There is as much good music writing now as there has ever been. There are gross inequalities in the system still, in who gets heard and who is silent. But more than ever, people are able to let their experiences and expressions be heard.
Thinkpieces, essays, reviews and features: the internet has overwhelmed us with writing. There's so much of it out there, and it's all so easy to lose perspective. The more our Facebook feeds tell us what's worth reading, the less likely we are to stumble across something outside of our worldview.
In an attempt to get a handle on all of the music writing out there, we've decided to put everyone up on the music writing we've enjoyed reading during the course of the week. If you've read something that we've missed, feel free to put it in the comments.
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A Phony Article Epitomizes Hip-Hop's Struggling Underclass by Kris Ex (@fullmetallotus) for NPR
Last week, we (I) published an article entitled Rapper So Desperate for Press He Faked a New York Times Article. It was a bemused look at an artist who, despite having a completely unmarketable name, decided to fake a Jon Caramanica-penned New York Times article. While our default response was to label it 'desperate,' it was definitely a more clever maneauver than the average struggle tweet. After all, he did fool a few people into thinking they were reading a real Times article, somehow. Kris Ex has taken a closer look at what this trick says about rappers trying to "make it" in 2014, an era when the top tier artist cosign is the only way for a rapper to break through the noise of press more interested in covering the echo chamber than looking outside of it. —David Drake
Chief Keef Talks Rehab, 'Bang 3' Album & Learning How to Surf by Sowmya Krishnamurthy (@SomwyaK) for Billboard
Chief Keef has never really been one for interviews, so it’s cool to see somebody actually track him down for an in-depth profile. Billboard catches him at his most candid, admitting that his last two mixtapes were subpar and promising a more polished body of work on Bang 3. He also says he hates salt water but wants to learn how to surf, which seems contradictory; regardless, it’s interesting to read how Keef is handling rehab. —Henry Green
Can Shazam Predict the Next Big Hit? by Steven Knopper (@knopps) for Rolling Stone
As Rolling Stone explains, record labels used to have to rely on week-old Soundscan numbers to see what was hot. These days they can turn to data from Shazam, which gives an instant, accurate account of what songs people like enough to look up on their phones while they’re out and about and then illegally download when they get back home. Shazam results seem like a wonderfully democratic way for labels to decide what records they are going to push, and this article may be one of the few things you read this year that will make you feel optimistic about the music business. —Henry Green
High Anxiety: Behind The Scenes Of Fucked Up’s Fourth Album by Tom Breihan (@tombreihan) for Stereogum
I don't love a profile that starts with "It's this kind of weather in the city I am in to meet the artist I am writing about." But what Stereogum's Tom Breihan does after kicking off his feature about Damian Abraham from Toronto Polaris Prize-winning punk band Fucked Up with that same ol' weather-city-venue triptych is atmospheric. I feel like I am sitting in the room with them, whereas a lot of feature writing makes me feel like I'm sitting with a friend rehashing memories of hangin' with the band. The profile is immersive, a measured take on anxiety, fatherhood, and what to do when you're starting to outgrow the genre you inhabit. —Claire Lobenfeld
The Official "Drunk in Love" Remix Power Rankings by Jordan Sargent (@jordansarge) for Pitchfork
Last week, Complex contributor Dharmic X tweeted, "Protip: Do not ask @clairevlo about 'Drunk In Love' remixes." Being @clairevlo, I know quite well that she, erm I, do not want to talk about them, lest I bore you to death with an index of why they're all mostly trash—at least from my perspective. But you know whose opinion I do want to read about this trend that's set to ruin the greatest song of all-time ever in the history of rap music? Another Complex contributor, Jordan Sargent. And you should, too. He ranks Kanye's a little too high for me, but his #1 is the only other rendition I can get with and his words for the rest are potent with music crit wit. Insert requisite "surfboard" reference here. (It's "surfboard." I have the sweatshirt.) —Claire Lobenfeld
RELATED: The Week In Music Writing [Last Week]