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Documenting the music trailblazers, cultures and stories that shape the sounds of yesterday, today, and beyond.
From the late 1950s to present day, doo-wop and sweet soul has been the unofficial soundtrack of the Chicano experience.
Actress/singer Meiko Kaji’s roles in Japanese exploitation films influenced writer-director Quinten Tarantino.
Bobbie-Jane Gardner and Brian Cross created Music of the Unseen.
International Anthem presents Episode 3 of the documentary Out of the Shadows about Charles Stepney.
The uniquely arranged vibrations of Chess Records producer Charles Stepney.
Producer Creed Taylor cast strong jazz talent for his personal masterpieces.
International Anthem presents Episode 2 of the documentary Out of the Shadows about Charles Stepney.
“The Willow Tree” singer-songwriter Cleveland Francis embraced the term soul folk
International Anthem presents the documentary Out of the Shadows about Charles Stepney.
Average White Band left working-class, soul-friendly Scotland to pursue R&B domination in rock-crazed London.
New film The Sun Rises in the East documents Brooklyn’s music venue and sociopolitical movement, the East.
Record Rundown: Björn Wagner of Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band
Makaya McCraven and Joe Armon-Jones’s intimate London gig.
Beppe Loda blended African, European, Brazilian, and American music and rhythms to create his special brew, a percussive-heavy sound that was dubbed Afro.
Engineer Matt Forger discusses producer Quincy Jones and his partner, iconic sound wizard Bruce Swedien, during the making of Michael Jackson’s 1982 album Thriller.
Raised on original rock-and-rollers Chuck Berry and Little Richard, the Beatles and Wings legend Paul McCartney gave everything he had back to the genre that made him.
Kashif infused synthesizers into R&B and took the post-disco genre into a modern boogie wonderland.
Written by Chris Williams
Mexico City’s tropical scene sets a path to the future through classic mambo, danzón, and cumbia.
Jean-Michel Basquiat dabbled in the 1980s NYC hip-hop scene.
Excerpted from DJ Screw: A Life in Slow Revolution by Lance Scott Walker. Reprinted with permission from University of Texas Press.
Hip-hop feminist Joan Morgan on hip-hop’s misogyny.
Writer Andrew Scott talks with Phil Upchurch, Cornell Dupree, and producer Arif Mardin to help demythologize Donny Hathaway’s 1974 live masterpiece.
Dayton, Ohio, native Steve Arrington came up watching the Ohio Players in the spotlight, spurring him to grind.
Multi-instrumentalist/producer Dennis Bovell helped cement reggae’s legacy in the U.K.
Hip-hop is the perfect art form for cover versions,” says producer/keyboardist Soul Supreme.
German collective Jazzanova reworks the Strata Records catalog.
Written by Matt Bauer
Rhettmatic doesn’t do much press, but what he lacks in publicity, the Beat Junkie and Visionaries producer/DJ more than makes up for with a fervent devotion to turntablist/vinyl culture.
John Morales Presents Teddy Pendergrass started out innocently for the remixer and curator.
“My style is combined from a lot of different things I got growing up,” veteran producer and DJ Louie Vega states.
Vincent Montana Jr., the Italian Stallion on the vibes, is a true Philly heavyweight.
John Morales set his sights on learning how to re-edit songs by slicing and splicing tape on his reel-to-reel, graduating to extended medley mixes.
Multi-instrumentalist Derf Reklaw held a key position in the Chicago lineup.
Some of the most innovative music of the post-punk era was made at the intersection of the United Kingdom and New York.
Detroit hip-hop icon Waajeed runs down his list of influential albums.
Pieces of a Man is the the groundbreaking 1971 debut of Brian Jackson and Gil Scott-Heron.
Written by Chris Williams
“There was no specific intention that we were going for. The songs evolved and took on their own personas.”
London venue Brilliant Corners plays a classic jazz record on their impeccable sound system to a silent audience. Then a band replicates—or interprets—the entire album.
