We Got High With Phoenix's Stoner Rap Wizard, Hot Rock Supa Joint; Here's What Happened

Categories: Drugs!, hip-hop

YouTube via 56thstreetrecords
Hot Rock Supa Joint:
"Reality is stupid."
A hazy night with Hot Rock Supa Joint, Arizona's premier stoner rap wizard, begins with a hazy idea. Let's smoke a joint from the Bob Marley bong. A joint bowl! It only works about halfway, so we give up and give my five-foot BuddyBong a try, so named because it requires two people to manipulate.

Hot Rock pushes back his long, wavy locks and crouches down to torch the bowl. Then I return the favor. We're blazing saddles in my living room, and in true stoner fashion, we're almost late for Hot Rock's gig at Last Exit Live. Out the door we go.

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Legendary Hip-Hop Night Funky Cornbread Returns to Tempe on Thursday

New Times archives
Z-Trip performing at Nita's Hideaway back in the day.
The folks behind The Blunt Club are going old school this week edition of the long-running hip-hop affair -- way old school. The turntablists inside the Yucca Tap Room will spin things all the way back to the early Aughts on Thursday, March 13, in order to recreate the vibe and swagger of bygone hip-hop event Funky Cornbread for one night only.

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Slug from Atmosphere: "We've Grown Past the Underground Rap Identity Crisis"

Categories: Q&A, hip-hop

Wikimedia Commons
Atmosphere rapper Slug.
Minneapolis-bred Atmosphere aptly fits into that "old-school" indie rap category. Since 1989, the group has released six studio albums and 10 extended plays, touched base on some deep societal issues, and has kept a fanbase while consistently evolving; difficult to do during a time like the 90s when musical consistency was everything.

Atmosphere consists of rapper Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis), and the latter has produced every Atmosphere record with the exception of a few tracks on the album Lucy Ford. Former member and co-founder Spawn (Derek Turner) left the group three years after the release of the group's first album Overcast.

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Sir Mix-A-Lot: "I Wanted to Do More Than Rap About Women as Sex Objects"

Sir Mix-A-Lot is keeping his pimp hand strong.
Three decades is a long time to be involved in hip-hop. And many have tried to put an expiration date on the art form, believing that it's taboo to be in hip-hop after the age of 30. As time goes on, however, artists like Jay-Z, Eminem, and 2 Chainz have proven that age has no limits when it comes to creativity. Ditto for rap legend Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Seattle's original rap superstar -- who's spent the last several years producing and mixing as well as performing -- still has major game, which you can witness for yourself tomorrow night when he brings his brand of high energy, sexually tinged rhythms to the Viva PHX music festival.

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Rawcus' Racially Tinged Song "White People Crazy" Is the Sound of the Internet Eating Itself

YouTube via Rawcus WPC
Featuring a silhouetted collection of dudes, Mystery Science Theatre 3000-style, in front of videos of white people doing ridiculous, Jackass-style nonsense, Atlanta rapper Rawcus' "White People Crazy" is the sound of the Internet eating itself alive.

Although it remains a little south of viral (still only 253,000 YouTube hits as of this writing), it's popular enough to warrant the modest amount of consideration that a few blog posts might allow, if only because the trap beat behind Rawcus' tomfoolery is actually kind of good.

To be sure, there's a racial hornet's nest that "White People Crazy" stirs up.

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Mega Ran Releases Collaboration with MURS and Slaughterhouse's Joell Ortiz

Local rapper Random (a.k.a. Mega Ran) is nothing if not prolific. In fact, he's one of the more productive hip-hop/nerdcore artists out of Arizona, consistently delivering top-notch projects like "Black Materia" and "Forever Famicom" to the masses, as well as releasing close to a dozen different jams last year via his SoundCloud, Bandcamp, and Facebook pages.

And with 2014 under way, it doesn't look as though he's going to slow down anytime soon. Not only is the Philly-born, Phoenix-based rapper preparing to embark on a tour on the West Coast, he recently dropped one of his biggest collaborations to date: a teaming with the underground hip-hop legend MURS and East Coast rapper Joell Ortiz of Slaughterhouse/Shady Records.

