Hip hop

Repetitive, spiritless, god-bothering music: Kanye West's Donda reviewed

4 September 2021 9:00 am

Grade: C– The nicest thing one can say is that this is a marginally better album than we would have…

Joyous and very, very funny: Beastie Boys Story reviewed

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The music of the Beastie Boys was entirely an expression of their personalities, a chance to delightedly splurge out on…

Livestream-hopping is just as irritating as being at a real festival

2 May 2020 9:00 am

The ghost of Samuel Beckett oversaw the Hip Hop Loves NY livestream last Thursday night. Time and time again its…

Rambert's latest uses the migrant crisis for superficial intrigue: Aisha and Abhaya reviewed

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

The January dance stage can be a site of naked contrition. Like a tippler grasping at green juice after a…

Rap that feels like a sociology lecture: Loyle Carner at Alexandra Palace reviewed

30 November 2019 9:00 am

A few years ago, I asked the young American soul singer Leon Bridges — a latter-day Sam Cooke, with the…

Kanye wipes the floor with David Letterman

6 July 2019 9:00 am

My plan to cut the BBC out of my life entirely is working well. Apart from the occasional forgivable lapse…

Laudably perverse – maybe album of the year: Cypress Hill’s Elephants on Acid reviewed

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Grade: A+ Easily album title of the year, maybe album of the year. A true bravura offering from these supposedly…

Thank god for the return of the generation gap in pop

11 August 2018 9:00 am

In June, a 20-year-old man called Jahseh Onfroy was murdered after leaving a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Onfroy…

Unignorable and uncontrollable

Musically, politically and culturally, Kanye West is uncontrollable and unignorable

9 June 2018 9:00 am

Kanye West is more than halfway in to the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame — if his politics don’t block the…

Vince Staples is Christian, yet it’s hard to imagine Jesus singing along to GTFOMD

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Grade: B+ Another ex-Long Beach crip replanted in pleasant Orange County via the conduit of very large amounts of record…

Album cover

England Lost/Gotta Get A Grip

12 August 2017 9:00 am

Two songs in which Sir Michael informs us that he is distressed by both Brexit and Donald Trump. Released with,…

The hip-hop intellectual from inner-city Baltimore

7 May 2016 9:00 am

The author of the bestseller Between the World and Me and recipient of a MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ last year, Ta-Nehisi…

Why I’m stepping down after 28 years as The Spectator pop critic

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Pop's place in culture has changed drastically. Marcus Berkmann explains why, after 27 years, it is time to step down as The Spectator's pop critic