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If Virginia Beach had somehow slid into the sea in 1995, it’s impossible to even fathom how different music might sound today. Within a few years over the late ‘90s, the city produced Timbaland, Missy Elliott, the Neptunes, and Clipse, among others. And thanks to what those artists were doing, radio-ready rap and R&B became something altogether different and strange over the late ‘90s and early ‘00s--a haven for adventurous, way-out sounds, sounds that...
The song’s lyrics don’t make any sense until you’ve listened to them a few times, and even then they only make the kind nonsensical sense things make after you’ve tied them to associations with your own life. “Broom People” by the Mountain Goats starts with a list of objects, the kinds of unsightly things you might see piled up around the house of a town’s infamous and unloved resident hoarder. The list burrows further...
DMX was born in Baltimore. Tupac Shakur went to high school there. Plenty of New York rappers are happy to tell you about the time they spent moving drugs down there. In recent years, the city has produced local cult heroes like Young Moose, Tate Kobang, and the gone-too-soon Lor Scoota. But Baltimore has never produced a national rapper of note. For years, that didn’t matter. We had club music. https://open.spotify.com/track/4B2G8dTCkRNqfgNZM3UTc2 Club music, a harsh and...
A crucial moment in my musical education came at the age of fifteen, as I was flipping through TV channels and landed on one of those digital music networks. You know, the ones that everyone has, but no one ever watches,except me, because, I was not woke. I read the screen and saw the name Vampire Weekend, a band that I’d never heard of, playing “A-Punk,” a song I’d never heard before. Young and...

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