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Jazz pianist Matthew Shipp

He's part of the free-jazz movement in New York City (along with saxophonist David S. Ware, bassist William Parker and violinist Mat Maneri). One of his influences has been avante-garde pianist Cecil Taylor. Shipp's style has been described as "a distinctive combination of Mr. Taylor's percussive attack and Chopin's languid rubatos." He's been recording since the early 1990s, and has over 20 albums to his credit as leader and sideman. Since 1999, Shipp has been artistic director the Thirsty Ear Records' Blue Series.


Critic Milo Miles

Critic Milo Miles reviews two new DVDs which document the history of hip-hop: Charlie Ahern's feature Wild Style from 1982, and Doug Pray's documentary Scratch from 2001.


Drummer Ahmir Thompson

He is also known as "Questlove" of the hip-hop group The Roots. The Grammy award-winning sextet has six albums to its credit. Their latest CD is Phrenology. Their first single from the album is "Break You Off." One reviewer writes, "To fully savor the sound, you've got to commit to spending time with The Roots, to wallow in both the music and the message.


Rock critic Ken Tucker

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Under Construction (Warner) the fourth album by Missy Elliott.


DJ and Hip Hop forefather Grandmaster Flash

DJ and hip hop forefather Grandmaster Flash. At the dawn of hip hop, he recorded with the Furious Five. Their hits included "The Message" and "White Lines (Don't Do it)". Nearly 3 decades ago, Flash created the 'Quick Mix Theory,' the process of blending one music break with another. His chose the songs for the new CD, Essential Mix: Classic Edition. It includes a collection of 70s and 80s dance songs.

Grandmaster Flash speaking at a Hip Hop history event at the Smithsonian

Rock Critic Ken Tucker

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the third album by Marshall Mathers (otherwise known as Eminem) The Eminem Show.


Critic Ken Tucker

Critic Ken Tucker reviews the new CD by hip hop artist Princess Superstar. Its called Princess Superstar is...


Actor and rapper Will Smith

Will Smith is starring in the new film Ali as fighter Muhammad Ali. The film begins in 1964, the year that Cassius Clay became world heavyweight champion, announced his conversion to Islam, and took on the name Muhammad Ali. The film is directed and co-written by Michael Mann who also made The Insider. Smith also starred in the films The Legend of Bagger Vance, Men In Black, Independence Day, and Six Degrees of Separation. Smith got his start as a rapper, making his first record in high school.


Missy Elliott

Rock Critic, Ken Tucker Reviews the New Album from Missy Elliot, Miss E...So Addictive


Ken Tucker

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews 2 new albums: “Just Push Play” by Aerosmith and “Crown Royal” by Run DMC.


Dave and Mase of De La Soul.

Hip Hop Artists De La Soul. Formed in 1985, De La Soul released their latest record “Art Official Intelligence” (Tommy Boy) this August. Dubbed “the hippies of hip hop”, De La Soul continue to pen songs without gangsta rap influence, focusing instead on the use of samples, jazz vamps, and wordplay. Consisting of Posdnuos, Trugouy the Dove, and Pasemaster Mace, the male trio began recording at the same time as Queen Latifah, Monie Love, and A Tribe Called Quest. De La Soul hails from Long Island, New York.


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