How Nina Simone Became Hip Hop’s “Secret Weapon”

How Nina Simone Became Hip Hop’s “Secret Weapon”
From Lauryn Hill to Jay Z and Kanye West
In 1996, the Fugees burst on the scene with “Ready or Not,” and most listeners were not ready: for the ominous, eclectic, Caribbean-inflected production, the smooth, sexy menace of Lauryn Hill’s hook (“you can’t hide / Gonna find you and take it slowly”), or the interplay of references in the [...]

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The origins of hip hop

The origins of hip hop
Inside Kool Herc’s parties
When we hear “hip-hop” or “rap” (we hardly hear just one of those term separately, because of their common origins), we talk about a musical and cultural phenomenon that covers at least five decades, now consolidated as a real music trend: Kanye West, Jay-Z and before them Eminem, Dr. Dre, [...]

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PHASE 2’s Party Flyers

PHASE 2’s Party Flyers
HIP HOP's VISUAL LANGUAGE
In the South Bronx in the 1970s, hip-hop culture was just beginning to form at large musical gatherings called jams. In abandoned buildings packed with people, a group of DJs developed techniques like sampling, breakbeats, scratching, cutting, and backspinning. But news of a jam didn’t spread by word of mouth [...]

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From Prodigy to KDot

From Prodigy to KDot
Photographer Estevan Oriol
Legendary photographer Estevan Oriol has taken more than a half-million photos throughout a career that has spanned over 25 years. The legendary photographer sat down with us to talk about his most iconic shots. Born at Saint John’s hospital in Santa Monica, Estevan Oriol, a Mexican-American photographer and music video director, [...]

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FIGHT THE POWER

FIGHT THE POWER
THE MOST PROVOCATIVE SONG EVER !
In the first episode of Ava DuVernay’s Netflix drama When They See Us, a couple of dozen black teenagers pour into Central Park on the night of 19 April, 1989. Five of them will end up spending years in jail for a rape they didn’t commit, but for now they’re [...]

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How Gil Scott-Heron made way for a generation of rap revolutionaries

How Gil Scott-Heron made way for a generation of rap revolutionaries
On what would have been his 70th birthday, we look back at the exceptional legacy of the poet, musician, and novelist
Even if you’re not familiar with Gil Scott-Heron, it’s likely you’ve unknowingly encountered his work in some form. The late artist’s poeticisms have taken on a life beyond their architect, from his extensive sampling in hip hop music, to cover versions like soul singer Leon Bridges’ recent resurrection of “Whitey On The Moon” [...]

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Kurt Cobain’s Undying Influence on modern Hip Hop

Kurt Cobain’s Undying Influence on modern Hip Hop
Kurt Cobain's influence on hip-hop past and present
In 2019, rappers idolize Kurt Cobain more than they idolize rap legends. The art form has been heavily influenced by SoundCloud rap; a subgenre which makes use of DIY aesthetics and shrill vocals—decades after Nirvana mastered those qualities without really caring to. Many of its stars see Cobain as an [...]

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The Self-Destruction Video

The Self-Destruction Video
The Power Of Hip-Hop Unity
From AmbrosiaforHeads - In the late 1980s, Rap music had a problem. At the time the genre was exploding with national and overseas tours, incidents were taking place at some of those concerts that were smearing the reputation of the Hip-Hop culture. As the safety of show-goers was a significant concern, [...]

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Steinski: Lesson #1

Steinski: Lesson #1
Hip Hop History Month
Io e il mio amico Double Dee andavamo da mesi ogni weekend in un club chiamato The Roxy dove ci divertivamo un mondo. Nello stesso periodo promuovevo serate reggae dance hall, a Brooklyn. Double Dee lavorava in uno studio di registrazione dove si producevano spot pubblicitari per etichette discografiche. Un [...]

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THE ORIGINS OF WALL WRITING

THE ORIGINS OF WALL WRITING
Debunking the historical Hype
Hip-hop is plagued by mythology. Whether it is the idea that Brooklyn disco DJ’s invented the music, or that breaking comes from capoeira, or that a short-lived gang truce is what gave the culture life, there seems to be no shortage of people eager to take credit for one or another aspect of hip-hop. What’s worse, [...]

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