hip hop Archive

Album Review: Spaceman Jones — Southern Exposure

Spaceman Jones is the performing name for Davaion Bristol, the Asheville-based hip-hop artist and radio host. The relentlessly busy artist’s previous releases showcase a heady mix of electronica, trip-hop and rap, and often find him collaborating with others. But on Spaceman Jones’ newest project, the artist ventures off on a solo excursion. Save for a

Ryan RnB Barber: Persistence Pays Off

As recently as 2015, Ryan Barber was homeless. But through a combination of determination and talent, today the Asheville musician is realizing his life and music goals. The newest release from Ryan RnB Barber – today a ubiquitous presence in the Asheville music scene – is a solo album pointedly titled Rejuvenation. Backed by his

Album Review: Effigy Seed

Combining rap vocals with a musical foundation based upon 1980s-era synthesizer textures, Effigy Seed bridges old and new(ish) on its self-titled full length release. The Asheville hip-hop/electronica duo of Philo Reitzel and Linus came together in January 2018, with its first live performance in July of that year. Effigy Seed mixes up the various sides

Album Review: Sk the Novelist — Baggage

West Asheville hip-hop artist Sk the Novelist is a member of local rap collective the Legion of D.O.O.M. This Legion is kindred spirits of—but no relation to—the similarly-named mash up group/production team out of southern California. Sk (John Wilson) has been releasing music since at least 2014, when his EP Return of the Emcee featured

EP Review: DJ Dallas & SIYAH — Dark Clouds

A new EP from Asheville-based rapper SIYAH (Isa Whitaker) explores faith and family in a style miles away from the gangsta rap of the 1990s. Enlisting talent from the ranks of his own family, SIYAH delivers an impressive 14 minutes of conscious hip-hop on Dark Clouds. Dark Clouds opens with “The Heights.” Like all four

Soul Street Dance: Hip-hop, Storytelling and Music

Soul Street Dance combines hip-hop, storytelling and music, creating a dazzling, high energy show in the process. The two founders of the Houston-based company, Rock Williams and director Javier Garcia both have a long history as dancers. When the company in which they both performed ended its run, the two men knew they wanted to

Ice-T’s ‘Power’ at 30

When considering the work of a high-profile, successful recording artist, it’s often instructive to look at the work they did prior to their breakthrough. Important clues in regard to their creative development can often be identified, and the arc of that development can be more fully understood and appreciated. In hip-hop, one of the genre’s

EP Review: Spaceman Jones and The Motherships — Space and Time

The creative collaboration between Asheville rapper Spaceman Jones and genre-defying outfit RBTS WIN continues to bear fruit. Their first recorded project together was 2017’s RBTS WIN Presents Spaceman Jones and The Motherships. That 11-track set drew from funk and soul, with Jones rapping fluidly over deep-groove, sample-heavy musical backing. The music was as interesting and

Todd Rundgren’s ‘No World Order” at 25

Todd Rundgren has long made a career out of alternatively (and sometimes simultaneously) confounding and delighting his most ardent fans. Resolutely following his muse wherever it takes him, Rundgren is remarkably unbound from commercial considerations; he makes the music he wants to make, how and when he chooses. The result is a body of work

Album Review: Iceberg Slim — Reflections

If I told you that a key inspiration for the slice-of-street hip-hop of Ice-T was an earlier recording artist going by the name of Iceberg Slim, you’d likely develop some immediate preconceptions as to what the earlier iceman sounded like. But I’m here to tell you that you’d probably be way off base. Iceberg Slim