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Kendrick Lamar

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  • Straight Outta Gaithersburg: Logic apes the mainstream and breaks through, but what does that mean for Baltimore hip-hop?

    Straight Outta Gaithersburg: Logic apes the mainstream and breaks through, but what does that mean for Baltimore hip-hop?
    Lyrical rapper Logic, who released his debut album “Under Pressure” on historic hip-hop label Def Jam last month, really wants you to get to know him. No, like, really wants you to. On the record’s guest-free 57 minutes, the word “I” is used no less than 589 times (excluding bonus tracks), easily surpassing first efforts from established rap narcissists Kanye West (220 on “The College Dropout”) and Drake (410 times on “Thank Me Later”). This kind of blinding solipsism is in the service of what Logic clearly hopes will be a “classic” rap album. And why shouldn’t he have those high hopes? The kid has a nubile, energetic flow, plus he’s made a legit come-up; any biracial kid from Gaithersburg, Maryland that can land a Def Jam deal should have a story to tell, right?
  • Lesson Plan

    Lesson Plan
    The video for Damond Blue’s song ‘Shorty’ features the Baltimore rapper sitting on a local park bench, dispensing advice to a troubled teen (portrayed by a young actor, but voiced by Blue with a pitched-up vocal for one half of the song&...

    Album Review: Yeezus, by Kanye West

    Kanye West has enjoyed both commercial success and critical acclaim as consistently as nearly any recording artist in history, certainly nobody else in the past decade, and certainly nobody else in hip-hop. But his irascible public persona is defined by a...

    Sweetlife: Identity, authenticity and pop music

    In its fourth year, the Sweetlife Festival continues to try to combine the green-capitalist mission of the DC restaurant chain Sweetgreen with a smörgåsbord of critical indie darlings to, according to Sweetgreen's press release, "create experiences ...

    Schoolboy Q leads rap's new supergroup into Baltimore

    Schoolboy Q hypes the crowd at Baltimore Soundstage (photograph by Keem Griffey) The days of the rap supergroup are deep in the rear view for my generation of hip-hop millennials. Most of us were in elementary school or diapers when Wu-Tang and Death...