Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Rap Genius Lyrics Licensing Deal Sony Illegal

    Rap Genius Pays Sony for Lyrics in Bid for Legitimacy

    Earlier this week, popular song lyrics hub Rap Genius was named the number one offender on a list of 50 sites publishing artists' words without the proper licenses. Each was supposedly hit with a take-down notice courtesy of the National Music Publishers Association, who alleged "blatantly illegal behavior." Now Rap Genius has begun the expensive process of doing it all legal, securing a licensing agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, who have 31 percent of the global song rights share.As noted in our first report, Rap Genius co-founder Ilan Zechory seemed confident, if not cocky, when the news broke, saying "We can't wait to have a conversation with them" and emphasizing that his site, which received a $15 million investment last year, is all about context thanks to the active user community who annotate the lyrics.

  • Trinidad James L.I.A.A.R.$. Stream New York Dis

    Trinidad James Says South Runs New York, Unleashes 'L.I.A.A.R.$.'

    Kendrick Lamar stirred things up a bit when he declared himself the new King of New York. Of course, the beloved Compton MC did so while rapping cricles around his competitors, in the middle of a song that was clearly designed to provoke thought and conversation. But Atlanta's Trinidad James may have ruffled feathers on a Chad-Smith-in-Brazil level when he declared that the American South "runs" New York City to a crowd of New Yorkers, at a New York show on Wednesday night.As VIBE notes, James praised East Coast rap of yore, and then dropped the offending comment: "We were in Atlanta like, 'Oh my God, I have to wear my bandana on tilt like Juelz.' What the fuck happened, dog? Us in the South, us 'bammas, we just did our own thing. But now we run y'all, musically. That's crazy.

  • Ka 'You Know It's About' Video The Night's Gambit

    Ka, Rapping Firefighter, Waxes Streetwise in 'You Know It's About' Video

    Ka may have released the best rap album of 2013 with The Night's Gambit, a minimal masterwork of whispered knowledge and abstracted boom-bap written, produced, and performed by the man himself. The Brooklyn firefighter/artist directs his own music videos as well and they dwell in a similar space. Previously released clips for "Peace Akhi" and "Jungle" are black-and-white, set in Ka's New York, and free of any frills whatsoever. Now the album opener "You Know It's About" gets a visual, via Nah Right, that shows our host looking as contemplative and hardened as he sounds, rapping quietly behind fences and bars, with a few of his lyrics finding literal footing in between. "They hear my voice," he hisses. "They know it's about / That pain, that gutter."

  • Starkey 'Stroll' SMOG City 2 Stream Tour

    Hear Starkey's 'Stroll' Through Dubstep, Glitch, Trap, and Rave

    Los Angeles bass factory SMOG Records may be deeply associated with the city that its founder 12th Planet calls home, but those early adopters of dubstep have found kin all over, especially as the style is absorbed into the ever-shifting image of electronic music in 2013. Philadelphia producer Starkey is a great example of how far the movement has come: On a song like "Stroll," incessant 808 pounding collides with glitched sequences, trap slaps, rave synth, and soothing trance, resulting in a Frankenstein-like club crusher.That song can be found below right now, and come November 19, it'll hit iTunes as part of the SMOG City 2 compilation. (Sample Atlantic Connection's "Mirrors" on VIBE and Pawn's "Hot Skull" over at XLR8R.) At the end of the month, the SMOG City Series Tour kicks off featuring 12th Planet, Flinch, SPL, and Two Fresh, plus a few other friends.

  • Howard Evans 'Red Face Boy' Matthew E. White Dub

    Matthew E. White Dubs Howard Ivans' 'Red Face Boy' to High Heaven

    The art of dub is no joke, but with Lee "Scratch" Perry busy exploring musical life on other planets, we're confident Matthew E. White can do the form justice. The man's own Big Inner LP debut was a lavishly psyched-out slab of visceral choral soul and jazz sound-think, a gauntlet thwomp laid down not just for the artist, but for his Richmond, Virginia-based label/collective, Spacebomb.Next up from that family: Howard Ivans, Rosebuds main man and Gayngs member, whose magnificent art-funk offering "Red Face Boy" appeard on this website last month.

