BAD RAP EDITS

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I’m sympathetic to the fact that record labels were under pressure to create clean edits of rap songs, especially in the 1990s. It may seem quaint now to read about C. Dolores Tucker or the Parents Music Resource Center in an era where any kid can listen to songs on YouTube and experience 1000x the profanity…and that’s just in the comments (*rimshot*). Nonetheless, creating radio edits was good business, a nod to DJs to let them know that it’d be safe to play this new single without the [...]

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ERIC DUCKER ON THE STORY BEHIND “PISTOLGRIP PUMP”

“Pistolgrip Pump” is one of my favorite L.A. hip-hop songs and now Eric Ducker has written a thorough history of how the song came to be (and truly, the many ways in which it could have NOT come to be). Great music journalism at work here.

(Also a sobering reminder of how the song ended up defining Volume 10′s style as something that was actually quite different from what it actually was. Listen to practically anything else on the album and his Good Life bonafides are instantly obvious).

GRAB BAG: JULY 2014

DopeSlim

DuraOnes

A FB commentator (uncharitably) suggested that I should post more music to the site…as if I had been withholding out of malice or ignorance. While I may question the spirit of the comment, I at least received the message component, loud and clear. Here, my dears

Kenny Dope Unreleased Project: Comin’ Inside
From: The Pushin Dope EP (TNT, 1994)

Back when I posted this Brass Construction song, I thought [...]

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ASK US: CHILDREN’S STORIES

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An anonymous reader asks:

Curious to know what rap music you listen to, if any, with your daughter? I rarely play my favorites – other than the occasional Tribe or De La – and I’ve always been concerned about my daughter (who is 8) hearing the misogyny and homophobia, not the curse words. (This isn’t to say ATCQ and DLS aren’t guilty, because, I mean, “Infamous Date Rape”? Really, Tribe? I digress for now…) The older she gets, the tougher the call, because I’d really like to share the [...]

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AN ILL PILL

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, rec.music.hip-hop were completely formative spaces for me to work out ideas (even [...]

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