September 7, 1987 |
The Spectrum resounded Friday night to the schoolyard rhymes and hammering beats of the first of two marathon shows in a cavalcade of rap acts billed as Def Jam '87. Headliner L. L. Cool J proved conclusively that he is the most exciting performer on the rap scene. Not taking the stage until almost 11 p.m., he spun out his doggerel in fast, strong vocal rhythms, as he moved about with the air of a cocky young boxer who has never tasted of defeat. Girls in the audience screamed loudly at every suggestive move the 19-year- old star made, and they were screaming practically nonstop.
December 11, 2011
Ry Cooder Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (Nonesuch) F-ed Up David Comes to Life (Matador) Girls Father, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther Sounds) Jay-Z and Kanye West Watch the Throne (Roc-A-Fella) The Roots undun (Def Jam) Tune-Yards w h o k i l l (4AD)
November 6, 1998 |
Jay-Z's third release, "Vol. 2 . . . Hard Knock Life," has spawned a couple of hit singles: the annoying but engaging "Hard Knock Life," which features a sample from the chorus of "It's a Hard Knock Life" from the Broadway musical "Annie," and that cute - at least the version edited for radio play - call-and-response "Can I Get a . . . " with Amil & Ja Rule. (Warning: The album version is raunchier.) Those cuts represent the highlights, for taken as a complete project, "Vol. 2 . . . Hard Knock Life" misses a few chapters.
June 8, 1986 |
Peter Gabriel's previous music has been full of slinky rhythms and murmured vocals, but on his new album So (Geffen ), Gabriel includes a few compositions that are closer to home than his usual explorations of African rhythms. Most prominent among these is his beguiling new hit single, "Sledgehammer," which salutes Motown-style soul music and gives Gabriel the opportunity to sing out lustily. ORAN "JUICE" JONES Juice (Def Jam/Columbia ): The Def Jam label usually features rap-music performers, and Jones has written a few songs for rapper Kurtis Blow, but his debut album presents him as a smooth balladeer, albeit one with a mean streak: In "The Rain," Jones sees his girlfriend with another man and tells her he's going to "pull a Rambo" - i.e., inflict violence upon someone.
April 17, 2005 |
Is your thirst still unquenched for the 1980s' lovesick, synthesizer-heavy, post-punk tunes like "Hold Me Now," "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"? Yearn no more: That sweet nostalgia flick The Wedding Singer is Broadway-bound. The story of young Robbie Hart, who desperately pines in the 'burbs for the fiancee who rudely jilted him, will feature music by Matthew Sklar, book by Tim Herlihy and Chad Beguelin, and lyrics by Beguelin. Yet to be cast, it will premiere in Seattle in January before heading off to New York in March.
February 12, 2010 |
In 2003, Leslie Pridgen - also known as Freeway - dropped one of hip-hop's cleverest records, Philadelphia Freeway. Freeway, an original member of Jay-Z's Roc-a-Fella family, a State Property member, and Beanie Sigel's best bud, crafted a debut for Def Jam that balanced all sides of his personality. With equal footing in both Islam and urban hustling, Freeway used his scratchy raps and high voice to tell hard-streets stories. He stuck with Def Jam through another album, Free at Last, dropped a few more recordings and mix tapes, had his hip-hop faith tested, and nearly left the game out of religious scruples.
March 12, 1997 |
On Monday night, knowing that there were no new developments on the murder of Christopher "Notorious B.I.G. " Wallace, fans turned to Black Entertainment Television's "BET Talk" show to hear what people were saying about the latest rap tragedy. To explain and understand the killing, callers to the nightly talk show speculated about scenarios ranging from West Coast retaliation for the murder of Wallace's rap rival, Tupac Shakur, to shadowy conspiracy theories. Wallace was shot in Los Angeles by unknown assailants Sunday as he sat in a car outside a party celebrating the Soul Train Music Awards.
July 18, 2002
POP ICON and oddball Michael Jackson, on the heels of his poor-selling dud "Invincible," claims the music industry is racist and fixed against people of color. Had this come from say, Def Jam head Russell Simmons or J Records executive Clive Davis, this comment would garner some serious consideration. But coming from accused pedophile Michael Jackson, this comment would be laughable if it weren't so sad. Sad because Michael is fading away into the history books of pop culture, becoming more of a footnote with each passing year.
May 1, 1995 |
Until Method Man's sprint to the finish at Irvine Auditorium on Friday, it appeared the Penn Relays Concert would never get out of the starting blocks. Method's co-headliner, Wu-Tang Clan compadre Ol' Dirty Bastard, whose Return to the 36 Chambers is the hottest thing in hip-hop this side of Tupac Shakur, was a no-show. Likewise, potential surprise guest Common Sense was not in the house. So the less-than-capacity college-age and younger crowd had to be content with three little-known rappers and DJ Biz Markie.
April 28, 2012 |
Music The Campus Consciousness Tour starring J. Cole and Big K.R.I.T. Though one can't be completely certain as to how conscious of university status, matriculation, or curriculum vitae either rapper is, don't doubt the entertainment factor of having J. Cole and Big K.R.I.T. together. The sturdy Def Jam rapper K.R.I.T., a highly regarded producer as well as a fierce-flowing MC, dropped both his major-label album Live From the Underground and his new mix tape, 4Eva N a Day, within the last year, and the mouth from Mississippi thrills throughout both Southern-fried recordings.