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
4:24 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

'To Pimp A Butterfly' Aspires To Be Music's Great American Novel

To Pimp a Butterfly follows two and a half years of anticipation stoked by Kendrick Lamar's breakthrough LP, good kid, m.A.A.d. city.
Christian San Jose Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:27 pm

When Kendrick Lamar released his major label debut in 2012, he vaulted onto pop's leaderboard as one of the best rappers of his generation. He wasn't just a skilled lyricist, but a vivid storyteller able to create scenes with vivid detail and intrigue.

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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
3:41 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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