Spurred by HBO's The Wire and the city's unique strain of club music, Baltimore has become a subject of cultural curiosity lately. Ensuring that the city's long-overlooked hip-hop scene wasn't left out of the equation, Juan Donovan Bell and Jamal Roberts of Darkroom Productions recruited the cream of the local rap crop for Hamsterdam, a 2005 release that was equal parts mixtape, local pride booster, and showcase for the duo's moody production style. Read more »
Paper Rad is a three-person cyber tribe made up of brother/sister duo Jacob (29) and Jessica Ciocci (30), and Ben Jones (29). Though originating in Boston, they geographically traverse the Bermuda Triangle between Pittsburgh, Providence, and Western Massachusetts; a rare photo of them on their website shows them looking like Super Mario Brothers characters who have just liberated a thrift store of all its crazy-patterned and fluorescently colored items.
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Swedish rapper Promoe's new album mixes learned social lyricism with party vibes, a slew of quality international guests... and a whole heap of hair. "I made a vow never to cut my hair," says Promoe (born Märten Edh). "Not because of anything to do with Rastafari, but as a way of rebelling against society. At college I noticed you had to look a certain way to be accepted and seen as cool. I wanted to say 'Fuck that.'"
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