Blue Dream Studios, where many local hip-hop artists recorded, will close soon, as producer Chris LaBella relocates to New York City. more


Local hip-hop group Fringe Character reaches new heights — and new worlds — with a fresh LP, “Phases.” more



David Michael Miller

It’s tough for local rappers to book shows in the Madison market. A new city task force is charged with looking at problems — and coming up with solutions. more


They sing. They dance. They rap. They slay bullies and promote youth empowerment, and they look dang cute doing it. Meet Trilogy, Madison’s best (and only?) teenage hip-hop girl group. more

MUSIC 1 Comments

Clyde Stubblefield at Inn Cahoots club, August 1991

Brent Nicastro

Where would hip-hop be without the influence and backbeat created by the Funky Drummer, Clyde Stubblefield? Steven Potter talks to Madison's hip-hop community about the death of the legendary musician. more



Steven Potter

The Nov. 12 Madison Hip-Hop Awards featured plenty of anti-Trump vitriol. But the overall tone at the seventh annual event was a positive celebration of a community of artists. more


Local talk radio host Derrell Connor will launch classic hip-hop shows on “The Boombox” on Sun Prairie’s community radio station 103.5, The Sun. He’s hoping to spin several segments into a stand-alone radio station. more



Eric Tadsen

Madison College’s Michael Ford is an architect with a hip-hop sensibility. In his teaching and his design work, he’s working to diversify the field and bring the two aspects of culture closer together. more

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Rap is about much more than violence. It’s about community and connecting with others. And the Black Poets Society — a local hip-hop band from the mid-1990s — is bringing back their unique brand of uplifting rhymes and positive vibes to prove it. more



Steven Potter

Sixth-graders at Blackhawk Middle School are getting some help from an unconventional source: Thanks to emcees at the Urban Community Arts Network, they are rapping about climate change. more



Lauren Justice

From his unassuming home on Madison’s north side, Joey Vitale has produced songs by some of the biggest names in rap. For him, each song is like a “frequency Rubik’s Cube.” more

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Ben Colen

Twice named the emcee with the largest vocab, Aesop Rock brings his cryptic and often dark hip-hop to the Majestic on June 2. more



Allison Eicher

Students from UW-Madison and Madison College are teaming up with architects and music legends to design the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, which is scheduled to open in the Bronx borough of New York City in 2018. more



Chris Roberts

Last week, Darwin Sampson imposed a one-year ban on hip-hop shows at the Frequency after an employee was injured. This week, Sampson is rescinding the ban and replacing it with a new booking process, while the city has moved to create a task force. more

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Mike Mictlan performs "Mid-West-Coast" at an intimate Isthmus Live Session at the Isthmus offices in downtown Madison, Wisconsin on February 13th, 2016. more

Isthmus Live Sessions

Prof performs an intimate acoustic Isthmus Live Session at the Isthmus offices on Feb. 13, 2016. more

Isthmus Live Sessions

​Challenging an incumbent even in local races can be daunting. The first step comes in getting the signatures needed to get on the ballot. Musician Rob Dz struggled with this first step, but ultimately succeeded. more


She may be the lone female member of Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree, but that’s not all that makes Dessa stand out. She’s also a skilled poet with a college degree in philosophy and has released more novels than she has solo albums. more

Isthmus Live Sessions