The Business of Hip-Hop

The Business of Hip-Hop & Opinions on Electric Wizard and Corinne Bailey Rae

Jim and Greg discuss the business of hip-hop with Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback.

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Music News

After welcoming new listeners on Connecticut Public Radio, Jim and Greg talk about the Nielsen SoundScan report for 2010. Eminem's Recovery was the biggest selling album of 2010, but the year's biggest selling artist for the second time in three years was Taylor Swift. Album sales continued to trend downward, but music purchases were actually up overall. So more and more people are listening to music than ever – especially rap and country music. And vinyl had its best year since SoundScan began tracking numbers in 1991.


The Business of Hip-Hop

Jay-z As Jim and Greg explain in the news segment, hip-hop continues to be the music industry's cash king. It's come a long way since starting as an underground street art, and tracing the development of the hip-hop economy can shed a lot of light on the workings of the music industry. As Jay-Z famously rapped,“I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man.”Jim and Greg talk to Dan Charnas about this multi-billion economy. Dan is a music journalist who also spent many years working at rap labels. His new book is called The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop.

reviewBlack MassesDopethrone available on iTunes

Electric Wizard Dopethrone

Electric Wizard, the self-proclaimed“heaviest band in the universe,”has a new album out called Black Masses. Over the past decade, the British stoner metal act has undergone a lot of lineup changes. They‘ve also picked up the pace a bit on their sludgy rhythms. There’s still a lot of heaviness and distortion, according to Greg, but the new album sounds more mainstream and less distinctive. There are a handful of classic Electric Wizard tracks, so he says Burn It. Jim agrees; if you only own one record by the band, and you should, go with Dopethrone. He gives Black Masses a Burn It rating.

reviewThe Love E.P.The Love EP available on iTunes

Corinne Bailey Rae The Love EP

Pop music is filled with great love songs, and Corinne Bailey Rae picks her favorites to cover on The Love EP. The British singer's last release, The Sea, was her first since the death of her husband. Jim empathizes with Rae, but just doesn't like her vocal performance. It lacks guts and soul. And he also questions her song choices. Jim gives The Love EP a Trash It. Greg finds this review a little harsh. He admits there's nothing dark or emotional about Corinne Bailey Rae, but he hears a new friskiness not on other releases. He loves her takes on songs by Prince, Belly and even Doris Day. Greg recommends listeners Burn It.


Featured Songs

  1. Shonen Knife, Top of the World, If I Were a Carpenter, A&M, 1994
  2. Eminem, Not Afraid, Recovery, Interscope, 2010
  3. Kanye West, Diamonds Are Forever Remix, Late Registration, Universal, 2005
  4. Sugarhill Gang, Rappers Delight, Rappers Delight, Sugar Hill, 1980
  5. Chic, Good Times, Risque, Atlantic, 1979
  6. Grandmaster Flash, White Lines, White Lines, Sugar Hill, 1983
  7. Afrika Bambaata, Looking for the Perfect Beat, Planet Rock, Tommy Boy, 1983
  8. LL Cool J, I Need A Beat, Radio, Def Jam, 1985
  9. Kurtis Blow, Christmas Rappin, Kurtis Blow, Mercury, 1980
  10. Run DMC, Its Like That, Run DMC, Def Jam, 1984
  11. T La Rock, It's Yours, Lyrical King, Traffic, 1987
  12. Egyptian Lover, Egypt Egypt, On The Nile, Egyptian Empire, 1984
  13. Body Count, Cop Killer, Body Count, Sire, 1992
  14. EPMD, Strictly Business, Strictly Business, Priority, 1988
  15. Electric Wizard, Venus in Furs, Black Masses, Rise Above Records, 2010
  16. Electric Wizard, Black Mass, Black Masses, Rise Above Records, 2010
  17. Electric Wizard, Crypt of Drugula, Black Masses, Rise Above Records, 2010
  18. Corinne Bailey Rae, Is This Love, The Love EP, Good Groove, 2011
  19. Corinne Bailey Rae, Que Sera Sera, The Love EP, Good Groove, 2011
  20. Corinne Bailey Rae, My Love, The Love EP, Good Groove, 2011
  21. Tom Waits, Please Call Me, Baby, The Heart of Saturday Night, Asylum, 1974
  22. Circle Pit, Dead Meat, Circle Pit, Timberyard Records, 2010
  23. J Roddy Walston and the Business, Used to Did, J Roddy Walston and the Business, Vagrant, 2010

Footnotes Nielsen's 2010 SoundScan report Electric Wizard Corinne Bailey Rae