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Listing: 5 Lyrical Breakthroughs from James Blake’s ‘The Colour in Anything’

It’s always raining in James Blake‘s world, grey and cold. It projects anxiety, loneliness, longing and nostalgia, both cinematic and solemn. At times a bit much, so much so that for the past two albums his themes have […]

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Notes from Mr. Sandman: THEESatisfaction

Introducing ‘Notes from Mr. Sandman‘ – a column slapping a spotlight on lyricists overlooked, under appreciated, or just plain criminally slept on. Or like a man named Nas once said, “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.” […]

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RIFF’d: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ ‘This Unruly Mess I’ve Made’

Macklemore really got ahead on this one, calling this album The Unruly Mess I’ve Made before critics inevitably did. It’s the epitome of a sophomore record from arguably the most sophomore artist on the planet […]

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Listing: 5 Lyrical Leaps from Adrian Younge’s ‘Something About April II’

Adrian Younge is one of the most well respected producers in the underground soul scene; he’s worked with marquee names like Ghostface Killah, Souls of Mischief and the Delfonics. His biggest challenge, however, has not been popularity. […]

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RIFF’D: Ty Dolla $ign’s ‘Free TC’

Ty Dolla $ign‘s debut album Free TC is dedicated to a close friend who the rapper claims has been wrongly incarcerated. It’s a bold move, one that could have invited unwanted dialogue, but against all odds Ty […]

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The Weeknd Has a $325 Vape Now

Sometimes bro-douche accumulates enough layers to collapse into itself, making a tool singularity. The result, like an eclipse, compels you to burn your retinas as you can’t look away. But these days, Jersey Shore is […]

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RIFF’D: Janet Jackson’s ‘Unbreakable’

It is en vogue now for aging divas to stage comebacks, an idea based purely on reputation versus actual relevancy. For Janet Jackson‘s latest album Unbreakable, her first in seven years, she falls victim to the same traps […]

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Chris Brown Celebrates Custody of Daughter with Explicit Serenade

Just when you thought Chris Brown, the pop music equivalent to George W. Bush, couldn’t get any more boorish he defies all odds and does something incredibly stupid, even by Chris Brown standards. At a concert […]

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RIFF’d: Gary Clark Jr.’s ‘The Story of Sonny Boy Slim’

Gary Clark Jr. is not going to let us just label him ‘that guy from Austin who’s really, really good at guitar’. Or, alternately ‘that black guy from Austin…’, since bluesy guitar work has become a […]

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The Problem with Janelle Monáe’s Protest Song

Monáe performs at an anti-police brutality rally with the Wondaland Records crew in Portland, OR; Photo: Casey Parks/TheOregonian. Pop sensation Janelle Monáe has for better or worse stayed true to her creative persona. Contrived at times and as annoying […]

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