Brandon Soderberg

writer

Biography

  • Young Jeezy / Photo by Getty Images

    No Trivia's Rap Release of the Week: Young Jeezy's '#ItsThaWorld' EP

    For a very long time, Young Jeezy's success was based on something really, really simple: He knew precisely what he could do well and wisely avoided everything else. Namely, he could shout and bray coke-dealer platitudes (with just enough of the dark stuff mixed in there to resonate) over damn-near-Wagnerian production. His debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, and the follow-up, The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102, were perfectly executed, operatic trap music. His third album, The Recession, was a sly political-ish album that found a new use for Jeezy's mean-mugging production: He began to voice a frustration outside of his own d-boy disappointments.

  • Cam'ron, who popularized 'No homo' / Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen for Getty Images

    Roy Hibbert, 'No Homo,' and How Hip-Hop Fits Into This

    After uttering the hip hop-derived phrase "no homo" at a press conference on Saturday night, Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers was fined $75,000, though not suspended from tonight's seventh game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Hibbert spoke after the Pacers' Game 6 victory, evaluating his defensive play by saying. "There was Game 3 here that I felt I let [Pacers swingman] Paul [George] down in terms of having his back when LeBron [James] was scoring in the post or getting into the paint, because they stretched me out so much — no homo." He chuckled and kept talking about the game.Quickly, let's explain the phrase "no homo" because the sports media is doing a terrible job with this mini-controversy: "No homo" is a phrase culled from mid-2000s hip-hop, popularized by the notoriously absurd Harlem rappers Cam'ron and Dipset.

  • The 40 Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2013 So Far

    The 40 Best Hip-Hop Songs of 2013 So Far

    Thanks to Baauer's "Harlem Shake," a phony-baloney, Google-bomb banger forced down our throats, 2013 will go down as the year the major labels and kinda-like-a-big-deal tastemakers cracked the Internet buzz-machine code. But to kick against that cynical maniplation, here are 40 songs (primarily hip hop, or at least, hip hop-enough) that, for the most part, have sneaked under the radar: Dick-game advice from a couple of Bay Area braggarts; tough guys who love Nicholas Sparks; the year's three big radio-rap hits that don't stink; a new-age Fatman Scoop tribute; and 34 more.

  • Trinidad James

    No Trivia's Rap Songs of the Week: Trinidad James Adds to the 'U.O.E.N.O.' Convo

    Disclosure "Grab Her!"J. Dilla is the Arthur Russell of hip-hop: A slept-on, productive genre-hopper while he was alive who has proven to be immensely influential in death. Dilla's influence on the strange non-rap sounds of chillwave or Soundcloud dance, and just his warm, do-whatever, sample-whatever spirit loom large. It's a beautiful thing. On "Grab Her!," from U.K. dance bros (no really, they're brothers) Disclosure, they sample Dilla's voice, making explicit where they got their ear for tiny sonic details twisted into endless dance-ready knots, as well as that sense that often, it's more about doing everything you possibly can with a little rather than doing a little with a whole lot of things.Mummz "Back To Da Spot"Harlem post-horrorcore, inverse-of-A$AP rapper Mummz teams up with OG Taxx of Lex Luger's trap-music mentors 808 Mafia.

  • Gucci Mane

    No Trivia's Rap Release of the Week: Gucci Mane Passes the Torch on 'Trap House 3'

    Gucci Mane's Trap House 3, is a good and proper album, apparently, because you have to pay for it, and it's got a whole bunch of big names on it (Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz). In the midst of what some are calling a "comeback," Gucci does have control over his elastic style again, though it seems like every mixtape or series of mixtapes is symptomatic of a comeback to some fan somewhere. 2012's Trap Back and I'm Up were promising enough returns to form too, no?Honestly, recent Gucci tapes have been devoid of a lot of the slap-happy word fun that once made him so fascinating. And there's just something a bit more hateful — or at least bored and bitter — leaking into his raps as of late.