Boulevards latest feels like a “psychedelic rock record with a soul base,” says Blake Rhein of Durand Jones and the Indications.
“I made my money off of crooked people in this business, made my money off of thieves,” says the one and only Syl Johnson.
The unsung rhythmic soul behind Miles’s improvisational funk.
Lady Wray has a heartfelt rebirth on Leon Michel’s Big Crown Records.
The making of Billy Preston’s 1971 album I Wrote a Simple Song.
Moscow’s Diasonics choose nine tracks that have influenced their cinematic, psychedelic sound.
Here’s a selection of seven that don’t clash—just a few of the many songs inspired by the life, work, and words of Marcus Garvey.
Founder of Berklee’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington is forging a new path forward from old-school mentalities.
The birth and rebirth of Manchester post-punk.
Merging expressions of diaspora provoke young artists to return to their roots to find clarity of artistic expression in today’s London.
Glasgow’s jazz scene emerges out from London’s shadows.
Written by Maeve Hannigan
South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba’s Exile Years.
An old soul, DJ Koco brings a classic beat digger’s approach to his impeccable 7-inch selections but peppers them with new-school DJ tricks.
Record Rundown: Lord Finesse is on a habitual quest for musical knowledge.
Chris Blackwell, one of the creative world’s best-known entrepreneurs, founded Island Records in Jamaica in 1959.
Let us argue about jazz fusion!
Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s televised protest, the Jazz and People’s Movement.
Wu-Tang’s origin story, as told by RZA, Raekwon, and the rest of the Clan.
Nightmares On Wax has produced numerous sample-based instrumental classics.
Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Frank Zappa’s kaleidoscopic, surrealistic masterpiece film and soundtrack, 200 Motels.
Written by A. D. Amorosi
Billy Cox gigged with Jimi Hendrix in the Army, worked the chitlin circuit in the South, played bass as an R&B session man in Nashville, and backed countless stars on television.
Shintaro Sakamoto’s solo debut “sounds like a bunch of dead people, who for some reason haven’t figured out they’re dead yet, having a good time playing music.“
After releasing a couple 12-inch singles with the help of producer/songwriters Leon Sylvers and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Real to Reel was poised to release a full-length album.
Singers Izora Rhodes Armstead and Martha Wash, dubbed Two Tons o’ Fun, branched out from Sylvester and recorded their own albums, starting with 1980’s eponymous debut on Fantasy.
Vibraphonist Joel Ross makes music to serve a higher purpose.
The trio christened Gabriels met through fate, bonded through music, and creates their unique soul through a natural, pressure-free process of honest self-discovery.
Aftab commands a calm, precise whirlwind of sound. Never loud, but a deeply intense, personal take on South Asian music.
Philly native Todd Rundgren came up in the city’s rich R&B scene but first made an impression on popular music with his garage rock band Nazz.
Composer, arranger, and producer Thom Bell has quietly made his mark on the sound of popular music for the last half century.
An excerpt adapted from Elegant People: A History of the Band Weather Report (Backbeat Books) by Curt Bianchi.
Purple Rain is considered Prince and the Revolution’s peak, but Prince never went backwards. Parade climbed mighty heights as the Revolution’s final album.
Ryo Kawasaki reflects about his life of music, from jazz fusion to worldly vibes to ’80s electronic dance.
Susumu Yokota brought international attention with his deeply personal forays into techno and ambient music, leaving behind a vast oeuvre of music that is only just being rediscovered.
Written by Martyn Pepperell and Kensuke Hidaka
Aphex Twin and Squarepusher ushered in a new direction of U.K. dance music.
A new generation of independent musicians with the DNA of downtown NYC are tearing up conventions and building new futures in the process.
Though a reluctant front man, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen has emerged as one of the most famous rock voices of all times.
Ned Doheny befriended Jackson Browne, the two hanging out and writing songs in Laurel Canyon with David Geffen and the L.A. folk scene. After an album on Geffen’s Asylum Records...
