Author Archive for Ben Westhoff

Lex Luger Goes “H.A.M.”

This week "H.A.M.", the first single from the highly anticipated Jay-Z and Kanye West collaborative album, Watch The Throne, dropped. Internet insta-reaction was mixed, which is understandable considering expectations were so high. After all, West's recently released My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the greatest thing since the advent of air, and the pair have [...]

Monster: Is Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy a Product of His Ego or Its Absence?

Kanye West is a man outside his time. With his globe-spanning interruptions, pronouncements, and Twitter dispatches, he can seem like a walking publicity statement, but he actually isn’t well-suited for a world of iPhone apps, hybrid engines, metrosexuality, and cyberlove. In fact, he’s spent much of his career bemoaning modern failures, the ultimately unsatisfying nature [...]

Reviewed: Erykah Badu’s New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)

Indisputably, Erykah Badu is an iconic singer of our time: As much as with anyone else working, her appeal cuts across gender, race, and generational lines. You don’t have to be a fan of neo-soul—the frustrating hodgepodge in which she’s usually lumped—to appreciate her catalog. From her 1997 debut Baduizm to her 2003 work Worldwide [...]

Where the Labatt Flows Like Wine

D.C.’s sweatiest rock band, the Hall Monitors, continues its march toward garage-rock nirvana. They’ve just been invited to Toronto’s North by Northeast festival, the Great White North’s answer to South by Southwest that takes place in mid-June at some 50 downtown venues there. They join names like Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Sloan, and a [...]