Great rap stories, delivered weekly.

The AdLib

ISSUE 040 • NOVEMBER 26th 2018
Missy Elliott

Missy Elliott’s “Supa Dupa Fly” Came from the Future

8 minute read/audio • The New Yorker

A remarkable exploration of Missy Elliott's 1997 debut album, this essay by Doreen St. Félix is also a masterclass in UX design: don't miss the multiple audio cues that get the reader closer to sonic details, from a Delfonics sample to the classic reversed line in "Work It".
Snoop Dogg

The Wide World of Snoop Dogg

11 minute read • Variety

A thorough career retrospective, a spot-on profile and a meditation on longevity: L.A. writer Jeff Weiss sketches the portrait of the 2651st star on Hollywood Boulevard – the unique, tireless and timeless Calvin Broadus.

+ Listen to the excellent Doggystyle's 25th anniversary mixtape by DJ Matman, courtesy of WhoSampled and Wax Poetics
9th Wonder

Why 9th Wonder Stayed

14 minute read • Oxford American

A quarterly magazine dedicated to the American South, Oxford American focuses its yearly Southern Music Issue to the North Carolina scene. There are pieces on Nina Simone and Jodeci, and this great profile on 9th Wonder, celebrating his legacy as a hip-hop statesman attached to his home base.

+ In the same issue, an essay on Rapsody: Queen of Snow Hill

The Raw, Rushed Making of ‘808s & Heartbreak,’ Kanye West’s Most Influential Album

13 minute read • Rolling Stone

"Define your palate and work with limitations." This line alone, by producer Jeff Bhasker, perfectly sums up the spirit and the method behind Kanye West's groundbreaking 808s & Heartbreak. Alongside him, other Kanye collaborators look back at the album's intense creation, ten years after its release.

+ More producer memories of a decade-old record: An Oral History Of Young Jeezy's 'The Recession'
Tekashi 6ix9ine

When musicians want to be seen more than heard

6 minute read • Afropunk

As Tekashi 6ix9ine finds himself – sadly and predictably – on the verge of a lifetime in prison, there are a lot of takes on his controversial career and his reprehensible actions. This one essay by Myles E. Johnson is cold, but not devoid of clarity, especially when the author describes the cultural vacuum from which the rapper has emerged.
The D.O.C.

Ghost in the Machine

30 minute read • Playboy (2013)

"Dre taught me so much, but I learned so much from having D.O.C. as my sensei", says Snoop in the aforementioned Variety profile. Five years ago, writer Alex Pappademas met with the Dallas rapper/mentor for a Playboy story that received the National Journalism Award for Best Personality Profile. Sadly, it's nowhere to be found on Playboy's website, so thank God for the Internet's Wayback Machine. Be careful with those NSFW banners though.

Watch Meek Mill plead for the reform of the US criminal justice system in this New York Times video op-ed.

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