For as long as there has been hip-hop, there have been weird experimental offshoots. Industrial hip-hop is one of them — in fact, it’s probably the most enduring, though it’s never been widely practiced or particularly well-known.
Death Grips is changing that, at least a little bit. After releasing the cacophonous free mixtape “Exmilitary” last year (download it here), the Sacramento, Calif., trio this week returned with its first official album, “The Money Store” (Epic). It’s a collection of jarring songs packed with jumbles of explosive rhythm, synthesizer blare and sharp, barked vocals. “Abrasive” barely begins to describe the music, but there’s something mesmerizing about it, too.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of the murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G., and the tributes are out.
Entertainment Weekly picks 15 songs to remember him by, The Boombox collected thoughts on Biggie from 19 other artists and even CNN pretended to be hip to hip-hop by commissioning a remembrance from Fader co-founder Rob Stone.
Biggie, born Christopher Wallace, was unquestionably one of the most influential MCs of the ’90s. It was a strange and volatile time for hip-hop, when disputes between artists too often seemed to play out in a hail of bullets. It’s shocking, and deeply sad, to think that B.I.G. was just 24 when he died in a shooting incident as he and his entourage left a party in Los Angeles hosted by Vibe magazine (which posted its own tribute to Biggie). It’s sadder still that his murder remains unsolved.
What’s left is his legacy: Four studio albums, three of which came out after he died (and one of which, 1997’s “Life After Death,” has sold more than 10 million copies), and a handful of huge singles, including “Mo Money, Mo Problems” and “Hypnotize.”