Rap on a Stick? Soundset Headed to State Fairgrounds in 2016

Scott Heins
Atmosphere at Soundset 2015
We've heard of Grandmaster Flash ... but Grandstand Master Flash?

It started in the Metrodome parking lot in 2008, moved to Canterbury Park in Shakopee the following year, and now Soundset will call the Minnesota State Fairgrounds home in 2016. The announcement arrived Tuesday, just a day removed from the eighth annual run of the massive, Rhymesayers Entertainment-organized hip-hop festival.

More »

5 Fantastic Late Show Hip-Hop Moments

Categories: Rap/Hip-Hop

YouTube screen capture
David Letterman and Jay-Z

The '80s saw the concurrent rise of two highly influential movements that would shape entertainment for the next 30 years, AND they came from the same place. Yes, the New York hotbed of creativity launched both hip-hop culture and David Letterman's brand of innovative comedy, both changing the way media is presented and how society communicates forever. The handful of times these two juggernauts intersected, it was absolute television magic.

While the final episode of The Late Show with David Letterman aired last night, bringing Letterman's broadcasting tenure to an end, we at Gimme Noise have decided to continue the conversation with our five fantastic Late Show hip-hop moments. These five made us just as happy as when Lizzo made her national television debut on the show last October.

More »

Concert News: Lil Wayne, Psychedelic Furs, ZZ Ward

Erik Hess
Lil Wayne at Xcel Energy Center in 2011
Three big-name Twin Cities shows were recently announced; expect very little fan crossover.

More »

Allan Kingdom Entangled in Kanye Boos at Billboard Music Awards

Allan Kingdom at the Current's 10th Birthday Party in January.
If you're a St. Paul rapper (or a Bozeman, Mont., rapper ... L.A. rapper ... any rapper, really) collaborating with Kanye West is a major career win. But, as our own Allan Kingdom found out Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards, associating with Ye also carries some job-site hazards. Namely: getting caught up in Kardashian drama on national TV.

Such was the case last night in Las Vegas, where Kim's little sisters -- Kylie and Kendall Jenner, familial heirs to the tabloid throne -- were subjected to a volley of boos as they introduced their superstar brother-in-law. It's unclear why we're mad at Kylie and Kendall.

See also:
Kanye West Just Introduced Allan Kingdom to the World

More »

T-Pain's Favorite Battle Rapper Carter Deems Loves Cats and Making Friends

Categories: Rap/Hip-Hop

Carter Deems
Carter Deems: A Champion of Battle Rap Fans and Cats Alike

Who doesn't love a good rap battle? While plenty of colorful characters have taken turns creating legacies for themselves in the age-old art of insulting one-another through rhyming, there's never been any battler quite like Carter Deems. He's the first MC we've seen step in the ring and spend his rounds attempting to make friends with his opponent and express his love for cats.

While Deems is hilarious, his talent and skills are no joke. Legitimately one of the sharpest writers in the medium today, his intricate wordplay and impeccable timing in his flow is what has made him such a success. His style and approach is a little left of center, though as esoteric as it may seem, Deems' fanbase is one of the fastest growing in the medium, which has seen T-Pain sing his praises.

With battle league No Coast North's The Invasion event this Friday (at 33rd Realm) and Saturday (at Club Underground), the huge two-day battle event will see Saturday's card feature Carter Deems' Minnesota debut as he takes on Minneapolis' own Breakneck the Mage. We spoke to Deems about his growing influx of fans, cats, and what he hopes to do while in Minneapolis.

More »

The Vesh: Minnesota Rap Battle Legend and Family Man

Categories: Q&A, Rap/Hip-Hop

The Vesh Will Serve You

Tonight (at 33rd Realm) and Saturday (at Club Underground), the rap battle league No Coast North is staging The Invasion. Set to be one of Minnesota's biggest rap battle events of the year, The Invasion matches up some of the state's best talent, squaring them off with some of the hottest names in battling.

