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ISSUE 049 • FEBRUARY 19th 2019
 
Swizz Beatz
CULTURE

How Swizz Beatz Bridged the Worlds of Hip‑Hop and Contemporary Art

18 minute read • T Magazine

An avid collector and discreet activist, Swizz Beatz is advocating for a fairer retribution of artists in an art world that pretty much seems as shady as the music industry. This great portrait reveals a lesser-known dimension of the producer and includes a terrific anecdote involving a skating rink, an Aston Martin and Swizz's own broken arm.
 
2 Live Crew
ORAL HISTORY

An Oral History of 2 Live Crew's 'Me So Horny'

26 minute read • Billboard

The recent faux outrage over City Girls and Cardi B's "Twerk" video is proof that, thirty years after 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny", raunchy rap songs still hit a nerve in America. For Billboard, Gil Kaufman reaches out to journalists, studio wizards, fellow artists and even one conservative opponent to revisit the song's controversial history. One quote to remember: "The Greeks said that art celebrates what is either good, beautiful or true and I would say As Nasty as They Wanna Be and "Me So Horny" fail to that standard."

+ Deconstructed: The Making Of Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up" With Mannie Fresh
 
Wu-Tang Clan
RAP CURIO

The Secret History of Wu-Tang Clan’s Bizarre Hip-Hop Fighting Game

21 minute read • Variety

While the Wu-Tang continues their press run to promote their docu-series, some media just decide to take the road less traveled. That's how Variety focuses instead on the making of Thrill Kill, the Wu-approved PlayStation fighting game that never saw the light of day. "The story of Thrill Kill", writer Steven T. Wright says, "is a chronicle of the unique state of the gaming industry in the late ‘90s, and how its structural shortcomings and creative excesses lead to perhaps the most notorious unreleased game in the history of the industry."

+ In QG: The Wu-Tang Clan talk turning 25, merch and how they changed hip hop forever
+ Shared a few months ago but perfectly on point here: The Secret History of Def Jam Vendetta
 
21 Savage
INTERVIEW

21 Savage on ICE Detention, the Grammys and His Uncertain Future

7 minute read • The New York Times

For one of his first public declarations following his release from custody, 21 Savage sits down with The New York Times' Jon Caramanica for a brief but eloquent interview. "If you tell me, “I’ll give you 20 million to go stay somewhere you ain’t never stayed,” I’d rather be broke", he says. "I’ll sit in jail to fight to live where I’ve been living my whole life."
 
MPC
PRODUCTION

Magic Box: A History of the MPC

13 minute read • 5 Magazine

"The MPC was more than just a sampler, sequencer or programmable drum machine" writes 5 Magazine managing editor Terry Matthew, "it was a home studio before such a thing even seemed possible." With plenty of historical and technical details, Matthew lovingly chronicles the many incarnations of the iconic Akai production machine.

+ More studio wizardry: The Verge interviews Cardi B's mix engineer
 
Big L
THROWBACK

Of Mics and Men in Harlem

9 minute read • Village Voice (1999)

One of hip-hop's greatest unsung heroes, Big L was assassinated twenty years ago in his native Harlem, on February 15, 1999. Later that year, Village Voice's Kenji Jasper pondered on the rapper's passing, and put it in perspective with the trajectories of other Harlemites from the same generation: Cam'Ron, Ma$e and the late Bloodshed, once collectively known as Children of the Corn.
 

The Arrogant Voice Of Musical Truth Is Back?
Enter Ego Trip Reloaded.

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