Mosi Reeves

Thank you later

YEAR IN MUSIC: This year, hip-hop experienced a major renaissance — and underground troubles

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45 sessions

With a little help from Finland, Myron & E bring sweet Bay Area soul to the vinyl grooves

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If you type "Myron and E" into the search engine on YouTube.com, you'll likely find a simple video clip of a record player with one of the duo's 7-inch singles on the turntable. Play the video clip, and the turntable's needle will descend on the vinyl. And then some of the most wonderfully sweet grooves will pipe through your speakers.Read more »

Don't stop this crazy thing

Ninja Tune XX traces Coldcut's path through decades of sampledelia

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Coldcut used to brag that it was "Ahead of Our Time." In the late 1980s, they slapped the phrase onto a host of groundbreaking forays into cut-and-past sound mathematics like "Beats + Pieces," "Doctorin' the House," and "Stop This Crazy Thing," freewheeling tunes that treated the history of sound as an enormous candy shop, copyright laws be damned.Read more »

Smoker's delight

"Waken Baken" headliner Wiz Khalifa loves the green, while Yelawolf is ready to rock

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MUSIC The first thing Wiz Khalifa wants to say is that he loves to smoke marijuana. "Usually I just wake up and get high to start my day," he says. Comparing his love of green to Bob Marley's, he adds, "For some people, weed is just made for them. I'm one of those people."Read more »

High on arrival

Curren$y strikes one up for traditionalism on Pilot Talk

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MUSIC If hip-hop is jazz, then Curren$y can be described as a traditionalist. His debut album, Pilot Talk (DD172/Def Jam), is pure braggadocio, with rhymes about fancy cars and free-flowing liquor and free-loving women. The music, lovingly produced and arranged by Ski Beatz, sounds like an update of Dr. Dre's The Chronic, all the way down to the New York session musicians recruited to crank out mellow grooves. It's as if Curren$y has reinterpreted the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" for the new millennium.Read more »

Dipped in blackness

What lives within the mysterious Shabazz Palaces

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MUSIC "I'm a bright light on the dark side of town," raps "Palaceer Lazaro" on "Capital 5." One wonders how he got there. "Palaceer Lazaro" was once known as Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler, the leader of beloved 1990s stars Digable Planets and a 1993 Grammy winner for "Rebirth of Slick (cool like dat)." Digable Planets proudly celebrated Brooklyn, N.Y., as a nexus of black culture. Nearly two decades later, Butler has relocated to Seattle, where he heads a collective of dread artists called Shabazz Palaces.Read more »

I, in the sky

Ariel Pink: the myth, the former solitary man, and the current group leader

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There's a moment during You Think You Really Know Me, the 2005 documentary on 1970s Midwest cult artist Gary Wilson, when the filmmakers acknowledge that their subject is not necessarily as weird as his music. "I thought he would be a little bit more," says Christina Bates, coowner of the defunct Motel Records, which reissued Wilson's 1977 jazz-rock curio You Think You Really Know Me to much acclaim. Bates' voice trails off. "He's really in complete control of his image."Read more »

The residue

B.o.B and an era of hip-hop that's pop, pop, and more pop

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MUSIC "Drug boys steady shooting. The streets don't give a damn. They're filled with such pollution," sings B.o.B on "Kids," an interpolation of the coda from Vampire Weekend's self-titled indie-pop gem. "The kids don't stand a chance."Read more »

Keep the faith

Little Dragon escapes the R&B-according-to-hipsters pitfall

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Endless hookup

Away from the turntable and into the pop skips-and-jumps of the Hood Internet

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MUSIC Where are the turntablist masters of yore? They've gone missing, replaced by the likes of the Hood Internet.Read more »