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Dr. Dre's Spotty Compton Is The First Record To Show His Age

Dr. Dre has enjoyed one of the most remarkable careers in hip-hop history. In music’s most youth-dominant genre, not only has he managed to roll with the changing times, he has ranked among the most powerful forces steering the direction of the rap industry for a solid two decades. Which makes it a little…

Sean Price, RIP: In Praise Of The Brokest Rapper You Know

If Sean Price’s rap career had ended in 1996—if his only contribution to the genre was that year’s ingenious Nocturnal, the debut album from his duo Heltah Skeltah—he would still be worthy of the respect, admiration, and mourning that has poured forth since the announcement of his sudden death this past Saturday. But…

How Baseball Players Use Walk-Up Music Like a Performance Enhancing Drug

Angels’ Mike Trout likes Drake. The Nationals’ Bryce Harper opts for Sinatra. Some go with a feel-good ballad from an 80s band called The Outfield. At least a half-dozen players use “Turn Down for What.” This is the world of baseball “walk-up” music, the songs that blare through the stands as the batters of the home…

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We Made More Rap-Themed Sprite Cans

So Sprite, in conjunction with The Fader, is putting rap lyrics on its cans this summer, to honor a cultural synergy that stretches all the way from Kurtis Blow to A Tribe Called Quest to Drake. Which is a lovely tribute, sure, but the initial roster—Aubrey, Nas, Rakim, and a one-off from the Notorious B.I.G.—leaves…

Freedom Song: A Conversation About the State of Black Liberation Music

In the lyric pamphlet to Black Messiah, D'Angelo's third album after 14 years away from the spotlight, the soul-savant explains his reasoning behind its title and sudden release: "Some will jump to the conclusion that I am calling myself a Black Messiah," he begins. "For me the title is about all of us...It's about…

All Eyez On Me: Kendrick Lamar's Dense, Neurotic To Pimp A Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar doesn't make anything easy. Sunday night, he briefly broke the constantly breaking internet by issuing his new album, To Pimp a Butterfly, a full week early on iTunes and multiple streaming services; by Monday afternoon, iTunes had both frantically pulled it back down and just as abruptly put it…