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Donald Glover Isn't Depressed; You Just Haven't Been Listening

Categories: Rebuttal, hip-hop

Courtesy of Donald Glover's Instagram
Donald Glover has been making the anti-rounds of press for Because the Internet, his latest Childish Gambino LP due out next month, bouncing from city to city and playing it in the open for anyone who reads his Twitter announcements. He's declined most interview requests, save for a scant Noisey feature, and he's left Community, his prime time jumping-off point.

His introspective ways have been a focal point for critics and fans alike lately, questioning his motives and rationale since he posted a series of seven Instagram posts outlining his personal fears and doubts last month.

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Tech N9ne: "The Beats Tell Me What To Do"

Kansas City's Aaron Dontez Yates has dipped his hands into both the worlds of hip-hop and rock 'n' roll, sold more than one million albums, founded a record label, and been featured in a ton of video games and films--including the upcoming sequel to the huge underground cult hit Devil's Carnival. Recently, he recorded tracks with musicians like Serj Tankian, Wiz Khalifa and even one with the three remaining members of The Doors.

You might be surprised you haven't heard of him--but it could just be that the name you know him by is the one derived from the TEC-9 handgun, given to him by a friend who said it represented his fast Chopper-style rhyming method.

But that's not the only style Tech N9ne is known for. He's influenced by everything from old school hip hop (Slick Rick, N.W.A., Biggie Smalls) to classic rock (Pink Floyd, Elton John, AC/DC) to heavy metal (Metallica, Slipknot, System of a Down). He is able to balance indie and mainstream music, and his lyrics are etched with distinctive imagery that spans the horrific, the sexually provocative, and the beautiful.

Up On The Sun talked with Tech N9ne about working with the Doors, his favorite horror films (including his upcoming project), and writing about Earth, Wind and Fire.

Tech N9ne is playing at The Marquee Theatre in Tempe on Wednesday, September 18.

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Mickey Avalon: I Don't Just Do What I Think People Might Want

Mickey Avalon is constantly loaded.

He's loaded with clever rhymes and catchy hooks, played by DJs to writhing Hollywood club kids who don't understand that half of the dark memories Mickey shares are actual experiences. When he started out around 2004, he was loaded with the burden of family members dying; of drugs and that all-too familiar feeling of being lost. In 2012's Loaded, he brought us a soundtrack to live out our most debauched rock 'n' roll fantasies, dripping in hedonistic energy and comical admissions. And during our interview, he's loaded with "whatevas" and "I don't knows" as he rambles on about his new EP I Get Even that will be released on October 1.

Anyone who is a Mickey Avalon fan--or foe--knows about the electro-influenced Hollywood glam-rapper's past. Some would say it's drenched in decadence, but to me it's the opposite. Even now with his success, he seems to relish the gritty, back-alley way of doing things. Sometimes it seems to relate more to rock music than rap, so maybe that's where his broad appeal comes into play. 30 years after Iggy Pop described himself as "a street-walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm" on the Stooges' 1973 hit "Search and Destroy," Mickey Avalon has brought that same stance to the stage--as well as Iggy's tradition of upholding an underground following early in his career with a somehow sickly sweet yet forbidden lyrical imagery.

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Why the New Earl Sweatshirt Is Better Than the New Jay Z

Categories: News, hip-hop

Earl Sweatshirt press
"It's money" opens Doris, the way-way-way-too-much-anticipated album from Odd Future standout and internal rhyme genius Earl Sweatshirt. "It's money," the intro repeats, "It's money." If you bought a physical copy, you're hearing that opening while thumbing through the artwork: an intoxicated-looking (though he kind of always is) Earl standing next to a crucifix, homeless people with grocery carts, graffiti, lots and lots and lots of pigeons. It's hard not to see a contrast.

Compare it with the also-grayscale-but-totally-different artwork of Jay Z's newest, Magna Carta Holy Grail, and you get a sense of what different spaces these two occupy right now. Hov's driving to the Met in a Bugatti; Sweatshirt's telling you how much everything sucks, scrawling it across the walls. It's money, I guess, but if you hear a clinking sound here, it's a can of spray-paint, not stacks of coins.

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