Nas

The 25 Greatest Songs About City Life

Most big cities with any sort of history have a song. If that city’s New York, it has about 1000 of ‘em. But to be a classic of the genre, the song has to speak to bigger themes about city life, be it the hustle, the danger, or the beauty below the filth. Here are the 25 best, from Lou Reed to Nas to The… Read More

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Robin Williams and the Myth of “Battling” Depression

I don’t really have a great deal to say about Robin Williams’ death, beyond the obvious: it’s tragic, and awful, and I feel terrible for his family and friends and everyone else who knew him. Two people I knew — both friends, at different stages of my life — have killed themselves in the last month, and the feeling is the same: sadness, and a measure of bewilderment, and sympathy, and loss. Suicide is an act that makes perfect, terrifying sense if you’re suicidal, and no sense at all if you’re not. If you don’t understand why someone would kill themselves, I’m happy for you, and I hope that you never do. … Read More

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The 10 Mariahs You Meet On ‘Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse’

“Lately they’ve been calling me the elusive chanteuse,” Carey says at the end of her new album, Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse, out next week and streaming now on iTunes Radio. But who are “they” exactly, and have they ever met Mariah Carey? She is many things, but elusive is not one of them. … Read More

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The 50 Best Side One Track Ones in Music History

There’s an art to the album opener — it doesn’t necessarily have to be the best or most commercially appealing song on the record, but it needs to grab the listener’s attention. It’ll often also serve as an introduction to the themes and/or sound of the album in question, a sort of preview of to what’s to come. And so it is that at Flavorwire central, we’ve been having one of our unabashedly nerdy music conversations about what are, in our collective opinion, the best examples of the form. Here’s a bumper list of 50 to talk… Read More

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‘Time Is Illmatic': Why Nas’ Classic Album Is More Relevant Than Ever

There’s a moment in One9 and Erik Parker’s excellent documentary Time is Illmatic, which opened the Tribeca Film Festival last night, that sticks in the memory. Nas and his brother Jabari are discussing a photo that was taken in 1994, not long before the album release. It was snapped outside the building in the Queensbridge projects where the brothers grew up, and eventually appeared in the CD booklet. It captures a moment when friends and foes alike united behind a local boy who’d made them proud. There are maybe 20 people in the photo, some in their late teens, some little more than boys. Jabari points at face after face: “He’s doing life. He’s doing 20 years. He got shot. He just got out after doing a long time.” Nas is silent, although his eyes betray his horror. Eventually, he sighs, and speaks to the camera. “That’s fucked up.” … Read More

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Nas ‘Illmatic’ Documentary Trailer Released

In 1994, Nas released the classic hip-hop album Illmatic. Twenty years later, a documentary about the seminal record’s legacy will… Read More

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10 Historic Live Musical Performances You Can Watch on YouTube

Last week, some footage of what would prove to be Nirvana’s final show in Los Angeles, at the Great Western Forum in December 1993, surfaced on the web. One of the great joys of the internet is that it’s way, way easier than it used to be to get hold of (and watch!) bootlegs, live performances and other records of shows that might otherwise have never seen the light of day. YouTube, in particular, is a rich resource for this stuff — so here’s a selection of Flavorwire’s favorite performances, encompassing both some famous shows and some lesser-known events. … Read More

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About ’90s Hip Hop

This weekend was the 20th anniversary of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, the latest in a roll call of significant ’90s hip hop anniversaries that have fallen this year. All the reminiscence has gotten us thinking about that era of hip hop in general, and poring over the history that’s been written (and unwritten) about one of the genre’s golden periods. Culled from our research, here are ten things that maybe you didn’t know about ’90s hip… Read More

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10 Unlikely Remixes That Shouldn’t Work But Do

If you happen to be a Spiritualized überfan like me — or even just someone who has any sort of cursory familiarity with Jason Pierce and his oeuvre — you might have been rather taken aback to find that Australian electro plodders Cut Copy somehow convinced him to do a remix of their song “Free Your Mind.” The remix, it must be said, is a pretty fine piece of work, and it got us thinking about other unlikely remixes from over the years that have somehow worked a treat. We’ve put together a playlist of such unexpected gems — click through and check out our choices (and, y’know, feel free to add to the list if so inclined). … Read More

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The 50 Albums Everyone Needs to Own, 1963-2013

No one buys albums anymore, goes the music industry truism. And yet, for all that the format’s commercial viability may or may not be on the wane, sitting and listening to a great album from start to finish is one of the greatest pleasures that music can bring. Flavorwire recently got to thinking about how one might build a record collection if you really only did buy one record a year. So here’s the result of our thought exercise: 50 albums you really should own, one a year from 1963 until the present… Read More

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