Tag: Rap and Hip-Hop

Médine: The Pugnacious French Rapper Who Hits Back at Critics

PARIS — The French rapper Médine often compares his music to boxing: In a career spanning 15 years, he has thrown countless hooks and barbs. His two favorite targets, the political far-right and religious fundamentalists, have punched back. Médine, who is Muslim, has received death threats from right-wing activists, and in 2015, he found out […]

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Janet Jackson and Radiohead Lead Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2019

Janet Jackson, Radiohead, Def Leppard and Stevie Nicks will join the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next year at its 34th annual induction ceremony, along with the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies, the organization announced on Thursday. The class of 2019, which will formally enter the pantheon on March 29 at Barclays Center […]

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Album Review: XXXTentacion Left Splinters Amid the Wreckage on ‘Skins’

Reviewing the work of XXXTentacion during his lifetime required both acknowledging music that was wildly influential, extremely popular and often impressive while also underscoring that it was by an individual accused of heinous abuse. They could not be disentangled. Given that fans and the music industry had largely punted any moral conundrums by not addressing […]

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Live Review: At Jingle Ball, Finding Out Who’s Learned to Play Nice

“I’m not like Normani. I can’t sing and dance at the same time, girl — I get tired.” This was Cardi B, midway through her set at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, taking a quick water break and, as is her wont — her gift — advertising the fact that she was taking a […]

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Playlist: The Playlist: Emo’s Past Meets Its Future, and 9 More New Songs

ImageThe producer Benny Blanco unites Juice WRLD and the Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie on his new song, “Roses.”CreditJulian Berman for The New York Times [embedded content] Many threads of emo get woven together by the savvy pop producer Benny Blanco on the eerily effective “Roses,” from his new album “Friends Keep Secrets.” […]

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Taylor Swift? Cardi B? The 2019 Grammy Nominations’ Snubs and Surprises

Like most major awards shows, the Grammys in recent years has attempted a precarious balancing act: maintaining its status as the music establishment’s kingmaker — and live CBS concert event — while also trying to confront the reality of its staid, overwhelmingly white and male history. [Kendrick Lamar leads nominees and women dominate major categories: […]

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Kendrick Lamar Leads 2019 Grammy Nominees, and Women Dominate Major Categories

The rap stars Kendrick Lamar and Drake lead the list of nominees for the 2019 Grammy Awards announced Friday, but right behind them is a crop of young and less heralded artists, notably women, after years of friction about diversity, including a major dust-up over gender representation after the last ceremony. The Instagram star turned […]

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Holiday Music for the Joyful, the Lonely and the Skeptical

There are holiday embracers and holiday dissenters. Those for whom the season is about celebration and those who seek solace as soon as the evergreens come out. For both groups, however, there is new music this year — a soundtrack for all the seasonal moods. There are traditional holiday tunes polished to a sheen; songs […]

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The 28 Best Albums of 2018

1. Janelle Monáe, ‘Dirty Computer’ The interaction of human and machine has been a major theme of Janelle Monáe’s entire recording career. Her latest concept album, “Dirty Computer,” deploys funky riffs (often with Prince echoes), snappy beats and crisp pop-song forms to promise that love, polymorphous sensuality and an inclusive American spirit can conquer all, […]

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As XXXTentacion’s Posthumous Album Arrives, a Battle Over His Legacy Rages On

To hear his friends and collaborators describe him, the singer and rapper XXXTentacion was an inspirational legend in the making at the time of his death. Last month, to promote his clothing line, Bad Vibes Forever, his mother appeared in an Instagram video to say “his message was essentially to heal” and that he was […]

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Playlist: The Playlist: Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus’s Melodrama, and 9 More New Songs

ImageMiley Cyrus teams with the producer Mark Ronson for a dramatic country-tinged song, “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart.”CreditValerie Macon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images [embedded content] What kind of singer is Miley Cyrus (this week)? Moody, a little spooky, a little country. What kind of producer is Mark Ronson (this week)? A melodramatist preoccupied with vintage […]

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The Rapid Rise and Sudden Fall of 6ix9ine

For the last two years, the Brooklyn rapper 6ix9ine has used social media to build a larger-than-life reputation as a proud public menace, a self-described “super villain” whose mere presence seemed to attract drama and gun violence. That persona was an act, he said, but it put him on a path to hip-hop stardom. To […]

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Album Review: On 6ix9ine’s ‘Dummy Boy,’ a Rap Outlaw Learns to Compromise

An opportunist who parlayed a sort of social-media telegenic glow into a music career, a curio who embraced a quixotic anti-style and became a regular fixture on the Billboard charts, 6ix9ine has become one of the emblematic rappers of the SoundCloud generation, even if rapping itself isn’t of much interest to him. He is a […]

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Playlist: The Playlist: The 1975’s Cry for Connection, and 10 More New Songs

ImageThe 1975’s Matty Healy sings about self-consciousness in the age of social media on the latest track from “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.”CreditMagdalena Wosinska for The New York Times [embedded content] The ceaseless self-consciousness of a social-media universe makes true connection ever more tricky. “Why would you believe you could control how you’re perceived/when […]

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Rapper Is Jailed for 12 Days in Russia as a Culture War Spreads

MOSCOW — A provincial court has sentenced one of Russia’s most high-profile rappers to 12 days in jail in the latest culture war skirmish about what constitutes acceptable entertainment. The court in the southern city of Krasnodar on Thursday sentenced the rapper, Dmitri Kuznetsov, 25, known as Husky, on charges of hooliganism and of refusing […]

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Playlist: The Playlist: Mariah Carey Issues a Warning, and 12 More New Songs

ImageMariah Carey’s new album, “Caution,” feels like an attempt at self-preservation.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images [embedded content] The title of Mariah Carey’s new album, “Caution,” sums up her shrinking horizons in the 21st century: murmuring where she used to belt, gently scratching where she once was velvety, striving to insinuate strategically rather than to overwhelm. […]

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Critic’s Notebook: R&B Blossoms, With Hip-Hop in the Rear View

R&B has been tussling with hip-hop for around three decades, and depending what lens you’re looking through, has been either roundly defeated or sneakily triumphant. As hip-hop rose to prominence in the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, it began to view R&B as a partner, sometimes willing, and sometimes not. There were collaborations between rappers […]

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