Lil Uzi Vert spills his guts in front of an audience of 6,000 teenage fans

“At a rap concert, the DJ sets the tone and hypes the crowd. Maybe he’ll scream, “You got a hundred-dollar bill, get your hands up!” like Fatman Scoop. But when the DJ says, “If you have straight A’s, make some noise!” you know you’re in for an entirely different experience. That was the case Friday night at the Anthem, which hosted its first hip-hop concert, headlined by Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert.”

Read more in The Washington Post.


Rapper Fat Trel makes his triumphant return to Washington at U Street Music Hall

“Fat Trel has never been afraid to share, making true-to-life tales of gun violence, drug use and sexual escapades his stock in trade. Early Friday morning, his confessions showed a glimmer of maturity. “I’m on parole, so I can’t pop molly,” the D.C. rapper told the crowd at U Street Music Hall. “That’s why I’m drinking all this liquor.”

Read more in The Washington Post.

Album of the Day: M.E.S.H., “Hesaitix”

“A sound can be both formless and over-rendered,” producer M.E.S.H. claims in a press release, “like a boneless but fleshy hand from a life drawing class.” If that’s a metaphor for the state of underground electronic music, it’s an apt one: the scene has been awash with deliberately obtuse experiments for years, often under the banner of “deconstructed club music.”

Though that term has been applied to M.E.S.H.’s music, it’s not completely accurate. Since his 2014 breakthrough, Scythians, the music James Whipple makes as M.E.S.H. has explored both the functional needs of the club and the expressive power of abstraction, challenging assumptions about dual premises that are often viewed as an either-or proposition. On Hesaitix, he proves how limiting those premises are.”

Read more at Bandcamp.

The 20 Best Guest Verses of 2017

“In terms of singles, it’s been another vintage year for rap and hip-hop. Viral sensations, blockbuster loosies and album-standard mixtapes continue to dominate the conversation. As always, some artists have shone brightest on songs which aren’t entirely theirs. Here, we pick out 20 of the best guest verses of the year.”

Read more in Crack Magazine.

St. Vincent goes it alone and it’s more than enough

“All human beings create their own mythologies,” Annie Clark, who performs as St. Vincent, explained to Pitchfork earlier this year, “and I’m in the somewhat bizarre circumstance of creating a big mythology that gets shared with a lot of people.” On Monday night at the Anthem, Clark played Edith Hamilton with her self-created mythology, embarking on an audiovisual tour through her body of work in three acts.

Read more in The Washington Post.

For D.C. Native Kelela, Musical Empowerment Comes From Vulnerability

“There’s a moment during Kelela’s new single “Waitin” where she sings, “It’s all I dreamed of, it can’t get started.” It’s a lyric heavy with yearning and anticipation, but if it sounds familiar, that’s because it is: she also sang it on “Bank Head,” her first single, which was released back in 2013. Plenty has happened to the 34-year-old singer-songwriter in the intervening years, and with the recent release of her debut album, Take Me Apart, all that she’s dreamed of is finally getting started in earnest.”

Read more in the Washington City Paper.

Rapper Aminé brings his addictive hooks and zig-a-zig-ah to the Howard Theatre

Amid all the rock stars and Black Beatles of hip-hop, Aminé is perhaps rap’s biggest pop fanatic. You can hear the signs all over “Good for You,” a debut album that finds the Portland rapper flexing and finessing old and new flames with clever wordplay, a playful energy and beats so bright you might need shades.

Read more in The Washington Post.