Rod Wave, Singer Of Sad Songs

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Rod-WaveThere is a lot of singing happening in rap music right now. Some of it — Polo G, Lil Baby, Juice WRLD’s “Bandit” — is good. Most of it is bad. DaBaby and Megan Thee Stallion, the two rapping-ass rappers who emerged out of the internet in 2019, are looking more and more like glorious … More »

The Revolving Door Between Country And Pop Keeps On Spinning

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Marshmello & Kane BrownPress play on the year’s biggest country album and you might wonder if you’re listening to a country album at all. Thomas Rhett’s Center Point Road is the genre’s only release to hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart this year and enjoyed the biggest debut streaming week ever for a country album, with … More »

Brockhampton Let Their Depression Flow

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Brockhampton“We want to make a summer album. Feel-good. Not too sad and like, ‘Oh, our life sucks,’ just more like, ‘Just enjoy what’s in front of you.'” … More »

Cardi B’s Circus Comes To Town

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Cardi-B“Stank-ass rappers make me sick! Everybody on the goddam stage got a mic! Forty motherfucking people! All of ’em got a mic! Motherfucker, why? We can’t understand what one of your asses is saying. How you giving everybody a goddam mic?” Steve Harvey was, at least a little bit, speaking truth to power. In The … More »

Get Used To Lil Tjay

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Lil-TjayReports of rap regionalism’s death were greatly exaggerated. For decades, almost since its inception, rap was the most provincial form of popular American music — a loosely interconnected constellation of local scenes, each with its own sounds and aesthetics and characters and rules. But a few years ago, we started hearing about post-regional rap music … More »

Lucki’s Depressive Drug-Rap Can Punch You In The Soul

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LuckiThere’s an old joke about a lost-dog poster: “LOST: Male dog. One eye. Mangled ear. Paralyzed hind leg. Crooked tail. Answers to the name ‘Lucky.'” The Chicago rapper Lucki, formerly Lucky Eck$, was not joking when he settled on his rap name. Lucki’s rap name is his real name; he was born Lucki Camel, Jr. More »

Watch Gucci Mane & Kevin Gates Play Kimmel Together

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Gucci-Mane-and-Kevin-GatesGucci Mane and Kevin Gates are two fascinating figures: Raw and emotional and instinctive and deeply weird street-rappers who influenced entire regions on a grass-roots level and who became cult heroes before truly gaining fame. Both have done truly troubling things, including acts of violence to women, and both have done serious prison time. But … More »

ALLBLACK Carries The Bay Area Flame

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ALLBLACK“Thank you, Kenny.” That’s something the Oakland rapper ALLBLACK says over and over on 2 Minute Drills, his new collaborative EP with the producer Kenny Beats. “Thank you for fucking with me.” He sounds so sincere. More »

Twenty One Pilots May Not Be For You (Because They’re For Everyone)

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Twenty One PilotsIn 2015, Twenty One Pilots were the biggest band you’ve never heard of. By the end of the following year, they were the biggest band, period. More »

Nas Sounds Tired

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NasIn 2000, Rakim, then widely regarded as the greatest rapper ever, signed with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label. This was a ridiculously exciting thing to even contemplate: an all-time great rapper and an all-time great rap producer coming together, aligning forces, ready to take on the world. In the end, Rakim was only on Aftermath for … More »