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Happy Hip-Hop Holidays

mf doom as santa

With Christmas just around the corner, I think it’s now acceptable to start blasting the festive tunes. We are used to hearing the likes of Mariah Carey, Wham! and Eartha Kitt on the radio, world-famous songs that truly are classics. However, pop music shouldn’t always dominate your seasonal selections. Hip-Hop has put it’s own spin on on Christmas music in the past, and although rap isn’t always what comes to mind when you think of toasty evenings around the fire with snow (hopefully) coming down outside, these songs deserve a place in your festive playlists:

A feel-good collaboration between Kanye’s GOOD Music artists with all of the featured artists giving a different take on the holidays. We hear about Kanye’s Bad Santa-esque sexual escapades and a characteristically lavish shopping spree from Dipset’s Jim Jones.

One of the most celebrated forays from the hip-hop community into christmas time carols, this 1987 classic takes us into the heart of Queens, New York as the pioneer M.C.’s regale us with their Christmas traditions.

One of rap’s first bankable solo stars, Kurtis Blow dropped this new twist on the christmas carol 36 years ago in 1979!

This festive cut from the otherwise sinister Death Row records features Snoop, Tha Dogg Pound and the late Nate Dogg getting funky. Who says gangstas can’t get into the Christmas spirit?

Aswell as featuring in the 2007 holiday film “Fred Claus“, Ludacris contributed to the soundtrack with this hit bound to get you nodding your head as you’re preparing Christmas dinner.

Juelz Santana didn’t stray far from the classic Dipset formula for this extravagant seasonal smash. Who wouldn’t want to go dashing through the snow in an all-white bentley?!

A typically vulgar Christmas anthem interpolation of “Jingle Bells” from the late N.W.A  Legend. Fairly NSFW…

Tell me your favourite hip-hop Christmas hits, and if you’re feeling extra festive why not treat yourselves to a Christmas sweater to keep you warm whilst rapping along…

Show your support for 2Chainz with this number:

2 chainz christmas jumper

Or if you more of a Wu-Tang fan, this can help you “Protect Ya Neck

wu tang christmas jumper

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What Makes a Good Piece of Online Content?

FOOD:

http://iamafoodblog.com/spicy-chicken-meatballs-and-grilled-cheese-skewers/

This food blog won best in its catgory in 2014 and its easy to see why. The blog has a great aesthetic that really suits the and compliments the content of the page. The blog specialises in attractive, easy and stylish recipes. the name of the blog “i am a food blog” is simple, it doesnt make any pretenses and then delivers on just being an easy to follow and digest blog.

The layout of each post is really nice with a big picture at the top, followed by some tags to find the post, a few paragraphs about the recipe itself and then at the bottom of the page is the recipe itself. The steps are easy to follow and concise with simple language.

I think the best feature of the blog though is the clear, yet subtle placement of icons to share to social media in the top right of the page. The icons are small, but stand out and are recognizable.

food blog screenshot

MUSIC:

http://pigeonsandplanes.com/2015/10/15-free-songs-you-should-download-right-now-92/

Pigeons & Planes is my favourite music blog. The writing is knowledgeable, often funny and contains lots of references and music jokes that regular readers of the blog and fans of hip-hop and indie music will enjoy.

Every Sunday they blog a collection of new music by mostly upcoming (and sometimes established) artists and bands that is free to download. The layout is cool, with a picture of the artist or music artwork above a small bio of the artist and the story/info about the song itself. They then embed below that the song on whatever music streaming service it may be supported on. However, the whole of each post is compact enough that you can see (and listen) to it all without even having to scroll down at all. Often in the bio/info paragraph beneath the picture are links to previous posts about the artist and links to other music from them. This makes for a great way of discovering new music and learning about artists and following their music.

At the top of the post are options to share via social media platforms, plus the embedded music player has options to directly share the song to soundcloud, etc.

music blog screenshot

CLOTHES:

http://fourpins.com/style/rick-owens-los-angeles-store-details-interview/

Four Pins is my favourite fashion/menswear and womenswear blog and they put out some really great content. It is based in New York and so has a slight American focus/bias, but they do also talk frequently about European and Asian fashion. They keep their readers informed about upcoming clothing releases and collections. The writers are really relatable and have great senses of humours. They are often self-depracating and very aware of the fickle, cut-throat, constantly evolving world of fashion and the speed at which it moves.

They use a variety of different bloggers often based in different parts of the United States whoa ll write in different ways and which also gives you news, trends and clothing local to them, e.g. Detroit and it’s ongoing passion for rugged workwear. The posts have very active and friendly comment sections where the post author often interacts with the commenters, answering questions and the like. A link to the retail website or originall story is always included, as well as galleries for any picture posts or posts about a clothing collection. The site is very stylish and posts are easy to find and follow. I find that this blog makes keeping up with the crazy world of fashion a bit easier.

fashion blog screenshot