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News: Lineup Announced For Rhymesayers 20th Anniversary Concert

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Featured, Latest, News, Reads | 0 comments

Written by Kevin Madert

In a hip-hop landscape overpopulated by inconsequential lyrics tracking at the third grade level, manufactured radio-friendly rhymes, and whatever the hell Iggy Azalea is, Rhymesayers Entertainment shines bright as a last bastion of hope. Born and bred in Minnesota, the independent label has come a long way since being founded by Sean Daley, Anthony Davis (both of Atmosphere), Musab Saad (aka Sab the Artist) and Brent Sayers (aka Siddiq), but the music over profit mindset & consistently thought-provoking lyricism present from day one has never wavered.

In the aforementioned climate of the genre it’s laudable for anyone to stay relevant for twenty minutes, much less two decades, yet here we are. And in true RS fashion, the twentieth anniversary shindig slated for December 4th at the Target Center in Minneapolis is shaping up to be a hell of a celebration.


Atmosphere, Grieves, Dilated Peoples, Brother Ali, and Aesop Rock top a bill stuffed to bursting with Rhymesayers-signed talent – an indicator of just how influential the label has been in the underground hip-hop community since the mid-90s. You can bet AltFreq will do everything we can to make the trek to the Twin Cities in December to take part in this party for the ages.

Tickets for Rhymesayers 20 go on sale to the general public starting this Friday, October 16 at 10am CST (that’s 11am EST, local friends). A general admission ticket will run you a whopping 20 bucks, with VIP options also available. All other pertinent information can be obtained via the Rhymesayers website.

Rhymesayers 20 Lineup (in alphabetical order)

Abstract Rude | Aesop Rock | Atmosphere | Battlecats | BK One | Blueprint | Boom Bap Project
Brother Ali | deM atlaS | Dilated Peoples | DJ Abilities | Evidence | Felt | Freeway | Grayskul | Grieves Hail Mary Mallon | I Self Devine | Jake One | K-Salaam | Los Nativos | Micranots | Mr. Dibbs | Musab P.O.S | Prof | Soul Position | The Uncluded | Toki Wright

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Weekend Warm-Up No. 16: Hip-Hop’s Golden Age

Posted by on Apr 17, 2015 in Featured, Latest, Noise, Weekend Warm-Ups | 0 comments

Words & list by Kevin Madert

After developing quickly in the late 1970s and early 1980s, hip-hop hit what most music historians consider its pinnacle in the middle of the decade. With honed, intelligent lyricism, complex interior rhyme schemes, innovative production styles, and a steady diversification of subject material, hip-hop saw itself expand in explosive fashion. In Rolling Stone‘s accurate assessment, “it seemed that every new single reinvented the genre,” during the Golden Age, which persisted well into the 1990s.

This week’s warm-up is just as much a history lesson as a tool for the fabrication and proliferation of psychitude. You’ll hear intricate narratives detailing everything from the struggles of black youth in America (“Temperature’s Rising”) to the minutiae of everyday life (“The Jam”), not to mention the occasional chest-thumping soliloquy (“The Rep Grows Bigga,” “Gz & Hustlas”).

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News: RJD2 Shares Details On New Hip-Hop Album, Collaboration With STS

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Latest, News, Reads | 0 comments

Written by Kevin Madert

Philadelphia-based instrumental hip-hop guru RJD2 is at it again: the long-time DJ/producer confirmed to Rolling Stone yesterday a new album is on the way. Out May 5th, STS x RJD2 will be a collaborative effort featuring rapper and fellow Philadelphian (Philadelphite?) STS. RJD2 describes the album as “soulful, honest hip-hop music,” and lauds STS for having “a way with words, and his own fully developed style…he’s one of my favorite rappers to make waves in the last three to four years.”

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News: Grieves Announces Summer Tour

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in Latest, News, Reads | 0 comments

Written by Kevin Madert

After a highly successful world tour in support of Winter and the Wolves, alt-hip-hopper and Rhymesayers regular Grieves is preparing to hit the road once more. The Out of the Rain Tour will begin May 19 and end June 25, making 26 stops along the way. Starting and ending in the Pacific Northwest (familiar stomping grounds for the Seattle native) Grieves will spend the time in between winding his way through the western half of the United States – sorry East Coasters.

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Frequency of the Week No. 6: Defunk

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Featured, Latest, Noise | 0 comments

Written by Kevin Madert

Once in a while an artist comes along that captures you attention and refuses to relinquish it. Defunk – a native of Calgary and the topic of this week’s FotW – fits that description like a snug sweater. His arsenal of production tools is formidable even by 2015 standards and he possesses a unique dedication to re-imagining the music of yesteryear from a modern-day perspective. With the word “genre” nowhere in his vocabulary, Defunk is a multifaceted producer poised to carve out a serious niche for himself in the world of electronic music.

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