Oliver Wang

Oliver Wang is a music writer, scholar, and DJ based in California. Since 1994, he's written on popular music, culture, race, and America for outlets such as NPR, Vibe, Wax Poetics, Scratch, The Village Voice, SF Bay Guardian, and LA Weekly.

Wang begins work as an assistant professor in sociology at Long Beach State this fall; He also hosts the renowned audioblog soul-sides.com. For more information, visit o-dub.com.

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Music Reviews
3:26 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Wu-Tang's Fabulous Fabulist Returns

Ghostface Killah's new album, 36 Seasons, sees the rapper revive his Tony Starks alter ego.
Brian Level Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 7:06 pm

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Music Reviews
3:32 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:28 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Music Reviews
5:14 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Dionne Warwick, Reduced To An Essence

The new tribute album Dionne Dionne is a collaboration between singer Dionne Farris (known for her work with Arrested Development) and guitarist Charlie Hunter.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:29 pm

In title and concept, the new tribute album Dionne Dionne is a great gimmick. But if you've followed the career of Dionne Farris, having her record an entire album of Dionne Warwick covers isn't an obvious move, names aside. It's an idea that took root some 20 years ago: Farris met guitarist Charlie Hunter while the two were on tour as members of hip-hop groups, she with Arrested Development and he with The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy.

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The Record
2:06 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

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

Mobb Deep.
Courtesy of We Get Press

Under most circumstances, the release of a new Mobb Deep album would be notable in and of itself. This veteran rap duo from Queens had a short-lived but very public falling out in 2012, casting any future collaborations into question; as it is, their new The Infamous Mobb Deep is the group's first joint project in eight years which, in rap years, might as well be eighteen years.

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The Record
11:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Gimme The Beat (Box): The Journey Of The Drum Machine

The Oberheim DMX rose to popularity in the mid-1980s, one of the first commercial drum machines that came close to mimicking real drum sounds.
Courtesy of Get On Down Publishing

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:06 pm

About 10 years ago, a disgruntled pianist in Los Angeles named John Wood began a popular bumper sticker campaign with the slogan, "Drum Machines Have No Soul." Not everyone was convinced, including producer Eric Sadler.

"Drum machines don't run themselves," Sadler says. "It's the people who put into the drum machines that give the drum machines soul, to me. I've definitely given some drum machines some soul."

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The Record
11:03 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

20 Years Ago, De La Soul Refused To Go Pop

David Jude Jolicoeur aka Trugoy (from left), Vincent Mason aka P.A. Mase and Kelvin Mercer aka Posdnuos pose for a portrait outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem in September 1993.
David Corio Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 11:55 am

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Music Reviews
3:43 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

The Poets Of Rhythm: A Troop Of German James Browns

The Poets of Rhythm were a group of young retro-soul musicians from Germany. An anthology of their work was recently released.
Julian Rosefeldt Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat October 19, 2013 9:33 pm

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Music Reviews
5:02 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Chico Mann: Plastic Keys, Blinking Lights And Burbling Beats

On his new album, Magical Thinking, Chico Mann uses a host of electronic playthings to craft West African, Latin and 1980s "boogie" rhythms.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 10:37 am

Marcos Garcia took his alter ego Chico Mann not from the 1970s TV series Chico and the Man but from a bit of dialogue in the early-'80s hip-hop film Wild Style. For years, Garcia was best-known as one of the members of the New York Afrobeat ensemble Antibalas. But one day, he began tinkering with his daughter's Casio keyboard, and since then he's only built on his arsenal of electronic playthings.

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Music Reviews
12:45 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Kanye's 'Yeezus' Packs A Bite

Kanye West at his album listening party at Milk Studios last week in New York City.
Shareif Ziyadat FilmMagic

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 5:18 pm

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Music Reviews
3:25 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

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

Shuggie Otis' Inspiration Information was first released nearly 40 years ago.
B+ Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:25 am

This isn't the first time Shuggie Otis' masterpiece, Inspiration Information, has been reissued — but that's OK. It's an album that absolutely deserves to be rediscovered every decade or so.

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