Western Front

Latest Articles


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

Watsky: The bard of Beantown

George Watsky says things that most rappers wouldn’t think. Like the word “befuddled.”
Watsky’s performance art is not just under raps
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 17, 2010
Zion I at the Western Front

Zion I at the Western Front

As the Western Front increasingly becomes the unlikely small venue where renowned acts randomly appear, it's only appropriate that Oakland legends (not an overstatement) Zion...
By Ashley Rigazio  |  August 11, 2010

Photos: Certified G'z at the Western Front

Certified G'z perform live at the Western Front on July 29, 2010.
Certified G'z, live at the Western Front, on July 29, 2010
By ERIN BALDASSARI  |  August 06, 2010
Elemental Zazen at the Western Front

Elemental Zazen at the Western Front

After recovering from brain surgery in 2008, Elemental Zazen finally finished his long-awaited sophomore disc, The Glass Is Half Full, which proved his ability to...
By webteam  |  July 21, 2010


Samsonite man

By his 20th birthday, two years ago, Fresno rhyme prodigy Fashawn didn't just have evidence that he would dent the rap establishment.
Fashawn's traveling hip-hop circus
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 09, 2010


Countless rappers have boasted of their coke-dealer and weed-runner reputations. But few MCs have built their careers around thievery, as is the case with Brownsville...
By webteam  |  July 01, 2010
T Banga Benefit Show at the Western Front

T Banga Benefit Show at the Western Front

It's an understatement to say that the Boston rap universe was shocked by the news that Stoneham-based rhyme promoter Tim "T Banga" Damrath had committed...
By webteam  |  June 22, 2010
Kidz in the Hall + 88-Keys

Kidz in the Hall + 88-Keys

 This could well be the most amazing hip-hop show you'll find in a small venue all year. Kidz in the Hall have moved past their...
By webteam  |  June 01, 2010
Commonwealth Records' "A Boston State of Mind" CD Release Party

Commonwealth Records' "A Boston State of Mind" CD Release Party

As far as home-grown Greater Boston rap labels go, Commonwealth Records is a stalwart to be reckoned with. Always considering product before profit, owner Dru...
By webteam  |  May 05, 2010


Rip Shop | The Authenticity

Rip Shop should be one of the first names you mention when recalling Boston’s early-2000s underground rap renaissance.
Drama House (2010)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 30, 2010

Hustle and flow

M-Dot is live on Brookline Ave, chopping it up with nurses, businessmen, and co-eds.
Let us tell you about M-Dot —  before he does
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 30, 2010
Onry Ozzborn + Sole at the Western Front

Onry Ozzborn + Sole at the Western Front

This is precisely the show for anyone who’s bored with hip-hop. Onry Ozzborn is an alumnus of the inventive Rhymesayers group Grayskul, who flew above...
By webteam  |  March 31, 2010

Shedding his skin

A few weeks ago, Boston MC Benny Blanco brought his homeboy J the S a flyer for a sketchy wrestling match in Long Island the next day.
The new J the S is wiser than the old one
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 26, 2010


Last spring, Danny Mekonnen and Jonah Rapino led Boston's fledgling Ethiopian pop group Debo Band straight to Addis Ababa. They played a local festival, made friends with nightclub owners, and found an Ethiopian Airlines deal for a free trip down the c
Debo Band go from the Western Front to East Africa
By MATT PARISH  |  January 29, 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

Timeline: Reggae in Boston

A timeline of reggae milestones in Boston
1968 - 2009
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 22, 2009

Reggae: Upcoming shows in Boston

Upcoming reggae shows and club nights in and around Boston
Boom shakalaka  
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 22, 2009

Reggae revival

The climate is tropical, sweet skunk fills the air, and reggae jams are hitting such lofty decibels that I can't even feel my phone vibrate.
Booming in Boston's underground, Caribbean riddims are about to burst back into the mainstream
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 22, 2009

Deck Demons

Now that every annoyingly extroverted hipster dude and chick with implants, long legs, and Serato has a club residency downtown, it's become increasingly important for real hip-hop DJs to mix together.
Slipwax, Illogix, Eliot Ness, and Emoh spin the night fantastic
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 24, 2008


Surly you jest

The other side of Big Shug's game
The other side of Big Shug's game
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 18, 2008