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The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Madonna’s “Bitch, I’m Madonna” is a bad video. It might be a good video if Madonna wasn’t out here trying to compete with Taylor Swift’s “Badd Blood” in the guest-star department and failing hilariously. Swift got her guest stars to throw knives and kung fu fight. Madonna has higher-wattage celebrities, but she can’t get them… More »

By: Tom Breihan / June 19, 2015 - 9:33 am

Status Ain’t Hood: The Meditative Chamber-Rap Of Dr. Yen Lo

The classic sound of New York rap, the late-’80s/early-’90s style that we most often associate with the city, is based entirely around the drums, and on the way tough and haggard and stressed-out voices interact with those drums. DJ Premier is a legend not because he was an innovator — he wasn’t, not really –… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 27, 2015 - 5:33 pm

Stream Dr. Yen Lo Days With Dr. Yen Lo

The Brooklyn rapper Ka likes to do things on his own. Most of the time, he raps and produces everything on his records by himself. He releases those records on his own label, and sometimes he sells them hand-to-hand outside record stores. He directs and edits his own videos. And his meditative, incantory take o… More »

By: Tom Breihan / May 18, 2015 - 1:23 pm

Dr. Ken Lo – “Day 3″ Video

Brooklyn rapper Ka has a flickering, incantory take on New York boom-bap that comes entirely from the man himself; he barely ever works with anyone else, in any capacity. But Ka recently formed a new Manchurian Candidate-inspired duo with the producer Preservation, whose style is, if anything, even more minimal than his own. Together, they’ve… More »

By: Tom Breihan / March 19, 2015 - 2:07 pm

The Week In Rap: Big Sean Is Good Now, Somehow

In the annals of rap history, Fat Joe holds a curious distinction. Joe is a just-OK rapper, a guy who fills space just fine on tracks but who almost never says anything that’ll rattle around in your consciousness. But Joe has been on more great songs than any other just-OK rapper in history. The list… More »

By: Tom Breihan / February 25, 2015 - 5:27 pm

Dr. Ken Lo – “Day 0″ Video

The Brooklyn rapper Ka is a model of DIY music-making. Generally, he produces everything himself, releases and distributes it on his own, and shoots his own videos — all while holding down a day job as a firefighter. That intense, inward focus has done great things for developing his meditative, impressionistic voice, and the last… More »

By: Tom Breihan / February 23, 2015 - 4:16 pm

Ka – “Lost Prophet Report”

The DIY Brooklyn rapper and producer Ka made the meditative, mythic album The Night’s Gambit, one of last year’s best rap LPs, and he’s already followed it up with the only-available-on-CD EP 1200 B.C. Now, he’s become the latest artist to participate in this summer’s Adult Swim Singles Series, which has brought us a to… More »

By: Tom Breihan / September 22, 2014 - 1:28 pm

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week

Last Friday was the Fourth Of July, which meant we didn’t run one of these lists. But the videos kept piling up, and so we’re giving you our picks for this week’s five best videos, as well as, without comment, last week’s picks. You deserve to have a lot of shit to watch on your… More »

By: Tom Breihan / July 11, 2014 - 9:51 am

Ka – “Still Heir” Video

Last year, the meditative Brooklyn rapper and producer Ka self-released the dark and absorbing The Night’s Gambit, one of last year’s best rap albums. This year, he followed it up with his 1200 B.C. EP, which isn’t even available digitally. If you wanted it, you had to mail-order the thing and wait for the CD… More »

By: Tom Breihan / July 7, 2014 - 3:24 pm

Adult Swim Announces 5th Singles Series With Deafheaven, Run The Jewels, Speedy Ortiz, & More

For the last several years Adult Swim has curated a series of singles released throughout the summer. They’ve put out some fantastic tracks in the past, but for the fifth series, coming this summer, they’ve completely outdone themselves, enlisting a dizzying array of artists from Speedy Ortiz to Tim Hecker, from Deafheaven to Run The… More »

By: Miles Bowe / June 2, 2014 - 1:38 pm

The 40 Best Rap Albums Of 2013

Last year, there was one album — Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City — that united virtually the entire rap-listening public in adoration. This year, no such luck. Many heard my #1 pick of the year (and you can probably already guess what it is) as the work of a sonic visionary, and plenty more… More »

By: Tom Breihan / December 16, 2013 - 8:35 am

Ka – “You Know It’s About” Video

Earlier this year, the Brooklyn rapper/producer Ka released the heavy, meditative The Night’s Gambit, one of the year’s best rap albums. Ka doesn’t just make all his own beats and self-release his albums; he also directs and edits the noirish, atmospheric black-and-white videos he makes for his songs. The new clip for the tingly, percussive… More »

By: Tom Breihan / November 13, 2013 - 4:02 pm

Ka – “Peace Akhi” Video

You could make a strong case that The Night’s Gambit, the album that the Brownsville, Brooklyn rapper Ka released last month, is the year’s best rap album. The album only had one guest-verse (from like-minded blunted maverick Roc Marciano), and Ka produced all of the album’s moody, contemplative beats himself. Ka also releases his ow… More »

By: Tom Breihan / August 22, 2013 - 2:33 pm

Album Of The Week: Ka The Night’s Gambit

A week and a half after Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail went out to a million Samsung users, another long-pedigreed Brooklyn rapper found an unconventional way to release an album. But this one was different: A few cardboard boxes of CDs and vinyl, carted out to a West Village street corner. Before the Brownsville rapper/producer… More »

By: Tom Breihan / July 16, 2013 - 1:14 pm

Stream Ka The Night’s Gambit

Ka is a low-key, hazed-out rapper/producer from Brownsville, Brooklyn, and Grief Pedigree, the album he released last year, is a slow-burner cult favorite full of muttered tough-talk and psychedelic, virtuosic boom-bap. Over the weekend, he released another new album, The Night’s Gambit, selling it to fans on a New York street corner late at night. More »

By: Tom Breihan / July 15, 2013 - 12:46 pm

Roc Marciano – “Nine Spray” (Feat. Ka)

For a while now, Long Island rap veteran Roc Marciano has been making dusky, spare New York rap that recalls the mid-’90s without ever translating as retro-rap; his great new album Reloaded is out next week. On one Reloaded track, Ka, a relative newcomer from Brooklyn who’s been doing great work in a similar style,… More »

By: Tom Breihan / November 6, 2012 - 10:30 am