We Almost Lost Bochum tells the story of RAG (Ruhrpott AG), the best German rap group that never rose to mainstream-level recognition.
Written by Wax Poetics
As a disciple of kung fu flicks and hip-hop, the RZA began his journey as a teenage rapper learning the ropes. Over time, he has followed a sacred path of music, spirituality, and philosophy.
KRS-One is as important to the rise of hip-hop as hip-hop is to the rise of KRS-One. He is now on a crusade to change the perspective the public has on music's role in the genre.
From rough-cut funk 45s to beloved stars Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, Daptone Records built a lasting empire.
Where’s João Donato? It’s a frequently asked question, referring simultaneously to the physical location and the musical moment he inhabits.
As part of Brazil’s mid-’60s bossa jazz scene and a session player in Rio’s numerous studios, pianist Dom Salvador played with that country’s best.
Written by Allen Thayer
Equipped with determination, a Fender Rhodes, and a mental-health message of personal reflection, self-taught East London composer Alfa Mist creates profound space jazz.
Singer-songwriter Nia Andrews turned away from her musical family to find herself.
“I was trying to find my voice, my crowd, find whatever my thing was. There was nothing glamorous or cool about singing at four in the morning.“
Beat conductor and Dallas native Norvis Jr. exploded onto the global electro scene in 2013.
The agonizing emotional depth of Moment of Truth was unlike anything in Gang Starr’s previous work.
Written by David Ma
Kokoroko’s unique sound and take on Afrobeat expanded naturally by embedding an even wider array of sounds and ideas in their music.
Emma-Jean Thackray’s eclectic music blends her trumpet-based jazz esthetic with strings, hip-hop, and EDM.
G-Stoned immediately changed Kruder & Dorfmeister’s lives.
With his revolutionary variety show Soul!, Ellis Haizlip unapologetically put down a marker that said, “This is the Black Experience.”
U-Roy was known as the Originator because he transformed the deejay, making incidental figures attached to sound systems into actual stars.
Bunny Lee is one of the key figures of Jamaican popular music. An active force in one form or another during the last four and half decades, Lee started out as a record plugger....
Brooklyn band B.T. Express bridged the gap between funk and disco, and were the first funk band to play at the White House.
An interview with writer Heather Augustyn.
Randy Muller kicked off a trend in disco arrangements that would sweep the globe and help make New York City the epicenter of dance music.
“It was clear. It was fresh,” replies GZA, when asked how his head was while making Liquid Swords.
Questlove’s journey uniquely qualified him to bring footage from the fabled Harlem Cultural Festival to full fruition in Summer of Soul.
Sly and the Family Stone cofounding guitarist Freddie Stone talks about the making of one of their biggest albums ever, Stand!
The story of how two influential musicians joined forces with Coretta Scott King to secure a national holiday to memorialize her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Written by Chris Williams
Beginning 1971, Stevie Wonder utilized the synth wizardry of Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff to create three of his most iconic albums.
“Wake Up Everybody” was the mood on that record. These jokers weren’t playing.
Guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer immersed himself in New York City’s avant-garde scene and traded musical concepts with Ornette Coleman.
Producer Joseph Patel breaks down the unique challenges he faced giving life to Questlove’s vision of Summer of Soul.
Some thought Gene McDaniels disappeared for five years. Former fans thought his first album in five years was on some new shit; they didn’t recognize what they heard in Outlaw.
Written by Brian DiGenti
Wax Poetics founder Andre Torres sits down with the singer-songwriter Eugene McDaniels, whose revolutionary melding of jazz and soul got the attention of the FBI.
Harry Whitaker arranged one of the most infamous albums of 1970.
Damon Locks and the Black Monument Ensemble tackle the moment with a musical and artistic approach to activism.
The U.K. jazz-funk movement, often misunderstood and underestimated, was hugely influential and continues to echo in today’s sounds.
