Rap and Religion: Understanding the Gangsta’s God (Available from Praeger, June 30, 2012) tackles a sensitive and controversial topic: the juxtaposition—and seeming hypocrisy—of references to God within rap music. Hip hop culture and rap music in particular have been condemned for inciting violence, promoting misogyny, and perpetuating racial stereotypes. However, Dr. Ebony A. Utley argues that religion has always been an integral part of the urban environments that birthed rap music and she shows exactly how a God-sanctioned gangsta identity can be empowering. Dr. Utley sources lyrics, videos, award acceptance speeches, magazine and website content, liner notes, and survey data to provide an enlightening, representative account of how and why rappers talk about God.
RAP & RELIGION REVIEWS
"Rap and Religion is elegant, compelling, and desperately needed. Utley’s bracing exploration of the godly and divine in rap music illuminates new, powerful, and poignant intersections between the politics of religion, race, gender, and commerce. A remarkable scholarly achievement, and a gift to hip hop fans everywhere."
- Michael P. Jeffries, Author of Thug Life
"A close reading of mainstream hip hop lyrics and artists of the last three decades Rap and Religion uncovers the place where God, spirituality, and Christianity meet. Hip hop aficionados have long proclaimed that hip hop is a culture. If this is true, what is its spiritual philosophy? Ebony Utley offers a persuasive answer."
- Bakari Kitwana, Author of The Hip-Hop Generation
"The intellectual range with which Utley explores the spiritual contours of rap and hip hop are perhaps only matched by the vocalic range of the lyricism she examines. In this fascinating, thought-provoking, experience-driven, and often encyclopedic journey through hip hop's multifaceted legacies, Utley makes a compelling case about rap and hip hop's spiritual relevance, leaving us both breathless and reenergized."
- Ronald L. Jackson II, Author of Scripting the Black Masculine Body
Video: High Times Interviews Smoke DZA + Harry Fraud
Rugby Thompson, the highly anticipated full-length collaboration between Harlem rapper Smoke DZA and rising hitmaker Harry Fraud, hits stores everywhere today. To celebrate, High Times caught up with the two certified stoners to discuss some of their smoking habits and preferences - including weed's role in Harry's beat-making process, DZA's thoughts on performing while high, and more. The duo will be both judging and performing at the 2012 High Times Medical Cannabis Cup in San Francisco on June 23rd.
New Audio: G.Huff & Vice Souletric - "Are We There Yet?"
G. Huff and Vice Souletric have quickly become two of the most respected new Hip-Hop artists to come out the Midwest. The Ohio MC/Producer duo made waves in 2011 with their debut album, Where Do We Go From Here?, which featured a who's who of talent such as Guilty Simpson, REKS, Termanology, and more. In addition, Vice will have production on upcoming albums from Scarface, Reek Da Villian and others in 2012.
As a duo G.Huff and Vice are now set to follow up with a new EP, Are We There Yet?, a carefully crafted masterpiece packed with lyricism, soul, and energy. It’s a recipe the duo knows how to cook up so well! Not only do Huff and Vice receive the co-signs of hip hop legends Pete Rock and Scarface (who grace the intro track of Are We There Yet?), they create their own lane with an original sound that is unique yet universal enough for all to enjoy!
Announcing "Being Beastie" | Cancer Benefit Event | September 7, 2012
The ground in Buffalo is still shaking following the highly successful event, "Being BIG", a hip hop karaoke-inspired, cancer awareness-raising benefit and tribute held this past March. On Friday September 7th at DBGB, longtime local producer-promoters Damon Bodine and Tony Caferro are teaming up to bring you round two of this dynamic fundraiser, and this time around they're calling it "Being Beastie".
Following his diagnosis and now remission of Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer, Damon Bodine has dedicated his life to promoting blood cancer awareness. "We want to raise as much money for leukemia and lymphoma and create another positive event that contributes to the nightlife of Buffalo, New York" states Bodine. The long time WNY concert mogul has completed several half marathons this year, all leading up to his participation in the 26.2 mile NYC Marathon on November 4.
DTR founder Tony Caferro adds "Being BIG was so successful that we wanted to figure out where to go with it next. In the wake of Beastie Boys founder MCA's untimely passing after his own bout with cancer, Damon and I both agreed it was a good time to pay tribute to one of the most popular musical groups in history… and Being Beastie was born".
GET INVOLVED 100% of the proceeds from Being Beastie will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Who can't get behind that? Everyone knows at least one classic or contemporary Beastie Boys song. Find a couple friends and sign up to be a featured onstage vocalist with local heroes Rhubarb and DJ Cutler, who will be provided the backing Beastie Boys track of your choice. You can even rehearse with them beforehand and steal the show!
New Audio: Fokis & RP f/ Rich Rivera - "Cake & Eat It Too"
“Cake & Eat It Too” featuring Rich Rivera (produced by Fokeezy) is the third official single off of Fokis’ upcoming The Vintage Album which is slated for release August 28, 2012. The Vintage Album Features Kurtis Blow, N.O.R.E, DMC, Spoonie Gee, Craig G, Kool G Rap, Brand Nubian, Mic Geronimo, and more.
Created with two purposes in mind, The Vintage Album was intended not only to salute Hip-Hop’s pioneers but also to re-create the sound and feel of the early 80’s through the mid 90’s.
Fresh off the release of his brand new EP SINCE THE LAST TIME WE SPOKE, TOPE is back with visuals for the Hi-Res produced track entitled, GOODNESS. Filmed in downtown Portland, Oregon by PortArea Production's Drew Martin and Will Corwin. GOODNESS originally appeared as an interlude on TOPE's full-length album, UNTIL THE NEXT TIME WE MEET and then later surfaced as full version on the STLTWS EP. GOODNESS marks the first collalboraton between TOPE and PortArea Productions and also serves as TOPE's (Anthony Anderson) directorial debut! Turn this one up LOUD and ENJOY!