Ben Carson’s new “urban” radio ad drops Friday in eight cities, including Miami, Atlanta, and Houston, with the goal of reaching out to young black voters who, the Carson campaign admits, are “a non-traditional voting market for Republicans.” Carson has already picked up one vote from that market, though, in Aspiring Mogul, the self-described “Christian Republican Rapper” who raps in the ad alongside snippets of Carson’s stump speech.
The idea of a psychic/intuitive and reader of tarot cards and a certifiable hip-hop icon speaking on anything let alone karma and fate sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke. “So, a psychic and a rapper walk into a bar…” Certainly the whole concept of this recent talk at The Rubin Museum of Art fell under the umbrella of WTF, but then again the evening had real potential.
“A rhythmic monologue to a musical accompaniment.” Ratter has a compilation of the ways in which baffled newspapers of the early 1980s described “rap music,” a hot new urban youth trend that was just beginning to gain national attention. Thirty years later, the New York Times has gotten just a little bit better at it.
In the lyric pamphlet to Black Messiah, D'Angelo's third album after 14 years away from the spotlight, the soul-savant explains his reasoning behind its title and sudden release: "Some will jump to the conclusion that I am calling myself a Black Messiah," he begins. "For me the title is about all of us...It's about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It's not about celebrating one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them."
The United States Agency for International Development—the same government agency that funded "Cuban Twitter" and sent undercover youths to stoke civil unrest in the country—infiltrated Cuba's hip hop scene for two years with hopes of "[sparking] a youth movement against the government," according to an Associated Press investigation.
Music producer Steven Ellison, also known as Flying Lotus, has the kind of career that contemporary artists dream of. He's respected, acclaimed, constantly working, and seems to be having a great time. His wild fifth studio album, You're Dead!, explores the titular concept through boisterous jazz, leftfield hip-hop, blaxploitation throwback sounds, and smooth slow jams. Released this week, Ellison says it is "probably the most accessible record" yet.
When 17-year-old L.A. rapper Jamal Gutierrez (a.k.a. A-F-R-O) released a controversial freestyle on R.A. the Rugged Man's YouTube channel last month, no one seemed to believe the kid's multisyllabic rhymes were spontaneous. "This shit is not only written but very well rehearsed," went the top YouTube comment.
The four rail lines that make up the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) meet at Five Points Station. The station, which was opened in 1979 and later added North-South lines in 1981, is located in the middle of downtown and serves as a transportation hub for the metro area’s five million residents. Ascending from the below-ground platforms, the plaza opens onto Alabama Street SW and Marietta Street NW. From Five Points you can get just about anywhere in Atlanta.