Hip-Hop and Rap

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2014

    The 10 Best Videos From the Gangsta Rap Era

    Gangsta rap, where have you gone? About 20 years ago at this time, we were in the middle of an unprecedented run of gangsta rap greatness, with Death Row, Bad Boy, Ruthless, Rap-A-Lot and others all functioning at high levels.  And while the songs and albums from this era continue to get sh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2014

    Living Like Kings Multimedia Exhibit Links Chess and Hip-Hop

    When it comes to chess, hip-hop is king. That's one of the ideas behind the World Chess Hall of Fame's new exhibit Living Like Kings: The Unexpected Collision of Chess and Hip Hop Culture. Exploring the connections between the game of kings and what is arguably music's most strategic lyrical genre, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2014

    Dead Prez, Talib Kweli To Play Free Show at Fubar This Sunday

    New York-based rappers Dead Prez and Talib Kweli will perform a free show this Sunday at Fubar, along with Pittsburgh's Jasiri X and locals Tef Poe, T- Dubb-O and Nato Caliph. Festivities will kick off at noon are expected to be over by 6 p.m. (in time for the Vice show scheduled for the night). Se ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2014

    The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: October 2014

    This October, we are seeing an absence of local hip-hop acts -- what's up with that, St. Louis? -- while the national acts flourish. Though not an entirely favorable trade-off (well, maybe for some), some big acts are hitting our stages this month, ranging from the very indie to the slightly indie t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 25, 2014

    Rapper Young Thug Draws Criticism For His Stance On Ferguson, Mike Brown

    Over the weekend Atlanta played host to the fourteenth annual BET Awards, drawing rappers from all corners of the hip-hop world to the televised event. Atlanta -based Young Thug, of Gucci Mane's 1017 Brick Squad Records, was one such rapper. During a short red carpet interview with entertainment web ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2014

    Hip-Hop Is Failing Us

    Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from the St. Louis area. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magaz ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2014

    Andre 3000 Death Growls, Pretends Things Are His Penis: An Outkast Review

    "Honestly, I never planned to go onstage again in that way. If I feel like I'm getting to a place where it's mimicking or a caricature, I just want to move on. But I felt like: Let me do it now 'cause these kids [in the audience], it feels good to know that they're happy. I really don't actually get ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 4, 2014

    The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: September 2014

    St. Louis has a fair amount of hip-hop concerts this September to ease your end-of-summer woes. Catch a whiff of the underground with Inspectah Deck and a benefit for Mike Brown, or catch a little mainstream action with the coveted Die Antwoord and Ab-Soul. From the local to the lesser known and dow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 4, 2014

    The 10 Most Memorable Hip-Hop Albums From 1994

    A lot of electrons have been spent this year on commemorating rap albums that came out in 1994. That's for two reasons: 1994 was twenty years ago, and twenty is a nice round number. Oh, and also, a ton of rap albums that came out that year were amazing. Here are our ten favorites.

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2014

    3rd Bass Rapper MC Serch Almost Moved to St. Louis on an Italian Opera Scholarship

    This year marks 25 years since The Cactus Album, the debut release by legendary New York hip-hoppers 3rd Bass. Released on Def Jam, backed by Russell Simmons' Rush Management and produced in part by the Bomb Squad (best known for its work with Public Enemy and Ice Cube), The Cactus Album boasted imp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2014

    Hip-Hop Did Not Begin How You Think It Did

    To hear most people tell it, the history of rap goes like this: MCs were originally rapping primarily to showcase their DJs. That is, until Sugar Hill Gang put out "Rapper's Delight" in 1979. It was the second rap record of all time and an enormous hit, proving there was a market for rapping on wax. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2014

    1984: A Probing Musical Retrospective

    George Orwell's predictions in his dystopian classic 1984 seem more apt for 2014 than the titular year. The scale and scope of our intelligence agencies suggest that Big Brother is well and truly with us. Our corruption of the English language in social media is more than reminiscent of newspeak (LO ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2014

    Tupac's Group the Outlawz to Perform in St. Louis for His Birthday

    Tupac Shakur was one of the most controversial, musically gifted and socially complicated minds of our time. For any true fan of his music, his admiration and respect for his crew members and childhood friends the Outlawz is very well known. Despite the deaths of two of the group's members (Shakur a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2014

    The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: June 2014

    Summer is always a great time for live music, and this June is no different. We've got acts from near and far traversing many genres, including our very own day-long hip-hop music festival. So get on your dancing shoes and get ready to nod your noggin, because this month sure isn't lacking. Also, th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2014

    Hip-Hop (Solo): Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees

    The 2014 Riverfront Times Music Showcase will be held this year on June 7 in the Grove! Think of it as St. Louis music's own official holiday and consider this the season. Throughout May we at RFT Music will be making our cases for all 140 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2014

    Tech N9ne on "That Fast Flow," Strangeulation and Being a "Job Creator"

