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Ernest Hardy

Reporter

  • Bridging The Gap

    Los Angeles-based hip-hop trio Black Eyed Peas is the unofficial West Coast franchise of the East Coast's iconic Native Tongues collective. Part of their hometown appeal lies in West Coast heads' desperation to show the world that not all Left Coast rap devotees are 'bout blingin', bangin' and bitches: Garbed in boho gear, comprised of […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Love & Life

    Mary J. Blige has been dubbed the Queen of Hip-hop Soul, but she's really an old-fashioned blues singer wrapped in hip-hop beats and soul grooves. She knows that the blues are more than simply songs of woe — they're also about joy pulled from the jaws of despair, about hard-won victories in both life and […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Elephunk

    On Elephunk, their third album, Los Angeles alterna-rap group the Black Eyed Peas make another bid to crack the big time. To that end, they break out some marquee names — Justin Timberlake, Papa Roach, Brazilian samba legend Sergio Mendes — as well as add a female member, Fergie, to their crew. Party anthems predominate, […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Dance For Me

    For the past few years, the reigning queen of hip-hop soul has been slowly expanding her turf to include house music, through sleek, propulsive dance remixes of some of her biggest hits. Long obtainable only through import and promo-only DJ singles, these cult items are now available in a limited-edition CD. The good news is […]

    • Album Reviews
  • TP-2.Com

    R. Kelly's 2004 album Happy People/U Saved Me was a misstep, heavily burdened by invocations of God's infinite compassion for singers wrestling with child pornography charges. But Kelly has dropped all that for the time being: The nineteen-track TP.3 Reloaded is a return to form that acts as if all of his legal troubles were […]

    • Album Reviews
  • The Velvet Rope

    The marketplace has been both artistic boot camp and therapist's couch for Janet Jackson; at the core of her bond with her audience is the fact that it has paid for the privilege to watch her come into her own. It is simulated intimacy — but what other kind is there when the object of […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Share My World

    Mary J. Blige has the most bruised heart in contemporary pop and R&B — and the most resilient. The undisputed queen of hip-hop/R&B, Blige's connection to fans is wired to her heart condition — the way her spiritual afflictions and hard-won triumphs play out in her voice. She sings in defiance of the world-weariness that […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Bally Sagoo: Rising Star of India

    The British mix master brings traditional Desi music to the West by fusing bhangra, soul, and R & B

    • Music
  • Chaos And Disorder

    On the back of the CD booklet is a disclaimer by the Artist Formerly Known as Prince: "Originally intended 4 private use only, this compilation serves as the last original material recorded by (The Symbol) 4 Warner Brothers Records." His ongoing war of protest and whining against his record label is also reflected in the […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Beats, Rhymes and Life

    "Damn, we ain't prophets/And if you think so, you need to stop it." A Tribe Called Quest launch that fiery verbal projectile in "Get a Hold," a slamming, paradox-driven track from the group's near-flawless fourth album, Beats, Rhymes and Life. A denial that serves as confirmation, the couplet snaps and frames the essence of this […]

    • Album Reviews