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JPEGMafia offers an escape from single-genre monotony on the eclectic All My Heroes Are Cornballs

On his new third studio album, All My Heroes Are Cornballs, Brooklyn-born, Baltimore-based hip-hop artist Barrington Devaughn Hendricks, aka JPEGmafia (Peggy for short), offers an escape from the monotony of music that’s restricted by genre. Hendricks dives headfirst into his attention-deficit-fueled opener, “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot,” which is the album’s most concise […]

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Rhiannon Giddens honors the African and Arabic influences in American roots music on There Is No Other

Classically trained vocalist and masterful banjo and fiddle player Rhiannon Giddens is celebrated as one of the leading proponents of what’s variously called Americana or roots music. Though her aesthetic has wide appeal, she toughens it with her uncompromising determination to bear witness to the ongoing (and too often neglected) Africanist voice and history in […]

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New Zealand singer-songwriter Jonathan Bree brings his discontented chamber pop to the States

When New Zealand singer-songwriter Jonathan Bree began his solo career in 2013, his creations were almost diametrically opposed to the poppy, upbeat material that he’d crafted in the Brunettes, his longtime project with Heather Mansfield. His first two LPs were melancholy and dour, casting his deep, gloomy, discontented croon in a dark light. But on […]

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As DJ Roc, Clarence Johnson has helped make footwork a global phenomenon

As DJ Roc, Chicago producer Clarence Johnson helped mold footwork and provided the support it needed to become an international underground phenomenon. He started making juke tracks in the early 2000s, but just a few years later he adopted the faster, battle-ready footwork sound. Johnson strengthened the footwork scene in 2005 by cofounding production collective […]