In 1958, pianist Ahmad Jamal recorded a show tune entitled “Poinciana” at a hip, Black-owned venue called the Pershing Lounge in Chicago’s South Side.
Written by Eugene Holley Jr.
It was 1960’s Giant Steps that thoroughly and inexorably changed the saxophonist’s game going forward.
The funky ballad of David Bowie’s time in Philly, the making of Young Americans, and his transition into Station to Station.
Bill Coleman is a long-standing ambassador of NYC club and music culture.
Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians have emerged from production, engineering, and DJing roles within the Odd Future crew to claim their own stake in the movement of Black musical expression.
New York’s gay landmark the Continental Baths was a DJ incubator for Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles.
Written by Dan Gentile
A tale of two pandemics and a therapist whose unique approach to the unwell and to music-making gives us an undiscovered and heartening tale.
“The greater hip-hop community is starting to realize they can’t do this shit without us—and we as Queer women aren’t going to compromise who we are any longer.”
THEESatisfaction’s Catherine Harris-White and bandmate and partner Stasia Irons met in 2006 during their time at college and discovered a number of parallels.
The U.K. jazz-funk movement, often misunderstood, was hugely influential and continues to echo in today’s sounds. Part 2 of our story...
The U.K. jazz-funk movement, often misunderstood, was hugely influential and continues to echo in today’s sounds. Part 3 of our story...
Written by Greg Wilson
From sneaking listens to off-limits records in his older brother's room to eventually ruling the dance floor himself, a North London dancer looks back at the U.K. jazz-funk scene.
Motown engineer Bob Olhsson discusses Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On.
Sergio Mendes enters a new decade, revamps his band as Brasil ’77, and rubs shoulders with Harrison Ford, Stevie Wonder, the Brothers Johnson, and Pelé.
Lani Hall soared to great heights as the lead singer for Brasil ’66 and as a musical muse for bandleader Sergio Mendes.
In the late 1970s through mid-’80s, a Japanese DIY scene flush with post-punk attitude and electronic ambience offered a darker vision of the country’s boom years.
DJ Muro’s arrival heralded the coming of another king to claim his crown in the lineage of hip-hop royalty…the King of Diggin’.
DJ Krush embarked on a journey with Mo’ Wax that found the turntablist/producer using hip-hop’s breakbeat foundation while pioneering a new genre of abstract instrumentals.
Producer Kip Hanrahan pulls an all-star cast of jazz and blues musicians together to bring novelist/poet Ishmael Reed’s words to life.
Schifrin is a musical chameleon with a sense of drama so heightened, an expertise and scope so wide-angled, that some cinematographers he has worked with had to have been jealous.
Written by Dan Ubick
Through live jam sessions and studio recontextualization, drummer and producer Makaya McCraven cultivates a conduit between the jazz roots of improv and the expansive branches of modern music.
You couldn't ask for a better guide to New York club culture than Danny Krivit. He sits with Wax Poetics to share twelve influential records.
Monophonics singer-songwriter Kelly Finnigan got his start spinning hip-hop and making beats, which led to an obsession with studio production and classic analog keyboards.
Look Around the Corner, the newest project from Alice Russell and multi-instrumentalist producer Will “Quantic” Holland, is an effort that exudes comfort.
Of all the musical acts that have referenced tropicália, the Brazilian art/film/music movement of the late ’60s, Chicano Batman most embody its key concept: cultural cannibalism.
Written by Allen Thayer
It was 1987, and a nervous teenager, palms sweaty, made his way to the grimy old Times Square, hoping to score.
Although Odean Pope has performed alongside everyone from Jimmy Smith to James Brown, perhaps the wisest decision of the saxophonist’s career was to stop playing.
Visionary organist Doug Carn brought a spiritual lyricism to his soulful jazz offerings on Black Jazz Records.
The first of a four-part interview that gets to the heart of the talent and charm of the late, lamented Gregory Jacobs, aka Shock G.
