Twelve Must-See Music Videos from St. Louis Hip-Hop Artists

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Prince Ea
At least once every blue moon, I want to highlight a few music videos that have crossed my path. Sometimes when we hear of a new artist, the very first place we go is Youtube, which typically either makes us a fan or a hater in short order. I decided to pass along a few interesting videos from underground, indie and unsigned hip-hop artists. These are not big-budgeted videos. They don't have well-known directors. You won't see any of them on MTV. Enjoy.

Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis city. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 21 and was followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.

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The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: April 2014

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Lil Boosie - April 25 @ the Ambassador
St. Louis' warmer weather is bringing crazy lineups for local hip-hop heads, spanning national, local, underground and indie scenes across a wide spectrum of genres. Yep, April's got something for everyone. Actually, this month has so many shows that we didn't even have enough time to mention all of them. Check out more using our concert calendar.

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Doorway Performs Drive-By Concert for Crowds at SXSW

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Screenshot from the video.
Doorway, hustling on wheels.
St. Louis hip-hop group Doorway, winner of 2013's RFT Music Award for best hip-hop group, has seemingly never-ending hustle. Its members can be found at events all over town, handing out CDs and performing, and generally taking any opportunity possible to get their names out there into the world. So it should be no surprise that the go-gettin' hip-hop collective made its way down to SXSW this year with a stack of demo CDs.

The group's approach, however, was special enough to turn some heads.


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One Label Controls Almost All of Hip-Hop, and That's a Problem

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Image via YouTube
Jay-Z, trying to convince us his favorite thing about Magna Carta Holy Grail isn't the Samsung deal.
It's common knowledge that the popular-music industry is dominated by a few huge companies, sometimes referred to as the Big Three: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. It used to be the Big Four, until EMI was subsumed into the other three. Before that, it was the Big Five, which followed the Big Six, etc. As time has gone on, the music market has becoming more and more restrictive in the choices you can actually make as a consumer. According to Nielson SoundScan, these three companies controlled roughly 90 percent of the music market in 2012, and this is a number trending upward. The problem for rap fans, though, is even more severe.


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The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: March 2014

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Three 6 Mafia will perform at Mad Magician on March 27.

Sure, the weather seems nice now. But Mother Nature can be such a tease sometimes: Right when we think St. Louis is finally thawing out, we are gifted with more ice and snow and freezing rain and sleet and the occasional high-wind freak show. As we ride out the rest of this ruthless winter and St. Louis slowly -- and we do mean slowly -- transitions to spring, why not enjoy the best that St. Louis hip-hop has to offer? From indie-rap and local DJs to those national acts that sometimes grace the Lou with their presence, these are St. Louis' best hip-hop shows in March.

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The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: February 2014

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Pusha T

This February -- known as "Dilla month" by hip-hop heads -- is celebrating J Dilla in a big way, with many of St. Louis' most notable acts coming together to celebrate the renowned producer. While this month is on a very local tip, national act 2 Chainz will make an appearance at the end, which, knowing 2 Chainz, will be an experience all on its own.

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Sixteen St. Louis Hip-Hop Acts to Watch in 2014

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Riley B.

I wanted to start 2014 off by giving credit to a few St. Louis artists I have been enjoying lately. I also wanted to mention people you probably haven't heard of, because this is the duty of a real fan. I could have easily written a blog about the household names and people you already know about, but I wanted to shine some light a few brand-new artists.

You more than likely won't recognize a few of these names. In 2014 I am hoping they will start getting the credit they deserve.

See Also: The Thirteen Best St. Louis Rappers in 2013


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Should Rap Lyrics Be Used in Criminal Trials?

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Legions of angry parents were already up in arms when gangster rap arrived on the scene. After the 1985 PMRC Senate hearings helped institute "Parental Advisory" stickers, albums by Ice-T and N.W.A. were among the first to be branded. Since then, rap as a musical form has continued to take its lumps for what concerned onlookers deemed questionable content. Many rappers, though frustrated with the America in which they had grown up, sought refuge in one of the most fundamentally American ideals: free speech -- an issue apparently unresolved, because 25 years later, rap lyrics are being used as evidence in criminal trials, and the New Jersey Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the issue.

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Komorebi Records Emerges as Both a Creative Outlet and Safe Haven for St. Louis Hip-Hop Artists

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Komorebi Records (pronounced Ko-mo-reh-bi) is a spanking new creative project headed jointly by Michael Franco, Jeffrey Hill Jr., Paul Fullerton and Alexis McCoy. "It's a Japanese word. Literally it translates to 'the scene produced by sunlight filtering in through leaves,'" explains Franco, his height camouflaged by a large Macbook and sloped posture. "We try and make it through all the distractions and filters we may have -- people wanting to talk about material things, or things that may not be the purest topics that have to do with art. We're trying to make it through all that and still make it out to you, as the listener."

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Ten Reasons to Not Sleep on Nipsey Hussle

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On Saturday, January 18, I'll be performing on the same bill as the nefarious Nipsey Hussle.

The concert will be held at Pop's Nightclub, right across the bridge in Sauget. This is Nipsey Hussle's first ever concert in St. Louis, as well as my very first time performing at Pop's. This will be an electrifying night for hip-hop in STL: One of the brightest new stars of the genre will be in our city. I am honored by the fact that one of my favorite rappers will be in St. Louis this weekend, and even more privileged to be a part of the bill as an official performer.

Nipsey's career is on the incline at the moment, and he did it the old-fashioned, independent way. It feels good to witness an artist I've respected for many years claw his way out of the underground circuit. Most music fans in our area are hype-beast or just late and out of touch, so I decided to supply the cheat codes and give you a few reasons to check out this concert. (Don't misconstrue this as self-promotion -- you would have seen this article regardless of if I was put on this show.)

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