The New Tupac Musical Is a Dreadful Affair

Categories: Tupac

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Somewhere, whether in the afterlife or in the midst of planning his much fabled return to public life, Tupac Shakur is groaning emphatically and shaking his head. Nah, we all know he's dead--gunned down in Las Vegas amid a torrent of gunfire in 1996, to be briefly reconfigured as a hologram that performed alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at Coachella 2012. That aside, the latest incarnation of Tupac's posthumous celebrity is a musical, Holler if Ya Hear Me, and it's a dreadful affair we see narrated to the tune of Tupac's most influential songs.

See also: The 10 Best Male Rappers of All Time

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The Top 15 Hip-Hop Songs About Police Misconduct

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Though artists like Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Baby Huey spoke on police corruption, it wasn't until the dawn of the rap era that the message in the music began to convey the anger and frustration of people who had been systematically disenfranchised and brutalized since the United States was founded. In honor of the spotlight on the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy—which has particularly affected men of color ages 18 to 24—SOTC decided to compile a playlist. Get your bail money together and let your lawyer know a riot charge is on the horizon—here are 15 songs that address abuses by police departments actross the country.

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The 18 Best Rapper Movies

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Since the days of Wild Style and Krush Groove, rappers have put their music on hold and delved into the film world. A bunch of these efforts were pretty bad—remember Ice-T in Leprechaun in the Hood—while others were so bad they were good. Cam crying in Killa Season or KRS fleeing the scene without a word in Who's The Man? had some unintentional comedy, as did DMX trying to explain to Nas what our purpose on earth is ("Shorty can't eat no books!") in Belly. And then there were the ones that were actually straight-up good.

The 18 films that follow didn't get much in the way of Oscar recognition, but if cinema is meant to entertain, well, they do that and then some.


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Holler! The Ten Loudest, Shoutiest Rappers

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Waka Flocka Flame is the sort of of hip-hop artist who doesn't so much rap or flow as he shouts his ass off. It's a formula that imbues the Atlanta-based rapper's songs with a boisterous, visceral appeal—and one that he's looking to continue with the release of his second studio album, Triple F For Life: Friends, Fans And Family, which will officially drop on New Year's Eve. But Waka's not alone in pledging his allegiance to the lowbrow art of shout rap; the following hip-hop gents also excel at vociferating into microphones.

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From The Archives: Download The Village Voice's 1996 Tribute To The Late Tupac

Categories: Obituaries, Tupac

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The September 24, 1996 cover

Today is the 15th anniversary of the death of Tupac Shakur, and in 1996 the Voice paid tribute to the late rapper by putting him on the cover of the September 24 issue (above) and running remembrances by dream hampton, Nelson George, Natasha Stovall, and Touré. A link to the PDF of those four articles, as well as the issue's cover, is below.


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100 & Single: Is It Okay For Katy Perry To Bum-Rush Her Way Into The History Books?

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Chart fandom makes strange bedfellows. Six months ago, if you'd asked me what act I'd root for in a head-to-head chart battle between pop princess Katy Perry and electrodance goofballs LMFAO, I'd probably have picked Perry, whose song catalog includes at least one or two gems. Her current hit, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," isn't one of her best—it's nowhere near as well-crafted as "Teenage Dream" or "Hot N Cold"—but it's a charming, goodtime trifle, and marginally less stupid than LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."

Now? I'm rooting for the goofballs over the princess all the way.

LMFAO's single (which, to be honest, has kinda grown on me) is the last firewall standing between Perry and her fifth Hot 100 No. 1 from Teenage Dream. Were "Friday" to hit that mark, Teenage Dream would tie a record that has so far only been reached by one album: Michael Jackson's Bad. Perry and her people are trying to hit that mark by cheating... or, to be fair, by taking advantage of a legal but shady tactic.

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100 & Single: Late Bloomer Nicki Minaj Scores Summer Smash Off Aging Album

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Imagine if People named an actor "Sexiest [Gender] Alive" months before he or she had released a hit movie or TV show. It's not unthinkable, certainly—think back to the '90s and the Julia Ormonds and Skeet Ulrichs who scored Next Big Thing magazine covers before face-planting in a flop movie—but it's damned unlikely. Usually chart-topping, newsstand-blanketing fame comes after the public has gone gaga for the emerging star's wares.

In music, it's a lot easier to be a best-seller without blanketing the airwaves. Generations of quirky rock acts, from Jethro Tull in the '70s to the Arcade Fire in 2010, have topped the Billboard album chart without even scraping the Hot 100. But pop, R&B and hip-hop acts generally live and die by the single; hit songs lead to hit albums, full stop.

Nicki Minaj spans all of these genres; she's a new queen of hip-hop who sings like an R&B diva and aspires to pop domination. If anyone should need a big radio hit to become a best-selling star, it's her. So it's a total head-scratcher that only this week, Minaj scores her first Top 10 pop hit—a year after she dropped her first major-label single, and more than four months after Pink Friday topped the album chart.

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Dexter Isaac Says That He Was Involved In 1994 Shooting Of Tupac Shakur At Quad Studios [UPDATED]

Categories: The Law, Tupac

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Tomorrow would have been Tupac Shakur's 40th birthday, and a new revelation involving his life has come out: An associate of James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond has confessed to being involved in the robbery and shooting of Tupac Shakur at Quad Studios 17 years ago in a statement to AllHipHop.com.* Dexter Isaac, who's currently serving a life sentence at MDC Brooklyn, says that he was paid $2,500 plus most of the jewelry he took by Rosemond to carry out the crime, and that he still has a chain taken on that day. The meat of the confession after the jump.


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Rap Made Me Do It: Ten Books I Read Because Of Hip-Hop

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When rappers reference items they consume--whether Cristal, Clarks Wallabees, or chronic--listeners seek them out, either out of curiosity or a desire to be like their heroes. And thanks to hip-hop's tendency to occasionally serve as an educated, sound-advice-giving older sibling, those references can sometimes motivate listeners to pick up a book. I always loved reading, but sometimes I needed a bit of advice as far as what to check out next, and the literary references dropped by MCs often served as my introduction to new wings of the library. Here, in no particular order, are ten books that rappers have turned me on to over the years.


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Tupac Is (Probably) Not Alive And Living In New Zealand

Categories: Tupac

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Oh, those hacker kids, getting up to no good on a holiday weekend by reviving the hip-hop generation's own "Elvis Alive And Eating Giant Sandwiches Somewhere Far Away" myth. A hacker collective calling itself (sigh) The Lulz Boat got all up in PBS' web site over the weekend as a protest against the public broadcasting organization's treatment of the forcibly-unclassified-document clearinghouse WikiLeaks, and in addition to hoarding a bunch of usernames and passwords they decided to engage in a little trickery involving the current whereabouts of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.

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