hip hop Archive

Arrested Development: The Speech Interview, Part Three

Continued from Part Two … For decades it’s been the case that American artists – especially the more interesting ones – tend to do better in Europe and Asia. The list of blues and jazz artists who had to go to Europe to be make a living is really long. Why do you think your

Arrested Development: The Speech Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One … Arrested Development has found success beyond the hip-hop fan base in a way that other acts haven’t always done, and you’ve done it without compromising your approach. What do you think explains the group’s appeal to listeners who might not otherwise be all that interested in hip-hop? The music was

Arrested Development: The Speech Interview, Part One

If you turned on your radio or tuned into MTV in 1992, you were familiar with Arrested Development. The Atlanta-based group did something that was quite unique for its time; standing in stark contrast to the gangsta rap of the era, Arrested Development made conscious, melodic hip-hop. For its trouble, the group scored early and

Arrested Development: Creating Their Own Lane

Hailed as creators of a new musical genre, Arrested Development scored a worldwide blockbuster hit with their 1992 debut album. The group’s unique take on hip-hop influenced an entire generation of artists, and by 2000 Arrested Development was making music on its own terms, operating largely outside the machinery of the music industry. The group

Welcome to Cadillac Baby’s Show Lounge: The Bea & Baby Boxed Set

From the perspective of crate-diggers – amateur and professional music archivists alike – one of the great benefits of the digital age has been the rescuing of obscure recordings. Against the backdrop of the recently revealed 2008 Universal fire in which countless audio masters were lost, it’s some comfort to discover that the catalog of

Michael Franti: National Tour, Local Focus

Michael Franti is well known for many things: The Oakland-born musician is a guitarist, rapper, songwriter and poet. He’s also renowned for his activism and commitment to social change, world peace and environmental issues; his activism and musical pursuits have long been intertwined. The artist combined music and activism yet again when he came to

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