2. Kendrick Lamar and the Post-Hip-Hop Generation
Jeff Chang, the author of Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, breaks down 2012’s most stunning rap album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, and ponders the next generation of hip-hop culture.
3. Taylor Swift’s Tragic War Against Hipsters
No matter how much of the spotlight she gets, Taylor Swift always portrays herself as a girl on the edge of the crowd. Sady Doyle examines the singer’s obsession with presenting herself as an underdog.
9. On Bruce Springsteen and Disappointing Fathers
Sady Doyle reflects on Bruce Springteen’s classic Darkness on the Edge of Town, an album that taught her how to understand her estranged father long after they stopped speaking to one another.
10. How The Replacements Helped Me Break Up with a Junkie
Amy Rose Spiegel reflects on how The Replacements’ classic album Tim served as both the soundtrack to her teenage romance with a junkie and the catalyst for their breakup.
11. Why I Hate List-Making
Rachael Maddux is a music writer but gets no joy from the constant list-making that’s become a cornerstone of the profession, and music fandom in general. “List-making does such violence to the actual experience of living and listening that I can barely stomach it,” she writes. “I don’t relish a single step of the process — not the parsing, not the ranking, not the final forcing of a list out into the world and not the subsequent defending of all the arbitrarily made decisions that I feel inexplicably defensive about as soon as they’re inevitably questioned.”
14. How Frank Ocean Transcended the Hype
Eric Harvey reviews Frank Ocean’s exquisite breakthrough album Channel Orange, unpacking its lyrical themes as well as the singer’s skill for managing his image and message in the media.
15. Electronic Musicians Shouldn’t Feel Bad About “Hitting Play”
Electronic musicians have been playing by the rules of rock music for quite some time, to the point of many acts going out of their way to seem as though they’re a live band when they’re mostly using pre-recorded tracks on stage. Matthew Perpetua says that it’s time for artists to start being more transparent about what they’re doing and for audiences to embrace live music outside of the usual “band” setup.
18. How Nicki Minaj Brought Rage Back to Pop
Mike Barthel examines how Nicki Minaj has helped to bring raw aggression back to radio pop after the long reign of Glee at the top of the charts and explains why this makes her an important and inspirational figure.
20. Why Rihanna Going Seapunk Is Totally OK
Artists were upset when Rihanna appropriated visuals from web art on Saturday Night Live, but Matthew Perpetua says she’s just the latest in a long line of artists who have brought an underground sensibility to a mainstream audience.
21. How 2012’s Most Miserable Album Helped Me Through Depression
Sean T. Collins explains why Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! was the only record that made sense to him when it felt like his world was falling apart.
- U.S. presidential candidates are making their final pitches before the New Hampshire Primary, the second voting contest of the nominating season 🇺🇸
- The Pentagon has confirmed that North Korea successfully launched a satellite into orbit on Sunday night.
- President Obama asked Congress for $1.8 billion to fight the spread of the Zika virus across the Americas.