Goin’ Off: 10 Albums for the hip-hop layman

Ten albums for the hip-hop layman. This list has been my burden, my baby. I’ve carried it for the last month or so. Consider this the document of my labor. It began with a serious debate between me, myself and I and my knowledgeable counsel, who shall remain nameless. The questions
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Goin’ Off: Kleening with Jupracobrah

“Buckle your seatbelts / You’re in for the ride of a lifetime.” Your wet-work specialist is here to “kleen” the rap game, or at least make it more interesting by investing in the truth. Yes, his name is Self Jupiter. And no, there’s no need for questions. He’s had a job like
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Goin’ Off: Looking back on Rock the Bells

Method Man spit on me. Then he made like a flying squirrel and landed, legs wide open, on the metallic railing separating crowd and stage. After his testicle-shifting tumble, myself and a few husky amphitheatre security guards in ill-fitting yellow polos helped Meth to his feet. But the mic never
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Goin’ Off: Brewin’ it right

Three is the magic number. And somewhere in this hip-hop soul community was born three: Serk Spliffton, Ray Wright and Manu Li — Warm Brew. Despite the reference, Warm Brew aren’t exactly part of the De La lineage. They find themselves direct descendants of West Coast icons like Snoop, Quik, $hort
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Goin’ Off: Dollaz and Sense

Don’t drink 8 ball / cause St. Ides is givin’ ends.” It’s short. It’s simple. It’s Ice Cube. It also sold St. Ides Malt Liquor to countless impressionable youths with fake IDs. To put it another way, your favorite commercial MC is probably compromised. They’re getting paper for advertising, for
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Custom Screening: A matter of opinion

It’s with a whimper, not a bang that I’ll end this column. There will be no fireworks, no dancing and no Spice Girls reunion atop a fleet of London taxis. Yes, this is my last column. After this week, I vanish into the wilderness of practically anonymous arts criticism. No
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Custom Screening: This column is brought to you by…

In an old episode of the NBC sitcom “30 Rock,” Jack Donaghy, an ambitious TV exec, informs the writers of the fictional show-within-a-show that they will be forced to incorporate products from the NBC-Universal’s portable microwave division into their sketches. Liz Lemon, the head writer, refuses to stoop so low
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Custom Screening: Front page problems

Some years ago, The New York Times published an anthology of its front pages on the days of important historical events. Though the book’s ‘best-of’ style of selection made for good reading, the real fun was to be had with the accompanying CD-ROM which included every front page of the
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Custom Screening: The Dark Knight Rises?

Before I even got a chance to see “The Dark Knight Rises” at a midnight screening last week, I was bombarded with emails and blog posts that frantically dissected  every frame for any hint of allegory to any time — historical or contemporary. The Guardian, sounding ever more the indignant
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Custom Screening: This land is your land

Buried in my pillow, seeing flashes of red, white and blue and slowly giving in to drowsiness, my first Independence Day drew to an early, Sangria-induced close. I rather enjoyed the festivities. From GQ’s self-congratulatory list of “50 Things You Can Do In America But Not Socialist Europe” (number one:
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