The Two Competing Dipset Reunions

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DipsetIn the past few days, an image has been showing up on my Twitter feed again and again: a poster of Roc Weekend 2004. The poster shows the entire roster of Roc-A-Fella records, just before Roc-A-Fella Records shattered into a million pieces. And that roster is a head-spinning thing. This was that Icarus … 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 »

Sheck Wes Has A Story

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Sheck-WesStop me if you’ve heard this one before: A good-looking teenager from the northern reaches of Manhattan becomes a high school basketball star. But instead of seeing how far he can go with that gift, he finds himself drawn into the cultural vortex of his city. He spends time around globally famous musicians and larger-than-life … More »

Curren$y & Freddie Gibbs Make Sense Together

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Currensy-and-Freddie-Gibbs-FettiCurren$y and Freddie Gibbs had it figured out before almost everyone else. Near the beginning of this decade, when the rap landscape completely and irrevocably changed, both of them were right there. Both of them figured things out on their own. They saw rap music becoming a decentered system, a fractured landscape that no longer … More »

The Quick Atomization Of SOB x RBE

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SOB-x-RBE“It feels like they’re just getting started.” That’s something I wrote about the young Vallejo, California rap group SOB x RBE eight months ago. It turns out that they were really just getting finished. Eight months ago, SOB x RBE had enormous momentum behind them. They’d made “Paramedic!,” maybe the single best song … More »

Open Mike Eagle & Milo’s Independent Journeys

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Open-Mike-EagleIt’s such an oddly specific and low-stakes flex: “I’ve been on every podcast that I listen to.” It’s also, presumably, an entirely true statement. If you’ve ever heard Open Mike Eagle on a podcast, you already know that he’s an ideal podcast guest: funny, gregarious, open-hearted, interested, informed enough to speak with some credibility on … More »

Quavo Needs To Rethink This Whole Solo-Career Thing

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QuavoThere’s this phrase in pro-wrestling terminology: Killing the town. Back before the ’80s WWF takeover, pro wrestling was a regional phenomenon: All of North America divided up into these discrete fiefdoms over which a single promoter would reign. Those promoters would then tour their wrestling rosters around their own corners of the map, running shows … More »

Lil Baby & Gunna Are The Best Rap Duo In Years

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Lil-Baby-GunnaThere was this rap-video cliché in the late ’90s. The rapper would jump out a window, with police chasing him. Or he’d be in a boat, with DEA chasing him. Or he’d be face-to-face with the sworn enemy that we met four minutes earlier. And these words would flash across the screen: “To be continued…” … More »

Lil Wayne’s Triumphant Return

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Lil-WayneHere’s how I think about it: A new Tha Carter album is like a new Die Hard movie. We can’t expect it to be like the first three. We can’t even expect it to get close. That’s not realistic. Bruce Willis can’t jump off of buildings like that anymore. Maybe we don’t even want to … More »

Brockhampton Make The Leap

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BrockhamptonBrockhampton have been calling themselves a boy band for years; that term is central to their self-presentation. It’s an inside joke. It’s a way to set the group apart from every other rap collective. It’s a way for the group to encourage the personality-cults that have emerged around all the vastly different Brockhampton members, some … More »