shortest month of the year, our coldest stretch of weather and, hold on, it’s Black History Month, too.
Diverse city
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  February 07, 2007