The second of a four-part interview that gets to the heart of the talent and charm of the late, lamented Gregory Jacobs, aka Shock G.
Written by Alice Price-Styles
The third of a four-part interview that gets to the heart of the talent and charm of the late, lamented Gregory Jacobs, aka Shock G.
The last of a four-part interview that gets to the heart of the talent and charm of the late, lamented Gregory Jacobs, aka Shock G.
Born in West London in the mid- to late ’90s, broken beat (aka bruk) was created by a community of producers with their roots in a variety of London’s club scenes.
Ramsey Lewis always operated in the popular realm, successfully crossing over from jazz to the pop-R&B world but always doing it with soul.
From its psychedelic black and white cover by David Stahlberg to its perfect 1968 production by Gary McFarland, Dreams has remained one of my most treasured LPs.
Written by Dan Ubick
Guitarist Junior Marvin had a choice: join the Wailers or Stevie Wonder...
New York City’s roller-disco scene in the 1970s rivaled long-established DJ clubs and introduced a new outlet for breaking current music.
San Francisco’s Om Records is primarily known for house and downtempo. But it had a potent, if short-lived, offshoot dedicated to hip-hop...
Amongst the hundreds of artists who recorded at Stax Studios in the 1960s, Linda Lyndell was a minor figure. But her song “What a Man” has had a surprising longevity...
A chance meeting thousands of miles from home led to a one-off recording session and the creation of Disco Jazz, cult favorite. Singer Rupa Sen tells her story.
Written by David Ma
At just eighteen years of age, Prince self-produced his debut album, 1978’s For You, writing all the music and playing every instrument himself.
It took many months and twice as many phone calls to get Quincy Jones on the line. Once he called back, the man was everything you could have hoped for.
Iconic composer Giorgio Moroder got his start writing and producing pop music in Germany. But an encounter with Donna Summer would change his career forever.
Pete Rock keeps active nowadays by doing what he perfected as a teenager: putting sounds into his sampler and banging out beats.
“He is a beautiful cat,” I was told about celebrated Brazilian drummer and percussionist Ivan “Mamão” Conti, and I could hear it in his voice.
Written by Ronnie Reese
Sharon Jones is the real deal. She’s an atomic bomb of funk that may come in a small package, but when it’s unleashed, no one is left standing. They’d rather dance.
Producer Jneiro Jarel has followed a path of faith, experimentation, and artistic expression that has helped him create both a cache of original music and peace of mind.
Nina Simone had no filter. She spoke with candor about civil rights when many in her position didn’t dare. She sang about uncomfortable subjects....
In 1970s New York, photography student Chris Stein found his muse in singer Deborah Harry. Together they formed Blondie, merging cutting edge downtown visual style with a pop sensibilty.
Cynthia Robinson was a single mother when she joined Sly and the Family Stone as a trumpeter and vocalist in 1966. Her story winds from the very start of the band into the next century...
Written by Michael A. Gonzales
Tenor sax player and arranger Gene Barge left his job teaching social studies, music, and English in Virginia, to work at Chicago’s famed Chess Records in 1964.
Keyboardist George Duke had his ecclectic beginnings playing with Frank Zappa’s band. Then he conquered the funky jazz scene on Germany’s MPS label.
A prolific musician and songwriter, King Curtis was an in-demand session man who played on records with many legends, from John Lennon to Aretha Franklin.
Jazz drummer and hip-hop producer Karriem Riggins recently moved from L.A. back to his hometown Detroit, the city where his heart beats.
Amoeba Music opened on November 17, 1990, in Berkeley, California, offering an eclectic palette of music...
Written by John Kruth
What’s the future of dance music? Godfathers of the new EDM movement Daft Punk have proposed an answer in the form of a question.
Premier is passionate and deadly serious about what he does, and on this evening he was relentless in articulating his philosophy of hip-hop.
