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ISSUE 050 • FEBRUARY 26th 2019

Eminem Has Been America’s Nightmare for 20 Years

10 minute read • The Ringer

In 2019, the conversation around Eminem seems to consist mostly of angry fans who have probably spent too much time on Reddit, and people retweeting the Chris D'Elia meme. It's almost easy to forget that Eminem once was the most provocative voice in hip-hop, and the biggest, dirtiest pop star in the world. As The Slim Shady LP hits the twenty years mark, The Ringer's Rob Harvilla remembers the moment when Eminem took over.

Offset Is Trying to Come Clean

14 minute read • Esquire

Solo record after solo record, the Migos continue to be the favorite rap group for magazines that can invest in crisp, high-fashion photoshoots. On the verge of the release of Father of 4, Offset aims to reveal a more nuanced side – "Hell yeah, I’m vulnerable", he says – but remains guarded and in control.
The Screwtape Records

The Screwtape Records

18 minute read • Popula

The home of DJ Screw's legacy in Houston, Screwed Up Records & Tapes is more than a local business. It's a shrine, an anomaly, and eighteen years after Screw's death, it's a symbol of the fragility of material things in the face of destruction. Austin writer Chris O'Connell captures all of this – and more – in these memories of a pilgrimage to the center of the chopped and screwed culture. Best hip-hop story of 2019? So far, we might say yes.
Nipsey Hussle

Inside Nipsey Hussle's Blueprint To Become A Real Estate Mogul

7 minute read • Forbes

Journalist Zack O'Malley Greenburg has a knack for business-minded rappers. That's him who reported on Jay-Z's entrepreneurial acumen in an entertaining book, and relentlessly documents hip-hop's power players for Forbes. With L.A. rapper Nipsey Hussle, he finds an fascinating subject, less celebrated than Shawn Carter, but incredibly savvy. From bricks to, well, more bricks. 

+ More Nipsey Hussle glamour in GQ, with actress and girlfriend Lauren London
The Roots

An Oral History Of The Roots' 'Things Fall Apart' As Told By Questlove On Its 20th Anniversary

41 minute read • Urban Legends

Liner notes enthusiast Questlove can only deliver the goods as he delves into each one of the tracks from The Roots' Things Fall Apart, one of the many 1999 records celebrated last week – along with Eminem's first LP and Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up". The level of details, and Quest's own crystal-clear memory, are staggering.
De La Soul

De La Soul is Not Dead

29 minute documentary • Mass Appeal (2016)

Last week, Pete Rock took to Twitter to announce that DJ Premier and him would contribute to De La Soul's next album. Later on, Maseo clarified that the group was actually preparing not one, but two records – the second being the final installment of their AOI trilogy. Until then, here's the Mass Appeal documentary retracing the trio's origin story, straight from their Amityville home base. (Get ready for more De La Soul nostalgia in 2019: next month, 3 Feet High and Rising will be thirty years old.)
Gary Clark Jr.

Racism In American South Inspired Gary Clark Jr.'s 'This Land'

In NPR • Recommended by kris ex

"This is the kind of story/interview I’m glad to discover because it opens me up to music and writing and creating in the ways that writing about music is supposed to do. Gary Clark Jr. is the kind of artist I know of but don’t pay attention to—and an NPR article only serves to underscore the idea that he’s making Black music that’s primarily championed by liberal whyte people, which isn’t always my thing.

Not sure how or why I was drawn to read this, but the stories behind his songs and his creative process is why I’d recommend it. This piece gave me a greater understanding of who this guy is and why he’s important without ever saying, "He’s important." This is a piece that still thinks writing and talking about music in informed ways is important, and it also pulls back the lie that a space like Austin, TX (much like Portland, OR) is some sort of progressive post-racial Utopia."

+ "As a bonus, I’m adding this Lupe Fiasco interview by William E. Ketchum III at Vibe, largely because it does the opposite. It takes an artist largely known for his craft and speaks on it in the briefest ways, to give to larger discussions about comment involvement and global impact, while giving Lupe’s POV space to shine in a way that his music and social media presences don’t."  

kris ex is a staple of hip-hop journalism through his work at The Source, Ego Trip, Vibe, XXL and many other publications. As The Cipher once pointed out, he is arguably "the most well-regarded writer in a peer group that includes many heavy hitters."

Important tweet: someone found the exact L.A. Times issue read by Dr. Dre in the cover photo of the Gangsta Gangsta 12".


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