  • Ratking Eric Copeland Gauchos Black Dice Stream

    Ratking and Black Dice's Eric Copeland Are Left-Field Rap 'Gauchos'

    Ratking wield the sort of left-field rhymes that put crews like Antipop Consortium and Def Jux on the map in the early aughts — oblique with a city-hardened edge, best served up on a bed of glitch-addled beatwork that acknowledges rap's past while utterly ignoring the rules. That makes Black Dice member and solo DFA-signed producer Eric Copeland uniquely qualified to throw this Harlem crew a backing track, and he does on "Gauchos," a new track hailing from the forthcoming CONS EP VOL. 1. That branded collection will amass original songs recorded by various artists at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn. Ratking and Copeland's wonkily grooving collaboration is free to stream and download below.

  • Joy Division Ian Curtis Kitchen Table Auction Family

    Joy, Divided: Ian Curtis' Kitchen Table Sells for $13K, Band Doesn't Approve

    Last week we learned that a kitchen table owned by Joy Division's late, great leader Ian Curtis had hit eBay overseas. Now the piece of furniture has sold for a whopping £8,400, or $13,475.28, following 65 bids. The high price no doubt is partly due to the fact that the Curtis hung himself in the very same kitchen where that table sat. It'd since changed hands a few times, possibly between various family members and neighbors, and now has a new home.While the winner is likely celebrating this pricey victory, others are not so pleased — former members of Joy Division and the Curtis family, specifically. In the original posting, seller Tel Harrop claimed he had emails from the widow Deborah Curtis and daughter Natalie Curtis which authenticated the object.

  • Death Grips Government Plates Stream Download Free Album

    Oh, Here's Death Grips' New Free Album 'Government Plates'

    We shouldn't be surprised by now when Death Grips do something unpredictable, but we'll be damned if 2012's Artist of the Year doesn't get us every time. And in this case, the news falls firmly into the "pleasantly unexpected" category: a brand new free album called Government Plates. Of course, "pleasant" isn't a word often associated with MC Ride and Zach Hill, and their third long-player ain't all rainbows and daisies. Heard below, the 11-track set offers an abrasive collision of nasty percussion, mad mutterings, fritzing electronics, and dyspeptic shouting. In other words, it sounds fucking great. Stream Death Grips' Government Plates below. Download it via Third Worlds or MegaShares if the band's site is down (likely), and hit their YouTube channel for separate visuals for every song.

  • Katherine Jackson Michael Wrongful Death Appeal Trial Doctor

    Katherine Jackson Appeals Decision in Michael's Wrongful Death Trial

    Katherine Jackson is seeking an appeal in the wrongful death trial that declared concert promoter AEG not liable in the early demise of her son, Michael Jackson. The initial charge was that the company had hired Dr. Conrad Murray — recently released after serving two years behind bars for involuntary manslaughter — with the knowledge that the physician was incompetent. After a long and complicated trial, a jury decided AEG did nothing wrong.They declared that Murray was perfectly fit to do his job, though we're still not convinced he's a good candidate for a reality television show.

  • SZA Ice Moon Video TDE S EP

    SZA Climbs Trees in Mystical 'Ice Moon' Video

    St. Louis R&Bist and SPIN Best New Artist inductee SZA wowed us with her S EP earlier this year and now she has a fresh visual to share for one of that eight-song set's highlights, "Ice Moon." Therein, over a glisteningly wavy score, she sings, "Show me the way to your hiding place." Takign a cue from that, the Vice-premiered video above finds the Top Dawg Entertainment artist exploring a mystical wilderness, where macaroons dot the forest floor and balloons flow like mountain streams. It's a hideaway we'd be happy to explore as well, though probably not the same one that Rich Homie Quan heads to when he's felling some "Type of Way."

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