  • From 'Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke'

    Watch 2 Live Crew Survive the Apocalypse in 'Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke'

    The world of bass-pounding, First Amendment-challenging Miami rap music and experimental film do not get to meet up all that much. But thanks to directors Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva and their short, Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke, you can witness 2 Live Crew frontman Luther Campbell get sent into a strange, brightly-colored, folk-art-like future and pay homage to French underground cinema. The 12-minute short is ostensibly tied to real life, but while the film depicts the 1990 As Nasty As They Wanna Be obscenity trial and Luke's 2011 attempt to be mayor of Miami, it's also an out-there, handmade sci-fi flick.The plot, real quick: A nuclear meltdown turns the population of Miami into wound-covered zombies, save for Luke, who inexplicably survived.

  • Yeezus on Baltimore's Walters Art Museum / Photo by @ebbsolutely

    Cops Shut Down Kanye West's 'New Slaves' Projections in Two Cities

    Kanye West's "New Slaves" projections were shut down in two cities this weekend: Houston, Texas, and Baltimore, Maryland. In Houston on Friday night, all three pre-planned locations (the Rothko Chapel, the Central Library, and George Bush Monument) did not show "New Slaves" due to police canceling the events, as well as "technical difficulties." As SPIN reported via the Houston Chronicle and local Houston blog Day and a Dream, the events seemed peaceful and the police presence heavy, though concerns about public safety and a lack of permits were cited by the city as the reason they did not happen.Details are a bit more clear on the Baltimore shutdowns, scheduled for the Bromo Seltzer Tower, the Walters Art Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. At 5:45 p.m.

  • Yeezus on Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary / Photo by Out of Town Films

    Kanye West's 'New Slaves' Projections, Weekend Two

    The second weekend of Kanye West's "New Slaves" projections is underway, occurring in 22 additional cities, beginning last night. Though the projection was the same as the one premiered last week, there remains a significant attraction to witnessing it in person, at least for videographers/photographers. Amateur video has already starting appearing on YouTube from Friday's Amsterdam showing. In this one, you can hear fans enthusiastically rapping along to the song; and this documentary-like clip captures the excited crowd, waiting around for the projection to begin. West continues to refine the event-rap grandeur that he's been developing for a few years, but now with an IRL viral, flashmob appeal.On Friday night, "New Slaves" was projected in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, and Tucson.

  • French Montana in January / Photo by Getty Images

    No Trivia's Rap Songs of the Week: French Montana Is a Non-Entity, Tea-Party Beatmaker Drops Hot Garbage

    French Montana, feat. Ne-Yo & Raekwon "We Go Where We Want"This is the second time Ne-Yo has crooned on a pop-savvy Only Built 4 Cuban Linx homage from a New York rapper trying real hard to maintain their cred and still get on the radio. Remember Fabolous' 2007 Timbaland-produced, "Rainy Dayz"-referencing "You Make Me Better"? Here, the sped-up and processed Earl Klugh guitars (that sound like pianos!) of Rae and RZA's "Ice Cream" are woven through French Montana's "We Go Wherever We Want." At least, they allowed Raekwon to show up this time! He shouts out his "Larry King suspenders and...bow tie." Who knows. Really, it's indicative of where rap is that Rae's allowed to show up on a major-label rap album (that isn't by Playaz Circle). Thank Kanye West, who steady keeps finding a place for Wu-Tangers on his recent work, but also golden-era rap nostalgia hitting its boomer phase.

  • Jonwayne/ Photo by Andy J. Scott

    Stream Jonwayne & Jeremiah Jae's Topsy-Turvy Collaboration 'Rap Robbery'

    In 2012, both producer/rapper/hazy video game nostalgist Jonwayne and young Los Angeles-by-way-of-Chicago MC Jeremiah Jae were notable for being weird L.A. rap's secret weapons: Jonwayne released the quirky, two-disc beat-tape epic Oodles of Doodles on Stone's Throw (personal favorite: "Live at Guitar Center," an ominous collage of piano and what sounds like a faucet running); and Jeremiah Jae dropped Raw Money Raps on Brainfeeder, featuring among others, "Guns Go Off," a pulsing, Silver Apples-informed bass blast about street violence."Rap Robbery," a collaboration between the two, pretty much sounds exactly like what you would imagine Stones Throw and Brainfeeder's strangest would sound like if they got in a room together — but that's a good thing. As "Rap Robbery" begins, you can hear the two talking about the song. "Make a beat out of that," Jae says casually.

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