They make for laughably easy targets — the make-up, the rudimentary shock-raps, the overcommitted fans, “Miracles” — but the outskirts-of-Detroit duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are undisputed DIY pioneers. They came of age in the days when two suburban white kids had few prospects in the rap game, so they simply created their own lane. It was certainly an unusual one, influenced by pro wrestling, local acid-rap legend Esham and the power of circus-as-metaphor. 1994′s Ringmaster was their first gold record, a local hit that eventually made the national rounds. Soon, misunderstood kids around the country would be painting their faces, flocking to the annual Clown convention and wondering where they could get some Faygo.
By Michaelangelo Matos on 11.17.10 in Icons
You can't calculate the effect Stevie Wonder has had on American music. Or maybe just America - being the prime mover in getting the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made into a national holiday puts Wonder in a d...
By Dan Epstein on 05.06.14 in Reviews
Before launching his solo career, Curtis Harding collaborated with both CeeLo Green and members of the Black Lips — a combination that might seem a bit odd on paper, but makes perfect sense once you give hear the Michiga...
By Steven Hyden on 04.08.14 in Reviews
"It's violent/ Good/ 'Cause if it's violent then it's understood," Protomartyr's Joe Casey bellows in a dead-eyed baritone on "Violent," the penultimate track from the Detroit post-punk band's chilling second record, Und...
By Evan Minsker on 04.03.14 in Features
The Detroit post-punk quartet talks about their hometown, its artistic community and the challenges it's facing.