Staten Island, New York emcee Rouge recently released his debut album, War!, a sonically dense collection of music, with crisp writing and a rich, full sound. On the album, Rouge grapples with the responsibilities of adulthood, the future of the planet, love, death, creativity, identity, and dreams, as well as the more mundane concerns of …

When Farees, the singer-song writer, released his stirring debut solo album in 2015, Mississippi to Sahara, (under the name Faris), he did what many artists do; he planned a tour to support the album. The tour would traverse the United States, with stops at summer festivals and storied music venues, including the Public Theater in …

In hip hop, a sample can sometimes lead you on an unexpected journey. Rashid Hadee’s first box of vinyl records came from his uncle. The Chicago rapper and producer discovered the box in a closet, and decided to listen to the LPs, one by one, and create beats from what he found. Hadee’s uncle was …

Last year seemed like the year that Billy Dean Thomas would finally break through. The Boston-based hip hop artist, poet and writer had accumulated a steady list of accomplishments. Thomas had performed on The View, was nominated for a number of music awards, including a Grammy, and had won grants that enabled Thomas to worry …

And we back… Boston music scene stalwart Rilla Force is a musical polymath and a man with a distinct sound and vibe to his art. He is equally at home both behind and in front of the boards. Force, who raps, produces, mixes, masters, engineers, DJs and manages other artists, is adept at helping musicians …

Late last year, the rap artist Chuck Dolo released his first official music, the single “Late Nights,” and the EP Amnesia. Both are atmospheric slices of hip hop, with trauma and recovery as their abiding themes, the music cathartic and clear-eyed, with a story teller’s attention to the small details of every day life. Dolo’s …

It started like this… It was 2008, or 2009. The rap artist Jamal Gasol has a brother, and his brother had a ring tone. It wasn’t exactly a ring tone, it was more like a voice. A disembodied voice. An annoying voice, on an annoying ringtone. “All the dude would say at the beginning was …

A trans-Atlantic collaboration between the Harlem-based rapper and London producer WilfMerson yields an album of depth and beauty. The Internet and the portability of sound files can open up the world for anyone who wants to find like-minded artists across the globe with which to collaborate. Social media allows musicians to find each other on …

Last month, Dallas, Texas based hip hop artist Jiyu Purp released his first long player, Earth is Ours, an album suffused with spirituality and positivity, but one that hits hard, too. The rapper was born in Texarkana, Texas, a small city that abuts the border of Texas and Arkansas, and shares a metropolitan area with …

If you’re feeling a deficit of hope lately, don’t fret. You are not alone, Hope is an intrinsic human attribute that allows us to appreciate the idea that it is often darkest just before the dawn. Mental health experts advise that hope is a powerful, inspiring feeling that is necessary and vital, particularly if you …