Freedom Song: A Conversation About the State of Black Liberation Music

Jason Parham · 03/25/15 01:45PM

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."

Macklemore Is a Ho Bag

Hamilton Nolan · 01/27/14 01:40PM

Last night at the Grammy awards, Macklemore beat out Kendrick Lamar for multiple "Best Rap" awards. Afterwards, Macklemore texted Kendrick an apology. Classy? On the contrary.

Kendrick Lamar Pulled From GQ Party in Response to Mag Profile

Rich Juzwiak · 11/18/13 05:32PM

Last week, rapper Kendrick Lamar was honored among GQ's elite in the magazine's Men of the Year issue. But Lamar's label boss didn't want the honor: Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, who represents Top Dawg Entertainment, unceremoniously pulled his artist from the party that accompanied the issue, calling out writer Steve Marsh's profile, "Kendrick Lamar: Rapper of the Year," for its "racial overtones."

White Sheriff Scolds Black College President for Hosting Rap Concert

Hamilton Nolan · 09/03/13 10:08AM

This year, at the request of students, Florida Gulf Coast University booked Kendrick Lamar and Ludacris as the headliners at its annual "Eaglepalooza" concert. Well— the local sheriff is outraged that FGCU's president— a black man!— would stand for this filth.

Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city Is This Week’s Greatest Hip-Hop Album of All-Time

Rich Juzwiak · 10/24/12 03:20PM

The major-label debut from the 25-year-old, Dr. Dre-endorsed Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city, is the Dark Knight of albums: led by a conflicted hero, it is rich, brainy enough not to be too brainy and utterly crowd-pleasing. Billed on its cover as "A Short Film by Kendrick Lamar," it's actually a feature-length narrative through his youth in Compton. The songs are so conversant with one another that Esquire even posted a sort of Cliff's Notes plot outline.