One local battle veteran set to step into the ring Saturday is the Vesh. A longtime battle favorite going back to the Scribble Jam days, his success in the rap battle scene's various forms has made him one of Minnesota's most prolific and respected battlers. Known for some of the sharpest, most well-constructed punchlines on any card he's booked on, Vesh has also had success with his comedic timing in the world of stand-up comedy.

We spoke to Vesh, who faces reigning No Coast North champion, XQZ, this Saturday, about how his style's evolved over the years and what impact being a family man has had on exchanging barbs with opponents.

More »

Seven Twin Cities Hip-Hop Albums You Might Have Missed

Photo courtesy of artist's Facebook
Why Khaliq

There's a glut of hip-hop coming out of the Twin Cities, and it can be a lot to digest. In the spirit of the Gimme Noise Mixtape series, we now present to you a more focused album roundup, selecting recently released records by local rappers that deserve recognition. 

This week, we delve into new releases from Knox, Andre Mariette, Anchormen, Why Khaliq, Ken-C, Radio Ahlee, and Bionik.

More »

Mayweather, Pacquiao, and When Boxing and Hip-Hop Collide

Categories: Rap/Hip-Hop

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Livestream
Two Boxers Who Have Indeed Rapped!

This weekend is the highly anticipated and supremely hyped boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. The most talked about bout this decade -- and one fans thought they would never see -- has captured the country's attention and has become inescapable in the media, including in the world of hip-hop.

Given how referenced both fighters have been in hip-hop songs over the years, it's merely the latest in a long line of rap-boxing crossovers. To get us ready for this weekend's fight, here's a quick history of the times when rap and boxing have collided.

See Also:
Where to Watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight in the Twin Cities

More »

Eyedea's 10 Best Deep Cuts

Photo by Dan Corrigan
Micheal Larsen -- known to the hip-hop world as Eyedea -- was one of the greatest talents to ever emerge from the Minnesota music scene. An exceptionally prolific writer, he lent verses to dozens of artists and DJs, all the while performing as Eyedea, Oliver Hart, and Michael Larsen, and as part of Eyedea & Abilities, Sixth Sense, Face Candy, Guitar Party, Carbon Carousel, Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream, and the Orphanage.

Mapping Eyedea's discography is a daunting task, one that several determined fans have undertaken, all imperfectly. And these don't even attempt to chronicle the celebrated battle rapper's many freestyles.

And more Larsen cuts keep worming out of the woodwork. A collection of his demos and rarities was released at the end of March and, last week, Blueprint confirmed there's an unreleased Orphanage album that may surface. This Saturday, Rhymesayers is re-releasing Eyedea & Abilities' classc E&A as a gorgeous double picture disc. Beyond all that, 2015 is both Rhymesayers' 20th anniversary and the fifth anniversary of Eyedea's death.

With all the hype and nostalgia swirling around, now seems as good a time as any to comb back through Larsen's scattered catalog to see if we can unearth some of the hip-hop titan's most esoteric highlights.

See Also:
Slug's 10 Best Deep Cuts

More »

The 10 Best Rap Lyrics about Mortal Kombat

Bago Games via Flickr
Scorpion -- your favorite rapper's favorite combatant

This week sees the release of Mortal Kombat X, the 21st title put out under the legendary Mortal Kombat moniker. From the looks of it, MKX could be not only the most gruesome but also the most cogent entry in the series' 23-year history.

In that history, the notoriously bloody tournament of Earth vs. NetherRealm has inspired more than just a generation of morbid kids -- it's become one of the a major touchstone for the hip-hop community as well. Crome Mob, Action Bronson, and even Lil' Wayne have brought Mortal Kombat from the shelves of the geek den to the radio dial, with an immense number of songs being devoted entirely to the game.

In honor of MKX and the franchise's vital tie to the world of hip-hop, Gimme Noise is counting down the best rap lyrics referencing the fatal fighting game.

For the Shaolin!

More »