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Earl Sweatshirt And A More Human Hip Hop

Earl Sweatshirt And A More Human Hip Hop

WBUR: THE ARTERY

Essay | Written by Dean Russell

“I made a promise,” says a young voice, hesitant, “I would never rap seriously on the radio. I’m ‘bout to break it for you.”

The voice is Thebe Kgositsile, the teenage rapper and producer better known as Earl Sweatshirt, if you know him at all. At 19 years old, Earl looks much younger in the YouTube upload from the hip hop show “Sway in the Morning.” Earl is skinny – sitting next to the hulking, 42-year-old host Sway Calloway, he’s really skinny – with a high forehead and wide-set eyes. His motions are two-parts measured, one-part unsure, as he speaks cautiously into the mic. They’re talking about one of the most anticipated hip hop releases of 2013 — his debut major label studio album “Doris”. [...]

John McCauley Raises The Bar For Folk Music

John McCauley Raises The Bar For Folk Music

WBUR: THE ARTERY

Essay | Written by Dean Russell

NEWPORT, R.I. – John J. McCauley III: It’s not a household name. Nor is the name of his band, Deer Tick. But for anyone who is familiar with New England’s folk scene; for anyone who has visited the Newport Folk Festival in its recent years; for anyone who has ever even been near Newport in the last weekend of July: you may know his face, and you’ll definitely know his voice.

It’s Friday night. The rain has soaked Newport and its flush of 10,000 festival-goers raw. I’m standing in mud, singing at full capacity, and it’s hard to tell if the wetness on my face is from a leak in the performance tent or a real, honest-to-God reaction to what I’m witnessing, what I’m hearing. [...]