Loose Links: Nas, El-P, Spank Rock, Eddie Huang
Nas recalls making "It Was Written," El-P talks about New York's rap scene, Spank Rock grows up and Eddie Huang gets his own TV show.
Nas's discography has been something of a mystery over the years: when he's on point, he makes classics (see: Illmatic, Stillmatic), but when his cross-hairs veer off target, it's an entirely different matter. But the Queensbridge emcee's sophomore LP It Was Written is perhaps his most problematic, and not because of its quality. When it first dropped back in '96, critics lambasted Nas Escobar's new, radio-friendly sound; nowadays, the LP is looked upon as one of his classic works. So on the 15th anniversary of its release, XXL caught up with God's Son to discuss the making of the now-seminal album.
For the past two decades, El-P has been a mainstay of the New York underground Hip Hop circuit. From his work with cult trio Company Flow to heading the now-defunct Definitive Jux label, he's left his fingerprints all over the independent Hip Hop scene, and given his recent work with Killer Mike and Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, he' showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. So Fader caught up with the storied emcee/producer to talk about his lengthy career and his views on the ever-changing face of Hip Hop music.
Miami bass-influenced rapper Spank Rock has never been at the top of the critic's year end lists. DX's own Kathy Iandoli even expressed her deep hatred of the Baltimore-based emcee and his tongue-in-cheek 2 Live Crew schtick. But five years after his and producer XXXChange's hipster-approved '06 YoYoYoYoYo, Spank Rock and company have transformed from ass-obsessed jokesters into businessmen. Check out The Age's recent piece on Spank Rock's evolution and how the departure of his one-time producer shaped the sound of his latest project Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar.
For many New Yorkers, the name Eddie Huang is synonymous with the critically acclaimed and bank account friendly East Village restaurant BaoHaus. But what most people probably don't know is that is that Huang is a die-hard Hip Hop head and has even lent his pen to DX. Now, in the spirit of his own price-conscious eatery, Huang is getting his own TV show on the Cooking Channel "Cheap Bites." Check out a promo video below, and you can read up about it at Eddie's blog ThePopChef.