Posts in category

Droppin’ Knowledge


When the musician and experimental hip hop iconoclast 03CAS emigrated from South Africa to the United Kingdom, he landed at London’s Heathrow Airport with little more than the clothes on his back. “It was the first time I was on a plane,” recalled the artist, born Caleb Mateus, as he recently recounted his early days …

And we back…and we back…nah, nah, nah… Santa Cruz sound czar Eddou XL joins today’s version of Behind The Boards. The California-based producer, beat maker and instrumental hip hop creator often finds inspiration in the sounds around him, both in the natural world, and in the work of other artists he admires. He frequently uses …

If you asked hip hop artist McKinley Dixon to name the greatest rapper of all time, you might be surprised by his answer. The Richmond Virginia-based musician, who grew up in Maryland and New York City, is unequivocal: the late American novelist, essayist and poet, Toni Morrison. “She’s the greatest rapper of all time. Even …

And we back…nah, nah, nah… Veteran Baltimore, Maryland producer Shine recently released his new album, As The Beauty Became, a lovely and luxuriant collection of mostly instrumental hip hop that pulses and hums with an organic vitality. This contemplative set of nine tracks also includes two sterling guest cuts, one with Brooklyn’s Nappy Nina, and …

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 …