Boogie Down Productions

By All Means Necessary

1988

East Coast Rap

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The murder of DJ Scott La Rock had a profound effect on KRS-One, resulting in a drastic rethinking of his on-record persona. He re-emerged the following year with By All Means Necessary, calling himself the Teacher and rapping mostly about issues facing the Black community. His reality rhymes were no longer morally ambiguous, and this time when he posed on the cover with a gun, he was mimicking a photo of Malcolm X. As a social commentator, this is arguably KRS-One's finest moment.

- Steve Huey

Kelly Hogan

I Like to Keep Myself in Pain

June 4, 2012

Alternative Country-Rock

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Neko Case, the Decemberists, and Mavis Staples have all hired Kelly Hogan to sing backup on their albums, but she can make just as good an LP on her own. 2012's I Like To Keep Myself In Pain is an overlooked triumph, with a dream band (featuring Booker T. Jones on keyboards), songs from the likes of Stephen Merritt, Andrew Bird, and Robyn Hitchcock, and a powerful, effortlessly versatile vocalist in the spotlight.

- Mark Deming