Writings of J. Todd Ring: Will Ferrell does a mock music video of gangster rap – and it’s a scathingly hilarious critique of the genre

A musical commentary, followed by social and political analysis, followed by hilarious spoof rap videos, and more This is scathingly funny. Will Ferrell does a mock music video of macho gangster rap. Man, how I despise that music. As Rage Against the Machine said, “So-called rap’s a fraud.” Worse, most of it is disgustingly offensive, ...

Art Threat: Ian Kamau: artistic reflections on city life

Ian Kamau is a Toronto based artist performing in Montreal for the Suoni per il Popolo festival at a concert organized by Howl!. Kamau is a key underground hip-hop artist creating today in Canada. This interview focuses on Kamau’s approach and specifically on the Traffic, a soul track from his debut album One Day Soon. ...

Art Threat: Two songs about Rob Ford smoking crack

The Rob Ford crack controversy has a soundtrack. First we have the bluntly titled Rob Ford Smoking Crack by 21-year-old hip hop artist Corey Charron. The three-minute ditty tells a fictional account in which Charron, who recently won a $5,000 freestyle competition on US network BET, smokes crack cocaine with the Toronto mayor and ends ...

drive-by planet: Brother Ali – Mourning in America: ‘a critique of our culture of war and death’

This recent Brother Ali video track is worth checking out. Mourning in America is a powerful piece of work. Brother Ali had this to say about the track and the album: This is the title track to my new album, Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. The first half of the album highlights and ...

drive-by planet: Hip hop artist Rellik with Nathan Cunningham: Idle No More video

A new Rellik single also features country artist Nathan Cunningham. They rap about Idle No More and the threats to our natural resources – underlined with occasional tar sands visuals and scenes showing pollution. The message is timely given Chinese take-overs and tar sands/Keystone XL developments – our environment isn’t just a resource to be ...

Eclectic Lip: Homer (not Simpson) and the Kaopectate Kid

The doctor diagnosed young son Leo recently with the stomach flu — which is colloquial shorthand for a condition which isn’t the flu, per se.  (The most recent editor of the relevant article on the almighty Wiki agrees!) The Kaopectate Kid Our medical professional then suggested we give Leo some Kaopectate to soothe his stomach.  ...

Five of Five: Spoken Word Homophobia

This is just…awful, weird and creepy, and full of the usual lies about sexuality. The up camera angles are very 1984. I’m sure the young peoples of the hood were deeply touched. Update: wrong video…

Five of Five: Spoken Word Homophobia

This is just…awful, weird and creepy, and full of the usual lies about sexuality. The up camera angles are very 1984. I’m sure the young peoples of the hood were deeply touched. Update: wrong video…

Drive-by Planet: Hip-hop less hot on Obama: Lupe Fiasco and Lowkey

Barack Obama was famously named “America’s first hip-hop president.” It’s a title that comes off as a little cheesy but back in 2008, the rap connection was a large part of Obama’s appeal for many young fans. The candidate talked about rap, played hip-hop songs at his events, got mentioned by name or indirectly in ...

Art Threat: Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch forbids commercial use of his music

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys (photo by Michael Morel). Late hip hop pioneer Adam “MCA” Yauch has explicitly prohibited any posthumous use of his music for corporate advertising. In a copy of his will obtained by Rolling Stone this week, the Beastie Boys rapper states: “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may ...

Art Threat: Montreal-North stand up: part two – An interview with MC Emrical on the fourth anniversary of the death of Fredy Villanueva

While Chuck D’s famous phrase “Rap is CNN for black people,” has been quoted by countless ‘reality’ rappers, there are few artists who have embraced the concept as throughly as Emrical. The only difference is that in this case the Montreal-based emcee reports from the racially diverse low-income community of Montreal-North. Emrical’s latest video Combien ...

bastard.logic: RIP MCA aka Adam Yauch (and RIP the Beastie Boys)

Mark Richardson: The Beastie Boys turned curiosity into a form of art. They wanted to know more about what was around them and learn everything they could about what wasn’t. Forget about Kurt Cobain for a second: For kids like me, the Beastie Boys invented the 90s. Technology was changing fast and the world was ...

Art Threat: Blackitude by Vox Sambou evokes the power of resistance

Today we bring you Blackitude, a new music video from Montreal hip-hop artist Vox Sambou, filmed in Batey San Luis in the Dominican Republic by Ariel Mota. This latest video builds on a trajectory of socially conscious, contemporary hip-hop that has established Sambou as a key figure on the progressive front of the Rap Kreyòl ...