Until graffiti as we know it turned 30 (around 2000 or so), it seemed to evolve as fast as the kids in the streets would let it. Inner-city 10-year-olds writing their names on abandoned buildings after school begat whole subway cars begat an even higher succession of bridges, ledges, and billboards. Clumsy tags turned into bubble-lettered throw-ups and colorful pieces turned into flawless 3-D fonts turned into elaborately deconstructed letters. Read more »
In the rap world, Rollie Pemberton's days are numbered–at least, that's what he thinks. "Nas was 18 when Illmatic came out," says the 21-year-old emphatically on the phone from his home in Edmonton, Alberta. "And think about sports nowadays... there are, like, 17-year-olds in the NBA."
But sports guys peak before 30, and artists mature late into life, don't they? "That's accurate for every genre except rap," Pemberton fires back with wise-beyond-his-years wit.
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For years, former Northeastern University quarterback Byron Hurt has been speaking to students and athletes about gender violence prevention. But as a filmmaker, this longtime hip-hop head has taken his activism a step further with a Sundance-approved documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. Hyper-masculinity, misogyny, and homophobia in the music are all up for discussion, with everyone from Spelman College students to MCs like Fat Joe and Jadakiss weighing in. Read more »
Larry Tee and DJ Hell may have modernized the combination of irony, nihilism, and asymmetrical haircuts with synthesizers and drum machines, but they hardly invented it. They–along with artists like T. Raumschmiere, Alec Empire, and White Rose Movement–owe a stylistic debt to the Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) scene of the late '70s and early '80s.
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