Andrew Nosnitsky

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Hashtags and Heartbreak: Iamsu!, Sage the Gemini, and the Bay Area’s New Rap Revolution

Sudan Williams sounds like a particularly aggressive GPS navigator as he rolls through East Oakland on a late-October afternoon. The 24-year-old rapper is slumped into…
Andrew Nosnitsky / March 25, 2014

Basquiat’s ‘Beat Bop’: An Oral History of One of the Most Valuable Hip-Hop Records of All Time

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s history with rap music goes deeper than Jay Z’s punch lines and bragging rights. That engagement was most visible in the “Beat Bop”…
Andrew Nosnitsky / November 14, 2013

A$AP Rocky, ‘LONG.LIVE.A$AP’ (A$AP Worldwide/Polo Grounds/RCA)

Perhaps no rapper of the social-media era earned a better return on investment than A$AP Rocky. In 2011, with just a pair of videos —…
Andrew Nosnitsky / January 18, 2013

Kendrick Lamar, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d. city’ (Interscope/Aftermath)

When, in the midst of their storied battle, Jay-Z taunted Nas with “You ain’t lived it / You witnessed it from your folks’ pad,” it…
Andrew Nosnitsky / October 23, 2012

Kreayshawn, ‘Somethin ‘Bout Kreay’ (Columbia)

Somethin ‘Bout Kreay, the debut album from Oakland-born, YouTube-bred video-director-turned-rapper Kreayshawn, is about a year too late. You might remember her from last summer, whe…
Andrew Nosnitsky / September 27, 2012

Waka Flocka Flame, ‘Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family’ (Warner Bros.)

Waka Flocka Flame changed rap with his pain. On his 2010 major-label debut, Flockaveli, the Atlanta rapper — aided by an in-house production team anchored…
Andrew Nosnitsky / June 12, 2012

Future, ‘Pluto’ (A1/Free Bandz/Epic)

At first, hip-hop was an exercise in musical distillation. It freed words and music from their melodic obligations, leaving only the barest form of rhythm.
Andrew Nosnitsky / April 24, 2012

Fat Trel, ‘Nightmare on E Street’ (Self-Released)

If raw talent were as valuable as buzz in hip-hop, then Fat Trel would be a superstar. On a pure performance level, the 21-year-old goon-ra…
Andrew Nosnitsky / April 6, 2012

Tyga, ‘Careless World: Rise of the Last King’ (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal)

Typically, the path to rap stardom only runs in one direction: First you have the streets, then you have the charts. Tyga is the rare…
Andrew Nosnitsky / March 1, 2012