Oliver Wang

Oliver Wang appears in the following:

'To Pimp A Butterfly' Aspires To Be Music's Great American Novel

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Kendrick Lamar's long-awaited new album dropped late Sunday night, nine days early. On it, the rapper wades into our current moment of peril around race, inequality and brutality.


Wu-Tang's Fabulous Fabulist Returns

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Ghostface Killah's new 36 Seasons is a concept album with a big cast. It stars his Tony Starks alter ego in dense action scenes.


Protests Over Officer-Involved Deaths Continue Nationwide

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

In the past week, protests over the decisions not to indict police in two separate fatal incidents spread to communities around the country. We hear from two of the demonstrations in Berkeley, Calif., and Washington, D.C.


Music Review: 'You're Dead!' By Flying Lotus

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Steven Ellison has built an impressive reputation among critics and fans in the know for mixing hip hop, jazz and electronica into something original. But even for the aforementioned ...


Dionne Warwick, Reduced To An Essence

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

On an unlikely tribute album, singer Dionne Farris and guitarist Charlie Hunter tackle Warwick classics with revealing subtlety โ€” and nods to the musicians' own origins in early-'90s rap.


Unheard Bounty On Mobb Deep's First Album In Eight Years

Monday, May 05, 2014

After an eight year absence, the release of a new Mobb Deep album would be notable enough, but it's the bonus disc of previously unheard sessions for The Infamous that send this package over the top.


The Poets Of Rhythm: A Troop Of German James Browns

Friday, October 18, 2013

In the early 1990s, a group of young musicians from Munich perfected the sounds and rhythms of '60s and '70s American funk. Writer Oliver Wang reviews a new anthology of their music.


Chico Mann: Plastic Keys, Blinking Lights And Burbling Beats

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The musician born Marcos Garcia was known for years as a member of the Afrobeat ensemble Antibalas โ€” but one day, he began tinkering with his daughter's Casio keyboard. On the new Mag...


Kanye's 'Yeezus' Packs A Bite

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

After months of speculation, West's latest album reveals itself as a trim, 10-song, 40-minute effort that's heavy on electronic and industrial influences. It's also another piece of t...


Shuggie Otis: 40 Years Later, Still An 'Inspiration'

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A generation ago, the reclusive soul singer and guitarist released what would become his most acclaimed album, Inspiration Information. A new reissue brings the classic LP together wi...


Laura Mvula's Velvet 'Moon' Is A Revelation

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mvula's debut is ambitiously distinct and confident, as if she and her band had perfected their sound years ago but only now decided to share it with everyone else.


On Two New R&B Albums, An Old Soul Sound That Glows

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

New York's Charles Bradley and London's James Hunter Six both mix inspiration and replication.


20 Years Ago Biz Markie Got The Last Laugh

Monday, May 06, 2013

After the rapper lost a legal battle with far-reaching consequences over sampling, the mere existence of All Samples Cleared! was a triumph.


Lady: Two Soul Stalwarts Find A New Groove Together

Thursday, March 14, 2013

R&B singers Nicole Wray and Terri Walker both had promising starts to their careers more than a decade ago, but neither became a household name. Now they've teamed up and traded in sl...


It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In the early days of hip-hop, Run DMC made music with a mission, like the 1986 track "Proud To Be Black." KRS-One and his group Boogie Down Productions called a 1990 album Edutainment. Now, motivational or educational lyrics are met with skepticism. Today, we discuss the viability of hip-hop with ...

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The Decade in Hip Hop

Friday, December 18, 2009

By the end of the 1990s, hip hop was flexing a lot of music-industry muscle. But at the close of this decade, things are very different. Music critic and author Oliver Wang joins us to explain how the digital music revolution changed the genre. Plus: Oliver's picks for the best ...

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Still Crazy After All These Years

Friday, September 18, 2009

Many rappers see their relevance fade with age, but a few have managed to stay in the picture without losing credibility. Music writer Oliver Wang explains how Jay-Z is maturing with grace on The Blueprint 3, while New York magazine contributor Josh Eells tells us why rap is still "a ...

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Greed's Deadly Medley

Friday, February 27, 2009

In the third installment of our "Seven Sins" series, we look at the role greed has played over time in music. Oliver Wang, music writer and assistant professor of sociology at Cal State-Long Beach, talks about money and power in hip-hop. And Dan Kennedy, author of the music-industry memoir "Rock ...

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Seven Sins: Greed

Friday, February 27, 2009

Our Friday series "Seven Sins: The Deadly Medley" continues with a look at how greed has inspired songwriters and composers. Hip-hop writer Oliver Wang and author Dan Kennedy talk about the role money, wealth and materialism play across the musical spectrum. Plus, we take your calls and comments.

Kanye's Concept Album

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The new album from Kanye West has some fans scratching their heads. Other fans are applauding. The often-brash rapper has turned down the volume for a new album marked by the grief and loss in West's personal life. Music writer Oliver Wang joins us to talk about "808s and Heartbreak." ...

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