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Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Sept. 4, 2008

Nas has long been the most stoic and dead serious of all the major emcees. Especially since he returned to critical favor after his brief but image-killing flirtation with floss in the late '90s, he's been careful to avoid any hint of vice or banality. Of his four most recent albums, two explore his ever-consuming Jesus complex, one eulogizes the genre he loves, and the latest somberly charts the remnants of slavery. He carries the weight of the world-and the cross-on his self-beleaguered shoulders. While his one-time rival Jay-Z indulges . . .
09.05.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
I'll have a more thoughtful review of the show in next week's Shepherd, but I can't resist the opportunity to beam a little bit about last night's Nas/Talib Kweli show. I'm often jaded about local rap concerts�I'm always turned off by the inordinate number of openers, short sets and considerable delays�but last night's show at the Rave was just about perfect. Even the sound was good. Last time ...
Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008

Nas

Tonight @ the Rave - 8 p.m.

Given Nas’ inability to explain on his previous album exactly why hip-hop was dead, the media understandably greeted Nas’ latest album, originally titled Nigger, with great skepticism. Against the odds, though, the rapper created a piece of art that proves that its controversial original title wasn’t just a . . .
08.28.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Despite his modest talents, I've long had a soft-spot for The Game and his stubborn adherence to the increasingly antiquated conventions of '90s gangsta rap. At a time when even 50 Cent, once viewed as the possible savior of West Coast gangsta rap, has found it more behooving to sing LL Cool J-ish crossover jams for the ladies, The Game is still beefing and thugging with everything he's got-which,...
08.26.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
The Jay-Z/Noel Gallagher has taken on a life of its own, and much of the novelty is wearing off at this point. It was funny when Jay-Z took the stage at Glastonbury strumming a nagging version of �Wonderwall,� but less so when Jay-Z revived the feud in his latest single, �Jockin Jay-Z.� Fans, meanwhile, won�t let it die, creating lazy YouTube videos and the like. A little known DJ named Coo...
Monday, Aug. 25, 2008

Tonight @ the Jakalop Lounj - 9 p.m.

Ethnic and racial identity has always played a crucial role in rap music, so it shouldn’t be too surprisingly, then, that a collective of Asian hip-hop artists have banded together with a touring called the Asian Hip-Hop Summit. Among the rappers performing tonight, when the tour makes its Milwaukee stop at the Wicked . . .
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008

Today @ the Miramar Theater - Noon, 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p

Back in the day, Tupac Shakur embodied rap as aggressive criticism of the world that is and a mirror to the lives of some of the world’s least fortunate. Milwaukee recording artist and filmmaker Sona Lionel produced an unconventional documentary that’s less a VH-1 style biography of the late artist . . .
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008

Tonight @ the Bradley Center - 7 p.m.

“It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your…” well, you know the rest. Nelly scored a major hit with that 2002 single, “Hot In Herre” (sic), but his fame has waned in subsequent years, putting increased pressure on his upcoming album, Brass Knuckles, which is set for a September release. The pop-rapper will likely debut . . .
Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008

Today @ Alpine Valley - 2 p.m.

In its early years, Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution Tour sported a nearly 50-50 mix of rock and rap acts. It’s symbolic, then, that the lone rapper on this year’s Projekt Revolution tour, Busta Rhymes, was dropped, leaving behind a line-up of just alternative and hard-rock acts like Chris Cornell, Ashes Divide . . .
Friday, Aug. 15, 2008

Tonight @ the Stonefly Brewery - 10 p.m.

The title of tonight’s 10 p.m. bill at the Stonefly Brewery, “A Tribute To Inspiration: An Evening of Public Enemy,” overstates its case a bit. Milwaukee’s meat-and-potatoes rappers weren’t overly inspired by Public Enemy’s riotous cacophony, as least no more than any other rappers. Nonetheless, tonight . . .

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