Dropping the mic in his own time: as-salamu alaykum Yasiin Bey

by Jamal Mehmood Earlier this year, the artist formerly known as Mos Def gave his farewell performances in London. Hiphop’s own whirling dervish, who dared to whirl and pray on a simply decorated stage, dropping rose petals on a floor already filled with balloons. This was the Yasiin show. There was no formal set list… Read More

The Butterfly Effect: Politics and Realism in Black Music

by Courttia Newland  Has the Hip Hop Generation found its voice? It’s possible it has. For those who care, this does seem like a vintage year for R&B and Rap music. Late in 2014, D’Angelo released Black Messiah, his third studio album, after a 14 year hiatus. It received rave reviews and commercial success, selling… Read More