Here, five individuals associated with RAR share their memories of Boston back then, what they gained from having RAR in their lives, and how, in 2019, we can continue to honor the groundwork RAR laid for a better Boston.
Collectively W.O.K.E. touches on topics ranging from creeping fascism and artificial intelligence to prison and debt.
On a fractured scene for which the go-to metaphor has always been a crab bucket, On&On was a uniter with friends on all sides.
Mass Hip-Hop Archive breaks critical positive gem out the vault
One person who isn’t called out by name—the current president of the United States.
While a lot of MCs from the '90s and early 2000s try in vain to chase trends set by rappers half their age, Twice Thou avoids this pitfall. He's mature, and instead reflects on hard lessons learned while sticking to the formula he's had for two decades ...
I interviewed Kool Gee the day after he rocked Wally’s. At his request, we met at the place where the TDS Mob story begins—the stoop of the old Tower Records on the corner of Newbury Street and Mass Ave. From there, he took me back to 1989, when TDS ran the calendar with a year of rap perfection.
"He was gone before his time ... People didn’t really get to experience his full potential like we did … He was right on the cusp of doing some even bigger stuff musically [that] could have been commercially successful.”
When I went about compiling my list of hopefuls for this next volume, Ed’s classic from 23 years ago was at the top of my list. And the more I analyzed it, as well as interviewed the people who helped make it happen, the more its classic status was confirmed to me.
Like so much history about communities of color, the narrative of Boston hip-hop has been largely buried, ignored, forgotten. Thankfully, there remain innumerable artists, writers, fans, and even academics who, in the storytelling tradition rap music is rooted in, have kept dope alive via marvelous multimedia tributes. This whole package is dedicated to them.