Getting dropped from a major label has today become a badge of pride, but this wasn’t the case when East Bay rappers Del tha Funkee Homosapien (Elektra), Souls of Mischief (Jive) and Casual (Jive) went from “next level” to yesterday’s news in the mid ’90s. They returned to their hometown Hiero collective (which also featured Pep Love, Domino and Toure) and built an even larger audience on their own. They were early adopters of the Internet, using their website to sell a dizzying array of crew-branded tees and sweatshirts and forging alliances with skaters, snowboarders and purists with T-1 lines. By the time they released their first crew album, Third Eye Vision, they were probably more famous than they’d ever been.
By Marc Hogan on 01.15.15 in News
Guardians of the Galaxy was nominated for two Academy Awards today, in predictable categories for a summer blockbuster (Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Production Design). Though its vintage soundtrack wasn't eligible...
By Marc Hogan on 08.22.14 in News
Oakland, California-based underground hip-hop innovators Hieroglyphics aren't resting on their considerable legacy. The entire eight-person collective is in the thick of a short East Coast tour, following last year's rel...
By Barry Walters on 09.30.13 in Reviews
When ordinary hip-hoppers get famous, they usually bring along their new-money friends and strike while the iron's hot. For Dan the Automator, producer of Dr. Octagon, Cornershop, Gorillaz, and other unconventional acts,...
By Hua Hsu on 05.22.12 in Lists
"Underground" is one of those tantalizingly vague terms that's always on the verge of obsolescence until some mouthy, hungry new rapper comes along and reanimates it. Whether it was being dismissed as a fad, derided as a...