Hemlock Ernst, The Little Indie-Rap Side Project That Could

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Hemlock-ErnstSamuel T. Herring looks like the dad in a ’50s sitcom. He sings in a stately baritone-blues quaver that sometimes unpredictably lurches into death-metal growl territory. He dances like an unusually balletic hardcore frontman who has been cast as the lead for a Tennessee Williams play. There is absolutely nothing about Samuel T. Herring, save … More »

Tekashi 6ix9ine & The Bizarre Spectacle Of Rap On Trial

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6ix9ineFourteen years ago, I sat in a federal courthouse in Brooklyn and watched Irv Gotti’s lawyer call Ja Rule a fake crook. Irv Gotti, the founder of Ja Rule’s Murder Inc. label, was on trial, alongside his brother Chris Lorenzo, for money laundering. Prosecutors were claiming that the two brothers had used Murder Inc. as … 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 »