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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 9: Digital Overload; Why Streaming Alone Will Kill Music

Peace. Art, more so than any other discipline, captures the emotion of what it means to be human. And of all the art disciplines, music is the most powerful. And of all the music genres, Hip Hop, with its soul stirring beats and rhymes, is second to none. But we’re now faced with a dilemma—especially […]

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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 8: Negus Album Review

Peace. I’ve always felt that an emcee’s lyrics were a reflection of their emotional maturity and critical thinking abilities. For example, if you don’t have anything to say, it’s because you’re not insightful—or you’re dumbing your music down because you think it’s what suburban kids want you to be. You’re the type of emcee that […]

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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 7: “Radio Raheem” is the Most Woke Song Out

Peace. With all of the coonin’ going on with black celebrities scared to speak up for the oppressed, the latest single from Otayo Dubb (@tayodub), titled “Radio Raheem”, gives life to all of the real ones out there. I wrote a few volumes back about what defines a real emcee, and Otayo displays his real […]

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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 6: Prayful’ Hate

Peace. Hate is rampant. I won’t say it’s at an all-time high because I’m a student of history, so I’ll say it’s alive and well—fueled by the internet. People love nothing better than having a hot take, shooting down someone or something. No matter what someone says, and no matter how positive their intentions or […]

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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 5: A Rapper Named Fred

Peace. Fred might be the corniest name ever. And a rapper named Fred?! Let me tell you now though, if you stumble across music from the emcee Fred the Godson, you’d be a fool to judge his music by his name. I’d assume he’s well known in New York Hip Hop circles, as he’s been […]

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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 4: What Does it Mean to be an Emcee?

Peace. Art is subjective and that’s a good thing. There is no formula for creative magic, so trying to prescribe it is impossible—and wack! I think where a lot of Hip Hop heads go off the rails is when they try to set themselves up as the lords of the genre: “Who deserves five mics, […]

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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 3: Think Happy Thoughts While Catching Hell

Peace. Black folks have been catching hell since we’ve been in this country, and we keep catching hell today. There’s a perpetual pressure and need for black folks to find a way to balance our mental anguish and rage—born of micro-aggressions, aggressions, and disrespect—with positivity in order to function. Thank God (love) black folks have […]

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Music For the Rest of Us

Vol 2: Everyday Struggles—Hip Hop’s New Counter-Culture

Peace. Welcome back to Music for the Rest of Us—an exploration of dope music made with artistic integrity. If you missed the first edition, you can read it here. In short, this column is dedicated to music that’s about something more than just the turn up. I just finished listening to Mark Battle’s new release: […]

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Music For the Rest of Us

Music for the Rest of Us: Welcome

Peace. Welcome to the “Music for the Rest of Us.” It would be logical to ask, “Just who exactly comprises us?” There’s my general definition, which is anyone who loves great music that was created with artistic integrity. Like most people, I have a wide range of musical interests that span several genres, and I […]