Whereupon I admit that 20 years ago (last Sunday), I said something stupid on the interwebs: “Rap journalist Oliver Wang denied that Illmatic was a classic twenty years ago. We all have our regrets.”

Thanks to Wax Poetics for letting me get this off my chest.

One thing to add (that didn’t fit into the theme of this piece): I wasn’t a journalist or critic in 1994…just a college senior who had access to a primitive version of the internet.

But alt.rap and later, were completely formative spaces for me to work out ideas (even [...]

Continue reading AN ILL PILL


R 1131489 1260485927

Quick opening note: not to sound like a broken record (pun intended) but the vinyl game is always humbling. No matter how many records you have, there’s always more/better ones to still learn about and yearn for. I’m reminded of this all the time, especially when DJing with my betters such as the Southern Soulspinners who always come with crazy heat at every gig. I try not to trains-spot on their sets too much but it’s hard to resist knowing what the hell it is they’re blowing my mind with. [...]

Continue reading GRAB BAG: MARCH 2014



As I learned from Michael Gonzales, March 8 is the 20th anniv. of Gang Starr’s third album, Hard to Earn. (Obligatory “20 years already?” lament)

I always felt I was in a minority of fans for whom Hard to Earn is our favorite GS album. It always seemed perpetually stuck outside the top 3 (though still regarded higher than their first and last LPs) and I still don’t understand why it’s not considered their best. At the very least, I think it’s one of DJ Premier’s best sonically realized efforts. It’s not [...]

Continue reading HARD AS HELL

GRAB BAG – FEB. 2014


Dagnabbit, I meant to do one of these for January but then the month up and flew by me and now it’s the end of February. Anyways…for this month’s grab bag, I’m still drawing from some leftovers from 2013 that I’m only now catching up on plus the usual assortments of recent arrivals and the like.

Art Farmer: Soulsides
From Gentle Eyes (Mainstream, 1972)

Ok…so I only just got this album recently despite the fact that it has a song called “Soulsides”. I mean, I’m pretty sure I heard this [...]

Continue reading GRAB BAG – FEB. 2014


Our friends at Get On Down are re-releasing a green vinyl version of “Jump Around” (feat. the Pete Rock remix on the B-side), just in time for St. Patty’s Day. They’ve generously offered a 12″ up as a giveaway. Interested? Email us, subject line: “jump up and get down.” We’ll select a winner at random in a few days.