Hip-Hop's Ten Best Crews of All Time

Categories: Lists

Death Row members: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, and Suge Knight.

Crews are the backbone of rap and hip-hop.

Sure, you can be a solitary rapper, but there's strength in numbers, and who doesn't want a gaggle of talented homies to have his back? Rap and hip-hop has been around since the '70's, so crews are no new thing. There've been dozens upon dozens of them, from N.W.A. and Public Enemy to the more recent groups like, A.$.A.P. Mob and Taylor Gang.

We looked at everything from cultural relevancy and uniqueness to influence on hip-hop and plucked out the ten best crews in rap history.

See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper

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Ten Best Piano-Playing Rock Stars of All Time

Photo by Andrew Potter
Elton John: Only a piano player?

Were it not for the extroverts, rock 'n' roll piano players would be at a decided disadvantage.

Though a frontman who wields a guitar has the mobility to move about the stage and pose and posture, your average keyboardist is forced to remain in a stationary position due to the fact that most grand pianos aren't really made for portability. Still, certain exceptional showmen found a way to do gymnastics while using their pianos as props, one they can stand on, duck beneath, or somersault off, depending on their athletic prowess.

Call it compensation. After all, Elton John humbly named one of his bestselling albums Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player in an attempt to lower expectations. Regardless, here the ten best piano-playing rock stars of all time, including Elton himself.

See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Guitarist

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Paradise Garage's Most Classic Dance Tracks, According to DJ Joey Llanos

The neon beacon that hung outside 84 King Street, NYC.

Paradise Garage.

As DJ Joey Llanos explained to New Times yesterday: "It was a sanctuary where people of all backgrounds, races, colors, creeds or sexual orientation were accepted on the the dance floor as one. They all came there for one purpose, and that was to hear the greatest sound system in the world at the time, controlled by its resident DJ, Larry Levan."

This weekend, Llanos and Richard Vasquez will launch The Choice Miami at The Garret at Grand Central to celebrate the enduring legacy of Larry Levan and the NYC dance music scene that started it all.

Ahead of the party, Llanos shared his four picks of timeless Paradise Garage classics you might hear him and Vasquez drop at The Choice.

See also: DJ Joey Llanos on Paradise Garage, The Choice Miami, and "Continuing the Legacy"

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Five Reasons Jackson Browne Was the Most Honest Songwriter of the 1970s

Photo by Nels Israelson
No one could squeeze more pathos from their platitudes than Jackson Browne.

When one thinks of the sensitive singer/songwriter types who thrived in the early 1970s, certain artists come to mind: James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young were the big buzz, and yet, though their songs embodied a starry-eyed sensibility, none of them could squeeze more pathos from their platitudes than Jackson Browne.

While Joni sang serenely, James waxed wistful and reflective, and Young went off on his metaphysical tangents, Browne allowed his music to pierce the soul by laying bare his personal turmoil and private tragedies. Be it the uncertainty of youth, turbulent relationships, a wife's suicide, or unsettled feelings about the politics and upheaval during the Reagan era, Browne never wavered. And here are five reasons Jackson Browne was the most honest singer/songwriter of the '70s.

See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Guitarist

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International Noise Conference 2015's Ten Most Insane Moments

Photo by Alex Markow
Check out New Times' 83-photo People of International Noise Conference 2015 slideshow.

In a way, listing International Noise Conference 2015's ten most insane moments is an exercise in futility.

The whole five-day freak fest contained a wealth of bizarre occurrences, and not all of them were limited to the stage. With hundreds of acts spanning almost a full week of performances, a complete catalog of acts is impossible to assemble.

But whether you came for the cochlea-obliterating noise or a heaping dose of costumed, extremely NSFW weirdness, you were unlikely to leave INC disappointed. Or, at least, unchanged.

See also: Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Guitarist

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Roller Disco: A Five-Part Guide to Partying on Wheels

Photo by Alex Markow

Disco ain't dead. Neither is roller skating. And it just so happens that they go together like pastel colors and leisure suits.

