Pope Phoenix

Behind The Beat: How Mos Def & Diamond D Created “Hip Hop,” the Epicenter of ‘Black On Both Sides’

Released just over 23 years ago, “Hip Hop” sits at the epicenter of Mos Def’s classic debut, Black On Both… Read More

November 1, 2022

The Making of Miguel’s ‘Kaleidoscope Dream’ Album

Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream is an album that splits time between rebellious youth and reverence for a classic feeling. We spoke… Read More

September 28, 2022

Behind the Beat: JoogSZN on Why Drakeo the Ruler is One of the LA Greats

For Behind the Beat, Thomas Hobbs spent time in LA with JoogSZN. The producer talked about his partnership with the… Read More

August 17, 2022

How Professors Are Making A Case For Hip-Hop In Academia

Over the course of 30 years, hip-hop has been on a journey to becoming more respected in academia. For these… Read More

August 16, 2022

The 10 Flyest Female Rappers of All Time

From Lil' Kim to Cardi B, these are some of the flyest female rappers in hip-hop that aren't just rap… Read More

August 11, 2022

10 DJ Drama Mixtapes That Defined the Golden Era of Gangsta Grillz

Take a look back at DJ Drama's wildly influential Gangsta Grillz mixtape series, the soundtrack to the DatPiff era of… Read More

July 12, 2022

Okayplayer’s Best Albums of 2022 So Far

With half of the year in the books, we look at the best albums of 2022 so far, featuring Kendrick… Read More

July 5, 2022

What Is A Black TikTok Influencer Worth?

Black TikTok influencers don't earn nearly as much as their white counterparts, one of many problems they face in the… Read More

June 29, 2022

Giving Up A Year To The Algorithm: The Artists Releasing Extreme Amounts of Content to Build a Buzz

What is it like for an artist to run a year-long campaign centered on extreme content releases? We asked four… Read More

May 27, 2022

Behind the Beat: Salih Williams on How Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin'” Elevated Houston Rap

Salih Williams — producer of Mike Jones, Slim Thug, and Paul Wall's "Still Tippin'," — is a criminally underrated musician.… Read More

May 26, 2022

Behind the Beat: How Pete Rock & Nas Made Hip-Hop Perfection with “The World is Yours”

In the latest installment of our Behind The Beat series, Thomas Hobbs spoke with the legendary Pete Rock about how… Read More

May 23, 2022

Behind the Beat: Cool & Dre on How “Hate It Or Love It” was the Beginning & End for The Game & 50 Cent

For Behind The Beat, Thomas Hobbs spoke with Cool and Dre about producing The Game and 50 Cent's "Hate It… Read More

May 21, 2022

How Rappers Are Trying To Lead Innovative Ways Of Distributing Music

Black Star with their podcast and Kanye West with his Stem Player are among the acts rolling out albums in… Read More

May 20, 2022

Behind the Beat: Buckwild on How “Put it On” Became the Defining Big L Anthem

In the next part of our ‘Behind The Beat’ series, Bronx producer Buckwild recalls crafting Big L’s "Put It On"… Read More

April 15, 2022

Behind the Beat: How Rick Ross’ “B.M.F.” Made & Almost Broke Lex Luger

In our latest Behind the Beat, Thomas Hobbs spoke with Lex Luger about how producing Rick Ross' "B.M.F. (Blowin Money… Read More

April 1, 2022

How Sample Drill Is Leading One Of Rap’s Most Bizarre Sampling Eras

New York City's most notable drill producers have defined themselves by the songs they sample, so much so that critics… Read More

March 30, 2022