Music Features

Larry King's Best Hip-Hop Interviews

Larry King interviewed countless rappers throughout his career, but these few stood above the pack

Mac Miller and Larry King

While Larry King admitted on several occasions that he "didn't appreciate Hip-Hop," the legendary interviewer opened up his show to a plethora of rap stars beginning in 2014.

His lack of appreciation wasn't malicious in the slightest. Raised on the sounds of Frank Sinatra and jazz, Larry King merely didn't understand the genre. But with each interview he strove to educate not only the public about Hip-Hop's cultural power, but himself. He often was hyper-focused on the lack of gay rappers within the industry, as well as the genre's use of the N-word, and asked about it unflinchingly.

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It is hard to imagine music without Drake.

For over a decade, he's been one of the most influential figures not just in Hip-Hop but in music period. He went from a child actor to Lil Wayne's protege to a G.O.A.T. in his own right. Drake's consistency and diversity are what keeps him at the top of the mountain.

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Music Features

Sophie Brussaux Shares More Photos of Drake's Son, Adonis

It seems the rapper is finally embracing fatherhood.

Photo by Fé Ngô on Unsplash

Yesterday, Drake finally shared photos of his son, Adonis, on his Instagram account.

This comes after Pusha T confirmed the longstanding rumor that the "God's Plan" rapper had a child in a diss track released in 2018. The track is called "The Story of Adidon" and features a verse with the following lyrics: "A baby's involved, it's deeper than rap," Pusha says on the song. "You are hiding a child, let that boy come home...Adonis is your son / And he deserves more than an Adidas press run; that's real." Now, it seems that Drake is finally embracing fatherhood.

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Drake Shares First Photos of His Son, Adonis

And we have Pusha-T to thank for bringing the family together.

By Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

A short lifetime ago, the most-discussed topic of pop culture was the ongoing beef between Drake and Pusha-T.

Drake—Drizzy, Champagne Papi, Canada's finest export—is no newbie to feuds with his contemporaries. But in spring of 2018, just before Drake released his most recent album Scorpion, Pusha went where no opponent had gone before: confirming the longstanding rumor that the "God's Plan" rapper had a child.

Today, Drake finally seems to be owning up to his fatherhood, having shared a handful of photos of his son, Adonis, on Instagram. "I love and miss my beautiful family and friends and I can't wait for the joyful day when we are all able to reunite," Drake wrote in the caption, marking the first time he's posted photos (or directly acknowledged) his two-year-old child. With piercing blue eyes and a full head of blonde ringlets, they don't look much alike (as we've discussed, celebrity genetics are wild), but this proof of parenthood is as good as any. He also included a full-family shot featuring Adonis' mother, French artist Sophie Brussaux.

Whispers of Drake's potential fatherhood have been circulating for years, but no names had been confirmed until Pusha's diss track aimed at Drake, "The Story of Adidon," first surfaced. "A baby's involved, it's deeper than rap," Pusha says on the song. "You are hiding a child, let that boy come home...Adonis is your son / And he deserves more than an Adidas press run; that's real."

Considering how sneaky Drake had been previously about his child, it seems like we very well might have never known about Adonis if it weren't for the diss track. Who knew? Pusha-T: bringing families together since 2020.


Goldlink Is Authentic and Captivating on "Diaspora"

The rapper's sophpmore LP is the album of the summer

Washington, D.C.'s vibrant music scene is known for its continued evolution. The city served as the birthplace of Moombahton and a continued source of inspiration for Thievery Corporation's experimentation with reggae and lo-fi trip-hop.

It inspired the ethereal melodies of Duke Ellington and later churned out Tank and Ginuwine, the pinnacle icons of early 2000's R&B. Wale, whose continued experimentation with Afropop, R&B, and slam poetry has historically been met with mixed reactions, is credited with being one of the first big mainstream rappers out of the area, and despite his 13 years in the spotlight, he continues to chase versatility, with each of his projects sounding vastly different from the last.

Even so, continued experimentation can lead to issues. Wale was recently accused of cultural appropriation for the Major-Lazer assisted single "My Love," and Moombahton quickly became a dated subgenre as Afro melodies seeped into the mainstream. When Goldlink announced Diaspora, many were trepidatious. For a rapper who was lauded for his experimentation on his debut At What Cost, the project's follow-up appeared to be an attempt to capitalize on past praise, and it was difficult not to worry that the 26-year-old was having a Wale-esque identity crisis.

