this is heavy

Archives: Music

In memoriam: Six of the best from the undisputed H.N.I.C.

I put my lifetime in-between the paper’s lines.

Prodigy, among New York’s hardcore rap forefathers and one of the genre’s lyrical heavyweights, passed away Tuesday morning following a lifelong battle with sickle cell anemia. He was 42 years young.

Born Albert Johnson, Prodigy was one-half of seminal rap group Mobb Deep. Known for his raw, almost cinematic lyricism, Prodigy lended cold, calculated weight to Havoc’s hellish soundscapes. Together, the duo crafted some of rap’s grimiest – and best – songs.

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SotM: Back to the Future Remix

We have reached the future. I repeat, we have reached the future.

Back in the 80s, as a child you were obsessed with Back to the Future. You just were. Then Back to the Future Part II came out, and you were obsessed with self-lacing sneakers and, of course, hoverboards.

At the time – winter 1989 to be exact – 2015 was so far away. Flying cars seemed plausible. So, too, did roughly 75 Jaws films. We all longed for 2015. Continue reading

Throwback: My ’06 review of the Clipse masterpiece, Hell Hath No Fury

I used to write hip-hop album reviews. I know, doesn’t seem that far-fetched at all.

From late 2006 into early 2008, I slammed the likes of Styles P and Sa-Ra (album is kind of dope now – what the hell did I know?) for HipHopSite.com. This was pretty major  for me, a young journalist at the time searching for as many writing avenues as I could find. Perhaps more significantly, HipHopSite was the first website on the Internet to cater to rap in a way that spoke to me, and it unquestionably help to cultivate and refine my appreciation of the genre.

This was the place where I first heard Skew It On The Bar-B and Nas Is Like. I remember the goosebumps that accompanied the opening drums of the latter like it was yesterday. As such, HipHopSite will always hold a significant place in my life.

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SotD: The Internet – Girl

This one somehow slipped past me when it dropped a month or so ago. Thankfully the Internet is here to remedy the situation.

Kaytranada hit BBC 1 in January to unleash this syrupy beauty from The Internet, entitled Girl. Just waves and waves of lushness here – it’s a gorgeous piece of music.

VotD: Nas at Coachella ’14

OutKast’s much-ballyhooed reunion may not have quite lived up to the hype, but this year’s Coachella music festival still managed to spawn some memorable hip-hop performances. At the top of that list was clearly a peerless set from Nas, which you can view in full below.

As we approach the 20th anniversary of Nasir’s seminal debut LP Illmatic (tomorrow to be exact), the rapper paid homage by performing the entire album, along with various choice cuts from the rest of his catalog. It makes for quality viewing.

That said, where was AZ?

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