Old Music

rick rubin returns to nyu dorm

Def Jam may be the house that Rick Rubin built (with the help of Russell Simmons, of course), but it was his NYU dorm room where those bricks were first laid. Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the legendary hip-hop label, Rolling Stone accompanied Rubin on his very first return to his old college digs, where you were more likely to see him hanging out with famous rappers than studying for any midterm. Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, Adam Horovitz, Lyor Cohen and others join Rick on his stroll down memory lane.

Watch below…


pen and pixel documentary

Although younger fans may snort at the designs looking back, Southern MCs and groups were coming out with some of the wildest album artwork during the ’90s and early ’00s. And the company behind these crazy covers? Pen & Pixel. In their latest documentary, Noisey spotlights the Houston-based duo of brothers Shawn and Aaron Brauch, who produced covers for the likes of Cash Money, No Limit Records and Three 6 Mafia, and helped define the aesthetic of Southern rap during its initial boom.

Watch below…



No point preaching to the choir: we’re all familiar with the tremendous impact Illmatic has had — and continues to have — on the game. But the bread crumbs leading back to Nas’ debut album stretch further than you think. From classic DeNiro flicks like Goodfellas and Casino to Rick Ross’ belly tattoo, Complex decided to compile the complete six degrees of Illmatic infographic in celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary.

Check it out below…


russell simmons rick rubin

With Def Jam celebrating its 30th birthday this year, Noisey sat down the label’s fabled co-founders for a special edition of their “Back & Forth” series. In part one of four, Rick and Russell cosy up on a couch as they reflect on some of the early records that defined Def Jam, including T La Rock and Jazzy Jay’s “It’s Yours” and LL Cool J’s “I Can’t Live Without My Radio.” But for all their impact and success over the last three decades, Def Jam’s original ambitions were charmingly humble, says Rick: “If we sold enough 12 inches to make another 12 inch, that was the whole goal.”

UPDATE: Parts 2, 3 and 4 added.

Watch below…



Next Tuesday, Sept. 30th, Nas, the filmmakers behind Nas: Time Is Illmatic, and the Tribeca Film Fest, are holding a very special one-night-only movie screening….40 different theaters spread across 29 different cities. And the MissInfo.Tv crew is honored to be able to give a pair of screening passes to one lucky reader in NYC, Chicago, Toronto, Portland, Atlanta, and Houston!

UPDATE: We’ve seen some hilarious throwback photos but to make it easier for folks who don’t have access to their baby photos, lol…until we choose the winner on Monday….here’s how you can enter to win the tickets:
1) Follow us on Instagram: @MissInfo
2) Email us with: your name, city, and the artist that you’d like to see us feature more on MissInfo.TV

Check out more details, and the #TBTIllmatic throwbacks that we collected from the crew — Eskay, Meka, Laura Stylez, Nation, and more…

npr biggie poster

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s Ready to Die, NPR held a special panel at Brooklyn’s BRIC House (just a few blocks from where he grew up on Fulton Street) last weekend to celebrate the life of one of rap’s true greats. Hosted by ATCQ’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelly, the event brought together some of BIG’s close friends and associates — author dream hampton, The Source journalist Matty C, childhood friend/DJ Hubert Sam and neighbor/jazz musician Donald Harrison Jr. — to share their favorite memories of Christopher Wallace. From tagging along to film classes at NYU to bugging Matty C for advance copies of other rappers’ LPs, best believe they had stories to tell.

Watch or listen to the entire panel below. RIP BIG.

Continue after the jump…


common the light

With the recent passing of his father, Lonnie “Pops” Lynn, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been listening to Common’s “Pops Rap III… All My Children” all week. It seems fitting then that Complex‘s latest Magnum Opus episode spotlights one of the many gems on Like Water For Chocolate — the beautiful, career-defining “The Light,” produced by another soul who is sadly no longer with us, J Dilla.

In the video, Common remembers first hearing the beat, writing his rhymes while Dilla went to the strip club and how the song helped him “find that pure place within me.” We also get to hear from Erykah Badu, Common’s girlfriend at the time and the inspiration behind the song, Bobby Caldwell, whose 1980 track “Open Your Eyes” was sampled by Dilla, and Plex’s own Noah Callahan-Bever.

Watch below…



20 years ago today The Notorious B.I.G. released one of hip-hop’s most celebrated albums to date. Even with the grisly title, fans from all over the world flocked to Ready to Die. Biggie’s lyrics on this LP made you feel you like were standing right next to B.I.G. on St. James, slangin’ crills.

In his honor, DJ Mister Cee and Funk Flex put together an incredible mix of B.I.G. classics, rare songs, interviews, mixtape cuts and more. All day we’ll be celebrating the life of the true King of New York.

Listen to the mix below and check out HOT97’s Biggie tribute video below…



Chairman Mao aims to uplift spirits with his latest Redbull Radio mix, Across 135th Street ‘Message to the World.” Digging up vintage Soul and Funk jams that have a social message and real value, Mao mixes it up with classics and rare gems as usual.

“Often we listen to music to escape. But with world events looking particularly dire in recent times, I felt like devoting the latest episode my RBMA Radio show “Across 135th Street” to vintage soul and funk with something to say. (Because god forbid anyone contemporary should make a quality recording of substance that acknowledges any of this shit. But I digress…) Here’s a set of classic material – and maybe a couple of tunes you’re not so familiar with – with the common theme of more humanity, less insanity.– Chairman Mao

Listen to the music below…


biggie ready to die

Ready to Die, the seminal debut LP from The Notorious B.I.G., becomes the latest rap album to turn 20 later this month. To celebrate, The Bishop gallery in Brooklyn is hosting an art exhibition called “The Only Christopher We Acknowledge Is Wallace,” curated by DJ Clark Kent. Of course, Clark Kent used to work with BIG and introduced him to Jay-Z back in ’96, so he’s the perfect man for the job.

The exhibition takes place on September 20 at 916 Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn.

DJ Clark Kent On Juan Epstein
Danny Brown & DJ Clark Kent Star in adidas Top Ten Campaign
DJ Clark Kent Discusses Brooklyn & Jay Z in Complex TV’s ‘The Neighborhood’

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