“Every time I hear something that I can’t explain I know it has to be good. Or I want to learn about it, at least. If you can’t explain it you can’t call it good or bad, you just have to learn it.”
— Raye Rich of FKi. I interviewed the Travis Porter producers for the latest installment of Fader’s Beat Construction series and I also live by this code.
12:38 pm • 19 March 2012 • 33 notes
RBMA: Noz Investigates Nashville
I’m doing a new column for RBMA that takes a then/now look at regional rap scenes. First up is Nashville, focusing on pioneers the Blow Pop Crew and present day favorite Starlito.
1:18 pm • 13 March 2012 • 9 notes
From Public Radio International’s Bullseye with Jesse Thorn:
Blogger Andrew Noz from Cocaine Blunts kicks off this week’s show by recommending some recent favorites from the world of rap — ‘Stupid Hoe’ from Nicki Minaj, and ‘Walking Lick’ by Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame.
3:58 pm • 7 March 2012 • 7 notes
Fader: Beat Constuction - Harry Fraud Q&A
Fader’s Beat Construction producer column is back and I will be the one constructing it. For the first installment I interviewed Brooklyn’s Harry Fraud about working with French Montana, growing up with West Coast rap and how his dad managed ’90s Alt-Pop stars Sugar Ray (but not The Beatles).
Check for a new Beat Construction interview every other Monday.
12:23 pm • 5 March 2012 • 16 notes
Spin: Tyga "Careless World" Review
I reviewed Tyga’s Careless World at Spin. It is definitely a rap album.
5:40 pm • 1 March 2012 • 11 notes
Fader: Ab-Soul Q&A
Fader just ran the full transcript of the conversation I had with Ab-Soul while researching the Black Hippy feature. Soul is a great rapper and a pretty fascinating person, one worth paying attention to. After the interview I asked him if he had anything else to add to the conversation, which is pretty customary Interview 101 stuff. It has become close to useless in the era of self promotion, as everyone just says “CHECK ME OUT ON TWITTER @RAPPERRAPPERNAMENAME. ALBUM DROPS NEVERUARY.” but Soul gave what might be the single greatest answer I have ever received: “Uh… save the whales?”
Soul falling backwards off of a treadmill, legs twisted like some sort of bumbling cartoon character was also pretty priceless. We bought out the gym that day, ten deep in street clothes. The woman at the desk refused to believe that Black Hippy were rappers because she had never seen them on TV. “They’re loser rappers,” TDE’s Dave Free jokingly explained, to which the she responded “Why would anybody want to write an article about loser rappers?”
I have since decided to have that question engraved on my headstone.
5:38 pm • 27 February 2012 • 56 notes
Complex: Mystikal Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs
In which I talk to Mystikal, one of the greatest rappers of all time, about his rap songs. This was the most fun I’ve had on a phone interview in a minute, dude is as hilarious and energetic in conversation as he is on record. You’ll notice that a few of the entries start with the denotation [Whistles]. I had to cut like a dozen such [Whistles] from the piece because that was his first response to every other record I mentioned. And they weren’t short [Whistles], either, they made seconds seem like minutes. He was carpet bombing my call recorder.
Beyond that he seems genuinely humbled by the second chance he’s been given. I look forward to hearing him make the best of it.
1:56 pm • 21 February 2012 • 47 notes
I wrote an article about Kendrick Lamar and Black Hippy for Fader. You should read it.
(If you pick up the issue itself, I also hit the far opposite end of the LA rap scene with a short profile of Young Sam, The King of Jerk.)
12:00 pm • 20 February 2012 • 281 notes
From Public Radio International’s Bullseye with Jesse Thorn”
Blogger Noz from Cocaine Blunts recommends some tracks you might have missed — ‘I Am A Vampire’ from Cousin Fik and ‘Blu Diamonds’ from Pyramid Vritra.
4:39 pm • 1 February 2012 • 13 notes