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When I get ahold of Alec Reinstein late on Monday night he sounds tired. It’s been a big couple of days for him. Reinstein, better known as Despot, the rapper from Queens who signed to El-P’s Def Jux label in 2004 and has yet to release an album due to his crippling perfectionism, put out […]

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Harlem rapper Azealia Banks has released a new music video for “Ice Princess” off her debut album Broke With Expensive Taste. The video is not as technologically immersive as “Wallace,” the interactive Google Chrome-powered single that Banks put out a few weeks ago, but it nonetheless tech-heavy; reliant upon CGI and trippy, psychedelic animations. As […]

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On Tuesday, ex-Das Racist member Himanshu Suri will release his debut solo album, Eat Pray Thug. Forging his own path, Heems departs from his former hip-hop group’s serious-not-serious style, digging into darker social and political commentary in raps titled “Patriot Act” and “Suicide by Cop”. But devout fans will recognize, all jokes aside, that Heems […]

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Now only a few weeks away from the official release of its first album in seven years, the Wu Tang Clan has increased the hype by dropping yet another track from A Better Tomorrow. On Wednesday, the legendary rap group released “Necklace,” following tracks “Ruckus in B Minor,” “Ron O’Neal,” and “Keep Watch.” The track […]

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Though they weren’t the source of the original leak for eponymous album Run The Jewels, El-P and Killer Mike got ahead of the game this time around, releasing their new album RTJ2 online in the wee hours of Friday morning. The album isn’t commercially due out until October 27 by label Mass Appeal Records, but […]

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“Let’s face it. What I’m doing isn’t really vandalism,” Jay Shells tells ANIMAL after a weekend of putting his site-specific Rap Quotes around Philadelphia. “But the questionably legal act of installing signs became trickiest around City Hall and the Liberty Bell where an abundance of bored security guards are waiting to flex on a smart ass like me.” But he got it done. […]

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The late rapper J Dilla’s custom-made Minamoog Voyager synthesizer has been recently donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The synth — along with 11 other objects used by the contributors to American music history, from Chuck Berry to Chuck D — will be shown at the “Musical Crossroads” exhibition, to inaugurate the opening of […]

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“Yung Lean is part of rap’s long tradition of doing it all wrong,” ANIMAL’s Brandon Soderberg wrote about the Swedish internet rap darling a few months ago. Stylistically, maybe, but at Yung Lean’s victory lap show last night in Brooklyn it was clear he’s doing something right. His fans, pastel weed-leaf printed kids out on […]

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This is Maxim Kurlenko aka “Nastoyatel.” He is a practicing priest in a small town of Cheboksary. He is a rapper. “Where has morally pure, white Russia gone?” he raps. The Russian offshoot of Christian rap has been rising in popularity lately, as more and more Russians identifying as Eastern Orthodox. Calvert Journal has comprised a very […]

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Above, watch outtakes from Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, a new documentary about the legendary underground hip hop label Stones Throw. Kanye West is interviewed and waxes about the influence of the late J Dilla and Stones Throw figurehead Madlib. On Dilla: We gotta make music and we think, ‘If Dilla was alive, would he like this?’ I […]

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