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The Big Hurt: The week in trouble

This week in big rap no-nos: Fat Joe faces the possibility of two years in the slammer after pleading guilty to evading more than $700 grand in taxes.

By DAVID THORPE  |  January 04, 2013

Banger style: Hip-hop ringers of 2012

In recapping 2012, I embraced the chance to parade some recent unsung hip-hop ringers.

By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 21, 2012

Crate digging with Hub rap archaeologist Pacey Foster

Pacey Foster used to fly home from college in Indiana, hustle to his Newton bedroom, and reach straight for the radio dial.
Hip-Hop History
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 16, 2012

You must think first... before you movie

It's a snowy night in late 2006, and Hostel director Eli Roth is stranded at Logan Airport with RZA. The two are bound for Los Angeles, on their way home from hanging with Quentin Tarantino in Iceland.
RZA and Roth: Behind The Man with the Iron Fists
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 02, 2012

Kitty Pryde takes her chances

Can one artist ruin a genre?
Flak catcher
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  August 17, 2012

Serengeti | C.A.R.

The wondrous character rapper Serengeti is a study in the disparity between the real life a rapper lives and that of his escapist fantasy.
Anticon (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  July 27, 2012


Azealia Banks | 1991

The only downside of Azealia Banks's mildly slept-on debut EP is that her wildfire YouTube classic "212" was anything but subtle (recall: "I guess that cunt gettin' eaten"), whereas the remaining 13 minutes of music here require more time to sink in tha
By DAN WEISS  |  July 10, 2012

The Big Hurt: This month in rap ( . . . in 1992)

I'm overdue for a hip-hop news roundup, but it's all so lame.
Twenty years ago, Marky Mark sucked, NOSE EARRINGS(?) ruled, and some blood was found in Dance Floor’s trachea
By DAVID THORPE  |  March 16, 2012

Photos: Homeboy Sandman at SXSW 2012

Homeboy Sandman performs live at Elysium at SXSW 2012 on March 15, 2012.
Austin TX | March 15, 2012
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  March 16, 2012

Photos: EPMD + DJ Scratch at SXSW 2012

EPMD and DJ Scratch perform live at Malaia Upstairs at SXSW 2012 on March 15, 2012.
Austin TX | March 15, 2012
By DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN  |  March 16, 2012

J the S | The Last Days

J the S has been promising The Last Days since he went by Jake the Snake.
Same Plate/Greater Good
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 10, 2012

Off the record: Habits

Schoolboy Q | Habits & Contradictions

Without much that can be considered "structure" in terms of the verse-chorus-verse standard, Q confidently wobbles through an album's worth of jaded bangers.
Top Dawg Entertainment (2012)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  February 03, 2012

Juan Deuce and Falside get down to work as The Mechanics

The stars have aligned and the Rap Gods must be smiling down at Juan Deuce and Falside.
Impossible to ignore
By CHRIS CONTI  |  February 03, 2012

He will not be moved

A few months ago, Boston hip-hop vet Marco Antonio Ennis stepped into a home studio in Dorchester to cut a verse for an old friend's teenage son.
As a drug dealer, rapper, and clothing designer, Antonio Ennis was stabbed, jailed, and flamed by the media. Now he faces his nastiest adversary yet — big banks.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 03, 2012

The year 'new battling' took over Boston

There's one thing that most people know about battle rapping: 8 Mile .
Plan of attack
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 23, 2011

Click Animosity and the opposite of the frat rap game

In the epic hip-hop mockumentary CB4, Chris Rock's suburban MC wannabe character steals the name and image of a jailed thug rapper named Gusto.  
Audacity of dope
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 25, 2011


Jedi Mind Tricks | Violence Begets Violence

It's a daily struggle to avoid murdering Drake fans who bump that trash on the train in front of me, cliché Auto-Tune hooks leaking from their Skull Candy and polluting my perimeter.
Enemy Soil (2011)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  November 11, 2011

ESH & Dox and Meta P get busy

Don't sleep — the Rhode Island hip-hop scene is flourishing, arguably more than ever.
Rhody rhyme time
By CHRIS CONTI  |  November 04, 2011

Boston Rap Class of 2011's Video Directors

We matched 10 of Boston's young badass video directors — some trained, some straight guerilla — with each member of our 10 Rap Class of 2011 and asked them to produce an original video.
Behind the lens
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  September 30, 2011

Evidence | Cats & Dogs

As competent as Evidence has always been with mic skills, he's no lyrical miracle.
Rhymesayers (2011)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 23, 2011

Das Racist | Relax

They still have jokes for days, but lyrical dexterity has taken precedence on their debut LP.
Greedhead (2011)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  September 23, 2011


The Narcicyst rises as hip-hop's preeminent post-9/11 auteur

Less than a year ago, the Narcicyst was on his way to a speaking engagement at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC, when customs hawks stopped him in his tracks.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  September 09, 2011

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

Main Attrakionz | 808s and Dark Grapes II

Following a steady stream of low-budget tracks, mixtapes, and videos posted on their Tumblr this year, the Bay-area stoner rap duo of Squadda B and MondreM.A.N. (a/k/a Main Attrakionz) have raised the stakes by offering up something that resembles a tra
Mishka (2011)
By CARRIE BATTAN  |  September 09, 2011

Open Mike Eagle | Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes

"Smart" rappers are out of vogue — but many of them aren't nearly as un-fun as is claimed by the hordes who flock to Waka Flocka Flame mixtapes.
Hellfyre Club (2011)
By DAN WEISS  |  September 02, 2011

Zumo Kollie expands his reach on The Last Showing

Providence-based wordsmith Zumo Kollie made his mark on the Rhody rap community with his 2009 debut, The Idiot Savant .
Renaissance man on the move
By CHRIS CONTI  |  August 26, 2011


The tireless street hustle of Grey Sky Appeal

Allston alt-rap crew Grey Sky Appeal more or less avoid the local scene altogether, opting instead to play shows where people give a shit, and sometimes even enjoy themselves.
Allston rap city
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 19, 2011

The fundamentals of Lady Essence

It's my job to listen to contemporary music, but I'll admit that it's completely baffling to me that Nicki Minaj is now the "highest-grossing female hip-hop artist of all time." Is she even hip-hop? Is she human?
Right here, Right Now
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  August 19, 2011

Jay-Z + Kanye West | Watch the Throne

Kanye West has recently espoused the virtues of an album of raps suitable for home listening, as opposed to say club, or car listening.
Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella/Roc Nation (2011)
By MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  August 12, 2011
this just in mac miller

Urban Fest gets ugly

It didn't take long for the largely suburban horde to erupt into a frenzy at the free outdoor concert, which was dubbed, somewhat ironically, the Boston Urban Music Fest (BUMF).
Gimme Shelter Dept.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 12, 2011