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Wednesday, March 31,2010

Looking in from the Pharcyde

By Dan Hinkel
Name a group that released a debut album so potent it sustained interest in the group, with relatively modest help from from subsequent albums, for decades. Rock has Guns N’ Roses. Hip-hop has The Pharcyde. Seminal Los Angeles alternative act The Pharcyde dropped their debut, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, in 1992. The album, a cocktail of live instruments, buoyant party jams, an aching love ballad and lots of dirty jokes, demonstrated the diversity of a West Coast scene that was always broader and more interesting than MTV let on. They deserve mention alongside A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, the godfathers of “alternative” hip-hop. Bizarre Ride remains the proudest entry on The Pharcyde’s curriculum vitae.
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Thursday, March 25,2010

Zoso’s Led Zeppelin tribute is, in some ways, better than the real thing

By Dan Hinkel
Led Zeppelin's drummer is dead, and one need only re-watch The Who's Super Bowl appearance to presume that watching younger guys imitate Led Zeppelin would be more fun than watching older guys be Led Zeppelin.
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Thursday, February 4,2010

Kansas City's Tech N9ne prepares for music industry supremacy

By Dan Hinkel
Even for a guy named after a gun, Tech N9ne is aggressive. While music industry types fret over the imminent demise of their business model, Tech sounds ready to exploit the industry’s weakened state like a lion on a sick wildebeest.
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Thursday, December 31,2009

Top five mixtapes of 2009

By Dan Hinkel
Industry rule number 4,080, as set forth by A Tribe Called Quest on The Low End Theory, is still true. Record company people are still shady. Luckily, record company people hold dwindling influence over what hip-hop music you get to hear.
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Monday, December 21,2009

No more New Year's Eve shows for Yonder Mountain String Band

By Dan Hinkel
For fans of Colorado-based oddball bluegrass pop act Yonder Mountain String Band, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that the upcoming three-date stand in Boulder and Denver will include the last foreseeable edition of the band’s traditional New Year’s Eve show in Colorado. The good news? They'll be special.
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Thursday, October 29,2009

After breaking from Wu-Tang, Ghostface Killah shines on his own

By Dan Hinkel
In the unlikely success story of the rap group/ militia/religious cult/consumer goods company the Wu-Tang Clan, Ghostface Killah has authored the unlikeliest individual success story. His urgent, high-pitched flow is made of tortured metaphors and slang so obscure even Raekwon probably sometimes has to request clarifications.
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Thursday, October 8,2009

Rahzel's vocal percussion must be seen to be believed

That ain't a DJ

By Dan Hinkel
Rahzel's next move makes a lot of sense. He is the world's preeminent beatboxer, but that's a post that accords only so much eminence. In the 10 years since he used his former crew, The Roots, as a springboard to go solo with his rapping, beatboxing and virtuoso sound effects, he has released one studio album.
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