Many of McCann’s most innovative recordings, like his 1972 lush electronic opus Layers, have gone virtually ignored.
Isaac Hayes, William Bell, Al Bell, Bettye Berger, Deanie Parker and Calvin Newborn share stories of Memphis during Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
Yusef Lateef discusses his colorful musical experiences that influenced his sonic persona and the influential producer Joel Dorn adds his unique perspective.
Jazzy Jay has been digging since day one. Peeking into his basement studio in the heart of Brooklyn conjures up the dusty ghosts of crates past.
Remembering the life of J Dilla, featuring conversations with those closest to him, including Q-Tip, Common, Busta Rhymes, Questlove, and more.
Back in the good old days of 1977 when gas lines were long and unemployment was high, there were two schools of DJs competing for Black and Latino audiences in New York City....
Back in the early ’60s, my sister’s hipster boyfriend used to bring his Herbie Mann albums over to our house, along with a couple Modern Jazz Quartet and Mose Allison records....
When did you first hear the Skull Snaps? Was it in the summer of 1993 when the Pharcyde’s “Passin’ Me By” rode the pneumatic drums of the...
The true story of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Welcome to the world of Daniel Dumile, whose youthful nickname of “Doom,” a phonetic abbreviation of his last name, has come to describe one of the most masterful rap artists.
An excerpt from People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee “Scratch” Perry
It was an overlooked song by one of the more underrated rappers of his generation, and it was a masterpiece.
Willed into being by one man, Earth, Wind & Fire became one of the biggest acts of the 1970s.
Meeting Tom Moulton is a bit like meeting Henry Ford. Whether you know it or not, if you’ve driven a car, you owe something to Ford. And if you’ve danced in a club....
Written by Andrew Mason
Meet Kool DJ Red Alert, part of the trinity of DJs that fostered the Zulu Nation during the early days of hip-hop, along with Afrika Bambaataa and Jazzy Jay.
The Fishtail Bar in the Bay Watch Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is right out back overlooking the beach. Dozens of families are crowded in several swimming pools....
Slick Rick set the standard in rap’s glory years
Shuggie Otis sits down for a conversation to discuss his early life, main guitar inspirations, turning down a gig with the Rolling Stones and much more.
Sure, tropicália is more than one band, but Os Mutantes encapsulated the movement’s reckless cultural cannibalism, absurdist humor, and innovative music like no one else.
Jimmy Cliff is one of reggae’s true pioneers. Helping to inaugurate the Beverley’s Records label in the early 1960s....
David Holmes grew up as the youngest of ten in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With so many older siblings, he was surrounded by music from a very early age.
In an arena where MCs seldom have extended careers, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah has increasingly improved through two decades after his 1996 solo debut, Ironman.
It starts with a check for $3.19. Without that check, there is no Motown. Without Motown, there is no Smokey Robinson. Without them, say good-bye to Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin....
Written by Travis Atria
The streets of New York City weren’t very pretty in the 1970s. Littered throughout once welcoming communities, an influx of heroin junkies, many broken young brothers home....
The progressive singer teams up with producer Madlib for bountiful Seeds, which she calls Black music “in the tradition of anyone who wasn’t scared.”
After a rather combative interview with Teddy Pendergrass for Wax Poetics 33, I was often asked, “What was up with Teddy that day?”
“The wildness is exquisitely wholesome. Furious dancing. Gentle laughter. Crepe paper and tinsel. Body energy shakes the room…”
Although enlightened music fans the world over were saddened by the passing of organist Lyman Woodard, the relationship that Wax Poetics had formed with the gifted musician and composer....
I had no expectations going into this interview with Teddy Pendergrass at the Conrad Chicago hotel.
Gamble and Huff were master chefs in the Philly soul kitchen.
The Hot 8 Brass Band is a juggernaut of sweat, breath, metal, and drums, a powerhouse that lets nothing get in its way.
Hiatus Kaiyote is four uniquely talented individuals whose musical alchemy creates a whole that is more magical than its parts.
