It is nearly impossible to get a bunch of passionate hip hop fans to agree on anything. But I tried anyhow, starting with a series of polls on Facebook that aimed to figure out which emcee or group was the best in the game as driven by the letters of the alphabet. No specific rubric or criteria was given; just a simple request for answers to the question, "Who is the best emcee or hip hop group beginning with the letter 'A'?; 'B'?; 'C'?; 'D'?..." and so on. The responses were immediate and spurred some pretty spirited discussions. A general consensus was ultimately reached for each and per the request of Music Editor Leilani Polk, I'm bringing the poll results to Ear Buds. Each week, I'll reveal a letter and its "winning" artist, and then I'll re-open the question for further debate. Once we finish the first 26, we'll start it all over again fresh.
I have a huge confession to make. I do not enjoy the music of the winner of the Hip Hop ABCs Letter 'T'. I have procrastinated posting this article because I know being honest with you about this will severely damage my reputation. I mean, how can I be respected enough to write about hip hop when I don’t like an artist who is widely considered the best emcee of all time. Maybe I can’t be. The truth, however, is the truth.
Late night talk shows have to be the bane of any self-respecting band’s existence. Despite their meticulous organization and massive reach, these shows consistently manage to make the most rich and nuanced music sound like it’s coming from a tin can jammed between the couch cushions.
But when it works, it can be magic. Case in point: Ty Segall’s incredible performance on Conan last night. Playing the snotty, fuzzed-out “Feel” off his forthcoming album Manipulator (out 8/28), Segall and Co. utterly destroyed for four-plus minutes of beautiful television. The whole thing sounded like U2 on some kind of trippy rampage and looked like a group of long-haired warriors hell-bent on blowing the minds of anyone watching.