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hip-hop

Super Soul Fest featuring Kurtis Blow

by The Staff August 13, 2014

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  While classic-rock radio continues to cycle the same 40 songs through our cultural consciousness, hip-hop has never really established a mainstream channel to preserve the genre’s legacy. That’s why shows like this are so important. In ...

0 comments Washington Avenue Armory

Biz Markie

by The Staff June 26, 2014

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  Biz Markie has always been a bit of a hip-hop punchline. A loveable one. “Just a Friend” put him on the rap radar in 1989, and he spent the next decade goofing over Beastie Boys ...

Bogies

Salt-n-Pepa

by The Staff June 5, 2014

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    Ooo baby baby . . . baby baby. It’s been nearly 30 years since groundbreaking all-female hip-hop trio Salt-n-Pepa debuted with “Push It,” now a staple of any ’80s dance party worth its nostalgia. A ...

Vapor Nightclub

Mobb Deep

by The Staff August 22, 2013

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  Queens rap duo Mobb Deep were so central to the sound of mid-’90s New York hip-hop (alongside Wu-Tang, Biggie, Nas, et al.) that a couple of their biggest tracks, “L.A L.A” and “Drop a Gem ...

Bogies

Lil Wayne

by The Staff August 1, 2013

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  It doesn’t much matter if Lil Wayne has a new record (he does: I Am Not a Human Being II), has been healthy (he’s had a series of highly publicized seizures in the past year), ...

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Beat*Shot Music Festival

by The Staff July 3, 2013

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  For five years, the folks behind the Beat*Shot Music Festival have been showcasing the best of local 518 hip-hop. For their next trick, they’re going to squeeze it all into a single day. As always, ...

Red Square

Joey Bada$$

by The Staff June 19, 2013

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  Jo-Vaughn Virginie Scott is barely 18 years old. In 1999, he was 4. Last year, the name Joey Bada$$ became synonymous with that year when the unknown rapper released his so-titled mixtape over some of ...

Upstate Concert Hall

Kendrick Lamar

by The Staff May 30, 2013

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  In the ’90s, Compton, Los Angeles, was the epicenter of West Coast hip-hop. As the story goes, an 8-year-old Kendrick Lamar was on the set when Tupac and Dr. Dre shot their legendary “California Love” ...

Washington Avenue Armory

Albany Spring Fest

by The Staff May 15, 2013

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  Albany has become a major tour stop in the past couple years for some of the biggest hip-hop acts around. A$AP Rocky was just here, Danny Brown flew within our Massachussets orbit and Kendrick Lamar, ...

Palace Theatre

Parkfest

by The Staff April 10, 2013

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  The University at Albany has put together a hip-hop show for this year’s annual Parkfest. Paying a visit to the SEFCU arena this year will be 2 Chainz (pictured) and Travis Porter. 2 Chainz (formerly ...

University at Albany

A$AP Rocky

by The Staff March 6, 2013

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  There’s no doubt about it, hip-hop is in the middle of a huge renaissance. While everyone was watching the throne held by mainstream titans like Kanye West this past decade or so, a whole generation ...

Upstate Concert Hall

De La Soul

by The Staff November 20, 2012

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  Before “conscious hip-hop” was a thing, before there were “backpack rappers,” and back when independent music was called alternative, it was just “Me, Myself and I.” That breakout hit from De La Soul’s 1989 debut ...

The Upstate Concert Hall

Nas

by The Staff November 8, 2012

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  Hip-hop publications love making lists of the greatest MCs ever and whatnot. According to our Nate Silver-precise polling models, Nas is the best non-Wu-Tang New York City rapper not named Jay, Kanye or B.I.G. (Fox ...

The Upstate Concert Hall

Salt-n-Pepa

by The Staff August 8, 2012

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Less than two weeks after ’90s rapper (and Will Smith’s partner-in-awesomeness) DJ Jazzy Jeff brought the beats to Vapor Nightclub, early hip-hop is back for more at the Saratoga club this week with the great ...

Vapor Nightclub

DJ Jazzy Jeff

by The Staff August 2, 2012

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“In West Philadelphia born and raised. . . .” DJ Jazzy Jeff met the Fresh Prince, Will Smith, in the early ’80s. The pair had hits like “Summertime” and “Parents Just Don't Understand,” and won ...

Vapor Nightclub

Drake

by The Staff June 14, 2012

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Aubrey Drake Graham got his showbiz start acting in the Canadien TV series Degrassi: The Next Generation but a microscope and a simple family tree should have told us that music was in his DNA. ...

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Lil’ Kim

by The Staff May 17, 2012

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“Before their was nicki..their was kim!!” wrote an enthusiastic “LACE” on the comments thread for Saturday’s Lil’ Kim show at Northern Lights. This is the core argument in a somewhat amusing little feud that’s been ...

Northern Lights

Rakim

by The Staff April 26, 2012

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Where would hip-hop be today without Eric B. and Rakim’s 1987 masterpiece Paid in Full? Would James Brown samples have become so prevalent without “I Know You Got Soul”? Would holographic gangstas be headlining Coachella? ...

Northern Lights

Wu-Tang Clan

by The Staff December 14, 2011

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If any rap group can save us from the coming apocalypse—or maybe push us over the edge—it’s the Wu-Tang Clan. Twenty-twelve is promising to be a year of renaissance for arguably the greatest rap crew ...

Northern Lights

Tried and True

by KC Orcutt August 17, 2011

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  The average DJ will show up on time, power through a pre-determined playlist, privately grimace at requests but honor them, pack up when the bar closes and be on his way once he’s paid. One ...

Atmosphere

by The Staff August 10, 2011

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In the mid ’90s, two white kids from Minneapolis redefined what hip-hop was, where it came from and who it spoke for. Slug and Ant, otherwise known as Atmosphere, have become two of the most ...

Northen Lights

Lil Wayne

by The Staff July 14, 2011

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The sizzurp will flow Wednesday night when Weezy pulls into Saratoga. It didn’t take rap’s prodigal son long to restart his career after a criminal weapons-posession charge landed him in Riker’s for a year. Since his ...

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Beat*Shot Music Festival

by The Staff June 29, 2011

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It started as a happy little birthday show for two of Beat*Shot’s finest, but considering how DJ Trumastr and Lo-Fi Lobo like to party, it was only a matter of time before the Beat*Shot Music ...

Red Square

Snoop Dogg

by Taylor Morris June 1, 2011

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The predominant discourse surrounding Snoop Dogg now boils down pretty easily: The former gangsta-rap icon has softened and aged, and is no longer the G who wrote his “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” verse. Hell, ...

Style Wars

by Josh Potter May 25, 2011

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If the heads start bobbing, you know the beat’s hot. No matter how much the producer jumps around on stage or pumps his fist in the air after pressing play, no matter how much his ...