"I keep my energy calibrated" Goldlink raps on "Rumble," and it's true. Everything about Diaspora is subtle and fine-tuned. Tight wordplay and sophisticated experimentation are sprinkled throughout the album and give way to rewarding moments. Goldlink samples the best of D.C.'s budding Afro-influenced underground acts without raising questions about its legitimacy, while demanding the most out of his eclectic features. While Maleek Berry sounds right at home on "Zulu Screams," WizKid is asked to challenge himself on the lo-fi instrumentation of "No Lie." Even Khalid sounds relatively out of his comfort zone as he takes on mumble rap in his "Days Like This" hook. Despite the 14-track project having 11 features, none of them overshadow the lyrical prowess of Diaspora's protagonist. Goldlink takes plenty of moments for himself, letting loose on "Maniac" and "More" and then reining it in for a quick humble-brag on the album closer, "Swoosh." He goes blow for blow against Pusha T on "Coke White/Moscow" and comes out unscathed, then immediately dives into a relaxed bossa nova experiment with "U Say."

The album ebbs and flows as frequently as D.C. culture, yet Goldlink never gets lost along the way. "I'm committed to the movement, you committed to the wave," Goldlink raps on "Moscow." The album cover, a candid photo shot by Hailey Bieber of Goldlink's love interest, Justine Skye, further questions the idea of identity and diaspora (Skye famously got into an Instagram debacle over identifying as Jamaican despite being born in the U.S.). Like Justine, Goldlink's sophomore effort is authentic and influenced by multiple cultures. Putting Skye on the cover finalizes his thesis: We are each more than just our nationality, and Goldlink is more than just another rapper.


'ye' Is Kanye's Low and It's Still Pretty High

'ye' is a Low Point for Kanye, But His Lows Still Tend to be Pretty Damn Entertaining.

Kanye West 'ye'

Of course, these sentiments are also laced with sexual innuendos alluding to his sex-tape-queen-turned-reality-mogul-wife Kim Kardashian, and all of the ways their family commercializes self-obsession, Trump included.

Imagine a close friend whom you admire deciding to become a performance artist in the dead of their successful, promising career. Imagine that same friend making really bad art pieces as they go into massive debt, publicly parading their induced narcissism as impassioned genius.

You may have already guessed who the friend in question is; cue the only rapper who can make an album more embarrassing than Snoop Dogg as Snoop Lion. ye, Kanye West's latest 24-minute album and ostentatious art excursion in Wyoming, features some of the laziest rhymes of his entire career. It's like watching an icon strip himself of everything that made him special and wonderful under the guise of self-transformation and worse, mental health.

ye is Kanye's confessional album, the piece of art where he talks about just how tortured and hard his life is and why you, as a fan and consumer of music, should value his artistry even during his wildest antics. And it's another album that sounds like West rewrote most of the songs an hour before mastering it. (Thankfully, Pusha T got the good Kanye.)

Of course, these sentiments are also laced with sexual innuendos alluding to his sex-tape-queen-turned-reality-mogul-wife Kim Kardashian, and all of the ways their family commercializes self-obsession, Trump included. His vision has always been grand, his drive and spirit equally inspiring. He almost single-handedly revived Jay-Z's career, producing a good portion of The Blueprint.

Recently, his Twitter rants, public support of America's most embarrassing president, and affiliation with America's most annoying, albeit bankable family have manifested a hot-headed megalomaniac who's convinced he's rewarding the world with his talents. But his brand of celebrity is counterfeit, his ideas becoming less and less imaginative and more claustrophobic, revealing a man who's drowning in his own conceit.

Kanye West is a talented man. Kanye West is a smart man. That's why his descent into complete stupor accentuates his flaws, insecurities, and imperfections as glaringly primal side-effects to a man who was always a little full of himself. These days, the sensationalism surrounding West is bigger than his music, and that's an unfortunate summation of his rap career: The egotist who lost it.

Examining his career, however, is futile; in retrospect, West was always working up to something, and as a perfectionist and chronic revisionist/procrastinator, it's hard to decipher with whom he was competing. Himself? Media? His reflection? Why is he always defensive, equipped with a rebuttal for every concern we never voiced? For a man with a head as big as West's, his delusions were never unforeseeable. Black America and even your mom knew we'd lose him. Luckily, even West's lows make for listenable music, and ye ends before you start listening. "Poopedy woopedy poop de scoop"…I hope Kanye West starts saving some of his money or at least keeps his wife. The real world isn't kind to us common folk, but old Kanye would remember that.

Shaun Harris is a poet, freelance writer, and editor published in avant-garde, feminist journals. Lover of warm-toned makeup palettes, psych-rock, and Hilton Als. Her work has allowed her to copyedit and curate content for various poetry organizations in the NYC area.