THE RISE OF “ALMOST FAMOUS” RAPPERS, AND HOW YOU CAN HELP

bronson-730x385What do Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Killer Mike, Wrekonize, and Nipsey Hussle all have in common?  If you are familiar with TeamBackPack, you are probably familiar with all of these names, too.  Lovers of independent and underground hip-hop pride themselves on being tuned in to what’s poppin outside of the mainstream, and all of the artists I listed above have been around for long enough to land on most hip-hop head’s radar at some point.  Click here to read more…

“TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY” ALBUM REVIEW: THIS TIME, FOR REAL, NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME

150316-kendrick-lamar-730x486It’s easy as a fan of independent hip-hop to write off anything that drops in the dreaded world of “mainstream rap” as not worth your time.  Don’t do this to Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly.”  If you skip this album, you cheat yourself the chance of experiencing one of the most important releases for hip-hop culture to ever get pressed in wax.  Click here to read more…

LESS “I,” MORE “WE” | WHY HIP-HOP FANS SHOULD CARE ABOUT COMMUNITY AND MOVEMENTS

wbblogbkgrd-9de3-730x456The hip-hop community is a strange one.

Emcees at every stage of the game are happy to sing their crew’s praises one day and dis former crewmates the next (See: Kutt Calhoun, Weezy “Free Agent” Baby).  And hip-hop fans aren’t any more reliable with their allegiances and attitudes: we love to dub an artist corny one day and the second coming another (See: “2014 Forest Hills Drive”) or abandon our golden child when a song drops that we don’t like (See: “I”).  Click here to read more…

LIVE FROM THE UNDERGROUND: WEEK OF 3/13

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Community is about all of us, about every fan and their favorite artist that I haven’t heard of yet.  If you want to help build the underground hip-hop community, and make sure that the best music is recognized, then help support this column’s goals by joining the conversation!  Comment at the end of this post with your feedback, any artists and stories I am sleeping on, or any of your reactions to this column.  Click here to read more…

Edgar Allan Poe: Analysis and History

12247087_f520Edgar Allen Poe is a poet as mysterious as he is famous. Read below for a history of Poe’s life, an Edgar Allen Poe timeline, and analysis of three of Poe’s best poems. (DISCLAIMER: I wrote this essay in High School and just found it and thought it was fun.  There are no updates to this essay at all.  Think of it as a bit of ancient history!)  Click here to read more…