Bun B at Fine Line, 4/5/14

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
Photo by Adam DeGross
Bun B
with Kirko Bangz, Rapper Hooks, Sean Anonymous and Taylor Madrigal
Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis
Saturday, April 5, 2014

Long before the South cracked the rap mainstream, UGK had a following that led to the pop charts. Saturday night at the Fine Line, founding member Bun B performed a range of material from the early "Pocket Full of Stones" to the huge hit "Int'l Players Anthem," and represented a powerful and unique career arc.
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Bun B, UGK

Update: MPR/tpt hip-hop event postponed indefinitely

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
Publicity photos
L-R: Kevin Beacham, Desdamona, and Toki Wright
A coalition of members of the Minnesota hip-hop community have spoken out against a proposed event intended to be a celebration of the local scene. On Monday, an open letter to Minnesota Public Radio and Twin Cities Public Television was distributed requesting that the May 10 event be postponed.

Update (4/2/14): 89.3 the Current has responded to the letter, and the event has been postponed indefinitely while "continuing a dialogue between the institution, the organizers, and the community."

See also:
5 ways for Twin Cities hip hop and press to work together

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Da Mafia 6ix at Amsterdam, 3/31/14

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Da Mafia 6ix
with Sozay, Whitney Peyton, Twisted Insane, and Compton Menace
Amsterdam Bar and Hall, St. Paul
Monday, March 31, 2014

Da Mafia 6ix, the current identity of Three 6 Mafia sans Juicy J and the late Lord Infamous, made the St. Paul appearance of their current 60-day tour mere days after Juicy J's recent stop. DJ Paul, Gangsta Boo, Crunchy Black, Koopsta Knicca, and, yes, Lord Infamous' supposed corpse, all hit the stage for a long set that left quite an impact.

See also:
Review: Juicy J at Myth, 3/28/14

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Medium Zach: As I do more, it just makes me want to experiment more

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
Photo by Tommy Ellis

Producer and rapper Medium Zach of Big Quarters recently dropped his first solo effort Valued Input, a three song project. The unveiling comes in conjunction with a show at Icehouse this Saturday featuring a new direction in his material.

Gimme Noise sat down with Zach to ask about the project, working with MaLLy, Meta, and Slug, and how he's developed to this point.

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5 ways for Twin Cities hip hop and press to work together

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
Photo by Erik Hess
Fans at Soundset 2013

In front of a packed house Toki Wright, Desdamona, Guante, the Lioness, and Atmosphere's Slug came together at Intermedia Arts Monday night to discuss hip hop's relationship with the local press. Moderated by the Current's Andrea Swensson and Kevin Beacham, the conversation was aimed to spark ideas for a May 10 local hip-hop celebration at the Fitzgerald Theater. It sparked some venom too.

When asked to sum up how they felt about the press at the outset, the panel used words like "shallow," "biased," "pandering," and "disconnected" to describe Twin Cities music journalists. It was said that local scribes only write about their friends, "or friends of friends," and there's a lack of diversity among writers.

It's tough to hear these criticisms, but not altogether surprising. Amid occasional tangents -- Star Tribune's Chris Riemenschneider said much of the discussion also centered on the community's relationship with itself -- a lot of solid truth about scene-building was passed around. In the spirit of moving forward, here are five thoughts from the night.

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8 Twin Cities hip-hop producers you should hear now: Vol. 3

Here we go once again with another monthly mix of local hip-hop producers worth checking out. This is not a best-of list, rather a collection of artists loosely organized by a like-minded approach to crafting sounds. Each artist represented here has a unique handle on laid-back production. Though no one here is mired down by that one style, the tracks selected were all standouts from the producer's discography that happened to come together in a profoundly chilled-out mix. Enjoy!

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One label controls almost all of hip-hop, and that's a problem for music fans

Categories: Rap/Hip Hop
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.

See Also: Eight Twin Cities hip-hop producers you should hear now: Vol. 2

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Mike 2600's 8-bit True Detective theme goes viral


So if your HBO Go didn't crash Sunday night and you weren't watching Cosmos, then you obviously watched the season finale of the hit series True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Not only has this groundbreaking series kept McConaughey on a actors roll and brought Woody back to a non-Hunger Games spotlight - although I am a huge Haymitch fan - but it was also quite rewarding for one of our own artists in town.

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Prof on Stamosgate: We're good to go

Photo By B Fresh Photography

Right now it seems like Twin Cities rapper Prof has it all. He has a deal with Rhymesayers,  the buzz of being the next big thing in hip-hop, as well as a coveted slot at this May's Soundset music festival.

Unfortunately, he also has, as of this past week, what some might call the dubious distinction of feuding with beloved Full House actor John Stamos. No, we're not joking. We spoke to Prof after his Twitter feud blew up, and he opened up about the origins of his relationship with Stamos, how they eventually buried the hatchet, and what he has planned for the rest of the year.

See Also: Prof and John Stamos just duked it out on Twitter

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Hellfyre Club Presents the Dorner Vs. Tookie Tour at 7th St Entry, 2/26/14

Publicity photo
Hellfyre Club Presents the Dorner Vs. Tookie Tour
with Busdriver, Nocando, Open Mike Eagle, Milo, and Ecid
7th Street Entry, Minneapolis
Wednesday, February 26, 2013

Los Angeles indie label Hellfyre Club, headed up by rapper Nocando, brought four of its best and brightest to the Entry last night, with a long night of quality left-field underground rap. Any one artist represented would've stood out among typical rap acts, but together they became a force to be reckoned with. It was an excellent night from top to bottom for fans of experimental hip-hop.

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