Recent posts: rap

REVIEW: Passing the Century mark at 2024’s NAMM Show

Descending yet again on Anaheim Convention Center for its 102nd year, NAMM Show returned to Southern California with its flurry of interactive talks, lectures, award shows and musical instrument demos at the end of January. Initially not sure how I would maximize my days in the musical melody mecca, NAMM Show+ emerged conveniently providing an organized guide including an up to the minute schedule of events, a detailed map and link to livestreamed sessions broadcast internationally. Drawing aspiring students to seasoned professionals, NAMM Show proved once more why it remains THE premier place to connect with a unique group of world class musicians, instrument brands and business execs from across the globe.

4 February 2024 Breaking Bits  Reviews  Shows Read more

INTERVIEW: Grammy Museum Co-Curator Felicia Angeja Viator

Walking through the Grammy Museum’s latest “Hip-Hop America- The Mixtape Exhibit”, flashes of fiery media clips, interactive pods and historic rare artifacts greet the visitor from the jump. Inspecting every display case during its preview a few weeks ago, it’s clear the expertise, care and thought that went into the exhibit’s creation. Wandering through the halls, I luckily connected with one of the exhibit’s co-curators, Felicia Angeja Viator, who brought her vast cultural knowledge and background to the table, ensuring West Coast hip-hop repped throughout.

3 January 2024 Interviews Read more

Chopping it up on ‘Can You Dig It?’- Hip-Hop’s Origin Story with Chuck D

Weeks after the Grammy Museum’s lauded “Hip Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit” opening, the celebratory mood continued with one of its exhibit’s contributors Chuck D being featured on a panel highlighting the latest Amazon Audible docuseries ‘Can You Dig It?’. On a busy downtown LA Tuesday night with The Lakers playing down the block, casual fan and hip-hop purist museum members alike gathered to hear more about the 1970’s Burning Bronx’s Ghetto Brothers’ Black Benjie’s gang murder backstory, leading to a peaceful culmination of Kool Herc’s historic 1520 Sedgwick Ave’s house party hip-hop birth.

20 November 2023 Breaking Bits  Reviews Read more

INTERVIEW: Grammy Museum co-curator and UCLA RAP Lab’s Adam Bradley

Previewing Grammy Museum’s new “Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit” before its public opening a few weeks ago, my eyes immediately met priceless, meaningful cultural artifacts at every turn. Among the friendly faces greeting the small crowd of photographers and journalists viewing these rarities, stood UCLA’s English and African-American Studies “Professor of Hip-Hop” and Rap Lab founding director Adam Bradley. As a life-long lover of poetry and song lyrics, I was hyped to connect with him about his passion for the art form and his influence on the prominent “Lyrical Adventures” pod within the exhibit.

6 November 2023 Breaking Bits  Interviews  Music  Soundcloud Read more

INTERVIEW: Celebrity Nail Artist Temeka Jackson

Entering The Grammy Museum’s latest ” Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit”, in the center of the room, an eye-catching case with studded jeweled nails worn by Bay Area rapper Saweetie, rests. Contributing this trendsetting piece of hip-hop art is celebrity artist and nail salon owner Temeka Jackson. Beginning her nail art journey as the first Black nail technician in New Haven, Connecticut, she’s appeared in reality shows like “Next Top Nail Artist” and “Nailed It”. Today, staying booked and busy, her custom creations reign on red carpets, music video sets and magazine covers on the reg.

23 October 2023 Breaking Bits  Interviews  Music Read more

Hip-Hop Historic Hood Heaven: Hip-Hop America: The Mixtape Exhibit Opening at Grammy Museum

Getting the unique opportunity to preview Los Angeles’ Grammy Museum’s latest exhibit before doors opened on Friday, Dilla’s personal cassette tapes, Andre 3000’s flamboyant feathery suede jumpsuit, Saweetie’s elaborate nail art, and a B-Boy posed in mid-head spin all awaited me inside.

8 October 2023 Breaking Bits  Music Read more


While perusing through the stacked lineup for Bull City’s 5thAnnual Art of Cool Fest earlier this fall, my eyes immediately stopped at one name. Dwele. Universally known for hailing from the historic Midwestern music metropolis of Detroit, he respectfully pays homage to the greats that came before but blazed his own action-packed melodic trail since his demo debut ‘The Rize’ in 2000. His career’s gone fascinating places, linking up with Raphael Saadiq, Eric Roberson, Slum Village, Common, Phife, Raheem Devaughn, DJ Quik and Kanye.

14 December 2018 Breaking Bits  Interviews Read more

INTERVIEW: Colin Wolfe

As many 90’s classic albums continue to hit the critical 25th Anniversary mark, genre purists cannot forget to commemorate 1992’s ‘The Chronic’. Released December 15, 1992, the monstrous solo album from future legend Dr. Dre bore its enduring mark into a crowded landmark year and introduced a new wave of East Coast impressionable hip-hop listeners, perhaps too young to know N.W.A., to the trademark West Coast P-Funk homage-paying Death Row Records sound for the first time. If an album perfectly encapsulated a time and place with its vivid corresponding videos, this would be at the top of the list. ‘The Chronic’, combined with the searing ‘Deep Cover’ soundtrack title-track released earlier in ‘92, introduced the world to Snoop Dogg, another future legend in his own right, provided a remarkable 1-2 punch, leaving their stamps on hip-hop history for all eternity.

When delving further into the credits for these enduring pieces of music, one key collaborator’s name, who contributed basslines you cannot get out of the head years later, stuck out from the rest. Prepping to attend this year’s MoogFest, I purposely sought out producer and musician Colin Wolfe to discuss these two projects with Dr. Dre and discovered an extensive and impressive discography highlighting another fruitful partnership with legendary ATL producer Dallas Austin. Rifling through Colin’s prominent laundry list of credits as composer, producer or bass musician, he’s worked with artists like Monica, TLC, Michael Jackson, Outkast, Aretha Franklin, Erick Sermon, Janet Jackson and George Clinton to name a few.

On a particularly hot and muggy day in Durham, NC, I sat down with Colin Wolfe who shared insightful and funny anecdotes (including an unexpected MJ pet Bubbles The Chimp story) and behind the scenes tidbits of working in two powerhouse creative compounds which shaped the history of hip-hop and R&B during their “golden eras”. Peep the interview clips below!

15 December 2017 Breaking Bits  Interviews Read more

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