    How fast is too fast? Rapper Tech N9ne's supersonic lyrical delivery tests the boundaries of human comprehension. The Kansas City-based MC was bestowed his name thanks to his ability to spit out words with the speed of a TEC-9 semiautomatic weapon. Tech N9ne later gave his handle a double-entendre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2014

    Ten Reasons Urban Outfitters is the Enemy of Music

    By Jonathan Patrick We all know it, but it's time to show it. Urban Outfitters is a creative wasteland, a shortsighted cul-de-sac of trends and trash-culture bent for capital gain -- one large, unthinking slab of cultural masturbation. But, by and large, it's a beast we ourselves feed. Like creepers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2014

    Outkast's Do-Over Recaptures the Spirit of '99

    Last weekend was supposed to mark the return of the gangster, when Andre 3000 and Big Boi played the first of 40 festival shows to celebrate the duo's twentieth anniversary. However, things didn't go according to plan. Many fans were turned off, even worse, bored by the set. How was this possible?

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2014

    Outkast Will Be Performing at Lollapalooza: What Does That Mean for LouFest?

    Lollapalooza is one of the crown jewels of the modern festival era. We may not love the lineup every year, but we certainly can see how, over the past decade, the Chicago production has redefined what a multi-stage, multi-day, multi-artist event can be, especially in an urban setting. The long-runni ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2014

    One Label Controls Almost All of Hip-Hop, and That's a Problem

    It's common knowledge that the popular music industry is dominated by a few huge companies, sometimes referred to as the Big Three: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. It used to be the Big Four, until EMI was subsumed into the other three. Before that, it was the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2014

    Fear of a Black Teenager

    The State of Florida should be ashamed of itself. Its Stand Your Ground laws are ridiculously one-sided. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't give an in-depth legal analysis about the situation, but as a layman I will say it's pathetic. It's becoming the 2014 version of blacks being afraid to go out in publ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2014

    Sixteen Hip-Hop Acts to Watch in 2014

    I wanted to start 2014 off by giving credit to a few St. Louis artists I have been enjoying lately. I also wanted to mention people you probably haven't heard of, because this is the duty of a real fan. I could have easily written a blog about the household names and people you already know about, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2014

    University of Missouri English Class Teaches the Poetry of Jay-Z, Kanye West

    Ever spend a late night with your friends listening to rap and debating your favorite artists? For Andrew Hoberek's students at the University of Missouri, that's homework. Hoberek's newest class, "English 2169: Jay-Z and Kanye West," teaches non-English majors how to examine some of their generat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2014

    Attention LouFest Organizers: Please Get OutKast, Thanks

    News broke just yesterday that Big Boi and Andre 3000, best-known for their work as the dynamic Atlanta hip-hop duo OutKast, will be doing a festival tour this year. The outing is said to consist of over 40 dates this spring/summer, starting in mid-April at Indio, California's esteemed Coachella mus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2014

    The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: January 2014

    Think semi-local/semi-national -- that's what St. Louis has in store for this month's rap shows. Instead of taking the stage at large venues like the Pageant, most will perform in cozy spaces, like the Grove's new venue the Mad Magician and St. Louis's famed Pop's. With throwback acts like Twista an ... More >>

  • Music

    December 12, 2013
  • Blogs

    December 6, 2013

    The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: December 2013

    Have no fear, St. Louis rap fans: December has many shows for you, both big and small, where you can rest your weary hip-hop head. Though some national acts can't be bothered to reschedule dates (cough, cough...Yeezy), other acts, like the much-anticipated Drake concert, have been securely reschedul ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2013

    African Alert Celebrates its 25th Anniversary and the Golden Era of Hip-Hop This Saturday

    A quarter of a century ago, a show called African Alert invaded the airwaves at St. Louis' community radio station, KDHX, exposing listeners to the golden era of hip-hop as it trickled throughout the country in steadily-increasing streams. Ronald Butts, a.k.a. DJ G. Wiz, acted as a key player behind ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2013

    Tech N9ne: "I would never conform for any amount of money."

    Tech N9ne is the only rapper on the 2013 Forbes Hip-Hop Cash Kings list who wears face paint and has performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos six times. After raking in an impressive $7.5 million over the past twelve months, the Kansas City native appears on the list in between Swizz Beatz and 50 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2013

    Elitist Retro Purism is Turning Hip-Hop Playlists Stale

    Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2013

    The Thirteen Best St. Louis Rappers

    This year's Best Of St. Louis issue has hit the streets, and as in the past, we chose a winner for best solo hip-hop artist of 2013. But there's more than just one rapper worth your time, and many of them were winners in previous years. So here's our top ten-ish (OK, thirteen; we kept thinking of mo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2013

    RaptFM: Like Chatroulette, But With More Hip-Hop and Less Dicks

    By Jonah Bromwich You enter the room and they're already there. Some of the names you recognize: Randa the Rhyma (45 wins), Gig@ntic (48 wins), and Novice Raps (53 wins). You've checked the boards obsessively, but you've only ever been here before anonymously, as a guest. This is your first appeara ... More >>

