Old Music


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Show of hands: who still wants a joint project from Rick Ross and Drake in 2016? I thought so. Just five years ago Rozay was the hottest MC in the game (according to MTV, anyway) and Aubrey was the auspicious star eying up the throne for the taking. These days it’s Drake who’s the biggest bawse in the game, and What a Time to Be Alive has almost erased any memory of that rumored YOLO project he was prepping with Rick Ross, along with the use of the word “YOLO” (praise Jesus).

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You know how Tim Westwood does around this time. He’s been releasing classic freestyles from some of his guests for weeks now and DMX is the latest artist to make it out of the vault. This track dates back to the year 2000 and as Westwood put it, “hardest freestyle ever!” We’ll let you be the judge of that, but we can certainly tell you Dark Man X went in.

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Spike Lee has already directed one documentary about Michael Jackson — 2012’s Bad 25 — and now he’s set to release another film on one of Jackson’s iconic albums. According to Pitchfork, the King of Pop’s 1979 LP Off the Wall is being reissued next month, along with a new Spike documentary called Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.

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In the latest instalment of Magnum Opus, Complex reexamines “Country Grammar (Hot Sh*t),” the infectious song that kickstarted Nelly’s hot streak in the early ’00s. Featuring interviews with Murphy Lee, Cedric the Entertainer and the man himself, the episode explores the record’s crossover success from local hood favorite to national pop smash — not without a “they’re trying to ruin me moment!” though.

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Adele may have taken the charts by storm this year with her comeback album 25, but as his latest achievement proves, Michael Jackson will never be dethroned as the true King of Pop. According to Billboard, Jackson’s Thriller has become the first album in history to go 30 times platinum in the U.S.

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As you may have noticed, Vince Staples caused quite a ruckus on the rap Internets last month by suggesting that the ’00s were actually better than the ’90s. He also called Bow Wow one of his favorite rappers ever. Safe to say that didn’t go down swimmingly either.

Although we all know his comments were said with a trollsome twinkle in his eye, there is truth in Vince’s words. As a 22-year-old, the early ’00s were his first introduction to music, let alone hip-hop. That was his “Golden Age,” no different to how older rap fans are infatuated by the boom bap beats and complex rhymes of their childhood.

Not to say there weren’t exciting artists or groundbreaking albums coming out of the early ’00s, because there definitely was. It’s just that sentimentality is more persuasive than quality when it comes to your favorite music.

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Tim Westwood has been taking it back and digging through the vaults, releasing a handful of freestyles from some of your favorite rappers, dating back to the ’90s. His latest features Method Man during his peak, freestyling over some of his own beats, sounding as hungry as ever. 20 years later, Tical is still doing his thing.

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Tim Westwood is an OG, but most don’t know that his career is spanning longer than some of our readers have been alive. It is proven by this rare freestyle he just unearthed of Run DMC and A Tribe Called Quest going back and forth on the microphone. Westwood was over at Capital FM and the track seems to date all the way from the early 90’s.

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Masters of the mix, Just Blaze and DJ Soul recently rocked the kasbah together and put together a beautiful mix of ’90s rap gems. They blended familiar cuts from the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Big L, Main Source, Kool G Rap and more. Just uses this to amp himself up before he hits the casinos.

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While the world continues to wait on his seventh solo album (which might not be here for a while longer), Kanye West is revisiting his 2008 LP, 808s & Heartbreak, with back-to-back shows at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles this weekend. It all kicked off in usual grandiose fashion last night as Yeezy ran through his emo-pop project with help from Jeezy (“Amazing”), Mr. Hudson (“Paranoid”) and former G.O.O.D. Music member Kid Cudi (“Welcome to Heartbreak”).

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