Little Dragon’s brand of electronic future funk and fractured pop-soul was delivered the old-fashioned way, through nonstop touring.
When greats like Pete Rock and DJ Premier acknowledge people of influence, they often mention Large Professor.
Lamont Dozier was a natural-born hitmaker. His famed songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland gained unparalleled success in the R&B world...
9th Wonder chats with Wax Poetics about the records that influenced him and discusses his mission to teach hip-hop history to the next generation.
Bobby Womack is a thread that runs through soul music.
It could be argued that the real architect of Chicago house music was in fact a wild and pioneering DJ by the name of Ron Hardy.
That Teena Marie has authored several of the most enduring classics of modern funk is undeniable.
“As some folks say, I helped create the disco music, the house music, and a lot of other different things,” says Bohannon.
Written by Ronnie Reese
Barrington Levy, the most important and best-admired vocalist to emerge from the early dancehall movement, discusses his past, present and future.
There are a few things to know about Erykah Badu. First, she lives on a different plane. One that only true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool artists inhabit.
Singer, songwriter, and musician Michael Eugene Archer, who later adopted the jiggy stage name D’Angelo, released his groundbreaking album, Brown Sugar, in 1995.
It was winter of 1994, and I had just scored a sweet assignment to interview the king of “champagne soul,” Barry White, in Europe.
L.A. bass beast Thundercat mixes jazz intricacies with sweeps of forward thinking electronic inspiration.
Ishmael Butler effortlessly made his mark on hip-hop in 1993 with his unique voice and delivery, and then flipped the script with Shabazz Palaces.
Pianist Robert Glasper for years made straightahead jazz records and experimented with fusion on the side. Now he embraces the totality of Black music to bring jazz up to speed.
When Nasir Jones released his 1994 debut Illmatic, his use of several superstar producers on the same album set a hip-hop precendent that forever changed the game.
It was Aug. 11, 1973, and a teen from the Bronx, NY, named Coke was helping his homeboy Clive “Kool Herc” Campbell set up stereo equipment for a party scheduled for that night.
Written by Michael A. Gonzales
Following in the footsteps of Double Dee & Steinski, Prince Paul, and the Dust Brothers, DJ Shadow would push the boundaries of sampling...
On a sunny October morning in 2015, a historic marker was placed in front of Sigma Sound Studios, the Philadelphia landmark recording hot spot.
Kamasi Washington received worldwide recognition for arranging and playing saxophone on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.
Producer, songwriter, and organist Edwin Birdsong is the anonymous genius behind some of jazz-funk’s most cosmic moments.
Growing up with a roller-disco mom and drummer dad, Kon has been chasing the perfect beat his entire life.
Written by Allen Thayer
I’ve been fortunate enough to know “Poppa” Willie Mitchell for a handful of years. When we first met, in August 2000, I was working for Ike Turner, who decided to...
Brazilian singer Ed Motta channeled his lifelong love for well-produced AOR groups like Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers and delivers a slick and melodic ode to yacht rock.
Getting his first shot with Marley Marl’s Juice Crew—and the posse cut “The Symphony”—Kool G Rap was a real hip-hop OG.
On the heels of her best-selling debut, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, fifteen-year-old Aaliyah was rocked by a sex scandal that would have crushed a lesser talent.
Madhouse, for the relatively few paying attention, was one of those riddles wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Sign “O” the Times was recorded between 1986 and 1987—with older tracks added from the vaults—created from the ashes of aborted albums.
In 1983, veteran journalist Carol Cooper was unable to score an interview with Prince. So she imagined one...
Take a journey through Questlove’s mind as he argues thirty-three reasons why Prince is hip-hop.
“Rain is wet, and sugar is sweet…” a voice calls, to the delight of the crowd. These are the words of Ingrid Chavez, in her guise as the Spirit Child....
Written by Dan Dodds
Abdullah Ibrahim and the Zen of African piano
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