  • Music

    September 19, 2013
  • Blogs

    August 26, 2013

    Eminem "Berzerk" from MMLP2 Produced By Rick Rubin: Listen Now

    Eminem teased his new single, "Berzerk" in a Beats By Dre commercial during this year's VMA awards over the weekend. The song will appear on the rapper's upcoming album, entitled MMLP2 (or Marshall Mathers LP 2, a sequel to his most critically acclaimed and successful album), the follow-up to 2010's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2013

    Kendrick Lamar's "Control" Verse Was an Exciting Moment for Hip-Hop -- And Now It's Over

    Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2013

    The Five Weirdest Rap Beefs

    Do you remember J-Kwon? In case you don't, we'll remind you. He had a song called "Tipsy" back in 2004 that hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts. After that he seemingly dropped off the face of the earth for a while. See Also: - NEWSFLASH: Man leaves Odd Future show with headache - St. Louis Rapper J ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 18, 2013

    DJ Trackstar on Touring as Killer Mike's DJ and What He Misses About St. Louis Hip-Hop

    Long-time St. Louis hip-hop heads may have noticed a familiar face manning the decks at Killer Mike and El-P's Run the Jewels show last night. DJ Trackstar, who spent his first ten years as a DJ in St. Louis, is backing up the whole tour in his capacity as Killer Mike's touring DJ. See Also: - Kil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2013

    Killer Mike and El-P Talk Run the Jewels and Rolling Blunts: "Fuck it, put it on the record."

    Killer Mike and El-P have a bond that goes beyond explanation. Sure, they both make loud, abrasive rap music that often features painful introspection as well as political and societal critiques. And they are equally opposed to the cliquish mindset that is unable to reconcile a boisterous southern r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2013

    The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows in July: 2013

    [Each month in this space we will be bringing you our picks for the best St. Louis hip-hop shows of the month. St. Louis is an excellent town for hip-hop -- just ask Complex Magazine -- and plenty of great acts come through town regularly, in addition to our own local talent. Speaking of, this list ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2013

    The Top 10 Male Rappers of All Time

    Since the birth of hip-hop, male rappers have been bringing their unique viewpoint to the art of rhyme. Today, we're shining some long overdue light on their important contributions to rap. We're proud to present our list of the ten finest male rappers, from the smoking-hot hardbodies to the true ly ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2013

    The Six Worst Hybrids Of Country Music and Rap

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with cross-genre collaboration. Anything that widens an artist or listener's musical scope is encouraged. Rap and country, as disparate as they can seem, can coexist peacefully within a single track (ie. most of Odelay). But when it's bad, good God almighty it's bad ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    Is Killer Mike Is the Best Rapper Alive in 2013?

    Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2013

    The Music Business: We're Surrounded By Some Seriously Sadistic, Self-Centered Bastards

    Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 5, 2013

    Attention Musicians: Stop Spamming and Start Showing Some Personality

    Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis City. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2013

    Independent Hip-Hop Icon Murs To Play at Gramophone Tonight: An Interview

    One of the icons of independent hip-hop for over a decade, Murs comes to St. Louis tonight at the Gramophone. The fearless leader of the Road to Paid Dues Tour, Murs is traveling coast-to-coast to spread the word about the upcoming 2013 installment of his annual festival, which takes place at the e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 4, 2013

    Ghostface Killah is Coming to 2720 Cherokee April 27

    The Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah will be coming to 2720 Cherokee on Saturday, April 27. Joining him will be a ten-piece band, Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn.

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2013

    Sorry, But Kanye Is the GOAT

    Kanye West is the greatest hip-hop artist of all time. He's made the best albums and changed the game the most, and his music is the most likely to endure. One thing before we get going: This isn't one of those arguments meant to piss people off or "start a conversation." I really mean it. And, co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2013

    Mystikal, Famous Sex Offender / Rapper to Drop New Album in 2013 With Appearances By Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne

    Mystikal has been getting a lot of attention for an interview he did with Rolling Stone recently. In said interview, he mentions that lately he's been listening to James Brown, Sam Cooke, Master P, Ludacris, and Eddie Murphy lately, and is in the midst of working on a new album (recent singles seem ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2013

    Fresco Kane Releases Video For Latest Single "Fresco Kane"

    East St. Louis' Fresco Kane continues his recent rise to hip-hop prominence with the release of a brand new music video for his latest, appropriately named "Fresco Kane." The song itself serves as an introductory banger and may be one of Fresco's strongest singles yet, while the video plays in black ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 5, 2013

    Kendrick Lamar is Coming to Chaifetz Arena April 17

    Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar will be coming to St. Louis on Wednesday, April 17. Joining the critically-acclaimed rapper will be DJ Steve Aoki, founder of Dim Mak Records and an electrifying showman in his own right. Aoki is also nominated for a Grammy in this year's upcoming awards show, in the ca ... More >>

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