Hip-Hop Writing Worth Reading





Episode 20: Fayetteville singer Chlo The God

The super-talented 21-year-old is sad about SZA's (permanently?) injured vocal cords, happy about being in contention to get on FOX's "The Four" reality show, and motivated by the thought of representing her hometown on the national stage.  Also covered: Holland's experience at The TDE Championship Tour, plus new albums from Black Thought & 9th Wonder, Kanye West, and Nick Grant.  Go to episode.

Released: Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

Episode 19: Immaculate Taste Co-Founder Alec Lomami

When cousin Well$ was in Charlotte doing his first serious hip-hop show, opening for G-Eazy, Alec Lomami was across the Atlantic in South Africa. But that distance belied his impact on the event — the whole thing had been the result of his (and brother Mike Tambashe's) diligent efforts. Behind Well$, New Jersey rapper/producer Angelo Mota, and a stable of other musicians and creatives, Lomami and Tambashe's Immaculate Taste collective has become one of the most respected hip-hop labels in North Carolina. On Super Empty, he talked about starting the label while he was in South Africa, the legwork to make connections with hip-hop outlets, and the advantages of running a label out of NC. Also covered: a new mashup album of 9th Wonder and Drake called "More 9th."  Go to the episode!

Released: Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

Episode 18: Wolftrax Co-Founder and WKNC Radio Host, DJ Iron Mic

DJ/producer/emcee/radio host/writer Charles Morse, aka Iron Mic, has touched just about every facet of the Triangle hip-hop scene imaginable. We talked about his path from the Bronx, to being stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, to getting involved at the student radio station at NC State when he returned to civilian life. He also gave his thoughts on the Carolina Music Awards, as well as the coverage of hip-hop in North Carolina media, at outlets such as the Triangle's leading alt-weekly, Indy Week, where he is a regular contributor. Also covered: The mysterious, confounding, "NC Hip-Hop Fest," and the new Anderson .Paak song and video, "Bubblin'."  Listen now!

Released: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018.

Episode 17: Hip-hop filmmaker Kid Ethnic

Saleem Reshamwala (aka Kid Ethnic)'s journey to being an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, New York Times video contributor and winner of Best Music Video at the Hip-Hop Film Festival in Harlem, has not been a conventional one. A path that led him to making weird music videos in Durham, NC (which he still does, regularly) also included stops making coming up with entertainment programming on a cruise ship, creating drink machine songs in Japan, and working at Seventeen Magazine in New York. His most recent claim to viral fame was the video for G. Yamazawa's "North Cack," which has been viewed more than five million times across the web. Also covered: "This Is America," by Childish Gambino. Listen on SoundCloud.

Released: Wednesday, May 9th, 2018.

Episode 16: Raleigh rapper NANCE!

Where many rappers from the NC hip-hop scene of five years ago have either faded away or fallen off, Raleigh rapper NANCE (aka Christian Nance) has maintained and steadily grown his fanbase and buzz over recent years. With clever promotions, a strong sense of branding, and a clear vision of his sound, NANCE is one of the most well-known names in the Triangle, and a regular on lineups from Raleigh to Chapel Hill. His new album, "No Excuses," was just released, and he's been tapped once again to play Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh this fall. Also covered: Kanye's Twitter nonsense (MAGA, etc.), and Dreamville Fest is coming to Raleigh! Featuring: Chubbz. Listen on SoundCloud.

Released: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018.

Episode 15: Durham O.G. Kourvioisier

With a lot of shine coming to the NC hip-hop scene and a number of new (and old) artists starting to get major buzz, it’s easy to forget about some of the long-time acts that have consistently made the area what it is through thoughtful, high-quality music. One of those artists in the Triangle is Durham rapper Kourvioisier, who was making and distributing his own tapes by middle school, and got his first taste of the big leagues by regularly dipping out after school at Hillside High to visit 9th Wonder across the road at NC Central. This is a great episode for K's take on creative barriers and artistic momentum alone — as he expresses how his frustrations, after years of feeling overlooked, led to his most recent album being titled, "No Drive."  Also covered: J. Cole's new album, "KOD."  Listen on SoundCloud. 

Episode 14: G Yamazawa

G. Yamazawa has long represented Durham, North Carolina on the national and international stage as a spoken word poet. Now, he’s putting on for the Bull City as a rapper as well. We talk about the pressure that comes with that, the Asian rap game, and shoutouts from Phonte and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Listen now!

Episode 13: The Sinopsis (of Kooley High)

Dennis McCarter, a Raleigh-based producer known to many as The Sinopsis, is one of the nicest, most genuine guys in NC hip-hop. He also makes really good music. Justin and Alex spoke with him about how Kooley High's newest project, Never Come Down, came together, and how 9th Wonder got involved. Click to listen.

Episode 12: Kaze, Bumrush & Hillmatic Festival

Two of the most knowledgeable dudes in the last two decades of Triangle hip-hop stop by the show to talk about the third year of their Chapel Hill-based festival, Hillmatic, headlined by Brand Nubian and Rapper Big Pooh. Click to listen on SoundCloud.

Episode 11: Brian Kidd

If you've listened to any rap from the Raleigh-Durham area over the past few years, you've probably heard the work of engineer Brian Kidd behind the boards. He tells us about getting inspired by Little Brother, how he thought he'd be a producer at first, and much more. Listen on SoundCloud.