El-P And Killer Mike Talk Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Anger As A Positive Force, And The Unlucky Fate Of Their Favorite HBO Shows

Categories: Killer Mike

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A few drinks into my conversation with Mike and El-P about their new collaboration R.A.P. Music (Williams Street), the tone shifted, as it tends to under the influence of multiple makeshift White Russians. EL-P's drink-ordering became relentlessly efficient. Things became a little more candid. The conversation veered on-and off-record, and, by the time the night was over, they ended up "covering" almost everything. From the fate of HBO's Luck to the future of Earl to what El-P originally thought of Jay-Z, here are the (publishable) highlights of The Drunken Reel.

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Pazz & Jop 2011: Seth Colter Walls On Craig Taborn, Matana Roberts, And Voting From The Fringe

To supplement this year's Pazz & Jop launch, Sound of the City asked a few critics to expand on the reasonings behind their voting. We'll start off the series with Seth Colter Walls of New York City, who has a constant itch to do the deep dive and find the single-voter albums out there. Find his ballot here.

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Damn do I ever love voting in, and then reading, Pazz and Jop. All these serious music-listening people, expressing opinions, mostly with a high degree of sincerity: admit it, it's a nice break from the social media-enabled review cycle, in which a lot of people apparently feel obliged to sound off on topics about which they may only kinda sorta have an aesthetic stake. (Read: The Internet.)

Consumers (and/or voters) often look to the number ones, to talk about the consensus where it exists—me, I liked but did not love Merrill Garbus's poll-winning record, outside of the stunning tracks "Powa" and "Bizness"; I suspect her masterpiece as a composer may yet be written for forces larger than her multi-tracked self—but in times where a 10-vote album ballot feels ever more confining and statistically unrepresentative of broader listening habits, I'm always fascinated to look at the sheer number of lonely minority reports on this side of the poll.

Critics cited 1,734 different full-lengths this year; way more than half of those titles had only a single champion. Multiple votes for albums only start to occur with real consistency around poll position #341 (Gang of Four's Content). If you're a true Pazz freak you're gonna do the deep dive, and try to find something new in that glut of passions rebuffed (or ignored) by the hivemind. As in: wow, East River Pipe put out a record this year? I didn't know that. Same-ish thing goes for Brooklyn Rider and their disc of Philip Glass string quartets.

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Top Ten Greatest Rap-Acronym Anthems

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Kanye West and Jay-Z's Lex Luger-produced "H.A.M." is a creative union of the two biggest currently recording rap stars in the world -- as the lead single to the duo's upcoming Watch the Throne project, it's a feisty statement of intent. But more importantly, it's a fresh edition to the canon of wonderful rap songs tagged with (usually) brilliantly bad acronyms. With "H.A.M." Fever still in full effect, here are 10 of rap's biggest acronym-based anthems.

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