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

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Busdriver, performing October 29 at the Demo.
This October, we are seeing an absence of local hip-hop acts -- what's up with that, St. Louis? -- while the national acts flourish. Though not an entirely favorable trade-off (well, maybe for some), some big acts are hitting our stages this month, ranging from the very indie to the slightly indie to the not-so indie. As always, we got something for you, wherever your sentiments lie. Check out our list of October's best St. Louis hip-hop shows.

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Nas: A New Doc Looks Back on Illmatic and One of Hip-Hop's Finest Living Lyricists

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Photo by Danny Clinch/Sony Legacy
Nas in 1994.

One rhyme in particular crystallizes the genius of Nas' 1994 classic, Illmatic. It comes in the song "One Love," which takes the form of a letter to a friend in prison: "Congratulations, you know you got a son," Nas raps. "I heard he looks like ya, why don't your lady write ya?"

Did you get that? In nineteen words, Nas swings from the perspective-upending pride of fatherhood -- a new human who is part you! -- to the heartache of separation, loneliness, disloyalty. He whispers the knife of betrayal into our gut with a simple question: "Why don't your lady write ya?" Nas paints not just a man in prison, yearning for the outside, but a whole web of relationships decaying in his absence.

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St. Louis Rapper Prince Ea: Glenn Beck Approved

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Screenshot from the video.
St. Louis' Prince Ea, no stranger to viral fame, recently released a spoken-word video titled "Why I Think This World Should End." In it, the "Make Smart Cool" rapper sits in front of a destroyed building and bemoans the many ills that plague modern society, from polluted oceans to collapsed economies to failing education systems. "What's popular is more important than what's right," he says. "Ratings are more important than the truth."

"Technology has given us everything we could ever want, and at the same time, stolen everything we really need."

See also: St. Louis Rapper Prince Ea Punks the Internet With Awesome Video Series

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The 10 Most Memorable Hip-Hop Albums From 1994

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Biggie Smalls
A lot of electrons have been spent this year on commemorating rap albums that came out in 1994. That's for two reasons: 1994 was twenty years ago, and twenty is a nice round number.

Oh, and also, a ton of rap albums that came out that year were amazing. Here are our ten favorites.


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

Categories: Hip-Hop

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St. Louis has a fair amount of hip-hop concerts this September to ease your end-of-summer woes. Catch a whiff of the underground with Inspectah Deck and a benefit for Mike Brown, or catch a little mainstream action with the coveted Die Antwoord and Ab-Soul. From the local to the lesser known and downright wavey and weird, these are the best St. Louis hip-hop shows of September.

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Doorway's Jammie Jam Promises a Night of Sweet Dreams

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Doorway asks, "What's your jam? Your pajammie jam?"

Wearing pajamas makes any activity infinitely more fun. Just think about how much cooler checking out library books, doing taxes or even attending world peace summits might be if everyone wore those old-timey PJs with the flap on the butt.

Imagine, then, the kind of epic party local hip-hop group Doorway will throw down with all four of its members performing in sleep pants and boxers.

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

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Press photo
Wiz Khalifa
St. Louis is serving up a healthy batch of national and local shows for y'all this month. Whether you're looking for a dance party to practice your #SchmoneyDance or want to rap alongside Wiz Khalifa on his newest banger "We Dem Boyz," we've got you covered. You're welcome.

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Nelly, Tef Poe, Nick Menn and JGE Retro Featured in Budweiser "Made in America" Video

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Screenshot from the video.
Tef shows an interviewer around Vintage Vinyl.
Budweiser and Vice Noisey have teamed up to create the "Made in America" series, a project that sees Budweiser/Vice travelling all across the country and showcasing homegrown talents in the cities throughout. The entire affair is a run-up to Jay-Z's big Made in America Festival, slated for August 30 in LA and Philadelphia.

See also: Budweiser's "Made in America" Concert at the Pageant Was Kinda Epic

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Rap-Metal Is Back...and It's Actually Good

Categories: Hip-Hop, Metal

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Body Count, who performed last night at Mayhem Fest, are a shining example of this unexpected phenomenon.
Metal is an ever-turning and twisting genre, following wormholes into subgenres and melding any and all techniques and sounds along the way in a constant struggle to create something new and original. It doesn't always work, and anyone who lived through the '90s can attest that the addition of hip-hop elements like rapping and turntables were a serious low point.

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Hip-Hop Did Not Begin How You Think It Did

Categories: Hip-Hop

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To hear most people tell it, the history of rap goes like this: MCs were originally rapping primarily to showcase their DJs. That is, until Sugar Hill Gang put out "Rapper's Delight" in 1979. It was the second rap record of all time and an enormous hit, proving there was a market for rapping on wax.

From there, Kool Moe Dee battled Busy Bee and changed how rappers could rap, Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel put out "The Message" -- changing what rappers could rap about -- and Run-DMC released "Sucker MCs (Krush Groove 1)," which changed how rap could sound.

At the start of it all, of course, was DJ Kool Herc's 1973 block party in the Bronx, which effectively birthed hip-hop as we know it.

Those are the bullet points, but they don't answer the question: How did rapping get started in the first place?

See also: The History of Rap's Oldest Cliche

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