March 17, 1997 |
Rap artists claim almost 15 percent of the slots on this week's Billboard Top 200 album list - a significant share of the music business, and one that's holding steady. Yet some music-industry participants feel rap's share would appear even higher if the company that compiles the Billboard sales charts, SoundScan, did a better job of sampling independent record stores and measuring small-label sales. "While the sales of every major retail store are entered into the computers and passed on to SoundScan, only 300 of the nation's 3,000-plus independent stores are surveyed, and indie stores do a disproportionately large business in rap," noted Frank Lipsius of Universal One Stop, a music distributor based in Philadelphia.
March 9, 1994 |
EEenie-meenie-minie-moe/"Gangsta" poetry - yeah or no? Gangsta rap is cool. It expresses the honest, uncensored feelings of one of America's most marginalized, least politically powerful groups - poor black men, and in some cases, women. It is a symptom, not a cause, of our violent culture. To censor or limit it would be to ignore its righteous anger and rich musical heritage, and to silence rarely heard voices. If record labels won't let go, should the government just say no?
November 17, 2011 |
NEW YORK - How does Oscar-nominated actor Danny Aiello communicate with his nine grandchildren? Through rap music. The 78-year-old said his grandchildren loved his singing but couldn't remember his songs until he added rap. "They went crazy over it [and] now they know all the words to the entire songs," he said. Aiello, nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for Spike Lee's 1989 film Do the Right Thing, recently released his new album, Bridges. It's a collaborative effort with rapper-songwriter Damon Hasan, who has produced music for Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child, and Jennifer Lopez.
October 2, 2002 |
An assistant to Martha Stewart's stockbroker was expected to plead guilty today and then testify against her in the ImClone Systems scandal. Douglas Faneuil, 26, was expected to plead guilty today to a misdemeanor - making a false statement to investigators - as part of the deal. The associated Press cited sources familiar with the plea negotiations in predicting it would happen today. Investigators are looking into whether Stewart had advance warning when she sold nearly 4,000 ImClone shares last December, just before the stock price plunged on bad news about its highly touted cancer drug, Erbitux.
November 1, 2004 |
When you've been waiting for five years, what's another 2 1/2 hours? Saturday night at the Electric Factory, the packed house had much to look forward to: the return to rhyming of Mos Def, the rapper/actor whose The New Danger is his first album in five years; plus his only scheduled U.S. tour date with Talib Kweli, his partner on the landmark 1998 conscious rap collaboration, Black Star. So the assembled hip-hop heads were relatively easygoing when the opener, J-Live, was a no-show, and the hours passed without any entertainment other than records by LL Cool J, Rob Base, and the Roots.
April 20, 1990 |
From James Brown to the Grateful Dead, the best in house-rockin', home- wreckin' music has always been part of spring at the University of Pennsylvania. This weekend, sandwiched between annual rites like Spring Fling and the Penn Relays, the campus will play host to the cutting edge in contemporary sounds. Digital Underground, 3rd Bass, Queen Latifah and Big Daddy Kane - only some of the def-est rappers of this young decade - will be throwing down their collective jams at Penn's Class of '23 Ice Rink Saturday night at 8. And up the street at Irvine Auditorium - also on Saturday night - the increasingly infamous Red Hot Chili Peppers will be grinding out their soul- laced hard rock with guts, perversity and humor matched by precious few. Versatility and an unusually broad constituency mark the rap attractions hitting the Penn rink.
October 3, 2000 |
Allen Iverson can't seem to keep his feet out of the fire. The urban baller is making a killer crossover from the basketball court to radio airwaves, and not without his usual dose of controversy. A raw, uncut version of the single, "40 Bars," from his forthcoming album, "Non-Fiction," will be released to radio next Tuesday. Urban radio staples such as Power 99FM and Philly 103.9FM will most likely play the song. Universal Records will release the album in February during All-Star weekend.
June 22, 2005 |
Get ready for a new round of boo-hoos in the music business. While last week the industry traded high-fives over the results of its Super Tuesday/Coldplay blowout, it has reason to weep over its weak cumulative sales so far this year. Not only are the overall year-to-date numbers down 7 percent from 2004, but a direct comparison between the 10 top-selling albums of '04 and '05 at the June cutoff reveals an even more dramatic drop. The No. 10-selling CD at the halfway mark last year - Twista's "Kamikaze" - would qualify as No. 5 by this year's depressed standards.
March 26, 1990 |
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince take a lot of heat for being soft, suburban and apolitical. But Friday at the Valley Forge Music Fair, where Philadelphia's own bubble-gum rappers topped off a rap roundup in the round, the band's perfectly paced performance was so infectious, so surprisingly musical, that any such criticisms were rendered irrelevant. It was just a whole lot of fun. Playing to an integrated crowd of eager-to-scream teenagers, the nimble Fresh Prince worked his hometown audience like a charm.
December 9, 2006 |
You couldn't begrudge Lupe Fiasco for getting his braggadocio on at the Trocadero on Thursday night. Sure, the 25-year-old Chicago rapper - who was short-listed for GQ's man of the year, along with Jay-Z, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore - was overstating the case when he described himself as "the most critically acclaimed artist in the world right now. " But he'd had a good day. Fiasco's debut disc, Food & Liquor, was nominated for three Grammys....