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2021 is in the wind, but the stink of December’s biggest hip-hop plot remains

Photo: SHOTBYNYP / BACKGRID

The feeling arrived before the two rap giants appeared on stage. This was prior to waiting nearly two hours — most of it spent watching a dark screen projecting nowhere in particular inside a packed Los Angeles Coliseum. Although the concert was scheduled to begin on December 9, 2021 at…

We all miss the fallen icon, but dropping subpar releases after her death is straight-up disrespectful

Ron Galella/Getty Images

If you’re going to release a “new” song from Aaliyah, it should at least be audible. That not only meets the bare minimum for any musical release in 2021, but when it comes to Aaliyah specifically, it’s a sign of reverence for someone who managed to become one of the…

Joseph Patel produced stories for and on some of the best in music. Now he’s on the verge of landing his first Oscar.

Photo courtesy of Joseph Patel

In 1996, the now-defunct hip-hop magazine Rap Pages published The Roots’ very first cover story, written by Bay Area scribe Joseph Patel. Twenty-five years later, Patel is an accomplished visual storyteller living on the intersection of culture and music. His résumé boasts media brands like VICE and Vevo. …

The late hip-hop moguls poured into themselves, their families, and their communities before their tragic demises. And as a result, their names and legacies will live forever.

Photo illustration: Josue Avilla for Level

“Happy C-Day, Neighborhood Nip,” said Young Dolph in a clip posted to Instagram in August, on what should’ve been Nipsey Hussle’s 36th birthday. “R.I.P. my boy. Real niggas still miss you down here, bruh.”

Dolph drove the point home by showing off a brand-new custom chain, a sequence of chunky…

Travis Scott’s deadly concert was a failure on the part of many to act with an ounce of decency and empathy

Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage

As much as I’ve grown accustomed to waking up to bad news, I still struggle with accepting what little empathy so many people seem to have.

When it comes to the tragedy that took place over the weekend in Houston at the Astroworld Festival, as shocking as it was to…

In the wake of "missing White woman syndrome," society ignores missing Black women

Kelley Price's Headshot | Photo via Yahoo News

As "Missing White Woman Syndrome" takes center stage in our national discourse, we've discovered a treasured member of the Black community went missing back in August. But we're just learning about her disappearance now.

When Kelly Price, a 48-year old R&B and gospel singer, went missing, her name should have…

The two music legends mastered concept albums centered on freedom, equality, and Blackness

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Below is an excerpt from veteran journalist and culture critic Miles Marshall Lewis’ upcoming book, Promise That You Will Sing About Me: The Power and Poetry of Kendrick Lamar, set for publication by St. Martin’s Publishing Group on September 28, 2021.

There’s not much consensus over what constitutes a concept…

LEVEL

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