RAPstation Exclusive Interview: MC Alfred Banks

Up and coming New Orleans MC Alfred Banks has endured one of the most difficult periods of his life. After losing his 33-year-old older brother to suicide, he took his pain and turned it into art, namely the brooding new track, “The Funeral Of Orlandas Banks.” The emotionally charged song kicks off his forthcoming project, The Beautiful, which addresses his brother’s schizophrenia, the emotional response Banks had to his death and the subsequent lessons that come with tragedy. Banks shared a trailer for the album, which recounts the moments after he had to leave his brother’s funeral early to perform for a contracted show. 

Chuck D recently took notice of the hard work Banks and his tour mate, Memphis rapper Marco Pav&eac

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Damu the Fudgemunk pushes the boundaries of hip hop with 2 hour concept album

Damu The Fudgemunk has never been afraid to be different, and on his latest album, "Vignettes," Damu experiments with the core elements of hip hop itself, creating a unique concept album that blends genres and pushes boundaries.

D.C. based artist Damu has managed to sell thousands of records and built up a sizeable following primarily through positive word of mouth, without any promotions or major collaborations. "Vignettes" marks Damu's tenth year as a solo artist, and he's marking the occasion by releasing his magnum opus, an epic two hour, mostly instrumental concept album.

True to its name, "Vignettes" features a series of wildly different tracks, which pull inspiration from a variety of genres, ranging from electronica to go

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Nawlege 405 Drops New Single, Teases New EP

Nawlege 405 takes us back to the beauty of passionate, introspective rap, which makes manifest in his latest single, “Demons”.

The track flaunts its minimal approach towards sounds and beats, creating a solid background to which Nawlege is able to showcase his erratic rhyme schemes and volatile wordplay. Combine those two with the song's ominous tone, and what listener's find is nothing short of rap underground's finest (with a subject that befits its genre all but too well).

The song in itself begins with the emcee dishing out some smooth-flowing verses, likened to that of a wayward soul engaged in a perplexed soliloquy. As it progresses, however, and the dynamics build up, Nawlege displays his mastery at manipulating his flow, speeding up an

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Spotlight Artist: Joell Ortiz

Joell Ortiz has been garnering critical acclaim for his unparalleled skill on the mic for more than a decade, but even with years of experience and multiple hits under his belt, the Brooklyn rapper is just getting started.

Ortiz grew up in the housing projects of Brooklyn, an experience the rapper often calls back to in his music. Early in his career, he was called out as one of the best unsigned rappers on the scene by The Source magazine, though he didn't stay unsigned for long -- Ortiz was quickly signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath label, though now he's signed with Penalty Entertainment. He quickly built up some mainstream attention for his appearances on the soundtracks to GTA IV and NBA Live 2005.

Ortiz cemented his place as one of hip hop's greats w

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Chance, Travis Scott, The Weeknd, headline Bonnaroo

Coachella isn't the only music festival being headlined by hip hop artists these days -- Tennessee's popular Bonnaroo music festival has announced their line-up for this year's event, and it's loaded with some of modern rap's biggest acts.

Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd, and Travis Scott will headline the four day festival alongside rock groups U2 and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Artists such as D.R.A.M. and Torey Lanez will also perform.

You can view the full Bonnaroo line-up here.

Chance is still riding high off of the success of his award winning, critically acclaimed Coloring Book mixtape and its accompanying world tour. The Chicago rapper most recently appeared

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End Of An Era, Hip Hop In The White House

I know the arts saved my life,” Q-Tip told standing behind his podium at the National Arts and Humanities Youth Awards ceremony held at the White House, a historic moment without a doubt.

But there had been rappers and hip-hop artists within White House walls even before president Barrack Obama's tenure, Eazy-E had been the first, followed by Sean “Diddy Combs”, but the latter had only been given a tour, while the other attending due to technical reasons.

The Obamas were the first to fully embrace both hip-hop music and culture, and recognize its significance, seeking out pathways for hip-hop to teach and inspire; Q-Tip simply represents one among the many, proving that the link between hip-hop and pres

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