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Article: Hip Hop Cinema – ‘Urban’ Dance Movies (2001-2012)

Throw a rock in a dvd store and you’ll probably hit an ‘urban’ dance movie. With films like ‘Step Up’ and ‘You Got Served’, break-dancing saw a second popular resurgence in mainstream film. But how should we really feel about this mutated sub-genre which sullies the good name of hip hop?
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Article: Bittersweet sample usage

As a producer I’m inspired by quite a few notable sample-based albums. But these days there are two big problems in particular facing independent producers that work with many samples.
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Article: Beauty by beatmakers

“Instrumental hip hop sucks. Ban it forever.” SF Weekly editor Philip Mlynar doesn’t fear the use of hyperbole to express why his eardrums shiver when he listens to instrumental hip hop. It’s “the banal meandering stepchild of hip hop”; “sample-based Chinese water-torture”.
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Happy Birthday Jun Seba

Today, February 7th, 2012, would be the 38th birthday of Japanese producer Jun Seba a.k.a. Nujabes if he had not tragically passed away in a car accident two years ago. His death was mourned around the world by legions of…
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Happy Birthday James Yancey [Updated]

Today, February 7th, marks the 38th anniversary of the birth of a certain producer/emcee named James Dewitt Yancey a.k.a. J Dilla. For many hip hop heads, myself included, Dilla was our messiah. He was massively prolific during his tragically short…
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Article: Delicious Vinyl Feels Mighty Fine

Have you ever been so overwhelmingly attracted to somebody that, grabbing and groping not being enough, you feel the primal urge to bite into their beautiful, enticing flesh? Well, that same impulse can arise from hearing music with the power…
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Review: Krate Krusaders – When the Needle Drops

There’s a lot to admire in the workman-like attitude and banging hip hop beats of UK production duo Krate Krusaders’ second release “When the Needle Drops”, even if it serves better as an introduction to the many featured
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Article: Southern Renaissance

WillPower has only been in town for a couple of hours, but it’s already apparent that it’s going to be a long night. William Washington has been working feverishly for this day: A showcase of his singer Nikkiya at the New Brookland Tavern accompanied by
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Article: Hip Hop Cinema – Samurai Champloo (2004-2005)

Upon the recent release of Nujabes’ posthumous album, it’s an appropriate time to revisit Samurai Champloo, the anachronistic Japanese tv series whose unique blend of Beats and Samurai was a gateway drug for many into the world of ‘underground’ hip hop.
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Article: Bebop for B-Boys

I think the much-maligned ‘jazz rap’ thing never really made it to a full-fledged genre. If funk and soul are hip hop’s parents, jazz is kinda like an uncle who drifts into town now and then, sleeps on the couch, bums hip hop’s cigarettes and tells stories about the good old days.