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A lesson from the ghosts of hip-hop past, present, and future

Rap vs. violence dept.
This past March, Hub peace advocate and longtime hip-hop supporter Cindy Diggs called on the local rap community to unify and help calm Boston's most tumultuous streets.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 22, 2011

The Echno Nest in Davis Square Somerville

The Echo Nest is ready to fly

The most important music company on earth
Music is data. A shitload of it packed in every single song. To people, music equals entertainment. To a computer, it's a precise stream of ones and zeros.  
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 21, 2011

Dave Tomkin's favorite music

Dave Tompkins's Greatest Hits

"Fire crate" favorites
Ever since Dave Tompkins had his storied collection of arcane vinyl mauled by a ruthless gang of wide-eyed jakes, the esteemed hip-hop scribe has kept a "fire crate" next to his apartment door in case disaster strikes again.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 20, 2011

Heavy Metal Kings in Boston

The East Coast boast of Heavy Metal Kings

Straight bangers
Rap fans have been praying to Beelzebub since 2006 for Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz to tag-team a whole album after what they did on "Heavy Metal Kings" off the latter's Jedi Mind Tricks opus, Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 12, 2011


A Red Sox aural history

How I learned to face the music
Going to a ballgame for the music is like visiting a bus station for bouillabaisse. You shouldn't get your hopes up.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 07, 2011

Everlast list

Everlast in the here and now

Was not was
Erik Schrody picked a fitting handle. Longitudinal legends reinvent themselves several times in their careers, and Everlast has already dominated at least three life cycles.  
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 06, 2011


The Royally Screwed Tenenbaum

Sharing is caring
After more than seven years and dozens of petitions, motions, and court appearances, the title fight over the future of music washed up on the South Boston waterfront this week.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 06, 2011

The rise and uncertain future of ''pirate'' radio in Boston

Will Boston’s unlicensed radio stations go legit?
After a 10-year campaign by proponents of hyper-local radio, Congress finally passed the Local Community Radio Act in December. So how will that affect Boston's burgeoning "pirate" radio landscape?
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 07, 2011


How staying different saved street art in the Bean

Boston bombers
Boston has a special place in graffiti history — and not just because one of our early marquee vandals, Popeye, was Jordan Knight of the New Kids on the Block.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 30, 2011

PM list

Pharoahe Monch | W.A.R.

Duck Down (2011)
If rap fans were willing to worship shit from this century, then W.A.R. would already be considered one of the greatest discs of all time.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 31, 2011

the Phoenix remembers Adam Aries

Suspended in time: the Phoenix remembers Adam Aries

The Boston music scene lost a favorite son this week.
Adam, who passed in his sleep Tuesday for reasons that have not yet been determined, was a New Hampshire native who brought his craft and ambition to Boston six years ago, when he came to work at Darkwave Tattoo in Roxbury.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 31, 2011


South by Southwest Interactive plots a course to a better world

Peace, love and QR codes
Peace, love and QR codes
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 24, 2011


25 Essential Hip-Hop Acts at SXSW 2011

Beyond New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, or Atlanta
Before you go coastal on us, let's be clear that this is in no way a slap at rap music's primary metropolitan hubs. The fact is that despite being in Boston, the Phoenix covers as much New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles hip-hop as any paper in America, including some alt-weeklies in those cities.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 16, 2011


A triumphant Reks returns home after a Euro blitz

Cultivated culture
Thank the good lord Nas for Europe. Say what you will about their snotty languages and odd sneakers, young people in urban Denmark, France, and Germany have kept sophisticated hardcore hip-hop alive, allowing savants like Lawrence native Reks to win a slice of the success that he deserves.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 09, 2011

Johnny Hatch

Will Boston's rap scene teach through tragedy?

Rest in Power
Parking is scarce in Medford Square this morning. Carloads of folks arrive over the course of an hour, eventually filling the Gaffey Funeral Home and spilling onto High Street. The crowd is here to honor Johnny Hatch, a father, boyfriend, son, and Hub rap veteran who was shot to death in his Medford home two weeks ago.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 10, 2011


Saigon | The Greatest Story Never Told

Suburban Noize (2011)
When you finally tell the greatest story never told, holy shit, had it better be a banger.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 03, 2011


Inside the Echo Nest's deal with Def Jam

A&R for apps
At the Digital Music Forum in New York, representatives from Somerville's The Echo Nest announced a watershed partnership with Island Def Jam (IDJ), the behemoth imprint that's home to such mega acts as Ludacris and Justin Bieber.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 02, 2011


B. Dolan goes where few MCs have gone before

B. Dolan is like Joaquin Phoenix with no safety net and a whole lot more back hair. Unlike Phoenix in last year's faux meta-mockumentary I'm Not Here , the Providence native doesn't shock people for no good reason.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 10, 2011


Phoenix Mad (In Love) Libs presents: The Trashy Date

The ____ Boston Date Ever!
We met at the romantic intersection of [blank] and desire ...
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 09, 2011


The secret life of a Charlestown drug dealer

Hickey flipped for the Feds — and lived to make a movie about it
The next face Shane Mauss saw, though, was unmistakable. It was Johnny Hickey. A fast-talking tattooed Charlestown native with a tough brogue and checkered past, he used to sometimes work security at a comedy club Mauss used to play back in Boston.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 05, 2011


Review: Verbal Kent | Save Yourself

Rapmechanics (2011)
Whether you adore Kanye West or want to scalp him with a rusty spoon, there's no denying that, for those of us out on the coasts, he overshadows the rest of Chi-Town's rap scene.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  January 27, 2011

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