christopherschultz

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    The Big Four Play Their First U.S. Show!

    "This is history tonight," gushed Metallica frontman James Hetfield to a sea of sun-worn black t-shirts in Indio, California, Saturday night. "You're all a part of it." Check out our massive Big 4 photo gallery! After 30 years, it was the first American show to feature all the members of "The Big 4" -- Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax -- the bands whose speed-drunk riffs and apocalyptic imagery vaulted "thrash metal" from cult obsession/Tipper Gore irritant to chart-topping, arena-clogging cultural force. The legendary beefs between bands had been squashed, the phrase "heavy metal Woodstock" had been bandied about, it truly felt like one for the history books.

  • DJ Quik, 'The Book of David' (Mad Science/Fontana)

    DJ Quik, 'The Book of David' (Mad Science/Fontana)

    Iconoclastic rapper-producer DJ Quik wanted his tenth album to sound like missing tapes from funk-soaked 1991. Instead, it's from an incredible year that never existed, blending baroque '80s roller jams, velvety '90s slow-rides, contemporary Dam-Funk swooshwave, and a breakdown with the late P-Funk guitarist Garry Shider. For every vintage Quik banger, there's a rhythmically unique implosion of backmasked "Paul Revere" drums and Madvillainous drone ("Poppin'"). Lyrically, he's back to his old tricks - shitting on haters, shouting out himself, somehow rhyming "orange" and having "diamonds like kablooie."

  • Del the Funky Homosapien, 'Golden Era' (The Council)

    Del the Funky Homosapien, 'Golden Era' (The Council)

    The sixth commercial release from Del the Funky Homosapien presents athletic rhyming in marathon form. A monstrous 142 minutes, spanning three CDs (the new Golden Era plus heretofore Internet-only releases Funk Man and Automatik Statik), it's a seemingly endless showcase for Del's noisy, high-bpm, pre-Chronic beatwork and formidable, fine-tuned verbal chops. But without the insightful everydude chitchat of his 1991 debut or the alluring weirdness of the Automator-produced Deltron 3030, Golden Era is the rap version of a Zappa triple-vinyl guitar solo.

  • E-40, 'Revenue Retrievin': Graveyard Shift' (Heavy on the Grind Ent./EMI)

    E-40, 'Revenue Retrievin': Graveyard Shift' (Heavy on the Grind Ent./EMI)

    With his 13th and 14th albums, this Bay Area legend and self-proclaimed FILF is maybe the first rapper to hit his creative zenith in middle age. His game-spitting motormouth and vivid tales of selling yola and stacking chalupa are more evocative than ever. The beats certainly help, with producer son Droop-E knocking out a knotty, spine-cracking post-hyphy bounce (a.k.a. "that dumbass slap"). While the haunted-house atmos-pherics and excruciating details of Graveyard Shift make it the more cohesive of the two -- a sort of concept album about recession-era grinding -- the most trunk-destroyin', dumbass-slappin' tracks shine in Overtime.

  • E-40, 'Revenue Retrievin': Overtime Shift' (Heavy on the Grind Ent./EMI)

    E-40, 'Revenue Retrievin': Overtime Shift' (Heavy on the Grind Ent./EMI)

    With his 13th and 14th albums, this Bay Area legend and self-proclaimed FILF is maybe the first rapper to hit his creative zenith in middle age. His game-spitting motormouth and vivid tales of selling yola and stacking chalupa are more evocative than ever. The beats certainly help, with producer son Droop-E knocking out a knotty, spine-cracking post-hyphy bounce (a.k.a. "that dumbass slap"). While the haunted-house atmos-pherics and excruciating details of Graveyard Shift make it the more cohesive of the two -- a sort of concept album about recession-era grinding -- the most trunk-destroyin', dumbass-slappin' tracks shine in Overtime.

  • Gangrene, 'Gutter Water' (Decon)

    Gangrene, 'Gutter Water' (Decon)

    As Gangrene, the Alchemist and Oh No are the 2010 equivalent of J Dilla and Madlib's partnership as Jaylib: the grimiest major-label beatmaker around waging cross-country MPC war with a prolific underground sample sculptor. But Gutter Water has none of Jaylib's muted minimalism, opting for a barrage of manic rhymes and delirious, clattering noise -- haunted-house pianos, car crashes, backmasked ickiness, end-times news broadcasts, Godzilla whines, convulsive turntablism, and even the YouTube clip of a cop eating pot brownies. It knocks despite sounding like nine scratchy records playing at once. Or because of it.

  • Yelawolf, 'Trunk Muzik 0-60' (Interscope)

    Yelawolf, 'Trunk Muzik 0-60' (Interscope)

    This Alabama rapper is an amazing postmodern mutation: A grainy Southern-gothic Rob Zombie directing gut-punch 808s, spitting scattergun rhymes screwed to half-speed by his slinky white-boy drawl; a baby-faced, elaborately inked, AOR-bred dreamboat; and a hick-hop skate-punk American badass. But despite his eye-catching neck tats and shout-outs to Tom Petty, Yelawolf is first and foremost a gifted MC, a devilishly slow-flowing boondocks Eminem who recklessly peels off and accelerates into a disorienting blur of words straight from the Bone Thugs book of aggro-syllabics. Following a series of well-received mixtapes, Yela's major-label debut creates a world of moonshine crunk, where hip-hop thrives in the beer-can-strewn gutter, the dirt road, the Waffle House, the backyard where Dad slaughters his breakfast.

  • Tyvek, 'Nothing Fits' (In The Red)

    Tyvek, 'Nothing Fits' (In The Red)

    For their second collection of no-fi crud-pop, the scab-picking Detroit fuck-it-alls in Tyvek have evolved their cassette-damaged "frustration rock" into a comparatively lusher rendition of hardcore punk. Playing like 12 unmastered seven-inches varying wildly in style and volume levels, Nothing Fits vacillates between feral Wire putter, psych-addled Wipers soar, and bleary No Age blur. What unites this 26-minute junkyard session is the demented gargle and whine of frontman/disaster Kevin Boyer, always straining through a mouth full of marbles and a waterfall of distortion.

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    The Live Insanity that Is Odd Future Wolf Gang...

    "Fuck every label and magazine here, suck my dick!" shouted 19-year-old rapper Tyler, The Creator during the New York coming out party for his potty-mouthed, insanely hyped, comically prolific Tumblr-rap crew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. While the intimate show at Webster Hall Studio was mostly packed with horn-rimmed diehards, it was no secret that it was still doubling as a feeding frenzy for music critics, label execs, and industry hangers-on. Tyler is no one's bait, and lashed out in the middle of a brawny acapella of just-don't-give-a-fuck anthem "Seven," a song that already featured a few homophobic cracks, cocaine endorsement and a line where he refers to his 10-person crew as "black Nazis." In short, OFWGKTA love to push buttons. Fittingly, their live show felt more like a sweat-soaked punk rock teenage riot than a rap show.

  • White Moth, 'White Moth' (Angel Oven)

    White Moth, 'White Moth' (Angel Oven)

    Between Atari Teenage Riot's reunion and M.I.A.'s abrasive moves, 2010 is the biggest year for "digital hardcore" since its mid-'90s heyday. Add to the windfall this reverent take from R. Loren of metal-gazers Pyramids and his all-star lineup of agitators and apoplectics (Lydia Lunch, Dälek, ATR's Alec Empire). Loren also masterfully channels the snowcapped guitars of black metal, the dreamy churn of Jesu, and the hauntingly dark ambience of Lustmord. But his sputtering breakbeats and spasmodic noise are pure retro cyberpunk splatter.

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