What makes for a solid summer song? It’s an ontological discussion scholars far more astute and nerdy than us have debated since time immemorial, or at least since 1981 . And what even defines a song as indie?
Hip-hop artists have never been shy about sampling songs from the vaults of the Blue Note jazz label, and few have pilfered with as much creativity and gusto as A Tribe Called Quest's one-time de facto leader Q-Tip. During Tribe's heyday, Tip mined heavily from Blue Note's stylistic peak in the '70s, with cornerstone tracks from the group's first three albums being hooked around jazz grooves. Ahead of Michael Rapaport's documentary about the band, which hits screens on July 8, here are ten Blue Note tracks that have been flipped into rap classics—including, of course, a liberal number of Q-Tip compositions. Donald Byrd, "Think Twice" Donald Byrd's mid-'70s excursions on the funky side struck a strong note with the Native Tongues collective.
Over the weekend, the rapper Sean Price took to Twitter to propose a collaboration album between his own Brooklyn-based Boot Camp Clik hip-hop crew and Staten Island's mighty Wu-Tang Clan. The idea has been received rapturously . But then again, theoretical hip-hop supergroups usually are. Rap's history is littered with fanciful unions, most of which rarely get beyond the brain-storming stage: pesky little glitches like scheduling conflicts, waning enthusiasm from higher profile members, and mortality, among other things, tend to keep most supergroups from ever becoming reality. But that doesn't mean playing rap fantasy football isn't fun. Here's a rundown of ten of the most desired hip-hop supergroups from the genre's real life annals, along with the reason they never quite happened:
Rap royalty loves the Queen of Soul. Or, at least, some very prestigious hip-hop types have found the intimate grooves of Aretha Franklin's discography to be fine and fertile fodder for their sampling kicks. So with Franklin preparing to warble her way through a couple of back-to-back shows at Radio City Music Hall this coming Friday and Saturday, here's a rap-centric tribute to the enduring impact of her music. Respect! 10.
Frank Ocean is a 23-year-old New Orleans-born, Beverly Hills-based singer who's in the gleefully hedonistic hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All . Frank Ocean is also known as Christopher "Lonny" Breaux , a songwriter who has helped pen tracks for Justin Bieber, John Legend, and Brandy over the last few years. He's the latest example of why the major label system is crumbling at the knees of Twitter and Tumblr, too.