Grand Central co-owner Rico Lespagnon remembers the old days, and he's been bringing back the fun, funky, music-centric vibe of the 1970s with his monthly Roller Disco getdown.

Don't know much about partying on skates? No worries, babe. Just keep cool. Practice your figure eights. And check out Rico's five-part guide.

See also: Roller Disco: Five Absolutely Essential Jams, According to DJ Danny Krivit

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Billy Joel's Ten Most Pivotal Moments, According to Biographer Fred Schruers

Photo by Myrna Suarez
Billy Joel: Forty-four years behind the mic.

It's easy for cynics to dismiss Billy Joel's decades-long career as nothing more than a continuing cycle of hot singles, alcohol abuse, and roller-coaster relationships. But he has also earned the distinction of being one of the most successful singer-songwriters in music history with indelible melodies that inevitably become standards.

A Miami homeboy until relatively recently -- he sold his palatial La Gorce Island estate in summer 2013 -- Joel has known both universal acclaim and awkward encounters. It's all laid out in Fred Schruers' new book, Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography.

Schruers first met the singer during an interview in 1985. The singer tapped him to be a ghostwriter for a proposed autobiography in 2008. That project was scrubbed, but Joel gave Schruers his blessing to pen a book of his own.

Here, then, in chronological order, are Schruers' picks for the top ten moments that define Billy Joel as both an artist and individual.

See also: Billy Joel Announces First Miami Concert in Seven Years

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Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami: Ten Weirdest Works of Phan Art

Categories: Lists

Poster by Ryan Kerrigan/RyanKerrigan.com
This is the least weird thing you will see in this blog.

The Phish-inspired art created by the band's devoted fans is an essential part of the community, and the overall Phish experience. Before every show, hundreds of original works are sold and traded in the bustling parking lot, and sometimes at mini Phan Art conventions.

Over the weekend during Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami, Phan Art was on display at the Adrienne Arsht Center in a deservedly civilized and sober manner. The room was clean and calm, people moved at a slow speed, and a gal played Phish tunes on piano while folks bonded over the artwork.

Phan Art ranges from absurd to heartfelt. And to the uninitiated, every bit of it could fairly be called weird. Here are ten exceptionally weird-great examples.

See also: Review & Photos: Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami

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Kanye West & Paul McCartney and Four Other Strange Musical Collaborations

Categories: Lists

Photo by Inez and Vinoodh
Yeezy and Macca are planning "a prolific musical collaboration."

Bon Iver, Jamie Foxx, Chief Keef, Hudson Mohawk, and now, Paul McCartney. That's just a partial list of Kanye West collaborators. Ever since the Chi-Town don rapped "call him Kwah-li or Kwey-li, I put him on songs with Jay Z," fans have known to expect left-field musical partnerships, and that's part of the rapper/producer's charm.

His latest effort, "Only One," with the former Beatle, is soulful, uplifting, and reflective. We expected a proper duet, but what we got is an auto-tuned Kanye set to McCartney's keys. Still, we're loving it.

As we digest the tune, we can't help thinking about strange pairings. Some not so successful. And others oddly heartwarming.

See also: Bey Z and the Five Greatest Pop Power Couples Ever

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Six New Year's 2015 Resolutions for Miami's Music Scene

Categories: Lists, Local Music

Photo by Alex Markow

Wow. Much year. Many new.

Miami turned a corner in 2014. The Heat may have failed to three-peat, but there's a certain positivity in the subtropical air that can't be denied. Even as some of our most treasured music and nightlife establishments disappear into the abyss of time, there are lots of things to be excited about.

But wait just a minute... Let's not get carried away with the woo-hoo-ing. We all have some work to do in 2015. So here are our friendly annual suggestions for a better scene.

See also: The 10 People Who Won't Make It in Miami

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