Nas

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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10 Albums Made for Incredibly Strange (And Sometimes Hilarious) Reasons

As you’ve probably heard, there’s a new Lauryn Hill song. It sounds… well, it sounds like it was recorded in a hurry to pay off a tax bill, which is apparently exactly the case (unfortunately, the quickie release didn’t save Hill from a three-month jail sentence). The vocals and lyrics are decent enough, but the beat sounds like it was slapped together in GarageBand with deadlines in mind. Of course, Hill’s not exactly the first artist to have to make a record under duress; here’s a selection of records made for weird reasons over the years, some hilarious, some sadly rather less so. … Read More

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Awesome Street Signs Commemorating Iconic Rap Lyrics

The little plaques you see all over cities like NYC that commemorate where famous people used to live… well, they tend to be rather biased in favor of long-dead white guys, don’t they? This is why we’re rather enamored of these hip hop-centric street signs, which commemorate a whole heap of New York locations mentioned in iconic rap lyrics, encompassing Jay-Z’s early days in the Marcy projects, the corner where Redman’s associates used to “sling rocks,” and a Smooth B lyric referencing “125 and St. Nick” (where your correspondent used to live!), amongst many others. They’re the work of artist Jay Shells, who posted over 30 of the signs all over the city — our friends at ANIMAL went and photographed them all in situ. We’ve chosen some of our favorites after the jump, and you can see the rest right here. … Read More

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The Most Gloriously Absurd Lyrics in Hip Hop History

Juggalos rejoice! The new Insane Clown Posse album is finally out this week — it was due earlier this year, but record company wrangling resulted in its release date being pushed until the end of summer. Of course, beyond their selective appeal to Faygo devotees, ICP are largely known to the general public because of the immortal couplets from their 2009 single “Miracles,” which will go down in history as one of the most ridiculous and somehow awesome songs ever made. In celebration of their new record, then, here’s a selection of the most gloriously awesome lyrics that hip hop has given the world. Your suggestions are of course welcome. (And just to pre-empt any of the accusations that have a magical way of appearing in our comments section every time we say anything remotely negative about hip hop: we’ve done this before for ’80s pop songs and we’ll most likely do it for other genres in due course. So there.) … Read More

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